Wednesday, 11 May 2011
John Betjeman and St Pancras Station; Robert Rams and...?
To cheer everyone up, I thought you might enjoy this picture of the John Betjeman statue appearing to look up at the Olympic rings at St Pancras station. If you are in the area, it is worth going into the station to have a look.
I had a pint at the Betjeman Arms on Monday night. Jury's out on it as a pub, but it's fun sitting on the terrace inside the station - with the smell of the train fuel and all!
As we know, Betjeman is famous as a poet but also for campaigning to save buildings that people had fallen out of love with. In Betjeman's day, people wanted to knock it down, now people are raving over St Pancras!
Once upon a time local politicians took municipal pride in building libraries and swimming pools and so on. It was the sign of a civilised age made possible by the industrial revolution. A by-product was that these people lived on in posterity with buildings named after them, and a statue, if they were lucky, at the very least a plaque.
What a contrast with today's municipal dwarves. What will Robert Rams be remembered for, I wonder? "On this spot there stood a library; on this spot a museum, all closed by Robert Rams." Let us now praise famous men.