Tuesday, 29 August 2017

News Items


THE LENOX PROJECT  - their newsletter reminds us of Open House Day on 16th/17th September when they, and others, will be at Deptford Master Shipwright's House - with info and stalls and hoping for your support (with cakes and 'merchandise').
They are also advertising for a Volunteer Finance Officer and an Administrator. http://www.buildthelenox.org/finance-and-admin-volunteers-wanted/


Industrial Archaeology News.
The Autumn 2017 edition includes an article on the Woolwich Stoneware Kiln:
"In 1974 a group of archaeologists excavated several pottery kilns near the Riverside in Woolwich. These dated from the seventeenth century and one of the kilns discovered proved to be a stoneware kiln of particular interest. It was thought likely that this might be the first kiln of its type in Britain. In 1978 a report of the 1974 excavation by Sylvia Ptyor and Kevin Brockley was published in Post-Mediaeval Archaeology. This report describes the results of the excavation of two adjacent kilns at Woolwich, one producing earthenware and one producing stoneware. The stoneware kiln had a single stoke hole and produced Bellarmine jugs with other stoneware vessels, and is the only stoneware kiln of this period yet discovered in Britain.
It was decided that as this kiln was rather special it should be retained. The site was required for redevelopment and so in 1975 a remarkable piece of engineering took place. The whole kiln was encased in a wooden box and truncated beneath. The box containing the kiln, some twenty feet
square, has resided at various places about the Woolwich Arsenal since 1975. However, the site
where it was this year was needed and, moreover, after more than 40 years the box containing the
kiln was rotten and the structure failing. This was a crisis situation.
The solution has been to call in Oxford Archaeology to carry out a very thorough investigation of the stoneware kiln using the latest digital techniques. Once this investigation was started the kiln itself was to be destroyed so on the 28 and 29 March appropriate visitors were invited to view the kiln before its destruction. On 30 March the kiln was sliced and sectioned with a detailed digital record being kept. On Friday 31 March the demolition men came in and by the end of the week everything was cleared away."

We have been handed a brief history of Express Lifts - and note that it says that in 1903 the Easton Lift Co. was installing the first lifts in the Greenwich and Woolwich tunnels under the Thames and their faceplate controllers were not to be replaced until 1933 to the then modern camshaft systems.   These lifts had 64 brake horsepower motors rack driven on 5ft pulleys carrying 60 and 40 persons
(something wrong with their dates there, but never mind)

We have a request for info aout T.W.Thompson engineering works at 25 Deptford Bridge moving to
Endyne Works, Blisset Streeetin 1914. They made engines and dynamoes.

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