Is this post-post modernism? Here somebody out-Ballards Ballard by taking the time to perform cryptoarcheology on the fictional site of one of his better known stories, a traffic island on the Westway. Pretty interesting stuff eked out of meagre ingredients.


Susan said...

I know a little about this area as my grandparents grew up a stone's throw from the street where I believe David Cameron now lives.

The area was formerly known as Notting Dale – affectionately referred to as 'the piggeries and the potteries’ (or vice versa) – a place awash with all the muck that slid down to the bottom of the hill (which I’m sure will be of great interest to fellow fans of undigested mulch). It’s rumoured that the street BBC’s Steptoe & Son lived in was based on Freston Road. The post war high-rise development and concretization of the area is curiously fascinating, though probably less so to its residents.

In the late 1980s, I was moved to write a poem about the Westway, which I’ll share with you…though please bear in mind I am not a poet:

Mindless consumerons live under the road
Their zombie children happy unawares
Discount stores show prices slashed again
Kiddies spray can all along the trains

Out to shop with pushchair, dog and fags
Back to tenement to show off the new wares
Anything that five pounds will buy
Watch the adverts and they’ll tell you why

Feed the blighters lead-filled air
They’ll never know and you don’t care
But one day they’ll get back at you,
They’ll come and steal your video.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Sorry, I'm nbot sure what I'm supposed to be looking at - do I have to squint my eyes up? (I should read more Ballard and then I'd understand...)

worm said...

Gadjo - any bit of big blue writing in one of my posts is a link through to another site!

Susan - I think your poem sums up the Westway pretty well! It must have been very strange to be a resident of a victorian street, watching every day as an enormous futuristic concrete structure grew in height at the end of the road, eventually blotting out the sun, and bringing with it endless noise, fumes and blight