Squeeze star Glenn Tilbrook asks fans to help foodbanks at Blackheath Halls show

Glenn Tilbrook at the Tall Ships Festival - photo Sarah Coburn
Glenn Tilbrook’s show is part of a nationwide tour

Squeeze frontman Glenn Tilbrook is asking fans to bring food to his solo show at Blackheath Halls next month, which is part of a tour aimed at helping the Trussell Trust charity.

The Charlton-based singer is promoting awareness of the charity, which operates 420 foodbanks across the country, including the Greenwich and Lewisham foodbanks which serve Blackheath.

There will be food drop points and collection boxes at the show on Friday 14 December, while all Tilbrook’s profits from merchandise, which includes a four-track EP, will be donated to the trust.

Tilbrook says: “It is shameful that in the 21st century there are people that can’t afford to put food on the table. Anyone, from any walk of life, can fall upon dire times, and I hope that by doing this tour it will remind people that there is a very real need.

“Most of us can do something to help – be it giving some food or a little money – and I hope people coming to the shows are inspired to donate.”

Three years ago, Tilbrook changed the lyrics to the Squeeze song Cradle to the Grave during a live performance on BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show, on which David Cameron was a guest. “There are some here who are hellbent, on the destruction of the welfare state,” he sang.

Earlier this year, Tilbrook spoke out against developer Rockwell’s plans to build 770 homes close to his studio on the Charlton riverside, saying he feared noise from construction would make the site unusable. The scheme was rejected by Greenwich Council, but has now been called in by London mayor Sadiq Khan.

Tickets for the show are £25 (£23 concessions) and can be bought direct from Blackheath Halls, including in person at its box office. For more information on Greenwich Foodbank and what it needs right now, visit greenwich.foodbank.org.uk.


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Greenwich firefighters remember Invicta school bombing

Invicta memorial
Firefighters and pupils at the Invicta memorial this morning (photo: Steve Hunnisett)

Last year, The Charlton Champion visited Invicta Primary School in Siebert Road to see a memorial plaque unveiled to commemorate the 15 people killed when it was bombed in 1940. This morning, firefighters returned to remember the dead. Local war historian STEVE HUNNISETT was there.

A simple and informal ceremony this morning saw the present day firefighters from Greenwich Fire Station honouring their Second World War counterparts, twelve of whom were killed at Invicta Primary School on the night of 14 November 1940 when the school was in use as Station 54X of the Auxiliary Fire Service.

Ironically, it was a quiet night in London, with the main focus of the Luftwaffe’s attacks being the city of Coventry. It was because of this lack of activity in the capital that the firemen based at Invicta Road were still at their station when the parachute mine that was to destroy the school drifted down. The explosion buried the men under tons of rubble and apart from the twelve firemen, three civilians, including the school caretaker, were killed.

This morning’s wreath laying was carried out by Richard Melrose, station manager at Greenwich Fire Station and the Watch Manager of White Watch and was the third such ceremony since the plaque was installed by the charity Firemen Remembered in March 2017.


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Leigh Academy gets go-ahead to build new school on Blackheath Bluecoat site

Leigh Academy Blackheath
Leigh Academy Blackheath will open on the old Blackheath Bluecoat site

A new academy has been given the green light to move to a permanent home on the old Blackheath Bluecoat School site despite safety concerns.

Councillors pushed back deciding on the proposed Leigh Academy Blackheath in Old Dover Road at a meeting in October.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency plans to demolish buildings, formerly used by Blackheath Bluecoat before its closure in 2014, and build a new school with a capacity of 1,150 pupils.

Officers said the school needed to be built so there was enough future school places, and that rejecting plans would place the council in a tough position.

Playing field worries

Concerns were raised, however, over the academy’s plan to use the Hervey Road playing field, a five-minute walk away from the site – meaning groups of schoolchildren would be forced to cross Shooters Hill Road to get to PE classes.

Charlton ward Labour councillor Gary Dillon said: “I want to know if there are any road crossings that can be put in on the junction of Old Dover Road and Shooters Hill Road. It’s quite a busy road if the kids are going to be crossing over.”

Officers said a crossing already existed across Shooters Hill Road, meaning it wasn’t necessary to have another “in close proximity”.

“Surely it would be quicker and better for child safety to have another crossing,” Cllr Dillon said. “If my kids were there I would want it.”

Councillors were told it was common for schools to use nearby open spaces for exercise, and that pupils would be supervised along the route.

Neighbours also protested, saying the school would be bigger than Blackheath Bluecoat, and that roads and buses would not cope with extra traffic and more students.

Victoria House
The school is currently based in old army quarters at the foot of Shooters Hill

Several neighbours complained a bigger school would bring pressure on the single-decker 386 which, according to them, is already packed with pupils from the John Roan.

According to officers, the school will not be bigger than Blackheath Bluecoat – the latter was just unpopular.

‘Safety is our priority’

Emma Smith, the school’s principal, said it is policy to have staff at school gates and bus stops to ensure students behaved well.

She said: “The feedback we’ve had is that whatever we are doing is very positive. We are very active at the gates and the safety of our children is priority.

“That’s how we plan to manage our children going forward. We will need more staff as we grow – but we will uphold our standards.”

The Leigh Academy opened in September 2018, starting at Victoria House, a former army building at the foot of Shooters Hill, while plans for the Old Dover Road site were finalised.

The site is currently home to St Mary Magdalene School, which is now moving to a permanent home on Greenwich Peninsula.

The new school will be split across two adjoining buildings, a main teaching block and a sports and drama studio.

Councillors approved the proposals, aside from Cllr Norman Adams (Labour, Kidbrooke with Hornfair) who voted to reject the plan.


LDRS logoTom Bull is the Local Democracy Reporter for Greenwich. The Local Democracy Reporter Scheme is a BBC-funded initiative to ensure councils are covered properly in local media.
The Charlton Champion uses LDRS content to supplement its own coverage. Find out more about why we are part of the scheme.


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