Join 2017’s Big Dig at Maryon Park Community Garden

Big Dig

Now Easter’s over, what are you doing this weekend? Maryon Park Community Garden have an invite for you…

Big Dig Day celebrates the start of the growing season and encourages people to visit their local Capital Growth-supported Community Garden. This year Capital Growth are encouraging wildlife-friendly growing.

Maryon Park Community Garden, one of Capital Growth’s flagship gardens are taking part and have a Drop-in Open Day on Saturday 22nd April, 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.

The Community Garden provides organic growing plots for local and retired people, a Forest School for primary schools and volunteer opportunities for individuals and corporate groups as well as educational visits for special schools.

On Saturday 22nd April visitors can learn more about the Community Garden, enjoy tours and talks about the plots, orchard, wild flower bank, Forest School and the historic Maryon Park, location of the 1960s film Blow-Up. There will be refreshments including a pizza oven, children’s activities, a plant sale, and a fund raising stall. Visitors can join in with gardening activities or join the waiting list for a plot.

There will be family events: PJ the Magical Clown at 1pm and Family Outdoor Art at 2pm.

Maryon Park Community Garden is a not-for- profit voluntary project situated in the former council plant nursery in Maryon Park. Now in its fifth year, Capital Growth, the Olympic Transform Fund, City Hall, the Friends of Maryon Park, the London Tree and Woodland Trust, Greenwich Parks Forum and Tesco’s Bags of Help have help fund the Community Garden.

“The Big Dig Day is about encouraging people and families to visit their local community garden. Whether you are an experienced gardener or new to gardening or just want to see how your local project is developing you will be welcome,” says chair Tim Anderson.

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The White Swan needs you! (Yes, you)

White Swan

The White Swan: It sells Proper Job beer (which is very nice)

A few words from the team at The White Swan

“Calling all friends in Charlton who wanted to/might like to help us ‘Save The White Swan’…we have had some flyers printed and are asking you all to forward to as many friends as possible please. If you can share via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram we would really appreciate it as I am sure there are many people that don’t know about us.

“What would be really amazing would be for people to do a leaflet drop through neighbours houses… if you are keen/kind enough to do this then please let us know and we can cross your street off the map and not duplicate. Thanks so much!”

White Swan flyer

If you can help, call in and pick up some flyers. Running a pub isn’t cheap, and The Swan’s recently trimmed back its daytime opening hours (it now opens from 3.30pm Monday-Thursday, noon Friday-Sunday) since, frankly, hardly anybody used it then. It’s also due start showing some sport to drum up some new trade – it already showed international events from free-to-air TV, live football and rugby from BT Sport shouldn’t be any more obtrusive than the recent Six Nations coverage.

But we’d suggest that maybe there’s more you can do. How about getting a team together for the weekly quiz (8.30pm Tuesdays) or the monthly music quiz (8.30pm on third Thursday of the month)? Or if there’s an event or get-together you host, why not speak to the pub about having it there? (We have our own idea…)

Three years ago, a local campaign helped make the pub an asset of community value and convinced the current owners to take a punt on the place. And a successful Swan has potential to boost business in The Village as a whole. So pop into the Swan – and think of it as an investment in your neighbourhood.

PS. If you want to start tonight, there’s a tap takeover with Signature Brewery featuring beer and music from “London’s musically influenced breweries” – it starts at 6pm.

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Invicta Primary School remembers 15 killed in wartime bombing

The unveiled plaque in the assembly hall

A plaque remembering the 15 people killed when Invicta Primary School was bombed in World War II was unveiled last week at a special ceremony.

12 firefighters and three others were killed when the then Invicta Road School – then being used as a fire station – was destroyed by a parachute mine on the evening of 14 November 1940. The bomb fell into trees opposite the school before exploded.

Among those who died was fireman Arthur Grant, who was in line for a George Medal for his bravery in preventing the school being destroyed in an earlier attack.

School caretaker Charles White, who stayed behind after the children were evacuated to the countryside, also died.

