Monday, 14 July 2008

A day of uplifting visitors

This evening Devonshire Promenade and Lenton Recreation Ground stepped back 110 years to receive a visitor from the past. A Mrs Florence Shaw to be formal. Her visit began on Friday when she paid an inspection visit to Lenton Primary School to see if the teachers were properly attired and the pupils were clean, tidy and washed. She stayed on the Promenade throughout the weekend and just before she departed I was lucky enough to take some pictures of Mrs Shaw.

Her school and inspection duties finished I think I caught her off her guard, for she let me feel her bustle and I do believe that I detected a twinkle in her eye, which would have turned the head of any Victorian man. Unfortunately, as I contemplating my next move I was caught in a Dr Who like time-blast and whisked back to the 21st century and my wife. 'No more' I hear you cry, 'This is a family blog!'

Seriously though, I think Patsy's willingness to play the part is something both pupils and staff will remember for a long time to come and I'm sure that neither Susan or I will forget what a wonderful sight she was on Devonshire Promenade today.

The other visitors I met were Ray and Jo when I was on my way to take a picture of a wanton act of vandalism (which I will write about later in the week). It was an uplifting diversion. As I walked across the grass Ray waved at me and I waved back, then Jo said 'Hello', so I walked across and had a chat. Ray was obviously enjoying his visit to Lenton Recreation Ground and had a broad smile across his face. Jo told me 'Ray likes it here. We've just come from Unity House'.

Unity House is the old Victorian vicarage beside Holy Trinity Church, which is on the other side of the Church Street entrance to the park. Some years ago it was converted into three church flats and meeting rooms. Jo told me that the care provider she works for hires Unity House to use as a day centre on Mondays and that Ray has been coming across from Bunny for the last couple of months and that this was their second visit to the park.

Even though Unity House has a nice large garden, it must be nice to come into the park and see other people. I am sure that other park users have responded to Ray's 'Hello' and have found it an uplifting experience. A safe park like Lenton Recreation Ground has the capacity to lower the social barriers which now cripple the way we so often respond when we meet someone we don't know in a public place and without third parties, who we know, on hand to introduce us.

I hope Ray becomes a regular visitor to our park and that he tells his friends as well.

Mrs Thatcher is to be given a state funeral when she dies. Her critics are now praying that she will live forever.

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