The Alexandra Players present Alan Ayckbourn’s Drowning on Dry Land

Alexandra Players Drowning on Dry Land Ayckbourn
The Alexandra Players will perform Sir Alan Ayckbourn’s Drowning on Dry Land over four nights this February, Wednesday 20th to Saturday 23rd.

About the play

Charlie Conrad is a celebrity. His talent? He hasn’t got one; the nation took him to their hearts for very publicly being unable to do anything competently. One fateful day, however, Charlie meets Marsha, and his marriage and career go into freefall… Drowning on Dry Land examines the current obsession with celebrity for its own sake and chillingly but hilariously demonstrates how celebrities can be destroyed as quickly as they are made.


Tickets cost £9 (£8 for concessions) and can be booked online via the Alexandra Players’ website, by email, or by phone: 07867 627 987.


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Greenwich Council warns Victoria Way developer for disturbing neighbours

Victoria Way
Fairview’s development was unpopular enough with neighbours before work started (photo: Neil Clasper)

Greenwich Council has threatened the developer behind 330 new homes off Victoria Way with an unlimited fine after neighbours complained work was taking place outside permitted hours.

Fairview, whose controversial development was approved by councillors a year ago, is only allowed to carry out work between 8am and 6pm on weekdays and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays, but neighbours complained to the council about work taking place outside these hours.

A Section 60 notice was served on Fairview last month warning it that it would face a fine if work continued outside permitted hours.

Greenwich’s cabinet member for community safety, Jackie Smith, told The Charlton Champion: “The council served, Fairview, the building contractor working on 40 Victoria Way, Charlton, with a Section 60 notice in December 2018, following complaints from residents that it had been working outside of the hours permitted by its planning consent.

“The notice restricts the times that noisy works can be carried out. The council is in contact with Fairview to encourage it to take all reasonable steps to limit the impact on surrounding residents but if it is found to have contravened its notice the council has the power to take legal action.

“Concerned residents can report unreasonable or out of hours, noisy work from a construction site to the council by calling 020 8921 8921. We log all calls as this enables us to both assess the extent and pattern of activity and provides supporting evidence should enforcement action be necessary.”

An eight-strong committee of councillors approved the scheme, which includes two 10-storey blocks and 144 car parking spaces, by six votes to one last year. Among the complaints from residents was a lack of consultation with neighbours about the scheme.


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Join the RSPB’s Big Birdwatch with the Friends of Charlton Park

Charlton Park Bib Birdwatch poster
There’s an opportunity to meet your neighbours and other Charlton Park users on Sunday 27 January as the The Friends of Charlton Park are taking part in the RSPB’s Big Birdwatch.

They’ll be meeting by the Old Cottage Cafe at 10am and birdwatching for an hour; they recommend you wear something warm and, if you have them, bring your own binoculars.

The Big Garden Birdwatch has taken place nationally since 1979 and helps the RSPB to understand the changing populations of birds and other wildlife across the country.


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Former Charlton Triangle Homes chair Mark Adams jailed for rape

Mark Adams was jailed for seven years (photo:

Former Charlton Triangle Homes chair Mark Adams has been jailed for seven years after raping a woman at his house in Blackheath.

The 56-year-old was found guilty after a trial at Woolwich Crown Court. The BBC reports that his victim, in her 20s, woke up on his sofa, found her trousers pulled down and Adams raping her.

The Times reports that prosecution counsel Catherine Farrelly described Adams, who was also chair of London Chamber of Commerce from 2013 to 2016, as “controlling”.

A former private secretary to prime ministers John Major and Tony Blair, Adams was made an OBE in 1997. He later set up in business as a lobbyist, helping to found a right-wing party in Scotland, before returning to London.

In 2013, Adams sought to become a Greenwich Labour councillor, but was rejected in his attempts to be nominated by a number of ward parties. More recently, he was briefly on the board of Blackheath rugby club and had been running a business consultancy in Portsmouth.

For advice and support on sexual assualt, contact Rape Crisis South London.

Greenwich Council has updated its local heritage list: What’s been added in Charlton?

Rose of Denmark pub Woolwich Road Charlton
The Angerstein branch rail bridge over Woolwich Road has been added to Greenwich Council’s Local Heritage List. Will Network Rail give it a lick of paint to celebrate?

Last October BECKY HOLMES kindly wrote for us about Greenwich Council’s consultation on additions to its local heritage list. Now the consultation’s over we’re grateful to Becky for following up with a summary of the Charlton locations added to the list:

The updated Greenwich Local Heritage List has been published – with 45 new nominations added as local heritage assets. Public nominations were allowed for the first time, a big thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate and comment. To qualify, buildings and structures needed to meet requirements in one or more of the following areas: Historical, Architectural or Technological interest – or Environmental significance.

