Plans to install a new memorial to members of the Norwegian Merchant Navy who served in World War II outside Rotherhithe’s Norwegian Church have been submitted to Southwark Council.

St Olav’s Square already includes a grade II listed Norwegian seamen’s memorial erected after the First World War.

“In close collaboration with the Norwegian Embassy in London and the Norwegian Ministry of Culture, St Olav’s church now wish to erect a memorial to the Norwegian Merchant Navy veterans who made a very important contribution to the Allied war efforts during the Second World War,” wrote planning consultant Andrew Renshaw.

“The sponsors are hoping that a representative from the Norwegian Royal Family will be able to unveil the memorial.

“The church has particular significance to the Norwegian Royal Family, as the church served as a refuge for the Norwegian Royal Family during the wartime period of exile.”

The proposed sculpture – by Nico Widerberg – would be cast in bronze.

For further details see planning application 20/AP/1360

A company based at South Dock Marina boatyard – which normally provides canopies and coverings for use on boats – has turned its hand to producing washable face coverings for people to wear during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marine Canvas Hut is selling a range of designs of face covering for £5 each. Orders can be sent by post for an extra charge, or collected from South Dock Marina.

Detectives are appealing to trace a witness after a man was robbed of a “significant” amount of cash in Bermondsey.

At about 9.20am on Wednesday 18 March a man was walking along Jamaica Road when he was approached by two men who violently assaulted and robbed him of his bag.

Police say that the bag contained “a significant amount of cash and IT equipment”.

The suspects are believed to have made off towards Rotherhithe in a silver Vauxhall.

The victim, a man in his thirties, received injuries from the violent attack and was left extremely shaken.

The incident was reported to police and an investigation was launched.

Detective Constable Ashley Hooker, who is leading the investigation, said: “After the incident occurred a woman in a stationary car spoke to another witness about what she saw in the aftermath of the robbery.

“She was sitting in a car near to Jamaica Road, SE16 and witnessed the suspects make off.

“It’s important that we trace this woman as we believe she can assist us with our enquiries.

“Similarly, if you witnessed the incident or have any information that could assist the investigation, please get in contact.”

Any witnesses are asked to call police on 101 or tweet @MetCC quoting CAD 1727/18Mar20 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111.

A man in his thirties was arrested in connection with the incident and was bailed to return on a date in mid-July.

Bede House and Time & Talents are among the local groups working with environmental charity Hubbub and network operator O2 to encourage people to donate old or unused smartphones to digitally disconnected members of the community, as part of a trial to tackle digital exclusion during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ‘Community Calling’ trial will initially involve 800 handsets being distributed to residents of Southwark.

The pre-identified list of households has been put together by a number of local organisations, including SE16-based Bede and Time & Talents.

Their clients range from the elderly, those in low-income households, survivors of domestic abuse and asylum seekers. Within these groups, each organisation has identified those who would benefit most from a smartphone, based on providing access to essential services, online learning or getting connected to family and friends.

Local residents are being asked to donate unused smartphones which will then be data-wiped, cleaned and refurbished by Recono.me ready for redistribution.

O2 is donating an additional 300 handsets alongside providing pay as you go SIMs and credit to be used with the donated devices.

“Connectivity is a lifeline for so many at this time – and with so many smart devices sitting in drawers at home, this project provides the perfect opportunity to dust them off for a good cause,” said O2’s Tracey Herald.

“The Southwark community has been particularly affected by the recent pandemic, so we’re working in partnership with Hubbub, the local council and community groups to ensure we can distribute these devices to those who need them most. The trial will help us tackle digital exclusion and help the environment too.’

Gavin Ellis, co-founder of Hubbub, said: “Community Calling offers a simple way to get unused smartphones to people who need them most during the current pandemic, allowing them to access essential services, to educate their kids or to stay in touch with loved ones. Plus it has the bonus environmental benefit of avoiding electrical waste going to landfill or incineration.

“We’re trialling the approach with O2 in Southwark and if successful, we’ll look to replicate it elsewhere in the UK.”

