My latest expedition was to the amazing Victoria & Albert Museum – one of my favourite places on Earth. They had a large exhibition on the Gardens in 2008 and still have a small corner in the 18th century section dedicated to all pleasure gardens and Vauxhall in particular. Handel’s statue, the bust of Jonathan Tyres and three of Hayman’s paintings are on display.
After wondering around the V&A I thought I should go to Vauxhall to see what was left if anything. So I headed south of the Thames and alighted at Vauxhall tube station – what is left is called the Spring Gardens -the original name – and is on a busy intersection of bridge, railway and tube stations and road. But I only stayed about 1 minute; as there was some kind of fracas going on with people who looked like soccer hooligans being arrested all around me!
Maybe things haven’t changed that much! There were many fracas’ and affrays documented, commented upon and scrutinised during the 18th Century but they all involved Gentlemen, insults and appointments for duels not soccer hooligans but then again maybe the Macaroni where the seeds of discontented youth in the 18th century.
Anyway I won’t being there again.