BITS AND NEWS - AND READ ON FOR A LOT ABOUT APPLEBY
Bygone Kent - the latest issue includes a great article about the East Greenwich gas holder. GIHS sent them our current press release about the holder and this has been added to with a lot of research by Francesca Baker. It is a very very good article and Bygone Kent should be thanked for the effort which has gone into it.
- and on the same subject, thanks to Greenwich Visitor's Nelson's Column for a mention of the holder and a link to to the man at Historic England and may/may not be dealing with any listings applications.
Charlton Station - now this is amazing. London Railway Record (October 2017) has a 12 page article on Charlton Station by Peter Kay. Clearly there is a lot of detail - and it is railway related material, remembering that LRR caters for spotters with an educated and historical bent. There is a lot of stuff about the traumas of having to interact with the Greenwich Line as well as the line through Blackheath Tunnel which had different left/right hand running. This led to endless discussions with various railway inspectors, many of which are given in detail. Subsequently there was a collision and that is detailed to. There is a lot about changes to the buildings over the years - and there is also a little story of a lady who 'bought' a ticket from the porter (er - her lodger) and it turned out to be an already used one he just happened to have.
Sadly the article - being very serious about railways and written by a man - doesn't pick up on recent changes, particularly the sterling work done by the Charlton gardeners on the down side!
Night Mail - great evening recently at the Blackheath Society on the subject of the GPO Film Unit which was based in what was Blackheath Arts Club in Bennett Park in the 1930s-40s. The famous film 'Night Mail' was made there - what you see as apparently internal shots on the mail train were actually filmed in Blackheath, with actors, swaying slightly. The GPO film unit and its successors at Shell and elsewhere in the work of public information films provided us with a great record of industry around the time of the Second World War - with messages about innovation, dignity in work, co-operation and stuff like that. A lot about influence from Eisenstein - patriotism, ordinary people and stuff like that, but I won't go on about it.
Crossness Record - lots of stuff in the current record. The front page tells us that John Austin has been replaced as Chair by Bexley councillor Professor Peter Catterall (I know John hasn't lived in Greenwich for years - but when I first moved here he was a local councillor - for Charlton Ward - and later Leader of the Council) . This issue of the record is more colourful and brighter than previous issues and the team are to be congratulated. There is a lots of stuff about the volunteers and even a picture of some Morris Dancers. There is also a long historical article on sewage treatment with a focus on work done on chemical treatment by Sir Edward Frankland in the 1870s
anyway - see www.Crossness.org.uk
Merryweathers - were of course the fire engine manufacturers based in Greenwich High Road This week a couple of scraps have floated into our inbox. One is from someone who has found a lot of Merryweather related material in Grandad's loft. Neil Bennett - the expert on Merryweathers - is hopefully dealing with this. Apparently some of it concerns James Compton Merryweather.
Neil has also sent a curious interchange - beginning with an email he sent to the Head of Bloodstock Services at a horse racing establishment. This was a horse called Fireworks who raced in 1894 owned by a James Compton Merryweather 'owner of a successful fire engine factory'. Well!! you can always see a company is doing well if the owner is a race horse owner!
It appears that Fireworks ran eleven times on the Flat winning twice. He won at Epsom when he was owned by Col. North and then in Leicester when he was owned by Mr. Merryweather
APPLEBYS. You may remember that we posted up information about the Goulburn Water Works Museum in Australia and their request for information about Appleby's Greenwich factory and any information about the equipment they have and any information about how it might have been transported to Australia. They explained:
"Four Appleby beam engines delivered to Australia which were made in 1883 and used for pumping water in the townships of Albury, Bathurst, Goulburn and Wagga Wagga all in New South Wales Australia?
Out of the four, Goulburn has the only complete and working beam engine left, which is housed at the Goulburn Historic Waterworks Museum in its original pumphouse with the two complete boilers originally used to power it. The pumphouse and engine have been listed on the Australian Heritage Register as have National significance and is also listed with the Australian National Trust.
The web address of the Goulburn Historic Waterworks Museum is www.goulburnwaterworks.com.au "
We passed this letter on to John Steeds - who is an Appleby descendent. He sent a huge page full of information - and below is an edited version of some of what he said to them.
- about the transport of the engines to Australia ---------------
"the date stamp on your Appleby drawings of the pumps is 7th July 1883. I don’t know how the machinery was transported to Australia, but they may have come aboard the 'Anglo Indian'. My grandfather, PV Appleby, who had been working at the East Greenwich works, was appointed as a supernumerary engineer on the Anglo Indian for the voyage to Australia. The Anglo Indian left the UK on 7th July 1883 (the same date as the date stamp on your drawings) and she arrived in Brisbane on 3rd October 1883. I don’t have any details about the trip except for a press cutting which describes various ports of call and which states that when the Anglo Indian arrived at Townsville on 14th September, she commenced discharging cargo which consisted mostly of heavy machinery, boilers etc. This, at least, suggests that they may have had the Appleby pumps on board!
- about the pumps --
The only specific reference to the four beam pumps that I can find comes from the Application for Membership of the Institution of Civil Engineers of CJ Appleby’s son, Frank James Appleby. This reference is repeated in his Institution of Civil Engineers Obituary. The application tells us that Frank James came out to New South Wales in 1884 to supervise the erection of the pumps. He was also involved in the tendering and construction of various bridges and other items there, . The Civils Application makes reference to Sir john Fowler. indeed, several items in my possession include references to Sir John Fowler. He was the Consulting Engineer to the Government of New South Wales
- and the Greenwich works
Appleby Brothers took over the old Bessemer Steel Works in East Greenwich and converted them for their own use in 1878. At the time when the Bessemer works were initially occupied by the Appleby’s, Appleby Brothers were a partnership. In 1886 Appleby Brothers became a share owned Limited company and the running and management of the Greenwich works changed. Unfortunately the Limited company only survived for 3 years and in 1889, following a court action, the Limited company and their East Greenwich works were closed. The old Appleby works then became the works of the Greenwich Inlaid Linoleum Company. After the closure of Appleby Brothers Limited, there was still a demand of Appleby products and CJ Appleby started a new Appleby Brothers partnership with 2 of his sons, including my grandfather, P V Appleby.
Unlike the other Appleby Works, for which I have plans and some photographs, I have much more limited information about the East Greenwich Works. However there were at least 4 visitations to the works and descriptions of these were published in the press. They give a very good impression of the vast scope of both the products and international destinations with which Appleby Brothers involved. The first description is from the partnership period (ie. from the time of your pump) and the other three were from the Appleby Brothers Limited period. Unfortunately these doesn’t refer to the pumps. However they do refer to some of the bridges which were fabricated and sent out to New South Wales.
We also have a number of links listed below to British Transport Treasures sent by Stuart Rankin
Posters by Royal Academicians and other eminent Artists ... www.britishtransporttreasures.comPosters by Royal Academicians and other eminent Artists. With an appreciation by Sir Martin Conway MP. London Midland and Scottish Railway [ebook]