Charlton voices: Linzi Kinghorn

Linzi KinghornA new, regular writer has joined the Charlton Champion team – journalism student Linzi Kinghorn.

Originally from Dorset, she moved to Charlton from north London a month ago and has been busy finding out about the area ever since.

She’ll be out and about talking to people and finding out their stories and their news. Got a story for Linzi? Drop us a line. Got any tips for her as a newcomer? Let us know in the comments…

What had you heard about Charlton before you moved here?
Before I moved to Charlton, I had no preconceptions at all. In fact, I wasn’t even aware it existed! I had heard of Greenwich and how beautiful it was, and of Blackheath and how affluent that was, but nothing about Charlton!

What were your first impressions of the place?
I was really surprised at how hilly it was! On a serious note, I was a little bit unnerved by the gangs that stood around the train station, but they didn’t cause me any trouble whenever I’ve walked past and don’t seem to be as prominent as when I first moved here. I’m quite surprised at how many little corner shops there are all in one place around the train station and genuinely surprised at how the lower part of Charlton differs from the little village at the top. It’s like two different places!

So far, what do you like the most?
I love my street. It has lots of cherry blossom trees and takes me out of the hustle and bustle of London. Everyone seems friendly and polite, and there are lots of families with cats which is nice. love the industrial park with all the shops – back at home in Dorset where I’m from we had nothing like that! I really like the quaintness of the village at the top with the co-op and little pubs.

How does it compare with Turnpike Lane?
The reason I disliked living in Turnpike Lane is because there was lots of crime – someone was sexually attacked outside my house – but here I feel considerably safer. I cannot imagine that happening outside my new house. North London feels smoggy and my skin would feel dirty – it feels much more like an outer London suburb here with the option of jumping on the train and being in central London within 10 minutes – best of both worlds!

What’s your favourite thing to do in Charlton?
So far, I’ve enjoyed the walks and the jogs. I went down to the Thames Barrier for a walk today and it was lovely. Yesterday I went for a run from the village down over the bridge and up to Blackheath and back and was smitten.

Anything you haven’t done yet but are keen to do?
I did a story about paranormal activity and ghost tours and one of the places mentioned was Charlton House – have to take a look in there at some point! I’ve heard Charlton also has a nice park which I’d like to see and of course get some cheap tickets for a Charlton game!

Where would you take someone who was visiting?
I would definitely take them up to the village because I think it is so quaint, and perhaps go in for a quiet lunch or drink in one of the pubs. Again, I really like the Thames Barrier.

Tell us some more about how you got involved with the Charlton Champion?
I came across the website on the internet when I was searching for information about the area. I’m doing a Masters degree in Broadcast Journalism at City University and thought it would be the perfect way to combine getting to know the area better with some good old-fashioned hyperlocal blogging. My aim is to get more members of the Charlton community engaging with each other and exchanging stories and news. So, I will be blogging about what I see, what I hear, local issues and hopefully interviewing some members of the community.

Isn’t this a sleepy area where nothing happens?
Not at all. No matter how small, if something affects people, upsets them, excites them, brings them together, that is news and that is something worth blogging about. If you look hard enough, you will always find things that are going on. I’ve only been here a month and lots of things have stood out to me – horses being used when football matches are on; potential allotment closures…these are things I am sure people are passionate about and definitely not things that would constitute describing Charlton as a sleepy area.

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21 Responses to Charlton voices: Linzi Kinghorn

  1. Brenda says:

    Not sure you will think the Village is so quaint once you’ve spent a bit more time up there.

    This is a lovely walk to do from the Thames Barrier and takes you through 3 or 4 Charlton parks. You finish at the lovely Oxleas Woods which has a lovely cafe and outlook. Best to be done on a nice day but one of my fave things to do.

    http://www.greenchain.com/walks/section-05.php

  2. Brenda says:

    I’ve put three lovely’s in that second para! All very lovely.

  3. Chris says:

    Linzi, welcome to Charlton from a fellow hack. Don’t worry too much about the ‘gangs’ hanging around the station/shops. Their bark is very much worse than their bite.

    Also, don’t worry about the dreadlocked gentleman you may occasionally see standing on the corner of Delafield Road by the station and shouting. Just a local character who won’t have taken his tablets that day and is harmless.

    Of course, Charlton has its problems, but I’ve lived here for 10 years after working in Asia for 10 years and it’s fine. There are far worse places to have tipped up at.

    Lovely advice above as well!

    Cheers,
    Chris.

  4. Darryl says:

    Ah, yes, Charlton Station Man…

    http://audioboo.fm/boos/53742-the-thoughts-of-charlton-station-man-10-august-2009

    I can second the advice on the village pubs, sadly.

  5. Matt says:

    Without sounding rude Charlton station man could get quite a decent record contract if ever an industry fat-cat overheard him.
    While we’re on the subject…does anybody see Lidl man – or is that just a New Charlton phenomena?

    By the way Linzi I would be wary what pub you take visitors into. Nothing bad will happen but the one’s in the village aren’t as friendly and quaint as they appear on the outside. The Rose of Denmark on the Woolwich lower road is great (no food anymore though), the Anchor & Hope on the river is good and even the Antigallican is having a resurgence with local students I hear. Otherwise a bus to Blackheath, Greenwich or the new Dial Arch in Woolwich is very nice.

    I’m sure other readers will be able to chip in with pub reviews too.

