Tuesday, 25 August 2009


photo courtesy of Royal Artillery Museum

The remarkable experiences of London’s children during the Second World War are to be commemorated at a unique event on Saturday 5 September. Seventy years on, Firepower, The Royal Artillery Museum, in Woolwich, is to host the unique Wartime Evacuees Day. This moving day of memories and nostalgia will include an exhibition of evacuee memorabilia, archive films, living history re-enactors and, most importantly, give visitors the opportunity to meet and talk to evacuees themselves about their experiences seven decades ago.

With enemy bombing attacks expected as soon as the Second World War started, Operation Pied Piper began. This was the evacuation of Britain's cities - the biggest and most concentrated mass movement of people in Britain's history. In the first four days of September 1939, nearly 3,000,000 people, mostly schoolchildren, were transported to places of safety in the countryside. Over September 1 - 3 1939, officials evacuated over 1.5 million women and children from ‘danger zones’ in London alone. In buses and trains, children left the city to find refuge in the country. The authorities did not want chaotic scenes at London’s train and bus stations so insisted that parents said goodbye to their children in the school playground where they had to assemble. The older children were often given the enormous responsibility of looking after their younger brothers and sisters.

“For some, evacuation was a welcome adventure and escape from their homes in London” says Eileen Noon from Firepower “But for others it was a terrifying and heartbreaking separation from their parents and their friends. Nobody knew when they would return to London or if they would see their home again. Our Wartime Evacuees Day will give visitors the opportunity to meet evacuees and hear their stories first hand.”

The event will also feature an exhibition about local people's experiences during the war entitled Woolwich and the Blitz. Firepower's own living history team will be on duty for the event so visitors can meet and talk to a wartime ARP air raid warden, two Royal Artillery Gunners, soldiers manning an anti-tank gun as well as Local Defence Volunteers - the forerunners of the Home Guard made famous in BBC TV's Dad's Army. Archive films will be shown in the Museum cinema and the Museum will be open as normal.

Firepower, The Royal Artillery Museum is based at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich - the birthplace of the Royal Artillery which was founded there in 1716. The Museum tells the story of the Gunners - the men and women of the Royal Artillery, and the part they have played in history and their role today in the front line with the British Army. Tales of extraordinary heroism and endeavour are presented alongside explanations the technological and scientific advances driven by the development of artillery from Roman times to the present day. Experiences at Firepower include the ground-shaking Field of Fire audio-visual show where visitors are put in the midst of battle as shells and aircraft fly overhead and guns roar all around, giving an insight into the experiences of an artillery gunner.

Wartime Evacuees Day – Saturday 5 September
Admission: Discounted family tickets £12.00, Adults £5.00, Children £2.50, Concessions £4.50.
Firepower, The Royal Artillery Museum, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, London, SE18 6ST

For more information about Firepower visit www.firepower.org.uk , call 020 8855 7755 or email info@firepower.org.uk.

Precious photos for keeps

Parents in the (Greenwich) Borough are being given a special opportunity to bring their little ones down to WHSmith at Greenwich Shopping Park to have their photo taken on Tuesday, 01 September to Saturday, 05 September 2009.

Pixi Fotos, a specialist in children and baby photography, will set up its mobile studio at the WHSmith store and for just under £5.00, parents will receive one picture with the opportunity to purchase more on the day. No appointment necessary.

WHSmith, Greenwich Shopping Park, Bugsby’s Way, Charlton.
www.greenwichshoppingpark.co.uk for more information.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Making Shopping Kid’s Play this August

Greenwich Shopping Park located off Bugsby’s Way in Charlton will be handing out limited edition Ice Age 3, Dawn of the Dinosaurs film-themed wristbands to help keep children who are visiting the Park safe this summer.

The wristbands are part of a summer initiative set up by the national organisation, Child Safe and filmmakers, 20th Century Fox to celebrate the release of the blockbuster. Greenwich Shopping Park is part of the Child Safe programme and recently celebrated the first anniversary since its official launch in June last year.

Throughout August, parents or guardians are able to collect wristbands from the security office at the Park and write their mobile number on the wristband. Should they become separated from their child, anyone finding the youngster knows immediately who to call, so that they can be quickly re-united with their family.

Friday, 14 August 2009


Join Thames21, London’s leading waterways charity, for a FLASH MOB OF THE FORESHORE.

Part of the fourth annual Cleaner Thames Challenge, the event this year will take place in four different locations on the River Thames, one of which is in WOOLWICH. Bring your friends, bring your family, bring your colleagues and help clean up the foreshore in Woolwich.

DATE: Saturday 22 August
TIME: 8.30am - 11.00am
MEET: at the end of Venus Road, SE18.

The clean-up will take place on the foreshore by New Ferry Approach. MAP LINK. Access to the foreshore is by steps. Please contact in advance if you have any special access requirements. The nearest train station is Woolwich Dockyard and is a short walk from the meeting point.

CONTACT: Alice Hall, 07824 692592, alice.hall@thames21.org.uk

Events are suitable for all the family. All equipment, including wellies and gloves, will be provided to volunteers. Please wear old clothes you don't mind getting muddy and appropriate to the weather. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. No dogs.

