Friday, 11 December 2015
Sorry to keep pushing my own works. Need to be a bit shameless maybe,
'Innovation, Enterprise and Change on the Greenwich Peninsula' is still available (but I have just opened the LAST BOX). Copies are for sale at Sabo, Stockwell Street, The Warwick Leadlay Galley, Nelson Road, Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Centre, and the NOW Galley, Greenwich Peninsula Square. or from me firstname.lastname@example.org. Or from Rob who can also handle paypal.http://www.greenwich.co.uk/peninsula-book/
- and also buy some of Rob's wonderful calendars of Greenwich or the Thames http://www.londonphotocalendars.co.uk/royal-greenwich-2016/
Also -next week - I am doing presentations on the peninsula and its history:
16th Wednesday - 6.00-700 Greenwich Centre Library
17th Thursday - 7-8 Blackheath Library
Great launch event at the Greenwich Gallery for Peter Kent's amazing 'The Birth of London's Newest City'. Go and see it - its on until the 23rd. 9-5.30 weekdays, 12-4 weekends. Honestly. This is amazing.
www.peterkentgreenwich.co.uk www.johnpayne.com (the sponsors)
As ever - various events
20th January - The Archaeology and History of the Kings Cross Goods Yard. Rebecca Haslam. 6.30 Swedenborg Hall.
17th February. Father Thames. Still alive and kicking. The changing role of Thames Wharves. David Hilling. 6.30 Swedenborg Hall.
16th March, Gold Refining in London. Michaele Blagg. 6.30 75 Cowcross Street
20th April The Restoration of Historic Buildings. An Engineer's perspective. 6.15 75 Cowcross Street
18th May. AGM. Played in London. The Heritage of a City at Play. Simon Inglis 6.15 75 Cowcross Street
Guided Towpath Walks by the Inland Waterways Association, all over Christmas. www.waterways.org.uk
10th February. Newcomen Society. Susan Mossman on 'Onward ever' Henry Bessemer and his Works. 5.45 Science Museum (bet she doesn't mention his Greenwich Works)
SERIAC - 23rd April. Kingston on Thames.
The GLIAS Newsletter also lists down items from the London Archaeologists Fieldwork Roundup for 2014.. Greenwich items are:
Enderby House. evaluation to locate c17-18 gunpowder magazine built 1694. Found C17 brick foundation and robbed wall of magazine
King Henry's Dock SE18. evaluation of site of Graving Dock found three phases of features: timber posts and a horizontal beam from an early phase: a wall from the second phase: and a mooring bollard and two brick structures 'most likely a dock crane' from the post 1850's phase.
Greenwich Market - building survey: designed by Joseph Kay. 1833. Hipped roof of market is steel based structure of 1905-8
Pelton Road and Commerell Street SE10. industrial buildings.
Convoys Wharf. found brick and concrete wall foundations and possibly crane bases from the Nineteenth Century; a stone structrure which could be part of Stern Dock Entrance and a possible continuation of a slipway wall. Also dug test pits inside and outside the Olympia Building and a cast iron structure of 1844 originally erected as cover for Slipways.
There is also an article praising Rich Sylvester's Greenwich Peninsula map and urges that it be made more available http://fegp.typepad.com/friends/2010/07/east-greenwich-history-map.html
Arco Trent - another article in the GLIAS Newsletter discusses Richard Wilson's ''Slice of Reality' which has been round the back of the Dome since 2000. It says that this was originally the Arco Trent built in 1971. 'Originally a dredger, in later life she served as a floating booster station, modified to assist other vessels in the discharge of aggregate at more remote locations, even in open water'. She is currently used as a studi
Finally - there is a note in the newsletter from Gillian Friar who has a collection of books and research materials about John Evelyn and would be happy to donate them to someone interested. AG@Parfrey.co.uk
INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY NEWS
This is the Association for Industrial Archaeology's Winter 2015 edition.
They advertise their new web site industrial-archaeology.org.
The edition also includes an article on Enderby Wharf - this is by - er - me - and there is also a small advert for my new book - so, thanks AIA.
BLACKHEATH SCIENTIFIC SOCIETY
18th December - talks on Mechanical Calculators, My Wife's Iron Fork, The Last Vulcan Bomber Flight.
15th January - Managing the Crossness Nature Reserve.
both at Mycenae House n7.45
THE LENOX PROJECT
Their winter fair is 12th December (that's tomorrow) at Lewisham Arthouse, 140 Lewisham Way. 11-6. lots of new t-shirts, and other stud with a 'fabulous design'. You can also buy direct from them. They also have a new brochure which is available on their web site. www.buildthelenox.org.
