Volume 4, Issue 3, May 2001






22nd May - Dave Ramsey - White Hart Road depot and Frank Sumner

19th June - Mary Mills - Maudslay Son and Field, Greenwich Shipbuilders

17th July - John Ridley - Crossness Engines Trust

18th September - Jack Vaughan - The Royal Arsenal, Woolwich

16th October - Ron Kichin Smith - Archaeological Finds on the Arsenal Site

19th November - Michael Bussell of the Concrete Society - The History of Re-inforced Concrete in the UK

11th December - Christmas Mystery Night. Bring your mystery objects and let other members guess!

All meetings will take place at The Old Bakehouse in Blackheath Village at 7.30 pm.


Workers' Memorial Day in Greenwich

On Monday 30th April 2001 a ceremony was held to mark Workers' Memorial Day at the Town Hall in Woolwich. The main theme for this year was asbestos and the event comprised a Health & Safety Exhibition, with stalls provided by the Central Occupational Health and Safety Unit, GMB, T&G and UNISON trade unions, and the Health & Safety Executive.

There was also a short ceremony to dedicate a plaque to commemorate those who have died in accidents at work. Speakers were the Mayor of Greenwich, the Leader of the Council, Clive Efford MP, and Cllr. Jim Gillman.


Nichols's Lime Kilns, later the Crown Fuel Company and Greenwich Pottery

by Barbara Ludlow

For hundreds of years, chalk was dug at Greenwich, Charlton, and Woolwich to be burnt in lime kilns. There were many kilns on the lower slopes of Blackheath Hill and until the beginning of the nineteenth century Greenwich South Street was known as Limekiln Lane. Two other notable sites were Charlton Church Lane and the part of Woolwich, which was later to become Frances Street.

Lime was essential to the brick and tile making industries. It was also used when making mortar and manure. However, when Thomas Nichols left Dartmouth, Devon to settle in New Charlton in the late 1840s much of the local chalk was built over or worked out. Even so he established himself as a carpenter and lime merchant in Hardens Manorway. Nichols' business prospered and in the mid-1860s, he moved to a site between the North Kent Railway line and Woolwich Road. Here, on the eastern side of Charlton Church Lane and close to the fairly new Charlton Station he concentrated on lime burning. Thomas moved his family into 444 Woolwich Road, promptly named the house 'Lime Villa' and had two Staffordshire style bottle kilns built. The Business could not rely on local quarries so he brought in limestone from Riddlesdown Quarry, near Whyteleafe in Surrey. The 1871 Census shows Nichols employed thirteen men and that they also lived close to the works.

Eventually the business passed to Fred Nichols, and in the early 1920s, the then owner Eric Nichols sold the premises. Lime burning was finished in Charlton but the buildings and bottle kilns, with a chalk capital 'N' set in the neck of both, were purchased by the Crown Fuel Company to produce heating elements for gas fires. In 1950, the Festival of Britain seems to have inspired the Company to branch out into pottery and use the kilns for making decorated ware and small figures of animals, mostly dogs. These goods marked Greenwich Pottery were for export only but they were advertised in the 1951 Greenwich Festival Guide.

Towards the end of the 1950s production ceased but a bottle kiln of c1868 and buildings of about the same date were left. Everything was demolished in 1965 and Barney Close, Charlton, was built over the site. Before the buildings were demolished an Industrial Archaeologist surveyed the site and a photograph of c1872 was discovered. Nichols is seated and behind him stand five of his workers. A photograph was taken of the attractive mid-Victorian bottle kiln before it was demolished.


by Beryl Williams

(This article is reproduced from the Spring 2001 edition of 'Industrial Heritage' with their permission)

The note from Peter Jenkins (GIHS Newsletter) was taken from Board of Ordnance records made at the time of the Napoleonic Wars [1793 to 1815]. By 1802, there had been a huge increase in the number of our fighting men and a subsequent increase in the number of muskets required to arm them. For hundreds of years the Board of Ordnance, from its HQ in the Tower of London, had been responsible for procuring high quality weapons for the Army, and a system had evolved whereby the muskets were usually obtained by contract from independent armourers. In both London and Birmingham, there were large numbers of small arms manufactories; some providing complete muskets but many making individual components to be assembled elsewhere, as and when required. Rigorous inspection schedules maintained quality, but in times of shortage, extra muskets and other small arms had to be 'bought in' from merchants and, on occasions, the Board of Ordnance had had to send out Officers to procure large numbers from abroad.

