Greenwich in 1986

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.

So thanks Mark! :).

………

You there, climb and take photos for me

Whilst walking around Greenwich on Wednesday I made my boyfriend climb things and take photos. My excuse for not doing the climbing was that I was wearing flip flops and because it was my birthday.

Men have no chance.

The photo above is of the railway line between Greenwich and Maze Hill just before the train disappears into the tunnel that runs under the park. If you travel on this line you will know that the train driver often toots his horn as he enters the tunnel. Very loud but always amusing. Or is there a technical reason for this? Answers on a postcard please.

The other photo he took was of the Dwarf Orchard in Greenwich Park, currently closed as it is still being replanted (I think). Apart from two posts by our local ghost (here and here) and a bit of PR from 2009 I know very little about this bit of land at the bottom of the park. It does not fill me with much joy at the moment though! 🙁

Hopefully a few local bloggers can discuss/whinge about it and do some good or perhaps we could be a bit more practical and write to the local councillors responsible for this area. I would but I live in the Peninsula Ward, not the West Greenwich ward. What if my email is ignored?! What to do, what to do?!

Anyway, hope you like the two photos and that you enjoyed Eurovision and Blue’s respectable performance as much as I did. Go Moldova!

Friday 19th August Update: Thank you to Greenwich Councillor Mary Mills for this tweet back in July. After reading Mary’s blog about the Dwarf Orchard I emailed her asking for a copy of the report which she duly emailed me the next day. I decided to forward this to our Phantom as the Dwarf Orchard seems to be a topic of interest as shown in the links above. After getting permission from the various bodies involved in the report our ghost has now published the article, see here for more details and the report in PDF format.

Wednesday 24th August Update: A couple of more Dwarf Orchard photos from Monday




………

Tall, green and leafy man spotted in Greenwich

Damnit. 853 beat me to it. However, I can add something different as I took a video! Hooray!

A big thank you to Ian Visits for tweeting about this May Day parade or I would have never seen this lovely event.


Outside the Plume of Feathers on Park Vista


The guy with the accordion in this photo gets the same train to work as me and sits in the same carriage as me every day. I now see him in a completely new light and am deciding whether to say hello tomorrow morning or not! He normally looks quite grumpy, but not yesterday!


Entering Greenwich Park


Going past the Queen’s House

Now the video! Hurrah!

As mentioned by Darryl, Deptford Fowler’s Troop were responsible for the Jack and for the procession.

Roll on next year! 🙂

………

Greenwich is a wonderful place to live

I was born in Catford but moved away when I was five due my Dad’s work taking us out of London. Growing up in Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Leeds for University was alright but I was so excited in 2007 to come back to London. Most of my family are Londoners so moving back was good for so many reasons.

I went back to the borough of my birth and spent three years living just off Lewisham High Street. Transport links were excellent which is very important to a geek like me, and the rent in the area was/is relatively low for a newcomer to expensive London. In 2010 my boyfriend and I had decided to move in together and we wanted to look for somewhere different to live. We both love the river and so began our search in the Tower Hill/Wapping area, but the rent was too high in the end for our budget. Then my boyfriend suggested Greenwich as an alternative and I got very excited.

I love Greenwich, always have, but thought it would be far too expensive for us so I didn’t even consider it. My parents used to take me and my brother to the park when I was tiny and I have a home video my Dad took of the family on a trip to the park from 1986. I have no real memory of these trips but I am filled with nostalgia every time I watch my brother on the swings of the children’s play area that still sits five minutes walk from my house. :-).

Back to the future…

We found a place in the Maze Hill part of Greenwich that was within our budget and in a perfect location near the train station. I was a bit suspicious of the rent level as it seemed too perfect to have found the right kind of flat so soon for the right price. We went to view it of course and saw why the flat was cheaper than most: old-fashioned (but scrupulously clean) carpets and textured wallpapered walls. The flat was also cheaper than others in the area because it didn’t include white goods or furniture. We saw this as a plus however because we were excited about putting our home together and going to IKEA to buy stuff! After umming and erring over it for a couple of weeks we viewed the flat a second time at the beginning of June and decided to take the plunge. We were so pleased – our first home together!

We have been in the flat for nine months now and I don’t think we could be happier. We have our own furniture, a decently sized home and enough space for the two of us (until we get the cat). We are round the corner from one of the most beautiful parks in London, fifteen minutes from town, and the Thames is a short walk away.

I also really enjoy living in East Greenwich as it is fairly residential and doesn’t have loads of tourists like the town center does. The local architecture is Victorian and gorgeous and there is a nice mix of families, old folk and young professionals (horrid phrase) on our street. You can also see Canary Wharf out of our living room window, awesome.

My ten top tips for Greenwich are:

  • The Trafalgar Tavern for a nice pint and wonderful views outside and in.
  • Efes Meze for wonderful local Turkish food.
  • Go to Greenwich Park for the view (I could write a 10,000 word blog about the park).
  • Greenwich foot tunnel for exercise, Victorian engineering and lovely views from Island Gardens.
  • 129 bus route, a local route for local people.
  • The O2 for Cineworld (and the slutty teenagers that dominate the area).
  • Walking through the Old Royal Naval College, any time of year, day or night – beautiful.
  • The DLR because trains that run without drivers are totally cool at any age.
  • Mudchute Farm for tranquillity and peace and stunning views of the Wharf (technically in Tower Hamlets).
  • Greenwich Market for lovely stalls and slightly over-priced hot food for the tourists (I would go before 2013 and the new hotel).

I love Greenwich!