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

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Open City? Well not quite.

There is much to dislike about the City of London Corporation and you might be forgiven for thinking that it is little more than the administrative arm of that greedy and corrupt edifice that we call "The City". That dagger on the coat of arms does after all celebrate the murder of Wat Tyler. There is however one aspect of the Corporation's work that can't be faulted and that is the way that they run the many open spaces that they are responsible for. Much of the best loved open access woodland available  to Londoners, Epping Forest, Burham Beeches, Ashstead Common for example, are administered by the Corporation. But apart from these large areas on the outskirts there are any number of parks and open spaces in the City itself. My favourite is probably Postman's Park just a short walk from the Museum of London. Famous for it's George Watts Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice that commemorates ordinary folk who gave their lives saving others, the park is truly an urban gem.


Mooching about the other day I came across a tiny garden that I have never visited before. Like many other open spaces in The City, Cleary Gardens is part of the legacy of the blitz and was created from a former bomb site. Just off the busy Queen Victoria Street the garden is built on the sloping ground that leads down to Queenhythe.

The architecture of Central London is changing dramatically and it's hard to find any social or aesthetic improvement. As more and more of the urban landscape becomes privatised so our parks and open spaces become more precious. I hope that we can hang on to them.

1 comment:

armoze said...

Never forgave the City of London for throwing out the old hikers cafe on the edge of the Beeches.