River Thames & Greenwich

Reading another blog today I found a post about Greenwich, and it reminded me of my many walks there, particularly along the the path by the River Thames. Starting from the centre of Greenwich you can walk downriver for as long as your legs will carry you, with only slight detours away from the riverside.  The first section is now a part of the designated Thames Path,  which runs from the source to the Thames Barrier at Charlton, but you can keep on walking, the Thames path extension taking you to Crayford Ness, but there is no need to stop there.

Over the years (and starting when the Thames Path was just a roughly duplicated proposal) I’ve walked all the way out to past Cliffe though in a number of shorter sections, and photographed as I went.

© 1982, Peter Marshall
Cable laying ship, Enderby’s Wharf, Riverside Walk, Greenwich (1982)

The section at North Greenwich used to end just after a container dock, where you walked cautiously between yellow lines and hoped that they wouldn’t drop one on you as you walked through, before emerging close to the southern portal of the Blackwall tunnel. You could not continue along the riverside, but had to walk back and across the peninsula as its north end was occupied by both a large gas works, closed in 1985 and also a power station, closed in 1980.  Following the demolition of these old works and the building of the Millennium Dome you can now continue around by the river.

The smaller of the two gas holders is still there. Its larger companion was impressive, and one of the largest ever built (there was a larger one in, of course, the USA) and the gas works was the largest in Europe when it was built. I’m told the concrete silos are due to be demolished soon.

I’ve walked along the riverside path quite a few times over the years, though now I usually prefer to use a bicycle it is also a cycle route. so I also have more recent pictures, but I think it was more interesting back in the early 1980s. You can see 23 pictures from the London Borough of Greenwich, I think entirely along the riverside on ‘London’s Industrial Heritage.’

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