The triangular, three-storey Grade II* listed castle stands on the top of Shooters Hill where it is a local landmark. Built in 1784, it commemorates a long-forgotten British naval victory against pirates marauding in the Indian Ocean. Closed to the public for 20 years, it was identified as a key project for repair in the BBC TV series Restoration in 2004 but failed to reach the finals. Thanks to the HLF grant it will be restored as a visitor attraction, educational centre and tea room. It will be run by a local trust and volunteers will be trained to act as guides, to staff the café and to assume the day-to-day management of the castle as well helping at future heritage events.
David Goodfellow of the Severndroog Castle Building Preservation Trust said:
“We are delighted with the confirmed award from HLF, which is a major step forward in achieving our objective of restoring this unique building. There is still plenty of hard work to be done but this decision, together with grant funding support from a number of other organisations as well as significant support from Greenwich Council and the local community, has greatly increased our sense of optimism about reopening a fully-restored Severndroog Castle to the public.”
According to the mercury the £595k amounts to 70% of the total required (595000÷.7=£850k) so that leaves 255k to go, minus the £1,573 raised by sponsor a brick for severndroog = £253,427 left to go… although that particular arm of the campaign has the aim of raising £50k.
This is a significant move by the Lottery considering that that last time they earmarked money for the campaign it was for the comparatively smaller amount of £250k November 2008. It was additionally interesting to note that after Camden, Greenwich benefits from the most lottery heritage money, so I think this is a timely reminder to get behind the campaign at the grassroots level and buy your loved ones a brick (well, a sponsor’s certificate)!
Today I received some campaign materials from Clive Efford MP, which included the news that Eaglesfield Park is going to have its own Open Air Gym (?!) and improved signs and paths in order to meet the criteria for the prestigious Green Flag Award.
The concept of an open air gym seems quite strange to me as I’ve become happily accustomed to the idea of people getting their endorphins behind closed doors on those bizarre W. Heath Robinson style contraptions that allow you to run nowhere, lift nothing and so on – walking the streets is certainly much more pleasant now than it was at the height of the jogging craze; these days I can happily amble around in a reverie without sweaty spandex clad neurotransmitter freaks huffing and puffing at me from all directions.
The money itself is going to come from an Olympics Legacy fund. I assume the idea is to use the events to enthuse local people about sport at the same time as giving them an outlet for all their newfound enthusiasm – this is the legacy, and surely a good thing if it gives people something to do other than moan about the bankers nicking all our money. I’m personally looking forward to the target sports at the artillery barracks, and will be watching as much Robin Hood as I can in the run up to the games. I’m not sure if local people will be able to get tickets though, quite possibly not, and even if they can I’ve heard that they change hands for thousands of pounds.
As for the Green Flag award, it sounds quite good considering the recognition that the Plumstead Common Environment Group have earned as a result of their award winning restoration of the Slade Ponds. It certainly bodes well for the Lily Pond plans as being able to write “Green Flag Status” on grant applications helps to make a good impression on the potential future funders by demonstrating that there is a precedent of time and money being invested in the park.
Highway safety seems to be fairly active theme in the area at the moment, there was the traffic monitoring in cleanthus road last year (not sure what came of that), and the extension of the 20 mph zone to eaglesfield road; now there’s a new speed/vehicle counter on the hill going down to kent, plus the occasional traffic police with lidars round the garden centre, and the new road safety improvements to shrewsbury lane where it meets the main road plus the pedestrian refuges at various stages, and the proposed double yellow lines on the main road round the farm (this will save people getting parking fines when they drive to the lambing day in april)…
Overall it just goes to show that gene selection for fear of spiders and snakes, useful though it may have been in the ancestral environment, is now being replaced by meme selection – i.e. we’re just not scared enough of vehicles yet, so culture has to intervene whilst we wait for the genome to catch up (i.e. all the people who are afraid of cars reproduce more effectively than those who aren’t).
In 2000 Red Lion Lane benefited from traffic calming as part of the 20mph traffic calming measures enjoyed by many roads in the area, and was also turned into a down-the-hill-only road at the top end. At the same time the idea of excusing pavement parking on the bottom end was briefly considered before being, erm, parked. Since then the council have received a number of complaints about drivers having difficulty passing each other on this lower section of the lane, and also complaints about damage to parked vehicles, which presumably happens when things get tight. Efforts have been made to revive the pavement parking idea, but now a more radical measure is being proposed which is to make still more of the lane down hill only.
A mini vote is currently on, mainly to sound out the feelings of those who live on roads that will get the up-hill traffic that currently use red lion lane as a rat run when the junction at the old shooters hill police station gets slow, and so I anticipate that herbert road→paget rise→ankerdine crescent→shrewsbury lane→foxcroft road→eaglesfield road will now become the cut through of choice for those in an, erm, hurry. The other way that through traffic might cut through would be herbert road⇒ripon road⇒eglinton hill⇒eaglesfield road – so it may be that residents in these roads are being polled.