SOUTHWARK PARK.

Yesterday & Today
How we lived then & How we live now
kiwi
Posts: 1149
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:53 am

SOUTHWARK PARK.

Postby kiwi » Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:02 pm

What are your memories of Southwark Park?
This is a Topic taken from the old BERMONDSEYBOY site, with comments and pictures I think are just too good to lose, so just in case the old site disappears overnight I’ve transferred most of it over.

I can remember that in about 1943 near the end of the 2nd World War, when, as children a group of boys and girls would go to the park for a picnic. At this time the Park was run by the LCC (London County Council) and the Park Keepers, in their brown uniforms and hats would keep tight control of what went on in the park - no nonsense in those days!
Everyone was kept off the fenced flower area and the children - except when accompanied by adults - were banned from the Rose Garden.
I remember the large Boating Pool to the rear of the Rose Garden, with rowing boats and a motor boat that had in the past been used to give people rides round the lake. This was later filled in because it leaked, and the whole area was made into a Flower Garden. To the rear of the Lake, stood the Lido, unused in those days of course.
The Army still occupied the far end of the Park, where the Sports Complex now stands, and anti-aircraft (ack-ack guns for the defence of Surrey Docks) stood in the distance and a fence kept the public from this area.
In the shadows of the old St Olive’s Hospital was a children's Swing Park, with the unusual boat-swings which held two children, each with a rope to pull to make the swing move, similar to those you would find in a fairground today.
The Sports Ground was to the left as you entered the Park (on the Southwark Park Road side of the Park) in a long gravelled area with a wire fence - this was for football and cricket.
A Bandstand stood in the centre of a green field near the Jamaica Road entrance and at the Gomm Road entrance was the Park Nursery where the plants were cultivated and grown before being planted out.
I can remember going to the Park on the Tram from Riley Road School to Southwark Park every Wednesday afternoon for Sports activities.
What are your memories?
Joe Foster. (FOSNEY)
TANK6.jpg



Hi Joe
Unfortunately I can't go back that far.
The earliest I can remember would have been in the early 60's about the time when that video was shot by Patrick Long (Southwark Park 1966) and most of that was kicking a football about or swimming and posing in the Lido, and that water was always freezing or is that just me?
I do remember the bandstand and now I have learnt something else, I never did realise they had those anti-aircraft guns there.
Was there ever one left there for display purposes? something in the back of my mind says there was some military artefact there. BERMONDSEYBOY

BERMONDSEYBOY Southwark Park Bandstand. Not my sort of music, but it was nice to listen to on a sunny day.
BAND.jpg

Just seen the picture of the bandstand in Southwark Park. You mentioned that it was not your sort of music Bermondsey boy but maybe because you are so much younger you will not know that on Saturday nights around about 1952/53 in the summer there were live bands and the dancing was free so many teenagers, I was one of them with my friend Pam, would go jiving and because we were taught ballroom dancing at our mixed school 'Bermondsey Central' we might even get asked to dance from one of them by the way do you know what year the photo of the bandstand was taken?
Millylinseyst

Hi Millylinseyst
Yes you are correct, a little younger, born 1949
The only music I heard was older band music.
The only bit of history of the Bandstand I could find is that it was at the Horticultural Society at South Kensington and moved to Southwark Park I think in 1884.
It also has a Sister in Peckham Rye Park.
Not sure about the date of photo.
The image of all the teenagers dancing to live bands makes me wish I was a little older, I feel that I’ve missed out of something special.
Bermondseyboy

jimmika
my girlfriend used to work in the warrior pub on the corner of Redriff an lower rd i think i'ts changed its name now anyway we used to cut across the park over the fence by the jolly chalkers to get to her house in tranton rd an one night as we walk by the lido there were a load of people swimming so we joined them skinny dipping anyone remember she was the only girl there it must stick in someones mind it was august 1970.

george61
Does anybody remember the entrances to the WWII bomb shelters by the Jamaica Road entrance to the park? There were three wedge shaped structures built of brick, about 8ft high. As a child I would run up them and slide down the incline. They are no longer there and I don't remember them being taken down. Does anybody know if the bomb shelters were filled in or are still there?