The small arms situation became quite desperate. Not only was there a shortage of muskets, but there had been a steady decline in quality, due to the piecemeal nature of their procurement. The Board of Ordnance decided to take more control over both the quantity and quality, and took steps to set up its own manufacturing capabilities. In 1802, a suitable site, in Northamptonshire was found and land was purchased with the intention of building a small arms manufactory to provide 50,000 muskets annually. This was not built, but the plan was not abandoned until 1807. In the meantime, in 1804, the Tower of London workshops began assembling parts which had been manufactured elsewhere, some of this work being undertaken outside the walls on the premises of a Mr. Fullard, a gunsmith. In the same year, a new quality control department was created in Birmingham, consisting of eight civilian staff, headed by an Inspector of Small Arms (Major James Miller RA, salary £440 per annum).

The Site

Standing in an acre of land alongside the Ravensbourne River, in Lewisham, there was a recently vacated armoury mill, already under control of the Board of Ordnance. Records show it was an armoury mill, as early as 1371. When, in 1530 King Henry VIII gained possession of the Manor of Lewisham, this mill became Crown Property and did the grinding for the armoury workshops at nearby Greenwich Palace, where high quality suits of armour for Henry's famous Tilt Yard, were made. By 1637, it had fallen into disrepair but was taken over by potters who used two sets of stones to grind colours for their earthenware. As a result of a reorganisation of responsibilities in 1671, the mill passed to the Office of Ordnance and by 1695, it was a working armoury mill again the lessee being an armourer called Bolden. During the next hundred years, it continued to be leased to a number of independent armourers who were contracted to the Board, including Robert Parker [1707 to 1712], Thomas Hollier [1716 to 1753], Richard Hornbuckle [1756 to 1784] and Jonathon Hennem [1784 to 1805]. These lessees adapted to making different patterns of muskets and other arms, as demand required, and also undertook some refurbishment work and repairs. The 21 year-lease of the last lessee Jonathon Hennem terminated in 1805.

In 1807, Capt. Mulcaster, a Royal Engineer based at the Royal Powder Mills at Faversham, was put in charge of converting this old Armoury Mill in Lewisham into the Board of Ordnance small arms manufactory which became known as the Royal Armoury Mills. He brought with him from Faversham a Clerk of Works (Mr. Borden), an Overseer (Mr. Creed), and a Foreman of Bricklayers (Mr. Barnes). As well as grinding-mills, workshops and storehouses, the building programme included a proof house, roads and a bridge, two houses for foremen and six cottages. Manufacturing started in March 1808, but the building work was not all completed until the following year, when Mr. Tull, the Principal Clerk of Works at the Tower of London, took over responsibility for the site and Capt. Mulcaster and his team returned to their duties at Faversham Powder Mills.

Grinding mills and machines to produce the parts for up to, 50,000 muskets a year were installed. Power to grind these 50,000 barrels and make the 50,000 locks, rammers and bayonets, was supplied by waterwheels set up in the Ravensbourne and by a steam engine bought from Messrs Lloyd & Ostell at a cost of £2,400. The civilian Superintendent of the works was a very experienced Ordnance Officer, Mr J Colegate, who had been one of the Officers sent into Europe to procure arms in 1779.

By 1810, besides salaried Civil Officers concerned with administration, there were 156 men working in the mill - 3 foremen viewers, 24 artificers, 82 lock filers, 4 barrel filers, 4 barrel borers, 7 barrel grinders, 10 barrel forgers, 13 others and 9 labourers. The daily rates were 7/- for foremen and viewers, from 3/- to 4/6 for artificers and from 2/-- to 2/6 for all the rest. In 1811, the capacity was increased when the Tower of London facility' [mainly assembling 'Brown Bess' muskets] was moved here and in the following year, additional lathes were installed to further increase output.


Following Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo on June 18th 1815, the demand for muskets evaporated with an immediate effect on the Armoury Mills at Lewisham within a month the output was halved, and by the following year over 100 workers had been discharged. A barrel grinding department was transferred to the recently erected Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield Lock on the River Lea and Mr Colegate was transferred there to become its first superintendent. The rest of the work soon followed and the Lewisham manufactory was reduced to a repair depot, soon to he abandoned as a Board of Ordnance establishment and sold in 1819.

