The Building Site


Kerbs that could be anywhereChiswell, Portland (Dorset)Covent Garden (London)No kerbs, Poole (Dorset)St James (London)South Hams (Devon)Stogumber (Somerset)

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It is so often the detail that seals our attachment to a place. Everyday places are as vulnerable as the rare. And it matters because when people lose identification with place, ownership changes hands, a spiral of decline begins. I was moved by a taxi driver who told me he was going to quit his patch of once-loved London after 20 years, because little by little it had been eroded. The last straw was the substitution by small composition blocks of the big stone pavings along his street, he knew no route for influence. It is perfectly possible that nearby in the street of a Conservation Area the same paving slabs gave the finishing touch to the restoration programme. The taking up and putting down having twice boosted the economy through large company and local authority, the disaffection caused has no way of being counted, but the cost is enormous.

Pavements and kerb stones can tell you where you are, do those in your town?

The images are (L - R):
(i) Kerbs that could be anywhere; (ii) Chiswell, Portland (Dorset); (iii) Covent Garden (London); (iv) No kerbs, Poole (Dorset); (v) St James (London); (vi) South Hams (Devon); (vii) Stogumber (Somerset).
Pictures by Common Ground.

Local Materials : Black Redstarts