Claire Oxlade

Greenwich


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Doing good since January 2018

Not done a group run this month

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GGG Christmas bash!
🗓Thursday 15th December 7:00pm

📍Woolwich Equitable Pub SE18 6AB

Come and enjoy food, friends and maybe a good ol' GoodGym themed quiz!

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Matthew Watts
John D WrenMartin FlynnTom BigglestoneBrin
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Claire Oxlade
Claire Oxlade went on a group run

Wed 30th Nov at 6:45pm

The Lord of the Clea-Ring-Up

Greenwich Report written by Steve Murtough

Take it from me, this is how it unfolded: When GoodGym Greenwich of Bag End announced they would shortly be celebrating their weekly group run with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton, Greenwich…

The party of course was at one of our regular haunts, found along the country lanes leading out of the Shire in Greenwich, but more of that later…

We started in lovely surroundings yesterday evening, and 17 of us gathered and spoke of good things, and not of the evil EYE, and at 7pm our run leader, Alex, started with a question: In an ideal world, what would your perfect advent calendar contain? Well, fascinating and tantalising, we had chocolate brownies, a weekend away somewhere hot (well, 25 weekends to be specific), puppies (presumably and hopefully with some holes in the doors...), a portal to a better world, and everything said before and to come and all of it in-between… hmmmm.... if only GoodGym paid. Perhaps, however, my favourite was a series of photos on alternating days of friends, family, and dogs.

Still thinking of opening advent calendars, we headed to the Naval College green for a drama game warm-up, where we invoked Tolkien legend. From yee-haw to mor-dor. The Ring, the One, was suddenly amongst us, in the Shire in Greenwich (!), but none of us wanted it and we passed it on – HAVE THE RING! – and the One Ring kept moving from one to the next until – YOU SHALL NOT PASS! – and Gandalf appeared and he was actually Ian Mckellen and this is all ABSOLUTELY TRUE and then we all stopped because it was time for our – SHIRE PARTY! – and then there were fireworks in the shapes of dragons and we all cheered GOODGYMGOODGYMGOODGYM but... but... but... the One Ring was never far from temptation…

Quickly, with the One Ring still in our possession, kept secret so as not to alert any Ring Wraiths lurking somewhere nearby (probably Eltham), we started off on our adventure...

Trotting through streets well-known to us all, it wasn't long before we arrived at... More TWO TOWERS Childcare, a regular haunt for us Shire Greenwich folk. There, we were met by the lovely Eve, who let us know our list of tasks, and then we split to it. Some cleaned chairs and tables; others went up to the top of the TWO TOWERS, sorting and clearing toys, including lego-las and a trilogy of books bound in leather and containing maps and stories of legends spoken from long ago; others became handy with drills and screwdrivers and fixed things that were broken; and some swept outside with magical flying brooms (which led to some being confused about the famous popular fantasy adventure they were living).

Alongside this, Julian and I went to fix a new door with new hinges. But… Eve could not find the door, it having been misplaced. Together, inspired by some dark internal energy, we cried: We need MORE-DOOR! MORE-DOOR! MORDOR! But in the nick of time, Eve saved our souls, and led us to another door (one with hope), and we fixed that instead. Saved.

Finished, we then had our party of special magnificence – the lovely more2 team, who we’ve been visiting for years, supplied us with alcohol-free mulled wine and ginger biscuits, and plenty more biscuits which we were even allowed to take home. Thank you! This made for a perfect end to a specially magnificent evening 😊

Thanks, guys, really looking forward to the next time!

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Rachel HenrySara BrimbleJohn D WrenSam LefevreJenny P

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Jennifer Hien

Thu 1st Dec at 7:04pm

Brilliant report, Steve! MORE-DOOR! MORE-DOOR! MORDOR!

Andy Waterhouse

Thu 1st Dec at 9:55pm

Lovely Steve. The one report/run report to rule them all!

Vic

Fri 2nd Dec at 4:54pm

Despite all appearances to the contrary, the mulled wine *was* genuinely non-alcoholic…. 😂

Rachel Henry

Fri 2nd Dec at 7:44pm

This is truly an epic report Steve! Any mention of LOTR and I'm won in seconds but this hits new heights!

Claire Oxlade
Claire Oxlade went on a group run

Wed 26th Oct at 6:45pm

Wall to Wall coverage

Greenwich Report written by Tom Bigglestone

What’s the only coat you should put on wet? A coat of paint!

What’s blue and smells like red paint? Read to the bottom for the answer.*

Not sure if these are jokes or riddles. Either way, they kick off this week’s mission report because…

After painting the town red on last week's social, Woolwich Goodgymers returned to the Glyndon Community Centre on Wednesday to do their worst to 75% of the walls. Why was the other wall left alone? That’s not a joke, or a riddle. I honestly don’t know. Does anyone know?