MARIE CELESTE DE CASTERAS. Ann Dingsdale writes: " I am researching the 1,499 women who signed the 1866 womens' suffrage petition in 1866. We plan to celebrate the local women who signed with a walk in May to mark the 150th anniversary (40 years before the Suffragettes!)
I have been interested to find that one woman who signed in Greenwich took out some interesting engineering patents in the early 1860's, and if GIHS know anything more about her. She was Marie Celeste de Castres SInibaldi, a naturalised Frenchwoman,born 1808, and married to a Corsican professor of Italian, Luigi Sinibaldi. Iin the 1860's she was living at 1 South Villas, South
Street. Her son was an engineer,Napoleon Sinibaldi and hHer brother in law Pierre Sinibaldi was a
These are the details of the patents: 1862 October 31 No 2945. Improvements in the manufacture of armour plates for ships fortifications and forts, and in the manufacture of plates to be used in the construction and building of ships and for other purposes, and for attaching copper or other like protective metal to the outside of metal plates for making copper bottoms or bottoms with a similar protection to Iron ships. The method of constructing armour plates for building ships of war is to use laminated plates combining iron and steel and also plates of iron without steel perfectly wrought and to unite them by soldering with copper brass or other metal in the manner described. To procure great strength laminated plates of steel and iron are used in combination. Plates for building ships for the merchant service are manufactured in like manner but with thinner plates. By the same means I produce all other formation of iron for machinery, beams and other purposes.By the process described, an external coat of copper or other protective metal can be given to each plate of iron which when the plates are used in the construction of ships will produce the effect of copper bottoms
August 22, 1862. 2205. To Marie Celeste Sinibaldi of 1, South villas South-street, Greenwich, in the county of Kent, for the invention of "improvements in the manufacture of chains, and in the
apparatus employed therein."
Notes of meetings - but all they do is West London - and I know they would blame us for not offering them a south east London Labour Heritage Day. However......
20th February West London History Day. Ruskin Hall, Acton,. W3
21st May AGM. Unite the Union Offices, Holborn, WC2
EAST END WATERWAYS GROUP- only just over the other side of the river - they have sent us details of their letters on planning proposals for the Hackney Wick area - 'the science park of the 1840s'. Happy to pass details on.
Tuesday, 13 October 2015
Neil Bennett has given a number of talks on Merryweathers - the Greenwich based fire engine manufacturers. He has also given information and advice to numerous enquirers and has been a great source of knowledge. He has recently sent us a 'time line' of Merryweathers - and we give the first part of this below, together with Fire Engine America from the Merryweather catalogue.
MERRYWEATHER & SONS, STEAM: FIRE ENGINE MAKERS
Merryweather and Sons Time-line
c. 1690 or 1692 - Nathaniel Hadley. ‘Cross Street’ London. Manufacture of small manual pumps, leather fire buckets etc.
1750– Adam Nuttall started a company in Long Acre building manual fire pumps.
1823 – Hadley & Simpkin at 63 Long Acre listed as Engine Makers.
Friday, 9 October 2015
"The project went into a six month delay due to the popularity of the Sculptress following her London exhibition. However we were shocked to learn in October 2005 that the CIS had sold its entire Property Portfolio to AXA Real Estate ....our project became a watching brief with updates every six months.
24 October 2013, this proved to be a significant event for the Society - more later. The multi- storey buildings were still undergoing the cleaning and asbestos removal process which was due to be completed in January 2014. There was still interest in the multi-storey buildings for residential use, however, Greenwich Council were now unsure as to whether they want to allow this use on the estate and it may be that they allocate the area as strategic industrial land in the next local plan. This would fix the use for the next 15 years. AXA, not surprisingly, were trying to resist this as the buildings were not really a viable commercial proposition in the current use as not many modem occupiers want to be located above ground floor.
