Thamesmead Tor ride, Sunday 19 October 2014
A solid nine at Cutty Sark Gardens with five I’ve never met before but that probably has more to do with me not having been any rides lately than them being new riders. We set off eastwards but unfortunately lost two of our number quite early on due to a puncture but no puncture repair kit. Another puncture just past the Woolwich Ferry was repaired by committee and we continued on our way. We reached the Tor and enjoyed the clear view on a late October day. At about 12.00 we reached the Cornerstone Café in Woolwich Arsenal where barriers have been erected outside so there’s now somewhere to lock bikes but I’m not sure that’s their original purpose. We continued back westwards to Cutty Sark Gardens losing one at the Barrier who wanted to get home to watch the football.
So six got back to base by about 1.45. Thank you all for coming and bringing the good weather with you and to John who had the honour and privilege of back marking.
In search of the Woolwich Tumps
Date: Mon 25 August 2014
Just two of the more mature members of Greenwich Cyclists braved the weather forecasts and set off on a damp Bank Holiday morning to locate these ‘tumps’ in Woolwich. Like a well-trained pair of special forces soldiers they adjusted their battle plan at the Arsenal, struck out first for the High Tor of Thamesmead (which is now devilishly disguised as Gallions Hill) so as to conduct an aerial survey of tumpland. Both our boys were met at the summit by a local group practising a religious ceremony. The locals were very friendly even in the growing rain and did not detect our undercover purpose. The duo spotted the “Twin Tumps” near to the end of the Harrow Canal by Morrisons. The more camouflaged Tump 53 however avoided our eagle-eyed survey.
The rain becoming ever more tropical, it was decided to infiltrate a local eatery, Cornerstone Café, in an attempt to gather more intelligence from the locals there. This wholly failed. Not even an ex-local elder had heard of these borderland WMD facilities, the Woolwich Tumps. The intrepid lads dried off during the monsoonal part of the morning’s rain and decided to return to base to report on their (limited) findings. The ride leader was brilliantly backmarked on the whole expedition by an expert undercover agent, Dr Senior.
I promise another search for the Tumps, hopefully when the weather is more clement, especially Tump 53 which has been remodelled into a nature reserve. I’d also like any information about their recent history, especially that of the Twin Tumps.
The reconnaissance appeared to show that the Twin Tumps had once had an entrance off Waterside Close. If so, why has the whole area now been fenced off? Is it because of the proposed (and hopefully never-to-be-built) Gallions Reach bridge? Is it perhaps to deter defensive occupation of this reserved space by the public to prevent its desecration? There are so many spaces within the Borough that truly belong to the public but are threatened; it’s surprising that direct action by occupation has not yet been used in their defence.
Report by: Ian Blore