Have you checked out Walthamstow’s new Fellowship Square yet? Just unveiled this week, with its scrubbed-up Grade II-listed Town Hall, it looks pretty awesome, even under stormy July skies. And it makes a nice spot to sit with a sandwich, as we did the other day, on one of the new benches by the water.
The new public space is named in tribute to borough-born designer William Morris, and is the next stage of the legacy of 2019’s London Borough Of Culture status. As for the name itself? It’s inspired by the Morris quote that graces the front of the Assembly Hall: ‘Fellowship is life, and the lack of fellowship is death.’
Unbelievably, Fellowship Square itself is bigger than Trafalgar Square – a great local factoid, don’t you think? The centrepiece is a new water feature with 144 individual jets that can be illuminated with multi-coloured lights and programmed to move with music; it’s also more sustainable and cost-effective than the previous one.
On the eastern side is a cute coffee stall which also sells snacks, coffee and sarnies. And best of all, a whole programme of summer events running every summer weekend until Saturday 14 August, incorporating an array of music, comedy, poetry, art, crafts, food and fashion.
The public opening of Fellowship Square takes place on Thursday 15 July when local children will unveil the contents of a time capsule placed under the stairs of the town hall in 1938. They’ll replace it with a capsule of their own not set be unearthed until the year 2121 for future generations to discover, linking the borough’s past, present, and future.
Curious about the back story of the Town Hall? Its distinctive art deco-influenced design took four years to complete because of WWII, and was only completed in 1942. Original architect Philp Dalton Hepworth won a competition to design the building with his “stripped classical” vision, and it was officially opened by Walthamstow West MP and former Prime Minister Clement Atlee as part of the celebrations for the Festival of Britain in 1951.
For more info on Fellowship Square see Waltham Forest’s website
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