Friday, 29 June 2007

Update on Greenwich Theatre Seance!

Today, The Greenwich Gazette has received confirmation from the London Paranormal Society that the seance is going ahead as planned on Saturday evening at Greenwich Theatre. The director of the society has promised us an interview to tell us all the details of what happens and what they eventually find. So stay tuned, and we'll be back with more news for you.

Greenwich WeekEnd Guide!

Saturday 30 June

Choral concert: Felicitas Chamber Choir at Chapel of Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, SE10. Tickets: tourist information centre(between 10 and 12 pounds), Cutty Sark Gardens, SE10, 0870 608 2000

Robert Saxton, composition masterclass: 10:am, free, Trinity College of Music, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, SE10

Maritime Mile End: Explore Mile End's maritime past. See the homes of merchants and mariners and learn about the area's link with Captain Cook, the sugar trade and slavery. 2pm, 7.5 pounds. Museum in Docklands, West India Quay, E14. Booking essential. 0870 444 3855

World War II Poster: Design a poster. for 5-12 year olds, 10:30am. Free. Greenwich Heritage Centre, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, SE18, 020 8854 2452

Sunday 1 July

Impossible Creatures: Discover mythical and imaginary creatures and create a shadow puppet. 2-4pm. 1 pound per child. Painted Hall, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, SE10. Bookings: 020 8269 4799

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Is Greenwich Theatre Haunted?

Here's what we've heard:

There are some spooky occurrences (think ghosts, spirits, etc.) going on in Greenwich Theatre. They must have been going on for some time because the London Paranormal Society is carrying out a seance there this Saturday, June 30 from 9pm-4am. They will be looking into the Grey Lady myth.

What's so exciting is that anyone can join in for 55 pounds (wonder if they'll split the money with the spirit who shows up!) Who knows? but if you're willing to give it a go, then you can sign up at the society's website.

The Greenwich Gazette has tried to contact both the Greenwich Theatre and the London Paranormal Society to inquire about the events and to get you more juicy details, but so far neither have responded to the emails. Will keep you posted though.

The Spice Girls Announce Reunion In Greenwich

"I know what you want .. what you really really want... heh heh heh heh hay"... It sounds dreadful here, but if you were one of the millions who bought the record, then you'll be thrilled to know that the Spice Girls are back together again for one last time or so they say. Let's see if this time round they still know what we really really want.

The girls stated in their press conference held in Greenwich at The Royal Observatory grounds (excellent choice of location girls) that they were more mature (not older) yet were still the same old Spice Girls that everyone had known (or something to that effect).

Well, if only for the choice of location to announce their news (did we mention it was Greenwich) we give them our thumbs up.

The famous girl power advocates are to reunite on stage for a 12-date world tour, kicking off in LA in December. Asked at the conference why they had decided to reunite and hit the road together again, Geri said: "I think for us it was about celebrating the past, enjoying each other, and about our fans. It was the right time". We reckon the 10 million quid each girl is getting for this has had something to do with nudging the girls in this direction (but that's just us being paranoid again)...

For those of you who've been living in a cave and don't know who the Spice girls are, click here.

Veteran's Day Photos At Greenwich Celebration!

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Tonight in Greenwich & Blackheath

Four Seasons & Gloria by Vivaldi: Old Royal Naval College Chapel Choir and Greenwich Baroque Orchestra perform in the Chapel. 7:30pm. 15 pounds. Chapel of Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, SE10. Bookings: 020 8269 4799

Tea Dance: with Hugh Ockendon Trio. 2-4pm. 6pounds, Blackheath Halls, Lee Rd, SE3. (020 8463 0100)

Skyline Panorama: To celebrate 10th anniversary of Maritime Greenwich as a World Heritage Site, a panorama will be unveiled by Cllr Chris Roberts, Leader of Greenwich Council. 5:30pm, Free, by General Wolfe Statue, Greenwich Park, SE10.

The Sound of Music: the movie comes to life again with the first UK screening of a brand new digitally restored print.

26, 27, 28 June: Dawn to Dusk - Carmac Harp Days: A festival of concerts, master classes and workshops with the Trinity College of Music harp and Jazz department.

Monday, 25 June 2007

St Alfege Church Recitals & Concerts This Week!

Monday 25 June, 19:30
Concert: Trinity College of Music students: The Muse, Soprano: Iris Korfker. Tickets: 8 pounds.