jimmika
i remember them shelters well done the same as you running me legs off i would think they are still there because one time we got into one an it was quite extensive also what about the big stage in front of them where the little band stand is now there was this big corragated iron stage where in the summer they used to put on variety shows.and the big film van that showed films out the back ring any bells with any one.
talking about southwark park, reminds me of the time i found a head or more correctly a skull they were filling in some ground near the pond an i found this head , run home to show me mum she screamed an told me to chuck it in the yard,then she gave me a newspaper to wrap it up in an told me to take it to the police station paradise st so when i get there the copper says wot ya got there sunny jim, im thinking how does he know my name so i say i've got an nead, he says a nead wots a nead so he opens the paper an says oh a head! then i get a ride in a black maria to show them were i found it an they picked up some more bones couple of weeks later its in the south london press it seems the earth they were filling in the hole with came from a graveyard and was about two hundred years old i've never seen the artical do'es anyone know if i can search the slp archive

teddyp
My Nan (Margaret Hickey nee Burnett 1917-1999) and Grandad (Mattthew Hickey 1907-1986 - known as Paddy for obvious reasons) used to live just off Southwark Park at Moreton House, Slippers Place, Southwark Park Road. They lived there for as long as I could recall. We used to go into Southwark Park as kids as it was literally on their back door.
My Grandad had a small electrical shop (I think it may have been called 'Hickey Electrical') which I believe was in Spa Road. My Nan worked for Southwark Council.
My Dad was Peter Hickey (1940-2007) he was a comedy script writer, working mainly in radio. My Uncle is Patrick Hickey (1943) he served in the Royal Navy and also worked at the DTI.

TEDDY.jpg


rstupple2
Hi Teddy your post brought back a lot of memories, I lived on the what they called the new Neckinger Est from 1952-1969, I knew your dad peter not very well as he was five years older than me, but used to go mates with your uncle in a large group all living on the neckinger Estate.
Remember your Grandad with his shop which was on the front of Neckinger Estate. I think for a while they lived in the flat attached to the Shop. Dont think anybody ever bought a TV from your grandad, because they were to expensive to buy, but everybody rented them from him, Our first television was rented from him for the coronation in 1953. Remember him coming to our flat to fix the TV when it went wrong. My parents were in Neckinger Estate until 2006.
Rick Stupple

bermondseywa
I remember swimming in the open air pool on hot sunny days, dodging floating crisp packets and dead bees. We used to go on to Rotherhithe baths (which seemed really new and posh and expensive compared to Grange baths) when outdoor pool got too chilly.
I also remember going to the Tufty club at the bandstand. Anyone else recall Tufty the road safety squirrel? I was a member of the Tufty club and got a little hankie with pictures of the characters on. Still had it in my 20's but got lost somewhere in a house move. Any other Southwark Park Tufty members out there. Would have been end of 60's early 70's.
Dawn
times were hard but "IT NEVER DID ME ANY HARM"

bermondseygal
I remember Tufty the squirrel!
I was a member of the Tufty Club in the 1960's and I too had a little hankie with the characters on it.
I Lost/mislaid my hankie long ago.
Lesley
You can take the girl out of Bermondsey but you can't take Bermondsey out of the girl!

kiwi
Posts: 1149
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:53 am

Re: SOUTHWARK PARK.

Postby kiwi » Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:37 pm

fosney
Pictures of Southwark Park in Days Gone by
Southwark Park Gates Lower Road
Southwark Park Gates Hawkstone Road
Southwark Park Lake
Jabez West Memorial
The Lake 1905.
SOUTH 1.jpg
SOUTH2.jpg
SOUTH3.jpg
SOUTH 4.jpg
SOUTH 5.jpg


freebird190
Me and my mates virtually lived in Southwark Park when we were kids and we used to go in the sweet shop next to the park and buy toffee lollies on a stick that looked like upside down cupcakes wrapped in corrugated foil. Also bright yellow pyramid shaped ice lollies, and of course Jubblies, which lasted for hours till all the orange was sucked out. They also sold single fags that we'd go and smoke in the park - if you bought the last two or three you'd get the box as well. We thought we were clever little devils in those days!
I remember the swing park, especially the 'umbrella' with the wooden seats, and the lido in the summer where my mate Gillian threw me in at the deep end, thinking it was a good laugh because I couldn't swim. I bet Southwark Park is totally different these days, but then us kids could roam about till the park closed and our parents never had to worry about us. Not like today when you can't let your kids out on their own.

