Tag Archives: london

Open House London this weekend

Window of Boone's Chapel by Alex Mitchell on Flickr
Open House London is a rare opportunity to see inside some of London’s most interesting buildings. It’s on this weekend. Some buildings require tickets or email requests to enter, but many are first-come-first-served. Such as the amazing looking Boone’s Chapel built in 1682 on Lee High Road, which I hope to check out this weekend! Great photo set here by @darryl1974 showing the interior.

Lewisham’s Open Houses.

Greenwich Open Houses (Severndroog Castle is a great option). My sightseeing trip from 2008 is now out of date since the renovations. The Quaker Meeting House in Blackheath, or Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich are also good options.

Boone’s Chapel site (now an architectural office).

Photo credit: Alex Mitchell on Flickr

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Lewisham Hospital downgrade ruled illegal

photo (18)
A very good point from Gina:

What? Not a word from the Bugle, the Blackheath Society or the Blackheath Village Residents’ Association in response to the fantastic ruling by the High Court that Jeremy Hunt was acting outside his powers when he announced the downgrading of Lewisham Hospital’s maternity and A&E departments??

The absence of comment from our local bloggers and websites could mean that not everyone is aware of a petition seeking to persuade Jeremy Hunt to accept the decision and not spend more taxpayers’ money appealing it.

This is the link:
http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/accept-the-lewisham-hospital-decision

Local people have won a sensational battle, but the war goes on. Please sign the petition and forward it to absolutely everybody!

More on the story here:

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/you-cant-slash-ae-services-at-lewisham-hospital-jeremy-hunt-overruled-by-high-court-8739320.html

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A Hack Space for South London

There’s a plan afoot to build a Hack Space in South London. It’s not Blackheath specifically – currently it’s known as the Brixton Tinker Space, but I thought it was worth sharing as it could be a fantastic place to learn new skills and meet new people.

A hack space is a workspace where members pay a few pounds every month to go and work on their personal projects, inventions and designs. There’s an amazing one in Hackney, but nothing in South London yet. Think of it as an allotment for your mind.

I met up with them in a pub in Brixton for one of their first meetings. They’re still looking for a space to use, and it doesn’t have to be in Brixton, so if anyone here is interested, or knows of a suitable location at a reasonable rent, please drop them a line.

Their website is:
http://brixtontinkerspace.org/

And they’re also on Twitter and Facebook, and Google Groups.

Some of the organisers are also involved in a Mini Maker Faire in Elephant & Castle taking place on 6th July. It’s free to attend, and could be a great introduction to all this making business.

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Coquillage

Coquillage photo, fish shop, Blackheath, fishmongers
The vegetarian bugle was sent to Coquillage, the local fish shop last weekend. I’m told the fish was great, so if you’re looking for something to set fire to on the barbecue this weekend, here’s what we did. They also sell Samphire (green stuff at the rear left of the photo), which is really nice with a little lemon juice, as a green salad next to your fish. Very few places sell samphire, so this is quite a find!

Jade Boulangerie and Coquillage occasionally give out 10%-off vouchers, which can come in handy. Anyway, without going all Jamie Oliver on you, here’s what we did:

Ingredients:
Whole sea bass, cleaned and de-scaled (they cleaned it reasonably well at the shop, but there was a little more to do).
2-3 cloves of garlic (peeled and cut in half)
Slices of lemon
Bay leaves
Samphire
Olive Oil

Method:
Wash and de-scale the sea bass. It should be sliced open from the underbelly (do fish have bellies?)
Cut some lines diagonally across the fish
Stuff the garlic, lemon, and bay leaves into the cuts
Stick it on the BBQ turning occasionally until it’s brown. – one of these helps (Sainsbury’s sell them too).
Serve with samphire drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice.

Anyway, it’s good to see them doing well, especially in a location that saw other businesses fail before.

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Booming Boris Everywhere

Bloody Boris banging on at the station
So far, I have heard Boris say “Hi folks” whilst waiting for trains at Blackheath.  I’ve heard him say “Hi folks” as I interchange at London Bridge.  I’ve heard him say “Hi folks” at Charing Cross whilst making my way to the underground.  I’ve heard “Hi folks” as I scurried through at least three tube stations.

And I could just about get by with the occasional grumble on Twitter to maintain my sanity.  But today, after hearing it three times at three different stations, I took a bus to Sainsbury’s.  The bus was full.  It was too hot. Everybody was standing.  And then, along came the aristocratic old Etonian who read Classics at Oxford calling me his “folk”.

I’m not his folk, and he isn’t mine.  I never will be.  It was only on the bus when I realised what a disaster the “Hi folks” recorded messages are.  They make you feel as though you are living in a police state.  I feel like I’m being told how to think, without any control over when I hear it.  It’s the same message everywhere, and it doesn’t change.  It’s relentless.  And it’s starting to terrify me.

I realise that we live in a democracy, and that we’re lucky to do so.  But playing the announcements everywhere with such ease demonstrates that most of the equipment is in place to remove our democracy at any time.  All the machinery necessary to tell you how to feel, and what to think is sitting there, and is ready to go.  And that scares the life out of me.

