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Alex Pink In Woolwich

October 6, 2016
by the gentle author

Contributing Photographer Alex Pink moved across the river to Woolwich earlier this year and sent me this photo essay of his new manor, which inspired me to spend an afternoon with him last week exploring the contradictions of this fascinating place, caught between the industrial past of the former dockyards and the rapidly rising developments which foreshadow the arrival of Crossrail in 2018

Photographs copyright © Alex Pink

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9 Responses leave one →
  1. Jan Evelyn-Wilson permalink
    October 6, 2016

    Good to see a photographer taking an interest in Woolwich. You’ve inspired me! With Crossrail coming, it’ll be interesting to observe how Woolwich changes. ( btw Did you know that there’s a Woolwich Photographic Society – based in Shooter’s Hill! – ?) Hope to see more photos from Woolwich.

  2. Richard permalink
    October 6, 2016

    Great pictures, much enjoyed.

  3. October 6, 2016

    Fascinating photos – woild make me want to go to Woolwich again

  4. ROBERT GREEN permalink
    October 6, 2016

    As a youngster during the 1960s my father would take me over to Woolwich almost every week, I always thought it was quiet a nice place in those days, the ride across the Thames on the ferry was something I looked forward to and added a bit of excitement, when we came off the ferry and made our way along it was always an impressive sight to see the magnificent Odeon cinema on one side of the road with its red neon sign and lighting enhancing its impressive art deco design and adding to its aurora of glamour and then on the other side of the road standing equally impressive the Granada cinema, the two colossal but majestic structures facing each other across an expance of road in direct but dignified opposition, we would walk along past the gigantic Co-OP department store and make our way along the high street that in those days boasted an impressive array of high class shops for a South East London suburb, we useually went on a Sunday night and every Sunday at about 5pm the sound of the Salvation Army band would be heard echoing around the empty streets, they would parade along the high street in their smart military style uniforms and then assemble in a regular spot and hold a concert that we would stand and listen to before going back on the ferry to our side of the river and make our way back to Upton Park, = A few years ago I had occasion to re visit Woolwich for the first time in litterally decades, after a few hours looking around I left again filled with depression and a deep feeling of loss, pound shops, decay, dereliction urban squalor I can find anywhere, I have no need to re visit Woolwich to experience it.

  5. Ros permalink
    October 6, 2016

    Very good selection and giving a lively portrait of Woolwich right now – in a year’s time lots will have changed. I must pay it another visit.

  6. Annie S permalink
    October 6, 2016

    Great photos.
    I believe the first McDonalds in the UK was opened in Woolwich.

  7. Malcolm permalink
    October 7, 2016

    I worked at Woolwich Polytechnic from 1970-74 and at that time Woolwich was a very pleasant place. The market square and the selection of high-quality department stores along Powis Steet attracted shoppers, so the local economy – and the local people – benefitted. There were a lot of varied small shops and restaurants too. At the roundabout adjacent to the Woolwich ferry stood the great art deco cinemas – the Odeon on one side and the Granada on the other. A little further down towards Greenwich was the old AEI cable factory. There was quite a bit of industry along the river in those days. Like many pockets of London Woolwich suffered from the closure of manufacturing industries and the general economic malaise of the late 70’s and early 80’s. By the end of the 80’s it was almost derelict and a decaying remnant of a once prosperous town. It has never really recovered and today it is a fairly depressing place with just a few fragments of its history left. Building great swathes of nasty apartments on every available bit of land won’t help much, it will just make it even more depressing.

  8. Ian Silverton permalink
    October 8, 2016

    Woolwich looks more run down than when I lived in the Mitre Pub next too the picture palace next door, had a birds eye view of the River from my bedroom window of the Thames,great at night, in about the late 60s,stayed for a year and moved off too Royal Eltham. Always wondered why they never charge the cars to use the ferry.

  9. Ken Stewart permalink
    May 15, 2021

    Used to go over on the ferry and sometimes go through the fot tunnel and have a drink in Rose’s. Can’t remember if that was Plaisteds wine bar

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