Thursday, 31 May 2018

The nowhere adventure ........ out of Peckham and on till morning

Now I say on till morning, but the adventure will have started sometime just before mid day and would have all been over in a few hours.

Me in 1959
Our trip to the small park on East Dulwich Road is all but a vague memory but then it was almost sixty years ago, and I have no recollection of whether we made a deliberate decision to go there or it was just the end of a long walk.

And a walk it would have been, starting from Lausanne Road, and by degree, along Evelina Road, past Nunhead Green, and Peckham Rye.

Back then, walking was what we did, often with a vague idea of a destination but not always.

On this day we may have been heading for the Common, and then just pushed on with that optimistic observation that “it is always better to travel than arrive”.

What we found was a small Corporation play area, with a mix of play furniture.  There will have been a roundabout, a rocking horse which seated eight, a seesaw, a slide and swings.

I do remember it was wet and having exhausted all the damp attractions we headed home.

That water trough,  1928
Now, anyone who has ventured “out of district” will know that there is always a slight tension in that you are on someone else’s turf and while kids are kids and just want to get on with playing there can be those sticky moments when you are seen to be “on the trespass”.

That and the dampness will I think have done for the adventure.  After all we were at the limits of our known world, and there was always the long walk back, which I now know was not that long.

When I started the story I assumed the distance between our house on Lausanne Road and the park was quite some distance, but it is only just over a mile and according to the AA Route planner would take just six minutes in a car.

Banfield's, circa 1960
Of course it would have taken us longer, more so because of the obligatory stops along the way which will have included the horse trough at the start of Evelina Road, Nunhead Gardens, and a lingering look at the coaches in the depot by Banfield Road.

And no nine year could ever pass Peckham Rye Common without a couple of races, and roll in the grass.

Such was the nowhere adventure.

Location; East Dulwich

Pictures; me, aged ten, 1959 from the collection of Andrew Simpson &Evelina Road, circa 1920-26, and Banfield  Garage, circa 1960s supplied by Adrian Parfitt

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