14 July 2015

A tiny park with a big heart

Postman's Park is a tiny bit of greenery sandwiched between buildings and street only a few minutes walk from the grand St Paul's Cathedral. I must have walked past it so many times without realising what it was and, being only a few minutes from St Paul's, its really a nice spot to visit if you are in the area, so no excuses!

The park sits on the site of the old churchyard and burial ground - some of the headstones can still be seen on the edges of the park. Might be a bit creepy for some, but that didn't deter me and clearly didn't deter the postmen who used to stop for their lunch break back when the headquarters of the General Post Office was nearby which, incidentally, is how the park got its name. Now its home to office workers taking a break, seeking respite from their day by the side of the softly bubbling fountain and the little fish swimming away in it.

The park is also home to a peculiar memorial. The artist GF Watts wanting to have a memorial for the 'average' person managed, after several suggestions and set-backs, to build a memorial "In commemoration of heroic self sacrifice". On the side of one of the park walls tiled 'plaques' remember ordinary individuals who gave their lives in order to help others. I walked along and read every single one.

I couldn't help being impressed and a little humbled at these ordinary acts of bravery. Children as young as 8, young women, and men as old as 60, are remembered for their sacrifice. My cynical side did wonder if people today are still capable of such incredible kindness. If I was capable. But despite the coldness of commuters, I have seen on many occasions how kind they can be when they need to be.

The little fountain, circular flower beds surrounding the sundial and many benches dotted around the park do make it a cute little place to escape to. Its not very quiet, being off a main street, and its a little bit odd being surrounded by buildings but, all the same, its worth a peek - even if its just to see the memorial. I really don't know of any others that are not associated with remembering soldiers. Not that soldiers shouldn't be remembered, its just nice to see ordinary bravery remembered too, there should be more.

Did I mention that this park caught the attention of Hollywood? Apparently several scenes from Close were shot there - I'm going to have to watch that movie now.

Oh, and in case you haven't seen one yet, an old blue police phone box sits outside the Aldersgate Street entrance :)

What do you think about the memorial? Would you visit?


  1. The memorial just made my day, I'll have to go and visit it soon just to pay my respects to those who made my day through their selflessness - would it be too tawdry to say it restored my faith in humanity once more: the appreciation for those that perish in conditions that aren't usually recognised in aid of another?

  2. Awh yay I love Postman's Park too! Those memorials are amazing. Such a fantastic idea to recognise such bravery and sacrifice.