His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester kindly unveiled the 44th panel of the Jubilee Walkway at London Bridge today marking 40 years since Her Majesty launched the route on the south bank in June 1977.
The panel was inspired by the son and great grandson of the historian, artist and author Gordon Home who was the original illustrator of the seven phases of London Bridge. Gospatrick Home had taken his grandson Reuben to visit his father’s artwork 18 months ago and was shocked to find it almost illegible after years of wear and tear on display fixed to the granite foundation blocks in Cathedral Square, Southwark.
In partnership with the Trust the Home family, the London Borough of Southwark and United Saint Saviour’s charity set too, finding a copy of the artwork in the Museum of London that could be used on a new panel and make sure the story of London Bridge’s important history continued to be shared.
Illustrator Paul Waters, from Photocast Ltd in Liverpool, painstakingly re-mastered the artwork and prepared a panoramic view point, identifying key landmarks, visible from the parapet of the River wall at the back of the Park.
The Trust dedicated the panel to the memory of Sir James Swaffield. Sir James was a former Chairman of the Jubilee Walkway Trust and also the Director General of the Greater London Council for many years. Several members of his family, including his three children Hillary Coupe, David Swaffield and Gill Lister were able to attend the unveiling including the youngest member of the Swaffield family Dylan Kimball-Swaffield who was only a few weeks old.
Hugo Vickers said a few words about the history of the Trust and mentioned how the success of the Jubilee Walkway had inspired the new Trust to create similar routes in other capital cities throughout the Commonwealth. His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester commented how pleased he was to have been associated with the Walkway and the work of the Trust for so many years.
Afterwards, some Trustees of the original Trust and friends of the new one joined His Royal Highness, representatives of the London Borough of Southwark, the United Saint Saviours charity and the Swaffield and Home families chatted informally at the Mug House restaurant appropriately inside the arch of London Bridge itself.
Gospatrick Home presented His Royal Highness with a copy of the book by his father and The Outdoor Trust gave a copy of the London Bridge artwork to Reuben Home, the great grandson who had previously been so disappointed not to have been able to see it in the park.
Our special thanks to Gospatrick and Diana Home; Nicola Cheetham and Nina Chantry from London Borough of Southwark; Matthew Allgood and Sarah Thurman from United St Saviours; Valerie Beirne from Better Bankside; Richard Dabb from the Museum of London; Kieran Oshea from The Mug House Restaurant, Alaistair Todd, Kevin Traverse-Healey and all those who were able to be with us despite the challenging circumstances that day in London.