Young Shoots & Local History Walks on Sunday

Woodlands Farm Monthly Walks 2014-15 poster

If you are interested in nature or in local history there is a walk for you on Sunday. Woodlands Farm are hosting the last of their series of guided walks at 10.00am, and the Shooters Hill Local History Group have a circular walk round Woolwich Common starting at 11.00am.

Hannah, Woodlands Farm’s Education Officer, wrote with details of their Young Shoots Guided Walk:

Spring has firmly arrived at Woodlands Farm with lots of blossom and fields full of lambs. Join us for a guided walk round the farm to find out more about this wonderful time of the farming season. The walk starts at 10am, meeting in the green building. Sturdy footwear and suitable outdoor clothing is required, the walk does include climbing a stile, so is not suitable for young children or buggies. The walk is free, but donations are welcome.

Pussy Willow at Woodlands Farm
Pussy Willow at Woodlands Farm

Steve sent details of the Local History Group walk. It starts at the former Shooters Hill Police Station on the corner of Shooters Hill and Well Hall Road at 11.00am and is expected to take about one and a half hours at a leisurely pace. It will include: the historical background to the Herbert and Brook Hospitals; the Greenwich Free School site; the Queen Elizabeth Hospital; the former Woolwich Stadium site; the Ha Ha; the  historical use of Woolwich Common; former site of General Gordon’s home; former Royal Military Academy. Steve says there will be some good photo opportunities along the way.

Sounds like a pair of very interesting walks, Let’s hope the good weather holds out till Sunday.

The Woolwich Ha-ha on Ha-ha Road
The Woolwich Ha-ha on Ha-ha Road

Local History Walk on Sunday

Royal Coat of Arms in a Shooters Hill garden
Royal Coat of Arms in a Shooters Hill garden

I hear from Steve that the Shooters Hill Local History Group is organising a circular walk on Sunday 5th October commencing at The Bull on Shooters Hill at 11am with a 12.30pm finish. He doesn’t give many details, but says that it an opportunity to learn more about the history of our area, and will make reference to some famous local names associated with Shooters Hill, houses, landowners and stories of interest about the area.

Participants in the Group’s last history walk took a peek over the wall of the garden of a Shooters Hill house and saw the stone coat of arms shown above. I wonder if this walk will go the same way?

Appropriate footwear is recommended

Shooters Hill Local History Group – Prisoners of War and the Local Community

Shooters Hill Golf Course - site of a WWII PoW Camp
Shooters Hill Golf Course – site of a WWII PoW Camp

Steve e-mailed about the next Shooters Hill Local History Group meeting, which takes place on Thursday, 19th September, at Shrewsbury House starting at 8.00pm. There is a small charge to cover the cost of the room. It features a talk by local archaeologist Andy Brockman entitled “Enemies no Longer: POW Working Company 1020 and the community of Shooters Hill and Welling”.

Andy Brockman is a Conflict Archaeologist, whose previous Shooters Hill work includes the Digging Dad’s Army project and the Time Team Blitzkreig on Shooters Hill episode. He was also Lead Archaeologist on the recent Burma Spitfires Project and is project manager at the archaeology and environmental campaigning group Mortimer.

The Prisoner of War camp, according to David Lloyd Bathe’s “Steeped In History”, housed 400 German and Italian prisoners. It included barracks for the prisoners, a recreation room, kitchen, officers’ mess, infirmary and cobblers and tailors shop. The cookhouse was situated near the golf course’s 17th green. The prisoners’ activities included working in the warehouses at the North Woolwich docks and helping with the potato harvest at Woodlands Farm. Surprisingly they were allowed to move freely within a 5-mile radius of the camp during daylight hours.

Sounds like it should be an interesting evening.

Images from the Past

Entrance to Beresford Square Market
Entrance to Beresford Square Market

Steve from the Shooters Hill Local History Group wrote with details of their meeting next Thursday, 16th May at 8.00pm at Shrewsbury House:

Images from the past:

At the next meeting of the Shooters Hill Local History Group you will be transported back forty years, to Woolwich, Plumstead Common and Shooters Hill in the 1970s. We will show three films made by local people:

THIS GIRL WENT TO MARKET – a young lady researches the history of Beresford Square market and finds her future (real life) husband.

PLUMSTEAD MAKE MERRY – the preparation for this popular local festival and the many aspects of how people enjoyed themselves at the two day event on Plumstead Common.

INN AT THE TOP – the archaeological search by members of the Shooters Hill Local History Group and friends for the “Catherine Wheel” ale house at the crest of Shooters Hill, which predated the “Bull” as a stop for stage coaches on the road to Dover.

Meeting is at Shrewsbury House, Bushmoor Crescent, Shooters Hill.

A visitor fee applies.

Sounds like a fascinating evening.

Birds of Rye Presentation at Shooters Hill Local History Group

Yellow-footed Gull at Essaouira
Yellow-footed Gull

Greenwich Park Ranger John Beckham will be talking to the Shooters Hill Local History Group on the subject of “Birds of Rye Harbour and Surrounding Area” on Thursday, 21st February. The presentation will take place at Shrewsbury House, Bushmoor Crescent starting at 8.00pm. John regularly gives presentations on ornithology to local groups and is one of the leaders of Greenwich park tours and rambles.

It should be an interesting talk. A very wide variety of different birds are seen at the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, and their January sightings included: over 2500 wigeon, 972 teal, 2130 brent goose,  bittern, a smew, 68 white-fronted goose, 10 goldeneye, six pintail, two great white egret, a little egret, large numbers of curlew, lapwing, golden plover, snipe, a flock of 26 ruff, 220 dunlin, 180 knot, 120 sanderling, 61 grey plover, three avocet, a bar-tailed godwit, several woodcock, five jack snipe spotted redshank, three marsh harrier, merlin, peregrine, a buzzard, a hen harrier, brent goose, red-throated diver, 75 gannet, 70 guillemot, 120 razorbill, three slavonian grebe, Mediterranean gull, 180 fieldfare, 45 redwing, 235 skylark, corn bunting flocks, a raven, a firecrest and the highlight, a hawfinch.

Local History Walk on Thursday

The Ypres Milestone at Christ Church
The Ypres Milestone at Christ Church

Shooters Hill Local History Group will be holding a local history walk for their regular monthly meeting tomorrow (21st June), so it will be starting half an hour earlier at 7.30pm, meeting at Shrewsbury House as usual.

I don’t know what route they will be taking, but it’s sure to be interesting – the local historic landscape reaches right back to the Bronze Age Barrow on Shrewsbury Lane/Brinklow Crescent and includes a Second World War gas decontamination centre and other war-related sites, various ancient stones on Shooters Hill, the sites of several historic mansions,  not to mention significant historic military buildings such as the Military Academy and the Royal Artillery Barracks.

Should be a fascinating evening.

Bronze Age Barrow at junction of Shrewsbury Lane and Brinlow Crescent
Bronze Age Barrow at junction of Shrewsbury Lane and Brinklow Crescent