‘Do you know where the car pound is?’

You know the drill. You’re minding your own business, walking down the road, then a car pulls up. The window winds down, and a confused face appears.

“‘Scuse me… do you know where Bramshot Avenue is?”

Thousands of vehicles pass through the Charlton car pound each year. It sits right at the end of Bramshot Avenue, on the site of a former railway yard, where the Metropolitan Police runs its vehicle forensics service.

Yet despite it being in an obscure corner that most local people will never even have set foot in; there’s no signs at all pointing to a location that many people have to find through no fault of their own.

If someone approaches you almost anywhere between Greenwich and Woolwich asking for directions, chances are they’re looking for the pound. Over recent months, I’ve been stopped as far away as the Thames Barrier, Old Dover Road in Blackheath, and Vanburgh Hill in Greenwich. I can never work out whether the Met gives them duff directions, or if a scary proportion of London’s motorists are completely clueless with a map.

Yet it’s so tucked away, it’s pretty tough to give verbal directions for – there’s few direction signs of any kind to refer to as a reference and so you’re stuck trying to work out how many streets away Eastcombe Avenue, by which time the confused motorist is even more lost.

It’s tempting to think “sod them, they’re only idiots who can’t park properly”, but this is where many of London’s stolen cars end up – even if you find your vehicle parked up around the corner, it’ll end up detained in a forensics yard for a spell.

It’d make all our lives just a little easier if the Met Police or Greenwich Council could put a few signs up pointing to the pound – otherwise Charlton will continue to contain more lost souls than most other parts of London.

7 thoughts on “‘Do you know where the car pound is?’

  1. Mary November 23, 2010 / 10:44

    mmmmm – I do remember chasing all round the place looking for a planning application for a telephone mast which residents had heard was ‘on the police station’……. no, it was in the pound – and did they believe me????

  2. John Sterne November 23, 2010 / 13:38

    As you know , after having my work van broken into outside my house the police caught the guy in the act yet still took my van away. I had to pick it up from the pound and queue with all the insurance dodging scum for three hours. When I got it back it still had glass all over the seat and some stuff had gone missing

  3. valley_girl November 23, 2010 / 18:18

    If you look very carefully, there is a small sign for the car pound on the west side of Eastcombe Avenue just before the turning for Bramshot Avenue. Not that that’s a lot of use when you’re trying to direct somebody from some distance. We were stopped in Westcombe Hill and asked where the pound was. You could actually see it across the motorway but, as you say, if people don’t have a map it can be difficult to find. Are people too reliant on satnavs these days and don’t carry an A-Z any more?

  4. Charlton Lane Dave November 24, 2010 / 20:42

    You might know where the police car pound is in Charlton, but do you know where their secret warehouse is which houses a mountain of stolen property recovered from burglaries etc (Operation Bumblebee) and never reunited with the owners!

    • Darryl November 24, 2010 / 21:37

      Lombard Wall?

  5. Charlton Lane Dave November 26, 2010 / 20:00

    Nope – the clue is in the post.

  6. SLD February 8, 2011 / 21:33

    I just had the joy of visiting this place to pick up my car. Missus fault and I can confirm there is hardly any info given as to it’s location. Phone numbers are all automated and without an a to z or access to a computer and google maps/streetmap etc it is hard to find and even more so for all the immigrants queing down there. You have to go to a little window in the wall on the street first. A man here checks your documents and gives you a ticket. Then you have to wait in a small cage with lots of other people moaning about the injustice done to them (one bloke had his tow truck towed away) and then you have to go inside so have our docs given the once over again, scanned and then give them £150. By the way I was there waitimg for around an hour and the whole time a Police van in the yard parked up had it’s engine running the whole time. Idling is against the law, not that I had the courage to tell PC Plod sitting inside listening to the radio

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