Wednesday 27 June, 19:30
Trinity: Jazz Flute and Harp. Free event.

Thursday 28 June, 13:10
Organ Recital: Benjamin Kolodziej
Wagner, Frank, Durufle, Whitlock. Free event.

Saturday 30 June 13:10
Recital: Paolo Quaglia, Soprano
Nicole Panizza and Antonio Pappano Riccio (piano). Free event.

A Lunchtime Recital at St Alfege Church

Last Thursday, Whimsy ChiChi attended a recital at St Alfege Church in Greenwich as part of Greenwich Alive festivities. What she found there was truly inspirational.

The recital was presented by students from the Trinity College of Music which is situated within Greenwich University Campus. The schedule promised a Soprano (by Kalthleen Garner- a name you may want to remember), a piano (Nazuna Takahama & Leah Wingham) and a guitar recital (Emily O'Hara) and it was all about music from Latin America and Spain. Now, it was just after midday that the event took place yet the attendance was quite impressive.

Kathleen's performance was breathtaking and she had excellent command of the pieces and the way in which they were performed. Even the angels drawn on the Church windows seemed to sway as Kathleen's voice resonated about the place. Just by looking at the faces around me, you could tell that she had nailed it.

Quite the pianist myself, I was equally impressed with the piano performance carried out by Nazuna Takahama from Japan, who just recently competed in Trinity's Chopin Piano Competition. The other pianist, Leah Wingham, still fresh in the trade, seemed to effortlessly glide through the performance. Truly impressive.

The program included Manuelle De Falla's '7 Spanish Folk Songs', Fon-Fon (a tango), Nocturne no.15 in F minor, '4 Love Madrigals' by Joaquin Rodrigo that deal with love in various guises: Betrayed, discovered and joyful.

The performance was sweet, touching and only an hour long. It was wonderful to see school children there, quietly and raptly listening to the music. This, for me, as well it seemed to those around me had been a lunch hour well spent.

Greenwich Celebrates Veterans' Day This Wednesday

Veterans' day celebrations hosted by the Ministry of Defence and Not Forgotten Association will be a highlight of the Greenwich Alive celebrations. Starting at 4pm there will be interactive and participatory displays including a Battle of Britain simulator, paintball range, climbing wall and inflatable assault course together with fitness and skill demonstrations by all three Services including the Royal Marines Commando Display Team. The three Services will race against the clock in a grand finale before the 'Not Forgotten Association' Celebrity concert starts.

Two hundred members of the veterans' community will arrive at the Old Royal Naval College by boat and attend a concert in the Painted Hall starting at 8:15pm. Attendance is by invitation only but the concert will be shown 'live' on two huge screens in the College grounds. The concert will feature international entertainers including Engelbert Humperdinck, the Drifters and Rolf Harris. Actors including Robert Hardy, Michael Dotrice and Edward Woodward will give readings.

Veterans' Day Celebrations
Old Royal Naval College
Wednesday 27 June
4pm - 9:30pm
Tel: 020 8269 4747

Saturday, 23 June 2007

This Sunday At Greenwich

Here are the events lined up for this Sunday in Greenwich:

1. Greenwich & Docklands International Festival: Miss Carib: An outdoor opera performance by Nitro, Britain's leading Black theatre company, marking the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade. Event is free and takes place at 9:30-10:15. Call; 020 8269
4799, Royal Naval College, Greenwich, SE10

2. Jazz in the Park: Jazz for a midsummer day at the Observatory Gardens. Chicago style jazz with Phoenix Dixieland Jazz Band and guest trad revival trumpeter Mike Daniels. An event for all the family, sponsored by the Friends of Greenwich Park. (13:00 -15:30pm). Call 020 8853 2150 to book or buy on the day from midday.

3. Freewheeling in the Docklands - bike tour: starts/finishes at National Maritime Museum. 13:00-17:00pm. Call 020 8312 8560

4. Festival Evensong: Evensong by the choir of St Alfege Church. Greenwich Church St, 18:30. Free event.

5. Opening of the O2 Arena: music, dance, aerial performances, processions and circus. Free event for all from 1-6pm. Greenwich Peninsula, SE10.

6. Art exhibition: by artists from Greenwich Open Studios and others. St Alfege Church. (11am - 4pm)

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Open Day at O2 in Greenwich Peninsula This Sunday

The O2, Greenwich, SE10 Sunday 24 June, 1pm - 6pm

An extraordinary array of leading UK and international street arts and spectacles will herald one of the first free access public events at The O2 in an afternoon programme of free entertainment. The O2‘s open public spaces, situated within the Entertainment Avenue, will be filled with fantastic creatures, music, dance, daring aerial performances, processions and circus. A showcase of outstanding companies who have been public favourites at past Greenwich+Docklands International Festivals, as well as startling new performers, will amaze and thrill in the soaring spaces of The O2.

These will include Plasticiens Volants with giant floating sea creatures inspired by underwater imagery towering over the heads of audiences; French company Aeroplume who create stunning spectacle with their helium filled zeppelin; a new heart stopping bungee dance commission from a young and exciting UK based company Wired Aerial Theatre, choreographed by Wendy Hesketh (formerly of De La Guarda); and Zia Azazi, virtuoso exponents of the ancient Sufi Whirling Dervish dance tradition, whose contemporary interpretation has captivated audiences at outdoor festivals across Europe.
Plus Osadia, The Dream Engine, Scarabeus, Sarruga, Strange Fruit, Factoria Mascara and many more!

A Website to Promote the Work of Artists in Greenwich & Lewisham

Deptford riverside is getting a facelift. Charity Arts & Business (A&B) which encourages commerce to support the arts, has given the project a 30,000 pound grant which has helped developers launch a website to promote the work of artists in Greenwich and Lewisham.

The developers have teamed up with a leading art consultancy, Futurecity, to create the website which is to have the format of an online magazine.

Artists and creative businesses are invited to submit their work to an independent selection panel for inclusion on The Paynes and Borthwick Cultural Showcase which will be high profile and also highly promoted. Work on the project is due to start soon and completed in the summer of 2009.
Here's the website:

Greenwich Dancers: How would you like to star in a dance video?

The today reports that a hip-hop dance film is being made with the help of Greenwich Dance Agency (gDA) and there are opportunities for young people to become involved. This Saturday (June 23) is the last chance for 13 to 20-year olds, with an interest in dance/media to take part in filmmaker Ros Chesher and choreographer Malachi Spaulding's project.

It is part of NRgDANCE, gDA's dance collective for young people in and around Greenwich. The as-yet-untitled film will be screened at gDA at a later date.

Hip Hop Film Project, gDA, Royal Hill, Greenwich.
Call: 020 8293 9741

Today In Greenwich: Music & Art!

Today is officially the longest day of the year. So to fill out those looooong hours, here's a few things going on around Greenwich that should keep you delightfully busy:

  • Lunchtime Recital: Free performance by 'Bailo!', a group of Trinity College of Music Students. The programme will include music for clarinet, voice, guitar and piano from Spain and Latin America, including de Falla's '7 Folk Songs', Rodrigo's '4 madrigales amatorios', and traditional flamenco music. St Alfege Church, at 13:10pm. Free event.

  • Live Jazz and market Arts Event, Greenwich undercover market, 18:00-22:00pm.

  • (21-24 June) Art Exhibition by local artists: Exhibition by artists from Greenwich Open Studios and others at St. Alfege Church, Greenwich Church St, SE10, 11:00-16:00pm. Free event.

  • Festival Fanfare: Performances and fireworks. Opening night of Greenwich & Docklands International Festival (G+DIF). This opening night has been designed as a high profile launch to the 2007 Festival with an array of London premiers from leading companies. These include Fanfare Jo Bithume, one of France's most acclaimed theatrical 'fanfares', the Dutch stilt performance 'White Wings' and the Australian Festival favourites Strange Fruit who return with a new lyrical and highly romantic show entitled 'Absolute Pearl' presented by performers on 4.5 metre flexible sway poles. The programme will also feature theatrical pyrotechnic effects at intervals throughout the evening. 7pm. Free. Royal Arsenal, Beresford Square, Woolwich, SE18

  • 'Open Mic' evening: Community talent opportunity. 9-11pm. Free. Morden Arms, 1 Brand St, Greenwich, SE10 (

Not really Greenwich, but here it is because we think it's cool: A Taste of Fame (June 21- 24) : The only chance to eat dishes straight from London's top restaurants without waiting to book a table. Forty of London's top eateries serve samples of their signature dishes in Regent's Park. Celebrity chefs will be giving tutorials and having cook offs, plus wine tasting and the World Cheese Awards.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Today At Greenwich Planetarium

Today, as part of Greenwich Alive festival, the people responsible for shaping Greenwich of the future will be taking part in a panel discussion entitled :"How do leading architects create ground-breaking projects within a World Heritage Site?". Allies and Morrison, the architects of the new planetarium, will be chatting to the team behind the conservation of the Cutty Sark as well. You can be a part of it all tonight at 6:30pm, as the event is free.

