Friday, 2 November 2012
Flanders Fields in Hyde Park
Depending on your point of view, it's either unfortunate, or possibly appropriate, that as Armistice Day approaches, much of the eastern part of Hyde Park resembles the Somme in 1916.
Apart from that particular association, its present condition is entirely regrettable. 2012 has been a special year, and many major public spaces, including this one, have been heavily used, mostly to good and successful effect. But the underlying trend, noted before in this blog, is for many of London's public spaces to be used more and more for special - and revenue-generating - events. The mudbath shown above illustrates that as well as rendering these spaces full of unsightly tat and unavailable for quiet public enjoyment while the event is on, and while it is being set up and taken down, there can also be serious long term effects - much of the park continuing to be unsightly and unusable through the autumn and winter months.
By the end of November, the delights of 'Winter Wonderland' are due to reappear here. Bring your wellies.
Perhaps it has been decided by The Royal Parks - who run Hyde Park and who are under pressure from their masters in the Government to make their estate pay its way - that this part of the park is in fact now a showground, and that anyone who wants grass and trees will find plenty of that in the west half of what is admittedly a very large park, in Kensington Gardens.
But it would have been nice to have been asked if we thought this was a good idea.
(Guest contributor: Ebenezer Scrooge)