Brentford’s Riverside Walk

Brentford & Chiswick Local History Journal 1 (1980)

A riverside walk from Kew Bridge to Syon Park has been a local dream for a long time and is now nearer to reality than ever before. Many of the commercial interests owning stretches of the waterfront at Brentford have proved co-operative when approached by the Brentford Riverside Association, as have public authorities such as the Gas Board and the British Waterways Board. The Members and Officers of Hounslow Council are also very concerned to see that something comes of the present situation and have played an active role in the complicated negotiations between the various riverside interests.

There is a mood among the people of Brentford that their town has been neglected for too long and as the waterfront is now changing very rapidly this is the most favourable time to establish public recreational access to the Thames. There have been public consultation meetings held in Brentford over the past year with Hounslow Council and these have led to the preparation of the Brentford Plan.

Today the river front can be reached by a series of small unconnected roads leading off Brentford High Street such as Victoria Steps, Smith Hill, Ferry Lane, Dock Road and Catherine Wheel Road. But it is likely that within a short time many of these roads will be connected by the walkway. Seats and viewing platforms may be set up in those areas where a pathway cannot be established.

With the Kew Bridge Pumping Station, the Musical Museum, the proposed Arts Centre, the St Lawrence’s Theatre Trust (the Brentford Dock Theatre) and Syon Park the Brentford riverside is rapidly becoming a major entertainment and recreational centre. The Water Works land and the Brentford Dock area have been developed for housing and the building of prestige office developments will attract yet more people for whom the riverside will be an important amenity.

At present there are parts of the riverside which are overgrown with weeds and are used as a dump for rubbish bags, bedsteads etc. Members of the Brentford Riverside Association and volunteer helpers have already worked on clearing Goat Wharf and the eastern end of the Gas Board site.

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