SHAM Petition

There are lots of masts on the hill, almost 20 in fact, i must say the mobile reception has got a lot better…


Here’s a copy of the SHAM petition in text:

Residents Petition Against the Shooters Hill Masts

Please complete this petition; it will be collected by a SHAM (Shooters Hill Against Masts) member. It is important you complete your name and address to ensure the validity of the petition.

l/we the undersigned hereby support SHAM’s aims as outlined below in regard to the phone masts in the Shooters Hill area and in particular the powerful TETRA mast on Eaglesfield Road:

1. That Greenwich Council ensure masts ad [original typo] all existing mobile/TETRA/and other operators immediately remove their equipment from the Shooters Hill area and relocate them away from peoples homes in the area;

2. That Greenwich Council seek the immediate removal of the recently installed TETRA technology on the mast at Eaglesfield Road;

3. That OFCOM seek the immediate removal of various equipment on the masts which does not confirm to agreed licences and safety guidelines;

4. That the London Fire Brigade remove their mast on Eaglesfield Road and relocate it on one their own operational sites; and

5. That Greenwich Council refuse further planning applications from communications companies where these affect heavily populated communities.




Email Address:

Telephone No:

Your Health:

Have you, your family or your pets experienced poor health that you think may be caused by or exacerbated by the radiation from the phone masts? If so, please give details below.

Trim Trail

In a previous post on Eaglesfield park, I linked to some negative feedback on trim trails, which said no one uses them – but the other day I was on Lakedale road (very nice it is too) and i saw two wooden trim points by the paddling pool, both of which were very much in use: one by a solitary runner, possibly trying to get his arm muscles in proportion to those of his legs, and one by a family who were having lots of fun twirling round on some hoops, this was at 7 o’ clock in the evening. The devices themselves were not unattractive and it was a pleasant evening, perfect for a bit of exercise.

Seeing this definitely made me feel more enthusiastic about the possibility of fitness facilities coming to Eaglesfield park.

New Kid on the Hill

A new photo chronicler of shooters hill life has just appeared on flickr, and although he’s only added a couple of bus photos and one of a ferocious looking fox, it’s always nice to see pictures by someone whose ability to catch a moving target is equally matched by their ability to get up early. His collection has been liberally cloned and are on heavy rotation in the headers at the moment.

By the way, Aperture (Woolwich Photographic) have recently announced their free summer programme on their excellent blog.

Eagles in the field

Wow! The 3rd eaglesfield neighbourhood watch fête was absolutely fantastic. The main park users catered for were the children but i’m sure the dogs didn’t mind. A possible 3rd user group was being sounded out yesterday with the beginning of a council consultation regarding funds allocated for new fitness facilities in the park. There are currently 3 main options:

  • trim trail (monkey bars etc dotted around the park)
  • one gym area (possibly in the south east corner, almost certainly not the top by the lily pond)
  • neither

It would be great to get some more park users (improved access and signs are also coming), although there are several issues to be sorted out at the grass roots level including environmental effects, materials to be used, colours, maintenance etc. For those interested in finding out more, the councillors/friends of eaglesfield park can provide more information. At first i thought that a trim trail might blend in more (require less levelling), but on further reflection i think it could actually be more intrusive as it would involve spreading these potentially unattractive structures over a much larger area, it didn’t take long to find an blog rant on the subject, with a main complaint being that people don’t actually use them – it’s not certain whether people would use an outdoor gym any more or less either.

Moves to make a permanent feature of ww1 gun base are coming along. It was probably installed to help defend against zepellins flying towards london, and is highly significant as it remains a unique find.

The reinstatement of the lily pond is looking promising too.

Neighbourhood Watch Fête

If you thought neighbourhood watch was about ostracising young people, putting up worrying signs, being paranoid and twitching curtains, think again, because the eaglesfield neighbourhood watch scheme are a positive force promoting what’s good whilst remaining vigilant concerning the not so good. Actually this area is more good than not, the local met beat has the lowest crime rate in the borough (in april 2010 it was 5.83) and the group can probably take some credit for keeping it that way.

