London’s ghost suburbs

Crook Log, Bexleyheath
Crook Log, Bexleyheath
I took a trip into the heart of the power cut zone tonight – part of me thought I might be able to get a dramatic photo from the top of Shooters Hill, but it wasn’t to be and I ended up jumping off the bus at Crook Log, Bexleyheath, just by Danson Park; before walking back into the centre of Welling.

Outside Welling United FC
Welling High Street

The first thing that struck me is how eerie it felt to see a great chunk of south-east London without lights – although I could see lights from Bexleyheath town centre, and the road down to Blackfen was fully lit, the only things lighting the road were cars and (especially) buses. Oh, and the solar-powered bus stop panels, now coming into their own. And the second thing – the burglar alarms. It was a night to watch your step. The third thing – light pollution was still an issue, with night clouds still reflecting street lights from elsewhere.

Welling town centre in the dark
Welling town centre.

There were few people out and about. A police van checked up on me – they were friendly, and the van’s stripes helped create my favourite photograph, at the edge of Welling town centre.

The last chip shop on earth

But battling away were the three men behind Elite Fish Bar, fresh from appearing on BBC London News and still frying thanks to a generator. The occupants of what looked like the last chip shop on earth knew what was going on. “Take the photo from across the road! You could sell this picture!” Hopefully their ingenuity will see them – and their neighbours – through what’s going to be a trying week.


  1. Fantastic Pictures – a sort of cross between Science Fiction and the Blitz.

    The last chip shop on earth…There’s definitely a short story there…maybe Stephen King.

  2. Lovely photos!

    Feel free to come and admire Crayford in the dark from 9pm onwards today (if the schedule goes to plan this time) – we could offer you a cup of tea but it would take a while on the hob 🙂

  3. Thanks all – just added an extra photo in there since 11 hours later, I’ve realised I really like the shot of “Welcome to Welling” in the dark.

    Crayford may be a step too far for me, though – I could always bring a flask though 🙂

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