Thames-Side Studios’ Open Studios returns this Saturday

Thames-Side Studios
Open Studios four years ago – the annual event is now back once again (photo
© Thames-Side Studios)

Thames-Side Studios is opening its doors to the public again this Saturday for Open Studios – its first in three years.

It’s easy to miss, but the complex by the river, on the Charlton-Woolwich border, is the UK’s biggest site for artists, makers and designers, with over 550 studios. Saturday will be your chance to meet them and buy their wares.

You’ll be able to see painting, drawing, fashion design, carpentry, photography, print making, picture framing, stained glass making, graphic design, film and video and much more besides.

The complex is next to Faraday Works – the old Siemens factory due for redevelopment – while you can also see the Royal Iris, the abandoned Mersey ferry rusting away next to the studios.

Thames-Side Studios is on Warspite Road SE18 5NR and on the Thames Path. Open Studios runs this Saturday, June 25, from noon to 6pm.


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Disused Charlton Village building could become coffee shop

7a The Village
7a The Village has been disused for seven years

A disused shop unit in Charlton Village could become a coffee shop – if a developer is as good as their word.

The former ironmongers at 7a The Village, which has a two-storey flat on top, has been closed for seven years, but a developer wants to build an extension so it can accommodate two flats, and divide the downstairs unit so it can incorporate a coffee shop.

A planning document submitted to Greenwich Council reads: “At ground floor, the shop front will be restored and refurbished, with provisions made for future use as a coffee shop or similar. The area has struggled to compete with larger centres such as Woolwich and Blackheath, as well as with out-of-town retail parks of Charlton Riverside.

“This is a factor that may have led to the closure of several shops in The Village in recent years, according to the Charlton Village Conservation Area Character Appraisal.

“We hope that by restoring the shop it will provide much needed footfall to the local high street. There is also strong demand for coffee shops in the area, according to a local estate agent. At ground floor, behind the shopfront will include two offices for use to carry out general administrative tasks, plus a training/presentation room.”

It adds: “[The development will] e of great benefit to The Village high street and the Charlton Village Conservation Area. Restoring the disused and vacant shopfront is critical to enhancing the relevance of the high street in Charlton Village, which is currently falling away to become instead a through road to Woolwich and Greenwich. This refurbishment alone won’t solve the issues facing The Village high street, but it is a positive step in the right direction.”

You can read the full design and heritage statement, while you can read the full documents and leave comments on the Greenwich Council planning website.


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Charlton tram works: Do you recognise anybody in these old photos?

The works in June 1942

London’s trams went out of service 70 years ago, but there are still reminders of them in Charlton.

In 1952, the last trams were taken to a yard at Penhall Road to be cut up and destroyed – with some of the tracks still in place today.

At the other end of SE7 was the old Charlton tram works, where vehicles from all over London were taken for repairs and servicing. The man who ran the trams at the time, Aubrey Bell, is commemorated in the name of the small road leading to the old depot – Felltram Way.

The depot later became an Airfix factory before being demolished in the early 1990s, and the only clue left to its past is how the street widens at the entrance to the old works.

The works in February 1944

Transport enthusiast ANDREW FRY was browsing a secondhand stall in Dorset when he found some intriguing photos. He picks up the story…

Not too long ago I purchased a secondhand book, at a bus rally down here in Dorset, relating to London Transport and inside I found seven 1940s black-and-white photographs.

On the reverse each of the photos is stamped as being taken by The Topical Press Agency Ltd and three mention ‘Charlton Works’ which is why I then decided to search on Google.

It appears that this was the largest works for the London Transport tram network so it might be that descendants of those in the photos may still reside in your area and would be interested in having these photos.

If this is the case I will gladly send them, free of any charges, to any interested person or group.

If you’d like to get in touch with Andrew, email him at shottsford[at]sky.com.

The site of the works today

LIKE WHAT THE CHARLTON CHAMPION DOES? HELP US KEEP IT GOING

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.

– Please tell us about your news and events – we reach people who stay away from social media groups
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