Tuesday 24 February 2009

gasworks in greenwich

far be it from me to blow my own trumpet - but I am very very chuffed to have got the British Library to substitute the following for the ridiculous page they had previously for the picture.


without being a lawyer - mandamus is a means by which local authorities are forced to levy a rate. The deal which the gas company promoters gave to the vestry was claimed by protestors to be on the lines of - £5,000 down and everyone in Greenwich get free gas for ever and ever.........................

Monday 23 February 2009

Big bands in greenwich

Hopefully now everyone has tickets for the Greenwich University Big Band concert that Fred Parrott is running - Iris Bryce writes as follows

"With ref.to your Big Band Jazz concert - I thought you might be intererested to know that in 1949 Owen and Iris Bryce opened the first Jazz Club in Woolwich, the venue being the Cavendish Rooms in the Ritz Ballroom in Woolwich New Rd. A few months later we moved it to Mr.Tilley's Dance Studios in Calderwood Street - we called the Club 'The Sunday Barbecue' and not one of us had any real idea of what a barbecue was!. Owen was a founder member of the George Webb Dixielanders, the pioneer New Orleans Jazz that played in the Red Barn Barnehurst from 1943 - 46. In 1946 Humphrey Lyttelton joined the band and the rest as they say is History! I have written about this in TREE IN THE QUAD, the story of life in Woolwich in the 1940's - 70's - this was published by the University of Greenwich. The book has photos of the opening night when we brought three jazz musicians from Paris over, and the opening ceremony was by Ray Sonin, the editor of THE MELODY MAKER. The book is available from the Greenwich Heritage Centre. If we can help in any other way please don't hesitate to ask

Thanks Iris - I'm sure I'm not the only person who remembers Owen when he was playing in (whoops) the 1950s. His was easily the best band on Friday nights at the Terminus in Gravesend. Not sure if its industrial history, but it'll do!

Dad's Army - note from Andy Brockman

Andy writes as follows:

I wanted to let you know about a new research project I am involved with which might be of interest to GIHS members. I have set it up along with Dr Neil Faulkner of Bristol University [and Current Archaeology] and Dr Nicholas Saunders, also of Bristol University. I am attaching the launch document but here is some background...

Digging Dad's Army- The East and South East London Peoples War Project. Digging Dads Army is designed to look at the surviving archaeology of conflict in East and South East London and tie it into intergenerational and cultural work looking at collection, commemoration and remembrance. It has grown out of work by the Great War Archaeology Group and my own work at Shooters Hill as well as other projects such as Gabe Moshenska's PhD work on Air Raid Shelters and children at UCL.
We plan to do both field and archival work and to use the research programme as a vehicle to train field workers, including training in archive work, and as a basis for events presented to the wider public through work with schools [i.e. Key Stage 2 WW2] and on public events such as living history programmes and exhibitions. The project is based on the principle that you cannot do the research without presenting it to as wide a range of audiences as possible from the academic to the public and particularly to young people. We intend to fund it along the model of Neil Faulkner's long running Sedgeford Project where the research programme is funded through training courses with additional project funding where appropriate. In this respect it also ticks lots of boxes for community involvement, intergenerational work and so on. At the moment accounting and PLI etc comes through the Great War Archaeology Group and we see the project as being accomplished by a consortium of individuals and organisations each bringing different skills and resources. Because it is intended to be a multidisciplinary project, growing out of the community experience, we very much want to have locally based organisations, such as GIHS, with its interest in the Arsenal amongst other things, on board as partners. Particularly so we hope the project will generate access to participation in archaeology which is often lacking in the more orthodox research programmes as well as offering educational and training opportunities and avenues for publishing research. We intend that everything we do is published as soon as possible either down the traditional academic route, but also on line. We believe that with the various wartime anniversaries in the next few years, running up to the WW1 100 in 2014, such a project could generate quite a high profile, including with the media. As you may know Neil's work on the First Blitz and Zeppelin L33 made a Time Watch and for all its faults as a programme, we got a Time Team out of the work at Shooters Hill. It also helps that Neil is issue editor for Current Archaeology Magazine. The next issue will carry a piece on Shooters Hill and this project.