Join our walk around South Acton and get surprised with what you will see and find out! This walk is free as it is part of the Ealing Fringe of the Ealing Festival 2021!
We will meet at 1 pm at Acton Town Underground Station, one of the seven stations that have the word Acton in its name! The Art Deco station is across the road from The London Transport Museum Depot which you can visit on special days!
After a good look around, we will walk down Bollo Lane trying to imagine what the area looked like when the Bollo Brook was not buried underneath.
We will look at houses old and new to see how South Acton Estate with the still standing Jerome Tower is turning into Acton Gardens. The once infamous concrete housing estate witnessed many harsh moments, including drug dealing and knife crime. A victim’s mother now has a plaque praising her efforts to put a stop to the stabbings. The blue plaque, along with many others to be discovered around South Acton, was made locally by an artist and activist who contributes a lot to the community issues, locally and on a global scale. The plaques resemble the famous English Heritage blue plaques and you need to look closely to tell the difference.
Our route will take us past the buildings that have replaced the high rise tower blocks which had been built over 30 years as part of the the post-war Victorian slum redevelopment.
You will hear about the important street art pieces that are no more and the community involvement in creating them. Many have heard of the Big Mother by the artist called STIK. It was once the tallest mural and it could be seen from the trains between Central London and Heathrow or Ealing. The new community centre has replaced a good few interesting street art pieces, and Acton’s oldest mural depicting an oak tree by an artist who lived on the estate is no more.
We may still be lucky to see one of the oldest Working Men’s Clubs in the country before we explore the area with more recent street art pieces and then rest in South Acton Park admiring a mosaic sofa by talented as well as socially and environmentally conscious artists. Soapsuds Island and a ‘church swap’ will get a mention at this stage.
From there we will go towards South Acton station to admire the Oak Tree mosaic by our local artist, Carrie Reichardt, whose works could be seen at the Disobedient Objects exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum a few years ago. The Treatment Rooms Collective (a group of like-minded artists and craftspeople) supported Carrie in producing the large mosaic. The oak tree is a reference to the area’s name . Acton means farmstead amongst the oaks. That’s what the Saxons called it when they settled here. Carrie made a lot of research to put information about the local heritage on the tiles around the tree. Like the sofa by Karen Francesca Wydler, it makes for an interesting read!
Going over the railway line will give us another perspective. We will be able to look at the allotments, the urban layout and see the Chiswick Business Park in the distance. Then, going along the streets lined up with Victorian terraced houses, we will get to another mosaic wonder: a mosaic house! We will look at it from both sides, reading what we can. admiring the idea and the final product, talking about the involvement of mosaic artists from around the globe in its making, and about the neighbours’ reactions too. If we are in luck, the artist may be in and might come out to say hello. It’s happened before more than once!
After the mosaic house, if we still have the energy, we may walk up to look at Carrie’s studio which is also covered in tiles with messages and then we will be ready for a stop at a local pub but that’s optional and depends on availability. From the pub, the nearest station is Chiswick Park or you can walk back to Acton Town or South Acton.
A few more things:
Obviously, we will observe the current Covid-19 regulations.
Pictures are taken during our walks and the walk may be recorded so please let us know if you do not want to be included.
As it’s a walking tour, please make sure you wear suitable footwear and clothing.
Please email us if you have any questions regarding the walk or if you would like to book a tour with us for your party.
You may want to carry a bottle of water and a snack with you on the walk.
We look forward to seeing you!