Thursday, 7 November 2013

King Lear

This week I took my camera to Watermead Park which is just to the north of Leicester.

The park consists of numerous lakes and ponds surrounded by meadows, woodland and reed beds which were reclaimed from disused sand and gravel pits in the early 1980s. Both the River Soar and the Grand Union Canal run through the park and the place is haven for bird watchers and fishermen.

One of the lakes is named after King Lear, the legendary 8th century BC king of the Britons on whom Shakespeare based his tragedy. Lear (or Leir) was said to have given his name to Leicester and after his death was reputedly buried in a chamber beneath the River Soar somewhere close to where the park is now.

There's a concrete sculpture showing the final scene from Shakespeare's play mounted on a raft on the lake. Normally the raft is visible but with the recent rains, water levels were high and the figures appeared to be floating on the water.

A kneeling King Lear mourns his daughter Cordelia while the
Earl of Kent and the Duke of Albany look on.

Below are a few more pictures of the park.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Open at last

The Silver Arcade in the centre of Leicester has at last reopened after a major renovation and it looks fabulous.

It’s a Grade II listed Victorian shopping arcade dating from 1899, the only surviving four storey arcade in the country. For a long time it was home to many small independent shops but has stood empty for the last 13 years. Although it still retains most of the original features it now has a new glass roof and a new glass lift as well as various other sympathetic improvements.

The Silver Arcade was designed by Amos Hall who was in practice at the Leicester based architecture firm of Isaac Barradale (see: