Wednesday, 21 September 2016

'Old Isleworth'

On Sunday morning I was waiting to meet Robyn and for part of the time I had a walk around 'Old Isleworth'.

It's not looking so well these days;

Isleworth is a working class community and I was privileged to represent some of the people there, over the years. Since the 1980's of Margaret Thatcher, 'Old Isleworth' has been trying to drive out the poorer people - it's been getting much more of a problem recently.

This used to be 'Isleworth Coaches', a big employer;

It wasn't old and it wasn't particularly beautiful but it was a big employer and part of driving people away is getting rid of their jobs.

These perfectly good buildings had years of life left in them, as did the people who worked there but the problem is they were down by the riverbank and that makes them prime real estate.

As I was taking pictures three groups of people came up to me and asked if I'd worked there. The site plainly meant a lot to local people and the arrival of flats for rich people isn't at all welcome.

These days the cement and steel is recycled, which is more than you can say for the people.

Brentford and Isleworth were once river communities - effectively ports and docks with boat services too.

Nearly all of that has gone now - there are a few boatyards hanging on at Brentford. While at Isleworth there are a few working boats left;

But it won't be long before they are gone too - just like the Thames Lightermen (Cargo) and Watermen (passengers) I once knew.

The river bank still keeps a few secrets to tell you this was once a working river.....from the days before building materials were recycled;

And not far from the new luxury flats there's a big flow of water into the river - it's from Mogden, West London's major sewage works.

Here's the 'river' just before it joins The Thames;

I walked on to 'The London Apprentice', it's a pub near the nicest part of the river and still unspoilt. I wandered about on the bank but I wasn't feeling so well and started off back to my car.

At least the birds were getting fed;

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
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