Industrial Archaeology News is published quarterly as the newsletter of the Association for Industrial Archaeology.
Inevitably, as all us London industrial historians, know - London gets a bit left out in most of such circles. Few people outside of the lower Thames or the Lea Valley actually believe there ever was any industry in London.
The current issue however has an article, by Dr. Robert Carr, on the situation at London Bridge Station - there is always a time delay in such things getting written and into print, so perhaps someone will update us on the situation.
Robert Carr says@
London Bridge railway station is one of the oldest in the world, the first part opening in 1836. Following numerous stages of rebuilding the station now occupies a large area on two levels immediately south-east of London Bridge. At least the fourth-busiest rail terminal in London, it is to be completely rebuilt as part of a masterplan.Currently the planned rebuilding will involve the demolition of the large LBSCR (London Brighton and South Coast Railway) train shed covering platforms 9 -16 to the southeast of the site. Built during 1864 - 67, the engineer for this Brighton terminus was F D Banister (1823-1897) with C H Driver (1832-1900) as architect. Although listed grade 11, English Heritage and the Victorian Society have decided not to oppose demolition.
It is intended to integrate London Bridge as a whole so that at long last it will serve as a single station rather than being two awkward parts as now. As well as the LBSCR terminus there are the former South Eastern Railway through platforms for services from Charing Cross, Waterloo East, Blackfriars and Cannon Street to south east England. These three island platforms are to the north of the train shed at a higher level and very intensely used. The through platforms have just simple canopies of recent date to keep the rain off. The spacious and quieter Brighton terminus with an overall roof is to the south. As at St Pancras the train shed, and the rest of the station, is elevated well above the original ground level on brick vaults. It is said that the 1860s roof of the LBSCR terminus must go as the new tracks to be laid through it have to run at a different angle - not along the old alignment. At Victoria station for example, the old South Eastern Railway train shed did not impede the present day operation of the station and there it has been possible to retain it.Over the years a considerable amount of repair and renewal has taken place at London Bridge as would be expected for a railway station of this age. At one time the Brighton station had 10-11 platforms; there now are eight. Part of the LBSCR train shed roof to the east was rebuilt
following World War 2 bomb damage. The 1860s part of this roof which is listed grade II is essentially at the west end. This is considered to be structurally weak as there are insufficient wrought-iron tie rods and the roof presently functions as an arch rather than a truss. The least altered part of the original roof is at the widest part of the station where as part of the planned redevelopment it is essential to insert escalators.
Banister's design for the London Bridge LBSCR train shed roof was based on a 'nave and aisles' plan, with a large barrelled roof running longitudinally and two aisles, originally flat roofed, flanking this central structure. The nave was based on a 'crescent roof' design and is the last of its kind in London. There were once similar roofs at Cannon Street, Blackfriars, Charing Cross, Birmingham New Street and Liverpool Lime Street. The roof in Liverpool is the only other example to survive. The train shed at London Bridge Station is of national importance.
There is also the issue of the South Eastern Railway offices. Formerly in competition, the South Eastern Railway (SER) and the London Chatham and Dover Railway (LC&DR) came to a mutual agreement at the end of the nineteenth century and formed a Joint Management Committee in January 1899. To avoid the financial cost and risks of a formal merger the two companies remained officially separate until the Grouping in 1923, with the receipts split 59% to SER and 41 % to LC&DR. Joint offices were built at 64 - 84 Tooley Street close to London Bridge station to the northeast. The building work occupied 1897- 1900 and the architect is believed to have been Charles Barry junior (1823-1900). If so, this is his only surviving commercial building, a distinctive polychrome edifice, listed locally, still in use and in good condition. The exterior has recently been refurbished. These offices are likely to be demolished as part of the London Bridge redevelopment and this IS a matter of contention.One reason for the demolition is that a brick building close to the road is seen as a potential danger should a terrorist bomb be detonated in a road vehicle parked at the kerbside. It is recommended that for small cars there should be a clear distance of 30 metres from the kerb to the nearest building.
A number of documents articulate the importance of security in design, including the RIBA Guidance on Designing for Counterterrorism (2010) and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure's, Integrated Security, a Public Realm Design Guide for Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (2010). An outcome is the following statement:- 'The identification and mitigation of terrorist threats is not an exact science but one which requires all those involved in the planning process to make reasonable efforts to manage risk. We believe the reduction in blast stand-off which would necessarily result from the retention of 64-84 Tooley Street would result in a materially different environment, such that the public benefit of a secure station would not be delivered to a similar extent through an alternative design proposal. ‘Dr lan Dungavell, Director of the Victorian Society, said that 'to knock this attractive historic building down to create a wider pavement is unnecessary and wasteful.'
It was reported in February that the Mayor of London Mr Boris Johnson told local activists he would like to prevent the demolition of the South Eastern Railway office building in Tooley Street. We await developments.
Industrial Archaeology News 162 Autumn 2012
More info - should you want to find out more about AIA and perhaps teach them more about London industry firstname.lastname@example.org www.industrial-archaeology.org - they are anxious to gain more members and to spread the news of their work.
Information about the News and the Annual Review from Liaison Officer, AIA Liaison Office, The Ironbridge Institute, Ironbridge Gorge Museum, Coalbrookedale, Telford TF8 7DX 01325 359846
Hope that's all ok