The sell-off

On passing into private hands, there was a complete change of use. The complex became known as the Silk Mills, but this name belied the specialist nature of the textile work undertaken there. Behind the massive gates and high walls [built to provide security for the former Ordnance workshops], gold and silver lace for Officers' uniforms, and gold cloth and brocades were being manufactured. There were many changes over the ensuing years, but the production of textiles, of one sort or another, continued on the site, although the old mill buildings ceased to be used and were completely derelict when the whole area was flattened by bombs, during the Second World War,


Board of Ordnance Papers WO 46/2596, WO 47/44, WO 4712600, WO 47/2658.

O.F.G.Hogg. The Royal Arsenal. 1963.

De Witt Bailey. 1999. British Board of Ordnance Small Arms Contractors 1689 to 1840.

Industrial Heritage is published by Hudson History, Proctor House, Kirkgate, Settle, Yorkshire.
Enquiries to Phil and Rita Hudson at 01729 825773 or



from Jack Vaughan

Two areas of concern to all those who care for local history both industrial and domestic - re. the item by John Bowles in our last issue. 'There is a proposal to set up a museum at the Ministry of Defence Depot at Glascoed near Usk (p.5 of Newsletter March 2001, Vol.4., No.2.) with items from 'other sites' - like Woolwich and Waltham Abbey.'

We must be prepared to fight for Arsenal History!

The other concern is that new procedures for listed buildings are being introduced. A very dangerous aspect is that permission to demolish listed buildings other than Grade One and Grade Two-Star will be in local authority hands. The indifference of Greenwich Council to preservation attempts by local societies such as ours could result in the destruction of things which we might like to see kept. Increased vigilance is imperative.

Lovells Wharf - readers may have followed either in the local press or our newsletters the scandalous destruction of two cranes on the above site. In the NewsShopper a Council spokesman said "The Council expressed disappointment about the demolition of the cranes." We now have to hand a copy of the Greenwich Peninsula Planning Statement March 2001. Thus para 2.15. "Within the East Greenwich Riverside there are a number of proposals that have been prepared and are or will be the subject of further consideration. These include the development of Lovell's Wharf for an hotel and retail leisure based uses".


by Philip Binns


Over to past few months there has been growing concern that this building, erected in 1910 as a purpose built extension to Furlongs furniture depository in nearby Nelson Street - long since demolished, might itself be demolished to facilitate the Second Phase of the new Royal Arsenal Gardens park

The Woolwich Development Agency was of the view that the building did not readily lend itself to any suitable alternative use and that its demolition would form a part of the contract for the demolition of the adjacent electricity sub-station in Warren Lane, which has now been decommissioned.

More recently, plans for Phase II of the park have been made available and they worryingly show no sign of the building, but they do contain a note to the effect that the drawing is a proposal only and that the "Gatehouse Building is to be retained in the design".

This is good news and the position has been confirmed by the Greenwich Enterprise Board who have expressed an interest to Greenwich Council, who own the building, in redeveloping it as work units for local crafts people

Other commercial developers are now beginning to show an interest but it is hoped that the GDA proposals might prevail, as they would be of benefit to the community generally. As such they may profit from monies which are being made available to Greenwich by the Prudential as a legacy of their leaving the area.

The building is four storeys high with a large ground floor storey height through which horses and carts, and later vehicles, would have passed. It is utilitarian in appearance and of London stock brick, with metal casements under gauged brick arches.

The Furlong family had connections with Woolwich for over 150 years until 1960 when the main store in Powis Street closed. The Council's conservation officer has inspected the building with Paul Calvocoressi of English Heritage with a view to having it statutorily listed. His opinion is that it probably does not warrant a listing on either architectural grounds or for its historical associations. In that case, it should be seriously considered for inclusion on the Council's list of buildings of local architectural and historical interest.


Despite continuing objections from the Greenwich Industrial History Society, the Greenwich Society, the Greenwich Environment Forum and the Greenwich Conservation Group, at a meeting of Greenwich Council's Planning Board on Thursday 26 April 2001, approval was given for the demolition of the existing buildings on the site and the erection, in their place, of a large six storey mixed use development comprising restaurants at ground floor level and 48 apartments above.

There will be garaging for 40 cars in a two level basement accessed from Horseferry Place. Additionally, a separate rotunda building is planned for the river end of Horseferry Place directly above the basement engine chamber of the former Greenwich Steam Ferry. This separate building will have four levels of restaurant space topped with an open viewing deck

Both the main block and the separate rotunda building are considerably higher than, respectively, the existing blocks of flats on the Meridian Estate and the nearby Holt Court sheltered accommodation building.

