Monday, 21 February 2011


Walking across a car park in Lewisham this afternoon I encountered John King, the eminient Lewisham historian. I asked how his new book on Grove Park was going - and he fished a copy out of his armfull for me. Published today!

So John King - Grove Park. Its History Revisited. Published 2011 by Lewisham Local History Society for Grove Park Community Group.

Clearly Grove Park isn't the most industrial area in South East London - it has a hospital with an interesting and varied past - and lots and lots of suburban housing.
There is also an interesting railway history, as well as trams - and some manufacturing. Flicking through I noticed that Gripfix is a Grove Park product. More details to come

Also recently sent to us David Carpenter. Below the Waterline 2010 Bears Hide Publishing

This is a really really good read although the amount in it about Greenwich is fairly tenuous. It follows on from Dave's earlier book "Dockland Apprentice' which described his apprenticeship at the London Graving Dock and devotion to large, locally produced, motorcycles. So, slightly older Dave, having served his time - signs up on the M.V.Rakaia as a junior engineer, and,then, leaves his Mum and Dad in Woolwich - and off to see a whole lot of ocean. This was a path followed by many young men up to the 1950s when the river was the river and the docks were the docks. Highly recommended - and Dave is happy to give discounts to GIHS members - contact me or Steve for details.

ALSO - Owen Hatherley. A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain. 2010 Verso.

This is a really important book about architecture- and which I have been sitting on for some weeks, being very very nervous about reviewing it. Owen lives locally and I think we deserve to give him quite a bit of attention, particularly as a whole chapter is about Greenwich and devleopment/architectural issues. Owen is basically reviewing architectural developments in recent years in a number of British cities - he has developed a theory of something he calls Blairite architecture, and those locals who follows his local blog will be aware of the general drift of his architectural thought. One thing I have found difficult about writing a review of his book is that I really don't feel equipped to comment on the many cities he mentions because I simply don't know them well enough. So - I will come back later to go through what he says about Greenwich and Woolwich - he is very good on the murals - but somewhat undervalues the role of the dreaded Planning Inspectorate. More later.

ALSO MORE LATER - Joan Tucker Ferries of the Lower Thames Amberley Publishing 2010

This book has so much in it about the ferries of Greenwich and Woolwich that I have also been a bit nervous about reviewing it. There is just so much there. The research is stunning -and I am concerned that I only found about this very very interesting work when it came up by chance on Amazon - I have never seen a review or any publicity. More detail to come.

AND FINALLY - Andreas Schalch First Master Founder of the Royal Brass Foundry, Woolwich. by Pat and Tony Fawcett. with Woolwich District Antiquarian Society.

This is what it says - a booklet about the early work of the Royal Brass Foundry - with lots of pictures. Again more detail to come.

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