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"Use every man after his desert, and who should 'scape whipping?"

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Mauleverer Road site still undeveloped a year after destruction of much-loved mural

Mauleverer Road, Brixton, in August 2016: So they take away a highly-regarded mural depicting a sort of urban paradise, and what do they replace it with? The lazy sods can't even be bothered to clear away the rubble. 
Here's another strong reason to dislike property developers: they destroy places that are treasured by local communities, then they leave them to rot for years, maybe waiting for land values to rise. Or maybe they caught a Brexit cold.

Something like this seems to have happened at Mauleverer Road in Brixton, which until last spring was the site of one of the best surviving community murals anywhere in London. When demolition was first threatened a few years back, local residents and the London Mural Preservation Society campaigned to save it.

Here's how it looked 16 months ago - the ghosts of the
ghosts of the dray horses that once slept in the stables
of the Mauleverer Road depot.
This stalled the proerty developers, but only for a year or so. Last April demolition work began. I photographed as much as I could of the mural as it gradually disappeared (and there are hundreds of good pictures online, to preserve the memory of this work).

Last week I went back to see what had taken its place. The answer was not very much, apart from some quite vigorous looking weeds growing on the rubble of a large open space, cleared for building last year.

Well, at least the neighbours across the road don't yet have to stare at another cluster of identikit yuppie townhouses or whatever it was these charming landgrabbers were threatening to throw up in this once fascinating backwater. And they won't yet have to fight over parking spaces with monster black SUVs or get woken at 5.45am by bankers revving their Maseratis up for a quick pre-rush hour dash into the city. Not yet, but it will probably come soon.

And here's another bit - a detail of the woodland scene at the eastern end of this massive mural. Even after 34 years
the quality of this work shines through, don't you think? Now it has been smashed to pieces. For the profit of some
builders and property developer types.

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