Stuff I’m Looking Forward To in 2012

It must be the hangover that means I’m four days behind everyone else.  I’ve only just woken up to the real possibility that we may be in a new year. But, in the spirit to which I’ve pledged (yeah, we’ll see how long that lasts) I’m still being upbeat and positive and actually there is much to look forward to this year in Greenwich.

It’s possible that we’ll see actual commencement on the Heart of East Greenwich. Of course I’m not holding my breath and Andrew, who has promised to eat hats of the developer’s choosing on several occasions if sundry 6/12/18 month promises are actually kept is safe, given that his last commitment to tifter-consumption was for March last year (a pledge made at the beginning of November 2010 and which I, in my naivety, thought was a tad brave)  but surely, surely this year we’ll get some movement.

Similarly, Lovell’s Wharf. Not that I care in the slightest about whether the unexciting blocks on the riverfront are built or not, but all the time they’re not built the Thames Path has a gap in it like a lost tooth. They ripped out the path, blocking it off with a flowerbed and redirecting it to their sales office – then promptly stopped building altogether, forcing droves of bemused Path walkers to trudge round a giant pond foundation surrounded by hoardings. Hell – even the people who designed the Jubilee Walkway (more about that later) were pragmatic enough to admit, when I asked them, that they had been given absolutely no idea about when the path might be reopened – the official Jubilee Greenway route in this Royal year goes round the outside of one of the dullest building sites on the river.

But hey – I’m supposed to be looking forward to stuff. So here’s something I’m looking forward to – a whole slew of really exciting books about Greenwich’s history, written by some of the town’s best historians, writers and artists. One of them actually unites three of my absolute, utter faves.

Volumes I am hugely looking forward to include:

  • A completely revised (by Julian Watson) edition of Barbara Ludlow’s Greenwich Then and Now,
  • Volume III of Neil Rhind’s definitive history of Blackheath (hopefully in time for yet another local anniversary, the 75th birthday of the Blackheath Society) which will cover south west Greenwich incorporating Crooms Hill,Park Wall, West Grove, Hyde Vale and etc;  from Eastnor House in Lloyds Place through to Dartmouth Row and Lewisham Hill as well as Blackheath in the parish of Lee.
  • A monster volume devoted to the Paragon and South Row, with 200 pictures, also by Neil Rhind.
  • A ‘fat pamphlet’ on one of our nuttiest (and most secretive) buildings, The Pagoda , forever linked with Greenwich’s lost Montague House by the Scarlet Princess Caroline, by Rhind and Cooper.
  • And the one I’ve been slathering for – the book jointly written by Neil Rhind and Julian Watson and illustrated by Peter Kent based on a long-lost-but-recently-rediscovered-vault-in-Wiltshire 1705 panorama of Greenwich town. It fetched up in the Earl of Pembroke’s collection, which is clearly bigger than the Phantom gallery since he was unaware he had it.  Apparently it’s a streetscape that includes everything from Ballast Quay to Riverside Dock, more enthusiastic than accomplished, though with a load of detail. Neil and Julian have written the text and, hugely exciting, Peter Kent has drawn the same scene as it looks today. Cool.

So, with my reading matter sorted out I move on to other things I’m looking forward to. I confess to being utterly indifferent to the events of the 3rd Feb when we’ll all be turning Royal. It’s not that I particularly object; I just don’t really see the point. Dunno what kind of ceremonies are planned but I’m sure they’ll be all very civic.

I am rather looking forward to the 1000th anniversary of the death of St Alfege, though. There’s something quite odd about the fact that we ‘know’ the exact date of his bizarre demise – 19th April 1012. I don’t know what kind of events will mark it but if no one does a pageant that re-enacts the giant viking feast where he was boned to death (oo-errr) by drunken Danes, followed by a village fete where all the sideshows are ox-related, I for one will be very disappointed.

Maybe we could have a Grand Greenwich Talk Like a Viking Day. Or a giant Jutes and Vicars party. Or, given that Greenwich already has a Panto Horse and a Drag Race we could have one where everyone dresses up like Vikings and chases Chris Roberts, in fetching 11th Century Archbishop of Canterbury costume, through the streets of town. All for charity, natch.