The Peter Harrison Planetarium
Royal Observatory
Greenwich, SE10
Tel: 020 8312 8560

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Beauty Salon Review: EGO (4/5)

For those of you in Greenwich, both ladies and gentlemen, who are into luxury pampering, then look no further than EGO Beauty Salon on Trafalgar Road. This is truly an oasis where you least expect to find one.

As soon as you step inside, you are warmly greeted by a very attentive, cheerful staff who are genuinely happy to help. You are guided through the treatments on offer with a professional who gives you a thorough assessment (and estimate) and walks you through the details of the procedure (great for first timers). If you are in for facial treatments, you are offered a complimentary skin analysis. The salon offers hair, body and beauty treatments with a wide range of products that include Dermalogica (for all skin treatments), Paul Mitchell, Tigi and others for hair.

Downstairs, you've got the hair salon (for men, women and children) which is tidy, well-kept, busy and buzzing with energy. The surfaces and mirrors are clean as was the downstairs toilet which was well-ventilated and in excellent condition. No expense has been saved there.

The upstairs beauty treatment room is clean, airy and private with a shower which is very convenient. The treatment bed has clean linen and the towels are visibly freshly washed. The staff (well, mainly Lindsay) is polite and friendly which makes it a lot easier to tolerate the more painful procedures and some of the more embarrassing (think bikini wax).

Whimsy ChiChi got a manicure and waxing in addition to a hair cut and hair color. The results are very positive and this is one happy chichi. However, beauty does not come cheap, and you will have to cough up quite a sum. Having said that however, the price range is quite the same as you would find in any other upscale beauty salon and for certain treatments EGO actually comes out cheaper. But as the saying goes: no pain, no gain!

This is a busy place, so booking is essential and for some treatments you may have to wait a week to find a booking as according to the staff, "with warmer weather upon us, pedicures, manicures, and waxing treatments in particular are really in right now". But a 10% discount is in place if you rebook on the day of your appointment. However, if you reschedule the appointment the discount no longer applies.

One thing I would change or add is another treatment room. But end of the day, if you've got a big day coming up or you just feel up to some pampering, this would be the place to visit. Whimsy ChiChi recommends it. Go on, don't take my word for it, take the day off and check it out for yourself.

Full leg wax: £18
Mini Manicure: £18 (for 30 minutes): not so great if you've got dry ankles as this procedures doesn't involve a scrub.
Hair cut, color and blow dry : from £80

99 Trafalgar road, Greenwich
Tel: 020 8293 1901

note: Whimsy ChiChi reviews anonymously and pays for all treatments.

Monday, 18 June 2007

Greenwich In The News Today!

The British Marine Federation (BMF) and National Boat Shows (NBS), organisers of the London Boat Show at ExCeL, and The Cutty Sark Trust have today announced a formal partnership. The trade association for the UK marine industry will use its flagship event to help raise awareness and funds for the project to save the Cutty Sark, following the fire that swept through the historic ship last month.

The formal agreement, which extends for three years, will last beyond the period when it is anticipated that the Greenwich based Cutty Sark will re-open to the public in 2010.

For full article from source, click here.

Move Over Pavarotti, Paul Potts Is Winner!

Paul Potts, winner of Britain's Got Talent contest, beat out all competition last night. The 36-year-old phone salesman has dazzled, mesmerized and brought to tears thousands with his incredible voice. It's unbelievable. This is one deserving chap on an unexpected road to stardom. Let's hope he stops by Greenwich someday.

As well as the £100,000 prize cheque, the Britain's Got Talent winner will perform at the Royal Variety Performance, by invitation of Her Majesty The Queen. The Royal Variety Performance will be shown on ITV1 on December 3rd 2007. We're marking our calendars today!

