The Aylesbury

A few months ago my camera’s memory card lost the plot. I could have recovered the lost images had I paid £30, but it didn’t seem worth it. I regret the photos of the fox though.

After my bike ride last Sunday I revisited the same scene: the Aylesbury Estate. You’ll know it if you watch Channel 4 as its windswept walkways are used in one of their clever logo trailers. Not that the Aylesbury residents are happy about that; they launched a campaign to get Channel 4 to stop using the trailer, objecting that it gave a false and negative impression of their estate. You can read about it and see both the offending video and the residents’ riposte if you click here.

To be truthful, I always thought the trailer had been made on the Heygate which is being rapidly reduced to rubble. Parts of the Aylesbury have gone and others are due to go too, I understand. I am tempted to use the pictures for this week’s photo challenge, ‘fray’. Maybe I shall.
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There are blocks that have a deserted air. I thought this was one of those that had been emptied. Then I saw someone use the lift.

Some ground floor places are boarded up. The gate in the wall suggests a cosier home than you might at first imagine.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I would guess that as people are moved out it will affect the sense of community. The Creation Trust is working with residents. I hope it turns out well. The local experience of the Heygate’s regeneration has left a somewhat sour taste. As @heygateplaza (heygatewashome.org) tweeted “when council guidance designates your estate as an ‘opportunity area’ it’s time to ask – whose opportunity?”

Take the right photos and the Aylesbury looks a bleak soulless place. The ultimate concrete jungle. Pan back and suddenly your viewfinder fills with green.

I want to know the story behind the gate.

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