Wednesday 6 November 2019

Engineering firms in the Borough

By Ted Barr

Seager Evans Cooperage – Blackheath Road, near Merritt and Hatcher.  They made barrels for the gin industry.

Merritt and Hatcher – printers, and in particular, at one time they printed the Kentish Mercury.

S.E.C.R.  (later Southern) Signal Works Siebert Road.  There must have been a lot of work done there and I remember in the ‘20s at Invicta School doing our lessons to the sounds of the heavy working of metal, probably steam hammers.  Has anyone else managed to get onto the site after my own abortive attempts a year ago?


A.F.Romboy Gordon Cycle Works c/o Sun Lane and Old Dover Road.  Makers of the ‘Gordon’ cycle.  These cycles were based on B.S.A. fitting, bottom brackets, fork crowns etc. brazed up from steel tubing and finished off with whatever accessories the customer specified.  (This reminds me that Dellow No.10 was at one time a frame make and brazier at Matchless No.39).

F.J.Wells ­ - ‘Climber Cycle Works’ Russell Place (now Reynolds Place).  According to local hearsay, Fred Wells was a well-known member of the Catford Cycling Club and winner of some of their annual competed for trophies, including the Westerham Hill Climb – hence the name.

?  Allen. – traded from a room in a house in Charlton Road between Hassendean and Furzefield Roads.

In my family they all did work for us and were very well known – Romboy especially who employed a number of men.


Apart from shoeing they had to make all the bits and pieces.

C.E.Thomas – 34 Blisset Street, not known to me.

Jas McKechnie.  Sunfields Place (formerly Bedford Place like Old Dover Road, formerly Standard Lane).  Both names were often used by locals in my childhood).
I knew McKechnie very well.  A German V2 rocket fell outside the smithy, flattening the place, his home and the rest of Sunfields Place. Because of this, and the shortage of raw materials he finished up as a general smith in the Council’s Tunnel Avenue Depot -Working on general iron work for carts and motors.  Tool sharpening etc.

H. & W. Williams Ltd.  Osborne House, Osborne Terrace, Lee.  Glass bottle manufacturers.  I don’t know anything about them.

Electric Cable Works.  Somewhere in the angle between King George Street and Luton Place.

Anchor Brewery.  I have a recollection of seeing this on an old map.  Could it have been in Charlton, near the Anchor and Hope PH?

My Word!  How the memories come flooding back!  It also shows how heavily industrialised Thameside used to be.

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