Buxton is just up the road from me and as a user of public transport it is the gateway town to many of my trips into the Peak District. I like Buxton. It is exposed, almost always raining there and has a faded elegance about it that I find most appealing. It has character, the odd sly smile that hints at better days hiding around many of its corners. While it may be descending it is doing so both disgracefully and, I think, happily. This is the feel of the place to me though no doubt their tourist office would disagree vehemently.
I’ll often find myself with an hour or so to spare here, waiting for one connection or another. I like to go to the Pavillion Gardens, a landmark Victorian construction which has always epitomised the ‘shabby chic’ atmosphere of the town I find so interesting. There is a botanical conservatory here where I have spent many an hour over the years, looking at and photographing the palms and shrimp plants and other exotic fare - and the goldfish in the small pond. It is as warm and comforting as an old maiden aunt’s parlor - not that I have a maiden aunt, but if I did I would want them to wear black and lace and have lived somewhere like this, somewhere they could keep architectural plants and make me tea in cracked china teacups.
So it was with some trepidation that I noted the other day that there was a restoration process underway at the Pavillion. In one way I am pleased of course and it joins the pump room and the wonderful crescent as landmarks in Buxton that are being restored to their former glory.
A part of me though hopes that they don’t do too good a job of primping up the Pavilion - the memories of past glories that seep from beneath the curls of peeling paint are a large part of its charm. Or perhaps it is all part of the cycle of things, for it to be covered with a ‘new lick’, a fresh veneer of respectability for a younger age.
A few photos here - the conservatory was closed to the public so I was reduced to peering through the windows.
|Pavillion Gardens, Buxton|
|Business as usual|
|The Crescent, Buxton Grade I listed - wonderful example of Georgian architecture|