This is a two-part compilation of tweets and photos featuring young people, kids, friends and even their parents with the world famous pigeons and fountains Trafalgar Square in the days of old, up to the 1980s. One of these is me with my mum….
The Square’s pigeons were a classic sight for decades. It is said they had been here long before the square was built. But by the end of the 20th Century it was decided feeding the birds was a rather unhealthy past time. The pigeons supposedly carried a multitude of diseases and the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone claimed the birds were ‘rats with wings.’
Its been asserted there’s no evidence of humans getting ill from pigeons, as this great article by Pigeons as Pets shows.
Although handing out bird seed was fun for us kids of in long gone by days, the square’s obviously a much cleaner, better, place now. And there’s a risk of a £500 fine for anyone caught feeding pigeons.
The fountains still see people getting wet in them, but matters were a bit more relaxed back in those days than they are now. Any would be bathers trying it today will clearly have ignored the warning signs and security staff will request they get out of the water immediately.
Anyhow, we start off with pictures of the square from 1920s to the 1940s.
Actually the first picture’s from 1919! Only a year out 🙂
Like many of London’s waterspaces – the Thames, the canals, various ponds and rivers – where one could freely bathe, the fountains too were once popular with children. The following tweet clearly rues the fact its not allowed today…
Children in Trafalgar Square fountain, 1920 pic.twitter.com/4f6EWXwuG7
— Yesteryear (@BygoneMedway) May 5, 2015
Its quite obvious from these pictures the depth of the water in the Trafalgar Square fountains is not like today. The kids are wading in water that’s barely up to their knees.
— Sylvia Peadon (@peadon92) October 22, 2015
The next picture is a bit surreal – it looks like a real baby feeding the pigeons!