Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Woolwich conservation - Woolwich Antiquarians

Woolwich Antiquarians newsletter is always of great interest with frequent industrial history items. The following are extracts from the conservation report – with news of many interesting buildings in Woolwich. The following version has picked out the ones with some industrial background, (well sort of) and been edited a bit.
Woolwich Stadium Site -The Antiquarians have been concerned about this site on Woolwich Common for a long time – and can GIHS appeal for information about the Stadium and what went on there. 

So – the Antiquarians say:
Car parking at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital - In 2005 the Queen Elizabeth Hospital sought to turn the Stadium site on Woolwich Common into a staff car park. We objected, as the Stadium is on Metropolitan Open Land. Over the next year or so the objection was considered, eventually reaching the Secretary of State of the Department for Communities and Local Government, whose decision was in favour of the proposal. Now, in spring 2012 with the imminent Olympic shooting events causing closure of Ha-Ha Road and general disruption, work is in hand. The Stadium is being covered in tarmac with kerb stones put in to define the parking spaces.  The bank around the arena is being kept – and now shorn of several years’ overgrowth the Stadium's bank stands proud again.
Castlewood Day Centre (on Shooters Hill).  This closed some time ago, and has been converted to housing with a new block behind it. The frontage of the main building looks splendid, the roof renewed, brickwork fettled, and the foundation stone spruced up.  It was the first hospital in the district, and began as the "Woolwich and Plumstead Cottage Hospital", its foundation stone laid by the Duke of Cambridge in 1889   
Government House by Woolwich Common, long empty, is to be converted to flats with new housing behind.
Crossrail Station - Berkeley Homes are to use it as the foundation of their proposed shopping precinct, with tower blocks of flats near Verbruggen's House.
Verbruggen's House has been blighted by a huge sign visible from the Plumstead Road, erected without planning permission. It advertises a firm of solicitors - the current occupiers of the building. The Council demanded, months ago, that it be removed within three weeks, so presumably it has gone to appeal.
Alexander McLeod House and the mid 1930s Art Deco Co-Op Building opposite it in Powis Street, both originally RACS buildings, are to be restored. Alexander McLeod House, the RACS Headquarters (also named the Central Premises) is to become a Travel Lodge Hotel and will incorporate the older Bakery building behind. The ground floor will revert to shops.
The Art Deco Co-Op is to be converted to housing again with ground floor shops. Internal stair-rail supports, which feature "Co-Op" in a design that ascends the stairs, will be retained. We hope the beautiful Dining Room on the top floor will also survive.

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