Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Deptford Dockyard (Convoys site)

We have a request for contacts of anyone interested in this extremely important site. Please let us know who you are???????

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Lungley's Yard pictures

Merv has now sent the following two pictures of Lungley's Deptford Green shipbuilding yard. Comments on them would be very welcome



He has also sent an accessions list to the Southampton Archives showing that Lungley also had a works in that area











Merv has given no information as to where these pictues have come from or how we know they are of Lungley in Deptford. So, if they are someone's copyright - then our apologies and please let us know and we will remove them or give a credit.





Wednesday, 16 December 2009

More about Deptford shipbuilder, Lungley, and some of his ships

More information from Merv in Australia

CHARLES LUNGLEY

Lungley's yard was at Deptford Green, and had one of the first dry docks on the Thames. It has been described as "the most complete yard on the Thames". The yard was in existence in 1814. They also built marine engines, but closed down in 1866, when Lungley became manager of C. J. Mare's yard at Millwall.


Some of the ships built in Deptford by Lungley

NORSEMAN (1) was built in 1866 with a tonnage of 1386grt, a length of 262ft 9in, a beam of 32ft 2in and a service speed of 9 knots. In July 1866 she joined the mail service with a red funnel but in 1873 was sold to J. Heugh and in 1874 was converted into a cable repair ship by the Telegraph & Maintenance Co and employed by the Cia Telegrafica Platino-Brasilera on Siemens cables from Rio de Janeiro to Montevideo. She was re-engined in 1880 and, by fitting a circular tank in the no. 2 hold, was given cable laying capability. In 1888, assisted by the Viking, she laid the up-river River Plate cable. Badly damaged during a storm in 1892 she was replaced by Norseman (2) put up for sale being acquired by A.C.S. Springer of London. She was finally broken up in November 1898.

CELT (2) was built in 1866 with a tonnage of 1439grt, a length of 262ft 9in, a beam of 32ft 2in and a service speed of 9 knots. Sister of the Norseman she joined the mail service in August 1866 and in 1874 she was lengthen to 293ft with an increase in tonnage to 2112grt. In February 1875 she was wrecked at the mouth of the River Ratel between Cape Agulhas and Danger Point, all 98 persons aboard being saved by the Zulu.

CAMBRIAN was built in 1860 with a tonnage of 1055grt, a length of 245ft, a beam of 33ft 7in and a service speed of 8 knots. Costing £25,000 she was launched on 23rd April 1860 by Mrs Saxon the wife of Capt. Saxon of Anderson, Saxon & Co, the Union Lines agent at Cape Town. She was the first mail ship built for the company to exceed 1000grt. Sold to French owners in 1872 her subsequent career is unknown.

BRITON (2) was built in 1861 with a tonnage of 1164grt, a length of 264ft, a beam of 33ft 7in and a service speed of 9.5 knots. Due to her hull being subdivided both horizontally and vertically she was described by her owners as being 'unsinkable and unburnable'. In 1873 she was sold to the Admiralty, converted into a troopship and renamed HMS Dromedary. Placed in reserve during 1880 she was finally disposed of in 1884.

SAXON (2) was built in 1863 with a tonnage of 1142grt, a length of 290ft 10in, a beam of 32ft 10in and a service speed of 10.5 knots. She began service on the mail run on 13th February 1863 and reduced the time to 31 days. In 1876 she was sold to Bailey & Leetham of Hull who were known as the 'Tombstone Line' because of their black funnel with a broad white vertical line and a rounded top. She was sold on again in 1885 to Empreza Insulana de NavegaƧao of Ponte Delgado, Azores and renamed Benguella for their Lisbon-Azores service. On 24th June 1890 she sprang a leak in the Atlantic and abandoned with all the passengers and crew being rescued by the Spanish barque Marianna.

