Charlton set to keep Charing Cross trains and gain Thameslink services in rail revamp

Thameslink class 700 train

Thameslink trains like this are due to start calling at Charlton from next Spring (photo: Michael Day via Creative Commons CC BY-NC 2.0)

New rail timetables put out to consultation today show Charlton is due to keep its trains to Charing Cross from May 2018 – and is set to gain a new service to Blackfriars, St Pancras and Luton.

The reshuffle of services sees the current Charing Cross to Gillingham service, run by Southeastern, replaced by a new Thameslink service between Luton and Rainham, Kent, which will also stop at Deptford, Greenwich, Maze Hill and Westcombe Park, but not Woolwich Dockyard.

A new Southeastern service from Charing Cross to Dartford via Lewisham and Woolwich, calling at all stations, will maintain the link between Charlton, Blackheath and Lewisham.

The new-look timetable will mean Charlton travellers will get four trains per hour to Cannon Street via Greenwich, two to Blackfriars via Greenwich and two to Charing Cross via Lewisham. (See a sample weekday timetable.)

Currently, there are six trains to Cannon Street via Greenwich and two to Charing Cross via Lewisham.

Sunday services will consist of two trains to Cannon Street via Greenwich, two to Blackfriars via Greenwich and two to Charing Cross via Lewisham.

Southeastern says the Greenwich line will also see six trains per hour run in peak times once again – although this will be made up of four from Cannon Street and two from Blackfriars.

The Thameslink service will provide a direct link to St Pancras (for Eurostar and inter-city services) and Luton Airport. It is one of a number of new services that will be made possible by the works to expand London Bridge station. Stopping markers for the new Thameslink trains have already been installed at Charlton.

One side-effect of the work has been a small reduction in capacity at Cannon Street station, due to the loss of a short line used to shuttle empty trains between there and Blackfriars.

Changes to other local train services include plans to extend the current Victoria to Dartford service on the Bexleyheath line to Gravesend, and a boost to the Sidcup line so more stations get a regular six-train-per-hour service. Thameslink services through Crofton Park and Catford will double to four trains per hour. (See From The Murky Depths for more.) In addition, Crossrail will begin to operate to and from Woolwich and Abbey Wood from December 2018.

Unhelpfully, there are two separate consultations on the proposals, both of which cover huge areas. There is one for the Southeastern proposals (see this PDF for details) and one for the Thameslink proposals, which can be found at transformingrail.com.

NB. A Government consultation on the Southeastern franchise ends this Friday. It’s worth using this to voice your views on its decision not to allow TfL to control our local rail services.

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Can you help? Police hunt two men after Charlton stabbing

Adam Chambers

Adam Chambers died on Tuesday outside Phipps House, behind Woolwich Road

Police are hunting two men after a 30-year-old man died after being stabbed behind Phipps House, off Woolwich Road, on Tuesday evening.

The victim has been identified as Adam Chambers, who lived in Charlton. A post-mortem found he died after a stab wound to the chest.

Detective Chief Inspector Lee Watling of the Metropolitan Police’s Homicide and Major Crime Command said he wanted to trace two men who were seen near the location before heading towards Troughton Road.

“They are both described as black men, aged around 20 years,” he said. “One man was taller than the other, and both were wearing dark clothing.

“I would urge any witnesses, or anyone with information that may assist the investigation, to call police.” (Read the full police statement)

Police were called to the scene at 5.44pm. Any witnesses or anyone with information should call the incident room on 020 8721 4205.

To give information anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit the crimestoppers-uk.org website.

A tribute video has been posted to YouTube, featuring bike riders who rode around the area on Wednesday evening.

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Charlton Triangle Homes tells residents its cladding is safe following Grenfell Tower fire disaster

Springfield Grove estate

The Springfield Grove estate was among those reclad by Charlton Triangle Homes in 2012

Charlton Triangle Housing has told residents the cladding used on its blocks is safe and will not easily catch fire, following the the disaster at Grenfell Tower in North Kensington.

On Friday, police confirmed at least 30 people had died in the west London fire, with the final figure feared to be many more. Media speculation has centred on the cladding recently fitted to the 24-storey tower, which was enveloped by flames within minutes in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The block’s managers have been accused of ignoring safety fears raised by residents.

