Wednesday 9 October 2013

Our local stations in London Railway Record

This is partly a review and partly a plea for help...............

Through the letter box a day or so ago came London Railway Record (No 77 October 2013) - and this time is has lots of things about railways in our Borough.

Some bits and pieces and notes  -

"work on the Woolwich Station box'  - this of course refers to the new Crossrail station and includes a picture of what it is hoped we will end up with.  Some of us will have visited the site of the station box when it was open last year and it is all very positive.

- and a nice note on a new footbridge at New Eltham Station. 

- and  there is a whole page on what is proposed at London Bridge (ok - not in the Borough but it will affect us all) .  There is a map and photos so we can see what is happening and what local commuters will be put through so much agony to achieve.  We hear a lot about the proposed future deficiencies in the train service so its nice to see there is going to be some point to it all.

However - there is also a big article with FIVE pages of pictures of our local stations. It starts with a nice picture of Greenwich Station, moves on to Maze Hill and Westcombe Park and goes on to Woolwich Dockyard.   I am not sure what has happened to Charlton - perhaps the Charlton Champion will take this up.

I have already pointed out to London Railway Record's editor something missing in the notes on Maze Hill Station. They are interested in remaining structures and completely missed the down side building currently occupied by Maze Hill Pottery.  And here is where I am asking for help  - 

I think that since the 1960s Maze Hill Station buildings on the up side have been replaced more than once.  I am not sure when or why.  I think there was a major fire - in the 1980s?? and probably more than once.  Does anyone remember exactly??  If so pass it onto me, add it as a comment here or send it off to London Railway Record (

- and don't let me stop you all commenting on the other photographs (and the lack of Charlton)

Thanks anyway - and thanks to London Railway Record for taking a bit of notice of our bit of south east London.

Tuesday 8 October 2013


There are a number of bits and pieces in the current GLIAS Newsletter about Greenwich and Woolwich (Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society  Newsletter 268 October 2013

First they are advertising a meeting.

19th February 2014. GLIAS Lecture by Simon Davis of MOLA on Mediaeval Mills in Greenwich (assume this is about the tide mill found on the Lovell's site a couple of years ago).. It is at 6.30 at a new venue for GLIAS - The Swedenborgian Lecture Theatre in Barter Street near Kingsway Underground.

There is also a note about Enderby Wharf - and they - I think - are quoting from the Evening Standard of 18th September, Homes and Property
"Enderby Wharf (between Greenwich and the 02) which was first developed in the 18th century by a whaling company and was later used to manufacture cables and a cross-channel petrol pipeline to support the D-Day invasion is to be transformed when work starts soon to build 770 homes, the capital's first cruise liner terminal along with a hotel, shops and a rivertaxi pier."

- Now a lot of that is not quite right.  The Enderby Family had married into a whaling company family but they were not on that site in the 18th century but took over a rope walk and built a canvas works there in the late 1830s (see my web site  Before that it had been a rope walk run by someone else, possibly a bleach and/or copperas works, and before that the Government Gunpowder Inspection Depot.    Yes the site was used to make cables - before 1930 the majority of all undersea cables were made there and of course Alcatel will remain on part of the site and still make components for underwater telegraphy there.  I am not sure I have ever heard that PLUTO or parts of PLUTO were made in Greenwich - and would be grateful to know more about that.   All of the information given about the number of houses and so on, I guess is likely to be changed.  My information is that a new developer is now on site for the housing, and no work has yet started on the terminal.  We will wait and see. 

Monday 7 October 2013

Woolwich Foot Tunnel Anniversary event

Saturday26 October - A Commemoration of the 101st Anniversary of Woolwich Foot Tunnelm-a message from FOGWOFT

The tunnel was opened 101 years before, to the day, by luminaries of London and Woolwich led by Major-General the Right Hon. Lord Cheylesmore, chairman of London County Council.

We will follow the arrangements of 1912, but without a major-General, and proceed under the Thames to the north bank in the Borough of Newham, in an area still known as North Woolwich.  From there we will return by ferry.  One past through the tunnel was obviously enough then for Edwardian luminaries. The only  difference between then and now is that we will have the benefit of takingexercise down and up the stairs.  The good Major-General had lifts and we hope to see those again installed and working one day.
Those who make it back from the north bank will have the chance of a tunnel birthday cupcake (children first) and may take tea either at the Waterfront cafe or an alternative for those who the cycle back.

Pedestrians please assemble at Woolwich Tunnel entrance by 11.00.

For cyclists we’ll start at Cutty Sark Gardens at 10.00am. The ride is short, about 12miles, flat, almost entirely off-road and easy even for children.  We will return to Cutty Sark Gardens at about lunchtime. Bikes may be locked to the limited cycle stands in front of the Waterfront Leisure Centre or to the railings on the river side.  We will also have a guard to keep an eye on those during the commemorative walk.