Do you have photos of the Charlton Park prefabs?

54/366 Palaces for the people?

An interesting museum has opened in Catford – the Prefab Museum, which is open until May on the Excalibur Estate and recreates the atmosphere of these temporary homes erected in the 1940s. See the Prefabs – Palaces For The People website for more.

But while the Catford prefabs survived for decades, those in Charlton are long gone. Carol Kenna of the Charlton Parks Reminiscence Project has a question:

“The CPRP project was told about the prefabs that were along Canberra Road backing into Charlton Park this was up to the end of the 1950’s. During the project we could never trace any photos of this. I have now been contacted by a gentleman who lived in one of the prefabs asking if we had any photographs.

“Could you ask your other readers if they have any, whether they would accept them – if they do – being passed on and also added to the Parks website.”

If you have any photos, drop Carol a line via the project’s website.

(Photo of Catford’s Excalibur Estate courtesy of Clare Griffiths on Flickr.)

Get to know Charlton’s people and parks

Maryon Park

A note from Carol Kenna at the Charlton Parks Reminiscence Project:

After two years in the making The Charlton Parks Reminiscence Project is now
complete and can be visited online at There you will
find stories and photographs looking at the history of the parks and their importance
to local people over the past hundred years.

You can listen to scores of interviews, with people talking about everything from wartime jazz at Maryon Park bandstand to looking after the deer and other animals in Maryon Wilson Park. There are memories of swimming at Hornfair lido to clambering around Gilbert’s Pit plus many more stories featuring Hornfair, Charlton, Maryon Wilson, and Maryon Parks, Gilberts Pit and Barrier Gardens parks, all featured on the website.

24 volunteers including adults, as well as pupils from Years 9,10 and 11 at John Roan School were trained in audio recording and interview techniques and over 60 interviews conducted. Extracts from those interviews are included on the website while full versions are available to listen to at the Greenwich Heritage Centre in the Royal Arsenal. The website, designed and edited by Stuart Evans, Rib Davis and Carol Kenna, is now also archived with the UK web archive at the British Library.

To accompany the website, a CPRP booklet has been produced including extracts from each person contributing to the project alongside wonderful photographs of the parks.

The book will be available FREE from borough libraries, Greenwich Heritage Centre
and Charlton House from late January 2013.

New contributions – if you weren’t able to take part in the project it still isn’t too late to add to the website: There is a special ‘Contributors” button to enable people to upload new stories and photographs, and we welcome suggestions for items or issues which may have been missed. We aim to update the website with many more reminiscences and pictures over the next five years.

The project has been organised by the Charlton Parks Reminiscence Project Steering Group – Greenwich Mural Workshop, The Charlton Society, Friends of Charlton House, Friends of Charlton Park & Friends of Maryon & Maryon Wilson Parks.

The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and The Viscount Gough, and is partnered by Greenwich Council parks department, Firepower and Greenwich Heritage Centre.

It’s an incredible piece of work – congratulations to Carol and all involved. Don’t forget, you can download the booklet here.

Also, Tim Anderson from the Friends of Maryon and Maryon Wilson Parks will be talking to the Charlton Society at Charlton House tomorrow (Sat 19 Jan, 2.30pm, all welcome.) (Cancelled due to the snow)

Finally, it’s the Charlton Pub Quiz tomorrow – come along!