Monday, 5 October 2015
Lewisham Local History Newsletter. Really this edition is all about Forest Hill, and like places in Lewisham which even I can't argue are really in Greenwich! There is a note about a Heritage Exhibition on 10-17th October at St.Mary's Church, which will cover some of the joint history when in 918 lands in Greenwich and Lewisham were left to St.Peter's Abbey in Ghent. There is also an appeal for speakers on local history items at Manor House Library on Wednesday mornings (info Robert.Tamplin@Lewisham.gov.uk)
GLIAS Newsletter - This includes an article by Peter Butt on Millennium Mills - its not in Greenwich but you can see it from Greenwich! Otherwise - they list the following meetings which might be of interest:
17th February. GLIAS lecture. Father Thames, Still alive and kicking. The Changing Role of Thames Wharves. David Hilling. Swedenborg Hall, Barter Street, WC1 6.30
18th May. GLIAS AGM The Gallery, Cowcross Street, EC1
4th November. Trinity Buoy Wharf by Eric Reynolds. Docklands History Group, Museum in Docklands 5.30 (well, again, you can see it from Greenwich)
- and also - Danny Hayton and Andrew Turner's Greenwich Peninsula walk last Saturday seemed to go very well. I understand it took over three hours to get round - and that they were advised by Elizabeth Pearcey at Enderby Wharf with piles of Enderby Group leaflets. On the walk was a visitor from Germany - Barbara Gasometra Berger - here to look at our gasholders, and hot on the heels of a previous visitor with similar intentions from Finland. So, welcome, to Barbara, and glad she described our massive East Greenwich No.1. holder as 'adorable'.
Beale of East Greenwich - Elizabeth Pearcey has shared with us an article from Newcomen Society Links (which is on a members only website). This is by Bob Carr and talks about the rotary engine patented by Joshua Beale who had a works on part of the site of Enderby Wharf in the early 19th century. It is illustrated with a copy of part of his patent. Rotary engines are an interesting subject and Bob is hoping to put forward the view that they were a more common and more long lasting design than has previously been thought. More about the Beales in due course.
Links also a note about the Enderby Group, its work and links to recent publications by Stewart Ash.
English Heritage have sent us notes of some archaeological work about to start:
Phase 7/8 Riverside, Woolwich (LAG/011/387)
and PLOT M0401, OLD SCHOOL CLOSE, GREENWICH PENINSULA: 14/3601/F (LAG/011/271) - archaeology (this includes a full site briefing - happy to share if someone emails email@example.com)
and - hope you have all been down to see Bullet from a Shooting Star. It is on Point Wharf, by the way, not the gas works or any part of the gas works site. It claims to be reminiscent of industry on the Peninsula - do we think that is so? And do we have any thoughts on what is clearly a triumph of structural engineering??
and - for thoughts on the 19th century telecoms revolution - try http://www.scrambledmessages.ac.uk/
Wednesday, 30 September 2015
This supplement is packed with interesting information about the Woolwich works - but before we go on here is a copy of their front page, a brief history of the Company so that we all know where we are.
From its humble start at Woolwich, when employees averaged around 800 total, the Company grew to encompass over 20,000 employees world wide. Employees at Woolwich reached a peak in the WWII period of 9,500 total, but generally averaged around 8,000 in the post war years. iJ
Thursday, 10 September 2015
THE LAMAS NEWSLETTER contains an article about the Thames Discovery Programme which includes some notes about their work - the FROG Project - in Greenwich. This says: that the foreshore outside the Old Royal Naval College has been described by Gus Milne as the "most dynamic foreshore on the Thames" and that in 2011 the Greenwich Foreshore Recording and Observation Group was set up to monitor three main sites in the borough on a regular basis. - the key site being Greenwich Palace. The article goes on to describe visits to the foreshore and fieldwork. They found that many structures have been 'dramatically eroded' ie - 'Several previously recorded timbers from what had been interpreted as a Tudor jetty have disappeared' however 'several new features have become visible'. Changes have allowed 'a better understanding of the jettys construction and period' and that 'the majority of the wood used is elm, including the larger timbers, and many of the timbers have been pit sawn. Damian Goodburn has suggested that this would date the structure from about 1560 to 1660'. Furtherc 'The results of analysis support an interpretation that this structure could be the "King's Bridge" associated with Greenwich Palace, and that the
timbers currently visible may be the 1631 rebuild under Charles I'. and 'Further downstream, a causeway and granite platform around the Queen's Stairs is now clearly visible, and a large chalk barge bed is appearing east of the causeway'.
