Changing view from Greenwich Park

The changing view from Greenwich Park looking towards the Isle of Dogs is well noted as new towers continue to spring up around Canary Wharf. But wandering through the park the other day, I noticed that the view looking towards the Dome has also substantially altered. I took a photo and by luck found one in my archives which roughly corresponded to it so have been able to create this animated GIF which illustrates some of the changes to that part of Greenwich over the past eight years. [Read more…]

Remembering Mike King

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Mike King was a rather exceptional human being. I first met him early in 2012 in Greenwich Park where he was photographing the start of a cycling event and was soon struck by the sweet nature of this tall, smiling man with a couple of Nikon DSLRs around his neck.

I like to think we became good friends quickly and over the next couple of years it was a great honour to spend time with this gentle man. He was naturally modest but his achievements were many, having covered Olympic games, World Cups and other major events to create a stunning body of work, first as a staff sports photographer on Fleet St and latterly a freelancer. [Read more…]

Anniversary of the opening of the Greenwich Foot Tunnel

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It was on this day, August 4th, in 1902 that a new way of getting across the Thames, built by the London County Council, opened to the public. The new foot tunnel, which had taken about three years to build, connected Greenwich with Millwall on the other side of the river. The anniversary of the opening provides a good excuse for looking through the newspaper archives for reports from the time. [Read more…]

The woman that walked to the Painted Hall from Cornwall (and nearly wasn’t allowed in)

Here’s a great story found, found in an 1851 edition of the West Kent Guardian, of how an 84 year old woman walked from Cornwall to Greenwich to see the Painted Hall but almost wasn’t allowed in because she looked too “grotesque”.

Mary Callinich arrived at the gate to Greenwich Hospital, having first visited the Great Exhibition, and asked to see the Painted Hall and the Chapel.

The Sergeant guarding the entrance gate, rather unsympathetically, denied the Cornish pensioner entry on the grounds that she had “got such a funny hat”. With that, she whipped out a black velvet bonnet and obviously transformed her appearance such that she was promptly allowed in.

She expressed her “highest gratification” as she departed after a two hour visit. Having seen what she came for, one wonders if the formidable Mary Callinich simply walked back to Cornwall afterwards.

Read the full article below:

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You can find more interesting newspaper stories from the past in the British Newspaper Archive.

London Borough of Greenwich created 50 years ago today

In the big local government shakeup of 1965, the London Borough of Greenwich was created, bringing together the Metropolitan boroughs of Greenwich and Woolwich. That change came in to effect fifty years ago today, with the new borough using the name of Greenwich but being based in Woolwich.

At the very last meeting of the Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich, councillors used the final motion to express their “deep regret that the Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich” was to lose its identity on 31st March 1965. [Read more…]

April Fools’ Day joke gone wrong

It’s that slightly infuriating day in the year when you can’t trust all that you read as folk try and catch you out with an April Fools’ Day joke. I did one when a few years ago when I put an article on the site saying there had been a spelling mistake in the Queen’s Royal Charter and the borough had been named as Royal Greeenwich (with three Es) in error – I believe it did fool a few people! [Read more…]

The Grave of John Flamsteed

This is the story of how the grave of John Flamsteed – the first scientist appointed as the Royal Astronomer – went unmarked after his death for the best part of two centuries.

The name of John Flamsteed is a familiar one around Greenwich. He was the first Astronomer Royal and he himself laid the foundation stone for the new Royal Observatory which was built by Royal Warrant as a base for astronomical studies.

Flamsteed House (pictured below), as it’s now known, was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and is the original Observatory building which also housed the astronomers’ apartments. [Read more…]