popyog29
SOUTHWARK PARK-LAST VISIT WOULD HAVE BEEN MID-EIGHTIES TO SWING PARK WITH
THE LITTL'UN'S.EARLY MEMORIES WOULD BE THE BLOODY LONG WALK FROM WEBB ST
SCHOOL TO PLAY FOOTBALL AGAINST THE LOCAL SCHOOLS,AT BACON A COACH WAS
PROVIDED(POSH!).RECALL GETTING LOCKED IN A COUPLE OF TIMES AND CLIMBING THE GATES AT JAM RD TO GET OUT.VAGUELY RECALL BANDSTAND(I THINK!) CAN'T RECALL
BOATS ON POND-LAKE,DO REMEMBER THE OLD DRINKING FOUNTAIN WHERE ,IF YOU WERE LUCKY ON HOT DAY ,A COUPLE OF DROPLETS WOULD TRICKLE OUT!
HAVE READ ARTICLE ON POSSIBLE FOOTBALL STADIUM FOR MILLWALL/FISHER CLUBS,
COULD THIS HAPPEN?.

dan451
Yes i think barry from Albin Undertakers were negotiating with Southwark council but dont know how far it got
Danny Heard.

dan451
hi Joe you forgot to mention the Barrage Balloons.

Southwark Park was our meeting place and we used it a great deal and I hope it is as good today as I remember it. I used the park to just run round and meet up with friends, use the drinking fountain near the old church and none of us died of anything nasty, the swimming pool and the swing park and later on the adventure playground. None of us had a tennis racket, so ignored the courts, but did feed the ducks in the pond. There used to be a regular fair, nothing too big and when it was hot we'd take a picnic tea to the park when Dad got home from work, as we only had a tiny patio and the park was the nearest large open space.
Tollgatedebs

cobber
Walked through the park thousands of times as a kid but.... took the missus up from our home (Cornwall) in 1975 to show her my old haunts and drove through the park - went in the gate at Surrey Docks and just kept going - it was a lovely Sunday afternoon - did we get some funny looks. I got the feeling that you were supposed to drive ALL the way through!

ESTHER
Southwark park was our playground everything you could wish for, open air swimming
there was a tree there that we used to take the flower from and suck the stems
very sweet.at one time during the war we had dancing where the bandstand was
I have pictures of my daughter in the paddling pool which we often went to always plenty of
children playing around I think it was for the under-fives, there was also a green for the bowls club men often played there. lovely rose garden, boating lake and a separate area for the swings, sandpit umbrella, America. you could spend all day there with a picnic.

