Reviews and snippets May 1999
The project at Crossness Engines Trust is very much in Greenwich. The April Crossness Engines Record gives some detail of current work at the Trust. Restoration work on the engines is proceeding well. More of the astounding decorative iron work has been cleaned and painted. The project has been given an Easton and Anderson beam engine by the Museum of London. This is the engine that once stood at the Addington Well pumping station near Croydon. It was made by the Erith Iron Works in Wheatley Terrace Road, in Erith, and was inaugurated at the Addington Well by the Archbishop of Canterbury, no less, on 2nd August 1888. The engines ran at 13 - 15 rpm and provided 1.5m gallons of fresh water to the people of Croydon every day
Woodlands Local History Library has on loan an album of photographs of the shipbuilder, Alfred Yarrow, and his family. Copies of this album were presented to all the staff when he left his Blackheath home - today the Woodlands Library - to take his ship building business to the Clyde. Woodlands is having the pictures copied and they should soon be available
The April GLIAS newsletter contains several items of interest to Greenwich and Woolwich based readers. Brian Sturt has given some details about the refurbishment of locomotives from Woolwich Arsenal after the First World War. He refers readers to pages 80-90 of the Locomotive History of the Southeastern and Chatham Railway by D.L.Bradley
Brian also raises some issues about the Greenwich Railway Gasworks referring to an article by himself in SEGAS Standard and disagrees with Mary Mills’s conclusions about the railway gas works in the previous newsletter
Convoys. We have been sent two cuttings from Lloyds List of February 1999. The first one concerns
Convoys on the old Royal Dockyard site in Deptford. This says three customers have left Convoys for the new Finnish terminal at Tilbury and they expect their tonnage to be halved. Convoys, owned by News International hope to attract new business and say they are in a ‘brilliant position’. They have plenty of storage capacity and a ‘mixed’ bag of warehousing.
The second cutting concerns the barge Seawork Solidarity at the Riverside Wharf in Charlton. This is to serve the new asphalt plant open by Situsec Roadstone, an operation which will create many jobs and reopen the previously derelict wharf
A first novel by Greenwich artist and Society member Terry Scales was published in April - Bermondsey Boys - narrates the adventures of a group of friends in the post war period, all of whom live in the newly established prefab villages appearing thon throughout south London. Of particular interest to members is an episode based on Terry Scales own experience as a young docker on the Bermondsey waterfront when a terrible accident occurs during the unloading of a ship’s cargo. after five years in Camberwell School of Art the contrasting lifestyle there struck him forcibly and a new book to be published in 2000 will throw light on the working practices of the once great Port of London
An Arsenal for Labour. This is a unique study of a consumer corporative society and it’s involvement in South East London which grew to become one of the co-operative movements biggest retail businesses. At the same time it developed a distinct and remarkable political tradition which set it apart from other cooperative societies. Faced with widespread discrimination in the early part of the century the movement established its own political party, the Co-operative Party, which subsequently developed electoral agreements with Labour. Most cooperators supported this approach, The one notable exception was RACS which chose direct affiliations to the Labour Party because it believed there should be only be one main party of the left in Britain and that should be Labour. RACS held to this view wholeheartedly and maintained it consistently for the next 70 years. This study traces how RACS came to this policy, noting how was shaped by historical and geographical influences. It also examines the organisational and financial implications, in particular how it affected Royal Arsenal relations with the Labour Party, the Co-operative Party and the wider co-operative movement.
Deptford Creek Surviving Regeneration. Is the latest from the Deptford Forum publishing stable. over 20 surveys of the area’s history ecology and potential for renewal and nearly 3 years of debate are brought together to tell the story of Creekside. This book aims to celebrate the unique asset we have inherited, predict the impact of change and influence the processes to regeneration whenever special places are threatened