Thurland Road

Yesterday & Today
How we lived then & How we live now
bermondseyboy
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St. James's church

Postby bermondseyboy » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:06 pm

Posted by bermondseygal

B0098-OPB-P1 St James Slide.jpg
St James Slide


My apologies if this pic has been posted before!

It's of the opening of the Joy Slide in St. James's churchyard in 1921.
The man in the photo is Arthur Carr, Chairman of Peek Frean, who donated the slide to the children of Bermondsey.
Looks like the mats the children are sitting on are the same mats I sat on as a child in the 1960's!

bermondseyboy
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Re: St. James's church

Postby bermondseyboy » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:07 pm

Posted by ianmartin

Wow

Don't apologise to me gal, I've not seen this one before! The 60s was my time too, maybe we 'slid' at the same time!?!? I was only ever a visitor though, my Nan lived in Giles House, just along the road, I was christened at St James's and my parents got married there too. I live in Sussex now but funnily enough I spent most of last Thursday in Bermondsey wandering round all my old places, taking lots of pics, spent a fair bit of time at the church too, chatting to the volunteers etc, it's really disappointing the slide is no longer there..........I could have had another go!! Happy days!

Thanks for that!!

Be lucky!

Ian

bermondseyboy
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Re: St. James's church

Postby bermondseyboy » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:08 pm

Posted by bermondseygal

Hi Ian!

I lived in the prefabs in Frean Street.
Yes...maybe we played on the slide at the same time!
Glad to hear you went to Bermondsey last Thursday. I bet there were quite a few changes!

All the best!

Lesley :-)

bermondseyboy
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Re: St. James's church

Postby bermondseyboy » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:09 pm

Posted by ianmartin

Hi Lesley!

Must have walked past your place loads of times!

Maybe? We'll never know!

Yes, I'm glad I went....many changes......plan a few more visits now too.

All the best to you too!

Ian ;-)

bermondseyboy
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Re: St. James's church

Postby bermondseyboy » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:10 pm

Posted by dibley47

I wonder if Bermondsey could obtain lottery money to rebuild this wonderfully nostalgic and architecturally beautiful slide?

bermondseyboy
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Re: St. James's church

Postby bermondseyboy » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:21 pm

bermondseyboy wrote:Posted by dibley47

I wonder if Bermondsey could obtain lottery money to rebuild this wonderfully nostalgic and architecturally beautiful slide?


Posted by ianmartin

Hi Maureen
Wouldn't it be fantastic!?! My thoughts exactly, I like your choice of words in describing the slide, it was, after all, unique?

In today's context, it's fate is an absolute crime! The thing is though, nobody seems to be absolutely sure as to what did happen to it?

The general consensus on here is that it was dismantled during the 70s due to vandalism etc, in fact during the latter 60s the whole Church was a bit of a state, apparently it was under threat of demolition.

Anyway, having recently re-visited Bermondsey, a few times now, and St James's Church in particular, what struck me was how good the Church, and the yard, are now looking....minus of course though, The Slide!! If that were there now it would be complete! So I decided to see if I could find out, first I sent an email to the current vicar of St. James's:-

Dear Sir

I am contacting you to find out if you, or any of your colleagues, can furnish me with any exact information as to what finally happened to the old slide in St James's Churchyard.
I am a member of a forum called Bermondseyboy.net, you may have heard, or even be a member yourself? If not, it is made up mainly, of more 'senior', ex-residents of Bermondsey, and the Southwark area.
As you will appreciate, there is a huge sharing of anecdotes and photos on this site, I doubt there is an area in the whole capital that has undergone more changes in the last 60 years, but nobody seems to know what the final sad outcome of the slide was.
The conscencus is that it fell into disrepair, the council weren't that interested, and it was demolished sometime during the 70s (most of the contributors, despite being born and raised in Bermondsey, had moved away by then) I actually have a photo (only discovered yesterday) that I am reliably informed was taken between November 1985 and July 1986 clearly still shows the slide in the churchyard grounds (whether or not it was still in use is unknown), I am also researching the source of that photo for more information.
My interest is quite simply, historical fact, added to the facts that my maternal ancestors all lived in the area, my parents were married in St James's Church, I was christened there and played on the slide many times as a child when I was visiting my grandparents.
One source I read thought perhaps the slide was dismantled and stored away somewhere? It would be nice to think if it were that with lottery funding, or some rich benefactor (they now appear to be in more abundance in Bermondsey now!) it could possibly even restored to it's former glory........if it were, I could certainly guarantee a queue of geriatrics all turning up for a go (I include myself in that of course!!).
I visited the church a couple of weeks ago for the first time in years, it looked splendid, inside and out, well done to you all for its upkeep.........I just miss the slide!!
I really hope to hear back from you with some news or information!!

Thank you for taking the time to read this
Yours


And then this was his reply:-

Dear Ian

Thanks for your enquiry.
Yes! The ‘Old Slide’ is very important in Bermondsey’s History and there are many ideas about its fate. You mention 2 of them

1. It had to be taken down as it was either vandalised or the wood rotted.
2. It was taken down as many slides were in the early 1980’s because they did not conform to modern safety standards
3. The Council dismantled it and it is in storage somewhere. Southwark Council Parks dept. have searched but it has never been found.

Perhaps it is like the quest for the Holy Grail a mystery without a solution but keep searching, who knows?
Best Wishes to the Bermondsey Boys. If you want a place for a reunion let us know and we will help if we can.

Kind Regards
Stewart (Vicar)

bermondseyboy
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St. James's church

Postby bermondseyboy » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:39 pm

Posted by ianmartin

32398328471_63c693c344_z (1).jpg


I have since emailed the Parks Department at Southwark Borough Council, as yet with no response, I have been told to wait until next week before chasing them further, I suppose it was always likely to be neglect or Health & Safety that caused its' demise, but it would be great to think it is stored away somewhere (with Lord Lucan & Shergar)..........or, maybe we could get a new one built?

Anyway, watch this space!!

The photo I mentioned will look a bit strange, but will form part of another post I am working on, the 'prop' in the middle is part of a film set, all will be revealed later!

but as you can see behind, the old slide, I was given this photo back in about 1989 by somebody who worked on the film set, the shooting of this has been narrowed down to between, Nov 85 and July 86, so it was still there then!

What is sad, is if you zoom in, you see graffiti on the grave stones and the slide, signs of the times I suppose!! Sad though.

All the best

Ian

bermondseyboy
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Re: St. James's church

Postby bermondseyboy » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:41 pm

Posted by bermondseygal

Hi Ian!

I just sent you a private message!

You got around to posting the pic of the Joy slide then!
It looks great on the forum!

Lesley ;-)

bermondseyboy
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Re: St. James's church

Postby bermondseyboy » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:43 pm

Posted by dibley47

Hello ianmartin,

This is a marvellous gesture on your part and I hope it reaches some recognition or fruition. After all, Bermondsey has been heavily subjected to progression and modernisation, so how about a bit of preservation for a change? I'm intrigued about the 'storage' story and have started my mind to thinking about where that might have been. I know that for many many years, Bermondsey was 'looked after' by a succession of labour leaders, was that the case then? would it be possible that indeed ANY council official might still be around today that was involved in the culmination of this project and might know what happened to the slide. After all, if it was so decrepid why save it? I shall watch this space with keen interest and if I can do anything to help, please let me know.

Kind regards,

Maureen

bermondseyboy
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Re: St. James's church

Postby bermondseyboy » Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:00 pm

Great job Ian,
You deserve a pat on the back and i hope you get a result.
I too will keep an eye out for the outcome.
Well done mate.

Just a little reminder



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