I was born in Kirby Estate in 1948 and as it backed on to Southwark Park, it was like having your own playground right on your doorstep.
Instead of using the park gates, I used to climb over the fence by the garages behind Millstream House, straight into what we used to call the Scouts field. This was because it was only supposed to be used by the scouts whose hall backed on to the park but they rarely used it. It was ideal for a coats-for- goalposts game of football because it had the shortest grass and a nice level suface.
You weren't allowed to play on it and the Parkies would sling you off if they saw you but I remember some great games on it. Just over the path from there were the asphalt football pitches with proper goalposts. I played my first game for my school (St Josephs Paradise St.) on it and scored the winning goal against Tower Bridge School.
Further along were two hard courts where I learned to play tennis. In the summer holidays, The council used to send a sports teacher on most afternoons who would supervise games of Cricket and Tennis using all the proper gear like cricket pads, stumps and a proper cricket ball as well as new tennis racquets and tennis balls. No health and safety worries in those days!
Also on every weekday evening, a man named Mr.Carne, also employed by the council, used to bring equipment to an marked-out area at the end of where the swings were and invited everybody to join in games of rounders. These were very well-attended and extremely well supervised and something I always looked forward to.
By the side of the bowling green (always well-manicured, and very little wanton vandalism in those days) was an 18-hole putting green. It used to cost 4d a round and whenever I had any money, I used to play on it. It must have kick-started my passion for golf which I still play today on slightly larger courses!
As I grew older, I spent more time on what was called the Oval. This was a big grassy area with marked-out football and cricket pitches. Again, football matches were organised and supervised after school and you could always get a game. There was a pavilion where teams could get changed and on Sunday afternoons, men used to play proper cricket matches. I managed to get a job running the big scoreboard and got 5 shillings per match. When my Dad found out he stopped giving me my pocket money because as he said 'You're earning wages now'.
One of the strangest sights to see in Southwark Park was on the south side of the Oval. There was an enclosed area surrounded by wire containing two asphalt football pitches. In the summer on certain nights of the week, a crowd of men came out of Surrey Docks and walking two abreast, made their way into the football area. They were surrounded by other men who seemed to be supervising them. Someone produced a football and blew a whistle and these guys all started charging around like madmen.
I asked an elder boy what was going on and he told me they were all sailors off the Russian timber ships that used to come into the docks on a regular basis to discharge their cargo.
He said that the people who were watching the game were commissars whose job it was to see that nobody 'did a runner' and tried to defect. He claimed that all the commissars carried guns with strict instructions to shoot anyone trying to escape. Whether this was true or not, I don't know but they certainly looked mean enough! Once the game was over, they were frogmarched straight back to their ship
So I hope you see that, for me, Southwark Park had everything a growing boy could want and these snapshots of my life in the late 50's illustrate a time when the world was, dare I say, a much safer and better place.
daddy kool

kiwi
Posts: 1149
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:53 am

Re: SOUTHWARK PARK.

Postby kiwi » Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:58 pm

Southwark Park was our meeting place and we used it a great deal and I hope it is as good today as I remember it. I used the park to just run round and meet up with friends, use the drinking fountain near the old church and none of us died of anything nasty, the swimming pool and the swing park and later on the adventure playground. None of us had a tennis racket, so ignored the courts, but did feed the ducks in the pond. There used to be a regular fair, nothing too big and when it was hot we'd take a picnic tea to the park when Dad got home from work, as we only had a tiny patio and the park was the nearest large open space.
Tollgatedebs

freddie
Children's sports in Southwark Park, May Day 1931. Probably in the part of the park behind the 'Scout House':
SOUTH 7.jpg
SOUTH10.jpg
The "parkie" on his bike by the gate with Southwark Park Road
SOUTH8.jpg
SOUTH9.jpg
Two pictures from March 1969:
1) Police Jaguar drives through the park towards Gomm Road
Freddie's four photo's

Me and my mates virtually lived in Southwark Park when we were kids and we used to go in the sweet shop next to the park and buy toffee lollies on a stick that looked like upside down cupcakes wrapped in corrugated foil. Also bright yellow pyramid shaped ice lollies, and of course Jubblies, which lasted for hours till all the orange was sucked out. They also sold single fags that we'd go and smoke in the park - if you bought the last two or three you'd get the box as well. We thought we were clever little devils in those days!
I remember the swing park, especially the 'umbrella' with the wooden seats, and the lido in the summer where my mate Gillian threw me in at the deep end, thinking it was a good laugh because I couldn't swim. I bet Southwark Park is totally different these days, but then us kids could roam about till the park closed and our parents never had to worry about us. Not like today when you can't let your kids out on their own.
freebird190

kathy
My mother lived near Southwark Park. The tintype photo below shows her and various family members, and I think was probably taken in Southwark Park, in the late 1920s. My mother is front right.

KATHY.jpg

kiwi
Posts: 1149
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:53 am

Re: SOUTHWARK PARK.

Postby kiwi » Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:13 am

SOUTHWARK PARK 1940S..jpg
SOUTHWARK PARK 1940s. Enjoying their day, little did they know what was to come?
Southwark Park Lake, 2015..jpg
Southwark Park Lake, 2015.

kiwi
Posts: 1149
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:53 am

Re: SOUTHWARK PARK.

Postby kiwi » Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:34 am

southwark park team,2015..jpg
Southwark Park team,2015.. can anyone recognise any of the team.
Southwark Park,Bermondsey Carnival, 2016..jpg
Southwark Park,Bermondsey Carnival, 2016.

fosney
Posts: 836
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:18 pm

Re: SOUTHWARK PARK.

