Friday, 8 August 2008

Who's to say why there's a tank by the side of the road?

I went for a walk through South East London yesterday and came across this tank on the corner of Mandela Road and Page's Walk (I think!)
A man who works locally stopped and said he'd been driving past it for years but had never stopped to look at it before. We ended up talking about how we both wanted to know more. Why wasn't there a blue plaque? he said. Why wasn't there an explanation?
I've been thinking about this since and I can't decide whether I respond positively to this need for stories, for explanations, for narratives about unexplained things, or whether I find it a bit depressing that our immediate response is to look elsewhere for an explanation - that we want someone else to author our city and our experiences for us, rather than delighting in the opportunity to make up our own stories.
Maybe I'll write a spoof blue plaque...


yppahpeek said...

Supposedly the tank was put there by a man who applied to the council for planning permission to build a house. The planning department rejected his request for a house so he applied for permission for a "tank" The planners thjought he meant a "water tank" and accepted the request. He parked the tank there and pointed the turret towards the planning office. Supposedly anyway :)

Sarah Butler said...

What a great story! and thanks for the youtube link :)