Saturday 7 October 2017

and more news today

NEXT MEETING - 10th Tuesday

Our next meeting is a discussion meeting on Industrial Heritage in Greenwich - we hope you will come along and put your views forward.
We have asked Danny Hayton to come along to Chair it - he is a prominent figure in industrial history and industrial archaeology in London. We hope to have short introductions from - Ian Bull (Royal Arsenal), Andrew Bullevant (GIHS,Woolwich Antiquarians and Shooters Hill Local History Group), Peter Luck (Chair Enderby Group), Mari Tay (Deptford Power, Deptford Working Histories), Elizabeth Pearcey (Archaeologist London Museum of Water and Steam)

and -in that context - we have been sent a copy of a posting about Greenwich in The Pipeline  -

This three page article by Andy Brockman analyses the Council's draft plans for the East Greenwich gasholder site and put it into a context of industrial heritage, visitor and development issues, and the consultation by Historic England.  Read it.


Pumps in Australia -made in Greenwich

Appleby pumps - Goulburn Waterworks Museum, Australia.   In the last post we mentioned a request for information from the Museum and that we were getting an answer together. We have now been copied into a long and detailed reply which has been put together for them. It is too long and detailed to be listed here as a news item and I hope that, with the author's consent, it can be a separate item.  The Museum is at


We have also been sent a link to This is a posting about the oldest Thames Tug Brittania and her imminent demise having been sold for scrap.  Brittania is the re-named T.BHeathorn and she was originally built for the South Metropolitan Gas Co. - and was probably based at East Greenwich gas works, and would in all certainly have worked from the jetties there. She was named for Thomas Bridges Heathorn, on of the company directors - and himself the son of Joseph Lidwell Heathorn one of the founders off the Company.



The October 2017 GLIAS newsletter contains notices of the following events which may be of interest in Greenwich.

15th October - Crossness. Prince Consort in steam.
15th November. GLIAS Pub Evening. Kings Arms, Newcomen Street, SE1. from 6.30. general chat and cheer plus some presentations. Anyone who wants to do a presentation contact
29th November. Crossness Open Day. No Steam.

The Newsletter contains an article about the Woolwich stoneware kiln by Bob Carr - who came down to see its last few days in March
Docklands History Group - the speaker at their September meeting was Elizabeth Wiggans, the archivist at Morden College.  Elizabeth has been very helpful to many Greenwich historians and the Morden College archive is one of the most unknown but amazing assets in Greenwich and Blackheath.  The College has owned large chunks of Greenwich since the late 17th century and, much of the older housing we see in both West and East Greenwich was built by them. In the case of its holdings on the Peninsula they ran what can only be described as an industrial development programme there on the west bank in the late 19th century. Elizabeth's talk was about the history of the College from the 17th century and the work done today to house the elderly and to manage their extensive estates.


The Last Gasometer in Poplar
We have been directed to The Gentle Author 

This is an article about the demolition over the last week or so of one of the gas holders on the Poplar Levan Road site - this is on your right immediately as you come out of the Blackwall Tunnel on the other side.   It was built by the Commercial Gas Company - (which was effectively controlled by our own South Met.Co. but don't tell the people north of the river that I said that!). 
Basically - the demolition crews are getting nearer and nearer.


Slightly sad endnote  - it is with some regret that we have noticed that the original GIHS web site has now been removed from the Goldsmith's server and is no longer with us.  This was set up in 1998 and included all our original newsletters - but we lost control of it many years ago when our member there retired and were unable to correct basic things on it, like out of date email addresses and so on.  We have a backup of the entire site and are wondering what to do with it - there are several options. Wait and see!!

PS - hope you all saw the article about the Woolwich Stoneware Kiln in Greenwich Weekender!

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