It was Mick Jagger who famously sang “I see a red door and I want it painted black.” This time, it was our genial host Andy, who saw a magnolia wall and wanted it painted, well, magnolia.

Back at base, it was going to be no paint no gain with a warmup designed to get us ready for life as decorators who decide to push their feet against walls and do the low sections of wall in a squat.

A fun running game (depending on where you were in the line) followed by some squats got us in in the mood for painting those hard to reach skirting boards. But there was no skirting around the truth, Jen wanted to inflict the same experience as she’d had in her gym.

In honour of many failed London marathon ballots (and I’m sure at least one of us looking disappointed at it, when actually they were relieved), we shared what we would happily do 26.2 of. From reading books, to eating chocolate, to owning pets, it at least showed where our priorities lay. At the venue we sanded, we washed, we brushed and we rolled. Plenty of us made light work of the task, which was just as well because King Charles was appearing on The Repair Shop. A quick photo or two against a newly-painted wall and we were gone.

It was all downhill from there - quite literally as we headed back to our starting point of Woolwich Elizabeth line for a stretch and a reminder that our fearless leader Jen is directing the Charlton Parkrun this Saturday. Go do it!

*Blue paint.

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Sam LefevreSara BrimbleJenny P

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Steve Murtough

Sat 29th Oct at 11:41am

Fantastic report, Tom!!

Alex Murtough

Sun 30th Oct at 6:29pm

Lovely lovely report, Tom!!! Super enjoyed reading :)

Claire Oxlade
Claire Oxlade signed up to a group run.

Wed 26th Oct at 6:45pm

Claire Oxlade
Claire Oxlade signed up to a party.

Thu 15th Dec at 7:00pm

GGG Christmas bash!

Come and enjoy food, friends and maybe a good ol' GoodGym themed quiz!

Read more
Claire Oxlade
Claire Oxlade went on a group run

Wed 7th Sep at 6:45pm

Oh, Just Luke at Us

Greenwich Report written by Steve Murtough

Free books and free cinemas and free chocolate and more smiles and plenty laughs and assured happiness and mandatory parkrun and 100% GDP to GoodGym Greenwich…

Vote for me!

That’s how we started. Our run leader, Sara, asked us to choose a job – our Government position of choice. And we’re a varied bunch; some were vying for Transport Sec, others were interested in heading up DCMS, we had a Minister for Development, an Education Sec, and some egotists even wanted to be PM (me).

After that, it got a bit heated, political even, and Sara acted as Speaker and moved us to the Naval College green quadrant for a lovely warm-up. Along one stretch of the quadrant, we walked briskly and squatted, and then we jogged and lunged, and then we closed the square by increasing to a sprint.

And then we were off to our task, which is an interesting one. Because we sneakily crossed borders. Into Tower Hamlets. Because we’re volunteering rogues. To get there, we ran to the Cutty Sark, and we descended into the Greenwich Foot Tunnel.

Now, as our budding Education Sec would attest to, learning should never stop, and now’s an obvious and apt time to learn some history (please skip the next two paragraphs if you’re anti-education).

This Week’s History Lesson

The Greenwich Foot Tunnel takes you underneath the Thames from Greenwich to Island Gardens, and it’s one of a handful of Thames tunnels; another being just down the road in Woolwich. Its construction was finished in 1902, and it cost just £127,000; can you believe? Which would probably get you a shed in Tower Hamlets these days. In Greenwich, this replaced a rather unreliable ferry service (although £30k compensation was given to the aptly named ‘watermen’ who subsequently lost their jobs), and it was primarily built for dockworkers who lived south of the river but worked on the docks located on the north side.

Not wanting to continue for ever, I’ll finish this history with FOGWOFT, which (surprisingly) isn’t a useful device for misty mornings; they were actually a community group, termed the Friends of Greenwich and Woolwich Foot Tunnels. Sadly now defunct, they lobbied for several key restorations and improvements. A particular win of theirs was to replace the glass tiles that form the entrance’s domed roof, which you’ll notice are slightly murky and opaque, and these were specially chosen to mimic the original tiles that had turned hazy due to the accumulation of more than 100 years of dirt. Anyway, I’ll stop there, but there’s plenty great sources on this, and just give me a shout if you want me to point you in their direction.

So… Once through the tunnel and into Tower Hamlets (and on the lookout for GoodGym Tower Hamlets regulars who might be hiding in spying nests), we took a right and headed to St Luke’s Primary School; an old haunt of ours. There, we were informed of our task – the school had done a summer spruce and wanted to get rid of several items as the new school year begins, and we were tasked with moving these items to a place adjacent to where the skip will be for removal. So, we donned gloves and flexed biceps and got cracking. We moved chairs, wooden pallets, and other miscellaneous things. And really, with so many helping hands, we were done in top record time. Which meant we had time to peruse our previous work at the school. This most prominently includes the children’s playground, which comprises large wooden structures and a slide, which JC elegantly demonstrated how to use (and is now starring in a new GG Greenwich GIF, I believe…).

