Sunday 23 June 2013

Quick flick through the post

Due to my neglect - and distraction - much stuff sitting in my in tray is - well,  still sitting there.

Here is some of the stuff which has come in

GLIAS - I have the new journal which will feature, hopefully soon, with a major new article on Deptford Dockyard.

The GLIAS June Newletter: (its VERY thin)
They are list - of interest in Greenwich  -

- Crossness Steaming Days 
23rd (That's today - so I might go down later).  with a model engineering fair
28th July - with steam wagons and vintage tractors and cars.
1st September - with local history groups.
10.30-5 £5

- and - er - that's it.   But see review of London's Industrial Heritage - something else that needs to be reviewed here in the future.

Redriff Chronicle - an article about Ada Salter and the Beautification of Bermondsey should be an inspiration to us all - and there is a campaign to raise money to replace the stolen statues of Dr.Salter and his daughter, and the cat  and will include a new statue of Ada.

They also advertise Deptford Creek walks - you need to book at the Creekside Centre. (sorry, no details for contacting them, and they are technically in Lewisham)

and finally - and hope she doesn't mind - here is the handout which Hillary Peters prepared and circulated for the Garden Open Day at Ballast Quay

- by Hillary Peters
This wharf has been owned by Morden College since the beginning of the eighteenth century. Sir John Morden bought the East Greenwich estate to support his almshouse on the edge of Blackheath. Morden College still flourishes today and still owns this wharf.
From the end of the eighteenth century, developers rented land from Morden College and built rows of houses. Mr. Bracegirdle ran a boat yard here and lived in a house where the Harbour Master's House now stands. The pub, then called the Green Man, and the row of houses, start to be mentioned. In 1800, the pub changed its name to the Union Tavern. The wharf and the street behind were then called Union Wharf.
In the mid-nineteenth century, when the wharves of East Greenwich were flourishing and the rows of houses had been built, the Thames Conservancy built the Harbour Master's Office to control this reach of the Thames. The Harbour Master and his staff also lived here. He kept a boat here and supervised navigation on this busy reach. There were steps down to the beach and a causeway to the low tide level. A gridiron on the beach and a steam crane on the wharf were used for salvage and work on craft. The wharf was surrounded on the landward side by a very high wall. Railings topped by the German helmet surrounded both the house and the approach to the wharf.

When the Port of London Authority was formed at the beginning of the twentieth century, the post of Harbour Master for this reach was abolished but the wharf was kept on as Port of London Wharf. From the 1920's the wharf was used for general import and export by Lovell's Wharf next door.
In the mid-1960's the wharf was made into a garden for the use of the neighbours. From it, Union Wharf Nursery Garden created the gardens of St Katherine's Dock, based on the idea of plants growing out of cracks in the concrete - the wild returning to the derelict inner city. Surrey Docks Farm grew out of a neighbourhood scheme started here.
The memorial to animals killed in the Foot and Mouth disaster of 2001 is fast becoming a memory -
The wharf had a brief career as a tea garden managed and run by the neighbours. It is still owned by Morden College and maintained and enjoyed by the neighbours of Ballast Quay and their visitors. We hope it offers a taste of the wild in an urban landscape.

In the 1960's, the whole area was concrete with working wharves, shipping, lighterage, cranes. The garden represented the first sign of greenery re- emerging from the industrial age. Now there is no industry, the plants have taken root and the garden illustrates how roots can break up even the hardest surfaces and nature can take over once more.

Forging is very much part of city farming, so we are doing some iron-age forging.

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