The one welcome feature of the approved scheme is that it provides for a landward continuation of the Thames Path, linking Cutty Sark Gardens with the proposed Greenwich Reach East 2000 development to the east of Deptford Creek This is achieved by raising the height of the ground floor to a clear height of 4.5m and by setting back the face of the ground floor restaurants in the main block by some 4~5m.

Having this continuous link brings into question the need for the separate boardwalk which forms a part of the Greenwich Reach 2000 proposed development. The Environment agency has raised this unnecessary duplication with Greenwich Council but the matter was not addressed at the Planning Board.

One item taken on board was that, in developing the separate rotunda building, recognition might be made of the existing engine chamber and that interpretation panels for both the Greenwich Steam Ferry and for the boat repair activities of Pope & Bond at Wood Wharf over the years should be provided, as part of the public gain from the development of this last working wharf in close proximity to the Greenwich town centre.

Maze Hill Pottery

At the April GIHS meeting Mike Neill gave an exciting description of the Woolwich kiln = its background and what will hopefully be its future. One of the more interesting aspects was the relationship to pottery work currently being carried in the Borough. In particular, Lisa Hammond at Maze Hill pottery (on the down side of Maze Hill Station) is manufacturing to roughly the same process as used in seventeenth century Woolwich. On 25th, 26th and 27th May Lisa has a special demonstration firing of her kiln at Maze Hill and anyone wanting to observe proceedings will be very welcome.

The Industrial Archaeology of East London

Bob Carr's popular class is about to start again in the North Woolwich Old Station Museum (Pier Road, North Woolwich - just go over on the ferry, turn right and its on the next corner).

The course will explore, in popular fashion, the fascinating history of the Port of London and London's East End. The port in East London was once the largest in the world and so much happened here. What's gone? What's left? We shall look at the recent past and the redevelopment of the area over the last twenty years as well as covering the period back to the eighteenth century and before. This will be a sociable introduction to greater London's industrial archaeology; there will be walks, and visits and the lectures are illustrated by slides and videos. Students will be encouraged to produce written work and through this will have the opportunity to pursue individual study interests.

Send a cheque made payable to London Borough of Newham and sae to Don de Carle, 35 Torrington Park, London, N12 9TB. 020 8445 5081 or for information ring 020 8809 3603.


Where addresses are not given, please contact through the Editor, c/o 24 Humber Road, London SE3

From Barbara Ludlow

I see that Ted Barr (March issue) has put Fry's Tool Makers in his list of engineering firms. There was also Fry Bros Ltd., Norman Road, Greenwich, S.E. Body Builders, Motor Engineers, and General Engineering. They made private bodies, bus bodies, trailers and Char-a-bancs. They were probably part of the Fry's in Catherine Grove but I have not checked this out. The advert I have is c.1934.

Also worth adding to the list would be Grafton's Engineering Factory, Footscray Road, and Eltham. They made spools for typewriter ribbons, adding machines, zip fasteners and radio valve pins. All made in a factory hidden by a façade purpose built to look like a large country house. In front of the building was a large garden with a tennis court to create the impression of 'gracious living'. Built in 1919 it was demolished in 1988 to make way for a B&Q store. This must have been a fairly unique piece of architecture.

From David Riddle

Are you aware that an aluminium information board has finally been placed on the refurbished wharf downstream from the Amylum silos? Very interesting reading... but sad to say it has already had graffiti painted over the middle section.

The Victoria Deep Water Terminal has been completely tidied up. Especially of note is the clearance of the first part as you do the left turn off the old 'alley'. The old fence/concrete slabs have been taken down and there is now a clear view across the A102 to the Dome.

Huge activity at the Sand and Gravel works. Two large boats being off-loaded, and one smaller one at a new conveyor at the eastern end of the site (making three now) just before you get to Cory's. Perhaps a mention of this 'revival' of the wharves in the next Newsletter? I note that the latest draft of the East Greenwich Framework indicates the great need for further gravel and roadstone wharves in the area.

From Richard Cook

Re: the article in the previous newsletter about the Stanley Works at Eltham.

I have a Fullers No.2. calculator made by Stanley and found your article when researching its history. The article has hopefully given me a starting point for the research and would be grateful for any information/photos of the works at New Eltham.

