Tuesday, 24 September 2013
A disappointment on the Greenwich Peninsular.
I have always known about the Greenwich Peninsular of course. I have rounded Blackwall Point, the Northern tip of the peninsular, countless times in any number of ships and barges. The decaying corpses of pirates once swung in the breeze at Blackwall Point as a warning to seafarers who might be tempted to embark on a career change. Now the O2 dwarfs everything in a grotesque tribute to Blairism. I have never visited The Dome, had never walked ashore on the peninsular at all in fact. I know that it was once desolate marshland, became heavily industrialised only to be abandoned until the double whammy of Millennium and Olympics provided the impetus for "redevelopment", but that was the sum of my knowledge. But a few weeks ago I had reason to be on a bus in the area. From the top deck I noticed a row of old terrace cottages and a pub, The Pilot, seemingly stranded in a landscape of new development. A reminder of the days when the river was more than just an interesting backdrop to luxury flats. I determined to visit The Pilot and combine the visit with a ride on Boris' cable car and set out on the expedition yesterday. The cable car ride was splendid. As we descended I could see the row of cottages in the distance and once landed set of for the pub at a brisk pace. Oh! Bugger! Talk about the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and all that. The Pilot was "closed for refurbishment" but judging by the scale of building work going on it looks like something more serious. I fear the worst. The Pilot will doubtless reopen but I suspect will be an establishment of the square plate, swirl of sauce and rocket garnish rather than the decent pint and a jukebox. I should have jumped off the bus when I had the chance.