Of course it’s also the 300th anniversary of the present church sort-of around the same time, give or take a year, ahem.

Then there’s the giant elephant in the park, the Equestrian events. As it happens I think it’s all worked out rather well. NOGOE made a huge fuss about how the park was going to be treated before, during and after the Olympics and though they didn’t succeed in getting the games stopped entirely, I think they achieved something much better.

We still get the games and all the exposure/interest/fame they bring, but, thanks to NOGOE’s to-do, I truly believe the park has been protected better it would than if no one had said anything. Knowing that there was a bunch of angry people  to deal with at every corner must have at least partially concentrated the LOCOG mind.

I genuinely believe that the park’s welfare had not really been considered properly, and now it more or less is. So we get a win in both ways – the Olympics AND LOCOG taking more care than they might otherwise have done.

What else am I looking forward to? Well, the Cutty Sark, actually. We locals have been kept out of the loop at practically every stage which has sent the rumour-engines into overdrive at times, but now that the hoardings are down, the masts are up and Stuff is actually happening being done by Nice Blokes, I’m all excited again. I’m a simple Phantom.

And, of course, with that comes the Cutty Sark Gardens – still not sure what we’re getting there even though I’ve seen the drawings, but pretty much anything will be better than what we had before.

The foot tunnel – surely it must be opening properly this year, with lifts and everything? The idea of being guaranteed able to take my bike across the river at any time is tantalising.

And the pier. I’m looking forward to it not being a building site. It’s coming together now, and though I would personally have preferred to have something other than dull chains in the ‘iconic’ buildings, again, just getting it finished would be a big move.

Staying with the river, the Cable Car. TBH, unless it turns out to be really scary and starts to attract hordes of Euro-teens to take part in London’s latest white-knuckle ride I can’t see it taking all those thousands of people every five minutes, given it’s going from nowhere to nowhere, and the money spent on it obscene but hey – as Matt from Smoke points out in the best article ever written on the subject it’s a fucking cable car.

And linking them all, the Jubilee Greenway (not to be confused with the Jubilee Walkway, which was created for the Silver Jubilee in 1977) which is a big old walking loop round London. By the time it gets to Greenwich it is basically the old Thames Path but it’s had groovy glass paving slabs set into the ground for some time. I’m looking forward to being able to walk our section unimpeded by building sites, but that, my friends, is probably a wish too far…

What are you looking forward to in 2012?


37 Comments to “Stuff I’m Looking Forward To in 2012”

  1. Mary says:

    Its not just St.Alfege – just up the road in Charlton is the anniversary of the only British Prime Minister to be assasinated.

  2. Brilliant. I think there needs to be a festival that combines the two. Maybe you could do a mash-up and have Spencer Perceval copping the ox-bones and St Alfege shot in the House of Commons.

    Where’s Barry Domville, our pet Nazi, when you need him…

  3. Franklin says:

    Phant, with the greatest of respect, I think that you are seriously overestimating NOGOE’s impact on LOCOG while ignoring the positive role that the local amenity societies and civic groups have played in helping to focus LOCOG’s collective mind on the need to protect the Park.

    Dozens of volunteers from the Greenwich, Blackheath and Westcombe Societies as well as local Conservation Groups and of course the Friends of the Park have invested thousands of hours of their time over the past three years in working with LOCOG to achieve the result that we all wanted: the organisers “taking more care than they might otherwise have done”.

    Dozens of meetings with LOCOG and ODA officials have been held; endless and detailed correspondences with LOCOG and Borough officials have been maintained; every line of every planning application has been scrutinised and detailed comments and recommendations submitted; each and every public consultation has been duly attended and concerns expressed.

    During this period, constructive if critical engagement has proven to be demonstratively more effective in achieving positive results than NOGOE’s shouting and bullying tactics.

    Isn’t it about time that you gave these local volunteers their due recognition for the genuinely positive role that they have played in protecting the Park for current and future Park users – and possibly even drew a few lessons about how best to achieve positive change for Greenwich?

