Letters July 2004
From: Adrian Goolden
In response to Pat O'Driscoll's query on your Web site. I remember a cast iron drain cover with the maker’s name Anderson & Goolden on it - in the grounds of my old school in Surrey, built 1900. It always fascinated me as both names were in my family! There were no other names /addresses on it.
David Pollard asked about Campbell Evans - did we know anything about him?
Mary Mills replied: In the 1859 sewer rate lists for the Greenwich Peninsula is "Peter Soames and Campbell Evans, engineers shop, smithy shop, yard and dwelling house and offices". This is next to the entry for James Soames soap works. Peter Soames was one of the local Soames family who ran a massive soap factory on Morden Wharf for many years - they made British Carbolic and were taken over by Unilever.
David replied: “I have since found an 1858 patent for cranes in the names of Soames, P and Evans, J C. Thanks to you I know something about Soames. The next joint patent was for hoists, the parties this time were Evans, J C and Fairlie, W. Have you ever come across Fairlie? I wonder if there is a connection with Robert Fairlie, the son-in-law of George England of Hatcham Ironworks at New Cross.
From: Peter Claughton
Richard Howarth of the Geologists' Association is trying to trace the site of a plant in East London used to process radioactive minerals from Cornwall - can you help?
From: Nancy Williams
I found the Greenwich Industrial History Society Newsletter on the Web through a search engine. I am trying to trace my father’s family. My father was born in 1914 at 7 Drake Buildings, Deptford. There is no mention of a street name. I am trying to find any references to the Drake Buildings so that I can possibly search street directories of the time to see if I can find reference to any member's of my father’s family. I am wondering if the Drake Buildings might have been some industrial type building at some time? I am also wondering if there is some sort of register or record of dock labourers around that time?
The Webmeister contributes:
From my own knowledge I would think that this was probably part of the old Deptford Victualling yards, some of which weren't knocked down and became incorporated in to the present-day Pepys Estate. Whether it was just the warehouses that were preserved and converted into flats I'm not sure. However, there is more info here...
1961 Royal Victoria Victualling Yard closed. Became Pepys Estate, some 1790 buildings remain (officers houses and warehouses).
Nancy has subsequently been back in touch to say that she is going to contact the Pepys Community Forum to see if they have any more information. However, any other information on this would be useful.
Members will remember that at the May GIHS meeting Gerry Moss spoke about the history of fireworks - and the dangers of small, local firework factories where terrible explosions were only too frequent. Gerry drew attention to the pioneering work of the Explosives Inspectorate and in particular Col. Vivien Majendie, after whom Majendie Road in Plumstead is named.
As mentioned at the Blackheath meeting I have a copy of Majendie’s signature. Reading it again it is not clear if he actually wrote these complements slips. I thought you might find this interesting.