THE Woolwich Wall, which was created as a tribute to the Great Harry Pub and rioting in the area, has been painted over.

Since August 13 passers by the burnt out building on Wellington Street had been leaving messages of support for the area on the boarding that had been put up.

But this morning they awoke to find painters covering up the tributes with black paint. They had been authorised by Powis Street Estates who own the building.

A spokesman for Powis Street Estates said: “The decision was made because it is private property owned by Powis Street Estates.

“We are basically hoarding and painting a number of properties that have been effected by the riots and arson attacks.

“We are going to improve the boarding and we are going to be starting advertising and promoting on it to highlight the positives of the town rather than focussing on the negatives.

“We did consult with Greenwich Council who confirmed that they had taken photographic evidence of the writing.”

Mike Jelves, one of the organisers of the wall said: “It just feels like we have gone from a white wash of what happened in Woolwich to a blackout.

“I feel sick really. Just all the effort a group of people have put into it and all the amazing people have come out to write on the wall has been painted over.”

The 28-year-old added: “It is unbelievable that the decision could be taken without any notice. At least people would have had the chance to maybe write one last message or to be able to savour the sentiments.”

A Greenwich Council spokesman said: "We can confirm that the site of the Great Harry pub is owned by Powis Street Estates and they are responsible for painting over the graffiti this morning."