Open weekend at ‘refreshed’ Charlton Lido

Charlton Lido are holding an open weekend on Saturday 23rd  and Sunday 24th of July, with special offers on membership, and a chance for non-members to try out the facilities – including the recently ‘relaunched’ cafe. They’re also looking for local businesses who may wish to take a stall over the weekend.

As an aside, we’d suggest that if Better are now describing the lido as ‘Charlton’s best kept secret’ it might be time for them to do a bit of proper advertising and promotion…


PS. Tried the cafe since it reopened? Tell us what you thought of it in the comments below.

‘Charlton Bike Days’ at Hornfair Park

Charlton Bike Days

Want to get your bike checked out, brush up on your cycling skills, or go on a ‘social ride’ around the local area? The council’s running a series of events at Hornfair Park on the 3rd Sunday of the month, with the next sessions taking place tomorrow (15th May). More info and booking for the cycling skills session and social ride can be found here:

As ever, we’d love to hear your feedback if you go along – tell us about it in the comments box below!

Charlton’s best kept secret? Hornfair Park pet cemetery gets council grant

Headstone in the pet cemetery, Hornfair Park

Volunteers who have helped restore a pet cemetery next to Hornfair Park have been given a small grant from Greenwich Council to help them erect a noticeboard and seating area in the rediscovered space.

The Friends of Charlton Pet Cemetery are being given £469 for “a notice board to display information about activities and the history of the cemetery and to create a seating area with a stone seat within an arch surrounded by trellis”.

Few people knew about the existence of the cemetery until the group was set up in 2012 with a mission to restore the space as a place to visit.

The cemetery predates the opening of Hornfair Park, having formed formed part of kennels on Shooters Hill Road bought by the Blue Cross charity after World War I.

But after World War II the cemetery was flattened, with the headstones set into the ground. It was largely forgotten about for many years until the Friends group got to work. With donations from Greenwich Council, local businesses and grants, it has cleaned up the space and put in new flower beds and seating. A memorial wall, where people can commemorate cherished pets, has also been installed.

If you want to find out more about the cemetery, you can access it from Shooters Hill Road, close to the footbridge at the Fox under the Hill pub. There’s also more information on the e-shootershill website.

The grant comes from Greenwich Council’s Ward Budgets scheme, after being endorsed by Kidbrooke with Hornfair councillors Norman Adams, Christine Grice and David Stanley. Each ward has access to £30,000 for community projects and other initiatives.

15 different grants have been given out since December 2015, from money to establish a junior Parkrun in Eltham to electric bikes for fire officers in Plumstead and Abbey Wood.

Details of how the scheme will work in Charlton ward have yet to be announced by councillors Allan MacCarthy, Gary Parker and Miranda Williams, who are responsible for selecting bids and putting them forward to council leader Denise Hyland for approval.

Photo of Charlton Pet Cemetery © e-shootershill.

Charlton’s Hornfair Park BMX track: Fantastic or a flop?

A near-deserted Hornfair Park BMX track on Sunday afternoon (photo: Clare Griffiths)
A near-deserted Hornfair Park BMX track on Sunday afternoon (photo: Clare Griffiths)

A few years back, plans for a BMX track in Hornfair Park were wildly controversial. On one side, neighbours had slightly wild visions of young people up to no good. On the other, Greenwich Council was playing fast and loose in its eagerness to get the thing built.

Sound familiar?

Anyhow, a Charlton Champion chum took her son there on Sunday… and found it deserted. We’ve had anecdotal reports that the BMX track isn’t being used as much as it could be – others simply don’t know it’s there.

We do know there’s an established BMX club that uses it, but it’s hard to shake off the feeling that it’s becoming yet another poorly-promoted local facility.

But what do you think? Did the BMX track live up (or down) to your expectations? Will the Easter holiday see a surge in kids on bikes heading for the track? And with the skateboard park looking like becoming a reality in Charlton Park, what lessons can be learned from the BMX track? We’d like to know.

Charlton Lido wants an alcohol licence – but its neighbours aren’t happy…


GLL has applied for a premises licence to allow ‘the Supply of Alcohol (on sales only), provision of live and recorded music (Indoors only) Monday to Sunday from 11:00 hours until 23:00 hours‘ at Charlton Lido, with the application to be heard on October 6th.

An overview of the application can be found here, and details of objections raised are here. The deadline for representations was 16th September.

Charlton Lido licensing objection

But a 94-name petition has been submitted objecting to the application, along with 11 individual objections – pointing to some dissatisfaction amongst the lido’s neighbours over a number of issues, principally parking, noise, and the attitude of the lido management towards residents.

Do you live in the streets around the lido? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Are you going to the Horn Fayre? Or the Horn Fair? Or both?

There’s not much confirmed online yet, but it looks like Charlton could be enjoying two Horn Fairs this year.

A ‘Horn Fayre’ in Charlton Park on Sunday July 27th:

The Horn Fayre - Charlton Park

And a ‘Horn Fair’ in Hornfair Park on Sunday August 3rd:

The Horn Fair - Hornfair Park

Neither are listed on the council’s events page yet, though the latter event is included on the Parksfest 2014 website (and seems to be supported by GLL, suggesting that there’s a link with the various leisure activities that they run in Hornfair Park). We’ve asked the council to clarify the situation via Twitter, and they’ve promised to get back to us:

If both are going ahead, it seems a little strange to be running similar events in adjacent parks on consecutive weekends, but perhaps this finally resolves the issue of how you spell ‘Horn Fair’: a different spelling for each park…We look forward to finding out more as information becomes available (on which subject, the organisers could learn a lot from the – volunteer – team behind this coming weekend’s Plumstead’s Make Merry). If you’ve got more information about either event, please get in touch!

UPDATE: After some confusion, the council Twitter feed has confirmed that both events are going ahead:

UPDATE 17th JUNE: Charlton House’s website has a bit more info on the Horn Fayre now:

‘Year-round’ Charlton Lido to close for winter

Charlton Lido, 9 August

Lower-than-expected take-up of membership means Charlton Lido will close for the winter on Sunday November 3rd. In an email to Better Swim members, GLL explains that to-date it only has 144 members, where the equivalent scheme for London Fields Lido has 1,200 members. The lack of revenue from this scheme, plus the expectation that the “dryside” facilities will not start making a financial contribution until into 2014, mean they face “a significant financial problem keeping the pool open through the winter“.

Members will have the choice of suspending their membership until the pool reopens, or keeping it running for the other pools run by GLL.

The email lays out some of the costs of running the lido (£200-£500 a day to heat the pool in winter; 1000+ members required to make winter opening viable), and stresses the investment GLL has in making it a success: “We are hopeful that with the whole new complex ‘Royal Greenwich Lido, Charlton’ [sic] up and running next year we will be able to attract the necessary numbers to stay open all year round. GLL will have invested £4m of our money and £1m of Partners money by the time the scheme is finished, so we do need to make it work!”.

(As an aside, if you’ve not had your say on the renaming of the lido yet, you can vote here).

While the lido has clearly been much busier this year than last (thanks, presumably, to the improved weather, plus increased awareness of the pool), it would be interesting to know why take up of the membership has been so low. Are you a member? Have you considered it but decided against? Let us know why in the comments below.

(2nd aside: the lido is now closing at 7pm on weekdays, rather than 8pm as it was through July and August).