Letter: South London scent

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I arrived in the Battersea area of south London only a few years later than John Walsh and found it just as he so vividly describes in the excerpt from his memoirs (2 November).

I remember particularly the "Wandsworth smell" to which he refers. But I must correct his attribution of it to Messrs Young's Ram Brewery. The brewery still exists: the smell doesn't. It emanated from a string of factories, from Gilbey's gin distillers near Wandsworth Bridge, the Garton's Glucose factory, Price's candle factory and the Morgan Crucible Company, all along the now fashionable river frontage of the south bank.

I remember the very air-raid shelter about which he was ecstatic. So was I. Is it still there? That shelter should be preserved for posterity - even if the "Wandsworth smell" cannot be.


Hay-on-Wye, Powys