GREENWICH INDUSTRIAL HISTORY

Volume 7, Issue 6, November 2004

ARTICLES

WHAT IS UNDER THE
VALVEHOUSE AT CROSSNESS?
DEPTFORD & WOOLWICH

GREATER LONDON
ARCHAEOLOGY ADVISORY SERVICE

 

GREENWICH TUNNELS UNDER THE RIVER

 

REGULAR ITEMS
MEETINGS, EVENTS & COURSES
LETTERS
BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS

GREENWICH CONSERVATION GROUP

GIHS MEETINGS

16th November - Dr. Jane Grant on The Co-op Women's Guilds

11th January - AGM - Richard Hartree - John Penn and Sons.  Three Generations of a Family Firm

9th February - Tim Smith - Hydraulic Power in London and Greenwich

15th March - John King - The re-use of historic aviation buildings

12th April - Clive Chambers - Thames Defences against the Spanish Armada

10th May - Allan Green - The PLUTO Pipeline and the Greenwich Cable Makers

14th June - John Lloyd - The Greenwich Power Station Strike in support of the miners

13th September - Frances Ward

All meetings will take place at The Old Bakehouse in Blackheath Village at 7.30 pm.

GRAVES IN EAST GREENWICH PLEASAUNCE
East Greenwich Pleasaunce is a small park in the back streets of East Greenwich - it was originally the graveyard for Greenwich’s Royal Hospital and it contains many graves of navy veterans - including at least two that fought at Trafalgar.  Every year a group from the Greenwich Royal Navy Association hold a short service around a memorial in the park wall on the Saturday nearest Trafalgar Day. Next year is the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar and there will to be many events, nationwide, and particularly here in Greenwich.  
Mary Mills - who is a Greenwich councillor for that area - noticed that the Pleasaunce and its graves did not yet feature in the programme, and decided to do something about it!  GIHS members and friends can help by telling Mary anything they know about the graves in the Pleasaunce and the people who are buried in them.
Mary Mills 0208 858 9482
mary.mills@greenwich.gov.uk
24 Humber Road, SE3 7LT

WHAT IS UNDER THE VALVE HOUSE AT CROSSNESS?

In our last issue we included extracts from the Crossness Engines Record on ‘What is under the Valve House at Crossness’ -  in their Autumn issue this story is followed up – and so we have followed them with another extract by DID:

“The intention of the Trust was to house their collection of "other" engines in the Valve House. The Easton & Anderson engine had a flywheel that would need a pit, below the Valve House floor, right where some vaults seemed to run! Further investigation was required. Members discovered that additional Pumping Power was called for at Crossness in 1878. The Metropolitan Board of Works planned to purchase some Great Western Railway Broad Gauge Engines to drive pumps - two were to be used at Crossness. The location of these engines on the site has always been a mystery. Not anymore. The drawings of 1878 show the western end of the Valve House with the outline of two broad gauge locomotives set over four pump chambers. More importantly the drawing shows the brick arches, that would be the same as those under the eastern end where the Easton & Anderson was to be sited.

The building alterations were contracted to Thomas Docwra & Son and the alterations to the engines was entrusted to Easton & Anderson. Part of the contract was the supply of a bucket dredger, called a Jacob's Ladder, and a small horizontal non-condensing steam engine to drive it.  So far, no explanation of how the system operated has been discovered. Although this research located the Broad Gauge engines they were at the western end of the house and the Easton & Anderson, with the flywheel problem, was to be sited at the eastern end. What could be learnt from this research and applied to the eastern end?

DEPTFORD AND WOOLWICH

Bob Carr, writing in the GLIAS Newsletter, has provided a good summary of current changes in our area – as follows:

“Readers will be only too aware of how housing redevelopment along the riverside has rendered much of Thameside permanently unusable for shipping activities. A campaign is being waged to prevent the Deptford Dockyard waterfront from being redeveloped in this way. Deptford and Woolwich Royal Dockyards were situated at two of the best locations on the Thames, where deep water is maintained by natural scour - not surprisingly the Crown had the pick of choice sites. It would be a great tragedy if Deptford (Convoys Wharf) is to be lost to shipping for all time. Two c.l847 shipbuilding sheds in which warships were constructed remain. A bronze statue group to commemorate Czar Peter the Great's visit to Deptford in 1698 was unveiled on 5 June 2001. and stand near the entrance to Deptford Creek and the site of Sebastian de Ferranti's pioneer power station of 1889. The figures are on a polished granite plinth made in St Petersburg. The bronze statue was cast in Deptford. Does anyone know who cast them?

The eastern peninsula at the entrance to Deptford Creek has been totally cleared and awaits redevelopment. Small ships carrying sand and gravel still use the creek and berth just above Creek Road on the east bank which means the road bridge is still in use. A Stothert & Pitt crane is used to unload cargoes. The MV James Prior was noted at the berth on 27 August 2004.

