Posts Tagged ‘West Cross Route’

Shepherds Bush 1988

Monday, May 17th, 2021

I’ve always found Shepherds Bush confusing. My first visits to the area were infrequent trips with my mother to visit an elderly woman relative who lived alone in a flat on the Goldhawk Rd, an exiting visit, travelling to Hammersmith on the tube and then a bus. And it was a secret mission on which I was sworn to silence; Blanche had been ostracised by all her relations except my mother. This was around 1950 and divorce was still seen by many as something shocking. I remember being rather disappointed to find this ‘scarlet woman’ was much the same colour as me.

Subway, Shepherds Bush, Roundabout, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988 88-1d-44-positive_2400
Subway, Shepherds Bush, Roundabout, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988

Sheep could certainly not safely graze at Shepherds Bush, and were best keeping well out of trouble on this arch above the subway under the M41 West Cross Route, built as part of Ringway 1, part of a series of motorway rings which would have destroyed London. The damage they would cause became very apparent during the building of the Westway and West Cross Route and the scheme was abandoned, with fortunately only a few sections completed. The road was demoted to the A3220 in 2000 but cyclists are still prohibited. The subway is immediately to the north of the Holland Park roundabout.

Subway, Shepherds Bush, Roundabout, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988 88-1a-22-positive_2400
Subway, Shepherds Bush, Roundabout, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988

Eight years later, in July 1996, I returned here together with around 6,000 others to hold a party and protest on the M41 here which blocked the road for over 8 hours. I left before it ended, climbing over a wall and ending up on Freston Road, taking the Underground to Hammersmith from Latimer Road Station.

Shepherds Bush Station, Uxbridge Rd, Shepherds Bush, Hammersmith & FUlham, 1988 88-1c-42-positive_2400
Shepherds Bush Station, Uxbridge Rd, Shepherds Bush, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988

One of the confusing things about Shepherds Bush were the two Underground stations around 500 yards apart and on different lines, but both named Shepherds Bush. I think both were built around 1900. The Central Line station in the picture was replaced by a new station in 2008, and the Hammersmith & City station was then renamed Shepherd’s Bush Market.

Shepherds Bush Green, Shepherds Bush, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988 88-1c-56-positive_2400
Footbridge, Shepherds Bush Green, Shepherds Bush, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988

The footbridge leading across Shepherds Bush close to the Central Line Station to the large 1967 shopping centre on its south side added to the confusion with a giant Intercity 125 Train on its side, despite it leading to the Concorde shoppint centre. It confused me still more by disappearing completely two years after I too its picture, plagued with problems as the escalators kept breaking down and a few people found it funny to drop things from it onto passing traffic.

There are still two quite separate stations called Shepherds Bush, as a new National Rail Shepherds Bush station opened close to the Central Line station in 2008. It had been meant to open as a Silverlink station on the line from Clapham Junction to Willesden Junction in 2007, but when completed they found one platform was 18 inches less wide than safety regulations required. By the time this was put right the following year it was a part of the London Overground. Perhaps had this change been anticipated it would have been designed with a tunnel leading the the Underground station rather than having to go through two ticket barriers and across a roadway busy with buses to change trains here.

Shepherds Bush, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988 88-1a-25-positive_2400
Providence Capital, Shepherds Bush, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988

The station developments were for the opening of the huge Westfield shopping centre on the White City site. Although the new Overground station was built on the site of the long-disused Uxbridge Road station it required the demolition of the building I rather liked close to the Holland Park roundabout. Its design as a giant gate echoes in plain form the excessively ornate gateway built here at Shepherd Bush for the 1908 Franco-British Exhibition at White City which attracted over eight million paying customers, and I believe this was indeed a much slimmed-down version of the entrance to the exhibition halls, converted for office use.


All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


Notting Hill – Notting Dale – 1988

Monday, May 10th, 2021
Nottingwood House, Clarendon Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1e-62-positive_2400
Nottingwood House, Clarendon Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

Notting Hill – and the London Borough of Kensington & Chelsea – is very much a place of two halves and these two pictures illustrate this, with the large block of council housing built on the site of the Notting Hill brewery and other industrial buildings shortly before the war.

Houses, Blenheim Crescent, Clarendon Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1e-61-positive_2400
Houses, Blenheim Crescent, Clarendon Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

This picture was taken from roughly the same place as the previous picture, but from the opposite side of the road. Houses in Blenheim Crescent are currently on sale for £4 million. Of course many of the social housing tenants in Nottingwood House took advantage of Thatcher’s social housing giveaway ‘Right to Buy’, though quite a few then found themselves needing to sell these properties, with many becoming ‘buy to let’ properties – now at perhaps £2000 a month, and other flats on sale for perhaps £800,000, so the difference here is rather less real than when I made this picture.

Bramley Arms, Bramley Rd, Freston Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1e-53-positive_2400
Bramley Arms, Bramley Rd, Freston Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

I think the pub had closed shortly before I took this picture. The building is still there but is now offices with flats on the upper floor. The pub has appeared in at least five major films including Sid and Nancy (1986), Quadrophenia (1979) and The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) as well as TV series.

This area was cut off on two sides by the construction of the Westway and the West Cross Route in the 1960s and became very run down and what had been the southerns section of Latimer Rd was renamed Freston Road. Oddly, Latimer Road station (on Bramley Rd) was not renamed, though it is no longer close to Latimer Road. In 1977 squatters occupied houses and flats the GLC planned to demolish in Freston Road and declared the Republic of Frestonia. The GLC granted them temporary leave to remain and the area was developed more sensitively by the Bramley Housing Co-operative from 1985. You can see the ‘Underground’ bridges in the distance on both streets in this photograph.

Freston Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1e-52-positive_2400

This neat and unpretentious factory building is still present on the corner of Freston Rd and Evesham Rd, but now surrounded by a large redevelopment and painted a dull grey.

Mural, Harrow Club, Freston Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1e-45-positive_2400
Mural, Harrow Club, Freston Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

Although the area around and under the Westway was fairly desolate in 1988, attempts had been made to brighten the area with a number of well painted murals. The Harrow club was set up by former pupils of Harrow School in 1883 as The Harrow Mission Church “to improve the quality of life for local people, aiding harmony and promoting opportunity” for the people of Notting Dale and continues to do so.

Freston Rd, Westway, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1e-44-positive_2400

More graffiti.

Freston Rd,, Stable Way, Westway, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1e-35-positive_2400

The caravans are around Stable Way. The car is coming down a link road from the Westway which runs across the top of the picture to the West Cross Route. This is the edge of a BMX cycle circuit at the north end of Freston Rd.

Freston Rd, Westway, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1e-32-positive_2400

Another picture from the BMX track beyond the end of Freston Road, close to the Westway junction with the West Cross Route.

Freston Rd, Westway, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1e-31-positive_2400

This picture gives a more informative view of the location, though I can find no trace of this oval now, but it was I think a part of the BMX circuit at the north end of Freston Rd.

Freston Rd,, Westway, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1e-23-positive_2400

The landscaped area here is at the end of Freston Rd, with the Harrow Club at left.

Westway, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1e-14-positive_2400

Underneath the Westway and the links from the West Cross Route.

Westway, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1e-13-positive_2400

Various sports facilities underneath the motorway junction. Opened in 1970 as the A40(M) its status was downgraded in 2000 to an all-purpose road. There were plans to include a separated cycleway on parts of it announced in 2013 but these were scrapped in 2017. However Kensington & Chelsea Council have opposed all protected cycle routes on their streets, and even scrapped a temporary route which was implemented during the Covid lockdown.

More from the other half of Notting Hill in another post.


All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.