AFTER a 76-year-absence, London’s only urban beach returned to Fulham last week following a massive redevelopment of Bishops Park.
At the turn of the 20th century families from across London would flock to the borough to bask by the side of the Thames at what became known as Margate Sands.
At the time, Bishops Park was a haven for families new to the area, with its beautiful riverside frontage, lush lawns and manmade beach.
Given as a gift to Fulham by then Bishop of London, John Jackson, Bishops Park was an attractive alternative for those who could not afford to travel to the coast, as mothers would congregate while children paddled in the pool and played in the sand, as they can once more.
However, the bubble burst in 1936 when health and safety bosses closed Margate Sands as a result of a lengthy court case after a young boy cut his foot in the sand. Fulham remained beachless for the best part of eight decades.