Tuesday, 26 September 2017

and even more news

Yet another news page - please someone send me an article!!!


As I write this I have been emailed that the Poplar Gasholders are currently being demolished. These are the holders to the east of the Blackwall Tunnel Approach almost immediately before the Tunnel. They were built by the Commercial Gas Company.  There has been a long campaign to keep them which has been run by a local Stepney and Poplar history group - who have already failed to keep the dramatically sited Bethnal Green holder. (The ones further north which you see from the Tunnel Approach near Tesco are listed)

LANNION Cite des Telcoms

Thanks to Ben Page for this report:

The Cite des Telecoms at Pleumeur-Bodou near Lannion is a large museum of communications sponsored by Orange. We stumbled across it while on holiday and spent a whole day there. There is a gallery within the museum devoted to the history of sub-sea cables, which includes a display of repeaters, one of which is a Telcon one that I guessed might have come from Greenwich, which is why I thought it might interest the group. The central exhibit of the whole museum is the Radome, which is the European end of the first trans-Atlantic TV transmission (now a UNESCO world Heritage site) dating from 1962. For 20 minutes a day (around midnight) the French could watch American TV via the Telstar satellite should they so wish. It takes the form of giant ear trumpet 65 m long and 35m high but precision engineered to the mm. It was protected from the weather by a very elegant, very thin dome which is inflated to retain its spherical shape. There is a ‘son et lumiere’ inside the Radome in English and French which tells its history and explains its engineering.

One of the things that interested me is how the story of communication is told differently in different places by different museums drawing attention to different innovations at different moments. So, the way I tell the story of Enderby Wharf to my undergraduate geography students (as a way of getting them to think about the materials and infrastructure that underpin the history of globalization) works for me because I can localize it for them by bringing them to Greenwich. Yet from the perspective of the curators who tell the story in Lannion there is a rather different ‘centre’ to the story even though some of the elements (the Great Eastern for example) are shared. Lannion is still the site where one of the main fibre-optic cables that crosses the Atlantic comes onshore in Fra


On page 3 of the latest issue they are asking what your favourite things are in Greenwich - email greenwichnewsletter@gmail.com - dare you all to write in and say it is the gasholder (or something similar).

BUT what the Newsletter does include is a really really cracking article about Greenwich Power Station.  This is about the 1906 row which erupted between the power station and the Royal Observatory. 'the finger of blame was largely directed towards the London County Council' and there was a Parliamentary enquiry.  The author advises us to look at the full story which is on the Royal Observatory web site - but it would be good to get someone to come and speak to GIHS on it.


This is a European based industrial heritage organisation (not a web based religion!!). Currently they have an industrial heritage weekend in Barcelona 20-22 October which is the start of their 
campaign for European Cultural Heritage Year.   They are still looking for themes for this and suggest you look at www.industrialheritage.eu/EYCH2018-theme-months.  They want to know what we are planning to do to celebrate next year!



The September 2017 issue of Sub Brit's wonderful Journal has just arrived. Only one Greenwich Borough item in it though. "World War II Air-raid Shelter recorded at Eltham".  This is apparently under a school playground and they refer to an article in Post Medieval Archaeology 50 (3) 459-460.



They are looking for a volunteer administrator  - please look at their website  - http://www.buildthelenox.org/
Also on their web site are details and pictures of their Open House Day event at the Shipwrights Palace


Appleby Brothers were an engineering firm based on the Greenwich Peninsula. We recently had an email from a waterworks in New Zealand  We have put them in touch with an Appleby Brothers specialist and hope to be able to report back soon. Meanwhile have a look at their website - and the pictures of what they have been able to preserve!! www.goulburnwaterworks.com.au 



The Plumstead People Facebook page has been running a feature on Civic House - this stood at the top of Woolwich New Road and was apparently built as a NUPE Headquarters around 1980. It has now been demolished. Some of us have remembered that it was previously the site of the Woolwich Bus Museum. It is our understanding that this is now the Brooklands Bus Museum - is this so - what do people know about it in its incarnation of Woolwich and how it got to - ugh - West London???



Crossness Creative Afternoon - creativity and cake with artist Lily German. You have to book through evenbrite but know no more details except it is 6th October  13.00-17.00



We have invited Lindsay Collier - the brains behind this project and the Walthamstow Pump House Museum to come and tell us about this initiative to bring together several East London industrial heritage projects.
In the short term we are very very impressed  with their leaflet 'Discover the Industrial Heritage of London's Lea Valley'. A lot of this is based on sites in the Lea Valley Park - which is a  very wonderful institution looking after many beautiful sites of many sorts, as well as sports facilities and much else. Greenwich residents will not realise that they partly pay for this as there is a precept on all London Boroughs to fund the Park. So - go over the river and enjoy it - and see this beautiful beautiful leaflet.
And read all of Jim Lewis's series of books which show how everything electrical and electronic and much else (market gardening too) was invented and emerged from the Lea Valley.


Chris Mansfield has put on his Facebook page a wonderful old picture of Woolwich.  He says it is  "Approx' 1870s - 1880s taken from a magic lantern slide this view looks like it was taken from the top of St Marys church .. There is no sign of the free ferry terminals so I think this is probably the oldest photo I have seen of Woolwich".  I also understand he is trying to get an enhanced print.  I am not going to reproduce it here until we see if he can improve it.   I have some interesting comments on it waiting



We have been sent a copy of Ron Roffey's CD with lots and lots of information about the RACS and other local south east co-ops.  It is very amazing and I think we should do a review of it as a separate page.   It points out that the first recorded co-ops were in Woolwich - the author of one article says "There's too much talk of Rochdale and Eighteen Forty Four. The honour belongs to Woolwich ..the Century before"  - quite - we all ought to talk Woolwich up a bit!!  And the mighty Royal Arsenal Co-op is a good place to start.

- I bet there weren't any other consumer co-ops which had their own mine

- and - our info is that Ron is in hospital today (26h Sept) can we wish him well

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