From Denis H McClusky

I linked to your excellent and informative site from the Greenwich Council website. I've been to one of your interesting meetings last year and then unfortunately lost touch. There's a reference to Bob Jeffries River Thames Guide on your website and you wanted to know about obtaining copies. There's a link to the author and his fascinating web site here:

From Diana Rimel

I have 24 slides of tall ships available to anyone who might like them. Please contact me on 020 8858 5886

From John Bowles

I am enclosing the latest leaflet fro the Royal Gunpowder Mills at Waltham Abbey. Sadly, the opening has had to be postponed due to the foot and mouth restrictions - because of the large number of deer at the north end of the site. I will let you know when the new opening date is decided. We'll probably follow the Lea Valley Park's re-opening date.




At the Greenwich Council meeting on 25th April it was agreed to accept the collection of artefacts, a collection of items saved from the Royal Arsenal on its closure. Although only a tiny fraction of what the Arsenal contained they are hopefully an interesting selection.


(This article is reproduced from the March 2001 edition of GasLight with their permission)

East Greenwich Gas Works is well known, not just as the site of the Dome but also as the major gasworks, initially of the South Metropolitan Gas Company and later of the South Eastern Gas Board. Opened in 1887 it was to rival the Gas Light and Coke Company's Beckton Works across the River Thames, but hidden in its shadow is the original Greenwich gasworks, sometimes known as West Greenwich but more correctly styled Thames Street.

Two Journal articles from 1944 reveal details not only of the works but, again, of those family connections which were such a feature of the old gas industry.

THAMES STREET - Another Link with the Past Broken

In 1938 the Company disposed of Bankside the original works of the old Phoenix Gas Light and Coke Company, and the first gas works to be constructed in London south of the Thames. We have now to record that another of the Phoenix works, that at Thames Street ,has been sold.

These works have served their purpose and the demands of a modern gas industry have outgrown them, and can be better served by the extensive works at East Greenwich where there is ample room for development.

The conveyance of the property to the Phoenix Company is dated the 12th October, 1824, in which it is described as market garden, osier bed and wet dock, situated on the mouth of the River Ravensbourne (Deptford Creek). One hundred and twenty years ago George IV was on the throne; Charles Dickens was at a private school in Hampstead, after having spent two years working in a blacking warehouse while his father was in Marshalsea Prison for debt; and Napoleon had been dead three years.

On the 1st January 1880, the Phoenix Company was absorbed by the South Metropolitan Gas Company and with it came the works at Bankside, Vauxhall and Thames Street.

Gas making at Thames Street was ended on 8th January, 1926, and following that, the works were used for the storage of gas-purifying material, and as a district sub-stores. The Company is retaining the sub-stores for a time.

Co-Partnership Journal, August/October 1944


It is not without regret that I read in the last issue of the CO-PARTNERSHIP Journal that another link with the past had been broken. Thinking that what I can recollect of Thames Street Works may interest a few I am putting on paper some matters brought to mind by the breaking of the link. In January, 1864, I was born at Thames Street, my grandfather, David Hunter, then having the management of the works and my father being foreman.

My grandfather's house was near to the Meter House, and my father lived in the house occupied until recently by Mr. King. My grandfather had a nice garden (also a grazing ground for goats) between his house and No.4 gasholder. An early recollection, perhaps the earliest, is that of seeing work being done in the Meter House, and wondering what it meant. It was the installing of a governor - until then the pressure in the district mains had been regulated by a man watching a gauge and adjusting a valve to counteract the changes shown by the gauge.

The Coal Lift was a rather primitive piece of wooden plant. Its form was that of sheer legs. The skip could be lowered into the hold of the ship when the legs were horizontal, and its contents could be tipped into a truck when they were vertical. The peculiarity of this lift was that it had no engine. It was driven, by means of rather complicated gearing, by an engine connected with the exhausters. The Stage Retort House was built but not brought into use. Ground at Norman Road had been acquired (about half the present area) and what was then considered a large gasholder (No.8) had been erected. Such was Thames Street when I was a small boy.

In October, 1887, my father went to Woolwich as Engineer to the Consumers Company, but I did not lose touch with the old works until (I think) 1872, when my grandfather retired.

I was in the service of the Woolwich Company when it was absorbed by the South Metropolitan Company in 1885. Late in that year I was moved to Thames Street, and the changes I found there were very marked. The old Coal Lift was gone, and in its place hydraulic cranes formed what was considered one of the best lifts on the Thames. Steamers of 800 tons, or more, could be unloaded in less time than vessels of 200 tons with the old lift.

Purifiers stood where my grandfather's house had been, and what was once a nice garden had become a place for revivifying purifying material. Two small gasholders had disappeared from the works, but the loss of them was more than met by a second holder (larger than No.8) at Norman Road The daily make of gas had increased from under a million cubic feet to three times that quantity.

