Saturday, 10 November 2018








PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF SPEAKER FOR  TUESDAY 13TH


Wednesday, 24 October 2018

and lots and lots and lots of news

GASHOLDER

The Council's response to the gasholder petition is on page 76 of the following: http://committees.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/documents/g4783/Public%20reports%20pack%2031st-Oct-2018%2019.00%20Council.pdf?T=10

we are thinking about our next move
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ARCHIVE ISSUES

GAUF - the Greenwich Archive Users Forum are still in discussion on this dreadful issue with the Council and with the Greenwich Heritage Trust.

Tomorrow - 25th October - the Council's Regeneration Scrutiny Panel is  discussing a report on the planned arts centre to replace the Heritage Centre and Archive.  GAUF members are going along with questions themselves.

(Council scrutiny panels are made up of backbench councillors so that they can question the Cabinet and officers about decisions they have made.  Members of the public are encouraged to go along and submit questions on issues to be raised.)

Next Wednesday, 31st, is rhe full Council meeting. GAUF members and others have put down questions to be answered by the Coincil about the closure of the archive and future plans.


Campaigners - looking at the legal background - note the following
Local planning authorities should maintain or have access to a historic environment record.  This should contain up-to-date evidence about the historic environment in their area and be used to:
a) assess the significance of heritage assets and the contribution they make to their environment; and
b) predict the likelihood that currently unidentified heritage assets, particularly sites of historic and archaeological interest, will be discovered in the future.

Local planning authorities should make information about the historic environment, gathered as part of policy-making or development management, publicly accessible.



INDUSTRIAL SITES BEING CLOSED DOWN AND 'REGENERATED'


There are several planning applications coming in for sites in Charlton and else where


FLINT GLASS WHARF

This is a Charlton riverside site apparently on the site of the Johnson and Jorgensen glass works,  This was founded by two   Norwegians who came to England to sell Arctic products in 1884. They became involved with Scandinavian glass works' interests. They imported glass bottles and then built their factory at the end of Herringham Road needing 300 octagon piles of concrete to build. Bottles were then imported from Scandinavia. They became the biggest producer of phials in Europe made with tubular glass imported from Germany. They also made glass tableware in the 1930s and along with United Glass made the majority of wine glasses used in pubs and hotels. In the 1960 they began plastic moulding and made bottle closures. In the 1960s they opened a big new factory and by 1970s were the biggest manufacturers of glass ampoules in Europe. However their big warehouse was expensive to manage. The factory closed in 1981 and the 1920s buildings demolished.


Cory - although we have no information about closure or a planning application we understand that Cory have decided to focus on their river site in Gravesend, making 6 redundancies.  The barge yard is really the last gasp of Greenwich's traditional riverside industries,

Wlliam Cory had a coal business from 1838. Off Charlton they moored Atlas, a disused salvage vessel, used as a floating coal berth and known locally as 'The Derrick'. A second Derrick was built in 1865 as did another Atlas. In 1893 Atlas III was built in Newcastle and remained in use until 1902. The barge works here was set up in 1873. Cory Environmental operate their lighterage business from here. There are two dry docks servicing their tug fleet which is made up of six vessels regularly engaged in the transportation of waste. They include twin screw tug Regain, the first lighterage tug to be built for use on the Thames in 30 years.

Rockwell. The Rockwell development in Anchor and Hope Lane, on the VIP Trading Estate site is now with the Mayor - Greenwich having refused planning consent for development, so someone else is going to make sure the developers get their way. At the back of the site is the  line of the Glenton
Railway which ran from the Valley to the River.  We understand there are still some rails extant,
Glenton's Sand and Ballast Railway.
This railway was built in 1840 by entrepreneur and developer Lewis Glenton. It ran from sand pits in the Charlton Football Ground area to the river. Later British Ropes took over the northern portion to move flax and hemp from the river to their works, and some remains of the railway remain on that site.

Morden Wharf - this is the very large site on the Peninsula alongside the Blackwall Tunnel Approach - all those red pipes.  This was a complex industrial site - so no detail but to remind people that part of the site was the glucose refinery demolished a few years back.  A new preliminary and exploratory approach to the Council wants to demolish Thames Bank House - the large office block alongside Morden Wharf Road and to have a 'residential led' application

Siemens sites - a large development by U&I on what were Siemens buildings. The buildings were granted Immunity from Listing by the Government - no consultation, obviously. There have beeb attempts to reverse this ..but "we've not had much luck so far....the case for listing the early range was reasonably strong …………...but the arguments didn't work.... still, they could be put forward again, in spite of the immunity from listing. It's a pity that the current proposals intend demolishing more extensively, .......................there are obvious arguments about the local importance of Siemens, about demolition in conservation areas, etc, but I suspect they will carry little weight".  

Spray Street and Woolwich Market.  The indoor market has now been listed. See Darryl's piece https://853london.com/2018/10/17/spray-street-demolitions-woolwich-public-market-gets-grade-ii-listed-status-from-historic-england/

all these extracts about industries from Edith Streets blog https://edithsstreets.blogspot.com

PLUMSTEAD

Our Plumstead correspondent tells us that the former Weaver mineral water factory at 64 Plumstead High Street is being 'hacked about, presumably to allow large vehicles and/or equipment through the arch.  Huge chunks of it were removed using a drill'. They are asking the Council to take enforcement action.

The Plumstead Station footbridge. A decision, on what could have resulted in the demolition of the Victorian footbridge at Plumstead Railway Station, was delayed by four weeks at the Planning Board. A temporary stay of execution was decided following requests for deferral from residents (including a GIHS member), Positive Plumstead Project, Glyndon and Plumstead ward councillors, in addition to many detailed questions from the Woolwich and Thamesmead Area Planning Committee. This provides a short time frame for a further site visit, wider sharing of documents and consideration of alternative designs that could allow both step-free access and retention of the existing footbridge. Representatives from Network Rail reported that the bridge is in very good condition.


