Wednesday 29 August 2012

Underground stuff and above ground stuff

The August 2012 edition of Subterranea has just come through the door - and it must be said that Nick Catford is doing a really great job as editor - piles and piles of interesting articles about underground stuff from here to China - but however - there are a couple of mini items about here - Greenwich and Woolwich.

"Massive Cold War era foundations (but no bunker) at Woolwich

This is an item about the demolition of Peggy Middleton House.

"an apparently unremarkable four storey civic building .... built in the 1960s, proved to have astonishingly massive heavily reinforced concrete foundations. But the former students' hall of residence" (that was next door, up the hill a bit) "did not conceal a secret bunker, as might have been suspected, It was a case of 'overbuild' to withstand extremely heavy loads, 'designed at the height of the Cold War paranoia' ".

"The demolition of this structure, to make way for the new Woolwich Central residential and retail development, called for the use of some of the world's most powerful demolition and excavation equipment. Excavators with capacities of 45 to 75 tonnes were used. With structural spans of up to 16 or 17 metres (rather than the six metres common at the time), the building called for an astonishingly massive foundation slab, and support columns up to one metre square.
(their source was New Civil Engineer September 2011)
And also ...................

"Yet another tunnel under the Thames, Silvertown, east London?

Yet another road tunnel under the river is now actively being proposed. A new Silvertown road tunnel, close to the two existing Blackwall tunnels, could give extra traffic capacity. This would run from Greenwich to Silvertown. With a capacity of 6,000 vehicles per hour such a tunnel would relieve pressure on the Blackwall and Rotherhithe road tunnels.

And also ................

"The Silvertown railway tunnel to have a new lease of life as a part of Crossrail, east London

A disused railway tunnel dating from 1878 at Silvertown, east London, is to be brought back into railway use. Two single-track tunnels in the central part of the abandoned tunnel are to be replaced by a concrete box double-track tunnel for the Crossrail branch to Woolwich Arsenal and Abbey Wood.

Moving on to Woolwich Antiquarians Newsletter who report
"Granada Cinema/Gala Bingo Hall, Grade Il* listed, in Powis Street. They report that the building has been bought by the Christ Faith Tabernacle (CFT Cathedral) who await a decision on their planning application to change its use to a place of worship. They propose removing some furniture but no major alterations are planned. CFT have already spent £6m+ on the building. Various activities are planned, open to the public. For the duration of the Olympics, the building is open to the public, Mondays-Fridays, 12noon - 4.00pm: just walk in and someone will show you round.

and they say - re. the Olympics

The Shooting events, as heard from Shooters Hill, brought back memories of the small arms proof firing at the Arsenal in 1940s & 50s.

and TV reviews

Royal Greenwich on ITV - John Sergeant hosted a show on 27th July - entertaining but with minimal, and poor, history. Clive Aslet, who has written an unreliable history of Greenwich, was interviewed, but added little. Woolwich did get a look in, but the view of the RA Barracks through the shooting screen was less than impressive. A stall holder in Woolwich Market was featured

(and hooray to that!!  - they ignored what I told their researcher about 'Greenwich, the home of Communications) 

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