Petition aims to put a life-saving defibrillator in Maryon Park

Defibrillator petition

Charlton Champion reader Jon Kingsbury has been in touch about a petition he’s launched to get a defibrillator installed in Maryon Park.

He says:

It’s wonderful that the park is home to communities from all across the area who play sports throughout the year. Football, tennis and, during the Summer, the park hosts a number of school sports days.

Installing a defibrillator by the public toilets in the park would provide people with the means to save a life should someone have a cardiac arrest. Waiting for an ambulance to arrive may be too late.

Councils across the UK are beginning to install these life-saving devices, which can be unlocked and used after a 999 call. They are designed to be used by members of the public and cannot give a pulse to someone who doesn’t need it.

We want our local park to be as safe as possible for our communities and families. Please join our campaign.

Here’s a video from London Ambulance Service which explains how they work.

It seems like a good use for some of the ward budget money (in this case, Woolwich Riverside ward) that Greenwich Council started to make available last year. You can sign the petition here – and it’s something to think about for the area’s other parks, too.

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Greenwich Trust School: Charlton to get new secondary school

Greenwich University Technical College

Greenwich Council is to spend over £13 million converting the Greenwich University Technical College on Woolwich Road into a new secondary school, due to open in September 2017.

The college, which opened in 2014, caters for 14-19 year-olds, but has struggled to persuade 14-year-olds to switch their education there.

From next year, it will be known as Greenwich Trust School, with 150 places available in each of years 7-9 from September. For the council, it’s a quick and simple way of easing huge pressure on school places across the borough.

The expansion has already been agreed by the government, and most of the £13.7 million costs are being met by Greenwich Council. £200,000 is coming in section 106 payments from two housing developments in Abbey Wood.

Greenwich Trust School will be the first secondary school in Charlton since St Austin’s boys school on Highcombe closed in the late 1980s, eventually becoming part of St Matthew Academy in Blackheath.

The former Charlton Secondary School for Boys, which was merged into John Roan School in the early 1980s, had its upper school in the current Windrush Primary School building, next door to Greenwich Trust School.

Earlier this month, St Mary Magdalene Church of England school opened a temporary site in the old Blackheath Bluecoat building on Old Dover Road, ahead of moving to a new secondary school on the Greenwich Peninsula in 2018.

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Addicks fans’ protest shirts raise £3,500 for Charlton Park Riding for the Disabled

CARD protest, 17 September 2016

Pest control: Charlton fans gather in their protest shirts before last week’s match against AFC Wimbledon

Charlton Athletic fans protesting against the club’s controversial owner have raised £3,500 for Charlton Park Riding for the Disabled Association after selling nearly 1,000 protest t-shirts.

The black and white shirts – loosely based on the kit the Addicks won the 1947 FA Cup in – have been sold as an alternative to the club’s official shirts for fans who are boycotting official merchandise while Belgian electronics magnate Roland Duchâtelet remains in charge.

Duchâtelet and his chief executive, Katrien Meire, have overseen the club’s collapse into League One and a 40% drop in season ticket sales since taking over in January 2014. They are now on their seventh team manager, Russell Slade, and are 14th in League One.

Fans clubbed together on the Charlton Life forum to get the shirts made – even getting them sponsored by technology company Data Techniques, which pulled its own backing from the club in protest at its mismanagement.

They have now made enough money from sales to donate cash to local good causes. A further £3,500 is going to the Demelza children’s charity, which operates a hospice in Eltham.

Other proceeds from sales will help fund further protests against Duchâtelet, which have included disrupting matches with black and white beach balls and protesting in the tycoon’s home town of Sint-Truiden.

John Furlonger, chair of the trustees of Charlton Park Riding for the Disabled Association, said: “The group is run entirely by a happy, dedicated team of volunteers getting disabled children on horseback, so it’s very dependent on its community. The same volunteers also work astonishingly hard at everything else in between, from mucking out the horses to fundraising. No charges are made for riding.

“This wonderful donation will go a very long way indeed in making a real difference helping local disabled children to reach their true life potential. Heartfelt thanks are sent from everyone at Charlton Group to each and every Charlton fan who contributed for your kindness.”

Bob Jacobs, who runs Data Techniques, said: “Over the past 20 years we have spent in the region of £200,000 with Charlton as match sponsors, executive box holders and on corporate events at The Valley.

“For us it’s always been about ‘our’ team, not the owners of the club. By sponsoring the protest shirt, we took the opportunity to publicly express our opinion on what is happening to the club and support such a good cause as Demelza.”

CARD protest, September 2016

Charlton fans gather outside The Valley on 17 September

Although Duchâtelet has finally appointed a manager with British experience after trying a succession of failed “head coaches” from Belgium, fans and the club’s owners remain bitterly divided. Recent developments include:

  • The disclosure that much of Charlton’s transfer policy was being run by an inexperienced Belgian, Thomas Driesen, over the heads of the club’s coaches and scouts. Driesen remains involved in Duchâtelet’s set-up.
  • The grandson of Jimmy Seed, the manager that won Charlton the FA Cup in 1947, has disassociated his family from plans to renew the faded “Jimmy Seed Stand” sign that adorns The Valley’s south stand. “He would be horrified to hear about the scouting ‘system’ imposed on the club by Roland Duchâtelet over the last four years”, Jim Dutton said.
  • Katrien Meire applied to join the Football League’s board – but did not turn up to the meeting to make her pitch to other clubs.
  • Season ticket sales are down to 6,297, compared with 10,278 at the same stage last season – the lowest figure in nearly two decades – as long-term fans stay away.

