Tuesday 28 September 2021

Let's draw new and old Woolwich - Saturday 16 October 2021

Our theme of sketching is regeneration.

We have chosen Woolwich Arsenal as our base for the day.

Saxony demi cannon in front of the Royal Brass Foundry

by Margaret Gorman
Hosts for the day are Margaret Gorman and John Swanson 

The historic military town of Woolwich is a focus for London’s urban renewal plans, described as a key “piece of the jigsaw” for Greenwich Council.

This is on top of the changes already in play, from the development of Woolwich Arsenal and the upcoming opening of the Elizabeth line, the new railway that will pass through central London from Reading in the west, to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east.

As of September 2021, five heritage industrial buildings on the Royal Arsenal have been redeveloped as part of the new performing arts hub Woolwich Works 

All sketches by Margaret Gorman  

The old garrison church gate

Old Town Hall

Getting there

Situated on the riverside with already excellent transportation links, Woolwich is easier to reach than you think. The current station for Woolwich Arsenal is on the DLR, and then trains departing from Waterloo and London Bridge. It can also be reached via bus from North Greenwich on the Jubilee Line.  

And for those who might want to enjoy extra sketching opportunities, the clipper service ends at Woolwich pier and takes you past all the landmarks along the shores of the Thames. It’s more costly than the other forms of public transport and moves quickly, but on a sunny day it’s a great way to get out there. 

The Royal Brass Foundry

The Grand Store 

Food and drink

Food and drink are available in the cafes, pubs and food trucks both in the town centre and across the street in the Arsenal. Public toilets can be found on Beresford Square as well as the cafes.

In case of rain, cover can be found in the nearby cafes and among the buildings. There are some good views of the town from the library, which will be open. For river views, the café at The Yoga Space has space, good coffee and treats.

Other than public transport, there will be no costs for the day. 

On the Thames path

Plan for the day

11 am

We'll meet at the sculpture “Assembly” by Peter Burke on the Royal Arsenal near the pier. It's an eye-catching installation of sixteen life-sized cast iron figures. If you come via the bus or the DLR, cross the street to the riverside and follow the signs to the pier and you won’t miss it. 

1 pm Throwdown

Meet at the entrance of the new Elizabeth line rail station at the Arsenal (will be covered during rain) to share the work for the day.

3 pm Throwdown

Meet in Beresford Square. We will try and find a spot out of the rain if it’s wet outside. 

For anyone who wants to catch up at the end of the day before heading home, we've booked some space for drinks at the Dial Archa restored 18th-century armoury.  

More information 

The Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust has published 'Woolwich History Walks' with simple illustrated maps of two walking trails that cover the Royal Arsenal and wider Woolwich. There's also a Royal Arsenal Timeline

This is the list of all of the developments in Woolwich: 

Royal Arsenal – adding 5,000 new homes to the area
Woolwich Works – new creative quarter
Elizabeth line – part of the new railway by Crossrail Ltd.
Beresford Street crossing & junction improvement – connecting the town to the Arsenal
Woolwich Leisure Centre – new community centre
Spray Street – Another 650 homes plus new retail and public spaces
Woolwich Estates – regeneration of Connaught, Morris Walk, Maryon Road and Grove Estates

And for news of development and debates on housing, transport and retail across southeast London, there's a local blog From the Murky Depths.

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