Most of the blocks run by Charlton Triangle, including those on the Springfield Grove and Cherry Orchard estates, were reclad in 2012 as part of an energy efficiency programme. The housing association, which also operates the Harold Gibbons Court, Mascalls Court and Valley Grove blocks, says its homes are not at risk.

A statement issued to residents reads: “There has been a lot of speculation and coverage in the press about the impact of external cladding in spreading the fire at Grenfell Tower.

“Whilst it is still far too early to determine the cause of the fire, this has caused concern amongst our residents given that all of our older blocks, with the exception of Valiant House, were overclad in 2012.

“Our external cladding is a mineral based system. It has a fire standard rating that means the materials used will prevent the spread of fire. The mineral insulation itself is non – combustible.”

Macalls Court and Harold Gibbons Court were constructed after World War II. They were also reclad in 2012.

Mascalls Court and Harold Gibbons Court were constructed after World War II. They were also reclad in 2012

Valiant House – a 16-storey block behind The Valley built in the late 1970s – was the only block not given cladding.

Charlton Triangle says it will be carrying out additional inspections over the coming week to double-check safety doors and escape routes, with caretakers reminded to be extra vigilant.

The association, which will soon become part of the giant Peabody group, took control of the blocks from Greenwich Council in 1999, refurbishing and remodelling the estates over the following years. Unlike many other London authorities, Greenwich retains direct control of most other housing estates in the borough.

On Wednesday, Greenwich released a statement saying it was carrying out extra checks on the cladding used on 11 of its high-rise blocks, with fire safety officers examining escape routes at the six 24-storey blocks.

It added that all 93 high-rise blocks in the borough had current safety certificates, with the exception of two on John Wilson Street in Woolwich which had interim certificates because they were undergoing refurbishment. Those two blocks would be given updated risk assessments once work had been completed, it said.

To donate to the London Fire Relief Fund, visit the British Red Cross. For details of how else you can help, or support if you have been affected by the disaster, visit the Red Cross website.

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Maryon Park to host Picnic in the Park this Sunday

Maryon Park

Photo by Maureen Barlin (via Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Charlton Parkside Community Hub and Valley Hill Community Hub have been in touch about Picnic in the Park in Maryon Park this Sunday, 18 June from 2-6pm.

We have been very busy co-ordinating all the lovely people and groups who are taking part in this event and here is your reminder to get your picnic baskets out and ready!

We are delighted to announce that our recently re-elected MP Matthew Pennycook has agreed to open the event for us. Following that, there will be:

– Plenty of space for picnics

– Ice-cream van, a stall selling soft drinks, locally brewed beer and wine and Feast will be selling small hot snacks. There will also be elderflower cordial and jam for sale and there might even be cakes somewhere

– Games and races for all – large and small

– Live music from our very own Jim Kinsella, the local Recorder Ensemble and a special guest appearance from some members of the East London Brass Band with DJ slots in between courtesy of Ed Simmons

– Dance performances from the Mulvihill Academy of Irish Dance and the Marjorie Hawkins Dance Academy

– Boxing (non-contact and child centred) demonstrations and ‘have a go’ fitness workshops run by the local St Paul’s Boxing Club

– Judo demonstrations from the club who practice in New Charlton Community Centre

– Local group stalls including Riverwood, who make wonderful things out of reclaimed wood, Riding for the Disabled, Friends of Charlton Lido, the WI, Bexley and Greenwich Hospice, Friends of Maryon Parks, St Thomas Church & The Tuesday Group, Thorntree PTA… and possibly more.

– Information and energy-saving advice provided by South East London Community Energy who have very kindly donated a solar powered generator to us for the day

– Opportunities to visit the Growing Garden and see all the great work being done there helping local people grow their own food

Make sure you bring some cash with you as there will also be:

– A qualified massage therapist offering massage to help raise funds for Friends of Maryon Parks
Plants for sale (and from 10am in the Growing Garden)

– Bric-a-brac, raffle and tombola

Entry is free, but we will be doing a bucket rattle to help with the costs of the publicity, incidentals, insurances and licenses over and above any funding we might receive. Anything left once we have covered costs will be donated to the St Thomas Church Nightshelter project.

