Charlton House Tea Rooms now open for business on Saturdays

Charlton House
Charlton House

Charlton Champion reader LARA RUFFLE COLES has been in touch with news from Charlton House:

I’ve lived in Charlton for nearly four years and I’ve always been perplexed about the opening hours of the tea rooms at Charlton House. Why are they only open during the week? What about the weekend when most people are home from work, and are able to pootle on down for a cup of tea and a piece of cake?

Given how few places there are for a tea or coffee in Charlton – The Old Cottage Coffee Shop is my usual spot, you might have thought that filling the tea rooms on a weekend would have been an easy win for the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust who run the building. Alas however, the tea rooms shut up shop on Friday.

But, good news is here!

Charlton House manager Edward Schofield has confirmed that after a successful trial run earlier this year, the tea rooms will now be open on Saturdays from 11am-3pm.

No word on Sunday opening hours so far, but as the Saturday change is permanent, perhaps opening on a Sunday is the next step?

At last, somewhere else to go at the weekend!

The Charlton House site has now been updated to state the new opening times, and an updated banner will be displayed outside Charlton House in the next week or so.

If you would like to give feedback on the new opening hours, their office is based at Charlton House, or you can email the trust on office@rght.org.uk, or find them on social media.

The Charlton Champion provides news and information about issues and events in London SE7. Got a story, or heard some local news? Get in touch!.

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Thames Path ‘missing link’ is launched – with council hoping to open it all night

Cyclists on the Thames Path missing link
Cyclists and walkers gathered on Wednesday for the opening of the Thames Path’s ‘missing link’

The “missing link” on the Thames Path between Charlton and Woolwich opened on Wednesday – with Greenwich Council pledging to finish the job by trying to open it 24 hours a day.

After 15 years of lobbying by Greenwich Cyclists, the £1.5m route from the Thames Barrier in Charlton to King Henry’s Wharf in Woolwich was officially launched by London cycling and walking commissioner Will Norman and Greenwich Council cabinet member Denise Scott-McDonald.

Scott-McDonald, the cabinet member for public realm, told guests that while the connection – which passes through an industrial estate – would “initially” open from 6am to 9pm seven days a week, “our ambition is for it to open 24 hours a day, for everyone”.

The link uses a ramp to pass from the Thames Barrier site into the Westminster Industrial Estate – the old Siemens factory, which dominated the area before closing in 1968 – before passing Thames-Side Studios and the Arts Cafe. A second ramp at the end of Warspite Road then takes walkers and cyclists above the riverside before rejoining the existing Thames Path at King Henry’s Wharf.

Closures by developers aside, the completion of the “missing link” now means near-uninterrupted access to the Thames right through Greenwich borough from Deptford to Thamesmead and beyond, as well as improving cycle access to both North Greenwich tube and the forthcoming Woolwich Crossrail station.

Will Norman, who wheeled a bike through the link as part of the opening ceremony, said: “This really sits at the heart of what the mayor and his team are trying to do: to enable more people to be more active, to get out of their cars and actually enjoy exploring the city and finding new spots. Far more people can access this and use it as part of their daily lives.”

New signage indicates that the link will eventually be joined to Quietway 14, a cycling route which currently runs from Blackfriars Road to Canada Water station.

A Greenwich Council spokesperson told The Charlton Champion that signs directing users to “Greenwich Peninsular” would be corrected.

While the new route will be welcomed, actually getting to the Thames Path can be a challenge for cyclists – particularly crossing the Woolwich Road, which has seen plans for a segregated cycle lane – Cycle Superhighway 4 – dropped. Cyclist Edgaras Cepura was recently killed at the Woolwich Road roundabout in east Greenwich – nine years after Adrianna Skrzypiec died on her bike at the same spot.

Will Norman told The Charlton Champion that the A206 from Greenwich to Woolwich had been identified as one of the top 25 in London that needed action to make it better for cyclists – but that work on the Greenwich one-way system would come before the rest of the route.

