Although we’ve seen some images of Holland Park on the blog on most occasions I’ve concentrated on some detail, like the murals, or more recently on interiors of Holland House. This week I want to show you some photographs taken as part of our photographic survey by our photographer John Rogers back in 1980. He wasn’t concerned with documenting every corner of the Park but was looking for interesting views which might be familiar to visitors and odd details which might have been missed.
In 1980 the Greater London Council (GLC) still ran the park. It was transferred to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in 1985. Some features have changed in the last thirty six years, some have remained the same.
This fairly dull looking colonnade facing the Orangery is now the home of the highly decorative murals I mentioned above.
Here is the nearby pond, which now has some railings around it.
And the other side the Belvedere Restaurant which probably no longer admits bare chested men.
The pleasures of a municipal park, however grand its history, have remained the same for many years. Hanging around on a sunny day doing nothing much at all.
Stretching in the sun as in this south view of the Orangery.
(I believe this sculpture is by Eric Gill, called The Maid, placed on this spot in 1976 but moved in the 1990s because of weather damage and now in the park cafe. Judging from recent pictures, where the figure looks very worn in comparison the weathering was significant.)
Playing at the play centre.
Especially in the sandpit.
For older visitors there were ducks and other avian creatures to feed.
From the large, not easily missed varieties.
To the small and sometimes well camouflaged.
On land, or on water.
Or between the two.
There was sport, for the athletically inclined.
Or you could just stroll down a secluded avenue of trees.
Discover statues, some prominent, as the one below.
(Henry Richard Vassall-Fox, 3rd Baron Holland . The statue is now found in the middle of a pond, although here it seems to be entirely on land. It was moved when the block of flats, Melbury Court was built)
Some obscure, almost concealed.
(The so-called Melancholy Old Man)
And some just plain odd.
Cherubs about their business near the Ice House gallery, accompanied by fish, innocent in this case. (They’re not always so blameless).
The High Street is not so far away.
Regular readers will have noticed that there was no post last week, just about the only occasion we’ve missed a week. I was going to be vague about my absence on a personal matter but it may have some bearing on future content so I’ll just say that my mother passed away over Christmas after a short illness and I went home to deal with the funeral arrangements and other matters. Frankly, I was not in a blogging frame of mind even though I already had this week’s pictures selected. It was about this time last year that she was complaining to me about the extensiveness of the news coverage of the death of David Bowie and I was explaining that for some of us this was a significant event. It’s been said that 2016 was a year with a great many deaths. I can only agree.