We are promised sunshine soon. Ever since I returned to Italy a week ago I’ve lived in a cloud. The rain’s not heavy but it is persistent and it’s very difficult to do much outside. It seems strange then to think about the glory of London’s sunshine as I encountered it before returning to Longoio.
Sudbury, which is a part of the London borough of Brent, does not immediately strike one as a foremost tourist attraction but it’s near where I stayed and there is a sweet open space, with romantic connections for us, called Barham Park, named after a landowning family who possessed a herd of dairy cattle.
Indeed, Sir George Barham founded Express Dairies (remember them?).
This was the first company to use glass milk bottles, introduce pasteurised milk, carry 30, 0000 gallons of milk by train into London every night, introduce home deliveries and supply milk to Queen Victoria as well. When the dairy herds moved further out of London because of increasing urbanisation Sir George’s son Titus donated the land of his manor to the public and this is the origin of Barham park which is essentially an 18th century landscaped garden.
Not much of the original mansion remains but a surviving Georgian building is now used as a library. There’s also a card room, veteran’s club (am I old enough to join it?), a walled garden, a coniferous plantation and a war memorial.
Barham Park is just one of London’s ‘lungs’. There’s nothing particularly outstanding to draw the occasional visitor to it but on the sunny day we had it was a lovely place to walk about in and enjoy. For it’s not how important a sight is in London which draws one to it but it’s how one relates to it that gives it its special significance.
Barham Park certainly regained its significance for us again, reminding of our walk there the day after we married.