My Kilburn High Road

March 22, 2017  •  1 Comment

Life in the time of Brexit

 

History has always travelled down the Kilburn High Road, like the number 16 bus does today. The Romans built it 2,000 years ago as a direct route out of London. Monks came here to build a monastery in the 12th century. Pilgrims of popular music followed in the 1950s and 60s to see Sinatra, the Stones and the Beatles play at the vast State Theatre

And still it comes. As Britain prepares to face huge social and economic change in the wake of the Brexit vote to leave the European Union, the Kilburn High Road finds itself once more on the frontline of history, and that’s what my photos aim to capture.

Slicing straight through one of the most ethnically diverse parts of the UK, the road — a weary collection of budget supermarkets, bookmakers and thrift stores — represents many of the divisions in British society that helped trigger the Brexit vote in the first place.

Monied homeowners using the High Road to get from million pound homes to well paid jobs in central London walk past low income or welfare-dependent neighbours. Recent immigrants from Europe and beyond mingle with born and bred Londoners. Criminals mix with the law abiding.

 

Religions, races, classes, ages and nationalities all blend on the High Road. There’s neglect and despair. There’s pride and hope. Some broken things get mended. Some don’t.

 

No one knows what a post-Brexit future will bring for Britain. But when it finally comes, it will need to travel down the Kilburn High Road to get there.

A man waits outside an adult gaming centre on Kilburn High Road in northwest London. November 28, 2016

History has always travelled down the Kilburn High Road, like the number 16 bus does today. The Romans built it 2,000 years ago as a direct route out of London. Monks came here to build a monastery in the 12th century. Pilgrims of popular music followed in the 1950s and 60s to see Sinatra, the Stones and the Beatles play at the vast State Theatre

And still it comes. As Britain prepares to face huge social and economic change in the wake of the Brexit vote to leave the European Union, the Kilburn High Road finds itself once more on the frontline of history, and thatÕs what my photos aim to capture.

Slicing straight through one of the most ethnically diverse parts of the UK, the road Ñ a weary collection of budget supermarkets, bookmakers and thrift stores Ñ represents many of the divisions in British society that helped trigger the Brexit vote in the first place.

Monied homeowners using the High Road to get from million pound homes to well paid jobs in central London walk past low income or welfare-dependent neighbours. Recent immigrants from Europe and beyond mingle with born and bred Londoners. Criminals mix with the law abiding.

Religions, races, classes, ages and nationalities all blend on the High Road. ThereÕs neglect and despair. ThereÕs pride and hope. Some broken things get mended. Some donÕt.

No one knows what a post-Brexit future will bring for Britain. But when it finally comes, it will need to travel down the Kilburn High Road to get there.

For more Kilburn High Road Images follow me on Instagram and Twitter

 


Comments

Peter Jones(non-registered)
A brilliant set of photos. You have managed to capture the vibrancy and diversity of the High Road so well. You have really elevated a place known to me to another level. As an amateur photographer, you have inspired me to take more interesting photos of my neighbourhood. Well done and keep up the good work!
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