Currently, MV Balmoral and the replica Endeavour operate occasional passenger cruises from Woolwich Pier and the Woolwich waterfront is not entirely private housing, although flats are now being built on the site  of Cubow's shipyard. Recent archaeological excavation at Woolwich Arsenal has unearthed an enormous treasure trove of industrial and military remains - steam hammer bases, casting floors, machine beds and building foundations have been discovered on a bewildering scale. Here archaeologists and developers are working in partnership, with recent archaeological knowledge being utilised in planning new building locations and foundation piles. In the past, the Arsenal would just bury their 'rubbish' using any convenient hole that needed filling. This has provided the 21st century with a rich legacy of historic arms and munitions for scholarly study.”

Creekside Forum are working on the numerous regeneration initiatives on the Deptford riverside. Inevitably the focus is on several old industrial sites.  Here are some (heavily edited) extracts from their recent Annual Report:

“Borthwick Wharf has been a major focus of  activity. Together with its neighbour, Payne's Wharf, this fine block, designed by RIBA gold medallist Edwin Cooper, is the subject of a planning application by George Wimpey for yet another tower block. Payne's is listed but English Heritage denied  protection to Borthwick. We argued that this former meat cold store should be adapted for present-day use  - for example it could be a major new gallery space. Bill Ellson has researched Borthwick's overseas operations. Never a household name in Britain, they sold only to retail butchers.  By 1963 in Australia and New Zealand they had five cattle stations and 11 freezing plants and tntil Britain joined the Common Market most of their product was landed at Deptford. The building thus forms part of an Australasian heritage, as well as being the last evidence of Deptford's 500-year-old meat trade.

The strength of local support was demonstrated on a guided walk held in mid-summer… the event attracted interest thanks to a fine flyer by Michele.

Mary Mills now has a limited stock of Greenwich and Woolwich at Work available from her at £10 each plus £2 postage.

24 Humber Road, London, SE3. marymillsmmmmm@aol.com

GREATER LONDON ARCHAEOLOGY ADVISORY SERVICE

The current Quarterly Review gives the usual detailed accounts of archaeological investigations in the Borough. Much of it concerns peats, gravels and the like but there are some items of industrial interest extracted below.

For more detail readers should contact Greater London Sites and Monuments Record, Room GO1, English Heritage, 23 Saville Road, W1S 2ET 020 7973 3779 smr@english-heritage.org.uk

THE ROYAL ARSENAL (BUILDING 21). Oxford Archaeology reported:

This is a relatively small building built in 1890 as Naval Offices. Originally two storied, a second floor was added in 1903 and it was later converted to a telephone exchange. It has polychromatic brick detailing like  the Chemical Laboratory and its lightweight iron roof – had been taken down and reused when the building was raised a storey. The internal layout of the building was lost in conversion. But some sash windows survive intact plus skirtings, doors and architraves on the first floor  - including two late 19th century partitions. 

THE ROYAL ARSENAL, WOOLWICH, IO GROUP, PHASE 2. Pre-Construct Archaeology reported:

'Made ground' was found across the site corresponding to the process of ground raising from the 17th to 19th centuries, to make the marshland suitable for construction.

The remains of a square brick built structure were found - matching two of four bays shown on a plan of 1808 and labelled ‘Dipping Square’ - part of the Royal Laboratory. Inside were two deep square wells or tanks, and a domed brick cylinder, probably a well. Foundations included brick pier bases and brick columns for floor supports founded on timber base-plates which were pieces of gun carriages, and of great importance for research into Napoleonic-era English weapons.  In the 1820's-1870's the site was used as a timber-seasoning field by the Royal Carriage Department and the remains found include timber/metal rails and small foundation pads.

Substantial remains of the 35-ton steam hammer were found construction of which began in 1872 in the South Forge.  The anvil foundations comprised a series of cast iron plates beneath a cast iron frustum arranged in a stepped pyramid and these were left in situ. The anvil had been built in a large square construction cut, backfilled with concrete. Four metal plates NW and SE of the anvil may have supported above-ground machinery, possibly even the furnaces that kept the hammer in work – and an  area of metal plate work and heavy burning  may be testament to one of the furnaces.

On maps a Boiler House is shown to the east, to  provide the hammer’s power and brick remains of pier bases and flues were found. The flues comprised metal louvre shutters to control the flow of smoke into a large N-S aligned flue beyond the site's edge.

In the NW corner of the site the lower level foundations of a large Radial Crane were exposed, probably from 1876. There were the remains of deep metal tanks around the foundations and a brick floor to the south may be a structure marked on an 1895 OS map as ‘Browning Shop’. Brick flues in the south of the site served to carry fumes towards a large octagonal chimney.  Other concrete pads match an unidentified structure shown on the map.

