Friday, 22 May 2015
Those cobbles are 120 years old and will have seen coal being delivered by horse and cart, baker's boys on bicycles, washing hung out to dry, maids stealing kisses from their farmhand boyfriends in the moonlight. There's history in them and they deserve respect.
Some years ago this alley was completely overgrown, a jungle that you could hardly walk through. A group of neighbours, including myself hired skips, bought weedkiller, and got out their brooms and shovels and completely cleared it over a couple of weekends. It was immaculate and we all enjoyed a very good barbecue in the alley the evening that we finished.
It was good to be able to use the space, nice that we all got together to enjoy it.
Over the years it has stayed pretty clear of the jungle. But some people tip their garden rubbish into it and then seem to wait for ever to move it. I want to change all that. I want to make it a place for people to enjoy.
I've decided to start with my own bit of alley and get some pots planted up. I'll plant easy stuff at first, nasturtiums and bedding just for some colour. I may put in a pot of runner beans and a tomato plant or two. I could even hang a couple of baskets on the walls. But whatever I do I'm hoping that my neighbours take notice and get with the vibe. This little lane could be a truly beautiful place.
Of course it is open to the public as a thoroughfare, so there's a risk of vandalism and thoughtlessness. I'm hoping that people will respect it for what it is though. I believe that most people will delight in it.
We'll see how it goes. Watch this space.