CONFERENCES



Association of British Transport Museums & London Museum of Water & Steam seminar on  Operating and Conserving Historic Industrial & Transport Collections at the London Museum of Water & Steam 21st November 2018

This event provides an opportunity to hear more about the new document and hear case studies illustrating the issues faced by those conserving and operating and industrial transport collections. Speakers include Paul & Joyce Jefford, case study contributors to the Guidelines, Christopher Binks from the National Railway Museum and Efstathios Tsolis who as part of the International Railway Heritage Consultancy helped compile the new document.

Tickets for the event cost £25. Register using Eventbrite

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/abtem-late-autumn-seminar-operating-and-conserving-historic-industrial-transport-collections-tickets-51195219279 and then pay for the ticket by using the  link: https://lmws.digitickets.co.uk/tickets/ For further information please contact Tim Bryan (ABTEM Chairman) 

Thames Estuary Partnership  TEP Annual Forum 2018  The Thames 2050: Fit for the future? The aim of the conference is to give a comprehensive briefing across key areas of interest and relevance happening across the Thames Estuary that are of importance to our stakeholders and audience. As the title suggests, we want to explore how we can make the Thames fit for the future in 2050. Wednesday 14 November 15 Hatfields

Docklands History Group. The Group has organised a seminar for new researchers that will take place on Saturday 24th November.  This has been organised by a group of undergraduate and graduate researchers and will give an opportunity for them to share the results of the work.  This will be the second annual seminar for new researchers and will feature a range of topics broadly within four subject-areas as follows:  Exploring Archive Material;  Managing the Thames and Supporting Leisure;  The importance of the Thames in the First World War; and Dockside Communities and Port Labour.  Tickets for the seminar cost £10 and can be booked through Eventbrite.  

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Lots and lots of news here today


This posting covers a lot of ground - there is so much going on and all the newsletters come out at once.  The big stuff - the ferry - the archive - is all at the end.  Keep reading!...……………. 

LAYERS OF LONON

Barbara has sent us this link to a meeting at Charlton House for a meeting by an organisation called Layers of London

Let’s all go along and find out what it’s all about – what they can do for of Greenwich historians – and what we can do for them
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ENDERBY WHARF AND HOUSE

A gate has now been installed at the top of the steps which go down into the river which were used for a  ferry which accessed  the cable ships moored out in the river (see https://greenwichindustrialhistory.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-steps-at-enderbys-and-whole-wissue.html)
We understand a plaque is to be installed  - does anybody know what it says? and if it makes any sense

Enderby Group -by the way - are still waiting for an invitation from Barratts to see the refurbished house.
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LEWISHAM LOCAL HISTORY NEWSLETTER



Lots of little mentions of Greenwich in the current newsletter. 

---- a visit to see the painted hall ceiling in Greenwich 
---- our new IKEA and comments that it looks very large and will the parking be adequate?  ( editors note  - that's the least of our worries - isn't it?)
---- a short biography of Ian Willhoughby Bazalgette, the great grandson of Sir Joseph Bazalgette who built the sewers, the Greenwich pumping station, and Crossness.  Ian was a Second World War bomber pilot - a squadron leader with the DFC by the time he was 25.  He died trying to land a burning Lancaster and is buried near Beauvais
- -- a long article about Radiation New World gas cookers. (Ed - my Mum had one of those)
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WOODLANDS FARM

Their newsletter mentions real work and their new tractor!



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GLIAS NEWSLETTER

-   the current edition includes a long article about the fates of all our gasholders starting with the two doomed holders at Bell Green - and moving on to Bromley by Bow and elsewhere. (Ed  - I’m sorry that the author has not seen fit to mention our East Greenwich holder - hmmm)
-   An article by Bob Carr which  supplements his previous article about Greenwich Town Hall.  He  points out that some of it is still in use by the Council but is currently 'under used'. He quotes local architectural commentator, Owen Hatherley, on the Town Hall and its relationship with other civic buildings of the same date.  Ray Plassard has also contributed with information about William Moss and Sons, the construction company who built Greenwich Town Hall.
-  Bob has also contributed an article about the importance of the 1803 explosion in the boiler of the Trevithick Engine, working on the  Greenwich Peninsula. He notes that a similar engine was installed at Woolwich Arsenal around the same time.  He points to how rival manufacturers Boulton and Watt used the accident it to get an advantage in publicity and thus to hold back the use of high pressure steam in London for some years.  He relates this to the development of railways and steam road vehicles.
The GLIAS committee is appealing for new members with expertise in the following area - - publicity and marketing (with  knowledge of social media)  - web site development -- planning applications - sales and recruitment (must have a car in which to transport publications)  -- the database - archiving photographs and slides.    If you can help please email Dave Perrett d.perrett647@btinternet.com
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MYCENAE HOUSE
We have been asked by the Friends of Mycenae Gardens for help to find them a gardener  friendsofmycenaegardens@gmail.com
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FLINT GLASS WHARF????
Charlton Society and others have been putting in objections to new plans for blocks of flats (9 storeys) on Charlton riverside wharves.  One of them is on a site apparently called 'Flint Glass Wharf'.  We had never heard of this and would be interested in any information as to what this is or was?  It is NOT a reference to the United Glass bottle factory in Anchor and Hope Lane but further along the river towards Woolwich.  Flint glass????


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GREENWICH VISITOR
Thanks Greenwich Visitor for publishing the first two chapters of my work on Greenwich Industry - it started off as a planned book - but publishers don't exist for local industrial history, and local bookshops refuse to talk to you or to take copies (even for free!). Thanks GV for the interest. Mary


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WESTCOMBE NEWS
Westcombe News have published an article by Keith and Anna Townend about what they would like to see as the future use for our East Greenwich Gas holder - using it to house an industrial museum for Greenwich. (ed - wouldn't we all like that).   For the rest of us discussions with Southern Gas have made it quite clear that they intend to continue with demolishing the holder and say they are being pushed by other bodies - Transport for London,  Ofgem and ultimately the government.  (Thanks to Cllr. Sizwe James for enabling a meeting with them)
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HANSONS
We  understand that Hansons on the Greenwich Peninsula at what was Victoria Deep Water Wharf would welcome visitors to the site to see their new factory 

Please also note the picture we reproduced on our previous post here - and on Facebook  - about a large find on their site.

