London History

.’. POSTMAN’s PARK .’.

I believe that many girls have seen this Park in that film: Closer. But this isn’t why I like this place so much. The reason I LOVE this place is because it was made by my favourite victorian artist George Frederick Watts

In 1887 Watts wrote to The Times proposing a project to mark Queen Victoria’s Jubilee of that year. He believed that stories of heroism could uplift and stimulate and should therefore be commemorated. As his idea was not taken up he created the memorial himself in the form of a 50ft long open gallery situated in the public gardens on the site of the former churchyard of St. Botolph, Aldersgate.On the southern boundary lay the General Post Office and many postmen spent their breaks there, hence the inevitable name by which it became known.

Along the walls of the gallery Watts placed tablets, each describing acts of bravery that resulted in the loss of the hero or heroine’s life.
The tablets consist of a number of ceramic tiles with an inscription and appropriate decorative motifs.

Following the original 13 tablets that Watts erected, Mary added a further 34 after his death. The stories that the tablets tell are touching, often involving children and usually concerning fire, drowning or train accidents

.In Watts’s letter to The Times proposing the idea, he drew upon the plight of poor Alice Ayres, her inscription finally read ‘daughter of a bricklayer’s labourer, who by intrepid conduct saved three children from a burning house in Union Street, Borough, at the cost of her own young life. April 24 1885.’



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