Thursday, 4 August 2016

August is the cruellest month. More bits of news and stuff like that.

This post includes stuff that has come in over the past couple of weeks. August is usually a slack month - but there has just been a sudden rush!!
(sorry about some of the strange variations in type - have wasted 2 hours trying to sort)

New Plaque for Greenwich Foot Tunnel
On 5 July 2016 FOGWOFT members turned up at Cutty Sark Gardens to celebrate the unveiling of an interpretive plaque for the Greenwich Foot Tunnel. They were joined by a representative of the Institution of Civil Engineers. The ceremony was led by Deputy Leader Cllr. Danny Thorpe, whose staff had designed and commissioned the plaque. It will do a great job in explaining the history and original reasons for the historic foot tunnel. It may even answer the common visitor questions of whether this is a public lavatory or the Greenwich Observatory! It is the latest in a series of projects by the Royal Borough to enhance users experience of the tunnel.  FOGWOFThave been closely consulted about all three projects. Since the completion of the major refurbishment scheme in 2014, it would have been easy for the Borough to lose sight of the importance of this working heritage. It is to their credit that they have not; and fogwoft will continue to support innovative actions that improve both tunnels.

FOGWOFT has also been involved in the new electronic system in the tunnels to keep cyclists in order - more news soon

- We also note that the recent BBC thriller 'The Secret Agent' had its final scene down it the tunnel. Fame at last!!


This issue starts with the exciting headline "The Great Stink Exhibition and the start of the Transformation of Crossness into a more formal museum" and continues " The Boiler House has been totally transformed with the introduction of the new National Lottery funded Great Stink exhibition. The exhibition tells the story of why Crossness and the London sewer system was built and the prevention of the spread of Cholera. It also depicts how Crossness was built and comes right up to date with the new Thames Water Treatment Plant" - this apparently includes murals on the walls of the cafe and toilets, a display of old toilets and a new mock sewer tunnel with 'visual and sound effects'.

They also have pictures of their transformed garden - plus a swan and a pheasant who ' struts around .. as if he owns the place'.

More seriously there is an article about Easton and Anderson (based in Southwark and then Erith) and their links to construction and equipment at Crossness.

Open days are all 10-30 am to 5 pm
Prince Consort under steam - 4th September, 9th October
Just open, no steam - 14th August, 23rd October
CET tours - 26th August, 23rd September,. book these two

see more (and all the pictures) at


We have a note from Historic England to say that archaeological work is to start on two sites - one Re: 278-65 Greenwich Wharf: 14/0460/F -Phase 2 (LAG/011/278), and the other
Alcatel Lucent Telegraph works (LAG/011/489) CLO12333 .  

In both cases they have sent us pdfs of the desk stop study and work programme - 

please get onto us if you are interested.

The Enderby Group is keeping an eye on the Alcatel site study 

but the Pipers Wharf site is the more worrying.  The site has been 
completely cleared of many items of great interest before work has 
started and the archaeologists pre-report seems totally unaware
of the various works and wharves which were once on the site.


The Enderby Group have been very busy - they have been 
undertaking a footfall survey on the riverside path - which has 
sadly been cut short by the sudden closure of the path round 
Pipers Wharf.    They have also been preparing their own vision 
document for the future of the area. And challenging the listing 
designation of Enderby House. More on all of this to come. 


We have just had the following link from British Transport 
Treasures (thank you Stuart)


their summer newsletter includes some details from the 
Community archaeological dig on the Old Keeper's Cottage.  
Included is a note from Brian Starkey 
about the occupants of the cottage in the mid 19th century.  
One of them was an important Fellow of the Society of 

The  July/August Newsletter has 
-  a brief write up of the (lost) planning battle on the 
                     Old Loyal Britons in Thames Street.  
-   a brief note about the remains of the Tudor/Stuart jetty 
                     on the foreshore OF the University site. 
- noted (thank you) the new plaque with information on the 
                       Greenwich Foot Tunnel with a nice picture. 


They note the inauguration of the plaque for the foot tunnel. 
Otherwise - nothing about Greenwich and Woolwich!

The following meetings are noted: 

GLIAS WALK - this is round Erith and led by Andrew Turner.  
1st October,.  to book a place email

16th November.  - GLIAS pub evening. 
Horseshoe, Clerkenwell Close, at 6.30  
They are happy to have audience contributions - 
bring your own memory stick, preferably Power Point


Interesting articles - albeit about Lewisham - Catford Dogs, 
the London School Board - and - er - Cliff Richard.