The website for their contractors is http://www.rbplant.com/
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BLACKHEATH SCIENTIFIC SOCIETY



The Society has a meeting on 19th October 7.45 at Mycenae House on 'Pharmaceuticals in the Environment from Cocaine to Seafood Cocktails'.


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WOOLWICH ANTIQUARIAN'S NEWSLETTER

- under  'building conservation news' they note: that the original Royal Military Academy (Building 40) on the Arsenal site is being refurbished as part of what is now to be called the Woolwich Creative District - ……………...that  Building 41, up to now used as the heritage centre, will be refurbished as a music venue (see below for details of the row) ...…………………...  they note the proposal to demolish the Plumstead Station footbridge (more of that below too) ………………. and finally list some of the Council's proposed additions to the local list: The 'Gog and Magog' grid iron on the Thamesmead riverside, the Arsenal Danger Buildings, Gun emplacements on the Thamesmead riverside, and the clock tower on Thamesmead Town centre which was pinched from Deptford dockyard in 1981 and has been in Thamesmead ever since
- an article about erosion of the foreshore and its results



and also, more briefly -- the closure of the Woolwich Ferry (see below) - the knife arch installed at the Powis Street Macdonalds (the first Macdonalds in Britain) - and, sadly, the death of Darrel Spurgeon, a great local historian, …………

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THE LENOX PROJECT



This Deptford based project to build a reproduction 17th century warship has sent us a newsletter about the Open Day event at the Shipwrights Palace and about the range of objects they have for sale to raise cash. See http://www.buildthelenox.org/

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PORT OF LONDON AUTHORITY



The PLA (fun) Newsletter shows pictures of the Beluga Whale seen in the Thames.  (Congratulations to Greenwich.co.uk's Rob for taking THE pictures  of the creature - and why do all the reports describe it as 'lost' ? They don't know that it doesn't know exactly where it is. Give it credit for a bit of brain!)



They also note that two new clippers will join the fleet of passenger boats which run the fast service on the river - and they note also that Clippers now claim to have served four million passengers (I guess that's passenger journeys not actual individual passengers)

Finally they report on the Great River Race - a 21 mile heavy duty row from Woolwich to Ham.

CHARLTON SUMMERHOUSE



Greenwich Heritage Trust has done a lot of work on the Charlton House summerhouse/toilets. People may remember an earlier web site on this interesting building.  They have sent me some info on something called the Summerhouse blog (but I can't work out how to put a link through to this here. It just boots up as a Word page with no strap line).


Anyway its all been done up and the toilets removed and Charlton House management can arrange tours and information.  Not at all clear what it is to be used for though.



MORDEN WHARF

We understand that a planning application is in for this Greenwich Peninsula site.  We had hoped that U&I, the developers, might be going to give us a break from the relentless march of poky flats - but apparently not.  It will also mean the demolition of Thames Bank House. We are aware that a lot of research has been done on the industrial history of this site - and hope that some of this can be published.  Details of the application is on the Council planning web site

PLUMSTEAD STATION FOOTBRIDGE

This is a tangled saga -basically how to keep a pretty old footbridge which is a funny design and provide wheelchair access.  It went to Planning Committee again last night with a planning application from the railway for removal. Debs has reported, on Facebook  that the planners decided a  "four week delay to consider alternatives. Positive Plumstead Project will be invited to a site visit to demonstrate alternative ideas"



SAD NEWS



The death has been reported in the national press of Sir Charles Kao, Nobel prize winner. Charles Kao came to Woolwich from Shanghai in the 1960s to study electrical engineering at what was then Woolwich Polytechnic. Following a career which was with what was then Standard Telephones and Cables he was develop optical fibre transmission and thus 'transformed the world and provided a backbone for the internet'.   The Nobel prize came in 2006.

(they deport immigrants like that today)

GOODBYE JOHN BURNS, JAMES NEWMAN AND ERNIE BEVIN


One of the biggest events locally has been the ending of the lives of the three 1960s Woolwich ferries.  You could do worse than to read Darryl on this https://853london.com/2018/10/07/music-horns-and-sirens-as-woolwich-ferry-bids-farewell-to-its-1960s-vessels/
The ferry will be closed while modifications are made to the ramps for two new boats being built in Poland (so much for British shipbuilding!).  In a departure from tradition - where ferries have been named after Woolwich politicians and scientists - they are to be named after the poor lad who was killed on the ferry a year or so back, and a sentimental singer from Essex.
We had been told that John Burns would be towed to Holland to be broken up a week before the others, but in the end the three went off together, sadly followed down the river by  boats and some shore based residents  (although where were the hoots and blasts that would once have come from every vessel until they were clear of the Nore?  Also where was Greenwich Council, Newham Council, TfL and the London Mayor.   Come on, this is the Free Ferry, its important!)
(confidentially, the only thing that makes me cry these days is the sound of a ships's hooter).

THE ARCHIVE

The protests about the sudden and disgraceful closure of our local archive are ongoing - with discussions, questions and much else. Things are moving so fast its difficult to say anything.  I am going to quote here what Richard has put in the Woolwich Antiquarians newsletter (hope that's ok Richard) and just say 'keep in touch for the latest.  Richard begins by describing 'The Creative District' - apparently archives and heritage don't count as 'creative'.



"The Woolwich Creative District

The Creative District is a creature of the Royal Greenwich Council, who are acting as the developer.  It is to be located in the Royal Arsenal in a group of listed buildings either side of No.1 Street beyond the new blocks of flats.  Going down from the Brass Foundry are: on the left, set back across Artillery Square, Building 40 (B40), the original Military Academy; next comes B41, of four wings, the Heritage Centre lingering in the west wing.  On the right are B19, latterly used as a store by Berkeley Homes; and B17 & B18, latterly used by FirePower.

