Shopping Cart Valhalla…
…Where trolleys go to die…
There is a quiet corner of Greenwich where I always bow my head for a moment in silent thought, surrounded by a small colony of tragic trolleys, used and abused, then finally cruelly abandoned by their callous masters when they are of no further use.
It is, of course, the little cut-through between Tunnel Avenue and the always-enjoyable footbridge across the A102(M)which finally brings you out next to the Odeon.
It’s a funny, wide little alley, which takes you between two houses and the little strip of no-man’s land next to the road. There are some nice-ish shrubs (which were obviously planted once) and the surface is good. But it does puzzle me why these shopping trolleys are abandoned here, and not further in. I mean – people have already done the hard work pushing them up the curly-wurly slope and over the bridge (I love that bridge – you can see so much from the top – from tantalising glimpses of The Observatory up the hill – and never quite in the place you expect to find it, to the naughty, satisfying smugness you can enjoy looking down at the stationary traffic queuing to get into the tunnel) so why not finish the job and just take the trolley home?
I have a couple of theories – if anyone lives in Tunnel Avenue and can tell me what really goes on, I’d be delighted to have another Greenwich Mystery solved.
My first thought is that the trolleys are used in some kind of extreme sport by the local kids – sitting in the cart and whizzing down the slope in some sort of helter-skelter-on-wheels type activity – scary but all too plausible.
My second idea is that these are people in Tunnel Avenue’s personal trolleys – a bit like the free bicycle in Amsterdam that people use and leave around the city. I like to think that people take one back with them whenever they go shopping (I do occasionally when I’m feeling VERY generous) but who can tell?
Sometimes, one of the trolleys has hoisted itself up and over the chainlink fence to the little strip of wildland, presumably so it can die in peace. No one has ever seen how they do it…
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