In the southern and eastern areas of the site were the remains of the South Boring Mill, built in 1882 and enlarged 1885-1912. A number of lathe beds survived, some represented by concrete footings, and others by  metal beds and tracks and mechanisms revealing processes of power transmission. There were also concrete pier bases, metal stanchion bases and base-plates, brick footings and party walls, and concrete slabs many of which could not be fully explained. Outside the South Boring Mill, were remains of bogie tracks for the transport of raw materials and finished products and also cobbled surfaces. Some pieces of metalwork associated with the lathe beds were stamped with the maker's mark, and date, a Manchester-based engineering firm, Craven Bros. After 1914, South Forge became a Tender shop with concrete tanks and two concrete bases for turntables. At the southern end were two brick flues corresponding with a series of Gas Producers marked on a plan of the 1930's.

Also found were concrete pier bases, footings, brick walls and stanchion bases -  matching Building A73. shown on a 1930's map.  Also remains of a Tempering Shop with a series of large wrought iron vertical tanks, and a square brick tank with iron lining. Some of remains may be Oil Tanks marked on the 1895 map  Immediately south was a complicated area of brick, iron and concrete from a structure marked in a 1930's map as Naval Insp (Shells). Concrete footings and stanchion bases in the south of the site is thought to be the remains of the Plant Store, shown on the 1930s map. In the SE corner of the site were remains of a structure, shown on a plan of 1960's. Internally a floor slab was found, with a small set of bogie tracks, and a set of four concrete features, possibly tanks or ordnance-testing pits. A number of shell casings were retrieved from these pits. Outside were further railway or bogie tracks, cobbled surfaces and isolated machine bases.

THE ROYAL ARSENAL (BUILDING 37). Oxford Archaeology:

Building 37 was the offices of the Ordnance Stores Department and formed part of the Grand Stores.  It retains a large quantity of primary decorative features such as skirting boards. It underwent one major refurbishment in the 19th century to create on the first floor what is now called - 'The Duke of Wellington Suite'. Although the Duke of Wellington was Master General of Ordnance 1818-1827 and may have had offices here it seems unlikely that the redecoration of these rooms had any direct relationship with him despite this name.

LAND ADJACENT TO 34 GREENWICH PARK STREET. Museum of London Archaeology Service:

Shows deposits of late 18th-19th century date and cellars associated with 19th century buildings fronting on to Trafalgar Road

GREENWICH PENINSULA, SE10. Museum of London Archaeology Service:

The vast majority of this report deals with the sub soil but reports include a note on north of the site where foreshore deposits were found, which may represent a sluice dating from the post-medieval period and linked to drains and watercourses known to have existed in this part of the peninsula.

Tarry contamination was found in the lower levels of the ground at differing thicknesses, in the western side of the site. This is likely to relate to the use of the site from the 1840's by the Improved Wood Pavement Company to make coal tar-soaked wood blocks for paving using the waste products of the gas industry. The site was incorporated into the linoleum works in the early 20th century and later taken over by the Metropolitan Storage and Trade Company, becoming a specialised wharf for handling containers in 1970.

GREENWICH TUNNELS UNDER THE RIVER

River tunnels in Greenwich are famous – here are some more tasters from Denis Smith’s Civil Engineering Heritage of London and the Thames Valley (published/sold by Institution of Civil Engineers).

THE WOOLWICH FOOT TUNNEL

The Foot Tunnel was designed by Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice for the London County Council, 1909-12. An Act was obtained in 1909, and in March 1910 a contract for the construction of the tunnel was let to Walter Scott and Middleton for £78,860. It comprises a cast-iron tube of 12ft 8 in. outside diameter connecting two vertical shafts. Construction of the north shaft began on 1 May 1910 and tunnelling began on 1 December. The length between shaft centres is 1655 ft. It was excavated by hand labour with the aid of a shield, and a fair day's progress was five rings, or 8 ft 4 in., during 24 hours, the men working three eight-hour shifts.

THE BLACKWALL TUNNELS

The first attempt to construct a road tunnel here was made by the Metropolitan Board of Works who obtained an Act in 1887. The design, for three parallel tunnels, was made by Sir Joseph Bazalgette and the work was to take seven years. The Board was about to let the contract when the Government prematurely wound up the Metropolitan Board of Works in  March 1889. This was the end of Bazalgette's scheme. In June 1890 the London County Council commissioned Benjamin Baker to inspect and report on the compressed air working at the Hudson River tunnel in New York, and at Sarnia in Canada. Baker reported in October, and by 20 November the London County Council Chief Engineer, Alexander R. Binnie, had produced a new single-tunnel design, under the 1887 Act. The tender of S. Pearson & Son (who were building the Hudson River tunnel), of £871,000, was accepted towards the end of 1891 and work began in 1892.

The work began by sinking four shafts in steel caissons, 58ft external diameter, which were built by the Thames Ironworks on Bow Creek. The circular tunnelling shield, weighing 250 tons, was designed by E. W. Moir, the contractor's Agent, and built by Easton & Anderson of Erith. The shield was driven forward by hydraulic rams, and excavation was by hand. As the shield working was under compressed air at 27 lbf  sq. in. above atmosphere, to prevent a blowout, a layer of clay 10 ft thick and 150 ft wide was laid on the riverbed over the line of the tunnel. Six air compressors totalling 1500 hp were used. The tunnel is 6200 ft long from entrance to entrance.

