At Lizzie’s cafe in East Greenwich Pleasaunce – telling a new residents about the Pleasaunce’s memorial to the sailors who died and fought in the Navy under Nelson
I have lived in Humber Road for over forty years – and have been involved in Greenwich politics all that time.
Originally I came from Gravesend where my father, a keen trade unionist, worked in a local factory. I grew up there, went to school and later became secretary of Gravesend Young Socialists. I had been working for Computer Weekly magazine when I moved to Greenwich and got a job with Greenwich Theatre when they opened. Later I worked at Charlton Library, and later still at the old North Charlton Project. In between times I went to what was then Thames Polytechnic in Woolwich, got a degree – and went on to research the history of the local gas industry for a Phd. I ended my working life with fifteen years at an organisation which researched regeneration in Docklands and the riverside on behalf of community and not-for-profit groups.
My interest in local history led me to be one of the founders of Greenwich Industrial History Society and I run a blog for them. I have been involved in this at a London and national level and have written a number of books on Greenwich industries.
My late husband, Alan, had worked for Greenwich Council for many years and when we both retired it seemed obvious that I should stand for the Council as a Labour Party candidate. I was elected for what was then Trafalgar Ward in 2000 – the year it was the focus of national attention!
As a councillor I have been particularly involved with Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency and also the Co-operative Party. I have been involved in Council projects on cycling, on walking, on Greenwich Heritage, Greenwich Wildlife Group and on Greenwich Libraries. I am about the start a project on extending our recycling scheme.
Now my ward is called Peninsula – a major regeneration area plus the Dome. The hectic pace of development makes being a councillor here a more than full time job – even as a back bencher who rarely goes near the Town Hall. I have worked with many new residents – in particular on the Millennium Village, but also with the many lifelong Greenwich residents in East Greenwich and Charlton. I try to be out and about in the ward every day and I do the best I can to keep in contact with as many local people as I can – and luckily as a keen computer user I have tried to set up systems to do this.
A Titanic moment on the Greenwich riverside
I think I am so lucky to represent an area like this – so much is going on with daily changes and constant media attention. For twenty five years now I have worked in areas which are under constant media scrutiny. There can’t be many little old ladies, living alone (well with B and the cat), who have such an exciting life.
However – since the local ward party has decided they no longer want me I am taking up options for something new – wait and see….. it might get even more exciting.