Pier Appearing

Today, a little photographic wander around the pier area that Jeremy took with his camera-phone. It’s not going to look like this for much longer as there’s a race on to get it all finished; I’m guessing for the Marathon, which will be the first of a number of high-profile centre-stages this area’s going to take this year. I still don’t know whether or not runners will actually be going round the Cutty Sark (I wish them luck if it’s raining – anyone else foundthat new paving a bit on the slippy side in rain?) but even if they’re not it will be hard to keep the cameras away if it’s not finished.

So it’s go, go, go. Looks like the signs that have been refused permission are still there – imagine this lit up:

Someone said on the blog yesterday that they’re still illuminating it.

The one at Byron is a little smaller, but even if we didn’t like it, it’s inside – nothing can be done about that.

What bothers me more, actually, isn’t actually going to be lit up at all – it’s all that tacky red signage going round the emerging Nandos:


Moving on, the ticket booths are at least a little more discreet:

I find little to moan about with those. In fact I quite like them. Much as I’m pleased to see some actual plants going in Cutty Sark Gardens:

Most are going to be a bit locked away behind rather corporate-looking railings, but plants is plants. The Cutty Sark’s coming on – still finding it hard to imagine they’ll be done for their launch in a few weeks’ time, but it’s looking good.

It’s also hard to imagine just how in/obtrusive that access tower will be too. Looking at the scaffolding, it’s rather alarming, but this seems to imply it’s not quite as bad as it looks just now:

A month after we became Royal, a reminder of the Council’s old logo – almost completely obliterated already in main spaces:

Finally – it’s taken a bloomin’ age – but doesn’t the foot tunnel entrance, slowly emerging from its plastic chrysalis, look fantastic?

Steve agrees and sent me this view almost simultaneously with Jeremy. I love this, even if it does remind me of the missed opportunity with the pier buildings:

the attachments to this post:

foot tunnel steve march 2012
foot tunnel steve march 2012

jeremy march 201216
jeremy march 201216

jeremy march 201210
jeremy march 201210

jeremy march 2012 15jpg
jeremy march 2012 15jpg

jeremy march 2012 14
jeremy march 2012 14

jeremy march 2012 12
jeremy march 2012 12

jeremy march 2012 11
jeremy march 2012 11

jeremy march 2012 9
jeremy march 2012 9

jeremy march 2012 8
jeremy march 2012 8

jeremy march 2012 7
jeremy march 2012 7

35 Comments to “Pier Appearing”

  1. JR says:

    According to the London Marathon magazine (sent to the poor souls taking part in the “fun run”)the route this year will indeed go round the Cutty Sark. And that leads neatly on to a cheeky request for any generous Greenwichians to please sponsor me at http://www.justgiving.com/John-Ramchandani-Has-Sore-Feet . Apologies Phant – I had to get that one in.

  2. Benedict says:

    Exciting, may have to come back for a visit once all the “fuss” has died down.

  3. scared of chives says:


    Never did meet you – us two TGP old-timers should hook up for a beer…and throw stones at the neon signs…

  4. tintinhaddock says:

    It is so depressing walking around the Cutty Sark now: Frankie & Benny’s, Nando’s and that horrible B&Q lean-to ‘wave’ around the old girl.

    Our councillors need stringing up for the legacy they’ve left us.

  5. Franklin says:

    Don’t lose heart tintinhaddock! We might still be able to get the pier buildings set right – if they’re not compliant with the planning permission and there’s any decency left in this corrupt council machine.

    I’m afraid the CS is a write-off, though. It breaks my heart every time I walk past her, suspended in that giant dark grey soap bubble hiding her lines and flaring up over her bow and stern – but guaranteeing the corporate clients below privacy and exclusivity. I find myself avoiding the pier and gardens area now, when I used to love wandering around there. It was always the first place that I took new visitors to Greenwich. Very sad, really.

    When it comes to my fantasy revenge scenarios – prefer disembowelment to stringing up myself…

  6. Franklin says:

    That probably should have read “prefer disembowelment to string up, myself”. ;-)

  7. Nelson's Left Eye says:

    No comments on the street lamps? A heritage area and they stick up those horrors?

    Saying that, while they are a missed opportunity, I don’t think the new pier buildings are that bad. I’d have preferred something more in keeping with the RONC but I won’t be loosing any sleep over it. I’ll even be one of the first visitors.

  8. Benedict says:

    I’ll pack my slingshot

  9. You, reading this coming back from the pub late on a Friday night, Franklin, and your talking about ‘fantasy revenge scenarios,’ ‘giant grey soap bubbles’ ‘guaranteeing corporate clients privacy and exclusivity’m I got a strange flash in my mind of waiting until there’s a particularly toffee nosed bunch swigging champagne down there and then…mooning at said corporate clients from outside and running away. Tee hee….