The outside diameter of the cast-iron lining is 27 ft, providing a roadway 16 ft wide with a footway on either side. 800 men were employed on the work. The tunnel was lit by three rows of incandescent electric lamps in the roof. It was ceremonially opened by HRH the Prince of Wales on Saturday 22 May 1897. It was one of the first contracts of the LCC and the new tunnel was one of its last.

By the 1930s the old tunnel was becoming inadequate and the LCC obtained an Act in the 1930s for a new tunnel. However, war intervened and construction work did not begin until 1958 with the northern approach. The new tunnel is about 700 ft to the west of the earlier tunnel and is 3,852 ft from portal to portal, with an internal diameter of 28 ft 2 in. The consulting engineers for the bored section of the tunnel itself were Mott, Hay & Anderson, and for the open approaches Mr. H. Iroys Hughes. Architect Terry Farrell designed the two ventilation buildings, that on the south side is incorporated in the Millennium Dome. The new tunnel was opened in 1967 and carries southbound traffic only - the northbound traffic uses the old tunnel.

GREENWICH FOOT TUNNEL

Built from Island Gardens on the Isle of Dogs to the Greenwich waterfront, the tunnel was built to replace a ferry. Two vertical shafts, each of 43 ft external diameter, give access to the tunnel by spiral staircase or lift. The tunnel is 1217 yd long between shaft centres and is made of cast-iron rings of 12 ft 9 in. external diameter. It was built for the London County Council under their Engineer Sir Alexander Binnie, the resident engineer was W. C. Copperthwaite and the contractors were J. Cochrane and Sons. Opened in 1902, it is still in use.

AND - THE FUTURE....

In their September Newsletter, the Kent Underground Research Group report on a Guardian article, as follows:

THAMES WATER TUNNEL

The following is from the Guardian of Saturday April 10th written by Paul Brown, Environment Correspondent:

A massive tunnel, nine metres across and 22 miles long, is planned through London, underneath the riverbed of the Thames, to relieve the capital's overloaded sewage system. The daunting engineering project, costing £2bn and adding £12 a year to the average water bill, is necessary to prevent an environmental disaster in the Thames, which could seriously damage its thriving wildlife. It will be the biggest sewage project in the capital since Joseph Bazalgette built the interceptor sewers that relieved London of the "Great Stink". London is facing a crisis because its 140-year-old sewage system cannot cope. Up to 60 storm overflows are still directed into the river and have to be brought into use so often that they are in breach of European directives designed to save rivers from being starved of oxygen and the wildlife wiped out. Since the 1980s, after a 20-year cleanup of a multitude of remaining discharges into the Thames, London has been held up as an example to the world on how to clean up a "dead" river through a major city. However, changing rainfall patterns caused by climate change and urban development have meant that many times a year London's sewers have been unable to cope with the combined flow from the city's sewage and storm water system. As a result, the Thames has received a vast load of effluent mixed with storm water and rubbish washed from the city's streets.

The Thames Tideway Strategic study, is due to report this year but has concluded that a tunnel is the best option. This will have to be very deep, up to 100 metres below the Thames to avoid tube lines and all the other infrastructure under the river. It will also gradually run downhill in order to carry the storm water to the twin sewage works either side of the river.  The optimal solution is to build a tunnel under the river from Twickenham in the west to the Beckton and Crossness sewage works in the east. Construction would take six years and was unlikely to begin before 2010.

LETTERS

Where addresses are not given, please contact through the Editor, c/o 24 Humber Road, London SE3

From: Julie Tadman

I am really fascinated by the waterfront at Ballast Quay, as you can imagine.  I have been looking for a photo or painting which shows the house, which was demolished in 1854, Thames Cottage, prior to the Harbour Master's house being built on the site. I am looking at a copy of the "catalogue of building materials" which came from Morden College which gives a pretty good description of the materials from which it was made - brick and weatherboard. It was probably very similar to other old buildings in the area. All the paintings I have been able to find seem to use artistic licence in their depiction and concentrate on the grander edifices further along the Thames. And as for a photo, I suspect the building may have missed out, given the time of its demolition - but if anyone can help I would be grateful.

Julie’s book about Ballast Quay  ‘A Fisherman of Greenwich’ is still available

www.postpressed.com.au   (AU$34.95 +au $4.00 p& p)


From: Janet LeGault

Has anyone heard of the Old Naval Reserve Bearhouse, Woolwich Road?  My great grandfather, Richard Blagrove, was the licensed beer retailer of that establishment in 1889; I would love to know its specific location.  For a time, he lived at the Hatcliffe's Buildings, Woolwich  Road - again--I have been unable to find a specific location. I would appreciate any help in tracing these buildings.  My great grandfather was a beer retailer in the Woolwich Road from 1878-1889.  He lived in the area all his life (he died at 126 Woolwich Road) and is reputed to have owned 40 houses. Perhaps someone in your Society would know. I believe that my great grandmother disposed of them before she died in 1922.

