December 13th, 2009
I stumbled upon this book today: Some stray notes upon Slough and Upton written in 1892 by Richard Bentley, a local historian. I haven’t read much of it yet, but from the first few pages we learn that Slough “is a very healthy place” and has an “inspiriting air”. The latter a quote from the former prime minister Benjamin Disraeli :eek:.
It’s certainly interesting for anyone interested in the history of the area, and linking to it here will hopefully bring it to the attention of a wider audience.
December 12th, 2009
As mentioned in the previous post, I went for a walk from Maidenhead to Slough via Burnham today. I took a few photos for the benefit of those that don’t live in the area.
Here we are then at the Brunel railway bridge in Maidenhead. This is probably the most famous of Maidenhead’s two Thames crossings but gets less coverage on this blog for some reason.
It has been part of the west coast mainline since 1838 and the arches are apparently some of the widest and flattest in the world. A plaque by the bridge claims they are the widest and flattest in the world, but Wikipedia thinks otherwise. Regardless, it’s still a very well engineered bridge and we should all thank Mr Brunel for constructing it or I would have awful trouble getting to work every morning.
Later on I spotted this pretty scene involving Slough, a rainbow, and the M4. Can you spot them all? Seems a little tricky to get rainbows to come out in photos.
This is the south side of Burnham just before we get into the greater urban area of Slough. The clouds have cleared up a bit and I really like how the colours have come out: good green!
Not really sure what was going on with the sky today – looks a bit weird! Sainsburys on the edge of Slough.
And finally, Slough Trading Estate:
Slough Trading Estate is the oldest and still the largest business park in the world. It even has its own eco-friendly power plant that burns recycled waste pellets. I did intend to take a picture of that too but it was getting dark an Slough is not a place to hang around in after dark.
A few more photos here.
Unfortunately, once I reached Slough I realised that my phone, which was with me when I left home, was no longer about my person. I think it has fallen out of my bag somewhere along the Thames path where I foolishly put it in the same compartment as my map. Bother. If you happen to find it, post in the comments and I will exchange it for a cookie.
December 6th, 2009
Went for a walk to Burnham Beeches today. It’s a nice wooded area to the north west of Slough. I started off in Maidenhead so here’s a picture of the bridge:
Maidenhead has a pair of very nice bridges. The Brunel railway bridge is just downstream from here and worth a visit.
The walk to Burnham took longer than it should have due to some terrible map-reading incompetence resulting in a number of detours. As I close in on my destination the way is blocked by an obstruction!
As you can see the paths are all a bit muddy after the wet weather we’ve been having. It’s all rather good fun: leaping between dry patches and diving under fallen trees. I pretend I’m an adventurer in the jungle! And really, there is very little practical difference between the Amazon and a path along the side of a Buckinghamshire golf course.
Here we are at the aforementioned Burnham Beeches. This is a very nice place for a Sunday afternoon walk. The trees here are all very old, must show respect! The land is actually owned by the City of London who purchased it as a place for Londoners to visit to escape the smog, pollution, etc. Nowadays it seems to serve a similar purpose for the residents of Slough. I heartily approve.
Walking down to Slough through Farnham Royal I spied Slough Trading Estate power plant and thought it looked rather pretty with the current configuration of sun and clouds. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a very good position to take a picture so this will have to do:
October 11th, 2009
An eleven year old girl from Slough has written a new poem to replace the old miserable one! It begins like this:
Horrible bombs don’t fall on Slough,
Because it’s fit for humans now,
To celebrate here are a few photos I took in wonderful Slough yesterday. As you can see, it is fit for humans now!
Ominous looking clouds. How did I get such a fantastic view of Slough? I’ve gone up to the roof of the car park in the Brunel bus station.
Slough Trading Estate in the background: this is the world’s oldest, and still one of the largest, private business parks. It even has its own power station! The large red building is the Horlicks factory which was formerly a major local employer: find out more in Slough museum!
Here’s the top of the car park. All the spaces are reserved for O2 employees which explains why it’s deserted. I travelled up by the famous (in some circles) lift. Here is a video if you haven’t experienced this yourself.
Not Slough of course, this is Windsor. I met Nash in the afternoon but couldn’t convince him of Slough’s charms so we spent the evening here. So bourgeois.
August 16th, 2009
I’ve been up in the Slough area for the last few days as I’m shortly to be employed there. Slough was best summed up by the opening lines to this poem by John Betjeman:
Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough!
It isn’t fit for humans now,
Unfortunately, seventy years later this is still largely accurate. Here’s a photo of Slough’s iconic bus station:
I can’t bear the thought of living in Slough, so I’ve been looking around some of the neighbouring towns. Lots of people at work commute from Ealing (London, yuck!), there’s Windsor (pricey!), leaving Maidenhead as a fairly logical place to look. Maidenhead: it’s… average. If you were to take every town in England and average them together I think you would end up Maidenhead. Not that this is a bad thing necessarily. It is blessed with a number of rather elegant bridges, like this one over the Thames:
There is also a famous early railway bridge, but no photo today sadly.
Fingers crossed I might have a flat sorted out by the time I have to start work…