Articles on this Page
- 09/05/17--04:21: _More Greenwich Hist...
- 09/11/17--13:06: _More news again
- 09/26/17--09:57: _and even more news
- 10/07/17--03:14: _and more news today
- 10/09/17--23:44: _Tonight's the night
- 10/20/17--12:56: _Mixed bag of notes ...
- 11/03/17--02:00: _Notes and news
- 11/09/17--22:50: _Nothing to do but p...
- 11/23/17--01:41: _East Greenwich Gash...
- 11/26/17--07:48: _News items
- 12/14/17--13:58: _News of this and th...
- 12/19/17--20:38: _Rope making and the...
- 12/22/17--01:32: _East Greenwich gash...
- 01/01/18--11:38: _More news - not all...
- 01/11/18--02:04: _Siemens Woolwich, H...
- 01/13/18--04:12: _Siemens ~Woolwich -...
- 01/22/18--11:50: _Copperas in Greenwi...
- 01/22/18--12:44: _Copperas in Greenwi...
- 01/22/18--13:00: _Greenwich & Deptfor...
- 01/22/18--13:16: _Copperas in Greenwi...
- 09/05/17--04:21: More Greenwich History News and more this time than last
- 09/11/17--13:06: More news again
- 09/26/17--09:57: and even more news
- 10/07/17--03:14: and more news today
- 10/09/17--23:44: Tonight's the night
- 10/20/17--12:56: Mixed bag of notes - includes Appleby, Charlton and more
- 11/03/17--02:00: Notes and news
- 11/09/17--22:50: Nothing to do but put more news items
- 11/23/17--01:41: East Greenwich Gasholder - move to prevent it being listed
- 11/26/17--07:48: News items
- 12/14/17--13:58: News of this and that, but not about Christmas
- 12/19/17--20:38: Rope making and the birth of the submarine cable industry
- 12/22/17--01:32: East Greenwich gasholder - planning application to demolish
- 01/01/18--11:38: More news - not all of it depressing.
- 01/11/18--02:04: Siemens Woolwich, History
- 01/13/18--04:12: Siemens ~Woolwich - site notes
- 01/22/18--11:50: Copperas in Greenwich and Deptford Part 1
- 01/22/18--12:44: Copperas in Greenwich and Deptford - Part II The Eighteenth Century
- 01/22/18--13:00: Greenwich & Deptford Copperas Part 3. Elizabeth Pearson as a girl
- 01/22/18--13:16: Copperas in Greenwich and Deptford Part 4, The Final Years
GREENWICH CONSERVATION GROUP (including ENDERBY HOUSE)
They have raised an issue of concern on J.Muir & Co Bookbinders 64-68 Blackheath Road. - GIHS would be grateful for info on this
There are also numerous issue around Enderby House. The Conservation Group has made a submission and it is understood EGRA and the Enderby Group are working with them and each other. Anyone who wants to find out more and maybe write in themselves are urged to do so - advice from EGRA (http://www.egra.london), Enderby Group members (https://www.facebook.com/groups/enderby/) - or GIHS via this blog site - email contact over on the left. (email@example.com)
There are two applications - 17/232/NM looked after by Planning Officer Y.Mederios and 17/2320/L looked after by Planning Officer T.Choudhury. It appears they will be taken together.
Both are for internal and external amendments to Enderby House. A summary of comments are as follows:
- regret realignment of riverside path and increased height of flood defence walls which puts the setting of the listed house in jeopardy
- regret no secure gate arrangement in the flood defence wall
- question natural lighting at ground floor since the roof light has been removed to allow for outdoor seating on a first floor terrace
- urge that more emphasis is placed on tourist and community aspects in preference to retail used 'now proposed'.
Thanks for their newsletter.
They advertise their next meetings as:
14th October Crossness Nature Reserve by Karen Sutton
11th November - A date with buildings by Jim Marrett and Wricklemarsh by Richard Buchanan
10th March - The effects of the Spanish Civil War on World War II Britain
All at 2pm Charlton House, Grand Salon
and also - other people's meetings -
6th Sept - Secret Chiselhurst. Orpington DAS Christ Church, Tudor Way, Petts Wood 8 pm
10th Sept Woodlands Farm 20th Anniversary. 11-3 pm www.thewoodlandsfarmtrust.org
10th Sept Friends of Shrewsbury Park Foraging Walk. 2.30 Garland Road Gate Falconwood
24th Sept..Falconwood Miniature Railway. Open www.wdmes.btck.co.uk
15th Oct- Crossness Engines. Steaming Day 10.30-4 pm www.crossness.org.uk
15th Oct - Woodlands Farm Apple Day www.thewoodlandsfarmtrust.org
20th Oct -Crossness Engines. Static Display 10.30-4 pm www.crossness.org.uk
10th Dec. Falconwood Miniature Railway. Santa Special www.wdmes.btck.co.uk
This is followed by an article on a Parish Boundary Stone by Jim Marrett - and follows the sites, removal and retrieval of skips of these items by Jim and Jack Vaughan
There is also an article but a plaque to boxer Tom Cribb and a bit about his life 1781-1848
And an article on mulberry trees - with reference to a project to find them and where they are
- smaller items on - Driverless cars (running along the Greenwich riverside); the future of Shrewsbury House community centre; Rushgrove House in Woolwich and its history and use in the 'Turner' film; the East Greenwich gas holder; changes to the Equitable building in Woolwich,
We were sent an email just yesterday saying that there was 'considerable excitement because the Irish government announced it would definitely be putting Valentia forward to UNESCO in the next round of World Heritage site official nominations in 2020, based on the cable story. The Valentia cables - both the unsuccessful 1858 one, and the successful 1866 one - were of course manufactured in Greenwich. If UNESCO accept the Irish govt's nomination, this may help secure wider public acknowledgement of the vital role Telecon's cables played in linking the world via cable by the time Victoria died.
Bill Burns also adds "The cable station there is of course a museum, just across the road from the cable landing. It's very difficult, however, to protect cable at the shoreline against decay, damage and vandalism without removing it.
My photos of the site in 2001 are on this page:http://atlantic-cable.com/NF2001/hc.htm
- this is the word from the REAL archaeologists who go round digging things up, (selectively). And they do it on the foreshore of the River.
Eliott Wragg reports on some of his summer work - in July in Deptford on the foreshore of the Royal Dockyard looking at a slipway which became visible in 2016 - and which they think is earlier. They also went to look at the pile of timber from 19th century warships at the end of Anchor and Hope Lane - go see this, it was what was left from a shipbreaking yard, huge great hunks of timber, just abandoned.
Elliot also reports that at Greenwich on the foreshore 'old features had washed away while new ones were revealed including a new windlass and rudder - all probably from 18th/early19th vessels.
There is also a report 'More erosion at Greenwich'. This change has taken place since the sea wall was strengthened along by the Old Royal Naval College. There is a drop in levels by the King's Stairs and in front of the Bellot Memorial. More of the causeways have now been revealed and also a large chalk barge bed. They have found a base plate between the jetty and the steps . They hope to use photogrammetry (what's that??) and have some 3D models on show
Older Londoners Project - they are apparently running this with the University of the Third Age and have started a project with them called 'Sail to Steam' which will research the transition of wooden ship building on the Thames to iron This will be shared with Riverpedia (what's that??)
FORESHORE FORUM - this is a weekend of intertidal archaeology - 28th-29th October 2017 at Norton Rose Fulbright, 3 More London Riverside, SE1 2AQ weekend ticket £50 details https//foreshoreforum2017.eventbright.co.uk
Totally Thames Walks - the Greenwich dates for one of these is 22nd September 9.30 am £10.15 each free if you are over 75
Remembering the Thames Tea Party 10th October 2-4 pm this is Silver Sunday and part of the older peoples thing. It is at Mortimer Wheeler House, N1 and you need to book 020 7410 2200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Recently some pictures of monuments in Hearts Content have gone onto the Enderby Group Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/enderby/.
There is also (or will be soon) an article about Valentia and World Heritage Status by Richard Buchanon with details not included below https://www.facebook.com/groups/enderby/
the cable landing. There are photos at http://atlantic-cable.com/NF2001/hc.htm
The Group has learnt about a series of events around the Valentia/Hearts Content link.
There are already moves in Heart's Content to make some sort of heritage link happen and declare the town 'as a twin heritage site'.
Yet another news page - please someone send me an article!!!
