The Drowning Place - Beckenham Place Park

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Rachael
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Location: Sydenham / Forest Hill Intersection

Re: The Drowning Place - Beckenham Place Park

Post by Rachael » 1 Aug 2019 18:16

No parking charges, no.

Tim Lund
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Re: The Drowning Place - Beckenham Place Park

Post by Tim Lund » 1 Aug 2019 19:42

Rachael wrote:
1 Aug 2019 18:16
No parking charges, no.
Four wheels good, two wheels better, no wheels even more insufferable :)

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John H
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Re: The Drowning Place - Beckenham Place Park

Post by John H » 2 Aug 2019 09:30

Tim Lund wrote:
1 Aug 2019 18:12
Rachael wrote:
1 Aug 2019 11:51
Just returned from the park. It was so busy we had to queue for the car park for ten minutes. There were no special events on. Just people using the park.
Are there car park charges? Nothing on the web site about it

https://lewisham.gov.uk/inmyarea/opensp ... acilities

Charging for parking would raise money which could support lower swimming charges, and would also help reduce this sort of congestion. It would also be consistent with any plausible policy to promote healthy lifestyles.
The Covenant on the land requires the park to be for the FREE use by the residents of the Urban District of Catford (and inheritors). Charging for parking is therefore out of the question.

RJM
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Re: The Drowning Place - Beckenham Place Park

Post by RJM » 2 Aug 2019 09:42

Whilst there may be a covenant specifying that the park is for the free use of residents, I don't think it's for residents of the Urban District Council of Catford. I can't find any evidence of that body (and historical evidence of such things is my day job, so if it existed, I'd be able to find where the records are), and what I can find about the park implies that it was purchased by the London County Council in 1927 so any UDC that existed in the area would have had nothing to do with a covenant on the land.

John H
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Re: The Drowning Place - Beckenham Place Park

Post by John H » 3 Aug 2019 06:22

There was indeed an urban district of Catford... and while London County Council may well have purchased the land from the Urban District the covenant would still apply. The records are held by Lewisham.

RJM
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Re: The Drowning Place - Beckenham Place Park

Post by RJM » 3 Aug 2019 09:53

John H wrote:
3 Aug 2019 06:22
There was indeed an urban district of Catford... and while London County Council may well have purchased the land from the Urban District the covenant would still apply. The records are held by Lewisham.
Not according to the National Archives, or according to the Lewisham Archives catalogue - I checked both of those before my last post and have just re-checked. To the best of my knowledge (which is based on having been a borough archivist in a different London borough), Urban District Councils only existed outside of London - Catford was within the area covered by the London County Council from 1889, so when civil parishes within the County of London were replaced by metropolitan borough councils in 1900 it fell under Lewisham Metropolitan Borough (1900-1965). What is now Bromley was outside London before 1965 so had UDCs.

I found the information about the LCC having bought the park in the history written by the Friends of Beckenham Place Park found here: http://www.beckenhamplaceparkfriends.or ... %20BPP.pdf That says it was purchased from the Cator family in 1929 - well after the time Catford became part of then Metropolitan Borough of Lewisham.

So as I say, there may well be a covenant on the land of some sort, but it has nothing to do with the Urban District of Catford.

John H
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Re: The Drowning Place - Beckenham Place Park

Post by John H » 4 Aug 2019 22:04

RJM wrote:
3 Aug 2019 09:53
John H wrote:
3 Aug 2019 06:22
There was indeed an urban district of Catford... and while London County Council may well have purchased the land from the Urban District the covenant would still apply. The records are held by Lewisham.
Not according to the National Archives, or according to the Lewisham Archives catalogue - I checked both of those before my last post and have just re-checked. To the best of my knowledge (which is based on having been a borough archivist in a different London borough), Urban District Councils only existed outside of London - Catford was within the area covered by the London County Council from 1889, so when civil parishes within the County of London were replaced by metropolitan borough councils in 1900 it fell under Lewisham Metropolitan Borough (1900-1965). What is now Bromley was outside London before 1965 so had UDCs.

I found the information about the LCC having bought the park in the history written by the Friends of Beckenham Place Park found here: http://www.beckenhamplaceparkfriends.or ... %20BPP.pdf That says it was purchased from the Cator family in 1929 - well after the time Catford became part of then Metropolitan Borough of Lewisham.