Perhaps I could comment here that it is a pity some of this energy is not going into investigating what could be the remains of the 1690s jetty at what is now Enderbys - and also the early 19th century tide mill and causeway at what used to be called Riverway, where any evidence will almost certainly be completely destroyed soon with not even a single photograph. Mary
This is the usual cheery newsletter with articles of current interest of work going on. www.thewoodlandsfarmtrust.org
SUBTERRANEA BRITANNICA are advertising their Autumn Meeting on 10th October which includes items on PLUTO and on the Thames Tunnel at Rotherhithe info: firstname.lastname@example.org
TIDELINE ART. Mudlarker Nicola White has done a very interesting piece of research and constructed a whole life from a luggage label she found on the foreshore. Please read it http:/www.tidelineart.com/tideline-art-blog/a-river-thames-mudlarking-find-brings-to-life-world-war-one-soldier-Frederick-Jury-1873-1932
HISTORIC GAS TIMES - this includes an article from local gas historian Brian Sturt. It describes Gas Works Park in Seattle. Happy to give details of what he says (might even ask him to come and speak to GIHS about it) - Basically it is the same old story about how everywhere else in the world gas works remains are preserved ... but ... in England .....
Now - they are more interested in Gravesend in saving bits of Greenwich than we are! The following web site https://sites.google.com/site/riverthamesheritageopportunity/ is mainly interested in the riverside and cement industry sites in Northfleet. They include however a whole page about the drawdock at the end of Blackwall Lane - which they describe as 'Greenwich Peninsular O2 Arena Slipway'. It is well worth seeing what they say 'Greenwich Council would do well to insist that any further development .... this much needed facility can be brought back into use'. They also provide 'vision drawings' of what could be done 'all this slipway needs is space for cars and boat trailors to park and then it is back in business'.
Cory - now people in Spitalfields are more interested in the Charlton Riverside than we are. I would recommend (thanks to Darryl) 'Among the Thames Lightermen' from Spitalfields Life http://spitalfieldslife.com/2015/09/09/among-the-thames-lightermen This is all about Corys which are still extant on the Charlton Riverside - and I think are a rather larger company than they appear and less easily picked off by developers. The article describes a voyage down river on one of their tugs which transport the city's waste (and the City's waste too) down river to where the rest of us can forget about it. (GIHS could do with a speaker on them too)
IN HACKNEY BUT - the East End Waterway Group are pointing out threats from developers to buildings in Hackney Wick. One of these is the first building where plastic (Parksine) was made on an industrial scale. They are also still concerned about Swan Wharf and Bream Street. https://mail.aol.com/webmail-std/en-gb/suite (hope that works)
AND FINALLY - MORE NONSENSE FROM DEVELOPERS
I have been shown a copy of the Evening Standard 19th August 2015. This refers to the area of Greenwich now apparently known as 'Telegraph Works' - which at least shows even developers listen to the Enderby Group. However it goes on 'the site dates back to the Tudor Period when it served as a gunpowder store in Queen Elizabeth I's reign' ................... er .............. er - the gunpowder store was opened in the late 1690s which is 90 years after Elizabeth died..................... AND 'its last hurrah was as a tin foil factory which closed in 2013'. Well hooray!! can someone please tell us more about this hitherto unknown works which only closed two years ago. I don't rule its existence out - but Please tell us.
Tuesday, 8 September 2015
The Eponymous Enderbysby Stewart Ash
Review by Richard Buchanan
|The Samuel Enderby|
Buxton & Enderby was founded ca1765, at St Paul’s Wharf in London. They developed a successful business trading with the American colonies – shipping out British goods and bringing back whale oil and seal skins. Americans crossed the Atlantic too, one being Nathaniel Wheatley who came to England with his adopted sister Phillis to promote her poetry; she had been taken to America to be sold as a slave but was adopted, and educated, by Nathaniel’s parents. While in London, Nathaniel met and married Mary, Samuel Enderby’s eldest daughter; after the wedding they returned to Boston, where Nathaniel acted as the agent for the Enderbys. This was just after the Boston Tea Party, which involved ships used by Buxton & Enderby, though it is not clear whether they were owned or leased, or to what extent it was their tea that was lost.
In 1775 Samuel founded Samuel Enderby & Sons, to hunt whales, not just transport the oil. In 1783 Samuel junior was sent to Boston to engage Americans to crew Enderby whaling ships – they soon had 17 ships. By then whales had been all but eliminated in the north Atlantic and they were exploiting the south Atlantic. South Atlantic whales also became scarce. In 1788 their ship the Emilia (described in Moby Dick as the Amelia) initiated whaling in the Pacific, despite restrictions imposed by the East India Company. They set up base in what was to become Sydney.
|Enderby Wharf from the river in the mid-19th century|
(kind permission Roger Marshall)
In 1787 the Enderbys, then quite influential in London and seen as being in a respectable line of business, were granted arms featuring a ‘harpooner’. That year Samuel junior married Mary Goodwyn, daughter of a brewer; their first two babies died at birth but nine more survived. Their eldest daughter, Elizabeth, married Henry Gordon of the Royal Artillery at the Greenwich parish church of St Alphege – one of her sons being General Gordon of Khartoum.
