Saturday, 5 May 2018

God, an Englishman, orders His Eden thus

If God is an Englishman - a notion which in today's sublime weather felt theologically possible - then this is how He would order His Eden... Below: bowls in Pitshanger Park.

Left: St Mary's Church, Perivale, stands on the footpath linking Perivale Lane with Pitshanger Park, running across Ealing Golf Club. The church itself dates back to the 13th century (possibly 12th), though the tower is from the 16th century with weatherboarding added much later. Unused as a church since 1972, it is now used as a venue for classical music recitals.

Below: the 297 bus route, served by double deckers, makes its way up Castlebar Road. Upstairs, front seat, best view. And the weather... such a crystalline blue sky, I haven't seen it like this since last time I was here.

It is time to visit the Brentham estate (or Brentham Garden Suburb), which I last wrote about in November 2015. Since then, I have acquired a book by Aileen Reid (Brentham, published in 2000 by the Brentham Heritage Society) on the subject; today I set ofp to track down the photo used on the front cover. And I found it - on Fowler's Walk. The architecture here is wonderful; classic British Arts & Crafts of the early 20th century.

Below: the corner of Ludlow Road and Ruskin Gardens, complete with Edwardian post-box.

Below: corner of Neville Road and Brunswick Road. Under such a Mediterranean sky, the vernacular style seems particularly sublime.

Below: Fowler's Walk again, the lower end. It's a gorgeous Bank Holiday weekend, so many residents have gone away taking their cars with them, thus affording car-free vistas of the architecture.

Below: Holyoake House on Holyoake Walk, a small block of flats, in a human scale, quite in keeping with the houses that surround it.

Below: lower end of Ludlow Road. Perfectly trimmed hedges are a hallmark of Brentham.

When blessed with such weather, I feel I should be spending every minute of sunlight outdoors, but too much sun can be dangerous; a two-hour long walk in the afternoon was quite sufficient for health.

This time two years ago:
W-wa Okęcie modernisation nears the end

This time three years ago:
I buy a Nikon Coolpix A
[An excellent buy. I await a Nikon FX mirrorless camera!] 

This time four years ago:
More about the Ladder of Authority

This time five years ago:
By bike, south of Warsaw

This time seven years ago:
Functionalist architecture in Warsaw

This time eight years ago:
What's the Polish for 'to bully'?

This time nine years ago:
Making plans

This time tent years ago:
The setting sun stirs my soul

This time 11 years ago:
Rain ends the drought


Adam said...

Two comments

1. God bless UK planning laws!!

2. Bowls - what a game! - there used to be many more places to play in London but many have been done away with e.g. Wormholt Park and Brook Green. Such a shame. Wonderful to see it's still alive at Pitshanger Park. Warms the cockles of one's heart :)

Michael Dembinski said...

@ Adam

1. Not just planning laws (God bless them nevertheless!) but the vision of the planners and architects that dreamt up and created the Brentham Garden Suburb. It is a remarkable place, under the azure skies of the early May Bank Holiday weekend, a sublime example of how people could live with good planning!

2. Yes, it's been a long while since I watched them bowling in the park. Once there were two such greens; today, the club house is still there, but the western green has been dug up and turned into a small ornamental garden.

Under the blue sky, trees in fresh leaf, well-tended lawn and the whites of the players' outfits, the scene is the dream-vision of Englishness.

Anonymous said...

I traveled among unknown men,
In lands beyond the sea:
Nor England! Did I know till then
What love I bore to thee.

William Wordsworth