This is not an anchor! It’s a representation of an anchor and a tribute to the people of Deptford and their resistance against the notion that public realm can be designed without consulting the people that public realm is supposed to represent.
It was made in response to Deptford Anchor and inspired by Deptford’s maritime past.
Deptford Anchor became more than just a gift from Chatham dockyard to the people of Deptford. It became a symbol, an emblem for the pride that local people felt about their area.
Deptford Anchor held pride of place in Deptford High Street for 25 years and ‘for a while bore the legend ‘I luv u anker’, spelled out in stickers’ (Waywell, 2018).
But, in 2013 the anchor was removed by the local authority as part of a regeneration project due to ‘anti-social’ drinking around it. The anchor was missing for five years, sparking a local campaign called ‘Bring us Back Our Bloomin’ Anchor’ by the resident group Deptford is Forever and a petition for its return gathered over 4,000 signatures.
It took 5 years of campaigning for the anchor to be reinstated. In 2018, with much fanfare the anchor regained its rightful place back on Deptford High Street. Locals welcomed its return with a procession, performance art and huge cheers from crowds who welcomed back their symbol. Deptford had its anchor back and locals rejoiced.
I guess I’m saying ‘I luv u anker’!