Monday, 16 July 2012

I have been to ... Oxleas Meadow and Greenwich

I had arranged to meet some former work colleagues for lunch today in Greenwich. I decided to travel by public transport, and because the bus stop I had to start my journey from was close to the site of one of the Rapier missile sites that have been set up to 'protect' London during the Olympics (Oxleas Meadow), I made a short detour to take some photographs.

This proved to be rather a stupid decision as the rain suddenly decided to get a whole lot worse just as I reached the stretch of my journey that was totally devoid of any overhead cover. Despite this I persisted and finally reached Oxleas Meadow just as the rain briefly stopped.

I had hoped to take some close-ups, but I was warned not to go down the slope towards the missile site by a police officer. This warning was not given because of any security restrictions but because the slope was exceedingly slippery and dangerous to walk down unless one had walking boots ... which I did not!

Oxleas Meadow, looking south. The missile is set up so that any threat from the south can be seen and dealt with whilst is is over Eltham and Chislehurst.

The missile site is protected by the Police and a double line of wire fencing.

The launcher appears to be armed with eight Rapier missiles.

If the weather improves over the next few days I might try to get some close-ups of the missile site.

Once I reached Greenwich I had just enough time to get down to the waterfront so that I could photograph HMS Ocean, which is acting as a command centre (and guardship) for the Olympic security operation.

HMS Ocean at anchor near Greenwich Pier.

HMS Ocean is armed with three Phalanx CIWS. One is situated on the ship's bow ...

... whilst another is located on the starboard side at the stern.

The number of antenna indicates why HMS Ocean has been chosen to act as a command ship for the security operation. Her flight deck and compliment of helicopters is also useful should there be an emergency.

Whilst I was in Greenwich I could not resist photographing the newly-restored Cutty Sark.


  1. I would imagine that the Cutty Sark is one of the best-known sailing ships of all time . . . because of a particular product, of course . . . I know that my dad used to drink it.

    -- Jeff

  2. Bluebear Jeff,

    I am sure that you are right!

    It was nice to see that the Cutty Sark was looking none the worse for her recent restoration/reconstruction.

    All the best,


  3. Great pictures. What a great vignette. Your rain soaked efforts are much appreciated.

  4. Pat G,

    Hopefully I will be able to take some better photographs ... if the weather ever gets any better!

    All the best,


  5. HMS Ocean looks gorgeous, but deploying her seems a bit like a reassurance exercise to me. OTOH it's a deployment and useful experience for the Captain and the crew.

  6. Ashley,

    HMS Ocean was a lot more impressive 'up close' than I had expected. I suspect that her flight deck is going to be useful if there is a problem during the Olympics as there are only a few places where helicopters can land and take off in East London. In addition, her communications system is not dependent upon mains electricity and/or generators and/or masts that could be tampered with ... so her deployment makes some sense.

    From what I saw of the sailors who were ashore, they seemed to be relishing the fact that there are lots of fast-food outlets and pubs so close to their moorings.

    All the best,



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