Carlton Terrace runs along the back of the Mall, and if you’re ever there on a weekend you might see actors dressed in 19th century costume looking bored and drinking Nescafe. That’s because if you stand in the right place, and look in the right direction, blank out that parking meter with a Hansom Cab and scatter wood chip over the tarmac, it looks exactly like the eighteenth century. It doesn’t feel like it though. At least, not if your eating a Cider Barrel lolly bought from the ice cream van that parks there.
It’s hard being historically accurate in these modern times. But it’s just as hard being modern with all that history around.
There are some renovations being made to part of the terrace and they’ve put up a plywood hoarding. Usually, hoardings are whacked up without regard to anything much. But here it’s different. As though in awe of its historic setting, the hoarding tries to ingratiate itself with its illustrious context. Part Nash, part shanty town.