Monday, 29 August 2016

Almshouses update


It must be the power of the ATA!
Just days after we published an article on our website lamenting the lack of progress in repairing the boundary wall to the Grade II listed almshouses on Greenwich South Street, restoration work has started.
Well, to be precise, clearing of much damaged brickwork and some rudimentary preparation for rebuilding and restoring the wall has occurred. And a proper protective metal fence has been erected to cordon off the section of wall wrecked eight months ago when it was hit by an allegedly stolen car.
So let’s hope Hanover Housing Association, which manages the John Penn and Widow Smith almshouses, will crack on with the restoration and restore the wall to its former glory without further delay.
The Ashburnham Triangle Association is very keen that as much of the original materials as possible are used in the restoration, a view we understand is shared by Hanover. And, where this isn’t feasible, the ATA wants to see authentic, matching brick and stone used.
This will require an experienced, qualified builder able to reconstruct the wall to its original specifications. It will also call for close supervision, something sadly lacking so far if notices attached to the protective metal fence are any accurate guide. The notices warn of the danger of falling masonry. But they also advise drivers not to park in front of the damaged wall. Unfortunately, the notices have been fixed to the wrong side of the fencing to be any of practical help to drivers. They are visible from Greenwich South Street only by motorists blessed with a rare a combination of x-ray vision and the ability to read mirror image lettering!
Neil Sinclair



Monday, 22 August 2016

Deptford Cinema on Radio 4 Thursday 25th August

Deptford Cinema will feature in this coming Thursday's edition of Radio 4's The Film Programme, 4-4.30pm, called Save Our Cinemas: 'Antonia Quirke... meets two groups who are trying to save their local cinemas in Deptford and Homerton and hears from a local trust in Aberfeldy who successfully saved theirs and are still going strong after four years.'

Now at Deptford Cinema:

info@deptfordcinema.org




Changes to Greenwich train services during and after August Bank Holiday weekend


From Saturday 27 August 2016 there will be changes to Southeastern services travelling to, from and through London Bridge, Cannon Street, Waterloo East and Charing Cross stations, as work to rebuild London Bridge station continues as part of the Thameslink Programme. 

Passengers using these services should plan ahead and may need to travel differently. Detailed travel advice and ticket acceptance is available at southeasternrailway.co.uk/august.

Saturday 27 August to Thursday 1 September 2016 
  • No trains to or from Cannon Street, Deptford, Greenwich, Maze Hill and Westcombe Park.
  • On Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 no Southeastern services into London Bridge, Charing Cross and Waterloo East. 
There will be major changes to the Southeastern timetable with fewer trains running on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Please consider changing your normal journey to work and allow more time. London Bridge station and Charing Cross services are expected to be busier than usual.  Queuing systems may be in place at peak times. Please check before you travel. 

If you are able to travel after 09:00 and before 16:30 or after 18:30 between Tuesday and Thursday, you could have a more comfortable journey.

Monday 29 August 2016 to January 2018
  • Trains to and from Cannon Street will not stop at London Bridge when services resume from Friday 2 September
  • Most Charing Cross trains will resume calling at London Bridge from Monday 29 August
Monday 29 August 2016 to August 2017

Until platform 6 at London Bridge opens in August 2017, some Southeastern morning and evening peak services are unable to call at London Bridge. 
  • Trains from Charing Cross and Waterloo East will not stop at London Bridge on Mondays to Fridays between 08:04 and 09:17
  • Trains to Waterloo East and Charing Cross will not stop at London Bridge on Mondays to Fridays between 16:37 and 18:03
London Bridge Tube station will remain open throughout, but will be busier than usual. Cannon Street rail and Tube stations, and the Jubilee and Northern lines at London Bridge and Waterloo, will be busier than usual at peak times while passengers take alternative routes.

Permanently
  • No direct Charing Cross trains to or from New Cross, St Johns, Deptford, Greenwich, Maze Hill and Westcombe Park.  
More information

Detailed travel advice and ticket acceptance is available at southeasternrailway.co.uk/august

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Changing skyline of Deptford Creek




Another development is proposed along Deptford Creek. The site, known as Hope Wharf, is next to Mumford’s Mills and is currently occupied by Booker Wholesale, a discount cash and carry warehouse. The site is largely hidden from view by the red and black block of flats on Greenwich High Road. It can be best be seen by visiting Lewisham & Southwark College. The developer, Fairview Homes, held a public consultation in March this year and has now put in a planning application (Reference is 16/1792/F) for:-
  • 125 high quality new homes arranged over 4 to 14 storeys; 
  • a mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments; 
  • 44 affordable housing apartments for shared ownership and rent; 
  • commercial space for local businesses; 
  • Creekside garden walk that will allow the public to enjoy the Creekside; and 
  • 24 car parking spaces for residents.

