Changing Views

I’ve been a fan of e-shootershill for several years, so it’s a little bit daunting to be taking on the job of chronicling happenings on the hill and the surrounding areas. Producing a repository of “Hilliana” as my predecessor so succinctly expressed it.

Learning the technology involved in blogging is also a little daunting, and my initial posts may not be as technically sophisticated as some previous ones!

Why did I offer to take on e-shootershill? Well, I agree wholeheartedly with the aim of maintaining a journal of record of Shooters Hill – and there’s plenty to record. One of the many things I love about living here is the tremendous sense of community and local involvement. For example there are so many volunteer-led events and activities. Volunteers run the friends of Eaglesfield and Shrewsbury parks organisations. The latter organise the fabulous dog-show at the Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival which has become an essential item in the calendar. And then there are all the people who help at Woodlands Farm – from managing the charity through to mucking out the pigs, not to mention organising large-scale events such as Apple Day (coming up next Sunday, 23rd October). And many more that I haven’t come across, yet, though I’ve seen hints of their activities.

View from top of Brent Road towards Olympic Stadium and O2 Dome

View from top of Brent Road towards Olympic Shooting and Archery Stadium on Woolwich Common and O2 Dome

I was also seduced by the unexpected and sometimes uncelebrated architectural gems that ornament the hill and its surroundings, and the intriguing glimpses into history that comes with them. There aren’t many places in London where you come across a Bronze Age burial mound as you walk down the street. Blogging about the area will be a strong motivation to find out more about local history.

Of course the stunning views from the hill, over Kent, Essex and the panoramic London horizon from Wembley’s arch to the London Eye justify the inclusion of topics slightly further away from home, and give me an opportunity to experiment with including some pictures in this first blog. For the view isn’t static, for example the 2012 Olympics have imposed themselves, with the shooting and archery stadium rapidly rising on Woolwich Common.

View towards the (incomplete) Shard in August 2011

The Shard at sunset from Shooters Hill

And the Shard has also been rapidly rising, further away on the horizon. The Shard has come in for criticism from some commenters, but I feel a kind of affinity that started when I used to walk past the building site on my way to work, often pausing to watch the long, slow work of boring and excavating the foundations and then, later, astounded at how quickly it grew.

Like previous bloggers on this site I welcome comments and suggestions.