By Esin Huseyin
Just a quick little update from me, Esin, on what I thought of Postman’s Park. To be perfectly honest, it wasn’t one that I had heard of before, let alone been to. It wasn’t until Koray took me to this park, that I finally realised why it is so popular – you literally step off of a busy main road and walk in to this idyllic circular shaped area – no exaggeration, but I swear the sound of the city was literally left at the gate.
Okay, so it’s not exactly Hyde Park in size, but I always say good things come in small packages (maybe more to do with the fact that I’m small). Anyways, I liked the fact that it’s small and tucked away, almost like London’s best kept secret – which is very hard to do in a city as populated as London. This park is probably best suited for those enjoying a little rest before they carry on their journey, or for those who want to grab a bit of fresh air on their lunch break, or even to catch a glimpse of the memorial to ‘Heroic Self Sacrifice’; yes the stories are sad but they make you feel humble, and re-instill the fact that we’re all human (with some good eggs in the world), and that we should look out for one another – when was the last time you had a little chinwag with someone on the train?
Anyways, totally got side-tracked, it’s a great park for a quick catch up or some alone time – only downside of the intimate space is that the benches do seem to get snapped up quickly at peak times. But let us know what your thoughts are on the park, remember to share your stories by using #maybeldner.
Originally Posted 09/06/14
By Koray Hussein
Size wise, Postman’s Park may have more in common with a Muswell Hill garden than your average park, but don’t let that fool you. It’s one of London’s best kept secrets… Well it was anyway, then the movie Closer had to go and blab.
There may not be an abundance of greenery, picnic tables or swings for the little’uns but that’s okay. There are plenty of parks for that, but Postman’s Park is not one of them. What it lacks in niceties, it more than makes up for in charm and character.
You see, although Postman’s Park has comfy benches and a pleasant water fountain. The main reason most visitors stop by is to see the charming Watts Memorial.
It’s a genuinely poignant piece and was put together by George Frederick Watts 20 years after the park opened in 1880. It consists of more than fifty tiles nestled under an old wooden canopy, each tile containing a paragraph long obituary of people who had sacrificed their own life to save another.
It may sound needlessly grim and depressing but surprisingly, these little blurbs of unthinkable bravery are actually quite uplifting. Although there is inevitably a twang of sorrow after reading each tablet, it doesn’t last. Somehow (for me at least) the sorrow is almost instantly engulfed by a wave of awe at some of the feats of bravery that these men, women and children managed.
Reading about a nine year old boy sacrificing himself to save his little brother from being run over back in 1886, somehow managed to not only bring a (manly) glaze to my eyes but also that uplifting feeling every time your faith in humanity is slightly restored.
I could sit here and type out a number of the tablets tales and describe how I received them but I’d rather leave you with that one and not rob you of that wonder as your shift from one tile to the next.
The aforementioned fountain situated near the St. Martin’s Le Grand entrance is flanked by tombstones with what I presume are similar stories of heroics. I couldn’t really tell as they’d all succumed to the British weather and faded.
All in all Postman’s Park is one of central London’s little hidden treasures. The perfect spot for a local worker to pitch up with a book, a coffee and sandwich. If you don’t work in the area then it’s definitely still worth the journey down.
Although I’ve posted a few pictures here I intend to (hopefully in a week or two) post a few more in our Photo Walks section.
Have any of our readers visited Postman’s Park? What was your favourite tale from the Watts Memorial? Please have a visit and let us know down in the comments!