London Group 4
This London Group is led by Anne Jones. Meetings are indoors or out in London, on the first Wednesday
Our May London walk was to visit the regenerated area of Kings Cross which was originally coal yards & storage, mainly for grain, all arriving via the Regents Canal. We first visited this area in February 2012 & is now unrecognisable.
The area was an underused, industrial wasteland now being transformed into homes, shops, offices, galleries, bars, restaurants, schools & a university. 2000 new homes are being built, 3 bedroomed & student both luxury & affordable types.
All the old buildings have or are being renovated & there are lots of open squares with fountains or large lounging bean bags to relax on.
The four gas-holders were relocated, three being transformed into apartments, a studio gas-holder one sells at £810.000. The fourth was used for the Gas-holder Park with a large grass area in the centre & seating around the inside perimeter.
On the canal bank is a large tiered seating area covered in artificial turf with lots of people just relaxing or eating their lunch. On the opposite canal bank is the Camley Street Natural Park, a nature reserve on the site of an old coal yard. Local people & the London Wildlife Trust campaigned for it to be turned into a nature reserve in the City & was opened in 1985.
We visited another natural area, the Skip Garden. This is an ecological community project & is movable it started as a vegetable garden in old skips. Everything there is recycled, mainly from the construction site. Local young people worked alongside construction workers & office staff to build the site with over 1000 people involved. The garden is part funded by the lottery & the site & materials provided by the King Cross Partnership. This area attracts birds & talks are given to local school children who make bird feeders using wood skewers, string, fruit, dried fruit,dates, nuts etc. The kitchen serves food using the food grown, with Vegetarian chefs & volunteers preparing it. There are quite a few buildings on site all built from recycled material, eg. a kitchen, toilet, Hide, & workshops. Besides vegetables & herbs being grown there fruit & fruit trees also beehives. Jam is made from the fruit.
After lunch we visited St Pancras Old Church dating from the Medieval period, it is one of the oldest sites of Christian worship in England. In the grounds is 'The Hardy Tree' Thomas Hardy studied architecture before he became a writer. In 1860 the Midland Railway was going to be built over part of the graveyard, Thomas Hardy was given the job of supervising the proper exhumation of the human remains & dismantling the tombs by Mr Arthur Blomfield, his mentor. The headstones were all placed together & an ash tree has grown amongst them. The graveyard is very large, green & peaceful compared to the busy area outside.
A very enjoyable day out & worth a visit.
Photos are of The group. Seating by the canal. Gas-holder apartments. Skips in garden.
St Pancras old church.
Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.