I used to walk through Woodford Square with my mother. It was always busy, people wandering aimlessly as well as those crossing purposefully, men in shabby suits expounding to whoever would listen, and pigeons. Over the years it became a haunt of unseemly characters, vagrants (remember the beggars who used to line the pavement outside Greyfriars Church on Frederick Street?) and loiterers. I was never present when the events that made it the "people's parliament" occurred. Dr. Williams burned the Guardian there. To today, political parties occupy it for rallies. Its location opposite the Red House makes it an apt arena.
It used to take on a different character as a venue for Carnival events. It never felt too packed at free lunchtime calypso concerts, standing room only. But it was most magical in the early morning of Kiddies Carnival Saturday, with the sun slanting through shady trees touching the fresh costumed children gathering there.
All these impressions came back when we sat to eat our sandwiches in the square. And to reflect on the unfathomable logic of bureaucracy. I could not apply for my passport until I had "restored citizenship." He could not apply for his, until he had an official document of his French citizenship. It was possible to laugh at the hoops of citizenship in Woodford Square.
The square was named for the British Governor Sir Ralph Woodford who was responsible for laying out the city after a disastrous fire. Before that, it was Brunswick Square, through which the St Ann's River once flowed. It was beautiful on this April day, cool even at noon.
|Looking east in Woodford Square, towards Frederick Street, shopping district of the city|
|Flowering poui on the Frederick Street boundary|
|Lunchtime in Woodford Square, with sandwiches|
|Gregor Turnbull's gift|
|The bandstand with the old Public Library behind. Is glassing in interior spaces behind those graceful balconies the best solution?|
|Detail of the fountain|
|Looking towards the Dragon's Mouth of Carlisle Chang's Conquerabia|
|Looking towards the Serpent's Mouth (Previous post has no full views of the mural)|