Box 506, Gravelbourg, SK, Canada, 306 648-2468


From: Jim Jones

In 1958 I joined Telcon Greenwich aged 15 as an apprentice carpenter in the power cables department where there was a massive machine. I was told that it was used to help make PLUTO during the war. After the war it was tried as a power cables manufacturing machine but was too big and not economic. The sun wheel part of the machine was over 25 ft wide in early 1959 it was dismantled. My father, Arthur Jones, worked on these machines, my elder brother Arthur was the blacksmith making equipment to pick cables up from the sea bed, plus my uncle was involved making cable gear fitted to cable ships, plus photo of brand new C S Mercury loading cable at Telcon Greenwich (I was working on her at the time) 1965? I also have the Telcon fire chiefs tin hat (Big Jim) that was part of his equipment during the war. He was still there in the 1950s.

jimjones@dsl.pipex.com


From: Alan Graham

I believe that an ancestor of mine, William John Graham (1856-1927) was a long-term employee of Messrs Siemens Brothers & Co in Woolwich, Kent, England from 1881 until his death in 1927. Siemens Archives in Germany advise me that:

"During World War I this enterprise was confiscated by British authorities and became a British company. The archives of Siemens Brothers probably remained at the new owner. Since 1957 the company uses the firm name Siemens Edison Swan Ltd." 

I was wondering if the Greenwich Industrial History Society had any information on this arrangement of Companies and if there any chance that Archive material could be held concerning W J Graham and the work that he performed for the company? I understand that he had extensive experience on the cable ship CS Faraday on which he was in charge of the electrical department. I would be pleased to hear if any relevant material is held in Archives and/or elsewhere, and the cost of the retrieval and copying of such material. If not, I would be pleased to receive suggestions on whom I might contact for further investigation.

Alan J Graham,  P O Box 501, Ingle Farm, SA 5098, Australia AJSM.Graham@bigpond.com


From: Iris Bryce

I’m absolutely thrilled that a publisher considers my first canal book worthy of republishing as a Classic Canal Book.  My book was first published in 1979 and had seven pictures – this has 140 most of which were taken by Owen, and many of them may puzzle some of today's boaters, as developers have demolished many wonderful canal side buildings. For instance in Birmingham one picture shows a church, but sad to say, today it lies beneath Television Studios.  In June 2005 the Blisworth Canal tunnel will be 200 years old and it is the longest canal tunnel still navigable. Celebrations will be televised and take place over a whole weekend. It is expected that around 300 boats will moor either side of the tunnel - so I will have boats to the right, left and centre of my garden. I'd better get a stall on the towpath in sell my books!

I discovered the London Canal Museum recently and I think it is one of great interest to all Londoners. Have you been there? It lies just behind Kings Cross Station and is housed in what was an ice warehouse.


From: Bob Hadlow

I seek your assistance concerning workshop drawings produced in The Royal Arsenal, Woolwich.

I am researching a paper on Australian Military History in the period immediately following the Federation of the Australian Colonies into the Commonwealth of Australia, in 1901, to the end of World War 1. A key element is technical detail but the only lead I have at present comes from government procedures for Army equipment. Documents held by the National Archives of Australia, show that there was an established procedure between the British and Australian Governments, for the notification of details of equipment employed by each Army. In Australia this procedure was centred on the Office of the Governor General. Copies of specifications and drawings of British equipment were received from the Inspection Department, Royal Arsenal Woolwich and forwarded on to the Australian Department of Defence, Melbourne, with a copy of the covering note to the Office of the Prime Minister. The Australian Army designed and developed some equipment of its own which was employed in the Middle East and on The Western Front during WW1 via a reversal of the above procedure.  The Australian authorities destroyed the drawings and specifications during WW2 but it may be possible that British authorities retained copies. I am particularly interested in specifications and drawings, which originated from and went to the Drawing Office of the Royal Carriage Department.  Both The Public Records Office, Kew and The Royal Artillery Museum, Woolwich advised they do not hold these and I therefore seek your advice of any address or contact details where this material may be held. I understand that in 1915 various drawing offices at The Royal Arsenal were amalgamated into The Design Department, attached to The Ministry of Supply but from that point 1 have lost the trail.

PO Box 470, South Perth, WA 6951 Australia.


From: L.Bingham and Co.

We act for employees of R H Green and Silley Weir, latterly known as Blackwall Engineering, in the late 50s and early 60s, and we are trying   to trace their insurers. We are aware that the company has been placed in liquidation  - but our purpose in writing to you is to ascertain whether any of your members may know the insurers?

L.Bingham and Co., 53/64 Chancery Lane, WC2A 1QU


BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS

PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED

We receive a great many newsletters and booklets - thank you, and keep them coming - however, what is listed here are only those which have something of Greenwich interest in the current edition. Reviews of any publications of Greenwich interest are always welcome.


