Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel

Embed this content in your HTML


Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels

Channel Catalog

Channel Description:

AIMS - to research, publish and promote the industrial history of the London Borough of Greenwich

older | 1 | .... | 5 | 6 | (Page 7) | 8 | 9 | .... | 14 | newer

    0 0



    This will be the sixth symposium on thisubject and the second to be hosted by the
    Docklands History Group. It will cover all aspects of shipbuilding on the Thames from all
    periods. The programme for the conference which will take place at the Museum of
    London Docklands, is as set out below:
    Unfortunate in Business' - John Dudman and the Grove Street Dockyard, Deptford, 1790-1813 - Chris
    Royal Shipbuilding on the Thames, 1509-1547 - Dr. Ian Friel
    Charles II and Shipbuilding at Deptford - Richard Endsor
    JM W Turner, Charles Napier, and the 'Aaron Manby'; the Iron Steam Boat and the Making of the British
    - Professor Andrew Lambert
    Cultural and Industrial Transfer - Visiting Indian Shipwrights in Early Victorian London - Alex Werner
    The London Men and Women who made the Tools that made the Sails - Des Pawson
    Thomas Howard (1796-1872) and the King and Queen Foundry (Rotherhithe Foundry) - Stuart Rankin and
    Dr. Roger Owen
    Dudgeons, Millwall Shipbuilders, 1860-1877 - Dr. Brendan O'Farrell
    The SS 'Robin' and her Bow Creek Builders - Dr. Roy Fenton

    People attending will be able to enter the Museum 9:45 when tea and coffee will be provided. The
    nference will commence at 10:30 and end at 5:30. There will be a break for coffee and tea in the
    fternoon. There will also be a break for lunch but no lunch will be provided by the organisers although
    ere are several cafes and other places selling food nearby.


    The conference will take place at the Museum of London Docklands, No.1 Warehouse, West India Quay,
    ertsmere Road, Canary Wharf, London E14 41L. The nearest stations are West Ferry and West India
    y (DLR) and Canary Wharf (Jubilee Line)


    The conference fee is £35 but there is a reduced rate of £30 for Docklands History Group members. A
    booking form is appended. However, if you would like to make an electronic booking, please visit the
    s History Group website - where there are further details of
    e conference and other activities organised by the Group.


    0 0

    so - what is in the GIHS In-tray??

    Kent Underground Research Group - their admirable newsletter turns up regularly, sadly nothing much about Greenwich recently.  They have been very involved with a big site at Dover - Fan Bay Deep Shelter.  For those interested in all this subterranean we would very much recommend them at  They say they are interested in all things underground in Kent - and remember, from their point of view Greenwich is in Kent up the historic boundary at the Ravensbourne.  They would welcome articles - info to
    Their AGM is on 11th October at New Tavern Fort in Gravesend

    KURG also advertise:
    Kent Miners Festival. 31st August  at Community Park in Betteshanger. details  When the Kent mines were still active Greenwich had many links with these mining communities - and the festivals are another world. Go down a country lane and into a pit village community.  They had Denis Skinner last year - don't miss it.

    also Drop Redoubt. 12th-13th September - this is the opening of Napoleonic defence structures at Dover  It includes an opening of the Grand Shaft - something which I will guarantee you will never see the like of again!!


    Steve Hunnisett of Blitz Walkers has been kind enough to send a list of bombs dropped in the Second World War on the Redpath Brown site (this was a structural steel works behind and between the river to the Pilot PuB).   He has promised to send more bombings of industrial sites - these Redpath Brown ones will go to Andrew Turner who has been researching the site for many years, and hopefully will come and talk to GIHS about it soon.


    People will have seen Rich Sylvester's story boards outside the old health centre on hoardings. Rich is going to speak about the history of the site at Greenwich Square Library  6.30pm 7th October


    This project to rebuild a historic ship at Deptford are to be at the Tall Ships Festival on 29th August. They have a restored cannon and will be selling tee shirts.  They also say they have a film about the ship on their web site.


    English Heritage have emailed to say that archaeological work will soon begin on sites in Deptford   

    Land Bounded by Deptford Creek, Copperas Street and Creek Road, (Creekside East): 14/3795/F (LAG/011/503) CLO14224 
    This is about the pumping station on Shooters Hill. We have been asked about
    the supply of 2 Cornish Boilers K22 and K23  by Harvey & Co.These were used in conjunction with a pair of horizontal engines (By Cowan and Gardiner & Mackintosh respectively). Together these machines were used to pump water in Shooters Hill, London. (they were apparently scrapped in 1925).   The Cowan engine was probably a Burgh and Cowan horizontal engine supplied by TW Cowan, Kent Iron Works, Greenwich in 1862-4       
    Does anyone at the Society have any further information about these boilers or engines?       
    ---------------------------------------- l
    Crossness Engines Record
    Thanks Crossness for your wonderful newsletter. Everything in it is local -so I am just going to list out the contents:- 
    Peter Connolly and the boiler house doors - (a nice paint job, thanks Pete)
    The Crossness Beam Engine /Flywheels - details and a sketch
    Royal Arsenal Narrow Gauge Railway Progress Report - we all want to know more about the new railway in the Borough, don't we?? Read about it here!
    A history of  music recorded at Crossness - yes, really
    Spotlight on a volunteer - (thanks Mike)
    A Crossness Swan song (poorly swan on site)
    - and - Sir Joseph has had a make over.
    Steaming days - 23rd August   and 11th October (with local history special).  10.30-5 .00 and it says you have to wear trousers and flat shoes. (oooeer)
    Now the next thing - can anyone tell us/ have they heard of the Greenwich Declaration..  We understand this is about industrial heritage in Europe.
    How come we missed it?? But what is it??
    Tell us more.
    (contact for info or whatever

    0 0

    The Story of Subsea Telecommunications and its Association with Enderby House
    by Stewart Ash
    Review by Richard Buchanon
    The Enderby Group has commissioned a number of histories of the site - which will eventually be available. The text to two of them is on Bill Burns Atlantic Cable web site (link at the end of this posting).  Below is a review of the first of these, kindly contributed by Richard Buchanon, and hopefully a review of a work on the Enderby family will follow (that also is on Bill's web site).  Below also are links to works about the site by Stewart Ash and posted on the Ballast Quay web site. Works  by another author will probably posted here as unsuitable for anywhere else. 


    Mr Ash gives a detailed description of a fascinating story.

    He sets the scene by defining three eras of subsea cable communication:

    1850 – 1950: the Telegraph era

    1950 – 1986: the Telephone era

    1986 until today, and into the future: the Optical era

    Telegraph was restricted to text messages, Telephone added voice channels (for two-way conversation), and Optical carries the whole gamut of digitised communication.

    In 1850 the first, British, cable was laid across the English Channel, completing a telegraph link from London to Paris.  It soon failed, but lessons were learnt, another was successfully laid the next year and soon several cables were laid on short European sea routes.

    Americans wanted a link too.  Cyrus West Field initiated the project in 1857 to link the United States to Britain, using British expertise for design and manufacture.  Two manufactures each made half the Cable; one loaded onto USS Niagara, the other onto HMS Agamemnon.  The lay began but was abandoned when the cable broke.  More cable was made to replace what had been lost, and in 1858 a second lay was successful – but signals on the new link became weaker and soon ceased altogether.  Thorough investigation led to a report in 1861 which outlined a way forward.  Mr Field saw his project come to fruition in 1866.

    Mr Ash then describes how cables were made at the time.

    Gutta Percha, amongst many other uses, had been found to be an ideal insulant for subsea cables.  First introduced to Europe in 1842, it is prepared from the resin of trees that grow in SE Asia.  In 1845 the Gutta Percha Company was set up to manufacture gutta percha goods.  For subsea cables they supplied lengths of a core comprising a copper centre conductor coated in gutta percha.

    Work on cable in 19th century Greenwich
    Cable manufacturers spliced the lengths of core together, and added armour wires around the core both for strength and to resist abrasion on the seabed.  The armour wires were developed from steel wire used in ropes already being used in coal mines, and for standing rigging in ships.  One of the principal wire rope manufacturers expanded onto a site at Morden Wharf in Greenwich where they concentrated on cable manufacture.  Known from 1854 as Glass Elliot & Co, they provided half the cable for the 1857 transatlantic cable, and the extra cable needed in 1858.

    Increasing business engendered further expansion.  Just upstream of Morden Wharf was Enderby Wharf, where hemp ropes and sails had been made for shipping.  However in 1845 it had a devastating fire.  Charles Enderby, then running the business, did not restore the factory but did build a dwelling house: Enderby House, still extant, though he did not live there long.  In 1857 Glass Elliot & Co bought the premises; they moved their management offices to Enderby House.

    It was clearly desirable to bring the manufacturing processes together.  In 1864 the Gutta Percha Co and Glass Elliot & Co merged as the Telegraph Construction & Maintenance Co (Telcon).

    The next year cable for a third transatlantic system was made, by Telcon.  This was loaded onto the Great Eastern, Brunel’s passenger ship having been converted for cable laying, and big enough to take the cable for the entire system.  This cable too broke, but in 1866 the Great Eastern successfully laid a fourth cable – and then recovered the 1865 cable and completed that system too.  Global expansion followed, with cables to the far-east and Australia.  At the beginning of the 20th century the Pacific was crossed.

    The traffic a cable can carry depends on how high a frequency can be transmitted.  Telcon developed a special alloy called mumetal, which they used to make a tape to wrap around the central conductor to increase the rate at which messages could be sent.  This led to more business as older cables were replaced, mainly in the inter-war period.  Two further improvements came with the development of coaxial cable, where a high conductivity sheath is put on the cable core (originally as a helically wound copper tape), under the armouring; and, beginning in 1930s, the replacement of gutta percha with polythene.

    Telcon merged with the subsea cable division of Siemens (hitherto a rival in Woolwich) in 1935 to form Submarine Cables Ltd (SCL).  Standard Telephones & Cables (STC) in North Woolwich entered the subsea cable business in 1950 – later, in 1970, taking over SCL.  In each case Enderby House remained at the centre of the business.  STC ceased making cable at Greenwich in 1975, in favour of their Southampton cable factory, but continued with repeater and terminal equipment manufacture.

