Nelson Rumbles On

I notice Greenwich Visitor is leading with local artist Townly Cooke’s photo of Nelson in the back of a van (we talked about the pic a little while ago too. I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here – there’s interesting stuff in there –  go and pick up a copy or read it online, but it’s all very fishy stuff.

Basically Greenwich Inc claim they can’t put the statue back because Greenwich Council have refused planning permission; Greenwich Council claim Greenwich Inc told them it had vanished without trace. It’s an odd thing to argue about – surely pretty easy for Greenwich Inc to prove if they chose to/actually can.

David Sinton

A pic that David shared with me last week does seem to imply that there was an attempted metal theft and I do remember seeing Nelson seriously on the squonk myself. (I took a snap too but recently lost a whole bunch of images when my computer decided to corrupt some random files and my incremental backup decided to backup the duff stuff, bah…)

It’s entirely possible he’s ended up as a block of bronze anyway. It’s just down to whose block of bronze.

This needs to come out in the thorough wash INC’s liquidator is giving the company. If INC had hoped that everyone would forget Greenwich’s ugliest statue they are clearly wrong – even Nelson’s absence is present. He’s just too big a historic figure.

I  find myself in two minds about it. Anyone who has followed this blog for any amount of time will know I hated that statue from the moment it was erected. I had looked forward to a tribute to Britain’s greatest Naval hero being some way along the lines of Britain’s former greatest hero – General Wolfe, up on the hill. That chin takes some getting used to but Wolfe’s is at least an accurate-looking representation, given the paintings available and it captures something of the man’s ahem, thrust and charisma. I was utterly depressed at the reptilian monster unveiled outside the Traf Tavern and I don’t find Greenwich’s art scene the poorer for its loss.

What I do find the poorer is Greenwich itself. Just walking past places like the Spread Eagle, a Grade A. piece of Greenwich history, closed and dead, makes me want to see the administrator being as thorough as it can be.

Ultimately for Greenwich though, however thorough an investigation and however hard any discovered mismanagement is punished, is it will be a Phyrric victory. We have lost a little bit of our soul. a hole has been made in the side of the town’s ship I fear is impossible to plug. A hole made by a small chain that giant chains will be only too pleased to thrust their way into.


the attachments to this post:

David Sinton
nelson on the squonk David low


9 Comments to “Nelson Rumbles On”

  1. Jack Cross says:

    Phantom -

    I couldn’t agree more – in fact I am on the record (here)some time ago as saying :

    “This, then, is probably Dowling’s final gift to Greenwich – a total mess, with far too many properties on the market all at once, with the result that it will be soulless chains that buy them up.
    This is probably the moment when Greenwich finally slips through our fingers and becomes just like any other suburban dormitory.”

    Dowling is in terrible trouble, and he’s picked all the worst people to defraud and offend, but that won’t bring back the Spread Eagle as it once was. My wife and I had some of our happiest evenings in the old Spread Eagle and I miss it.

    Personally I can’t help feeling – much as Dowling was a walking disaster – that the Hospital Trust and the Council are at least culpable in all this. How did he ever get away with such flagrant disregard for planning procedures, establishing a near-monopoly, desecration of historic buildings, expanding onto other peoples’ land, huge breaches of hygiene regulations (at one point the Coach didn’t have working toilets)etc? All of these things over and above all the financial misconduct, trading with clear knowledge of insolvency, not paying his staff and blatant fraud?

    The very people who should have been looking after Greenwich and protecting our heritage were rubbing their hands, eager to do business with this man who cares for nothing but himself.

    The council are the people most to blame here, but the Hospital Trust should have looked after their estate better and been less short-termist in their thinking. It’s alright to say that the Hospital is a landlord and has to make a profit, but they should have protected the longer-term interests of the Town Centre, even if only out of self-interest.

    A very sorry state of affairs all round.

  2. RogerW says:

    ^Blimey… admirable words

  3. FingalsCave says:

    He wasn’t stupid enough to mess with the IRS though.

  4. Dave says:

    I think you may be mistaken there Fingals

  5. Jack Cross says:

    FingalsCave -

    Not sure what point you are trying to make here.

    If you actually mean the *American* IRS, no he probably doesn’t owe them any money, as I’ve never heard of any of his present companies trading in the USA.
    If you mean the UK HMRC, however, you’re very much mistaken – has owes them £6 million.

  6. FingalsCave says:

    The point I was trying to make, not very well , as someone (myself) who owed the grand sum of 15 USD to the IRS many years ago and had all sorts of hassle even after happily paying up. HMRC just send me a letter for small amounts owed.

    So I think somebody thinking about doing tax dodgy things would be better off not doing it in the US, but find a country with a more relaxed sentencing policy.

  7. Jack Cross says:

    FingalsCave -

    Still not sure what your point is quite frankly or how your own experience is relevant here. Dowling/Greenwich Inc has not traded in America, so what has the IRS to do with this?

    The salient point here is that Inc don’t simply owe back tax (as you did), they have committed large-scale fraud. It remains to be seen how relaxed the sentencing policy will be, but HMRC will be taking this extremely seriously.

  8. FingalsCave says:

    Good point Jack Cross. I stand corrected.

  9. Stephen says:

    Reptilian monster is a very apt description. I don’t want to see it return. How it was approved in the first place is beyond me.