An issue that has always held me back from blogging on the regular is concern about a lack of originality, the belief that I need to be the first person to ever think of writing about a particular subject. In the spirit of writing practice and this daily project, I’m casting that idea aside and embracing unoriginality.
With that, let me tell you about my first visit to Victoria Park. I’ve been visiting my uncles in Mile End for years, but never really explored the area. So with a free morning on my hands and not much money in my pockets, I strolled off to Victoria Park.
Well it was delightful. Leaving the house on Grove Road, I passed under the railway bridge that holds a blue plaque marking the spot where the first V-1 flying bomb hit London on 13 June 1944. As an aside, I love London’s blue plaques and will go out of my way to see one if glimpsed in the distance. They are rarely uninteresting and always educational, but I reserve the right to be disappointed if I ever see one about Kim Kardashian.*
Shortly before crossing the Hertford Union canal above is one of the most religiously diverse sections of street I’ve ever walked. St Barnabas CoE church, the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s witnesses, the Victoria Park Baptist Church and the London Buddhist Centre were all within about 100 metres of each other. I was asked if I was interested in joining at least one of them by a very smiley lady (maybe she represented all parties) but I politely and equally smilingly declined.
Victoria Park was opened in 1845, so I really have my finger on the trendy button here. I got a coffee in the Pavilion Cafe. My uncle and I returned here the next day for a fantastic breakfast by the lake. Sunshine and numerous pig products? I’ll have one of each, thank you. This feed necessitated a nice walk along the canals up to Broadway Market afterwards, another area that I’ll have to explore on the next visit.
Back on my walk, I saw a bit of Romanian art to send to my guy back in Brussels.
Isn’t it funny how you get used to talking to someone every day, so when you are without them, you keep thinking “ooh, I must tell him about that”. It’s probably just me, as I talk a lot of rubbish to a lot of people a lot of the time, but he is the one who is listening to most of my waffle lately. I’m sure it is a relief for everyone else.
I won’t go through everything in Victoria Park because really…who has the time to read or write that?! But I was quite taken by the Burdett-Coutts fountain, which has been renovated in recent years. I didn’t take a photo, mainly because I was soaking in the information, but also because there was a military boot camp going on nearby and I got distracted. Anyway, here is the nearby bandstand:
Angela Burdett-Coutts is well worth a Google. I can’t even start to summarise the astonishing life of the woman who became known as the Queen of the Poor, except that I haven’t begun to satisfy my interest in her and must read more.
So that was my stroll in Victoria Park. Go there. It’s lovely.
* See also plaques on park benches. Many hearts!