Wednesday, 12 July 2017

The view from the hill ........ home thoughts from abroad no. 5

Now sometimes it takes just one picture to remind me how long I have been away from home.

The scene will be all too familiar to many. 

From the top of the hill beside the Royal Observatory you have a panoramic view of the city.

To the left there is the bend of the River and off to the right the chimneys of the power station and directly ahead the tall blocks of the new commercial London.

And I say familiar but not to me, because the last time I gazed out from those benches beside the statue of General Wolf none of those tall blocks of glass, steel and buzzing enterprise existed.

The tallest building would still have been the Monument and I am pretty sure St Paul’s would also have been visible.

I was well aware at what had been going on but the change is still very dramatic given that I last looked out from the hill sometime in the early 1970s and while I have been back to the park and down into Greenwich I somehow never quite got to take the route from the gates at Blackheath to the observatory and look across London.

That last time had been a perfect autumnal day in 1971, the sun shone, the leaves were turning golden and I was home from Manchester with a group of friends proudly showing off my bit of London.

They were duly impressed taking in first that scene from the hill and then by degree descending into Greenwich, taking in the Cutty Sark, the foot tunnel and one or two of the local pubs.

It is a pity I never took my own picture but perhaps someone who did will share it so that I can compare our Jill’s picture with the past.

Location; London

Picture; looking out across London, July 2017, from the collection of Jillian Goldsmith

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