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On our way up Delancey Street from Camden High Street towards Regents Park the other day, we passed a magnificent wisteria in (presumably) its second bloom of the year. A little further on there is a faded ghost sign which has ‘Delancey Street’ on both sides of the corner (because the entrance is in Albert Street), whereas the modern sign above shows Albert Street crossing Delancey Street. Under both old signs it says ‘Gloucester Gate’, although Regents Park and the gate are still a little distance away. Turning left, over the railway lines, then left at the York and Albany pub, on the left is the old riding school (now film studios and venue hire). It was built in 1892 with an indoor riding arena for the residents of Regents Park.and It is said that it was used in WW2 to house elephants, giraffes and bears, secured by heavy metal rings in the floor, when the nearby London Zoo was bombed.
Continuing towards the park across Gloucester Gate Bridge (over what was once a spur of Regents canal but later filled in, another story) we passed the Matilda fountain and grotto which was presented to the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain Association in 1878 by Matilda wife of ‘Richard Kent Esq. junior churchwarden’. The bronze figure was designed by Joseph Durham. A.R.A.
We crossed the park diagonally and entered the inner circle and Queen Mary’s Rose Garden through Chester Road Gate, partly to see the elephant made with succulents. It is traditional for there to be a ‘living statue’ (don’t know their real name) and this year’s was made by Jo, who I was on one of my RHS courses with and who went on to work in one of the massive greenhouses in which they propagate all the plants for the Royal Parks. The rose gardens are spectacular this year, apparently 12,000 roses planted in 85 single variety beds in the whole spectrum of colours and some with the most heavenly scents. After a wander we left through the Jubilee Gates, along the north side of the lake and out of the park through York Gate towards Baker Street to our next destination …