ROMAN (1) was built in 1863 with a tonnage of 1282grt, a length of 290ft 10in, a beam of 32ft 10in and a service speed of 10.5 knots. She started her career as a red funneled mail steamer in November 1863 but, as larger ships were built and joined the fleet, was transferred to the Intermediate service in 1869. She was lengthened and re-engined in 1872 and, at the same time, was given a black funnel. In 1880 she was deployed on the Zanzibar service until 1888 when she was transferred to the Southampton-Bremen-Hamburg feeder service. She was sold ot Essayan Oondjian of Constantinople (Istanbul) and renamed Adana in 1889 and was scrapped in 1910 at Smyrna after grounding.

ANGLIAN (1) was built in 1864 with a tonnage of 661grt, a length of 204ft 10in, a beam of 26ft 4in and a service speed of 8 knots. Built with a shallow draft to facilitate the sand bar at Durban she was delivered in March 1864 for the Intercolonial service between Cape Town, Durban and Mauritius. When the Intercolonial service was discontinued in 1868 she became surplus to requirements and was sold to Palgrave, Murphy & Co. of Dublin in the following year, retaining her name. In 1882 her owners renamed her City of Lisbon so that all their ships bore a 'City of ...' name. She ended her career in 1903 when she sank off New Brighton in the River Mersey after being in collision with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co's Douglas.

MAURITIUS was built in 1865 with a tonnage of 587grt, a length of 210ft, a beam of 26ft 5in and a service speed of 9 knots. Similar in design to the Anglian she joined her sister on the Intercolonial service in 1865. When the service was discontinued in 1868 she was put up for sale at Southampton and acquired in the following year by Palgrave, Murphy & Co. of Dublin but then sold on to J. P. Hutchinson of Glasgow. She had new boilers fitted in 1872 and a compound engine in 1876. In 1901 she was sold to Sociadade 'La Mediterranea', of Barcelona with T. Fernandez as manager and renamed Industria. She sank after a collision in 1910.

DANE (1) was built in 1854 with a tonnage of 530grt, a length of 195ft, a beam of 25ft 1in and a service speed of 9 knots. Sister of the Briton she was, on completion, immediately chartered to the French Government for use in the Crimean War. In 1856, due to a surplus of coal, she was laid up at Southampton with the intention of using her for the November sailing to South America but this voyage never materialised. On December 1856 her owners were re-styled Union Steamship Company. In 1857 she followed the Union and the Norman onto the Rio de Janeiro service and on 15th September of the same year and under the command of Capt Strutt she undertook the first voyage to the Cape Colony with the mails. For this purpose she was given a red funnel with a broad black top, a livery that was applied to all the Cape Colony mail ships. In 1863 she was placed on the new coastal service followed, in 1864, by the Mauritius service. On 17th May 1865, whilst at anchor and during the 'Great Gale', she was holed by a drifting sailing ship. In the same year she was chartered by the British Government to carry troops to Zanzibar where they were used to suppress slave trading. On 28th November 1865 she went ashore whilst approaching Port Elizabeth on a voyage from Simonstown and on 4th December became a total loss.

NORMAN (1) was built in 1854 in London with a tonnage of 530grt, a length of 195ft, a beam of 25ft 1in and a service speed of 9 knots. Identical to the Dane she was immediately chartered to the British Government for Crimean War service and completed her maiden voyage from Southampton to Constantinople and Balaklava with a cargo of wooden huts for troops wintering in the freezing Crimea. In late 1855 she was laid up at Southampton but on 29th September 1856 inaugurated the Union Steam Collier Co's Southampton - Rio de Janeiro service quickly followed by the Union and the Dane. On 21st January 1857, under Union Steam Ship Co. ownership, she replaced the Celt on her ill-fated December sailing and in the following November completed the run to the Cape in 39 days. In 1863 she replaced the Roman on the South African coastal service returning to Southampton in the following year. She was sold to Charles Lungley in 1865 as part payment for three new ships he was building for the company. Lungley then sold the ship to Bremner, Bennett & Bremner of London with the same name and for their Mediterranean trade and thereafter all trace of her was lost.

