Help us keep saved Angerstein Wharf crossing safe, Network Rail asks neighbours

Angerstein crossing
Gates have since been installed at the Angerstein crossing

Network Rail bosses have asked neighbours and passers-by to watch out for misuse and vandalism at the Angerstein Wharf railway crossing, which has been saved from closure this week.

The track company had threatened to close the historic footpath across the single-track freight branch line, which links streets around Fairthorn Road and Gurdon Road to Westcombe Park station, but reversed the decision on Wednesday after a campaign by local residents.

Safety issues were cited as the reason for closing the crossing, but Network Rail said that an independent review by its head of passenger safety, Allan Spence, found that safety measures in place were sufficient to make the Angerstein path an exception to its normal rules on crossings.

Network Rail now plans to straighten out rights-of-way issues at the crossing

Network Rail now plans to upgrade the footsteps to the crossing, installing a new surface on the crossing itself, and is considering installing CCTV to watch the area.

“I am counting on cooperation of people who use the crossing and would be grateful for misuse and vandalism – anything that takes place that is unsafe – is challenged and reported,” Fiona Taylor, Network Rail’s route director for Kent, told a Zoom call for neighbours of the crossing on Wednesday evening.

The crossing would remain open so long as there were no incidents which called its safety into question, Taylor said.

Peninsula ward councillor Chris Lloyd, who also attended the meeting, backed Taylor’s call for help. “An interface between people in the railway isn’t what we would do today,” he said. “We don’t want to be here again should we find out that the crossing as been abused and it’s up for closure once again.”

Questions of rights of way around the land also needed to be sorted out with landowners and Greenwich Council, Taylor added.

The crossing was originally built for farm workers in the 1850s when the privately-built Angerstein Wharf line was built to link the new North Kent line to the Thames. It has grown in importance in recent years with the building of new housing on the former Thorn Lighting site off Victoria Way and Fairthorn Road, with 675 people recorded as using the crossing each day.

The meeting was told that rerouting the footpath under the railway line would cost £3 million, although these costs were challenged. Lloyd suggested that funding from developers could be used to help pay for any path under the line.


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Parkrun comes to Charlton Park next month – can you help put it on?

Parkrun will be taking place here every Saturday morning

Parkrun will be coming to Charlton Park next month, its organisers have revealed – giving locals the chance to gather and run, walk or wheel 5k every Saturday morning.

The event was given funding by Greenwich Council in April after the Community Voting Day event, staged by the town hall’s public health department to help ideas to boost community wellbeing in the wake of the pandemic. Charlton Triangle Homes also helped fund the start-up costs.

Now organisers have confirmed that they have the go-ahead to start in October. The exact date is under wraps at present to prevent it being swamped on its first day – some more dedicated Parkrun fans have been known to travel far and wide to inaugural events.

Nearly 200 runners and walkers took part in the first Sutcliffe parkrun in Eltham last Saturday (see photos) and the event is long-established at Hilly Fields in Brockley, Avery Hill Park in Eltham, Mountsfield Park in Catford and Southwark Park. Closest of all to Charlton is across the river at Victoria Dock.

All runners and walkers need to do is register on the Parkrun website and print off a barcode, and then turn up for 9am.

However, the team are still looking for volunteers to help put the first events on – if you can stand in the park and marshal, help time the event, scan barcodes or tail walk to make sure nobody gets left behind. If you can help, email charlton[at]parkrun.com.

Updated on Friday to include new email address and to mention Charlton Triangle Homes.


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Charlton’s Horn Fair returns with pandemic photography competition

Blackheath Newbridge club - keep washing your hands, stay safe signs
The Blackheath Newbridge club on Charlton Road last April
The Horn Fair will return to Charlton House next month after a year away – with its organisers promising that it “will celebrate life across Greenwich after a considerable time apart”.

Residents are being asked to submit photos of life during the pandemic to the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust so that a selection can be displayed at the fair. “Whether it’s a photo of a family at home, a street scene clapping carers, or a local market standing empty, the primary requirement is that photos represent the pandemic as it was from the perspective of the photographer, amateur or professional,” the trust says.

Photos can be submitted by anyone, whether or not they live in the area, but must have been taken in the borough of Greenwich from March 2020 to the present day. The deadline for submissions is this Sunday at 11.59pm. Images may also be added to the borough archive, entrants can also win an afternoon tea for two.

The Green Goddess pop-up pub will also be open, while the Collectors dance trio will also be performing their Picture Me There show inspired by life in Charlton. There will also be “musicians and artisan creators from across the borough”,

The free event will run from 11am to 4pm on Sunday 17 October. For more information and to enter the photography competition, visit the trust’s website.


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