    Over short routes even a telegraph cable can carry a telephone channel, and this was done as early as the 1890s.  However telephony needs much higher transmission frequencies than telegraphy.  Even with coaxial cable in the 1940s it was necessary have an amplifier to counteract cable losses, just to cross the North Sea.  Several needs arose: a waterproof casing to house the amplifier; a means of feeding power to it over the cable; and sufficiently reliable components for the amplifier.  An amplifier is unidirectional, so to achieve two-way transmission filters are used to separate a low frequency band from a high frequency band, the bands providing go and return directions.  The amplifier and associated circuits in a casing is termed a repeater.

    Crossing the Atlantic needed many repeaters: Bell Labs in America did the design work for the first such system, and successfully tested it between Havana and Key West in 1950 – the date generally accepted as marking the beginning of the Telephone era.  The first Trans-Atlantic Telephone (TAT-1) system soon followed, with American repeaters spliced into coaxial cable - mostly made by SCL.  It could carry 36 telephone channels.  Designs rapidly advanced, SCL and STC both developing their own repeaters, and installing systems worldwide, around the British Commonwealth and elsewhere.  Channel capacity increased to 160 channels in 1967 and 5680 channels by 1977.

    Great Eastern in Mid-Atlantic -the broken cable found,
    brought on board, spliced, and mended
    Systems are laid with repeaters already spliced into the cable.  The cable cannot just be let go, but has to be retarded to match the passage of the ship over the seabed; the design of paying out equipment is a discipline in its own right.  Equipment for telegraph cables had a series of large diameter sheaves, the cable taken under one and over the next.  Mr Ash describes how a rigid repeater in the cable can be laid – using legacy equipment - then goes on to say how a modern design does the job.

    Cable systems are designed for a 25 year life, but the occasional fault does occur.  There are sufficient cables round the world for traffic to be re-routed round outages, but service is slowed until faults are repaired.  Cables can be broken by geological activity on the seabed (avoided by judicious route planning), by dragging ships anchors, but mainly by fishing.  Cables are now buried where they cross fishing grounds, not only on continental shelves but down to depths of 1500m – plough design for this is another speciality described in this account.

    Satellites in the 1960s provided considerable competition for 160 channel cable systems, but as the capability of cables improved this diminished – particularly with the development of optical fibre cables.  Today, satellites are regarded as complementary to optical fibre systems - in providing mobile services; though their share of total traffic is less than five percent.

    Charles Kao began his career at STC, later moving to the firm’s research laboratories – here he and George Hockham developed the idea that information could be carried by light waves guided by a glass fibre.  This they published in a paper in 1966.  By 1980 fibre loss had been sufficiently reduced for a short sea trial, and further improvements in the purity of fibre materials led to the first optical fibre system from the UK to Belgium in 1986.  The cable was designed with six fibres in the centre of the cable, surrounded by a metallic tube – which protected the fibres, but also conducted power feed current to the three repeaters.  These really were repeaters: the incoming digital signal was detected, regenerated and retransmitted as a repeat of the original.  As the regenerators were unidirectional a pair was needed for two-way transmission, working over a pair of fibres.

    Also in 1986, the Erbium Doped Fibre Amplifier (EDFA) was first demonstrated at Southampton University.  It comprises a length of optical fibre doped with erbium, a rare earth element; when pumped by a laser this will amplify a signal passing through it, the signal being at wavelength in a band around 1550 nanometres.  A pair of fibres is again needed for two-way transmission.  EDFA development took time, but made for a much simpler repeater.  The EDFA can simultaneously handle multiple wavelengths in the 1550 nm band (a regenerator could only handle a single wavelength).  Current systems offer transmission of a hundred data streams, each of 100 gigabits/sec on a single fibre pair (over 25,000 times the highest capacity of co-axial systems); and typically have two or four fibre pairs.

    The story ends with a look at the present situation, and possibilities for the future of Enderby House.  STC has, through industry mergers, become part of Alcatel-Lucent; they make still make repeaters and terminal equipment, but not needing the whole site to do so, have sold the riverside part – including Enderby House - to a housing developer, who is currently surrounding it with large blocks of flats.  Mainly because of its historical significance, Enderby House has a Grade II listing; obliging the developer to refurbish the house.  There is also a proposal to build a cruise liner terminal next to Enderby House.

    The Enderby Group has recently been formed to promote Enderby House as a centre for telling the story of its history and heritage – both local and industrial.  It was in at the beginning of international communications, soon becoming the centre of them, and is the sole remaining site in the UK still active today.


    The Story of Subsea Telecommunications and its Association with Enderby House

    There are currently two articles on the Ballast Quay website that link to this page.  They can be found @

    0 0

    In the late 1990s as changes accelerated on the Greenwich Peninsula two women went for a walk down the Greenwich riverside path - to see what they would like to happen in the future.  Here is there report - which was published by a Docklands based community- regeneration-watching-organisation.
    So, read on:


    The old footpath which winds its way along the Greenwich riverside to the end of the peninsula - and the Dome - has recently been the subject of some attention.  Before the Dome was thought of it had been designated as part of a nation-wide network of signposted cycle through-routes - and was to be upgraded to meet the requirements of fast cyclists.
    Since then it has been suggested that it ought to be a pleasant walk for people who want to travel by foot from 'historic' Greenwich to the Dome.
    It is a raggedy old path which has, no doubt, seen a lot in its time - and so Greenwich Council commissioned the consulting engineers, Ove Arup, to look at it with a view to turning it into a cycle and pedestrian  path to the Dome.

    Ove Arup reported to the Council late in 1997 - they said the project could not possibly be completed in time given the requirements. There were a number of legal problems concerning access and land ownership and there were engineering difficulties of providing the fast cycle track - which might also meet with considerable opposition on what were often very reasonable grounds.
    So - in August 1998 two of us set off along the path to see what we could find - they noted down what they saw and tried to think of ways in which things could be improved very cheaply. We talked to people we met - many of thetourists walking the path on a rainy summer's day - and asked what they would like to see there. One aspect was more information about the industrial heritage.

    The following are some of the suggestions we made for signing - and the information needed. Comments from 2015 in italics

    *** Information needed at the Greenwich Foot Tunnel - how about information about the London County Council together with some of the tunnel's history.
    (In 2015 Hearsay evidence leads us to believe that some visitors look at the dome of the foot tunnel and think it is the Royal Observatory)
    *** The Bellot Monument - Who was Bellot?? Why is this monument here?? Can we be told something  - anything!!
    *** Queen's Stairs. What are 'river stairs'. Why are they there? What are the rights on them - and who owns them?   Shouldn't they be gated and locked?? or, alternatively - Why are they gated and locked?? What is going on.

    *** Trinity Hospital - what is it? Why is there? (and we should ask people to respect the privacy of the inmates)

    ***  London Underground Power Station - We need some information about its past and what it is used for today.

    (not to mention those scruffy little additions on the walls - and why in the past 15 years hasn't anyone got round to removing those horrible oil tanks and intrusive, and unused, coal bunker - and why didn't we mention the big jetty and how useful it would be as a venue for something or other - anything, really)

    *** The Meridian line
    (I know we now all think its in the wrong place but there is a metal strip in the pavement here - no explaination whatsoever)

    *** Harbour Master's Office - what is it? Who used it?

    *** Morden College Plaques - explaining they are NOT fire insurance plaques.
    One of the cranes removed by Morden College
    (and pointing out that 1680 is NOT the date of the buildings but the date when Morden College was founded)

    *** A plaques noting the riverviews and buildings of interest from Cutty Sark pub - and a number of other places along the way
    (clearly this area has changed dramatically since this was written and there is now a bit - well a little bit - of interpretation on the riverside where it has been opened up. And the Ballast Quay activists have been doing a good job with the little garden area on opening days.)

    *** Cranes on Lovell's Wharf- how to make a feature of them, and explain why they are there.
    (the two Butters Scotch Derricks were removed by Morden College a year or so after this was written whole the Council was still trying to persuade developers to make them a feature in future housing areas.)

    *** Renewing the painted signs on Lovell's Wharf
    (Oh dear - well that's long gone without a trace!)

    *** A note about the vista down Pelton Road, the Pelton Arms and some explanation about the name.

    ***The Cadet Place wall - the Great Globe - and some notes about Portland Stone.
    (---  aargh -  after much argy bargy the developer did agree to re-erect the 'Cyclopean wall - but missed the whole point of it by re-erecting it nice and neatly - and causing considerable offence in doing so.   Go to Watchet Station if you want to see what it should look like).
    *** Some notes about the industry using Granite Wharf and Pipers Wharf - and a request to respect their privacy.
    (when this was written boats were still regularly using Granite Wharf and transhipping aggregate.  However the request about privacy was to stop visitors being sworn at on sites here)
    In this area a couple of years after this was written the early medieval tide mill was found on Granite Wharf.  Requests for signage about this to the developer fell on deaf ears - couldn't afford it, they said)

    *** Notes and a display about sailing barges at Piper's Wharf with some information about barges built on site.

    *** Public access to Enderby House plus a display inside
    (Well!!! - we are all doing our best)

    *** A search for the mast of the Great Eastern and other relics which were once displayed here.

    *** Some interpretation of the cable motifs on the riverside office block
    Cables being loaded at Enderbys
    (thanks for drawing to Peter Kent)

    (this block was demolished by the developer last year)

    *** Interpretation of the preserved machinery on Enderby Wharf - and a display of telecommunications heritage would be wonderful

    *** A return of the John H.Mackay - or a different cable laying ship
    (we are getting cruise liners there instead)

    *** A plaque noting the line of the ropewalk
    (the line of the ropewalk has been obliterated by the developer)

    *** A plaque about the seventeenth century gun powder depot

    *** A plaque on the Amylum silos
    (the silos were demolished three years go by French site owners who then cleared off)
    Sea Witch 1930s  - riverside pub destroyed in bombing -
    *** A plaque at the site of the Sea Witch Pub

    ***  Some information at Bay Wharf about Maudslay and other shipbuilders once on site

    *** A plaque about inland vistas - particularly the gasholder
    (which is just about still there)

    ***A plaque at Victoria Deep Water Wharf (if they managed to open the path up, through there) about Henry Bessemer - whose Greenwich works was there. Perhaps also some information about Appleby engines and where one can be found preserved
    (the path was opened up following High Court action by the Council against the site owner)

    *** Delta Wharf- some information about Delta Metal.

    **** Point Wharf. See if it is possible to moor Orinoco here - she was built on this site and is currently berthed at Hoo.
    (Oh dear - Orinoco - the last Greenwich built barge in sail - wasn't built here, she was built - I think - on part of Lovell's Wharf.  However it is possible that Jackobaits built some vessels here which are still on the river - information please??)

