Monday, June 29, 2009

Harry Lauder's Walking Stick

There’s a lamp-post in the Royal Park that has a legend attached. The park was designed by Sir Harold Lauder (1798 – 1874) and was completed in 1862 in commemoration of the Queen’s silver jubilee (It was originally named ‘Jubilee Park’).

At the side entrance stands a statue of Sir Harold standing erect in his top hat and his hands in front of him at waist level, palms down. Contrary to speculation by dirty-minded schoolboys, what is missing is actually his cane.

The story goes that the park was due to open but the gas-lights had not been installed. “I want a gas lamp right here,” he said, tapping his walking stick upon the ground. His walking stick stuck and wouldn’t come free at all, despite the best efforts of all the workmen. When they returned the next day it had grown into a beautiful wrought-iron gas lamp which remained lit despite having no gas attached. Indeed, it was such a miracle that the Queen came to see it personally (thus causing the name change).

The lamp post remained in situ with its lamp lit for 53 years, until it was torn down to be melted for cannons in the great war.

A facsimile was erected in 1976, along with the statue of Sir Harold.

Image: The Most Amazing Places to Visit in Britain
(and Laverstone isn't in it!


stephanie said...

What a lovely little story. Something tells me that particular cannon had some umph to it though.

Leatherdykeuk said...

They could never use it. After it fired once it looked like a walking stick.

aims said...

What a lovely tale except for the part of them melting it down.

Did they put the walking stick back in the hands of Sir Harold?

Leatherdykeuk said...

No -- perhaps they should.