The Alternative Guide to London Boroughs (2)

Now that I have finished reading The Alternative Guide to London Boroughs, I have nothing but admiration for the range and quality of its writing, the way it encourages one to explore, if only mentally, the outer London boroughs: from the development of Abbey Wood to the work of Nicholas Taylor, the architectural writer as a Labour councillor in Lewisham; a paean to the Tolworth Tower which I remember admiring out of the back of a Ford Consul in 1964, to the housing policies of 1970s Merton. It makes the outer boroughs psychologically, historically and architecturally interesting, ending up with the tragic photograph of the demolition of the Firestone Factory by Gillian Darley, who was taking photographs for Simon Jenkins’s Companion Guide to Outer London, and Emma Dent Coad writing powerfully about the housing estates of North Kensington. I recommend it doubly.

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