The White Swan: Charlton Society to discuss much-missed pub’s fate

White Swan
Mendoza put the White Swan on the market in 2020

The fate of The White Swan in Charlton Village will be up for discussion at the Charlton Society‘s regular monthly meeting this Saturday, together with a number of issues about improving the area.

The Swan closed suddenly in March 2020, just before the first lockdown, after a lengthy battle to pay the rent demanded by the Isle of Man-based property developer Mendoza, which bought the freehold from Punch Taverns for £900,000 in 2015.

Since then, the pub has been put on the market, with Mendoza demanding £40,000 in rent each year, although it no longer appears on the front page of agent Jenkins Law’s website. In November 2020, planning permission was given for a house at the rear of the site – shrinking the pub’s beer garden. Final approval of a six-month construction programme was given last June.

The society has added the restoration of the Swan as a priority item to its Save Our Village Action Plan, which it will be discussing on Saturday.

Most of the (many) other items in the plan are to do with the public realm around the village, although it also includes the 20mph zone which was implemented two years ago, along with “continuous pavements” that were described as an “accident waiting to happen” on this website in March.

The meeting will be held at Charlton House at 2.30pm this Saturday; there is an admission fee of £3 for non-members and £2 for members.


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Find out about the Charlton House ‘secret garden’ this Saturday

Old Pond Garden
Volunteers have been restoring the Old Pond Garden at Charlton House in recent years

Ever wanted to find out more about the Charlton House gardens and the work to restore them? The Charlton Society is hosting a talk about them on Saturday with Kathy Aitken of Charlton & Blackheath Amateur Horticultural Society.

Kathy is a keen amateur gardener, developing her own garden over the last 30 years. She joined the local Horticultural Society in 2014, finding it a very friendly group with a wide range of gardening knowledge. Her working life was in accountancy, and she discovered the considerable health benefits of gardening very early on. She is now Vice Chair of the Society and runs the admin side of the volunteer scheme at the walled gardens.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett was published in 1911 and became such a popular book it has never been out of print. The walled gardens attached to Charlton House are 400-year-old gems that have been under-used and neglected in recent years, becoming a truly ‘Secret Garden’ on our doorstep!

The talk will tell you about the history of the gardens and how the local Horticultural Society and the Charlton community are helping the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust to make them beautiful again.

The talk will be followed by refreshments. We will be charging our usual entrance fee which helps towards room hire. This is £2 for members and £3 for visitors and we should be able to accept cash, cheque or contactless payments.

The talk is this Saturday, March 19 at the Charlton Assembly Rooms. It starts at 2.30pm.


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

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Talk about Woolwich at the Charlton Society AGM this Saturday

Powis Street
The Charlton Society AGM will include a talk on Woolwich

The Charlton Society, the local amenity society for the area, is having its annual general meeting on Saturday, with both members and non-members welcome to come along.

The society aims to “celebrate the past and protect the future of Charlton”, and new members can sign up at the meeting (download a form). It recently played a part in getting two new housing developments on the Charlton Riverside refused by Greenwich Council.

There’s a lot to discuss in Charlton right now, but the society has opted to have a talk about Woolwich in the second part of its AGM.

It says…

The layout of the room will be slightly different to allow for social distancing. Wearing masks is optional but we ask that you use the hand sanitiser provided.

We will ask you to sign in but, for this special meeting, we will not charge for refreshments. We will also be accepting annual subscriptions and this year should be able to offer contactless payment, although you might like to bring cash with you in case there is a technical glitch!

The Meeting will take place in two sections. The first section will deal with the business of the Annual General Meeting (at which non-members will not be able to vote) and the second part will be a talk presented by David Gardner who will outline the “Challenges Facing Woolwich”. As ward councillor for Woolwich Common David is well placed to bring us up to date with the multiple changes facing the Town and district.

The event begins at 2.30pm on Saturday in the Grand Salon at Charlton House.


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