For more on Paul Potts, click here.

To view his first audition when he blew the judges away (especially Simon Cowell), Click here.

This Week At Greenwich Theatre: The Wiz

As part of Greenwich Alive celebrations, Greenwich Theatre hosts an adaptation of the classic Oz adventure with a rock-soul-gospel score. The event takes place from Wednesday, June 20 - Saturday June 23 at 7:30pm. To book your tickets call Greenwich Theatre: 020 8858 7755. This is a family event for all to enjoy. Ticket prices are £10-£14

You can also visit the Greenwich Theatre website to book your tickets online. But if you do that then you will have to click on tickets at the end of their main page as they have not advertised the event on their main page and it is not included in their "What's On" section. The Website:

Greenwich Theatre
Crooms Hill
SE10 8ES

Friday, 15 June 2007

Greenwich WeekEnd Guide

Saturday 16 June

Sun Catchers: Create stained glass effect pictures. For 5-12 year olds. 10:30am, Free. Greenwich Heritage Centre, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, SE18 (020 8854 2452)

Summer Plant Sale at Greenwich Park: Surplus seasonal bedding plants and locally produced material are available to buy from 9:00am - 12noon at the Car Park at Blackheath gate.

Marching Jazz Band: The Superior Jazz Band start at 'The Mitre' and make their way to the riverfront. Sponsored by Greenwich Society. 12 noon - 14:00pm. Free event. Start: The Mitre, 291 Greenwich High Road, SE10 (0870 608 2000)

Summer Exhibition at Blackheath: New work by Mark Dissuader & works by Robin Richmond, Susan Eaton, Raquel Martin, Martin Murphy & Larry Mitchell. 10am-6pm. Free. Blackheath Gallery, 34a Tranquil Vale, Blackheath, SE3. 020 8852 1802

Sunday 17 June:

Greenwich Society & Blackheath Society Annual Cricket Match: Annual contest played within the Greenwich Park. 15:00pm, Free.

Art Exhibition at Printmakers Gallery: Featuring local artist David Bowyer. 1a Greenwich Market, SE10. (020 8858 1569)

Linden Baroque Orchestra: The Linden Baroque now in its 20th year, is a London based orchestra specialising in Baroque music on period instruments. Director: steven Devine. 4pm/ Purchase tickets at the door (9pounds, under 14s free) or call 020 8985 3724 , St. Alfege Greenwich Church St, SE10. (

Handel with Hamper: Thomas Tallis Orchestra & Choir led by Martin Burgess and conducted by Stephen Dagg. Picnic on the colonnades & lawns in the long interval around Grand Square. 18:30pm. (15-22 pounds). Chapel of the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, SE10 9LW. To book call: 020 8858 7755. (

Shakespeare Shorts: Street theatre from the University of Greenwich. Various locations around the World Heritage Site. Free.

Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park Grand Open Day: (11am - 4pm). Music, refreshments, pond dipping, bug hunting, bird watching, badge making, book and gift stalls and more. 020 8293 1904, visit:

Greenwich Open Gardens: A peek into some of the impressive private gardens in Greenwich. details: Donations suggested.

Waddle in Greenwich Park for Charity: Tots and their parents are invited to have a wander around Greenwich Park for a waddle and toddle sponsored walk covering a flat route of about one and half miles. Starts at Greenwich Park Bandstand at 2pm. Bring picnic. There will be music by Bromley Concert Band (2:00-3:15 & 3:45-5:00pm. Free), action songs and puppet shows, face painting, and singing. There will also be a raffle and a Good Bye bag for everyone.

Horn Fayre at Charlton House: Medieval combat, jesters, fools, fortune-telling, wandering minstrels, fancy dress competition (judging at 12:30), stalls, BBQ, old-fashioned beer tent. 12:30pm - 5pm. Free. Charlton House, SE7 8RE. 020 8856 3951 (

Sat 16 & Sun 17 June:

Greenwich Open Studios: Golden opportunity to acquire paintings, sculptures, prints and pottery from twenty five local artists at affordable prices. 12:00-18:00. Free entrance. Addresses and map available at Greenwich Tourist Office, Cutty Sark Gardens, SE10 or local libraries. Also visit their website at : or call Penny at 020 8692 5824

Greenwich Alive Celebrations: (17-26 June): Ten days of music and events to celebrate ten years of Maritime Greenwich's status as a World Heritage Site. Visit:

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Calling Greenwich Garden Lovers: the NGS Is Back!

Pagoda Garden, SE3

Every year The National Gardens Scheme across England and Wales welcome over half a million visitors. Most of the 3,500 gardens that participate are privately owned and open just a few times each year but some open as part of a group which gets the whole community involved. The cause is always charity.

If you live in or around Greenwich, here are the gardens that will be open tomorrow, Friday June 15:

12 Eliot Vale, Blackheath, SE3 0UW: Designed for disabled with slopes and space for wheelchairs; high-level pond; shaped beds with a variety of plants including roses, bamboo, succulents and miniature box hedging. Contemporary sculpture. Surprising L-shaped garden combining open visibility with a few 'hidden' discoveries. Adm £3.50, Evening Opening £3.50 (share to Ataxia Telangiectasia Society), wine, (6pm-9pm). Note that no dogs are allowed.

The Pagoda Gardens SE3 0UZ: Historic garden surrounding historic house, Jekyll-Jungle. Variety of gardens - terraced formal with 60ft rill; informal water garden with stream; lush subtropical planting; white garden, Oriental-inspired pergola and details. Adm £3.50 (share to Cystic Fibrosis) Evening Opening £3.50 (share to Cystic Fibrosis), wine, (6pm-9pm).

28 Granville Park, SE13 7EA: Garden designer's family garden in three sections. Pool garden, mixed herbaceous and shrub planting with bulbs around circular lawns, gravel garden and sunken terrace with pots. 100ft x 35ft. Adm £3.50 Evening Opening £3.50 (share to Cystic Fibrosis), wine, (6pm-9pm).

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Greenwich Must See: Fanning The Senses

This bottle with its mirrored casing was designed by Christian Dior personally and you can see the fan advertising it.

The Fan Museum in Greenwich has come up with yet another fascinating exhibition. This time round it's all about the parallels between fans and perfume. It may seem all too obvious for visitors of this quiet Greenwich treasure (the only one of its kind in the world) that fans would actually be the main attraction but trust me you're in for as much a surprise as I was. It was all about bottles. Perfume bottles that is.

Perfume bottle with its advertisement on a fan (Dior)

It was fascinating to see not only the bottles of some of the most famous Perfume Houses (Christian Dior, Bourjois, Penhaligon's, Guerlain, Roger & Gallet, Floris, and Angela Flanders) dating back to 1900 but also how these bottles of scent had much in common with fans. It was striking for me to know from the museum curator that at the beginning of the 20th century perfumers very often used fans as advertising giveaways to present a new fragrance to the press or to their best clients. Samples of these are beautifully displayed in the exhibition and I couldn't have enough of them, myself an avid collector of scent bottles for so long.

A fan similar to this one can be bought at the Fan Museum shop.

However, let's not forget about the fans here. The exhibition displays them in all shapes and sizes artistically decorated with floral motifs of every kind from Europe and Asia. Craftsmanship at its finest. Truly mesmerizing. So this June, if you're touring the open gardens of the National Gardens Scheme, this exhibition with its own unique and beautiful take on flowers should be a must on your list. The exhibition ends July 1st.

Fan Museum
12 Crooms Hill
Greenwich, SE10 8ER
Tel: 020 8305 1441

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Greenwich Alive Celebrations This June!

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Maritime Greenwich's inscription as a World Heritage Site. To celebrate the event, Greenwich Alive will bring together music, dance, theatre, art, and culture in a 15-day program that kicks off on June 16 up until June 30, 2007.

The festival's schedule and other details can be obtained from the Greenwich Alive website (

Monday, 11 June 2007

Invitation to the O2 Arena in Greenwich

The O2 is a big deal for London and for Greenwich residents who are hoping that this venue will be an income generator as well as a trendy new addition to the area. The real challenge is convincing the public that all the money spent on it was, and is, money well spent particularly with the legacy it drags behind it already (as the Millennium Dome it didn't really measure up to expectations). Let's hope that a new name will bring with it better luck this time round.

In a bid to lay to rest local residents' worries about the venue, Greenwich residents have been asked to a party on Wednesday, June 20 where a host of acts have been lined up for their entertainment. The special free event has been organized exclusively for local residents and to give them a sneak preview of the arena. A London radio DJ will host the evening and a number of unsigned bands will play. The free tickets will be issued on a first come first served basis and are available as of this morning.

