The area around Brentford Docks used to be known as ‘Old England’. It has seen 3 battles involving colourful historical characters such as Julius Caesar and King Canute.
In more recent times, Banksy has been fond of using the west London town as a canvas for his artistic statements. J.M.W. Turner once lived in Brentford behind the High Street.
Recently, the iconic Lucozade sign has returned, not to the exact same spot as the original building has been knocked down but it looks very similar to what it did before. It was once suggested that the lights would be stored in Gunnersbury Park museum, the former country pile of N.M. Rothschild, and a modernized version would be installed instead. On this occasion however, the Kingston Zodiac, a vast holographic star-temple embedded into the landscape of west London and the outskirts of Surrey, decided to keep the legacy-code intact and just drag and drop it to a nearby memory address space of The Matrix.
Does the mythical return of this local landmark and much-loved treasure transcend not only advertising but art itself?
The eternally pouring magic bottle that ‘replaces lost energy’ almost takes on grail-like dimensions considering its proximity to Osterley Park, the sign of Aquarius as well as the grail in the Kingston Zodiac.
But it is the synchro-mystical connection to Orwell’s 1984, set in London, that intrigues us the most especially as his once tutor at Eton, Aldous Huxley set scenes from Brave New World in Brentford too which we’ll come to next.
‘It struck him that the man’s whole life was playing a part, and that he felt it to be dangerous to drop his assumed personality even for a moment. O’Brien took the decanter by the neck and filled up the glasses with a dark-red liquid. It aroused in Winston dim memories of something seen long ago on a wall or a hoarding — a vast bottle composed of electric lights which seemed to move up and down and pour its contents into a glass. Seen from the top the stuff looked almost black, but in the decanter it gleamed like a ruby. It had a sour-sweet smell. He saw Julia pick up her glass and sniff at it with frank curiosity.’
‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’, George Orwell
‘On their way back to London they stopped at the Television Corporation’s factory at Brentford.’
‘Brave New World’, Aldous Huxley
There is a rumour that the currently vacant Gillette building will be turned into a television studio, presumably by Sky who are based a stone’s throw away. West London and the outskirts have a rich cinematic and televisual history what with studios in Ealing, Twickenham, Isleworth, Brentford, Teddington, Pinewood, Wood Lane, White City, Chiswick and Shepperton.
Neither the “vast bottle composed of electric lights which seemed to move up and down and pour its contents into a glass” or the “Television Corporation’s factory at Brentford” existed when the Dystopian duo of English literature wrote their works.
Both are seen as prophets of the modern times, particularly Orwell. Huxley is suspected by some as laying out the blue-print rather than a warning of the eugenics based social-engineering the elites had planned that as an insider and a Huxley he was privy to. Doubts have also been raised about Orwell’s motives too considering his tutelage at Eton by Huxley.
We don’t tend to go along with these conspiracy theories regarding Orwell and the fact that Eric Blair died in near poverty on a remote Scottish island while he laboured to finish his seminal timeless classic on totalitarianism is an indication of his intention.
He was a patriotic socialist who saw the Loony Left and their mind-controlling speech-codes that inverted reality and stunted free thought a mile away. His pen-name of George also hints strongly towards England’s patron saint whose origin goes back thousands of years.
In our view Orwell loved England and its people as well as those of other nations. He got shot in the throat fighting in the Spanish Civil War. He was a war correspondent for the BBC chronicling Nazi and Soviet atrocities. He held the British Empire to account. By way of his novel 1984 he gave the world the key to understanding and neutralizing fascism and defeating the New World Order. His antidote is embedded in the culture and language of the English-speaking peoples and has been translated into dozens of other languages. It essentially boils down to knowing your enemy.
Orwell and Huxley were not the only famous writers to be attracted to Brentford. Everyone from Milton to Shakespeare and Dickens to Johnson, have been fascinated by the area basing some of the most famous works in English literature in the town and immediate surrounds.
Agatha Christie once lived in Brentford and in more recent times ’50 Shades of Grey’ author E.L James lived in Clifden Road.
But as we shall discuss in subsequent posts, Brentford holds a special place in the Canon of English literature that far surpasses the fame of James’ ‘mummy-porn’ genre.