The Greenwich Society

Lectures & Talks


Richard Griffiths

Richard Griffiths the distinguished heritage architect gave a talk by Zoom on January 11th to the Society about the restoration of St Alfege Church and Southwark Cathedral, on both of which projects he had been personally involved.

All of us will be aware of the splendid restoration and cleaning of the external fabric of St Alfege but through the talk we were able to see into the roof space after the war damage had been rectified, to explore the crypt which is shortly to be re-opened, and to note the great improvements to the Churchyard and the opening up of the Church as part of the Heart of Greenwich project.  It was fascinating to see some of Hawksmoor’s sketches indicating how this thinking developed in relation to the design of the East front of the Church.

As Richard observed Southwark Cathedral is only a short rail journey from Greenwich, and having heard Richard talk about the restoration there and seen the photos of what was achieved as part of the Millennium Project, many members will doubtless want to visit the Cathedral. The building of the new wing in such a sensitive and historic location must have created great challenges. But the end result seemed both beautiful and entirely appropriate. The “before” and “after” photographs showed what a transformative effect there has been to the setting of the Cathedral as  a result of the work of Richard and his team.

I am glad that there was such a good turnout of members to listen to a fascinating and well informed  talk about 2 such significant historical restorations. I hope that members of the Society might consider buying Richard’s book about his restoration work, available at £20.

Tim Barnes



Professor Jane Harrington

Professor Jane Harrington joined the University of Greenwich as Vice-Chancellor in December 2019. She is passionate about education and about the power of partnerships to transform young people’s lives and to provide skills into the regional economy. Jane has worked in Higher Education for over 28 years and her specific interests include teaching excellence, the student experience, widening access into higher education and social mobility and improving partnership working across the business, community and university sectors.


A Fine Retreat

2021 is the 250th anniversary of Capt. James Cook’s triumphal return to England at the end of the first of his three epic voyages around the world. Few people realise that the Yorkshire-born Cook had close links, professional and personal, with Greenwich and East London. This talk explores Cook’s many connections with our neighbourhood and the impact they had on his career and life.

Dr Kevin Fewster was Director of Royal Museums Greenwich between 2007-2019 and the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney from 1989-2000. An Australian by birth Kevin has, perhaps unsurprisingly, been interested in Cook for many years. His talk draws extensively on the superb collections of Cook materials held by RMG.