03 September 2011
I’ve really enjoyed this week’s call to action – Monuments, Memorials and Blue Plaques and how they bring the world to the UK.
We all walk past monuments, statues, memorials and plaques all day. So I decided to go back and investigate one of my old neighbourhoods and see what I had walked past a hundred times, what country I could link to and what stories they told.
I lived for many years in Stockwell and can remember the statue of the Bronze Woman going up and I knew it was significant but with a little time on the internet I found a wonderful story and amazing link to Guyana. The Bronze Woman stands with her child in Stockwell Memorial Gardens (which also looks a lot like a roundabout where 4 roads meet) across from the tube station. The anonymous figure is based on a poem of the same name by Guyana born Cecile Nobrega. It is the first public state of an African – Caribbean woman in the UK and was unveiled in 2008 to mark the 60th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush ship to Britain carrying 500 West Indian immigrants, and the 200th anniversary of the end of the transatlantic slave trade.
The Bronze Woman shares the garden with a World War 1 memorial and a little further down the road is little Portugal but I’ll tell you more about that in a couple of weeks when we start investigating food from around the world.
I also used to walk past this blue plaque where William Bligh used to live. As a little challenge I thought I would try and find albeit a tenuous link to an Olympic Nation and was delighted of course to find links to Tonga and Timor!
4 countries down only 201 to go!
Have a lovely weekend and happy investigating!
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