    Grain deliveries at the silos 1960s
    *** Something about boat building at Point Wharf using the skills of those who recently worked there

    *** A plaque on the vent of the 'old' Blackwall Tunnel with some notes about the LCC.   

    (if you can get to it - despite it being on a right of way)

    *** A note about the Blakeley gun foundry at Ordnance Wharf and its interest for Americans - and a pointer to the Virginia Settlers site across the river.


    0 0


    ~ Events include:

    (This is on the riverside in Greenwich, SE10 - at the riverside end of Pelton Road/Lassell Street - where the Cutty Sark pub is (

    Residents of Ballast Quay tell us "We will open Ballast Quay garden on Saturday 29th/Sunday 30th August only, from 10-5pm.  From the information we have been able to glean, the 13 designated Tall Ships will be passing at intervals in both directions, taking fee-paying tour passengers throughout the day, starting late morning and going on into the early evening. As a street, a group of us will man a tea-and-cakes stall and take contributions, which we will split between two local 'charities'. We will not be charging admission.  Diane Greenwood leases and maintains the garden with  Hilary, her friend, who started the whole thing and it is with their kind permission that we are there at all. For this occasion Hilary has mounted a small but sweet exhibition of tall ships pix, memorabilia and maps and she will be sitting drawing her signature 'botanical' greetings cards, for sale.   

    Enderby Group - who are working on the telecoms and other heritage of the area and the future of Enderby House - will have a stall, and members will be able to give the latest information we have on progress.
    The crew of the Lenox Project is looking forward to meeting you all at the Tall Ships Festival in Woolwich this Saturday 29th August. We will have our restored Saker cannon on show, and we'll also be selling new t-shirts carrying a fabulous design showing the Lenox in Deptford Dockyard, created by Lush Designs specially for us! Our cannon and stall will be in Woolwich Arsenal from midday till 8pm, so come along to say hello and find out what we are up to! 
    The Lenox Project CIC aims to build a replica 17th century ship in the former Royal Dockyard at Deptford


    Amalgamated Society of Engineers.  We have been told that when the Amalgamated Society of Engineers was set up in the mid 19th century that some of the prime movers worked here in Greenwich for the early telecommunications industry - at Morden Wharf for Glass Elliott and for Kupers.  Please let us know if you have any knowledge of this, or any knowledge of someone who might know, or where archives are kept.

    Bandstand in Greenwich Park. We have a request - which has been all round England already and which appears to originate from the Royal Parks. This is about the park bandstand and if we know why the name 'Deane and Co.' appear on the columns.  It was always said to have been made by the Coalbrookedale Company - but there were also a small number of specialist bandstand makers. Any ideas?? Happy to pass info on??

    1 Hyde Vale.  We have the following news from Paul "This afternoon I received very welcome news. The building is now Listed at Grade II. Historic England accepted all of our key points about the history of the building, stating:  “1 Hyde Vale was purpose-built as a builder's workshop and yard, part of a composition with the adjacent builder's house (63 Royal Hill) which is also listed at Grade II. As the only listed Georgian purpose-built builder's workshops in Greater London, and possibly in the country, the building is notable for its rarity. It has also been identified as significant for its architectural interest, surviving structure, and the group value it lends to 63 Royal Hill. It is clear that the building also contributes to the significance of the West Greenwich Conservation Area. The area's authenticity is enhanced through the presence of this historic building. As the only building providing evidence of industry in the Hyde Vale area it helps to further our understanding of how people lived and worked in this part of West Greenwich.”. This means the existing planning application will be rejected, and the developers will have to come back with a conversion, rather than a demolition. This keeps an important, rare building and should also greatly diminish the disruption that neighbours would have suffered.  

    POLLUTION AND SMELLS.  People will have read about the objections to the cruise liner terminal at Enderbys on the grounds of pollution.  An old Greenwich resident has written to us - from a retirement home outside of London - 'yes it would pollute the atmosphere... as you know many factories, especially the Dog Biscuit works and Tunnel Refineries gave off strong smells at times - and yes, the river was filthy too'.     So - perhaps we should be researching the history of local smells and pollutants.  There used to be a lot of very detailed works on Tunnel Refineries and their strong smell. 

    William Parry Jackson.  We have a request "I have for a while been studying the life of WT Vincent and I thought it was time I included a few paragraphs about his uncle ,  William Parry Jackson.   I know at some time he was chairman of the Equitable gas company and also the Woolwich steam packet company ..  I was wondering if you may have some info"
    Mudlarks - as I write this something very interesting seems to have been turned up by Mudlark, Nicola White  .... waiting for more details

    LABOUR HERITAGE - The latest Labour Heritage Bulletin has just turned up with article son: Alfred Linnell, Labour Prime Ministers, Labour and the Government of Ireland Act, Staines NUR and Elections in Acton.   None of this is about Greenwich or even South London - perhaps someone should write something!  Happy to pass on contacts to anyone interested.

    Highcombe site - this is about use by locals of the derelict playing field in Highcombe Road. Meeting  7th September 19.30 Blackheath Rugby Club.

    Thames and Medway Canal Association. This is based in Gravesend but they produce a great little newsletter about this canal - which has been unused, and unusable since the railway took over the tunnel between Higham and Strood in 1845.  They report they are being extensively mucked about by the railway (what's new!) - but would recommend them

    The Naval Dockyards Society is asking people who want to have their new 20th Century Naval Dockyards publication to join a subscription list.  Happy to pass on names and details of anyone interested.
    found this little gem on sales literature for Greenwich Millennium Village:

    "Until around 100 years ago, the main claim to fame of Greenwich Peninsula was its wildlife and fisheries but in 1897, the Blackwall Tunnel was built under the River Thames to link the peninsula with the North bank, and with the tunnel came development"

    Have emailed them pointing out that they don't know what they are talking about. Anyone want to bet that - they don't reply t...o my email - and they leave it as it is anyway.

    Somewhere there is an implication that 'development' (developer style development) only began when ideas from north London began trickling through the tunnel.

    0 0

    GIHS was sent a query about the Greenwich Park Bandstand - this had been to a number of people and organisations - here is the response from one of our members - Barbara Holland
    (and thanks Barbara. Hope this is ok.)

    Greenwich Park Bandstand - Deane and Company

    A question has been raised regarding why the name Deane & Co. is stamped into the columns of the bandstand in Greenwich Park when it has been generally accepted that it was made by the Coalbrookdale Company.  I have done some research into Deane & Co., and based on this have proposed two theories that might throw some light on this ‘mystery’.



    The Bandstand, Greenwich Park

    The lettering  - ‘DEANE & CO LONDON’ - can be seen on the base of each of the columns which join the decorative cast iron panelsand support the roof made by the Coalbrookdale Company :


    Deane & Co. were a long-established business – their advertising (1868) claims they started in 1700 – manufacturing and selling a wide range of metal products:


    I can find mention of them as far back as 1785 at 39 Fish Hill Street in the City of London, as a patent shot warehouse, with a George Deane (born 1745) described as a hardwareman (ironmonger).In 1799 their main business appears to be gunmaking, with the company run by George and son Edward Deane (born 1777 in Fish Street Hill).  In 1803 the company had moved to 41 Fish Hill Street at the corner of Arthur Street.  The 1819 Post Office Directory has it listed as John & George Deane, hardwaremen, and Pigot’s Directory of 1825/26 as George Deane, Birmingham and Sheffield Warehouse. 


    Fish Street Hill, 1795 (Museum of London)

    In 1838, the business moved again to 46 King William Street and is listed as a gun and pistol warehouse, ironmonger, cutler and jeweller.  In 1846 the gunmaking side moved to 30 King William Street. At this time, George and John Deane formed a number of partnerships that diversified into stove and range making at 86 Chiswell Street, and saddle making at 2, Arthur Street East. They were well-renowned gunmakers, appointed as gunmakers to Prince Albert in 1848, and exhibited at the Great Exhibition in 1851.

    In 1853 the firm won a bronze medal for a fowling piece at the New York Exhibition, and in 1855 a Prize medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition ("carabines, rifles et fusils de chasse, pistolet et revolver").


    King William Street c 1880 (Museum of London)


    The hardware and ironmongery side of the business continued to trade successfully from 46 King William Street until 1890, but the gunmaking part was sold in 1873. The Deane’s had sold up by 1890 to retire, and the site acquired by the City & South London Electric Railway Company for the building of the King William Street Station.  This was the northern terminus of the world’s first deep-level underground electric railway which ran from Stockwell and had 6 stations.  The station opened on 18thDecember 1890, closing in 1900 when the line was extended to Moorgate. 

    So, what are my theories?   Is it possible that the columns on the bandstand were supplied separately, as a sub-contract maybe, by Deane & Co. and the panels, roof etc by the Coalbrookdale Company? Or, somewhat less likely, were the columns salvaged from Deane &Co’s premises when they made way for the new King William Street underground station?  The bandstand was erected in 1891, just after the company closed.

    I’d be interested in hearing what other people think?

    Barbara Holland





    0 0
  • 09/08/15--00:38: The Eponymous Enderbys
  • Review

    The Eponymous Enderbys

    by Stewart Ash

    Review by Richard Buchanan

    Enderby is a name commemorated in Greenwich, particularly by Enderby House at Enderby Wharf.  The name is of a family whose story Mr Ash describes in detail; one that prospered, rose to the top of London society, but then declined; a family whose fortunes took them to America and to become explorers in the southern ocean.

