Apr 13, 2009

Exploding Mythology at Dusk

Almost worthy of a chocolate box lid or even a postcard is this westerly view of Cathedral Square upon a recent early evening. The bod on the pedestal is a long deceased property speculator and middle class snob, who is recorded as having referred to the locals as the cattle. The statue was donated anonymously and the dubious inscription Founder of Canterbury added somewhat later.

"Old Jack" Godley (1814-1861), a founding member and second Lyttelton based Agent of the Canterbury Association, preferred the social life of Wellington, but still managed to make a fortune out of cronyism and conflict of interest in the local real estate market.

The Irishman tired of the colony after only a couple of years and set himself up in some splendour in the exclusive London suburb of Fitzrovia. The 1810 Grade II listed former home of Godleys is now the St George Hotel.


kuaka said...

Such a sky was too good for him.

(excellent pic!)

Canterbury Heritage said...

The dying remnant of the distinctive Canterbury North-west Arch was far too good a frame for the cad, but it's an interesting aspect of local historicity to note the extent to which he's been conveniently mythologised over the ensuing years.

But I'll not forget the day of taking the pic - I'd been up for five hours before realising that it was one's birthday (and then had to do some brief mental arithmetic to figure out how old I was). This is where the smiley should go, but I can't seem to find the gormless one.