City Musings Slough by Zara Zeb
“Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough! It isn't fit for humans now,” wrote John Betjeman in 1937. Having been born and raised in Slough (20 minutes from London Paddington), I have to say, I disagree. Slough is incredibly multi-cultural with Pakistanis, Indians, Somalians, Sri Lankans, White British, Polish, Afghanis, and many other cultures living side by side in harmony. It’s not perfect, but an interview with Richard Humphrey’s – the LPA Commander for Thames Valley Police – shows Slough to the “most cohesive town” he’s worked in. A local blog created by a charity called Aik Saath – which means “Together as One” in 3 different languages – shows some of the work Aik Saath does in trying to develop community cohesion. http://www.cohesiveadhesive.org/ (still under development. Check out www.aiksaath.com in the meantime)
As for what there is to do, well having grown up there I used to think it was “boring”, but having relocated, it’s actually quite a fun place to be. Young children will love the parks – 3 big ones in Central Slough all within walking distance! Salt Hill Park has a play area for children that I confess many teenagers still use, as well as open area for many people to play football or cricket or just laze in the sun, a bike path, a café, tennis courts, basketball courts and recently Ten Pin Bowling. Baylis Park which is very close to Salt Hill Park has a lake with ducks and swans, a play area, and again lots of open space. And of course, along with bowling, there’s ice skating, swimming and a leisure centre all across the road from Salt Hill Park.
If you were to walk further into central Slough you’d find the shopping centre. Being a student, everything is pretty much relatively cheap as there are lots of small shops, as well as the larger chains of Primark, H&M, Next, New Look and River Island. There are kebab shops, burger shops, Subway, Greggs and fast food outlets so you could spend a whole afternoon in the High Street.
Hidden away in Central Slough is a memorial garden with absolutely stunning beauty. Maze gardens, trees, ponds, statues, benches, open space – it really is the perfect place to escape the noise of the town and life and just relax.
West Wing Arts Centre also hosts cheap shows and cheap artistic classes related to dance and drama for good evening entertainment.
Slough is currently under improvements for the Olympics so there’s lots of works going on in central Slough, but if ever you fancy a weekend away, why not consider Slough for the whole family?
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