Degeneration/Regeneration Photographs – L01, L02, L03, L04.

The theme for this term’s project is ‘Urban/Landscape’ photography, based on the double page spread of the A-Z  according to my postcode. This covers a large area, from Brentford to the West, and Chiswick to the East, and Ealing to the North and Kew to the South. Slap bang in the middle is Gunnersbury Park. However, ‘a river runs through it’ which I thought would create a challenge, although Kew, as always, appealed but posed a problem with the remit.

I wanted to come up with something a little unusual, and a different fresh (?) perspective, and I am torn between two, in my residential town of Brentford. They are Degeneration/Regeneration, and Living by water. Brentford is going through a massive regeneration project, as little had been done to it from when the Grand Junction Canal (now part of the Grand Union Canal, incorporating the River Brent) was built, 1793/1805 until the Creation of the Grand Junction Waterworks Company, in 1838, replacing the pumping station at Chelsea where water quality had dropped considerably, and the Gas Works behind. After the mass urban expansion during the Victorian era, growth stopped, until the 1980’s when commercial buildings went up along the A4, also known as the Westway. This stopped after the crash of 1988. It has recently restarted, in the last 10 years, creating a huge gap in price between the old ‘cottage’ properties on the North side of Brentford, to the million pound properties to the East and South. And the regeneration continues apace, with the new Brentford football stadium being built on brown land by Kew Bridge railway station. The area is being marketed as Kew Bridge, or Kew Bridge village. It will probably stick!

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