Bexley in happier times

by Steve

My post last week about Bexley Borough’s proposed closure of 27 open spaces has got many more views than I’d ever expected it would get. It turns out a council planning to close parks isn’t just a ‘hyperlocal‘ issue. In the current financial and political climate it is a warning sign that this could happen anywhere.

I very much doubt me reporting on the issue and the public meeting will make any real difference, but with a local press lacking in resources and motivation to report properly on local politics I felt somebody had to have a go. Our local newspaper’s website seems to spend more time on terrible clickbait than actual real local stories.

The fact that I can write a few words on a really local issue and get a lot of people reading it suggests there is an appetite for this kind of thing that is simply not being met. I guess that is why South East London generally has such a thriving local blogging network, with many people filling in the gaps when it comes to local news and scrutiny of local government.

Anyway, the video above shows Bexley Borough in happier times, as crowds gather to see Lord Conwallis present the charter of incorporation as a borough to Bexley. I can’t imagine an event like that drawing such crowds today. Simpler times, eh?

While Bexley Borough in its current form is fifty years old, prior to that it was incorporated as a municipal borough in the mid 1930s. The film briefly shows Pinnacle Hill in Bexleyheath, before moving on to Danson Park in Welling – one of the parks the current borough is threatening will be left to return to meadow should they not raise the required money from selling off those 27 identified sites.

You can make out Danson House in the background, a Georgian Villa that is well worth a visit since its restoration a decade ago. I would recommend going there soon, before it is surrounded by six-foot high grass.