Cutting a Dash through the 21st Century

Culture

Gentlemanly Lessons at Postman’s Park

So that’s it – I’m no longer a pilot. I’ve decided to hang up my wings and pursue a new career.  I now find myself working in the City of London; it’s quite a change, not to mention some long hours. As such I’ve been pretty flat out to date and not had much time to pursue hobbies such as my writing here, which is really quite remiss of me.

Working in the City has its perks; the daily walk past St. Paul’s brings a smile to my face and there are some wonderfully quirky hidden spots tucked away for discovery while on a hurried lunch break. One of these, just a short stroll from my office, is the delightful Postman’s Park.

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As well as being a nice spot to shelter from the energy of the surrounding streets, there’s a moving memorial that should be of interest to Gentlemen everywhere – The Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice.

First established by a chap called George Frederick Watts in 1900, and continued by his wife after his own demise in 1904, the memorial is simply a wall of plaques commemorating the lives, and heroic deaths, of ordinary folk who perished while trying to save the lives of others. It is emotional and uplifting in equal measure.

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The first thing I noticed is how many people seemed to have perished by either drowning, fire or rail accidents in the late Victorian period. We get mere glimpses of what must be some fascinating tales. Gents everywhere must surely doff their hat to Mr William Drake, who ‘lost his life in averting a serious accident to a lady’.

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This is a quiet spot amongst the frenetic monetarism of the City, a world that I’ve just joined of course. Situated in the heart of global capitalism the memorial is a gentle lesson in valour and, well… doing the right thing. I think that many more would benefit from a trip to Postman’s Park and a moment’s contemplation of what it shows us.

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