Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Central: East Acton


On a foggy morning I ventured out to explore the next station on the Central Line. I am now in unfamiliar territory, having left the bright lights of London far behind so I have no idea what to expect.
The Underground now travels above ground and leaving the train my first impressions were of a small station with this small but attractive platform shelter.





The station was opened in 1920 as part of the Central Line extension to Ealing Broadway. Whereas most stations can be found on a High Street this one is in the middle of  a housing estate.


Turning right out of the station the road takes you on to Oak Common Lane and the centre of East Acton with a number of shops, a church and a large snooker hall.





Although the church doesn't look much from the outside, inside it is a hidden gem with many art treasures.
Above the altar is a painting of the Crucifixion by Graham Sutherland 91963)

Hand made glass by Arthur Buss in the Nave and East windows.

Ceramics in the Baptistry by Adam Kossowski. There are many other art works such as the glass etchings but far too difficult to photograph. It is well worth a visit if you are in the neighbourhood.
St Aidan of Lindisfarne's church was built in 1961 and the parish priest at the time commissioned several works of art for the new church
Returning to the station and going left  brings me to the Wormwood Scrubs nature reserve. The Scrubs consists mainly of grassland with a central copse and wooded boundaries. In 2002 it was designated as a Local Nature Reserve due to the diversity of birds, wildflowers and butterflies.

The fog gave the grassland an uninviting aura. I decided to walk on the road instead. To the left of the scrubland is an industrial estate which I walked round - not sure why as I had to return by the same way.

The fog does nothing to enhance an industrial estate. I decided to go home and return on a clearer day when I would be able to see a little more of the area.



 I returned a few days later when I could see what I had been missing due to the fog.




Walking in the opposite direction to the industrial estate you walk past Wormwood Scrubs Prison. It was built in 1874/5 and is a Category B prison holding up to 1279 adult males. The gateway has been designated as having high architectural quality and is Grade II listed. It is frequently used in films and TV when they need a prison gate location.


It is a very large prison and here you can see one of the high walls surrounding the prison.

Further along the road is the Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital. Founded in 1739 it is one of the oldest maternity hospitals in Europe. In 2000 it moved into this purpose built hospital next to  
Hammersmith hospital.


A pathway beside the new hospital takes you onto the Wormwood Scrubs Nature Reserve, one of the largest open spaces in London. In the 19th cent the open land was used for grazing cattle and pigs. In 1812 part of the Scrubs was leased to HM Forces for 21 years and the area was used for exercising and training troops. 


Areas occupied by the War Office have been gradually released over the years and the space used for public recreation. It now has a number of sports pitches as well as the Lindford Christie  Outdoor Sports Centre.


A haven for dog walkers


I continued my walk back across the Scrubs and returned to East Acton station.









12 comments:

  1. Hi Fun60! I rather liked those foggy shots but I can see why you would want to get a sharper view of this new route. I was interested to see all the bicycles parked in front of the station, and loved the windows and other art in the church. The prison was very interesting and the front gates surprisingly (to me) attractive. Black Jack would be impressed with the dog walkers' route. I'm enjoying these posts. Many thanks!

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  2. A lot of contrasts there. You didn't mention stopping for lunch. The row of shops certainly didn't look very inviting.

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  3. This is very interesting ..I like that prison and those foggy shots are cool too. Always a pleasure to visit here. cheers.

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  4. Twenty to twelve and the station platform lights are on. It must have been a very dull day. For the type of photos you take, I don't think fog enhances them much. 'The Scrubs' is so often referenced in tv shows. They look like professional dog walkers with so many dogs. What chaos and a great photo.

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  5. Even you discover places in London where you have never been ! The prison gate looks like our Prison St. Gilles, I first thought it was the entrance to a castle ! Imagine !

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  6. I have a thing for stained glass windows and the ones inside the church look lovely :-)

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  7. I remember the characters in the TV show "Minder" often referred to the "Scrubs" Gaol, Nice to see it.

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  8. Of course I knew of Wormwood Scrubs as the jail. Never knew there was such a large nature reserve there. Of course dogs, especially off lead, do not mix. That was a very mixed journey you had
    Hope you didn't get caught up in the strikes.

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  9. I so enjoyed this....the whole value of you sharing your trip has been a learning experience for me.

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  10. Hi! Your photos are very beautiful. I like the hand made glass very much. BTW,My wife and I will call on England and Scotland about 11 days from at the end of April.

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  11. A happy thought that the training grounds have been turned into public use property and great that it is well used. the Church is a surprising find ... good that you didn't take it at face value and went in to explore! And Wormwood Scrubs is a beautiful area (in the sunshine... I'm glad you went back). The prison gate made me think of the prison scenes in Downton Abbey...

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