Town mouse on a Pimlico street party

Plans for our street party proceed apace. After some chewing of pencils about charges, Westminster City Council has entered the spirit of the thing and given the go-ahead, cost free. A splendid estate agent has donated £1,000. If it goes on like this, we’ll be able to have decorated cups together with the bunting. In a wonderfully English way, the people who were pouring cold water on the idea a few weeks ago are becoming mildly enthusiastic. If this continues, they’ll be wild with excitement on June 3.

Admittedly, our efforts pale beside those of some communities. Hats off to Banbury, where the carillon of the church, installed for Queen Victoria’s Jubilee in 1897, has been restored. The local paper asked its readers which new tunes should be added. Tony Baldry MP has organised a poetry competition on the theme of ‘Banbury’.

The town’s famous cross has been done up. The street party aims to be Britain’s biggest. Well, we in Pimlico rise above the desire to compete. However, as we sat in G. E. Street’s church of St James the Less, a post-Jubilee challenge clearly presented itself. This great expression of the Gothic Revival, its once vibrant interior now veiled by layers of London grime, needs restoration.

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