It is sweeter to wander with the wretched and outcasts than to sit crowned with roses at the banquets of the rich
Elisee Reclus

Monday, September 21, 2009

Adventures in Metalwork: The K2

A trip by The Ruinist Team up North to Kings Cross, St Pancras and environs pretending to be a reason to pass by assorted places to see on Farringdon was really only a ruse to indulge our collective passion for the K2 telephone phone box.

Here you can see the mausoleum erected in the old St Pancras Churchyard for Sir John Soane, working class geezer made good, eminent architect and noted Freemason. As is becoming more and more commonly known, the second design for a London telephone box, the K2 (Kiosk 2) was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and introduced into London in 1926.

The inspiration for the cutely domed cast iron red box was, of course, the Soane Mausoleum and now a plaque on the site informs all of what once seemed like some kind of occult or masonic secret.
Step into one of those phone boxes and who knows what you are stepping into. The Ruinist's well-thumbed copy of The Art and Architecture of Freemasonry (by James Stevens Curl, 1991) illuminates the story better than we could with it's description of the tombs Masonic allusions:
'The a 'monopteral temple' consisting of a block of stone under a canopy carried on four Ionic columns; a simple pediment surmounts each face. This little canopy is sheltered by a larger domed canopy with segmented pediments...carried on square piers. The whole is capped by a pineapple finial on a drum around which a serpent is coiled.'

Another delight of the old churchyard was this misbehaviour and creepy addition to one of those classic 'Victorian way of death' gravestones. Two coins for the ferryman, if a bit late in the day?

Anarcha-feminism (in some sense) is also rooted here for the joint grave of Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin is here. She of 'A Vindication of the Rights Of Women',(1792) and he of 'Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and its Influence on Modern Morals and Manners' (1793).

We didn't take any pictures of the K2 and K6 model of London phoneboxes that we passed as we tramped up North but here is picture of a reputed Banana Cake from a caff in Kings Cross.

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