DON'T FORGET OUR NEXT MEETING
- 15th November Mark Stevenson - Mark is the Historic England officers for THIS area. He will talk about current site investigations in Greenwich and Woolwich.
- Please come along and show him that we care. Age Exchange Bakehouse. 7 for 7.30
MATCHLESS - some bits of my note about Bill Cakebread's new book on the Plumstead Motor bikes and the Collier family were definitely missing from the last posting (someone came to the door!). The book carries on with a lot of detail about the Plumstead Maxey Road works- and how it went from, in the mid-50s as 'the best equipped motor cycle factory in the world' to find themselves losing races and closure in 1969. The reason - perhaps I am my then boyfriend were typical - he sold his small Norton and bought a Honda 50, and quite honestly was much too frightened of the big bikes to take one on.
I was at the White Webbs Transport Museum this weekend - and the two Matchless machines are in pride of place as soon as you walk in - no intepretation on them - if they are Matchless you are supposed to know and admire them. The trouble is that I suspect Plumstead generally has completely forgotten - and like everyone else think that motor bikes were made in the Midlands.
Some links to Matchless today:
- AND - PS - going down the old A20 and I see that Farningham Hill is back to its old name and no long "Death Hill"- when the boys on the big bikes used to go down to it to the ton, round the roundabout and - either back a hero, or dead.
So - Bill Cakebread, The Matchless Colliers. email@example.com £12 per copy plus £2.50 p&p
John Phillips from FOGWOFT writes about the Greenwich Foot Tunnel.
"We've been puzzled for some time by the narrowed and reinforced section of the Greenwich tunnel at its northern end. Urban myth is that it is a result of WW2 bomb damage. Turns out that this is the case.
I am not sure how long the repairs took to undertake but the tunnel was open for business again by mid-1941 I think.
You might be interested to know that Mick Lemmerman, in his excellent book "The Isle of Dogs During WWII" mentions this incident and tells of how some opportunist boat owners charged 2 shillings (10p) per person to ferry people off the Island immediately following the closure of the tunnel. A little later, a free ferry service was established until repairs were completed running between Johnson's Draw Dock on the Island and Greenwich Pier, with a temporary pier being built on the Island running across moored barges.
The tunnel had a very narrow escape later in the war, when a V-1 Flying Bomb fell in Greenwich Church Street, close to the tunnel's southern entrance, which shattered all of the remaining roof glass and killed one person."
It all began with another different and earlier portrait and a tweet by The Telegraph Museum https://twitter.com/ThePTM
- and which Allan Green circulated to the Enderby Group. It was picked up by Stewart Ash who intepreted it as follows
"This picture is of the current Lord Pender with the replacement portrait of John Pender by Hubert von Herkomer (1845-1914). The first version of this was presented to Lady Emma Pender (in her absence) at a banquet to honour John Pender at the Hotel Métropole on 23rd April 1888. The banquet was to celebrate him finally being recognised by the British establishment through receiving a KCMG. John Pender thanked the assembled dignitaries for the gift, assuring them that his wife would like it. However, when Emma saw the original she was not happy and wrote to Herkomer expressing her displeasure. He was force to take the original back and make a second attempt. The replacement portrait was delivered to Lady Emma at Foots Cray Place in January 1990 and was much more to Lady Emma’s liking. As far as I know there are no images of the original portrait'.
So - what about this disliked original? Stewart followed it up - and found it - in Wick!!