    The Samuel Enderby
    The story starts with Daniel Enderby, born at the beginning of 17thcentury and, in later life, rewarded by Oliver Cromwell with lands in Ireland.  His son Samuell sold these lands and set up as a tanner in Bermondsey.  Four generations of Enderbys ran the tannery, but then Samuel (spelt with one ‘l’), 1719-1797, trained as a cooper and was admitted to the Worshipful Company of Coopers.  He set up in business when barrels were commonly used to pack a range of goods.  This brought him into contact with a Mr Buxton, a merchant, whose daughter Elizabeth he married in 1752.  Over the next ten years they had seven children though one died young, the third a son they called Samuel (denoted Samuel junior in the narrative).  Samuel’s main residence was in London, but in 1758 he leased a house in Greenwich; in which Elizabeth took up residence.  Thereafter various members of the family lived in Greenwich and Blackheath, a well-to-do area not far from London, for nearly hundred years.

    Buxton & Enderby was founded ca1765, at St Paul’s Wharf in London.  They developed a successful business trading with the American colonies – shipping out British goods and bringing back whale oil and seal skins.  Americans crossed the Atlantic too, one being Nathaniel Wheatley who came to England with his adopted sister Phillis to promote her poetry; she had been taken to America to be sold as a slave but was adopted, and educated, by Nathaniel’s parents.  While in London, Nathaniel met and married Mary, Samuel Enderby’s eldest daughter; after the wedding they returned to Boston, where Nathaniel acted as the agent for the Enderbys.  This was just after the Boston Tea Party, which involved ships used by Buxton & Enderby, though it is not clear whether they were owned or leased, or to what extent it was their tea that was lost.

    In 1775 Samuel founded Samuel Enderby & Sons, to hunt whales, not just transport the oil.  In 1783 Samuel junior was sent to Boston to engage Americans to crew Enderby whaling ships – they soon had 17 ships.  By then whales had been all but eliminated in the north Atlantic and they were exploiting the south Atlantic.  South Atlantic whales also became scarce.  In 1788 their ship the Emilia (described in Moby Dick as the Amelia) initiated whaling in the Pacific, despite restrictions imposed by the East India Company.  They set up base in what was to become Sydney.

    Enderby Wharf from the river in the mid-19th century
    (kind permission Roger Marshall)

    In 1787 the Enderbys, then quite influential in London and seen as being in a respectable line of business, were granted arms featuring a ‘harpooner’.  That year Samuel junior married Mary Goodwyn, daughter of a brewer; their first two babies died at birth but nine more survived.  Their eldest daughter, Elizabeth, married Henry Gordon of the Royal Artillery at the Greenwich parish church of St Alphege – one of her sons being General Gordon of Khartoum.

    The family became wealthy and when Samuel (senior) died in 1797 he was able to bequeath four figure sums around the family, and ensure they could continue to live in style.

    Samuel junior took the business to new heights; it peaked in 1891 with 68 ships owned or under charter.  He encouraged his ship captains to explore the southern ocean in search of new whaling and seal hunting grounds.  This resulted in the discovery of several island groups, including Auckland Islands found in1805.  Eventually they reached Antarctica.  However, no significant whaling grounds were found and decline set in – in a search for fewer and fewer whales the Enderby ships were outnumbered by American ships.  In England oil lamps had largely given way to gas lighting and other uses were declining.

    Samuel junior died in 1829.  His eldest son, Samuel, had already become a professional soldier (whose fascinating story Mr Ash tells).  The business was therefore left to the next three sons: Charles, Henry and George, though Henry took no active part.  In 1830 it was renamed Messrs Enderby Brothers; they purchased a Thames-side site in Greenwich, which had first been developed as a naval gunpowder store, but which by then had a rope-walk.  They developed and modernised this and added sail making, serving their own and others’ shipping interests.  The site became known as Enderby Wharf, the name still in use today.  Then, with dwindling resources, they left their London offices and premises at St Paul’s wharf, which they moved to Poplar.

    Charles and George, however, were still explorers at heart, and were founder members of the Geographical Society (to become Royal in 1859).  They organised three voyages during the 1830s, each with a pair of ships, to the southern ocean, which made notable contributions to the geography of the region; these put Charles Enderby into high regard and in1841 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society.

    None of the three voyages had paid financially.  However their trading and rope & sail making businesses made some money, and in 1834 they commissioned a new trading ship, named the Samuel Enderby.  But in 1845 there was a devastating fire at the Enderby works.  It was not rebuilt; instead Charles built himself a house on the site – still there, known as Enderby House – and listed Grade II.  The house has an unusual and attractive ‘Octagon’ room on the top floor with a large window giving a good view of the Thames.  The Geographical Society met there at Charles’ invitation.

    The Enderby rope and canvas works burns down

    Despite his enthusiasm for the southern ocean, Charles had never been there.  But James Clark Ross had, and in 1840 had discovered a fine natural harbour in the Auckland Islands, which he said would be an ideal site for a whaling station.  Charles decided to go and set one up.  The Enderbys could not finance such an expedition themselves and set up the Southern Whale Fishing Company.  The British Government granted a 20 year lease of the Auckland Islands to the Company and named Charles Enderby as the Lieutenant-Governor.  He set sail on the Samuel Enderby with two other ships in August 1849, and arrived in December.  A settlement was soon built, but then things deteriorated; Charles, who proved to be ineffective, was evicted.  By 1852 the settlement was abandoned.  Charles was in Wellington vainly trying to clear his name; in 1853 he returned to London but fared no better.

    After his return it became possible to wind up Messrs Enderby Brothers, duly done in 1854.  By then none of the Enderby family was still living in the Greenwich district.  George had moved to Northfleet, Kent.  When Charles died in 1876 he was a lodger in Holborn.

    Enderby House today - the only listed building on the
    Greenwich Peninsula it is now owned by developers.
    This review briefly tells the main story of the Eponymous Enderbys– and gives only isolated glimpses of the detailed stories Mr Ash includes in his narrative of the numerous family connections; of business associates, many of whom were neighbours; and of the people connected with whaling and the sad downfall of Charles Enderby.  It is altogether a fascinating history.

    The derelict Enderby Wharf site was sold in 1857 to Glass, Elliot & Co and W T Henley, to manufacture subsea telegraph cables; they used Enderby House for their management offices and boardroom.  After this the site really prospered and played a pivotal role in the development of subsea cable systems for the next 150 years.  A story told by Stewart Ash in a companion booklet:

    The Story of Subsea Telecommunications and its Association with Enderby House

    0 0
  • 09/10/15--02:42: NOTES AND STUFF IN THE POST
  • LAMAS NEWSLETTER - this comes regularly and lists local history events all round London.  They seem to have removed GIHS and we need to see what we can do to remind them. Its bad enough we can't get listed in national Industrial History publications,  on account of this being an electronic newsletter. 

    THE LAMAS NEWSLETTER contains an article about the Thames Discovery Programme which includes some notes about their work - the FROG Project - in Greenwich. This says:  that the foreshore outside the Old Royal Naval College has been described by Gus Milne as the "most dynamic foreshore on the Thames"  and that in 2011 the Greenwich Foreshore Recording and Observation Group was set up to monitor three main sites in the borough on a regular basis. - the key site being Greenwich Palace. The article goes on to describe visits to the foreshore and fieldwork. They found that many structures have been 'dramatically eroded' ie - 'Several previously recorded timbers from what had been interpreted as a Tudor jetty have disappeared' however 'several new features have become visible'.   Changes have allowed 'a better understanding of the jettys construction and period' and that 'the majority of the wood used is elm, including the larger timbers, and many of the timbers have been pit sawn. Damian Goodburn has suggested that this would date the structure from about 1560 to 1660'.  Furtherc 'The results of analysis support an interpretation that this structure could be the "King's Bridge" associated with Greenwich Palace, and that the
    timbers currently visible may be the 1631 rebuild under Charles I'
    .  and  'Further downstream, a causeway and granite platform around the Queen's Stairs is now clearly visible, and a large chalk barge bed is appearing east of the causeway'.

    The latest progress report by the Greenwich FROG may be found at: 2013-14.

    Perhaps I could comment here that it is a pity some of this energy is not going into investigating what could be the remains of the 1690s jetty at what is now Enderbys - and also the early 19th century tide mill and causeway at what used to be called Riverway, where any evidence will almost certainly be completely destroyed soon with not even a single photograph. Mary

    This is the usual cheery newsletter with articles of current interest of work going on.

    SUBTERRANEA BRITANNICA are advertising their Autumn Meeting on 10th October which includes items on PLUTO and on the Thames Tunnel at Rotherhithe  info:

    TIDELINE ART. Mudlarker Nicola White has done a very interesting piece of research and constructed a whole life from a luggage label she found on the foreshore. Please read it http:/

    HISTORIC GAS TIMES - this includes an article from local gas historian Brian Sturt. It describes Gas Works Park in Seattle.  Happy to give details of what he says (might even ask him to come and speak to GIHS about it)  - Basically it is the same old story about how everywhere else in the world gas works remains are preserved ... but ... in England .....

    Now - they are more interested in Gravesend in saving bits of Greenwich than we are! The following web site  is mainly interested in the riverside and cement industry sites in Northfleet. They include however a whole page about the drawdock at the end of Blackwall Lane - which they describe as 'Greenwich Peninsular O2 Arena Slipway'.   It is well worth seeing what they say 'Greenwich Council would do well to insist that any further development ....  this much needed facility can be brought  back into use'.  They also provide 'vision drawings' of what could be done  'all this slipway needs is space for cars and boat trailors to park and then it is back in business'.

