An Unconventional Gem
I'm a person who enjoys anywhere that’s off the beaten path or eccentric. More enticing to me is a place where even the locals know little of. I found such an unconventional gem in London from, ironically, an Indian newspaper. While in the State of Kerala, I read an article in the English-language Indian Express about an obscure park in London called Postman’s Park.
The name is derived from the postal employees who frequented the nearby park on their lunch break. The park itself is nondescript – a small swath of greenery with a few wooden benches sandwiched between multi-story apartment buildings, offices and a historical church, located near the corner of Little Britain and King Edward Street.
Without the intention of looking for it, you’d never know it existed, despite being a few blocks away from well-known St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Heroic potential lies in everyone around us
Why the fuss? What makes this park truly a find for historic London culture are the ceramic plaques hidden beneath a covered patio seating area, praising the mortal efforts of heroes from another time. There are fifty-three plaques, generously donated by George Frederic, honoring fallen heroes between the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, commemorated on white ceramic tiles, inscriptions outlined in pale blue. The most poignant tile pays homage to an eleven year-old boy who saved his brother from being hit by a car in 1901. Before he died, he said "‘Mother, I saved him but I could not save myself".
Postman’s Park is a touching tribute to the common man, reminding us that heroes aren’t only fictional characters we read about in comic books. Heroic potential lies in everyone around us.