Woodlands Farm Summer Show

Woodalnds Farm Summer Show Leaflet

Maureen from Woodlands Farm sent details of the Farm’s Summer Show which takes place this Sunday, 30th June from 11.00am to 5.00pm. She wrote:

The Woodlands Farm Trust Summer Show is on Sunday 30 June 2013, 11.00am-5.00pm.

Come and meet our animals, and enjoy the chance to buy quality local produce at reasonable prices, including home-made preserves and cakes. Attractions include Progress Dog Training Class and Fun Dog Show, Falconry Display by Icarus, Ferret Racing by Ferret Friends and live music by Skinner’s Rats (have a go at barn dancing), get involved in craft activities and games. Take a break in the farm’s Café.

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!

There will also be regulars such as Jambs Owls, the Very Green Grocer and a chance to see the farm’s animals. Should be a very entertaining event.

Sheep Shearing on Open Farm Sunday at Woodlands Farm
Sheep Shearing on Open Farm Sunday at Woodlands Farm
Woodlands Farmhouse
Woodlands Farmhouse

Woolwich Great Get Together/Armed Forces Day

Great Get Together Leaflet

The Great Get Together/Armed Forces Day festival will be a sadder event this year following the murder of Lee Rigby just near the Royal Artillery Barracks. However this opportunity for members of the public to show their support for “the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to Service families and from veterans to cadets” is sure to be well attended. Last time it was held, two years ago, some 15,000 people attended.

The festival is organised by the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the Army and runs from 11.00am to 6.00pm on Saturday, 29th June  at the Royal Artillery Barracks. It should be an excellent day, the Armed Forces Day web site lists the events and activities:

On Saturday 29 June the Royal Artillery Barracks will be hosting one of the UK’s largest Armed Forces Day events. The event is combined with the Great Get Together Festival – a large and vibrant community celebration. The array of attractions will include a military and vintage vehicle display zone, historical re-enactments, walk round entertainers, a live music stage, charity and commercial stalls, animal displays, lazer quest, zorbing balls, fairground rides, sports taster sessions and many other things for all ages to see and do. At the heart of the event is a large arena with a thrilling programme of spectacular military displays and marching bands, along with stunt car shows, bird of prey demonstrations, and more. Entry to the event is free. Visitors will be able to park in dedicated parking areas for a small charge. The event is organised by the Royal Borough of Greenwich in partnerhsip with the Army at the Royal Artillery Barracks. When it was last held in 2011 it attracted between around 20,000 people

Amongst the stalls in the marquees will be one from Shrewsbury House who are publicing the many and varied activities that happen at the house, including the fact that they are now licensed to hold civil and marriage ceremonies there.

Royal Artillery Barracks Woolwich
Royal Artillery Barracks Woolwich

Severndroog Castle Restoration Starts

Severndroog Castle
Severndroog Castle

Steve Daly, one of the Trustees of the Severndroog Castle Building Preservation Trust, contacted me to say that the long-awaited restoration work on the castle had started. He wrote

Restoration work started at Severndroog Castle on Monday 10 June with completion due mid-December.

The contractor is Hilton Abbey a company based in the borough of Greenwich.

The Trust would appreciate support from the local community in reporting to the police any suspicious activity/vandalism at the Castle while building work is in progress.

Hilton Abbey, the Greenwich-based company selected to do the work, have previously worked on The Royal Observatory and The Queen’s House in Greenwich. Work on the latter was highly commended by the Painting and Decorating Association.

The trust were recently granted planning  permission and listed building consent for  for applications 13/0228/F and 13/0229/L  which describe the programme of repairs and alterations to the castle. The Design and Access Statement that forms part of the application includes this statement about the future use of Severndroog:

The restored building would provide for the following proposed uses:
• Education for all ages: children, elderly people and people with learning disabilities.
• An exhibition about the Castle and its history.
• Visits to see the view from each storey and from the roof.
• A focus for walkers and wildlife visits.
• Light refreshments served indoors and outdoors.
• Private hiring for weddings, functions and meetings.

I’m looking forward to seeing the views from the top of the castle again.