When the scheme was conceived in around late 2005/early 2006, i attended a meeting about the rising tensions between local residents and a group of youngsters in eaglesfield park, and yes the reactionary squad were out in force, claiming that if children got caned at school everything would be alright! but with the advent of the group, and the introduction of a detached youth worker (who got them to plant crocuses and take a bit of care of the park) things gradually got better. I’m not sure what happened to the yoof, although i did hear a rumour that as a treat the youth worker took them to chessington at the end of the summer, where they managed to get thrown out… i believe they were moved from the park to the woods after that, having seen them once when london bubble were performing there one night (incidentally they are back this august, trying to stop the dogs running off with their props!).

Since then the scheme has got bigger and better, and with the inception of its website, which recently celebrated it’s first birthday, the whole police ward has gradually become more interconnected with residents on different streets (cleanthus, foxcroft, kenilworth, bushmoor etc) joining up under the shooters hill umbrella with the backing of the local safer neighbourhoods scheme.

As part of their ongoing positive action, they will be presenting their annual Fête tomorrow (sat the 12th of june) from 130 to 430, and have amassed an impressive selection of activities.

  • Meet ‘Rufus’ the harris hawk from CBBC Animals At Work and other working birds of prey
  • Play ‘beat the goalie’ with the Charlton Athletic FC
  • Take part in mini tennis with the Shooters Hill Lawn Tennis Club
  • See the Police Air Support and meet the mounted team and traffic division. Plus Cadets and Met Specials and the Shooters Hill Safer Neighbourhood Police team
  • Listen to the Corps of Drums 97 Cadet Battery (Woolwich)
  • Children can take part in a ‘Nature Trail’ and have their face painted
  • Guided tours of the trees in the park will be hosted by Arboriculturalist Joe Woodcock.
  • The police have pulled out all the stops this year and you will be able to see the Met Police Air Support team and traffic divisions. Cadets and Met Police Specials will be on hand, and the Shooters Hill Safer Neighbourhood Police team.
  • Join in the nature trail and guided tour, and have your face and hands painted.
  • Take part in the raffle to a win 2 pairs of tickets to see Bon Jovi in the VIP suite at the 02, plus many other great prizes.
  • Yummy home-made cakes and refreshments will be on sale, as well as a bric-a-brac stand.
  • The fete opens at 1:30pm by PC Fiona Genovese of the Shooters Hill Safer Neighbourhood Police Team.

No Crossrail in South East London


The Proposed Crossrail Route (tunnels in red)

Well, the banking crisis is strongly starting to make itself felt in the selondon area now. This week, various blogs (including london reconnections and 853), have covered a recent commons debate that was secured by nick raynsford, and rather defensively fielded by the new minister for transport, theresa villiers (a tory i think). The debate was on the future of crossrail in woolwich specifically and possibly selondon as a whole, and it’s not looking good. The inclusion of Woolwich in the scheme was originally achieved on the back of a 2008 assurance by Berkeley Homes to pay £150 million for the station, which helped the public by reducing government spending on getting the line from Canary Wharf to Abbey Wood. Now it seems that Berkeley Homes are struggling to meet their commitments, because of the banks, and the Government look likely to use this to justify the dropping of the woolwich terminal or the entire selondon spur from the programme.

Obviously people can still get to East London and the City via the wonderful new DLR line from Woolwich Arsenal Station, and Villiers made a point of this, but Raynsford then pointed out that instead of the 2.4 million predicted journeys in year one of woolwich DLR, there were actually 5 million through this station; anyone who uses it in the rush hour will know that overcrowding is a problem. Furthermore, Crossrail would have been really good for links with other parts of London (see map), and would have been a much more popular and clean connection with our neighbours in the east than the proposed thames gateway bridge would have been.

Villiers closed the debate by washing her hands of Berkeley Homes, whilst saying that she would try to help Greenwich Council and other ‘interested parties’ to try to help Berkeley:

I know that Greenwich council is actively engaged in the issues that we have discussed this evening. It is now important for all of us who care about Crossrail to assess thoroughly the possible alternative funding sources that could be available between the interested parties if Berkeley Homes does not step up to the plate and deliver what it promised. Therefore, while I cannot promise additional funding from the Department and the taxpayer, we do stand ready to try to help the interested parties find a solution to enable Woolwich station to go ahead. The right hon. Gentleman can have my absolute assurance on that.

