Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Paragon

The Paragon in Blackheath, by flickr user John Poulton
Interesting post on Flickr about World War Two bomb damage to The Paragon (former home of our recently acquainted character General Sir James Abbott).

The photograph shown in this post is by Flickr user John Poulton (a different one from the link above, due to copyright).

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Under the spreading chestnut tree

Under the spreading chestnut tree

Under the spreading chestnut tree
I sold you and you sold me
There lie they, and here lie we
Under the spreading chestnut tree

Maybe not as cute as you think
Anyone know which electricity box has been Orwellified?

UPDATE:
From @Aurist:

The box is a short walk up the alley next to M&S at the standard.

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Nine months to install a lift…

Network Rail letter informing Blackheath residents that the station improvement works are to be delayed.
BVRG has a copy of a letter sent out to local residents, explaining that the building of the Sistine Chapel station improvement works will take longer than expected. It won’t be completed until late June this year.

If it takes me 1m42s extra to walk across to the wrong platform and over the bridge, this means that I will have spent approximately 5 hours walking over the wobbly bridge, before the repair work is completed. Dodgy calculations can be mocked and critiqued here.

9 months to install a lift. In the same amount of time, there will be 19.5 new electricity power stations built in China.

Progress Update

“ACCESS FOR ALL” WORKS – BLACKHEATH STATION

I am writing further to my September 2010 resident letter informing you of Network Rail’s planned Access for All improvement works at Blackheath station.

Site works commenced as programmed in early October 2010 with the installation of a temporary footbridge. The planned works are now well underway with much of the new ramp around the outside of the station building leading down to platform 2 now constructed, the new lift shaft from ticket hall level to platform 1 constructed and the associated lift equipment installed.

The extremely cold weather conditions experienced during December and January, some unforeseen difficulties with installation of a new power supply upgrade required for the lift, including fabrication issues with the new staircase for platform 1, have slightly delayed our progress, with works now anticipated to be completed late June 2011.

We apologise for any ongoing disruption, however the equipment we use means some disturbance is unavoidable, but we will make every effort to minimise any unnecessary noise. Furthermore, those working on site are briefed on working responsibly in the local community.

I hope this information is helpful and we apologise for any inconvenience these essential works may cause. However, if you have any additional questions or concerns, please visit http://www.networkrail.co.uk or telephone our 24-Hour National Helpline on 08457 11 41 41.

Yours sincerely

Nick Gray Community Relations Manager

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Referendum results for Blackheath

Polling Station, Blackheath, St Michael's Church, London, SE3
Results from the referendum for Lewisham and Greenwich, according to this page.

Interesting that Lewisham’s AV vote had a majority of just 745 people (out of 57,113 people who voted).

Name Yes vote Yes % No vote No % Electorate Turnout Turnout %
Lewisham 28184 49.35 28929 50.65 172573 57113 33.09
Greenwich 20618 39.16 32039 60.84 158603 52657 33.2

(I can’t get the national total percentages to add up correctly on their spreadsheet though… Can you?)

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Polling my leg


I had a great idea for a website a while back. It was going to be called wherethefuckismypollingstation.com. Catchy hey? You’d go to the website, enter your postcode, and the site would show you a map to the appropriate polling station. (The link on the URL above takes you to Greenwich council’s site. Good luck finding your polling station…)

I’ve managed to dig my polling card out from a pile of junk mail, and it seems to be in the same place as usual (St Michael’s Church Hall), but I can never find the details on Greenwich or Lewisham’s websites. Without the card, I’d have no idea what time it opened for business.

If you’re a Lewisham voter, you’re more likely to be voting at Blackheath village library. If it’s still there.

Anyway, whether you vote “yes”, “no”, or “will it make any difference” tomorrow, make sure you vote.

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James Abbott’s book

Image from Narrative of a journey from Heraut to Khiva, Moscow, and St. Petersburgh, Volume 1. by Sir James Abbott
From Google Books, the complete volume 1 of James Abbott’s book (he of the previous post): Narrative of a journey from Heraut to Khiva, Moscow, and St. Petersburgh, Volume 1.

PDF PDF Version here. Image above from the book scan (book is from 1843, so is out of copyright).

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Bin Laden’s Death: The Blackheath Connection

James Abbott dressed as an Indian noble. (B. Baldwin, 1841)
Abbottabad (the city where Bin Laden was killed late last night) has a strong connection with Blackheath. From Neil Rhind (author of the seminal books about Blackheath):

Bugler – Good morning. Thought your readers would like to know the following before the national press get it wrong.

Abbottabad. in Pakistan, now famous/notorious for being Osama Bin Laden’s place of execution, was named after a Greenwich man: General Sir James Abbott (1807-1896) who was born at No 5 The Paragon. He was one of three illustrious sons of the family of Henry Abbott, navy agent and Calcutta merchant. James was commissioned in the Bengal artillery in 1823; in 1839 he was sent to negotiate a treaty between Khiva and Russia, signing the terms in St Petersburgh, in 1840. He was Commander of the garrison at Hazara, in the Sikh War of 1849-50, and held it so tenaciously that he enjoyed the thanks of both houses of Parliament. Abbottabad was named after him. His memoirs of the Khiva campaign were published in 1843. His brothers, Augustus and Frederick, were also promoted to Major General and were knighted for their services in India and Afghanistan. The Abbott family lived in Blackheath from the 1790s to 1820. Abbottabad “ … a remote city in a valley …” suffered dreadfully in the earthquake in October 2005.

Many thanks to Neil for sending this in. If you live in Blackheath, then buy his books. They’re really, really excellent.

Image above is of Sir James Abbott (from Wikipedia). For more terrorism-related links about Blackheath, you might enjoy the shoe-bomber post, from a little while ago…

UPDATE: Below are two images, showing Abbottabad in the 1860s, and in the present day (also from Wikipedia) (thanks to Michelle!)
Abbottabad in the 1860s from WikipediaAbbottabad City at Night from wikipedia

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