The O2 is London's newest entertainment venue, and will officially be opening here in Greenwich on June 24, 2007. If you would like to be one of the first to enjoy the facilities (you know you want to) then all you have to do is visit your local library or the Tourist Information Centre in Greenwich. Or call Greenwich Council on 020 8921 4456. To book direct online go to Transport information can be found at:

Pssssssst: Whimsy ChiChi has already got her ticket and will be reporting on it all. Watch this space.

East London Brass At Greenwich Park Yesterday

The East London Brass Band played beautifully yesterday at Greenwich Park. People were obviously having a great time going about their picnic to the tunes that started at 2pm. It was lovely. And the kids had a great time mastering the act of trying to climb up the rails of the bandstand. So it was again fun for all at Greenwich Park. However, maybe next time amplifiers could be used to make the sound reach further out???? Just a thought.

Friday, 8 June 2007

The Greenwich Gazette WeekEnd Guide!

Saturday June 9

1. Make A Mummy: Discover ancient Egypt by making a sarcophagus and mummy. For 5-12 year-olds. 10:30am. Free. Greenwich Heritage Centre, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, SE18. (Tel: 020 8854 2452)

2. Les Liaisons Dangereuse: Rose Bruford College presents Christopher Hampton's adaptation of Cholderos de Laclos's novel, 2:00pm

3. All The Time In The World: The story of the search for longitude & the history of the Observatory, Greenwich. For 6 year-olds+, 12 noon, 1:05pm, 2pm, 3pm (Royal Observatory, Greenwich Park, SE 10, tel: 020 8858 4422)

4. Tapestry: This play introduces a trendy vicar, twin sisters, an Irish grandmother and their friends. A dark comedy at Greenwich Playhouse, Greenwich Station Forecourt, 189 Greenwich High Road, SE10 8JA, Tel: 020 8858 9256 (

Sunday, June 10

1. East London Brass, Greenwich Park: From 2:00pm - 3:15 pm and 3:45 - 5:00pm. Brass band convert at the bandstand. Free

2. Live Jazz & Vocals: 7:00 - 9:30pm. North Pole, Greenwich High Rd, SE10 (020 8853 3020)

3. Annual Plant Sale by Friends of Greenwich Park. 10:00am - 2pm. Free. Blackheath Farmers Market, Blackheath Station Car Park, SE3 (020 8852 6158)

4. Dream Room at The Queen's House: Inspired by a room from the Queen's House, make a model room. Romney Road, Greenwich, SE10 (020 8858 4422),

5. Planetarium Shows for Children: Explore the Sun, Moons, stars and planets in new show. For 3-6 year olds. 11:00am, 2pm. £3 for adults. Children free.

6. Thames Walk: At 9am, 300 people will show their support for unpaid carers by taking part in The Princess Royal Trust for Carers London Thames Walk, helping to kick off Carers' Week (11-17June). Participants will be able to take in spectacular river views and interesting architecture as they stroll 10 miles from Westminster to Greenwich. The walk will raise vital funds for Carers' Centres throughout the UK. (Tel: 020 7709 1336),

Monday, 4 June 2007

London's Dirtiest Beach Clean Up!

We weren't the only early risers that Sunday. Rowers were out and about enjoying the cool weather as well.

It's so annoying how lazy some people are. Look closely: A litter box right next to the benches and still some of us choose to litter the ground and benches. Shameful really!

Yesterday, The National Maritime Museum joined forces with Thames21 for a really good cause: Clearing up the Thames shoreline (well not all of it). Volunteers came in to help clear up the shore from plastic bags, shopping trolleys, old metal works, among other things from the North Side of the River Thames, The Greenwich bend in the Isle of Dogs (dubbed London's dirtiest Thames beach).

Whimsy ChiChi always in search of a good cause, set out with the volunteers. We all do different things for different reasons. My reason was to find out what all this was about, have fun, meet new people and just do something good on a Sunday morning (oh, and come back with something for my blog). After some delays with registration, the heath talk and signing up, we were told to rummage through the boxes of Wellies that the Thames21 supplied along with gloves.

Thames21 are a very organized lot, I must admit. The boots were arranged by size in boxes. From sizes 3 to 12 and gloves from small to large, there was something to suit everyone. Shovels and forks and garbage bags handed out we were ready to go. And off we went.