And, due to our speedy work, we had time for a trip to Millwall Park, where Sara tested our listening skills with a game of Simon Says. We star jumped, spun around, and ran round the roundabout. Then, with sweat on our brows, we headed back to the Naval College for a stretch. Lovely, lovely evening all 😊

***Wait, if you’ve made it this far, there’s one more thing…

We have fundraisers amongst us. Marta and Pieter are our heroes, and they’re running the London Marathon on October 2nd, raising money for the awesome Meningitis Research Foundation and Save the Children UK. And, next Tuesday 13th September, they’re running a quiz at The Brookmill pub (65 Cranbrook Road, London, SE8 4EJ). Expect prizes and a raffle and a sweepstake – it’s going to be fab! If you want to join (or donate too), here’s the link to their lovely website: https://marta-and-pieters-quiz.mystrikingly.com/

Catch you all soon 😊

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Olivia WallerJohn D WrenSara BrimbleJenny P

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Jenny P

Thu 8th Sep at 5:54pm

Great report as always Steve, and thank you for your brilliant run leading Sara! :)

JC

Thu 8th Sep at 6:46pm

Great to be back with you, awesome report Steve and brilliant run leading Sara ˈseərə

Brin

Thu 8th Sep at 9:48pm

Ace report Steve. I particularly enjoyed the sojourn into the history of the foot tunnel!

Steve Murtough

Sun 11th Sep at 4:26pm

Ahh, thanks guys, really, really lovely words - can't wait for the next session! :)

Claire Oxlade
Claire Oxlade signed up to a group run.

Wed 7th Sep at 6:45pm

GROUP RUN - painting at St Luke's School

Keep the school looking spick and span

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Claire Oxlade
Claire Oxlade went on a group run

Wed 24th Aug at 6:45pm

Oh, the Task? It Was Our Pleasaunce...

Greenwich Report written by Steve Murtough

Two things: 1) Last night was lovely 2) Aren’t GoodGym group runs better with sunshine and history?

Happily, we had both…

History Part #1 The evening started at Greenwich’s Old Royal Naval College buildings. And if you don’t already know, these originally housed the old Greenwich Hospital, which as far as I can tell (Wikipedia), cost £30k to build. Which ain’t bad going really.

By the £30k buildings, we began with a round of introductions and we each said our favourite type of curry. We had dahl, sweet dahl, dahl with garlic naan, chicken madras, dahl, curry with paneer, butter veggie, dahl, and plenty others with sides of saag aloo and dahl. Which is so varied and so appetising that maybe we should all head for a curry soon…?

After this mouth-watering chat, we headed for a warmup and played an old drama game favourite of Alex’s, called Yee-Haw. Basically, we all stood in a circle and someone shouted Yee-Haw!, which created this invisible energy that none of us could see, and this then moved between us until someone didn’t like the energy and they blocked it by shouting Hay-Barn!, and then someone found a snake in their shoe and proceeded to chuck it at another GoodGymmer, and this strangely gave them some new energy and they responded by becoming a bandit and shooting up the whole joint, and we continued like that for some time…

Warmed, we headed to our task via Greenwich Park (and one of the hills), and we arrived at our destination – The Bridge, which is a community hub situated in the wonderful and little-known East Greenwich Pleasaunce…

History Part #2 There’s a meet-cute of histories tonight. The old Greenwich Hospital (now the Old Royal Naval College) purchased the East Greenwich Pleasaunce as a burial ground for retired sailors residing at the old Greenwich Hospital, who were called the Greenwich Pensioners; and incidentally, Greenwich Hospital was once described as the ‘poshest pensioners home that ever was’. The history behind the purchasing of the Pleasaunce in 1857 is really quite fascinating and involves the inspection of several alternative grounds in Deptford and Hither Green (that were ruled out either due to excessive cost or the grounds actually being water-logged clay) by officious sounding Home Office inspectors. Not wanting to bore you any longer, this history is so nicely researched and written up by Pieter van der Merwe on the Friends of East Greenwich Pleasaunce website, and I’ll pop the link to this in the comments below for anyone who wants to read further.

Getting back on track (my apologies), we arrived at the gorgeous green space that The Bridge provides for the community at the top of the Pleasaunce. There, we were met by the lovely Ruth, who wanted us to remove the children’s toys from the shed and give them a good clean and wipe, before re-organising these for the next summer playtime. And so, in GoodGym Greenwich fashion, we organised into teams; some shifted the items in the shed to the entrance, where they were passed to a second team who placed them into neat piles, and then others took wipes and buckets of water to the toys to give them a good clean. And honestly, I’m talking so many toys – scooters, bikes, plastic moats, gymnastics mats… But in really just a few minutes, the toys were already being handed back to the team in the shed for stowing away. I think Ruth’s sentiments at the end of the task summed up our efforts – we’d saved her a whole day’s work – and that just shows what a group of effective altruists can do on a Wednesday evening.

