When you live in London, and Greenwich in particular, it's easy to become blasé about the historical significance of your environment. For example, I'm ashamed to say that I've never even been to the Maritime Museum or, as Andrew's latest column this week reminded me, the East Greenwich Pleasaunce. So to make amends to Greenwich for my neglect, all the events I've chosen this week are centred on exploring SE10's remarkable past.
The Royal Observatory are marking the 125th anniversary of the Meridian line with a lecture, exploring why Greenwich was chosen as the Prime Meridian, how it all came about and what the impact of the line was both at the time and since.
The borough's celebration of ‘Black History Month' continues, with the Thames Discovery Programme's guided walk Along the Black Waterfront on Monday afternoon. Led by Professor Steve Martin, the tour will focus on the history of black sailors, dockworkers and labourers, and the 1949 Deptford Riots. The river is also the focus of the Greenwich Industrial Society this week: they are giving a lecture on Greenwich and Lewisham's waterfront archaeology at the Old Bakehouse in Blackheath on Tuesday evening.
Casting a slightly wider geographical net is BBC historian Dan Cruickshank, who will be speaking about Georgian London at Blackheath Halls on Wednesday. The ‘Around the World in 80 Treasures' presenter's main focus will be the seedier side of the city, as he examines the 18th Century sex industry and its effect on London's architecture.
Delving into the dark side of our capital's more recent history, the Albany in Deptford is screening The End, a documentary film of interviews with real, now-imprisoned East End gangsters. The film was directed by the daughters of an interviewee who, in his day, was one of London's most notorious criminals. And talking of criminal, 1980s haircuts are back in fashion at the O2 this week, with Spandau Ballet in residency from Tuesday to Thursday.