ThamesmeadOpening Title: Thamesmead The film begins with views from a car window showing a country lane leading to a more urban area,on the horizon is a view of an industrial development with two towering chimmeys,an advertising board is seen proclaiming 'Thamesmead' with a map showing the proposed development with the river Thames illustrated in a striking blue colour, the sign is positioned on a green estate with white fencing and gates. A large advertising board shows the GLC logo with the words 'Development of Architecture and Civic Design', 'in co-operation with the London Borough of Bexley and Greenwich', 'Thamesmead' First stage 1.538 new homes, with a picture of the proposed development, the board also features the Thamesmead logo. A black civic car with a GLC flag and badge mounted on the top of the car drives onto a building site and passes a smartly dressed asian man walking along the road, we see a number of people walking along a new road, all smartly dressed,as they approach a large white marque area. Outside the marque is a board showing paintings(perhaps by schoolchildren?)showing the river Thames and the Thamesmead area. A group of People are outside the entrance to the marque and look expectantly down the road,the GLC flag flutters on top on the black civic car seen earlier, and there is a brief internal shot of the marque, which is full of people. A groundbreaking and opening ceremony is taking place as a large group of people are watching a pile driver begin to hammer in foundations,the large mechanical hammer drives a large concrete post into the ground against the background of a gray sky. We see a montage of the guests attending,featuring civil engineers and surveyors wearing white site hats,officials including the Mayor of Bexley and Greenwich wearing the Mayoral chain of office. Further views of the concrete post being driven into the ground by the yellow jack hammer, and of the crane operator inside his cabin. A view of the building site shows a number of concrete posts and concrete spacers across a large site, two workers rest against posts and survey the scene. An Austin Cambridge car drives through a newly build housing estate, with views of open fields alongside. People are entering a reception, being greeted by a Waitress handing drinks,a small coffee table has plates of canapes. A brand new housing estate is seen on a sunny day through the window of a car as it drives through the estate, in the distance large building cranes can be seen. Arriving on site we see the large advertising board for the Thamesmead development and one for the building contractor Cubitts.The next few scenes capture construction work in progress with cranes lifting material into place, and completed low-rise apartment buildings and tower blocks. The dramatic shots of the cranes in action are framed with views of the completed distinctive cubist and modernist style flats. The next scenes show much of the first stage of the estate complete and a visit by officials to Coralline Walk, a linear block on Harrow Manor Way. An official meets the Gooch family who were the first residents of the estate and escorts them through the new estate to their new home. A group of VIPS arrive and assemble by the entrance to the new estate, and walk up the impressive concrete walkways framed against the blue sky. Desmond Plummer, the Leader of the Greater London Council, meets the Gooch family and presents a commemorative plaque to them. Together they pose for the camera, Mr Gooch holding the plaque with Mr Plummer,Mrs Gooch peaks over the plaque to read the inscription. Presents are handed out to the Gooch children and the welcoming party applaud as the key to their new home is handed to the family. The Gooch family and the VIP are seen on the balcony of their new maisonette and survey the surroundings, taking in the view from their new home. A jolly roger flag is filmed flying from the balcony of one of the upper storeys. Further scenes of the Gooch family and welcoming party on the balcony of their new home, and a distinctive shot of two workmen on the edge of a red crane framed against the concrete profile of the new estate building. Mr Plummer and other dignitaries together with the Gooch family look around the building, and look up and smile,presumably at the jolly roger flag, before returning to their official cars and driving away. The Abbey Arms public house sign on Wilton Road is seen, followed a view of Abbey Wood Station, which shows a mother and child walking past the distinctive green and white station sign and cast iron railway bridge. A couple walk down a newly completed road on the Thamesmead estate and the Thamesmead Information centre building is seen,a number of views of the estate are viewed featuring different elements of the architecture and surrounding area. A few residents and cars are seen on the estate. A number of people(perhaps a group of students?)are seen on the elevated walkways surveying the estate and tower blocks. The views feature the variety of architectural styles from the iconic cubist modernist maisonettes by the lake, to the tower blocks with connecting concrete walkways, and the estate is viewed from several angles, and feature a number of the communal and play areas for residents. A small dog runs across an empty communal area and a small boy on a tricycle is seen underneath a concrete archway. A final shot of a office building with 'Thamesmead' above it. End Title: The End.

CountryUnited Kingdom
CollectionLondon’s Screen Archives
LocationUnited Kingdom; England; Greater London; Bexley; Thamesmead
Repository Page
Web Page
Subject TermsHousing, Urban planning, Robert Rigg, GLC