B40 already houses a dance company; B41 is to be a music venue with rehearsal and performance space; B19 & B17 are to be theatrical, as is B18 for an initial (5 year?) period.

PunchDrunk, a theatre company, are interested in running the B19, 17 & 18 complex.  The Council wants them to entice people to come to the Creative District, but doubts that they would bring in much revenue.  However, the music venue is deemed to be more profitable, hence the desire to evict the Heritage Centre from B41.  When PunchDrunk leave B18 the Heritage Centre could set up a museum there, paying for any necessary adaption.  B18 would have space for a museum, but not for the Archive as well.



Closure of the Greenwich Heritage Centre – The Borough Archive

The Heritage Centre, in the west wing of B41, was closed on 21st July 2018, with very little notice and no consultation with societies such as WADAS.  It holds the Archive of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, which is of interest not just locally but internationally to historical researchers and to relations of ancestors who lived and worked here.  This is now the only London Borough without an open Archive.

This was to allow the Museum ‘collection’ to be packed up ready to go to a warehouse at Charlton riverside for up to six years, when it could be returned to furnish a Museum in Arsenal Building 18.
Neither the Council nor the RGHT (Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust) realised that archive material in the 'collection' was the Borough Archive!  Nor had they realised that Borough Archives and Museum collections are distinct entities with different legal requirements for their management.  Borough Archives belong in law to the Council, who have to keep them open, and in a good environment.  The RGHT manage the Archive on behalf of the Council.  Although some council departments use the Archive, the Creative District planners had never heard of it.
Concerned users formed the Greenwich Archive Users Forum (GAUF), who have persuaded both the Council and RGHT to talk to them and heed their advice.
At present the Heritage Centre is still in its home in Arsenal Building 41, perhaps also in Building 18 where items lately stored in the old Plumstead Museum were temporarily housed (some being Archive items).
A proposal to keep the Archive where it was, and still is, in the west wing of Building 41 until there is a new permanent home for it, is being actively promoted by GAUF.  Archives, with valuable and often fragile items, should be moved as little as possible.  And they should be stored in a safe place (even where they are in Building 41 is 2m below the river wall - and Building 18 is at the same level).  The situation is still fluid."


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and ps - as I finish this - quick look at the morning's  post - and here's Darryl  - on the latest on Spray Street

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Large mystery object on the Peninsula



We have been sent the photos below by the nice men at Hansons, at what was Victoria Deep Water Wharf.  They found it while clearing the wharf for their new factory.  I know I am deaf but I think they said that a crane big enough to move it would cost £50,000 a day.

Comments welcomed. Please



Wednesday, 3 October 2018

The Greenwich Industrial historians Diary

The Greenwich Industrial Historians Diary

some things you might like to go to:

4th October - THATS TOMORROW - Dr. Jane Grant on Millicent Fawcett and Votes for Women 1918-2018.  St.George's Church. Glenluce Road, SE3 8.00 pm

6th October London Archaeologist 50th Anniversary Conference. Includes Dave Perrett on Five Decades of Change in London's Industrial Archaeology.  see www.londonarchaeologist.org.uk for details

10th October - Prof David Perrett Henry Ford's Holiday in 1928.  Newcomen Society. 75 Cowcross Street, EC1

24th October.  Julian Clarke on The Leviathan and the Internet. The Great Iron Ship and the Thread Across the Ocean  Greenwich Historical Society James Wolfe School, Royal Hill, SE10. 7.30

26th October The Unexpected presence of Africans in Tudor society. Lewisham Local History Society (ahem - no details but they usually meet at the church in Albion Road, Lewisham 7.30)

21st November. GLIAS Pub Evening. Rugby Tavern, 19 Great James Street, WC1. 6.30  If you would like to give a short presentation contact treasurer@glias.org.uk

24th November Study Day Early Gunpowder Weapons 15th to 17th Centuries.  Waltham Abbey see www.royalgunpowdermills.com/whats-and-events/battlefields-study-day/

28th November.  Centenary Armistice. First World War. The Maze Hill War MemorialGreenwich Historical Society James Wolfe School, Royal Hill, SE10. 7.30 

30th November A walk down New Cross Road Lewisham Local History Society (ahem - no details but they usually meet at the church in Albion Road, Lewisham 7.30)

2019

19th February. Tim Shaw. HMS Warrior. Built Bow Creek 1860. Newcomen Society. University of Portsmouth. 7.00

6th March. Dr. Russell Thomas. The History of Gas Making in the UK. , Newcomen Society. Thinktank Lecture Theatre, Level 2, Birmingham Science Museum, Curzon Street, Birmingham. 7.00

16th May. John Anning HMS Xantho and the Greenwich built Penn Engine. Newcomen Society. Room 1, BAWA, Southmead Road, Bristol, 7.30


New listing recommendations

We have been told about some new public consultations by Greenwich Council.  Astonishingly and hearteningly this includes one which is asking for comments on additions to the 'Local List' - this is the list of local buildings which the Council thinks should be kept but are not thought good enough for local listing.  Nothing has been added to the Council list for about 3,000 years - so this is very good news.  Some of these are recommendations by the Council itself and others have been sent in by local groups.  If you would like to see details and to comment see www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/haveyoursay 

Meanwhile we have been through the list and exracted those of, roughy,  industrial interest - we save taken the ones just about old houses out.

and ………………… they are ………...


Bridge over River Quaggy, Lee Roas A single span bridge with an enamel street sign attached to side.

53 Meadowcourt Road SE3. A single storey 20th cenrury building .looks industrial

Firemen’s cottages, Meadowcourt Road  three cottages north of the fire station and originally part of the complex.

