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

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