‘Bon Voyage mon vieux!’
The winter gales ride over the incoming tide, throwing up short waves against the Thameside embankments. A constant buffeting makes our river side creak and groan. The flickering multitude of Canary Wharf office lights brings to mind views of distant shores of my youth, sharply reminding me of exotic ports as well as the grey UK estuarial container ports which never rest.
The recently released blog featuring two Greenwich pensioners on the loose as they go through the preliminary stages of a worldwide journey, the first leg by container ship bound for the Panama Canal sounds a glamourous way to beat the winter. Leaving their family at nearby Ebbsfleet International station to join their ship at Rotterdam’s vast Europort which dominates the smaller cluster of container facilities at Antwerp, Hamburg and London’s Thames at Tilbury and the new Gateway port which is growing at an amazing rate.
The new blog ‘A Curious Odyssey’, featuring two Barneses by land, sea and air, is well worth a read.
The much planned outing by Tim and Graham had, no doubt, been well discussed by the landlubbers who gather each Friday evening at the ‘Tolly’ in Greenwich’s Royal Hill. I am sure their conclusions, such as mine, worry about the close-knit community isolated in the crews’ accommodation perched high over thousands of containers stacked forward and aft on this giant ship, as it chugs around global ports on its pre-determined timetable, dropping off and picking up steel boxes just like the ones we see storming down our motorway – such is the way of the world.
Upgrading and creating new bridges and tunnels across the Thames is a centuries-old problem. A proposal for a relief tunnel downstream from Tilbury & Gravesend has come to light; a relief Silvertown link for the Blackwall/Greenwich peninsula is going through its birth pangs. The hoards of cyclists on commute are demanding further cross-river links which are providing interesting concepts.
“We would like to know your thoughts on these schemes, particularly how we can best incorporate public transport, pedestrian and cycling routes into new crossings. To find out more and have your say, please visit our website tfl.gov.uk/east-london-crossings where you can find detailed information about the potential benefits and impacts of crossings.
The deadline for comments is Friday 12 February, 2016
As many of you will know,The Greenwich Gallery is privileged to have been exhibiting Peter Kent’s latest visual commentary for the last month or so and, as we move on to our next exhibition, it would seem appropriate to round it off with a discussion forum related to Peter’s observations of the ‘Birth of London’s Newest City’.
The response from the viewing public has been considerable and hours have been spent reading and engaging with Peter’s record of the past along with his vision of the future.
So on Saturday 13th February at 12.00 midday I have great pleasure in inviting you to a forum in the Gallery at which Peter and others will talk about what he has observed is happening in our neck of the woods.
Refreshments will be served and admission is free. Please RSVP….