Saturday, 13 January 2018

Siemens ~Woolwich - site notes

Information from Siemens Engineering Society
Siemens Brothers & Co. Ltd., Building Identification and Site AgentslManagement 
Building Identification:
We have done our best to identify the original use of the buildings proposed for conservation.
Our information is a little patchy as virtually all the Members of the Siemens Brothers Engineering Society came from the Telephone side of the business as opposed to the Cable Business
. This was despite the Society being open to all employees.

Map Key No 1  Third Phase of Expansion to Cable Factory 1929-1948

Map Key No 2 Second Phase of Expansion 1900 - 1928Wood-Workers Building, cable drums etc.

Map Key No 3 Third Phase of Expansion 1929 - 1948. Instrument Factory and Marine Radio School

Map Key No 4 Second Phase as above. Copper Wire Factory, known as the IR Building. IR was short for India Rubber, an early form of cable insulation.

Map Key No 5 Not Siemens Brothers - Trinity Wharf 

Map Key No 13 First Phase of Expansion to the original Cable Factory 1865 - 1899, now the earliest surviving building of the Siemens Telegraph Cable Works. Cable insulation and core-testing.

Map Key No 14 First Phase of Expansion as above. Workshop extensions for dynamo shops, milling machinery, armouring and lead sheathing.

Site AgentslManagement
In March 2004 towards the end of the Archive Material Catalogue Project, the Committee decided it would be nice if some form of permanent plaque and/or memorial to Siemens Brothers could be established on the site of the old Woolwich Works. This lead us into contact with the site managing agent, who at the time was The Co-operative Insurance Society(CIS). The CIS were very keen on this idea as a part of their redevelopment and landscaping of the site. This resulted in a sculptress being hired who produced a model of a sculpture based on ideas and equipment we had provided, with an associated plinth, the wording for which had been agreed by all parties. Unfortunately, this project never came to fruition because the entire CIS Property Portfolio was taken over by AXA Real Estate.
We continued liaison with AXA, who took some time to get to grips with a huge portfolio. Although sympathetic, our project took a backseat, but AXA gave us 6 monthly updates on the progress being made on the site. This included liaison, with Greenwich Council,  refurbishment and re-use (leasing) some of the original Siemens buildings and possibly  saving the original and earliest Siemens building, as well as a residential aspect. This 'site regeneration' plan represented a significant investment, but it all depended on the success or otherwise of the AXA plans and the market demand for refurbished warehouse/workshop accommodation. Market demand we believe was low and the situation has now changed completely with the arrival of the Charlton Riverside Development.

During 2011 we were contacted by Mott MacDonald [Consultants for the Greenwich University Technical College] about the previous use of the land [part of our old site] on which the GUTC was to be built. We provided a full background and in short; the Architects were sympathetic to the original building and the wording on the formal plaque [unveiled by HRH The Duke of York] was extended to include a reference to the original factory site. We were invited to the opening and had a guided tour. Recognition for Siemens Brothers at last

No comments: