Saturday 17 August 2013

Crossness loco restoration

Ian Bull writes:

A Royal Arsenal Railway bogie van has been displayed outside the 
Greenwich Heritage Centre for some years. Its condition has recently 
deteriorated and last Monday it was moved to Crossness pumping 
station to join the steam locomotive 'Woolwich' for restoration. 
Plenty of detail and photos in the link below...

Ian is leading the team restoring loco 'Woolwich' at Crossness - GIHS hopes he will agree to come and speak to us some time next year.

Thursday 15 August 2013

Away on my holidays I found myself in the Northumberland  County archive at Woodhorn in - well, Northumberland. 

Now - I am far from sure how we can stretch Greenwich industry geographically but I am wondering if we didn't ought to be include a fairly large stretch of Northumberland.

I learnt about Greenwich Hospital Estates a long time ago.  On a study tour of the North East in the early 1970s we were faced with a resentful lecturer - 'look' he said ' all of this land - here in the north, all making profits for Londoners.  The income all goes down south to these big buildings in Greenwich and is spent on southerners' .   At that stage I didn't actually know where the money went - but I was pretty sure it wasn't spent on the residents of the London Borough of Greenwich and I said so  -  and was treated with a great deal of suspicion for the rest of the week.

So - Greenwich Hospital Estates. It does cover a lot of Northumberland. I flicked through the pages and pages of the accessions list in the archive  - a lot of lead mines, some of them quite famous, collieries, fisheries, stone quarries, farms, a lot of other mineral workings.   Then page after page after page of account books. I didn't have the time to call items up, but I guess it would have been very illuminating.

So - historically - can we stretch Greenwich's industrial history to cover all of this? (this is a historical blog but the politics are more than interesting too).  I am sure there are proper histories out there of the Hospital's northern estates - people who have studied the lead mines and the quarries.  I think we need more information about all of this - if we are to sort of annexe it.


PS - I found two items in the accessions list about Greenwich Foot Tunnel  - so those of you researching that would do well to come up here and look. Woodhorn is, I guess, a bit on the inaccessible side - as I left I did wonder how you got there by public transport, if at all!