The family became wealthy and when Samuel (senior) died in 1797 he was able to bequeath four figure sums around the family, and ensure they could continue to live in style.
Samuel junior took the business to new heights; it peaked in 1891 with 68 ships owned or under charter. He encouraged his ship captains to explore the southern ocean in search of new whaling and seal hunting grounds. This resulted in the discovery of several island groups, including Auckland Islands found in1805. Eventually they reached Antarctica. However, no significant whaling grounds were found and decline set in – in a search for fewer and fewer whales the Enderby ships were outnumbered by American ships. In England oil lamps had largely given way to gas lighting and other uses were declining.
Samuel junior died in 1829. His eldest son, Samuel, had already become a professional soldier (whose fascinating story Mr Ash tells). The business was therefore left to the next three sons: Charles, Henry and George, though Henry took no active part. In 1830 it was renamed Messrs Enderby Brothers; they purchased a Thames-side site in Greenwich, which had first been developed as a naval gunpowder store, but which by then had a rope-walk. They developed and modernised this and added sail making, serving their own and others’ shipping interests. The site became known as Enderby Wharf, the name still in use today. Then, with dwindling resources, they left their London offices and premises at St Paul’s wharf, which they moved to Poplar.
Charles and George, however, were still explorers at heart, and were founder members of the Geographical Society (to become Royal in 1859). They organised three voyages during the 1830s, each with a pair of ships, to the southern ocean, which made notable contributions to the geography of the region; these put Charles Enderby into high regard and in1841 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society.
None of the three voyages had paid financially. However their trading and rope & sail making businesses made some money, and in 1834 they commissioned a new trading ship, named the Samuel Enderby. But in 1845 there was a devastating fire at the Enderby works. It was not rebuilt; instead Charles built himself a house on the site – still there, known as Enderby House – and listed Grade II. The house has an unusual and attractive ‘Octagon’ room on the top floor with a large window giving a good view of the Thames. The Geographical Society met there at Charles’ invitation.
|The Enderby rope and canvas works burns down|
Despite his enthusiasm for the southern ocean, Charles had never been there. But James Clark Ross had, and in 1840 had discovered a fine natural harbour in the Auckland Islands, which he said would be an ideal site for a whaling station. Charles decided to go and set one up. The Enderbys could not finance such an expedition themselves and set up the Southern Whale Fishing Company. The British Government granted a 20 year lease of the Auckland Islands to the Company and named Charles Enderby as the Lieutenant-Governor. He set sail on the Samuel Enderby with two other ships in August 1849, and arrived in December. A settlement was soon built, but then things deteriorated; Charles, who proved to be ineffective, was evicted. By 1852 the settlement was abandoned. Charles was in Wellington vainly trying to clear his name; in 1853 he returned to London but fared no better.
After his return it became possible to wind up Messrs Enderby Brothers, duly done in 1854. By then none of the Enderby family was still living in the Greenwich district. George had moved to Northfleet, Kent. When Charles died in 1876 he was a lodger in Holborn.
|Enderby House today - the only listed building on the|
Greenwich Peninsula it is now owned by developers.
Sunday, 6 September 2015
GIHS was sent a query about the Greenwich Park Bandstand - this had been to a number of people and organisations - here is the response from one of our members - Barbara Holland
(and thanks Barbara. Hope this is ok.)
Greenwich Park Bandstand - Deane and Company
A question has been raised regarding why the name Deane & Co. is stamped into the columns of the bandstand in Greenwich Park when it has been generally accepted that it was made by the Coalbrookdale Company. I have done some research into Deane & Co., and based on this have proposed two theories that might throw some light on this ‘mystery’.
In 1853 the firm won a bronze medal for a fowling piece at the New York Exhibition, and in 1855 a Prize medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition ("carabines, rifles et fusils de chasse, pistolet et revolver").
The hardware and ironmongery side of the business continued to trade successfully from 46 King William Street until 1890, but the gunmaking part was sold in 1873. The Deane’s had sold up by 1890 to retire, and the site acquired by the City & South London Electric Railway Company for the building of the King William Street Station. This was the northern terminus of the world’s first deep-level underground electric railway which ran from Stockwell and had 6 stations. The station opened on 18th December 1890, closing in 1900 when the line was extended to Moorgate.