As some of you will know, Hammersmith and Fulham Council intend to allow a developer to demolish the Victorian buildings that make up 30-52 Goldhawk Road, which includes of course the very popular pie and mash establishment, Cooke’s. The Goldhawk Road shopkeepers have united against the plan and have spent a huge amount of their own money for a Barrister to represent them in Court. So far they have won permission for a judicial review which should take place later this month. If this proves to be unsuccessful, they will lose their businesses and West London loses a rich part of its history and culture. These Victorian buildings must be saved. You really do wonder who the Council actually represent ?
Russell Grant, the astrologer and writer, has pledged his support. His statement was forwarded on to me by one of the organisers of the campaign:
My grandmother Lily, who used to own the fish and chip shop just off the Askew Road, fed me pie/eels/mash from when I was a baby. I’m not joking, and I don’t suppose you think I am. But Cooke’s is a landmark, not just to people who live in the Bush now, but to people who, like me, was brought up in leafy Middlesex, but made the trek via the 607 trolley bus from Uxbridge to the Bush Market and had our lunch at Cooke’s for as long as I can remember. As you know, even now, if I am filming at the BBC, I send my driver out, as I did last week, to fetch provisions to take back to Wales, where I now live.
But this isn’t a selfish protest to the local Council to save what you are doing so I can wallow in liquor for the rest of my life (nice thought though it is), but we have all watched the riots in another part of Middlesex, Tottenham, rip thorough an historic community and devastate it, and although it is a completely different way, an act of vandalism is set to perpetrate Shepherd’s Bush in the wanton destruction of a community, but this time with the backing, that’s right, with the BACKING of an elected Council. What is the difference ? Perhaps what is being mooted to the shopkeepers and businesses of the Bush is worse because it is to be carried out under the cloak of democratic agreement. But where is the democracy here ? Certainly not with the people and I’m damn sure the Councillors who have voted this through didn’t have in their manifesto ‘and we intend to demolish old premises, businesses and firms around the Goldhawk Road’.
I wish you and your colleagues more power to all your elbows, and it is no mistake that under the Middlesex section of my best-selling book, ‘The Real Counties of Britain’, there is a plate of YOUR pies, eels and mash; this goes to show that to me you are at the heart of an ancient community that goes back over a thousand years and to see it ‘no more’ would be a travesty indeed. It will reveal that whoever is behind this plan and support it by giving it the go-ahead has no interest in their community, its roots, identity or heritage. Whatever their reason, there is NO justification in what they aim to do as it will be a little more of our past that is given up to mindless modernity and crass consumerism.
You have my unequivocal support at all times, you and your family, Cooke’s the business and your colleagues one and all.
Russell (Grant) a proud Middlesex boy with many roots in Shepherd’s Bush
Please support the campaign by signing the petition via this link:
(The above pic is copyright, but permission has been granted to use it as part of the campaign. It shows the Lubricator maintenance bus that used to grease the electrical lines of the trolley buses along Goldhawk Road after WW2 – circa 1946-1950)