Thursday, 4 August 2016

The Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice.

On Monday Robyn had to go up to London and I tagged along. We'd hoped to do something but it was raining and I wasn't feeling so good.

But we did have lunch in 'Postman's park' by Little Britain on the fringe of Smithfield Market.

At the entrance to the park you can see a giant banana plant and if you look very carefully you can see a few bananas growing.

I'm fairly sure it's a temperate banana, probably from Japan but even though it's only ornamental, it's still a banana;

It's called Postmans Park because the building opposite used to be the Post Office headquarters and museum but all that was sold off a long time there are no more postmen or women having their lunches there.

But it is the site of the artist G.F. Watts 'Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice;

He was very famous in Victorian times and his best works are preserved at Compton in Surrey.

This wall of tiles commemorates a random collection of ordinary people who did extraordinary things;

That would otherwise just be forgotten;

All around, city workers were eating their lunches, as they have done for a hundred years, and the plaques are still being read;

The occupations and the attitudes may be those of another world;

But their acts of selfless courage..... 

.......are timeless.......

As the artist intended.

There are no more compositors or carmen;

The last tiles installed by the artist's widow went up in the 1930's although the last one was put up only a few years ago and there may be more to come.

The tiles are in the style of the 'Arts and Crafts movement', which was at the height of its popularity at the end of the 19th century.

The little roof and the tiles themselves are now listed as protected monuments.

One of the more quaint tourist attractions of London.
Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
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