The Man in the Moon Murder

The Man in the Moon by Stephen Craven

Many moons ago we were discussing the Man in the Moon, a former pub on Old Woolwich Road now converted into flats.

Someone mentioned that there had been a murder there, but given I had no idea whether this was in Victorian times or more recently it was difficult to check it out. Not least that it’s pretty taboo – I mean – developers really don’t like to advertise unpleasant things that happened in a property’s previous existence when they’re trying to flog apartments. I confess that, like many things on this site, I let it go, and, frankly forgot about it, only remembering when I walked past.

Then I got an email from someone who moved into the nearby Ernest Dence Estate in the late 1970s. My emailer confirmed there was a murder there, albeit accidental. After the Man in the Moon stopped being a pub, it became a sweet shop.

“One evening the lady that owned the shop was robbed on the premises by a lad off the estate and he pushed her down the stairs which in turn killed her. He spent about 30 years in prison for his actions.”

So – there you have it. At some point when I get time I’ll go through all the microfiche newspapers for the period and find the whole story but for now I want to reflect on what seems to be a very hazardous profession – sweet shop proprietor on corners of the Old Woolwich Road.

While I was pondering this post, I remembered another query from years ago, where Karen tells the sad story of her great-grandparents, who also owned a sweet shop there. The business was, apparently, a disaster (not least, I imagine, because it was during the war when sugar was rationed) and tragedy struck, the family believes, when Karen’s great-grandfather fell and died trying to mend the roof after bomb damage.

To add insult to injury, the Naval College forced all the residents to sell their properties to them at ridiculously low prices so they could build something grand but the plans fell through and that particular sweet shop is now somewhere under the car park at the end of Eastbury Street.

So all you would-be entrepreneurs – whatever you do, if someone offers you the East Greenwich franchise of Mr Humbug on a suspiciously empty corner of Old Woolwich Road you have been warned. Do not touch it with even the longest stick of barley sugar…


the attachments to this post:

The Man in the Moon by Stephen Craven
se10_maninthemoon stephen craven


4 Comments to “The Man in the Moon Murder”

  1. Dazza says:

    Not such a sweet job then? Sorry, I’ll get my coat!

    BTW Good to have you back! Missed ya!!

  2. John Norman says:

    I wonder if the buyers of Greenwich Square properties realise it was a hospital and before that a workhouse and before that a pest house.

    That land must be one of places in Greenwich where the highest number of people have met their end.
    Certainly great scope for a haunting.

  3. Evie says:

    The sweet shop was certainly there in the 1950/60′s, I remember going in there. Sorry I didnt know about the murder though, although we lived in Old Woolwich Road, (Christ Church end, opposite Sid Miles’ scrapyard). I would love to know more.

    Happy return Phantom.

  4. justJane says:

    Delighted you’re back and may 2015 be a fantastic year for us all