Following on from the panoramas of East Greenwich, I came across another one this morning, of Central Greenwich. It’s credited to OJ Morris, who collected the Rev Spurgeon’s incredible photographs of Victorian Greenwich (what I can find about his story is here and at first I assumed it was another Spurgeon image.
That was until I actually looked at the photo and realised there are trucks and cars in it, not to mention the Cutty Sark, which didn’t arrive in Greenwich until 1954 – and that judging from the angle, it was probably taken from the now-forbidden observation tower at Borough Hall.
Owen Morris was crazy for railways, so he might well have been trying to get the railway line in right at the bottom, but whatever his reasons, this is a lovely shot of Straighstmouth, St Alfege and a what is now rapidly disappearing town centre.
On a closer inspection it’s interesting to note just how much DOES remain these days. I would LOVE to see a photo taken from the Observation Tower now, to compare, but longterm Phantophiles will know that the Phantom campaign to get the tower opened for Open House Day has spluttered and failed on many occasions (as has the sister campaign to get the power station to open its doors…gnash, gnash.) It’s not for the want of trying, believe me, folks.
But even without the comparison image, it’s clear we still have much there. The Mitre Pub is almost exactly the same – though re-furbed and I have to say, looking lovely these days – the flowers outside are always fabulous.
Straightsmouth and Roan Street look remarkably intact (nice to see the lovely stink pipe taking pride of place by the Bridge of Tiles), though of course there’s an ugly office block in front of it now along Church Street/High Street (never quite sure where one stops and the other begins…)
The estate over by Wood Wharf is pretty much exactly the same. The area around Creek Road is most changed, mainly from the building around the DLR station and of course we have the nasty pier buildings these days.
I’m sure that if any Phantom reader actually had access to that observation tower, I’d know all about it but – well, I’ll send my wish list out into the ether anyway. I would SO love to share today’s view from the crow’s nest with everyone – if you ever get a chance to go up there PLEASE take pics and show me.
Of course you’d need to be fit – I’m told it’s a LOT of steps…
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