Is this the last piece of Woolwich’s 1980s upgrade still remaining?

Well, no. But there isn’t much left.

Those of you who frequented Woolwich in the 1980s scheme may remember when the road along Powis Street was blocked to general traffic and a pedestrianisation schemes was installed that saw raised brick planters along Powis Street.

Almost all traces are now gone. One of the only other section was removed last year as the Callis Yard tower completed.

Brick planters on Woolwich High Street have gone – along with mural

Pedestrianising Powis Street divided opinion at the time. While it appeared to signify a pedestrian-first approach the smothering of much of the town in guard railing and street clutter gave cars primacy and hardly left an attractive or pleasant town to traverse on foot.

Even today Powis Street makes it clear this is still a road. Most pedestrianised areas do not retain bollards or yellow lines such as this:

Here’s Bexleyheath where pedestrianisation happened around a decade later:

Pedestrianisation is sometimes held up as a main, or sale factor for why Woolwich struggles. It didn’t do Bexleyheath any harm.

Anyone remember the spice shop formerly on the left here?

Spice shop on left with giant tubs to scoop out of

Amazing scents and aromas abounded when wandering past (and often into) that place.

The only other remaining part of the 1980s Woolwich scheme is seen at the west end of Hare Street:

And that’s about it really. Are there many other traces? I’m going by memory here so am probably miles off.

Since the 1908s the other major element of re-working the centre at General Gordon Square of course has seen big changes – for the better. It’s now a far more pleasant place to be.

With Woolwich seeing large funds coming soon it’s like Powis Street is in line for another big change in coming years. When they’re revealed they’ll be covered on this site.




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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

2 thoughts on “Is this the last piece of Woolwich’s 1980s upgrade still remaining?

  • I remember the days of wandering along from the market past Kiddie City with my father and looking at Church’s shoes before going to the RACS. I remember Zodiac Toys and the old pub opposite being turned into bargain VHS dumps in the early 90s and the years where almost every other shop along Powis Street was a charity or discount shop. I do miss Our Price and Cobra Sports but I’m glad to see Artfix and the Exchange still bringing a little colour to the place. Iceland looks nicer there though it was a shame to lose M&S (though in fairness they lost me years ago). Between the days of the department store and the magnificent chemist that had an entrance both ends of the market, Powis Street has recovered from the dire state it was in around 1991. It would be nice to see it treated with a little more respect by the local landlords

  • I remember that spice shop, was scoops or something? It’s a shame woolwich had some great shops and they’ve spent so much money on it yet remains full of wrongens.


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