‘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: http://royalgreenwich.gov.uk/bikedays.

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.