The Lesnes Abbey event yesterday gave the impression of having been organised
by enthusiastic junior Bexley council employees with a total lack of support from above.
The Parkour was supposed to get an official opening at 2 p.m. but arriving only two minutes late I saw no sign of it. No mayor cutting a ribbon, not even a ward councillor present. My enquiries revealed that neither they nor Teresa Pearce MP were invited.
There were four event stands present and a face painter. Even the ice cream van failed to make an appearance.
The people in the green tents (Photo 1 of 4 below) had a few leaflets about the Abbey for the inquisitive but nothing that hasn’t been seen countless times before. I was hoping to pick up something about the recent archaeological finds but there is apparently unlikely to be any more news until next year.
The abbey groundsman told me that the builders were expected to move on to the Visitor Centre site on 10th September but I could probably have asked him about that at any time.
Peabody Housing had put on a reasonable show with diagrams of their proposed improvements to the Green Chain Walk. The Yarnton Road to Southmere Lake section should be finished within the next two or three weeks or to put it another way, nearly four months late.
The Yarnton Road to Alsike Road section will get similar treatment soon afterwards; landscaping and the steeply inclined paths made a little easier. There was even some talk of replacing the ugly concrete bridge over the railway line at some time but that is more hope and aspiration at the moment and will be a long way off.
A Bexley council employee with a clipboard was floating around seeking ideas for improving the Ridgeway, which is the walkway over the old Bazalgette sewer that ends at Crossness.
By far the most popular stand was run by Karen and Charlie Slade who had driven in period costume from Leicestershire to demonstrate the ancient crafts of tile making and mixing lime mortar.