Then and Now (6) Part Two

Dear Mother and Dad

Things are still going well in East Greenwich. On some nights you’d even believe it’s a normal hospital. The girls in the nurses’ home are such a hoot. Joan and I staked four vamps last full moon; it was exciting but Joan snagged her stocking and nylons are so hard to come by with all this rationing. Thank you for the garlic, so sorry to hear about Fluffy. You might want to cremate him, it’s not worth taking chances. Love to you both and tell George not to worry, 


‘Fraid this postcard was unwritten too, it’s not surprising since I got it and yesterday’s card as a pair. I assume they were bought as a memento by a nurse who lived at the old Nurses’ Home (now Woodland Heights).

Of the two I find this the most interesting card because there’s just so much of old East Greenwich to see. The dark, satanic castle-like place in the middle of the background isn’t Vanbrugh Castle, but the old Greenwich and Deptford Hospital – the old Union Workhouse/Asylum. It was demolished to build the short-lived 1970s monstrosity Greenwich District Hospital which, in its turn was demolished to build – well, as yet, bugger-all.

I can’t tell whether there are two gas holders in the deep background, or just the one and a cloud. Just beyond the (treeless) turning circle, you can just see the top of the Vanbrugh Tavern and bits of Humber and Dinsdale roads.

It’s almost impossible to get the exact same angle for a shot today, because the area around the car park (in which I once, on a very, very cold night, saw a cab doing scary ice-dancing) has a whole bunch of trees and shrubs, so I had to try to get a photo from the road.

Gone is the old hospital, but the not-quite finished cable car is, I think, rather a nice touch.

I have one more pic for you, that by rights, should have its own ‘Rear Window’ post – but hey, it fits in so well with today’s  piece that I’m including it here. It’s from Thomas’s kitchen window, up in Woodland Heights:

Thomas tells me he never tires of it. I believe him.

the attachments to this post:

Back Camera
Back Camera

low nurses home view 2012
low nurses home view 2012

low Nurses Home view
low Nurses Home view

11 Comments to “Then and Now (6) Part Two”

  1. Mary says:

    Oh Phantom. Of course there are two gasholders – the lower one is east Greenwich No.2. for most of its life the largest gas holder in the world and demolished in 1986. I can supply – if interested – amazing pictures of its interior when it was being refurbished after the 1917 Silvertown Explosion – and stage by stage pictures of its demolition, taken by me.

  2. YES PLEASE! Must have been having a bit of a brain abberation this morning. Not unusual.

  3. scared of chives says:

    So the house on the corner of Dinsdale/Vanbrugh Hill – where the bench and telephone kiosk now is – had a bit on the end…or am I not seeing it quite right?

  4. Looks like it SoC – either that or a little cottage next door…

  5. Dave48 says:

    Excellent…..but what happened to poor Fluffy?

  6. It’s too tragic to tell, but I can reveal that Ethel’s grieving parents did not, sadly take her advice and instead buried Fluffy in the garden. She became WWII’s first vampire cat.

  7. Lara says:

    Hi Thomas,

    Care to open your house for an informal Open House? Would love to see the view from those three sets of flats. :-) .

  8. valley_girl says:

    According to the National Archives,the pre-GDH building was only known as Greenwich and Deptford Hospital for the period 1928-1930. Before that it was the
    Greenwich Union Infirmary (1874 – 1928) and after that it was St Alfege’s Hospital (1931 – 1968). So this would probably date the postcards to a year or two after the building of the Nurses’ Home in c.1927.

  9. methers says:

    SoC – No 1 Dinsdale Road was an old cottage, one of the few buildings around here to predate the arrival of the railways. According to Neil Rhind it was at one time connected to No 3, but they were separated in 1897. Apparently the cottage on the end suffered repeated damage from runaway traffic coming down Vanbrugh Hill (nothing changes), and it was pulled down after the last family moved out in 1935. No 3 is now the first house on the north side of the road.
    The telephone has been removed from the phone box at the end of Dinsdale Road. I’m wondering if the box is going to be removed; there has been some guerrilla gardening here already and it could be turned into a much nicer spot with a bit of community involvement.

  10. methers says:

    PS It’s lovely to see these old pictures. Thank you for finding them and posting them here, Phantom.

  11. scared of chives says:

    Interesting, thanks Methers.