A rare visit to London by Duchâtelet saw the club boast he had met a “fan group” set up by the owners, Target 20,000 – but even that stage-managed show of harmony ended in disarray after one of its members was told to resign after discussing the meeting on Twitter.

Duchâtelet told the group he rarely visits the club as it only accounts for 1.5% of his investments, and that he wished rival football fans would mingle together, as they do at rugby. Ironically, Charlton fans have been joined by rivals in their protests – including those of AFC Wimbledon, who beat the Addicks 2-1 at The Valley last Saturday.

The Addicks’ decline doesn’t just affect the club, it affects the area too, which is why this website will continue to cover the protests. Locally-based fan Dave Thomson and The Valley Cafe’s Mehmat Mantery discuss the impact of decline and Duchâtelet on the club and the community in this short video.

Tickets have been cut to £5 for next Saturday’s match against Rochdale. The Football for a Fiver match has traditionally attracted crowds of well over 20,000 – but with fans having withdrawn goodwill from the club, this season’s match is likely to see renewed protests as well as a fall in sales.

A limited number of protest shirts are still available for £25 adults and £19.05 for children – visit for more.

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Charlton Conversations: Talk about new Anchor & Hope Lane development at Greenwich Yacht Club

Charlton riverside at the Thames Barrier

Charlton riverside at the Thames Barrier

We’re still waiting for news from Greenwich Council on its detailed plans to redevelop the Charlton Riverside – a consultation on a new masterplan was due earlier this year, is apparently due this month, but that’s what they’ve said before.

In general, we know from the previous masterplan and a recent land use consultation that the plan is to sweep away much of the area’s industry (and ultimately, some of the retail barns) and replace it with housing – completely changing the shape of the area in which we live.

The consquences of this faffing around are being felt by riverside businesses – such as the council being set to buy an old recording studio on Eastmoor Street, down by the Thames Barrier, because the building’s owner has served a notice on the council complaining that it is blighted by the council’s previous plans. (There’s more on this at From The Murky Depths.)

Developers aren’t waiting – they probably know what’s going on anyway. So a consultation begins this weekend on a 15-acre site off Anchor & Hope Lane and behind Atlas Gardens and Derrick Gardens. The developer here is Rockwell – which is also involved in the highly controversial cruise liner terminal at Enderby Wharf, east Greenwich.

It says

With exciting new plans for this neglected riverside area now well underway, it’s time for sensitive and visionary planning that will benefit residents and visitors. Part of Greenwich’s new economic and environmental strategy, the new urban community at Charlton Riverside will include new green landscaping plans, while improving access to the waterfront area and its stunning views.

The development of a new Barrier Park link to Maryon Wilson Park will be key in opening up new views of the river and its striking silver defences, while making cycling and walking in the area much easier and safer, improving access to river transport links, opening up choice for local residents and helping to attract visitors.

Those who live at Charlton Riverside will enjoy direct links to exciting new developments already underway at Greenwich Peninsula and Woolwich town centre. This focus on helping to build a community in harmony with its urban surroundings is a key focus for Rockwell.

The plans for Anchor & Hope Lane include a new public park as well as new homes. There’s an exhibition taking place over the next week, and a special website, Charlton Conversations.

Unfortunately, the exhibition isn’t actually in Charlton itself – it’s at Greenwich Yacht Club, at the end of Peartree Way in Greenwich.

You can see it tomorrow (Saturday 24 September) from 10am-4pm; Wednesday 28 September from 6.30pm-9pm; and Thursday 29th September from 4pm to 8pm.

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How can Greenwich Council help improve the area? Tell them at Charlton House on Tuesday

Rubbish in Victoria Way, Jul 2016

Junk at the top of Victoria Way – cleaning the streets is something the council has struggled with

Wednesday update: Did you go to this? Let us know in the comments below what you thought…

Most fair-minded observers would agree that Greenwich Council’s recent history of engagement with the public isn’t brilliant – the saga of the Charlton skatepark, a potentially good thing but made more difficult because it was imposed on people without discussion, being the perfect example.

We’ve tried to do our bit to improve matters here by carrying updates from Charlton councillor Gary Parker. Now the council’s holding public meetings – the first for about a decade – in parts of the borough to get views on local areas and how they could be improved.

They’re called Better Together, and the Woolwich & Charlton event is on Tuesday 20 September at Charlton House. If you’re around during the day, you can come to drop-in sessions from 2-6pm, and there’s a formal meeting from 7pm to 8.30pm. You don’t need to sign up in advance.

The meeting covers most of Charlton as well as Woolwich – Charlton, Kidbrooke with Hornfair, Woolwich Common and Woolwich Riverside wards. (An event covering Peninsula ward was held on Monday in Greenwich.)

