Blackheath Society have published their Better Blackheath Village Project (pdf). Here’s a quick run down of the winners and losers:
India Jane (pleasing shopfront apparently.. I say a displeasing lack of DVDs)
Pizza Express Restaurantisation, but loved by most.
BLOODY FOXTONS (And their poxy illuminated signs.)
Costcutter (Ugly Fascias).
Montpelier Coffee (illegal A frames? Not top of my list, but fair enough…)
The universally hated bus lane.
The Crown: No Jumbrellas please.
Locale: Society is annoyed about the planning permission. (Never mind the food).
Lewisham Council: Still handing out late night licenses willy nilly.
Network Rail: Want to build crap flats next to the station instead of getting the trains to run on time. Blackheath Society rightly unimpressed.
Library Square: The vultures are still circling. Nobody is prepared to admit who the vultures belong to.
Library block: Still very much in favour of knocking down the old library and building something else there it seems. How about another library?
Post Office: Society not totally averse to the idea of closing the sorting office. With it will come crappy opening hours for picking up undelivered mail.
UPDATE: The review in question has been removed, so it’s no longer possible to view it.
I’ve received an anonymous comment very similar to this one on my blog last week. I didn’t publish it as I don’t know anything about the school in question. I’m also not naming the school in this blog post, as I don’t think it’s fair when people go a-googling.
When Gregg’s the Bakers changes its signage, I feel qualified to harp on about that. I walk past Gregg’s. I even occasionally eat their veggie pasties, even though I know I shouldn’t.
As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t have kids. The last time I set foot in a school was when John Major was prime minister. So please understand my total lack of expertise here.
We have looked in the past at the websites of the local schools, and I must admit that the admissions policies of “faith schools” do scare me slightly. If you want to send your children to this school, you must have been attending a local church for at least 2 years, and the vicar must know you. So what happens if you lose your faith whilst your child is at the school? If you decide that you can no longer bring your child up with one set of beliefs, should that child leave their friends?
On the other hand, the school in question stands out to me as a casual observer precisely because it looks so idyllic. Their most recent Ofsted reports marked them as “outstanding”. The setting and style of the building reminds me of my very happy time at a local non-faith comprehensive primary school in the 80s (nowhere near here).
Back then, my school still made you sing hymns, had groovy vicars tell you that Jesus was cool, and occasional teachers who would tell you that you’d go to hell because you weren’t christened. All of which was just part of going to school for me. On the other hand, if you were “different” from the majority of kids at the school, you didn’t have such an easy time of it.
If you have any thoughts or comments about this, please think very carefully before posting. I can’t afford to be sued, and I don’t want allegations about specific people on this post. Teaching isn’t an easy job.
Here’s an interesting thing. In 1941 Reg Counsell worked for the Holmes Plating Company in Blackheath. He’s 85 now, and has sent in some photos of his time there. One in particular caught my eye – a group of the workers up on the heath. So I went to try and work out whereabouts it was taken. There are so many more trees on the heath now! And for some reason the three windows on the big white house are now blocked up. Maybe blacked out during the war? But if that was the case, surely they’d prefer to have a view of the heath now? Very odd… Anyway, I’ve made a montage above showing Reg’s photo, and some current images from the heath.
A good 50 or so people outside the PoW for the Blackheath Society’s guided walk (they’re only allowed 30 inside the houses). Much wringing of hands and asking of people to leave. Next time make rice-paper tickets and hide them all over the Heath!
Blackheath Society Vice-presidents Neil Rhind and Tony Aldous will be carrying out a guided walk (same route both days) looking at some of Blackheath’s best Georgian and early Victorian buildings on its south east corner. Meet outside the Princess of Wales’s pub. Walks approx. 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Maximum numbers 30. Tickets (free) available on a first-come first-served basis from 10.45 am (Saturday) and 2.45 pm (Sunday).
Saturday 17th September (tomorrow) – 11am
Sunday 18th September – 3pm
This should be excellent. Neil Rhind is always an interesting speaker, author of the excellent Blackheath Village & Environs series, and knows more than is healthy about the history of this area!
From 853blog today:
Failing Blackheath Bluecoat School Faces Closure
I know next to nothing about schools in this area, I’m ashamed to say. Being just the wrong age – no kids yet, and too old to have have gone to school around here, I try to avoid writing about subjects I have no experience of (hence the endless posts about wandering down the high street).
Bluecoats is highly visible on Twitter, and I’d be interested to know your thoughts on this. It’s always sad when a school has problems.