I seem to have become a minor expert on local matters through the course of writing this blog. It was pointed out to me this week that I have a leftist approach and I only know my stuff from looking at archives and books. This is, mostly, true. I don’t think it was meant as a compliment, but there you go.
As experts go, I’m not a great resource, either, truth be told. My first query this week was from a lady looking to buy property in the area who wondered if Halifax still loan on the concrete construction. I can’t be sure on that front – they were happy to remortgage my property when my original deal expired, but their current policy online suggests they won’t lend on pre-cast concrete structures at the moment. I think it warrants more investigation as there are some condemned types of concrete build but Thamesmead is something called “French Balency” in type, and it isn’t on the blacklist. I am seeing properties locally advertised as cash sales only, though. It’s a pity because the value in terms of what you get for your money is really good, but that’s probably a circular situation. I have noticed that despite being sold at auction or to cash buyers directly, the prices that the houses are marketed at are higher than they have been for a couple of years – I’m not sure what that says. Perhaps the Crossrail effect is kicking in now?
The second query was an easier one to handle – could I point people at images of the old Lakeside Medical Centre that is now demolished and gone? Well, I had a couple of ideas – check the videos about the early years of the development and grab stills, being the most likely to work. The Thamesmead Stage 3 Facebook group also has a very small picture incorporated into its banner. But my best bet was to look in the magazine I bought off Ebay and take a shot of that. (I will, at some point, put a copy of the article here since it’s not otherwise available.) And here’s that shot. Once upon a time if you needed medical attention in Thamesmead you wound up visiting your doctor in a futuristic oddly shaped building that jutted out over the water at Southmere Lake. Despite all the pictures of the lake itself, the play area, the back of the building where the Tavy Bridge shops and maze area were, there are vanishingly few that give a look at the frontage. And here’s one of them.