St.Mary’s Church Lewisham - Julian Watson

Julian has marked his retirement initially with an excellent book about his local church.  Although, naturally, this is not primarily concerned with local industry it does show some interesting insights into the building trade locally over the past 600 years or so.  This is a great little book and highly recommended.


GASLIGHT – produced by the North West Gas Historical Association is now serialising W.F.D.Garton’s ‘History of the South Metropolitan Gas Company. This definitive history of our local gas works was serialised in the professional gas press in the 1950s and has never been published elsewhere until now.  Highly recommended. The  Newsletter is edited by Terry Mitchell, Old Barnshaw Cottage, Pepper Street, Mobberley, Cheshire, WA 16 6JH.   TMM@Tinyworld.co.uk


Iris Bryce has brought out a new edition of her Canals are my Home - the story of the adventures of the Woolwich based Bryces on the waterways of England.  £12.99 published by W.D.Wharton, 37 Sheep Street, Wellingborough, Northants. NN8 1BX  01933 222690 edwharton@supanet.com

GREENWICH CONSERVATION GROUP NOTES

by Philip Binns

CONSERVATION GROUP

Planning applications discussed at the meeting held 27th September

Greenwich Promenade, Greenwich Pier, SE10. 2 storey building with restaurants, toilets etc. etc. and 12 flats. Given the wrong case file, so can’t comment.

Convoys Wharf (in Lewisham). No proper reports in the case file, so can’t comment.

Gatehouse Pub, Leda Road, SE18. Conversion to 13 flats. Welcome the refurbishment but concern at more accommodation over the colonnade. Concern at stark modern building near 1780s original.

Coronet Cinema, Well Hall Road. Only note in the file says ‘drawings are with Neil’ so can’t comment.

Building 10 Royal Arsenal, SE18. Demolitions connected with proposed leisure use. Concern on this, and also on vague information given.

Thompson’s Plant and Garden Centre Shooters Hill. Demolition of building and glasshouse and erection of new one. Regret loss of the house and intensification of development.

Planning applications discussed at the meeting held 27th October

Payne’s and Borthwick Wharves. This is for the demolition of Borthwick’s and partial demolition of Payne’s to allow for 247 homes, 10 live-work units, parking etc. The group is still concerned despite the reduction in height in one tower.  Concern about over development and impact on the existing infrastructure and regret about proposal to demolish Borthwick’s Wharf.

The Council has just finished a consultation exercise on an amended scheme, which lowers the number of residential units by reducing the tower block on the riverfront from 24 storeys to 18. All other elements of the scheme remain as before. The application has been the subject of a Stage 1 referral by the Greater London Assembly and, although its planners main concern appears to be with the proportion of affordable housing. The listed Payne's Wharf building is to be disfigured by the addition of a two storey glass box and no-one had found a suitable use which would allow for the retention of the unlisted Borthwick Wharf building.  

Convoys Wharf, SE8 (in Lewisham). Outline application.  Information given was not suitable for the group to comment on.

Cutty Sark, SE10. Plans for restoration and conversion, improved access, exhibition and performance space. Group likes the innovative design of the temporary structure to allow spaces to be built below the ship and the introduction of an external lift. This deserves every encouragement.

Greenwich Telephone Exchange, Maze Hill, SE10. Installation of telecommunications mast. Some concerns are raised abut the proliferation of masts so near the World Heritage Site.

Former Thames Water Building, Brookmill Road, SE8 (in Lewisham). Demolition and replacement with linked buildings for offices, classrooms, etc. Applaud the objectives and design but grave concern that there is no attempt to keep the distinctive existing building – which is regrettably not listed.

Former EDF Substation site. Stowage, SE8.  Demolition to allow for four-storey block with 24 homes, garden, parking, etc. unobjectionable proposal.

Coronet Cinema, Well Hall Road, SE9. Restoration to provide cafe, bar and restaurant and use of auditorium for mixed use and offices.  Case file did not give sufficient information, for the second time.

Greenwich Pier. Terry Farrell's proposals have been reactivated from pre-Millennium days. The introduction of a residential element into what is primarily a public space is questionable and the indication that the PLA is prepared to offer mooring rights elsewhere on the river for the 8 flats which benefit from a river view is discriminatory.  We welcome the removal of the high brick wall which currently separates the Pier from the rest of the World Heritage Site and the proposal to formalise the entry to Greenwich by boat on the Pepys building.  The public provision of toilets and sheltered seating is minimal and insufficient space appears to have been allocated for general public assembly; particularly on busy days of operation.  It seems to us that the present scheme is too much developer led to the detriment of the general public and that little consideration appears to have been given to the Pier as an operational facility.

