new favourite place

I have a new favourite place to visit.

Here it is:

memorial to heroic self sacrifice

GF Watts’s Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice in Postman’s Park, Clerkenwell.

Amazing! I’ve been walking past it for eight months before I finally wandered in at lunchtime today.

The Memorial is filled with tiles recognising Londoners from the 1880s to early 20th century, telling perfectly succinct stories of everyday heroism. So economical and perfectly formed. Stories like this.

frederick alfred croft

I also love it because on the one hand, there’s this very Victorian sincere quality from which it’s so easy to take the piss; and on the other there’s this tremendous sense of democracy about it. A genuine interest in people and making sure that what they do doesn’t fall between the cracks.

edward george

I found this quote on Wikipedia which sums up George Frederic Watts‘s approach to people and their stories really nicely:

“The character of a nation as a people of great deeds is one, it appears to me, that should not be lost sight of. It must surely be a matter of regret when names worthy to be remembered and stories stimulating and instructive are allowed to be forgotten…The material prosperity of a nation is not an abiding possession; the deeds of its people are.”

"mother i saved him but i could not save myself"


2 thoughts on “new favourite place

  1. Pingback: millions of stories must not be told | james hogwood's blog

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