Weigall Road bridge.A brick bridge with flint panels over the Quaggy River. A cast iron plaque refers to the Borough of Woolwich in 1902

Pillar box – Weigall Road. pillar box with the cypher of George V

Ravens Way. Flats  originally the Ravensbourne Club built in 1921 as sports club for the employees of Cook Son & Co (St Pauls) Limited, clothing wholesalers

Ravens Way stone/sundial . The sides bear sun and animal motifs representing times of the day

Bannockburn School  Church Manorway. Built  by the London School Board in 1903

Plume of Feathers gateposts. Plumstead High Street. The surviving part of the Tram terminus with cafe.

240-244 Frontage of Former Horse and Groom pub

236 Plumstead High  Street

Plumstead Police Station. 1980s built with brick work detailing,

Bannockburn School and premises manager’s house –  Plumstead High Street

Barclays Bank    107A Plumstead High Street. an important landmark on the High Street.

Alan Ives/Café Delight 118-118A Plumstead High Street  It has some interesting stone work.  
      
Formerly Plumstead Law Centre. 105 Plumstead High Street with interesting architectural features. 

Paddy Power/Belfry Social Club (formerly Conservative Club) 100A Plumstead High Street. , interesting stone work.

65 Plumstead High Street. Decorative stonework 6N

63A/63 Plumstead High Street Part of a terrace with interesting roof and stonework features.
         
66-80 Plumstead High Street. unusual Dutch gable roof line. 

64 Plumstead High Street interesting stonework 

2-10 Plumstead High StreetCrenellation features
   
Plumstead Railway stationVictorian iron bridge, and typical shelter design and posts on station.

Angerstein Freight Railway pedestrian crossing and arched walkway
(accessed ? via Fairthorn Road) steps built for Combe farm workers to save having to go round under the bridge in Woolwich Road. The rail line extended to the Gasworks in 1890s, LCC tram depot with various branches to factories.

Angerstein Freight Railway bridge, Woolwich RoadThe bridge was the only element of the line which needed Parliamentary approval. It also retains a modest, functional, sturdy, old-world industrial feel ? to it – very representative of the character of Charlton.

Factory walls, Ramac Way.  A long old wall remains with x3 interesting metal/wooden doors which are significant in telling the story of the important industrial buildings

Victoria Works, Johnson and Philips ? Factory wall entrance remains, Dupree Road.

Railway Electric substation, Troughton Road , Built in 1926 on the site of the station’s coal depot following electrification.

Pickwick Arms, 246 Woolwich Road? (Originally called Roupell Arms) built in 1830 and rebuilt in 1862.

Entrance wall to Harvey’s factory, Hol mwood Villas, off Woolwich Road

Eggcorn studios. Interesting and characterful original ironwork gates, walls

Rose of Denmark public house, ? 296 Woolwich Road .Substantially rebuilt after war damage,

New covenant church, Troughton Road  Built 1900 by architect J Rowland, originally the Mission of the Good Shepherd. ? Wavey mosaic seating added around the exterior

White Horse PH, 704 Woolwich Road, Early 18C origins as a beer house, ‘rebuilt 1897’

Former Lads of the Village PH, pre-dates 1850, rebuilt 1899.

‘Danger Buildings’, Royal Arsenal Nitration Plant, Tripcock Point, Thamesmead SE28. Series of 10 small roofless brick structures each surrounded by high blast mounds,

Royal Arsenal ‘Gridiron’, Thames Path, West Thamesmead SE28 Timber roll-on dock devised by the Royal Arsenal to enable large guns mounted on railway vehicles (‘proof-sleighs’) weighing over 200 tons to be transported by barge down river to the testing range at Shoeburyness.  Dates from1885/6.

Gun Emplacement, Tripcock Point, West Thamesmead SE28. WWII built late 1930s/early 1940s. Concrete, adapted from standard hexagonal pillbox type. Column survives for mounting an anti-aircraft gun; continuous embrasure allowing extensive field of fire over Thames for heavy machine guns. 

Observation Post, Thames Path, West Thamesmead SE28 Mid-late 1930s. Two storeys, unusual polygonal design. Concrete with corrugated aggregate/metal covering, some of which has fallen off. An observation post to watch for mine-laying in the Thames; 180 degree field of view on two levels.

Tripcock Ness Lighthouse, Tripcock Point, West Thamesmead SE28
Distinctive landmark, small red lighthouse, 30ft high erected 1902 by Trinity House

Clock Tower, Joyce Dawson Way Shopping Centre, Thamesmead Town Centre SE28 Original 18th century clock and cupola from the Great Storehouse at Deptford Royal Dockyard (demolished in 1981). Dates from 1782, clock surmounted by open temple-style belfry and weather vane. Located in storage at Conveys Wharf Deptford, it was transported for repair to the Royal Arsenal and erected in Thamesmead in 1987 over a specially commissioned supporting tower in classical style. Donated to Thamesmead as the centrepiece for the new town centre.

LESC SubStation, Greenwich High Road, Greenwich SE10 Sub-station for the London Electric Supply Corporation (LESC) dating from the 1920s,


BT Telephone Exchange, 14 Maze Hill,  Greenwich SE10  Large prominent telephone exchange building of brick with insignia of George VI along with the date 1947 and inscribed with lettering ‘Telephone Exchange’

57 Greenwich High Road (Former Rose of Denmark PH)  Greenwich SE10
Last surviving historic pub on this part of the High Road,

Blissett Street SE10 (Former Royal George PH)  Greenwich SE10 Named after Royal Navy’s flagship the Royal George built at Woolwich Dockyard in 1756. Dates from around 1850.


Thursday, 20 September 2018

Comments about the gasholder



The petition on the gasholder on Change has allowed people to comment on why they have signed.  We've fished out all these comments - and are quoting them below, without any names attached, but roughly grouped into subject areas.
- a bit of a warning - some are factually incorrect, particularly those which over estimate the amount of influence and  control that the Council has had over the proposed demolition.  There is at least one which I have no idea what the author is referring to and some others where the writer has made a mistake inn quoting faxts  - although not so as to affect what they want to say.
Hope you enjoy them.

