Wednesday 8 December 2010

Monuments around Woolwich with an industrial interest

The current issue of the Woolwich Antiquarians newsletter highlights Jim Marrett who opened their autumn season of talks giving the Vincent Memorial Lecture on 30th October 2010.

He concentrated on some of the Statues and Memorials around Woolwich. These are obviously very varied - here are some of the ones he mentioned which have an industrial interest:

There is the RACS building in Powys Street with its statue of Alexander McLeod with the motto "each for all and all for each".
(I hope we don't need to explain that RACS was the great Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society begun by Arsenal workers and one of the earliest co-ops in the world).

Jim next noted that 'We kept our feet dry by using the Free Ferry boats' - and that the boat names include 'Ernest Bevin' (Wartime Bevin Boys and then Labour Government Foreign Secretary - and of course someone who rose through the trade union) and John Bums (famous for trhe Dockers tanner dock strike in 1889, then a radical MP and one of the the first Labour Ministers). He reminded his audience that it was John Bums MP who used the term "liquid history" to describe the River Thames - Burns said , "The St Lawrence is mere water, the Missouri is mere muddy water, but the Thames, well the River Thames is liquid history".
(something we all need to remind the Americans)

Jim noted that insuide the soon to be demolished Woolwich Post Office is a 'a splendid First World War memorial dedicated to all Woolwich postmen who fought and eight men who died'.

At Shooters Hill near Christ Church is the covered memorial seat to Samuel Edmund Phillips, of Johnson and Phillips the Charlton electrical contractors. Over the seat and drinking fountain it records of Phillips
"Write me as one who loves his fellow men"

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