Sunday, 27 March 2016

Seismic Lewisham: A work in progress

I was born in Lewisham. As long as I can remember, the centre of Lewisham in South East London has always been rather a work in progress, dominated as it is by a massive roundabout, the high road flanked by an enormous police station (the biggest in Europe!) and an ageing shopping centre. With the link of the DLR to Canary Wharf and Bank there has been a lot of building work here in the last five years in the centre. With so much development in London recently it would be interesting to imagine that the original characters of districts to be seismic rather than down to the economic whims of the day. If it were seismic then the character and history beneath it would always bubble through and burst the attempts to lay order upon it, whatever facade was slapped upon it or soul ripped out of it by a property developer. Covent Garden and Soho, for example, would remain  'louche', erupting periodically to reset itself despite attempts to tame it. Lewisham's seismic nature would always be that of a 'work in process'. It would always teeter towards ugliness but there would always be the underlying hope for the beautiful Lewisham of tomorrow.

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