Friday, 22 January 2016

When the snow fell across New Cross and pretty much everywhere

It is odd what you remember especially on a cool frosty day looking out over Manchester.

The sun is shining and there is no hint of the rain that has for days fallen like stair rods so I am surprised that I am thinking of the winter of 1962-63 and the “Great Freeze.”

The snow had begun falling on Boxing Day which almost qualified it as a White Christmas, stopped I think the following day and then began tumbling out of the sky on December 29th locking us into nearly four months of ice and snow with the thaw only beginning in March.

Now when you are thirteen you take such events in your stride and after snow ball fights became boring there was always the game of pulling a wooden bench up the hill at Pepys park and then descending down the slope.

All of which had the added thrill that we might get caught by the park keeper who probably had more sense and was keeping warm in his hut beside a paraffin stove.

Come to think of it I don’t recall ever being challenged by one of the keepers in their brown uniforms as we risked life and limb.

But nor do I remember visiting our local library because by 1962 libraries no longer featured as one of my places to visit and it would be another four years before they again tempted me in.

All of which is a lead into Peter’s painting of New Cross Library in the snow.

I had set him the challenge of painting the place using  a photograph kindly supplied by the Music Room London.

They now occupy the old library and offer a service "with 5 different rooms ideally suited for a wide array of creative applications."

Peter and I have collaborated on a series of books and projects including an 80 meter installation, so painting New Cross Library in the snow seemed the thing to do.

He told me he “was very pleased with the finished painting” and I have to agree.

So there you have it, just fifty two years after the snow fell across London here is a little bit of New Cross Road after another snow fall.

Location; New Cross, London

Painting; the old New Cross Library, now the Music Room London, , © 2015 Peter Topping

Facebook: Paintings from Pictures

*Music Room London,

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