March 7, 2009

Kentish Town: passing through here like a ghost. My first visit to London was in 1974 to England’s Lane and Lamboli Road to a wealthy English Surrealist called Conroy Maddox. Camden Art Gallery on far away Finchley Road was at the height of it’s powers and we popped down to Blackheath, hardly Lewisham, Kilburn or Kensal Rise. Kentish Town: built after the Crimean war in a style loved by artists and architects down through time. The swimming baths has its own well, once a laundry too, it’s roof light still blackened from the war. After 150 years the Belgian lead piping starts to leak. Eerily passing on the canal side house plaque saying ‘The French poets Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud lived here, May – July 1873.’
One is aware of the proximity of St. Pancras and King’s Cross.
From Kentish Town West Woolwich and Richmond accessible. From Kentish Town Brighton and King’s Lynn. Drop on to the Grand Union canal and cycle to Broxbourne via Islington. Explore the delta tributaries of the River Lee. Cycle west to West Drayton via Willesden, Alperton, Greenford and Park Royal. At Bull’s Bridge junction a sign indicates by canal to Birmingham. A branch to Slough. Hanwell locks south thence to Eel Pie Island. Penetrate north to Watford. From Euston travel to Bletchley and cycle on the first grassy canal towpath to this junction. These canals were revived by middle class volunteers in woollen roll neck sweaters and tight slacks.


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