I’ve withheld judgment for a few weeks, waiting for them to ‘bed in’ to the street scene, but now I have a definite opinion about the steel trees in St Andrew’s Street South...
Nice sculptures but in the wrong place.
They’re just lost where they are, invisible against the messy and busy backdrop of shop fronts, delivery entrances, street signage and bus stops.
However, I don’t think anyone could quibble with the price. With design, fabrication and installation, I reckon £20,000 is a pretty fair price.
I know we’re not talking Henry Moore here and I’m no Sister Wendy, but I reckon that setting can be almost as important as the work itself and these trees are simply in the wrong place - they add nothing to the already cluttered street scene.
I also fear for their safety - a reversing delivery lorry could do them serious damage.
It’s a shame that space could not be found for a couple (or perhaps even an avenue) of real trees - much too thin on the ground in this part of town.
I rather enjoyed the national news coverage earlier this week about the fact that the Queen might be forced to move out of Buckingham Palace while it undergoes renovation. The ‘tabloid’ journalist in me conjured up headlines of Her Majesty being turfed out on to the streets. And it was only one step further to imagine our homeless royal ‘bag’ lady wandering the capital with all her belongings packed into a wobbly shopping trolley or, in this case, a fleet of shopping trolleys.
I don’t think I’ll lose too much sleep over her ‘plight’, I think she may have a spare palace or two where she can slum it for a while - or perhaps she and Philip could just sofa-surf.
It also emerged this week that the Palace of Westminster needs several billion pounds spent on it to bring it up to scratch. Perhaps this is a case where the Conservative government could learn from its local government colleagues in St Edmundsbury - flog the place to a developer and build a new eco-friendly ‘HQ’ in Watford. And while they’re at it, Buck House must surely fall under the scope of the ‘Bedroom Tax’ - a couple of pensioners rattling round in that huge pile, there must be savings to be had there.