18th April - David Vaughan on the work of the Woodlands Farm Trust
16th May - Clive Chambers on Wood Wharf and the Greenwich Steam Ferry.
6th June - Jonathan Clark of English Heritage on Mumford's Mill
4th July - John Ford on Siemens - A Century of Communications.
19th September - Rodney Dobson - Part II of Early Labour Disputes on the Thames.
17th October - Alan Pearsall on Thames Colliers.
21st November - Jack Vaughan - Part II of Woolwich Arsenal.
All meetings will take place at the Old Bakehouse
in Blackheath Village at 7.30 pm.
Further extracts from Christopher Philpott's study
In 1788 the lease on an area of Deptford riverside once used by the East India Company was taken on by William Barnard. It became known as Deptford Dry Dock. Late in the eighteenth century Barnard extended the dry dock to the north and the south and demolished houses on the south side of Anchor Smith Alley, replacing them with an oval garden and a plank yard. Anchor Smith Alley is shown in the wrong orientation on Roque's map of 1741-5. Here the Barnard's built naval warships and East Indiamen until c.1834. On Deptford Green the family had a three storey mansion house. The property was still in their hands in the 1840s, but by the 1850s was in a ruinous condition. The trenches of an archaeological SOA 96 evaluation in the central north side of the Power Station site found the timber revetments of two seventeenth or eighteenth century docks at 2.2 mOD and 3.19 mOD, surviving evidence for this dockyard.
A dock was re-built to the west of this dockyard at Deptford Green in 1781; it was occupied by Mr. Wells. Gordon and Co. built ships there early in the nineteenth-century. Another firm of ship builders called Colsons, worked at Stowage Yard from the early eighteenth century until 1835.
The Stowage had a wharf 104 feet long beside Deptford Creek in 1737. Joseph Carter, ship-breaker and timber merchant, was based at the Stowage in 1790.
To the east of this dockyard there was a ropeyard operating in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, stretching northwards from the Stowage to the Thames bank. Other ropeyards were established to the west of the study area. An acre of land, called Ropemakersfield had formerly been part of the Skinners' Place property in 1608. This is probably to be identified with the 530 foot ropewalk which lay to the west of the Flaggon Row burial ground in 1733. Another ropewalk stretching north from Flaggon Row in 1705 was 99 feet long, with various attached sheds and tar houses.
By the early sixteenth century the Skinners Place property contained a dock, a wooden wharf and a shipwright's yard. There were wharves in Deptford Strand, to the west of the study area in 1553, 1567 and 1608. From the seventeenth century onwards other shipbuilders operated in this area, including Edward Snelgrove late in the century, John West from early in the eighteenth century to the 1750s, Stacey from 1719 to 1734; John Buxton Junior from 1739 to 1757, and Adams and Co., from 1773 to 1785. Off Grove Street, Bronsden and Wells had their shipyard from the early eighteenth century to the 1780s, and John Winter built Dudman's Dock in 1704. William Barnard was based here in the 1770s and it continued working into the nineteenth century.
Shipbuilding also took place in the Norway Wharf area on
the Thames frontage to the east of Deptford Creek. There was a
ship building shed and slipway at Wood Wharf at
the north east corner of the study area in 1777. Eighteenth century
redware sherds and a fragment of Spanish amphora have
been recovered from the foreshore in this area.
WOOD WHARF &endash; by Philip Binns
Wood Wharf is just up-river of Cutty Sark Gardens. Until a few years ago it was a busy boat repair yard owned by Pope and Bond. When Westminster Council decided to stop transferring rubbish by river they lost boat repair contracts - and since then the site has been taken over by developers.
The new owner of Wood Wharf has recently submitted a planning application to demolish all the existing buildings on the site and to erect in their place an eight storey mixed use development. This comprises a basement with parking space for 42 cars and a ground plus mezzanine level of restaurants capable of accommodating in excess of 350 covers. Above are four floors of luxury apartments, topped by two storey height penthouse accommodation - providing 52 flats in total.
Greenwich Industrial History Society has written to Greenwich Planners expressing concern on many aspects of the development but particularly at its unacceptable height and that it would constitute an over-development of the site, as well as increase traffic movements. The style of design is also criticised as being wholly out of character with this particular stretch of river.
It is regrettable that nowhere in the development are there any proposals for retaining some boat repair facilities given that the scheme proposes the retention of the Massey Shaw mooring on the foreshore, in addition to introducing new ferries to access other vessels.
At a recent meeting of the Society a petition was signed by the 20 members present opposing the scheme on the grounds of height and the threat to the remains of the former Greenwich Steam Ferry. This arises from the proposal to erect a new board walk linking the existing Thames Path to the Greenwich Reach 2000 development immediately upstream, which would result in the destruction of the engine chamber and boiler room of the ferry.
The petition has also been passed to Greenwich Planning and it is expected that the application will come in for strong criticism from residents of the nearby Meridian Estate as well as from Creekside Forum, London Rivers Association and English Heritage.
Head of History at Thomas Tallis School,
Tony Hier has sought the opportunities offered in the
revised History National Curriculum at Key Stage
3 to put the industrialisation of Greenwich Peninsula
into a scheme of work for Year 9 pupils. Tony has been
working with resources from the Local History Library in
order to design a two week depth study looking at issues of
change and continuity in industry, transport and housing on
the Peninsula from 1750-2000. The depth study fits into the
broader Key Stage 3 Unit Britain 1750-1900 which is
delivered in Year 9 at Tallis.
further notes - Richard Cheffins
Peter Trigg's note in Greenwich Industrial History last autumn (Vol.2, No.5) on John Penn & Sons prompts me to add a few extra notes. The firm was started in 1799 by John Penn Snr (1770-1843), a Bristol millwright, originally to produce agricultural machinery. The first marine engines were, I believe, produced in 1825 and under John Penn Jnr (1805-78), who took over from his father on his death. These, and the marine boilers produced at the firm's Deptford works at Palmers Payne Wharf, became the firm's main activity. The Engine Works were not on Blackheath Hill but in Blackheath Road. Transport of the heavy engines to the Thames-side was difficult enough as Deptford Bridge and its approaches on the Greenwich side were not widened until 1878-82 under a Metropolitan improvement scheme. Had the works actually been up Blackheath Hill, the laden horse-drawn wagons could scarcely have negotiated the incline.
In fact it is not strictly true to say that the Engine Works were even in Blackheath Road. Its main entrance were always in Cold Bath Lane, now appropriately named John Penn Street, and for more than half of its existence it did not even have a frontage on Blackheath Road. It acquired this in 1861 when the Holwell Charity sold its Greenwich estate to Penn for the princely sum of £21,500. Shortly afterwards, two rows of houses in Blackheath Road, Cold Bath Row and Holwell Place (wrongly named Holywell Place on some maps), over 30 houses in all, were demolished in the expansion of the works.
An undated manuscript estate map, Plan of an estate situate in the Parish of St. Alphage in the County of Kent, property of the Trustees of the Holwell Charity (? late 1830s) shows the restricted site of the Engine Works at that date. The Penns occupied the large corner house opposite the George and Dragon public house as their residence with a garden alongside the present Lewisham Road back to John Penn Street. There were some sheds at the rear of the garden (such is the level of detail of the map) but the Engine Works themselves were somewhat to the west of this, separated from it by the gardens of five further properties. There may have been some limited expansion between the date of the map and 1861, and the factory may have been world famous as early as 1857 as Peter Trigg asserts, but major expansion began only in the 1860s.
John Penn retired in 1875 and died three years later. In 1884 his widow erected the Penn Almshouses in South Street in his memory, now the John Penn and Widow Smith Almshouses (the Widow Smith Charity was a separate one which merged with the Penn Charity after its almshouses in East Greenwich were destroyed in the Second World War). The Business was continued by his four sons and was converted into a limited liability company in 1889. Already a decline was beginning and the merger ten years later with the mighty but ailing Thames Ironworks & Shipbuilding Co. was a defensive measure. As ships grew larger, the Thames became less suitable for shipbuilding and, although Penn exported his engines worldwide, the bread and butter of the business was the Thames shipbuilding industry. Some economies could be expected from integrating in one firm shipbuilding and the production of ships' boilers and engines. The move was only a short-term success. Receivers were called in December 1911 and the firm was finally wound up in 1914.
The last original building of the Engine Works, the Pattern Shop of c.1863, early fruit of the expansion following the acquisition of the Holwell Estate, lay alongside Ditch Alley which bisected the enlarged works. It was on the Council's draft list of buildings to be added to the Statutory List of buildings of architectural or historical importance but, before it could be added, it was demolished. It was on the Broomfield Bakery site which occupied the Penn site east of Ditch Alley; the bakery closed in 1992 and, after several years of indecision giving the Council ample time to secure listing, the site, including the derelict Pattern Shop, was cleared for redevelopment. The site of the Pattern Shop is now part of the car park for Wickes DIY and the Petsmart superstore. Part of the Boiler Works at Deptford survives.
The justifiable fame of John Penn Jnr should not
rest entirely on his work in the field of marine engineering; he has
one other claim to fame. In 1868 he built what was probably the
world's very first wind tunnel for F. H. Wenham of the
Aeronautical (later Royal Aeronautical) Society, then based on
- with thanks to Philip Binns
Meeting held 7th March 2000
Cutty Sark Pub, Ballast Quay, SE10. Proposal to pave the quayside. Group welcomes this but think it should be in real York Stone. They would also like to know more about the proposed benches and seating.
Woolwich Town Hall, Wellington Street, SE18. Replacement of notice board - group considers the proposal unsuitable. Would like it to be smaller and say 'a more traditional solution should be sought'.
Brickfield Cottages, 54 Kings Highway, SE18. Erection of two houses on site used as a builders yard. No objection.
THE GREAT BABY SHOW
Part 3 of Howard Bloch's history of North Woolwich Pleasure Gardens
One of the last events which was organised by Charles Morton at North Woolwich was a mammoth two day fete for his own benefit. For this he invited a large number of artistes and decorated the garden with flags. On the first day the programme included The Great Vance, Miss FitzHenry as Captain MacHeath in The Beggars Opera, Farini & Son performing on the high wire and The Storming of the Magdala and a balloon ascent by Henry Youens. Most of these performances were repeated on the second day, although Vance's place was taken by George Leybourne who says 'Up in a balloon' and 'Sparkling wine and music'.
Morton considered taking the gardens for another season but decided that too much financial risk was involved in a venture 'so utterley at the mercy of the elements'.
He was succeeded in 1869 by William Holland. Holland styled himself 'the People Caterer' and was one of the most versatile and flamboyant of music hall managers. Broad shouldered, rotund, frock-coated and with a long, waxed moustache which stuck out several inches and gave him the appearance of Emperor Napoleon III.
In order to meet the competition from other pleasure gardens, Holland engaged many leading music hall artists and variety acts and organised an ever growing range of entertainments. Among the stars were George Leybourne, and his rival the Great Vance, Herbert Campbell, Arthur Lloyd, Nelly Power, James Fawn, J.H.Milburn, G.H.Macdermott and the spiral ascensionist, Leonati.
Not content just to provide 'one thousand and one amusements' for 6d., he constantly sought 'novel, curious and attractive events' with which he hoped to attract an even larger number of visitors.
The first of many shows was 'the baby show' in July 1869, which drew very large crowds - about 20,000 on the first day and was widely reported in the newspapers. On the day about 500 mothers with their babies travelled from all over the country to North Woolwich. 'Babies, babies everywhere'. The platform at North Woolwich Station was crowded with them, the entrance to the gardens was all but choked up with local babies in the arms of their local mothers who had come to witness the arrival of the competitors from town. The long avenues and winding alleys of the spacious gardens were dotted with them long before the show commenced.
The man in charge of the weighing machine outside the entrance tent, made a little fortune by putting them on the scale and for a full hour he did nothing but shout out 'One Stone .. something' and pocket pennies - as baby after baby was plumped down on the Union Jack which formed the roughly extemporised cushion on the chair.
The feeling of the hour was contagious. Everybody praised everybody else's baby, and even the few fathers who had simply brought their wives and children out for a holiday, without a thought for the competition, could not resist the 'good zings that fell to their share of the compliments showered so thickly around'.
After being weighed the mothers and babies went into a large theatre and marquee where they sat in long rows on benches separated from the visitors by a single rail. There were, we are told, plenty of fine children; one of eight months and another of eighteen months bidding hard for the chief prizes. The youngest mother was fifteen and a few months and the youngest child was six weeks - except in the notable case of a triplet of babies who were but eighteen days old and whose mother nursed one at a time while a friend held the other two. They were in wretched contrast to a baby giant - who looked like a living copy of the Infant Samuel Johnson as Hercules strangling the snakes in Sir Joshua's famous canvas. The puny three called forth pity more than curious interest. They were very old looking - one in particular resembling a piece of antique ugliness in a picture of Holbein's. They were also very small, their poor little arms and legs being no bigger than a man's finger.
The baby show was followed up in September 1870 with the first of the annual barmaid shows at which 'there was not the slightest impropriety of any kind' and in subsequent years by a cat show, postmen's races, market basket races, and a happy couple contest.
In August 1875 Holland exhibited Admiral Tom Trump (Jean
Hannema) who he claimed was the smallest man in the world having a
height of 26 inches, a weight of 26 pounds and able to speak fluently
in five languages.
In 1887 The Miller ran an article describing Robinson's Deptford Bridge Mill - the following extracts have been sent to us thanks to Chris Rule.
The Deptford Bridge Flour Mills are very conveniently situated for flour milling purposes, being connected to the Thames by a tidal dock, navigable for barges, for the reception of wheat. The proprietors are Messrs. J.&H.Robinson, who have long been known in the trade in connection with the Lewisham Flour Mills. After the fire on 22nd December 1881 which totally destroyed the mills built in 1870, Messrs. Robinson determined to rebuild on the site of the mill ruins and fit up the plant on the roller mill system. The mills, which are substantially built, have eight floors, and the building is 92 feet long and 66 feet wide.
Structurally the building is arranged so as to minimise the risk of fire as far as possible, the warehouse, wheat cleaning department, and the roller mill proper being separated by thick fireproof walls and having no communication with each other, except by the iron galleries outside the building communicating on each floor. Each of these galleries has a communication with the fire alarm and a dial. On the fire alarm sounding the men make their way to the nearest dial and there ascertain the locality of the fire, to which they proceed taking all the necessary appliances, which are in the recesses of the galleries, to cope with any fire that may occur. Each gallery is provided with hose connected to the hydrant pipe, which is connected to the stationary fire engine and city main on the ground floor. Thus the whole of the premises are well guarded in case of fire. By means of the tidal dock, the wheat is unloaded under two lukums direct from the barges into the warehouse and after being well cleaned in the wheat cleaning department, is reduced to flour and offals in the roller mill proper.
ROLLER MILL PROPER
The roller mill proper contains two distinct plants, together having a capacity of about 30 sacks per hour. Each plant of machinery has a separate engine so that if a stoppage occurs by any unforeseen event the whole mill is not forced to be idle. The machinery of the two plants are arranged on the several floors in the following order:
The ground floor is occupied by the main and other shafting, which drive the roller mills and other machinery on the floor above. On the first floor are arranged 33 of Gray's roller mills with four horizontal rolls, and three pairs of millstones. The wheat is broken in both plants by grooved rails on the system of six breaks. The semolina and middlings are reduced in eight reductions on smooth rolls, and the 'flouring' of the purified dunst is effected in each case on one pair of millstones. On the second floor are ten pairs of roller mills and the spouts conveying the different products from the dressing machines on the floors above to the reducing machinery on the first floor. The spouts are arranged so that an easy inspection of the material can be made.
The first break is effected on this floor by a Robinson's roller mill, with grooved chilled iron rolls. Partitioned off from this floor is a sack cleaning room and a dust collector to receive the exhaust from the roller mills. On the third, fourth and fifth floors are 60 long silk reels 4_ sheets long. The silk reels are placed 14 in one line and five tiers high, passing through three floors and driven by upright shafts connected to the reels by gearing.
On the sixth floor are ten scalpers for the first, second, third, fourth and fifth breaks and four centrifugals. The purifiers consist of 12 Gray's gravity purifiers and 26 of Geo.T.Smith's purifiers, distributed nearly equally between the fourth, fifth and sixth floors.
And on the seventh floor are eight centrifugals, two of which act as scalpers for the sixth break, two 'shorts' dusters and four grading silk reels. Here are five lines of lay shafting, by which means the upright shafts of the silk reels are driven. Power is transmitted to this lay shafting by two belts, 21 inches wide, and 150 feet in length. The top floor is used as a dunst room.
The warehouse division of the mill on the one side, and the wheat cleaning department on the other side, the latter being a quadrangular structure adjoining the warehouse has eight floors and is capable of holding 7,000 quarters of wheat. The two top floors are utilised for the offals and the remaining floors are used as a granary, containing three flour bins over the 'Eureka' flour packers, wheat bins for cleaned and other wheats, and a storing space for wheat and flour in sacks.
WHEAT CLEANING DEPARTMENT
The cleaning of the wheat is performed in quite a distinct department, separated from the warehouse adjoining by a thick, fire-proof wall, and the cleaning operation is effected by two Van Gelder separators, a Barnard and Leas separator and a small cockle cylinder on the sixth floor, two smutters and 25 Van Gelder scourers, two stone scourers and a cylinder for removing the remaining wheat from the barley product on the fourth floor; two Victor brush machines and a cylinder for separating the remaining wheat from the cockle product are on the third floor. The wheat is then ready to be manufactured into flour in the roller mill proper. The two top floors of the wheat-cleaning department are used as a dust or smut room, the first floor as the foreman's office and the second floor as a workshop for doing repairs. The workshop contains two lathers one of which is 18 feet in length, a saw bench, band saw, vices and smaller tools that may be required for repairing parts of machinery.
The motive power required to drive the two roller plants is
obtained from a horizontal compound engine and two beam
engines situated at each end of the mill, so that both plants of
machinery can work entirely independent of one another. The
horizontal engine, named the Gladstone, has high and low
pressure cylinders, 20 in and 87 in diameter and a 36 in stroke. This
engine is capable of producing 400 indicated horse power and
has a fly wheel 12 ft in diameter. The steam is obtained from three
of Davy Paxman's multitubular boilers. The two compound
engines which are situated at the opposite end of the roller
mill, have a fly-wheel 16ft in diameter and are capable of producing
300 indicated horse power. The steam required to drive these
two engines is obtained from three boilers. The wheat cleaning
machinery is driven by a separate vertical compound engine of
120 indicated horse power.
ANOTHER VIEW OF THE CROSSNESS DESTRUCTOR
by John Elderton
A new European regulation came into force in December 1998 prohibiting the dumping of sewage sludge into the North Sea. Thames Water were therefore disposing of their daily fleet of boats and now despatch the most harmful sludge from throughout their area, some 40% of the total, to two new incinerator installations, one at Crossness, and the other, of similar design but slightly larger in size at Beckton. These two sites will handle more than 100,000 tonnes of sludge annually.
The remaining 60% of less harmful sludge will continue to be dealt with at local plants such as Mogden.
The Crossness incinerator and ancillary equipment is housed in a modern building of striking design some 12 storeys high, soundproofed to ensure that noise levels at the site boundaries remain at previous levels, and was officially opened in November 1998.
At the time of the Newcomen Society visit, because of the extremely empirical nature of the technology and the advanced concepts employed, detailed experimentation was still taking place to identify, rank and optimise the critical operating parameters and techniques.
Upon receipt at Crossness, the sludge is pumped into reservoir tanks of sufficient capacity to provide up to 10 days buffer storage to cater for possible emergency shutdowns. A poly electrolyte is then added to convert the sludge into a solid suspension in free liquid.
Two Dorr Oliver filter presses which operate singly allowing maintenance on the standby unit, expel the liquid, leaving a damp cake-like material. As the optimum press technique had not, at the time of our visit, yet been established an attendant has for the moment to physically check that each filter bag has completely emptied at the completion of the cycle, and to rake the bag clear if needed. A throughput of 3.5 tons/hour is currently being achieved.
This damp precipitate is then conveyed, via a holding silo, to the incinerator, which operates on a fluidised bed suspended sand principle. The sludge cake is in the combustion zone for 3 seconds at a temperature of 950 degrees C, sufficiently high to ensure vaporisation of the heavy metal content.
Natural gas firing is employed for start up and to augment, as appropriate, the natural combustion process. Depending on the prevalent dryness factor of the incoming cake, self combustion alone may provide sufficient heat input once the process has been successfully initiated.
The dust-laden exhaust gas then passes through a Waste Heat Boiler; the steam thereby produced at 42 bar drives a 5.9 Megawatt turbo alternator operating at 6.6KV.
Depending again on the quality and condition of the sludge cake at any given time, sufficient power can be produced to drive all the auxiliary plant on the site, whilst in the extremes some additional power may be needed from the National Grid or there could be a small surplus of power for export.
From the waste heat boiler the gases flow through an ash and heavy metal removal system in which activated lignite coke is employed to trap the heavy metal content, the ash then being stored prior to removal by road transport to a licensed landfill site. Average rated throughput, 30 tons of ash is produced per day.
After then passing through gas cleaning and scrubbing towers the gas is reheated to ensure a sufficiently high temperature to avoid acidic condensation, analysed in detail to provide records for environmental control and overall plant optimisation and then discharged throughout the station chimney which is approximately one third as high again as the 12 storey incinerator building
The whole plant is remotely controlled from a single control room with the incinerator functioning automatically.
The Crossness and Beckton stations were both
constructed by the AMEC-Luigi consortium, the overall contract
being worth £125m. Although these plants represent the
very latest 'state of the art' practice, similar equipment exists
abroad. Incineration disposes of about 50% of sludge in Japan, 25% in
the USA and 15% in Germany
BARBARA LUDLOW has written to say that she has some copies of her book available at £7.00 inc. p&p if anyone would like to contact her at 15 Demozay Close, CT18 7PL.
B. Ludlow, Images of England: Greenwich, 1994,
reprinted 1998 & 1999.
A MILLENNIUM PORTRAIT OF LEWISHAM
Plans are afoot to take photographs all around
Lewisham in summer 2000.
Lewisham Local History Council (Chair, Diana Rimel)
Tel: 020 8297 0682.
Kent Underground Research Group Newsletter tells how they were approached by Railtrack about a stone mine in Welling - they eventually suggested some of the Plumstead chalk mines. Railtrack then came back and said, 'oh, sorry - we meant Welwyn Garden City'.
The March Bygone Kent has in it yet another article by Mary Mills on Lovell's Wharf.
David Riddle has drawn attention to the Ipswich Transport Museum's web site. http://www/geocities.com/MotorCity/Downs/8806/fire.htm . This describes a Merryweather Manual Fire Escape discovered being used for repainting the Felixstowe lamp posts.
The latest GLIAS newsletter contains much of interest to Greenwich members - Bill Firth's account of the visit to White Hart Road depot and a note on the new booklet on Greenwich: Centre for Global Telecommunications produced by Alcatel.
The March Guide magazine included an excellent illustrated article on the Greenwich waterfront by Peter Kent. It includes some information and a drawing of the Greenwich Ferry the remains of which can still be seen on the foreshore. Elsewhere in the issue, Neil Rhind describes the background to Phoenix House which once stood in Blackheath - now Montpelier Vale. This was once Washerwomen's Row - which is, of course, industrial history.
Subterranea Brittanica have just published their Winter 2000 Bulletin 31. Nothing about Greenwich in it - but there is an article by Mary Mills on John Williams and the Metropolitan Subways. Enquiries to Malcolm Tadd, 65 Trindles Road, South Nutfield, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 3JL. 01737-823456
The latest mailing from the Deptford Creekside team includes a list of projects by the Groundwork Foundation Office in the area - what the money was spent on. These include:
Wood Wharf - £2,000 on a detailed technical survey and business plan for a Heritage Lottery Fund application in 1997
Changing Creekside Video - £5,000 in 1997, £4,100 in 1998.
Pepys Waterfront - installation of five heritage interpretation panels. 3D interpretation of Drake's circum-navigation of the World. £7,500 in 1997.
East Greenwich waterfront - renovation of Enderby Wharf and Alcatel Jetty. £43,000 in 1999. Primrose Pier, East Greenwich, Renovation. £32,500, Morden Wharf interpretation panels on contemporary industry and its interaction with the Thames - £125,000; Programme of public space and access improvements, heritage interpretation £31,500, Safeguarding cranes at Lovell's Wharf £800.
Macmillan Legacy - research project on heritage of the Macmillan sisters. £5,130.
St. Nicholas Church - renovation of churchyard and new ceremonial gates. £9,200.
It is understood that the Greenwich Society's
study on the possibility of a viewing area at the top of one
of the Amylum Company's riverside silos has said that
the idea is feasible. It is however likely to be expensive
and the Society is looking at ways of raising the money.