As I write this I have been emailed that the Poplar Gasholders are currently being demolished. These are the holders to the east of the Blackwall Tunnel Approach almost immediately before the Tunnel. They were built by the Commercial Gas Company. There has been a long campaign to keep them which has been run by a local Stepney and Poplar history group - who have already failed to keep the dramatically sited Bethnal Green holder. (The ones further north which you see from the Tunnel Approach near Tesco are listed)
LANNION Cite des Telcoms
Thanks to Ben Page for this report:
GREENWICH SOCIETY - NEWSLETTER
On page 3 of the latest issue they are asking what your favourite things are in Greenwich - email email@example.com - dare you all to write in and say it is the gasholder (or something similar).
BUT what the Newsletter does include is a really really cracking article about Greenwich Power Station. This is about the 1906 row which erupted between the power station and the Royal Observatory. 'the finger of blame was largely directed towards the London County Council' and there was a Parliamentary enquiry. The author advises us to look at the full story which is on the Royal Observatory web site - but it would be good to get someone to come and speak to GIHS on it.
- I bet there weren't any other consumer co-ops which had their own mine
and -in that context - we have been sent a copy of a posting about Greenwich in The Pipeline -
This three page article by Andy Brockman analyses the Council's draft plans for the East Greenwich gasholder site and put it into a context of industrial heritage, visitor and development issues, and the consultation by Historic England. Read it.
Pumps in Australia -made in Greenwich
Appleby pumps - Goulburn Waterworks Museum, Australia. In the last post we mentioned a request for information from the Museum and that we were getting an answer together. We have now been copied into a long and detailed reply which has been put together for them. It is too long and detailed to be listed here as a news item and I hope that, with the author's consent, it can be a separate item. The Museum is at www.goulburnwaterworks.com.au
We have also been sent a link to https://thameshighway.wordpress.com/.. This is a posting about the oldest Thames Tug Brittania and her imminent demise having been sold for scrap. Brittania is the re-named T.BHeathorn and she was originally built for the South Metropolitan Gas Co. - and was probably based at East Greenwich gas works, and would in all certainly have worked from the jetties there. She was named for Thomas Bridges Heathorn, on of the company directors - and himself the son of Joseph Lidwell Heathorn one of the founders off the Company.
The October 2017 GLIAS newsletter contains notices of the following events which may be of interest in Greenwich.
15th October - Crossness. Prince Consort in steam. www.crossness.org.uk
15th November. GLIAS Pub Evening. Kings Arms, Newcomen Street, SE1. from 6.30. general chat and cheer plus some presentations. Anyone who wants to do a presentation contact firstname.lastname@example.org
29th November. Crossness Open Day. No Steam. www.crossness.org.uk
The Newsletter contains an article about the Woolwich stoneware kiln by Bob Carr - who came down to see its last few days in March
Tonight (Tuesday 10th) GIHS is hosting a discussion evening on industrial heritage in Greenwich - all turn up - and lets hope the Bakehouse has enough seats for everyone - 7.30 Age Exchange Bakehouse (which is down an alleyway in Bennett Park at the back of the Age Exchange building in Blackheath Village)
In the meantime - here are some ideas from one area of the Borough - Creekside -
BITS AND NEWS - AND READ ON FOR A LOT ABOUT APPLEBY
Bygone Kent - the latest issue includes a great article about the East Greenwich gas holder. GIHS sent them our current press release about the holder and this has been added to with a lot of research by Francesca Baker. It is a very very good article and Bygone Kent should be thanked for the effort which has gone into it.
- and on the same subject, thanks to Greenwich Visitor's Nelson's Column for a mention of the holder and a link to to the man at Historic England and may/may not be dealing with any listings applications.
Charlton Station - now this is amazing. London Railway Record (October 2017) has a 12 page article on Charlton Station by Peter Kay. Clearly there is a lot of detail - and it is railway related material, remembering that LRR caters for spotters with an educated and historical bent. There is a lot of stuff about the traumas of having to interact with the Greenwich Line as well as the line through Blackheath Tunnel which had different left/right hand running. This led to endless discussions with various railway inspectors, many of which are given in detail. Subsequently there was a collision and that is detailed to. There is a lot about changes to the buildings over the years - and there is also a little story of a lady who 'bought' a ticket from the porter (er - her lodger) and it turned out to be an already used one he just happened to have.
Sadly the article - being very serious about railways and written by a man - doesn't pick up on recent changes, particularly the sterling work done by the Charlton gardeners on the down side!
Night Mail - great evening recently at the Blackheath Society on the subject of the GPO Film Unit which was based in what was Blackheath Arts Club in Bennett Park in the 1930s-40s. The famous film 'Night Mail' was made there - what you see as apparently internal shots on the mail train were actually filmed in Blackheath, with actors, swaying slightly. The GPO film unit and its successors at Shell and elsewhere in the work of public information films provided us with a great record of industry around the time of the Second World War - with messages about innovation, dignity in work, co-operation and stuff like that. A lot about influence from Eisenstein - patriotism, ordinary people and stuff like that, but I won't go on about it.
Crossness Record - lots of stuff in the current record. The front page tells us that John Austin has been replaced as Chair by Bexley councillor Professor Peter Catterall (I know John hasn't lived in Greenwich for years - but when I first moved here he was a local councillor - for Charlton Ward - and later Leader of the Council) . This issue of the record is more colourful and brighter than previous issues and the team are to be congratulated. There is a lots of stuff about the volunteers and even a picture of some Morris Dancers. There is also a long historical article on sewage treatment with a focus on work done on chemical treatment by Sir Edward Frankland in the 1870s
anyway - see www.Crossness.org.uk
WOOLWICH ANTIQUARIANS NEWSLETTER
Their current newsletter lists out several events which might be of interest:
11th November. speakers Jim Marrett and Richard Buchanan on 'A date with buildings' and 'Wricklemarsh'
10th March - Mike Brown on the Spanish Civil War and World War II Britain.
Both 2.15 Grand Salon, Charlton House.
December 10th. . Falconwood Miniature Railway. Santa Special. (behind the Electricity Station on Rochester Way).
The newsletter also features the following article by Richard Buchanan on Enderby House.
"Enderby House Hopes by Richard Buchanan
More, apparently, to come.
ITEM ON THE GASHOLDER - AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BLOG!!!1
GREENWICH FOOT TUNNEL
853 has published dire warnings of the foot tunnel being full up with cyclists by 2025 (https://853london.com/2017/11/08/greenwich-foot-tunnel-to-be-full-up-with-cyclists-by-2025-tfl-says/)
BUT we understand that a plaque has gone up inside the tunnel to explain and commemorate the restricted section where it was bombed in the Second World War.
(and thank you Mark Hodgson for the pictures)
THAMES ESTUARY PARTNERSHIP
They have sent a list of events - leading with a notice of their Annual Forum on 16th November which will feature our ex-MP Nick Raynsford. This is at The Crystal (?? where's that??) and you have to book
(no details given but their web site is www.thamesestuarypartnership.org)
they also advertise Members Only Event. 15th March,. Watermen's Hall
There has been some discussion on the Plumstead People Facebook page about the fate of the railbridge at Plumstead Station which looks to be going. See the page to see local views. GIHS's expert says:
"Network Rail will want to provide access for wheelchairs at Plumstead and by the time they've dug foundations for the lifts they might just as well install a new footbridge. A shame as it's a lovely example. . Once removal has become definite, with a projected date, We should let the railway preservation Societies know about it if it's likely to be scrapped. There'd almost
certainly be a taker if NR don't want to re-use it. They recently donated its larger sister bridge at Gravesend and I think they paid for relocation".
The gates are now heavily corroded, possibly beyond economic repair and the bridge sits on blocks, off its trunnions, yet appears to be in excellent structural condition. The lock area now belongs to Peabody who inherited it from Tilfen Land. They probably have very little interest, it's hardly their core activity. The lock, gates and swing bridge are grade II listed
The whole issue of the Arsenal Canal is an important one and something we should look at carefully. Can anyone help us with a history of it which we could publish to highlight its past?? What does the wider (and very very large) world of canal enthusiasts out their think about it??
WOOLWICH ANTIQUARIANS NEWSLETTER
11th November Jim Marrett and Richard Buchanan on A date with buildings, and Wricklemarsh. Charlton House. 2.00
9th December. Talk on the Pearly Queen of Greenwich. Charlton Society. Charlton House. 2.30
They have a long and very interesting article on the Crossness Nature Reserve by Karen Sutton
and a History of Woodlands Farm
and news on:
Petition on Automatic Interim Protection for Buildings Proposed for Listing. which had gone to the Raynsford Review on Planning
Sun in the Sands Pub - the Council have refused permission to demolish it (twice)
Petition on the Avery Hill Conservatory - neglected by the University
Kings Arms Pub, Francis Street, objections to demolition
Crossness Engines - closure through asbestos discovery
Love Lane - and the very major campaign of objections to the Meyer Homes development at Tesco
GREENWICH SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
15th November Open Meeting 7 pm Queen Anne Court, University of Greenwich
26th November Lecture on the Armada portrait of Elizabeth. You have to book through their web site. http://greenwichsociety.org.uk/
They are selling Christmas Cards in St.Alphege Church £5 for 10
News on the opening of the viewpoint at the Point (off Point Hill) with a plaque on a pillar with a panorama by Peter Kent.
Aluna - article on this amazing scheme for a massive lunar clock on the Peninsula by Shane Brownie. www.alunatime.org Shane is also part of their community network. Contact him for info email@example.com
Westcombe Woodlands - this is the old chalk pit above Maze Hill Station - news of their open day and their bee hives.
Page with info on listing procedures and Planning
Historic Pillar boxes - they point out that Royal Mail have refurbished boxes in West Greenwich.
IKEA - and the razing of the nature book and death to the newts
News on Blackheath Joint Working Party - and events on Blackheath. And news of the long derelict toilet block
News on Greenwich Foodbank and its hub in Christ Church, East Greenwich
Article by Pieter Van der Merwe on the history of the border between the Queen's House and the Park. This is much much much more complicated than you could possibly believe!
Article on the Appleby Beam Engine in New South Wales - by - er - me. (and thanks Greenwich Soc. editor for publishing it)
Among lots of local items there is an article by Ann Hill of Wood burners as a source of pollution.
A feature on Gordon of Khartoum - who was a member of our local Enderby family. Some details of this article on the Enderby Group Facebook page.
CAPITAL OF CULTURE
Westcombe News carries an article on the Council's bid to become London's Capital of Culture. Their is currently a consultation on this run by the Greenwich and Docklands Festival and their have been local meetings. GIHS has taken part in some of these - and we hope others do to - remember that our industrial heritage is part of the Borough's culture and we need to ensure it is included in the bid.
Westcombe News highlight the retirement of Philip Binns from Chair of the Greenwich Conservation Group. This blog and its predecessor newsletter also have reason to be very grateful to Philip. For 20 over 20 years he has co-ordinated the response on planning applications for local amenity and other societies. He knows the system and he knows the Borough.
Blackheath Society had a party to celebrate this a few days ago - and this was attended by Mayor Peter Brooks - who told as how grateful he was for Philip's input when he was Chair of Planning and how grateful the Borough should be to him.
AND SO - TO THE GASHOLDER
The planning brief for the land on which the gasholder sits is going to Cabinet for ratification on 15th November. This is a public meeting, people can attend and can register to speak.
The report and draft planning brief are on the council web site and can be downloaded.
This includes the results of the public consultation on the site - and an enormous number of people (I haven't counted) wrote in to say that the gas holder should be kept. (thank you all of you). Only one person wrote to say it should be demolished. There are also reports from various developers and local societies and national societies, as well as some statutory organisations, like Thames Water. Of those able to comment none of them seem gasholder averse. We are also aware that some people wrote in and for whatever reasons their input is not included.
The planners are now recommending " structures of heritage significance, in particular the gas holder, should be retained",
This is an important site and one which could be key to the future of the peninsula in providing a focus for non-housing sites and amenity. It does not just feature the gasholder but the old Dreadnought School now owned and used by the Horniman Museum. There is also the old pub which was recently burnt down and is being rebuilt (without the proper planning consent apparently!!).
Perhaps - finally - we should add that Lewisham Council has just agreed to locally list the two Bell Green gasholders - BUT if you go through the Tunnel and look to your right you will see only half of the Poplar holder which is being demolished.
Lots of newsletters and interesting articles
Bill Burns has an article on the links between Ireland and Canada and the Atlantic Cable in the TICCIH Bulletin 78,. The link to the web site is http://ticcih.org/publications/ However - they won't let you read it yet, but when the next one comes out it will be archived and you can see it - or you can join TICCIH, in which case you will be sent it to read
TICCIH is The International Committee For The Conservation Of The Industrial Heritage, with a web site run by MIT in the US< and their next conference is in Chile - so look at their web site and join them for an interesting, and international life. The Atlantic cable would be right up their street!!!
They are also asking for articles for Bulletin 79. email firstname.lastname@example.org,
Below - under 'GLIAS NEWSLETTER' is a report of the death of Dr. Denis Smith - and his contribution to industrial history/archaeology - much of it in our area.
The following things are covered below - with other bits of news interspersed in between:
East Greenwich Gasholder
Charlton Riverside Consultation
The Royal Arsenal Canal Swing Bridge
Royal Naval Dockyards Society Newsletter
Royal Arsenal Building 19/C1
News from Trinity Buoy Wharf
Mystery Building in Maryon Park
Lewisham History Journal - article on the Silvertown explosion
Industrial Archaeology News - article on the Royal Arsenal
Discussions on Industrial Heritage in Greenwich
"PLANNING (LISTED BUILDINGS AND CONSERVATION AREAS) ACT 1990 BUILDINGS OF SPECIAL ARCHITECTURAL OR HISTORIC INTEREST. Gasholder No.1, Millennium Way, East Greenwich, London
After considering your grounds for review the original decision to be minded to issue a Certificate of Immunity. is upheld. The reasons for this are as follows.
Historic England provided advice that the Gasholder doesn't meet the criteria for listing. ....a decision then had to be made on whether or not to ... to issue a Certificate of Immunity. . .... there would have to be good reason for not issuing it ..... only .. one circumstance may provide reason ..... That would be if ... if significant new evidence of architectural or historic interest may .... emerge that could potentially alter the decision not to list. .......the case of the No.1 Gasholder it is thought very unlikely that significant new evidence would emerge and there are no valid reasons for withholding a Certificate of Immunity."
among the people who have seen that response, one of them says he can see a weasel in it. Looking hard for that myself!!
Meanwhile Lewisham has locally listed the holders at Bell Green. No weasels there, only a mole who says that this is all to do with scuppering Aldi.
"Royal Borough of Greenwich is beginning a public consultation on new heritage designations within Charlton Riverside. We are proposing to create two new Conservation Areas and add several buildings to our Local Heritage List. We would welcome views on the proposals. They comprise what we consider to be significant areas of 19/20C industrial heritage, including the remaining legacy of Siemens Telegraph and Cable Works. We are asking for comments on:
· the proposed conservation area boundaries and architectural and historic interest of the two areas
· the architectural, historic or environmental merits of the proposed locally listed buildings
The consultation can be found at www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/haveyoursay along with downloadable maps and a summary of the proposals. The consultation will run for 5 weeks and will close on at 5pm on Wednesday 17 January 2018.
and - as an added extra on that CHARLTON CHAMPION
This is the latest episode of Darryl's commentary on the Council's Charlton Riverside proposals (more about this below). It is headed 'A ten-storey love song?? Greenwich Council's surprising plan for Charlton Riverside.
Well, read it and see https://charltonchampion.co.uk/2017/04/21/a--storey-love-song-greenwich-councils-surprising-plan-for-charlton-riverside/
Concerns about the swing bridge on the Royal Arsenal Canal were raised with the Council. Here are their answers
Do Peabody have plans to renovate and conserve the Swing Bridge?
Answer: Peabody own and maintain the swing bridge. They have advised that their maintenance regime focuses on preserving the bridge in its current condition and that they have no immediate plans to renovate the bridge although it will be considered as part of a future Broadwater Dock development scheme.
Has this been raised already, by RBG, in talks with Peabody?
Answer: There have been no specific plans agreed regarding the swing bridge but the Council has been in discussions with Peabody about this matter. Additionally, the Housing Zone funding allocation for Plumstead and Thamesmead (please see the linked Cabinet report for further information http://committees.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?ID=3619 ) includes funding for preparing feasibility studies and a master plan for Broadwater Dock and the Council will be fully engaged in these documents development.
Have organisations, such as Historic England and the Canal and River Trust, been contacted for advice?
Answer: The swing bridge structure is Grade II Listed and also features on the Heritage at Risk Register (under category C: poor condition, slow decay; no solution agreed). The Council has been liaising with Historic England’s Heritage at Risk team on the matter and Historic England have advised that they have been making efforts to discuss and agree a strategy towards repair and conservation with Peabody. The Council has discussed this with Peabody and requested a response and update.