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Flowers left at scene as police launch murder inquiry following Charlton stabbing

Phipps House

Flowers, candles and beer left behind Phipps House on Wednesday evening

Police have launched a murder inquiry after a man died after being stabbed behind Phipps House, off Woolwich Road, on Tuesday.

Flowers, candles and bottles of beer were being left at the scene on Wednesday evening, with neighbours gathering to mourn the 30-year-old victim, who has not been named by police.

A police statement says:

Police were called by the London Ambulance Service at 17:49hrs on Tuesday, 13 June to reports of a man stabbed behind Phipps House, located off Woolwich Road.

Officers and London’s Air Ambulance attended and found a 30-year-old man injured. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 18:27hrs.

Next of kin have been informed.

A post-mortem examination will be held in due course.

Detectives from the Homicide and Major Crime Command (HMCC) are investigating.

There has been no arrest at this early stage.

Any witnesses or anyone with any information should call the HMCC incident room number on 020 8721 4205.

To give information anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit the crimestoppers-uk.org website.

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‘Black Comedy’ and ‘Who Calls’: The Alexandra Players celebrate 60 years of amateur dramatics in Charlton

News in from Charlton’s Alexandra Players – celebrating their 60th year in 2017 – of a new production of two one-act plays…

Wednesday 31st May – Saturday 3rd June 2017
8pm (Doors open 7.30pm)
Seats £9 Concessions £8

BLACK COMEDY | Written By Peter Shaffer | Directed By Keith Hartley
CAST | Hereward Cruttwell Reade, Lizzy Todd, Janet Sweet, Roy Moore, Mark Higgins, Alex Parker & Andrew Spence

Lovesick and desperate, sculptor Brindlsey Miller has embellished his apartment with furniture and objects d’arte “borrowed” from the absent antique collector next door hoping to impress his fiancee’s pompous father and a wealthy art dealer, Schuppanzigh. The fussy neighbour, Harold Gorringe returns just as a blown fuse plunges the apartment into darkness and Brindsley is revealed, teetering on the verge of very ripe farce. Unexpected guests, aging spinsters, errant phone cords and other snares impede his frantic attempts to return the purloined items before light is restored.

WHO CALLS? | Written By David Campton | Directed By Janet Denne
CAST | Juliette Harrison, Clare Sweetapple, Sue McGeehan, Rose Bayley, Katie Melani & Jackie Hartley

In the kitchen of a large Victorian house, four servants sit solemnly in the evening gloom. Upstairs, a midwife attends to the laying-out of their mistress, who has died suddenly, sitting in front of a mirror, adorned with all her jewellery. Mrs Abernethy, the housekeeper, and Lane, the Mistress’s personal maid, are supposed to have listed and locked away all this jewellery, but when Twilley, the maid of all work, finds a diamond ring on the floor, Cook realises that they have appropriated some of the jewellery for themselves and demands a share. Reluctantly, they agree, but then the bell in the Mistress’s room rings. The servants stare at the line of bells in disbelief and mountain apprehension – the midwife has gone, her duty done, and all the servants are in the kitchen – so who calls?

You can book or reserve your tickets online, by email, text or phone
www.alexandraplayers.org.uk
alexandraplayers@gmail.com
07867 627987

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Charlton-based community station Maritime Radio lands full-time FM licence

Duncan Martin

Martime Radio founder Duncan Martin hopes to be behind the mic in 2018

A radio station run out of a studio at Charlton Athletic’s stadium has been given a full-time licence to broadcast to Greenwich borough on FM.

Maritime Radio, which has broadcast on two temporary licences over the past two years, is expecting to take to the air early next year after being awarded the licence by broadcast regulator Ofcom.

Last summer, the station broadcast from a studio inside the Valley Central community centre run by the Charlton Athletic Community Trust. Weekly Addicks radio show Charlton Live also appeared on the station, which plays a mix of music from the 1980s to the present day with local news coverage and events listings.

Founder and presenter Duncan Martin said: “It’s great to know that next time we go on the air, it will be full-time! The previous seasonal broadcasts were a huge success and our team strongly believe that we could deliver a radio service to Greenwich on a full-time basis. We’re thrilled that Ofcom also share our opinion!”

The station says it had 7,000 listeners during its 2016 run. It hopes to go on air in the first half of 2018, and is looking for advertisers to help fund its output.

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