02 Apr

Let’s move to Brentford, west London: its finer moments are the grungier ones

It’s as if some deranged, power-filled local politician had spliced Putney with the lower reaches of PudongWhat’s going for it? Walking along the Thames, from Kew to Twickenham, you’d be momentarily excused for wondering where you were. Brentford is an odd place, as if some deranged, power-filled local politician had spliced, say, Putney with the lower reaches of Pudong. It has all the usual accoutrements of a west London suburb: a pleasant enough old, bricky centre, snug pubs, a gigantic stately home, Georgian townhouses and lovely walks by the Thames, all chucked together with luxury gyms and 80s offices housing financial advisers. But recent years have added beefed-up apartment blocks and the shrink-wrapped offices of today’s economic masters, Sega, JC Decaux, GSK and Sky. Brentford’s finer moments are the grungier ones, the lower reaches of the Brent, where buddleia and elderflower burst from the paths and houseboats flaunt their blooms in recycled Belfast sinks. At spots like this you can scrape away the banal present to see the town’s origins, a place older than London, where ancient travellers and tribes once met to trade, I don’t know, amulets and barley, at the ford across the Brent.The case against It’s definitely not a beauty, though it might have been. Overdevelopment and traffic choke the place. Continue reading…

Related Posts