The Mystery Of The Vanishing Statues
On the North side of Blackfriars Bridge stands the grand art deco building known as Unilever House. Whenever I passed I always noticed the beautiful statues decorating it that were designed by Sir William Reid Dick called ‘Controlled Energy’, and above them were arranged a line of statues whom I assumed were famous figures. They were supposedly removed for cleaning about three or four years ago, but the statues never returned.
Where did they disappear to? Nobody seems to know, but there are rumours of corruption and the statues being dumped in a field somewhere. As London reinvents itself at eye-watering speed, I wonder if anyone is keeping a record of what goes missing. Prowling the musty bookshelves of the ‘Skoob’ bookshop in Bloomsbury this morning, I found a book that panoramically catalogued the changing Thames waterfront, and the changes are startling.
The roads around Tooley Street are radically altering now, and some of the new streets are stunning, even if they are filled with identical chainstores – but will we remember what’s been lost?