The current status and support in making this a condition of any planning approval?
Peabody have advised that they are some way off submitting a planning application for the Broadwater Dock development scheme and, therefore, there has not yet been any pre-application meetings with the Council.
We have a report from Greenwich Council:
"We visited Enderby House along with colleagues from Historic England. The building has been inaccessible for over 18 months since Barratt had deemed the timber structures unsafe. We agreed a programme of essential stabilisation works back in April and these works were carried out in July/August. We have requested urgent improvements to the ventilation as well as an updated timber survey. We are heading towards agreeing schedules of work and the submission of a listed building consent application for the timber elements once full information has been provided and an approach agreed."
The Enderby Group hope to meet Rebecca soon and clarify the situation further
Concerns have been raised about the footbridge at Plumstead Station. The Council says:
"Regarding Plumstead Station ..on 31st October 2017 Network Rail submitted a prior approval application (Reference 17/3443/PA) for 'Construction of a new footbridge with 2 new lifts shafts and associated lift motor rooms, creation of a new access walkway, construction of a new bin store, demolition of existing footbridge'. The Planning Department confirms the proposals fall within permitted development rights rather than requiring a full planning application. At this time a decision has not yet been made.
More details from the following link: https://planning.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=_GRNW_DCAPR_91828
Despite seeking information from Network Rail, we are unable to advise a likely timeframe for the works. However, the proposal will allow the station to remain open during the construction work. On completion of the work the station will become fully “accessibility” compliant in accordance with the latest relevant standards.
- and PS - we have information from elsewhere that the old footbridge might be sold to a railway preservation group - suppose that couldn't be made a planning condition???
Their AGM is on 24th March 10.00 am at the National Maritime Museum
Call for papers for Conference 24th March 2018 - on Naval Operations and bases in the Mediterranean during the 18th Century. Send title and 300 word synopsis by 20th December 2017 to Dr.Ann Coats email@example.com
Dockyards Newsletter - the current issue contains the following items of interest to Greenwich Borough.
News from Chatham - this concerns Machine Shop 8 at Chatham Dockyard Museum. This building was once Slip Cover 6 at Woolwich Dockyard designed by Fox, Henderson in 1844-45. It now has planning consent for use as a leisure centre and will contain a climbing wall. This will include a new frame and cover for the building.
Report on the Lenox Project. The last twelve months have seen some steps forward, commencing with registration as a charity for more effective future fund-raising. They have completed ther ibusiness-plan. Their London Open House event on 16/17 September at the Master Shipwright’s House was extremely successful, gaining many new supporters and raising funds. The official visitor numbers were 1,039 though there were probably had more. They also launched a film made by some of our volunteers, which can be seen on the website wwwbuildthelenox.org. With the aid of funds from the Tideway Tunnel project, they are about to embark on an outreach programme into local schools, which will involve older pupils in teaching primary school children.
11th January Waste and the Thames - What's the future. To held at Walbrook Wharf (the City's waste facility). Register interest firstname.lastname@example.org
15th March, Thames Estuary Partnership. Members only. A deeper insight into the organisation's activities. To be held at Watermen's Hall
17th-18th January. Coastal Futures Conference. Royal Geographical Society
7th February. British Water Winter Reception. House of Lords/
21st April Take on 50K in a day for AHOY. This is a rowing challenge for Deptford's AHOY Centre.
" I have an old painting - on the back of the original frame is the name and address of the framer. The text is in old copperplate script and somewhat damaged and difficult to decipher, but what I am able to read of the framer's details are:
J. ?I. Illman, 87 Trafalgar S?quare. East Greenwich.
On the front of the painting are the artist's initials (O.I.) and a date of 13, which could refer to 1913 but more likely 1813.
Any information on the dates and address of the farmer's business activity could help with the dating of the painting."
1. European Heritage Protection legislation is not being transferred into English Law
2. The English Tourist Board does not mention industry - even when it is in a World Heritage site.
I think we can be assured that the Arsenal will have a significant preserved Victorian industrial building. At last...
He informed me that prior to Greenwich Council buying a lease Berkeley Group were looking at transforming the building into a 'Boutique Hotel'.
*** fact check - for those of you who never look beyond the foreshore - Trinity Buoy Wharf is opposite the Dome and is where there is a lighthouse at the entry to Bow Creek - and a lot of preserved vessels and some Clippers moored.
They hope to establish a new maritime heritage collection here, and already provide berths for the historic Thames Tug vessels 'Knocker White' and 'Varlet' which was previously at the Museum of London Docklands. They have also agreed to take on the Steam Tug 'Challenge' to be a permanent though fully mobile addition to our collection. They are also working as part of the SS Robin Trust with the aim of moving Robin from the Royal Docks, to a new home at the East India Dock Basin close to where she was built and launched.
and - incidentally - the new Manager is Richard Albanese who has worked for and been associated with the London Museum of Water and Steam for many years.
Then - aha - we were told that it was a substation for the Woolwich Electric Company and that it has been knocked down very recently.
So?? has anyone any information. Why was it knocked down?? Does anyone have a picture of it??
INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY NEWS
(ps - is it true that Greenwich Heritage Centre are refusing to accept lifetime collections of Arsenal material from nonagerians)
IA NEWS also has articles of more general interest -
- a report on the seminar on the Impact of Developer Funded Work. Is there any other?? This seminar also included Michael Shapland's paper on Enderby Wharf. The article concludes that AIA should work to 'promote the next generation of industrial archaeology research'.
- article on the future of industrial archaeology societies. This seems to be saying that we are all in our dotage and that the under-30s don't care/ Very possibly
and another couple of bits about Greenwich (or nearish)
- note ahout the listing of Outram's amazing 'Temple of the Winds' pumping station. This is on the Isle of Dogs and you can see it from the golf course on Delta Wharf on the Peninsula
- note about the setting up of the Valentia Transatlantic Cable Foundation which is fund raising in connection with a World Heritage site status bid.
Remarkably this issue is almost entirely taken up with an article on the Silvertown Explosion in 1917. Other articles are about Prendergast School and Sydenham clergy
The Silvertown article is by Gordon Dennington. Naturally he mentions the explosion in East Greenwich No.2 gas holder and a subsequent fire. I think what he says is interesting and he has used fire brigade sources - and not gas industry ones. He says the fire brigade thought that the damage was due to the 'compression wave from the holder' - and that is what the gas company also thought. He does not mention - and probably had no way of knowing - that the workers in the valve room heard the explosion and turned off the Greenwich holders before the shock wave reached them. From memory I think one of them received a bravery award. No-one ever mentions what should be obvious: at the time of the explosion there were many other holders - some, like the one at West Ham were much nearer - and not far away were the ones at Poplar, Bromley by Bow and our, still extant, East Greenwich No.1. All of those held. What was different about No.2 was its 'flying lift.' (and I would be grateful for an engineer's opinion on that comment).
Anyway - please read Gordon's article about one of the biggest disasters to hit East and South East London in the 20th century
26th January. The Real Dad's Army Mike Brown
23rd February. Law and Order in Crofton Park 100 years ago,. Carol Noakes
23rd March - AGM plus Steve Bullock on being Mayor of Lewisham
17th April - Further eastwards down the A2. Malcom Bacchus
all at Methodist Church Hall. Albion Way, 7.45
It is with sadness that we see the front page of the newsletter the news of the (not unexpected) death of Dr. Denis Smith. Our local connection to Denis, who chaired GLIAS 1972-2012 and did much else, taught a class on Industrial Archaeology at Goldsmiths - and many of those active in industrial history in South East London attended it and were influenced by him.
So - to the newsletter itself. GLIAS is advertising:
17th January - Conkers, Cordite and the birth of modern technology. Martin Adams
21st February - Iron Men - Henry Maudslay and his Circle. David Waller (lets hope he says lots about Maudslay's days in Woolwich)
21st March - James Brindley in London and his plans for the Thames.Victoria Owens
18th April - London Underground's Edwardian tile patterns and their context. Douglas Rose
16th May - The Post Office Museum and Railway, Chris Taft.plus AGM 6.15
All at 75 Cowcross Street, EC1 6.30
and also -
an article by Richard Buchanan about the Woolwich stoneware kiln. Again might reproduce this here - with permission - Richard provides the view of someone closely involved
They have given a list of field work mentioned in the London Archaeologist annual review. Some of these are about Greenwich and unknown to us - please send more details if you have them. They include:
Greenwich Wharf - this is a recording of a large shed used by Pipers.
