Thursday, 27 January 2011

Naval Dockyards Newsletter

In the post - the newsletter of the Naval Dockyards Society which covers dockyard history world wide - and this issue covers Naval Heritage in the United Arab Emirates and Hellevoitsluis as well as more local sites, like Plymouth.

This issue includes a page of planning issues at Deptford Dockyard and quotes submissions to Lewisham Planning Committee last November. The Naval Dockyards Society want - to ensure that existing ground structures like the Olympia warehouse and entrance gates are retained - below ground structrures are recorded and preserved- that those dockyard features that remain serve as a constant reminder of the maritime roots of the site and the locality - restoring to use the Olympia water basin with Thames access and the great Tudor double dock.

(Although we are so close to Deptford we hear very little about progress on this incredibly important site - something also complained about by Lewisham Local History Society - what is going on, London Borough of Lewisham?? Please let us know?? GIHS has a speaker on the archaeology - Duncan Hawkins on 10th May - but we need to know what is happening NOW as well)

Back to the Naval Dockyards Society

Among the book reviews is a note about Janet Macdonald's 'British Navy's Victualling Board' (Baydell and Brewer 2010). Members may remember Janet's wonderful - and mouth watering - account of what Nelson's sailors actually ate and the truth about the weevils. Please read her book.

The Society always comes to Greenwich for their AGM and this year it is accompanied by a conference on 'Dockyards in art, literature and film'. details of this and other events

Friday, 21 January 2011

Victorian Wood Wharf

We have been quite excited to see a copy of this new book - Victorian Wood Wharf and Greenwich Riverside 1820-2010.

But - before we get any further - we have no information whatsoever on where to get it, or how much it is, and it doesn't have an ISBN It has been produced by the authors Ronald A.Richards & Derek J.Bayliss. Both of them spent working lives in businesses on that stretch of the Greenwich riverside and historical information is interspersed with their own memories and stories.

The book gives a great deal of detail on several, otherwise forgotten, riverside industries:

for example: Coneybeare Ltd. Marine Engineers and Boilermakers, Orient Lighterage Ltd., Baker barge breakers, Wood & Co. forage makers, Anglo Swedish Welding ... and most of all Pope and Bond.

They go into the historic detail of famous firms like Rennie on Dreadnought Wharf and the less famous gas works at Phoenix Wharf, and go on to General Steam and the Royal Daff.

it also gives details of the pubs -The Sun, The Retreat, The Rose and Crown, The Loyal Briton

the cottages and who lived there .............the council estate ... the barge races .............the recording and rehearsal studios............... the artists

People should know about this little book - the area it covers is full of new residents who will know nothing of what was until very recently a busy working area -which has just grown up informally and was full of interest. In fact its a great little book and don't let it sink without trace.

ugh oh late info
The Wood Wharf
Sale price £5 per copy
108 pages Size A5 Colour
Leighton Darwin Press

Royal Arsenal Book

The Royal Arsenal, Woolwich in Old Photographs (Britain in Old Photographs)
by Roy Masters
This was published by Suttons in 1995 but following their demise has not been available. It has been re-printed locally and is available at £9,99 ( £10 ) Plus Postage lowest £2

(there is only one copy available on Amazon and that is £19)


Wednesday, 19 January 2011

More bits and pieces from other societies

Lots of stuff in the post (must be the New Year!)

Woolwich and District Antiquarians

Their newsletter does give an account of a dig on the Woolwich Power Station site. They did find a 'spectacular iron age fort' - but - sadly for us - no mention of the later industrial uses.

They are advertising meetings:
29th January - Woolwich Free Ferry by Andy Griffiths of TfL
19th February The London Underground by David Brown
26th March - AGM followed by a talk on Georgian London by Ian Bevan
all at Charlton House 2.00

Lewisham Local History Society
Their newsletter is all about New Cross Speedway (well,lots of Greenwich people must have gone to it!). .... and ... er Dr.Crippen

They are advertising meetings:
28th January - George Barnes,Pioneer aviator - by David Snow (new biography is now out). at the Methodist Church Hall, Albion Way 7.45
18th February - Grove Park History Revisited by John King. at Burnt Ash Methodist Church, Burnt Ash Hill. 7.45
25th March - My personal journey through the history of Lewisham - by Heidi Alexander at Civic Suite, Lewisham Town Hall. 7.45

so what else has turned up:

Industrial Archaeology News - this is the newsletter of the national Association for Industrial Archaeology. As ever it is too busy with Cornwall, Somerset and everywhere north to notice London - let alone Greenwich!
However a short article by Bob Carr does mention Robin - the restored steam coaster, she was in the West India Dock until two years ago when she went to Ipswich for considerable renovation work and is now in Tilbury Dock awaiting a permanent home. Fingers crossed we might just get her in Greenwich at the new coaling jetty project.

Industrial Heritage - produced in Settle this is a great little magazine - but it rarely mentions London, or Greenwich. well, better luck next time!
(available from Hudson History, Procter House, Kirkgate, Settle hudsonhistory@totalise.