  4. Valoma says:

    Well said Franklin. I was a supporter of NOGOE2012 in the early days .However when they starting making personal attacks on locals and others who did not have their views.I had to withdraw my backing. They now seem to pour scorn on anything to do with the Olympics if one looks at their Twitter account.(Very bitter and sad)Which is not what Nogoe2012 were saying in the begining. I salute all who have worked long and hard to protect Greenwich Park.A job well done. Now lets hope we can be proud to share Greenwich Park with the rest of the world,and hope it will be a safe and secure Olympics

  5. Indigo says:

    To Franklin and Valoma

    The Phantom knows more than you do about NOGOE’s influence in preventing the worst of LOCOG’s excesses.

    I don’t think there have been “dozens” of meetings between amenity societies and LOCOG/ODA. I hear that LOCOG kept cancelling meetings.

  6. Franklin says:

    Indigo

    How on earth do you purport to know what the Phantom, Valoma or I know about NOGOE’s influence on LOCOG?

    Yes, there have been dozens of meetings between the amenity societies and LOCOG. Moreover, the amenity societies continue to work in a constructive manner to ensure that the impact on the Park is minimised and the post-Olympics restoration works are carried out in a timely and effective manner.

    Valoma speaks for many Greenwich residents when s/he expresses her/his exasperation with NOGOE’s incessant and continuing blustering and bullying. “Bitter and sad,” as s/he says.

    The Olympics are coming, and they’re coming to Greenwich Park. Get over it.

  7. Indigo says:

    Franklin, remember when LOCOG said it wanted only to “lightly prune” 72 trees in total? Then it was a further 321 trees. Now, in their current application, they want to cut branches off a further 300 or more – just for “horse walks” and to create a better view for tv cameras – this is not normal Park management – explain how you see this as MINIMISING the impact?

    Also, were you aware that the STRI contract specifically excludes reinstating the acid grasslands – where in 12 months LOCOG has done more damage than the previous 20 millennia of human activity. The amenity societies etc have absolutely NIL good effect on LOCOG: they have just made LOCOG look respectable.

    LOCOG claim to have sold 50,000 tickets for day 3. Why didn’t you tell them that the maximum safe capacity of the Park is no more than 21,000 tops?

  8. Gwladys Street says:

    If I’m not mistaken, the blessed cable car has already taken a further small chunk out of the riverside path on the eastern side of the peninsula. It doesn’t look as though walkers will be able to pass underneath it.

  9. Darren says:

    Ah, so much for that more positive approach. Clearly its not contagious!

  10. thesheep says:

    The blessed Limpix legacy so far:
    The insurance co for our block of flats announces at 75% increase in premium as we apparently now require Terrorism Insurance;

    The free parking in our road is to go. Fanciful to assume Council will reinstate it when the last horse has left town;

    The cable car is the sort of stupid project that should get rid of Boris, but won’t. May not be the greenest thing to say, but the real need is for some other way of getting 4 wheeled transport across the river other than the Blackwall Tunnel.

    Happy New Year to all
    PS has anyone found a reputable and sensible way to rent out your flat during the Olympics. I would love to, and it would pay for my holiday somewhere else.

  11. scared of chives says:

    @thesheep

    If you made loads of money on renting your flat, you could pay the extra premium – isn’t that called ‘swings and roundabouts’…?

    ps: I’m planning to bugger off too.

  12. Indigo says:

    @thesheep

    “The insurance co for our block of flats announces at 75% increase in premium as we apparently now require Terrorism Insurance”

    In October 2010, I sent an open letter to the Leader of the Council,

    “You told members of the local amenity societies that you are dreaming up drastic new financial parking penalties (£1,000 a time) for residents and businesses, to operate during the Olympic events in 2012, but you are not telling them how their terrorism insurance cover will be impacted by Greenwich Park being made a prime terrorist target (eg how, unless they insure against it and organise cessers of rent, a “dirty bomb” attack in the Park could make Council leaseholders homeless and bankrupt)”.

