Number 5 in the series, following Historic Bush one, two, three and four. This is the best yet by far, not least because in the act of photographing the building I met the current owner who gave me an impromptu interview, sharing some of the really interesting insights behind this building. Rene's the Tobacconist is on The Vale just after the Uxbridge Road/Askew Road junction in the direction of Southall.
As the sign suggests the original shop was a tobacconists. I've passed it, as have many Bushers on their way to the Tesco just up the road. Its actually just over the border in Ealing but Tescos draws many of us Uxbridge Roaders from the Bush so this counts as a Bush building in my book!
According to Ted, the current owner who should be congratulated for being in the process of renovating the bulding in accordance with its 19th century heritage - iron piping, proper windows etc - the buildings themselves were constructed in 1884. This makes sense since the Victorians' usual way of building was to construct a road and then build up it. In this case the buildings at the Bush end of Uxbridge Road were built in 1874 - so it took ten years to get that far up.
One of the best stories is that in 1912 a horse carriage drove straight into the front of the shop causing much damage. The "Rene's" shop front dates from that period and was covered by a succession of other more modern shop fronts throughout the 20th Century (which is where the damage to each side of the 19th century fronting comes from) but what you see now pre-dates all that.
Ted will eventually sell this property on and expressed his disgust with how other historic buildings are being redeveloped - I'm inclined to agree as I am sure do you. There is really no need to sacrifice these windows into our past when we can take care of them just as well and still use them for modern purposes. I think he's done a real service to our community for spending his own money looking after the place and renovating it properly - one piece of fading London saved.