I saw this ‘tweet’ from Peter Moore pointing out that Grimaldi Park has been turned into ‘something resembling a bowl of porridge’. That doesn’t sound good! So I looked into it. The current digging up – made messier by the rain – is in fact the first stage of transforming the park for the better.
The plan, designed in consultation with local residents, includes new entrances and paths, new play equipment, and a refurbished ball court, but, according to the Council, still ‘preserves the historic and garden-like quality of the park’. More about the Grimaldi Park project here.
The park takes its name from Joey Grimaldi, the famous clown, who is buried there (the park was originally the churchyard of St James Church, now converted to offices). Other Islington sites with a Grimaldi connection are Sadler’s Wells where he performed, and 56 Exmouth Market, where a blue plaque commemorates his former home.
The last clown I saw was not in Islington but at Covent Garden. This week I was in Covent Garden again (no clowns this time), in support of the Mayor of Islington’s charity evening. Mayor Anna Berent has chosen two locally-based charities specialising in helping victims of torture: The Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture and Room2Heal.
Among other activities, they use drama and story-telling to help victims. Grimaldi, himself the child of migrants, should approve.