    And in a follow-up e-mail to a local councillor,

    “people should look at their insurance policies to see what is covered. Eg the cost of accommodation elsewhere, perhaps for a long time, perhaps – in the event of a chemical or biological bomb attack in the Park – indefinitely. Eg the cost of decontamination.”

    And it is also mentioned in the NOGOE newsletter for September 2010.

    http://www.nogoe2012.com/downloads/2010-september-newsletter-nogoe.pdf

    The Council (Mary New) decided to treat my communication as if it were an enquiry from someone who WANTED to take out terrorism insurance. Not that perhaps they should be doing something to raise awareness, given that Greenwich Park is not normally a prime terrorist target.

    If you are a Council leaseholder, you should be looking at varying your lease to include a “cesser of rent”, in the event that you have to leave your property and never return. Otherwise, the Council can continue to demand ground rent from you for the rest of the term of the lease, even if you can never go back to it due to contamination.

  13. Parkkeeper says:

    Good on you Phantom for recognising the work of NOGOE.
    It is worth your readers remembering that this action group was formed by a significant number of members of The Friends of Greenwich Park, The Greenwich Society, The Blackheath Society and The Westcombe Society.
    As I understand it, they were dissatisfied that the executive of their societies seemed complacent about the enormity of the impact of the scale of events to this World Heritage Site and forced them to hold Special General Meetings. In these meetings votes were cast asking members’ support or objections to the events but in 3 of the 4 society meetings which I attended, the procedures were so haphazard as to make the voting meaninglesss.
    Certain members of these societies appeared to be happier working in secret with LOCOG than with the wider membership or with the public and it is a well-known fact that cosy kitchen-table meetings took place between them, the ODA & local politicians.
    In my opinion NOGOE members have done much more to raise the issues of damage and closure to this ancient Park, public facility and heart of a World Heritage Site than any of these private members societies.
    NOGOE have worked hard to bring the truthful issues to the attention of the public. They presented a petition of 13,500 signatures in October 2010 – 80% being local residents and business owners – surely this represents more than the combined membership of all the local amenity societies?
    I understand that NOGOE were refused a place on the LOCOG consultative committee but their members have managed to discover and prevent significant amounts of damage in The Park during the preparation for and during the Test Events last summer – a quarter scale of what we are about to be hit with in just a few months’ time.
    The amenity societies still appear satisfied about the outcome of imposing these events on Greenwich and certainly seem to over-claim their success in attempting to protect The Park.
    Whereas NOGOE, like me fear that our World Heritage Site is in great danger of becoming a brown field site.
    Keep up the good work NOGOE and continue to fight for the preservation of Greenwich Royal Park!

  14. scared of chives says:

    I have to admit that, despite NOGOE’s increasingly rabid tweets about anything to do with the Olympics (ie not the Park per se) – it’s been them that have had some kind of profile over the last year or two – whatever you think of their stance.

    I was speaking to a very-close-to-the-park shop owner recently who’s been told that ‘they won’t be able to receive deliveries between x and x each day – and it’s pretty much daylight hours – and should either (i) store tons of stock (they can’t) or (ii) get deliveries in the middle of the night (they’re not M&S or Tesco)’.

    When I visited Devenport House for the LOCOG spin-machine (very nice people, clearly presented) they said all shops would be accessible and no harm done – try telling that to these shop owners then.

    Sorry TGP, your positive post has been hi-jacked!

  15. RobertNumber16 says:

    Oh Dear we really are getting bogged down in dome and gloom.
    Thank you Phantom for the “heads up” on all the interesting things that are going to be happening in Greenwich this year.Just went out to get some milk and was told that they are filming the next Bond film all around “your” General W in the Park today.I did`nt know you were a film location director in your are time.
    As for the Olympics I just had a message from Celia and Veronica saying “That they trying to secure accomodation in King William Walk and finding the £162,000 a tad too much so if anyone would like to share the house with them (and help muck out) they will thrilled.”For those who have not met C&V before this is a little chat I had with them during the test event last year
    http://bit.ly/q8fPCK

  16. Franklin says:

    SoC

    I don’t think that anyone would disagree that NOGOE has been the organisation appearing most frequently in the media. Scaremongering prophesies of ‘scenes of devastation’ attract a lot of attention.

