Wednesday, 4 March 2009

A whole lot of bits and pieces

Some short notes:-

1. Docklands History Group - forthcoming programme. Events held at the Museum in Docklands
5th March - Fire Fighting on the Thames. David Rogers
2nd April - Introduction to the Port of London Authority Centenary Exhibition
7th May - visit to the Wapping Police Museum.

2. We have a request for information on the fatal gunpowder explosion at Erith in 1964

3. Francis Tin Box Factory. We have a request for information if records exist for this company which was in Blackheath Hill. This is about boxes supplied to troops in the First World War.

4. We have been approached by a marine archaeologist working on the Charlton riverside. He is looking for information about Castle's breakers and about Cory.


1 comment:

Mike Robinson said...

Apropos the Erith explosions ...

The Archives of The Times' newspaper include a number of articles apropos the explosion; daily, monthly and annual subscriptions to the Archives are available.

The following is a very brief synopsis and needs to be supplemented by reference to the The Times' Archives &c.

There were two individual explosions on Saturday 1 October 1864; both occurred on the Plumstead Marshes when two gunpowder magazines exploded; one at a depot used by Messrs John Hall & Sons, the other at a depot used by the Lowood Gunpowder Company (aka Messrs Daye and Barker, the previous owners). It appears that at least five people were known to died viz. George Rayner (a storekeeper at Messrs John Hall & Sons), John Yorke (a thirteen year-old boy employed at Messrs. John Hall & Sons), Elizabeth Wright (of about the same age as John Yorke and daughter of the under-storekeeper at Messrs John Hall & Sons) and two labourers, namely James Eaves and Thomas Hubbard, neither of whom were connected to the depots but who were working by the river (Thames) at the time of the explosion. A further five people, including Elizabeth Wright's father, were listed as missing. Some significant property damage was reported and it seems the explosions could be heard up to fifty or so miles away.

In terms of impact, it was claimed that the widespread terror &c. caused by the explosions compared to similar feelings following another gunpowder explosion, this time at Gateshead-Upon-Tyne, during I think, 1854.