In 1976 Uxbridge was undergoing great changes. The town centre relief road had come into use. The stark concrete mass of the Pavilions shopping centre was ready, but lacked the later refinement of an over-all roof. A Labour Council, led by the left-wing John Bartlett, was in power, and had greatly increased the domestic rate. The Civic Centre was under construction, but costs were continually rising; and it became known that expensive roof tiles were being used which would add even more to the final bill. The local firm of Carsons, Brooke-Partridge & Co., planning consultants, sent a Christmas card to all the Socialist councilors containing this poem. ("Pete" was used simply because it rhymed with "street".)
"Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough It isn't fit for humans now." So wrote John Betjeman, our mate, Who's now the poet Laureate. I know not why the fates should frown Upon that poor benighted town. If it appalls the Bard, I bet He surely ain't seen Uxbridge yet. Now there's a place where all can view The worst that architects can do. Its concrete canyons where, they say, The shop rent would turn Croesus grey. Its car parks and its traffic schemes - Bewildered spider's tangled dreams. A town that had a certain pride Now needs the service of a guide To show the locals how to view Familiar landmarks once they knew. They've shifted graves, and poor old Pete, Who mouldered on down Windsor Street. Now eerily at midnight flips To Hutton's for his fish and chips. But more than this, the people call For vengeance on their new town hall. This monstrous lump the rates has bled, Its hue a shade of Kremlin red. Its brickwork tiles - how can we douse This lunacy which plagues our house. Full fifteen million quid to date - And more to come as sure as fate. A monument to our disdain Of Hillingdon's atrocious reign. So Londoner, if you would know This monster that befell us so, Please profit from our dire mistake - A pilgrimage you'll need to take. The Piccadilly Line, my friend, To Uxbridge town - the very end?