One day I was driving past Anglia Square and found myself singing a beautiful old folk tune, but with new words. I stopped the car and wrote it down at once. It was the essence of what became the Anglia Square Lament. Since becoming involved in the project, I’d joined the research group and was hoping to do some song-writing for the production – but that day, the inspiration came to me almost complete.
Both as an outreach practice nurse working with marginalised people, including asylum seekers and refugees, and as lay minister/community chaplain attached to St Augustine’s church in whose parish Anglia Square is located, I am acutely aware of the people for whom Anglia Square is a vital community hub. Like many of the people interviewed during the research for this project, I am concerned about the future: if and when the area is developed, how accessible will it be to everyone who currently uses it? Will gentrification inevitably push people out?
Having seen a previous Common Lot production, I was keen to join the choir for Anglia Square a Love Story and went along to the song-writing workshops. I hoped that my ‘lament’ might be suitable for the finale, but wasn’t confident enough to suggest it. To my delight, when I shared the song at a research meeting, many others agreed. All that remained was to work with Charlie and Mags to polish the words and give it an original tune.
This song is the result of our collaboration.
By Carrie Sant