An unusual visit to the Metropolis
brings us to another watery scene beside the River Thames at
Chiswick Bridge. Chiswick is a West London suburb that nozzles
down into one of the Thames's many meanders on the final approaches
to London. As we look northwards here, upstream towards Reading,
Oxford and Kemble, Chiswick proper is to the right and the Kew/
Richmond area is to the left.
Chiswick Bridge, which is really
quite a handsome structure, carries the A316 over the river.
The A316 is a road of some strategic note which starts at the
top end of Chiswick near Hogarth House and makes use of the Hogarth
flyover (a splendid example of Meccano in industrial use) to
get its inbound carriageway across the A4. The road then scuttles
out of London through Richmond and Twickenham to abruptly become
the M3 at Sunbury, a few hundred yards from Kempton Racecourse.
There is something faintly curious at the fact that at the other
end of the M3 it was deemed necessary to demolish Twyford Down
for a traffic flow that can happily pootle through Chiswick on
a relatively unobtrustive concrete arched bridge.
An appreciation of London's
varied transport network may be obtained from the fact that the
next bridge across the Thames, whether travelling up or downstream,
carries a railway. Upstream the London & South-Western Railway
crosses the Thames a little to the north of Kew Gardens station,
adjacent to the National Archives, with its connection to Richmond
from the West London Railway (a helpful chord that connected
the London & South-Western with the London & North-Western
Railway). Downstream the London & South-Western Railway's
Hounslow Loop spans the Old Father on the bowstring Barnes Bridge.
Off to the left can be found
a diminuitive little pub called "The Ship" and a rather
larger (if faintly dilapidated) brick building which seems to
have once had some association with Budweiser.