Among My Souvenirs

In the virtual mail this morning I learned a little more about Greenwich Mural Workshop’s latest project – not made from paint or mosaic this time, but of memories. The Charlton Parks Reminiscence Project has been going for some months now, and since it’s about half-way through, they’re holding a special open day to share what they’ve found out so far.

They’re especially keen to talk with people who have lived in the area for many years and they’ve already unearthed some great stories, maps, history – and ‘new’ old photos of the area, including the opening of Maryon Park in 1909. This is clearly not it (you’ll have to go to the open day to see that) but who can resist country dancing?

There’s still lots of time to get involved, whether you’re interested in training as a volunteer archivist/interviewer/recorder/editor, helping to create an interactive website or just telling people about some of the things that happened in Charlton to you. Perhaps you’re one of the kiddies in this picture of the doughty Mrs Etherington, her tubby chum and the Exmoor ponies…

…or you remember a time when Charlton Lido was actually open.

Whichever, the open day looks like a fascinating experience. It’s on Saturday, 1st October, in the old library at Charlton House itself, between 1-4pm.

While you’re there, make sure you pick up a copy of what I received in the real post this morning, sent by Steve (thanks, Steve – and a doff of the tricorn to the Phantom Webmaster for forwarding it…), a handy little colour booklet, The Gardens at Charlton House which, had I had a copy back in July, I wouldn’t have publicly made an ass of myself by not knowing that the strange Mystery Obelisk in Charlton House’s back yard is actually a real ancient Roman stone, the sole survivor of a whole garden full of ornaments, presumably also looted from Sir Thomas Maryon Wilson’s Grand Tour, and somewhat arcanely decorated with a lizard, scorpion, two snakes, a crab and an urn. D’oh… Why didn’t I get it? The laurel tree next to it should have a clue.

Ah, well. I no longer need to be a Charlton ignoramus. I can go to the Charlton Parks Reminiscence Project’s Open Day, pore over maps, listen to interviews and see newly-discovered photos – ¬†and pick up a spare copy of The Gardens at Charlton House. Both, I understand are free.

the attachments to this post:

Gardens at Charlton House low
Gardens at Charlton House low

Hornfair Lido 1950's
Hornfair Lido 1950′s

Mrs Etherington and Exmoor Ponies, Maryon-Wilson Park
Mrs Etherington and Exmoor Ponies, Maryon-Wilson Park

Country Dancing in Maryon Park
Country Dancing in Maryon Park

charlton bomb damage
charlton bomb damage

Charlton House 1922
Charlton House 1922

5 Comments to “Among My Souvenirs”

  1. Chris says:

    Many thanks for this, the open day had passed me by. I’m certainly going to try and go.

    Can I ask where you got the Charlton bomb damage map from? I’m very interested as the road I live in seems to have got quite a pasting!

  2. Nick Martin says:

    My mum used to work in the cafe in the Charlton Lido in the 1950′s, and I sometimes used to help her when they were busy. I learned how to make TWO 6 penny ice cream cones from one 6 penny block of ice cream. When they weren’t busy, I had the run of both the lido and the park. Happy days !

  3. maggie says:

    Aaah, the lido. Notice how few people are in the water in that picture. However hot the day the water was always too cold.

  4. Carol says:

    Nick Martin, would you and your Mum like to give an interview to record a special story, more about making the 6p ice-cream block go far would be really great.

    You can contact me here or contact me at

    thanks for the comment

  5. Carol says:

    don’t know if anyone has already answered your request regarding the bomb damage map, but they have these maps at Greenwich Heritage Centre.


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