    Cory - now people in Spitalfields are more interested in the Charlton Riverside than we are.  I would recommend (thanks to Darryl) 'Among the Thames Lightermen' from Spitalfields Life  This is all about Corys which are still extant on the Charlton Riverside - and I think are a rather larger company than they appear and less easily picked off by developers. The article describes a voyage down river on one of their tugs which transport the city's waste (and the City's waste too) down river to where the rest of us can forget about it. (GIHS could do with a speaker on them too)

    IN HACKNEY BUT - the East End Waterway Group are pointing out threats from developers to buildings in Hackney Wick.  One of these is the first building where plastic (Parksine) was made on an industrial scale. They are also still concerned about Swan Wharf and Bream Street. (hope that works)

    I have been shown a copy of the Evening Standard 19th August 2015.  This refers to the area of Greenwich now apparently known as 'Telegraph Works' - which at least shows even developers listen to the Enderby Group.  However it goes on 'the site dates back to the Tudor Period when it served as a gunpowder store in Queen Elizabeth I's reign' ................... er .............. er - the gunpowder store was opened in the late 1690s which is 90 years after Elizabeth died..................... AND 'its last hurrah was as a tin foil factory which closed in 2013'.  Well hooray!! can someone please tell us more about this hitherto unknown works which only closed two years ago.  I don't rule its existence out - but Please tell us.

    Comments welcomed


    0 0
  • 09/16/15--07:59: Article 0

  • British archaeological awards.  Please follow the link below to nominate

    0 0

    The History of the Siemens Brothers Engineering Society,

    We have been kindly sent a copy of Brian Middlemiss's continuing history of the Society 2009-2013.   This continues on a previous work and a bibliography of items collected by the Society and deposited in Greenwich Heritage Centre.  Thanks to Brian for this and we hope to publish some extracts in due course.

    Last Tuesday Neil Bennett came to talk to the Society about the famous fire engine factory in Greenwich High Road.  Neil has now sent us a time line of Merryweather History - and again we hope to publish some extracts of this in the next few weeks
    Neil has also sent us news of his book on Merryweathers 'Sustained by Extinction'. He says it is far from finished but that he is prepared to let people see what he has done so far.  Please contact GIHS for his email.
    He has also forwarded a link from Ron Henderson to a film featuring Merryweathers mr_0010395_pl.mp4

    SS Robin - David Riddle has sent us a link to a web page about historic ship Robin - which was in the West India Dock, considered as a feature on the Greenwich riverside, but snaffled by Newham - and which is now in dire funding straits. https://docklockanddriver/

    Foundrydata - this is a heritage project about identifying old foundries. If people want to be involved in this and to help add to it please contact

    Prefab museum - we had a speaker, Elizabeth Blanchet, on this Lewisham based project last year. The museum itself was in a Lewisham prefab on the Excalibar Estate but a fire ended that. Elizabeth writes to say that they are still hoping to find somewhere to erect an old prefab from Brittany. Please see http://

    HAVE YOU SEEN THE NEW SCULPTURE ON THE PENINSULA - This is the 'pylon spectacle' - 'A bullet jumps from a shooting star' by  Alex Chinnock.
    "Referencing the history and heritage of a site that once housed the largest oil and gasworks in Europe. Chinneck effortlessly creates a sense of awe by literally flipping audiences expectations on their head. Inverting a electricity Pylon made from a combined length of 1186m of steel and weighing 15 tons, there will be over 400 pieces of steel with 900 engineered connection points".
    Go and see it - and be grateful someone on the Peninsula is taking a bit of notice of the industrial history of the site - or at least the adjacent site - it is on Point Wharf next to Ordnance Wharf and the gas works. 

    0 0

    Siemens Brothers was one of the most important of our local industries. Although they closed as long ago as 1968 the Engineering Society attached to the works has continued to meet until very recently.  As mentioned in an earlier post we have just received a supplementary volume to their original report published in 2009.
    This supplement is packed with interesting information about the Woolwich works - but before we go on here is a copy of their front page, a brief history of the Company so that we all know where we are.


    A brief history of the Company

    William Siemens first conducted business in London in 1843 and in 1847 became an Agent for Siemens & Halske. This company had been established in Germany that year by his elder brother Wemer and Johann Georg Halske, a highly skilled mechanical engineer. Siemens & Halske had established a telegraph factory in Berlin, but it became clear that London needed a permanent staff, warehouse and workshop and thus in 1858 the Siemens & Halske Company was founded in London, England. William, Wemer and Halske (who apart from being a partner, was also in charge ofthe workshop) paid in £1000 each.

    In 1863 with continued expansion, Siemens & Halske of London bought a piece of land on the Thames in Woolwich and built on it a cable factory, a mechanical workshop and stores. In1865 Halske withdrew his support from the Company; largely as a consequence of William and Halske's disagreements over the risks involved in the cable business. The two remaining partners, William and Werner Siemens, took over the assets of Siemens & Halske and re-registered the business as Siemens Brothers, London. Siemens Brothers became a Limited Company in 1880 and pioneered research, development, engineering and manufacture of Electrical Cables, Telegraph, Telephone, Signalling and Measuring Apparatus, Wireless Equipment, Lamps, Lights and Batteries.

    From its humble start at Woolwich, when employees averaged around 800 total, the Company grew to encompass over 20,000 employees world wide. Employees at Woolwich reached a peak in the WWII period of 9,500 total, but generally averaged around 8,000 in the post war years.          iJ

    In 1958 the Company celebrated its Centenary and was honoured with a visit by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. However the period 1958-1968 heralded many changes in the manufacturing industry. Siemens Brothers became Siemens Edison Swan, a part of the Associated Electrical Industries (AEI) Group, and was then renamed AEI Telecommunications. This period was coincident with the emergence of electronics and the Company again played a pioneering role in the design, development, manufacture and installation of the first electronic telephone exchanges. AEI was in turn taken over by GEC which led to the closure of the Woolwich Works in 1968. Ironically this closure was due mainly to serious over capacity in Britain's power generation manufacturing companies at a period when the ex-Siemens telecommunications business was flourishing.

    Brian Middlemiss 

    0 0

    A few newsletters and stuff have turned up over the past fortnight, not much, to be honest.

    Lewisham Local History Newsletter.  Really this edition is all about Forest Hill, and like places in Lewisham which even I can't argue are really in Greenwich! There is a note about a Heritage Exhibition on 10-17th October at St.Mary's Church, which will cover some of the joint history when in 918 lands in Greenwich and Lewisham were left to St.Peter's Abbey in Ghent. There is also an appeal for speakers on local history items at Manor House Library  on Wednesday mornings (info

    GLIAS Newsletter - This includes an article by Peter Butt on Millennium Mills - its not in Greenwich but you can see it from Greenwich!  Otherwise - they list the following meetings which might be of interest:
    17th February. GLIAS lecture. Father Thames, Still alive and kicking. The Changing Role of Thames Wharves.  David Hilling. Swedenborg Hall, Barter Street, WC1 6.30
    18th May. GLIAS AGM  The Gallery, Cowcross Street, EC1
    4th November. Trinity Buoy Wharf  by Eric Reynolds. Docklands History Group, Museum in Docklands 5.30 (well, again, you can see it from Greenwich)
    - and also - Danny Hayton and Andrew Turner's Greenwich Peninsula walk last Saturday seemed to go very well.  I understand it took over three hours to get round - and that they were advised by Elizabeth Pearcey at Enderby Wharf with piles of Enderby Group leaflets.  On the walk was a visitor from Germany  - Barbara Gasometra Berger - here to look at our gasholders, and hot on the heels of a previous visitor with similar intentions from Finland.  So, welcome, to Barbara, and glad she described our massive East Greenwich No.1. holder as 'adorable'.

    Beale of East Greenwich - Elizabeth Pearcey has shared with us an article from Newcomen Society Links (which is on a members only website).  This is by Bob Carr and talks about the rotary engine patented by Joshua Beale who had a works on part of the site  of Enderby Wharf in the early 19th century.  It is illustrated with a copy of part of his patent.  Rotary engines are an interesting subject and Bob is hoping to put forward the view that they were a more common and more long lasting design than has previously been thought.  More about the Beales in due course.
    Links also a note about the Enderby Group, its work and links to recent publications by Stewart Ash.

    English Heritage have sent us notes of some archaeological work about to start:
    Phase 7/8 Riverside, Woolwich (LAG/011/387)
    and PLOT M0401, OLD SCHOOL CLOSE, GREENWICH PENINSULA: 14/3601/F (LAG/011/271) - archaeology (this includes a full site briefing - happy to share if someone emails

    and - hope you have all been down to see Bullet from a Shooting Star.  It is on Point Wharf, by the way, not the gas works or any part of the gas works site.  It claims to be reminiscent of industry on the Peninsula - do we think that is so?  And do we have any thoughts on what is clearly a triumph of structural engineering??

    and - for thoughts on the 19th century telecoms revolution - try

    0 0

    Thanks to the Siemens Engineering Society we have an update - extracted from their new booklet - about what is happening on their old Woolwich site from the perspective of the Society.  Thanks to Brian Middlemiss who wrote and published the following piece (very slightly edited). Copies of the original are deposited at the Greenwich Heritage Centre



    "Our old Woolwich Works is now known as The Westminster Industrial Estate.


    Members of the Siemens Engineering Society wanted a memorial  to Siemens Brothers on the site of the old Woolwich Works. The site was owned and managed by The Co-operative Insurance Society and an industrial sculpture was suggested to link the past and the present. A sculptress produced a model based on a Motor Uniselector mounted on two cable drums". 
    Brian Middlemiss continues with what happened next:

    "The project went into a six month delay due to the popularity of the Sculptress following her London exhibition. However we were shocked to learn in October 2005 that the CIS had sold its entire Property Portfolio to AXA Real Estate  ....our project became a watching brief with updates every six months.

    AXA slowly developed their own plans for the site and put an architect's scheme in place which involved liaison with Greenwich Council, refurbishment and re-use (leasing) some of the original Siemens buildings and a residential aspect. This was a significant investment, interest had been expressed in the historical aspects of the site, but everything depended on the success of the AXA plans and the market demand for refurbished warehouse/workshop accommodation.

    The economic downturn in 2008 resulted in little progress being made. AXA confmned in April 2009 that a feasibility study for buildings 64 and 61 C (the old IR Building) had been completed with a projected expenditure of £3 .5m to refurbish them. However due the economic climate  and little demand the refurbishment project was mothballed. AtOctober 2009 there was no  meaningful progress, the plans still not being viable. AXA continued to manage the existing  tenants in the Victorian buildings and had been able to do some smalllettings in the buildings,  but in their existing condition. There was some progress on the more traditional warehouse  buildings, they had substantially refurbished four warehouse units along Warspite Road.

