Monthly Archives: March 2010

Greenwich Park Olympics discussion on Today

This morning, at 8:55 the Today programme held a discussion between Mark Camley, chief executive of Royal Parks and Simon Jenkins, columnist for The Times, on the importance of parks, and the impact of the Olympics on Greenwich and Blackheath.

Recording is here.

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Blackheath Hospital in print

Blackheath Hospital in the Illustrated London News from 1856.
Fancy a pen and ink illustration of Hogwarts? Someone’s flogging a page from an 1856 issue of The Illustrated London News on Amazon, for the princely sum of $21.75 (or £20.42 in old money, including shipping).

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Pushing the boundaries…

I was wondering why Darryl had made such a long and complicated description of the electoral boundary changes – why not just upload a map? Surely the maps outlining the electoral boundaries must be held in public, and be freely distributable?

Well, not exactly. There’s this wet blanket of a site, from Ordnance Survey (friends of the Free Our Data campaign). Good luck with zooming out. And you’re not allowed to view more than one constituency at a time… But why on earth would you want to do that? Ridiculous. And who paid for the creation of these maps? You and me (and probably your great-grandparents, come to think of it).

You are also not allowed to reproduce them. Unless you’re in Sweden and have a rather more relaxed view of copyright law… Someone appears to have uploaded a map showing the old boundaries around Blackheath in blue, and the new ones in red. Unchanged bits are in purple.

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Olympics roundup

Here’s a list of recommended links about the Olympic Planning meeting held tonight in Woolwich Town Hall.

UPDATE: Greenwich Council have voted to allow the equestrian events to go ahead. Ten votes for, and two against.

Up to the minute tweets from AdamBienkov and Darryl1974, pints of Guinness notwithstanding…. Conservative councillor for Eltham Nigel Fletcher also present, but not tweeting currently. Also nothing on the NOGOE twitterfeed since 2pm.

Grauniad article London Olympics row over Greenwich Park role reaches climax talking about the people and organisations involved.

Greenwich Green Party article written by Darryl1974 (rightly) criticising the appalling Greenwich Time “newspaper”.

David Starkey’s letter to The Times, as also mentioned on the NOGOE website.

My view? The Olympics in Greenwich are inevitable. It will go ahead. If a million people walking through the streets of London can’t stop the Iraq War (yes, I’m looking at you Nick Raynsford), then a few angry locals can’t stop the Olympics from knocking down some trees in the park. But I’m not suggesting that these actions are pointless. Thanks to these protests, officials will now have to treat the park and the heath with additional respect, and will have to work harder to prove the benefits to the local community than they otherwise would have.


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Past election results in Greenwich and Lewisham

Here are some graphs showing past general election results around Blackheath. If you’re not sure which area you’re in, you can use to find out. It’s really easy, just enter your postcode in the “Your Representative” box.

Greenwich Election results 1997-2005

Lewisham Election Results 1997-2005>

These numbers were from which seems to be the only place to find this sort of info?! Note that these graphs only show the top 3 parties in each year, and show the number of votes, not percentages of votes. Also note that these numbers are for General Elections (MPs) not local elections (councillors).

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Hello. Just a quick post to find out who’s been knocking on your door lately. Alex Grant (Labour councillor for Greenwich) appeared at my door last week. Unfortunately I was hungover, grumpier than usual, and whilst was quite happy to talk about the local council, started to see red when he asked me about how I would vote in the national elections. I said I really didn’t know, and that whilst I’d always voted Labour in the past, I simply couldn’t bring myself to vote for an MP who was in favour of the Iraq War, in favour of Trident, for ID cards, etc, etc. When I claimed that Nick Raynsford spends a disproportionate amount of time talking about property development in the house of commons, this was disputed. I pointed out that I regularly look at what Mr Raynsford is speaking on, by using, and I think you’ll agree there is a fair amount about property development, and not so much about our ridiculous privatised rail system.

Anyway, I now feel slightly guilty for giving him such a hard time. He seemed like a good guy, and at least he turned up and was willing to talk. And today, Anne asked on twitter:

@blackheathbugle why are people in Nick Raynsford’s constituency being canvassed by Clive Efford? He’s not our MP…

I have no idea. I haven’t seen Clive Efford at my door (he’s the MP for Eltham, with Labour – although you’d have to look very carefully at his website to spot it). And I haven’t seen Nick Raynsford either.

So, at the risk of opening the floodgates of political ranting – who’s been knocking on your door, and how were they?


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If you’re not grey, where are you?

I know that you use the library.. .I’ve seen you! I haven’t felt so young in a while… If you’re a thrusting young professional™, who likes the local library, then where the hell were you? Seriously – that meeting was packed, but barely a soul there was under fifty. Which is fine, but it was a week night – a Tuesday for god’s sake! You can’t all have been at Pilates?! Anyway… Despite the curious demographic slope, the meeting was an interesting affair.

Read on to the full thing, but also, please email to sign up for their newsletters.  I’ve scanned the one from the meeting (PDF file here) – I’ll take it down if anyone objects.
Continue reading


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What future for Blackheath Village Library?

What future for Blackheath Village Library? poster

A slightly ominous looking poster in Age Exchange’s window. From the poster:

What future for Blackheath Village Library?

A meeting open to all at The Bakehouse, 6.30pm, Tuesday 16th March, behind the Reminiscence Centre, enter from Bennett Park.  Antonio Rizzo, head of Lewisham Library Services, will explain how change might affect the local library service in the next few years.

What do you want from our library?  Please come and give us your views.

telephone  020 8852 4032
email:  se3villagelibrary (a t )

Hopefully the answers will be listened to.  Libraries are so important – the local council must not cut them, and the labour councillors seem very happy to announce the revamp of the library in Blackheath Royal Standard on their blog… Hopefully because they want more libraries for all, not as a way of closing the one in the village.  Or am I too paranoid?  What with the Piazza plans looming, the village library’s future feels uncertain to me.

The Blackheath Village Library Users Group website hasn’t been updated for a while – hopefully they’ve still got some fight in them!

I suspect a reduction in qualified librarians – introduction of self service tills, fewer books, and more incredibly underpowered Windows internet terminals, half of which will be permanently out of order…  Or maybe the library will have longer opening hours, and more books!

Anyway – here’s the location on Google streetview.  Go along if you can:

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Blackheath: The expert speaks

Neil Rhind is going to be speaking about Blackheath’s history at the Old Royal Naval College on 1st May. If you haven’t heard of Neil Rhind, then you surely haven’t being paying attention to this blog.  It would be no exaggeration to say that he is the authority on Blackheath’s history. If you’ve never read his books, then I urge you to check them out. Reading Blackheath Village and Environs is like peeling back the layers of time. It’s a forensic examination of every little nook and cranny of the area. You can pick it up in the Bookshop on the Heath, in Blackheath Library (look, it’s on the shelf!), and they even sell it in the Clarendon Hotel.

The talk is on Saturday 1st May, at the Old Royal Naval College, in Greenwich (map and full address here), from 6pm-8pm. It costs £20. To book your place, telephone Rachel Wiltshire on 020 8853 7037.

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The dwarf is back!

Just when you thought it was safe to commute, here is the ultra-short camera person, out again, to terrify Blackheath’s commuters with unflattering “up the nostrils” shots. Will the transport injustices never end?!

Here’s the last, strangely shot package, in almost exactly the same format… I reckon the producer lives in Blackheath…


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