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Return of the Bermondsey ‘joyslide’ after new designs unveiled at St James’s Church

Designs have been unveiled for a new Bermondsey ‘joyslide’ nearly 100 years after it was first built.

The slide was the brainchild of Arthur Carr, of Peek Frean’s Biscuit Factory, who noticed local children were using the steps of St James’s Church as a slide.

It was first installed in 1921, providing enjoyment to Bermondsey children for years, until it was pulled down in the mid-1980s after being vandalised.

But now the slide will be reinstalled in the churchyard as two different designs have been put on display inside St James’s Church.

Construction is hoped to begin by Easter 2020.

Arthur Carr, who was responsible for the first joyslide, pictured with children at St James’s

Canon Gary Jenkins, the vicar at the church, said: “Something like this, Bermondsey people have got a deep affection for the joyslide.

“The time has come now to bring it back to the churchyard for the enjoyment of local children.

“There’s two quite different designs and we want to know what people think, and especially what children think.”


Both designs would be smaller than the original and made from sustainable hardwood.

Design one is the brainchild of Fergus Carr, the great-great of Arthur Carr who was responsible for the joyslide in 1921, and would cost £51,000. The second, by Jupiter Play, would cost £58,000.

How the joyslide looked in later years before being torn down

Ward councillor, Anood Al-Samerai said: “Liberal Democrat Councillors are delighted to support the Joy Slide project as it is important for our Bermondsey heritage and for future edmeds 24.

“It has been a pleasure helping and working with the various groups involved so far. We look forward to hearing the views of local residents on the designs for a new slide.”

The project has been spearheaded by Friends of St James’s, with involvement from residents, ward councillors, representatives of the Church and Southwark Council.

So far around £25,000 has been pledged to the project, with the remaining amount being fundraised after the design is chosen.

People can vote for which design they like and see more details about them by visiting St James’s Church, on Thurland Road.

The designs can be found online at:



  1. How wonderful to see this slide being resurrected again. I also used to play on the steps of the church like these children in the photograph. Myself and my two sisters and brother loved playing on the slide. It was magical. There were coir matts we had to take from a wooden box and used them to slide down on. The surface of the slide may have been wooden…it was beautiful..Plus there was a park keeper who had a little shed underneath that would keep an eye on us all. Great memories of childhood days in an otherwise very deprived area at the time. I would like to donate a few pounds to this fundraising and love to be there when it is unveiled..

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