    Again there was little progress over the next six months to April 2010. However one avenue of  interest was received from film companies who wanted to use the buildings and surrounds for  filming adverts, pop videos and movies. It was hoped this may provide some short term income  and an agreement was signed with a location company. As a point of interest the film "Blow  Up" was partly filmed in Maryon Park opposite the Woolwich Works.

    There were no major changes on the estate, with no redevelopment or refurbishment plans for the multi-story warehouse buildings to report in October 2010. AXA had however just completed a major refurbishment of 150 Yate1y Street, which included full redecoration and a new roof and had let this unit to an importer of electricity generators from China. This area was where our staff canteen once stood. There had also been numerous film and stills photography enquiries and a couple of shoots had taken place; a pop video and a magazine shoot.

    A significant change had taken place by April 2011. The London Borough (LB) of Greenwich had announced the potential for expansion of residential development along the Thames frontage over a 20 year time frame.

    In early September 2011 I received an enquiry from Andrew Williamson of Mott MacDonald. The LB of Greenwich now planned to build a University Technical College (UTC) on our old site ana Mott MacDonald were the Project Managers. They needed to know more about the Siemens works and in particular the south western corner marked up on a map provided. With Bill Philpott's help we put together a quite detailed reply which provided some background; the nature of the business conducted on the site and specifically on the south western corner, known to ,us  as the Auto-Rack Wiring Shop G53.

    I had also mentioned in my reply that we kept a watching brief on the site in the long term hope that one day some sort of memorial or plaque would be put in place on the site to reflect the 100+ years occupancy by Siemens Brothers. Mr Williamson much appreciated our detailed and fascinating overview of the Siemens works which was very helpful to him, he was also especially fascinated by the industrial history. The proposed UTC would have specialisms in engineering and construction and was linked to industrial sponsors. He suggested that this link , may be of interest to the UTC and he forwarded our comments to the College. I seized the opportunity and sent another email which detailed the very close links and long association  between Siemens Brothers, the Engineering Society and Lewisham College [the old SELTEC] now a part of the University of Greenwich, one of the sponsors of the new UTC. As events later transpired, this proved to be a significant piece of information.

    By Oct 2011 the proposal that the LB of Greenwich planned to build a UTC on our old site had been formally announced. In February 2012 the LB of Greenwich produced their long term strategy report for "Charlton Riverside" all 54 pages of it, which I made available to members at our April 2012 meeting. The proposal to build a UTC on our old site had been agreed and the south western corner of the site had been sold to the LB of Greenwich. They had also purchased the former Victorian school, next to our old site, at the time this school was known as Holborn College.

    By October 2012 the Holborn College building had been restored as a primary school and had reopened in September 2012. The land on the south western corner of our site, sold to the LB of'Greenwich, was now being redeveloped for use as a UTC and it was intended that it would open in September 2013. So after many years it was all happening on our old site, with the exception that the situation regarding the old Victorian multi-storey buildings remained unchanged.

    At our April 2013 meeting I was able to report that the UTC development was progressing on schedule with the planned opening in September 2013. Events had also moved forward with regard to the older multi-storey buildings. AXA were carrying out an exercise of cleaning the vacant buildings including the removal of asbestos and de-contamination further to pigeon infestation. Increased interest was being received (predominately from house builders and developers) in the buildings due to the longer term plans for the Charlton Riverside area. AXA had also now sold 50 Bowater Road to the adjoining owner, who was planning to refurbish the  building and expand their business of letting small suites to artists and small creative businesses. At our final meeting in October 2013 I reported that the Greenwich UTC was virtually complete and that the College was enrolling its first students. The building was to be formally opened on
    24 October 2013, this proved to be a significant event for the Society - more later. The multi- storey buildings were still undergoing the cleaning and asbestos removal process which was due to be completed in January 2014
    . There was still interest in the multi-storey buildings for residential use, however, Greenwich Council were now unsure as to whether they want to allow this use on the estate and it may be that they allocate the area as strategic industrial land in the next local plan. This would fix the use for the next 15 years. AXA, not surprisingly, were trying to resist this as the buildings were not really a viable commercial proposition in the current use as not many modem occupiers want to be located above ground floor.
    There is clearly a sense of irony that our old site could be allocated as strategic industrial land, back where it all started well over 100 years ago.

    0 0
  • 10/13/15--01:59: MERRYWEATHERS - America

  • Neil Bennett has given a number of talks on Merryweathers - the Greenwich based fire engine manufacturers. He has also given information and advice to numerous enquirers and has been a great source of knowledge.    He has recently sent us a 'time line' of Merryweathers - and we give the first part of this below, together with Fire Engine America from the Merryweather catalogue.




    This class of Engine is one of Messrs. Merryweather and Sons’ SINGLE CYLINDER STEAM FIRE ENTGINES specially designed and built for the Santiago, Valparaiso, Iquique, Lima, Callao, Coquimbo, Guadeloupe, and other fire departments of South America.
    The general construction of the Engine is upon the well known principle peculiar to the makers, and is mounted with a Merryweather and Field Improved Boiler, capable of raising steam from cold water in eight minutes from the time of lighting-the fire.
    In addition to the usual fittings supplied with the ordinary Engines, this class of Engine is fitted with a copper water tank, fixed underneath the framework of the Engine. This tank will contain enough fresh water for two hours' supply to t he boiler, it being essential to feed the boiler with fresh water when the Engine is used for pumping salt water for fire-extinguishing- purposes. This tank is fitted with a glass water gauge and a funnel for filling with brass cover, with other suitable fittings. The feed pump and injector, with both of which the Engine is furnished, derive their source of supply from this tank.
    The wheels of the Engine are made with extra broad tyres to protect the wood rims, which are of tank or hickory; the hubs or locks of the wheels are of iron, polished, and fitted with gun-metal caps. Immediately over the steam cylinders is a tool box for the Engineers’~ tools, oil can, cotton waste, nozzles, etc. Two pressure gauges are fitted on front of the tool box, one indicating the steam pressure in the boiler, and the other the water pressure in the pump.
    These Engines are arranged to carry only the coachman in the Front with two ”look-out" men (one at each side of the coachman).  Behind they are constructed for carrying the stoker and engineer for which purpose there is an iron foot-plate and hand rail, so that the boiler may be fired en route to its destination.
    The boiler is fitted with spring-balance safety valve, and extra locked patent spring safety valve. In the Front part of the Engine is another tool box to carry the larger tools, which is surmounted by a polished bell. The Engine is fitted with a pair of polished brass lamps with the number of the company engraved on the glass. two extra lamp sockets are provided on the box, so that the lamps may moved to throw a light on the engine when in work at a fire; and in front, immediately under the driving seat , are a couple of other buckets for the general use of the engineer. Although the Engine is shown in the illustration with a pole and sway bars for attaching a pair of horses, it is sometimes supplied with an iron hand pole and drag rope for use when drawn by men.
    The Engine is made in three sizes, the smallest one having a straight frame instead of the curved ones shown in the illustration.
    Throughout, the Engine, in addition to its first-class finish in the working parts is handsomely appointed.
    The frames are of polished angle iron or steel, or handsomely painted, -
    The boiler is mounted with a highly-burnished brass lagging and chimney casing.
    There are extra steam and water gauges to the boiler, so that the engineer and stoker can see their respective gauges without moving from their posts.
    The wheels have polished hubs and are elaborately painted and gold-lined on their felloes and spokes.
    The tool-boxes are of polished mahogany, or of mahogany painted and lined in gold.
    The bell is polished, and handsomely engraved with the name, number, or arms at' the brigade.
    The air-vessels are of copper, burnished; and the pumps are of gun-metal or phosphor bronze, highly finished.
    The buckets are of leather, painted and lettered, and the tools are all of polished steel. The Engine throughout is of the best construction and material.
    By means of "dividing breechings" each Engine will pump three or four jets of water simultaneously.
    The following articles are included with each Engine:-injector with Tank complete  Pressure Gauges Feed Pump, Feed from main Pump, one Copper  Strainer, four Copper Branch Pipes (two long and two short). two supports for branch pipes, six gun metal nozzles, four handsome brass lamps with reflectors, water bags for wheels, engine hose and suction wrenches, shifting wrench, stoking irons, Oil cans, spare valve facings, and gauge glasses, and sway bars for horses, hand pole and ropes, complete without suction and delivery hoses
    Printed instructions for working-and keeping Fire Engines in order are sent with each Engine.
    NOTE: for use with Steam Fire Engine leather hose is preferable to either rubber, lined canvas or plain leather hose as it Iasts many years and can be easily repaired if injured at a fire. Canvas hose cannot be repaired with facility neither is it serviceable for hard and rough usage as it is quickly damaged by over rough roads, flint walls, and slate roofs.
    Extra for improved Lever Brake to act on both hind wheels, £10.
    Greenwich Road, S.E.; and 63, Long Acre, WC London.

    Merryweather and Sons Time-line


    Merryweather - the early days of the firm before they arrived in Greenwich

    1666 onwards - (Great Fire of London: After slow recovery and reconstruction, the town gives increased attention to fire precautions; virtually nothing had been done for five hundred years)

    c. 1690 or 1692 - Nathaniel Hadley. ‘Cross Street’ London. Manufacture of small manual pumps, leather fire buckets etc.

    1738 – fire engine factory built, corner of Bow Street and Long Acre. 63 Long Acre and Nathaniel Hadley moved in

    1750– Adam Nuttall started a company in Long Acre building manual fire pumps.

    1765 - Adam Neuttall’s widow Elizabeth, in Long Acre, advertised as fire engine maker to the King and Navy.

    1799 – by this time predecessors of Merryweather supplied black jacks (leather tankard ‘bottels’) and coal buckets to the Greenwich Hospital.

    1807 - Moses M apprenticed to fire applicance maker Hadley.

