Monday, April 30, 2007


My friend Marc is taking a general interest course at Greenwich Community College in web design and he was a bit stumped as to what to make his website about. In the end, as a bit of fun he decided to dedicate the site to the pooches of Plumstead.

So here a a few pics of Chelsea and Charlton (the Labs, and their friend Charlie the Staffie having a frolic on the Common this morning.

If anyone has got any pictures of their 'best friend' and they want their doggie immortalised on the Plumstead Puppies website. Then please e-mail them to me, with a few details names, breed, likes/dislikes etc. and they will forever be a part of the world wide web. My e-mail is

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, April 28, 2007

As I am sure you know this is Halifax Bank of Scotland, one of our finest UK financial institutions (I hope no one thinks I am being serious). Well recently I was able to extract £125 from them which they had ripped off from me when I paid off my mortgage last year.

If any one reading this has re-mortgaged or paid off a mortgage in the last few years then the thieves who are the UK commercial banking sector have almost certainly ripped you off too. It's all to do with them inflating the charges to end your mortgage with them, in my case from £100 to £225, hence the sweet little cheque for £125. You can find out how to get your money back here.

But don't wait for them to do the honourable thing and pay you back the money they swindled you out of, 'cos you will be waiting for ever. You have to claim it back, it took me 2 phone calls, despite being promised the money after the first call, but two calls to get money out of a bank is not that bad I suppose!!

The good guy in this instance is HSBC who have never charged an admin exit fee.

Labels: , , ,

Chelsea, with her partner in crime Charlton

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Saved for the Nation???

Unfortunatly due to work committments (I finish at 10pm on a Tue!) I was unable to get to the meeting about changes to the Plumstead Common Conservation Area. I did however read through the Proposals . Page 52 makes interesting reading as it contains a list of local buildings which should be added to the list of those worth preserving, coming in at no. 7 on the list is the Royal Albert public house.
Now, as the address given is Plumstead Common Road, rather than Old Mill Road, it may be that they mean the Prince of Wales.
But, if the name is correct, then the Pub they want to preserve is the very same one the council have put a compulsory purchase order on in order to demolish, so that Plumstead Manor school can expand. (see Greenwich Watch
Greenwich Council

If on the other hand, they want to save the Prince of Wales, then they don't know it's name!

Page 45 also has an interesting take on preservation stating that 'Old doors should be replaced and not repaired'!!

Monday, April 23, 2007


For those of you interested in proposed changes in the Plumstead Common conservation area there is a meeting tomorrow (Tuesday 24th April) at the Slade Hall, Erindale, Plumstead from 4-7pm. You can also view the proposals here.

One interesting part of the document states. 'There are a dramatic series of surprise views from the Common to the south yielding glimpses of the old village of Plumstead, the River Thames estuary, and extensive panoramas of East London and beyond.'

As you can see, one of these 'surprise views' is from the top of Burwash Road (above), near the western end of the Common, where I live. Unfortunately some hooligan has build a dirty great block of flats, obscuring the view. So I am hoping to discuss with the Councils Conservation officers the removal of the aforementioned flats, preferably with dynamite, and also to explore the possible prosecution of those responsible, oh dear that seems to be the council, so not much luck there then I suppose.

DYNAMITE anyone?

At least they are opposing the new 20 storey Elm Grove House in Plumstead.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Read this comment over on

  • Plumsteadshire

  • 'Last night there was a mouse in my house and I didnt fancy eating in but there was nowhere for me to pop too locally so I starved (literally)..'

    Don't think Plumstead Common is quite as bereft of eating places as the writer suggests, got a suggestion for anyone who doesn't fancy cooking, one night, who wants good food, a friendly atmosphere, excellent service and somewhere that doesn't break the bank. That is the Capital Noodle Bar, 42-44 Plumstead Common Road. Don't be put off by the slightly care worn exterior, as new signage is about to go up, they are just waiting for the carpenter.

