Wanderings around Paddington


On one of the hotter days of the summer I was up in London near Paddington Station. It is all so busy and hectic up in London, but a short walk from the station is the unbelievably tranquil, calm and peaceful pool known as Little Venice.  From here you can catch an old narrow boat, which takes you through the Maida Vale tunnel, past the animals of London Zoo and onward to Cambden Lock.  Any journey by water has always seemed slightly magical to me. Cambden Lock with its colourful vibrant market and the smell of dishes being cooked from all round the world was certainly like arriving at an exotic island.


Islands of other kinds came into mind when I found peace of another sort in St James’ Church, Sussex Gardens, which is also not far from the station. Here in the west window there is a picture of the statue of Peter Pan the boy who never grew up and who lived in the island country of the Never Never Land.  The window also shows the former Chief Scout of the World, Lord Robert Baden-Powell, who began the Scout movement after his experimental camp on Browsea Island.


J.M. Barrie, who wrote Peter Pan, was certainly a boy at heart, who never really grew up.  Baden-Powell has also been described as a boy-man, since he too had one foot permanently placed in boyhood.  B-P would never have been such a success with setting up first the Scouts and then the Guides, if he hadn’t had some sense of what appeared to children.


Children, like adults, are not perfect. Most of us will have had sad experiences of children who have not behaved well on occasions. Baden-Powell privately bemoaned the behaviour of the modern boy and he was writing in the 1930s!


Posted By: valerie

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