Win Friends and Influence People

I’ve had several missives from new (and not so new) Greenwichians recently who are looking to find interesting things to do to get out and meet new people. None of them are looking to find lurve or go out on the pull – they’re just keen to widen their social circle and have asked me for ideas. Sometimes, because they’re new to the area, they don’t know anyone yet, sometimes they’re happy to go out as couples, sometimes they’re just looking for new challenges.

So I thought I’d give you a fairly random list of suggestions for stuff to do that is sociable but where you don’t look a complete nana if you turn up without ready-made pals in tow.

Rebecca asked about knitting groups. If memory serves, this is more the area of the Deptford Dame but Stitch and Bitchis very established. Another popular perennial is book groups. There are two that I know of. I had no idea when Kirstie started her Phantom Book Club a couple of years ago, that the Greenwich Book Group was already in existence. Email Jenny at  for the Greenwich Book Group; for the Phantom Book Club email Kirstie via me. If you’re really keen, try ‘em both…

I was told a long while ago about an unusual exercise group run by Emma at Greenwich West Community Centre on a Tuesday night between 5.30pm and 6.30pm – an adult hula-hoop class. In fact there are quite a lot of dance classes – both at the “West Greenwich Community Centre (which also does all kinds of other classes and groups), and the Greenwich Dance Agency which I think has recently been renamed to just Greenwich Dance. If you’re really into dance, there’s also the Laban Centre across the creek.

I’m intrigued by the Meridian Speakers – a bunch of folk who meet at the Spanish Galleon every other week to try to improve their public speaking skills.

The South East London Social Networking Meet Up is a group of people who do different things on a regular basis, but who are most definitely NOT a singles club or a lonely hearts.

If you like music, you might like to try the Thursday nights upstairs at the Mitre, which have a wide range of quality open-mic material. I should also point out that many people (myself included) have no issue with going to things like theatre and cinema on their own. I can’t say I’ve ever met anyone who became a friend in an interval, but it’s still a good thing to do. If you like cinema and you’re not a member of the Picturehouse, sign up NOW. Get a direct debit on renewal and you get 18 months instead of 12 the first year. I rather wish that Greenwich Theatre had a similar system to Picturehouses. They do sometimes do discounts on combinations of tickets but it’s not the same. Greenwich Playhouse occasionally has interesting stuff on.

But back to sociable things.

You’d have to be a real fan to go every week  to Theatre of Wine’s weekly tastings but it doesn’t matter which week you go – there’s always a bunch of friendly people (and for the most part non-wine snobs) to enjoy a drink or two with.

I confess I know nothing of local sports activities (save the Curlew rowing club, based in Crane Street), but if you’re into history you could try Greenwich Industrial History Society or Greenwich Historical Society.

There will be a whole load of other clubs and societies I don’t know, and would like to know about so do chip in if you’ve got any more suggestions.

In the meanwhile, while you’re deciding which to join, you can always go to fab one-offs as suggested by the endlessly energetic IanVisits

16 Comments to “Win Friends and Influence People”

  1. Steve says:

    The text of this article runs off the end of the page in the Firefox browser. Also, I can’t read the comments on ANY page (white text on light blue background is not a good idea). What’s wrong with black on white? There’s plenty of guidelines available on website accessibility you might care to look at.

  2. TGP says:

    Steve – that’s what scrolling is for.

    The text is black on pale blue in my version of firefox – perfectly readable IMHO, but I will have a look at changinng it to a white background. You don’t need to be quite so grumpy about it – a polite email will suffice.

  3. pete23 says:

    Knitting? Don’t forget the Knitting Night on Wednesdays at the revitalised Pelton Arms in vibrant East Greenwich! Ravelry group here:

    BTW, Steve, page seems ok to me in FF3.6 – but thinking about it I’m running 1920×1200, and the text box in the middle is remarkably thin. As a suggestion, perhaps the three column layout could be swapped for a two column one?

  4. Emma says:

    Yes I am having the same problem (also using Firefox). Hope you can fix it soon as the site is unreadable for me at present :(

  5. TGP says:

    Right – that’s a weird one – it IS black on white on my desktop Firefox – but it’s white on blue for some strange settings-reason on my laptop. I’ll have a word with TPW asap

  6. Claire says:

    There’s an informal knitting group in the Pelton on Wednesdays started by Sue. I’m not a member but there looks to be a good mix of ages sat around gassing and drinking over needles and wool!

  7. andrekabu says:


    You could try clearing your cache (Tools->Clear Private Data-> then check the right option )

    I was having the trouble you describe, but after the Phantom Webmaster’s latest fix, it seems to have worked for me on Firefox.

  8. Anon says:

    Or switch to Internet Explorer! :)

  9. Kat says:

    I see comments as grey text on a light blue background in my firefox. Still readable without trouble.

  10. Robert Number 16 says:

    Dear Phantom
    I have e mailed you about my trip to Royal Hill this morning ( Re wrecked roof on charming building in Hyde Vale)If this the way Greenwich is going,I`m going
    Very sad from

  11. Steve says:

    Sorry if you think I was grumpy. It’s basic stuff if you’re designing websites, unless you ONLY want people with perfect vision to read them. As it happens the original scrolling problem seems to have corrected itself on my PC and the comments are now grey on light blue – more readable but still not ideal.

  12. Robert Number 16 says:

    Please can I draw your attention to abuse of a small building in Hyde Vale.
    Robert Number 16

  13. John says:

    The design and display is pretty cocked up for me using Chrome as well – comments on some articles (including this) are grey on blue which is a bugger to read (though others are fine), and the article text itself runs over your copyright notice and onto the black background.

    I must admit, I did find the old design much more usable …

  14. John says:

    And now, having posted my moan above, it all looks and works fine. Ho hum.

    I would, though, still echo Steve’s points around accessibility with the grey on blue for comments – the contrast between the two isn’t great.

  15. N Mesure says:

    I agree totally with Robert from Number 16.Horrid Horrid Horrid bad taste new roof on small building in Hyde Vale. Property expert tells me it will devalue area

  16. Ian R says:

    You know nothing of local sports – do you not know about the Cutty Sharks then. Vist