We visited the Hoy Steps again today to view the condition of the street level area inside the gates and assess the clean up task. After 20 years of restricted access, an accumulation of old wheels, wooden pallets and tangle of Buddleia block the steps. There is also a large amount of scaffolding framing the space which can be used again in any reconstruction plan. High tide at midday prevented us seeing more than half a dozen of the twenty steps that lead down to the muddy shoreline at low tide. A ferry once transported people across the creek to Greenwich at this point. The ‘hoy!’ call out to summon a boat was first heard here hundreds of years ago.
Our last Creeknet meet-up started out at Laban Dance cafe’ from where we walked down Creekside and over the Ha’penny Hatch footbridge to the fork in the path on the Norman Road side. Thames Tideway are rapidly completing this controversial diversion, whilst setting out their groundwork for an 18m diameter x 60m deep excavation to a 12m diameter 30km Sewage overflow tunnel from Ealing on route to Becton.
Waste removal from the Greenwich Pumping station site will add 100 trucks a day to the roads already overloaded with heavy construction services. Earlier suggestions to use huge river barges have been kicked into the long grass in favour of the pre-approved and cheaper option.!
Continuing on our way up to Creek Bridge, we stopped off at the far end of Hiltons Wharf, to step out on to the tiny mooring point in time to catch departure of the Prior’s aggregate ship to Gravesend for a refill. Opposite, the race for construction of two huge towers crashes on, sucking up the entire concrete capacity of Euromix!
After a well deserved coffee at Hoy Kitchen and visit to the steps we were picked up by Camden for a fantastic river trip aboard a motorised lifeboat, which first took us out onto the Thames before returning us to the nest of houseboats at 4 Creekside.
At the furthest reaches of the tidal creek, Friends of Brookmill Park held their quarterly meeting to map out activities for the rest of spring and early summer. Their re planting program in the formal garden adjacent to Stephen Lawrence centre is proceeding well with fresh lavender beds and new roses. Mariner and beekeeper Julian Kingston will talk about local shipbuilding at a fundraiser event in Brookmill pub on June 7th, space is limited to 30 seats so get your ticket soon!
That’s just a few weeks before the Creeknet Symposium on 20th and 21st June. DIY networks of Deptford Creek host partners from the MAZI project in Germany, Switzerland and Greece to attend this ‘cross pollination event’, all are welcome.
The first day begins at Hoy Kitchen on Creek Road with rolling breakfast welcome, exhibition of local images and stories followed by mass low tide walk at Creekside Discovery Centre at 3pm. The second day starts with project presentations and lunch at Stephen Lawrence Centre, followed by a visit to Redstart Arts and picnic in Brookmill Park. Finally take a walkshop to the Creek Mouth, crossing bridges and exploring the Creeknet trail.