Letters May 2004
From: Norma Chantler
How very, very pleased I was to locate my husband's great grandfather on the 1871 Census living with fellow members of the Army Service Corps in Woolwich, Woolwich Arsenal, District 9. Henry Joseph Horton served in the Crimean War, in the Army Works Corps as a Labourer for 13 months. We have a copy of the original discharge certificate dated 6th August 1856. Is there any way I could obtain a copy of a history of the Woolwich Arsenal? I would be eternally grateful if you could provide me with more information.
I have a round aneroid barometer which bears the inscription Henry Ward which through research I believe it to have come from such a Thames Sludge vessel. The maker of the item was Lilley & Reynolds Ltd based in Wellclose Square, London, but I have drawn a blank on the name. Could you help me or point me in the right direction so as I can find out who Henry Ward was?
From Barbara Ludlow
I read the front page of the last newsletter about the opening of the Greenwich Heritage Centre – plenty about the Arsenal but nothing about the new Search Room – and only something about Julian Watson’s contribution and retirement at the bottom of the back page. What a pity this wasn’t on the front page! I remember the walk that Julian and I did that Sunday morning in October 1975 with Director of Leisure, Chris Field, and Cllrs. Jim Gillman, Derek Penfold, etc.. It was to prove to them just how important it was to protect the riverside walk.
Sorry Barbara – I thought that it would be better to pay tribute to Julian’s work separately from the note about the Heritage Centre and that it would be more prominent on the back
From: Jean Williams
I just came across your Web site and was very interested to read one of the letters regarding J. Stone & Co. (extract: "That makes reference to J. Stones and Co., Deptford as the producers of the propellers for the QM"). My father worked for this Company from the age of 14 until he retired at 65. 1930-1981. He told me he made the propellers for the QM! Do you know if any records have survived, as I would love to find out more?
From: Dennis Grubb
Is there any resource I can use to find Brickyards and Brickmakers in the Deptford and Greenwich areas about 1700 to 1825?
From: Virginia Stola
I read with interest the article on the Charlton Fire and in particular, the mention of Mrs. Eliza Ayles. I believe she is my great-great grandmother. On the 1871 census, Eliza's occupation is listed as a rope manufacturer. I have several questions concerning the rope company:
What was the name of the company in the 1800's and was it rebuilt after the fire?
Does the company exist today and, if so, under what name?
Does the company exist today and, if so, under what name?
I am grateful for any information or the name of someone who knows the history of this rope-making company.
From: The Crosses
I've been reading Francis Pryor's wonderful book Britain BC, in which he writes helpfully at a layperson's level about Neolithic flint artifacts. In particular he mentions a childhood incident in which he found himself briefly trapped in a Norfolk flint mine of prehistoric date (maybe it was Grimes Graves??). It's 'design' was so clearly similar to the Dene Holes I was familiar with as a child living in Joydens Wood, Bexley, that I started to wonder whether the purpose of some of these was also flint mining. I had never heard this offered as an explanation when I lived there 30-40 years ago, though of course flints littered our garden. And of course great antiquity was never suggested for these phenomena (well, at least, not at an anecdotal, non professional archaeological level). So I wondered if there'd been any misinterpretation here? Do you know any more?
From: John Janman
I sent you an email a short while ago about an old spirit glass I had etched with pub or brewery names and I have obtained a glass etched within scrolls.... Property of The Bunker Greenwich. Would you believe it I have found the answer to my question !!!! For future reference if needed.... The Bunker is at The Kings Arms Greenwich. During the blitz in the Second World War a bar below the pub was used so patrons could keep on drinking which was called The Bunker. PM
Numerous readers have sent in contributions on The Bunker:
From: Diana Rimel
'The Bunker', Greenwich, was the colloquial name given to the Kings Arms pub in King William Walk, most likely during the Second World War. It was certainly referred to by this name by naval staff of the National Maritime Museum when I worked there in the early 1970s. I am pretty sure the staff used it as a place of refuge (and for drinking) during air raids.
From: Harold Slight
The 'Kings Arms', King William Walk, Greenwich was called 'The Bunker' from the late 1930's to the 1950's. It was my father's favourite pub. The landlord was Bill Barlow - a 6ft 4", 15 stone, down-to-earth Yorkshireman.
From: Iris Bryce
The pub in King William Walk at the entrance to Greenwich Market ‘The Cricketers’ was called ‘The Bunker’ by my father and uncles.
From: Barbara Ludlow
My father, William Wellard, always referred to the Kings Arms in King William Walk as 'The Bunker'. He said that the nickname came from the habit of coal-heavers, in particular those working at the LCC power station at Highbridge leaving their shovels leaning against the wall of the pub when they took some refreshment. Whether it had the nickname before the pub was rebuilt at the beginning of the twentieth century I cannot be sure about, but certainly in the years before WW2 it was commonly known as 'The Bunker'. There is a photo of old Kings Arms P.H. in M.Mills, Greenwich and Woolwich at Work.