The plaque is erected in the playground

The plaque was revealed to pupils at special assemblies last Thursday, where children sang wartime songs and read their own poems before reading out the names of those who died.

Visitors to the school can now see the plaque on a Victorian wall next to the playground, which is the only surviving remnant of the original school buildings. Firemen Remembered, which made the plaque, is an independent organisation devoted to raising awareness of the work of London’s fire services during World War II.

The replacement 1950s buildings were demolished last year after the school moved into new accommodation on the site of its old playground.

There’s more about the bombing of Invicta Road School on the Blitzwalkers blog.

Invicta school plaque

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Have your say on 11-storey blocks planned for Victoria Way

Fairview render

Developer Fairview New Homes is asking residents what they think of plans to build 370 new homes, including 11-storey blocks, on the site currently occupied by the remaining warehouse units off Victoria Way.

The western part of the site – the former Thorn Lighting factory – was developed a couple of years ago as an extension of Fairthorn Road, providing 209 homes.

Now Fairview wants to finish the job by building blocks of between two-and-a-half and 11 storeys, of which 20% will be “family sized units”, with 148 car parking spaces. 35% of homes will be “affordable”, the firm claims, adding a nursery/creche may be provided on site.

There’ll be no vehicle access to the already-developed part of the site, although it’ll be possible to walk between the two areas.

A consultation event is behind held today (Thursday 16 March) at Charlton House from 6pm to 8.30pm (we only found out about it today), but you can find out more and have your say at, including the exhibition boards.

Victoria Way, February 2017

Early concerns are bound to surround the height of the development – but access is also going to be an issue for a development that sits between both Charlton and Westcombe Park stations.

A side entrance to Charlton station was promised at the time of the Sainsbury’s/M&S development but has not materialised – can this development fund that? More ambitiously, should a new bridge across to Westcombe Park station also be built from the original development, to save residents from having to use a dingy alleyway?

It may also be a prompt to do something about rat-running around Victoria Way and Eastcombe Avenue, a problem which some residents feel has increased since the new supermarket development.

Incidentally, this consultation is being run for Fairview by Cratus Communications, whose deputy chair is former Greenwich Council leader Chris Roberts. (This hasn’t stopped the consultation materials being strewn with basic errors about the area, mind…) We will be watching with interest.

(Thanks to Marianna on Twitter for the tip-off.)

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Residents’ group’s planting scheme in line for £985 council grant

Wellington Mews

Wellington Mews could see a clean-up under the CCRA’s scheme

The Charlton Central Residents’ Association is set to get £985 from Greenwich Council to smarten up small areas of green space on its patch.

The residents’ group, which covers an area east of Victoria Way and west of Charlton Church Lane, wants to clean up and plant flowers at five locations: the front of Gollogly Terrace; Wellington Mews; the green in front of Wellesley House on Wellington Mews; the junction of Inverine and Fossdene Roads; and an alley at Delafield Road.

Nadine Street

Past work has been carried out in Nadine Street

It says the project will improve the attractiveness of the local street environment, give residents without a garden the chance to take part, and to “provide an opportunity for people living in Charlton to learn more about gardening, horticulture and plant care”.

The cash comes from the ward budget fund, where councillors have a pot of money available to fund small projects in their wards. Other grants in Charlton ward have gone to the Big Red Bus Club for play equipment, Thorntree Primary School for a community garden, equipment for Charlton Toy Library and last year’s Charlton Community Day in Charlton Park.

Some £500 will be spent on plants, shrubs and equipment while £200 is earmarked for “specialist advice and education services”. The group says it also anticipates spending £140 on hiring St Richard’s Hall for training volunteers and holding residents’ meetings.

CCRA says it carried out similar work some years ago at the junction of Nadine Street and Charlton Church Lane, although that plot is now in need of more attention.

If other councillors do not object to the funding, it will be confirmed at the end of the week.

