Where It All Began...


Alperton, oh, how easily those three syllables evoke antediluvian images to soothe the fevered brow. Upon hearing the name one's mind dons trendy green gum boots and springs instinctively back to the unploughed Elysian fields. As indeed it might, for much of history's bounty lingers here, albeit now somewhat past it's sell-by date and looking just a shade the worse for wear. But the Alpertonian spirit has stood well back from the studded wheels of time and Alperton, like Delphi, has learned to live in a world where the gods have ceased to roam. The locally grown cornucopia of mythology is still a source of much inspiration to poets and romantics from as far away as Sudbury Town and North Harrow. All can find a Muse to amuse in the back streets of Alperton, for beneath the suburban-sprawl exterior it is still a hallowed place, a sanctuary, a divinely Arcadian glade.

In his prize-winning anthology, ' Oh, Alperton, How Sweet Thou Art', Sir John Letcherman reminds us so beautifully of its 'Garden of Eden' character, while 'Owpatun? It's Alright, I Suppose' by Brian Snitcher provides an appraisal cloaked in the fashionable insouciance of more modern times. Historians tell us that the oldest surviving record of Alperton was made in 1199. This pre-dates both the 78 and the 45 formats by about seven hundred years and it lists the inhabitants as being somewhat less that ten persons. Not quite the football team. By 1672 there were 14 locals sufficiently prosperous to be obliged to pay the Hearth Tax. Other less well off early Alpertonians have since vanished into the duty free malls of obscurity.

A bridge at Alperton has spanned the picturesque river Brent from as early as 1432. Not to be out-done by the Venetians, the Grand Union canal arrived at Alperton in 1801. The nearby 'Pleasurable Boat' (sic) public house was added as a gasping after- thought in 1851. This was not, however, the very first pub in the area. The Chequers Inn may claim that crown having gained its licence in 1751.

In the early years Alperton's principal north to south roadway was called Watery Lane. By the outbreak of WW1 this thoroughfare had dried out sufficiently to allow its name to be changed to Ealing Road. At its southern tip a junction is reached and it is here that we may still encounter the road which lead to Manor farm. Back in the dog-eared pages of the past and somewhat to the east another winding lane, formerly known as Green Lane, left Manor Farm Road by the canal bridge embankment and made its way past Piggery Wharf and Exhibition Cottage. (1856). This part of the old trackway is still preserved as the now world-famous Clifford Road. The site of Exhibition Cottage was subsequently cleared to make way for the house that now stands at number 64.

It was in a lowly garage at the rear of this abode that 'The Well I'm Sure I Left It There Yesterday Band' first came into being at the dawn of the 1970s. Egged on by family and friends the band struck out for stardom. Despite a few omelettes along the way most of their endeavours would land sunny side up.

And the rest, as they say, is Twiztory.


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