(Why do we know nothing about this??? Who did the recording and why didn't they contact local groups? They seem to think that it was partly built with materials from the "18th powder magazine" - with what evidence? - the magazine was demolished in 1770 and the remains sent down river to the Arsenal - the chances of them still lying around in 1869 would seem to me to be minimal!!! Please get in touch, archaeologist, whoever you are and give us some proof!! - and tell us why you never contacted historians who have studied the site, and Pipers themselves)
Convoys Wharf - sawpit and other bits from the Royal Dockyard
No web site. You have to book on a form (included in the GLIAS Newsletter) £15 plus £12.50 for lunch, if you want it . and send to Graham Smith, 114 Shaw Road, Newbury, RC14 1HR
but - aha - the sponsoring organisation is BIAG - they have a website(!!!) and here is a link to the SERIAC booking form http://biag.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/SERIAC-2018-Booking-Leaflet.pdf and programme.
The original meeting was held on 10th October with a roster of invited speakers discussing their perspective on Industrial Heritage in our Borough
There were also some lively contributions from the members present
Following this we had another meeting with the speakers and some other interested parties. We talked about a lot of things - one of which was to try and produce a gazeteer of industrial relics in the borough. A number of us are working on this - and are keen to speak to anyone else out there who would like to contribute.
Other ideas and comments
"It strikes me that promoting the conservation and or re-use of buildings as part of a green strategy taking the historic and natural environment together would be well worth looking at and presented properly and forcefully should appeal to both RBG and City Hall"
"People are more likely to use our streets when their journey is interesting and stimulating, with attractive views, buildings, planting and street art and where other people are using the street. They will be less dependent on cars if the shops and services they need are within short distances so they do not need to drive to get to them."
"My suggestion is a briefing document - perhaps in the form of a short booklet - written in readable language with many illustrations. An introduction to the industrial heritage of the Royal Borough, emphasising the unique richness and the value (able to be capitalised on by tourism etc) to the local authority, residents, visitors and so on. Published by GIHS or even better GLIAS, which would show local councillors the regard felt outside the borough for the local industrial heritage."
" We need to pick up on the meeting some of us had three or four years ago with the Heritage Trust and come back with some proposals.
and ..................... and ...................................
Rope making and the birth of the submarine cable industry.
by John Yeardley
In the nineteenth century a dramatic change took place in the cordage industry with the invention of wire rope. Some companies took to this revolutionary metallic raw material and a new industry was born. Much of this development was centred in London.
In the beginning. George Wright Binks, a foreman ropemaker at Woolwich Dockyard, about 1830, conceived the idea of forming a rope from twisted iron wire instead of hemp and began practical experiments to that end in the dockyard ropery.
George Binks tried unsuccessfully to interest the Admiralty in his invention but his efforts caught the attention of a Captain Harris R.N. who in 1835 put up the money to establish a small works in Great Grimsby in Lincolnshire. Binks and his two sons continued the development and in the same year produced the first true stranded wire rope. In 1838 the factory was moved from Great Grimsby to new premises in Greenwich Road, (now West Ferry Road,) Millwall.
|George Wright Binks|
In 1840 Newell took out a patent for "certain improvements in wire rope and in machinery for making such rope" In the same year Gordon and Newall, in partnership with Charles Liddell (a pupil of George Stephenson), established a factory in Gateshead trading as R.S.Newall & Co
In 1850 a submarine cable of copper wires coated with Gutta Percha was laid between Dover and Calais for the Anglo French Telegraph Company but it lasted only one day through chafing on rocks. Newall then proposed that such a cable could be improved by armouring it with a layer of wires, in effect making the cable the core of a wire rope. The contract to make such a cable was however given to Wilkins and Weatherley, rope makers ofWapping. After a legal battle over patents Newall took over their premises and the cable was successfully laid in September 185l.
Other cables soon followed including the Dover - Ostend cable in 1853 on which Newall cooperated with William Kuper.
Kuper and Company had been one of the first to manufacture wire rope with a factory on the Surrey Canal but had failed to prosper and gone bankrupt in 1849 whereupon a mining engineer called George Elliot came to the rescue by acting as their sole agent and manager. The works were moved to Morden Wharf, East Greenwich and by 1854 Elliot was so successful that he became proprietor by paying the creditors in full with interest. Kuper than retired and was replaced by Richard Glass. The company was then renamed Glass, Elliot and Co and began increasingly to go in for producing submarine cables. In 1856 they enlarged their premises by taking over what had formerly been Enderby's Hemp Rope Works.
|Newall rope making machine|
An application to demolish the East Greenwich gasholder has been submitted to Greenwich Council. by its owners Southern Gas Networks.
(if that link doesn't work go to Greenwich Council's planning search system and type in 'Millennium Way' and it should be the first thing that comes up.
The consultation period is apparently 20th December - 11th January - which is a stunningly cynical move on the part of Southern Gas - when not only many local residents but many of the planners will be on holiday, and getting anything done nearly impossible.
The following link goes to a great picture of the holder taken the day after the IRA attack in 1979. I have always understood that the bomb was not on the holder itself, but on an adjacent installation
Listing - people are asking - 'can't we get it listed??' - well, no. There have been a number of applications for listing over the years - and all of them refused. BUT NOW last week the Department of the Environment granted it immunity from listing - ie. it can never be listed.
BUT it may still be possible to get it 'locally listed' - ie Greenwich can put it on a list of local buildings which they think are important. It doesn't give it very much in the way of protection but it does put up a marker for it and would give councillors confidence to keep it - although what they want can easily be overturned by the Government Planning Inspectorate.
See what Peter says below
CLEARLY we are all working very hard on the probable terrible fate of our wonderful gas holder. There is lots of stuff around on many local blogs and newsheets. Everyone is being urged to contact the Council planners and tell them what they think.
The Council is in a very difficult position. A Certificate of Immunity from Listing has been issued by the Goverment agency. Immediately the owners, Southern Gas Networks, have told the Council that they intend to demolish it and are asking the Council to approve their demolition plan. They have followed the same plan with other local councils, and holders are coming down despite widespread public protests. Local listing can be done -but it has no legal force if the owners decide to go ahead and demolish anyway. That shouldn't stop us making a fuss - at the best we can buy time.
Their 'magazine' arrived the other day. Full of interest and some of it about Greenwich.
First - they have an item about the work done by veteran underground explorer Harry Pearman and the Chelsea Spelaelogical Society Records, and how good they are and what a collection of information. They don't say - but some of the best work is about Greenwich - all sorts of things from the Park Conduits, Plumstead Mines and obscure bits of Blackheath can be found there. I know - but they don't say - that Harry worked for Greenwich Planning Department in the 1960s, hence all this info. Its been a great source for everyone since.
An article by Mark Chatterton describes 'The Road Tunnels of Great Britain' which briefly describes our own Blackwall as 'in the east of London and built to carry goods between the docks on the north and south banks of the river Thames' - eh?? where does that come from. Anyway the Blackwall should have had much more than a brief mention - its a triumph of engineering over too much traffic! He also mentions The Silvertown Tunnel ' it is planned to be open by 2021'. oh ho!
Another article is about the Thames Tunnel Tour in October. In this foray a group of people began on the Waterloo and City line, or at least they looked at it and then went on the Northern Line to Embankment. They then went on the Circle Line to Tower Hill and had a look at the Tower Subway (from above, you can't go down there) So they went on the DLR to Cutty Sark and then lunch, and back over to the Isle of Dogs through the Foot Tunnel. And then back on the DLR to Limehouse and then they walked back through the Rotherhithe Tunnel (aaargh!!).And then - the highlight - to the oldest tunnel of them all, Brunel''s Thames Tunnel and the East London Line. So - Greenwich was their lunch break!!! They do mention some interesting things though.
You can get copies of this through the Sub Brit web site - http://www.subbrit.org.uk/
More news from Crossness Engines www.crossness.org.uk
- the chimney. a whole page article about the chimney which once stood at the works - to keep the many people who ask about it informed
- a report from Petra, their Outreach Worker. Petra works with local schools - for example in September Charlton's Cherry Orchard School paid a visit - the trust is also now employing an Education Assistant, Calleen Everitt
- news of RANG - and the arrival of Busy Basil from Haig Hall in Wigan
- the formation of a wildlife pond - and the possible installation of toad ladders
- and they still need volunteers. If you want information on this get on to Greg email@example.com
Call for papers on Maritime Animals. They seem to want not so much marine wildlife but stuff like the ship's cat (and attendant rats).
