If you heard deep bass lines reverberating in the wee small hours of the morning, then they were coming from the shut-down Matalan store on Bugsbys Way – it was being used for an illegal rave. It’s not the first time it’s happened, and there didn’t seem to be any trouble when a curious reporter went to take a look at 1.30am – just a little crowd waiting to be let in, and little knots of people strolling up to the store, which shut last month.
The same happened when the old Wickes store on Woolwich Road shut a couple of years back, and it’ll probably happen again. This area’s seen it all before, with early acid house parties taking place in a warehouse on the old East Greenwich gas works in the late 1980s. When the Greenwich Sainsbury’s closes next year, I wonder if anyone will get to hold a party there?
Matalan has now temporarily moved to the old Comet store in Greenwich’s Millennium Retail Park – there was an impressive queue of 40 or so people outside on Friday morning awaiting its grand opening. Its old site – which opened in the mid-1980s as a Texas Homecare DIY store – is being redeveloped.
It’s all part of a reshuffle and revamp of Charlton’s retail barns being carried out by developer LXB as part of the Sainsbury’s move, which will see a new store together with an M&S and other shops open on the Wickes site on Woolwich Road in 2015.