    Inside it is spotless, not just the dining area, but throughout (I checked the council's latest inspection report) and they once again received the council's food hygiene award in December 2006, something not all local establishments have got.
    The service is excellent, Yen (the manager) and her team will quickly and efficiently bring you what you want from their extensive menu, but don't be bound by that as they are quite happy to bring what you want, the way you want it. I, being a devout carnivore always insist on no peas or carrotts in my Curry (mixed meat is my favourite).
    Yen (very much in charge)
    Don't worry about the location, right next to the Barnfield Estate, I have been going there every week for the last 3 years without incident, and anyway it is very popular with the local constabulary!!
    They have an excellent range of Side dishes, I particularly like the Spicy Chicken Wings, but be warned, it is best to share, as you get loads for £3.30. All the main courses can come with Noodles, Vermicelli, Ho Fun, or Fried or Steamed Rice. as well as the aforementioned Curry, the Singapore Fried Vermicelli is excellent. If you fancy something a bit different, especially on a cold day, try one of the main course soups, I guarantee you won't need a starter as they are huge and come steaming hot. Main courses are £3.30-£3.80 including rice etc. They do take away orders, but not home delivery (020 8855 8668) but my advice is to eat in as the atmosphere is great and it has got to have the widest range of people from all sections of our community eating there. As for drinks it is fully licensed, but I go for the excellent freshly squeezed fruit juice (£1.50) and Chinese Tea (as much as you want at 80p per person!).
    As the weather is great, if you live anywhere around the Common it is a lovely walk to get there, try it, I am sure you won't be disappointed. If you live nearer the High Street, don't despair as The Red Lion Noodle Bar right on the High Street, is just as good and run by Yen's sister!! with the same menu,but a few yummy extras (such as the deep fried Crab's Claws) and they have seats not benches!!

    If anyone else wants to recommend somewhere local to eat, I would love to hear about it.

    Labels: ,

    Tuesday, April 17, 2007

    Greenwich Council
    Because they clean
    graffiti rather well!!


    The power of the internet (perhaps), only 2 working days after my post, (and only 1 day after writing nice things about the Council), and lo and behold shabby, decrepit, but Graffiti FREE garages, so well done to GC and Cleansweep, who were hard at work at 8.30 this morning. Am just waiting for PCEG to give me my tin of paint!! To help keep them this way.

    Labels: , , ,

    Sunday, April 15, 2007

    Greenwich Council
    Because some things
    they do rather well!!

    Am new to this blogging thing, but have done a few posts now, and was looking though what I have written and got a bit concerned that some of it was a bit too negative. Thought I might be coming across a 'ANGRY' of Plumstead Common. I also thought that, what with a link to

    on my blog and some of the comments I have made, people might mistake me for an obsessive Council hater. The reason that I have Greenwich Watch as a link is two fold. firstly they very kindly put a link to my blog on their site and secondly, as we do live in a one party state in Greenwich it is a good outlet for an alternative point of view.

    Greenwich Council has only ever been controlled by Labour and that concentration of power has dangers. I do not make this as an anti Labour comment, but a general one. look how power corrupts it it stays in the same hands too long. Margaret Thatcher got so out of touch with reality that she introduced the Poll Tax, New Labour's obsession with ID cards looks like doing the same for them and Ken Livingstone (who I really admire) will,
    if he stays as Mayor for too long, eventually raise tax rates so high that no one will bother to work, because he is addicted to spending.

    Nevertheless just because power corrupts, it doesn't mean that everything goes bad (with the possible exception of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe!!). Margaret Thatcher's Government which I personally loathed with a passion unmatched by anyone before or since, did brilliant undogmatic work in controlling the Aids epidemic, the effects of which can still be seen today in the relatively low infection rates found in this country. New Labour has guided this country to the longest period of uninterrupted growth in its history, a period in which every other major industrialised country has had a recession. And Greenwich Council..................Well to get to the point, I resolved to write about what the Council does well.

    So this got me thinking, I need to write about things I have some experience of, being that I do not have children, am fortunate enough to be working and earning enough not to need benefits, and I buy books rather than borrow them! This gets me down to I walk and drive round the borough and I get my bins emptied. About the same time as I was musing away to myself I was getting ready to do the ironing while watching a few episodes of 24 on DVD.

    So I turned on the TV and caught most of

  • It was rubbish, sorry it was about rubbish, and was actually rather good. This got me thinking that my experience of the council waste collection service is actually 1st class.

    I have lived her for 20+ years and to my recollection they have never missed a collection. If I have more rubbish than can be fitted in the bin they have always taken it all away without complaint. They have never asked for money at Christmas. They still collect general refuse weekly, despite having introduced 2 weekly recycling collections. The recycling is really easy as it all goes in one bin so no one has an excuse not to do it.

