Sunday, March 02, 2008

Poet and Pacifist - 1 March 2008

Lonsdale SquareThere has been much coverage in the media about the new international rail terminal at St Pancras station so we thought it only proper that we should go and take a look.

We started with a walk around Islington and then another from Islington to Kings Cross/St Pancras. The first walk took us through a square surrounded by very attractive houses built in 1840. Such a contrast to New Zealand where the only stone building in 1840 was the Stone Store at Kerikeri.

Urban graffitiWe also passed by the closest thing we have come to a Banksy graffiti, same sort of style but not the genuine article.

John BetjemanUltimately, we arrived that the re-developed station and it is, indeed, a fabulous space to welcome visitors to London as they arrive on the Eurostar. The building, under threat in the 1960s, was largely saved by the efforts of poet John Betjeman and a larger-than-life statue on the concourse of the new station salutes those efforts.

St PancrasLeaving St Pancras we wandered down towards Russell Square by way of Tavistock Square where there is a statue of Ghandi. The irony is that this great man of passive resistance sits gazing serenely over the location where 13 innocent bus passengers were killed on July 7 2005 in a terrorist bombing.
Ghandi watching over Tavistock Square
Our last visit was to the Foundling Hospital Museum where the work of the hospital, founded by Thomas Coram, which took in abandoned infants in C18th London is commemorated.

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