Tuesday, 6 October 2009

New Ashburnham Triangle book out

Diana Rimel has now published the update of her Ashburnham Triangle book - and this is a real tour de force. It lovingly charts the general history of the area and then lists street by street houses, pubs and other buildings. Of course, we are an industrial history society and would like to see a lot more about the industry of the area - but it has not been neglected. .

Even the name of 'Ashburnham' is industrial - it reflects the great Ashburnham furnace of the Wealden iron industry - and their later alliance with the Crowley ironmasters whose 18th century warehouses stood on Ballast Quay.

There is a chapter on the industrial buildings along this part of Deptford Creek - with a (much too short) section on Merryweathers and another on the LESC building, by Richard Cheffins (and first published by GIHS). Other information about Greenwich industry turns up in the description of many residential streets. For instance an item chosen at random is a note about Thomas Pottle's pottery in Blackheath Road under 'personalities'. However, I looked in vain for mention of the London and Greenwich Railway under both 'Blue Stile' and 'North Pole' - perhaps their first entry into Greenwich it is hidden somewhere else.

The book was launched at an event at Davy's Wine Bar by Cllr. Maureen O'Mara. In introducing it she said " Local history is one of my own great interests so I was very pleased and flattered to be asked by the Association to introduce Diana. As a Triangle resident now for over sixteen years I have always been fascinated by its history and I congratulate Diana on this new edition of her book"

In his introduction to the book Mick Delap, Chair of the Ashburnham Triangle Association, talks about the vanishing industrial landscape and points in particular to the demolition of the Merryweather buildings.

This is a an important book which records the past of this key area and at the same time allows us to see it at a time of great transition. And whether you know the Triangle or not the book is still a good read.

Copies and info available from Richard Cheffins, richardcheffins@aol.com. Cheques payable to the Ashburnham Triangle Association - £5 - not sure if that includes post and packing.

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