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Adventure playground, flamingoes, boating lake in the park


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#1 kinchyuk

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 11:33 PM

Unless I'm getting old faster than I realised, I'm sure there used to be an adventure playground in Crystal Palace when I was a kid. Was it somewhere up Crystal Palace Park Road? And while I'm at it, what happened to the boating lake? And the flamingoes?

Maybe it was all m yimagination, and the product of a misspent childhood in the 70's/80's..

#2 Dazza

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 09:36 AM

Yes to all the above all 3 were a fixture in the CP park where I used to live as a kid however they have now turned the park into something as interesting as a dentist waiting room now.

Dinos were also painted lurid colours to give great effect, there was also horse & cart rides & regular events at the bowl.

A big big shame

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#3 trixie

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 09:39 AM

Don't remember the adventure playground, but do remember the boating lake. When did the boats get removed - was it about the same time Pet's Corner (or children's zoo) went, sometime early 80s? My Nan and I had to be rescued from our rowing boat in the 50s: She was a rather large woman - I was small child, 8 or 9-ish. I insisted on rowing, and she was sitting opposite end of boat to me. Because of her size she weighed she boat down one end, and I was suspended mid air with the oars unable to reach the water. The "man in charge" had to come out in his boat and sort us out! Oh the humuliation!

#4 Chris Doran

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 11:08 AM

By "adventure playgound", do you mean the funfair, just over half-way down here? That, and other "interesting things" including the boats, miniature railway, flamingos, pony & trap rides, and ski slope, disappeared before or when Bromley refurbished the park 10 years ago. The zoo closed long before that. I think the franchise holders couldn't make a worthwhile amount of money.
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#5 Dazza

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 11:20 AM

The adventure playground was a park made up of pieces of wood,rope & used tyres it was a wonderful place where i grew up. It was rough & tough & a great place to hang out we didnt use knives, drugs or have gangs either.

It was closed down I'm sure because of the PC brigade under the grounds of health & safety no doubt.

I remember the funfair too Chris but the adventure playground was further up the park roughly where I think ambulances park if you know what i mean think it closed in the early 80's I think.

It does make me smile when I remember the Ski slope as it was for newbie skiers however the slope was littered with trees. I wonder how many newbies broke their nose on that slope.

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#6 kinchyuk

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 05:40 PM

Yes to all the above all 3 were a fixture in the CP park where I used to live as a kid however they have now turned the park into something as interesting as a dentist waiting room now.

Dinos were also painted lurid colours to give great effect, there was also horse & cart rides & regular events at the bowl.


Glad it's not me losing my marbles. Remember going to the concerts and fireworks at the bowl as a kid - back when it was a bowl, not something resembling a rusty skateboard ramp.

By "adventure playgound", do you mean the funfair, just over half-way down here? That, and other "interesting things" including the boats, miniature railway, flamingos, pony & trap rides, and ski slope, disappeared before or when Bromley refurbished the park 10 years ago. The zoo closed long before that. I think the franchise holders couldn't make a worthwhile amount of money.


Dazza hit the nail on the head, bits of rope, wood, and used tyres with aerial slides, walkways between wooden towers, tyre swings, and the like. Don't remember the minature railway, pony & trap rides, or the ski slope. Remember the zoo though, and the boats.

I know the old saying 'things aren't like they used to be, and they never were' is very apt at this point, but I can't help think that the park isn't as good as it could be. The maze is getting there though - it took us about 20 minutes to find our way around the other day and thought we'd never reach the middle. Another 20 or so years and it might be a proper maze that you can't see over the top of :)

#7 Chris Doran

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 06:45 PM

I obviously missed out on the adventure playground. In my younger days it was much more fun exploring the undergrowth resulting from years of wartime neglect, and finding lost statues hiding in the bushes. But this was a rare treat as the whole area uphill of the lake was usually blocked off for motor racing.

Speaking of exploring, I've been told that there used to be a ring of standing stones somewhere. Does anyone remember it?

The maze is getting there though - it took us about 20 minutes to find our way around the other day and thought we'd never reach the middle. Another 20 or so years and it might be a proper maze that you can't see over the top of :)

The maze is intended to be see-able-over, as dodgy people were said to be preying on youngsters for whom the Guides' recent improvements are intended.

#8 kinchyuk

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 07:50 PM

I obviously missed out on the adventure playground. In my younger days it was much more fun exploring the undergrowth resulting from years of wartime neglect, and finding lost statues hiding in the bushes. But this was a rare treat as the whole area uphill of the lake was usually blocked off for motor racing.


Talking of motor racing, I wonder how they're getting on with the plans for a race next year? Sure I saw a thread about it somewhere. Actually while we're on that subject, what happened to the radio control car racing on a Sunday?

The maze is intended to be see-able-over, as dodgy people were said to be preying on youngsters for whom the Guides' recent improvements are intended.


Ah didn't know that. Paedophiles in the maze (allegedly)? Sigh. The world is a sad place sometimes..

#9 Dazza

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 02:39 PM

http://www.facebook....gid=57838861664

Found a face book page for people who remember the adventure playground in CP park just found a very old friend.

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#10 Rikaitch

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 01:29 AM

The adventure playground used to be halfway up the Crystal Palace Park Road side of the park. It was all sorts of rickety contructions with savage nails hanging out, rope swings, and rough kids from the Laurie Park Road estate. It was falling apart, and when the GLC was abolished it was one of the first victims, along with the skateboard ramp underneath the bridge at the end of the stadium complex.
The flamingoes were in enclosures with a few other tropical animals (kangaroos, beavers, that sort of thing) on the footpath from the station down to the park. I always remember you could hear them calling out whenever the athletics were on TV in the 70s. Oh, and the smell. Who can forget the smell??? There was also the horses at the top of the avenue of trees, along with a playground, just on the left turn going towards where the old zoo was.
As for the boating lake, the entrance was halfway along the lake at the bottom of the park, near thicket road. Many summers were spent getting into trouble for spending too long on those rancid and damp row boats, and they'd actually have to send out a bloke in a motor launch to come and get us. I didn't know this had gone until I read this post. The last time I was in the park was when they were 'updating it' so I haven't seen the things go. Is there anything left in the area?
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#11 Dazza

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 09:33 AM

When I pass the area where the flamingos was with my boy I can still smell it !

They have basically torn the heart out of the park there are few things of ay interst left there. If your visiti out of nostalgia you will be sorely dissapointed.

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#12 Rikaitch

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 09:45 AM

OOOh, whilst I remember, and completely irrelevant, the front of the adventure playgound had a long fence with "C.P.A.P" painted in large letters on it. Some wag would regularly add the stroke required to change the first P to an R.
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#13 Dazza

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 10:13 AM

Wish I could fess up to that !
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#14 Joe

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 12:23 AM

I had my first snog in a boat on the boating lake. The summers were really summers back then....... Now what was her name?
From the lake you used to walk down past the dino's (painted ohhh horror) to a cafeteria in the park. There was a rope swing park behind the cafeteria.

#15 JamesS

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 12:20 PM

The adventure playground was legendary! I was very upset to find it had disappeared after recently moving to the area. I used to walk along the balance beams with no handrails on them (seemed 4 metres high at the time), good old fashioned, slightly dangerous fun!
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