The conference will be at the National Maritime Museum April 26-27th 2019. Contact K.Nagai@kent.ac.uk
They are also looking for good maritime animal stories in addition to the papers
Siemens Brothers had one of the largest and most important works in Woolwich - which closed as long ago as the 1960s. A consisderable number of buildings remain on the riverside on the Charlton/Woolwich borders. The area is now being considered for a Riverside Conservation Area and at the time time there are news of Immunity for Listing Orders coming from the Department of the Environment. The Siemens Brothers Engineering Society have prepared a huge amount of information to support this - and we have been sent copies and now have clearance to put them on this blog. This is the first few pages - there is a lot more to come!! (and thanks for all this to Brian Middlemiss and his colleagues)
Anglo-Iranian] AI [Anglo-Iranian Oil Company] and S [Siemens Brothers]. The Company had its own wharf on the Thames at Woolwich and operated its own cable ship, C.S. Faraday,which was purpose designed by William Siemens.
|Cable ship Faraday|
Telephony: Siemens Brothers were one of the five Telephone switching equipment manufactures in the UK to supply to the Post Office who ran the nation-wide network. They also supplied world-wide. The UK's first electronic exchanges were designed and built by Siemens Brothers, called TXE-4 by the PO. When adopted by the PO, other manufacturers also produced these exchanges.
Our information is a little patchy as virtually all the Members of the Siemens Brothers Engineering Society came from the Telephone side of the business as opposed to the Cable Business. This was despite the Society being open to all employees.
Map Key No 1 Third Phase of Expansion to Cable Factory 1929-1948
Map Key No 2 Second Phase of Expansion 1900 - 1928. Wood-Workers Building, cable drums etc.
Copperas manufacture was an important industry in the 17th and 18th centuries. Some of the earliest works were in Greenwich and Deptford
I wrote a lot about this industry nearly 20 years ago - but I guess very few people will have seen the articles - or be able to access them now (refs later).
So - if you want to know what copperas is, and how it was made in the 17th century - and why it was important - read on! This is a four part article - and this is Part I and it tells you bit about some of the posher people involved.
COPPERAS IN GREENWICH AND DEPTFORD
There were several copperas works along the banks of the Thames and Medway. I am hoping in this – and following – three articles to extend that story to Greenwich – and eventually to add in cavaliers, slavery, 'moles', stately homes, young ladies and other things of that sort!
The manufacture of copperas was a major chemical industry before the industrial revolution. It was a way of making a black dye as well as vitriol (sulphuric acid) and a number of other chemicals – but more of that later.
It was made from stones picked up from the shore along the Thames estuary and there was a concentration of works in the Whitstable area and on Sheppey. A few years ago archaeologist have undertook digs for its remains - particularly in Whitstable and Tankerton. As a result a number of articles were written.
Copperas works were not only found at the sea side – they were to be found right up the Thames with a large group in Greenwich, Deptford and Blackwall. These works probably dated from the mid-seventeenth century, or, maybe, even earlier. The Deptford works, about which most is known, appear to have been promoted by a particularly busy Royalist entrepreneur - a Sir Nicholas Crispe.
The Crispe family were well known in the Thanet area. In the seventeenth century a Crispe family lived at Quex House, near Birchington , and they were certainly involved in the copperas industry in Thanet. In the 1550s a Sir Henry Crispe from Quex had had an interest in a copperas works at Stonar - where the huge Pfizer chemical factory complex stood until its recent closure.
There was a later Quex based Sir Henry who had an exciting life during the Civil War when he was captured and held to ransom in Flanders. There were certainly some later links between this family and the Deptford copperas works however, but - this is the confusing point - I do not think that the Deptford 'Sir Nicholas Crispe' had anything to do with Quex.
This other Sir Nicholas Crispe might have had Kentish relations – but he came from Gloucestershire. His family had originated in Leicestershire but Nicholas' father and co-partner, Ellis Crispe, came from Marshfield, near Bath, and was an Alderman of the City of London. He was also a member of the Worshipful Company of Salters – a City Livery Company whose original interests had been in the manufacture and distribution of salt but which had expanded to become involved in what we would describe as the chemical industry. Indeed, the Company now maintains the Salters Institute of Industrial Chemistry.
Nicholas was one of three sons – his brother Toby was a well known and controversial cleric who was an 'antionomian'. The Crispe family had not forgotten their roots in the Gloucestershire countryside and almshouses which they donated in 1612 still stand in the village of Marshfield.
At the age of 20 our Nicholas had set off for Africa and was responsible for the first permanent English settlement at Kormantin, in today's Ghana. I am very, very sorry to say that he set this up in the 1630s as a slave depot and as a stopping place for East India Company ships. He and his partners traded on the East African coast to the exclusion of all others and in 1621 Charles I, gave him an exclusive right to trade on the Guinea Coast and he set up a trading organisation known as the Guinea Company. He made a great deal of money.
In the early 1630s Crispe rented a piece of land in Deptford alongside the Ravensbourne river in an area known as 'Broomfield' and this is most probably where the copperas works was built. It is the area on the Deptford side of Creek Bridge. It was part of the estate which later belonged to John Evelyn, the diarist, however at the time when Crispe first leased the land Evelyn had no connection with Deptford and Crispe's arrangement was probably with Evelyn's father-in-law, Richard Browne, who owned the estate before the Civil War. We should note that the Evelyn family had made a fortune from the manufacture of saltpetre - for use in gunpowder!
Something else happened in Deptford which probably had some relevance to the copperas industry but which had much wider importance. The copperas liquor needs to be heated and Crispe used 'Newcastle Coals' to do this but it seems likely that a more efficient fuel was needed and tried. In 1636 Thomas Peyton 'of Deptford' was granted a patent for 'charking sea coals'. 'Sea coals'– is coal which has come from North East England and arrived up river by ship and 'charking' sounds very much like the process which would be needed to turn coal into coke and thus provide a fuel which was capable of producing a greater heat.
It is not clear exactly who Thomas Peyton was but he was someone who probably knew Deptford well. That could have been Sir Thomas Peyton of Knowlton near Chillenden who may have had an interest in property in the Mottingham area. He certainly had an interest in coal supplies to London since he acquired the right to levy customs on that for the price of £2,000.
In 1636 Peyton was in his early twenties and recently married. His wedding had taken place at St.Bride's Church in the City of London so it likely that he had a London home as well as that in Thanet. John Evelyn knew him, and described visits by mutual friends and social visits in the early 1650s. Peyton had been involved in one of the many skirmishes of the Civil War when he was appointed Lt.General of a party of 6,000 horsemen and 1,000 foot soldiers. At Deptford this force met Fairfax who had four regiments of horsemen and three regiments of infantry. Battles ensued at Northfleet and Maidstone.
Was this Thomas Peyton from Knowlton the man who invented coke? It was a very important step because this is the first occasion on which the preparation of something we all take from granted - coke made from coal – has been traced. Was he doing this in order to use the coke to heat the copperas liquid for Nicholas Crispe?
At the beginning of the Civil War Nicholas Crispe had made so much money that he contracted with the King for a 'customs farm' - that is he bought the right to administer the customs and make a profit from them. In 1641 he was knighted and became a Member of Parliament. He was however expelled from the House of Commons because of his monopolies – and one of the accusations made was about his manufacture of 'copperas stones'. Over the next four years he devoted himself to the Royalist cause, raising regiments, providing ships, undergoing a court martial and so on.
Eventually he was pardoned and settled in Hammersmith where he began to experiment with new ways of making bricks. He tried to sell some of his bricks to John Evelyn and later provided the bricks for the garden of the Royal Palace at Greenwich.
In 1655 Crispe visited John Evelyn at Deptford – to make a suggestion about a 'mole to be made at Sayes Court'. A 'mole' being some sort of breakwater or pier in the river. There are a number of letters from Crispe which Evelyn filed and kept – and they show that Crispe had really terrible hand-writing. The letters describe a number of visits which Crispe made to Sayes Court in order to discuss his 'mole' but on each occasion - Evelyn was apparently always 'out'.
By 1656 more coke was again being made in Greenwich but by a different Royalist entrepreneur. Evelyn, crossing the river by the Greenwich Ferry 'saw Sir John Winter's new project of charring sea coale'. Winter (or Wynter) is better known in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire. His grandfather was Admiral William Wynter, the associate of Sir Francis Drake, while another relation was one of the Gunpowder Plot conspirators. The family had used their wealth to buy land at Lydney in Gloucestershire where they exploited the coal and timber.