Postby fosney » Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:25 pm

Extract from the Metropolitan Borough of Bermondsey - Official Guide 1937.

Southwark Park

This, the borough of Bermondsey's greatest asset in the way of open spaces, is so-called from having originally been within the Parliamentary area of Southwark. It covers an area of 63 acres. As in the case of Finsbury Park, which has nothing to do with Finsbury borough beyond hearing its name, Southwark Park belongs to the borough of Bermondsey, and there has been an agitation afoot to change its name to Bermondsey Park. The borough is justly proud of it, for in no part of London is there to be found any public open space more replete with facilities for almost every kind of sport and recreation. Originally market-garden land, a large portion of it being the property of Field-Marshal Sir William Gomm, it was acquired by the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1865 for £57,393, laid out at a cost of £53,000 and opened to the public in 1869. The lake was subsequently added at a cost of £2,000, but this has since been enlarged, and it is now available for boating (there are twenty boats, which are let at 8d. per hour, and a stretch of water, railed off with a concrete bottom, about fourteen inches in depth, is reserved for children's paddling. An open-air swimming bath, constructed as an unemployment relief work, was opened in 1923. It has since been fitted with a filtration plant. No charge is made except when mixed bathing is in force on two days a week. The cricket "Oval" has eight pitches for adults, and is much used at other times for organized games for children. There are two football grounds, one for men, the other for boys; a full-sized bowling-green, sixteen lawn-tennis courts and two hard courts. Hockey and basket-ball are provided for. On the east side of the Park is an open-air gymnasium for boys and girls. This is the largest in London. It is equipped with every form of modern apparatus and has an extensive sand-pit. Band performances take place in the park every Sunday evening during the band season, which usually lasts from about the middle of May to the first week in August. A further attraction is the Winter Garden, and here, in the autumn, is held a remarkably fine Chrsanthemum Show. It remains to be added that the Park boasts of an excellent refreshment pavilion, and its lawns, flower-beds and shrubberies are tended with scrupulous care, and present, more especially in the summer season, a delightful appearance. The times for opening and shutting the Park vary according to the season. The longest day is from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and the shortest from 7.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. The road across the park is kept open throughout the night.

Illustrations of Southwark Park Boating Lake
d0338cd13b0132a91895e28ea54bc7a43d41128f.jpg
ecd34d937b68ff599fe5c854e2899bd3f5356a7f.jpg

bermondseyboy
Site Admin
Posts: 219
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:37 pm

Re: SOUTHWARK PARK.

Postby bermondseyboy » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:22 pm

Rotherhithe Caraytids
A big thanks to Bermondseybeat (Phil) for sending them to me.
All credits go to GaryMagold (Friends of Southwark Park)
B0524Caryatides1.jpg
Caryatides Southwark Park 18-05-2011
B0525Caryatides2.jpg
Caryatides Southwark Park 18-05-2011

B0530RotherhtiheCaryatidesSouthwarkPark18052011-4.jpg
Caryatides Southwark Park 18-05-2011
B0531RotherhtiheCaryatidesSouthwarkPark18052011-5.jpg
Caryatides Southwark Park 18-05-2011

B0533RotherhtiheCaryatidesSouthwarkPark18052011-7.jpg
Caryatides Southwark Park 18-05-2011

B0526Caryatides-3.jpg
Caryatides Southwark Park 18-05-2011

kiwi
Posts: 1149
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:53 am

Re: SOUTHWARK PARK.

Postby kiwi » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:01 pm

:)
Southwark Park Bandstand 2016.jpg
Southwark Park Bandstand 2016. Beautiful who needs music??

kiwi
Posts: 1149
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:53 am

Re: SOUTHWARK PARK.

Postby kiwi » Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:43 am

An Old Photo of the Open-Air Lido in Southwark Park.jpg
An Old Photo of the Open-Air Lido in Southwark Park

kiwi
Posts: 1149
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:53 am

Re: SOUTHWARK PARK.

Postby kiwi » Wed May 03, 2017 4:22 am

SOUYHWARK PARK 1.jpg
1936
SOUTHWARK PARK 2.jpg


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