In an area where little’s been done for many years to smarten up the streets, these lizard stencils popped up a week or so ago. There was one behind Charlton House, and one on a wall in Victoria Way.
In fact, there were three in Victoria Way…
And one about to go for a drink at the Charlton Liberal Club (if it hadn’t closed last year).
There wasn’t one at Charlton Reptiles, though…
They were washed away by rain last Monday, all except one – at the bus stop at the top of Victoria Way. There were some mutterings that they may have been gang symbols – but the locations would seem to count against that.
Hopefully, they were put there by someone who wanted to brighten up the area. Or even just for a laugh. In an area where the public realm is tatty and civic pride is lacking, they caught the eye. Will the lizards return? We wait and see.
The Lewisham Natureman is a legend thought to have its roots in South East London’s local graffiti scene. He has never been seen and is only represented by a small carving, that can be found [normally hidden] in the wastelands, train sidings and rivers of the borough. This has given way to the belief that this character is not human at all but actually a spirit of the wild; an urban incarnation of the Green Man or Cernunnos; the stag lord.
He also takes the form of a small white deer that can be seen wandering the desolate places of Lewisham, grazing on wild vegetation and drinking from the boroughs three rivers. The creature is also known as the ‘Wild Walker.’
It’s been a while since one of the stags have appeared – but now one has emerged in Bramshot Avenue, Charlton, on a wall next to land which until recently hosted a large advertising hoarding.
Long-standing residents may remember horses grazing on this land until the 1980s – the Natureman’s reappearance may help jog some memories, as well as giving travellers stuck on the Blackwall Tunnel approach something to gaze at.