Woolwich has a great sense of community. Here, I’ve listed just some of the organizations you may want to contact. I also recommend keeping a beady eye on Twitter. Follow the great people and groups listed below, plus me @TOWIWoolwich, Benson @WoolwichOnline, Mr. G @mistergreenwich, and Rob @greenwichcouk and you’ll be pretty well informed. More recent additions to Woolwich’s social media scene are @woolwichonline and @woolwichwideweb. Between us all, I think we have most things covered!
Woolwich Big Screen/General Gordon Square
What it’s good for: Apart from being a popular, grassy open space, General Gordon Square also has the big screen. Ideal for sporting and other cultural events.
Get involved: Follow @Royal_Greenwich on Twitter for news about events in the square or check out the council’s website www.royalgreenwich.gov.co.uk
Second Floor Studios and Arts, Harrington Way, SE18 5NR
What it’s good for: Twice-yearly Open Studios where the artists (250 SFSA members and 100 Thames Barrier Print Studio members) throw their doors open to the public. Visitors are free to wander from studio to studio as they please, meeting the artists and viewing their latest works. Also: Regular exhibitions at No Format, the onsite gallery. CANTEEN is the spacious café that nurtures hungry artists during the week. It’s open to everyone. Weekdays only.
Get involved: You can follow SFSA on Twitter @2ndFloorStudios or on Facebook. You can also follow the café on Twitter @SFSA-CANTEEN for regular and mouth-watering updates on what’s cooking. SFSA also has a blog for regular updates at www.secondfloorstudiosarts.wordpress.com. More general details at www.secondfloor.co.uk or the gallery’s website www.noformat.co.uk
Greenwich Heritage Centre, Artillery Square, Royal Arsenal, SE18 4DX
What it’s good for: The permanent free exhibition offers a fascinating insight into 400 years of history at the Royal Arsenal and the Woolwich Dockyards. There are also at least four temporary exhibitions a year. It also has a vast collection of books, historical records, drawings, maps, and intriguing artefacts. You can pop in and do some research.
Get involved: You can follow Greenwich Heritage Centre on Twitter @GreenwichHC and read all about it at www.greenwichheritage.org and sign up for the regular newsletter.
Woolwich Grand Theatre, 38 Wellington Street, SE18 6PE
What it’s good for: The Woolwich Grand combines a cinema space, bar, and café/performance space. Adrian is the main force behind it: a man with big ideas and a shoestring budget.
Get involved: You can follow WGT at www.facebook.com/WoolwichGrand but I find the best way to keep up with events is to get on Adrian’s emailing list. Contact him at email@example.com and ask to be added. The web address is www.thewoolwichgrandtheatre.com. Also on Twitter @woolwichgrand
Woolwich Singers, Clockhouse Community Centre, Defiance Walk, Woolwich Dockyard SE18 5QL
What it’s good for: Singing! This is Woolwich’s community choir, and meets every Wednesday at 6:30. The choir sings a mix of traditional and pop and no one is expected to sing alone. Cost is 2 quid per rehearsal, which includes tea and biscuits. There’s no joining fee.
Get involved: Joining the choir is easy. Just turn up! Or get in touch via the website www.woolwichsingers.co.uk. You can follow the choir on Twitter @Woolwichsingers
The Dial Arch, Number 1 Street, The Warren, Royal Arsenal Riverside, SE18 6GH
What it’s good for: Good food, wine and real ales. It also has a Quiz Night every Sunday from 8pm, and a regular line-up of acoustic acts and special food/drink events that are worth keeping an eye out for. It also has a relaxed café space that offers a selection of board games.
Get involved: Follow Dial Arch on Twitter @DialArch or on facebook. The web address is www.dialarch.com.
Firepower: The Royal Artillery Museum, Royal Arsenal Woolwich, SE18 6ST
What it’s good for: Apart from its extensive permanent display of military artefacts, Firepower has regular events for kids and adults, especially during the school holidays. It also has a licensed café called Unity Kitchen, open Monday to Saturday from 9:30 to 5pm.
Get involved: Follow Firepower on Twitter @FirepowerMuseum and check out the website www.firepower.org.uk. They’re on facebook. You can also sign up for the newsletter.
Aperture Woolwich Photographic Society, Shrewsbury House Community Centre, Shooters Hill
What it’s good for: This is a friendly and inclusive photography club for amateurs and professionals, meeting most Tuesdays from September through to May.
Get involved: You can follow the group on Twitter @aperturewps and find out more at www.woolwichphotographic.com