Does This Stink? Or Not?

Folks, a curious comment on an old post has got me intrigued and I can’t work out what I think about it.

From an internet search I cannot find out anything as to whether this is true (how come the sort of info I want to find out never seems to be on the ‘all-knowing’ net?) I’ve checked the business pages, the company’s web page, the lot – but no dice so far.

The anonymous commenter (so I can’t even email to get more details) is an employee at the factory that is, for most of us, the bane of our lives. The factory that dispenses all manner of bizarre odours from tall chimneys and giant vats. I am told it’s Amylum UK, a subsidiary of Tate & Lyle, a refinery that makes ingredients for all manner of unlikely products, and we have moaned long and hard about the frankly weird smells that emanate from behind those high walls. Sometimes they’re yeasty and malty – and not bad at all; other times they are frankly eye-wateringly horrid. It must depend on whatever they’re refining that day and the wind direction.

So. Onto the comment. This employee told me that they were told yesterday that the plant is to close – that it will be gone completely by this time next year. I have no reason to think that anyone would make up something so random, so I’m running with it being true.

First thought. Fantastic – no more disgusting smells hanging over Greenwich on a still day.

Second thought. The poor sods who work there are just about to lose their jobs, in a climate that by next year could be a hell of a lot worse. I can’t imagine they’ll all want to go and work at Happy Land in the O2.

Third Thought. What does this mean for Greenwich as a whole? Its industrial history may not be the most glamorous part of Greenwich’s past, but it is an important and a relevant one. Greenwich as a place of making things is, perhaps, a microcosm of Britain as a whole. Our industry is going, being replaced by services. Our individual shops are going, being replaced by chains and estate agents. Our places of work are going, being replaced by luxury flats. Our docks are going, being replaced by more luxury flats. Our pubs are going, being replaced by – well, you guessed.

Are we ok with that? Are we happy that we are turning into a dormitory and/or a tourist trap?

I was under the impression that that particular slot of land, along the west side of the peninsula, had been set aside as for industrial/dock/port use. Is this to change? Will the closure of Amlyum see the opening of a new business (hopefully less smelly – just because it’s industrial doesn’t mean it has to stink…) or will it become another ‘riverside opportunity’ with ‘fantastic views’ for the developers?

I should be delighted at this comment. I’m not convinced I am…

What do you think?


Comments are closed.