Street Furniture (2) Sad Benches

At such a happy time of year, please spare a thought for this lonseome pair, West Greenwich’s answer to the spookily empty Glenister Green. Benedict, who took this shot of the ‘leisure area’ near the fire station in Royal Hill, has never seen anyone actually using these benches, and nor have I.
Perhaps it’s because it just looks such a bleak place that no one uses it – though you’d have thought that after schlepping shopping up that hill someone would be grateful of a sit-down. The ‘no ball games’ sign puts the kibosh on kiddies using it as a play area and Benedict reckons he’s never even seen any local winos congregating there.
So what gives? Are we both just going past at the wrong time and missing the roaring party that goes on there every night? Or did those town planners in the 1970s(?) completely succeed in making a social area so antisocial that noboday wants to use it?
There are several places like this in Greenwich. Little corners that should be welcome retreats, but that just make an area look even more desolate than it really is. That one on the corner of Vanbrugh Hill and Dinsdale Road, for example. What to do about them? In this financial climate, I don’t know…

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