Tomorrow the cameras are going to be trained on London for Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, and one building in particular will be in the limelight; St Paul’s, London’s cathedral, known especially for its iconic dome.
I suspect attention will be more on those in the congregation than the building, but maybe some of those watching will come to London later this year, and if so, I hope as well as admiring the great mass of the building, they will take the time to look at some of the details.
Dome from the North
Cherub and Swag
Phoenix, South Transept
Swag and Cherubs
West End and Entrance
We’re a funny bunch, us London Blue Badge Guides. Today a group of us met up and went off to Leicester by coach to see sites associated with Richard III. Sitting towards the back with friends, I had a flashback to the intensity of our training; hours spent frantically taking notes, listening to qualified guides expounding as we sped along motorways. A feeling compounded by the fact that the coach driver, Paul, had been the driver during my coach exams back in 1998. I couldn’t do it again. One of the most galling things a visitor can say to me is “Oh, do you have to train?” Another is “I expect you just make it up if you don’t know.” I try not to grind my teeth, but I’m not sure I always succeed.
We were talked to by people on mikes at the front. First Monica, who had responded to a casual conversation and made our trip possible. If you read this Monica, many many thanks. I had a great day. Then Tim took to the mike and gave a wonderfully entertaining and informative presentation that kicked off with a rendition of Peter Seller’s delivery of A Hard day’s Night as Laurence Olivier in Richard III. If that sounds like complete double dutch, watch this.
It helps that Tim is a member of the Richard III Society.
It was like a scene from that sweetest of films about community, Local Hero. As I made my way along Liverpool Grove, I could see people ahead of me all walking into the church, the very lovely St Peter’s Walworth, according to one book I’ve read, the only building of architectural significance in Walworth. Strangely, I don’t agree. I don’t think many at last night’s meeting would either.
There was a good turn out, a testament to how people care about our neighbourhood, including a fair few councillors, and we filled the pews. Jeremy, chair of the Walworth Society, scampered about with a mike to make sure everyone could be heard.
The biggest cheer of the night was for a local resident, fan of the library and the Cuming museum, who is also a firefighter. He urged all present to go to the London Fire Brigade website and take part in the consultation. If the current proposals to close fire stations go ahead, six of the engines and their crew who helped to put out the fire at Walworth Town Hall will be axed. There will be a public meeting we are urged to attend at the GLA 14th May from seven to nine in the evening.