We’ve looked at the concept of musical memorial benches on Another Kind Of Mind before, after I came across the late Ian Dury’s lovely bench with a view in Richmond Park last summer. It was not long after this that I was told about another bench in the London area commemorating a real musical hero of mine, someone I have also written about before – the wonderful and much-missed Kirsty MacColl, who was killed in a shocking boating accident in 2000 (the same year her Stiff Records labelmate Ian Dury died too).
Those who know Kirsty’s work will not be surprised to hear that her memorial bench is situated in London’s Soho Square, or that its plaque quotes lines from her song of the same name. Funded by fans and admirers, who still visit the site each year around about her birthday to pay tribute to her, the bench was unveiled in a public ceremony in August 2001 – exactly twelve years ago today it seems, strangely enough.
London is, in some ways, a remarkably green city. Of all its parks and gardens, I would happily contend that one of the loveliest of all these urban green spaces is Richmond Park, which sprawls over the top of a hill on the outskirts of south-west London.
On a clear day, the views from the Park are spectacular; it is possible to see all the way across London as far as St Paul’s Cathedral and the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf – indeed, some of these views are protected by law. You can sit and peacefully marvel at the cityscape while still feeling you’re nowhere near the urban sprawl.