This is the prospectus for a Deptford Pier Company set up in 1830 - as you will see - a lot of it might sound familiar - and the people involved have all got quite a bit of 'previous' and - er- interests in the Greenwich Railway. Please look at the last couple of paragraphs for all the wonderful things they intend to build, having cleared away some unsightly dwellings.
The prospectus of this Company,
incorporated by Act of Parliament, 5th William IV., cap. 13, as follows: --
The public utility and
necessity of the Deptford Pier Company will at once be conceded by those
who consider the immense and daily
increasing number of steam vessels, which at every hour of the day navigate
the crowded surface of the Thames, occasioning serious damage
to other vessels, as well as considerable injury to themselves, and continually
accompanied with fatal and distressing accidents.
The grounds on which Parliament have
sanctioned the Act of Incorporation now obtained will at once be understood by reference to the preamble, which was duly proved in evidence before a Committee of the
House of Commons ...
"that the conveyance of passengers and goods to and from the Metropolis by steam and other vessels has of late years very much increased
and that such communications would
be greatly facilitated if means were afforded for landing such passengers and goods at Deptford by the erection
of a pier; and that the danger attending the navigation of the river Thames between Deptford and London Bridge occasioned by steamboats would be hereby avoided, whilst
a ready and convenient communication with the metropolis could be maintained by means of the Greenwich
and London Railway now erecting."
site now chosen
for the formation of a pier presents advantages peculiar to this locality. In addition
to the commodious bay-like form of the river
at this part, here is a depth of water of 15 feet, even at the lowest ebb, close to the shore, thus enabling the Company to afford every facility of landing and embarking
without the necessity for a projecting
pier. That which peculiarly renders Deptford the spot to which steamers may be expected to resort, results
from its being the nearest point of the river to the metropolis, which can be approached without
encountering the danger arising from the great number of vessels in the pool; whilst
the London and Greenwich Railway presents a medium of communication with the very centre of the metropolis,
which cannot, in all probability be elsewhere obtained.
city authorities have evinced their
approbation of the undertaking
by granting to the company a. considerable
addition to the river frontage which will greatly increase the future value
of the water-side premises. It is the intention of the company to form
a wharf or terrace of 700 feet in length,
with sufficient depth of water for steamers to lie alongside at all times of tide. The company propose also
to erect warehouses
for merchandise, &c so as to enable vessels to discharge their cargoes
without the expense and hazard of lighterage. Proper arrangements with the
Customs Department will also be made so as to
render every facility to passengers in foreign steam vessels.
The pier at Deptford being nearly equidistant
from the City and West End of the Metropolis, affords the most convenient access to every part of London.
For passengers going to the West End,
conveyance will be provided at moderate rates, affording accommodation to
various points between Lambeth, Vauxhall, Pimlico, and the extreme western
limits of London; and also forming a direct communication through Peckham and Camberwell
to Hyde Park Corner, over Vauxhall Bridge. through which densely populated district
there has hitherto been no public conveyance; and it may be confidently asserted,
that less time will be occupied in reaching the West End of London by landing at
the Deptford Pier, than is now consumed between Deptford and the Custom House, steamboats usually taking three-quarters of an hour to navigate that
dangerous portion of the river, the whole of which time will be gained to the passenger, as he will probably
have reached his destination in the time occupied in navigating the Pool.
to the City, or to the Surrey side of the river, will be provided with an expeditious
cheap medium of conveyance over the London and Greenwich Railway which adjoins the leading avenue to
the pier, and will afford an immediate
conveyance of four-fifths of the time usually consumed between Deptford and the
Custom House through the Pool.
In order to
convey a just notion of the future success of the Deptford Pier, it is necessary
that allusion should be made to several under-takings .now in progress in the immediate
neighbourhood, which seem to fall into natural alliance with it. The advantages
they offer of extending the utility of
the pier will be eagerly embraced by the directors.
Already, the London and Greenwich Railway
presents prospect of early completion; leaving London from the bridge, it is brought
within a short distance of Deptford Pier, and the directors of the Pier Company
will use their utmost exertions to have their works complete In due time to avail themselves of the opening
of the railway.
An Act of Parliament has been obtained for the formation of a railway
between Croydon and London, which will join the Greenwich railway at Deptford, and
as the projectors of that work contemplate the eventual extension of their line
to Brighton, it may be expected that direct
communication will be established between
the ports of Shoreham and Brighton and
the Deptford Pier. It is in contemplation
to convert the towing-path of the Grand Surrey Canal into a tramway, and to continue
the same to Vauxhall, for which adequate powers are provided in their existing Acts
of Parliament. At Vauxhall, the Southampton
'Railway has already commenced, leading by collateral branches to Bath and Basing,
and. from the same depot, the Grand Western Railroad (the Act for which is now obtained) will also emanate.
for the present any further consideration of the benefits, it is proper to advert
to other objects contemplated by the Act of Parliament. The parish of St. Nicholas,
Deptford, since the closing of HIs Majesty's
Dockyard, has been almost deserted; whole rows of houses are now untenanted or
let to casual occupants; and property which in war time yielded considerable revenue
to the owners, has fallen into a state bordering on decay and abandonment. The Company has power to clear so much of this extensive tract as they may deem proper; in so doing,
their object will be to substitute a new
town, consisting of wide streets, adapted for healthful residence or commercial occupation. The fine gravelly soil
abounding in spring- water of the purest quality, at moderate depth is
of itself a great recommendation. The
streets will lead direct to the water-side,
and will form handsome and convenient avenues to the pier; and it can hardly be
doubted that the value of this property will be greatly enhanced by these Improvements,
and form another source of profit to the Company, as well as to those builders
and others who may be inclined to invest their capital in this neighbourhood. The contemplated hotels, warehouses, &c., will
be erected on a scale
commensurate with the magnitude of the undertaking.
The situation will in itself
insure considerable casual resort, commanding a fine prospect of the river and surrounding
country. Greenwich Hospital, the Park, Blackwall,
Woolwich, the East and West India Docks,
Deptford Dockyard, the Lower Pool. And even the shipping as far as Erith are
all visible from the spot. An extensive promenade, forming- part of the plan, will
make it a delightful resort for the inhabitants of Deptford and
its neighbourhood. Builders and others inclined to take part in the
contemplated improvements may purchase freehold sites, subject to the requisite
conditions. and every information will be furnished, on application to Mr. Horton
Ledger, surveyor to the Company.
The lithographic view published by the company,
under the superintendence of their surveyor, will particularly show the character
waterside elevation of the proposed pier and terrace; whilst. The accompanying plan
will give a general idea of the intended
approaches. A commodious temporary landing-place
will be provided during the progress of the works, and coaches will at once commence
running from the Deptford Pier to the different parts of the Metropolis.
The capital of the company is £50,000, in
2,500 shares of £20 each; and the directors Messrs. John
Wilson Davis, Richard Edmonds, Adam Gordon, Samuel Gardiner, Henry B. Leeson, Captain
Robert Page, George Walter, and Frederick Albert Winsor.