Who these ‘interested parties’ are I’m not sure, I suppose I am, but i’m not really in a position to lend Berkeley 150 million, and I doubt if Greenwich Council are either. I hope that Canary Wharf (who are also paying for their station) consider standing Berkeley the cash, considering the massive profits currently enjoyed there, might they be persuaded?

… I fear that if Woolwich goes, the entire selondon spur will be sacrificed.

Don’t worry though, Villiers offered this by way of consolation:

…it is worth noting that several important programmes in recent years have benefited his [nick raynsford’s] constituency, such as the refurbishment of the East London line as part of the London overground network [hmm, brockley isn’t in raynsford’s constutuency], new interchanges with the tube and bus networks [the dome?], and the extension of the docklands light railway [yes, it’s brilliant, but overcrowded at times].

She forgot to mention that the waterfront transit scheme has also been dropped…

Woodlands Farm Summer Show

Although I previously blamed my batteries, it actually turns out that I haven’t got much to say about the Woodlands Farm Summer Show after all: I arrived in time for the extreme falconry, to see a harris hawk surfing on a mock rabbit with accompanying sardonic commentary, plus the tug-o-war to sound of ‘eye of the tiger ‘, but I did miss the bakewell cupcakes, w.h robinson steam machines, sheep shearing, and the blacksmith, plus I noticed the bromley bee keepers weren’t there, perhaps as a result of woodlands farm’s own bee keeping operation turning out to be better than theirs? The next barn dance, on June the 19th was being promoted, this time in aid of Severndroog castle.

Plumstead Make Merry

As community spirits go this weekend probably marked the high point of the year, with the Plumstead Make Merry yesterday and the farm’s summer show today, and I went along to both to see what was going on, but my computer’s battery is just about to run out, so here’s a few thoughts on the make merry for now.

Unfortunately I missed a lot of the early action, and can’t confirm if the man who does a fantastic punch and judy with incredible sound effects who also doubles up as a balloon contortionist was there – I fear not. The terrifying clown was also possibly not there, and neither were the blackheath morris men, so my expectations were dampened a bit.

However things obviously change at these events, and there were some great newcomers too: including Stepz School of Dance, who were promoted on this site in winter, and have been successful so far and are now offering evening classes on Wednesdays at St Josephs on Herbert Road.

It was also nice to see Mariama Samba a promising local singer songwriter who recently supported Youssou N’dour at the dome as well as winning a ‘Spirit of London’ award. She’s so charismatic that by the end of her show a spontaneous crowd of admirers gathered around her on stage, and she thanked them all for being her new backing dancers.

Speaking of award winners, the multi award winning Plumstead Common Environment Group had a nice stall there, selling attractive postcards and giving out copies of their quarterly newsletter. It’s a full colour printed and bound publication and alone justifies the annual membership fee of £2/4, and demonstrates very effectively how their care of public spaces has benefited the area – they have also produced an excellent glossy book. It’s not all good news from them though, and things take a turn for the worse when they describe the limited resources and motivation of the council and police when it comes to littering, dog control orders and vandalism. The group were also promoting the newly released third volume of colin weightman’s plumstead-stories, a collection of reminiscences and pictures, which comes ‘sprinkled with nostalgia’.

Woodlands Farm Summer Show

The biggest of all the farm shows is happening this Sunday:

All are welcome at the Woodlands Farm Trust Summer Show. Come and meet our animals, and enjoy the chance to buy quality local produce at reasonable prices, including home-made preserves, cakes and honey. Relax in our café to music by Greenwich Concert Band, get involved in craft activities and games, and enjoy displays of country crafts and falconry. Entry is £2.50 adults, £1.50 concessions and £1 children aged 4-16. Children aged 3 and under go free. All proceeds go towards caring for our animals. A great family day out!