What’s all this then? From today, we have a new look. Site editor DARRYL CHAMBERLAIN explains more…

I’m very pleased to be able unveil a whole new look for the website – and a whole new name. Welcome to The Greenwich Wire.

If you were familiar with our old name of 853, you’ll know what to expect. We cover big issues in and close to the borough of Greenwich – specialising in local politics, transport and planning, the things that will affect your life here today and tomorrow.   

If you’re new, here’s the sales pitch. Greenwich borough, and the area around it, has changed dramatically over the past 20 years, yet traditional local media has always struggled to keep up. This hasn’t been helped by wave after wave of cutbacks at the major publishers, who don’t really cover this borough in any meaningful fashion any more, leaving the field open to lots of yelling on social media.

So we’ll keep on trying to fill the gap with accountable, transparent public interest reporting. We’re proud members of the Independent Community News Network, as part of which we abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice, and I’m a member of the National Union of Journalists and also have to abide by its code. This isn’t shouting at a computer.

Kidbrooke station with new homes being built
Our borough is changing fast, but you wouldn’t know it from what remains of the traditional local media

We won’t seek to do everything – we don’t have the resources to chase up crime stories, but we might look into some of the figures behind the stories. We won’t show you a scowling resident pointing at a pothole, but we might look at what’s being done about them.

We watch a hell of a lot of council meetings, we ask a lot of questions, and we try to find answers. That’s what we’ll keep on doing. 

And because the site is paid for by the best readers in the world – that’s you – we can occasionally pay journalists to cover local arts, events and people too. Because there’s more to life than watching the council. 

Darryl Chamberlain
Darryl Chamberlain edits The Greenwich Wire

This site’s origins go back to a personal blog with a silly name. 853 was one of the old phone codes for Greenwich in the old 01- for London days (it made it into a Squeeze song once upon a time). But that in-joke is years old now. Most people here now weren’t around when people really did dial that number, and nobody else could remember what it was. Or they thought it was still a personal blog. 

“So, how’s 862 going, Darryl?” 

So it had to change. “The Greenwich Wire” reflects the industrial past of our borough, the cable industries along the river which brought employment and security to thousands in Greenwich, Charlton and Woolwich – and whose decline left a gap our economy still struggles to fill, despite the shiny towers commanding sky-high rents that have replaced them.

As well as the name, the design has changed. I’m delighted to have worked with Philip John on our relaunch. We now have the space to grow and expand a little, and may even be able to carry some local advertising too.

Plumstead High Street
We’ll keep investigating issues such as the Plumstead regeneration scheme

But we can’t do it without you. Our best tip-offs and ideas come from our readers. And everything we do is funded by our readers – it pays for me to work a couple of days a week on the site. But I’d like to do more, and work with more people while doing it.

If you’d like to join us, sign up with Steady at steadyhq.com/greenwichwire. Thank you for reading, and I hope you’ll join us on the next stage of our journey.