    When I see programmes like 'Tonight' and hear of experiences of people living in other Boroughs like Croydon (where the Refuse service sounds like it is run by the Gestapo, but with the efficiency of a failed state, and the recycling system seem to have been thought up by the people who write the instruction leaflets for cheap electrical goods).

    I say thank you Greenwich Council for a Rolls Royce service and long may it continue.

    Labels: , , , , , , , ,

    Thursday, April 12, 2007


    Graffiti seems to be on the up at the moment, took this pic this morning while taking Chelsea and Charlton for their morning constitutional. Its the Garages at the back of Heavitree Road, by the Tennis Courts.

    I know that PCEG perform sterling efforts in painting over these 'tags', (think that is the correct term), but the problem currently seems to be overwhelming. However overstretched the council claim to be I really think they should be more on top of the problem. Especially in this instance, as it is their garages which are the eyesore!! As far as I can tell only one is actually in use, and the rest are in an advanced state of disrepair.

    I am fed up with the council on the one hand saying, and I quote 'Greenwich has this year set one of the lowest Council Tax increases in London' and on the other saying they have no money to do anything. Either they should spend my money more efficiently, or for god's sake put up the council tax, so they have got the money to improve the area and deal with problems like Graffiti. Just letting things slide, only encourages the vandals. What's the point of a low council tax if the place is going to rack and ruin?

    I have got one suggestion, how about pulling down the garages an replacing them with a Cafe on the Common!!

    Now if I was to leave it there, someone (probably from PCEG) would get back to say that this is a community problem and what am I doing about it, and they would have a valid point. So I have resolved to pull my finger out and have already downloaded my application form to join PCEG and will send it off today. If you want to do the same then you can find the form at the end of their most recent newsletter, just click here

  • PCEG Newsletter
  • NEWSFLASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The power of the internet (perhaps), only 2 working days after my post, (and only 1 day after writing nice things about the council), and lo and behold shabby, decrepit, but Graffiti FREE garages, so well done to GC and Cleansweep, who were hard at work at 8.30 this morning. Am just waiting for PCEG to give me my tin of paint!! To help keep them this way.

    Chelsea loves the Common almost as much as she loves food!!!

    Labels: , , ,

    Wednesday, April 11, 2007

    The Old Post Office

    Over on the excellent

  • Plumpsteadshire Pangloss has asked if anyone knows the plans for the old Post Office on the corner of Warwick Terrace and Waverley Cresent (above). I have scoured the planning applications on Greenwich Council's website, but can't find anything. Should we do an online poll as to the best use? Pangloss favours a Jazz Cafe, I think I would go for reasonablly priced Bistro. If you are on the inside track on this then please let us know.
  • UPDATE!!! 17/04/2007

    Now with shutters!! Though not seen a planning application for them.

    Labels: ,

    Monday, April 09, 2007

    While waiting for my food to arrive at the fabulous Capital Noodle Bar in Plumstead Common Road. I was flicking through one of the thoughtfully provided newspapers and came across this article. You may wonder what relevance this has to The good people of Plumstead. Well not a huge amount unless you have boys who want a decent choice of non bigoted secondary schools to go to.

    Political Correspondent

    April 07, 2007

    Lesbian teacher's £20k payout

    A LESBIAN teacher won £20,000 compensation after being told she couldn’t have PATERNITY leave.

    But another woman teacher who was RAPED by a 12-year-old pupil received just £11,000.

    The cases emerged yesterday as it was revealed that payouts to teachers hit £20million last year.

    Awards were made for reasons ranging from violent attacks at school to accidents and unfair dismissal.

    The lesbian teacher wanted time off to help her partner give birth — but this was refused by the Roman Catholic school where she worked.

    It said her lifestyle was “unacceptable” and warned she would be dismissed if she did not find another job immediately.

    The unnamed teacher quit, but the National Union of Teachers took up her case.

    The NUT won her £20,000 for breach of sexual orientation, paternity and adoption leave regulations.

    That award was almost DOUBLE the compensation given to a teacher after a boy at her school raped her, then escaped in her car.

    Graham Clayton, senior lawyer at the NUT, said payouts in criminal cases were not always satisfactory.

    He added: “In some cases these do not always produce the kind of justice we think is justified.”

    Tories branded the difference in payouts “perverse”. MP Philip Davies said: “Political correctness has taken over.

    “We have got ourselves into an offensive situation when it is deemed twice as serious for a lesbian to be denied some time off as it for a teacher to suffer the physical and mental horror of rape.”