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Charlton Lido: April opening hours and ‘Friends’ news



Spring is in the air, and there’s news from Charlton Lido about their April opening hours:

Thank you for your continued support to Charlton Lido & Lifestyle Club over the winter period, while some of our facilities were closed. The warmer weather is fast approaching, and following a careful review of the pool usage last spring (and taking into consideration feedback from our previous 2 customer forums), we are pleased to announce the pool opening times to commence from Monday 3rd April.

Monday 6.30am-12noon & 2pm-8pm

Tuesday 7am-12noon & 2pm-8pm

WednesdayFriday 7am-12noon

Weekends 9am-5pm

These times will be further reviewed in May in preparation for our full summer programme from June 2017.

And also news from Friends of Charlton Lido, who now have a Facebook page which you can ‘like’ here, as well as their website and Twitter feed.

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Cllr Gary Parker’s Charlton ward report: March 2017

Cllr Gary Parker

Here’s an update from Charlton ward councillor Gary Parker on what he has been up to over the winter.

I have met with residents and raised issues with the Chair of Planning about planning issues – the council’s planning department is now being restructured. This is a direct result of my continued intervention on these issues for local groups and residents. I am confident this service will improve, once new measures are in place.

I attended funeral of local resident Robert Crocombe and would like to pay tribute to him and his wife Jean for years of steadfast loyalty and work for the local community and the Labour Party – a great man and a sad loss to the Charlton community.

I formally objected to the Rockwell planning application for a 28 storey tower block on the new Charlton Riverside. I raised this issue at the Charlton Society AGM in October and will be working with local groups to oppose this and ensure we have full public consultation on other local planning applications and Charlton Riverside.

I intervened to get the Xmas lights switched on in Charlton Village.

I attended the Co-op Party AGM at Charlton House.

Worked with co-councillors to support local organisations with Charlton ward budgets, organisations that have been funded include – Big Red Bus Club, Charlton Toy Library, Thorntree School, Global Fusion Arts, Greenwich Food Bank and others currently being processed. If you want a project funded, please email me for the application form: gary.parker[at]

I helped establish ownership of the notice board next to the Assembly Rooms in the Village, this will now be updated with new notices.

I attended the SE London Chamber of Commerce AGM.

I attended the Federation of Small Businesses SE London Branch AGM.

I attended the awards ceremony for Greenwich University/Santander awards event for local students.

I met Sean Kelleher from Business in the Community for a discussion on social enterprise in the borough and related issues.

I attended 3 Campaign For State Education meetings.

I attended a Charlton area community engagement event at Charlton House.

I chaired the inaugural meeting of Transport For Charlton.

I attended the Charlton Central Residents Association and Charlton Society AGMs.

I attended a range of planning board meetings.

I attended meetings of Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust.

I attended the Charlton & Kidbrooke Housing panel.

Met Greenwich University about the development of workers’ co-operatives and other non-profit making models in Greenwich.

I attended meeting with a local Community Energy organisation about their work


I am still dealing with a large amount of planning and housing related casework. I have dealt with a number of issues around blue badge allocation. I raised a large amount of housing casework, which is ongoing.

I attended all relevant surgeries and did some home visits for older people too.

I have raised a significant number of inquiries about street cleaning and fly-tipping.


I attended the two main council meetings. [This would now be three as Gary submitted this before the most recent council meeting at the end of February.]

I attended the launch of the Fairness Commission project in Greenwich on anti-poverty issues.

I chaired 3 Community Safety and Environment Panel meetings

I attended Corporate Finance Scrutiny Panel, Overview and scrutiny, Regeneration Scrutiny panels, have raised issues about community safety, air quality and electoral registration as part of this work.

I attended a special meeting on affordable housing.

Liaised with council officers over a public realm special meeting of the Community Safety and Environment scrutiny panel in January and chaired the meeting, which was a review of how we could improve the look, cleanliness and design of out public realm with a focus on parks and open spaces

If you want to get in touch with Gary, his email is gary.parker[at], or you can follow him on Twitter at @CllrG2013.

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