The centenary of World War One has been on many people’s mind for some time and across the Royal Borough of Greenwich residents felt that restoring our war memorials was the absolute minimum required to commemorate the sacrifice of so many people one hundred years ago. I thought the Council agreed with me on this, but as the centenary came and went, the memorials across the borough were not restored, so I launched a petition to help remind Councillors how important this issue is to residents from communities across our Borough – you can sign at http://spencerdrury.com/warmemorials/. [Read more…]
Royal Greenwich’s Tall Ships Regatta may have been and gone but there’s still been plenty of tall ships to see on the Thames over the past week and also the arrival of a Royal Navy frigate. [Read more…]
Last week I went to a conference on gasholders. I have been researching gas industry history for many, many years and we have a large and important (and probably doomed) holder just down the road. I used to sit at Council meetings with a little paper model of a gas holder on my desk – the only person who noticed it was Chris Roberts (and he laughed, he did, honestly).
The conference was organised by the Institution of Gas Engineers — and the industry is one that doesn’t really recognise people who don’t work for it (never has) but they did allow specialist historians like me to go. But they did get us all to stand up at the start so we could be identified as the aliens among them.
The five day Tall Ships Festival has drawn to a close with a beautiful parade of sail. On a gloriously warm day, the fifty ships that have been in London for the Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival mustered up towards Limehouse before being led down river by Polish sail training ship Dar Mlodziezy.
Crowds packed along the riverside to see the parade of barques, brigatines, schooners, sloops, cutters and ketches snake around the bends of the river. Here is a selection of photographs taken over the past few days in Greenwich.
The biggest tall ships event on the Thames for a quarter of a century is getting under way, with about 50 ships in the capital for the Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta.
Over the next five days there will be lots to see on the river and also plenty of activities taking place on dry land, too. Today’s events include a parade of traditional Thames Sailing Barges, a spectacular launch performance from a Catalan theatre group at the ORNC and fireworks on the river as tall ships sail by.
After three damaging years of flat lining, the economy is finally growing and new jobs are being created. I hope that will continue to be the case. Yet the recovery is far from secure. It’s going to take considerable effort to deal successfully with the legacy of the global financial crisis and three years of negligible growth.
Politics is about choices. At its most basic, it is the process of debating alternative courses of action and deciding which to follow. Do you raise taxes or lower them? Go to war or not? Grant the planning application, or refuse it? The issues can be profound or mundane, but from observing local and national politics, it is the last example that I find perhaps most illuminating.
Planning policy has a reputation for being rather dry, even dull – but it is in fact politics at its most fundamental. Passions run very high indeed. Think of the recent local controversies over plans for IKEA on Greenwich peninsula, the proposed demolition of the Woolwich Grand, the Lovell’s Wharf development… the list goes on.
London Bridge is a dark, cramped, overcrowded and poorly designed station. It is by no means an adequate gateway into the capital and often adds to the misery of what are (all too frequently) unreliable services for those travelling into central London from Blackheath, Greenwich, Charlton, Woolwich or Plumstead.
Its redevelopment as part of the Thameslink Programme will therefore be welcomed by many that hope that it will provide for an increase in the punctuality and reliability of services and a transport hub that is more spacious, better connected and easier to navigate.
However, managing the associated disruption to Greenwich line passengers during the redevelopment phase is going to be a major challenge and it’s crucial that everything feasible is done to mitigate it.
It is an enormous privilege to be elected Deputy Leader of the Royal Borough. Although we had a brilliant result in the local elections. Nothing must be taken for granted. With power comes responsibility to get things right in the interests of the community we serve. In the age of social media, problems and criticism emerge quickly, not always accurate but they demand a more urgent response. Sometimes seen as uncaring, more often seen as unwilling to listen and taking everyone for granted. So far from the truth. [Read more…]
Two weeks ago today I was selected to stand as the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Greenwich and Woolwich at next year’s General Election. I have had a busy fortnight since, getting my campaign up and running, and have been inundated by very kind messages of support – including locally from some very, very unexpected places.