The war and the trench shelter were the “coup de grace” for the concept of an “ornamental pleasure ground” the shelter had destroyed the east end of the garden.
The compensation paid by the council was not enough to restore it to an “ornamental” condition. A photograph taken by a woman who lived in the second floor bedsit of 25 Arundel Gardens in 1952 shows jungle taking over. Worst of all, intruders have no difficulty in entering.
“It was slummy, full of studenty types like me. I never went in the garden, but I loved the big plane tree I could see from my window. Inside the house was dark with dirty paintwork. I don’t remember a bathroom. My room had a gas ring and a basin. I wasn’t there much. The landlady insisted on opening the front door to make sure no unauthorised men were getting in”.