Charlton scrubbed off the tourist map

A lovely idea from Greenwich Council to take a week to promote the borough’s various attractions – obviously Greenwich is known around the world, but there’s a lot more to the borough than SE10, something that isn’t always appreciated even by the people who live there.

So what better than to issue a leaflet extolling the virtue of the diverse districts of the borough, and distributing it with propaganda weekly Greenwich Time?

After else, who else knows the borough better than the council? Especially with attractions in Woolwich such as Charlton Hou-… eh? Charlton House? Woolwich? Isn’t there a clue in the name “Charlton House”? It’s not even an easy walk from Woolwich, for heaven’s sake. The Thames Barrier’s forgiveable since it sits right on the SE7/SE18 border, but for heaven’s sake, don’t they know what’s in their own borough?

Okay, so they cocked up there, but what about laughing it off with Comedy On The Common? Except that’s in Plumstead. Not Woolwich. Which basically leaves Firepower as Woolwich’s one and only bona fide representative in the “highlights in Woolwich” column. Ooops.

Which is a shame, actually, because there’s plenty of things to see in Woolwich – the Arsenal (and Dial Square) is well worth a wander, there’s great 30s architecture around the west end of the town centre, the stunning Royal Artillery Barracks and the bombed-out St George’s Garrison Church opposite. But somehow the council’s taken on an estate agents’ enthusiasm in its desire to simply the borough down to just three districts – Greenwich, Eltham and Woolwich.

A poor show. Actually, Charlton’s got enough to peer at on its own with the barely-promoted “Explore Charlton” walk from the Thames Barrier up to Charlton House, while further east Plumstead Common and Winns Common provide good walking and wonderful views. And, of course, Plumstead played host to the formative years of (Woolwich) Arsenal FC and Steve Davis.

Be A Local Tourist
is a great idea, clearly aimed at generating economic spin-offs. But it only scratches the surface of the borough’s diversity. Perhaps next time, a local rather than a tourist could come up with its publicity…

One comment

  1. As far as I know there are no signs up celebrating where Woolwich Arsenal FC played. I am not suggesting that people would travel just to see where the old Manor Ground was, but it still should be recorded.

    It is of course very much a tribal thing, but most lists these days have Arsenal FC as one of the ten top teams in the world, and I would have thought their place of origin ought to be marked.

    There is even a web site that celebrates Woolwich Arsenal FC and covers their activities 100 years ago to the day (www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk) and I recently did my bit by publishing a novel about the club (Making the Arsenal).

    If I am right and there is nothing around the show where the club was, maybe there ought to be.

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