A Secret Path

I’ve been trying for a week to think what I could usefully add to the hours of TV, yards of newspaper comment and terrabites of bloggery/tweeting about the terrible events in Woolwich a week ago today and have come to the conclusion that there is nothing I can add that doesn’t reiterate what has already been said. That wouldn’t just deepen the pain of a family, a town and a country in mourning.

So instead I thought I’d share with you a little path I found at the weekend when visiting a pal who’s just moved into a new flat at the Woolwich Academy (next time I visit I’ll take some pics for you, there are some really interesting old buildings – and some very dull new ones…) Perhaps it can bring a little joy in sad times.

Basically, if you take your bus of choice to Queen Elizabeth Hospital then walk a little further along away from Woolwich, past the car park, you’ll find a little wooded entrance, leading to a path heading east. You can follow the path through the woods right up into open common, knee-high in cow parsley and feeling for all the world somewhere that could be in the middle of the countryside.

Nobody seems to use it. My friend and I had the whole common to ourselves – there wasn’t a kid playing with a kite, a bloke walking a dog, a teenager sniffing glue, nothing. Just us. And it was wonderful.

If you follow the path across it comes out just by the Academy, but there are other paths that criss-cross, so you can choose your own adventure.

There’s a rather alarming headline on this week’s New’s Shopper about the state of Woolwich Common after its moment in the spotlight last year at the Olympics.

I’m not for a moment pretending that LOCOG – or whoever their clean-up guys are – have not seriously neglected this area of the common. I guess it just goes to show that the major fuss individuals, groups and the council made about insisting Greenwich Park was put back properly was justified. With only the MOD to look after Woolwich Common there are parts of it that still look like ploughed fields.

I went over to take a look and while, frankly, the News Shopper is slighty exaggerating, it’s still much more of a mess than it should be.

But with all the awful stuff that has been going on in Woolwich I wanted to show that not everything is grim in the place. There is sweetness and peace to be found.

BTW if you click on the long thin image at the top you’ll see what a marvellous view there is to be had..


the attachments to this post:

woolwich common low 4
woolwich common low 4

woolwich common low 3
woolwich common low 3

woolwich common low 2
woolwich common low 2

woolwich common low 1
woolwich common low 1

woolwich common panorama
woolwich common panorama


4 Comments to “A Secret Path”

  1. Steve says:

    Oi! Don’t tell everybody – the place will soon be full of Greenwich oiks.

    Seriously though, I don’t know why you are having a go at News Shopper. There are a lot of people rightly angry that parts of Woolwich Common is in such a mess. The Council’s initial response was (as usual) to pass the buck so it’s good that the News Shopper has picked up the story.

  2. bats says:

    Woolwich common has been a mess for years, full of rubbish and the odd fly tip. Maybe if the locals took more care of it then so would LOCOG.

  3. Brenda says:

    I think that’s the path that is listed on Section 5 of the Greenwich Chain Walk, the Barrier to Oxleas Woods. I never see anyone on it either.

  4. julie newton says:

    I have to admit it is one of my favorite places to go for a walk. I was really against the Olympic site here, they not only damaged Our common but its wild life too. And I totally agree they have not done enough to put it back to the way it was. The local residents got nothing and it certainly didn’t do much for the local businesses. The far end ( shooters hill ) could really have you believe you were walking in the countryside at times. The other beauty of it, you never get bored as each season changes the colours and the landscape.