So as I say, there may well be a covenant on the land of some sort, but it has nothing to do with the Urban District of Catford.
Odd that since reference is made to the said UDC in the deeds of my house.

RJM
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Re: The Drowning Place - Beckenham Place Park

Post by RJM » 5 Aug 2019 08:23

That's strange, as I'd expect there to be records for it somewhere if it existed other than in a mention in deeds. Regardless, it clearly has nothing to do with Beckenham Place Park as the LCC bought it directly from the Cator family.

John H
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Re: The Drowning Place - Beckenham Place Park

Post by John H » 5 Aug 2019 10:06

RJM wrote:
5 Aug 2019 08:23
That's strange, as I'd expect there to be records for it somewhere if it existed other than in a mention in deeds. Regardless, it clearly has nothing to do with Beckenham Place Park as the LCC bought it directly from the Cator family.
It was given to the borough. The Cator family disposed of their interests in the 1850s.

RJM
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Re: The Drowning Place - Beckenham Place Park

Post by RJM » 5 Aug 2019 10:14

John H wrote:
5 Aug 2019 10:06
RJM wrote:
5 Aug 2019 08:23
That's strange, as I'd expect there to be records for it somewhere if it existed other than in a mention in deeds. Regardless, it clearly has nothing to do with Beckenham Place Park as the LCC bought it directly from the Cator family.
It was given to the borough. The Cator family disposed of their interests in the 1850s.
Can you supply a source for that please? The Friends of Beckenham Place Park history says it was bought from the Cator Estate in 1927 and boroughs didn't exist in the 1850s - it was all civil parishes and local boards of work at that point. It seems strange that the account by the Friends is so different.

John H
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Re: The Drowning Place - Beckenham Place Park

Post by John H » 5 Aug 2019 12:11

RJM wrote:
5 Aug 2019 10:14
John H wrote:
5 Aug 2019 10:06
RJM wrote:
5 Aug 2019 08:23
That's strange, as I'd expect there to be records for it somewhere if it existed other than in a mention in deeds. Regardless, it clearly has nothing to do with Beckenham Place Park as the LCC bought it directly from the Cator family.
It was given to the borough. The Cator family disposed of their interests in the 1850s.
Can you supply a source for that please? The Friends of Beckenham Place Park history says it was bought from the Cator Estate in 1927 and boroughs didn't exist in the 1850s - it was all civil parishes and local boards of work at that point. It seems strange that the account by the Friends is so different.
It is a long time since.... Boroughs existed from 1832-1846 by the way. (The Great Reform Act 1832)

John H
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Re: The Drowning Place - Beckenham Place Park

Post by John H » 5 Aug 2019 12:20

However... it may well be the covenant refers to the people of the district of Catford. It was an urban district by nature so whether or not it was formally governed as a UDC is somewhat irrelevant . Feel free to troll on.

The Beckenham Place Friends history does not refer to LCC purchasing the Park. It states simply they "acquired it from the Cator ESTATE"... not the family. The information I had access to many years ago indicated it was a gift with a covenant attached to the land. That, of course, can be checked with the Land Registry although Lewisham have copies or indeed the originals of the deeds concerned.

RJM
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Re: The Drowning Place - Beckenham Place Park

Post by RJM » 5 Aug 2019 13:05

John H wrote:
5 Aug 2019 12:20
However... it may well be the covenant refers to the people of the district of Catford. It was an urban district by nature so whether or not it was formally governed as a UDC is somewhat irrelevant . Feel free to troll on.

The Beckenham Place Friends history does not refer to LCC purchasing the Park. It states simply they "acquired it from the Cator ESTATE"... not the family. The information I had access to many years ago indicated it was a gift with a covenant attached to the land. That, of course, can be checked with the Land Registry although Lewisham have copies or indeed the originals of the deeds concerned.
I'm not "trolling", I'm just trying to make the claim you made connect up with my knowledge of historic London local government, which is also what my reference to boroughs was based on. I actually thought it might be worth trying to track down the relevant records, and it generally saves time to find them in the right place first, so finding out the correct body is always useful. I'm interested in local history and it seemed unusual, so I've asked reasonable questions to try and make it tie up - as oddly enough, I'm in favour of free access to parks.