    Well lets get one thing out of the way first of all, I think it is disgraceful that the poor woman who was raped and had her car stolen only got £11,000 compensation. This is the fault of the way in which Criminal injuries compensation is calculated. The issue of the apalling treatment of a teacher by a Roman Catholic school is a wholly separate issue, and is the one which has implications for the good people of Plumstead. Unfortunatly the Sun tried to link two separate issues in order to ilicit a homophobic response. It is sad that a Tory MP fell for this and just goes to show that the 'nasty party' is alive and well, despite David Cameron's attempts to drag the Conservative Party kicking and screaming into the 20th Century. (alas getting them into the 21st is probably beyond him).

    What the rent a quote Tory hack did was to trivialise what had happened to the lady in question, she was not just 'denied some time off'. She was denied equal treatment, to which she is entitled to under the law, and was threatenen with the loss of her career, not because there was anything wrong with her teaching, but because the narrow minded biggoted attitude of her employer. I think the school was lucky to get away with only having to pay £20,000 compensation.

    If this incidence of blatent discrimination and Homophobia were an isolated incident it would not be that much of an issue, however the reason why the school thought it was acceptable to behave the way it did is because it is a Catholic school. The advice of the Catholic Church is that homophobic bullying should not be mentioned in a schools anti-bullying policy. So I checked our local Catholic school's website,

  • St Pauls Academy

  • and sure enough, there is a mention of racism ('racist remarks'), but a big fat silence on homophobia. Why does this matter? Because in 2004 the Council forced the run down and eventually the closure of Abbey Wood School, so they could give the site to an expanded Catholic school. This means that if you have sons going to secondary school and you want them to get a education free from discrimination and biggotry, they can't go to Eaglesfield, because it has closed, Woolwich Polytechnic School has moved to Thamesmead and Abbey Wood School is closed to new admissions.

    Quite why Greenwich Council thinks it acceptable to impose biggoted and medieval attitudes on local children is quite beyond me. It is about time that so called faith schools were given the boot and consigned to the dustbin of history where they belong.

    Labels: , , ,

    Friday, April 06, 2007

    Plumstead's latest celebrity!!
    Alfie, fresh from his latest media appearance in

    Powered by Blogger


    Alfie Wednesday, 28 March 2007 Age: 3

    Breed: West Highland white terrier

    Likes: Goat’s milk, house guests, chasing squirrels up trees and having his belly stroked

    Dislikes: Cigarette smoke, foxes in the garden and going to the vet

    Owner: G, London, SE18

    Now Alfie would like to show you some pictures form his latest photo shoot:-

    Alfie is out to prove he is not the only Plumstead Celebrity, and is available for Weddings, Christenings, store openings etc.

    His famous show 'An audience with Alfie, Plumstead's hardest Westie' is guaranteed to fill any venue.

    Located as he is at his Plumstead Villa 'Doggietreat Towers'. He can easily get to you for a personal appearance.

    Coming soon Alfie's latest Movie 'Plumstead, Common get me (if you think you're hard enough)

    Or read his autobiography 'Lock, Stock and two Smoking Doggie Biscuits.

    Labels: , ,

    Thursday, April 05, 2007

    Elm Grove House
    Was whiling away the hours yesterday, looking up what's new on
    when I came across this
    The Plumster said...

    'Yes, they're building a new tower block of luxury flats next to 'The Rad' (hideous yellow building to those ex Claphamites)...........'

    some what intrigued I resolved to find out more, for several reasons, partly because I am obviously in need of friends and a social life, but also because I think everyone else had gone off on their hols early, leaving me with time on my hands at work.

    What I discovered was an interesting little spat between the council and the GLA (Greater London Authority) over what to do with the site of the former Elmley Old Peoples Home next to Plumstead Radical Club and opposite the Station. (see Photo above, nipped out from work with camera to take pic)

    The plan for the site is a 20 storey block, comprising 119 flats and commercial floorspace. Artist impressions are also above, taken from the architect's website
    The developer is a housing association called ASRA (ASRA is not an acronym but means shelter in Hindi and Urdu) More information about them can be found here

    I am not sure what my opinions of the development are, as I have more questions than answers. What I did find out was that there are two very conflicting views of the project.