The late Mr Braidwood was the Engineer, and while I was there he made a number of changes. Perhaps the most noticeable of them was a revolution of the carbonising plant through his keen interest in the development of inclined retort.

He invented and patented a catch for Morton's retort doors. It was an excellent little gadget, for, as all adjustment could be made by it, the unsatisfactory, eccentric bolt in the centre of the crossbar was done away with.

For about thirty years Thames Street was the home of the Lighterage Department. That department had its beginning in 1887, when the Company's first tug, the "George Livesey" was launched. The Company owned only a few barges then, but their number increased so rapidly that a second tug was soon needed. This was the "T.B.Hawthorn," and it was not very long before it was followed by the "Partnership."

Much could be written about the strike of 1889 - I will only say that it was a time of intense anxiety and very hard work.

The old works was the place where several engineers who made their mark in the industry received their training. Among them were two nephews of my grandfather, John Somerville (Maidstone, Dublin and Bank side) and Robert Hunter (Stalybridge and Chester), while under the late Mr Wates, who preceded Mr. Braidwood, our late President, Dr. Carpenter, was a pupil.

J.D.C.Hunter, Co-Partnership Journal, November/December 1944

(J.D.C.Hunter was to be the Chief Clerk at West Greenwich and went on to become An Employees Director under the SMGC Co-Partnership scheme.)

Gaslight is published by the North West Gas Historical Society
Details from Terry Mitchell, Old Barnshaw Cottage, Pepper Street, Mobberley, Cheshire, WA16 6JH


by Philip Binns

No meeting notes this issue, but please note Philip's concerns elsewhere...


by Richard Cheffins

Reg Barter, in his article on Billingsgate Dock in Greenwich Industrial History, Vol. 4, No. 2, asks for comments on its current legal status. I can help to some extent though my conclusions are in part based on inference rather than on documentary evidence. I can, at least, clarify the status of the 'strange and obscure Act of Parliament' that he mentions.

The Greenwich Hospital act 1850 (13&14 Vic., cap. 24) is, in law, a 'public act' - the final section (§ 21) states 'This act shall be deemed a public act and shall be judicially taken notice of as such …'. The text can therefore be found in the sessional volumes of Public general acts (Vol. for 13&14 Victoria [1850], pp.237-52). It is not referred to in the Index to the London government act 1963 and orders made thereunder as it doesn't qualify for inclusion, and it is omitted from Halsbury's Statutes as the latter is not comprehensive ('There are, however, … certain minor acts deliberately excluded …' Preface). In fact, exclusions are more numerous than this might suggest and public acts of a local character are exclude as being 'of limited interest' ('local acts' as such are excluded altogether - the scope being 'statutes', i.e. public acts). It is unlisted in the Chronological table of local Legislation because it is not 'local legislation'. This requires some explanation.

Plainly, in reality, the act is very local but it was not issued in the series 'Local and personal acts'. There are only two types of bills - public (introduced within Parliament and seeking to define or alter the general law of the land) and private (introduced by petition from outside Parliament and seeking privileges or exemptions for the petitioner from the general law without altering the generality). Originally, public bills, if passed became public acts and were published while private bills became private acts and remained unpublished. As the Industrial Revolution developed, it became increasingly inconvenient for a wide range of private acts (canal, turnpike, harbour and railway acts and others) to remain unpublished. Moreover, in a court of law such acts were only 'evidence' and had to be proved by providing the court with a certificate from the Clerk of the Parliaments stating that the transcript provided was a true and accurate copy of the Original Act in his possession. To avoid this and to ensure publication, it became the practice during the 18th century to insert a clause in such bills deeming the resulting acts to be public. Such 'pretend' public acts began to out-number real ones and, in 1797, they were formed into an entirely separate class of acts known as 'Local and personal acts'.

Even then, not all acts of a local character and originating as private bills were issued as Local and personal acts. Some, of course, remained private but others were public general acts and the reason for this (if we ignore simple error) is various. 'Local' acts with major financial implications (e.g. the Cardiff Bay barrage act 1993) or likely to affect most of us (e.g. the Channel tunnel act 1987) will be public and many London-wide acts are also public but the act concerned is 'public' for a different reason. Greenwich Hospital is a royal (i.e. state) charity and legislation concerning it is considered 'national' and therefore qualifies as public and general. There are numerous Greenwich Hospital acts and all are public.

