The idea to capture ‘Royal Hill’ came as a response to the London Villages Project (LVP) organised by London Independent Photography (LIP), of which I am a member. The project set out “to provide a photographic record of London now… its multiplicity of communities, its miscellany of histories, its medley of architecture; its boundaries real and imagined; its current creation, its reference to memory” (Levett, 2011), and was carried out by about 200 photographers between March 2011 and February 2012. Royal Hill, with its very strong community and wonderful displays in beautifully decorated independent specialist shops, is a little gem off the beaten track in Greenwich. Admire different kinds of artwork amidst a wonderful array of flowers and plants in The Greenhouse; wait in the phenomenal Christmas queue to buy British meat from Drings; say Hello to Agnes the dog in The Creaky Shed, from where you can buy homemade jams and curds; browse through the books in Maritime Books, the only specialist naval bookshop in London; have your hair cut in the benign and tranquil atmosphere of Sweeney, and then nip downstairs to admire Yukari’s wallpaper designs inspired by Greenwich park. These are only some examples of this little secret, which make it a pleasure every time I walk down Royal Hill. I spent about one year walking up and down Royal Hill photographing it, and speaking to the local people. 

Since the completion of the LVP, some of the images from ‘Royal Hill’ have been exhibited in The Greenwich Gallery, in Goldsmiths College and during Deptford X contemporary art festival. Due to some recent changes on Royal Hill, I re-photographed some premises in October 2012 to present the street as it was in time of publication. Issues relating to time, scope and repetition have prevented me from photographing every single shop and speaking to all shopkeepers.