A Brexit in industrial history
Some people referred to their aesthetic appearance

"Many people think that gas holders are a blot on the landscape. However, in my opinion, they fail to see the unique beauty of the ornate guide frames of telescopic gas holders and the way their appearances change with alterations in light. They are great landmarks and were integral parts of city and townscapes in the past. Also, not to be forgotten, they are examples of remarkable engineering skill. Too may have gone and it would be unforgivable if the East Greenwich gas holder was to suffer the same fate."

"Our industrial history matters as much as prettier history, although it is actually very attractive"

 "We need a mix of historic and modern buildings/structures to keep Greenwich interesting. The new sculpture by the flyover, the gas holder and the O2 make an interesting trio of shapes "

A work of art.

Gas holders are fantastic structures with huge potential.  And they are part of our history..

It is an iconic structure and example. Much better to look at than the dome!

It's a beautiful piece of local history

It's an iconic piece of Greenwich skyline

Our city is becoming faceless. Surely our heritage is what makes our identity worth preserving?

"Such an example of our industrial heritage is inspirational for coming generations - when it's gone, it's gone, and we need it to stay and inspire!"

Fantastic opportunity  to do something spectacular instead of bog standard steel and glass.

It is an iconic structure and part of our industrial history.

It’s beautiful

These are  unique structures and should be preserved

Many people wanted it to be converted to other use and many referenced the recent flats built at Kings Cross

This is how it could be utilised rather than another piece of abstract history and heritage banished. Need I say more - https://gasholderslondon.co.uk/

An iconic local structure could have a relevamt future as part of a housing development - as those gasholders along the Regents Canal have become.

This is a fine structure making a distinctive contribution to the skyscape locally, from the Thames, and from a wider area across London..  Its guide frame has potential for adaptive and sustainable re-use, as has been demonstrated successfully by the re-erected gasholder guide frames on the King's Cross Central regeneration site."

"There are good recent examples of gas holders repurposed to good effect. It's good to have variety in our buildings, especially when it supports local heritage to reflect the history of the area."

"The Gas Holder should be retained and repurposed as one of the last reminders of the Peninsula's industrial history. It would be tragic to lose it. The argument that the land is needed for building homes is rubbish - there are plenty of other development opportunities in the area, including the land-banked Morden Wharf."

"Gas holders provide brownfield regeneration opportunities and do not require removal or demolition. In Dublin, Bord Gais sold this as a listed building and it has provided a fabulous regeneration and landmark within the City. The protected gas holder frame and land provided 240 apartments and is a stunning development. It also provided diverse communal gardens, and because of its uniqueness, attracted, under the Barrow Street regeneration, jobs- this is where Google set up its European Headquarters Campus.In the past, Georgian Houses were demolished and we today are shocked, the Council should be mindful that employers seek something special for their sites and the public need to see more than high rise cubic buildings. This is a gem with huge potential."

This historical industrial heritage gas holder should be saved as it a link to the past for the Greenwich Peninsular. What the developer could do is incorporate the external industrial frame i.e. into flats similar to those seen in the new kings cross development. The developer shouldn’t just get away with building more samey blocks of residential flats as is currently happening.

Urban industrial landmarks should be saved. And this could be converted to another community use.

"it's a local landmark and should either be saved ""as is"" or something else built within the structure"

"Look at the way architects have incorporated gas holders into residential projects elsewhere in London. They are stunning, have true architectural quality that will withstand the test of time (or inevitable property price falls). Any developer would be crazy to miss the opportunity to work with an architect who could make something as beautiful here in Greenwich. I’d be first in line to buy an apartment like that - I would never in a million years buy any of the other new builds that are currently being thrown up in Greenwich. Please build something of true architectural (and financial) value, not just more safety deposit boxes for overseas buyers who will drop them like hot coal as soon as the market dips."

I am signing because I like to see surviving pieces of history in out cityscape. Put a roller skater rink in there (summer) and an ice rink in the winter. Make it useful. But don't destroy it!!!

"Keep it, do something with it, they have done so in other areas and those are now assets to those areas.  Make it so."

"This is an important part of our local industrial heritage, as well as being an iconic symbol of East Greenwich and the peninsula. It should be saved and given an imaginative new lease of life."

"Gasometers are cool structures, that can be incorporated into the modern urban landscape, just look at the ones in Kings Cross."

"Greenwich wouldn’t be the same without it and such potential for a fun museum to change the boring new builds. Keep the soul of Greenwich,"

"Please keep the Gas Holder, it is part of our Heritage. make a leisure park around it, with seats and maybe a small lake, for everyone to enjoy. And community allotments for the Peninsula Residents. Please  DO NOT  Build  HIGH RISE developments, to deprive us of what we need most. Clean Air and sunlight. When it was the Metro Gas Sports Ground, we can remember picking blackberries along Horn lane. Pleasant memories of our little bit of countryside."

"Quite apart from the gas holder's significance as part of our industrial heritage, take a look at the imaginative use of a former gas holder in Dublin - it's beautiful!"

"This important historic structure should be reused having a place in the development plans for the Greenwich Peninsula. All across the UK historic structures are being demolished, this gas holder is an important of the area's history and streetscape. Reuse models exist at King's Cross, perhaps those could be followed."

It is quite possible to incorporate a gas cylinder into a building scheme as shown in the Chelsea Lots Road development

It’s vital to keep a link with the past and not have everything knocked down. There are modern designs that can incorporate the gas holder.

Would be very sad to see this landmark and reminder of our industrial past go.  Gasholder Appartments in Kings Cross show what amazing results can be achieved with a bit of imagination

Historic landmarks are part of local heritage and should be preserved. Reuse and recycle by incorporating it into a new building.