They advertise:
(all these Methodist Church Hall, Albion Way 7.45)
30th September Jane Hearn on the Downham Estate
25th November - Gordon Dennington on Sunday Cinemas 
              and Film Censorship
16th December - Mike Brown on Christmas on the Home Front

- oh and -= 
Bromley Local History Society. Trinity Reformed Church, 
Freelands Road, Bromley  7.45
Mary Mills on The Work of Coles Child in Greenwich


The main article in their current newsletter is about the 
Greenwich Heritage Centre's events around nursing 
in the Great War.

They mention conservation cases current in Woolwich - 

the Granada Cinema and the Guard House.

There is a feature on Gilbert's Pit and the new stairway 

access to it. Visits via  
This is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and part of
the London Geodiversity Partnership. It was used as a 
source of sand for local glassworks and the Arsenal.

The Antiquarians also have a nice obituary to Barbara Ludlow.

2 pm for 2.15 pm  Charlton House, 
17 Sept    St George’s Garrison Church  Julie Ricketts
8   Oct      Crossness - Past, Present and Future   Mike Jones
11 Mar     Whitechapel 1888 - Murder - Poverty Stuart Robinson
8   Apl      Annual General Meeting  with Show & Tell   
13 May    The Abbey of St Thomas the Martyr at Lesnes,  
                     Vincent Memorial Lecture  Jim Marrett
10 Jun      London Pubs  and  Buildings Charlotte Matthews

10 Sept   2.30 pm   Photographs and Stories of Charlton   

Rochester Way, adjacent to Falconwood Station,
Steam and electric hauled model railway.
Sundays, 2 – 5 pm  14,28 Aug  11,25 Sept  9 Oct.

Now - sometime ago the Naval Dockyards people asked
 me if  someone could arrange a walk for them round the 
 military and naval sites in Woolwich - now, that seemed 
a tall order and at firsit seemed that if you wanted a 
THOROUGH look at Woolwich you had better book a 
week - because it would take three days minimum 
- however - I put them in  touch with Ian Bull  - and -  

... So - they went on their walk with Ian - who took them 
round the more easily reached bits and there is a terrific 
write up in their newsletter. I am very tempted to quote much 
of it - but - roughly - they saw - 'railway subway ... quite 
an impressive structure' ....... 'impressive brick built 
chimney'.....  'steam factory .. wonderful example'....  
'boat store .. utmost importance' ..... 'Clockhouse ... 
impressive looking building' ....'impressive columns of 
the main gate' ....'many buildings of historical interest'  
'Dial Arch for lunch' ...'Royal Brass Foundry ..
unusual and well looked after' ...'all very 
impressive' ..
Well - glad they were impressed - and 
thank you to Ian.



This is the national newsletter from the Association for 
Industrial Archaeology. This is really more about the 
provinces -not London - but there are a series of articles 
in the current issue about the challenges which local 
societies meet as well as meetings with Members of 
Parliament - happy to pass on to any one 
Along with the GLIAS newsletter they feature the 
Kirkaldy Testing Museum in Southwark Street, SE1 - 
and if you haven't been there yet - go at once. Its about 
As the London representative on the AIA Dr. Robert 
Carr has provided his usual article on London's 
industrial history -but sadly nothing about Greenwich 
this time.
There is however a report on the Enderby Group's March 
seminar - happy to copy and pass onto to anyone 

I am not going to reproduce their list of meetings -

but happy to send to anyone interested in IA 
conferences in Kansas City, Romania, Lisbon or even Devizes.


The current issue headlines 'Engineers baffled as icon
 fails after 133 yrs' - hope the time ball is sorted by the time 
I am writing this. There is a whole page about the inauguration 
of the foot tunnel  plaque -and thanks very much GV for that!!!
They also highlight a little known techie interest 
attraction in Greenwich - the Aviation Experience 
which is down at the cable car 
(which of course pretends to be an airline). 


and - as I write this, the following tweet has come in from "
 ‏@Gashistory  Once the largest #gasholder in the world @ #Greenwich 1904 
#Advert for Clayton Son & Co."

so - this is a lot longer than I thought - must get some lunch - 

sorry if its a bit strange, I had a lot of problems with word-wrap - which has led to me having to put in manual line breaks - but also with fonts and type sizes. I have typed some of this four times and it is still not consistent 
Mary for GIHS

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