Greenwich Time behind times with Blackheath fireworks

It’s six weeks since Lewisham Council launched its appeal for SE Londoners to back the Blackheath fireworks display after Greenwich Council pulled its funding. In that time, Lewisham has been industrious in battling to make up the missing £36,000 – rattling tins around Blackheath boozers (bet that Childline woman’s annoyed with the competition) and hawking “VIP fireworks experiences” on eBay.

In that six weeks, what has Greenwich Council done to explain itself to the people it is supposed to represent? Not a lot. There’s certainly been no mention of the cut that’s been made on our behalf in Greenwich Time, its weekly puff sheet – not even in this week’s BAD NEWS special.

The council’s website claims you can “read all the local news” in GT – but in propaganda, what you leave out is just as important as what you put in.

That said, the news did creep onto the council’s website on Monday morning – scroll down, no, right down, there it is! Talk about burying bad news…

“Greenwich Council has reluctantly taken the decision not to fund the fireworks event on Blackheath this year, having been advised to anticipate up to 40 per cent cuts to its grant following the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review.” That didn’t stop it blowing nearly £30,000 on a private party for its new mayor earlier this year, of course.

“The Council is however supporting Lewisham Council’s appeal to local residents to help cover the costs of the event,” it adds, before packing users off to Lewisham’s website, where locals can find lists of Greenwich borough streets that are closed. Consider Greenwich’s hands duly washed of that, then.

Down the road, Lewisham’s eBay auction has reached £770 for the chance to start all the excitement off, be shown “behind the scenes” of the display and be plied with free food and drink. Better than hanging around by the dips with sparklers and a novelty hipflask. Bidding ends on Hallowe’en – and wouldn’t it be great if someone from this side of the boundary could get the prize?

All this said, the London Fire Brigade dispute may succeed in doing Greenwich Council’s work in doing away with the display, anyway…

To donate to the Lewisham appeal, visit For other local blog comment, see The Greenwich Phantom, Crosswhatfields, Kidbrooke Kite and Brockley Central.


  1. Will we see Greenwich councillors at the event? I hope they are digging deep into their personal pockets to contribute like the rest of us. Cant see this event happening next year somehow.

  2. It won’t happen – Lewisham won’t want to give us oiks in Greenwich free fireworks, so they’ll take it to Mountsfield Park or Fordham Park instead.

    If any Greenwich administrators or councillors have a sense of shame, they should be coughing up.

  3. I tell you what, we’ll close a library in Greenwich. That should free up enough funds to send a load of money up in smoke. At least this appears to be Blackheath councils idea.

  4. To be honest, I’m grateful a Greenwich Time contributor has come on to defend their work – it’s rare that anyone from Greenwich Council or Greenwich Labour ever comes on, except under the odd snippy pseudonym to troll.

    Well, okay, he came on to defend the Greenwich Council leader’s decision, of course… not GT’s blindness to this particular piece of local news, but still…

  5. I was by no means defending the actions of the council, I’m merely a contributor to the GT. I’ve contributed to other blogs about Greenwich and I imagine in the future I’ll contribute to other papers, magazines and blogs. My allegiances lie in getting work and being a good journalist.

    As you correctly point out Darryl I didn’t defend the lack of priority given to the story, nor am I in a position to discuss or defend it.

    Concerning that lavish piss-up, I wasn’t invited so I won’t defend it, although I would say that when that party was planned I imagine the extent of the brutal cuts probably wasn’t entirely clear. But as a local resident I’d prefer if things such as the library, clean streets and continued development in the area were all kept rather than councillors getting merry or money being blown up 100ft in the air.

  6. I would say that when that party was planned I imagine the extent of the brutal cuts probably wasn’t entirely clear.

    The mayoral “inauguration” was held well after the general election, when it was clear cuts had to be made – indeed, the Great Leader even referred to them in his speech. Nice he got to have £30,000 spent on his party, instead of fireworks 80,000 people enjoy.

    Of course, it’s all about priorities – but why isn’t Greenwich Council explaining them in its house newspaper?

  7. Writing totally, utterly and completely personally can I say that I would not go to the fireworks – they have nothing to offer very short old ladies; we just get trampled in the undergrowth. I will, however, have to spend the evening trying to calm down my hysterial cat.

    ps – I rarely go to bun fights of any sort anyway.

  8. Happily, because I have had my dog since he was a puppy I have been able to train him not to fear the sound of fireworks. When fireworks go off he doesn’t even flinch.

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