East Greenwich History Map
It’s not often a new map of Greenwich comes along. In fact the guys over at Londonist were so desperate for a hand-drawn map of Greenwich that they asked me (don’t hold your breath – I’ve got as far as buying a big bit of paper and a couple of felt-tipped pens…) The last ’officially art’ map, by a real artist, that I know of is the sort-of-fun-but-utterly-baffling Emotion Map which I dutifully bought, only to find out that apparently where I live is ‘low-to-medium arousal.’ Pah.
So I was rather excited to see that Rich Sylvester’s project to create a map of East Greenwich and the peninsula, charting historical stuff that went on there at various times has finally been published.
I like the way that old layouts are overlaid with modern versions, and the way that what could be a jumble of periods is dealt with clearly and concisely. It’s well-signed with symbols that tell you why each bit is interesting – from where V1 and V2 rockets fell, through curious people who have lived/still live there to present and previous buildings and wildlife to look out for.
For me, it opens up a whole new series of questions – on the back there are some basic facts about the things mentioned – but this is much more a stimulus than a destination. Names, both evocative and intriguingly mundane, act as catalysts to get out the history books, nip to the library or even pay a visit to the Heritage Centre. There’s a great timeline down the side, too, that follows East Greenwich’s noble history for just over a millennium.
This is a fantastic addition to local history – an absolute must for every Phantom Reader – and the best bit of all is that it’s free, thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. But be quick – if memory serves there were only 2,000 printed so they’ll be at a premium (and are probably offered for sale on ebay already, from greedy, bad people.) Perhaps there will be a second edition if they ‘sell’ out – but don’t count on it; get your copy now.
Pick up a copy at:
- Greenwich Heritage Centre, Building 41, Royal Arsenal, SE18 6SP
- Blackheath Library, Old Dover Rd, SE3 (closed Weds,)
- East Greenwich Library (closed Weds, Mon/Fri a.m.)
- West Greenwich Library (closed Weds, Mon/Fri a.m.)
- Greenwich Communications Centre 164 Trafalgar Road, SE10
- Warwick Leadlay Gallery, Nelson Arcade , Greenwich Market
- Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park, Thames Path, John Harrison Way SE10 0QZ (NOTE: Closed Mon/Tues)
- Greenwich Peninsula Business Centre
I should probably also mention that there are two related History Walks, led by Rich Sylvester, whose baby the project is.The first one is on 23rd July at 7.30pm (Peninsula); the second, 25 July at 10.30am (East Greenwich). Booking is essential.
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