I have always found Clap’ham Common to have a sense of wonder and magic about it. The vast, open space in South London can’t compete with the intricate beauty of Brockwell Park; but then as the name suggests, Brockwell is a purpose built park, the Common is is a plain old patch of land.
Clap’ham Common has always held most intrigue during the balmy midsummer months. An evening stroll through SW4, just as the sun is setting, is truly one of the wonders of South London. It is here where the locals come out to play, drink and do all the other things that Clap’ham Common is notorious for.
I’ve never really thought of Clap’ham Common holding any wonder during the winter months. That was until I noticed at the weekend that the boating pond was frozen over. Wow! Not just a slight covering of ice in the centre, but a thick slab of white, from one end to the other.
I was running around the Common at the time, and so didn’t have my camera to capture the moment. Work conspired against me on Monday to make a return visit, and then by Tuesday, I presumed the moment had been lost.
How wrong I was. Thank heavens for taking the time to pack my SLR whilst out on a Brixton / Clap’ham / Stockwell run of errands over Tuesday lunchtime. I arrived along the South Side of the Common, with snow still stretching along to Long Road, and a substantial layer of ice covering the boating pond.
Time to start shooting.
There wasn’t much other activity taking place. That’s part of the magic of Clap’ham Common – an area so vast that you can always guarantee to find your own personal space. A couple were canoodling on a nearby bench; a BMX kid pondered an icy ride across the pond. I hovered with my SLR, waiting to catch that glorious moment when the ice would finally give way.
Common sense saw the better of the BMX ice Common rider. I shot a few more frames, and then took in the wonder of a frozen SW4 pond, something that I haven’t witnessed in fifteen years of living in the area.