The December 2011 edition of the GLIAS Newsletter is out – so – our regular trawl and the most important question – What does it have to say this month about the industrial history of Greenwich and/or Woolwich??In fact – it’s largely the usual stories embellished. But never mind that.
First of all – a ‘thank you’ to Editor Robert (and Sue) for advertising all the next GIHS talks at the Old Bakehouse (7.30 all Welcome)17th January Jeremy Hodgkinson on Iron Founding in the Weald
21st February John Yeardley on Ropemaking in London
13th March David Cufley on Bricks and brickmaking locally
17th April Peter Luck on Sugar & Soap – (site recently known as Amylum)
15th May Diana Rimel on Bazalgette
And then there are some GLIAS events – reciprocally advertised below:18th January – 300 Years of the Newcomen Engine by Prof. Dave Perrett. Willoughby Theatre, Charterhouse Square, 6.30
And a leaflet is enclosed for SERIAC 28th April 2012. At Newbury. Details www.biag.org.uk
SERIAC is the South East Regional Industrial Archaeology Conference – and the programme, as ever, is all rural industries with a bit of military stuff.
Back to the newsletter:There is a long long list of items from the London Archaeologist’s Annual Fieldwork Round-up. This includes:
Eaglesfield Park, Shooters Hill – excavation of First World War anti-aircraft gun platform Deptford Green, Lower School – rice mill established around 1700 replaced by warehouse 1875
Convoys Wharf Deptford – 52 trenches excavated, identified area of c19th Great Dock. Outline of Grade II listed c19 Olympia building and area of Tudor storehouse. Other walls and surfaces.
Next comes some bits from News in BriefDeptford Dockyard – they report about the surviving important remains. And point out ‘the two listed shipbuilding sheds are at present likely to be surrounded and obscured by high rise buildings. These listed slipway covers are the only extant shipbuilding structures above ground in Greater London (Ref. R.J.M.Surtherland Trans Necomen Society, vol 60 pps 107-126)
Then there is a lot of information about a Deptford built warship HMS Pandora and her wreck, referring us to a Queensland Museum website. She was built in Deptford by Adams, Barnard and Dudman in 1778-9Enderby Wharf - they report 'bad news'.... ‘Security is no longer being maintained at the property next door and squatters have got into Enderby House. The interior is now so badly damaged that the house’s continued status as a listed building is under threat. The developers have decided that the Enderbys were ’unkind to whales’ so it is bad to perpetuate their memory. The name 'Enderby Wharf' will probably be changed’. They also refer to the cable gear on the jetty and refer us to Dockland (NELP/GLC 1986 p255)
And then – we come to more on the Woolwich Ferry. And can I repeat the plea that all these ferry enthusiasts PLEASE get in touch with us – or could the GLILAS newsletter ask them to??First there is a long piece by David Dawson about the connections between the ferry and Crossness sludge vessels. This concerns a grid iron build at Crossness for boat repair recommended to be installed in 1894. And it is added that there was a suggestion that the ‘Woolwich Ferry boats could be serviced on the gridiron at Crossness and with a little alteration in the levels of the blocks the gridiron can be used for the Fire Brigade boat’. This gridiron was 230 feet long, 50 ft. wide and built of fir timber, most 12 inch square. Timbers were driven vertically into the river bed and cross members use to support the vessels. This structure apparently survived into the 1940s, but its subsequent fate isn’t recorded
David Dawson point to the remains of a similar structure at Woolwich just down from the ferry, known as the Woolwich barge blocks.
And - finally – someone called Bob ‘sewerpipe’ Rogers has been ‘prompted to put pen to paper’ because of the item in the last GLIAS newsletter which said there was ‘little justification for the taxpayer funding the ferry'. Bob Sewerpipe says ‘The Woolwich Ferry is living heritage and many of the foot passengers would not be able to use the foot tunnel. As such it is a lifeline’.(And can I add – it is also extremely busy and many many vehicles use which are not heavy transports)