Tag Archives: pond

Koi in the pond

Koi in the pond next to the prince of wales pub
Vince writes:

I don’t know if the pond by the Princess Of Wales normally has Koi in it, but there are two or three in at the moment. Anyway, I thought it might be of interest. Probably discarded pets.

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Hiphop Heron


Filmed by dustygedge on the pond next to the Hare & Billet pub.

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Bit of a carp new year…


Had a report on Twitter that some of the carp in the pond next to the Prince of Wales pub have died – he suspects that some overflow from defrosting drains may have overflowed during the cold weather. Anyone else know anything?

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Answers to the name of Lucky…

The Fire Brigade had to be called to rescue a three-legged Staff terrier from the pond in South Row
Gill writes:

Dramatic Dog Rescue from Blackheath Pond

Last night (Monday 13 July) the Fire Brigade had to be called to rescue a three-legged Staff terrier from the pond in South Row. We just happened to be passing by at around ten past ten and heard this terrible howling.

We don’t know how the dog got in there, but because he has only one back leg he couldn’t get out again, due to the steep concrete side. Last seen, the dog was on a string lead, walking two firemen down to Lee Green fire station while the fire engine followed!

Perhaps someone knows who the dog’s owner is?

At least it wasn’t a three legged ferret

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Memories around the Mysterious Pond

pond-old
I’ve been meaning to act on this wonderful piece sent in by Tony. I’ve just not had time… At some point I will go and take photos of all of the places he mentions:

Hi – I used to live in Blackheath (on the Lane, in Blackheath Park/Cator Estate, then Southvale Road) and although I don’t any more, I have a great fondness for the place and I love reading your blog.

I saw your comment about the Mysterious Pond – apologies if you know all this already, but if not I might be able to shed some light on it.

Living in Blackheath Park, I was always fascinated by the story of Wricklemarsh House (Neil covers it at length so I won’t give the whole story!) and used to spend time trying to track down any remnants of it.

Take a look at this map

Right slap bang in the middle, you’ve got the Grand House – and a wonderful piece of Georgian bling it was too, as these pictures will show.

It must have had great views up there at the top of the hill, although interesting it faced away from London, not towards it.

What we’re interested in are its formal gardens and especially the round pound to the north of the house. Although the house was demolished, the pond remained for many years after – hence ‘Pond Road’, and the kink in the road, as it travels round it just north of the railway bridge. The pond was drained at some point in the 20th century, not sure when, but it’s still very obvious where it was.

If you stand at the junction of the South Row and Pond Road, you’re at the entrance to the grounds of the old house, and I enjoyed standing there, picturing the grand avenue leading up the hill, with the road to the house following Pond Road up the hill, with the avenue of trees on either side. Once you’ve over the bridge, Pond Road is still a grand road, and I used to wonder if some of the ancient trees on either side might pre-date the houses and have come from that avenue.

When you reach the junction of Pond Road and Blackheath Park, you’re standing exactly where Wricklemarsh stood. Another avenue of trees would continue down what is now Foxes Dale, and another would run east-west along Blackheath Park Road itself – again, I look at the ancient trees along there, and I wonder if they were planted at the time of the grand house.

However, even more interesting is the *other* pond. Looking back at the old map, you’ll see another pond to the south, fed by a small stream called the ‘Kid’ (hence Kidbrooke). ‘Brookway’, off Foxes Dale, is another clue to its path.

Now, that pond has *mostly* been drained, but a small ornamental area of it still remains. Go east, along Brookway, to the Casterbridge estate – and there, in the middle, is a pond – a pond I’m quite confident that was part of the grounds of Wricklemarsh. Look closely at the island – you’ll see there’s a still a bit of decorative statuary remain, and there’s an ornate little bridge too (I hope, anyway, it’s been a while and my memory isn’t 100% reliable). It’s all still there on this Google map.

And what of the Wricklemarsh – well, James Cator knocked it down and developed the estate, but he did keep that wonderful collonnaded front for his own house.

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The Weeping Willow

Hare and Billet Pond by Londonjoolz

Another great pic spotted on Flickr. Is it the Amazon? Or somewhere on the Norfolk Broads perhaps?

Actually, it is the pond next to the Hare and Billet pub – a lovely spot for quiet contemplation, with or without a glass (plastic) from the pub next door.

Thanks to Flickr user Londonjoolz for allowing me to reproduce it here. Check out the other vibrant pics of the Islamic garden in Southwark, too.

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Boating on the duck pond

Blackheath Model Boat Regatta 1956

A good few months ago, I vividly remember seeing a load of little boats pootling around on the pond next to The Princess of Wales pub, up on the heath. I think it was a weekend, and they were remotely controlled sail boats. Not noisy remote control Gin Palace style boats… These little beauties were genuine tiny sail boats – the remote controls were only used for pulling on the rigging to adjust the positions of the sails relative to the wind – so they were completely silent.

It was a really delightful sight to behold, and they had quite an appreciative little crowd building up around them. And it reminded me of sailing boats across a pond with my dad and his dad a long time ago.

Anyway, a little googling revealed that the most likely candidates were the Blackheath MPBC (which stands for Model Powered Boating Club). So I called their organiser (Phil Abott), to try and find out when they will be there next, so that you could all come and admire them too.

No powered boats, blackheath bylaw sign

I got a very simple answer. Never.

Or at least, not in the near future. The reason for this is that a sign has been put up next to the pond banning the use of powered boats, and they don’t want to take the risk that their boats will be considered as powered. They used to run some steam powered boats (which also sounds like it would be a lovely sight!), and a small number of powered boats.

Land management of the heath isn’t run by the council – it is outsourced to a company called Glendale Grounds Management, who have to give their permission for any “event” to take place. They said that the boating could go ahead, but only if the club could stump up £75 for the privilege of sailing their little boats on the pond… I could start banging on about the corporatisation of public spaces, but I suppose I didn’t plan for this to be that sort of blog…

Model boats on the pond in Blackheath in the 1960s

So the people that you might see with their boats on the pond aren’t members of the Blackheath club (Phil said two elderly gents take their boats down there on Sunday mornings). The Blackheath club had been sailing on the pond since 1928, but now they’ll be casting off in Hackney’s Victoria Park instead.

  • The black and white photo above is of model boats on the pond in the 1960s – photo by flickr user paolotich.
  • The photo at the top shows the Blackheath Model Boat Club Regatta in 1956.
  • Blackheath Byelaws Blog.
  • Contact details for the model boating club can be found here.
  • Googlemap here.

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