Thursday, 26 March 2015


LATEST STORY FIRST - Yesterday we put on this site stuff about an archaeological dig in Woolwich which had found an old gas holder. Well - later that day photographer Chris Mansfield told us, through Facebook, that he has been thrown off the site for publishing his pictures on line!!!

There has been a 'consultation' by Transport for London on plans to upgrade Greenwich (possibly oldest working) power station.  This seems to be to put more generation equipment into the long unused easterly hall so as to provide extra potential capacity for the tube while joining local power networks to provide energy for locals. Details are a bit thin on the ground at the moment but local groups are reporting on this and planning to find out more.  See East Greenwich Residents on http://  and the current Greenwich Society Newsletter   

This is a big big subject - it appears that it has either been sold to a developer, or not, as the case may be. It is likely that the site is being snapped up so it can be demolished for housing.   In many parts of the world redundant gas holders are being turned into all sorts of facilities - including blocks of flats built inside them.  Our holder - East Greenwich No.1 - was the biggest in the world when it was built, and built to revolutionary principles, probably with advice from leading modern movement designers. 

Meanwhile the club in Blackwall Lane is doing light shows on it

A group of architects have produced a model of what they think should be done with the holder. Their work seems to have had little, or no, local publicity although it was shown at the Royal Academy and elsewhere. It was done by Patrick Judd and Ash Bonham as a project by the Royal Institution of British Architects and the Architects Journal and the worked received a commendation.   They are trying to get the holder listed - but, quite honestly, we've been there and back already!!

Barbara Ludlow tells us that a book by Conan Fraser (who apparently died last year) has been published in New Zealand - The Enderby Settlement - Britain's Whaling Venture on the Sub-Antarctic Island 1849-1852'  Published by Otago University Press. Price not known.

Meanwhile the Enderby Group is busy busy busy - hope to do a detailed article soon

Photographer Peter Marshall has now got a page on Facebook about his new book which is largely about pictures on the Greenwich riverside. Here's what he says: "Here's the final volume in my London Docklands series of books with pictures taken before 1985. The book is published as a PDF (ISBN 978-1-909363-13-7) and can be downloaded from Blurb for a fiver and you can print any pages you wish for personal use. If you want a printout of the whole book, this is available from Blurb, but copies are cheaper direct from me at £25 + £2 p/p for UK customers. 90 pages,82 b/w photographs'

This group campaigns on a number of issues on the other side of the river.  They have been actively involved in trying to prevent the demolition of a number of gas holders - and have just lost the fight with the great and dramatically sited holder in Bethnal Green.   Nearer to us is the campaign - and on line petition - on the holders at Levan Road - which you can see immediately to your right as you emerge from the Blackwall Tunnel.
They are also actively involved in trying to stop demolitions of some wonderful 19th century industrial buildings at Hackney Wick (where the first plastic - Zylonite - was developed, and much else).

We have their 150th anniversary newsletter - that 150 years of the engines, not of the Trust.  They have a full report of the opening in the newsletter with lots of congratulations to Mr. Bazalgette.   The newsletter also includes a tribute to Michael Dunmow - one of their most prominent activists and also a assiduous researcher on industrial Bexley. He will be missed.   There is an item on the various bands which have recorded videos and so on among the engines.

We also have news of the demolition of the old Maybloom Working Men's Club in Plumstead. This interesting building - a purpose built club from 1928 - was almost impossible to see from the road, which why its end seems to be unnoticed. (thanks to Chris Mansfield for the info).

We have been sitting on an interesting article in the Institution of Civil Engineers Newsletter about a visit to the Tyne Pedestrian and Cycle Tunnels. This is a great interest as it involves issues which could be taken up in our Greenwich and Woolwich Tunnels.  Requests to reproduce the article have been ignored (sigh!!)

Always interesting.   Would recommend article in their February issue on Lord Marks of Woolwich 'The forgotten engineer'.  (hopefully we could reproduce this).

We have been asked to remind people about the AGM of the Naval Dockyards Society  on 25th April at the Maritime Museum. This is followed by a conference on 'The Royal Dockyards and the Pressures of Global War 1793-1815' . Details

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