No matter how unfairly treated, debased, belittled, mocked and knocked you sometimes feel, attempt – for just a moment – to find a small nugget of fuzzy warmth somewhere in your heart and once located, rest in it. For, as you may not realise at the time, there is always, and i mean ALWAYS someone who has it worse than you: they are wearing the battered, heavy crown of being unfairly treated, debased, belittled, mocked and knocked. Spare a moment and rest assured: they are officially more ridiculous than you.
Such is the fate of the gentlemen over at the Tyburn Angling Society. An organised, formal, professional sort of a place complete with headed paper and West End address to match, the Society HQ is home to the great River Tyburn Restoration Project – a plan dreamt up by the team of avid anglers who would like to see the 1000 year old ‘lost’ river Tyburn re-emerge and once again flow from north to south in place of some of central London’s most important buildings.
In fact, the proposed ‘demolition zone’ is a wide sash of red neatly etched over a good few £billions worth of real estate. The Tyburn’s course would neatly cut through Oxford Street (once called Tyburn Road), flowing parallel to Regent Street and through Berkeley Square before taking apart Buckingham Palace and gracefully confluencing with the Thames.
Fishing huts would punctuate the paths and parks sandwiching the river – though the provenance of an Oxford Street trout is enough to put me off my dinner. The Tyburn, as it currently stands is a large sewer, dealing with rather more London ‘wild’ life than we imagine.
Aiming a little high perhaps, chaps? Well, they surely must win the prize for unsubdued fantasy, if nothing else – their idea is to ‘swap’ buildings for plaques placed ceremoniously along the proposed river. A nice bench, perhaps, Your Highness?
The men at the TAS may be ridiculed and they may be wearing that tatty crown, but I take my hat off to them – they wear it with pride and with not even a faint, seweragy wiff of irony.