I believe the landmark frame plus the bell used to a height of say 30 ft could form a valuable space to complement events at the nearby O2. And use the same car park by mutual arrangement of non-coinciding dates
Due process should be followed and it has not.
Many commentators were concerned with the local area - East Greenwich
"This a fantastic landmark and a glimpse of the history of the area, which has otherwise almost completely changed in the past few years."

Because enough is enough.  Stop destroying what is left of historic Greenwich.  No more houses.  Improve things for existing residents.

Greenwich is an unique combination of maritime and industrial history with modern landmarks such as the dome. Let’s retain the former to maintain what’s special about Greenwich.

Greenwich peninsula is an important part of our industrial heritage , the remaining parts must be preserved."

I want to see a better East Greenwich

It is important historically and retaining it in some adapted form will add to the architectural diversity of the peninsula.

The gasholder is beautiful & an important landmark in an area that has changed considerably in recent decades. If similar structures at King’s Cross can be re-used imaginatively so can this one.

This part of Greenwich is now unrecognizable. Leave the Gas Holder.

This wonderful industrial building is a part of the history of East Greenwich. It is an important landmark feature and should be saved.

My local gasometers just got pulled down - terrible cos they're beautiful

and people had concern about the future


I'm signing because historic buildings must be protected and uses found that maintain their presence in the neighbourhood for future generations.  Additionally I cannot understand how Council officers approved the demolition which is contrary to approved Council policy.

We will regret it in the future - like we always do - why can't we learn to hold on to our precious past?

Let's not destroy all of our heritage. Keep something for us to remember our past. And create some diversity in the otherwise dangerously dull and dreary tower blocks

I want to see the survival of this historical artefact for the benefit of future generations. It is an important landmark. Do not obliterate history!

I'm signing because the destruction of this historic monument removes a link with the past which can never be restored and is in danger otherwise of being forgotten.
Important industrial history monument should be saved for posterity.

The gas holder is part of our heritage and we can make it something new to take into our future
Many are concerned about heritage

This proposal is part of a nationwide calculated destitution of British industrial heritage and resources.  This vandalism must be stopped.

"Because its part of the History Of the area & is the ONLY remaining artifact to show the scale of what once was the coke/gasworks that once dominated this vast area ! There were two, but the IRA destroyed the other ! Will IRA be invited back should this remaining one become unwanted ?"

 We must keep examples of all our history. Gasometers were a big part of life and the skyline until not so long ago. They tell a story. And this is a particularly fine example.

This is part of Greenwich history and should be preserved.

"Crucial to save this historical structure, (and against the lack of accountability, again, by Greenwich Council)."

"It is a significant part of Greenwich's industrial heritage and a great structure in its own right. The Peninsular is being developed, but that should not mean resetting the clock to Year Zero."

Stop destroying our heritage!! Soon all of our heritage sites will be just bland concrete!

The demolition of this gasholder would result in the removal of a structure of great historical interest which should be preserved just like any other historic building.

This is a very visible link with the historic past of Greenwich Peninsula and should be preserved as part of innovative design such as been achieved in places such as Kings Cross and even Berlin.The borough should stand up for its own policies and see the boroughs inheritance as important and worth encouraging developers to use it positively.

Too much of our history is being lost!

The industrial heritage of gas works is an important part of this countries history

Greenwich Council need to stop behaving like such total hypocrits & prove they do actually respect our local heritage & history by reversing this travesty and preserving the gas holder

We must preserve this important part of our local history.

I'm signing because they are a part of our heritage and are fast disappearing.

It is all that is left of the history of East Greenwich/North Greenwich. Wipe history away at your peril (our peril)  How could you even consider replacing it with more tower blocks?

"Many other such gas holders around the country have been preserved in one form or another with less historic significance and importance as the surviving Gas Holder construction on Greenwich Marsh.  Greenwich Gas Holder brief history:-Built between 1881 and 1886, at the time the Gas Holders were the largest of their kind in the world. The first, Number 1, built in 1886 and of 8,600,000 cubic feet (240,000 m3) was the world's first 'four lift' (moving section) holder. The second, Number 2, with six lifts containing 12,200,000 cubic feet (350,000 m3), was reduced to 8,900,000 cubic feet (250,000 m3) when it was damaged in the Silvertown explosion in 1917. The gas in Gas Holder was ignited and it was wrecked completely. Number one Gas Holder was also very seriously damaged.  This caused a massive fireball, which rose thousands of feet into the air. Although Number 2 was reduced in size it was still the largest in England until it was damaged again by a Provisional Irish Republican Army bomb in 1978. The site its"

"This gasholder is a masterpiece from the gas-engineer Sir George Thomas Livesey, built in 1889. The construction of the guide frame is unique and a milestone in the development of the guide-frame in the 19th century. Thus this gasholder was a significant example in my dissertation "Der Gasbehälter als Bautypus" (eng.: The gasholder as a buidling type)."
They seem to be hell bent on removing every last bit of our history! I wonder why...


Gas Holders have a history we need to recognize and not lose forever

very important part of our heritage

"This gasholder is historically of great interest and to demolish it would be the act of philistines. Please preserve it, as other councils are doing."


and had concerns on industrial hstory
"An icon of the Industrial revolution. Once it's gone, it's gone!!"

"As unique as any Pictish souterrain, becoming rarer than early saxon burial mounds. One of a few diminishing testaments to our Victorian industrial heritage. Give history some respect. It gives a place a sense of enhanced community and really good development requires that context rather than newness piled upon newness. Without context, like so many 1960's developments, the alternative massed developments will be demolished as shabby failures in 30 years time as plain ugly."

"Gasholders, a magnificant part of our industrial and visual history."

"George Livesey’s fine gas holders are major works of industrial engineering, of national significance. The loss of this structure would rob the Greenwich Peninsula of its most important and recognisable marker of its history and industrial archaeology. It must be saved!"

"We have to celebrate our industrial history,  even if its ugly!"

As an historic borough I believe that Greenwich should retain such an iconic landmark for future generations.

