OK so my last posting was a bit self-indulgent but I am proud of my roots. So I’m a Lanc, from Manc, get over it. I know I have. I thought I’d get back to some less personalised stuff but fact is everything on here is my opinion so…. I thought I’d do another in the occasional series on really crap and incronguous buildings/architecture in my local, leafy, lovely area of SW London, which is at least 300 miles from Old Trafford cricket ground. I can mix it with the rugger bugger yummy mummies when I need to.
Now you’d expect a place which is truly Tory affluent but with an unusually pricked social conscience to take a considered centrist approach to local politics and planning. It’s almost a recipe for the most enlightened electorate. Well in many senses it is, except that it results in the local population voting for the Lib Dems as the majority party and in we electors getting Vince Cable as local MP. Now Vinnie’s recently been voted as the least respected member of the coalition Cabinet after Geoff Huhne who is after all still trying to lumber his estranged and betrayed wife with a speeding fine for which he is universally believed to be guilty, if not yet proven. Class act these Lib Dems.
The attractiveness of politicians eh. Ah well it’s hardly news. I get lots of direct mail through my letter-box from Vince’s printers imploring me to recognise him as an economics and business deity but I really don’t think he can ’emasculate the bankers’ as he promises. Not because the banks are more powerful and profitable than ever and the leading bankers are receiving bigger bonuses than at any time previously. I also suspect they probably don’t give two frigs worrying about Vince the Wince because he can’t even enforce something simple like getting some replacement windows installed.
More of that later. But for now do you remember, regular readers, the posting I did about the hideous building, Park House, dominating Teddington’s High St (see posting 22 April 2010 on Ugly Buildings at https://pastapaulie.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/ugly-buildings/ )? Well if Carlsberg did ugly buildings, they’d do this one. A hideous building set in a lovely historic setting. Its very name is an oxymoron. It is as park-like as Clapham Junction.
Anyway things move on and the building has been purchased for re-development by Travel Lodge. Now bravo I say; I’d rather have a vibrant local inexpensive hotel than a hulking derelict shell. But I was intrigued to see that the big yellow pug ugly concrete extension seen in the earlier posting has been demolished and removed (hurrah) and its space is now destined to become the hotel’s trendy estuarant. Only we Brits could transform a torture chamber into a trattoria. Check out the computer-enhanced images on the site’s perimeter panelling to see what we Teddinistas are looking forward to:
Well that’s something to anticipate eh; Restaurant Lubianka. Let’s not be too judgemental, it’s gotta be better than a concrete box. Now walking back from here I took a long-shot from the nearby railway bridge of the real subject of this posting, the walkway over the railway at Teddington station. Here it is lookingly pretty innocuous:
Now the thing is that I really love this station. Honestly. I travel into C London at least 2-3 times per week from here. It is on a loop system so that trains leave for Waterloo or Victoria (via Clapham junction) from either platform. Imagine that, it’s a perfect station. Even the street down to the station, incongrously called Station Rd, contains some of Teddington’s most attractive houses and these are two of my particular favourites:
If I won the Euro lottery that house on the right would be high on my list of targets. And the station building itself is truly handsome:
You’d be proud to buy your rail tickets from here wouldn’t you? The station staff are friendly and helpful, the newspaper stand is great and the on-platform cafe is super. So what’s my beef? Well take a look at these close-up shots of the footbridge; it’s like walking over the sky walkways on some of the worst sink estates:
Look I’m not a snob but I hate this scene of damage and disrepair. It’s virtually 1 in 3 windows is missing and it’s been like this for the two years we’ve been here which probably means it’s been like this for many years. Why? Uniquely there doesn’t seem to be a hooligan problem at all in our town – I haven’t seen a Teddington hoodie since being here. And there’s no obvious major problem with graffiti. I can only assume it’s down to long term decay. But this is one of London’s most affluent areas. Revenues from this station must be staggeringly good. So why the lack of investment and why is our local MP focused on chasing off-shore bankers rather than on-railtrack managers? Get a grip Vince and get on to those nitwits at Railtrack or Southwest Railways or whoever owns the goddam station and get them to give us a walkway which looks fit for purpose and not like a set from Saving Private Ryan. Get a grip Vince; our local infrastructure’s falling apart. Have you stopped catching the train to work? You wouldn’t get this up north.