View from the top of Severndroog Castle
View from the top of Severndroog Castle
Severndroog Castle Turret
Severndroog Castle Turret


Eaglesfield Park Community Fête 2013

Fete Poster - Artwork by Kalea Moore, Christ Church Primary School, year 5
Artwork by Kalea Moore, Christ Church Primary School, year 5

The Eaglesfield Park Neighbourhood Watch Scheme (EPNWS) Community Fête looks like it will be even better than ever this year. It takes place this Saturday, 15th June from 1.00pm and, as well as over 30 stalls, the attractions include the Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery. As the EPNWS Summer Newsletter says:

This is the sixth year that the fete has been held to help promote the benefits of Neighbourhood Watch and foster community spirit. The fete will be opened at 1pm by Borough Commander Detective Chief Superintendent Richard Wood, poster competition winners from Christ Church Primary School and resident John Pead in memory of his wife and fellow EPNWS co-ordinator Annie Pead who died suddenly in February.
There are over 30 activities and stalls this year. New attractions include a puppet show, model trains and the Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery. Other activities include mini tennis and golf, children’s story telling, face painting, pond dipping, hurdles and frisbees. Greenwich Met Police teams will be on hand as well as the Eltham Fire Brigade. Pets at Home Charlton will be providing pet care advice and Woodlands Farm will be bringing some of the farm animals, and there’s much more.

Celebrating the opening of The Lilly Pond 15 June 2012
Celebrating the opening of The Lilly Pond 15 June 2012

Saturday will also be the first anniversary of the grand opening of the restored Eaglesfield Park Lilly Pond, and the Friends of Eaglesfield Park will be host a display of photos about the changes to the pond and an opportunity to try pond dipping. Madeleine from the Friends wrote:

We will be holding a Pond Dipping Session at the Neighbourhood Watch Community Fete on 15th June, between 1 pm – 4 pm.   So do please come and see us.   We will supply the equipment.
We will have a photo display which will show the pond and meadow through the stages of restoration, grand opening and various events.  The pond life is beginning to establish and photos show what we have found already and those yet to be discovered.  It will also provide details of the meadow preparation and the flowers and plants we hope to attract (and those we don’t want).   The butterflies and insects are important and they are also detailed in the display.  We haven’t forgotten the birds.  As we gather information, we will add to our on-going “Life at Eaglesfield Pond”.

A not-to-be-missed event.

Pond Dipping Poster

Shooters Hill Suffragette Plot

Freedom of Spirit Flyer

“In 1914 a suffragette plot to blow up the water reservoir on Shooters Hill was foiled” – an intriguing tweet from @TOWIWoolwich about the Greenwich Heritage Centre‘s new free exhibition on suffragettes in Greenwich set me on a hunt for more information. Which reservoir were they talking about I wondered – was it the Shooters Hill water tower, or one of the reservoirs on Woolwich Common or Jacob’s Corner, or even that under Oxleas Meadow?  Who was responsible for the plot and how were they foiled?

Museum of London Cat and Mouse Act Poster from Wikipedia
Museum of London Cat and Mouse Act Poster from Wikipedia

A quick search of the web using the DuckDuckGo search engine didn’t help, so off to the library to consult Bagnold and W.T. Vincent – nothing. I did find some useful information at the Heritage Centre. They have a fascinating  folder about the suffragettes in Greenwich which includes a copy of an interesting and informative little booklet by Iris Dove, entitled “Yours in the Cause, Suffragettes in Lewisham, Greenwich and Woolwich”. This mentioned  the alleged plot, and gave slightly more information – a date:  June 1914.

The Freedom of Spirit exhibition is well worth a visit. As well as telling the story of the life of Blackheath- born suffragette Rosa May Billinghurst there are displays about the suffragettes’ campaigns and the authorities’ reaction. One case holds one of the force-feeding tubes that were used on imprisoned suffragettes who were hunger striking. It’s not surprsing broken teeth resulted from the ceramic mouthpiece. I’d never heard of the “Cat and Mouse Act“, under which extremely weak hunger-striking prisoners could be released until they were well and then rearrested.

Woolwich was a centre of support for women’s right to vote, with both the local council and labour party strongly in favour. Many people travelled from Woolwich up to London for speeches by suffragette leaders and demonstrations.