From John Smith
I recently wrote regarding the disposal of my collection of Local History material to take place at the Dartford Girls Grammar School on Saturday, 1st April. However, I now inform you that my entire collection was recently sold privately.
From John West
Referring to the query from Dennis Grubb regarding his great grandfather's brickfield I hope the following information will be of help.
Hope Cottage 2, Plumstead
Sydney Cottage 3
Stonham's Brickfield, Crayford
Cemetery Brickyard, Plumstead
I obtained this data from an Index to Kent Brickmakers by David Cuffley, put out as a microfiche by North West Kent Family History Society. Copies of the fiche which contains descriptive notes and a list of brickmaking terms can be obtained by post from Mrs. B.Attwaters, 141 Princes Road, Dartford, DA1 3HJ price £1.50 + 24p postage. Cheques should be made payable to NWK FHS.
From Alan Moody
Something which might interest your group are the following General/Central double-deck bus excursions leaving from New Cross Bus Garage.
Black Country Museum on 14th May.
Bath on 17th June and 17th October offers Kennett & Avon Canal potential or, with some organising, the stone quarries. Swindon, on 25th November, offers Railway Museum and with organisation, the Wilts and Berks Canal.
Details 020 8646 1747. There's over 100 excursions listed.
From Anna Townend
With reference to the group's visit to White Hart Depot can I follow up my interest in the remaining Blind Workshop's stone which are stored there - on the ground outside the buildings that is.
From Diana Rimel
What an interesting Industrial History Newsletter for March 2000 with mostly short, easily absorbable well written articles and packed with information on forthcoming activities, events, etc. The Index is excellent too and will help all of us who use past material. I will be setting up more new courses/venues for Goldsmiths in the future and will let you have details of what I hope will be an exciting programme when it is agreed. All the best and congratulations again.
From Robert Cox
I am at the moment writing up the various power companies which were provided with Willans and Robinson steam turbines. The South Metropolitan Electric Light Co, with a power station at Blackwall Point had two in 1905 and I am wondering whether anyone has ever come across any references to this. Willans and Robins also provided two 5000 JKW turbines and Dick Ken Alternators for the LCC Tram Power Station instead of further reciprocating engines by Musgraves of Bolton who had already installed four of these.
From Bernard Elmer
My father was injured in a boiler explosion in the Greenwich/Deptford area some time in the late 1890s/early 1900s. He was badly scalded and reputedly left for dead, until workmates discovered he was still alive and wheeled him on a handcart to the Miller Hospital. He survived but was heavily scarred as a result of the accident. I have made some attempts to discover the date and place of the explosion in which he was injured but without success. Can anyone help?
From Julie Tadman (by email from Australia)
I have just received my copy of The Enderby Settlement Diaries from New Zealand. They sent a little note to say the cost overseas is $40 US, apparently $60 NZ only covers postage within New Zealand. Perhaps you could mention this in the next issue? Barbara Ludlow has found some fascinating information about my ancestor, ggg grandfather William Bracegirdle the fisherman, and we have also discovered that my great grandfather's brother James also went to the Auckland Islands as an apprentice aboard the Sir James Ross early in 1850. I do not know if they actually met there, one would hope so. The Mitchell Library in Sydney apparently has the major source of information about the settlement so I shall make arrangements to look at it when we go down in a few weeks time. It is only a three hour drive from Canberra. The English records are mostly missing or destroyed, from what I have read.
From Jon Garvey
Does anybody have any information on the bakery run by the Tyler family in Tyler Street Greenwich during the late 19th and early 20th century? The business was started by my maternal great, great grandfather, William Tyler. Other branches of the family had bakeries in Thaxted, Cambridge (which ran until the 1980s) and in Bocking, where the Tyler family can be traced to the 16th century.
How big was the business, and what became of it? The family had links with non-conformism, and indeed Henry Tyler built a mission hall in Old Woolwich Road which is still there, though now housing an architect's practice. Any local information would be much appreciated
From David Riddle
A major issue has just cropped up locally. At the weekend I noticed that work was in hand on the main buildings in the large so-called Angerstein Triangle site, the area of land off Bramshot Avenue and immediately facing the backs of houses in the lower section of Westcombe Hill across the width of the A102. The roof had been removed from one of the large buildings, and on further checking it was noted that the buildings at the northern end of the site had already been largely demolished, and a new fence was being erected around the perimeter. The Planning Office inform me that the site, previously owned by Railtrack, was sold to a Dartford company called Fort Knight, and planning permission was granted on 1/11/99 to this company to erect an 'engineering works'.
[Editor's note: The site was that of the 'Angerstein Works' - previously a chalk pit. Last year one of members made an arrangement with Fort Knight for access - but no-one turned up to let him in!)
From Andrew Lister
I wrote to you last summer about a possible London regional network of the Family and Community Historical Research Society. To cut a long story short, I got cold feet! I became daunted at the enormity of the task I had set myself. In the circumstances I decided to join and assist the South Eastern Region - and, although I still hope to form a separate London group, for the time being we propose to include London within the South Eastern Region. If you would like to join please do not hesitate to contact me.
We are definitely not a traditional, conventional family history/geneaology society. Perish the thought! Our interests are far wider than that.
Andrew enclosed a copy of a newsletter and details of how to contact him. Please ring Mary on 020 8858 9482 for details.
One morning when I came in, there was a terrific row going on in the foreman's office. The barrel of a 3.7 inch gun is about 14 feet long and during production has about an extra foot each end to enable it to be held, this couple of feet is sawn off near the end of manufacture. It was done on night -shift and on this occasion the two feet had been sawn off the same end. The foreman had said, amongst other things, "What are we going to do with that gun now?" to which the reply was "You can always put it a foot nearer the enemy".
Another month or two, between term times, was spent in the Shell Toolroom doing odd jobs that included the design and manufacture of a lathe sliderest. All the toolrooms had a blacksmith for odd bits of forging and lathe tool making. The one in this shop had been apprenticed to an ornamental smith and one day he showed me a rose that he forged as his test-piece. It was beautiful, even down to the veining in the petals and leaves.
