Join Greenwich Dance at Charlton House this winter and spring

Greenwich Dance are visitors to New Charlton Community Centre this spring

Greenwich Dance’s MELANIE PRECIOUS outlines what it’s up to at Charlton House and elsewhere over the coming months…

This term Greenwich Dance have added a host of new classes to their weekly timetable to brighten up the winter months … and there’s now truly something for everyone!

Adults have the choice of contemporary (general level and improvers), lindy hop (beginners and improvers), African fusion, yoga and jazz classes at Charlton House. Priced keenly at between £7-£8 a class the classes take place every Wednesday during term time.

If you are in your late fifties and sixties and think the time for dancing is done then you would also be mistaken. Greenwich Dance run a dedicated class at Charlton House every Friday designed for over-55s. Led by artist Maria Ghoumrassi the Friday class is a gentle exploration of creative movement and a perfect opportunity to meet new, likeminded people. For those who would like to take their love of dance that bit further they can also stay on for a further hour and be part of the Dancing to the Music of Time performance company or attend one of the Tea Dance and Workshop combos programmed for spring.

Greenwich Dance also have a number of activities happening around the half term. There is a fun filled Family Day planned for 19 February for parents and babies, 3-5 years, 5-7 years and 8 – 12 years plus an intergenerational workshop for everyone including grandma and grandad!

In addition Tea Dances are back, led by Equality Dance’s Peter Meager. Some of you may know him as he holds classes at nearby New Charlton Community Centre and his approach is one that throws gender stereotypes out of the window. He will be encouraging leaders to follow and vice versa to create an afternoon tea dance welcoming to all. If you are new to tea dances come along for the workshop first: and don’t forget you have tea and cake included in the price of your ticket!

Greenwich Dance will also be out on the road this spring, touring to five community centres around the borough. Called Up My Street Showtime!, the event invites the audience to eat and drink whilst enjoying a line-up of professional artists, the Greenwich Dance youth and over-55s’ performance companies and local community groups. Showtime! will be coming to New Charlton Community Centre on 27 March and will be at Clockhouse Community Centre on the Woolwich Dockyard estate on 28 March with two shows, a matinee and an evening performance. Priced at only a few pounds and including the choreographer of the NHS section of the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, Temujin Gill, ZoieLogic Dance Theatre and Mathieu Geffre’s love duet for two men (which some of you may have seen at our wine tasting event last November) it’d be wise to book your tickets soon to avoid disappointment!

Greenwich Dance are also looking for volunteers to be ‘Dancing Friends’ at these performances – their role will be to make sure anyone arriving alone at Showtime! is made to feel welcome. We know that loneliness is a huge issue for people of all ages, and these events have been designed as a way for communities to socialise, meet new people and have fun…right up your street!

To find out more about all of the above and to book go to greenwichdance.org.uk or email chenube[at]greenwichdance.org.uk.


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Friends of St. Luke’s first meeting: learn about the history of the church and future plans

Cherub above St. Luke's church door in Charlton
The cherub above the door of St. Luke’s church. Photo © Neil Clasper

A message from the Friends of St. Luke’s Church about an upcoming event and plans to restore the church door.

The first meeting of the Friends of St Luke’s will be held at St Luke’s on Wednesday 19th February, starting at 7.00pm ahead of a historical introduction to the building led by Joseph Spooner at 7.30pm. Joseph will be sharing his wealth of knowledge, as well as revealing some hitherto overlooked or under-documents aspects of the building and its history.

Refreshments include cheese and wine. Entry is free to those who have already signed up as Friends or who sign up as Friends on the night, otherwise entry is £10.00. The recently published and well-received Portrait of St Luke’s will be available for sale on the night for £5.00 rather than the usual £7.00.

Invite to Friends of St. Luke's event

Main door plans

As part of our contribution to the improvement of Charlton Village, the Friends of St Luke’s are looking to raise funds for the main door to be repaired and represented. Locals may recall that about thirty years ago it was painted blue but has long since faded and needs repair as well as repainting.

A detailed investigation was undertaken in 2018 and established that the door is oak and has been in place since the church was rebuilt in 1630. Furthermore, under the at least twenty layers of paint revealed by high magnification and ultraviolet examination, the door was originally painted ‘warm brown’, possibly with ‘brush-grained decoration intended to imitate hard wood such as walnut or oak’.

Presumably, in the days long before DIY products that do what they say on the tin, it would have been impractical to have left the original oak uncovered. In re-presenting the door we would also ensure the cherub above the door gets a fresh gilding, noting in passing that the cherub is also found on one of the mantlepieces in Charlton House.

Find out more about the Friends of St. Luke’s.


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The Charlton Champion Film Club has MOVED: Watch All The President’s Men this Thursday at Charlton House

Watch All The President’s Men with us on 30 January (Photo: Warner Bros)

A quick reminder that The Charlton Champion and 853 are delighted to be teaming up with the Charlton and Woolwich Free Film Festival to bring you a special night on Thursday 30 January – but we’ve switched to a new venue.

We’ll be screening All The President’s Men tomorrow, the acclaimed film about the exposure of the Watergate scandal that brought down US president Richard Nixon in 1974. Starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, it’s a tale that resonates 44 years after the film’s initial release – particularly with recent events in Washington.

With politicians’ growing intolerance of media scrutiny – globally, nationally and locally – and as a website that has tried to shine a spotlight on the smaller scale shenanigans in our own part of London, it seems like a good time to show the story of how Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward exposed wrongdoing at the White House. And it’s always a good time to meet you, our reader, and thank you for your support.

We had originally hoped to screen the film at The White Swan pub. However, because of an issue beyond our or the pub’s control, we’ve had to switch venue – to the historic surroundings of Charlton House, where we’ll be screening the film in the Grand Salon from 7.30pm. We’re grateful to the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust for accommodating us at such short notice, and thank The White Swan for their patience – we’ll be having drinks in one of SE London’s best boozers after the film (and they’d love to see you before the film if you want something to eat). The bar at Charlton House won’t be open, but you are welcome to bring your own refreshments.

Admission remains free – although as we have to cover some costs, we will be passing around a bucket for donations to help cover them. Any excess will be used to help the Charlton and Woolwich Free Film Festival put on its fifth event this September.

We were originally going to screen the film as part of last year’s festival, but venue changes meant we couldn’t do it. So we decided to do it now instead, to get us all out on a bleak January night. Here’s a Facebook event page.

We start at 7.30pm (slightly earlier than originally planned) on Thursday 30 January, in the Grand Salon at Charlton House, Charlton Road, London SE7 8RE. Doors will be open from 7pm. We hope to see you then.


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