Esoteric London

No. 293: Flitcroft Street, WC2

Posted in Funereal, Monumental by esotericlondon on April 13, 2011

Flitcroft Street, London, WC2. Photo © Roger Dean 2011

From Shaping Sculpture, 2010:

There once was a homeless person who lived in Flitcroft Street, an alleyway bordering St Giles Church and a convenient shortcut for Central Saint Martins between Charing Cross Road and New Oxford Street. When you passed Craig Hayden, you never felt uncomfortable, neither threatened nor put upon. Rather, you felt inclined to exchange a few words or even pause for a conversation. There was some disquiet in the normality and incongruity of his pavement presence.

Then came a time when Craig didn’t occupy his usual place. But within a few weeks a commemorative brass plaque appeared, fixed to the brick wall of the alley. His death had affected someone strongly enough for them to take the care to have a durable memorial made. It could have been family or friends. It could have been someone amongst us regular passers by.

The plaque is a small inspirational sculpture but it goes to the heart of what sculpture does best: its object-ness resonates with an effort made and an intention to endure ( think of the difference that a temporary gesture – flowers, graffiti – would register). Perhaps all sculpture is a memorial: a death of a process and a history of being and making.

[ The above piece was written by the sculptor Bruce Gernand who has kindly allowed us to reproduce it in its entirety. Both he and I would be interested to hear from the person who put up the plaque as it would, in Bruce’s words ‘complete the circle’. More of Bruce’s work can been seen at his website here. R.D.]

Craig Hayden lived and then died in Flitcroft Street 26 May 1971-6 June 1997

2 Responses

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  1. Margaret Henderson said, on November 28, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Craig was my son

    • esotericlondon said, on November 28, 2016 at 4:11 pm

      Hello Margaret,
      My name is Roger and I am the creator and the curator of the blog Esoteric London.
      Firstly may I ask you to accept my condolences for the death of your son Craig.
      Unlike Bruce who wrote the article I never had the fortune to meet Craig but I was always intrigued by the plaque. Can I ask you if it was you who installed the plaque on the wall or if you know who did?
      I hope that your finding my post has brought back some happy memories, I know that I am thinking of both you and Craig right now and will be many times over the coming days.
      Kind regards

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