Right – so apart from yesterday’s unscheduled panic, I want to start this out nice and gentle,with a couple of fascinating pictures of Greenwich Park from just after the war, which does have a point other than just being intriguing, honest.
First off, a fact that you’ll thank me for next time you’re in a pub quiz. The original dome of Greenwich Observatory’s Great Equatorial Building was made from papier mache. Why? Because it was light, easily shaped and, once lacquered, could stand some pretty tough conditions.
Of course, when it was lovingly created in 1893, ‘tough conditions’ didn’t include Luftwaffe night raids, and you’ll see from the picture why Sir John Anderson didn’t pick up on papier mache as an ideal material for his bomb shelters. The shell shredded the dome which didn’t get rebuilt until 1975. These days, the only sign you’ll find that anything was amiss is a few shrapnel marks in The Phantom’sGeneral Wolfe’s plinth.
Secondly, just look at the lovely allotments:
Now, I know that waiting lists are long around here. I’m not quite suggesting we go back to the way people fed themselves during the war, but I wouldn’t be averse to the council making a bit more land within walking distance of Greenwich available for allotmenteers. Not that I’m thinking of anywhere in particular cough, Heart-of-East-Greenwich, cough.
I’m not really going to make a big history song and dance today – this is merely to let you know that Stephen’s fascinating new website Blitzwalkers is now up and running and that he’ll be repeating his extremely popular Wartime Greenwich walks on two forthcoming dates, Sunday 30th May at 11 a.m. and Friday 18th June at 6.30 p.m.
Both times will see walkers meeting outside All Saints Church in Blackheath Village, for a stroll lasting for about 2 3/4 hours. It costs £7 per head.
Normally I’ll be popping stuff like this in the Parish News, but I haven’t got round to populating it yet, so here it is…
I’ll be back to more in-depth History, reviews and other weirdities asap.
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