Thursday 21 November 2019

News items July 2003


Tom Cribb — Bare knuckle Fighter.

Tony Robin reported at the last Woolwich and District Antiquarian Society council meeting that English Heritage had turned down an application from Chris Mansfield, proprietor of the Ready Snacks cafe at 111, Woolwich High Street, for a blue plaque to be placed upon his building. This would have commemorated the fact that Tom Cribb had once lived in the house, which was then a
Bakery. English Heritage considered that a plaque would be better placed upon the 'Tom Cribb' public house, in the centre of London, in which dwelling, Tom had spent a greater length of his life, and their application was favourably received. This is understandable, I suppose, because more tourists are likely to see it there. But it is a pity, considering that Tom died in Woolwich and is buried in St. Mary Magdalene's churchyard. Never mind – we still have the magnificent lion in the church gardens, and a road named after him. Tony had been to meet Chris Mansfield, in his cafe and had a cup of tea with him. He found a very pleasant man, busily cooking meals of all kinds for his many customers, but still with time to talk to me. Tony told him that WADAS regretted his failure to acquire the blue plaque, and that we had heard that he was considering having a plaque made privately. Chris told him that he had been thinking about it but that he was also considering selling his very busy cafe, and so it would not be a priority now. He is very interested in local history and had a wonderful collection of photographs of the old and new Ferryboats and of the surrounding area, upon the walls of the cafe. They are fascinating - pay a visit to Chris's cafe, look at the photographs, have a chat with him and enjoy a delicious cup of tea.
Pat Fawcett
(this item appeared in the WADAS Newsletter)

Cutty Sark

The Cutty Sark is in a desperate state.  It seems that the stern of the ship will collapse in two years if nothing is done. The Cutty Sark Trust now needs to raise an estimated £10m it is hoped that £3.5m will come from the public. They are selling off every bolt, rivet, and plank. In a sponsorship programme - you can buy a rivet for a fiver, a foot of plank for £20, a bronze bolt for £25, a 'tween          deck plank for £100, a teak deck plank for £500 or one of the ship's side planks for £5,000.
In return you will receive  - A certificate from The Cutty Sark Trust. • A unique, specially commissioned supporter's pin badge • Your name published in the supporter's list in Blackheath Guide  • A twice yearly supporter's newsletter updating you on the ship's progress     a • Invitations to supporter's events, held onboard Cutty Sark • A scale drawing of Cutty Sark, showing you exactly where your plank is  • For Side Planks, your name can be engraved on the plank and you and two guests will be invited to a special naming ceremony on board   Cutty Sark
To become a supporter, contact The Cutty Sark Trust 2 Greenwich Church Street, London SE10 9BG.  020 8858 2698.          
Simon Schofield of the Cutty Sark Trust asks whether  there is anyone in the area who remembers the Cutty Sark coming to Greenwich. Can anyone help?


A unique and innovative website,, containing fascinating information about the history of six south London boroughs and their people from the 16th century to the present day, was launched at the University of Greenwich on Tuesday, 20 May.
The site explores how the south London suburbs developed and how, in a short space of time these semi-rural villages became part of the London sprawl. The general public, historians and architects will be able to access, via this website, a wealth of information on housing and public buildings in south London over the last five centuries.
Ideal Homes is a collaboration between the University of Greenwich and the south London councils of Bexley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Bromley, Lewisham and Southwark, who have spent two-and-a-half years pooling their archives and expertise to make a reality. Sue McKenzie, Head of Lambeth archive, has coordinated the project.
"The website's launch event will be both a celebration of the creation of the site and also act as an appeal for ideas and material to develop it," says Dr Jane Longmore, Head of the University of Greenwich's School of Humanities.                            "We would like to include reminiscences, personal pictures and ephemera, possibly film. We want Ideal Homes to be a resource for all, that celebrates the diversity and richness in the history of an often overlooked part of London," continued Dr Longmore.
The website will examine what caused the south London suburbs to grow and change.  The construction of bridges across the Thames, the development of rail transport, the building of Crystal Palace, and the two world wars all shaped these suburbs into what they are today.
The site is in its early stages but there are plans to take a closer look at the lives of the people who lived in, or moved to, the suburbs. At present the site has 2000 images and maps, taken from the archive and local history collections of the six boroughs. There will also be essays and studies written by local historians.
"Already, people are using the web site to delve into their past," says Dr Longmore. "I've been contacted by the delighted daughter of a 91-year-old woman who found a photograph of her mother's childhood house in Bermondsey on the site, which has brought part of her family history to life."
The web site was designed and built by Jack Cannon of the University of Greenwich Web Development Team, which will also host the site for the six London boroughs. The cost of putting together the web site has been covered by a significant grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the New Opportunities Fund.

Hanson plc has secured a relatively long term (10 year) interest in the Victoria Deepwater Terminal, Blackwall Reach, Greenwich for use by ships unloading aggregate and similar products. This maintains the future of this wharf, the last of the large upriver wharves now Convoys has closed.
• When working recently at Steve Leach's boatyard next to Thames Lock in Brentford, I came across a bollard marked 'J.Piper Greenwich,
I assume this was made by the firm of that name, whose yard still exists in Greenwich, under other ownership but still ship repairers
Peter Finch (this note first appeared in the GLIAS Newsletter)

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