The football club and the Thames Barrier aside, Charlton doesn’t have that many modern claims to fame. But Maryon Park’s been a place of curiosity for film fans for the past 40 years, as the setting for part of Michelangelo Antonioni’s cult 1966 movie Blow-Up, where David Hemmings’ photographer discovers a canoodling couple – and a murder. While the park itself, with its tennic courts, is largely unchanged, but the streets around changed dramatically in the years after the film, with the Morris Walk Estate being built (and soon to be demolished) at the edge of the park. Indeed, you can see the estate being built in the film. The rest of the film was shot in and around Notting Hill, but the real action was captured in SE7.
Hemmings died in 2003, but the film retains its mystique – the Mail calls it a “symbol of Sixties depravity” and fans occasionally make the trek south-east to see it.
Well, a few more will be heading this way on 25 July, because there’ll be a free open-air screening in the park as part of the Greenwich Film Festival – so fingers crossed it doesn’t bucket down with rain that night. There’ll also be tours of the park and a competition for those who turn up in 60s gear.
If it does rain, at least you can always retire to the White Horse on Woolwich Road to get tanked up – just as cast and crew did back in 1966 when bad weather disrupted their work.