Faded Greenwich Faded No More

Remember this? One of the last vestiges of old Greenwich – a harmless little badge of our industrial and maritime past.

Well, folks, the photo above’s just about all we have left of that. Can anyone give me a buyable justification for this?

I guess they wanted to ‘tidy up’ the ‘nasty old stuff’, but in doing so the developers have committed a kind of reverse vandalism. I mean – it’s not even neatly done. And the colour sucks.

This was completely unnecessary. It’s not like the rest of the project is all beautiful, minimalist and clutter-free. They could have easily incorporated the old sign into the development as a heritage thing, as a link with the site’s former history. But no. Some work-experience kid was given a pot of paint and told to get lost for a couple of hours.

We may be getting a whole bunch of shiny new buildings in Greenwich all ready for the Olympics, but it’s a pact with the devil. Each of these little bits of ‘smartening’ (in no real sense of the word) is tiny in itself but as a cumulative thing, we are trading Greenwich’s soul for a progress that isn’t worth what we are losing.

the attachments to this post:

painted over sign low
painted over sign low

old sign
old sign

19 Comments to “Faded Greenwich Faded No More”

  1. tintinhaddock says:



  2. Robert Number16 says:

    Dear Phantom, you are so right. The late Greenwich artist John Christopherson was a huge fan of faded wall signs.I have just dug out a book he gave me called Walls by Deidi von Schaewen (Thames and Hudson)worth a look. Glad I`m not the only one that loves a bit of battered beauty!!

  3. absolutely incredible. things like that, and the old matches ads on the side of houses, are interesting – people like them, people look at them.
    one of the great things about greenwich/deptford is the little bits of aceness you see while wandering round – nods to the area’s incredible history, its character. all of which is being swept away in a sea of plastic crudness. this and that WRETCHED ye olde sweet shoppe (est 2010) are my current greenwich seethes.

  4. sad though this is, Biff, I am delighted to learn a new phrase ‘ little bits of aceness.’ Fantastic.

  5. Eleanor says:

    That’s a real shame. Time for a campaign for the listing of old advertisements, perhaps (not that anyone of a campaigning nature has any time for doing more these days!)?

  6. Certainly a local listing would be useful, IMHO. I have been collecting pics of Greenwich ones, but I’m sure I don’t have them all. And there’s only going to be more of this in the run-up to the Olympics as certain Council/Developer grunts try to ‘smarten the place up’ by literally whitewashing everything.

  7. RogerW says:

    Sad to see another part of the past lost and gone.
    It’s only about a year or so ago I photographed an old sign – at a guess from nearly 100 years ago – on the upper part of a wall at the corner of Lochaber Rd and Lee High Road. I’m glad I did… because it ain’t there now :(

  8. Dazza says:

    and yet they still allow that bloody mess that is the ‘Heart Of East Greenwich’ to stand out for the greed of developers and the lack of forethought on the part of the planners.
    The mind boggles as to who gave the go ahead for that waste of paint/act of vandalism.
    And they have to audacity to say that the Olympics will ‘showcase’ Greenwich. A very sanitised version maybe, but real Greenwich – Definitely NOT!!!!!

  9. kate says:

    Crooks and Vandals! Why is it always in that god-awful garish pink/red colour? It is FAR more of an eyesore.

  10. scared of chives says:

    who IS responsible for doing it? It’s shocking

  11. Mark says:

    Just so sad to see this kind of thing happening it would have been so easy to incorporate the original into whatever it is they are doing

  12. Sad. Very sad.

    Just goes to show how developers are so blinkered in their approach to maximising profit. Blinkered from the simple fact that lots of people buy in to Greenwich because of history and history that gives Greenwich such a rich personality.

    This sign could easily have been worked in to some kind of feature within a courtyard area. It could have been a meaningful feature that grounds what could be A.N.OTHER faceless block of flats.

  13. Michael Kaye says:

    Just posted this to the council on Twitter. I’ll let you know what response I get

    @Greenwichcouncl have you seen this? http://bit.ly/hf8crw Basically vandalism. What does the council do to preserve the history of the area

  14. Michael Kaye says:

    The council have responded (I love twitter)

    @wuf810 Hi – I’ll flag it with our conservation/planning teams and see if they were aware and whether permission was required/granted

  15. Mary says:

    As part of the Council’s scrutiny process the Sustainable Communities Scutiny Panel has produced a review report on the Council’s Heritage functions (this has largely been written – with officer support and input – by Cllr. Nigel Fletcher and myself). I think we are all aware that there are lots of things which need to be added and I have asked if it is too late to append a list of various bits of public signage like this. I am also aware that Owen Hathaway has highlighted the various Greenwich Murals in his ‘Guide to the New Ruins’ and that we have recently lost a mural in Plumstead which we were unable to save for lack of protection.

  16. Alan says:

    Council panels, goobledegook, reports, sustainability…blah blah… didn’t help save the signage did it?

    Better write another report about it.

  17. Mary says:

    No it didn’t – but it might save something else in future – or at least give it a chance to get it discussed. It might be gobblydegook but what other methods to you suggest for doing it

  18. David says:

    Vandalism! Pure and simple!

  19. Anonymous says:

    I went past this today and they have now covered the wall up completely by putting up an advertising billboard. I guess they are trying to hide the evidence!