In 1655 Winter was actually incarcerated in the Tower of London for his activities in Ireland in support of the King – but, although his estates had been confiscated, he seems to have been allowed out to further his business interests in Greenwich and Deptford. Through this he gained a lucrative monopoly in coke manufacture.
I know of no connection between Winter and Peyton – or between either of them and Nicholas Crispe – but, in the relatively small world of the 1600s, it is almost impossible that they did not know each other, given their devotion to two common causes – that of the King and the exploitation of natural resources.
To return to Deptford and the copperas works. In 1658 a lease on the site seems to have been reviewed and put in the names of Crispe's three sons, Ellis, Nicholas and Samuel. The document says that the site is 'part Broomfield, called Great Crane Meadow' and had been in the previous possession of Evelyn and his wife's grandfather, Thomas Prettiman.
There is however another and very interesting name on the lease – that of 'Thomas Kilsey'. I was unable to decipher the writing on the lease which gave Kilsey's address which was 'Lower ---- Kent". What is the missing word – Lower Halstow or even Lower Goldstones? 'Goldstones often means copperas!
In the Civil War Kelsey was a Cromwellian General whose remit in the Parliamentry forces was the whole of Kent and Surrey. He was undoubtedly a connection of the Kelsey family who lived in Greenwich and whose most famous member was Henry Kelsey, the explorer who went to America with the Hudson Bay Company in the 1680s. Were the Kelsey family involved in the copperas works?
Sir Nicholas Crispe remained busy in Kent, as elsewhere. In 1660 he set up the culture of madder (a plant yielding a red dye)in Dartford and then, back in prison for non-payment of debt, he petitioned for his release - giving his promotion of the copperas works as an example of his usefulness to society.
In 1662 he was back and visiting John Evelyn, this time with a 'project for a receptacle for ships'. This idea was also noted Samuel Pepys who discussed the project with Crispe and noted that it entailed a dock at Deptford to take '200 ships of sail'. Evelyn also noted Crispe's 'success with distilling'.
Nicholas Crispe died in 1666 – still selling bricks at 12/- per 1,000. His heart is buried in St.Paul's Hammersmith as part of a monument to the memory of Charles I. He left three sons who seem each to have inherited a third of the copperas works. This was, as well will see, to complicate the ownership considerably as time went on. One of the sons, Ellis, died not long after - according to Samuel Pepys the cause of Ellis' death was 'eating cucumbers.
Nicholas Crispe, another son, was also a 'customs farmer' for the Port of London, and he seems to have taken on the Deptford copperas works. As part of the new regime there seems to have been some sort of evaluation and perhaps modernisation work. A plan was made of the works in 1674 which shows that it was sited on Deptford Creek and covered the area from the Creek to slightly north of Creek Road. There were a number of buildings on the site and a small dock.
One of Crispe's friends was a Daniel Colwell, who was a member of the newly formed Royal Society. Colwell went down to Deptford copperas works and wrote an article about it for the Society. This is a very valuable document because it outlines in detail the set up and working practice of the works in the seventeenth century – and has often been used as an example when other works have been examined.
Colwall's description has recently been by archaeologists when looking at the of excavations in Whitstable – I would recommend articles about this in the Spring 1999 Industrial Archaeology News by Tim Allen, and on web pages put out by the Canterbury Archaeological Trust.
Copperas is made from stones picked up along the shoreline and cliff faces – and more of that later.
Colwell described how the stones were put into 'beds' - trenches of about a hundred by fifteen feet and twelve feet deep. They were then covered with rain water and left there for several years until the liquid became concentrated enough to dissolve a boiled egg in three minutes! This liquid was then boiled to crystallisation and could be used as a black dye. Strongly heated, it produced 'oil of vitriol', leaving behind another dye, Venetian red.
Meanwhile Nicholas Crispe was consolidating his family's wealth with a fine Kentish residence. In the early 1680s he bought Squerries Court at Westerham and the fine house which still stands there, and is open regularly to the public, was built by him. He stayed in Westerham for less than twenty years but the house remains as a living symbol of the sort of money made by a family which was prepared to take active sides in the political (and real) battles of the mid-seventeenth century while perfectly prepared to work with the opposition while there was money to be made.
the next article will follow in the next posting.
The above article is an edited and updated version of an article in Bygone Kent Vol.22 No.6
Sources - many and varied
Documents in the Kent and Surrey archives
Documents in the Greenwich local history archive
Evelyn's Diary - and the collection of his letters in the British Library
Royal Society Transactions - and some help from their archivist
(and no help from the internet in 2001!!)
copperas pickers in the Whitstable area in some detail. In the seventeenth century much of the stone came from land owned by Sir John Hayward's Charity at Minster in Sheppey. In 1707 an agreement was made between the Trustees and Sir John and Sir Charles Crispe. This was for the carriage of copperas stones to Deptford or Blackwall.
As can be imagined this was a foul-smelling process. The eventual liquid was taken from the boiler into a 'cooler ... made of tarras' and here the copperas crystallised - sometimes onto twigs, although not at Deptford. The resulting copperas was bright green - its more usual name in the seventeenth century was, in fact, 'green vitriol'.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in Moore's 1800 works on Greenwich Peninsula where the rate books list George Moore as the owner of a 'vitriol works' in 1800 and, what is presumably the same works, owned by a Lewis Price in 1832 'near Bendish Sluice'.
Both Charles and John lived outside London. It appears likely that the works must have been in the care of professional managers. One interested party was a John Rice who, in the mid-1740s, seems to have tried to modernise the works - since he offered Ephraim Seehl a large amount of money in return for expertise - which was not forthcoming. Rice must have had a close - but as yet unexplained - relationship. with the remaining Crisp family members, since his son's name was 'Charles Crisp
had negotiated for the works there about four years previously. There is no apparent reason why this young man from Northampton should have taken an interest in copperas. He was a glover by trade with a haberdashery business in the City of London - and by setting up this business he had already
done very well. Why did he in effect take over the majority of the copperas industry on the Thames Estuary?
works in the early nineteenth century - but her perspectives on it will have to wait for another article.
Elizabeth Pearson was the daughter of Charles Pearson, who owned copperas works up and down the Thames and Medway estuaries. In the early nineteenth century, she kept a diary. The first part of the diary runs from 1796 to 1804 when Elizabeth was in her early twenties, but, following a gap of sixteen years she took it up again in 1820. Elizabeth's time was divided between three homes – the family haberdashery business in the City of London, the 'Castle' at Tankerton near the copperas works, and 'Ravensbourne House' in Greenwich. Since this narrative is about the copperas industry in Greenwich and Deptford then what Elizabeth had to say about her life in Greenwich is very relevant. At the same time the copperas industry itself was beginning to change and the 1820s was a period in which Charles Pearson himself, and his son, began to try new outlets and ideas.
By 1820 travel between Greenwich and the Kent coast had suddenly become interesting and easy. No more of the 'nine hours in a post chaise' which the family had endured previously. One of Elizabeth's earliest diary entries in the 1820s is with the news that 'brother has come from Ramsgate.. in the Favourite Steam yacht' and a month or so later Elizabeth herself 'returned home by the London Engineer Steam Yacht .. had a delightful voyage.. brother returned home by the Majestic Steam Yacht'.
Steam boat services on the river had revolutionised life for many travellers, but the Pearsons with their regular journeys between Tankerton and Greenwich must have been particularly grateful. The time keeping and speed with which these vessels accomplished a hitherto uncertain voyage was revolutionary - a traveller of 1825 noted in the Maidstone Journal that 'Captain Rule of the Eclipse Steam Packet … told many of his passengers within two minutes of the time he should arrive at his destination..'
'Favourite' was originally owned in 1817 Gravesend Steam Packet Company to operate between London, Gravesend and Sheerness. She had been built in Blackfriars by Lafort and Sons, was 160 tons with engines by Boulton and Watt. In 1820 she was taken over by the Margate Steam Packet Company in 1820 and run until 1828.
'London Engineer' was, if anything, more famous. She was built by Daniel Brent of Rotherhithe and said to 'mark the first major departure from the basic design'. She was 120 ft long with a wooden hull and a draught of 5ft. Her engines were by Maudslay Son and Field and she had paddle wheels built to a special and novel arrangement. Elizabeth would have sat in her comfortable saloon with its upholstered settees rather than the aft cabin with wooden benches.
I know nothing about 'Majestic' but the family also travelled by 'Eclipse' steam packet, one of the earliest such boats run by the Margate Steam Packet Co. from 1816.