Will Norman
Will Norman takes his bike along the “missing link”

He said: “CS4 was separated out under the previous administration into chunks, and the section from Greenwich to Woolwich was downgraded as part of that decision.

“We recently have been looking at the Liveable Neighbourhood programme, and working with the borough to address concerns around the [Greenwich] gyratory and making that safe, which as you know has millions of people coming to visit the Unesco world heritage site.

“Then clearly the next section is to work with the borough on the next part of the route, with borough officers and politicans and coming up with the best way to tackle that.” (See more at our sister site 853.)

Thames Path missing link crowd
Cyclists and walkers gathered for the openeing ceremony (Photo: Charlotte Brooke)

Fixing the missing link was one of the ambitions of campaigner Barry Mason, the former co-ordinator of Greenwich Cyclists and neighbouring Southwark Cyclists, who died in 2011.

Mason was well-known for leading a “midsummer madness” ride on 21 June each year, which would start from the Cutty Sark at 2am and arrive at Primrose Hill to see the sun rise on the longest day of the year.

The Charlton Champion provides news and information about issues and events in London SE7. Help us by telling us your stories – or buy the author a coffee.

‘Stick to your masterplan’: Residents launch Charlton Riverside petition to Greenwich Council

Rockwell’s plans for Charlton Riverside. Local residents’ groups say that the application “drives a coach and horses” through Greenwich Council’s Charlton Riverside Masterplan

Residents worried about the future of Derrick and Atlas Gardens – the two streets at the riverfront end of Anchor & Hope Lane – have launched a petition asking Greenwich Council to enforce the terms of its own Charlton Riverside Masterplan.

Citing the £854,000 cost of developing masterplans for the area – a figure revealed through a Freedom of Information request submitted by the organisers – the petition highlights discrepancies between the masterplan’s objectives and Greenwich Council planning officers’ recommendation to approve the upcoming Rockwell housing development application:

The Rockwell development application currently before the council drives a coach and horses through the carefully created masterplan in terms of building heights, levels of density/massing, and affordable housing. 

If the Rockwell development is approved by the planning board it will set a precedent for all future developers to ignore the masterplan in respect of further planning applications for the wider site. This will have a huge impact on the whole of Charlton.

For reasons that are hard to understand, the council’s own officers have recommended giving approval to the Rockwell development even through the application does not meet the vision or targets described in the masterplan which was commissioned by the council and approved by cabinet in November 2017.

The petitioners are unhappy about Rockwell’s plans for 771 new homes on an industrial estate which surrounds their homes. The scheme includes five 10-storey blocks.

Councillors voted to defer making a decision on the application at a planning board meeting held just prior to the May council elections.

One of the petition organisers, Helen Jakeways of community group Charlton Together, said: “It’s really vital for all of Charlton that Greenwich Council lives up to the vision and ambition of its own Charlton Riverside Masterplan.

“Not only would it be £850,000 of public money wasted if it didn’t, the knock on effect for all of Charlton would be awful if developers are allowed free rein on the Riverside plot. We’re asking everyone Charlton wide to sign the petition and support the Charlton Riverside Masterplan.”

You can sign the petition here: change.org/p/danny-thorpe-enforce-the-charlton-riverside-masterplan.

Derrick & Atlas Gardens Residents’ Association has recently joined Twitter – you can follow it here: twitter.com/DagraSE7.

Read previous Charlton Champion coverage of the Rockwell planning application here.

The Charlton Champion provides news and information about issues and events in London SE7. Help us by telling us your stories – or buy the author a coffee.

Outdoor cinema: The Greatest Showman and Moana come to Charlton House in July

Outdoor Cinema Charlton House

The Extraordinary Travelling Film Show are bringing their pop-up cinema to Charlton and screening two popular films outdoors in Charlton House’s walled garden this July:

The walled garden at Charlton House

In other local film news, the 3rd annual Charlton & Woolwich Free Film Festival will take place September 7th-15th, in venues around the area; we’ve heard rumours that Charlton House and the White Swan pub will be involved again this year and are looking forward to hearing the full line-up. You can keep up to date with film announcements – and get involved with the festival – via their Twitter account.

