Monday 23 June 2008

The Strange Attraction of Willesden Junction

Recently, for a variety of reasons, I have spent some time waiting for a connecting train at Willesden Junction and because of the way my mind works the place has begun to seep its way into my writing.

Physically I'm fascinated by the multilayered interconnectivity of the place. I make my change at the 'upper station' which serves the London Overground (formerly Silverlink) lines. From my vantage point I can look over a landscape criss crossed with rail lines, roads, pedestrian walkways and canals. One railway line lies in a deep cut 10 meters lower than the canal that runs alongside - a road bridge and a viaduct cross both.

But it is the psychogeographical aspects of the junction that intrigue me most. I go there only to change trains, I've never left the station and so I have no true sense of where the Junction lies geographically. Given the amount of time that I've spent there it seems remarkable that you could drop me 200 meters away and I'd be totally lost.

This got me thinking - what if the junction were adrift in limbo, what if the canals connected to those of Ancient Mars, the railways to stations in other planets or epochs...

This version of the junction has begun to form in my imagination now, a junction between realities, staffed by a small community of people who, unlike me, never travel onwards from the junction, a society of the lost.

I have no idea whether these strange musings will ever become anything more than some sketch maps and an idle day dream on platform 4 but if they do I wanted both of you to hear about them first.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Ben!

You are far too kind, we are not worthy.