CELT (1) was built in 1855 with a tonnage of 531grt, a length of 176ft 4in, a beam of 25ft 1in and a service speed of 9 knots. Built with the intention of replacing the Union on the coal trade she was, on completion, requisitioned for use during the Crimean War. On 24th December 1856 she sailed from Southampton bound for Rio de Janeiro but was forced to return to Cowes Roads with engine trouble. She set out again on 31st December but had to return to Southampton on 3rd January 1857 when she sprang a leak and the voyage was consequently cancelled. On 17th May she sailed from Liverpool, the new departure port, for South America and made two round voyages before, in the October, she made the second sailing to the Cape with the mails, completing the voyage in 43 days. In 1862 she was sold to Charles Lungley as part payment for the larger mail ships he was building and subsequently sold to Balnerre of Rotterdam and renamed Gothenburg. She was purchased by J. Meek of Newcastle in 1875, reverted to her original name of Celt and had compound engines and new boilers installed. In 1885 she was under the ownership of Thames & Bristol Trading Co. Ltd of London and in 1891 she was owned by McDowall & Barbour of Piraeus, restyled Hellenic Steam Navigation Co. in 1908, with the name Poseidon. Without a change of name she was acquired by J.Potomianos of Istanbul in 1910 and in 1933 her name was deleted from the Register of Shipping.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Lungley - Deptford shipwright

Merv in Australia has written with a lot of information about a Deptford shipwright. Basically he is after info on family history - and locating anyone who can help. But he has some interesting things to say about Lungley

Merv says:
I have been trying to establish Charles Lungley's date of birth - was it 1816 - in Hatfield, Essex. He died Jun 1871 in Greenwich aged 55 years. He married Mary Ann Burchell.

Ships Built in Deptford.
Dane - Norman - Celt 1 & 2 - Cambrian - Briton - Saxon - Roman - Anglian - Mauritius - Norseman - Pevensey [Well known in the USA Wars] - Florence Irving - Agnes Irving -Kaioura [Aust NZ run] -and others were built for the Crimean Wars.


His addresses and the places of his children's birth show how his career as a shipbuilder moved around the lower Thamesside area.

In 1851 his children were:
Mary Ann born Greenwich Kent
Frances born Northfleet Kent
Ellen born Northfleet Kent
Margaret born Poplar Mdx
Janet born Poplar Mdx
Kate born Poplar Mdx
and later
Reete born Poplar Mdx
Charles Frederick born Greenwich Kent

His addresses were
High Street, Poplar Mdx
Dock Row Northfleet
Aylesford North Kent
High Street, St Mary, Maldon, Essex
182 Ramsden Road, Clapham, Surrey

He also says
One of the ships of his was 'Florence Irving' which arrived in Australia in -1868 with a relation of mine on board. This was Capt G S Rowling who was born in Scilly and settled in Swansea later became a Master Mariner.He had a number of voyages out as well as to USA so he must have travelled quite a lot in those days.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

GLIAS Newsletter 245

The latest GLIAS newsletter has arrived with some items of Greenwich interest - although our programme of talks seems not have made it to their events list!

The first article in the newsletter is about Dave Perrett's visit to Convoy's Wharf on one of their recent open days before a planning application for housing is submitted to Lewisham Council. Dave gives a brief outline of the history of the site and draws particular attention to the 1840s ship sheds built on the site. Convoys was, of course, the earliest of the Royal Dockyards and where much naval research and development was carried out. It seems that current plans for the vast ship sheds is as community space - they are currently in use to store wheeley bins. The developers apparently claim to intend Deptford to become the Camden of south-east London!
This is an interesting subject and can we encourage any one else who has an interest in Convoys to get in touch and perhaps add to our information.

GLIAS also lists excavations in London listed in the London Fieldwork Publications round up. In Greenwich they note:
43-81 Greenwich High Road - tanning pits and structures associated with Merryweathers (more info please!!)
Greenwich Wharf (no detail given, this is what we know as Lovells)
Old Brewery, Royal Naval College (no detail in GLIAS - but information can be found back in the blog)


'News in brief' notes the current demolition of the Syrol site - more information would be welcome here.