The months over one Christmas were spent in the Forges with another apprentice, who's name I forget. We had a hearth next to the south wall and near the door. The first thing each morning was to light the fire with paper and wood and put some coal on top to roast into coke which produced the clean fire. Then, being winter, the tools were warmed since a sudden blow on cold thin steel would find it shattering. There is something fascinating about forming red hot steel which has about the consistency of cold lead. The two main occupations were forging pairs of tongs and making templates. When there was a complicated forging to be done, it needed a template of thin plate to check the shape against and an apprentice was the stooge to make it. If one was clever, one did ones best to avoid this. We made ourselves a toaster comprising a 4" square slab of steel about _ " thick with a long handle. This, heated to red heat in the forge, was the best and most even toaster I have come across for cooking toasted cheese. At Christmas we decorated the forge and extended our menu to include kippers cooked the same way. In front of our forge was a small steam hammer worked by a rather dour individual. Working under this we soon discovered that it was not as easy as it looked to take down a square section, keeping it square. With the slightest provocation, it would go into a diamond shape and it needed strong wrists to hold the diamond edge on to get the metal back to square. High speed steel, worked at less than near-white heat would split like bamboo.
Being Christmas and, as usual short of cash, we collected a number
of old files and forged them into scrapers and
screwdrivers for some of the awkward jobs we knew existed in
the fitting and assembly shops. We went round these shops selling
them and taking orders for other special tools. One day I went to the
heavy forge and sat up on the crane gantry watching the
forging of a part of a big gun barrel. To see a lump of red hot
steel, some four feet square and ten feet long being squeezed to
shape under a huge hydraulic press is something never to
forget. Just behind our forge was a 1000 ton hammer made by
James Nasmyth; it was dusty and neglected even then - what a
lot of our treasures have been lost.
A VIEW FROM A STRANGER
In February a party from GIHS visited the Plumstead White Hart
GLIAS's Bill Firth comes from Golders Green and knows nothing about Plumstead - here is his report on the site:
White Hart Road Depot was the site of the Woolwich municipal electrical generating station fuelled by domestic rubbish. This ended in the 1920s when the main power station in Woolwich was opened, but incineration of rubbish continued into the 1970s. There have been many other activities at the depot until last August (1999) when everything except the laundry closed.
At the depot Ian Hornsby, who has worked there for some 28 years, was a knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide.
The visit started at the main building which is a typical example of end 19th century municipal pride. Its status is uncertain but it seems English Heritage is considering it for listing. It has been mutilated with partitions, the filling in of doors and electric cables around the walls but enough remains to be able to appreciate what it must have been like in its prime. At the back we were able to peer into the generating hall and appreciate its immense size and the coloured glazed brick walls from which it is referred to as the 'tiled hall'. Later when some problems with keys had been solved we were able to get inside.
We went on to a storage building where the useful materials, such as copper and aluminium which had been removed from the rubbish by women, known as scratchers, were sorted before being sold to dealers.
Round to the front again, we went up the ramp along which the dust carts were driven into the unloading area. The rubbish was fed on to moving belts which went past the 'scratchers' and was then tipped for loading into the boilers.
On the way to the tiled hall we stopped at the one functioning activity at the depot - the laundry. Here laundry from the elderly of the Borough, and others unable to do it themselves, is washed and dried in massive machines.
We were now able to get into the tiled hall and were able to really see its extent and the attractive coloured glazed walls. The whole complex has had many uses since closure and has been a storage, or should one say 'dumping' site. In the hall we had a discussion about its future. If it is listed it is a good example of a structure for which it will be found difficult to find re-use.
We went outside again to view the full extent of the whole depot. This seems to be a candidate for the brownfield housing which Mr. Prescott seems keen to promote.
Lastly, Ian wanted to show us the weighing mechanism of the weighbridge, but we found it had all been boarded in.
This was a fascinating visit to a site which has long since lost its original purpose but one could still visualise what it had been.
A reply has been received from the Planning Department in response to our letter to them raising concerns about the site. For a number of very boring reasons this letter can't be reproduced here in full. The gist of it was that - the Council has no immediate plans for the site but intends to develop it in due course - that English Heritage had already shown an interest in the buildings. We have also been contacted by people who would like to look further at the site and perhaps photograph it in detail.
What we found at White Hart
by Jack Vaughan
Volume 3, Issue 1 of this Newsletter contained some remarks about the White Hart Depot - and a further report was promised. This is not it! I felt that some background to the miserable story behind some of the artefacts referred to earlier - and seen on our visit - might be appropriate. In particular the barracks which figure in it.
Red Barracks was (or were?) erected in 1819 as an infirmary to serve the Royal Marines, a Division of which was created in 1805 and eventually quartered in Frances Street in 1847, staying until 1869, co-incidentally the year of the Royal Dockyard closures in Woolwich and Deptford. On their departure the two barracks were named 'Red' and 'Cambridge'. A complete history since those times is not called for in these notes but is available on request. Suffice it to say that both barracks were Listed Grade II.
The history of buildings in Woolwich has always been a red rag to a bull and, in 1973, application for listed building consent to demolish was made by the Council. Permission was refused, whereupon the buildings were 'let to rot until not recoverable', and consequently a second application to demolish was made in 1975. Following a Public Enquiry in 1976 the Inspector recommended consent be granted for the Red Barracks buildings to be demolished but consent for the external railings, gates, gate lodge, and two gun ports at the entrance should be refused. These findings were agreed by the Secretary of State.
Demolition followed, but needless to say, the policy of 'deliberate neglect by delay' of the 'refused' items continues to this day. The results were evident during the White Hart Road visit.
We have campaigned for some action in this matter since October 1975, the date of our opening shot. The time since then has been peppered with half promises, never even half carried out, up until the latest situation following on twenty five years of evasion and neglect is that the Red Barracks items and the 'Entrance Screen' of Cambridge Barracks (i.e. the Main Gate to Frances Street) are now on the English Heritage list of Buildings at Risk.
The Campaign Continues!
FURTHER NOTES ON WHITE HART ROAD
by Sue Bullevant
The area appears to have acquired its name from The White Hart Tavern which was in a meadow approximately 100 yards from the road near the centre of Kentmere Road. The tavern was burnt down in 1814. Until 1885 the land surrounding the then White Hart Lane was not built on (from Vincent's Records of the Woolwich District).
In June 1901, work was started on the generating and refuse destruction works at White Hart Road and were formally opened by the Mayor, Councillor J.J.Messent in October 1903. The cost was £40,000, £2,600 being spent on direct labour. In 1919 the generation was concentrated at the Woolwich Electricity Company near Woolwich Ferry (from Jefferson, The Woolwich Story).
A recent correspondent to the Shooters Hill Society lives in a house in Brent Road, SE18 formerly occupied from 1904-1907 by Frank Summer MICE Woolwich Borough Council Engineer who designed Plumstead Baths, Library and Combined Dust Destructor -Electricity Station (other occupants were military officers).
MORE FROM WHITE HART DEPOT
It is understood that GLIAS Recording Group intends to
visit the Depot at some time in the summer. This will be a chance for
those who missed the last visit to go - and for hard core enthusiasts
to go back. Details from Tim on 01442 863 846.
This list of meetings and events has been culled from leaflets and notices brought to our attention.
If you want your meeting listed here please contact 24 Humber Road, SE3 7LR (0208 858 9482)
26th April, Joanna Smith, Western Part of the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich Hist. Soc, Music Centre, Blackheath High School,Vanbrugh Park, SE3, 7.15pm
28th April, Howard Bloch on North Woolwich and Silvertown. LLHS, 7.45pm, Methodist Church Hall, Albion Way, SE13
30th April, Walk the Woods of Woodlands Farm - guided walk. Meet Farmhouse, Shooters Hill 2pm.
30th April, Custom House Open Day. The History of Cargo (no detail)
3rd May, Capt. Burls on Hydrography in the River Thames, DHG, Room C, Museum of London Educ. Dept., London Wall, EC2, 6.00pm
6th May, GLIAS Walk, Lewisham to Greenwich, meet Lewisham DLR, 2.45pm. Leader Charles Norrie.
8th May, Woolwich Dockyard Walk, Diana Rimel. 10.30am, meet Clockhouse, Woolwich Road. Weekly fee £5/£2.50 Goldsmiths.
9th May for 8 weeks, Operation Dynamo, Open Museum at NMM, Tues 10.30-12.00. £37.50. 020 8312 6717
9th May, Crossness Engines Visitor Day, Book via 020 8311 2711
10th May for 8 weeks, Greenwich at the First Millennium, Open Museum at NMM, Weds, 10.30-12.00. £37.50. 020 8312 6717
10th May for 8 weeks, The Business of the Sea - film series, Open Museum at NMM, Weds 14.00 -16.30. Free. 0208 312 6717
11th May, 20th Century Warships, Open Museum at NMM 10.30-16.15. £32.00. 020 8312 6717
14th May, Greenwich Society, Isle of Dogs Walk, led by Diana Rimel, £2.50 book with SAE to 48 Hopedale Road, SE7 7JJ
15th May, Queen Elizabeth College, Penn Almshouses visit. 10.30am meet opposite Greenwich Station, Weekly fee £5/£2.50 Goldsmiths Course.
20th May, GLIAS, AGM, plus lecture Michael Bailey on Archaeology of the Rocket, Royal Entomological Society, 41 Queens Gate, SW7. 2.30pm
14th May, Woodlands Farm Spring Open Day. Animal Magic. Lots of farm animals. From 10am all day. £2.50 adults, children free.
19th May, Computer Crime, D.Watson, Blackheath Scientific Society, Mycenae House, SE3 7.30pm
19th-20th May, Play Our Century and Us. Booking/info Suzanne, Age Exchange 020 8318 9105
20th May, Married to the Sea, Open Museum at NMM, 10.30-16.15. £26.00. 020 8312 6717
21st May, Nature the Great Hitchhiker, Woodlands Farm. Meet Farmhouse, Shooters Hill, 2pm
21st May, Crossness Engines Visitor Day, Book via 020 8311 2711
23rd May, Follies, Grottoes and Garden Buildings, Iain Gray, SLAS, Hawkstone Hall, Kennington Road, 7.30pm
23rd May, Bermondsey in the Past, Diana Rimel Goldsmiths, at John Harvard Library, 2.00-4.00 pm (see below for details)
24th May, Magpie/ Lewisham Local History visit, meet 10.30am, Old Deptford Town Hall, New Cross Road, Weekly fee £5/£2.50, Goldsmiths Course
26th May, Peter Gurnett on Deptford Houses - 1650 to 1800 LLHS, 7.45pm, Methodist Church Hall, Albion Way, SE13
30th May, Elephant and Castle, Stephen Humphrey, Goldsmiths Course at John Harvard Library, 2.00-4.00pm (see below for details)
June 2000, 100 Years of Labour History exhibition planned, Plumstead Museum. Contact Beverley at the Museum if you have memorabilia of the Labour Party in Greenwich, Woolwich or Eltham.
June (no date known) Last 'little ships' crossing to Dunkirk.
2nd/3rd June, The Story of Time, Open Museum at NMM, 10.30-16.15. £45.00. 0208 312 6717
3rd June, GLIAS Walk, Temple to Euston, meet Temple Underground, 2.45pm. Leader Dave Perrett.
4th June, The Mammals of Woodlands Farm, Bring packed lunch and inquisitive mind. Details 020 8319 8900.
5th June, Woodlands Farm Walk, Iain Boulton, meet 331 Shooters Hill, Weekly fee £5/£2.50 Goldsmiths Course
6th June, Changing Rotherhithe, Stuart Rankin, Goldsmiths Course at John Harvard Library, 2.00-4.00pm (see below for details)
7th June, Technology on Film, St. Bartholomew's Medical College, 6.30pm. Book via Newcomen Society, Science Museum, SW7 2DD £7.00
7th June, Edward Sargeant on Frederick Elliott Duckham and the Millwall Docks. DHG, Room C, Museum of London Educ. Dept., London Wall, EC2, 6.00pm.
12th June. London Prisons Walk, Janet Digby, meet 11.00am opposite Blackfriars Station. Weekly fee £5/£2.50, Goldsmiths Course
12th-16th June. From Rome to Dome. Birkbeck College, Mary Ward Centre, WC1. Details Carol Watts, Faculty of Continuing Education, 26 Russell Square, WC1B 5QD 020 7631 6652
16/17th June, Falmouth Working Boat, Open Museum at NMM 10.30-16.15 £90.00. 0208 312 6717
17th June. Annual Barge driving race Greenwich to Westminster plus Tug Push at Greenwich.
17th June, Work of the British Antarctic Survey, Open Museum at NMM 10.30-16.15. £26.00. 0208 312 6717
18th June, SunDay, - promoted by the UK Section of
the International Solar Energy Society.