    And I do agree that the additional attention that NOGOE has attracted to the issue made LOCOG and the ODA more attentive and responsive to local concerns, particularly in the early days.

    What I challenge is the claim that NOGOE’s confrontational approach and unyielding OPPOSITION to the holding of the equestrian events in the Park has actually paid off in the longer term.

    The Olympics are going to take place in the Park, and it is the local amenity and civic societies who have worked with LOCOG – quietly, constructively and persistently – to bring about concrete positive changes to the ways in which the Olympics events in Greenwich are actually run.

    That work includes not only insisting on safeguards for the park itself, but also issues such as parking and traffic controls, rail station closures, pedestrian access and flows, noise and light pollution, post-Olympics restoration, and ‘legacy’ issues such as the playground and Blackheath gates.

    While not high-profile or self-promoting, the work that the amenity socities have done in bringing about positive improvements in all these areas deserves, in my opinion, to be acknowledged.

  17. RobertNumber16 says:

    Dear Phantom Just a line to say sorry about some of the writing mistakes in my last post, but just come out of hospital and still a bit dosey!

  18. Pedro says:

    Have to say I’m with Franklin and Valoma – Nogoe’s scare tactics, and, worse still, insults and insinuations towards anyone who disagrees with them, have made them a laughing stock, and the very definition of Nimbys.

    Rachel Mawhood, aka Indigo, is perhaps the worst ambassador you could wish for. Seeing her ridiculous set of emails accusing Locog of bio-terrorism, because they use a widely available surfactant lawn treatment, achieved a feat I thought impossible – it made me sympathise with Locog.

  19. Andy A says:

    Hi TGP,

    Good to see you remembered my offer to eat a hat… I’ve now left Greenwich, but send a reminder email to see if I get any response as to when the “New Heart of East Greenwich” may breath life into the area. I do alas still believe it is on an NHS waiting list…

  20. Indigo says:

    Sooo, Franklin, lots of words but nothing to say about the fact that LOCOG has sold four times as many tickets than the Park can safely hold?

  21. Indigo says:

    Pedro, the surfactant “Revolution” has never before been used in a public park.

  22. darby hawker says:

    As yet again very out of work actress in Greenwich just managing to live here I love it – why the f are you all squabbling about the bleedin park – just get a life – Greenwich is a great place to live and you are very well placed for what is the biggest event Britain is going to hold for a very long time!

  23. Greenwich pensioner says:

    I am dreading the Olympics, mainly because of their prolonged impact on Greenwich Park and the surrounding areas.

    This will be many (ten?, twelve?, fifteen?) times greater than the impact of last year’s Test Event; and will last much longer (from April to November; for details see
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/save_greenwich_park/sets/72157628063658763/).

  24. Committeeman says:

    As a member of the committee of one of the local amenity societies, who has closely observed their relationship with LOCOG, I think that it should be said that the Phantom is much closer to the truth of the effect that NOGOE has had on the care and attention that LOCOG is paying to the Park than Franklin. There have not been dozens of meetings between the local Societies and LOCOG: there may have been a dozen, but certainly not many more; on occasions, months have gone by without any meeting and LOCOG was known to cancel meetings at short notice; it was also frequently late in delivering on its promises of information.

    The reality is that both the Societies and NOGOE, particularly in the run up to the main planning application in early 2010, have been making similar points concerning the need to preserve the fabric of the Park.

    Who therefore knows for certain what has influenced LOCOG insofar as it has taken conservation of the Park on board. Certainly there is no proof of which I am aware as to who has been “more effective in achieving positive results” for its safe-keeping and does it matter? The fact is that LOCOG has paid attention to public concern (although it remains the case that it will seek further indulgences as required – e.g. the substantial new programme for tree pruning).