    The GLA, which has endorsed the project feels that it is a high quality scheme, which will aid regeneration in the Plumstead area and that despite it being a very high density scheme its proximity to transport links make this acceptable. Full details of their view can be found here

    On the other hand the scheme has bee rejected by Greenwich Council, the reasons were the scale/bulk of the building was to big, there were too many starter homes (1 & 2 bed flats were about 80% of the total), insufficient parking, and that the proposed density was excessive. You can find full details of their views here
    Woolwich and Thamesmead Planning and Environment Committee Minutes 06/12/06

    Now I have to say I don't feel that I am a NIMBY kind of guy, and I am certainly not in principle against high rise buildings, in the appropriate setting, which are lived in by people who want to be there. I want Plumstead to benefit from regeneration and that inevitable means change.

    The particular location and height of this block I have no issues with as it will not cast a shadow over anyone's home and it is not as tall as 'River Heights' (25 floors) nearby. Neither am I worried about the issues of density, parking etc. as it is a very accessible site, in a CPZ (controlled Parking Zone), which when I have driven past, always seems to have plenty of free spaces. In addition the density seems to be less than the council is proposing to put on top of the Crossrail box in Woolwich, as part of their agreement with Berkley Homes.

    My concerns are with the developer and the nature of the scheme and what the end result will be. I am all for an ethnically diverse community otherwise I would not have lived happily in Plumstead for the last 20 years, and would long ago have taken the 'white flight' option. My question is, are ASRA, a housing Association which actively targets the housing needs of BME's the most appropriate group to bring about regeneration in the area. Their stated intention is to provide as high a % as possible of social housing, the minimum being 50% but if their finances allow they would like this to be higher. This sounds to me like a de facto council block of flats, which is not something which will bring about regeneration, and the area has 5 other council blocks of flats nearby. So it would hardly be adding to the diversity of the area.

    In addition the high % of 1 & 2 beds flats means that a good % will be bought by buy-to-let investors, many of which will, if Councillor Barwick is correct will be sub-let to those on low incomes, who have their rent paid by housing benefit, further increasing the % of social housing in the scheme.

    If my fears are correct we will end up with a development which people are forced to live in because they are in housing need, rather than choose to be in because they like great views and don't like gardening! with a focus on housing particular ethnic groups rather than the whole community, repeating all the mistakes of high-rise living and social housing from the 60's.

    What do you think?

    Labels: , ,

    Wednesday, April 04, 2007

    The French

    As a Meeter and Greeter for Plumstead's largest employer, I am used to dealing with the diverse and colourful local community, but I must admit one recent phenomenon I do have trouble with is the French, of whom there appear to be increasing numbers locally.

    What I don’t understand is why their first words to you are invariable “I am French……” It throws me every time, am I supposed to be in awe of such a revelation. I know that I always have to resist the temptation to offer my condolences.

    Do they expect me to speak to them in French? A tough ask of an Englishman who got unclassified in his O level in 1978.

    Does anybody speak French outside of France, and a bit of Switzerland and Belgium, the poor part of Canada and French Ex-Colonies?

    Why are so many French people coming to Plumstead?

    Would love to know the answer to these questions

    Monday, April 02, 2007

    Estate Agent Geography

    Poor Pangloss over on plumsteadshire has rather unfairly in my opinion been accused of snobbery, because he highlighted some of the contrasts between the Common and the High Street (as have I). But I think that of lot of this divide is not created by people, but rather by Estate Agents (the two groups being mutually exclusive of course).

    I was prompted by this comment from dave:-

    "The divide only exists to those who live to the south. Snobs who call the southside 'Upper Plumstead' when no such place exists. "

    To which I posted this rather tounge-in-cheek answer:-

    I think you are mistaken, Upper Plumstead does not exist, that area is now Shooters Hill Slopes, Plumstead Common only starts north of the Common and goes all the way down to the High Street, and Plumstead is a couple of roads between the High Street and the Railway Line.

    But this got me thinking that there must be other areas enlarging/shrinking being created or perhaps being erased from the map entirely, if this process continues you can imagine a map of SE London as Dulwich merges seemlessly with Greenwich/Blackeath and on into Sidcup and beyond, as Peckham, Woolwich, Plumstead et al. disapear.

    Blackheath seems to get closer to Charlton and Shooters Hill by the Day, Shooters Hill seems poised to reach the Thames. West Greenwich has reduced East Greenwich to a few square metres of land, when combined with the pressure from Westcombe Park and the Penninsular. North Thamesmead has vanquised practically all other parts of the town.

    If you have any other example of areas moving/changing at the whim of Estate Agents descriptions I would love to hear them