Help Charlton Manor school raise funds to replace stolen minibus

Charlton Manor School
The minibus was stolen from the school in August and later found abandoned and stripped

Charlton Manor primary school has launched an appeal for £25,000 to replace a minibus that was stolen during the summer.

The bus was taken on August 5, and was found the next day abandoned and stripped of parts.

“On top of everything, we have just started to recover from the terrible year we experienced due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and our children haven’t had any chance to travel for the last year,” the school says.

The school had raised just over £2,000 last night.

You can donate to the appeal on the school’s GoFundMe page.


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Can you help protect Charlton’s Assembly Rooms?

Charlton Assembly Rooms

A few weeks back we mentioned this Sunday’s concert to raise money for roof repairs at Charlton House. The concert is actually being backed by a charity set up to save the nearby Charlton Assembly Rooms – GWEN ZAMMIT, the organiser, explains all, and outlines how you can get involved.

The concert is being organised with the backing of the Save Charlton Assembly Rooms Project (SCARP) to raise money for the roof repairs at Charlton House, which will benefit the whole community. SCARP was started in 1972 by Gwen and George Zammit and Laurie Cole, all members of St Luke’s Players. Laurie was their musician as well as played for St Mary’s, the daughter church of St Luke’s.

The Assembly Rooms had been St Luke’s church hall for decades but, in the end, the upkeep of the building became too much to handle and it was decided to return it to Lord Gough – a direct descendant of the Maryon-Wilson family – who had loaned it to the church for a peppercorn rent. Lord Gough then sold the rooms to Greenwich Council, who earmarked it for demolition to make way for a car park.

Up until then, the Assembly Rooms had been the HQ for St Luke’s Players, so that is why it was decided, with the backing of the whole community and the Charlton Society, to take it over. This was eventually allowed by Greenwich Council. To cut a long story short, the Assembly Rooms now comes under the umbrella of Charlton House, hence the support of SCARP, which is a registered charity.

SCARP is looking for new trustees, most of whom have been members of St Luke’s congregation. Gwen Zammit is the Chairman and only founder member left, however, she is still supported by Pat Wardale and Kitty Baden-Powell. If you are interested in joining the charity, you will not have much to do – really – but a charity needs Trustees to function, albeit not very often!

If you would like to be involved please contact Gwen on 020 8856 7373.

You can also buy tickets for the Music for an Autumnal Evening concert on the same number. Tickets are £15, and the concert is at the Old Library in Charlton House from 7pm this Sunday.


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Green Goddess: Council planners recommend bar for Blackheath Standard bank

Green Goddess render
Councillors will decide whether the bar should go ahead next Tuesday

(Update: The planning meeting was postponed to Tuesday 19 October)

Greenwich Council planners are recommending that councillors approve a planned bar in a former bank at Blackheath Standard – but two influential local groups want the idea thrown out.

In March, The Charlton Champion revealed that Plumstead-based Common Rioters brewery wanted to turn the former Barclays branch, which closed in January, into a “beer café”, which would brew much of its own beer.

The brewery’s application to open The Green Goddess will go before the council’s Greenwich area planning committee next Tuesday. Council officers say that the plan “would bring a vacant commercial building back into use and for a purpose, which is appropriate for a designated retail area”.

Common Rioters’ founders Stephen and Maryann O’Connor have been testing out their ideas with a weekend pop-up pub with the same name at Charlton House. Their brewery’s name comes from the Plumstead Common rioters, whose revolt in 1876 saved the open space from being destroyed by a developer.

While 42 messages of support were received, there were 16 objections, including from the Westcombe Society and Blackheath Society amenity groups.

The Westcombe Society said a bar with no kitchen “may lead to an increase in anti- social behaviour outside residential properties” while there would be “smell and waste from the brewing process”.

Meanwhile, the Blackheath Society said “a ‘wet led’ pub without food seems to be designed to encourage pub crawls and potentially excessive alcohol consumption”.

The group also claimed that the bar would “encourage driving to the site, but as there is no car parking proposed this will lead to more congestion and nuisance in neighbouring streets”.

Another objection from a member of the public claimed that there was “no need for additional commercial activity at the Standard”.

There were also concerns about plans to allow tables outside, but a large fence would be put in place to protect the bar’s next-door neighbour on Vanbrugh Park. Outdoor drinking would not be permitted after 9pm.

Two cycle parking racks would be provided for staff. Transport for London had asked for two racks to be provided for customers, but Greenwich planning officers refused, saying “the provision of cycle spaces for customers (short stay) is not, as ‘drinking and driving’, whether it is in a car or a bicycle is not safe”.

The proposed opening hours would be 10am to 11pm seven days a week, with a midnight closedown on Fridays and Saturdays in December.

Work is already under way on the building to convert the bank’s offices into a two-bedroom flat; there is already a flat on the upper floor.

A final decision is due to be made at Woolwich Town Hall on Tuesday.


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We tell the SE7 stories you won’t read elsewhere. And we’ll do the others better than anyone else. We can’t do it without your help.
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