Saturday, 12 December 2015

Back on Lausanne Road with another bit of street furniture and the memory of a street game

Now I am back with the street furniture of my youth but for once it is something that hasn’t vanished and I am pretty much sure still does the business it was made to do.

So long after the water troughs have gone and the old red telephone kiosk has become a rarity outside the tourist haunts you can still find those tall ventilation shafts.

They were for venting the sewers of the more obnoxious and even dangerous gasses which could accumulate down below.

I have written about them in the past and have been drawn back with memories of the one on the corner of Lausanne Road.*

Of course back when I was growing up there I took it for granted, after all I passed it every day on my way to Edmund Waller and then Samuel Pepys and like pillar boxes and telephone kiosks it was so much part of the scenery as not to even warrant a second look.

But now I wonder if they have a future.  It may be that they remain indispensible but given modern technology their days may be over and they linger on until someone decides they are surplus to requirements.

That would be a shame because the one on the corner with Belfort still evokes memories of hot summer days when the tar at the side of the road had gone soft enough to play with and for what seemed an eternity we would draw it out using discarded lolly sticks.

Back then there was little to distract this street pastime for few cars passed along Lausanne Road and after the milkman had been there was only the weekly bin lorry and occasional rag and bone man to interrupt us.

All a little different from this picture of Gatling Road in Plumstead packed full of cars which will have to stand it for Lausanne Road.

I chose it because it too has a ventilation shaft and also because I have never got round to taking a picture of that bit of Lausanne Road.

But maybe some has and I would welcome a picture of that piece of Street furniture I played beside.

Pictures; Gatling Road, Plumstead, 2012 from the collection of Elizabeth and Colin Fitzpatrick

*When a smelly sewer was just one too many,

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