Wartime Greenwich

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.

the attachments to this post:

Greenwich Park Wartime Allotments
Greenwich Park Wartime Allotments

greenwich bombed observatory
greenwich bombed observatory

9 Comments to “Wartime Greenwich”

  1. Joe F says:

    Dear Phantom
    I may be a trifle late but welcome back. I am not a Greenwich resident but am a frequent visitor, although I am fairly housebound at the moment with a torn Achilles’ tendon. I have therefore been particularly missing my daily escapist online dip into the nooks and crannies of Greenwich life. More power to your revamped Phantom elbow.

  2. Michael Kaye says:

    Hi Phantom.

    Nice website.

    One issue though is that the central column won’t scroll for me which means I can only ever read the top part of the posting.

    Can you ask your web designer to check compatibility on Safari for Mac and Window. i.e. your site needs to support WebKit

    Thanks, Michael.

  3. The Phantom Webmaster says:

    Hi Michael — I tested it on Safari for Windows and it works fine for me, but I assume you are on a Mac?

  4. Mike says:

    Hi Phantom,

    I’m using Chrome on a PC, and the scrolling problem Michael notes above appears on some pages (Hardy’s) but not others (Wartime) for me. Odd.

    Site looks nice other than that :-)



  5. Pedro says:

    The site is lovely… but it would be much more readable if you moved the ads and archive to the right, so it’s not such a narrow column. It’s trickier to read & takes a lot of scrolling in a narrow column width.

    Nonetheless, love it, ignore me if you wish!

  6. Paul says:

    Damn machines…

    No scrolling for me today, for some reason, altho I can find that story by clicking on the ‘more on page xxx’ line at the top. Firefox 3.6 on Mac. 10.5.1

  7. Hi Phantom
    Welcome back and I love the look of the new site.

    Many thanks for your support for our Blitz Walks – it’s greatly appreciated. Now lets hope for some decent weather!

  8. Michael Kaye says:

    strangely enough it has just started scrolling for me lol

  9. marmoset says:

    ” Michael Kaye says:
    May 21, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    strangely enough it has just started scrolling for me lol”

    I’ve just been through the now-it-doesn’t-scroll-now-it-does thing. Only I was using Firefox on a PC.

    It’s clearly a Phantom Bug…