Last week I led a walk exploring the drovers’ route from the Royal Agricultural Hall, Islington to Smithfield Market. This took in the New River, the history of Sadler’s Wells, Spa Green and especially the impact of the movement of meat and water on the design and development of the route along St John’s Street to Smithfield.
I will be leading this walk again on Saturday 26th September at 2pm, starting at the Business Design Centre in Islington. Find out more and book at Open City
From the Royal Agricultural Hall, Islington to Smithfield, walk the drover’s route to market. A new guided walk looks at the way in which food impacted on the design of London. This walk, the first of three, looks at meat and water and follows the blood-smattered path from Upper Street, down St John’s Street across Cowcross Street and onto market. To find out about the next walk, leave a comment on the contact page.
Here is a great view of Golden Lane Estate with the swimming pool at its centre. Work is due to start any minute on restoration. There is some nervousness about this. The plans involve making some significant changes. At present it is easy to walk around the site at two levels. The lower level space between the sports hall and the swimming pool is due to be blocked in with a dance studio. The roof will also have photovoltaic panels and all of the windows will be replaced with double glazed versions. It should be good but will the windows look right or will they be out of character? Will the dance studio destroy the lightness and fluidity of the current arrangement? Will the panels on the roof look ungainly and inappropriate and will they generate enough electricity to make their installation worth while. The problem with much-loved places is that they lead to conservatism from those who want to preserve a quality which it is feared will be lost with the improvements. Has the Festival Hall been ruined by its new stage and the removal of the acoustic canopy? Is the Barbican worse off because of its orange paint work. Golden Lane Leisure Centre will be a test case for matching elegant restoration with the joy of moving through water. (Picture: Tim Crocker).