POSTMAN'S PARK, LONDON

When it comes to historical events or locations, there are two scenarios which particularly excite me.

They are - finding a historical site by sheer chance or - a story involving overwhelming commitment by an individual

In these respects, Postman’s Park in London is a perfect example of both.

Found, by me, “accidentally” , when strolling around London, this small delightful park, opened in 1880, is so named as it was a favourite resting place for workers from a previously-nearby General Post Office.

So, what makes it special ?.… It has a sheltered wall displaying plaques celebrating heroic sacrifices by what was termed “ordinary” people. This was not as condescending as it seems, just a reflection of the times when it was eventually opened in1900.

The more politically-correct version was that it was intended to recognise acts of heroism which might otherwise be forgotten.

The man who drove the work to have this wall built was an artist and sculptor, George Frederic Watts. He was also a philosopher whose paintings and writings were a particular favourite of President Obama in the USA.

His idea for such a memorial was first raised in the 1860’s so it took nearly 40 years of his efforts to become reality.

Photographically, I wanted to represent his achievement with one of the actual plaques and chose the story of Alice Ayres who lost her life saving 3 children in her care.

It was her case which was said to have specifically inspired George Frederic Watts in the final stages of his campaign.

Learning that she was also celebrated by a monument close to my London home, I was able to visit and pay my respects

For more details on this park, see my blog page http://www.lestheredblog.com/postmans-park.html

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