Thamesmead regeneration project

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Thamesmead regeneration project

Postby Don » Tue May 05, 2009 2:28 am

http://www.flickr.com/photos/joseph_beu ... ts/982683/

Thamesmead is somewhere I've lived, and somewhere I never fancied going back to :?
My last memories were grey, and dull, and, well, of things I'd rather not share.
My first memories were of a new and vibrant housing estate, and if memory serves me right, the expectations were wrong.
For locals, Thamesmead (stage one for those that remember) was not a nice place, interesting at first, but you didn't want to be there, not if you could help it.
One thing that brightened it up in the 1970's was the regular change or murals on the otherwise grey and dreary walls of the lego-like concrete panel buildings, I was too young to remember the politics, or the original and rather great artist that splashed the colour around such a grey place, but around the late '70's to early '80's the art stopped, it was no longer art, but graffitti :|
I can't explain the atmosphere, the lakes were nice to walk around, the style always managed to start conversation, but homely? No.
Clockwork Orange brought Thamesmead back to fame after the '60's hype; http://www.movie-locations.com/movies/c/clockwork.html


In my early adult life as a young Mother, I lived there, only for a short time, but again I found myself walking around the lakes and gazing up at the grey towers. The contrast between the wildlife and the sterile grey concrete was in it's own way fascinating I suppose. :?
The smell :( oh my! how it would stink at times!The waterways were bad!
.........................................

I bounced around the London/Bexley borders for a few years, then moved away from the area.
I remember my days as a cab driver giggling as I drove my customers to "New builds in Thamesmead Town" Laughing at the thought they'd spent so much to actually choose to live there, and always wondering if I should tell them no-one I knew ever managed to buy their way back out :?

Just recently, almost 2 decades since I walked away from (the well known on CB radio "concrete jungle" :lol:) I find myself living on the outskirts, walking my teenagers around the same lakes I walked around with my Grandparents all those years ago.

Some places, little corners, and back stairways to the raised footpaths, the old atmosphere remains, but keep walking and you'll see a united community, a reasonable shopping centre and some pretty impressive new builds :D

Thamesmead has grown! :shock: it's still growing, and the infamous Tavy bridge is currently being revamped, curiosity will keep me going back to see what happens next.

There are some lovely little houses slowly spreading out, and I now find Thamesmead on "prime locations" :shock:

I often wonder why I keep bouncing back here, it's never really through choice, but here I am again, on the edge of the place I said I'd never live, looking through a new generations eyes and seeing potential.

It's not beautiful, but if you love London, it's within easy reach of everything.
Is Thamesmead growing into what it should've been way back in the 1960's?
I don't think so, they've forgotten the whole "flood protection" thing as far as I can see :lol:

But it has grown up, it's still growing..... I shall watch with interest. ;)

Do you know Thamesmead? If so, what are your views on the regeneration project?
http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/commu ... amid_club/
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Don
 
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