Steam was changing the lives of everybody – and the steam packets were not only for well off people like the Pearsons. Perhaps the last word on the atmosphere around them is best described by Robert Surtees on the occasion Mr. Jorrocks left Margate in a hoy without his trousers. Passengers at Margate jostle for the rival charms of 'Royal Adelaide, fast and splendid' and 'splendid and superb Magnet'… everyone furiously betting on which will reach the Tower first 'for the Monday steamboat race is as great an event as the Derby'. Once out at sea 'both firemen … boil up a tremendous gallop'….until 'Royal Adelaide manages to shoot ahead for a few minutes amid the cheers and exclamations of her crew' but 'the stiller waters of the Thames favours the Magnet and she shoots ahead….' Was this really the atmosphere for a polite middle aged lady like Elizabeth Pearson?
In Greenwich Elizabeth had developed a local friendship with the Millington family, visiting frequently and involving herself in a number of tragedies which befell them. The Millingtons lived in a vast and opulent Jacobean house which stood on the Greenwich riverside on the roughly the present site of the Greenwich Power Station. This house had been built by a Gregory Clement in the seventeenth century and later bought by Ambrose Crowley. Crowley had a large ironworks at Winlaton on the Tyne and in 1703 set up a warehouse on the Greenwich riverside – where, since the area became known as Anchor Iron Wharf, it is assumed anchors were on the main branches of his trade along with 'hatchets, iron chains, chaffing dishes, hammers, hoes', and so on and including a line in shackles for the slave trade.
By the mid-eighteenth century, the Crowley family were no longer active in the business and in 1782 an Isiah Millington, had become a partner. Millington and his family lived at Crowley House in Greenwich and became friends of the Pearsons. Mrs. Walsh, a descendent of the Pearsons and owner of the diary, has said in her paper on the family that Charles Pearson may originally have become interested in copperas through a relationship with Isiah Millington at City Company dinners at the George and Vulture in Fleet Street. Be that as it may the Millington family and their industrial interests in Greenwich might be the subject of a future article, since it is their relationships with the Pearson's which is of interest here.
Mrs. Walsh also suggested that the iron necessary for copperas manufacture might have come from the Millington Iron Works – and this is perfectly possible since any scrap iron would have been suitable. I do not think that the Millingtons had an ironworks in Greenwich adjacent to the copperas works on Creekside. The indications are that they continued with the warehousing business at Anchor Iron Wharf while also branching out into other business activities in the area.
Elizabeth Pearson often recorded visits to the Millington family – sometimes with her sister Amelia, and with other friends, like the Mr. & Mrs. Morris she mentions in November 1820. In May 1821 she noted the sudden, and apparently scandalous death, of John Millington 'in lodgings at Sydenham … he returned from America … leaving his wife, his child is dead … his death can be considered a benefit to his family'. What scandal is hidden there I do not know – since I have been unable to unearth anything about John Millington, except that he is not the scientist of the same name, who also went to America in this period.
In November of the same year Elizabeth recorded the death of old Mrs. Millington at Crowley house 'in her 89th year and confined to her room two years and five months'. Mrs. Millington had been a close friend of Elizabeth's own mother and she remembered her dearly as she saw ' our dear mother's kind old friend in her coffin'. Mrs. Millington's son, Crowley Millington, had been away at the time of his mother's death but on his return Crowley House once more became a lively riverside home – and Elizabeth records how her sister Amelia went there regularly for music lessons.
Since her mother's death Elizabeth had acquired more domestic responsibilities. She records a visit to Woolwich in search of a servant, and again to discuss arrangements for her new employee. Still her evenings and many days were spent in domestic work 'cutting out new shirts' but with some opportunities for more intellectual pastimes 'writing extracts from Bishop Hershey's sermons on the Sabbath'.
When she was in her early twenties Elizabeth had recorded the birth and subsequent noisy behaviour of young Tom Tilson – a child of one of her fathers' associates. Tom was now grown and setting out on what was to become a successful legal career. In 1820 Elizabeth went to see him 'sworn in' and later visited the Tilson family's new house at Brixton Hill.
Much of Elizabeth's life in Greenwich, and indeed in Tankerton, had little to do with the copperas works, which provided the income for her standard of living. In September 1820 she records a visit to the Tankerton works and again in 1821 'we all walked to the Deptford Works' but most of she records some of father and brothers' business activities and they slowly reveal a move away from the manufacture of copperas alone and towards other industries.
In 1822 she recorded that 'an accident at the gas works' had kept her brother in town. This accident appears to be unrecorded and unknown but it is in indication of the interest in the gas industry which Charles Pearson Jnr was beginning to take. There are a number of records about this interest from the gas industry itself – but it is not always easy to distinguish between 'Charles Pearson' father or son in what is recorded, and there is also some confusion with another and different Charles Pearson who was the City of London solicitor and who also had an interest in the early gas industry.
Charles Pearson is recorded as one of the earliest movers of the South London Gas Company, based in Bankside in the early 1820s, he was fact elected as their first auditor. Thomas Tilson was also a member of their first board. The company had been started by a Mr. Munro and Elizabeth Pearson records that 'brother dines at Mr.Munro's in Nelson Square' in 1822. As I have recorded in other articles about the Greenwich Gas Industry the South London Gas Company soon became the Phoenix Gas Company and began to build a works in Greenwich on the banks of the Ravensbourne – somewhat to the north of the copperas works.
Soon the Greenwich vestry was also embroiled in a legal battle between rival companies. In the records are thanks given to 'Mr.Pearson for his conduct in defence of Mr.Hammond' and 'Mr.Pearson' appears to represent the Greenwich vestry in negotiations with the gas company. This might be a totally different Mr. Pearson – it seems unlikely that Charles Pearson Jnr or Snr would negotiate for the vestry in this way – however it might be noted that a still younger Charles Pearson was to embark on a legal career and eventually became a solicitor in Gravesend. This was Charles Hill Pearson who, at fifteen in 1824 would have been too young to be the person referred to. Once the Greenwich Works was built then the gas mains were taken through the copperas works site.
By the early 1830s, the copperas industry was beginning to falter, overtaken by new ways of making both sulphuric acid and dyes. Pearson was to try and diversify into a wider field in the chemical industry. In 1833 he approached the central London based Gas Light and Coke Company with an offer on 'sal ammoniac and Prussian Blue' and later asked the prices of the gas industry waste 'ammoniacal liquor' from the north London based Imperial Gas Company. He was sufficiently price conscious to complain about the price and the quality and was told sharply to 'try at the other works'.
As late as 1835 it was revealed that the staircase of his Greenwich house had been treated with Mr.Kyan's very poisonous sublimate solution as an attempt to demonstrate a new method of wood preservation. He was also clearly involved with some newcomers to Deptford –Messrs. Beneke who had come from Germany to try new ways of chemical manufacture. Pearson was to help pay their bills with some of the London Gas Companies during 1833.
'Old' Charles Pearson died in 1828 leaving £27,000 to his children – his final days seem to have been spent in Greenwich in a new house in Maze Hill. We know no more of what happened to Elizabeth but she would have become a wealthy woman under her fathers' will. Young Charles set about spending the money he had been left – among other things he invested in the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway and the 'Pearson Arms' can still be found on the Whitstable seafront. He was to die in 1870 at his daughters' home in Bloomsbury.
The Greenwich works seems to have stopped production in the 1830s but it is quite clear that chemical works continued to flourish on Deptford Creek through a number of successors – like Beneke – with whom Charles Pearson had been involved. At around the same time a vitriol works is recorded elsewhere in Greenwich, on the Peninsula, now owned by Lewis Price and Co. it could once have been Moore's copperas works almost adjacent to a number of enterprises belonging to the Millingtons.
By the 1840s the Greenwich works on Deptford Creek was in the hands of the 'Union Joint Stock Banking Company of Coventry'– they sound very like liquidators to me!
I would like to thank Mrs. Walsh, who originally introduced me to Elizabeth Pearson's Diary, and also Geoffrey Pike who has been kind enough to send me some photocopied extracts. Other material from archive material in the LMA and some published works including 'Royal River Highway' by Frank Dix and, of course, R.S.Surtees 'Jorrock's Jaunts and Jollities'. I do not know the current whereabouts of any of the diary except for extracts I have in notes - enquiries at Whitstable Museum have got nowhere, and I have lost touch with Mrs. Walsh
And thanks to the inimitable Julian Watson who saw me all through these articles in 17 years ago!! and was the first person to like and share the first posting of these four articles earlier this evening.
All of them have been re-edited but the main substance appeared in Bygone Kent Vol 22.