Reviews and snippets May 2001
THE SPREAD EAGLE AT GREENWICH
By Richard F.Moy
This booklet, by one of our members, Dick Moy, traces the history of his business premises – the Spread Eagle on the corner of Stockwell and Nevada Streets.
There are many remarkable illustrations from Dick's collection – in particular posters of Dan Leno, who lived on site for a while. The building as a pub on this site dates from the seventeenth century – and Dick has traced the Eagle Tavern on this site back to the end of the Tudor era. It closed in 1922 and Dick bought it in 1964 – since when he has uncovered many relics of the building's past.
GLIAS NEWSLETTER APRIL 2001
The back page of the current GLIAS Newsletter contains an article by Jack Vaughan about the demise of the cranes on Lovell's Wharf (hopefully we all know about that already!). Inside is an article about the new Waltham Abbey site and a review of the book about Stanley's Instruments.
THE GUIDE MAGAZINE
The April 2001 issue contains an article in Peter Kent's inimitable style on family history on the river. This means in effect that Peter has illustrated and described the families of those who run the river launches between Greenwich and the rest of the world. The Thames has always operated on family networks – here is your chance to find out more about them.
The May 2001 Guide contains a particularly interesting and important article by Peter Kent. This is about riverside cranes – he points out their value as landmarks as well as useful pieces of machinery. He notes the disappearance of the Lovell's Wharf cranes, and reminds us that they were used relatively recently in the building of the Jubilee Line. He also notes the disappearance of Samson and Delilah – floating cranes – and reminds us of the continued importance of the still-working Stotherd and Pitt crane at Deptford Creek.
The issue also has an extremely interesting article by Neil Rhind on the Post Office in Blackheath. This has some fascinating details, like the mid-nineteenth century illiterate post mistress in Dartmouth Row!
The Spring 2001 Crossness Record is now with us. The issue contains an obituary to Arthur Green – a long time supporter of the project (who at the age of 94 sailed in the last voyage of MV Hounslow to the Black Deep). News of work on the engines continues – the parallel linkage mechanism for the HP/IP cylinder on Prince Consort are in place but there have been some problems. The work needed now is to the replace the counterbalance weights. Work continues on the steam pipes and the boiler room which now only needs its doors. Painting continues and it is hoped to install a pump in the octagon basement.
There is also an article on the communities which once lived at Crossness and an article on 'Pumping Engines for Draining Purposes' published in 1883.
Surprisingly Tony Lord took a hint from us and decided to write an article about Merryweathers – the Greenwich Fire Engine manufacturers. He says that he found Merryweather engines in Lisbon – but we know that they were in lots and lots of other places too.
Vol 22.No.4. Includes an article about the Ravensbourne and Deptford Creek – but in its country walks mode rather than as an industrial river.
NEW CROSS NEWS
Although this publication is fundamentally Lewisham based it contains several articles of interest to Greenwich people. There are notes on planning battles with reference to the Gala Bingo Hall at New Cross in the ex-Southern Railway Engineering Yard, on the Seager Site at Deptford Bridge (right on the Greenwich border) and on Convoys Wharf (also on the borders).
There is also a review of a book on the slave trade 'Longest Journey. A History of Black Lewisham. The article is by Jess Steele and pulls out some of the items in the book which are particularly relevant to Deptford. Much of the wealth which England enjoyed was based on slavery and many of those beautiful ships which left London River were actually slavers – something we must never forget!
SOUTH EASTERN RAMBLER
Carries a front-page article on the riverside walk from Woolwich to Crossness (plus a picture of the closed bit through the Arsenal – hopefully to opened in early May). It is to be called 'The Thames Path Extension' (does that mean that the Thames below Woolwich doesn't count as 'real' Thames). Inside there is more detail – round the Arsenal site and then along the 'boring concrete promenade' to Crossness where they describe the pathway as 'unfortunate' and on to Erith.
GREENWICH YACHT CLUB
It is understood that a new history of Greenwich Yacht Club has now been published – any one with any details is encouraged to write a review.
ROYAL ARSENAL HISTORICAL SOCIETY ARTEFACTS PASSED TO THE BOROUGH
At the Greenwich Council meeting on 25th April it was agreed to accept the collection of artefacts a collection of items saved from the Royal Arsenal on its closure. Although only a tiny fraction of what the Arsenal contained they are hopefully an interesting selection.