Saturday, 6 February 2010

The West Barnes Lane Sink

The perfect camouflage of the West Barnes Sink makes it tricky to spot in fading light 
Coming along West Barnes Lane on my way to Raynes Park the other day I caught sight of a small granite-like sink lurking behind a road name by a double mini-roundabout. As an exercise in sharp-eyed observation this wasn't bad going really as it was all very drab and well camouflaged, but as I went by I just caught sight of a small black plaque on it's side, glinting in the evening sunlight. This was too intriguing for someone of average curiosity and feeble will so later on I stopped by with the camera and had a closer look
From this angle it looks uncannily like a Stonehenge for elves or an obsolete drink  trough for Jack Russells but luckily human sized ankles are saved from a good skinning by virtue of it being sited on a slightly mounded flower bed with a few scrubby plants keeping guard. What can it be? It's obviously 'official' but looks at little unprepossessing...
The plaque is attached at the end and you do have to get down low to read it but the the very fact that I was trying to read it caused some interest. A passer by was trying to figure out what I was doing and I saw them crouch down for a look after I'd moved on, so I suppose in some small way I've helped pass on a little historical curiosity in the area. The succulents are a nice touch though, low maintenance, hardy, drought-tolerant but sadly not all that visible until you get up close. The big question was still had to be answered - what or who was was being commemorated?
How about that, a memorial to R. L. Mackenzie, a local councillor and one-time Mayor of Merton! This was intriguing, how how often do local resident show gratitude to local politicians, especially in taking the time and expense to purchase such a stately and solid item?

I thought I'd see if there was anything about Councillor Mackenzie on the web and was fortunate to come across the Raynes Park and West Barnes Residents' Association newsletter of October 2000 which actually carried a feature on the grand opening itself along with an accompanying picture
The Bob McKenzie Memorial Planter
I am delighted to report that the Bob McKenzie Memorial Planter has been placed and planted on the north side of the intersection of Grand Drive and Westway. This is an ideal location and as central as possible in our ward to remember a friend, colleague, Mayor of Merton, local Councillor, supporter, auditor and adviser to numerous organisations in this area. On behalf of the Association, I would like thank Jean and John Haslam for taking the responsibility for selecting the planter and arranging with the Council for its location in Westway. When it came to planting it, we naturally called upon the Horticultural Section to help us. However after much deliberation they found they could not, or would not. But again our tireless retirees John and Jean Haslam came to our rescue with some ericaceous soil and a few varied heathers which make a handsome display.
So the planter has been there for ten years now. It looks in pretty good condition, although the heathers obviously found the going a bit too tough, making way for the hardier succulents. Curiosity sated it's time to move on...


Dub said...

Great article, as usual!

Reminded me of Spinal Tap.

cheap mulberry bags said...

I've lived in London all my life and love all the higgledy piggledy things you find, all over the place.