Poetry by William Blake beats iconic Blur lyrics to spot on Primrose Hill summit
A preservation society has launched a campaign to bring iconic Blur lyrics back to Primrose Hill after they were removed by Royal Parks, sparking anger from park users and Britpop fans.
The graffiti lyrics “And The View’s So Nice” from Blur’s hit song For Tomorrow have been inscribed on a path near the summit for the last 10 years and had become a tourist attraction, with people visiting from all over the world to see them.
But last week Royal Parks jet-washed over the local landmark after a “guerrilla” group re-painted the fading lines in March.
Soon after, rain caused the paint to run and Royal Parks said this had “spoiled” the path and it was “necessary to clean the area”.
The news was greeted with astonishment and disbelief by residents in Primrose Hill and an army of Blur’s Twitter fans.
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Primrose Hill Preservation Society has launched a campaign to bring the lyrics back and has written an open letter to the Royal Parks demanding action.
James Veitch, 32, founder of Primrose Hill Preservation Society, said in the letter: “It was a source of joy to many who walked past it.
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“I fail to see how the inscription was doing any harm and I find your decision to remove it nothing short of astounding.”
Park Manager Nick Biddle responded to Mr Veitch and wrote: “Graffiti is ephemeral by nature and attempts to refresh, revive and restore it are almost always misguided and miss the point.
“In this particular case the lettering survived for a surprisingly long time but that time is now gone.”
Mr Veitch wants to pursue his campaign through proper channels and would like to meet park management.
He said: “We would not want to do something against policy. It would be nice if we could have a discussion to get the facts on the table.”
Others had suggested the piece of Britpop heritage should be listed to protect it if returned, like the famous zebra crossing outside Abbey Road studios which featured on The Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover.
But English Heritage confirmed that it is unable to list anything that is less than 30 years old and that campaigners should approach Camden Council about local conservation protection.
A council spokeswoman said: “We are aware that there are strong feelings within the community about the Blur lyrics which were painted on Primrose Hill and a desire for them to be listed.
“The lyrics are classed as graffiti so do not fall under the scope of development.”
A Royal Parks spokeswoman said: “While we would be happy to listen to those who wish to see the quote return, I hope they will understand that while well considered and well executed graffiti can add something of value to public spaces, the vast majority is highly detrimental and expensive to deal with. Actively endorsing a particular piece may encourage others to choose a Royal park as their canvas – something we cannot tolerate.
“We are also close to completing a project to improve the landscape at the summit of the Hill and have included an inscription there.
“‘And the view’s so nice’ was considered but was beaten by a line from William Blake; ‘I have conversed with the spiritual sun. I saw him on Primrose Hill’. I hope people come to love and appreciate this in the same way.”