And it’s weird, because that Tannoy system has probably been set up for years, but I’d never noticed it until I heard it on the bus for the fourth time today.

Charing Cross photo by Flickr user Mike_fleming.  Booming Boris Johnson from Wikipedia.

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Blackheath missile videos


England prevails.

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Election day – don’t forget to vote!

Polling Station, Blackheath, St Michael's Church, London, SE3
It’s election day. The polling stations are open from 7am until 10pm. However you choose to vote, please don’t forget!

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Why I’m voting for Ken

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newt
Every day through London, I take the train and the tube. I see almost everyone reading free papers – The Metro or the Evening Standard. And almost every day I look over their shoulders and spot a pro-Boris or anti-Ken story.

The London Mayor’s main role is effectively that of a transport tzar. I’ve never seen Boris on public transport. That is to say, I’ve seen him on TV on public transport… But I’ve never actually seen him using it to get from A to B on his own, when a camera wasn’t on him. Maybe he does, maybe our paths never cross. But I’ve seen Ken. On his own. With an umbrella on the tube. More than once.

This reason, coupled with the price-rises for the poorest attitude of Boris, makes me think that Ken can’t be a worse option. Plus I feel sorry for him over the alliterative bicycles.

So I’m voting Ken. And this blog is the tiny mouthpiece I have to tell you about it, as I’m not an oligarch, and can’t afford to own a free newspaper. I can take some small comfort from the fact that a few thousand people will read this as a counterbalance, even though I’m still not sure why you’re all here. Thanks.

PS – Some reasons to vote Boris here.

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Olympic Route announced

Olympic Torch Relay Route Announced
Doesn’t pass directly through the village. From Saturday 21st July – Monday 23rd. More details here. I love the fact that it’s sponsored by Coca-cola. Beyond parody.

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Missile questions for our MPs

UPDATE: The response to this post from Heidi Alexander MP can be read here.

So we are to have missiles in our beautiful shared garden.

Clive Efford (Labour, MP for Eltham) criticised the Defence Minister for placing missiles in Olxeas Wood. But what about the ones planned on Blackheath?

Heidi Alexander (Labour, MP for Lewisham East) tweeted the following today:

MoD were looking at Blackheath suitability for potential olympic missile defence site last week. No decision yet taken. link
Have asked MoD for face to face briefing. link
I know it sounds surreal but sadly true. Nothing has been decided yet though. link
MoD describe it as some form of ground based air defence system. That’s all I know at the moment. link

Lewisham East Constituency

A commenter on my facebook page suggested the possible location of the missiles:

“The radar trial took place on Thursday just north east of the army cadet centre. the launcher was sans missile ( thank goodness)” — John Morris

As can just about be seen on the Ordnance Survey Election Maps, if the missile site is located north-east of the Territorial Army Barracks, this places it firmly in Heidi’s constituency.

However, assuming it is a Rapier missile, it has a range of 500m (seems very short to me?), meaning that it could also potentially kill people in the neighbouring “Greenwich and Woolwich Borough” constituency, the MP of which is Nick Raynsford (Labour).

I’d dearly love to attend the assembly meeting tomorrow, but I’m unlikely to be able to make it. If Heidi Alexander is at the assembly on Tuesday, here are some questions, you might like to consider asking:

* Who owns the land that the missiles will be placed on?
* Were any special orders required to place the missiles on the land?
* Who owns the missiles?
* Is there any way that you could have prevented this from happening?
* When did you first hear about it, and how was it presented to you?
* Do you think it is an appropriate course of action, taken by a supposedly sovereign nation, during peace time?

Guardian 13th Nov 2011: US officials worried about security at London 2012 Olympics

Washington’s need for reassurance is exasperating British officials and anti-terrorism officials, who have privately raised concerns about the meddling, as well as the size of the US “footprint” in the UK during the games next year.

BBC News 14th Nov 2011: Ground-to-air missiles ‘may protect’ London 2012 games

Mr Hammond was asked by his predecessor to confirm whether there would be a “full range of multilayered defence and deterrents” in place for the 2012 Games including surface-to-air missiles.

He replied: “I can assure him that all necessary measures to ensure the security and safety of the London Olympic Games will be taken including – if the advice of the military is that it is required – appropriate ground-to-air defences.”

UPDATE: Reply from Councillor Chris Maines on my facebook page:

I can confirm that there will be an opportunity to ask questions at the Blackheath Assembly tonight – a senior police officer will be present. However, this is an MOD issue and they are a difficult organisation to engage in full consultation. Since my briefing last week I have raised question at cabinet committee level although it seems as a matter of national security it is difficult to get definative responses, Cllr Chris Maines – Chair, Blackheath Assembly

UPDATE:
BBC News article including quote from Heidi Alexander about the missiles
Olympics missile sites considered for Blackheath and Shooters Hill

On Facebook, Kevin Bonavia (local councillor) says that an MoD representative will attend the Assembly tonight.

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