The Charlton Champion provides news and information about issues and events in London SE7. Help us by telling us your stories – or buy the author a coffee.

Charlton and Woolwich’s Thames Path Missing Link finally due to open

Thames Path missing link
It’s coming… thanks to Paul Stollery for the photo

After years as a council pipedream, then a much-delayed period of planning and construction, the Thames Path’s “missing link” between the Thames Barrier in Charlton and King Henry’s Wharf in Woolwich will finally open next week.

Greenwich Council cabinet member Denise Scott-McDonald and City Hall walking and cycling commissioner Will Norman will open a link between the two sections of path on Wednesday 20 June at 3.30pm. (Want to go? Sign up here, and thanks to Greenwich Council for letting us know.)

Missing Link invite

The pathway – which includes a ramp from the Thames Barrier site into the adjacent industrial estate, and an elevated path at Warspite Road on the Woolwich side – will end years of aggravation for walkers and cyclists who have had to divert onto the unpleasant Woolwich Road when travelling along the Thames.

It also removes one of the few significant blockages of south-east London’s stretch of Thames Path – including an almost-interrupted riverside pathway (save for one or two blocks) through Greenwich borough from Deptford Green to Thamesmead – and makes it easier for people to cycle from riverside parts of Woolwich and Thamesmead to North Greenwich station.

However, signs on the route indicate it will only be available from 6am to 9pm. Signs also eventually indicate it will be added to Quietway 14, a cycling route from Blackfriars Road to Canada Water station.

Although someone may need to change the spelling mistake on the signs before it opens…

While the route will be welcomed by cyclists, last week saw a “die-in” at Woolwich Town Hall protesting after three riders were killed in separate collisions in Greenwich and Deptford, including two on the A206 through Greenwich, one at the notorious Woolwich Road roundabout.

Organisers demanded the reinstatement of the full Cycle Superhighway 4 scheme between London Bridge and Woolwich, which was shortened to run between Tower Bridge and Deptford Creek Bridge by mayor Sadiq Khan.

The Charlton Champion provides news and information about issues and events in London SE7. Help us by telling us your stories – or buy the author a coffee.

Sing the Baby Blues with the Big Red Bus Club on Fridays

Baby Blues flyer

Annie’s been in touch to sing us a song…

You may already be aware that the British Journal of Psychiatry published a report on the benefits of singing in reducing the impact of post-natal depression.

We’ve picked up the baton. Our mums have designed the service that they want to tackle postnatal isolation and loneliness.

Together we take a positive whole family approach to good mental health. The Baby Blues Choir brings together a parent- led stay and play, post-natal peer help & support and of course free choir lessons.

One in eight mums live with post-natal depression and many more live with isolation and loneliness.

The Big Red Bus Club is a charitable family wellbeing centre, free to use and run by local people and families.

If you fancy singing your heart out, join the Big Red Bus Club each Friday from 10am to noon during term times.

The Charlton Champion provides news and information about issues and events in London SE7. Help us by telling us your stories – or buy the author a coffee.

Get Together for the Great Charlton Cake Off and more on 24 June

June’s here, which means ParksFest season has started across Greenwich borough. Charlton Park will host the Great Get Together on 24 June, with a range of entertainment including World Cup-themed live music and workshops from Global Fusion Music and Arts, the Great Charlton Cake Off with Greenwich Clandestine Cake Club, and well-being activities organised by the Big Red Bus Club.

For more information – including how to enter the Cake Off – see the Friends of Charlton Park’s website.

The event runs from 11am to 2pm on Saturday 24 June (so you can squeeze a couple of hours in before the England v Panama match).

The Charlton Champion provides news and information about issues and events in London SE7. Help us by telling us your stories – or buy the author a coffee.