- and, finally, there is more notes about that ever-embarrassing subject, the Woolwich Autostacker. One item is from Len Fiddler who was a pupil at Woolwich Polytechnic School when the autostacker was built. He watched it being built and the boys were given a holiday on opening day. He says that the problem was that the cables were too elastic and that when cars were lifted they had one set of wheels in the car park and one set in the lift, and became stuck. He says it was too expensive to replace the cables. (although personally I would have thought replacing the cables was cheaper than leaving the building to rot unused for years and years - and anyway, surely the cost would have been down to the contractor?)

Book sale

A few copies of 'Greenwich and Woolwich at Work' by Mary Mills have suddenly become available. £10 each - but all proceeds will go to charity. Free delivery locally. Email orders to indhistgreenwich@aol.com.

Father of the Cycle Industry

Thanks to Richard Hartree who has sent a copy of notes about the early days of the cycle industry in Coventry. The article concerns the early days of three pioneers of this - Starley, Hillman and Singer. Of interest to us are their south London origins.

James Starley came from Sussex but moved to London to become a gardener to John Penn, the eminent Greenwich 19th century engineer. Starley became very skilled with mechanical devices and was able to mend and improve a sewing machine bought for Mrs.Penn. Penn knew Josiah Turner, who had made the machine, and he was able to get Starley a job in his works. Turner and Starley moved to Coventry and started a sewing machine works there, attracting workers from the defunct watch making trade. Starley went on to perfect many devices particularly in the field of bicycles - and is described as 'one of our great inventors'.

William Hillman lived near to Starley in Lewisham and was apprenticed at the Penn works. In 1871 he too went to Coventry and entered into a partnership with Starley. Hillman left to set up his business initially with bicycles and then moving into early motor manufacturing.

George Singer, was another apprentice at Penns - and a bell ringer in Lewisham along with Hillman. He too moved to Coventry to share lodgings with Hillman. He too became pre-eminent, and very rich, in the field of bicycle manufacture and also became Mayor of Coventry.

It makes me wonder - perhaps someone should trace the lives of many more of Penn's apprentices and see how much of British manufacturing industry can be tracked back to the works on Blackheath Hill!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Reminisence day for ex-gas works staff

Search for former employees of the South Metropolitan Gas Company

Reminiscence Event

Where: Greenwich Heritage Centre, Artillery Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, SE18 4DX
When: 10.30 am, Friday 8th January 2010
Who to contact: Judith Garfield, (office@ech.org.uk, 0208 553 4343) or Claire Days (claire@ech.org.uk, 0208 553 4343)

A search is on for former employees of the South Metropolitan Gas Company to help uncover the hidden stories of the people who made the company what it was. Eastside Community Heritage is looking for people who worked at the Company to share their memories at a reunion to take place at Greenwich Heritage Centre on Friday 8th January 2010.

The South Metropolitan Gas Works was the last gas works to be built in London, the brainchild of George Livesey. He received parliamentary permission to build the works on 140 acres of Greenwich Marshes (now called Greenwich Peninsula) in the December of 1880. In keeping with Livesey’s religious ideals, frivolous decorative features were not a part of his grand design for the works; however the two gas holders were the biggest in Europe. The works were grand, but plain. Livesey later introduced a profit sharing scheme with the workers, although this was a move unpopular with the union as it included a clause preventing the workers from striking.
Despite several problems faced in the early years of the South Metropolitan Gas Works, the works expanded over following years, providing not only employment but a plethora of social activities and venues which the workers could take advantage of.
The event to be held at the Greenwich Heritage Centre will be an opportunity for former employees of the Gas Works to get together and talk about old times. Participants are invited to bring along any old photographs, papers and artefacts to show to others, if they have any.

This is a part of the Working Lives of the Thames Gateway project that aims to record the experiences of working in industry in Havering, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Barking and Dagenham, Greenwich and Bexley. The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Eastside Community Heritage is an independent charity founded in 1993 to record and celebrate the histories of the people of east and south east London.

In 1999 Eastside established the People’s Archive, which is located at the University of East London and holds over 1000 oral histories as well as a large collection of films and photographs.

To find about more about Eastside Community Heritage, please visit our website, www.hidden-histories.org.uk.