In Which Celia and Isobel Visit Woolwich, Part One

Brexit has sapped me of energy so completely I thought I might be coming down with some ghastly lurgy. Not even the birth of a new baby in the family on Friday was enough to revitalise me.
However, a trip to SE18 was wonderfully restorative.
We set out after lunch for the Thames Barrier. There’s a great deal of redevelopment by the park on the north side of the Thames next to the barrier, but even so, what struck us was how quiet it was, how calm. Compared to our patch of inner city, this was spacious and unpopulated. I felt I could live with views like these of the river.

Thames Barrier

Rays of God

Exposed Foreshore

A tug bringing empty containers came up the river to the barrier, passed through and beyond, making for the City. This containers are filled with London’s rubbish and towed away to be burned, buried or composted.

Tug and Containers

Nearing the Barrier


There was one block of flats we both agreed was very stylish, the design owing something to an ocean going liner of the Queen Mary type. Oddly I didn’t photograph it. I made friends with a young cockapoo called Dobey who was finding his first spring immensely exciting, and Celia sat and listened to the birds and the quiet. A pair of magpies were carrying on a conversation with each other, one bird in a tree, the other perched on a balcony.

Finally we stood up, made our way back to the DLR and continued on to Woolwich. Years ago I used to go to Woolwich to watch stand up at a place called the Tramshed. I remembered the district as quite rough and run down. My grandfather was there in the First World War I understand, as Woolwich was, indeed still is, a place for the military. So when through my work I met a woman recently retired from the Diplomatic Service who had lived all over the world and was in Woolwich and loving it, I was a bit surprised. I filed what she said about how wonderful it was away in my brain, and made a note that I should visit.

Outside the station Celia and I paused. What direction should we go in? We decided to cross to the market which was heralded by a very fine sign. All around there were shops proclaiming the different nationalities and cultures represented in Woolwich. We felt at home at once.

Market Entrance


It was a good choice. The square was still busy, and the atmosphere was relaxed. We headed towards the most obvious structure and read the signs.

Woolwich Arsenal Guardhouse

Guardhouse Minus Fast Food Vans

And I think at this moment I shall pause, for I realise looking at these photos just what a momentous afternoon we had. I also need to make my dinner. I shall aim to follow up, and there will be property envy, football, local gin, a bit of Brexit, and both of us falling in love with a boy called Ben.

9 thoughts on “In Which Celia and Isobel Visit Woolwich, Part One

  1. It was a great afternoon/early evening, just as we had wanted. My first time in Woolwich, and fascinating. I shall certainly look forward to going back. And the great thing about going with Isobel is that I get the photos, only very occasionally having to get my phone out when I want a record of something she isn’t snapping. This time it was yellow lichen on a wooden post by the foreshore, with patterns in the mud beyond. It often is lichen.

    • Yes it is often lichen! The test would be to go on a wet Wednesday in winter and see it f we still like it then. But I imagine summer months with that space by the river could be very seductive.

  2. OK, I am sucked into any post that begins with “Celia and Isobel Visit…”. And here you are visiting a place that I would like to tuck into our annual itinerary as well. Got our snacks ready as we settle in for the next Episode!

    • I’m intrigued. Were you already thinking of visiting Woolwich? I’ll probably not have time to post today, and hopefully more Brexit madness won’t distract me from putting up the next instalment for long.

      • Our comprehension of London expands with every visit. Woolwich is a name that recurs in histories and commentaries so while I haven’t exactly put it on the agenda, if there was a pathfinder pointing the way, we’d likely be following along. So as Celia says, let’s have Ep 2. (And she even knows how it ends!)

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