Take A Band Stand
People pictures are excellent. However, building pictures tell stories about people. Today I’m recording a short information video for LizianEvents, part of the remit is to use different sites around Nottingham. The Victorian Embankment holds tens of possibilities. We park the vehicle and walk into a small park by the War Memorial.
It is a windy day, and there is an area set down below the surrounding walls, perfect for recording. I see a structure to my left which immediately appeals to me. My emotions are affected by design, the Hoover Dam, Bauhaus Museum, Eastern Berlin U-Bahn stations, Durham Cathedral captivate my imagination. My mind goes beyond the buildings, the visions of previous occupants and histories are part of the pleasure. The Band Stand to the left has captivated my emotions, the sweeping curves of the outdoor theatre seating perfect the scene.
It is easy to construct an image of a Brass Band or a quintet; my mind reviews a summer evening and a group of players performing ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’. A small audience applauds the interpretation of Oscar Wilde’s masterpiece as the group of thespians takes their bows.
Once a place of happiness, now a testament to the ignorance of the ‘few’ who blight the lives of the ‘many’. This country is no Churchill’s Land fighting oppressors; it is a land of oppressed fighting the greed of land-lords. There are two extremes in society – The mindless vandal, and the mindless slave to desire who vandalises people’s hope and inspirations. One has nothing, the other everything; both have the same mindset.
Between the two are the majority of which I am one, we respect each other. We are not racist, bigots or greedy. We would wish to live in a world where we are respected and given freedom. Not treated with contempt by politicians and treated like children by officialdom. The politician cares for the landlord and vandal, officialdom taxes the majority and gives to the wreckless. I hope you enter into the meaning of my sentiments.
I see this in the buildings vandalism. The sorrow of its plight, the hope that it may be repaired, is countered by fear the horror of fire may return. If the Band Stand is renovated, it would be fenced in and made secure. No longer would we be able to walk around the design, it would be viewed from afar, isolated, alone and untouched.
There is another dimension to the sadness of the violated structure. What if it were to be made safe and secure. It’s sliding doors wide open, never to be closed again? What if the scarred and burned charcoal was varnished and the interior preserved in the present damaged state? Later plays are performed, and bands play again in the flame damaged shell? On the days when The Band Stand stands silent, all who walk by can see the ‘made safe’ and unrestored building. There is a sign made from non-combustible galvanized steel, it informs:-
‘Here is a testament to the mindlessness of man, ruined by the selfish and greedy.
Here is a testament to the poor and oppressed, who survive although scarred and broken’