North and South Millfields run either side of Lea Bridge Road and both have the River Lea running along their bottom edge. It was once Lammas land and the mills from where these parks get their names were corn mills dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. Like the other Hackney commons they are ringed with plane trees, their solid branches hung with delicate and frivolous pompoms.

A felled tree in South Millfields shows the passing of time in the accumulations of delicate rings in its trunk. It occurs to me that this visual expression of the passing of time has a similarity to the marking of time expressed by a sound wave. And the past is embedded in the very fabric of the tree.

Down in the far corner of South Millfields where it meets the Lea the vegetation is wilder and less managed. Half hidden in the bramble, nettles and cow parsley and semi submerged by the tarmac path is a metal London County marker marking a previous boundary of London, connections to the past appear like hidden treasure.


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