'This then, I thought, as I looked round me, is the representation of history. It requires the falsification of perspective. We, the survivors, see everything from above, see everything at once, and we still do not know how it was.'
(WG Sebald, The Rings of Saturn)
Following on from my last post, I should direct you to some sound correctives to those fleeting doubts that were raised in my mind about the post-war modernisation of our towns and cities by that BBC programme on Deptford High Street. First is a letter in The Guardian here from the son of Nicholas Taylor, the former LCC planning director who 'appeared' on the programme, stitched up it seems as a supposedly unrepentent planning official. Secondly, take a look at the latest post on the Deptford Misc blog, 'Secret History or Fisherman's Tale'.
Finally, there's also Owen Hatherley's Guardian Comment is free piece, 'The secret history of sentimentality about two-up two-downs' which appeared today, and from which I'll gratefully take a couple of lines because, in the context of this blog, they might have almost been written for the Middlefield Lane estate itself:
'The worst thing you can do is always to imagine that things could be made better. We're unable to imagine that once – as was verifiably the case in many places – modernist planning and architecture was welcomed as a spacious, verdant deliverance from slum landlords and their oh-so picturesque period properties.'
I don't know about you, but I'm still imagining.