Did I mention that this was my first time doing something of the sort? Having traded my Sunday Guccis for wellies, and my Chanel handbag for a rucksack on my back (something I rarely do) I trudged along with the others. When I first stepped on the shore, it felt like being a kid again playing in mud and sloshing in the dirt. A fleeting childhood memory came to my mind and I found that I was actually excited to start.

Fantastic: If you look closely you can make out the outlines of a sunken boat.

Once on the shore, we start digging up for plastic bags, a really physically hard task. I dug, pulled and tugged at several. Fell into the muck twice and literally got stuck in the mud twice (where I luckily had the Thames21 guys on hand to help). Once you unearthed one of the damn things, another seemed to pop up. It dawned on me how much work really needed to be done and how much people litter. We throw away the oddest things.

Thanks to the work of Thames21 (since 1994), that the River Thames has actually become cleaner and safer for wildlife.

According to their website (, this charity has managed to remove hundreds of tonnes of litter from London's rivers and canals. Matthew Loveday, River Programmes Coordinator has said about the foreshore we cleaned up yesterday, 'This is one of London's dirtiest Thames beaches and last year, Thames21 kicked off a campaign to clean up Thames grot spots with a five day clean up. We removed 10 tonnes of litter, including around 25,000 plastic bags. We are now running regular clean ups on this site and levels of litter are gradually decreasing, although more work needs to be done. Thanks to the efforts of volunteers like the Museum, we are making real progress in the bid to restore this Thames beach to health".

Treasures of the day

We were there for two and a half hours. By then I was sweating, tired, covered in grit and grime and totally happy and proud of myself. I had learnt a lot and watched what people can do when they come together for a cause. The atmosphere was friendly, organized, upbeat and everyone was there to make a day of it. Something more of us should do. Unfortunately, I can't report unearthing any treasures on the day (although one group did report two handguns that they'd found) but I did end up with part of an old clay pipe and a piece of China. Not bad for a beginner I think.

Luckily we were given brushes to clean our wellies in the Thames followed by washing buckets with detergent to wash away the grime from our hands.

There are many ways you can help Thames21 which you can find on their website or by E-mail: or Tel: 020 7248 7171

Friday, 1 June 2007

Misery on The Tube: One Commuter's Story

The Greenwich Gazette received this e-mail this morning from a commuter on the tube. The writer is clearly upset and we believe that he/she has a big point to make. The letter is both charming and comical. But the message is clear: It's time we were more sensitive to our surroundings. Here's the full letter. Feel free to leave your own comment or stories about the tube.

Dear Greenwich Gazette:

I am not the sensitive kind who gets irritated by other quirky people on the tube, but there are two types of commuters who really get on my nerves. It’s not the guy blasting music from his phone I Pod, or the two travelling together who decide to sit on either side of the carriage and carry out a conversation through two dozen people. It’s the 3 ton Backpacks and the chocolate eaters.

I just can’t get anyone who is on a crowded train and does not actually realize that they are carrying a backpack that takes up the place of three people. Why can’t they just take it off their back and place it between their legs while on the train. I always get the urge to unzip their bag and let them collect their stuff from the beginning to the end of the Central Line. Let’s see how oblivious they would be to their surroundings then. They are really irritating!!!

The other type is the ‘can't wait must have chocolate bar on crowded train’ people. I saw a woman who took out a Kit Kat stick on a train with one hand, put it in the other and held the pole with the first! Now we know air-conditioning is coming to the tube but the heat in there is not ideal for storing chocolate. So you can imagine the state of the pole and the next poor sod who is going to hang on to it on the way home and find Kit Kat on his 100 pound shirt. You might say if he can afford a 100 pound shirt it’s quite OK. I might agree, but no mercy for the chocolate monster.

To make it worse, when the train came to a stop the Kit Kat and owner pumped into the next person leaving even a better mark than the one on the pole. Luckily the victim was the chocolate lady’s friend. So there is justice. But imagine if it was your taking the full brunt of a flying kit Kat bar!! How long is her journey than she can’t wait to stuff her face with a kit Kat?? It’s not even Flake!!

“Keep it between your thighs” (it goes for backpacks and Kit Kat). This will be my next slogan when I run for Mayor of London.