Tuesday 18 December 2007

Deptford pool - latest news

From Lewisham Council's website, posted on 11 Dec: (apologies for any grammatical errors, they are not mine!)

"The works for the new pool remains on target in terms of practical completion. A defects period will then remain in force until 1.8.08 after which Parkwood Leisure will then take over and commission the facility with a view to opening the site for public use on or about 30th August 2008.

The contract build costs remain on budget. The build programme requires the facility to be closed twice. The first was to accommodate reorganisation of the foyer and took place from 1st to 26th April with as little inconvenience to the public as possible, and the second will take place from 3rd May to 20th August 2008, and this will be to join the new pool with the existing building. The opportunity will also be taken to carry out refurbishment works in the existing pool hall.

The creation of new offices and workspace within the library were completed on 4th July 2007. Works to form a mezzanine deck were found to be more intensive than originally envisaged, but in the main, the works did not cause any major problems to the continued day to day operation of the library or the services it offered.

Overall, the construction works have progressed significantly towards a watertight building, with the roof and internal blockwork walls and glazing to the Giffin Street fa├žade now complete."

One thing I am concerned about is the planned opening hours. Currently the pool does not open until 8am for its 'early bird' swim. (These birds will never catch the worm if they stay in bed that late!). This combined with the fact that it's primarily aimed at kids (very warm water, funny shape pool) means I'm rarely seen in there.

Since I'm usually on a train heading for Waterloo East at 8am, I am keen to see the new pool operating more appropriate hours to offer access for early swimmers. I have to cycle to the Arches leisure centre in Greenwich to get a swim in the morning, and I know at least one other early morning swimmer who passes Wavelengths on her way to the Arches every morning in her car.

I have asked the council's leisure dept what opening hours are planned, but all they could tell me was that it had not yet been decided, and there would be consultation carried out before the pool is ready to open. So far no sign of any consultation either on the council's website or at the pool, and I'm finding it difficult to get any more response from the leisure department.

Please please please, if you are listening, make the morning hours more sensible! If you are serious about improving swimming provision in the borough (I'm trying to pretend that the Ladywell fiasco was an isolated case) then take the simple step of giving us the chance of an early morning dip!

Greenwich peninsula

Sunday was a great chance to take the bike and scoot around the peninsula for the first time in ages. Great to find that some of the path that's been closed for ages is back open again, but disappointing to find other parts that have been open now closed.

It was sunny but bitterly cold, so nice and quiet especially on the stretch from the peninsula down to the Thames Barrier. I tried to remember what it was like here before all the redevelopment and found that some of these memories are fading well into the past.

Wished I had the time, daylight and flask of coffee that would enable me to extend my ride as far as Erith or beyond.

But the winter solstice is only days away, and after that, onwards to summer!!!

Wednesday 12 December 2007

Sunday afternoon blues

Sundays are very quiet for our car park patrollers. These guys are usually driving round the estate clamping unsuspecting parking violators and then charging them an arm and a leg to have the clamp removed. But we often see them parked up on Sunday afternoons in their vans, having a bit of a chat. Sometimes for several hours! I'm not sure if their extended breaks are costing 'the ratepayer' anything, perhaps the company's income comes from the fines?

Anyhow, it was rather wet last Sunday and this sight did make me chuckle a bit. I think it looks rather sweet....

Frosty morning in Twinkle Park

Monday 3 December 2007

Safety in numbers

I braved the driving rain on Friday night to meet up with a group of random strangers in a pub near Catford. Well actually they weren't really random since they all had Lewisham roots of some sort or another, and some of them weren't even strangers! As for the pub near Catford, the Jolly Farmers, it turned out to be a gem! Fabulous real ale on offer, the guest beers being served straight fromthe barrels that were installed behind the bar. Sadly I was driving (courtesy of the appalling weather) so wasn't able to indulge as much as I would have liked, but did enjoy a pint of St Austell brewery's Proper Job.

Anyway, it was good to finally meet up with some of those folks whose blogs I've been reading for years, and to find out about blogs I've never heard of before! It was an impressive turnout:

old 'friends' were:
Andrew Brown
Inspector Sands
and Robert

New finds were:
Andrew Milton
and David

I'll admit it was much more fun than an evening with random strangers in a pub in Catford could have been; already looking forward to the next one!

Saturday 1 December 2007

God watches over Deptford

This morning I noticed a hand-written sign on one of the second-hand stalls on Deptford market:

"We do not give discount on this stall by order of God".

You can't really argue with that.