Sunday 13 December 2009

GLIAS Newsletter 245

The latest GLIAS newsletter has arrived with some items of Greenwich interest - although our programme of talks seems not have made it to their events list!

The first article in the newsletter is about Dave Perrett's visit to Convoy's Wharf on one of their recent open days before a planning application for housing is submitted to Lewisham Council. Dave gives a brief outline of the history of the site and draws particular attention to the 1840s ship sheds built on the site. Convoys was, of course, the earliest of the Royal Dockyards and where much naval research and development was carried out. It seems that current plans for the vast ship sheds is as community space - they are currently in use to store wheeley bins. The developers apparently claim to intend Deptford to become the Camden of south-east London!
This is an interesting subject and can we encourage any one else who has an interest in Convoys to get in touch and perhaps add to our information.

GLIAS also lists excavations in London listed in the London Fieldwork Publications round up. In Greenwich they note:
43-81 Greenwich High Road - tanning pits and structures associated with Merryweathers (more info please!!)
Greenwich Wharf (no detail given, this is what we know as Lovells)
Old Brewery, Royal Naval College (no detail in GLIAS - but information can be found back in the blog)

'News in brief' notes the current demolition of the Syrol site - more information would be welcome here.

- and, finally, there is more notes about that ever-embarrassing subject, the Woolwich Autostacker. One item is from Len Fiddler who was a pupil at Woolwich Polytechnic School when the autostacker was built. He watched it being built and the boys were given a holiday on opening day. He says that the problem was that the cables were too elastic and that when cars were lifted they had one set of wheels in the car park and one set in the lift, and became stuck. He says it was too expensive to replace the cables. (although personally I would have thought replacing the cables was cheaper than leaving the building to rot unused for years and years - and anyway, surely the cost would have been down to the contractor?)

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