This was well done by all. On the first day of spring, under a perfect blue sky that we could all see through the glass roof, the Granby Winter Garden was opened. Then later on, much later, under a full spring moon, the Granby Winter Garden was still open.
It was that magical sort of a day you want to last forever, singing with the sounds of the children who live there playing in the street. The children who live there, playing in the street where hardly anybody lived for such a long time.
This has been a long story, of this last decade or so that I’ve been telling. And I’m not going to re-tell it all today. But it was the moment yesterday when I realised how many children were there that did it for me. That moment when you look around like a benign and mildly surprised elder and say:
“Oh, here you are!”
All we’ve ever wanted, in all the campaigning and planning and politics, was for these four streets of Granby to come alive again. Alive with people living in all the houses and children being born. And now here they were, all around us as the Winter Garden was opened. This sketch that became a dream, a possibility, then a model and is now real.
Opened with love and ceremony and so much hospitality and friendship. This gathering and welcoming place, where the future will happen, is now ready.
So welcome to the world Granby Winter Garden. As young Tiara sang from the balcony of the place:
“People call me Peter Pan,
And when they say I can’t, I can”
Or that’s how I remember her words, sentimental as I am. This was a sentimental day, long arriving and forever to be remembered.
A day to the credit of so many. So many funders, encouragers, activists, builders, artists, architects, gardeners and gleaners. But also and particularly Hazel Tilley and Eleanor Lee. Every one of us stood there with you yesterday knows full well we wouldn’t have been stood there at all without all you’ve done to turn that sketch into the future.
Into such a perfect day. Thank you.