If you’d like to support the trial and donate your old smartphones to the Community Calling project, visit www.hubbub.org.uk/communitycalling/ for more details.

Plans have been revealed this week for an 18-storey tower on the St Olav’s Court / City Business Centre site next to the Rotherhithe Roundabout.

Developer Southern Grove announced that it has exchanged contracts to purchase the site which occupies a prominent location at the northern end of Lower Road, opposite the entrance to the Rotherhithe Tunnel.

The site is close to the grade II listed Norwegian Church.

Southern Grove intends to apply to Southwark Council for planning permission for an 18-storey building to be known as The Brooklyn.

The scheme – designed by architects Liftschutz Davidson Sandilands – will include 150 homes and 25,000 sq ft of office space.

Tom Slingsby, chief executive of Southern Grove, said: “The Brooklyn is a fantastic addition to this site and will provide a healthy boost to housing and commercial stock in Canada Water, which is one of the capital’s regeneration hotbeds.

“People living here really will feel like they are within striking distance of central London. They will be able to hop on the Tube and be in the City, Canary Wharf or any corner of the capital in minutes.

“Canada Water is going to be put on the map in a bold new way by the extensive regeneration that is going to take hold over the next 15 years and our own scheme will complement that effort.”

St Olav’s Court is identified in the council’s New Southwark Plan as a development site, with a requirement for re-provision of the existing office space.

The Time & Talents Food Hub is helping to make sure over 60 local households have reliable access to food and essential supplies each week.

The charity already has a supply of fresh fruit and vegetables, but the following long life items would be gratefully received to supplement its stocks.

Pasta
Rice
Tinned tomatoes
Tinned soup
Baked beans
Pasta sauce
Cereal
Biscuits
Loo roll

If you are able to add any of these items to your shopping and are able to safely drop them off , please deliver them to Time & Talents at The Old Mortuary, St Marychurch Street, Rotherhithe, SE16 4JE on a Wednesday morning before midday.

At present, Time & Talents can only accept donations of these items before 12pm on Wednesdays.

You can also make a financial contribution to support the Food Hub here.

Transport for London has advised passengers to avoid changing between the Overground and the Jubilee line at Canada Water during rush hour, as it tries to accommodate growing numbers of travellers whilst maintaining social distancing.

Canada Water appears on TfL’s new list of the busiest stations.

For stations like Canada Water where much of the crowding is linked to the interchange between lines, TfL says “you are advised, where possible, to avoid using the station during the busiest times by taking the most direct route”.

The Duke of Westminster’s Grosvenor property firm confirmed this month that work will start ‘soon’ on the redevelopment of the Biscuit Factory, following the recent City Hall decision to grant planning permission.

Announcing the firm’s financial results, Grosvenor Group chief executive Mark Preston said: “…in London’s Bermondsey work will start soon on the building of over 1,500 rental homes and a secondary school, which will improve the fabric of this part of the city, delivering much-needed rental housing and creating a new investment for long-term hold”.

The Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor family were placed at number 10 in the Sunday Times Rich List published this week, up from 14th place a year ago, with their wealth estimated at £10.295 billion.

Rotherhithe’s Brunel Museum has launched a ‘COVID-19 Crisis Appeal‘ to help secure the attraction’s future.

The appeal has so far raised more than one third of its £12,000 goal.

The museum says that a donation of £30 will cover gas and oil for a month; and a donation of £1,700 will pay for basic running costs for a month during the enforced shutdown.

In normal times the museum costs £10,000 a month to run, but at present doors are closed and staff are on furlough.

Strictly singer Hayley Sanderson has teamed up with survivors of domestic violence to create a charity cover of Britney Spears’ ‘Stronger’.

It is a song recorded by survivors, on their phones, in their homes during COVOID-19 isolation.

The single will raise money for SE16-based Bede House’s domestic violence team and nationwide domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid. All proceeds will go exclusively towards supporting sufferers of domestic violence.

So far more than £2,000 has been raised towards a £10,000 target.