The White Hart Pub In Chessington, Surrey…Demolition and Conservation Thoughts by Jenny Meehan

September 22, 2010

Well, How fortunate I am to live so near to The White Hart Pub in Chessington. I would not have said that in the past, as we seemed to get a lot of vomit, broken glass, noise (and even on one occasion someone walking over the top of our car in the middle of the night!).  I have always like the building itself though.  So there is some sadness over its disappearance.  While I write this, there is now only a very little part of it left. However, my proximity to the building has been a good advantage in my attempts to record some of the process of its demolition.

The processes involved in conserving paintings have been of great interest to me of late, but like any human being, (starting maybe from the first tower we build with our wooden bricks) the process of destroying what we have created has always had its own appeal!  Though I only started taking photographs of The White Hart last Friday, it is amazing how quickly the building has been taken down.  It’s been down with an amazing amount of care and skill, and I can’t pretend to be anything other than impressed.  While I wish I had started taking images right at the beginning of the process, I do have other images taken just recently after it closed down, and these include images before it was vandalised, so I am pleased about that.  I plan to work on the images over a period of time and hopefully exhibit them at some point.

While I am focusing on my painting over the next year, it seems that the appeal of the camera for me is now as a means of recording the present, (hopefully for future generations to be able to access).  I have also enjoyed the visual combination which exists in a damaged building…the presence of structure alongside brokenness.  

I will be posting images of  The White Hart Pub in Chessington gradually, (over the next couple of months)  both on a dedicated page on my website and also on my Flickr stream.


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