Demolition Derby

Helena asks:

Just wondering if you know what’s happening to two things that we pass every day (we live in Maze Hill)? One is the King William IV pub that seems to be being renovated or at least they’ve boarded up the windows and there’s lights on inside…

The other is the big demolition planned on the corner of Trafalgar Road and Blackwall Lane – there’s signs up for Kent Demolition but can’t see anything on the Greenwich planning site. Will we be seeing more modern flats or is there something a bit more exciting planned?

The short answer is I have no idea. We’ve been discussing the demolition on the corner of Blackwall Lane for several weeks now, and no one seems to have any idea what’s going on. I agree there’s nothing on the council website – and last I knew even Mary Mills had no idea (any news yet, Mary?) They must mean business, since the  hoarding has come down, and no landlord would knowingly be without their advertising revenue unless they had serious plans afoot.

As for the William IV,  I noticed that before the windows were boarded up, they were beginning to get rather smashed up . One window had what looked like a bullet hole in it, though was probably more like where some oik had thrown a stone.  Best-case scenario is that the boards are temporary while a Michelin-starred chef turns it into a gastric destination people would leave Bray to visit.

I truly hope they’re not going to demolish it; it’s one of the very few buildings in Traf Road that has any personality whatsoever. It was always rather pretty inside, too, though I didn’t dare go in very often. I have often wondered to myself where the scam-mongers who used to do those seriously dodgy “clearance sales” shift their red-hot wares now King Billy’s not around to play host.

As practically everything around there belongs to Morden College I’m assuming the freehold belongs to them. I truly hope they’re not going to do the greedy thing like so many charities around Greenwich and demolish the King William just for the cash.  It’s an eyesore now – but it could be a marvellous pub if someone cared to give it the same kind of attention the boozers in West Greenwich routinely get.

And all the time that interesting buildings are under threat in East Greenwich, its less-than-beating ‘heart’ continues to languish behind hoardings, the only difference ever being the occasional shift of Government department signage every time the political music stops.

7 Comments to “Demolition Derby”

  1. P & D says:

    I remember when the barbers was at Blackwall Lane before he was unceremoniously ousted. We had many chats and he was told that ‘they’ were purchasing the whole block for a road improvement scheme. Separate to that, I remember that were plans some years ago to replace the lights with a giant roundabout at that junction.

    I have no idea if the current demolition has anything whatsoever to do with either of the above and I would assume that Mary would know if either scheme was underway.

    More likely there will be a new batch of luxury designer flats a la Woolwich Road/Denham Street (Lord help us).

  2. darryl says:

    There was a plan to turn the William into a sports bar, I don’t know what happened to that.

    The furnishings were bought by the Pelton Arms’ guv’nor for a possible upstairs restaurant at his place.

  3. Steve says:

    The “iconic” Sun In Sands is boarded up now too. Anyone know what that’s about?

  4. Mary says:

    I don’t know at all.
    Blackwall Lane – I don’t think there is a planning application in but I am meeting the planners in about 10 days time with a long, long, long list and I can ask them then.
    William IV – don’t know about that either. But several lots of residents who live nearby have told me that ‘he’ is waiting for new windows to arrive for downstairs and that ‘he’ has been doing it all up inside. We will have to see.

  5. Oooh Mary – Who ‘he’? Heston, I expect. Snail porridge and leather chocolate for me…

  6. Tim says:


    The “iconic” Sun in the Sands had an electrical fire in its kitchen last week – completely burned out the electrics & a deal of smoke damage. Spoke to the Guvnor & he expects to reopen after refurb.


  7. Steve says:

    Thanks for the info. Not that I go in there, but we wouldn’t want another “Yorkshire Grey” (roundabout named after a pub no longer there)!