19th June, North Woolwich Walkabout, Howard Bloch, 11.00am, North Woolwich Station Museum, Weekly fee £5/£2.50 Goldsmiths Course.
20th June, Bankside, Len Reilly, Goldsmiths Course at John Harvard Library, 2.00-4.00pm (see below for details)
21st June, GLIAS walk, Victoria to Westminster. Meet Victoria Underground, Wilton Road. 6.30pm. Leader Bill Firth.
23rd-24th June, Play Our Century and Us - ten performers look back over their lives. Booking Suzanne 020 8318 9105
23/24th June, Drawing on the River, Open Museum at NMM 10.30am-4.15pm. £45.00. 0208 312 6717
26th June. Exploring the Royal Docks, Peter Kent, meet 11.00am Poplar Station, Weekly fee £5/£2.50 Goldsmiths Course
27th June. Peckham and Nunhead, John Beasley, Goldsmiths' Course at John Harvard Library, 2.00-4.00pm (see below for details)
30th June, Brigit Jochens on Berlin's Heimat Museums. LLHS, 7.45pm, Methodist Church Hall, Albion Way, SE13
1st July, GLIAS Walk, Brentford, Western Waterworks, meet Kew Bridge Station, 2.45pm. Leader Stephen Hine.
4th July, Long Southwark, Diana Rimel, Goldsmiths Course at John Harvard Library, 2.00-4.00pm (see below for details)
19th July, GLIAS Walk, Clerkenwell, meet Farringdon Station, 6.30pm. Leader Sue Hayton.
5th July, AGM followed by Edward Bramah on the Old and New History of Tea by the Pool, DHG, Room C, Museum of London Educ. Dept., London Wall, EC2, 6.00 pm
21st July, Julian Bowsher on Dating the Millennium. LLHS, 7.45pm, Methodist Church Hall, Albion Way, SE13
2nd August, Mike Webber on the Thames Archaeological Survey. DHG, Room C, Museum of London Educ. Dept., London Wall, EC2, 6.00 pm
5th August, GLIAS Walk, East India Docks, meet Blackwall DLR Station, 2.45pm. Leader Chris Grabham.
12th August, Sponsored barge driving race from
Greenwich to Erith.
13th August, - as above but from Erith to Gravesend.
16th August, GLIAS walk, Whitechapel. Meet Aldgate Underground, 6.30pm. Leader Tim Smith.
19/20th August, Gravesend Regatta (Swiftstone will be there)
30th August - 7th September TICCIH 2000.
September - Shipbuilding on the Thames &
2nd September, GLIAS Walk, Southall, meet Southall Station, 2.45pm. Leader Geoff Donald.
6th September, DHG visit to Docklands Library and Archive
10th September, Woodlands Farm Summer Open Day
19/21st September, Engineering in the Millennium, Newcomen Society, Science Museum, SW7 - contact the Society for info.
24th September, Woodlands Farm Trust AGM
29th September, Julian Watson on Place names in the Hundred of Blackheath. LLHS, 7.45pm, Methodist Church Hall, Albion Way, SE13
September - Shipbuilding on the Thames & Thames-built Ships. Nelson Dock House, Rotherhithe. Stuart Rankin (020 7232 1780)
4th Oct, DHG visit to LT Museum
27th October, New Cross and other Kentish Turnpikes, Dr. Shirley Black, LLHS, 7.45pm, Methodist Church Hall, Albion Way, SE13
1st Nov, Paul Calvocressi on English Heritage's Role in Docklands, DHG, Room C, Museum of London Educ. Dept., London Wall, EC2, 6.00 pm
24th November, Does Lewisham have a Future? Bob Dunn, LLHS, 7.45pm, Methodist Church Hall, Albion Way, SE13
6th Dec, Christmas Quiz DHG, Room C, Museum of London Educ. Dept., London Wall, EC2, 6.00 pm
'On the River' - Age Exchange, 11 Blackheath
Village, SE3. Mon-Fri 10-5pm. Free.
London's Lost and Found Riverscape, from 4th May, Shipwright's Palace, Deptford.
Shipwrights and Shopkeepers. Deptford Houses from the Sixteenth Century, Shipwright's Palace, Deptford, June.
Secret Garden, Shipwright's Palace, Deptford, July.
IA Course by Bob Carr. Thursdays, 6.30-8.30pm.
City University. Ring 020 7477 8268 for details.
IA of East London. Tutor Bob Carr, Birkbeck College University Extra Mural Course, North Woolwich Old Station Museum from April. Wednesday, 2.00-4.00pm. Write with SAE to Fred Bishop, 39 Freshfield Drive, London N14 4QW
London's History from its Buildings. Tutor Mary Mills, Birkbeck College Course, Sutton College of Liberal Arts, Summer Term, Friday 1.00-3.00pm. Ring Scola on 0208 770 6901.
Looking at Southwark - Goldsmiths Course at John Harvard Library, 211 Borough High Street, SE1. £18 course, £3 per class. Thurs 2-4 pm. Enrol via PACE, 020 7919 7200. Detail of dates listed as events.
Parliament and Politics - Goldsmiths Course at
Deptford Town Hall, New Cross Road, SE14 £10 course,
£2.50 per class. Tues 5-6 pm. Enrol via PACE, 020 7919
Officers and Committee are:
Chair - Jack Vaughan
Secretary - Mary Mills
Vice-Chair - Hugh Lyon
Treasurer - Steve Daly
Committee Member - Alan Parfrey
Auditor - Juliet Cairns
Subscription renewals will fall due in October
Steve Daly, 5 Pankhurst House, Garrison Close, Shooters Hill, SE18 4JE
This newsletter was produced for Greenwich Industrial History
Chair, Jack Vaughan, 35 Eaglesfield Road, SE18.
Views expressed in it are those of the authors and not of the Society.
Contributions (within reason) are always welcome, send to Mary Mills (address below).
ANY NEWSLETTER IS ONLY AS GOOD AS ITS CONTENTS MAKE IT.
IF YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO TO CONTRIBUTE - ARTICLES, REPORTS, LETTERS - ANYTHING:
.... OR PLEASE CONTACT MARY MILLS, 24 HUMBER ROAD, SE3 7LR. 020 8858 9482
And...... DON'T FORGET TO ASK US FOR A MEMBERSHIP FORM
.... David Riddle, Goldsmiths College
Space courtesy of Goldsmiths College, University of London