-and - more locally - Woodlands Farm Newsletter - as I have said in the past, our local farm does do real work. This time they are talking about their beehives. support them all you can at Woodlands Farm Trust
They now have a cafe ope at weekends.

some dates and things from Greenwich Historical society

- have sent details of their meeting on Wednesday 26th of January 2011
This is 'Making a Map' by RICH SYLVESTER

By way of publicity they say 'Rich is a a professional storyteller, who has recently completed an MA in Public History at Ruskin College. The East Greenwich History Map grew over the past nine years from his local history walks around the Peninsula, as an attempt to share an understanding of the rich and varied history that exists outside of "Historic Greenwich". Funded by the Heritage Lottery the 2,000 copies were published last year. It's timeline and illustrated text features themes of People, Leisure, Industry, Buildings, Transport, Ships, War, Art and Memorials and Wildlife. Luke Eastop the designer will also speak.

(and we are twisting Rich's arm to come and give the same talk to GIHS)

Also: Greenwich Historical Society advertise their AGM on 23rd March.
their future meetings include:
23rd February Murder most Horris. 1818 nasty murder by Danny Stephens
23rd March - the delights of the Cattermole Panorama by Anthony Cross
27th April - Stuart Watson talking whales on and in the Thames.

Their meetings are at 7.30 at Blackheath High School Vanburgh Park

- and thanks to them for the blurb about my 'Mr.Bugsby and the Coaling Jetty' - although they flatter it to call it a book - its more a few bits of paper!

GLIAS and its latest newsletter

Lots of newsletters come through- what have they got to say about Greenwich's Industrial History.

Newsletter December 2010.

- tonight - thats 19th January - GLIAS has a speaker,Dan Hayton, on Computers on London - this is about remaining structures from the early days of computing. We very much hope he has a lot to say about JOHN HUMPHERIES HOUSE (we have sent him lot of info). It is at the Willoughby Theatre in Charterhouse Square at 6.30. see you there.

GLIAS also records the retirement of Denis Smith as Chair - he has been Chair since slightly before the year dot- the Society formed around his evening class at Goldsmith's College in the very early 1970s (so it is almost a Greenwich Society!!)

Elsewhere Greenwich does get a few mentions in the newsletter - archaeology at Hilton's Wharf is noted, as is the discovery of the gun platform at Eaglesfield Park (which last night's GIHS speaker detailed). the possible Royal Flying corps remains at Thomas Tallis School and Greenwich Reach excavations.

Richard Buchanan has responded to a request in the newsletter on converted water towers and has noted the one at the old Brook Hospital site - and noted the need for increased water when the hospital took on a general, as distinct from a isolation hospital, role. He also says 'the red brick tower was adapted by increasing the size of the tank to the outside dimensions of the tower, the now visible steelwork painted to match the bricks .... the conversion to domestic use saw the steel replaced by glass. Below this the tiny original windows have been retained. The dwelling was out up for sale at £1.2m.............................'

another point is raised by Bob Rust who asks about a centre rail between Greenwich and Maze Hill stations - what was it for??
Bob also comments on memories of Banning Street 'sitting in a queue to deliver a very small consignment to go on a coaster or be lightered to the docks. ..'often the only distraction in those days was watching the cable coming out of the works over the conveyor/bridge to go into the cable tank of the ship lying alongside'.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Foxboro-Yoxall in Kidbrook


gives a history of the British works of the American instrument makers Foxboro Yoxall. In the article it says they had a factory in Kidbrook??? Does anyone out there have any information on this??

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Bits of news - including - Greenwich back in Kent

We understand that a Kent IA section is being set up with an inaugural meeting in February - we also understand that they are looking at the historic county - which means us! More details when we have them - and see you there!

Greenwich Historical Association - meeting on Wednesday 26th January 2011 - is about the The Making of a Map - by RICH SYLVESTER who will talk about the the process of making a history map of Greenwich Peninsular and East Greenwich.
Rich worked closely with several of our members on this project and we look forward to hearing about it from him. Suspect this is at Blackheath High School, Mycenae Road entrance, 7.30 but you should check

GLIAS - meeting on 19th January at Willhoughby Theatre, Charterhouse Square, 18.30. This is about early computers in London by Dan Hayton. We have been feeding Dan lots of information about London Borough of Greenwich's John Humpheries House and its Leo III. Hopefully he will also take in Elliott Automation - which was on the Tesco site in Lewisham

Our programme (so far) for the next year is as follows:
all at the Old Bakehouse, Bennett Park 7.30

18th January Andy Brockman The First Blitz: The Eaglesfield Park Anti Aircraft Gun Site and the defence of Woolwich Arsenal in WW1.

15th February Brian Strong on the distilling industry

15th March John King on Aer Lingus and the LMS Railway

12th April Diana Rimel - the Ashburnham Triangle. Part II

10th May Duncan Hawkins on Archaeology at Deptford Dockyard

20th September – Ron Bristow on Elliott Automation

11th October Chris Foord on Industries of Barking and Dagenham

15th November – John Grieg on Grieg’s Wharf part II