    1823 – Hadley & Simpkin at 63 Long Acre listed as Engine Makers.
    1829 Braithwaite & Ericsson make the first steam fire engine, but it was not adopted for public use. Parts of their engines probably used to make the Novelty for the Rainhill Trials. Moses Merryweather  is described as Managing Clerk to Hadley & Co, Long Acre.

    1834 - Moses Merryweather assisted at a fire at the Houses of Parliament, An experimental Braithwaite & Ericsson engine worked well at this fire.
    1836 - Moses Merryweather took control of the firm and renamed it.
    1838 - Moses Merryweather assisted at a fire in Inner Temple, London. A fire in the engine room of I.K. Brunel’s ship the Great Western was doused by a Merryweather fire engine/auxiliary pump. 



    0 0
  • 11/11/15--12:57: NEW BOOK ABOUT THE PENINSULA

    £8 plus £2 packing and postage.  by post to M.Wright, 24 Humber Road, SE37LT  or email
    also available SABO Crooms Hill, SE10. or Warwick Leadlay Nelson Road SE10
    (other potential outlets please make contact)

    0 0

    More news - the gap being caused by me (Mary) being so busy with my new book.
    (Innovation, Enterprise and Change on the Greenwich Peninsula. Available from me £8 plus pp £2 - happy to deliver if you live round here)

    Prefab Museum - this project, originally based in Lewisham, has a Brockley prefab walk on 5th December. Check out

    Blackheath Scientific Society. Meeting 20th November, 7.45 Mycenae House, Mycenae Road, SE3  Paul Ryan on TV Gathering the Strands.   This is about outside broadcasting.  Info 020 8854 3389

    We have been asked for more details on the Shooters Hill Abbatoir.   Grateful for info we can pass on - GIHS did publish an article on the abbatoir and the police raid there and the article is at

    We have also been asked for info on pay and conditions in the 1930s at Frederick Braby's Ida Works in Deptford, and Elliotts in Lewisham.  They are also interested in social conditions around the factories and any trade union involvement.

    Battle of Waterloo. This is going to take place at the Old Royal Naval College on 5th December at 6.30 https:/

    Stuart Rankin has sent us a link to a programme for the launch of HMS Albion - which caused a massive wave where several people were drowned off Woolwich. http://www.britishtransporttrreasures/product/souvenir-of-the-launch-of-hms-albion-by-h-r-h-the-duchess-of-york-june-21st-1898-ebook/

    The Lenox Project have a new promotional t shirt for sale as well as other things to fund raise and get you into a present buying mode -

    Archaeology - we are told by English Heritage that work is about to start on the western area of the Alcatel Lucent site. Happy to send links, please contact.,

    We have an email from someone who has bought an old pewter mug with'Sea Witch East Greenwich' engraved on it.   The Sea Witch was on the riverside near where the silos stood until recently. Grateful for more info.

    Henry - at a recent GIHS meeting John King talked about Sir Francis Joseph and it appears that he was involved with Henry's Sacks in Blackwall Lane.  We know a bit about the firm but it would be good to pass more onto John.  Joseph described how in May 1931 he visited Imperial Wharf in Greenwich - and was not happy with what he saw there. We also have a description of the works and their contribution to the Second World War effort - mainly through producing sacks to put things in which were needed for the war. 

    Julie Tadman has sent us a list of local water mills insuredin 1824 - this includes Barratts water corn mill at Bugsby's Hole and Riches stream and water corn mills at Greenwich.

    Old Loyal Britons - there has been a long planning battle over this old pub in Thames Street and a great deal of research into the building. We were send info in October - but this is now clearly out of date. Would appreciate an update. Planning officers were apparently claiming that it couldn't be old and worth keeping because they said it had been bombed,  Researchers were denying this and saying the building was original.

    We have a leaflet from the propeller foundry - would be grateful to hear from them again. Why is it called 'propeller foundry'  - we thought Stone's propeller factory was in Charlton and that what you have in Deptford is the office block. Please explain.

    Treason's Harbours.  This is the published version of a conference run by the Naval Dockyards Society in 2011.   It includes articles all of which have some relevance to the Royal Dockyards at Deptford and Woolwich. 'The Dog in the Nighttime. Dockyard in the Genre of Naval Historical Fiction', 'All a-sparkle with Gun flashes. The Bay of Rosas in Naval Literature; 'Art in Dockyards'  'The Iron Slip Roof Cover Roofs of the Royal Dockyards 1844-1857' and "The Application and Scheme of Paintworks in British Men-of-War during the late 18th and early 19th Centuries".  As well as book reviews and notices.

    PEPYS - and coke. We note the forthcoming exhibition locally about diarist Samuel Pepys. We hope that there is mention of the first time coke (as in processed coal) is noted - Pepys said he saw it being made in Greenwich having disembarked from the ferry.   Another Greenwich first - so - is it in the exhibition, or once again are industrial firsts locally too indecent for posh exhibitions at the Maritime Museum.

    0 0
  • 11/19/15--03:59: Goodness - more news already

  • Check out new ways of buying my book on Innovation on the Greenwich Peninsula -

    also - would be very grateful for any local outlet which could sell copies for us - or take some flyers for it (do understand if you might not want to sell)

    Also I will be doing presentations on the peninsula for Greenwich Libraries

    Greenwich Centre Library Wednesday 16th December 18:00-20:00
    Blackheath Library Thursday 17th December 19.00-20.00

    Lewisham History Journal - the latest Journal has come from Lewisham Local History Society. No 23
    It includes articles about George England's (very interesting 19th century at New Cross) Hatcham Iron Works; Industrial Homes in Forest Hill, and Edward Hatfull, Survivor of Trafalgar (he was born in Watergate Street - which is, just, in Greenwich of course.
    Also they advertise:
    29th January - meeting about, our own, Severndroog Castle. and
    26th February - meeting about Tolls, trains and canals (this will be the bit round New Cross)
    both at the Methodist Church Hall, Albion Way, Lewisham 7.30-7.45

    Peter Kent - has an exhibition of his major new work on current developments in Greenwich and beyond. This is three drawings - aeriel panoramas.
    4th December - to 23rd December - Greenwich Gallery, Peyton Place, SE10
    or call Tony Othen  020 8465 5968  07956 456647

    Thames Discover Programme Foreshore Forum - the next meeting is at the Society of Antiquaries.  on 5th December. No link on the piece of paper they sent me - but there is a web site somewhere.

    Friends of Greenwich Park Newsletter - this includes some info on their new history group, which sounds all very interesting. There is a meeting on 7th December at 11 in the Wildlife Centre.  The newsletter also gives details of archaeologists busy on the site of the Old Keepers Cottage with lots of interesting finds.  They also say they are trying to build up a picture of the buildings which were once on the site - which is a nice change for archaeologists!  There is also a note about a project about the Great War and the role of the park and its staff in it.  Their annual lecture is by Pieter Van Der Merwe on Painters and the Park 21st February in the morning, and you have to book.

    Facebook  - for some time we have been looking at all the interesting telecoms related information on the Scrambled Messages Facebook Page - they even have our own Enderby Wharf as their banner picture. Look them up, its a great - Bristol based - site.
    We have now also discovered GooseyGoo which lists industrial sites where there are campaigns or concerned residents and others trying to get them listed, saved, turned into a museum, photographed before demolition, or whatever.  Its another great Facebook site - look them up too. Goosey Goo also has a web page - check out the Enderby Group on it

    Greenwich Society Newsletter - they advertise their annual lecture which is about Fortnum and Masons (suppose that is marginally industrial, but not a Greenwich subject) - its £10 to go in and its on 22nd November in the Maritime Museum Lecture Theatre. see 
    They also advertise their Question and Answer Session with Matt Pennycook (16th Jan 11 am - dunno where).  27th February Annual Quiz.  They have included a note about the Enderby Group (thank you very much) and GIHS future meetings (thank you again - very grateful).

    Also check out new ways of buying my book on Innovation on the Greenwich Peninsula - (and thanks Rob for sorting this out)

    0 0

    BETTER (which is Greenwich Library Department, as was)says

    Come and join us for some  fascinating talks with author and historian Mary Mills who will be launching her new book-Innovation, Enterprise and Change on the Greenwich Peninsula’.  Looking at a new history of the peninsula, its industries and how they brought change to both Greenwich and the world

    Wednesday 16th December 2015  6.00-7.00pm At Greenwich Centre Library

    Thursday 17th December 2015 7.00-8.00pm At Blackheath Library


    - this is their new programme - all talks at the Museum of London Docklands. E14 5.30 for 6
    3rd February - David Hilling. On barge carrier systems
    2nd March - Len Taphouse. Five years a Dockyard apprentice
    6th April  Edward Sargent. The Port of London Authority's works programme in the First World War
    4th May  Joan Lock. The Princess Alice Disaster
    1st June. Des Pawson. For Sailor, Rigger and Sailmaker. Tools for the Rope and Canvas Working Trades
    6th July. Peter Finch. The River Thames Society 

    They also report on their November meeting which was on Trinity Buoy Wharf - which is just the other side of the river from GMV - where there is a small lighthouse. We are asking their permission to reproduce this.  Their October meeting was about Roman Walbrook and their August meeting was our own Richard Buchanan on Enderbys.


    We have been given a link to an organisation which hopes to rebuild the Cutty Sark (hope they don't spoil bids for funding for the Lenox!!).  http//


    TIDAL THAMES NEWS - this bulletin from the Port of London Authority comes regularly. You have to subscribe to it because it is all fixed up so you can't forward it to your friends.  This month has an article about new Clippers for the passenger service.

    The latest issue of Industrial Archaeology  has come in the post. No articles about Greenwich - in fact the nearest they get to us in this issue is Cumbria. There is however a very short review of Brian Strong's GLIAS article on the east Greenwich tide mill.



