Brackenbury Village

Estate agents are always keen to rebrand an area a "village" - it makes it sound as though it has a heart - a sure selling point, even if it doesn't live up to its reputation. Although Brackenbury Village is entirely the creation of estate agents, for once it is an appropriate label. First, there is a fairly precise area that most would recognise as Brackenbury Village. Bordered by Ravenscourt Park to the west, Hammersmith Grove to the east, the Goldhawk Road to the north and Glenthorne Road to the south, it is a network of pretty artesian cottages and larger family houses. Second, it has a sense of community that is rare in most parts of London.

A hundred and fifty years ago, with the exception of Wingate Road and part of Hammersmith Grove, the area was made up of market gardens and brickfields (to supply the burgeoning building trade). However, by 1890 what is recognisably Brackenbury village had been built. By the end of the war the area was very down at heel. Cardross Street, one of the prettiest of the picture postcard streets narrowly avoided demolition and replacement by council housing in the 50's, such was the squalor of the slums. The area was regenerated in the 60's and 70's, and in the 80's the yuppies began to rub shoulders with the protected tenants - over the last twenty years, the increase in the number of families has been marked and once again the houses are filling up with children.

The cluster of shops at the junction of Brackenbury Road and Aldensley Road has a community feel. The butcher, hardware store and grocer have been around for as long as most residents can remember; there is a post office, early closing on Thursdays, a Residents' Association, even a Christmas fete showcasing the talents of local artists while raising money for charity. What is more, there are great facilities for children - an abundance of playgroups, Ravenscourt Park on the doorstep and excellent schools in both the state and primary sector.