Thursday, 3 October 2019

Lamlash Garden: A Hidden Gem

I do like those little places that one just stumbles across in the street network which give joy and Lamlash Garden tucked behind the Elephant and Castle in London is one just place.

I was on my way back to the City from a meeting in Brixton using one of Central London's hire cycles and the mostly awful CS7 cycle route when out of the corner of my eye I noticed something unexpected as I was going along Elliotts Row, a backstreet part of CS7;

It was Lamlash Garden which is actually a long, thin pocket park, which was won from Lamlash Street, a skinny little street which passes between and to the rear of some houses and allotments. 

Astonishingly, not only have I passed this numerous times without realising it (I passed it and missed it on the outbound journey), it is actually on a list of places I wanted to go and look at (yes, a vague plan of interesting things to go and see to learn about and blog about).

It's less than 70 metres long, but utterly transformed from what it looked like before;

Thanks to Google Streetview, we can see a bit of history - in June 2014 there is a bollard closing the street off to motor traffic;

At the other end, we've a large planter - the space is claimed for people;

Over time, the street is transformed with surfacing, planting, plant supports, a storage shed and all sorts of planters and pots - it becomes an extension of the allotment - April 2015;

By September 2017, it's all established - it's still open for walking (and cycling), but there are no traffic signs (there doesn't need to be any), the space is now fully claimed;

I had read about the project a while back (hence adding it to my list) and there's a nice little feature on one a website of one of the residents. I was on the clock for finishing my cycle hire within the 30 minute window, but there was time for a (slightly wobbly) cycle though the garden. Even in early autumn, it was still lush and a world apart from the scabby old alleyway it used to be;

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