Warren Lane, Woolwich . Proposals for a massive redevelopment of the Warren Lane site have been the subject of local exhibitions.  The scheme  extends to include the western section of the Arsenal around the Dial Arch Square involving works to Building 10, Verbruggen's house and the Officers' Quarters building. The Group is concerned at the degree of intensification with 3,000 new homes planned,  triple the target of London Plan. We also note developments outside the actual application site, which will have a major impact on Woolwich so  that the town centre will be completely transformed. A proposed block to the west of Beresford Square will have a detrimental effect on the vista looking south from the riverside guard houses up No.1 Street towards the Royal Brass Foundry, a significant listed building.   We are also concerned at the height and massing of proposed new buildings. We cannot agree with para. 5.40 of the Planning Statement which reads "the proposed residential buildings will have no impact on the foreground or backdrop of any listed buildings and will therefore have little effect on their setting". To take just one example, the easternmost residential block will tower over and dominate the following listed buildings:-  the Royal Military Academy, the east and west pavilions of the Royal Laboratory, the Royal Brass Foundry, the Main Guard House and the southern remains of the Dial Arch complex. 

The proposed works to Building 10 (Royal Carriage Factory) are particularly disconcerting in that it pays little regard to the small scale of the retained northern frontage to Wellington Avenue and even less regard to the smaller scale of the westernmost section of the retained southern frontage.


MEETINGS AND EVENTS

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 (020 8858 9482)

2004

NOVEMBER

14th November, Crossness Engines Visitor’s Day 020 8311 3711 on Tues or Sun daytime for bookings.

17th November, Pool of London Film Museum in Docklands 6 pm

17th November, From St.Katharine’s Dock to Woolwich Arsenal. Paul Calvocressi. GLIAS Lecture, Robin Book Centre, Barts Hospital, EC1. 6.30pm

18th November, Scadbury Park, Chiselhurst, Roy Hopper. Shooters Hill LH Group, Shrewsbury House Community Centre, 8pm.  Details from Dot 020 8467 4416

18th November, Napoleon’s War on Trade. Museum in Docklands 1.15 pm

18th November, Greedy cormorants waiting for their prey. Cornish Wreckers. Catherine Pearce. Seminar Maritime Greenwich Campus. 5pm 020 831 9059. s.e.price@greenwich.ac.uk

19th November, Digital Photography. Prof Steve Wilbur, Blackheath Sci Soc.  Mycenae House. 7.45pm

19th November, Ritva Knitwear. The story of the knitted minidress. Museum of London. 1.10pm

19th November, AGM - Bran’s Head and other Unlikely London Burials, John Black SLAS, 106 The Cut, SE1. 7.00pm

21st November, Pool of London Film Museum in Docklands. 2.30pm

19th November,   Brooking Collection Architectural Workshops. 1.30pm & 5pm. Register 020 8331 9312. j.lynch@gre.ac.uk Maritime Greenwich Campus

23rd November, Crossness Engines Visitor’s Day see above

24th November, History of the Seamen’s Hospital Society. Prof Gordon Cook.  Greenwich Hist Soc., Blackheath High School, Vanbrugh Park, SE3. 7.15pm

26th November, Brooking Collection Architectural WorkshopsSee above

26th November, Invalid – exhibition on social context of illness. Maritime Greenwich Campus  

27th November, Christopher Wren. NMM, ring 020 8312 6648

27th November, On the Chocolate Trail with tasting session. Museum in Docklands 12.30 & 2.

24th November, The Lost Country Houses of South London. Brian Bloice. Roth & Bermondsey LHS Time and Talents, St. Marychurch St, SE1. 7.45pm

27th November, London rag trade – and its reliance on newly arrived immigrants. Museum of London. 10.30am. £25

28th November, Chat to a Victorian Landlady. Museum in Docklands 12.30pm, 2.20pm, 3.30pm. (Family event)

29th November, Walk off those Christmas calories with Frances Ward. 1pm, Greenwich Heritage Centre. £2

DECEMBER

1st December, The Long Good Friday, Film Museum in Docklands, 6pm

1st December, John Thelwel – radical and educator. Hilary Dickenson Seminar, Maritime Greenwich Campus, 1pm, 020 831 9059  s.e.price@greenwich.ac.uk

1st December, Denis Severs House. Visit. £10. Museum of London.

2nd December, Far Eastern Trade. Gallery Tour - Museum in Docklands, 2pm

2nd December, Slavery Remembrance Day. The Last Supper Film.  Museum in Docklands, 6pm

3rd December, Brooking Collection Architectural WorkshopsSee above

4th December, International Day for the Abolition of the Slave Trade. Drama event at the Museum in Docklands. From 2pm performance and workshop (family event).

4th December, Family History Day with Frances Wared. Greenwich Heritage Centre, 10am.

5th December, The Sailor Who Knew 1,000 stories. Museum in Docklands, 1pm & 3pm.

