Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust was set up by Greenwich Council in 2014 to manage historic buildings in the borough, including Charlton House, the Assembly Rooms, and the Tudor Barn in Eltham, as well as the borough archives and war memorials.
News from Charlton House about its involvement in a new scheme providing support for local residents with learning disabilities:
Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust is delighted to announce that Charlton House has been confirmed as A Safe Place, part of a network of shops, cafes, museums and heritage buildings around the Royal Borough of Greenwich where any local resident with a learning disability can go for help should they need it.
With funding from the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), support from the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the Metropolitan Police, the Safe Place Scheme was set up by Advocacy in Greenwich.
Charlton House as a heritage building at the heart of the borough is proud to have joined this new initiative and scheme, providing support or shelter should anyone feel scared, intimidated or unsafe.
A new facility is in development with the Royal Borough of Greenwich with public access to a new Research Room. The Greenwich Archive Users Forum has been established and RGHT are working with the Forum to ensure access to the borough’s archive collections continues and can be enjoyed by many more residents in our community in the future. The Museum & Archive team are now based at Charlton House.
Pauline Watson, the archivist, has continued to deal with enquiries from the public by email and telephone since the closure of the Heritage Centre, and is looking forward to working with researchers in person again as soon as the new facility is up and running.At the momentshe is carrying out some incredibly useful research into past repairs and maintenance of Charlton House since the 1920s, the Trust will be sharing some of its findings on its blog in the coming weeks.
Layers of London
RGHTisproviding the ‘Hub’ at Charlton House for a new project, Layers of London. Launched at an event last week, the project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fundin partnership with London Metropolitan Archive and University of London,aims to work with the community to record layers of ‘London’s rich past’. The first meeting at Charlton House saw a wide attendance, not only from the Charlton and wider Greenwich communities but from interested people across the south east. Some very interesting projects were sharedat the meetingandanyone can take part by adding their story to the site. RGHT looksforward to seeing the content grow over the next two years as the project develops.
The‘Making Woolwich’exhibition, from the Heritage Centre is the focus of the teams work now as they manage the redesign and relocation of the display to Woolwich Town Hall. This exhibition opened in December2016 to celebrate the 300-year history of the Royal Artillery. Elements of this story will transfer to the Town Hallin Novemberwhere new audiences can find out about the important story of the Royal Artilleryin Woolwichand the men and women who haveserved in the Borough over the last 300 years.Therest of theMuseum & Archive collections will not be mothballed during this period of closure. The Trust teamwill take this opportunity todevelop a programme ofexhibitions and events that will see the collections travel out into the community.
As the centenary of the end of the First World War approaches RGHT has 4 Tommies’ from theThere but not Thereproject. If community groups are interested inloaninga Tommy for an event they can contactEdward@rght.org.ukfor details.You can find out more about the First World War Victoria Cross recipients of the boroughonthe RGHT blog where each week the story ofone ofthe four local heroes will be revisited.
The new RGHTWhat’sOnleafletis now available. Youcan pick up a copy at Charlton House. You can also collect a copy of the Woolwich History Walk leaflet, designed and printed with a generous grant from the Ministry of Defence Community Covenant Fund.If you can’t drop into CharltonHouse,you can download the leaflet herewww.greenwichheritage.org/visit/woolwich-history-walks.Alternatively,if you would like to take part in thewalk orwould like copies of either the adult or family version for your group please email@example.com copies can be sent to you for display.
I will publish a further report earlyin2019.
Best Wishes, Cllr Gary Parker
The Charlton Champion is keen to know: do you use or visit Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust facilities? What do you think of their current plans? What could they be doing, and what are they are getting right (or wrong)? Let us know in the comments below (but keep it constructive, please!)
The Charlton Champion is grateful to LARA RUFFLE COLES for sending us her photos, videos and observations from Sunday’s Horn Fair event at Charlton House:
Even though the grey and rainy weather may have stopped some from venturing outside, this year’s Horn Fair at Charlton House was lively and entertaining – if not as bustling as 2017.
My favourite element of the day was the live music from the Royal Air Force Cadets, The Friends’ Musick and the Horn Fair Players. The music generated a very warm and inviting atmosphere, and it was wonderful to hear the music floating around the house as you moved from room to room.
The range of stalls was more arts and crafts than food, this was a bit disappointing as last year there were more food stalls including a really good quality smoked salmon stall selling sandwiches. Only chocolate, honey, coffee and Caribbean food was on offer, and The Giggly Pig Company had already packed up when I arrived at peak eating time just before 2pm. We couldn’t find Wandercrust Pizza, unfortunately; the tea rooms were open, but I would have liked to scoff down a few slices of pizza!
If you ventured outside, visitors were able to have a good nosy round the newly reopened Summer House. The main room and undercroft (also a WWII air raid shelter) could be viewed, and panels were on display detailing the recent refurbishment.
This year’s theme was the hundred year anniversary of Charlton House opening as a Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) hospital – which felt a little odd given the Horn Fair’s previous reputation as a bawdy and debauched affair! It might have better to focus on the upcoming Armistice centenary as a whole, and the VAD theme didn’t feel very present as you moved from room to room. The theme also seemed at odds with the commercial aspects of the event.
However, balancing the commercial and educational parts of any charitable organisation is always tricky, and is something that the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust – only established four years ago – is still working on.
More importantly, we should all be supporting events like the Horn Fair as they allow charities to keep beautiful and historically vital buildings like Charlton House open for all of us to enjoy. Roll on 2019!
When we last looked inside the Summer House it still had its public toilets in situ (albeit unused for some time); now with the toilets, internal walls and an amount of asbestos removed – plus new clear windows letting the light in – it’s easier to imagine the space in use for events. Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust (RGHT) is still looking for ideas for future use of the Summer House that will balance its aims of historical interpretation, community use, and revenue generation – if you’ve got any ideas, get in touch with the team.
As you can see from the pictures below, the refurbishment is still underway; amongst other work to be done we were told that stone flagstones will be put down soon and, pending the reconnection of the electricity supply, temporary lighting put in to light the building up at night.
We were also able to have a look in the Summer House’s undercroft, the basement space which saw use as an air raid shelter in WWII. We were told this won’t be open this weekend, but RGHT hope to use for future special events, including possibly the Horn Fair.
To purchase musical instruments for Thorntree Primary school both to expand the potential to learn new instruments and to support the provision of public performances to engage with the local community.
Valley Hill Hub – Air Pollution Monitors
Valley Hill Hub
To undertake a second air quality survey in the Charlton area during October 2018.
Laser Survey on Charlton House Grounds
Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust
To carry out a digital survey of the grounds within Charlton House to identify the historic features of the landscape which may be undiscovered during its changing development through its 400 year history
Big Red Bus – ESOL Equipment and Resources
Big Red Bus Club
To support the Big Red Bus Club in providing English language support to a diverse range of service users whose first language is not English.
Greenwich Foodbank Van (£6k split between 14 Wards)
To support the purchase of van to facilitate the efficient transport of food collections around the borough.
By our calculations that’s over 85% of the budget allocated by the time the funding round closed.