The station first opened as Perivale Alperton on 28th June 1903 on the Metropolitan District Railway’s extension to South Harrow. It was renamed as Alperton in 1910. Services from the station were transferred over to the Piccadilly Line in 1932. Shortly after this, the station was rebuilt. The Charles Holden designed ticket hall feels distinctly European to me, with its high ceiling and two banks of windows letting light into the wide, open space.
Alperton used to have the distinction of being one of only two stations on the Underground(Greenford being the other) with an escalator up,rather than down, to the platforms. The escalator in question actually began life on the South Bank in 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain celebrations. It now disused but remains in the station as this photo demonstrates.
The Pub: The Pleasure Boat, 346 Ealing Road, HA0 1BH
The area around Alperton Station is fairly industrial, with lots of small factory type units on the surrounding roads. The Pleasure Boat is a short walk along Ealing Road. If you head towards the big green tower block, you can’t miss it!
I think perhaps the best way to describe The Pleasure Boat is forlorn. The interior of the pub is rather non-descript and bleak, with little or no decorations on the white walls where the paint has started to peel and discolour in places. The seating is also suitably basic and weathered. The pub was empty when we arrived, adding to the air of desolation. It only opens three days a week, Thursdays to Saturdays from 6pm onwards, further suggesting this is not a pub in the best of health.
It also advertises a garden beside the Grand Union canal. Surrounded by broken tables and with weeds threatening to invade the patio area, this too has seen better days. Oddly enough, an area of it now seems to have been given over to a hand car wash – a business you assume is open more frequently than the pub.
At the front of the pub there is another outside seating area, so we chose to go there. It backs onto a rather busy road so it isn’t the nicest spot either. There was no ale available so from the limited selection available, I went for a Budweiser. A few people had arrived by the time we left so it wasn’t completely deserted, it still didn’t suggest the Disco, which was starting at 8pm, would be busy in any way.
With its limited opening hours and small clientele, I wouldn’t bet on the Pleasure Boat still being open by the time I finish this blog. And while it pains me to see any pub close, this is clearly one that has run aground and in need of some fresh ideas and direction. Sadly its position on the edge of a main road and surrounded by industrial parks makes me feel there won’t be a queue of people lining up to take it on.
(The pub has no website)