Dedicated to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and all the other people, both actors and technicians who helped them make those wonderful films.
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The Stockwell Mural
The photos accompanying this piece show the mural very much as a "Work in progress" and were taken in April 2001.
I often drive through Stockwell, South London on my way into London and has noticed the work being done on an old contrete structure on a triangular traffic island just a few hundred yards north of the Underground station.
In fact you could hardly miss it because it's very brightly coloured. But I was interested to see that there was a depiction of various wartime motifs and the British Legion memorial prayer "At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them".
So imagine my surprise when one day I noticed they'd added a picture of Violette Szabo!! I was so distracted I almost drove straight into the traffic lights.
Then one day I saw someone working on it, so I stopped and asked about it. I was told that it had started as a project in a local school and the children had all drawn various paintings showing the history and cultural diversity of the area.
These were then "tidied up" by local artists and put into a design for the mural that we see before us today.
Apparantly they had a few complaints about the pistol pointed to Violette's head. Although historically accurate it was felt to be a bit too much so was painted over.
As you go round the other side you can see various other things such as the Empire Windrush that brought the first wave of Carribean immigrants who came to help us after the war. There are big red London buses (there's a bus garage just down the road) and many other things.
It's a lovely piece of work. I told the lady artist that I had been to the opening of the Violette Szabo Museum in Herefordshire and had long been interested in that inspirational lady. So I was put in touch with the artist in charge and invited along to the official opening on June 26th 2001 (which would have been Violette's 80th birthday)
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