Thursday 7 November 2019

Reviews and snippets March 2002

Reviews and snippets

Friends of Age Exchange

Age Exchange Theatre Trust has set up a Friends Organisation.  Age Exchange was founded in 1983 by Pam Schweitzer. It began as a reminiscence theatre company mounting original productions based on people’s memories. The Centre in Blackheath Village is visited by 30,000 people a year and is the base for national and European networks of reminiscence practitioners. The centre also produces valuable advice and a service to carers of elderly and people with dementia.  GIHS is very grateful to Age Exchange for use of their meeting facilities. The friends organisation will help ensure the future of the organisation and also provide a focus for those interested in the work undertaken by the organisation but not able to participate in it.

Lowne Instruments Ltd - Visit to a closing family business

Sue Hayton writes: Members of the GLIAS Recording Group had been surveying and recording the small factory unit of Lowne Instruments Ltd, Boone Street near the junction with Lee High Road for some weeks. John West, Sylvia MacCartney. and I were grateful to Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society (GLIAS) - and in particular to David Perrett - for an invitation to join a small group on a visit to this industrial premises in Boone Street, Lee. The visit was on Saturday, 8 December, a matter of weeks before the business was due to close down.

An industrial activity in Boone Street? We think this will surprise many members and it certainly did.  It was fortuitous that one of the staff, George Arthur. is also a GLIAS member - George may be known to some members as he has from time to time attended our meetings.

The business has been essentially a family one. It was founded by Robert Mann Lowne in Finchley. In about 1894 he transferred operations to Ravenscroft, Bromley Road, Catford. The firm became known as the Lowne Electric Clock and Appliance Company in about 1910. It moved to Lee in 1927.  Over the years it produced a small range of specialist equipment, which in recent times has focussed almost exclusively on anemometers, which are used for measuring airflow in mines and air conditioning. The customers have been various and have included the National Coal Board, British Rail Engineering, Casella, Sainsbury, the Public Health Laboratory Service, and Griffith & George.
During the last war there were about forty staff, but by 1973 there were fifteen, and at the time of our visit there were only three. We understand that the business closes at the end of January.

As a result of our interest, a Lowne synchronous electric clock made at the beginning of the 1950s in Boone Street was presented to GLIAS for the museum collection. There are already examples of the Lowne slave clock and master at work in the Science Museum, as well as examples of the Lowne patent barometer and spirometer.
This article is taken from the Lewisham Local History Society Newsletter.


Bygone Kent – Vol. 23, No.2. includes the second part of Mary Mills’ article on Maudslay Son and Field and their Greenwich shipyard, 

AGE EXCHANGE – THE STORY SO FAR.  This is a twenty year retrospective of this local organisation by Pam Schweitzer, the Artistic Director.   

Subterranea Britannica – Secretary’s Newsletter.  All good stuff, but not much (if anything) about Greenwich. 

Siren – the newsletter of RSG – this is cold war bunker studies.  All good stuff – and edited by our member, Nick Catford.  Nothing about Greenwich – come on, Nick, put something in the next issue!  Contact through Sub Brit

Industrial Heritage – the current issue, Winter 2001 contains an oddly familiar article about the Tramshed in Woolwich by a Jack Vaughan …………  nice to know Yorkshire cares about Woolwich.     

London and the Thames Valley  ed. Denis Smith. We have not seen this book but an advertisement has been sent by the publishers: Thomas Telford Publishing (Institution of Civil Engineers). Members will remember that Denis was our keynote speaker at this years’ AGM.  his is a new guide dealing with the works which keep a large city running.    

Crossness Engines Record.   The Winter issue includes news of the David Evans Engine – which was in the now closed silk works at Crayford. It is a small Stewart (Glasgow) diagonal duplex. Crossness Engines have negotiated with David Evans for it and it will soon be at the Museum and on display.

The Record also contains an article by Leslie Tucker on the Original Crossness Building in their architectural context and the usual ‘News from the Octagon’ on current work and progress.  Crossness Engines always require volunteer help 

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