EMAIL: FLASHMOB@thames21.org.uk if you are bringing a group. For more Thames21 clean-up events, visit www.thames21.org.uk/events

Friday, 7 August 2009

The Second Greenwich Annuale

An exhibition by the Greenwich Satellite Group of London Independent Photography
Private view: Thursday 20 August, 6.30 to 8.30pm

Exhibition dates: 21 August to 30 August 2009

The Greenwich group of London Independant Photography returns to Viewfinder Photography Gallery in August for an exhibition reflecting the diverse styles, ideas and interests of this flourishing collection of both local and international photographers.

The Greenwich group formed in May 2007, meets monthly at Viewfinder and now numbers over 130 photographers. The diversity of this talent is reflected in the 2009 Annuale.

The inaugeral Annuale of 2008 featured over thirty photographers, gathered extensive press coverage and exceeded the hopes of all who contributed. Commentary on the exhibition remarked on the professionalism of the entries and the curatorial skill of the presentation. Selected as top exhibition to visit in the British Journal of Photography, it presented 34 photographs ranging from street photography to landscapes, from larger-than-life human portraits to pictures of pigeons.

The second Annuale, bigger and better, will present the work of over sixty photographers, a reflection of the growth of the group in the past year. Londoners dominate, the home counties send significant numbers and Europe (old and new) continues to contribute. The group is also blessed by those who join while passing through - those at college and university, those on secondment to London offices, those on short-term contract. Some join for one meeting, some never miss one.

The Greenwich group is inclusive - all ages, all stages. From those who bought a camera last week to those who bought one during the reign of the last King, all can enter the Annuale and all are accepted.

Participating photographers:
Neville Austin, Dan Bachmann, Quentin Ball, Debra Bazell, Jane Bowden, Nicky Boyd, Stephen Brockerton, Corin Ashleigh Brown, Catherine Caitlin, Bashkar Charavarti, Anita Chandra, Lisa Chillingworth, Alicia Clarke, Nicholas Cobb, Anne Crabbe, Melany Darke, Brian Daubney, Robert Davies, Jenny Dawes, Siobhan Doran, Linda Duffy, Orde Eliason, Susan Folkes, Louise Forrester, Caroline Fraser, Bogdan Frymorgen, Anne-Marie Glasheen, Alan Golding, Elizabeth Gowing, Tony Hale, Laura Harding, Anna Hillman, Lotta Holmberg, Chris Hudson, Jenny Johnson Burrows, Tiffany Jones, Martin Jordan, Julie Kertesz, Marysia Lachowicz, Caroline Lamburd, Jennifer Lanier, John Levett, Gill Lightfoot, Stefan Lubomirski de Vaux, Peter Luck, Jon May, Dave Mason, Alex McIlhiney, Steve Miller, Alan Phinbow, Michael Rodgers, Nigel Rumsey, Paula Salischiker, Surinder Singh, Bob Smith, Krystina Stimakovits, David Thorpe, Duncan Unsworth, Joanne Wallace, Kate Wentworth, John Whitfield.

London Independent Photography (LIP for short) is an informal group of over four hundred amateur and professional photographers of all ages, backgrounds and levels of expertise. For over twenty years its members have come together to build a programme of practical workshops, master classes, talks and exhibitions. Its satellite groups meet up each month in various homes, galleries, studios and pubs throughout London to share work, arrange exhibitions and talk photography.

Special Treat At Royal Artillery Museum This Sunday, August 9

Visitors to Firepower The Royal Artillery Museum are in for a special treat this Sunday, 9 August. The popular heritage attraction within the Royal Arsenal Woolwich is hosting an afternoon of rousing military music with The 1st Cinque Ports Rifle Volunteers Corps of Drums.

The Corps is a group of civilian enthusiasts keen to promote and preserve the traditions and music of the British Army’s drum, flute and bugle Corps of Drums. The group has adopted the title and eye-catching scarlet full dress of the pre-1908 Cinque Ports Rifle Volunteers as a mark of respect for those who served as Volunteers in the past.

Popularly known as fifes and drums, the Corps of Drums is Britain's oldest military music. From the early 1500s drums, and later drums and fifes, signalled soldiers' movements on the battlefield, and cheered them on the march and in camp. By Victorian times the Corps of Drums had assumed its modern form - lead by a Drum Major and consisting of side-drummers, tenor drummers, a bass drummer, a cymbalist and flute players.

The demonstration will begin with a marching display at 2pm, static playing from 2.45 – 3pm then another marching and playing display at 4pm.Firepower, The Royal Artillery Museum is based at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, the birthplace of the Royal Artillery which was founded there in 1716. The history of artillery is illustrated by Firepower’s world-class display of artillery from catapults to rockets, from the medieval battlefield to modern peacekeeping missions, the collections including uniforms, drawings, diaries and medals bring together 700 years of artillery and human history.

Experiences at Firepower include the ground-shaking Field of Fire audio-visual show where visitors are put in the midst of battle as shells and aircraft fly overhead and guns roar, giving an insight into the experiences of an artillery gunner.

Admission to the Museum costs: Adults £5.00, children £2.50, concessions £4.50. Discounted family tickets are also available. For more information about Firepower visit www.firepower.org.uk , call 020 8855 7755 or email info@firepower.org.uk. Firepower is located in the historic Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, London, between the A206 and the Thames.