New club welcomes all at Duke of London, Brentford
A derelict West london factory has been transformed into a huge hub and meeting place for classic car enthusiasts. The 51,000sq ft factory beside the River Brent in Brentford is the new premises of Duke of London, which started at Kew Bridge in 2014 before moving a mile to Duke’s Wharf in Brent Way.
The company is already well known for its Classics & Cake meets at Brent Way, and the new venture moves it just around the corner to The Factory, Catherine Wheel Road.
As well as a showroom, workshops, storage (with yet more promised off-site) and plentiful parking, the venue has a food and drinks licence. It currently runs supper clubs with food by top chef Jack Blumenthal.
Founder Merlin McCormack plans to introduce a membership scheme in the new year, so enthusiasts can use the venue as a club and drop in whenever they like. The on-site pub – The Brewery Tap – is part of the facility, and McCormack plans to have a full programme of events and entertainment by next summer. Rallies, event hire, workshops and masterclasses are also promised. Adjacent to the new site are new premises for the Romance of Rust, the restoration business run by Merlin’s father Lance, Gearbox subject in Drive-My.
There are similar ventures overseas, but the new business is thought to be a first for London classic car enthusiasts. The rallies are set to be up and running this month and will involve a one-hour classic car driving experience around local landmarks in Brentford itself, as well as in nearby Richmond and Kew.
Merlin McCormack said: ‘We are thrilled to finally give London-based petrolheads a venue to call their own. We built the factory out of sheer frustration at having nowhere inside the M25 that we could drive to for a good coffee on a Sunday morning and talk nonsense with likeminded individuals, that also had the space and facilities to accommodate a large number of cars and motorbikes.
‘We pride ourselves on our Brentford location, tucked away in an otherwise long-overlooked area of West London, which is one of the city’s most promising spots for new development and change. Our aim is to take Duke of London multiple steps further by showcasing not only the best of the classic car industry but also West London and its local businesses. With classic cars, events, artists, food, drinks, rallies and masterclasses, we hope to build a community of like-minded, creative individuals in a space welcoming to all.’