Monday, 23 June 2014

Revolutionary cars in Westcombe Hill

Our attention has been drawn to RALPH LUCAS, 24, Westcombe Terrace, Westcombe Hill, Blackheath, S.E.

Anyone know anything about him?? He lived there in the 1880s.

I always knew Greenwich was important in car invention - I've been going on about the two steam cars built on Enderby Wharf in the 1840s  - but this is yet another inventor.

He exhibited at Cordingley's Autocar and Motor Cycle Show at the Agricultural Hall, Islington held 3rd - 10th July 1899.
and they said that Mr. Lucas "introduces us to what is probably the most interesting exhibit in the show" 

This was a "graduating change-speed gear" with "a very pretty action".
Looking up Mr. Lucas on the net I find that the ever reliable Grace's Guide has a whole page of references to him and his gears plus some pictures.
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He also appears at the AGM and Dinner of the Blackheath Automobile Club in 1907 as a Committee member and where his address is given as Upper Siebert Road, Westcombe Park, SE. and he is described as the "Designer of the Valveless car"

Grace also has a page on North-Lucas which seems to be a manufacturing company he set up in Putney Vale with a Mr. Oliver North.  They made one 'revolutionary' car apparently.

So - what else do we know about this??

Thursday, 5 June 2014

In the post - Woodlands Farm - Gas History - GLIAS

In the post this morning there were three newsletters - all of interest. 
Let's start with one from an actual workplace  -

Woodlands Farm.  This newsletter has come a bit late, but with an apology - sadly all the dates listed in it have gone except for Open Farm Sunday - which is this Sunday, 8th  11-4

- also a long way ahead - on 6th of December there is a bird watching walk.

The newsletter has all sorts of articles - a rather touching one about lambs and lambing - and another about a tree survey 'itree London' - and something on their garden and a bird report.  Most interesting to historians is an article about Wool Weights - all about clove weights, tods and weighs. Well worth reading.
Woodlands Farm Trust, 331 Shooters Hill, Welling, Kent, DA16 3RP

Historic Gas Times. I admit this is a bit of speciality. The front page has a wonderful article on it by local gas historian, Brian Sturt.  This is all about our local gas works and the work of the collier ships which brought the coal down from Durham during the Great War.  I am going to ask Brian  if we can reproduce this article - since it is very important and I guess Historic Gas Times has a limited circulation.  He has come to speak to us on colliers in the past - but I will as again.

Historic Gas Times. published by the Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers.

GLIAS Newsletter
The June 2014 Newsletter doesn't seem to have any editorial content about Greenwich and Woolwich. But they do list some events of interest. 

7th June (this Saturday) Greenwich and Charlton Riverside Revisited led by Andrew Turner (and I know Andrew has some real surprises and lots of new information to give you). You have to book for this - email  (too late to post now so I won't bother with the address)

Crossness Public Steaming Days  22nd June     27th July  31st August  If you haven't seen the engines - you will never forget them, an amazing experience.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Women gas workers in the Great War