I tried another web search, looking for Woolwich reservoirs rather than Shooters Hill and this yielded a number of articles in overseas newspapers, such as the New York TimesThe Singapore Free Press and Mercantile AdvertiserThe Press from New Zealand and the Otago Daily Times all with essentially the same text:  “A suffragettes’ plot was discovered to blow up the Metropolitan Water Board’s reservoir at Woolwich”.The New York Times went further:

London; Tuesday, June 16.- A plot by militants to blow up the Metropolitan Water Board’s reservoirs in the Woolwich District was communicated to the authorities last night. These reservoirs supply a large part of the Eastern district of London, and their destruction would cause widespread inconvenience.

As a result of the information, a large force of police guarded the reservoir all night.

Perhaps the local papers would have more details of the plot, I thought, so armed with a precise date I headed back to the Heritage Centre where they have drawers full of microfilmed copies of local papers going back to the nineteenth century. Trying to resist being deflected by interesting articles about a 1914 Woolwich Photographic Club outing and comparisons of Woolwich in 1914 with 1893,  I scanned through to find the suffragette plot. The Kentish Mercury from June 19th 1914 was sceptical about the reports, which must have appeared in the London newspapers too:



A daily contemporary announced on Tuesday that a plot by the “fool-furies” who are known as the “militant Suffragettes” to blow up the Metropolitan Water Board’s reservoirs in the Woolwich district had been communicated to the authorities. It was added that these reservoirs “supplied a large part of the eastern district of London” and that “their destruction would entail widespread inconvenience”. If the writer’s information in regard to the plot is no better than his knowledge of London’s water supply, there is little ground for alarm. As a fact, the reservoirs referred to, which are at Plumstead and Shooters’ Hill, are of altogether minor importance. Nothing is known of the “plot” at the offices of the Water Board, but, in any case, the reservoirs and works of the board are always well guarded, and it would be a difficult matter indeed to do them any serious injury.

But the Kentish Independent and Kentish Mail from the same date reported that the stories were based on an innocent enquiry:



Some excitement has been caused during the week through stupid rumours published by certain of our London contemporaries that Suffragettes had threatened to blow up the reservoirs of the Woolwich district

It appears that a few days ago a young lady appeared at the water tower on Shooters Hill and asked a number of questions of one of the residents near by.  How much water did the tanks hold? and where did the supply come from? and other queries were amongst those asked. The questioned one immediately jumped to the conclusion that his fair questioner must be a Suffragette, who had in view a dastardly attack upon the water tower with a bomb. The rumour soon spread, gathering picturesque and unveracious embellishments as it went along, and someone was soon found to telephone the exciting incident to the London “dailies”, who naturally made the most of it. From enquiries made by a “Kentish Independent”  representative it is found that the supposed “wild woman” was a teacher making harmless enquiries so as to be able to give a lesson to her class on how our houses are supplied with water. Innocent of the alarm her questions had given, she subsequently appeared at the water tower with the children, but was not allowed within the enclosure.

It seems the reservoir plot was just a teacher researching a lesson about water supply! However the Heritage Centre’s exhibition is a reminder of the suffering endured by many suffragettes in the battle for the vote – such a shame so many people don’t use it.

Freedom of Spirit Flyer

Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival 2013

Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival 2013 Flyer

The Friends of Shrewsbury Park are holding their Summer Festival this Saturday, 8th June, starting at One O’Clock. Previous festivals have been great fun, especially the very popular amd well-attended Dog Show Extravaganza. Dogs, and their owners, compete to find the dogs with the best of  characteristics such as obedience, beauty and speed.

There are some great pictures of the last Summer Festival on the Friends’ Gallery pages.

P.S. I’ve put some of my photos of the festival on Flickr here, and I’d recommend Stu Mayhew’s set too.

Shrewsbury Park
Shrewsbury Park
Shrewsbury Park
Shrewsbury Park

Community Event for Lee Rigby

Lee Rigby Event Poster

Julie e-mailed with details of a Family Charity Fun Day In Memory of Lee Rigby to be held at the Meridian Sports and Social Club, Charlton Park Lane, London SE7 8QS on Sunday 23rd June, starting at 1.00pm. All proceeds from the day will go to Lee Rigby’s family through the charity The Fusiliers Aid Society.

More details can be found on the Family Charity Fun Day in memory of Drummer Lee Rigby Facebook page.

Here are some photos of the emotionally affecting flowers and tributes in memory of Lee from Woolwich people of all backgrounds.

Lee Rigby Flowers

Lee Rigby Flowers

Lee Rigby Flowers

Lee Rigby Flowers

Lee Rigby Flowers

Press at  Lee Rigby Flowers