Editorial note: How is it that GIHS members know so much about pubs?
You cannot imagine my delight when I found Vol.3, Issue 2 of March 2000 by Greenwich Industrial History Society on the Web, with comprehensive notes regarding Charles Enderby and the Auckland Islands in the "Making History" section and the article by Barbara Ludlow titled "The Enderby Settlement Diaries". It has added much to my research regarding the ill-conceived settlement and spurred me on to find more information so I wanted you to know how much I appreciated the article, albeit four years after it appeared in print. I am seeking the passenger lists of the ships - "Brisk", "Fancy" and "Samuel Enderby" which carried the intended settlers to the Islands and am also endeavouring to have the Enderby Settlement Diaries checked for Mann Family references. I would be happy to hear from any descendants of the original settlers who may have contacted you following the articles, with a view to exchanging data. Once again, many thanks to the GIHS for wonderfully informative articles which certainly "struck a chord down under".
From: Flos Harrap
I have searched for information on George Mence Smith Ltd which I now understand was founded in Greenwich and your society published an article on this recently. I am keen to find out anything I can about the company, which I remember from my childhood in Watford.
From: Ron Jones
One of the piers at Woolwich Arsenal which I think is Victorian, is being dismantled as I write. I walk to Woolwich & back every morning and evening and have been taking photographs of it being dismantled. If anyone is interested I could put up a temp web page showing the progress.
From: Edward Collins
I am interested in the copperas industry that flourished in Deptford and Rotherhithe in the seventeenth century.
I came across your publication part of Christopher Philpott's study of industry in Deptford published in the GIHS Newsletter Volume 4, Issue 2 (March 2001). In it he refers to the Copperas lands north of the Gravel Pits where he says early dye and chemical manufacture was established by Sir Nicholas Crispe. He also refers to a map of 1674 showing coppris beds on the north side of Copperas Lane with coppris houses in the southeast corner and to the east a dock opening onto the creek with a crane. I was wondering where I might be able to view the map he refers to and what his other sources are. My particular interest is in James Smith (1587-1667) and his son, Sir John Smith (1627-1673), both of whom were involved in the copperas industry in Redriff (Rotherhithe). It seems that the lives of Sir Nicholas Crispe (1599?-1666) and James Smith overlapped to a certain extent. For example, not only were they both involved in the copperas and dyeing industries but also James Smith, like Sir Nicholas, had a house at Hammersmith and was involved in the establishment of the chapel of ease (now St Paul's) at Hammersmith (the church contains memorials to both). Did their lives overlap in other ways as well? Sir John Smith was Master of the Salters' Company at the time of his death in 1673. He was also sheriff of London in 1669. The coppris works in Redriff (or Redderith) were settled on Sir John by his father in 1662 and are described in Sir John's will as follows:
".. .the coppris house and coppris works with the warehouses [cisterns] beds boilers coolers yards grounds structures sheds and other edifices thereunto belonging in Redderith aforesaid in the County of Surrey and the wharf and crane and tenements near to the North East end of the said coppris work and the messuage or tenement and lands late in the occupation of William Stephens deceased and now in the tenure or occupation of Thomas Lunt coppris maker adjoining at or near the said coppris house... [and] the Cole Yard in Redderith aforesaid adjoining to the said coppris work on the East side thereof... and certain lands meadow and pasture lying behind my coppris house called Maddbrook alias Threescore Acres [alias Sixty Acres] in Redderith aforesaid which I lately purchased of Mr John and Mr Cuthbert Winder of Bray near Maidenhead..."
I would like to find out where the Smith copperas works were and whether any records of them survive. Can any of your readers help either with this or with general information about James and Sir John Smith and/or the extent of the copperas industry in the area at the time?
From: SS Robin Trust
Morgan Stanley International Foundation have very kindly awarded the Trust £10,000 towards the education programme - this is a tremendous boost for everyone involved in trying to get the project off the ground. The money will allow us to focus on bringing local schools into the gallery over the summer, and means we can look ahead positively to teaching kids on board there!
From: Roy Tindle
I am now in touch with the owner of the Mersey Ferry, Royal Iris, which has been moored for some years at the Thames Barrier. Work is continuing on her and she is being restored.
From: Liza Walden
I wonder if you can help - my granddad, Edward Farrow, was working at the Woolwich Arsenal in the Second World War. I don't know if there was an accident at the factory or the factory was bombed. He lived but lost half an arm and some fingers on the other hand. I would much appreciate any thing you could tell me about this accident.
From: Doreen Carter
Can anyone give me information about a Captain Langmead who was involved with CS Faraday?
From: Anthony Bryer
I am interested in Henry Bryer who lived in Greenwich. In 1857 & 1864 he is described as a Floor Cloth Manufacturer. I have been unable to trace any reference sin the trade directory. In anticipation of your help.