Alexandra park model road network

The History of Sydenham from Cippenham to present day. Links to photos especially welcome!

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MartinH
Posts: 149
Joined: 10 Sep 2007 10:17
Location: Sydenham SE26

Alexandra park model road network

Post by MartinH » 13 Feb 2008 22:48

In the mid 1950's, at the Lennard road end of Alexandra park, a fantastic road network was laid out purely to teach young cyclists the rules of the road.It was probably one third scale and had working traffic lights and flashing Belisha beacons on the zebra crossings.There were dual carriage ways, roundabouts and tree lined avenues. I think it must have had something to do with the cycling proficiency organisation. Unfortunately vandalism is not a new thing and I believe in about 1960 Teddy boys ripped up the tarmac and destroyed most of the lights. Gradually over the next ten years the roadway worsened until, in the seventies, it was grassed over. You can still make out most of the road network by following the line of the trees and bushes. Anyway does anyone have any memories, photos or information on the roadway. It must have cost a small fortune and I am sure was quite unique at the time. I live alongside the park, Maitland road, SE26 and not only used the roadway when I was young but also saw it's demise over the years. Any thoughts?

nannyjacks
Posts: 23
Joined: 14 Sep 2006 15:29
Location: medway

Post by nannyjacks » 10 Jun 2008 08:48

I remember that park as I learned to ride my bike there, my Mum wasn't happy for me to learn on the proper roads but as soon as she saw I was competant on the road network ther I was allowed to use my bike on the 'proper roads'This was around 1956-7

sydeman
Posts: 148
Joined: 23 Sep 2007 07:15
Location: Upper Sydenham

Post by sydeman » 12 Jun 2008 19:07

Gosh that is really interesting...any one have any photos? Just looking on Google earth at this park, to the north the park extends into what look like a bowling green, possibly a small paddling pool, plus a large area of grass which is surrounded by an oval path. Was this once an athletics area does anyone know as it seems to follow the same path as a 400m athletics track?

MartinH
Posts: 149
Joined: 10 Sep 2007 10:17
Location: Sydenham SE26

Post by MartinH » 12 Jun 2008 21:33

The path, although oval in shape, was never an athletic track. Football was played regularly with about four pitches and during the summer cricket was very popular on sundays attracting big crowds around the boundary. There used to be a pavillion on the side of the path that ran parallel with cator road but it was burnt down in the mid seventies. There were also tennis courts that were situated between the model road network and the bowling green and inevitably public toilets that resembled cottages. I remember them being demolished and naively wondering why. I can always remember the park keepers handbell which he used to ring 15 minutes before the park was shut. His name was Charlie and drove a motorcycle and sidecar. When we were kids he would always lend you cricket stumps, bats and a ball or tennis rackets. In those days most parks were gated and had high fences around the perimeter. I suppose council cuts led to a low maintenance system so it is now an open space.

brian stimson
Posts: 50
Joined: 28 Jun 2008 14:14
Location: forest of dean

Post by brian stimson » 30 Jun 2008 15:51

Just a very quick thank you for getting my brain going overtime, I lived in wiverton road in the forties and fifties and it's been lovely remembering about Alexandra Park etc.,

uote="MartinH"]The path, although oval in shape, was never an athletic track. Football was played regularly with about four pitches and during the summer cricket was very popular on sundays attracting big crowds around the boundary. There used to be a pavillion on the side of the path that ran parallel with cator road but it was burnt down in the mid seventies. There were also tennis courts that were situated between the model road network and the bowling green and inevitably public toilets that resembled cottages. I remember them being demolished and naively wondering why. I can always remember the park keepers handbell which he used to ring 15 minutes before the park was shut. His name was Charlie and drove a motorcycle and sidecar. When we were kids he would always lend you cricket stumps, bats and a ball or tennis rackets. In those days most parks were gated and had high fences around the perimeter. I suppose council cuts led to a low maintenance system so it is now an open space.[/quote]

Eagle
Posts: 10658
Joined: 7 Oct 2004 06:36
Location: F Hill

Post by Eagle » 4 Aug 2008 18:40

Yes I remember well and great idea. Used to play football and cricket in the park , no trouble from others , even when we hit the ball against the Grundig Works.

charlieandpip
Posts: 80
Joined: 22 Feb 2006 17:25
Location: Cator Road, Sydenham

Post by charlieandpip » 5 Aug 2008 15:08

If anyone can find photos of Alex Rec back in these days it would be fantastic to get them enlarged and mounted on a display in the park.... I know the Friends of Cator Park and Alexandra Recreation Ground are looking for things like this to include in the park.

regoneil
Posts: 73
Joined: 27 Nov 2007 12:35
Location: walton on the naze

Alexandra park.

