Archive for 24/02/2015

Municipal Dreams

Imagine knocking down some old Nash Regency terraces to build council houses.  If that idea fills you with horror, you should probably stop reading now.  If, on the other hand, it might capture a democratic moment, a time when we wanted to build houses for the people and cared less about the interests of the few, read on.

Derwent: Davies and Arnold, Zone C

This was the vision of Eric Cook in 1944.  Cook, a left-wing journalist, was the vice-chair of St Pancras Borough Labour Party.  (Elected to the Council in 1945, he died aged only 42 just three years later.) Admittedly, his idea had had some help from the Luftwaffe but the buildings were poorly built (‘by Regency jerry-builders’, he said) and thought at the time to be beyond repair.  Modern bulldozers, he went on, could easily create ‘one of the finest building sites in all Britain…the ideal site for…

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A sea of snowdrops at Colesbourne Park A sea of snowdrops at Colesbourne Park

If the answer to the title of this post is yes then you probably won’t want to continue reading. I know, I know, you can’t get stirred for galanthomania at this time of year. But lets face it, flowery delights in February are a little thin on the ground, we’ve all had enough of winter and are a bit desperate to see some signs of life in the garden. That’s not to take anything away from the beauty of snowdrops but I do think they owe a certain degree of their popularity to the fact that they bloom so early in the year and there is little else to compete for our attention. For a period of about four weeks from mid-February to mid-March gardens with collections of snowdrops are at their peak and it’s hard to not be blown away by the spectacular sight of carpets of…

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