Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Notes and notices - nothing for weeks and they all come at once


They advertise meetings:
15th February  Spitalfields Silk Industry  by Sue Jackson
15th March  Crossrail Archaeology roundup - Jay Carver and Andy Shelley
19th April - Royal Arsenal Then and Now - Ian Bull
17th May - AGM and Andrew Smithy. The New River
All at Alan Baxter, Ltd. 75 Cowcross Street, EC1.  6.30

The GLIAS Bookstall will be at Bexley History Fair  5th March, SERIAC Worthing 22nd April, Nunhead Cemetery 20th May

22nd April  SERIAC 2017 is at Worthing College Sixth Form College,  and is about '50 years of IA'.  (includes speakers on Architecture of T.H.Myres for the London to Brighton Railway,  The development of the Roadside Letter Box,  50 years of Sussex Mills, Brighton 'Atlantic' Locomotive reconstruction, 50 years of SIAS - and a keynote speech on Industrial Archaeology and Archaeology by Marilyn Palmer herself).
(not really any info about how you get to go to it unless you have the form which is with the GLIAS newsletter - no website or anything. It says information on conference arrangements from - so hope that is some help)

more advertised with some Greenwich interest:

24th February Maudslay and his Circle by David Waller. Wandsworth Historical Society. Friends Meeting House, Wandsworth High Street. 8 pm

Elsewhere in the GLIAS Newsletter - a long article on the closure of the amazingly old Whitchapel Bell Foundry  .... news that the Hornsey gas holder has been demolished  ... Markfield Beam Engine and Museum study update ... sewer vents ... 

----------------and ................. about Greenwich. ............. there is an article about the Royal Iris, currently derelict and stranded on the river wall in Charlton/Woolwich borders. The article reports that the ship is now registered as a floating pier - which admits she now can't be moved and its cheaper to do that.It is thought that if she is broken up on site it will cost more than her scrap value - but what else can be done!  Brought some how or other down here from Liverpool she was supposed to become a floating night club - so, what now??

There is also a review of 'The Matchless Colliers' by Bill Cakebread which relates the history of the Collier family, Matchless and AJS in Plumstead. (£10 plys £2.50 p&p from The Paddock, High Street, Battle, TN339JR  cheques fo W.A.Cakebread). 



In the report of their December meeting the Pierhead Painters are referred to, These were, apparently, artists who painted ships going in and out of ports all over the world. There are some books about them which were referrred to. The speaker asked for information about an H.Crane who was painting before 1917 and was still painting in 1955.  Does anyone have any information??

Their February meeting was about The Thames as a Barrier and also The early days of the London Dock Company by Derek Morris. (perhaps GIHS should get him along!!)

Lewisham Local History Society Newsletter

Most of the items this time are really just about Lewisham - they include:

a review of 'Lee Memories' a book produced by Lee Fair Share Time Bank . (get info from Leefairshare ............
....a note about a new blue plaque to Antarctic explorer William Colbeck.............
.............. a note about Plassy Road School ..................150th anniversary of Lee Station .... and a wartime ride on the 54 tram (this ends more or less at the Lewisham border - but is 54 tram now our 54 bus, from Woolwich to Elmers End??)

The newsletter also gives a short obituary to much-missed ex-Southwark Local History archivist...
... and also announces the retirement of Lewisham Local History Society editor, Gordon Dennington.

24th February - Sue Hayton on street furniture in South East London
31st March - Nick Bertram on Modern Nature  - Living on the Edge
(both at Methodist Church Hall, Albion Way, SE13 7.45)

They also advertise
7th March  Alan Piper 100 Years of Biggin Hill airport . Bromley Local History Society  Trinity United Reform Church, Freelands Road, Bromley,  7.45


Greenwich Society Newsletter

The Greenwich Society is setting up a group of people to look at the future of The Point - and we look forward to how that is going.  No mention by them that it covers a chalk mine which in the 19th century became a naughty night club.

They have an article about James Wolfe - whose statue looks out from the space by the Royal Observatory. The author of the article is Pieter van der Mewre and he points out that 2017 will be the 150th anniversary of the founding of Canada. He talks about the capture of Quebec by Wolfe and the skills of James Cook who as a hydrographic surveyor helped get the army up the St.Lawrence river.

There is also a long article about Greenwich Power station - more details elsewhere in this note

--- and thank you to their new newsletter editor for giving GIHS a slot

Note from Richard Buchanan to say that Ray Fordham is hoping to get two telephone cabinets in the Arsenal conserved. They are still in situ with their original wiring - and are from the Great War period.


There has been some press coverage of a new 'Prince Philip Centre' - and clearly something is going up alongside the A2 at Kidbrooke. Presumably this is to replace the Maritime Museum store in Nelson Mandela Road - and will it also replace the Royal Brass Foundry store. It would be good to know much more about this.

see for press story


Gas holders

We have a note from Steve in the Lewisham History Society who is hoping to get some sort of preservation order on the two huge gas holders at Bell Green in Sydenham. We have already seen other attempts to list gas holders failing - at Bethnal Green and Hornsey, and Bow is likely also to fail. 

In the past week we have had two enquiries from people about the East Greenwich gas holder (biggest in Europe and with a revolutionary design). They all assume it is listed - but it is not and applications to do so have failed. Raising this in conversation last night at a meeting in East Greenwich there was a lot of shock-horror - and some anger - from locals that it might go - 'its our holder' ' its our landmark'   'my little boy looks at it every day' 'they mustn't touch it'...... any ideas???



Not industrial but very scientific - did you know the first Wisteria in England was planted by Charles Hampden Turner at Wood Lodge on Shooters Hill (site of the Oxleas Cafe). They had been acquired from China and brought back to England by the East India Company Inspector of Tea,


In Touch with the Thames

We have been sent details of Marine Management Organisation workshops on Marine Plane development. These are nation wide, but the London ones are

7th March  9-30-16.00 Wesley Hotel, 81-103 Euston Street, NW1  for informaiton


Charlton Society

Talk on the History of Gardens and Growing in Charlton.  Charlton House, Grand Salon 2.30  18th February.


Woolwich Antiquarians Newsletter

They include - sadly - obituaries to Ann Rusher, and Joan Harbottle
An article on Woolwich Garrison Church Trust (GIHS has a speaker from them soon) .... and a long article by Jim Marrett about rescuing a boundary stone   ....



We have had a note about the Deptford Pumping Station site and its place in the current legacy masterplan. This site is an original 19th pumping station by Bazalgette with listed buildings. It is felt that this needs some sort of histortical interpretation  - and adding in the new Tideway tunnel too. The add that this all within sight of - the first commuter railway, world beating marine steam engine factory, the first centralised generation of electricity for public use, and the UKs first successful internal combustion engine .  (er - does that cover the fire engines too??)



As noted above there has been local concern about Greenwich Power Station and the possibility of it being upgraded. A  number of consultation meetings took place and very angry residents attended them. All this is outlined in the article by Richard Baglin in the Greenwich Society Newsletter. Currently the application has been withdrawn by London Underground, who own the power station.

Thanks to Len Duval we got a note from Vicky from TfL - we asked what the future of the power station is?  if it is not expanded is it likely to be closed and the site sold.  Its an interesting building and probably the oldest power station in Europe still in operation. Sale would mean demolition and more 'luxury' riverside flats. All that Vicky says on this is that that option has been investigated but that, at the moment the tube cannot operate without the power station - since it provides emergency back up power. It would cost more to build a new power station on a green field site than the sale of the site would realise .................. so .............. lets see. 

oooh - and - look at this!!!!
now there's really posh!

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