25th August 2000
Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5NJ
Trafalgar Square pigeons
I confess I had actually forgotten why I happened to be in the West End on this particular Friday morning in Summer 2000, and, it turns out, this specific image (not for the first time in this project) has nothing to do with the reason for the outing.
Interestingly (well, I think it’s interesting anyway), despite that fact, it does in retrospect illustrate just how much outdoor recreational activity in the capital has changed in the past dozen-&-a-bit years since the start of the Millennium – particularly for young rapscallions like our fellow above.
Back then, in what now seems like the dark ages, chasing pigeons in Trafalgar Square was de rigueur amongst averagely hyperactive children as a useful way to burn off energy in a public space. Little did this fellow know that not far from here, something revolutionary had just occurred.
For this was the day that the Edmond J Safra Fountain Court (the Somerset House Fountains to you and me) opened to the public for the first time, setting in motion the trend for interactive water features to spring up [sorry…] in new developments and plazas all over the city.
Sadly for the Trafalgar Square pigeons, having lost their raison d’être the writing was on the wall. No longer considered entertaining enough for young roustabouts, they gradually drifted off and the Powers That Be were forced to start using the square for ‘Events’ in order to fill the vast empty spaces created by their departure.
Anyway, here’s a tune from happier days…