What to bring up? Current gripes include the state of the streets from litter – in November, a council scrutiny panel will discuss “particular challenges in maintaining the state of the environment in Plumstead and Charlton” – to general maintenance, it could be road safety (have the 20mph zones worked?), reviving the fortunes of Charlton Village or fathoming out what the hell is going on at Charlton Lido.

Of course, the council can’t do everything – but raising an issue here might start a ball rolling.

If you can’t make it, you can always fill in this survey on the council’s website.

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Cllr Gary Parker’s Charlton ward update: September 2016

Charlton ward map

What do your local councillors do for you? Charlton ward councillor Gary Parker explains what he’s been up to in recent months.

This report details some of the activities I have been involved in as a councillor in the Charlton area. It does not include surgeries or case work, which is significant.

Charlton community

    • I attended a Greenwich University event on workers’ cooperatives and social enterprises in June. I am keen to promote more activity in this area linked to these structures.
    • Attended and spoke at two meetings on the EU Referendum at Greenwich University and Charlton House, I strongly supported the Remain campaign.
    • I was the main guest speaker at the Big Red Bus Club AGM in Charlton at the end of May.
    • I met co-councillors to review ward budget applications. Several have already been authorised including Thorntree School PTA and Greenwich Foodbank.
    • Met a Nepalese community group to discuss some of their concerns.
    • Held a meeting with Greenwich Carers at their centre in Charlton about a range of issues, in June – this is a great local facility and should be supported.
    • Held discussions with local groups and individuals on a range of planning issues and made submissions on various other planning issues, met with planning officers on some of these issues too.
    • Held discussions on the planned skateboard park with pro and anti- lobby groups and individuals during June to August 2016. (Charlton Champion note: Planners will come to a final decision on this on Wednesday evening.)


  • Met cabinet member Cllr Sizwe James to discuss support for small businesses in the area and in the wider Greenwich area.


  • Attended all surgeries on a rota basis with other colleagues in the last quarter.
  • Attended full council meetings on June 29th and July 27th.
  • Attended Regeneration Scrutiny panel meeting on 21st July and raised issues relating to planning and development.
  • Chaired Council Scrutiny Community Safety and Environment panel on 20th June and 28th July.
  • We are going to have a review of Parks and Open Spaces policy and issue in the Royal Borough of Greenwich at a special meeting of the Community Safety and Environment panel in January 2017, this is open to the public. We are particularly wanting to hear from young people on these issues, please contact me for further details. I met council officers to discuss the format of the meeting in August.

Other meetings and discussions

  • Charlton Riverside stakeholders’ forum – in June 2016 at Charlton House to discuss issues related to the 30-year development programme. This is a public meeting and further meetings will take place in due course.
  • Affordable Homes working group – attended on 7th July, this was a joint meeting of council scrutiny panels who are looking at this issue.
  • Met with chief executive of Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust to brief her on how to generate external funding for the trust and other potential income generation opportunities, in August.
  • I have been in contact with Charlton Community Gardens in August, about their Orchard project, I really like this group, which is a fantastic volunteer led project that I and others are trying to support.
  • Held preliminary discussions in August on the forthcoming launch of the new Transport For Charlton group, which is emerging from the old Charlton Rail User Group (CRUG), which wants to focus on other modes of transport too, include buses, road, rail and cycling. More details soon.

If you want to contact Gary Parker or any Greenwich councillor, find their details on the Greenwich Council website.

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Open Day at Maryon Park Community Organic Food Growing Garden – this Saturday

News in of a community garden event this Saturday in Maryon Park:

Capital Growth’s Urban Harvest on Saturday 17th September 2016

10.00 am – 6.00 pm

Urban Harvest

Community food growing gardens across the capital will be open throughout Saturday 17th September 2016, to welcome in visitors and volunteers to take part in free garden activities and workshops.

Maryon Park Community Garden Open Day

Get a taste of London’s edible gardens by dropping in to Maryon Park Community Garden in Charlton, one of Capital Growth’s flagship gardens, from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm

Capital Growth

Capital Growth is London’s largest food growing network, with over 2,000 gardens throughout the city.

Community Garden Open Day Activities

At the Maryon Park Community Garden activities include:

  • Tours of the Garden and Forest School.
  • Activities for children: Making lavender bags and bird feeders.
  • New volunteers can meet the team
  • Pizza Oven fired up from 12 noon, bring your own dough and toppings
  • Refreshments: Organic teas & coffee, cake and herb teas
  • Fundraising activities: Plant Sale, A Bric-a-Brac Stall, Community Garden Shop


In the Community Garden Forest School there will be free Outdoor Art workshops at 1.00, 2.00 and 3.00 pm.

How to find the Garden

Enter Maryon Park from the main entrance in Maryon Road, follow the path past the park lodge and find the Community Garden at the end of the park perimeter fence. Look out for the bunting.

Garden Address

Maryon Park Community Garden, The Old Nursery, Maryon Park, Maryon Road, Charlton, SE7 8DH.

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