Sunday, 5 February 2012

Eltham in Royal Borough celebrations

Fireworks over Tudor Barn - my poor photo from the loft
It would be remiss of me to let today pass without doing a post on one of the biggest celebrations in Eltham in recent times.  As I wrote in a post earlier in the week, on 4 February the ‘London Borough of Greenwich’ became the ‘Royal Borough of Greenwich’ and there have been celebrations all over the borough - in Woolwich last Friday, Greenwich today, with Eltham’s turn yesterday. 

In Eltham, the newly-signed ‘royal charter’ went on display at the Eltham Leisure Centre, and there were events around town including at Eltham Palace. A tree gift from Her Maj was planted at the Well Hall Pleasaunce, and then later there was music and fireworks at the Tudor Barn, finishing just before the snow descended.

Due to family commitments and then my need to avoid ice-induced brain-freeze, I didn’t venture out to any of the events but lots of people did, and have commented on them:

- there’s great photos by greenwichcouk (Rob of the Tudor Barn events here:…

- Darryl’s wry post ‘Greenwich’s royal borough roadshow hits Eltham with a bang’

- a striking photo posted by Bryn McNeill (via twitter @bigsocietyis) of an icy fountain at Well Hall during the tree planting

- and @darryl1974 reported yesterday “Passing through Eltham. Just seen a town crier in full garb walk down Well Hall Road. Hope his bell doesn't freeze up...”

- a close up photo of that Royal Charter confirming Greenwich's Royal Status:

I’ve speculated before on what benefit royal status would bring the the borough and to Eltham - here’s a take by the Leader of Greenwich Council, Councillor Chris Roberts said: "These celebrations are a great way to showcase all the current and future inward investment, tourist and job opportunities that Royal Greenwich has to offer. Tourism brings in £774 million to the local economy, welcomes over 18 million visitors, supports more than 8,000 jobs and has helped make Greenwich the only UK destination listed in Frommer's top ten global places to visit in 2012. Our new Royal Borough status will drive forward our record levels of regeneration and cement our role as a key international destination for businesses and visitors from across the globe." 

Well, that would be good. Although a recent New Statesman piece casts doubts on the economic benefits often forecast for royal connected events.

And not all locals are enamoured:
@Labour_Partisan Tom: 'Royal servility festival in Greenwich this weekend, might give that a miss'.

Elsewhere, others have chosen to highlight the much-needed improvements to the borough rather than the expenditure and fanfare about royal status:
- 'Signs of the times' at the 853 blog
- 'Greetings from Royal Kidbrooke' at the Kidbrooke Kite

And finally, Rob (@greenwichcouk) posted: ‘London Tonight featured Greenwich and the its new name today - available to watch online… at 22 minutes in’

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