    0 0
  • 12/11/15--01:00: News items yet again

  • Sorry to keep pushing my own works. Need to be a bit shameless maybe,

    'Innovation, Enterprise and Change on the Greenwich Peninsula' is still available (but I have just opened the LAST BOX).  Copies are for sale at Sabo, Stockwell Street, The Warwick Leadlay Galley, Nelson Road,  Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Centre, and the NOW Galley, Greenwich Peninsula Square. or from me Or from Rob who can also handle paypal.
    - and also buy some of Rob's wonderful calendars of Greenwich or the Thames

    Also -next week - I am doing presentations on the peninsula and its history:
    16th Wednesday - 6.00-700 Greenwich Centre Library
    17th Thursday - 7-8 Blackheath Library

    Great launch event at the Greenwich Gallery for Peter Kent's amazing 'The Birth of London's Newest City'.  Go and see it - its on until the 23rd.  9-5.30  weekdays, 12-4 weekends.  Honestly. This is amazing. (the sponsors)

    As ever - various events
    20th January - The Archaeology and History of the Kings Cross Goods Yard.  Rebecca Haslam.  6.30 Swedenborg Hall.
    17th February. Father Thames. Still alive and kicking. The changing role of Thames Wharves.  David Hilling. 6.30 Swedenborg Hall.
    16th March,  Gold Refining in London.  Michaele Blagg. 6.30 75 Cowcross Street
    20th April The Restoration of Historic Buildings. An Engineer's perspective. 6.15 75 Cowcross Street
    18th May. AGM.  Played in London. The Heritage of a City at Play. Simon Inglis  6.15 75 Cowcross Street

    Guided Towpath Walks by the Inland Waterways Association, all over Christmas.
    10th February. Newcomen Society. Susan Mossman on 'Onward ever' Henry Bessemer and his Works.  5.45  Science Museum (bet she doesn't mention his Greenwich Works)
    SERIAC - 23rd April. Kingston on Thames.

    The GLIAS Newsletter also lists down items from the London Archaeologists Fieldwork Roundup for 2014.. Greenwich items are:
    Enderby House. evaluation to locate c17-18 gunpowder magazine built 1694. Found C17 brick foundation and robbed wall of magazine
    King Henry's Dock SE18. evaluation of site of Graving Dock found three phases of features: timber posts and a horizontal beam from an early phase: a wall from the second phase: and a mooring bollard and two brick structures 'most likely a dock crane' from the post 1850's phase.
    Greenwich Market - building survey: designed by Joseph Kay. 1833. Hipped roof of market is steel based structure of 1905-8
    Pelton Road and Commerell Street SE10. industrial buildings.
    Convoys Wharf. found brick and concrete wall foundations and possibly crane bases from the Nineteenth Century; a stone structrure which could be part of Stern Dock Entrance and a possible continuation of a slipway wall. Also dug test pits inside and outside the Olympia Building and a cast iron structure of 1844 originally erected as cover for Slipways.

    There is also an article praising Rich Sylvester's Greenwich Peninsula map  and urges that it be made more available

    Arco Trent - another article in the GLIAS Newsletter  discusses Richard Wilson's ''Slice of Reality' which has been round the back of the Dome since 2000. It says that this was originally the Arco Trent built in 1971. 'Originally a dredger, in later life she served as a floating booster station, modified to assist other vessels in the discharge of aggregate at more remote locations, even in open water'.  She is currently used as a studi
    Finally - there is a note in the newsletter from Gillian Friar who has a collection of books and research materials about John Evelyn and would be happy to donate them to someone interested.

    This is the Association for Industrial Archaeology's Winter 2015 edition.
    They advertise their new web site
    The edition also includes an article on Enderby Wharf - this is by - er - me - and there is also a small advert for my new book - so, thanks AIA.

    18th December  - talks on Mechanical Calculators, My Wife's Iron Fork, The Last Vulcan Bomber Flight. 
    15th January - Managing the Crossness Nature Reserve.
    both at Mycenae House n7.45

    Their winter fair is 12th December (that's tomorrow) at Lewisham Arthouse, 140 Lewisham Way. 11-6.  lots of new t-shirts, and other stud with a 'fabulous design'.  You can also buy direct from them.  They also have a new brochure which is available on their web site.

    MARIE CELESTE DE CASTERAS. Ann Dingsdale writes: " I am researching the 1,499 women who signed the 1866 womens' suffrage petition in 1866.  We plan to celebrate the local women who signed with a walk in May to mark the 150th anniversary (40 years before the Suffragettes!)

    I have been interested to find that one woman who signed in Greenwich took out some interesting engineering patents in the early 1860's, and if GIHS know anything more about her.   She was Marie Celeste de Castres SInibaldi, a naturalised Frenchwoman,born 1808, and married to a Corsican professor of Italian,  Luigi Sinibaldi. Iin the 1860's she was living at 1 South Villas, South
    Street. Her son was an engineer,Napoleon Sinibaldi and hHer brother in law Pierre Sinibaldi was a
    Military Engineer.

    These are the details of the patents: 1862 October 31 No 2945. Improvements in the manufacture of armour plates for ships fortifications and forts, and in the manufacture of plates to be used  in the construction and building of ships and for other purposes, and  for attaching copper or other like protective metal to the outside of metal plates for making copper bottoms or bottoms with a similar protection to Iron ships. The method of constructing armour plates for building ships of war is to use laminated plates combining iron and steel and also plates of iron without steel perfectly wrought and to unite them by soldering with copper brass or other metal in the manner described. To procure great strength laminated plates of steel and iron are used in combination. Plates for building ships for the merchant service are manufactured in like manner but with thinner plates. By the same means I produce all other formation of iron for machinery, beams and other purposes.By the process described, an external coat of copper or other protective metal can be given to each plate of iron which when the plates are used in the construction of ships will produce the effect of copper bottoms

    August 22, 1862. 2205. To Marie Celeste Sinibaldi of 1, South villas South-street, Greenwich, in the county of Kent, for the invention of "improvements in the manufacture of chains, and in the
    apparatus employed therein."

    Notes of meetings - but all they do is West London - and I know they would blame us for not offering them a  south east  London Labour Heritage Day.  However......
    20th February  West London History Day.  Ruskin Hall, Acton,. W3
    21st May AGM. Unite the Union Offices, Holborn, WC2

    EAST END WATERWAYS GROUP- only just over the other side of the river -  they have sent us details of their letters on planning proposals for the Hackney Wick area - 'the science park of the 1840s'.  Happy to pass details on.

    0 0

    This post really a lot of small items about this and that. Depths of winter must be a bad time for news of industrial history in Greenwich. 

    GIHS has however been very busy with an excellent talk by Polly and Michael about Ballast Quay - and shortly something from David Ramzam on sports history in Greenwich.  The Enderby Group has been busy too with plans for events and publications. Last night Friends of the Foot Tunnels had their AGM and hope to announce something very interesting soon - and - by the way - does anyone feel friendly towards the Blackwall Tunnel?? I thought probably not, but, that doesn't mean we should ignore its past and the ideas behind it construction, both in engineering and ideological terms,


    Rich Sylvester is doing a talk at Greenwich Library Lates about history map 
    Wednesday, 3rd February Making an East Greenwich History Map. Rich Sylvester will share stories, images and objects that have contributed  to this unique local history map designed by Luke Eastop.
    Complimentary copies of the map available. Rich is a local resident, storyteller and guide.
    Follow Rich at  18:30 - 20:00

    London Walks - the Enderby Group has been keen to point out the connection, throught the mega-ship Great Eastern, of Enderby Wharf with 19th century mega engineers, Brunel, father and son.  The Rotherhithe based Brunel Museum runs a series of Brunel walks, which although they don't visit Enderby Wharf, it is pointed out.  Please encourage them to do more - and also visit the excellent little Museum, which is at the rear of Rotherhithe Station
    Walks include Sundays at 10.45 at Bermondsey Tube. and Saturdays and Thursdays Brunel's London - 10.45 from Embankment Tube.

    Stuart Rankin - who used to be Rothethithe based and did a lot of research there on shipbuilding is now based in Spain and has sent us links to his British Transport Treasures business.

    BRITISH TRANSPORT TREASURES makes available material relating to the topic. Prices range from 50p for a simple leaflet, to around £5 for a book of 300 pages plus.
    A donation of 5p for each download purchased will go to HELP FOR HEROES.
     An unusual selection of photographs “enhanced”  to improve definition for use in stereoscopic lantern slides by a specialist image processing company in Karlsruhe  Germany. Views include the recently completed Tower Bridge, The Tower, London Bridge, Thames Embankment, the Thames and the Houses of Parliament, and the Southwark H.Q. of the London Fire Brigade.This is an unusual item featuring a technique already obsolescent, which was abandoned c1900
    London Bridge, Engineering works in Stamford Street, Shipbuilding at Greenwich etc
    Greenwich Pageant - we have a request for information on this event in 1933 - this is from someone who has a metal badge from the event
    Labour Heritage - draw attention to an interesting series of talks in Parliament, on prominent parliamentarians. Sadly, the one with the most Greenwich links has passed - this was a talk on James Callaghan, who, of course, lived in Greenwich. Future talks will be on Jo Grimond,  Harold Wilson,  Hugh Gaitskill, Anthony Eden, Michael Foot, Edward Heath, John Smith, Charles Kennedy and Clement Attlee.  There is a ticketing system and numbers of strictly rationed. Please get back GIHS for details of what you have to do to get on the list for a ticket for a specific talk,
    Blackheath Scientific Society - next meeting is 19th February on Energy Storage. 7.45 Mycenae House. Their newsletter records a visit from a member to a forge in Docklands on a barge. The blacksmith was demonstrating his wares in the Ballast Quay Garden.  Another member to make a contribution was Terry Watts with a collection of calculating machines - please tell us more about them, Terry??
    Blackwall Tunnel - we have a request asking for details of the men killed during construction - any info gratefully received.
    Someone else has asked us if we think there would have been a strong demand for carpenters working in Greenwich in the 1860s???
    London 1840. This is a project to build a scale model of London from Paddington to Greenwich (by Greenwich I fear they do not mean anything industrial!! just a lot of rather nice houses).
    LAMAS - they are advertising their Annual Conference of London Archaeologists on 19th March. This includes - last on the agenda - an item about Royal Naval Pensioners based on the evidence of their skeletons. Info John Cotton, Early Department, Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2Y5HN

older | 1 | .... | 5 | 6 | (Page 7) | 8 | 9 | .... | 14 | newer