    While I do not begrudge Franklin’s claim as to the Societies’ influence, I do not accept his assertion that it is principally as a result of their direct engagement (LOCOG turned down NOGOE’s request to join the meetings referred as a result of the wishes of the Societies) that we have got to where we are. It is sad but true that government, and government backed organisations such as LOCOG, have always paid attention to vociferous public complaint and challenge, as much as, if not more, than quiet and rational argument. It is therefore not unreasonable to say that, through its at times high publicity campaign, there was a much greater public awareness of the plans and potential threats to the Park, and there can surely be no doubt, but that LOCOG paid a great deal of attention to that public agitation. If there had been no NOGOE, it is most unlikely that the societies would have had the desire, resources or commitment to generate the power and influence that comes from wide publicity and consequent concern. I think that all who have engaged with LOCOG should take equal credit for the influence that has been had over the way In which it has determined to treat the Park. We live in hope (but regrettably not certainty) that it will be returned in the same condition as it was received.

    Committee man

  25. Indigo says:

    From Committeeman’s comment,

    “(LOCOG turned down NOGOE’s request to join the meetings referred as a result of the wishes of the Societies)”

    Interesting. I wasn’t aware that it was the local Societies (the executives thereof, I guess) that got NOGOE excluded from the consultative meetings with LOCOG. NOGOE is in this for the “long haul” – eg to ensure that the Park is reinstated and that this never happens again – and, gosh, the local societies won’t mind, then, if NOGOE excludes the local society executives from any future planning and liaison. Be done by as you did, and all that.

    Just two instances of how NOGOE has been more effective than the local societies. First, it was NOGOE that took photographs of LOCOG’s unsafe fencing arrangements and complained to the Health & Safety Executive, with copies to others. Result: fencing re-arranged so that no risk of anyone taking a header over the fencing blocks.

    Second, very early on a Sunday morning it was NOGOE that reported LOCOG for trying to fence off part of the Bronze Age site when, two days before the start of the Test Event, they discovered they were supposed to have a “warm up track”. Photographs were sent to LOCOG and English Heritage. The fencing was moved down the hill that day. Later LOCOG claimed that they had permission from English Heritage to put fencing over the Bronze Age site; it was NOGOE that pointed LOCOG to the paragraph in its own planning application which listed the permissions it had from English Heritage, and none of them was for fencing on the Bronze Age site.

  26. RobertNumber16 says:

    Dear Phantom
    I have so enjoyed all your interesting kind and inforative blogs over the years.THANK YOU.
    I have been so very upset by the unkind posts by Nogoe 2012 that is so not the Greenwich I have known for nearly 60 years.
    I wish all of you well ,and thank you for making me smile with all you messages.
    Nogoe2012 has destroyed Greenwich a place I love for me.
    Good bye
    Robertx

  27. Richard says:

    Dear Phantom
    I agree with Franklin that you over-rate the real impact Nogoe’s campaign has had; but then I would do because I have been the Greenwich Society’s lead on the olympics since 1995 and Chair for the last year.

    No bad thing for Nogoe to have kept the heat on but no credit to them for so much misinformation,myth-making and scare stories with no foundation in fact.
    Greenwich Society members voted by a big majority for constructive involvement, not outright opposition,and the result is that along with our colleagues in the other societies we have made a real difference to big issues.

    Full marks to Nogoe for spotting the fencing contractors’ mistakes before the test event last July. But contrast the importance of that small victory with what constructive involvement achieved.

    Here are just some of the changes to LOCOG’s plans which our local knowledge enabled us to press for and win:
    1.getting the 2011 test event moved from the school holidays to early July.Better for families, better for visitors.
    2.pointing out that the playground could be separated from the Park and kept open when the closures begin. As a result the playground closes for just one day.
    3.ditto with most of the flower garden
    4.getting this year’s park closure down from six weeks to four weeks.
    5.keeping many footpaths open and accessible through the construction period this year and getting access back to most of the Park from day 4 of the Games immediately after the cross-country.
    6.persuading the Department of Transport to change their minds and lift the Olympic Route Network restrictions during the gap between the Olympics and the Paralympics.

    All useful changes achieved by positive dialogue not by noisy negative protest.
    And yes that has involved a lot of meetings and not just with LOCOG. Committeeman may be reassured to know that a quick skim through my diary for 2011 shows 15 Olympics related meetings with the various parties to the Olympic project: LOCOG,ODA,the Royal Parks, Transport for London,SE Trains and Greenwich Council.
    And there is still more to come because the transport planning is far from adeqate and complete.