Post by regoneil » 6 Aug 2008 09:32

hello there,
I, lived with my parents in Derby House, overlooking the park, they were resident from mid thirties until late 70's except for a period following the demolishon by a V1 in 44/5.. I lived there until 1940 when I went into the RAF and in 1946, I lived with my wife in 49 Trewsbury Road until 1961.
I have many memories of the park and the road scheme and have photographs of our children riding bikes there and swingng on the swings.
I will e mail some of them if you wish and maybe be able to answer any question re the park

Regards Reg

Chris Megainey
Posts: 1
Joined: 18 Aug 2008 21:28
Location: Watford

Alexandra Park

Post by Chris Megainey » 18 Aug 2008 21:39

We lived in Tannsfeld Road overlooking Alexandra rec until a couple of years ago. There are a few good photos of the rec in the local history section of Bromley library. These show the original Victorian layout of the park with shelters, bandstands etc. There are also some later photos, perhaps from the early 50s, showing the roadways. as well as the rest of the park when it was more austere (although less so than now). I also had an Edwardian postcard taken from near the drinking fountain looking towards Tannsfeld road which I bought on eBay but left for the people that bought the house. This was the only postcard I ever found in several years of looking but is presumably not unique.

brian stimson
Posts: 50
Joined: 28 Jun 2008 14:14
Location: forest of dean

Re: Alexandra Park

Post by brian stimson » 19 Aug 2008 08:19

Chris Megainey wrote:We lived in Tannsfeld Road overlooking Alexandra rec until a couple of years ago. There are a few good photos of the rec in the local history section of Bromley library. These show the original Victorian layout of the park with shelters, bandstands etc. There are also some later photos, perhaps from the early 50s, showing the roadways. as well as the rest of the park when it was more austere (although less so than now). I also had an Edwardian postcard taken from near the drinking fountain looking towards Tannsfeld road which I bought on eBay but left for the people that bought the house. This was the only postcard I ever found in several years of looking but is presumably not unique.
In the forties and fifties there were garages and an air raid shelter opposite the Tansfield Road entrance to Alexandra Park.

Eagle
Posts: 10658
Joined: 7 Oct 2004 06:36
Location: F Hill

Post by Eagle » 19 Aug 2008 14:05

Yes Brian
Remember the garages well. I know time flies but does not seem that long that they knocked them down and built yet more houses.

catscratch
Posts: 83
Joined: 13 Jul 2008 12:44
Location: se20

Post by catscratch » 20 Aug 2008 09:59

early to mid 1980s that was.
I could not believe the amount of houses they fitted in there

Trelease
Posts: 1
Joined: 10 Oct 2008 13:04
Location: Cornwall - lived Tannsfeld Road

Alexandra Park

Post by Trelease » 10 Oct 2008 13:59

I was brought up in Tannsfeld road and may well have photos of Alexandra Park, from the 1950s I now live in Cornwall. I used to study old maps of this area and discovered that an original footpath that started at the Sydenham end of Trewsbury Road cut diagonally across the allottments of today and joined the park gate at the Cator Road/ Trewsbury road entrance to the park - the original footpath is now traced exactly by the path that runs south to the gate which was next to Charlie the park-keeper's old hut. This path then carried on down Hardings Lane to Penge. This was the first way from Sydenham to Penge before Newlands Park or as it was originally called, Penge Lane was built.

Alexandra Park was obviously built following old field boundaries, as if you can find an old victorian map you can see that this path is directed exactly along a field heldge, in other words the bottoms of the gardens of the houses today in Cator Road follow an old field boundary.

Someone stated that the old public loos were demolished, the only one that was demolished was the mens' loo which was near the south side of the paddling pool. The other loos were attached to the house, which used to be a fire station. If you stand by the water fountain and face south, looking to your right behind a fence and flower bed the old loos are still there, attached to the house, and are now it's additional rooms.

The swings and 'Bonny Bright-eyes' the rocking horse and a wooden roundabout used to be located next to the paddling pool, before the 'traffic lights' as we called the mini road layout area - was constructed. Then after this road layout was opened in the 1950s (there was a grand opening and photos are in archives probably in Bromley lib) the swings, 'bonny-bright-eyes' the rocking horse and a roundabout were transferred to the site next to Lennard Road.

My sister and I were never allowed to go in the paddling pool because of the danger of catching polio in the 1950s. Young boys would squash against the pipe delivering the water and cause a fan effect not unlike a peacock's tail! Sometimes when the stop cock was turned on, ( it was located in the grass near the Tannsfeld Road gate) - this area would flood like mad and kids used to play in the large pool that created.

Dotkin
Posts: 75
Joined: 24 Aug 2005 12:18
Location: sydenham

Post by Dotkin » 1 Dec 2008 14:04

Hello - If any one has any pictures of Alexandra Rec - the Friends of Cator Park and Alexandra REcreation Ground would love to see them! We are currently putting together a website so would love to put some old and new pictures of the parks on it! Please PM me if you are interested!

mcleanmuir
Posts: 93
Joined: 31 Oct 2007 08:03
Location: West Wickham

Post by mcleanmuir » 7 Dec 2008 12:52

I have some old images of the park here http://www.beckenhamhistory.co.uk/flash ... lery3.html
then Penge 4 album

Dotkin
Posts: 75
Joined: 24 Aug 2005 12:18
Location: sydenham

Post by Dotkin » 10 Dec 2008 13:43

Hello! Thanks very much for these - they are really great! Is there any way I could get some copies of these for our Friends website?

mcleanmuir
Posts: 93
Joined: 31 Oct 2007 08:03
Location: West Wickham

Post by mcleanmuir » 14 Dec 2008 15:48

Send me a PM.

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