This video provides a fascinating look at what Thamesmead was like when it was still fresh and new back in 1969.
The footage shows the newly inhabited part of the housing complex, with its high-rise blocks, lower maisonette buildings, shopping precinct and focal point of the large lake with swans and boats.
It illustrates some of the concepts which went into designing this new town, which was originally built to move families out of overcrowded Victorian housing in inner London.
For instance, it shows how all the residential accommodation was kept above first-floor level and how elevated walkways were used in response to the Thames Estuary flood of 1953.
A radical idea at the time imported from Sweden, water was incorporated into the design to be a calming influence on residents as it was thought features such as lakes and canals could help reduce vandalism and other crime.
As you’ll see, early 1960s Thamesmead looks very nice.
Unfortunately, the video also shows how the scheme was soon beset by problems, not least in the finances.
There are various shots of building equipment on the unfinished portion of Thamesmead lying idle during a monetary dispute between the builders and Greater London Council.
This video is part of the superb British Pathe archive which has more than 80,000 videos of filmed history.
Do you have any memories of growing up or living in Thamesmead? What lessons do you think can be learnt from the town’s first 45 years? Add your comments below.
11:51am Wednesday 15th October 2014
25 YEARS AGO: Comedian and actor Frankie Howerd, who lived at Arbroath Road, Eltham, was invited by the Rev John Neal to open the reonovated church hall of St Barnabas at Well Hall on the Progress estate in Eltham.
11:48am Wednesday 15th October 2014
I wonder if a reader can tell me anything about this cottage that stood on Mason’s Hill, Bromley long before most of us were born.
11:44am Wednesday 15th October 2014
It is a little more than 100 years ago that the shocking news was relayed to the people of Sidcup.
11:25am Wednesday 1st October 2014
25 YEARS AGO: Ten young musician soldiers were killed when a pre-timed package exploded at the Royal Marines School of Music at Deal.
11:21am Wednesday 1st October 2014
The story of Alexander Pitcairn, brother of the sailor who gave his name to the South Sea island where the mutineers lived after their infamous uprising on HMS Bounty, is causing a flutter in the village of Eynsford following the discovery of his coffin in a small mausoleum under the floor of St Martin’s Church.