Archive for November, 2013

Running Gags

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Okay – I’ve had two emails this week, both looking for local groups. They are not connected in any way other than this post…

Firstly, Anne asks:

Do you know of a comedy writing group in the East Greenwich area? My mid-life crisis (okay, it’s a little later than “mid”) is taking me in that direction but I can’t find anything nearby. If I can’t find one I think I will start one.

Then Solange asks:

Do you know of a friendly running group (free) in Greenwich please?

So – suggestions, please. I do like the idea of a new comedy writing group if Anne starts one (think there was a course at the Tramshed, but it doesn’t appear to be on now). If we don’t come up with any existing groups, but you’d like to join Anne, do email me and I’ll pass you on. You never know we might end up with a Phantom Comedy Group as successful as the Phantom Book Group!

High Tide

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Thanks to Mike Purdy for sharing these pictures of the extraordinary high tides we have at the moment.

It happens more regularly that one might think, but it’s still pretty spectacular when it happens and always amusing to watch people trying to walk along the 5 foot walk when it’s rising. It’s less funny when you’re trying to do it yourself.

Just one of the reasons I love living here. I spend a lot of my time moaning about Greenwich, but ultimately I love it. It’s worth my while remembering that sometimes…

A Nasty One

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

I really, really don’t want to turn this blog into NIMBY City and oppose every single new development proposed in Greenwich but projects like this one make it very hard to love developers.

It’s the plans to redevelop Trident Hall in Park Row, next to the Trafalgar Hotel and it’s utterly, utterly out of place in between two gorgeous Georgian buildings, one of which is a famous and historic (if a little tatty at the moment) riverside landmark. Even the architect admits it’s only “attempting to achieve a neutral appearance…’

IMHO it doesn’t even go halfway to succeeding in that attempt.

It’s not like it can even hide behind the Trafalgar Hotel – it sticks up above it, which will completely spoil the vista from every angle.

It’s wrong, it’s insensitive and it’s greedy. We can’t do anything about greed, but we can do something about the other two.

Of course there are missing documents on the Council Website which makes it hard to see the complete picture, but frankly, if the artist’s impression can’t make it look halfway decent and appropriate, there’s not much hope for it in my humble. It does at least look like you can actually make a comment now (up til now there was a problem with the comments form.)

There is also some confusion about how long the consultation period is for – the expiration date on the website is 3rd Dec but in a letter sent to local residents notice was given as 21 days from the date of letter which was 1st November – so frankly, I’d be suggesting that if you want to voice your thoughts (and of course you might disagree with me and think that this is exactly what Greenwich needs and you’d be just as justified in writing to praise the sympathetic architecture and exciting materials, but I might start wondering why you bother to read this blog…) you should be looking at doing it as soon as possible before there’s any chance of moving the goalposts.

One last thought – since when was a six-storey, NINETY-TWO BEDROOM hotel ’boutique?’

You know I would so LOVE to be able to write about a new development that actually has some architectural and contextural merit.


Durnford Street Reprieve

Friday, November 1st, 2013

You know I really thought the sweet little banana warehouse in Durnford Street was a gonner. We fought a good fight and the ghastly market plans were dropped (though no sign yet of that new roof, I note…) but when the florists was moved out of the little Edwardian building, I honestly thought Greenwich Hospital would pull it down as threatened (after carefully ‘preserving through record,’ of course.)

But Franklin tells me that the property portfolio manager at Greenwich Hospital, spoke at the Greenwich Society AGM last night and revealed the banana warehouse on Durnford Street is going to be retained and restored – although they are going to build new ‘modern’ retail units behind it.

Okay, I’ll buy that. I’m okay with compromise. I just hope they do it sympathetically and try to keep a few indies around. I’m told Peyton & Byrne are opening a new cafe – I guess at least we’re getting the posh chains these days…

Maybe we could have some stores that aren’t cafes, bog-standard boutiques or multinationals?

But hey. That’s for another day. Franklin’s made my day telling me that little warehouse is being kept. Just for nostalgia, here it is a couple of years ago, looking magnificent: