Thursday 21 July 2011

Industrial Railways

A good friend has just sent a copy of Industrial Railways and Locomotives of the County of London (Robin Waywell and Frank Jux Industrial Railway Society 2008)

Where to start?? The book is so crammed with information it is difficult to know.

So - just for starters - here are the industrial sites mentioned in the Borough of Greenwich - where locomotives are known to have been used. More detail about some of them at a later time.

Here we go ......................

British Ropes, Anchor and Hope Lane -
British Steel Corporation, Greenwich Works, Riverway - Redpath Dorman Long
W.R.Cunis Ltd.Plumstead Rubbish Shoot
Royal Dockyard Wharf, Woolwich
Flower and Everett Ltd. Angerstein Wharf - dredging and mud clearance
G.A.Harvey, Greenwich Metal Works, Woolwich Road
Charlton Trancar Repair Works
Greenwich Power Station
Ministry of Public Building and Works, Kidbrooke Depot
Royal Arsenal (a massive system and much the largest in the book)
Siemens Brothers, Woolwich Works
East Greenwich Gas Works
Ordnance Wharf Tar Works
Taylor Woodrow Anglian Ltd. Charlton Station
Thames Metal Co td. Angerstein Wharf
Tunnel Glucose Refineries Ltd.
United Glass Ltd. Charlton Works
Kidbrooke Depot
Plumstead Destructor Works, Borough of Woolwich
Balfour Beatty Co Ltd. Blackwall Tunnel Contract
John Brogden, Jnr. Blackheath Railway Contract
Holloway Brothers. Greenwich contract for South Met. Gas
Kirk and Randall Ltd. Warren Lane Works, Woolwich
London and Greenwich Railway - various contracts
John Mowlem & Co. Well Hall Housing Contract
Pearson, Blackwall Tunnel Contract
Charlton Storm Relief Sewer contract
William Webster Southern Outfall contract
Borough of Woolwich, Eltham Contract - Middle Park

- more to come - suppliers - contractors -and non-loco systems

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Archaeology in Cutty Sark Gardens

Our special correspondent says:

When we excavated back from the river wall for a new deep surface water drain we got down to the old foreshore level some 5m below the existing surface. There was a lot of ancient timber, probably parts of revetments or jetties, found. Samples have been sent away for dendro analysis. It is largely Oak - probably some reused ships timbers, and probably from the 13th to the 17th centuries. There is also a lot of leather in a well preserved condition, including fine leather with tooling (book covers or similar) and the usual midden junk.
We have a big pile of the timbers, generally in thick and heavy but short pieces, of which the inside is in remarkably good condition and unless we can find anyone who wants them they'll go in the skip - the wood is suitable for bowl turners, carvers or souvenir makers who want wood with a bit of history, or even as a creative garden feature if anyone's interested.
(anyone interested email

We've also found the Northern edge of the old Billingsgate Street down by the river - the road is intact beneath a granite cobble surface that may date from the widening / resurfacing in the 1850s, and there are many layers down to mediaeval (putting 13th & 14th century finds in context).

One thing that's clear about Billingsgate dock is that it was a draw dock, i.e. a ramp down onto the foreshore, and not truncated in a solid wall at the South end as at present. As such it may be very ancient indeed - the archaologists are hoping our hole needs to be deep enough for them to go back past the mediaeval.

Saturday 9 July 2011

Woolwich born inventor of artificial hips

The Woolwich Antiquarian's June/July newsletter front pages the riveting story of Furlong's Artificial Hips. Furlong were, of course, a well known Woolwich company with a garage and a removal business. Ronald Furlong did not join the family firm but became a doctor. In 1985 he he developed the hydroxy-apatite coated ceramic hip implant - this is the one they gave to the Queen Mother . The newsletter gives a lot of detail about both Dr.Furlong and his hips - taken from a talk given to the Blackheath Scientific Society.