Monthly Archives: March 2010

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 ) yahoo.co.uk

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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No trains, no DLR, every bus is full

Stay in bed if you can. There’s little chance of heading in to London at a good hour today, thanks to some gas canisters that London Transport helpfully left to catch fire under some railway tracks… Again! Thanks!

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Hey! Lewisham has a new local paper!

Cool! A new local paper! And it looks nicely produced! Er… But what’s this? It seems to only have advertisements in it for the Conservative Party. And all the stories appear to portray Boris in a good light….

So no, it may walk like a local paper, and quack like a local paper, but it’s actually a political leaflet campaign.

I guess a lot of political parties do this. But the context of handing them out next to The Metro seems incongruous at best, and deceptive at worst.

An don’t you need a license to do thugs like this at a station?

UPDATE: According to the guy behind the ticket desk, they’re supposed to at least “sign in” with him. He says the station master didn’t know anything about it either.

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Thomas Noble’s Blackheath poetry book

A wonderful find on eBay (starting bids at £200), this 1808 poetry book about Blackheath.

Thanks to the wonder of the internet, you can look through its dusty pages for nothing, by going to this Internet Archive page. They have a great PDF version – complete with pen and ink illustrations, or the text only version (with dubious character recognition) is here.

Blackheath illustration from Thomas Noble's "Blackheath"poem

The illustrations are brilliant, as are the footnotes – little pieces of local history, like this one (page 40):
Continue reading

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New election, new blogs…

Blackheath Westcombe Labour now has its very own blog. There are only a couple of posts on there, and it’s pretty bland stuff. Interesting to compare it to the other local political sites:

There’s the LibDem Godfried Gyechie blog, which used to be quite a personal account of what he was up to, but now seems to be a series of PR quotes against the other parties – on the plus side, the number of typos seem to have dropped!

Then there’s the hysterically vitriolic Blackheath Conservatives – Outraged, I say – OUTRAGED at the disastrous consequences of railway privatisation… As pushed through by, er… Who was it again?

They also have a sister site which seems a little more chilled out for Blackheath Westcombe Conservatives, which generally takes potshots at local schools (metaphorically speaking), rather than the train system. If this floats your boat, then you’ll probably love Aru Sivananthan (Blackheath Conservative Candidate for Greenwich Council) on twitter. Terrifying stuff, especially the link to Daniel Hannan on Fox News.

Then of course, there’s the tried and tested Nick Raynsford MP homepage. Which seems quite thin on opinion and policy, but quite high on photos and handshaking. I’d love to know whether he agrees with the Robin Hood Tax proposal, for example. According to theyworkforyou, he generally tends to stand up and speak in the house of commons if there’s a bill encouraging the building of more houses, but not a lot else. Which makes a lot of sense, as he earned £148,000 in 2008 from directorships with various housing businesses, according to the Telegraph.

If you know of any other local blogs/sites from local councillors / MPs / prospective MPs, please add them to the comments!

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