“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

Friday, 9 November 2012

A stroll in Battersea Park.

Our memories of when we were very young are distorted in scale and perspective by the mere fact that we were small and the world around seemingly huge. One of my earliest memories is of looking down into what seems like a deep pit with pigs in it. I suppose that I had been lifted up on to my dad's shoulders to see pigs in a sty. Years later I was told that I had been taken to see the pigs in Battersea Park. Like other London parks Battersea was partly turned over to allotments during the wartime Dig For Victory campaign and pigs must have been kept there too.
My next memory of Battersea Park was during the Festival Of Britain. Although the more famous Southbank site with it's Festival Hall, Skylon and celebration of British achievements in science and culture is what is remembered today, upriver at Battersea Park the Festival Pleasure Garden was a more down to earth affair devoted to having a bit of fun. The Guinness Clock sticks in my mind.
I don't visit the Park that often these days but recently had a stroll round just to remind myself what a great place it is. There's no doubt about it, from the tiny Postman's Park in the City to the semi-rural splendour of Richmond, London is blessed with some of the best parks in the world. What I like about Battersea Park is the fact that it has a little bit of everything. A Buddhist pagoda, sub-tropical garden, boating lake, sports pitches, art gallery, children's zoo. Tucked away and sharing a corner of the park with the staff yard and office is a lovely community garden project run by the charity Thrive. Well worth a visit in itself.

1 comment:

Gitane said...

Likewise great times as a West London kid and great memories of Battersea Park. The Guinness clock, the House that Jack built and the tree walkway thing that got us all thrown out when my mate Boysie Clark, crossing the rope bridge,peed on the picnickers below us.