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Coordinates: 51°27′34″N 0°06′35″E / 51.4594°N 0.1097°E / 51.4594; 0.1097

Welling
Welling is located in Greater London
Welling

 Welling shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ465755
London borough Bexley
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town WELLING
Postcode district DA16
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Old Bexley & Sidcup and Bexleyheath and Crayford
London Assembly Bexley and Bromley
List of places: UK • England • London

Welling is a district in the London Borough of Bexley , South East London. It is a suburban development situated between Shooter's Hill and Bexleyheath north of the A2 road and 10.5 miles (16.9 km) east south-east of Charing Cross.

Contents

History

The East Wickham part of Welling is probably one of the oldest settlements in this area. A Neolithic stone axe was found in East Wickham in 1910 and more recently in 1989 the remains of Roman buildings were unearthed near Danson.

Before the coming of the railway, with the opening of the Bexleyheath Line on 1 May 1895, Welling was a village on the main road between London and Kent (Watling Street). It had been a traditional staging post for coaches; the presence of three inns along the main road is the result of that.

After World War I, Bexley Urban District Council built over 400 houses north of the railway. Later, when the Danson estate was sold to developers, the land to the south was opened up to suburban sprawl and the settlement incorporated the local parishes of St Michael's East Wickham and St Johns Welling.

Welling today

Welling is home to a football ground Welling United F.C. which is also shared with the Erith and Belvedere F.C., a refurbished reference and lending library with an IT educational and training room, free use of Internet and toilets, a Masonic Hall, a Martial Arts Academy, an Academy of Performing Arts, a Snooker Hall, Bellegrove Social Club, an Age Concern pop-in parlour, and a Salvation Army Chapel.

Welling as a shopping area has plenty to offer such as several restaurants and take away outlets, a range of fashion, sports, entertainment, and IT shops, betting shops, charity shops, fast-food takeaways, cafés, tea shops, estate agents, banks, a Post Office, bakeries, bike and flower shops,a reptile shop, pubs and barbers all lining Welling High Street (ancient Watling Street), Upper Wickham Lane, and Bellegrove Road and several local supermarkets, namely: Iceland, Morrison's, Shell (petrol station), Lidl and a well stocked Turkish Food Centre (TFC).

Plans submitted by a local developer to redevelop Embassy Court in Welling High Street were approved by Bexley Council. In its place, a new Tesco foodstore will replace the old one that defined the eastern side of the drab two-storey square precinct. An underground car park and upper-floors of private and social flats will be incorporated. Embassy Court and Tesco supermarket were demolished during 2008. With permission from the site developers, a PCA (Pre-Construction Archeology) team did some digging of the car park area of former Embassy Court in search of Roman remains, possibly of a Roman road. Construction work proceeded thereafter.

The Co-op Superstore opposite (formerly operated by the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society) ceased trading on the 19th September 2008 and was redeveloped as a Morrison's supermarket that opened on Monday 16 November 2009. A new Tesco supermarket is currently being developed, replacing the old group of independent shops at Embassy Court opposite Morrison's.

The former Foster's School building in Upper Wickham Lane is a local landmark. The school relocated to Westbrooke Road in Welling and its original site was converted to residential use (retaining the old Grade II listed main school building and headmaster's house). Further north of the original site is an ancient church, now used by a Greek Orthodox congregation.

Russian Cannon from Crimean War, located at Welling Corner.

A large Russian gun is located at Welling corner. This Russian weapon is a 36 pounder carronade (calibre 6.75 inches - weight 17cwt) of a type used during the Crimean War (1854 to 1860), displayed on a simple wooden replica carriage. The carronade was in service from 1780 to 1860 and is now on loan from the Royal Artillery Museum in Woolwich as a reminder of Welling's early association with the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, when huts at East Wickham were built as homes for munitions workers in the Great War.

Welling was, for a time, headquarters to the British National Party(BNP), whose building was the centre of several violent anti-racist protests in the early 1990s.[citation needed] One protest in September 1993 was 50,000 strong, and their presence brought the town unwanted notoriety.[citation needed] A post-office box address in Welling was still in use by the BNP in 1999, and, alongside the Labour Party (UK) the Conservative Party (UK) and the Liberal Democrats, they continue to field candidates in local elections.

