Capital Ring revisited

April 9, 2007

After Friday’s jaunt, and in the interests of getting a balanced view of our home city, we set out yesterday for a ramble along a western section of the Capital Ring. From the World City of east London we headed for the Little England of the prosperous west.


We started from Richmond, with its quaint pubs and village greens, snoozing comfortably by the banks of the Surrey Thames.

While north London is home of the hill tribes, the west is populated by the water people – house-boat dwellers, ex-varsity rowers, pleasure cruisers, the ghosts of Victorian dredgers. We trotted along river-side paths beside the grand old Thames, the muddy Brent and the slumbering Grand Union canal.

And along the banks of watery west London we came upon…

Canalside developments, Brentford

…miles of swanky new water-side developments, fresh out of their bubble-wrapping…

Rusty barge, Isleworth

Mud'n'dinghies, Isleworth

…rusty reminders of a time when the Thames was a working river, the main artery of an empire…

GSK building, Brentford

…the beautiful-brutal glass and steel monuments of 21st century capitalism…

Allotment Sheds, Hanwell

…acres of municipal allotments where earthy folk could be seen sipping flasks of tea and dreaming of prize-winning pumpkins…

A40, Greenford

…finally arriving in the vast suburban widerness of Greenford, where blank-faced 1930’s semis stretch to the horizon in every direction.

Abandon hope all ye who enter, for truly this is the 7th level of hell…

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