Fabulous Walking Tour of London's Rejuvenated Kings Cross Quarter.

Fabulous Walking Tour of London's Rejuvenated Kings Cross Quarter.

23 Mar 2019 - 17:42 BY The Arts Society Guildford

Such a fantastic day with our Blue Badge Guide walking tour of Kings Cross this week! We learned lot's, saw more, met some interesting locals and had a very enjoyable and social day out!  

photo: Sir John Betjeman sculpture by Martin Jennings  at , St Pancras International station. 

Sir John was a member of the Victorian Society and was instrumental in saving the station from developers. The sculpture is a tribute to his achievement.

At the time, Betjeman wrote: ‘What (the Londoner) sees in his mind’s eye is that cluster of towers and pinnacles seen from Pentonville Hill and outlined against a foggy sunset, and the great arc of Barlow’s train shed gaping to devour incoming engines, and the sudden burst of exuberant Gothic of the hotel seen from gloomy Judd Street.’ Fortunately, Betjeman, Fawcett and the Victorian Society’s campaign was a success and St Pancras was saved. It was protected forever in 1967 when it was given Grade I listing.

When St Pancras International re-opened in 2007, the late Betjeman was commemorated with a bronze sculpture of his likeness. The 6ft 7in statue by artist Martin Jennings shows the former Poet Laureate holding on to his hat as he gazes up at the Barlow roof. Explaining the piece at the time, Jennings said: ‘The piece is an image of him as if he has walked into the station for the first time and gazes up at the roof. He’s got a bag with his books and his coat is billowing up behind him as if in the wind of a passing express train.’ Under his feet is a disc of Cumbrian slate with lines from his poem Cornish Cliffs: ‘And in the shadowless unclouded glare. Deep blue above us fades to whiteness where. A misty sea-line meets the wash of air.’

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