  10. Mike says:

    I see that F&Bs neon lights are on again tonight (possibly even the soft opening as there were quite a few people inside too). Does anyone actually enforce planning decisions?? I get the feeling that F&Bs don’t really care that they shouldn’t have their signs up, let alone on. Maybe it increases their chances for approval upon appeal??

  11. 16" East says:

    Hi Mary Mills – are you out there – any thoughts please on this ? We need your input please!

  12. PiratesPatch says:

    why dont you just ask them to destroy the Cutty sark if your not happy and be done with it!

    With the market redevelopment next year it will be one of the few things that will draw people into greenwich…or would you rather a ghost town!

    Little England at its worst

  13. Alain de Valois says:

    A pretty reasonable alternative view here, methinks –

    Cutlasses at dawn?

  14. Jack Cross says:

    Pirates Patch -
    Enough already.
    Just because people don’t like the theme park look of the new Pier doesn’t mean they woud prefer to see the Cutty Sark destroyed. That’s not the choice, in a sane world.
    The Market redevelopment will probably, over time, attract less people to the town, because it will be more corporate/sanitised/high st that the present quirky market, but that doesn’t mean that people who are sceptical about the development would rather see the Luftwaffe return and blitz our town. Get a grip mate.

  15. Lester Young says:

    “With the market redevelopment next year it will be one of the few things that will draw people into greenwich…or would you rather a ghost town!”

    I think you’ll find that people will come to see the Maritime Museum, the ORNC site, the Queen’s House, the Park, St Alfege’s, etc etc, rather than the Pier. I could be wrong…..

  16. Paul says:

    Beware of the trees? What a smart post! I guess it’s pretty easy to defend Zizi’s if you’ve never eaten there.

  17. PiratesPatch says:

    Like l said…

    Pure Little England mentality

  18. Pedro says:

    Good old Pirates Patch – you’re about as authentic as the little plastic Captain Hook that comes with a Happy Meal.

  19. PiratesPatch says:

    Authentic in what way, l dont understand…

    Unlike most the idiots on here…at least l was born in the Borough!

    But hey, it seems all the major donors who saved the Sark are writing on here and telling us what they should have done with her….

    oh, wait, they didnt contribute to saving her….

    silly me!

  20. Paul says:

    Well the Phantom contributed, as did I. I’m glad we have her back, even with all the waste of money.

    If you’re a local, why are you so happy that £42m went to a multinational building company for “restoring” the Cutty Sark, why do you like the fact we have a Nando’s, or a F&B and all those other places you can see in every other high street? Why do you want the old market traders forced out? If you’re “from” the Borough, why do you want it to look like everywhere else?

    Even if you’re just attention-seeking, it makes no sense. You need to get out more – you’d appreciate what makes Greenwich different.

  21. Mike says:

    @piratespatch “at least l was born in the Borough!” assumes that you know more or better than others purely because of where you were born, and is racist.

  22. Badgeman says:

    Racist? LOL.

  23. Jack Cross says:

    Greenwichians are a proud and noble race. Anyone not born within sound of St Alfege’s bells has no right to comment upon local matters and events. I should have thought that that was obvious.

  24. Fatty Fatty BumBum says:

    Went for a walk by the CS yesterday and the new pier building is a horrific abomination of the jewel in the crown of South East London. The CS will be glowing under the red hew of a Nandos rooster. Its a disgrace that this horrible building was allowed blocking the view of the river from the CS and Discover Greenwich. I cant believe that the usual local activists are not going mad about this – its a local version of the KFC at the pyramids! Worse still this development was meant to be a new pier, selling tickets and offering facilities for travellers, the ticket hall is a tiny kiosk and instead the developers have used it as a chance to shove up a commercial development in an incredibly sensitive site. Its UNBELIEVABLE.I hope the Queen comments on it when shes down in a few weeks – the head of Greenwich Council planning should be sacked sacked sacked for this!

  25. Nelson's Left Eye says:

    As the wood paneling was ‘value-engineered’ out of the final design after planning permission had been granted, maybe we can coax the council to require a more aesthetic exterior to cover the cheap looking glass and plastic.

    Perhaps the planting of evergreen trees and ivy around the outside…

  26. Armitage Shanks says:

    From the ‘Greenwich Recorder’ Easter 1896

    Dear Sir,

    The clement weather today in Greenwich has brought the unwholesome spectacle of the town’s poor disporting themselves by the Thames, finding their way to the foreshore where many have dispensed with outer layers of clothing and shoes and some infants, entirely naked, are paddling in the river. Itinerant peddlers and pie sellers hawk their vulgar goods about and the smell of boiled shrimp offends common decency. There is the sound of raucous laughter and ales and intoxicating liquers are taken in public. The decent people of this town cannot permit their wives or servants to approach near the Pier for fear of offence, and an official of the Metropolitan Borough was jeered and pelted with bread as he remonstrated with a very fat red faced woman in petticoats.

