A History of Greenwich in 100 Objects
Welcome to the 'hogblog', with apologies if your route here was diverted via sites about hedgehogs or pig farmers in Kentucky. We tiptoed onto the web in February 2020 and our analyst says we had over 200 visits in the first fortnight !
Between you and me 132 of them were by the editor tweaking the design and layout.
The ambition is to seek out 100 Objects from all round the Borough.
For many visitors and locals "Greenwich" is Greenwich Park, the Maritime Museum and Old Royal Naval College along with the river, market and town centre. This is all rich in History and crowned with the status of a "World Heritage Site". The blog will be searching high and low for the objects that 'say Greenwich'. From 'finds' that mudlarks winkle out from the mud of the Thames foreshore to the amazing paintings, prints and models that are stored along with the 2.5 million items of the RMG Collection and Archives.
But even in our short life the hogbloggers have discovered a horde of "history-keepers" hiding out in many parts of our Royal Borough. From the Charlton Football Club museum to the archives of Thamesmead Now . On the web you can click your way round the Blackheath Society Archives or jog over to Woolwich to join the discussions around the Royal Arsenal . More links to follow.
We are also mindful of the wisdom (shared with me by the owner of a Katmandu coffee shop ) that "not all the knowledge is in the college". We can see that many objects are to be found in the "public realm". Statues, plaques, public art, rusting structures and machines that tell of a disappearing Greenwich Industrial History. Some, like Nelsons Ship in a Bottle (see blog ), are hard to miss - others take a little searching out - such as the numerous historic plaques and murals marking memory places round the borough. These 'objects' connect us with a great crowd of extraordinary people who belong in many different ways to Greenwich. From Ignatious Sancho abolitionist,composer and "African man of letters" to Doug Mullins a well-loved milkman of Royal Hill.
From dockyard and factory, streets and houses, schools, pubs, sports and social clubs, we want to track down the objects that speak of the history of Greenwich for you - in Abbey Wood, Blackheath, Charlton, Deptford, East & West Greenwich, Eltham, Kidbrooke, Greenwich Peninsula, Plumstead, Shooters Hill, Thamesmead, Woolwich. If I have missed your manor then drop me a gentle reminder - preferably with a mention of your favourite local object !
The initial criteria - suggested in conversation with the Greenwich Historical Society - is simply "does this object say Greenwich". Clearly we will need a tighter definition as we grow the blog. The Editor is setting up a "selection" panel who will discuss and decide on any nominated objects that are contentious or need closer scrutiny.
An old key to Greenwich Park, a silver thimble, clay tobacco pipe sporting the "plume of feathers" all take a bit of explanation. Blackheath Tea Hut (see blog) established in the early 1920s and destroyed by a car that "ran out of road" in December 2019 , is the subject of an early blog that says we will bring "lost" objects back into view.
We invite anyone inspired by the project to suggest an Object. Send your suggestions to: email@example.com
We will do our best - but have to say that submission does not guarantee publication.
If you do have an object agreed by the editor you might like to write 500-1500 original words about it. Otherwise it will be in the pile waiting for a hogblogger to pick it up. Word-smiths hit the "get in touch" button ! Guidance on blog style and content will be published shortly.
Clearly we also have the challenge of sourcing a good quality image of each object - with appropriate permission . to reproduce it here.
In a linked project the Royal Museums Greenwich, known to many as the National Maritime Museum, will be hosting a Course on the theme of "50 Objects" over six Wednesday mornings in April and May 2020.
Each week will focus on a different set of objects. From the paintings of Greenwich in the Queens House presented (April 22nd) by Curator of Art Melanie Vandenbrouck to a collection of foreshore finds shared by veteran mudlark Alan Murphy .
Click here for booking & course details.
Behind the screens - the blog is maintained by a small team including History students from Greenwich University who will be working to keep the blog fresh.
NOTE: Currently looking for a volunteer to help with managing the design on WiX. Along with sorting the design, there is potential to boost our search rating, and even add video or audio clips. Apparently a child could do it -but its stretching the editors abilities and patience !