City and Suburban
By JOHN BETJEMAN
HE Nash Terraces in Regent's Park will I probably be destroyed in 1960 unless a use can be found for them. As usual it is a local paper, the Murylebone Mercury, which gives us timely warning of this disaster. National papers please copy. For convenience they are called the `Nash Terraces,' but Cornwall and Clarence and the surviving stucco villas in the park itself were by Decimus Burton. The grandest terraces of all
are one the east side of the park. Of Cumberland Terrace (1827) John Summerson says :
With its seven porticos, its courtyards and arches, it is the crowning glory, the back-cloth as it were to Act Ill, and easily the most breath- taking architectural panorama in London. If it is destroyed it will become a legend and in time to come architectural connoisseurs will say with awe, 'I remember Cumberland Terrace.'
Indeed the whole range of terraces around the park, their creamy stucco seen through the peel- ing trunks of plane trees, this inland Brighton along the ornamental waters and grassy stretches of the park, is the last relic of generous Georgian planning still left in its correct proportions in London. Other schemes have been interrupted by high or out-of-texture buildings. Only Cam- bridge Gate and the gap caused by bombs in Park Crescent (which even now is unrepaired) break the harmony.
The terraces are owned by the Commissioners of Crown Lands. Under the Labour Government the Ministry of Works moved into the terraces and occupied more than half the houses. This has temporarily saved many of them. But the remaining houses are expensive to repair and even those which the Ministry occupies and will
leave in 1960 are in poor condition. The LCC is in favour of retaining the terraces and so, we may hope, is the St. Marylebone Borough Council, who originally wanted multi-storey flats and hotels to be built on their sites. It is to be hoped that by 1960 the Government will put architec-
ture before cash and that they will be saved. And perhaps by that time the Minister who has or- dained the destruction of St. James's Theatre will be out of office. It is interesting to notice how the Labour Government showed more care for architecture and landscape than the present one, How TO BEHAVE-FOR PARENTS Many readers will in the last few weeks have been through prize day at their children's school. There are some pieces of advice which I would like to give first to mothers :
1. Do not try to look young, look dowdy but not poor.
3. Show no affection for your children, and on no account be seen kissing them.
3. Do not speak to other mothers you know. Their children may be unpopular in the school.
4. Do not talk to any masters or mistresses if you want to retain your child's confidence. On the other hand, to be on good terms with the headmaster or mistress is all right.
And here is my advice to fathers :
1. Dress smartly but unostentatiously so that you look like everybody else.
2. Do not wear any club tie.
3. Only two sorts of car are permitted. The very latest Rolls-Bentley which you can drive yourself. The alternative to this is an old valuable car with green leather seats and slightly worn chromium, but it must, of course, be driven by your own liveried chauffeur. '
And here are some general rules for both parents :
1. Good humour is very much to be depro- cated. Do not make jokes or laugh loudly.
2. Do not speak in the presence of any of the other children. You will commit some social blunder which will endanger your child's whole school career.
3. It is very bad to be seen eating in any of the cheaper hotels or restaurants. Choose the most expensive, however filthy the food or how- ever bad the service.
4. Do not drink champagne or eat anything showy like caviare.