OK, so someone has painted out 'HOPE'. The rendition alongside the railway bridge as you head north up Highgate Road has gone. Just like that. A mass of black. And it's been done in the last few weeks. No laws broken - no act of sacrilege - but I miss the lost 'HOPE' all the same.
This is what it used to look like, on the right - one of scrappier renditions around here. If you look at the photo on the left above, you can just about make out the remnants of the 'H' and 'O'.
And if you are coming new to the subject of 'HOPE' in NW5 (and around), this is where to start reading.
The good news is that three other versions of 'HOPE' all within a short distance of the one now lost are still extant - and all the photos below were taken on this wonderfully sunny, almost spring like, Sunday afternoon.
Hiding in plain view ... or maybe I just haven't been very observant. Anyway, I've found another HOPE. (If you don't know what I'm on about, then click here for the full HOPE chronicles, now updated with this latest find).
So the above HOPE - photographed on a grey and grimy January afternoon - is just fifty yards from two others. It overlooks DarCars just off Highgate Road - not the most accomplished version, with its rather awkward slender verticals and broad horizontal strokes, but very clearly part of the opus. And again alongside rail lines, just to the side of a bridge.
I'm still on the look-out for the full HOPE story - if you know, do share.
UPDATED January 2014 with the discovery of another 'HOPE' - details and photo at the foot of this post
Across my part of north London, which is awash with rail lines from the mainline stations heading north as well as the more homely North London Line, someone, some time, for some reason, has taken to painting 'HOPE' on bridges and track-side buildings. In white paint ... in large capital letters ... without any obvious purpose. It's a bit of a mystery.
What follows is not the full story - but we're getting there. And if you have anything to share about these HOPE inscriptions please do get in touch. Whatever the story is behind them, I am keen to find out.
I've mapped and snapped the various renditions of 'HOPE' which have appeared on and adjacent to railway bridges or overlooking railway lines across Kentish Town, Gospel Oak and around. And below are pictures of them all - the three (the orange dots on the map) most imposing renditions complete with serifs, those little embellishments which make capital letters stand out; six plainer versions (red dots), one of which is almost entirely scrubbed out but still just visible; and two (yellow above) other 'HOPES' - one in a very different style, and the other what you might call the only legitimate 'Hope' in Kentish Town.
I'm still trying to work out why this fly painting, by whom, and when - asking around, the consensus is that these are intended to inspire and uplift rather than simply a tag. And all being close to railways lines? Well as I say, there's a lot of them around this manor - so perhaps that's not too significant.
If you know more, do tell me: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
HOPE - the big three ...
HOPE - the other six ...
... and while we're on about HOPE ...
And if you wondered what the now barely legible HOPE overlooking 'Kentish Town Square' (no. 9 above) looked like in its heyday, here's an old photo courtesy of the excellent KentishTowner:
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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