The 1850 act is therefore indexed in the Index to the statutes, under 'Greenwich Hospital' (proving it to be still in force) and listed in the Chronological table of the statutes under '13&14 Vic., cap 24'. It is listed there in bold, indicating again that it is considered in force but this is followed by an asterisk (*), signifying that it considered 'of limited [NB. Not 'local'] application'. In the Preface acts so qualified are defined as either of a local character (as here) or for colonies that have since become independent. In either case, no 'effects' (amendments or partial repeals) are noted. This is a stumbling block for those seeking to establish the current status of the act or of any of its provisions and the legal presumption that an act remains in force (and unamended) unless proved otherwise does not help in establishing the truth.

There are two aspects of the current status of the Billingsgate Dock that are at issue - the ownership of the Dock and public rights in connection with its use. The 1850 act authorised the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital to acquire the Dock and properties adjacent (set out in the schedule to the act) in order to enlarge it and improve landward access to it (seaward access was the responsibility as we shall see of the Thames Conservators). The act required this work as a condition for the Commissioners to take possession of Ship Dock, extinguish public rights there and stop up Fisher Lane. As Ship Dock and Fisher Lane were closed and incorporated into the Greenwich Hospital estates, it must be presumed that Billingsgate Dock was enlarged (it must have been very small before) and consequently it and the surrounding properties were acquired by Greenwich Hospital.

Ownership of the Dock before that was obscure - the Schedule of the 1850 act states the 'Owners or reputed owners' to be the Admiralty (now the Ministry of Defence), the Commissioners of Woods (now the DETR), the City of London, the Parish (now London Borough) of Greenwich, and Morden College 'or some or one of them' - which sounds as if nobody was sure! Subsequently the 1850 act was amended in this respect by the Greenwich Hospital act 1865 (28&29 Vic., cap. 89 §22) which states 'All lands which… are … settled on or vested in or are held by or in trust for the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital shall henceforth, by virtue of this act, remain and be settled on and vested in the Admiralty…'.

On 1 April 1964, the role of the First Lord of the Admiralty as sole trustee for the Greenwich Hospital was transferred to the Secretary of State for Defence for the time being. And this remains the position.

It is possible that the Greenwich Hospital estates could have disposed of Billingsgate Dock by private conveyance, without recourse to legislation but this seems improbable in the extreme (the Hospital's archives would confirm this or not). Otherwise, the 1850 act as amended by that of 1865 remains in force and Billingsgate Dock is owned by the Secretary of State for Defence as trustee for the Greenwich Hospital. Certainly there is no reason to believe the Greenwich Pier Company ever had ownership rights in Billingsgate Dock (in any case Greenwich Hospital is a joint (or is it part?) owner of the Pier as came to light in the recent negotiations for its redevelopment).

Public rights in connection with Billingsgate Dock were not created by the 1850 act. §17 merely states that the rights and privileges (as well as the 'restrictions, dues and payments') enjoyed by the public in the original Billingsgate Dock were to continue with respect to the new and enlarged dock and the provisions (unspecified) for keeping it in repair should continue. Control of the Thames and Thames-side activities including its dockings was traditionally the responsibility of Thames Conservators who, since 1157, though not without challenge from time to time, had been the City of London. Around 1840 this had finally been challenged by the Crown and the dispute was still unsettled by 1850 which is why among others the Commissioners of Woods (representing the Crown) and the City of London were both reputed owners of Billingsgate Dock.

The 1850 act (§20) saved the City's rights but in 1857 the dispute was resolved by the Thames conservancy act 1857 (20&21 Vic., cap. cxlvii), a local act - not all London-wide acts are public. This transferred responsibility for dockings in the tidal Thames to a Board of Conservancy, reconstituted a few years later as the Thames Conservancy Board on which both the Crown and the City were represented. Though the Board continued, it shed its responsibility for docks in the tidal Thames in 1908. This was transferred to the Port of London Authority by the Port of London act 1908 (8 Edw. 7, cap.68). Insofar as the rights of the public in Billingsgate Dock are concerned with amenities, recreation or the environment, responsibility was transferred yet again in 1989 by the Water act 1989 (1989 cap.15) to the Thames Water Authority.