If you're going to make an argument based on a historical document, it seems reasonable to be able to back that up with evidence. I've come across far too many spurious "everyone knows" local history claims in my career for which no documentary evidence actually exists to take them on face value. Pity that this seems to be another one.

The Clown
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Re: The Drowning Place - Beckenham Place Park

Post by The Clown » 5 Aug 2019 19:58

Agree Troll comment very unjustified/unfair.
I was finding that debate somewhat interesting up until that point, albeit slightly off topic as it goes to demonstrate how complex these affairs can be.
Back on topic and my opinion (of which I do not invite or need comment - it’s already clearly understood and acknowledged that many will disagree)
...
Only v strong swimmers should enter open water.
I would only ever supervise my own children, and take ownership of responsibility, I would never rely exclusively on a lifeguard - They are back up only.
Accidents happen - life is all about assessment of risk and reward.
Paddling areas are also dangerous.
People have an expectation these days to be made intrinsically safe, that’s nonsense.
I do appreciate Steep sides may have been an oversight. Fix that - sure.
However, I found the young female comment sexist/ageist and offensive if I am able to give my opinion on that.
Fencing is a horrible idea.
A sign “at your own risk” should be enough. I’m thinking of buying a swim hat branded with this, and wading in...
...and I’m still grumpy that I was unable to book a swim slot in the first place...
Happy to go lifeguard free and swim at my own drowning risk - it’s about freedom, not supervision and rules
As long as the ladder is safe, us adults who want to swim, should be allowed to climb down it....
Love from
The clown (or a slightly less fit version of the clown, because I couldn’t go swimming)

Parker1970
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Re: The Drowning Place - Beckenham Place Park

Post by Parker1970 » 5 Aug 2019 22:38

The Clown wrote:
5 Aug 2019 19:58
Agree Troll comment very unjustified/unfair.
I was finding that debate somewhat interesting up until that point, albeit slightly off topic as it goes to demonstrate how complex these affairs can be.
Back on topic and my opinion (of which I do not invite or need comment - it’s already clearly understood and acknowledged that many will disagree)
...
Only v strong swimmers should enter open water.
I would only ever supervise my own children, and take ownership of responsibility, I would never rely exclusively on a lifeguard - They are back up only.
Accidents happen - life is all about assessment of risk and reward.
Paddling areas are also dangerous.
People have an expectation these days to be made intrinsically safe, that’s nonsense.
I do appreciate Steep sides may have been an oversight. Fix that - sure.
However, I found the young female comment sexist/ageist and offensive if I am able to give my opinion on that.
Fencing is a horrible idea.
A sign “at your own risk” should be enough. I’m thinking of buying a swim hat branded with this, and wading in...
...and I’m still grumpy that I was unable to book a swim slot in the first place...
Happy to go lifeguard free and swim at my own drowning risk - it’s about freedom, not supervision and rules
As long as the ladder is safe, us adults who want to swim, should be allowed to climb down it....
Love from
The clown (or a slightly less fit version of the clown, because I couldn’t go swimming)
I wish we had a "like" feature because I would click it on this.

Maybe I am living in an older age, but since when do parents absolve themselves of responsibility because the council should provide lifeguards for their children? When I was still learning to swim that was my parents role, not a third party you should rely on or sue should the little cherub run into trouble while the parents were too busy facebooking/tweeting/<insert social media platform here>.

John H
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Re: The Drowning Place - Beckenham Place Park

Post by John H » 6 Aug 2019 08:22

RJM wrote:
5 Aug 2019 13:05
John H wrote:
5 Aug 2019 12:20
However... it may well be the covenant refers to the people of the district of Catford. It was an urban district by nature so whether or not it was formally governed as a UDC is somewhat irrelevant . Feel free to troll on.