Of the 10 nominations made in my local area of SE7, five landmarks made it through to the updated heritage list. Interestingly, three relate to the fascinating railway heritage in the area – which is all still in use today and definitely worth exploring. I’m really pleased that the Rose of Denmark was also selected because it is such an iconic local building, and this listing could be important when our local pubs feel so at risk. Details of each nomination are in the full document, but here’s a quick snapshot:

Angerstein Freight Railway pedestrian crossing & arched walkway “Rare survival of a historic pedestrian route over a freight railway, still in regular use by residents for its original purpose…and for transport of aggregates around London.”

Angerstein Freight Railway bridge, Woolwich Road “Rare example of a private individual obtaining Act of Parliament for railway construction due to the bridge. Carries a purpose-built freight line serving the Thames which is still in use, a rare survival.”

Railway Electric substation, Troughton Road “Unusual structure within a residential street with features designed on a monumental scale, of historic interest recording technological changes to the railway industry.”

Rose of Denmark public house, 296 Woolwich Road “Local landmark with strong communal value, displaying red of nearby Charlton Athletic FC – time-honoured locally valued feature.”

Rathmore Community Centre & Rathmore Benches (Former Good Shepherd Mission Hall) “Striking, high quality late C20th exterior artwork with strong social, artistic and townscape value. Intact and evocative, unique.” (An appeal has been launched to restore the mosaic benches).

The following SE7 nominations could not be considered at this point in time since they are the subject of current or recent planning applications. Nominations were put on hold until the application is determined, including any appeal:

The full report and results of the consultation can be found here.


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Pennycook criticises Rockwell Charlton Riverside as City Hall deadline looms

Rockwell revised scheme
Rockwell’s revised scheme will be examined by City Hall, not Greenwich Council

Greenwich & Woolwich MP Matt Pennycook has told City Hall planners that major changes need to be made to developer Rockwell’s plans to build 771 new homes off Anchor & Hope Lane before they are approved.

London mayor Sadiq Khan took control of the planning application in August, weeks after Greenwich Council’s main planning committee threw out the proposed development, and a public hearing at City Hall is due to take place on 29 January.

Neighbours in Atlas and Derrick Gardens had complained that the development – likely to be the first development on the Charlton Riverside to get planning approval, albeit from Khan rather than the council – would loom over their homes, while Greenwich’s planning chair Sarah Merrill called it “reminiscent of Stalingrad”.

While the plans have been altered to reduce the impact on the two cul-de-sacs, Pennycook says in a letter to Khan’s planning team that more needs to be done to make the scheme acceptable.

Rockwell is holding two brief exhibitions this weekend about the proposals from 9am to 11am today and tomorrow at the Anchor & Hope pub, while comments about the scheme need to be sent to VIPtradingestate[at] by Monday to be considered by the mayor’s team.

Pennycook says the scheme remains too dense and should be cut from a maximum of 10 storeys to six storeys, while it also needs more family-sized homes. He also calls the design “sterile and monotonous”, and says there needs to be a cut in car parking.

“If approved, this application would constitute the first major development within the Charlton Riverside masterplan area and would set a clear precedent for all other developments that would follow,” he said. “That is why I have always argued that it is critical that we get this development right.”

“The masterplan stresses that the development of Charlton Riverside requires a very different approach to that taken in other parts of the borough, such as Greenwich Peninsula. Yet in too many respects, this revised application is at odds with the spirit of that masterplan.

“I continue to support development on Charlton Riverside but I urge the mayor to refrain from approving the application until the applicant is persuaded to bring forward further amendments along the lines I have suggested.”

Charlton ward councillor Gary Parker has also submitted an objection.


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Wassail away in East Greenwich Pleasaunce this Sunday

East Greenwich Pleasaunce Wassailing poster

Local storyteller RICH SYLVESTER brings us news of East Greenwich Pleasaunce’s annual Wassailing event:

Dear friends and neighbours – I hope you can join us to welcome the New Year with a Wassail In the Pleasaunce. It’s on Sunday 13th Jan, 1-3pm, and we would be really grateful if you can spread the word!

This is the fifth year the local community have come together for this traditional “New Year” celebration – with music dance and song. Wassailing also involves pouring an offering of cider on the trees of the community orchard. Cider and apple juice from London, and Kent apples will be on sale.

Wassail 2019 will feature:

A flavour of previous Wassails:

Alongside the café and playground of this well-used local park, amidst the roots of the old trees there are memorial stones and a mass grave dating from 1857 when the bodies of 3000 sailors from Greenwich Hospital were re-buried. The Wassail will naturally take a moment to remember them.

Meet at Pistachios Café, East Greeenwich Pleasaunce, Chevening Road, London SE10 0LA.

To find out more contact Rich Sylvester on 07833 538143.


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