Sunday, 31 July 2011

The Drained Lake, Victoria Park

The Drained Lake - Victoria Park - July 2011
8" x 10" pen and sepia ink in Moleskine sketchbook
This week I walked home from my physio at the hospital via Victoria Park

I planned on sketching the lake on the basis that it must surely have been refilled for the summer months.

Yet again, I was met with a park which for most of 2011 has resembled a very large building site. Huge screens block off access to large parts of the park.  It's so depressing that I now rarely visit.

I ended up sketching the line of stakes which go out to the defunct fountain in the middle of the lake and the puddles which remain in the middle.

All this in the middle of summer after the schools have broken up.

Did nobody at Tower Hamlets Council think it might be a good idea to have most of the park operational in time for the school holidays and the good weather?

I'd add at this juncture that I watched while the lake in St James Park in Central London (which is run by the Royal Parks and is a much bigger lake) was drained, silt removed and then refilled.  I seem to recall think this took a few weeks - and every time I visited I saw vehicles scurrying around the lake bed moving silt around.  It was unsightly while it lasted - but it was also relatively speedy in getting back to normal

Every time I have visited Victoria Park in 2011 all I can see is a nearly drained lake and lots of screens preventing access to the edge.  What I never see are
  • any signs of anybody doing anything to the lake
  • any signs indicating start and finish dates for any of the jobs being done in the park.  In the past I've always found lack of communication on dates to be an absolute sure-fire indicator of poor project planning and poor project management.
Does nobody at Tower Hamlets Council care about the people who use Victoria Park?


Beth said...

Your sketch is so beautiful, but the story is so sad. I am sorry you haven't been able to enjoy the lake and the park this summer. I think of all the wildlife which are also being deprived.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Me too. When they drained the lake in St James Park they did it in sections and built dams so that the wildlife could stay in situ while the works were ongoing.

No such foresight applied to this particular exercise.

The trees in the middle play host to a huge number of heron nests and I rather suspect they have been abandoned.

fatmonica said...

It's a lovely sketch.

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

A lovely sketch Katherine.
I too am sad that a part of nature that brings joy and beauty to all, and above all, is a refuge for a huge variety wildlife, is being forgotten, abandoned.