Tristan Hazell lives and works in the shadow of the Westway on Portobello Road. What follows is a collection of observations, reviews, social comment, fiction, poetry, art criticism and more. Much of it is fiction and some of it will offend someone somewhere, I hope.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Fencing off the 'Village pump'. 'DOG in the MANGER'. Why the KPH is important and Why I won't be reviewing the 'Italian Job'.

Years ago before the arrival mains water and domestic plumbing the village pump or well was a hub within the community. It is where ordinary people met on a daily basis; where the lonely found some company, where gossip or news was shared. It was where linen, both dirty and clean, was aired. It was where 'Care in the community' existed before the term was hijacked by politicians in order to justify a lack of care or concern or an unwillingness to spend taxpayers money on the needs of the taxpayers.

After the plumbing arrived the pump or well, although still symbolic, ceased to be that hub. What was left was the village pub which served the same purpose.

Not only was the pub a hub, the good pub landlord was a marriage counsellor, a referee, a psychotherapist, a keeper of the peace, a short term loan provider and a friend. Very little violence occurs within the walls of a well run pub. To be barred from the village pub was a fate to be feared, it was exclusion from the community, it was ostracism.

The wealthy landowners and gentry did not need the village pub save for occasional visits for purposes of condescension, a leer and a grope at a pretty barmaid or to buy a secret bottle.

In this part of West London these hubs are vanishing to be replaced by hipster gastro pubs, Vodka breweries, estate agents offices and expensive apartments. The local working class community is being deprived of one of its focal points and is being offered no alternative. All the 'gentrifiers' see is a need to make a profit and a need to, in order to make themselves feel comfortable with their consciences, remove hoi polo from sight.

By 'gentrifying' the last remaining pub, the working class local community is in essence being told that their needs are in no way to be considered... Fuck off!

The re-imagination of the 'Red Lemon' on All Saints Road as an expensive Italian, hipster, artisanal, craft beer 'pub'/restaurant is a perfect example of this.


Red Lemon before and after being turned into a hipster fish shop



RBKC do not help in any way by allowing this sort of thing to take place because RBKC decision makers aspire to the same elevated personal Utopia as the gentrifiers themselves. No consideration is given to the discrimination against and displacement of the local community.

The only place for a reasonably priced beer now is either at home or on the street. Gone is the only refuge for the working class man wanting a beer or two on his way home or an escape from a potential domestic crisis.  No one cares, just 'KEEP OFF MY LAND'.

Gentrification often wraps itself in terms such as: 'Exclusive'.... To exclude; 'Discriminating'..... To discriminate against,  'Artisan'..... Pretentiously expensive in order to exclude poor people.

The village pump has been fenced off by people who only drink bottled water and champagne.

All the Gastro pubs and hipster bars should be forced to call themselves: The DOG in the MANGER'.

All of the above is why the KPH on Ladbroke Grove should remain an honest local boozer.

 It is the last one. If RBKC had any sense, care or imagination they would tax the gentrifiers a bit more and spend the money on buying the KPH freehold and giving it to the community to ensure the continuing existence of our village pump.












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