Bed of Roses

Jeremy asks:

“I wanted ask if you’ve heard about the person who seems to have set up home in the park’s rose garden?

Taking a picture is a bit insensitive, so here’s a wonky generic pic of Chesterfield House- I know you like a photo! (Oh, I do, I do – and don’t worry, I’ve squared it up for you Jeremy – cheers – TGP)

Has anyone else asked? I’ve seen the same pile of belongings and Coca-Cola parasol in the same spot for weeks. Winter will soon be here and I’m getting a tad worried.

The Phantom replies:

Rangers House rose garden does attract some curious, secret things Рnot least the mysterious bouquet tree which puzzled us in 2008 and continues to do so (it was certainly refreshed last time I saw it.)

I confess I haven’t been up that way for several weeks – since my bout of lurgy I’ve been catching up on Real Work and strolls around the park are a distant memory. No one else has mentioned this (to me, anyway) but I’d be quite impressed if this person is managing to sidestep the park staff and actually staying overnight.

To my shame I know nothing about provision for the homeless around here (and worse still, I hadn’t actually even thought about it until you asked; I tend to think of it as being an inner-London issue, which, naturally, is crazy), but if I were staying in a hostel, local or otherwise, I wouldn’t want to leave my chattels in there, even if I was allowed to, so perhaps the rose garden is just a good place to take personal stuff and hang out during the day – though I agree – things are getting nippier now, the days are getting shorter and the rose garden somewhat less of a vision of loveliness.

I’ll be surprised if this person has gone totally unnoticed by the park staff and I’d hope that they are keeping an eye on them, though of course probably more to move them on than for any other reason.

But it has got me thinking about Crisis, a charity I find myself thinking about this time of year, though of course, like dogs, is not just for Christmas. I can’t see they do specific projects locally, but it’s always worth knocking them a tenner anyway and, if you don’t mind (shudder) going west for an evening I notice there’s an evening with celebs like Paul Weller, Tim Minchin, Ross Noble, Jo Brand etc on 20th December at the Hammersmith Apollo to raise funds too.


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10 Comments to “Bed of Roses”

  1. Kate says:

    Curiously, there is also a tent pitched up on the bit of trees/shrubbery at the back of Wickes on John Penn Street as well. Perhaps just a base for local drinkers to hang out as opposed to someones permanent residence but I wonder why the council/owners of Wickes/Pets at Home havent thought it best to remove the ‘feature’ from the land. It’s been there for months now and it is definitely getting used, theyve even cleared the land around it from trees/bushes.

  2. DaveH48 says:

    I think it’s the same man that at one time could be found in the sheltered benches opposite the Blackheath Gates and I believe he was moved on when they started closing sections prior to the horse events.

    He’s not really doing any harm so I don’t know if they turn a blind eye and let him stay overnight or turf him out when the park closes. I do hope it’s the latter as that at least would give him a little bit of shelter from the cold weather and would be a safer option than on Blackheath.

  3. Benedict says:

    Perhaps they are part of the “Occupy” movement?

  4. Stephen says:

    The person in the rose gardens is a homeless lady. I got talking to another lady in the rose garden and she told me the homeless lady goes to Blackheath railway station at night. I was also told that the park police sometimes give her a sandwich.

    I took a photo of her a couple of years ago.

  5. Sheila says:

    I’ve often wondered about that lady and why she’s there every day. I’d love to hear her story….

  6. james says:

    I have only lived in Greenwich for a year but visit the park several times a week. The homeless lady in question likes to spend her time reading books in this beautiful place. In the colder months she moves shelters in one of the wooden structures near the Avenue. At night she leaves the park like everyone else and I believe she arrives when the gates open.

  7. I wonder what kind of books she likes.

  8. Jeremy says:

    Yes- reading books; that’s the lady. I’d no idea she’d been around for years. I too wonder what her story is. Thanks everyone.

  9. Jobeba says:

    ThInk her name is Rose.
    She sleeps during the day as it’s safer than at night, when she walks around.
    She’s very well spoken.
    Once bumped into her at Blackheath Tea Hut, people there know her well.
    Left a tenner with them for any teas she may want the rest of that week.
    Staff at rose garden know her and are very sympathetic and kind to her…to their immense credit.

  10. Polly Rocket says:

    Sorry I’m a bit late to this post, but I know exactly the lady you mean. I often slip her some cash when I see her around the village, in the hope that in some small way I am helping. She seems very well spoken and I too wonder what her story is. I would love to be able to help, but in a very british way I haven’t the courage to ask……. I must do so next time