It's in the Oympia Shed at Convoys Wharf, courtesy of Hutchison Whampoa. Covered in cobwebs and pigeon shit. Why?
The council officer in charge of regeneration of the high street told us over a month ago that it will probably end up being 'part of a new development' – so here it is, in the hands of the least likely people to care about the history and heritage of Deptford, but who have probably got the best security.
The anchor's safe here, that's for certain. This place is so secure that visitors to London Open House at Convoys Wharf on Saturday had to SIGN IN with an exact time, and stay within the bollards and not stray off-piste or else they'd get a severe telling off, and then SIGN OUT with an exact time when they left.
That was apparently due to Health & Safety, yet not every visitor was given the flyer that carried the disclaimer that Convoys Wharf Properties and Hutchison Whampoa had absolutely nothing to do with you breaking your leg crossing the massive blue electrical cable that crossed the bridge to the pier where you could buy coffee and tea (and not much else) off a sole trader for £2 a hit and imagine what it would all be like when built.
Probably not very nice, since the imaginary tall buildings behind you might triple the wind factor on the pier. Oddly, we tripped ungainly on the electrical cable cover, which was exactly where the outgoing and incoming Directors of Hutchison Whampoa Properties European Division (Messrs Benyon and Hayden) spent most of their time on site....both armed with cameras, taking pictures of each other to pass the time on their trip hazard watch.
The signing in and out for visitors was probably very useful for Hutchison & Whampoa to claim they had completed yet another public consultation and be able to give figures, whilst manipulating all the actual consultation they did.
For instance, they asked visitors what we would like to happen in the Olympia Shed as though they had no ideas of their own. They did have some ideas, but as we understand it, English Heritage have firmly suggested the fabric of the building cannot be interfered with too much, although this wasn't fully explained. This is almost the only bit of the site they are not allowed to build on (so far), but now they've been told they can't turn it into the glass palace they envisaged last time round.
They intend to make a profit out of it somehow, so God knows why they were asking Open House visitors, who may be less likely to offer up the sort of ideas that could come from others less interested in architecture, such as a duplication of the Millennium Dome (cinemas, music venues, restaurants). Open House visitors might have chosen more heritage-related ideas, but we shall never know, since even when you put your name down just to be updated, you never are.
Here's a grumpy Henry VIII looking to get arrested...
Bill came over from London Open House at the Master Shipwright's House to have a gander and frighten the developers. (For a report on Open House at the Master Shipwright's go to Deptford Is...). Bill was part of the original campaign against excessive redevelopment at Convoys that began as soon as the previous owner Rupert Murdoch began putting in plans, that culminated in 2005/6 with Murdoch selling the site to Hutchisons. Deptford Is... are continuing Bill's and others' work through the Build The Lenox and Sayes Court Garden projects.
Here's a NEW misleading model of Terry Farrell's masterplan for the redevelopment of the Royal Dockyard of Henry VIII that was on show at Convoys Wharf. Note the weird disappearing 48 storey building which for some reason is totally see-thru and almost invisible. Do they imagine we will not note its presence when it is built?