Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tall ships at Greenwich

If you were wondering what all those fireworks in Greenwich were in aid of last night, rest or not assured you can hear and see them again tonight and tomorrow at 9.15pm down at the Old Royal Naval College.

They're part of the 'celebrations' for the "Return of the Tall Ships".

More fireworks will be staged in Woolwich over the weekend. Check the Greenwich Council website for details of day and evening entertainment (+ grand finale on Sunday eve) and the opportunity to tour the boats for free.

The main website for the ships is Sail Royal Greenwich which gives the impression it's a corporate jamboree. Tickets are available to the public as well – at 60 quid per adult (there are concessions) for a two and a half hour cruise, but there's a £20 surcharge to take the VIP evening cruise with the fireworks which includes a buffet dinner.

The corporate sell on Sail Royal Greenwich makes you wonder where all the money is going... Perhaps to pay for the preservation of these wonderful old ships? A clue comes in the hard-to-find sister website Sail Training International, a registered charity that aims to aid the development and education of young people through the sail training experience, regardless of nationality, culture, religion, gender or social background.

Meanwhile, enjoy the tall ships! And the fireworks!

Update 30th August:
We took a rather more cynical stance when we first posted about the fireworks (we wondered who was paying for them), but then decided to delete our negative comments and leave it to 853blog to dig the dirt. Sure enough, both 853 and Greenwich Phantom have questioned and commented on the role of Greenwich Council in this event. The Phantom also advises a better view of the fireworks from Island Gardens.

Photos by PaulHP and Damien Burke


  1. Has nobody thought about the terrible effects of the nightly fireworks on domestic pets. Our dog has been terrified every night for the last two nights , with two more to come!

    1. Yes and the ships are spectacular on their own, don't need fireworks, or at least not every night!

  2. I went last night. It was a good display but possibly the worst attended event I've ever been to! Not many tourists either. Blackheath probably better value for Greenwich tax payers!

    The best bit was when all the ships gathered after the firework display and their masts and sails were lit up. That was quite magical.