13 February, 2013
Minet Estate Lambeth
There are four things a community needs: A church - Check A park - check A library - check A public hall - check Note that there is no provision for transport, shopping or refreshment whether it be alcoholic or non alcoholic, although I suppose there might be a cafe in the park or at the library. This was the vision of the developer of the Minet Estate, now a conservation area in the Borough of Lambeth. And very pleasant it is too. The church has now become a block of flats, called, rather inappropriately, Black Roof House, but some of the original blocks of flats carry the Minet Coat of Arms and stone sculptures of cats. There is also a cat's head one on the public hall. Minet is French for 'little cat' so the information board in the park tells me. There is also a former convent, somewhat extraordinarily given the Huguenot origins of the estate. All in all it looks a pleasant place to live. There is even a pub (now) near Myatt's Fields park even though it was built in the 1920s or so in 'Brewer's Tudor'. Another thing that is also surprising given the strong reformed faith of huguenots is that there is a branch of the Swedenborgian church. It is called simply Michael Church, and teaches the doctrines of Emanuel Swedenborg. I don't pretend to understand what the doctrines are but I think they are saner than the mormons. I don't think they baptise their (or other people's) ancestors by proxy. We also met a Swedenborgian in Kingsbury when we looked at the architecture of Ernest George Trobridge. That's another extraordinary suburb.