Bunhill Quaker Gardens

Charting the redevelopment of the Quaker Gardens between Banner Street and Chequer Street, London, in 02005.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Concrete for Quiet Garden

Mixing concrete in situ
Originally uploaded by davidjennings.
I only caught this at the point where I took this photo, but it looks as though concrete is being mixed in situ in the shovel buggy, before it was shipped over to the Quiet Garden and tipped out there.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Meeting House Garden wall, Take 2

The carpenter was on site again today, and looks to be reconstructing the beginnings of a mould for the wall.

Elsewhere the second layer of surfacing was completed on the playground. There being no rain during the working day, the new surface was hosed down. If you look under the tree in the lower photo you can see people making fine adjustments to the borders in the Quiet Garden.

The missing bits of the ball park fencing were put in place, and security fencing put along its farther (eastern) edge. I don't know how effective that was, as I was out this evening.

Thursday, April 28, 2005


Originally uploaded by davidjennings.
It looks as though the up-and-down paving was more than just a playful game, as the Meeting Garden wall — for which the wooden mould took days of carpentry to build — is being demolished. This must surely put the 6th May target finish date in question?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

April Showers

Playground 12:30pm
Playground 12:30pm
Originally uploaded by davidjennings.

Playground 2:24pm
Playground 2:24pm
Originally uploaded by davidjennings.
Less than two hours separates these photos, as a sunny morning turned to a showery afternoon, including a few claps of thunder. But an hour after the second photo there was sun again.

It was another day at the office. More surfacing on the playground: you can see the new grey advancing over the old black from the far end, like fog rolling in from the sea. More measuring and marking in the Quiet Garden: Ms Park seems to be here almost full-time these days. And more putting down of paving stones in the Meeting House Garden, only for them to be picked up again an hour or two later: I tell you, it's as if they were playing backgammon or solitaire in there.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Drilling and (un)paving

Drilled concrete
Originally uploaded by davidjennings.
Today may have been the noisiest day so far. A pneumatic drill was used to dig the hole in the concrete trench that you can see on the left of this photo. And the 'soft surfacing' reached the end of the playground (though I'm not sure if there is going to be a second layer).

In the Meeting House Garden, some of the paving laid yesterday was removed, as can be seen from this photo. Did they get the measurements or layout wrong?

And in the morning (wet, again), there was more detailed measuring of the Quiet Garden by one of the men in yellow jackets and Marianne Park. At one point I thought perhaps the designer looked up and gave me a small wave. I felt embarrassed and 'found out', having passed, I thought, as an unseen voyeur for so long. Keeping the Hitchcock theme I started a couple of days ago, I felt like James Stewart in Rear Window… I wonder if there's anyone buried out there?

Monday, April 25, 2005

Paving for Meeting House Garden

A miserable day, though heavy rain mid-morning cleared in the afternoon. Here you can see the first paving going into the Meeting House Garden.

In the background, just outside the gate, are the last remains of a delivery of a very large number of sacks. The digger proved unsuitable for lifting them, so they were ferried in several loads on the mini-shovel-buggy to a safer place.

The sooner the final surface is put on the ball court and there are no stones to throw, the better.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Hanging out

I heard today that one of the Friends from the Bunhill Fields Meeting talked to the young people on the playground yesterday. Their comments on most of the playground features, including the blue ring, were positive. But they pointed to the climbing frame and said it was boring. Apparently it was designed not to offer white-knuckle thrills, but to encourage small-scale congregation and informal contact. As the Friend said, and as this photo shows, that appears to be what is happening. (For some reason, though, the idea of this 'hanging out' on the climbing frame reminds me of Hitchcock's The Birds).

This afternoon some boys decided to move a fair bit of the site-builders' equipment around as part of some loosely-structured fighting games. If there was any damage done, I may be able to help identify those responsible.