Monday, February 03, 2014

New Landmark for Barkingside

We knew this was coming, (it was mentioned at the last Better Barkingside update meeting) but didn’t know what it was going to look like. Here it is.


It is to be located on the raised green space by Babsons the plumbers, opposite Barnardo’s and at the southern end of Craven Gardens. The planning application number is 0287/14 and you can view all the details on the council’s planning portal, as well as leave your discerning comments. We are indebted to Jacky M for the tip-off.

The blurb:
Oak landmark and wayfinding Sculpture with directional branches 
The proposal is for a large scale landmark and way-finding element situated at the Tanners Lane junction in Barkingside. This site is a currently underused green space, situated at a node that links Barkingside tube station, the route towards Barkingside High Sttreet and the new Sustrans route.

The design is informed and inspired by historic tales from the local area, namely from Hainault Forest and Valentines Mansion and Gardens. Hainault Forest was once home to the iconic Fairlop Oak: a large oak tree, which provided the focal point for the first Fairlop Fairs. The tree was an impressive structure with a hollow trunk that provided shelter and a hiding place for visitors to the forest. Valentines Mansion was once home to the Black Hamburg Vine: a huge grapevine that was known throughout London, and was unfortunately destroyed by a gardener during the Victorian era. A cutting was planted at Hampton Court, and is now the largest grape vine in the world.

The artwork seeks to celebrate and recreate these two lost icons from Barkingside’s past. It consists of a large hollow tree structure constructed from locally sourced green oak. The structure will be complemented by the planting of a new Black Hamburg Grape Vine. The vine will grow up and through the structure over the coming years, and will help to make the structure ‘blossom’ with leaves and grapes during the summer months.

The artwork is supported on a simple concrete foundation ring, which has been developed to include directional ‘stems’ which point towards key destinations from the oak.
It is hoped that the structure will enliven a neglected green space in the neighbourhood, provide an iconic feature in the streetscape, and way-finding information at a key node between Barkingside station and other destinations.

It is hoped that the structure will be the first in a series of improvements to this green space. Additional landscaping features (such as steps or a sloped bank to the pavement) could improve access, and increase use of the space. Additional seating and hard landscaped elements would also help in this regard. We are currently in discussion with Vision regarding the specifics of maintaining the vine.

18 comments:

  1. One gust of strong wind and it'll be knocked over.... sorry (happy thoughts, Ray!)

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  2. Very clever! Nice try. You almost had me fooled. Even down to the fake planning application. But it does show that the council has a sense of humour. Mind you, if it HAD been real we might have seen a future Craven Gardens grape-treading festival every autumn with carousing Morris dancers, pop groups and a brass band to celebrate the launching of the famous Black Hamburg wine (available only in one gallon - sorry, five litre - containers).

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    1. Sorry, Alfred - just look up the planning application 0287/14 on the much loved Redbridge-I and you will find that Barkingside 21 is not joking. It's the latest slap in the face for residents and their pockets from our crackpot council.

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  3. wow man I see jesus,spikes around his head and all.....but then it is 2 o clockl in the morning,,,,,or even the statue of liberty

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  4. Normally, I hate to agree with anything but I think the project is quite interesting. This Black Hamburg vine seems a handsome type of vine. Obviously, it will take a while for the 'artistic' structure to be covered and it could look bizarre for a few years but, with a bit of luck, and a lot of maintenance, it should be really good. And, that Victorian gardener is not likely to destroy that vine!

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  5. Just for once, Morris, I'm speechless!

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  6. It's a Wigwam, and if the Gant's Hill Egg Whisk is any sort of marker it won't be appearing any time soon ....

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  7. Its the first of 10,000 "affordable" new houses to be rolled out all over the borough, to be built on roundabouts, wide pavements,car parks, and Ilford High Road.

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  8. More details have emerged. The girth of the structure is the same as the original Fairlop Oak tree, which was hollow and in which people would shelter from the rain.
    The "branches" at the top of the structure follow some mathematical equation which the designers are quite excited about but we don't know what it is ...

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  9. Oak structure? Looks like a load of over-priced old hollyhocks to me. Local government officers who "design" this sort of rubbish costing far too many zeros need to get out into the real world.

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  10. Equations,... music to my ears! I can see some right-angles and some rotational symmetry. I would love to see the equations. Please!

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  11. Our Town Hall Moth reports that the planning application for this rather elegant and creative piece of art was rejected yesterday evening while B21 was viewing some excellent photographic art down Wanstead way with Snapper Wilkinson.

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    1. Elegant and creative? Well it is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder......

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    2. Yes. And disappointed we are. I wonder if Redbridge Council will appeal against itself?

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    3. I get the distinct impression that Redbridge Council does not appeal to anybody much.

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    4. We will find out on May 23rd ...

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    5. I look at that small green area every Saturday on the routine way to the shop. This morning, the daffodils were celebrating their reprieve! This 'artistic' 'project' (with a statement), seems to have been a tropical storm in a tea-cup. What a weird event!

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