The Ashburnham Triangle Association’s Planning Hub has responded to the planning application. On the whole, we welcome the change to the scheme particularly the proposed public Creekside garden walk; however, the Planning Hub is still concerned by the density of the development, which is significantly above London Density Policy, and the proposed 14 storey tower, which is taller than Mumford’s Mills. The small number of three bedroom apartments for families (19 in total) of which only 9 are affordable is also disappointing. In contrast there are 43 one bed apartments of which 21 are affordable. Over the last few years there have been a number of developments on the Creek such as Kent Wharf and Sun Wharf on the Lewisham side of the Creek. As a result, there has been the potential to turn Creekside into a pleasant active water front of restaurants and small scale retail units. Sadly, however, this opportunity has on the whole been lost particularly on the Greenwich side of the Creek as a number of the new developments do not offer any public interaction at street level and/or the Creek. For more information about this application and the Planning Hub’s response, please see the links below:

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Stonewalling on South Street

Victorian engineer John Penn Junior, or one of the many hundreds of men he employed at his Greenwich marine engine works in the 19th century, could probably have rebuilt it in a matter of days, if not hours.
The brick and stone wall fronting the John Penn & Widow 
Smith Almshouses on Greenwich South Street 
But the once splendid brick and stone wall fronting the John Penn & Widow Smith Almshouses on Greenwich South Street still lies partly in ruins more than seven months after a large section was knocked flat in a motor vehicle accident.

The damaged section of the wall
The charming almshouses and their front wall were built in 1884 for Ellen Penn in memory of her husband John Jnr, who died in 1878. The almshouses were expanded from 8 properties to 10 after the separate Widow Smith charity was merged with John Penn following the destruction of its almshouses on Trafalgar Road in the Second World War.

Listed Grade II by English Heritage in 1973, the Greenwich South Street almshouses are a development of 10 self-contained properties with access to shared gardens, a residents’ lounge and guest facilities, according to managers Hanover Housing Association.

On Hanover’s website, prospective residents are assured they ‘won’t have to worry about maintenance of the buildings/grounds, as this is taken care of by the housing manager’.

The front panel of the vehicle that hit the wall
Well, for over seven months, they’ve left the partly demolished front garden wall much as it was when the vehicle crashed into it. Indeed, if you stand at the bus stop outside the Penn’s almshouses, you can still see part of the crashed vehicle’s front body panel embedded in the broken brickwork.

Steff Turton, Hanover Housing’s manager at the Penn’s almshouses, explained in response to an inquiry from the ATA about the delay in effecting repairs: ‘We are aware of the issue and we have been taking steps to ensure that it is resolved. We have lodged a claim with our insurance company and have been dealing with them over the past few months to try to bring the matter to a successful conclusion.

‘As they are organising the work, there is little that we can do but continue to pursue them for updates. My understanding is that the plans for the restoration are currently being scrutinised by the local council. We are as keen as you are to ensure that the original brick and stonework is used in the restoration and we have made this clear to our insurance company. As the building is listed, the council will also be involved in ensuring that the work is carried out sympathetically and in keeping with the almshouses and the surrounding area.’

Steff Turton added: ‘I completely agree with you that the wall is an eyesore and please pass on my apologies to any local residents that mention it to you. I will pass on your e-mail to our insurance company so that they are aware that local residents are also keen to see the work completed.’

The site of the old John Penn engine works
The John Penn engine works once occupied an approximately seven-acre site on the corner of Lewisham Road and Blackheath Road, a location which would have put it on the boundary of the Ashburnham Triangle, had the works survived into the late 20th century. Sadly, the last surviving building, the pattern shop built around 1863, was demolished when the site was cleared in the mid 1990s to make way for a car park and the Wickes DIY and PetSmart (now Pets at home) stores.

Local historian Diana Rimel has included information on the John Penn & Widow Smith almshouses in her booklet on the Triangle (The Ashburnham Triangle, still available through the ATA website). And former Triangle resident Richard Cheffins wrote about John Penn & Sons in an article for the Greenwich Industrial History Society. He said the main entrance to the Penn engine site, where engines for Brunel’s Great Britain and Great Eastern were made, was in Cold Bath Lane, now appropriately named John Penn Street.

