Mar 312011

A family bereavement saw me back in the UK last week for the funeral. The next few posts will have a distinctly British flavour, relating to my hometown of Stoke-on-Trent and London.

A week ago I attended an evening concert at St Martin-In-The-Fields Church, more about that in a subsequent post. During the intermission I went outside for a cigarette. The church frontage offers a vantage point from which to survey Trafalgar Square, the site of Nelson’s Column.

Nelson's Column, London, England. ©Calvin Palmer 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Like most cities in the world, London has floodlit many of its famous old buildings. The domes of the National Portrait Gallery on the north side of the square were bathed in a soft light. But Trafalgar Square itself was shrouded in darkness. It struck me that it would be a good idea to illuminate the statue of Admiral Lord Nelson that stands atop Nelson’s Column.

When Nelson reportedly said: “I see no ships.” I am not bloody surprised. It’s too damned dark to see anything.

The floodlighting of Nelson’s statue would provide a point of focus in the nightly gloom and enable it to dominate the square as it does during the hours of daylight. It would also make for a great nighttime photograph.

I suppose the argument against such a proposal these days would be that such expense cannot be justified. For all of Britain’s current economic plight, it didn’t strike me as a country scratching around for its next loaf of bread. The wealth is still there, it is just a question of tapping into it for the common good.

If any Londoners read this post, may I suggest that you contact the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and put forward my idea.

Come on, Boris! You know it makes sense.