Every industrial monument is for itself a fairytale setting that captivates people and therefore worthy of protection.

Greenwich has a rich industrial heritage and we will be culturally poorer if we tear it all down. It can co-exist with the necessary improvements to the area

Historical monument to the industrial past

History is important

Industrial heritage is important.

The gas holder is an important part of Greenwich heritage from the time when 'gas' was king.

These are part of our history in Greenwich- keep them and embrace diversity in building structures.

These holders represent an important development in structural engineering and also are a handsome part of the Cityscape.

This is a valuable part of our industrial history.

This is an important part of Greenwich's industrial heritage

Industrial history is so important in Britains development and needs to be part of the landscape. There is room for modern and ancient and everything inbetween.

and the holder as an icon
This is an important part of the Industrial heritage of East Greenwich and an icon of the local area.

"This structure is iconic, recognizable the world over, and an important part of industrial heritage. It deserves to be saved, and to be protected against future threats."

which identifies the area
This unique structure helps define the area's identity.

and people are aware of conversions elsewhere


"It's an iconic gas holder and an important part of the area's history, not only to Greenwich but also as a landmark viewable from the north side of the Thames as well. As gas holders, including historically interesting ones, are torn down all over London surely we can do for Jumbo as King's Cross did for their gas holders and recognise the value these striking structures hold."

The Gas Holder should be creatively incorporated into a new development not demolished. This has been done effectively in Kings Cross - so why not south of the river? It is iconic and a landmark in the Peninsular.


and its role as a landmark
It is a historic landmark for Greenwich

I am signing because it is the last vestige of the industrial heritage of Greenwich and must be preserved at all cost as a landmark for future generations.

"As the Official Monster Raving Loony Party candidate in Blackheath Westcombe Ward in the local elections in the Borough of Greenwich, I oppose the demolition of this historical landmark."

"It would be a crime to destroy this beautiful iconic landmark. It seems it has failed to be listed by accident or carelessness. The peninsula has precious little remaining to remind us of its heritage, and the retention of the gas holder was always intended."

"The industrial history of the riverside is being steadily erased, to be replaced by walls of glass.  The retention and reuse of the gasholders at Kings Cross shows what can be done with some imagination and wit (qualities sadly missing from the development community by and large). RGB Greenwich have commendably acted, recently, to safeguard other industrial monuments downriver at Charlton - it would be tragic to overlook this magnificent and singular landmark at Greenwich."

An iconic landmark which should be preserved as a part of the heritage of East Greenwich.

Industrial heritage is important - this is a landmark.

It's a crucial part of the whole history of Greenwich - and London - visible to all arriving in Greenwich by river.  Greenwich - palaces AND power stations!

It's a great link to our last and visually it stands out and should remain.

This is a local landmark. There are many creative ways to use this as housing.

This is an important historic landmark and should be saved.

This is an important landmark and it's destruction would be a significant loss to Greenwich's Industrial Heritage and be seen a serious failure of judgement on the part of the Council in years to come.

This is an important Landmark in an area without much character

It’s an important landmark  and holds history of the area .

This is an iconic piece of our industrial heritage apart from being a local landmark.

It is of historic importance but also could be used in a creative and landmark manner in the future

let Greenwich become another Battersea... well perhaps... ;

A great local icon and landmark its possible replacement would be less worth, guaranteed!"

It is a landmark and if we lose our landmarks we lose our way not only physically but also socially and historically.

"How many children know the Gas Holder is linked to the tiny row of gas homes beside the Pilot Inn. This gas holder adds a sense of perspective and interest to an otherwise soulless new build area, where we will lose awareness of our rich industrial  heritage. Knock down another bland tower block instead!"


and people refer to their own local memories
 "I have lived in Greenwich for 40 years and whilst so much has changed, Jumbo has always been here and should remain as a reminder of our history"

"I pass this everyday on my way to work. I've lived here for 7 years and Gas Frame No 1 is still one of my favourite parts about the peninsula. It embodies historical engineering and it's one of the only surviving pieces of architecture after the Blitz on the peninsula. Destroying it means we're destroying another piece of our community. The best parts of London are the ones that cherish the historical landmarks and design new buildings that live in harmony with these structures. Let's work together, and create something that doesn't throw out the old in order to bring in the new."

"i'm sick of there being nothing left our historic past i have grown up with this there on my travels to my nans as a kid she may not be here anymore but it is nice to see this, it brings back childhood memories, leave it where it is ,, stop trashing our borough with these horrible new builds"

Enough of Greenwich memories are going let’s stop this from happening

I grew up in Greenwich and these were an iconic site

I’ve walked past this monument to my grandparents and great grand parents every day. It must stay. It. Must. Stay!

My dad worked at that has works myself and siblings were brought up knowing that was were our dad worked for many many years so it was like home from home for me anyway

My father worked there but mainly it helps to balance the plethora of high rise buildings across the river.

These are familiar sights that are disapearing from our heritage when we were independant of fuel from around the world. To some they maybe an eyesore but to many others they are the first sign of home !

"One of the few remaining reminders of  Old Greenwich in this area, please save it!"

Greenwich is jammed with recent high-rise residential developments; its unique character has become lost in a sea of bland buildings, increasingly blocking-out the skyline.  I am in favour of retaining the famous gas-holder at East Greenwich and in retaining some of the character of a great historical and industrial area."

So much here on the Peninsula is changing ... The Gas Holder is a beautiful reminder of our history and so needs to remain for future generations to learn from ... if this goes most of the peninsula will be square angular blocks of same-ness

"Had family that worked at the Greenwich Gas works, such a small thing to keep to local history alive."

We're losing so much and gaining little.   Leave it alone Greenwich
and a need for 'place making'
How many 'places' are there on the peninsular - it's an opportunity to place make & retain heritage.

As examples of this already uncommon building type get rarer so they endow their surroundings with an even greater feeling of place.


It's an amazing structure