In 1992 a group of Local people revived the old War Memorial Hall Trust which was set up in 1921. In 1995 it started operation as a local grant-giving charity called the East Wickham & Welling War Memorial Trust, using the revenue from the old Memorial Hall to fund grants in the area. Its main aim is the remembrance of the 105 men of the district who were killed in World War One, so a new War Memorial was built in St Michael's Church in 1996. Its charitable aim is to help local groups with rents for their meeting places, and to help groups to maintain their halls. Other grants help young people taking part in adventurous activities. In 2006 it gave grants totaling £47,000. As part of a re-investment programme, the Trust sold the Hall for re-development in 2007.

A major upgrade of paving and street lighting was completed in the autumn of 2005. The retention or removal of a section of westbound bus lane from Welling High Street became one of the few specific local issues on which the main political parties disagreed in the approach to the local Bexley Council elections held on 4 May 2006. The incoming Conservative administration immediately revoked the bus lane.

The MECCA bingo hall in Upper Wickham Lane has ceased trading, apparently one of six in England unsuited to operate after the national ban on smoking in public places.[citation needed] This large building, which originally was an Odeon cinema, is now empty awaiting modernisation. An application by the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries based in Lagos, Nigeria, to change the Mecca building's use from (Use Class D1) to a place of worship (Use Class D2) has been approved by Bexley Council.

Rosebys, the Co-op and Tesco's old store in all closed since 2007, as has the pub near the station (formerly the Station Hotel) lately known as Inferno's. Live music is performed occasionally at a Greek restaurant, at The Duchess of Edinburgh public house and, towards Plumstead Common, at The Glenmore Arms.

The Old Koffi Pot cafe, dates from the 1930s and was until the early 1990's known as 'Ferraras'. The venue was well-known locally for its ice cream and enjoyed its heyday at the height of the 1960's cafe culture, when young people from Kent and SE London would call in for refreshments on the way to or from dancing at the Embassy Ballroom (demolished to make way for the building of Embassy Court). The cafe was closed during 2009 for 'economic reasons', but a modern coffee shop has since opened in its place retaining the name The Koffi Shop but a brand new black frontage and interior decor have abruptly erased any historical link with the original establishment.

Notable Past Residents

  • Kate Bush, World-famous singer/songwriter
  • Sheila Hancock, famous actress (and widow of actor John Thaw) grew up in neighbouring Bexleyheath, and celebrated the reception of her first marriage (to Alec Ross in 1954) at the Embassy Ballrooms, on the site of the recently-demolished Embassy Court.

Education

For information about the following schools and colleges in Welling see the main London Borough of Bexley article
  1. Bexley Grammar School
  2. Bishop Ridley CofE Primary School (formerly Westwood Primary School)
  3. Danson Primary School
  4. East Wickham Infants School
  5. East Wickham Junior School
  6. Eastcote Primary School
  7. Foster Primary School
  8. Harris Academy Falconwood (formerly Westwood College)
  9. Hillsgrove Primary School
  10. Hook Lane Primary School
  11. St.Michael's East Wickham CoE Primary School
  12. St.Stephen's Catholic Primary School
  13. Welling School
  14. Westbrook School

Transport

Welling railway station is close to Central Avenue at the western edge of the town centre and offers direct rail links to London Bridge, Charing Cross, Victoria and Cannon Street Stations in Central London, and to Dartford and other towns in North Kent.

Welling has several TfL-contracted routes forming an extensive bus network. London Buses route 51 will take you to north to Woolwich via Plumstead Common or south through Blackfen and Sidcup to Orpington, route 89, operates between Lewisham and Slade Green, Route 96 runs between Woolwich and Bluewater, Route 486 between Bexleyheath and North Greenwich (the O2), route B15 between Bexleyheath (Shopping Centre) and Horn Park (Alnwich Road) via Eltham High Street, and route B16 links Bexleyheath to Kidbrooke via Eltham High Street. Welling is also served by a night bus route, the London Buses route N89, which starts at Erith, running via Slade Green, Barnehurst, Bexleyheath, Welling and Lewisham, towards Trafalgar Square. Several minicab companies are based in Welling.

Nearest railway stations

Nearest places

External links

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