    This state of affairs is entirely due to the development of the Pier by the Greenwich Hospital some forty years ago into an architecturally vulgar and plebeian pastiche of a seaside promenade to which the commonality were allowed admittance; it is fondly to be hoped that future years will see the Ices stalls, Tea huts and the unmentionably noxious public water closets replaced with something more fitting.

    Your most obedient servant etc ..

  27. ftroop says:

    @paul,maybe us natives just might need developments like these for employment,bit below you lot im sure but some people have to work in the service industry !

  28. ianGMT says:

    Light pollution & tackiness.
    I have just walked along the riverfront (Sunday 11.30 pm) and was astonished by the lighting on Greenwich pier.
    Firstly, the Frankie & Bennies New York whatever signs are all lit up.
    Secondly, the interior spaces are all lit up, including an upper floor bar.
    Thirdly, part of the pier pedestrian walkways have now very bright lighting.
    Together, with security lighting on some of the ORNC buildings opposite, it has a totally destructive effect on the ambience of the area, introducing rampart town centre commercialism, which I quite frankly find soul destroying.
    As Greenwich has significant importance in the deveopment of astronomy, please have a look at the bbc article on light pollution.
    We really need someone with vision, who can prevent the heritage of the area being drowned in a sea of commercial greed.

  29. Paul T says:

    all in favour of local jobs, tfroop. Preferably with local companies who care about the area and keep staff long-term, which I know zizi’s don’t do, and I suspect Frankie and Benny don’t give a damn either.

    I also disagree with the notion that chainstore theme restaurant are what tourists want. They come to Greenwich in search of something unique – which is why the Old Brewery is packed throughout the summer, and why there’d always be a queue at Goddard’s.

    The Old Brewery also showed sympathy with the area, rather than sticking two fingers at it, which is what Frankie and Benny – from the people who brought you Garfunkel’s – have done. Hence this whole thread.

  30. Jer says:

    Where is Zizzi going? The pier is Nando’s, Byron and F&B. (Lucky, lucky us…)

    Is it upstairs? Have I missed something?

  31. Jack says:

    For all those concerned about the chav burger chains &c blighting Greenwich, there is a very simple answer: don’t eat at any of them. It’s easy enough not to do so, given that the Old Brewery is a more than adequate alternative and is right next door.

    As for the ugly buildings, well, we all know they have been built to be demolished: it’s just a question of when. Conran & Partners must be mortified.


  32. Darren says:

    Dear God,

    I love Greenwich, I love the diversity, it has been a tourist town for ever (do the Vikings count?).

    Tourists give the place a feel of its own, they also pay for most of the amenities we all need to use. Face facts they are here to stay and there will always be those keen to make money out of them.

    There’s also plenty of room for all the treasures that make Greenwich special to those of us who live here, its not an either or situation.

    What does make me sad is the behaviour of some of the Greenwichians who seem to believe that their own personal likes and dislikes should dictate how Greenwich develops.

    And as for allegations of racism! Its sad that common sense and common decency aren’t so common any more.


  33. Fatty Fatty BumBum says:

    I have only just realized how absolutely rubbish Greenwich actually is for going out. There isn’t a decent cool cafe in the town for a good ‘Square Mile’ type coffee; barely a decent reasonably priced restaurant just bad places, expensive places or chains; and and in fact there are no bars whatsoever I don’t think? Its good for pubs, but that’s about it. Inc bars have the worst service known to man and they make up about 50% of local establishments so I wouldn’t step foot in one of them. When will poor Greenwich catch up with the rest of London and get a few cool places…

  34. greenwich_dudely says:

    Although these public lavatories are an architectural travesty, the garish signage is two corporate fingers up to the law abiding, tax paying public of Greenwich. I wrote to my local councillors and opposed planning permission, which has been turned down out of hand. Unfortunately these disgusting restaurants know the law inside out – the do just what they like and then wait for the council to enforce planning controls, which is a lengthy and expensive procedure that is often abandoned due to lack of council funds.

    We all know Greenwich council is run by incompetents with an abundance of palms greased with corporate money, but in this case the law is also an ass and these companies know how to exploit it.

    There are those that don’t mind the river front being turned into a neon signed fast food strip, but most people are justly horrified by both the aesthetics and the arrogant flaunting of a law that is supposed to apply to everyone.

    Instead of all this virtual moaning and griping, why not take direct action? Make a time and a date to meet outside the restaurants with signs and placards telling everyone what has been done and what’s going on? The Queen is visiting soon and the Marathon will also be on national television, what better occasions to make a point for all to see… And if enough people turn up, those terrible signs might just ‘fall down’ of their own accord!

  35. methers says:

    It’s worth reading Diamond Geezer’s article on recent developments in Greenwich, especially as he includes a plug for our beloved Phantom:


    My favourite bit:

    “Seriously, it’s a World Heritage site is Greenwich, and yet naked commercialism has somehow wriggled in and vomited on the waterfront.”