Ex-ATA chairman Mick Delap is currently working on a project to digitise Richard Cheffins’s extensive archive of the Triangle’s fascinating history, both commercial and residential, with help from ATA supporter and Triangle resident Tom Webb. They are also putting into digital form the data from Diana Rimel’s Triangle booklet. For more details of this project look out for the ATA’s summer newsletter which should be dropping through your letter box later this month.

Neil Sinclair

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

No Thai pop-up at the Ash this Friday

Kate is away. We'll pine, but happy hols, Kate.

Café Rouge Greenwich joins the ATA discount card programme offering 20% discount

 

As we head into August what better way to enjoy the summer than French food accompanied by an extensive array of French wines. The ATA announces that the latest addition to our partners offering a discount to ATA card holders is the Café Rouge at 30 Stockwell St, Greenwich, London SE10 9JN.

The menu at Café Rouge covers a range of French classics, from croquet monsieur, croquet saumo, fromage and merguez baguettes to more substantial meals such as steak frites, (their signature dish), 32oz cote de boeuf, bouillabaisse, poulet breton and bœuf bourguignon. Likewise the wines are all French, many from lesser-known regional producers. They also have a wide range of beers and cocktails.

Café Rouge is offering 20% off all food from the a-la-carte menu, (offer excludes Prix Fixe menu and drink,) to ATA residents who present the card when they order. This discount cannot be used in conjunction with other offers and promotions. Throughout the summer they are also offering promotions including kids eat free until August 25th, See their ‘Little Book of Sunshine’ for other offers and T&C’s.

Open: Mon – Sat 7am – 11pm and Sunday 7am – 10.30pm for breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Reservations: bookatable.co.uk
Phone: 020 8293 6660

For full terms and conditions on the ATA discount card scheme and a full list of partners offering discounts please see here.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Safer Neighbourhoods Police Street Meet Update


Many neighbours attended the Safer Neighbourhoods Police Street Meet last Saturday where PC John Moody gave advice on any concerns.

The main problems discussed from Saturday’s meeting were noise complaints from the Greenwich Hotel in Catherine Grove and the break-in of the gates to the Charter Buildings; Vehicles continuing to ignore the No Entry sign in Devonshire Drive; Fake researchers going door to door to try and gain access to homes (see previous ATA post) and an increase of the small gas cylinders, known as hippy crack or laughing gas, littering many of the roads around Greenwich in particular on the corner of Egerton Drive and Ashburnham Place.

The Greenwich Hotel and Charter Buildings Catherine Grove 
Some residents living nearby are being disturbed by people spilling out of the hotel late at night making noise, smoking and drinking outside after events. The police are working with the Council’s Noise team on this issue and anyone affected can contact the Noise Call out service on 020 8921 8921. Hours are extended on Friday and Saturday from 7 pm – 2 am in the summer. It is also worth keeping a diary sheet of times of any noise disturbance and how it has affected you personally e.g. ‘unable to sleep due to shouting and screaming’ etc.

The Charter Buildings were previously targeted by two motorcyclists who forced the entrance gates open to try and steal mopeds. Motorcycle crime, the theft of pedal cycles and mopeds is a major concern throughout Greenwich. People are advised to be particularly vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to the police immediately. 

No Entry Signs in Devonshire Drive
Drivers ignoring the no entry signs from Greenwich High Road into Devonshire Drive and speeding off has been an on-going issue over the years. Safer Neighbourhoods Police patrol this patch as best they can and try to get the traffic police to deal with it but any other enforcement measures are predominantly the responsibility of the Council.

Fake Researchers/Canvassers trying to gain access to homes 
The police advise people to be firm in turning bogus/cold callers away on the doorstep. Residents need to be very wary of bogus callers who come across convincingly while trying to find out who is at home or away. Neighbourhood Watch signs and No Cold Caller stickers on doors can also be a useful deterrent which residents can point to to hasten the departure of these individuals.

Small Gas Cylinders 
These silver cylinders, which are about 10cm long, were traditionally used by dentists and surgeons to numb pain but are now used in household appliances like soda stream and whipped cream dispensers, making them readily available in various stores and online. It has become a craze at festivals, concerts and clubs.  It works by blocking signals to the conscious mind from other parts of the brain, giving users a brief feeling of relaxation, intense euphoria and making them giggly.

