As we know, shooters hill is an excellent location for communicating wirelessly, and so the Bull plays host once again to an aptly named ‘summit’ for ham radio enthusiasts organised by the cray valley radio society:
The Cray Valley Radio Society are again being given on the 28th August 2010 the opportunity to operate from the highest point on their home ground which is also the highest point in South London
The Bull is the highest Pub in South London being situated at the top of Shooter’s Hill at JO01AL, WAB TQ47. It is, also, on a par with another non-functionning pub in North London.
It is 14 Km (~8.5 miles) SE of central London in the London Borough of Greenwich in SE18
Shooter’s Hill is the highest pt. in Inner London south of the River Thames It is 132 m (432 feet) asl. The highest pt in Greater London is Westerham Heights at 245 m (804 feet).
Because of its height the location has a long association with communications:
1585 – beacon chain site
1790’s – Napoleonic wars shutter telegraph site ( part of chain from admiralty to Sheerness and Deal)
21st century – communications site with numerous antennas and dishes on surrounding high buildings.
It is a local prominent landmark: at the summit a Victorian water tower can be seen for miles around London and surrounding counties
Cray Valley members operated from the garden of the Pub on the summit, this highest pub in inner London South of the Thames is at 127m (416.7 ft. Previously there was a pub on Hampstead Heath NW3 some 9m higher but that is now closed and the building has been redeveloped. The highest pub in Greater London is near Westerham Heights at 235m (771 ft).
The name of the area may be derived from an archers practice area. Later it became infamous for activities of Highway men ambushing travellers on the London to Dover Road that passes over the summit (the former Roman road Watling street). It was also the site of a gibbet!
There is a summit ‘folly’: – Severndroog castle (19m high) built in 1784 to commemorate Sir William James (East India Co) who, in 1755, attacked and destroyed the Indian island fortress of Suvarnadurg. The Castle is currently undergoing restoration.
The summit includes areas of ancient woodland: a nature reserve and a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) (Oxleas Wood, Jack Wood and Shepherdleas Wood)
On the eastern slope there is situated one of the last farmland areas of London : 36 Hectare (89 acre) Woodlands Farm Trust – it is open to public and is frequently visited by schoolchildren to view the animals.
Well, that’s it for another year of local steam train fun. Sunday was the last public running day on the Falconwood Toy Trains, and it was busier than I’ve ever seen it before – which is understandable considering that Electricité De France, the landowners, might need the land back. Unfortunately a suitable new home has not been arranged as yet, and I get the feeling it’s going to be hard finding somewhere as neatly secluded as the grounds of an electrical substation. The thought of moving must be quite a daunting one, as the track itself is twelve hundred feet long (that’s 386 metres to edf), and that’s before they begin to think about what to do with all the other accumulated steam travel paraphenalia and structures they’ve been adding to the circuit over the last x years, such as the glorious little humpback bridge that takes you over the railway as you enter the enclosure.
In my continuing efforts to present a multi-sensory hill experience I have added a recording of a ride around the track to accompany the photo, and short of coming round to your house and starting a coal fire in front of your armchair and spraying you with steam, I think it goes some way towards reflecting the moment, I deliberately didn’t use video, as sound leaves a bit more to the imagination.
Shooters Hill Road is currently home to Climate Camp 2009, in the kite field! No wonder they are finding it a bit blowy, those popular little 2 second tents don’t look designed to deal with bracing blackheath, but we’ll see.
There is a six day programme of free activities ranging from workshops, to live performances, to sustainable living, so it all feels rather jolly and festive, and innocent bystanders seem to be quite safe.
Shooters Hill’s own Councillor Danny was there as the envoy of Greenwich Council, and lots of other local people are visiting the campers – who have pitched up in clear view of Canary Wharf, a symbol of the interests being held to account for profiting from arms trading, carbon “gambling”, and coal power.
The police are doing an excellent job of staying out of trouble, and are standing by at their own camp over the road just in case they are needed; which so far hasn’t been the case. It should however be mentioned that if you do visit the site, it would be wise not to take anything that could potentially be construed as a weapon; which primarily includes glass bottles, penknives, and dogs, although I did see a nice whippet there.
Title: GB4SH – From The Top of Shooters Hill Location: The Bull Link out: http://www.radioclubs.net/cvrs/events.php?events_id=1667 Description: At 132 m or 432 feet above sea level, the top of Shooters Hill has long played a part in communications; from bronze age barrows that could be seen from the thames, to the antennas and dishes that cover the hilltop today, so it’s no surprise that local radio enthusiasts are going to try their equipment out here this weekend, I wonder how far they will be able to reach?
For those hill dwellers who are not celebrating a late pancake day at a certain hill in west london, or scooting down to the south coast for a long weekend, it’s nice to know that the bull are putting on something a bit different for the last bank holiday of summer.
Start Time: 12:00 Date: 2009-08-30 End Time: 20:00