    Finally can I say to Robert that there has been much unpleasantness but perhaps he could be encouraged by the efforts of lots of people on whatever side of the divide to protect Greenwich in the way they sincerely think is best.

    Richard

  28. Franklin says:

    Robert, I REALLY hope that you don’t mean that you’re leaving Greenwich???

    Don’t let the naysayers and bullies at NOGOE get you down! They have NOT destroyed Greenwich, just cast a temporary pall over it which will soon be lifted!

    Have heart, the true spirit of Greenwich lives on… and don’t even THINK about leaving us!

  29. Richard says:

    of course I meant 2005 not 1995!

  30. Indigo says:

    Richard at 10:41 claims that the Greenwich Society won those changes. Isn’t it more likely that the written objections submitted to Greenwich Council by hundreds of ordinary people – using their own words, writing on their own paper or using their own computer and Internet access – had more of an impact that the ones made by the Greenwich Society.

    Stop taking the credit for other people’s work, Greenwich Society executives.

  31. Indigo says:

    Contrary to what Richard and Franklin assert, NOGOE is very scrupulous about fact-checking. Think about it – the NOGOE committee is entirely made up of professional people, most of them extremely intelligent high-achievers. And I don’t mean just the lawyers.

    Whereas the amenity societies all seem only too ready to channel LOCOG, and LOCOG is not truthful or professional.

  32. Indigo says:

    Looking again at Richard’s list (10:41 10 January 2012) – nothing done about preventing criminal damage to the Park?

    The Greenwich Society “punches above its weight” – for now, anyway – and if the Society had insisted that where the cross-country track traverses the rare and ancient acid grasslands LOCOG/STRI must water it with rainwater, not London tap water, that would have been a useful intervention.

    Acid grassland soil: pH 4.5-5.0
    London tap water: pH 9.0

    So just LOCOG/STRI’s watering damaged the acid grasslands, as soon as it started, and that’s before they applied fertiliser and surfactant.

    The Society could have insisted on LOCOG carrying out the correct number and type of bat surveys and on LOCOG obtaining a derogation from Natural England, as is required by law. But they have not.

  33. Folks – this is becoming tiresome. You’re never going to agree and the recriminations are just going round and round.

    What is happening is happening. It’s up to us to make the most of what we have now.

  34. RobertNumber16 says:

    Dear Phantom
    I was not going to say anything again on your blog,but I have had so many e mails, and calls.asking me too.
    We are very lucky to have you in wonderful Greenwich.It is a place to air views, and not to judge others. None of us have the right to “hijack” your blog (myself included)but only to express our own views .Please can we all put today behind us, and start trading as normal tomorrow.Once again thank you for all your hard work that goes into “The Greenwich Phantom”

  35. As Park keeper said

    NOGOE have worked hard to bring the truthful issues to the attention of the public. They presented a petition of 13,500 signatures in October 2010 – 80% being local residents and business owners – surely this represents more than the combined membership of all the local amenity societies?

    The one thing you can be sure of in Britain is if you complain it’s only a matter of time before others start complaining about you complaining!

  36. Matthew Gough says:

    Dear Mr Phantom,

    Changing tack from most of the previous comments, I’m very excited to hear about Volume III of Neil Rhind’s book, not least because that’s the one area of blackheath that’s not covered in his other two, it also happens to be the bit of blackheath I live in!

    I’ve been researching our house, and those of our neighbours, and I’d love to know if Mr Rhind has found out more (I’m a hopeless amateur) or indeed if he might be interested in any of the tid-bits I’ve collected.

    Do you know of any way to contact him?

    Also, will you let us all know when the book is published, and from where we will be able to purchase it?

    I’m going to be hot on your heels with the rest of your reading list too – fascinating stuff, and thank you for bringing it to our attention!

    Matthew

  37. Matthew – if you email me, I’ll do what I can. I am sure that Neil has found all sorts of incredible stuff. He’s a real pro. And of course I’ll be trumpeting it to the rooftops when these books are out.