PortCities London

Port pastimes



Barbara McKenzie in Greenwich Park
View full size imageBarbara McKenzie in Greenwich Park.

Local parks were considered safe places for unaccompanied children. A park keeper was employed to ensure that the area was clean and secure day and night.

In 1864 the Metropolitan Board of Works bought 64 acres in Rotherhithe to create Southwark Park for the growing dockland population of Bermondsey.

Kitty remembers days at the park:

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We were always going to the park. You'd go all day… The dog used to follow us as well, and we'd play out all day… take a bit of bread and jam and you'd have a little
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picnic… and nobody would touch you. You were never frightened.


Duke of Edinburgh participants play football in Greenwich park
View full size imageDuke of Edinburgh participants play football in Greenwich Park.

London's 'lungs' remain a highlight for many residents seeking refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city. The parks are still maintained by keepers and retain the old family favourites such as lakes for watching the swans and playing with model boats.

Parks are constantly being transformed as they respond to the needs of the changing local community, with adventure playgrounds, tennis courts and even nature reserves close to the river.

Kevin regularly visits Greenwich Park:

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Greenwich Park's nice 'cause it's got lots of space to do different things… you've got one person playing tennis, another playing football, volleyball… different kinds of
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activities going on… and just sort of near it they have museums…


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