Community Reporter, Stan Moorcroft is back with an excellent piece for the Institute of Community Reporters. The original post can be found on the ICR website.

I have lived in London now just over thirty years, having moved here on 4th July 1983. I don’t know how long you normally must wait to claim squatter’s rights, but thirty plus years seems a good enough period to me. So, let me state my claim now, London belongs to me.

The glory of London is its parks and open spaces, you are rarely ever far away from a London park, common or heath. I am within fifteen minutes’ walk of Kensington Gardens or Holland Park, much closer to several smaller areas with grass and flowers and benches on which to sit, all maintained by Kensington and Chelsea Council who also still believe in the value of trees. Those who would see what they call ‘the state’ shrink rarely mention such items in their calculations. What does it cost to maintain a tree? Too much for some, who know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Holland Park is one of the less known London parks – and one of my favourite – combining as it does areas of uncultivated and semi wild ground, with the ordered gardens around Holland House. Like most London parks it too is mercifully well provided with wooden benches, the metal ones being considerably inferior. I think leaving a park bench as a memorial is as great a gift to the world as the planting of a tree. Sitting on one of the park benches in Holland Park in the Autumn of last year I was moved to pen a poem.

Each one chooses its moment
then a letting go,
the moment of separation
Falling slowly through the damp autumn air.
No, not fluttering
more acceptance,
a closing of the eyelids.
In choosing your moment
you chose less carefully.
For Caspar Ringrose 11/1/71 – 26/6/94

As you can see I dedicated it to Caspar Ringrose on whose bench I was sitting when I composed the poem. I never knew him, but hope he would approve.

Kensington Gardens is a different sort of open space to Holland Park, providing passage for cyclists and joggers between Bayswater and South Kensington. Kensington Gardens isn’t a separate park at all, but is an adjunct to Hyde Park. I used to walk to work taking a route through Kensington Gardens, then Hyde Park, Green Park and finally St James Park before finally reaching my office just around the corner from New Scotland Yard. The geography of each park brushing against the other allowing for such a pleasant journey into the heart of London.

… continued on the Institute of Community Reporters website

 

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