Scott Balcony

SCOTT BALCONY is co-owner of Balcony Shirts in Windsor Street, Uxbridge and online at www.balconyshirts.co.uk. He tweets as @balconyshirts and writes this exclusive new blog for www.getwestlondon.co.uk

George Orwell lived in Hayes for two years. In the culture stakes, that’s about all we’ve got to offer, isn’t it? 

Oh no, hold on, didn’t that fella from ‘70s glam rockers The Sweet live here too? Yeah, that’s it. And Russell Grant. Culture, innit.

I won’t be the first to have discovered the (self-titled) Uxbridge Galleries, hidden from view under the monolithic grey slabs of concrete that make up the A40 between Uxbridge and Denham, but you’ll be hard pressed to find mention of them on the internet, or anywhere else, for that matter.

Surrounded by green fields and just a 100 yards from the Uxbridge branch of the Grand Union Canal, approximately 48 giant ‘canvases’ of reinforced concrete have been covered (and I mean covered) in intricate, vivid and surreal artwork.

From the minds of God knows who? Naughty kids? Repressed artists? The ghost of George Orwell himself? 

Bits of it are illegible, some of it is, admittedly, rubbish, but a lot of it is breathtaking.

 

The man hours alone in covering what must be 20,000sq ft of concrete with paint nozzles no bigger than a pin head is a feat that shouldn’t be underestimated. The creativity is literally pouring off the walls.

I took these pictures on my phone and they really don’t capture the scale of the place. You need to be immersed.

Go and walk the dog (if you don’t have one, borrow one) down from The Swan and Bottle, Uxbridge, along the canal towards Denham, until you reach THIS bridge:

Do a sharp right down the footpath through the brambles and stinging nettles, after five minutes you’ll see it.  You won’t see it any other way, that's for sure.

 

I defy you not to be blown away by the sheer scale of the place. I’d probably avoid it after dark, but I’ve always been a bit of a melt.

 

I’m sure the people that created this trippy wonderland won’t thank me for sharing it. I don’t even know if what they’re doing is legal. Probably not. But it’s incredible.

There; I’ve said it.

Culture.

Quite a lot of Scott