  6. Charlton Lane Dave says:

    I think Linzi should be asked the same questions in six months time – the difference in some of her answers might be interesting – her initial views on the top and bottom of Charlton for example ( Brenda’s view of the pubs being an obvious one). I am pleased to hear she has already noticed the improvement on North London (there are still people who debate this!).

  7. Brenda says:

    Lidl man? Not sure of him. I have nicknames for a lot of Charlton’s “characters” who hang about at the top of the village. We have a few homes near us.

  8. Brenda says:

    I drink in the Bugle and don’t find it scary. But see my comment on the post about the Swan the other night. Be interesting to see what happens.

  9. Chris says:

    At the top, there is the guy I call the Buggy Man. He’s a wino with his own motorised buggy and can often be seen driving down the middle of the road at the back of the Co-op, his buggy weighed down with plonk. If you’re driving, you have to wait for him. I think he lives on, or just off, Fairfield Grove.

    I have had the misfortune to be behind him in the Co-op a couple of times when his Visa card has been declined.

    The flower bed by the Co-op is a hangout for the winos.

    Do not give money to a well spoken woman with a dog who hangs out near the Co-op and sometimes outside Charlton station. She spins a plausible yarn, but is an alcoholic.

    Lovely!

  10. Brenda says:

    I was going to mention her, she has long reddish hair. Always on the ponce.

    And if you get caught near Sweary Bev dont be concerned if she tells you to F*** off, she doesn’t mean anything by it.

    Chris – we are not painting a very lovely picture are we!

  11. Matt says:

    Oh I saw the buggy man the other day yeah. He rarely ventures down to Charlton depths where I am though – for obvious reasons!

    Lidl man, big bleached bonde bloke who is contantly walking whilst mumbling to himself. Walks about fifteen miles a day. Always has a Lidl bag in his hand.

    The red haired woman really used to annoy me, however she recognises me now so she’s steers well clear of me.

  12. Chris says:

    Nope, we’re just having a bit of fun (sorry can’t read your name because of the blank avtar thingie covering it).

    As noted above, I like living in Charlton and a place needs characters. None of these folk are liable to attack you in way, shape or form. It’s what journos call ‘colour’.

    In my youth I spent a nomadic few years around south London and know most of it well. Charlton is fine.

    To inject a note of positivity, lets mention pretty good transport links, proximity to the 02, Blackheath Village (if you can afford it) , Greenwich — with its park, Observatory, Painted Hall and magnificent (free) Maritime Museum. Plenty of local shops, plus the bigger stuff on the peninsular, excellent kebabs from Charlton Kebab emporium (excellent for Chav spotting as well), plenty of doctor/dental services and some nice greenery and it ain’t all that bad! In fact it can be lovely!

    Cheers!
    Chris.

  13. Darryl says:

    Red-haired Woman gets about about a bit – spotted her in east Greenwich and crossing Blackheath (can in hand). This will probably read a bit strange, but I’m always left wondering what she would look like if it wasn’t for the Super T habit – she must have been quite striking back in the day…

    I think you’ve all nailed the thing about Charlton – it’s a decent place, handily-placed for other decent places, best explored on foot.

  14. Nikki says:

    The thing I find about Charlton – I moved here 5 years ago – is that it’s a good place for being quietly happy. I love living here but have never made a case for it that’s convinced anyone else I think.

    This is a bit vague, so:
    – yes, the village isn’t all that quaint on closer inspection. If you squint perhaps…
    – The Bugle is all right, and I’ve come to quite enjoy going there
    – the walled gardens at Charlton house are one of my favourite places ever, and in my opinion all the better for being a bit wild from time to time.
    – If you’re a wandering around old churches sort of person, St Luke’s is worth your time if you can ever find it open.
    – the parks are great.
    – there is the internal satisfaction of knowing that once a year people used to walk from Rotherhithe to your part of the world cross-dressed and wearing horns on their heads in order to get very drunk

    • Ronny says:

      I agree with Nikki, guess we are neighbours?
      Aside from the parks there is nothing too special about Charlton, but that makes it a good place to live, for us.
      The one thing Charlton Village could do with is a place to go to in the evening. Ok, there is the bugle horn, but I mean a nice pub, cafe or anything to stop by, outside your own home. And sth you would happily recommend to friends or strangers to do the same. For this you have to venture out a little. The chippy is very good though.
      Maryon Wilson Park is magnificient, its tranquility and setting is surreal. The tennis courts in there featured in “Blow up”, long time back.
      We love Charlton.

  15. Thanks everyone for your comments and advice! As I was walking along the Thames Barrier I came across the Anchor and Hope and it was so nice to see everyone sat outside in the sun having a drink. Will definitely be going down there at some point!

    I look forward to speaking to all of you personally soon!

  16. maggie jones says:

    Linzi – one fine day get on the 486 bus, heading south, up the hill. Go over Shooter’s Hill and at the bottom get off at the stop at Woodlands Farm. You may think you haven’t left Dorset. And at the moment (March/April) the lambs are arriving too. The farm is open every day, except Mondays, free (but donation please). Next big show day is Easter Saturday – Lambing Day.

  17. Chris says:

    Darryl, Charlton Station Man was certainly lurking yesterday. I saw him at the junction of Charlton Church Lane and Delafield yesterday. He’d probably gone there from Priolo Road.

    As you say, he was on good form.

  18. Hi Maggie! Thanks for the tip! I shall certainly be checking that out as I don’t have any plans for Easter saturday! Can’t wait to see the little lambs!

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