Paula Green

Paula Green

Paula Green 2008           8556712469_9611f857ca_o
My Mother Doreen Yates

Paula Green was my Aunt. She was the half sister of my Mother, Doreen Yates, with whom she shared a Mother; Nora Whitehead.

Paula Green was a well known and popular singer and Band Leader in the 30’s 40’s and 50’s. The Queen Mother said Paula was her favourite singer and arranged for her to perform at Windsor Castle at the birthday of the young Princess Elizabeth.

Michael Flome Orchestra: Silvery moon and golden sands with Paula Green, 1938

Dean’s Yard Westminster

Westminster School Yard – off Dean’s Yard8562865888_4c2f793c66_o

There is a little known square buried away behind Westminster Abby.  Known simply as Dean’s Yard it comprises about an acre of land set to grass and bordered by ancient Horse Chesnut trees. It is a delightful place where a great deal can be observed. The square is a working environment, owned by the Church of England that connects the offices of the church to the west, the Church House Conference Centre to the south with the Abby buildings to the north and east, see it on the map, in the centre of the link page.

Dean’s Yard Map

Dean’s Yard is open to the public on most days. You can enter the square from two gates to the north and south, both are pedestrian-only, other than for processions or for dignitaries to enter the Abby through the rear entrance. The Abby buildings are accessible from the square and you can also access Westminster school from here with the necessary permissions. The architecture is additionally interesting.  Of course, there is Westminster Abby itself with it’s ornate baroque exterior. Also on show are some fine Georgian terraces and some Edwardian ‘church monumental’ buildings in the soft red bricks popular during that period.

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Christopher Gonzales & Bob Marley

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Christopher Gonzales making the mule for a Bob Marley statue.

The Bob Marley Statue in Island Village is an artistic interpretation of Marley, sculpted by Jamaican Sculpture Christopher Gonzales. The statue portrays Marley growing from the ground, like a tree. His legs blending in to a trunk shape at the base, his dreadlocks joining with the roots of the tree and Marley is holding his microphone stand like a staff. Gonzales is quoted as saying that “the symbolism of the tree trunk from which the figure emerges represents Marley’s ascent from the ghetto into international acclaim with the music he created”.

The Bob Marley statue had a long and controversial life before finding a home in Island Village. Christopher Gonzales’ statue was originally commissioned to stand outside of the national stadium in Kingston, to commemorate the death of the reggae legend. However, the public (and the Marley family) did not take well to Gonzales’ artistic interpretation of Bob Marley and were highly vocal in their criticism. The statue was swiftly removed from its spot outside of the national stadium and the Jamaican Government commissioned Alvin Marriott to sculpt a replacement. Marriott’s interpretation was more true-to-life and met with the approval of the Jamaican public; it can still be found occupying the spot outside the national stadium.

Gonzales’ Statue was moved to the National Gallery in Kingston, where it was displayed for nearly 20 years. The statue was moved to Island Village in Ocho Rios on National Heroes Day 2002, originally on a one year loan. The statue remains there to this day.