Something’s stirring in Woolwich. A bit of local pride. And some anger, too.
If a set of Post-It notes in Peckham can be saved for posterity, then so should this. Unlike the “wall of love” in SE15, this is a raw expression of anger and bewilderment at what’s happened to Woolwich – with hope and despair in equal measure.
Thanks to the wall, one of its instigators, Danny Mercer, has managed to achieve something that nobody else has done – get national news coverage for Woolwich’s plight. I felt sorry for Sky News reporter Mark Stone as he was berated by people for the lack of coverage of Woolwich, and the notorious mistake that saw film of police fleeing from looters in Thomas Street branded as being from Liverpool. Better late than never, though, and the wall’s given him a peg for a news story that’s due to air from 6am on Monday.
Danny told how he’d spent all week trying to get the media to take an interest – but to no avail, even getting the phone put down on him by the Daily Telegraph. Finally, though, Sky were here. He looked around at the scene: “Last Sunday I was in a boat on a lake in Thamesmead with a fag in my mouth… today I’m standing out here showing a news crew around.” It’s been a week that’s changed more than just the buildings in Woolwich.
One piece of good news I’ve heard, though, is that the Wilkinsons store is expected to reopen soon – most of the damage is superficial, I am told. The news might not be as positive for the Great Harry, though, with surveyors due this week to see if the building can be saved.