Monday, 25 April 2011

All the small things: 8. Goldhawk Road

While Uxbridge Road, for me, provides a long strip of chaos, traffic (both on foot and vehicular) and randomness in and out of Shepherd's Bush, Goldhawk Road is a somewhat calmer yet equally random escape or introduction to the centre of the Bush, depending on which way you are travelling.



Stretching from Stamford Brook on the cusp of Chiswick slap bang into Shepherd's Bush Green, Goldhawk Road is an admittedly shorter length of road yet as it nears the Bush it becomes very typically W12 with its nearly as busy entrance to Shepherd's Bush Market, its dated shop fronts, its ever increasing innumerable fabric shops and its position as arguably the best road to get a fry up on (I counted now fewer than four greasy spoons within a 100 metre distance). There are also more than enough pubs, take-aways (of varying standards) and of course some amazing (in Bird's opinion) restaurants; Patio, Rajput, Blah Blah Blah and Jasmine being just a thumbless handful.






In my previous Shepherd's Bush address I was further away from the Green and located almost mid-way between both Goldhawk Road and Uxbridge Road, yet because of my work commute and running routes I was always more inclined to pound the pavements of the former. As a single girl in love with a nightlife I couldn't have maintained (thank you NewMan!) I was also heavily reliant on the 24 hour 94 bus which ploughs down this road depositing drunks and late night workers from the West End. It remains one of my favourite buses.

Just like Uxbridge Road boasts Esarn Kheaw, the Bush Hall and being the gateway to Loftus Road, there are some hidden treats along Goldhawk Road; Nubian Taste, although often empty is a surprisingly good Caribbean restaurant (opposite the Goldhawk pub - review to follow soon!) with the best macaroni cheese I have ever tasted, the Goldhawk Road entrance to Ravenscourt Park takes in a charming Ecology area and Goldhawk Road tube is slowly but surely becoming renowned for playing commuter-calming classical music most days. Keeping up the Bush's creative and musical production links, Goldhawk Road was also the home of Townhouse Studios, which was established in 1970s by Richard Branson and incorporated Bush band The Who's Rampart Studios. It is on my list of "things to do" to establish what has now become of Townhouse Studios after it was put up for sale a few years ago, because from the outside little has changed and it would be a real shame to learn that it is a now unused and abandoned building.



As I chose my "favourite" Uxbridge Road shop, I will also chose my most favoured Goldhawk Road attraction. Aside from the never-changing (that much) Harris' Cafe Rest, A Cooke's Pie, Mash & Eels and the brilliantly named Irish Meat Market, I am a long time fan of the fabric shops. I can assure you that we Bush dwellers take this for granted and indeed probably scratch our heads wondering how many fabric shops can one road have, but as a very part-time dress-maker and slave to DIY fashion I regularly lust after the rolls and rolls of different prints, textures and materials.  Goldhawk Road remains the destination for London fashion students from north, south, east and west so that may explain why you see those trendy bendy East London types looking lost and a little horrified as they emerge from Goldhawk Road tube. That's not to say that regular off the rack ordinary Bush dwellers can't appreciate these shops; they do pretty much guarantee the best (a.k.a. worst) shop window displays.


Spot the "pop-up" street floor stall...
(in another of my photos you can see a PCSO moving the "stall" holder on, or trying to!)


So tell me, what makes Goldhawk Road golden for you?

My first Shepherd's Bush poser - on the left!

5 comments:

  1. So that's where all the fabric shops in London are! As someone who used to sell fabrics as a job a few years ago (Ok more than twenty) I love to browse in them.

    Excellent post - love the poser! xx

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  2. Thank you Helena,

    The fabric is very cheap and haggling with the shop keepers is almost expected so it's a great place to browse and buy.

    The poser was a real (slightly drunken) Shepherd's Bush gentleman, I gave him my best smile and a high 5!

    Thank you for reading and commenting - very honoured!

    Bird

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  3. @howardbowden27 April 2011 17:12

    it's another great blog.

    did you know that after Diana's funeral, Elton John went straight to Townhouse Studios to record Candle In The Wind, which for all I know is still the biggest selling single ever?

    not only that, but Goldhawk Road was the spiritual home of the Mods in the 60s (that and the West End) - check out the club scene in the first 10 minutes of Quadrophenia and you'll see it's called The Goldhawk. And of course there's a load of scenes filmed in and off Goldhawk Road...

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  4. I knew about the Quadraphenia and Mod scene links but not the recording of Candle in the Wind... interesting!

    And thank you!

    Bird x

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  5. I've got another Goldhawk Road "music" fact for you. There used to be a car lot on the site where Westbush Court is now (next to The Goldhawk). The majority of the video for Alexei Sayle's classic song "Ullo John Got A New Motor" was shot in and around the lot, see the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhHJ4zEKDZY

    Yes, I can remember when they shot the video....

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