I went on a marvellous cycle ride in East London. The air was clear, the roads were wide and empty. As I came back I spotted this view of the Balfron Tower. I sat on a low wall in a housing estate off Willis Street, and sketched it.
This tower is designed by the architect Ernő Goldfinger, and resembles his other famous tower, Trellick Tower, which is in North West London. Balfron Tower was built in 1967 as council housing.
It has recently been sold by Tower Hamlets Council, and redeveloped by the developer LondonNewcastle as luxury flats. You can see some of the scaffolding in the drawing.
Here is where it is.
Here is work in progress. Also a glimpse of my bicycle.
As I sat sketching, a pale young man approached. “It’s beautiful,” he said as he strode past. He was referring to the Balfron Tower, not to my drawing.
“Yes, ” I agreed, “I think so”. I looked down to my drawing again. But the young man had something else to say.
“You should see Jesus,” he told me, “He’s beautiful too.” Taking my baffled silence as amazement, he continued, “I’ve seen Him, believe it or not”. He left this statement hanging in the air and walked on around the corner, without breaking step.