The Beckenham Place Friends history does not refer to LCC purchasing the Park. It states simply they "acquired it from the Cator ESTATE"... not the family. The information I had access to many years ago indicated it was a gift with a covenant attached to the land. That, of course, can be checked with the Land Registry although Lewisham have copies or indeed the originals of the deeds concerned.
I'm not "trolling", I'm just trying to make the claim you made connect up with my knowledge of historic London local government, which is also what my reference to boroughs was based on. I actually thought it might be worth trying to track down the relevant records, and it generally saves time to find them in the right place first, so finding out the correct body is always useful. I'm interested in local history and it seemed unusual, so I've asked reasonable questions to try and make it tie up - as oddly enough, I'm in favour of free access to parks.

If you're going to make an argument based on a historical document, it seems reasonable to be able to back that up with evidence. I've come across far too many spurious "everyone knows" local history claims in my career for which no documentary evidence actually exists to take them on face value. Pity that this seems to be another one.
This thread is about a serious safety issue and NOT about the history of Beckenham Place Park. By definition your attempt to divert attention from the very serious issue is "trolling".

Rachael
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Re: The Drowning Place - Beckenham Place Park

Post by Rachael » 6 Aug 2019 10:22

At the lake this morning: new fixed bouys (my guess is they are weighted) and safety signage. It would be reasonable to say these measures should have been in place before the lake opened. I absolutely agree parents must be responsible for their children's safety but you have to work with human nature. If you tell parents you've made them a safe splash zone, you should also be clear what lies beyond it. This is a designed body of water and people will make assumptions based on that premise.

At 10am the playground was full, families were setting up picnics and using the brick barbecues and kids were exploring the woods. All good to see.

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Last edited by Rachael on 6 Aug 2019 14:26, edited 1 time in total.

Tim Lund
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Re: The Drowning Place - Beckenham Place Park

Post by Tim Lund » 6 Aug 2019 13:45

I grew up close to a river, and I recall summer evenings when the farmer in the village would call round to say he was going for a swim with his family, and would we like to come too.

Kids from the nearby city on a hot summer's day will still crowd onto some low bridges, and have similar innocent fun jumping in, and splashing about.

I guess it was natural that my Mum should draw my attention to the occasional stories in the local press of someone drowning - here's the sort of thing

https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/97293 ... c-hussain/

Just responsible parenting on my Mum's part, telling me to be aware of the risks, but recognising that kids will make their own decisions

It's inevitable that when a local authority does something to encourage swimming it assumes some kind of legal liability, but it seems harsh to me that today's kids - and adults - in London cannot enjoy life as I, my friends and family were able to fifty years ago.

John H
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Re: The Drowning Place - Beckenham Place Park

Post by John H » 6 Aug 2019 22:48

Tim Lund wrote:
6 Aug 2019 13:45
I grew up close to a river, and I recall summer evenings when the farmer in the village would call round to say he was going for a swim with his family, and would we like to come too.

Kids from the nearby city on a hot summer's day will still crowd onto some low bridges, and have similar innocent fun jumping in, and splashing about.

I guess it was natural that my Mum should draw my attention to the occasional stories in the local press of someone drowning - here's the sort of thing

https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/97293 ... c-hussain/

Just responsible parenting on my Mum's part, telling me to be aware of the risks, but recognising that kids will make their own decisions

It's inevitable that when a local authority does something to encourage swimming it assumes some kind of legal liability, but it seems harsh to me that today's kids - and adults - in London cannot enjoy life as I, my friends and family were able to fifty years ago.
Had this pond not been designed to be so very dangerous then that might have been possible. However the pond needs water flowing in and out of it. Given Thames Water wants to store water from the Ravensbourne that was an easily achieved objective... but no... they pumped water into the pond. This still thing was stagnant before they managed to complete the final stages of its filling. Around most of its shores there are steep banks which mean a swimmer in difficulty would find it impossible to clamber out. One part has a platform beach which abruptly comes to an end and again... a steep bank plummets to the depths. That makes it absolutely lethal to young children. Only an absolute moron could have designed the pond like this. I saw the engineer responsible from time to time.... arguing furiously with everyone working on the project. It seems she could not be told.

I see the "wetlands" has been forgotten.

Rachael
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Re: The Drowning Place - Beckenham Place Park

Post by Rachael » 7 Aug 2019 07:05

I asked before but you didn’t answer: why do you say the wetlands are not going ahead? Is this official? It was my understanding that would be the last part of the project to be carried out. As you’ll have noticed, there are still some works going on around the park.

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