Possessing and inhaling this gas is legal, but supplying it to under-18s could lead to prosecution. Unlicensed vendors risk a two-year prison sentence. Driving under the influence of nitrous oxide could also lead to a heavy fine, disqualification from driving and even a prison sentence.  The sale of these canisters to individuals is an offence and the police and the Council’s anti social behaviour team are monitoring the situation. It is also worth reporting canisters lying around to the Police on 101 who can trace where they have come from by their batch numbers.

Laughing Gas Cylinders littering Greenwich High Road
  • Laughing gas is now the fourth most used drug in the UK, according to the Global Drug Survey 2015.
  • When the gas comes out of a canister it can be so cold it can burn. A cold shock at the back of the throat can affect the vagus nerve, causing the heart rate to suddenly slow.
  • In the past year, only people in the Netherlands used it more. 
  • More than 3,500 canisters of nitrous oxide were seized by police at Notting Hill Carnival last year .







David Scales / Tina Pugh
Security Hub

WARNING - Recent Knife Threat in Triangle

Would all residents please be extra vigilant and aware when walking around the Triangle late at night.  

Last Thursday evening, 28th July, at approximately 10.30pm a local resident was threatened with a knife. The victim, who is currently on crutches, was walking home from Deptford DLR station and had just turned into Egerton Drive from Blackheath Road. He had started to cross the road near the junction with Guildford Grove when a man challenged him with a knife demanding his wallet. A passer by saw the incident and chased the would-be mugger off who ran down Guildford Grove.  Fortunately, on this occasion, both the victim and his guardian angel were not hurt or had anything taken.

The police were called and although they arrived quickly and searched the area the assailant could not be found.  He is described to be in his 20's, approximately 5'11' in height with a slightly stocky build.  He was wearing a grey hoody with the hood up and because of this his exact skin colour was hard for our victim to confirm but was of a white/pale coloured skin tone. 

The Police believe this was an opportunist crime as the victim was on crutches and was more vulnerable than usual.  They would also like to stress that this sort of crime is not usual in this area, but nonetheless, please be alert and careful when travelling around late at night especially if travelling on your own. 


Tina Pugh
Security Hub

Thursday, 28 July 2016

How to Beat Car and Bike Crime

The good news is that domestic burglary figures continue to decline within the Triangle. The bad news, however, is that motor vehicle crime, mainly involving theft from motor vehicles; motorbike and bicycle theft is on the increase.  

It may be difficult to protect your car from a determined, professional thief, but in most cases car crime is committed by opportunists who often take less than a minute to get into a vehicle.  Thieves like items that are concealable, removable, accessible and valuable.

The top 5 most common items stolen from vehicles are


Don't leave valuables on show in unattended vehicles.
Thieves look for Sat Navs and phones left behind in cars.
  • Electrical items - Laptops, portable navigation units and mobile phones
  • Unattended bags left in view - documents such as disabled badges
  • Number plates
  • Alloy wheels
  • Catalytic converters (part of the exhaust system)

Have a look at the Frequently Asked Questions from the Metropolitan Police web site and see how you can protect your vehicle.


Bike, moped and motorcycle theft also continue to rise. Greenwich Police recommend owners to use locks such as ‘Gold Sold Secure’ and a high quality D-lock to prevent theft.

Lock-up tips 
Out and about
    locked bike graphic
    Lock your bike to an immovable object
  • Lock your bike in a well-lit public area wherever possible - plenty of people around is the best theft-deterrent.
  • For top security, use two locks of different types, for instance a D lock round the rear wheel and frame and a cable lock round the front wheel and frame. This means a thief will need to have the tools to break two different types of locks and twice as much time and determination.
  • Make sure that you lock your bike to an immovable object. If you lock up on a rotten fence post, a thief won't even need any specialist tools to break your bike free.
  • Use a lock that reflects the value of your bike. A thief might pass by a very old or cheap bike secured with a skinny cable lock, but the same lock on a carbon race bike will be too tempting for a thief to ignore.

Lock-up tips 
At home
  • Keep your bike out of sight. If you can't bring it into the house, put it in a shed or garage. Failing that, even a cover will provide some camouflage, as well as weather protection.
  • As well as locking the shed or garage, you should also lock your bike within the shed or garage. Consider installing a ground anchor for this.
  • Heavy duty chain locks are good for locking at home. They are a visible deterrent and hard to break. Just make sure the padlock is as tough as the chain.

If your bike does get stolen, security markings will help the police to get it back to you.  Bikes can be security marked and registered at bikeregister.com.


For further information and preventive tips please visit the Vehicle Crime page on the Metropolitan Police website.