Tuesday 3 November 2015

Petition to bring back the anchor

The Deptford Society has teamed up with Deptford is Forever to launch a new petition asking Lewisham Council to return the anchor to Deptford High Street.

The anchor was removed ahead of the high street refurbishment and in response to lobbying by some people who blamed it for attracting street drinkers to the south end of the high street. Money from the Mayor's outer London fund was used to pay for the refurbishment that was carried out - here's how the top of the street was intended to look after the work.

And here's what's there now: shabby and useless street furniture, electric points and broken bollards.

An abandoned waymarker, still wrapped in its plywood coffin. Covered in fly posters and slowly rotting.

An empty space where a cafe kiosk/row of trees/symbolic anchor/all three could happily co-exist. Now providing parking for Asda trucks to unload their goods noisily at anti-social hours.

The former setting of the anchor, on a low plinth, made it attractive to street drinkers, and their presence was one of the reasons given for its removal. Now the drinkers gather in Giffin Square instead, next to the school and library. 

Removing the anchor has swept away Deptford’s history, but the social issues persist. There is an empty space where the anchor once stood as a proud reminder of the Royal Dockyard. 
Our anchor can be reinstated without a plinth. The landscape architect responsible for installing the anchor in 1988 has said the plinth is not essential. There are many examples of anchors without plinths across London and the UK. 

Deptford began as a small fishing village and grew prosperous from its position on the river. The anchor serves as a reminder of the skills, industry, trade and international links so significant to the town’s history. We therefore demand that the Deptford Anchor is returned – without a plinth – to its rightful place, marking the gateway to the river where the town was born. 

It's time for something different. Time to bring back the anchor.
Sign it here.


Anonymous said...

I imagine sitting on a anchor to be painful.

(yes no clue what it did look like before)

Anonymous said...

Ah yes...bring the anchor back for all the drunks to sit on

Anonymous said...

Yes agree the anchor is a complete drunkards landmark.

Obviously that's why it was removed.

Anonymous said...

So that's why the drunks are still about everywhere else there's no anchor?

Anonymous said...

The 'drunks' did not sit 'on the anchor' they sat on the paved raised paving that the feature sat on. Nobody wants that back, and the petition doesn't as for it, so they simply won't return there. By the way, removing the anchor hasn't solved any of the social issues that led them there in the first place. Lewisham council must protect Deptford's heritage, and also must begin to address the root causes of these wider issues.

Anonymous said...

My friend, deal with the issue of the drunks in Deptford first; once that problem is solved we can all happily address the issue of where the Anchor will be placed. Start by issuing fines to businesses that sell alcohol to known drunks and ensure the Council and Police having a zero tolerance policy.

If the Cutty Sark was in Deptford drunks would be gathering around it doing what drunks do but as the Royal Borough of Greenwich values its heritage it exercises a zero tolerance policy. Lewisham Council unfortunately are more concerned with the monstrosities they are building around Lewisham Station to care.

Anonymous said...

I've lived at the 'anchor' end of the street for almost 20 years and I can categorically tell you that my life and the lives of my children
who grew up in Deptford are all much, much more pleasant now that the street drinkers are drinking elsewhere.
I feel I've done my bit, Along with all the other residents at this end of the street putting up with urine, excrement, blood and vomit, in, around and often on my doorstep for years on end.

Quite frankly, having them congregate around the school (which all of my children attended) instead of the anchor will perhaps force the council to deal with the drinking problem more proactively.

The Anchor appeared in 1988. So it's not that old. And it's from Woolwich not Deptford. So I don't really consider it 'Heritage'.
It made me laugh then, when it first appeared, even though at the time I lived in New Cross, it was so obviously a cheap
and lumpen attempt at public sculpture. Couldn't anyone have come up with something a bit more creative?
There are far older and more interesting bits of architecture right next to the anchor site that could be highlighted
and might say more about Deptford's history than a cast off lump from Woolwich. No offense Woolers.
And I love anchors. On ships.

Arthur Smith said...

Whoa ... some haters here!

The anchor did not cause the anti-social behaviour problem. Returning won't solve the problem either, but it will give back a focal point to the south end of the High Street, and hopefully stop Asda's(and others)lorries from destroying the paving.

Lighten up naysayers! The anchor's a symbol, and Deptford needs it. So it originated ... ooh ... miles away in Woolwich? So what? Trust me, Cutty Sark didn't originate in Greenwich, but I guess Greenwich won't rush to send it back where it came from!

Anonymous said...

Can someone translate the above please

Anonymous said...

F*ck the anchor. People who live nearby don't want it back and the drunks that it will inevitably attract again as a meeting point. The idiots that want it returned (especially the moron who is littering the streets with red tape anchors) obviously don't live nearby and don't have to put up with the urine, vomit, screaming, begging, propositioning from the drunks that used to frequent the area who now not only congregate in Griffin Square, but also New Cross Square where the Payless Supermarket supplies them with booze. The council needs to deal with the anti-social and alcohol issues in the vicinity rather than wasting time and money on replacing an anchor that actually has no historical reference to Deptford other than it has something vaguely to do with ships.

The Asda trucks could be easily stopped by maintained bollards, not a stupid piece of pointless pseudo-public sculpture.

Captain Bligh said...

What a bunch of bitter and miserable "Anons". The anchor merely hinted at a far greater history. Deptford was much more than "vaguely to do with ships" as the home of this country's premier royal dockyard and a place where ships have been built since the time of the Romans. Great advances and inventions were made in that yard and great historical figures like John Evelyn and Samuel Pepys were part of its fabric. While you bicker about where street drinkers sit Greenwich steals our heroes and history and markets them without a single mention of Deptford. The latest example being the NMM exhibition "Pepys, Plague,Fire & Revolution." Instead of taking swipes at those who happen to like the place we should be getting the council to run a few of the betting shops out of town by removing their licences. Perhaps helping drinkers to detox might reduce their numbers ? Personally, I think the only solution is a "London Borough of Deptford" based in Deptford town hall . (another example of our incredible heritage)...........ah, but of course the stone it was built with came from Portland so "has no historical reference".

Altostratus said...

Anchor or no anchor I dont care!

jimmy said...

That part of Deptford has a strong tradition of alcholic low lifes. They used to live in the spike on Brookmill Rd, possibly still do. They used to use the art deco Odeon that was on the corner of Deptford Church St. Generations of them have lived round there, have a look at Booth's poverty maps. They support local businesses, provide them with proper facilities, their own toilets, needle exchanges for those with a wider perspective. They've lived here longer than most of you newbies, a little christian charity and tolerance might help.

jimmy said...

Forgot to say, I liked the anchor!
If you think this is a lumpen attempt at public art you should check out the Peter The Great disaster on Glaisher Street. Most modern street sculpture is appallingly bad, pretentious and irrelevant.