5th December, The Long Good Friday.  Film, plus screenwriter (and Greenwich resident) Barrie Keefe. Museum in Docklands, 2pm

8th December, Cruise Ships. NMM, ring 020 8312 6648

11th December, Fleet Air Arm. NMM, ring 020 8312 6648

11th December, Greenwich Characters. Roger MacLean. Woolwich Antiquarians, Charlton House, 2.00pm

12th December, Abdul Miah, Lascar, with tales of his adventures. Museum in Docklands. 12.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm (family event)

15th December, Thro the Lantern Glass. Rosemary Gill. Roth & Bermondsey LHS. See above

16th December, Christmas Social and Quiz. Shooters Hill LH Group. See above

16th December, A Whaling for to Go. Gallery Tour. Museum in Docklands, 2pm

17th December, Members Evening and AGM. Blackheath Sci Soc. Mycenae House, SE3. 7.45pm

18th December, Santa on the Docklands Light Railway. 2pm. Museum in Docklands

JANUARY 2005

4th January, Crossness Engines. Guided Tours. See above

8th January, The Tudor Court at Greenwich. Frances Ward. Greenwich

8th January, Crystal Palace and the Exhibition of 1851. Peter Street. Woolwich Antiquarians, Charlton House, 2.00pm.

11th January, A Saxon Royal Burial at Southend. Ian Blair. SLAS, 106 The Cut, SE1. 7.00pm

14th January, Brooking Collection architectural workshopsSee above

16th January, Crossness Engines. Guided Tours. See above

19th January, History and Architecture of Shopping. Brian Bloice. GLIAS Lecture. See above

19th January, Britain’s Nelson and Wordsworth’s Happy Warrior. Dr. John Williams. Maritime Greenwich Campus, 5pm

19th January, Women, War and Maritime Communities. 1600-1720. Margaret Hunt. Maritime Greenwich Campus. 1pm.

21st January, Food Additives. Richard Radcliffe. Blackheath Sci Soc. Mycenae House. 7.45pm

21st January, Brooking Collection architectural workshops. See above

26th January, The Marshalsea Prison. Stephen Humphrey. Roth & Bermondsey LHS. See above

28th January, Brooking Collection architectural workshopsSee above



COURSES

On-going

The Port of London. The Industrial Archaeology and Regeneration of a Riverscape
Birkbeck accredited course. North Woolwich Old Station Museum. 2.00-4.00pm. 29th September - 16th March. 22 meetings plus 4 visits. Telephone 020 7631 6627 for details. Tutor: Mary Mills.

Re-thinking the World. The English Experience. NMM and Birkbeck 11am - 1pm. 30th Sept - 17th March. Ring 020 7631 6652

History of Science. NMM and Birkbeck. 11am - 1pm. 28th Sept - 22nd March. Ring 020 7631 6652

New

Nelson’s Contemporaries. 8 weeks from 25th Jan. NMM, ring 020 8312 6648. Greenwich Maritime Festival Event.

Sea London. 8 weeks from 27th January. NMM, ring 020 8312 6648. Greenwich Maritime Festival Event.

Call for papers - The Naval Dockyards Society is planning its tenth annual conference at the National Maritime Museum on 20th March 2006. Synopses of suitable papers should go by 30th June 2005 to: Dr Ann Coats, 44 Lindley Avenue, Southsea, PO4 9NU. 023 92863799   http://www.hants.gov.uk/navaldockyard



EXHIBITIONS

FIREPOWER

For further information please contact;

Firepower on 020 8855 7755, info@firepower.org.uk, website www.firepower.org.uk

GREENWICH INDUSTRIAL HISTORY SOCIETY

The Society's officers are currently as follows:

Chair - Jack Vaughan

Vice-Chairs and Committee - Andrew Bullevent, Alan Parfrey,

Secretary - Mary Mills

Treasurer - Steve Daly

Auditor - Juliet Cairns

Members are reminded that subscription renewals fell due in October 2002.
Subscriptions remain at £10 and should be sent to:

Steve Daly, 5 Pankhurst House, Garrison Close, Shooters Hill, SE18 4JE


This newsletter was produced for Greenwich Industrial History Society, 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.

ANY NEWSLETTER IS ONLY AS GOOD AS ITS CONTENTS MAKE IT.
IF YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO TO CONTRIBUTE - ARTICLES, REPORTS, LETTERS - ANYTHING

Please send to Mary Mills (address below).

MEETING PLACE

Meetings as advertised at the head of this newsletter will be held at;

The Old Bakehouse, (at back of the) Age Exchange Reminiscence Centre, 11 Blackheath Village, London, SE23 9LA.

Do not go to the Reminiscence Centre itself - The Old Bakehouse is at the back, in Bennett Park. Walk into Bennett Park and turn left into a yard. The Old Bakehouse is the building on your right. The entrance is straight ahead.

.... OR PLEASE CONTACT MARY MILLS, 24 HUMBER ROAD, SE3 7LR. 020 8858 9482

And......  DON'T FORGET TO ASK US FOR A MEMBERSHIP FORM



The Web version has been created by;

.... David Riddle, Goldsmiths College

Space courtesy of Goldsmiths College, University of London