Down on the banks of the River Thames on the Brentford side of Kew Bridge there's a timewarp going on!
On a couple of acres of disputed wasteland right next to the Thames and opposite Kew Gardens a ramshackle collection of benders, shelters, tents and huts have grown as if from the broken ground beneath. The settlement or self styled 'Eco Village' began in mid 2009 as a collection of tents but has since become a more permanent community, consisting of a collection of 'homes' and communal spaces. I describe the village as a timewarp because it feels as though it were either from the stone age or the 1960/70's and is definately not of this century in Britain at least.
The land that the village stands upon is owned by a local property developer, who is in dispute, according to one villager with whom I spoke, with the local council. A pub (which are fast becoming as anachronistic as stone aged villages!) once stood on the land but since its demolition some years ago the delopers have sought to construct some bijou high rise and high profit appartments here. Council says no, I believe?
So what we have now is the Eco Village. Living locally as I do the village is a place I pass quite often and has always aroused my curiosity, which led me to my first visit in the summer of 2009 and a continuing passing (literally) interest in the site.
A couple of days ago as I cycled by I saw builders re-constructing the high perimeter fence that encloses the area on two sides. Fearing that the end was nigh for the village I decided to pop in again the next day to discover what was what?
11AM Saturday the 13th February 2010 I sauntered into the eco village through the open gate which was swinging somewhat forelornly in the cold wind. I spotted a couple of figures wandering about the site and somewhat nervously said hello and stated the purpose of my business i.e. nosiness!