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Off-Beat London: A Walk thru the 'Scrubs'

Off-Beat London: A Walk thru the 'Scrubs'

Old Aug 22nd, 2008, 07:07 AM
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Off-Beat London: A Walk thru the 'Scrubs'

Wormwood Scrubs has always mesmerized me - the name itself and the wildish expanse of nature, which at 200 acres, is one of London's largest open green spaces.
Its bucolic natural aspect however is tempered by the fact that the busy main rail line from Paddington to The West constantly has trains blowing by along its whole north side.
And on the Scrubs' southeast side is the grim HM Wormwood Scrubs Prison, the Linford Christie athletics stadium and track and two old Victorian looking brick hospitals. The prison is infamous for the large IRA inmate and protestor riots and many famous folks - spies and rock music idols like Keith Richards and Pete Doherty have spent spells within its forbidding walls. The prison was opened in 1891 and was totally built from convicts' labor, according to Wikipedia (referenced below). The prison's front gate has been used in several movies as a backdrop for someone getting out of the slammer.

So, My Day on the Scrubs began with a visit to the Nottinghill Carnie - i had not planned to traipse thru the overgrown Scrubs all the way to East Acton but ended up doing so quite by mistake.

TBC - The Nottinghill Carnival to the Scrubs

That the Scrubs has been the venue of some celebrate crimes adds to its unique feel for me.

I had become very familiar with the Scrubs in the late 1970s when i camped on it for some weeks at a scruffy place called Tent City, a few vestiges of which remain today on the far western edge of the Scrubs, by the East Acton town area.
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