Wash your hands


Scawen Road, SE8 


August 2020


Georgia Smith

submission 1.jpg

A family enjoying the road closure outside Sir Francis Drake primary school, which was implemented as part of Lewisham Council's response to Covid-19. This 2-point closure creates a safe space to ride, walk, and scoot between Deptford Park and the school. The family are opposite the entrance to Neptune Wharf, which a private developer has closed off, boarded up and left largely untouched for the last decade, despite the pressing need for homes in the area. The economic impact of Covid makes it more likely this site will remain undeveloped for years to come. (Georgia Smith)


Additional dramatis personae: invisible; silent but salient presence
William Scawen - English politician; fought with royalists in the English Civil War (1642–1651). Leading figure in revival of the Cornish language.

Mr Scawen performs in Cornish, with supertitles.
Robert Scawen - English politician; Parliamentarian supporter in the English Civil War. Brother of William Scawen (above).

Mr Scawen performs in RP English.
William Scawen - British MP, Governor of the Bank of England, Director of the East India Company from 1710 to 1712. Son of Robert Scawen, nephew of William Scawen (above).
A three-hander Restoration comedy (à la Congreve) is performed by the family every other Tuesday in Deptford park.

Francis Drake - pirate and slave trader, rebranded explorer and ‘the first Englishman to circumnavigate the world’. 
(Following careful consideration and sensitivity training, the management has decided to honour Mr Drake's contract and conduct regular and robust reviews of his involvement. Mr Drake is aware that his past behaviour had a detrimental effect on others in the community and feels deep regret for any actions taken through ignorance and naiveté. Mr Drake continues to seek out professional support as he pursues a personal rehabilitation. Meanwhile, the recent, parallel and matching decisions of Tavistock Town Council and Plymouth City Council reassure us as we continue our collaboration with Mr Drake. We can and will overcome this crisis a stronger, more united community.)
Sir - English honorific address used for knighted men. A reminder the setting is a monarchy, not a democracy.
Neptune - the Roman god of freshwater and the sea. He does not belong, but then again, neither does the proposed redevelopment.