After the task, some headed home, and a few others jaunted back to the old Royal Naval College / the old Greenwich Hospital for a stretch under the sunset. Awesome evening everyone and looking forward to many more with you all 😊

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Olivia WallerSara BrimbleJenny PSam Lefevre

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Alex Murtough

Thu 25th Aug at 1:58pm

The first photo is, I think, my favourite ever GoodGym snap!! Thanks for the lovely report, Steve, and thanks for the wonderful and happy evening, all :)

Steve Murtough

Thu 25th Aug at 2:37pm

Here's the link, guys: https://fegp.org/history/pieter-van-der-merwes-history-of-the-pleasaunce/

Jenny P

Thu 25th Aug at 8:28pm

Great report Steve, and great run leading Alex! :D

Claire Oxlade

Thu 25th Aug at 9:59pm

Amazing report- love the history lessons! Officious sounding civil servants? Well, I never 😂😂 thanks all!

Rachel Henry

Sat 27th Aug at 1:51pm

A wonderful evening and very interesting report - big thanks to Alex and Steve!

Steve Murtough

Sat 27th Aug at 7:47pm

Ahhh - thanks all for your lovely words! Of course, the pleasaunce was all mine... Catch you all soon! :)

Claire Oxlade
Claire Oxlade signed up to a group run.

Wed 24th Aug at 6:45pm

Sara Brimble
Claire Oxlade
Claire Oxlade went on a group run

Wed 3rd Aug at 6:45pm

Shedding a Shear for Christchurch School Community Garden

Greenwich Report written by Steve Murtough

A definition of nostalgia is a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning to return to some past period.

And I admit, looking into my own eyes in the shimmering pond at the Christchurch School Community Garden, my thoughts drifted upwards into the blue, and through the clouds, and they wafted, blown by the wind of nostalgia, to Wednesday evenings of the past… digging up dirt and moving it to the back of the garden… watering plants and shovelling dirt… digging a hole for a pond, and getting mucky with dirt… oh my, with all that dirt, my heart doth hurt…

But it shan’t, because tonight we were back. For the first time since the pandemic.

We, 15 of us, met in Greenwich’s Naval Colleges, which moved with a buzz of summer activity – there was sunshine, warmth, runners and walkers, and people just out and smiling, enjoying the vibe. We nattered until the bells cried out for 7pm, and our run leader (and twinny), Alex, started off with a welcome to Greenwich newcomers, Rawan and Tom (welcome both, hope you had a good evening!), and an important question - what’s your favourite cake? Well, us Greenwich bunch have a varied palate, and we surely encompass all possible variations of the proverbial tastebud. We had:

Chocolate Cake Birthday Cake (whose?) Apple Pie Millionaire’s Shortbread Colin the Caterpillar (I hear there’s also a Clyde, a Curly, Cecil, Morris, Cuthbert…) Cheesecake (with real cheese)

This chat got us itching to move in the direction of cake, but Alex skilfully herded us onto one of the ‘greens’ for a political warm up. Basically, like Parliament, we had to run around, and then – we U-turned, we climbed the ladder, we headed to the other side - and we had an awesome time doing so too; it was great to see so many of us laughing together.

All warmed up, cake out of our immediate thoughts, we headed to Christchurch School Community Garden. There, we were met by a familiar friendly face, Fiona, who’s one of the team that curates this awesome green space for the local community in East Greenwich.

After some moments moving around the community garden’s multiple vegetable plots and heady flowers, we were given our task. The hedging, in all this sunshine, had grown through the railings and was overhanging the adjacent footpath. So, shears-abundant, we headed onto the pavement outside, and we just started clipping. And pruning. And lopping and cropping and snipping and thinning. In minutes, the change was impressive, and some of us got out brooms and swept up the foliage, and others wheelbarrowed them to disposal. By the end of the task, I think it’s fair to say we made a lovely difference; just 16 happy helpers in 30 or so minutes.

And with an artistic tunnel-like photo (see evidence above), that was a wrap. It was awesome to be back at Christchurch School Community Garden, and if you’re looking for sanctuary, it’s open every Friday from 10:30am. Go check it out, go fuel your own nostalgia.

Thanks all :)

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Sam LefevreJenny PRob RileyJulian Osman

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Alex Murtough

Thu 4th Aug at 10:01am

Thanks for a wonderful report, Steve :)

Claire Oxlade
Claire Oxlade signed up to a group run.

Wed 3rd Aug at 6:45pm

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