Parklets Hiding In Plain Sight (1)

Sorry – the start of yet another occasional series today, guys. For some time now, it’s been dawning on me that Greenwich has even more green places than we tend to think, and I thought we should start celebrating the little parklets that dot themselves around the town so discreetly that we walk past  and don’t even see them.

I’m starting today with one of the bigger ones, though there’s no way it’s big enough to be classified as a park. It’s on the junction of Tunnel Avenue and Blackwall Lane. I was quite surprised that it’s not marked on Streetmap and my A-Z is so tiny that it doesn’t have it either and yet this is not only a largish patch of ground (I bet a developer could put at least fifty teeny-tiny flats on it)  it is clearly looked after.

There are a variety of interesting trees, some of which are proper-sized (something many parks shy away from these days in favour of silly little varieties that aren’t going to require any maintenance) and which provide a lot of shade – and, for the residents of Tunnel Avenue, a welcome screen from the road, the factories and the carwash. Regular readers will know that my superpower is a stupidly (and sometimes embarrassingly) strong sense of smell and in the spring there is something growing in there whose perfume lifts my heart (as opposed to many of East Greenwich’s ‘fragrances’ – and yes, there are STILL weird old odours wafting in from somewhere.)

And there are roses. Lots of, which also require maintenance, which, I assume, is done by Greenwich Council (they have a couple of litter bins in there too, but no benches that I can remember.)

I don’t often praise the council, but this morning I tip my tricorn to their parks department. The grass may be a little shaggy but I’m just fine with that. This little area (I’m not aware it even has a name – maybe it needs one – suggestions please…) could have just been neglected or sold off, but it isn’t. It’s a little oasis hiding in plain sight without which this generally-neglected region of Greenwich would be a mass of concrete, cars and fumes.


the attachments to this post:

tunnel avenue parklet
tunnel avenue parklet


17 Comments to “Parklets Hiding In Plain Sight (1)”

  1. Tim says:

    Don’t know whether it fit your criteria (in that it’s not really hidden & in SE3) but we make a lot of use of the “Triangle Park” at the corner of Beaconsfield & Hardy.

  2. P & D says:

    Hi Phantom

    Nooooo! We’ve been trying for months to get the councils gardens dept to tidy up this rose garden or just do some much needed maintenance. It hasn’t been touched in months. Oh well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Just to let you know that you should enjoy the roses whilst you can as their was a planning application to build flats on them their plants. Not sure if what stage it is at but hopefully the economy has put the kibosh on those plans.

  3. Blimey – that’s bad news – I though it was just on the car wash site. Heavens, it would be a grim little corner without that bit of green…

  4. Mary says:

    You really don’t want to know what this site was in the 19th century – I mean you really, really don’t.

  5. Mary says:

    In councillor mode this time:

    I thought the planning consent was just for the car wash – but I can check if you like. It went to the planning inspectorate as I remember – and it was some time ago (consents don’t last for ever)

    P&D please get on to me about the Rose Garden and the work there. Who have you been talking to?? marymillsmmmmm@aol.com

  6. So now, of course Mary I really DO want to know what it used to be. Midden? Brothel? Plague pit? Septic tank? Do tell…

  7. Mary says:

    Oh – all right then – worse actually – it was a knackers

  8. Tee hee – should have known it would be something smelly…

  9. Mary says:

    and- much much worse – was the story I found in the Mercury about it

  10. Which was…? Don’t tell me – it was the scene of Jack the Ripper’s REAL first victim…

  11. Steve says:

    Do you think that Gloucester Circus Gardens qualifies as a “parklet”?

  12. Mazer says:

    @Steve – I think the private Gloucester Circus Gardens would be termed as a ‘pocket park’ I believe, with a public example of this term being somewhere such as the pretty Catherine Grove Gardens (where it meets the pedestrian-only end of Burgos Street).

  13. Personally I wouldn’t count it as such as a) it’s not public and b) most people do actually notice it. The ones I’m talking about you can walk by a hundred times and not even notice them.

  14. Robert Number 16 says:

    No one has so far talked of St Alfege Park..A really happening place in Greenwich.Dose this count?

  15. [...] tosh, or so I thought at the time when I was giggling with Mary about former uses for the little parklet on Tunnel Avenue ) was that, according to the census report of 1891, Elizabeth Fisher and her family lived at 33, [...]

  16. Charlie Easton says:

    Second the little triangle between Hardy and Beaconsfield. And also Vicarage Avenue, between Shooters Hill Road and Langton Way – just a little green strip on what was presumably once a road or track running out the back of what’s now the car park for M&S on Stratheden Parade.

    Also, one not very green nor attractive place, but somewhere I find myself pausing for reflection on my journeys – the “garden in the sky” in the middle of the sun in the sands roundabout. It even has its own little concrete bridge over the A102. It’s a clever piece of design if nothing else, and there are some hardy shrubs and dwarf trees that eke out an existence amongst the empty crisp packets and exhaust fumes.

  17. [...] actually at the other end of the road to the first one at the junction where Tunnel Avenue meets Woolwich Road, just outside the old fire station. [...]