Report - - Thamesmead Southmere Housing estate demolitiom, (Clockwork Orange film location) | Residential Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Thamesmead Southmere Housing estate demolitiom, (Clockwork Orange film location)


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
This is my first post, so please be gentle with me. I think I understood all the rules, and I know you do not generally encourage posts on empty housing estates, but I feel the history behind Thamesmead or namely Binsey Walk, Tavy Bridge and Southmere lake is rightly deserved.

As some of you may or may not know, Stanley Kubrick chose Thamesmead to film his 'A Clockwork Orange' here, but Thamesmead has has a long list of films and TV programs filmed here over the years, and up until last year 2011 Channel 4 filmed its British TV drama 'Misfits' on it, as well as Aphex Twins and the Keiser Chiefs filming music videos, the Southmere part of Thamesmead, (Tavy Bridge and Binsey Walk), has had quite a lengthy famous past, see more here


So I write this post with a sentimental heart, as I actually grew up on this estate, (namely Binsey Walk) back the 70's, 80's and later in another part of Thamesmead during the 90's. My parents we're refugee's from Chile arrived on Binsey Walk in 1974. I remember it fondly playing within the elevated squares, playing knock down ginger! racing around the lake and even dipping our toes in it in the summer, but more so on Tavy Bridge itself where the actual communal centre of the estate was, encapsulating the shops, health centre and even a Police station, which eventually closed in the mid 80's!. Even the Queen visited in 1977 for the Silver Jubilee (see pics), I remember it vividly (I was only 4!) waving my union jack at her.

However over the years the place has gained a bad reputation, I remember moving to West Thamesmead in 1985 (the new builds), but it never felt as close knit as it did when we lived in Binsey Walk.

Thamesmead first began to take shape in the early 1960s when the-then London County Council (LCC) first published its plans to build 25,000 homes on Erith & Plumstead marshes.

When the Greater London Council (GLC) took over from LCC in 1965 a team of planners, surveyors and architects was formed at County Hall with work beginning on building Thamesmead in 1967 with the construction of the architecturally exciting buildings running alongside Harrow Manor Way (Coralline Walk and Binsey Walk).

Thamesmead's first community association, Trust Thamesmead, was formed by the early residents in 1976 to support increased community provision and activities in the ‘new town' of Thamesmead.

So I still live quite near the old estate closer to Plumstead, and regularly go and see my mum who lives in East Thamesmead now, still on the old estate but newer than the Southmere part. Up until recently I was still using the pharmacy on Tavy Bridge to get my prescriptions, but the last time I was in there the staff we're telling me about how they we're going to demolish the estate soon, this was in Oct 2011. Fast forward to last week, I went to collect my perscription and soon realised that all the shops have now been closed down, I said to my self that I really need to get my camera out and go have a mooch about, the last time I actually walked down the actual estate was back in the mid 80's. I have since found out Gallions housing association have a planned re-development plan which is to be completed by 2016. The whole of the estate has now been emptied bar a few residents that live at the end of the Binsey Walk, which will no doubt be moved on soon.

So I have this week off work I decided I must take a trip down before they pull it all down. So this Tuesday 8th Jan, around 10 am I went down to take a few pics. The only parts accessible now is the main walk way to the bus stops through Tavy Bridge, but everything else has been boarded off. Anyway here are the pics, I hope you enjoy!

We start we the Queens visit in 1977


How it looks now



Chippy and Pharmacy have always been there


Whilst on my walks I came across this old Bangladeshi man, we asked why I was taking pics, I told I used to live here, turns out his is the father of my old primary & secondary school mate Atif Chaudoury!! and he rememberd me....crazy!!....I had to get a pic of him.


Old pic of the walkways leading up to Tavy Bridge, this is how I remember it


You can see where the walkway was demolished



Looking east on Tavy Bridge in the direction of the old Health Centre to the left (now demolished), note new Health Centre to the right, this whole walk way will be demolished also.


Looking north towards the lake


and looking back towards the new Health Centre


Whats left of the garages, Aphex Twins filmed 'Come to daddy' here


another view of Tavy Bridge looking towards Binsey Walk, this is where my and my brothers used to play, down the ramp at the end to right was where we lived :(


The old folks flats being stripped



view from top of bridge of the lake and the famous Clockwork Orange filming location


Wakway to Tavy Bridge from Binsey Walk, all this will be demolished


Binsey Walk boarded up, second house in my old home


View over Binsey Walk


The famous Thamesmead tower blocks


All boarded up walkway through to bus stop and libary



Out to the lake



Old pic of Tavy Bridge Binsey Walk and the lake


and the famous Clockwork Orange spot



Ans that's it, I took over 300 pics but I'll leave you with this lot for now.

Thanks for looking, I hope I've done everything right and not put into the pit of doom !!:thumb



28DL Member
28DL Member
I hadn't realized that A Clockwork Orange had been filmed in Thamesmead, though I knew that location from my favorite film, Beautiful Thing, which was also filmed there. I always wanted to visit the place but it's probably too late now.

There is a website which shows the filming location of that film: www.beautiful-thing.com

Thanks for posting your pictures, it was interesting to see them!