|Las in the Bird's Nest by Ben Graville|
Residents and friends were shocked by the news, as although his health was deteriorating, many had seen him in the preceding days looking well enough. Many may have been unaware that some neighbours had been trying to get him to eat properly (supplementing the care he was receiving from social services), whilst the Bird's Nest had offered him only tea the previous night, concerned that his love for rum wasn't helping.
Las was a pain in the neck for Lewisham Homes and social services – he was offered a flat in sheltered housing but could not bear to leave Crossfields. Occupying a three bedroom flat on his own, he was targeted long before the Bedroom Tax, and when threatened with eviction, was helped to stay on in the flat by other residents and friends. A wanderer at heart, he could often be heard playing his flute outdoors on the estate at the oddest of hours – as captured by photographer Michael Tudor's wonderful portrait below.
|Las, playing flute outdoors, by Michael Tudor|
At the time of writing, we don't know what plans Las's family have, but a tribute evening is already being planned in the Bird's Nest. Crossfields residents are thinking about planting a tree in memory – or perhaps planting out the tall exotic potted plants that have long stood outside his home (and before Lewisham Homes throw them in a skip).
Goodbye, dear Lascelles, you cantankerous, questioning, challenging, talented, spirited, universal-minded, system-defying man. We were never sure how old you were. A legend! Your spirit lives on...
|In the middle – Las in Battersea Park with The Wailers|
Thanks to Deptford music chronicler, producer and promoter (and ex-Crossfields resident) Colin Bodiam for the Battersea pics – and for the beautiful photos by Ben Graville and Michael Tudor.
Update 22 April: Still hoping to hear from the family about any 'arrangements'. We're also aware there's a gap here in the pics between the 70s and now so anyone who can fill in the time please get in touch! x
Update 15 May: Please see this newer post for funeral and celebration details.