A new map charting the history of East Greenwich and the Greenwich Peninsula was launched on Wednesday night at the Cutty Sark Tavern in Ballast Quay
The project, which tries to "connect the past with the present", has been a six year labour of love for editor of the map and professional storyteller, Rich Sylvester.
After getting the "fever" for local history, Sylvester came up with the idea, originally titled Peninsula Stories, in 2004. Since then, he has worked with local residents, schools, researchers, designer Luke Eastop, and historians such as Dr Mary Mills, to complete the first edition of the map.
It's an ambitious attempt to bring together an overview of over 1000 years of local history in a pocket sized document.
The map plots historical sites of note across the familiar shape of East Greenwich and the Peninsula, and features a time line of important events. The reverse of the map has background information, pictures and stories in nine categories: People, Transport, Leisure, Ships & Barges, Industry, War, Buildings, Art & Memorial and Wildlife.
In an entertaining speech to invited guests, Rich said that whilst the area adapted to new titles like "North Greenwich" and "City Peninsula", it was important to look back at names from the past such as the Greenwich Marsh and the South Metropolitan Gas Company.
Rich told Greenwich.co.uk how the project was first inspired by the discovery of a coconut:
I liked coming down to the beaches expecting driftwood. I was very obsessively into driftwood and I realised after a while I had a bit of a problem with driftwood. I was waiting until my partner was watching Corrie at night and then sneaking in with this huge box of timber.
I got that under control by starting to focus on smaller stuff on the beaches and some of the smaller stuff were things like coconuts which kind of led me to enquire "why is this here and how did it get here?"
That led me into Lewisham and Greenwich local history libraries, and in the libraries, as opposed to the foreshore, suddenly I'm in a much deeper kind of trouble because I've really got the fever in terms of local history and this map - six years later - is one of the outcomes.
2000 copies of the map, which received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, have been produced initially and they are available free of charge from Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park, Greenwich Communication Centre (164 Trafalgar Road) and Warwick Leadlay Gallery at Greenwich Market.
There will be opportunities to "walk the map" towards the end of July, and Rich Sylvester can be booked for guided story walks. Keep an eye on the website for more information.
You can listen to some of Rich's comments at the launch of the map. He begins in this clip by describing how school children interviewed local residents and workers.