Until 1989 my family and I lived in Catford and the nearest big parks were Greenwich Park and Crystal Palace Park. As we would go to both parks, both have been documented in the home video my Dad shot over two weekends in 1986 (the Greenwich video and blog can be found here).
This slice of video features the park zoo, the cafe and various shots of my brother and his cousin Patrick running about. 🙂
What direction are we coming from? Somewhere near the railway viaduct that runs into Crystal Park station?
Back in the dark days of the 1980s home videos were a bit of a rarity. Thankfully for us Ruffles we have some footage from 1986 showing my Mum and Dad, my brother and I and some of the extended family.
I asked my Dad to tell me how he came to film us and this is what he said:
“Do you remember Keith and Dawn Morley? They lived in Sandhurst Road, which is parallel to Glenfarg Road where we lived. In 1986 they fostered a young lad called Mark (aged about 16 or 17) whose mother had died unexpectedly.
Well, Mark rashly bought a video camera from Dixons on credit, which he could not really afford. So I took the opportunity to ‘rent’ it from him for a few weeks, which resulted in me recording various family activities as can be seen on the video.
Unfortunately, I did not keep the mini-VHS master tape, but just copied it to a Phillips V2000 tape.
This was the type of video recorder we had at the time, but there was VHS, Betamax and V2000 systems for domestic video recorders, although subsequently VHS won the market against Betamax and V2000, even though it was technically an inferior technology.”
Domestic video recorders aside, one of the best things about the two hour video is that some of it features a trip to Greenwich Park. I live in spitting distance of the park now and it is pretty amazing to see what has and hasn’t changed in the last 24 years.
Park Vista in the background
The toilets are still there!
The gap in the buildings is the Maze Hill and Park Vista junction
My brother splashing in the empty boating lake puddles
Pretty sure that exit hasn’t changed a bit either!
We then walked down to the Cutty Sark, and you can see the tea clipper in its dry dock. You can also see the horrible concrete surrounds of Cutty Sark Gardens. Some cynical grumpy folks might say it doesn’t look very different now…
You can read more about the Cutty Sark here and here. 😉
Looking towards Deptford, I think that industrial building in the left background isn’t there anymore. I wonder if Greenwich Industrial History might know more?
The foot tunnel entrance is obscured by a lovely band of concrete.
And here is the video, I am the one with the pigtails, my mum is wearing the cream coat, my Dad is unseen as in all our family photos, and I have no idea who the other people are! 🙂
I love this slice of 1986 and feel quite lucky to have footage of my brother and I as children. Also, bearing in mind my parent’s eventual separation and my Mum’s death five years later, I feel really blessed to have this wonderful footage of us together as a family.