Monday, 2 July 2018

Of such things are adventures made of ..........The Goldsmith Collection ...... no. 3

Now if you are nine, Greenwich Park is not a bad place to have an adventure.

For a start it is big and it’s full of trees and I am convinced once had deer, although I am prepared to be put right about the animals.

The adventure started long before the park and began with the walk up from Lausanne Road in Peckham, on to New Cross, Deptford and Blackheath and then through those big gates and that very straight road lined with trees.

If you walked it to the end there was the statute of Wolf and the Observatory and the panoramic view to the river and beyond.

But long before that we would have been seduced by a set of trees off to the right which allowed you to slip into the world of Robin Hood or some dark European forest filled with all manner of strange creatures.

And when that game was exhausted there was always the very silly one of rolling down from Wolf’s statute to the flat bit of the park.

We always seemed to do this just after the grass had been cut and ended up with bits of grass, and twigs which stuck to your clothes and stayed with you all day, which was not good for trying to get into the Maritime Museum, past the rigorous gaze of the attendants.

These guardians of our naval history tended to judge us as street urchins, up to no good, who were unable to appreciate the treasures which filled the galleries.

That said we were only turned away once and were left to wander the place at will, and back then we usually had the place to ourselves.

Not so that busy part of the Greenwich and the Cutty Sake. In the mid 1950s it cost I think 6d to get in but more often than not we saved the money for sweets and instead just looked down at those concrete steps of the Cutty Sark’s dry dock.

Today the ship is surrounded by a wrap around visitor’s centre which makes sense but takes a bit of the magic away.

That said trying to look at it through the eyes of a nine year old I might just have imagined it to be a space ship, such are adventures.

Location; Greenwich

Pictures; Greenwich Park, 2017 from the collection of Jillian Goldsmith

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