Petition calls for council to restore museum’s history

By Joe Coughlan, Local Democracy Reporter 

A council has responded to calls to restore a museum tracing the borough’s history after a petition signed by more than 2,100 residents.

Greenwich council has now confirmed that it is in talks to bring back a reading room for its archive service.

The petition, which was signed by 2,161 people, asked the council to restore a ‘properly functioning’ museum and archive service in the borough.

The council’s original museum service, the Greenwich Heritage Centre, was closed in 2018 to make way for Woolwich Works, a new cultural hub in the same building in the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich.

Woolwich Works as shown in the Royal Arsenal area of Woolwich (Picture: Joe Coughlan)

The museum’s archive is now stored in Charlton and is only accessible through making an enquiry with the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust (RGHT).

The trust took over running the museum in 2014, which dated back to 2003 and included a reading room for browsing the council’s archives.

Mary Mills, from the Greenwich Industrial History Society, who formerly served as a Labour councillor for Greenwich Peninsula, started the petition.

She said: “In Greenwich’s museums, there’s nothing about us, there’s nothing about the people of Greenwich. There’s nothing about the amazing contribution historically that has been made by Greenwich technology, education and everything else.

Cllr Adel Khaireh (Picture: Greenwich council)

“The world is a different place because of things that happened in Greenwich and we’re telling nobody whatsoever about it.”

Labour councillor Adel Khaireh, cabinet member for equality, cultures and communities, said in response to the petition that he and the council leader had met the organisers of the petition last November. He said that positive discussions had been made with the RGHT on increasing access to the archives.

Cllr Khaireh said further meetings with the RGHT and the Industrial History Society would be held in six months to review the arrangement.

Pictured top: Woolwich Works/Cllr Adel Khaireh said in response to the petition that positive discussions had taken place with RGHT on increasing access to the archives (Picture: Joe Coughlan/Greenwich council)

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