19 November, 2012


Cheese toasties under the Westway with Phil and Margaret Drabble? No it's another one of my London walks this time written by Margaret Drabble in the company of my pal Phil from Brum. We went a bit wrong on this walk and it really wasn't very nice. It began in a Sainsbury's carpark just behind Kensal House, designed by Maxwell Fry with input from Elizabeth Denby who made a comment that "In short, the general working class opinion seems to be that the blocks of flats would be all very well for people who can afford to send their children to boarding school, and go off by themselves by car for the weekend and for the holidays, but that they were definitely inadequate for families whose lives must centre in and around the home." The flats were built by the Gas Light and Coke Company to showcase high quality low cost housing. After we saw this we took the nicest part of the walk by the Grand Union Canal as far as Wormwood Scrubs. Even this part wasn't that good. We went wrong at Scrubs Lane and should have walked on the other side of the road for a view over Wormwood Scrubs for a view of the scrubs and the prison! Think Margaret Drabble has some funny ideas about pleasure. Having braved Dalgarno Gardens and the St Quintin Park estate of my former employers (known to the managers as San Quentin) we walked down an unremarkable suburban street to meet the dominatrix of the Westway which covers an awful lot of space and has a lot of real property underneath it. We lunched at the Westway sports centre on cheese toasties and cake (not cheap) and looked at the brightly coloured climbing walls. We passed under the westway to where 10 Rillington Place had been demolished and then walked up Ladbrooke Grove sadly missing out the deviations which might have been more interesting. We did see the Trellick Tower, sister to the Balfron Tower. This building was designed by Erno Goldfinger who once had the misfortune to live next door to Ian Fleming. Mr Fleming did not like his neighbour so named a faamous bond baddie after him. All in all not sure I'd want to do another walk written by Margaret Draabble if any exist.

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