Provision concerning public rights confirmed by the 1850 act will be found, if any amendments have been made, in the various acts establishing these public bodies or any acts amending the same or any orders made under the authority of any of the foregoing. As if this wasn't complicated enough, two further factors should be born in mind. It may be that the 1850 act has not in fact been amended in this respect. In which case it would probably take litigation to determine whether the rights had fallen into desuetude or not. If amendments have been made, they will almost certainly not have specifically referred to Billingsgate Dock. Rather they will have referred to 'docks' generally or to certain classes of them and any such generic amendments might be found in any relevant act or in any orders made by virtue of powers conferred by these acts. Given that the 1850 act confirms the public's rights and privileges but does not say precisely what they are, given that there is undisputed free access landward to the Dock as part of Cutty Sark Gardens, and given that there is not, so far as I am aware, any pressing demand for docking facilities there, the task of searching legislation to establish theoretical rights is disproportionate to any result achievable. But if anyone would like to do it, I hope that the above provides a starting point.



We receive a great many newsletters and booklets - thank you, and keep them coming - however, what is listed here are only those which have something of Greenwich interest in the current edition. Reviews of any publications of Greenwich interest are always welcome.


By Richard F. Moy

This booklet, by one of our members, Dick Moy, traces the history of his business premises - the Spread Eagle on the corner of Stockwell and Nevada Streets.

There are many remarkable illustrations from Dick's collection - in particular posters of Dan Leno, who lived on site for a while. The building as a pub on this site dates from the seventeenth century - and Dick has traced the Eagle Tavern on this site back to the end of the Tudor era. It closed in 1922 and Dick bought it in 1964 - since when he has uncovered many relics of the building's past.

The booklet is obtainable from the Spread Eagle - or ring 020 8305 1666. £3.50.


The back page of the current GLIAS Newsletter contains an article by Jack Vaughan about the demise of the cranes on Lovell's Wharf (hopefully we all know about that already!). Inside is an article about the new Waltham Abbey site and a review of the book about Stanley's Instruments.


The April 2001 issue contains an article in Peter Kent's inimitable style on family history on the river. This means, in effect, that Peter has illustrated and described the families of those who run the river launches between Greenwich and the rest of the world. The Thames has always operated on family networks - here is your chance to find out more about them.

The May 2001 Guide contains a particularly interesting and important article by Peter Kent. This is about riverside cranes - he points out their value as landmarks as well as useful pieces of machinery. He notes the disappearance of the Lovell's Wharf cranes, and reminds us that they were used relatively recently in the building of the Jubilee Line. He also notes the disappearance of Samson and Delilah - floating cranes - and reminds us of the continued importance of the still-working Stotherd and Pitt crane at Deptford Creek.

The issue also has an extremely interesting article by Neil Rhind on the Post Office in Blackheath. This has some fascinating details, such as the mid-nineteenth century illiterate post mistress in Dartmouth Row!


The Spring 2001 Crossness Record is now with us. The issue contains an obituary to Arthur Green - a long time supporter of the project (who at the age of 94 sailed in the last voyage of MV Hounslow to the Black Deep). News of work on the engines continues - the parallel linkage mechanism for the HP/IP cylinder on Prince Consort are in place but there have been some problems. The work needed now is to the replace the counterbalance weights. Work continues on the steam pipes and the boiler room which now only needs its doors. Painting continues and it is hoped to install a pump in the octagon basement. There is also an article on the communities which once lived at Crossness and an article on Pumping Engines for Draining Purposes published in 1883.


Surprisingly Tony Lord took a hint from us and decided to write an article about Merryweathers - the Greenwich Fire Engine manufacturers. He says that he found Merryweather engines in Lisbon - but we know that they were in lots and lots of other places too.


Vol 22. No.4. Includes an article about the Ravensbourne and Deptford Creek - but in its country walks mode rather than as an industrial river.


Although this publication is fundamentally Lewisham-oriented, it contains several articles of interest to Greenwich people. There are notes on planning battles with reference to the Gala Bingo Hall at New Cross in the ex-Southern Railway Engineering Yard, on the Seager Site at Deptford Bridge (right on the Greenwich border) and on Convoys Wharf (also on the borders). There is also a review of a book on the slave trade Longest Journey. A History of Black Lewisham (DFP 1995 £7.99) The article is by Jess Steele and pulls out some of the items in the book which are particularly relevant to Deptford. Much of the wealth which England enjoyed was based on slavery and many of those beautiful ships which left London River were actually slavers - something we must never forget!


Carries a front-page article on the riverside walk from Woolwich to Crossness (plus a picture of the closed bit through the Arsenal - hopefully to opened in early May). It is to be called The Thames Path Extension (does that mean that the Thames below Woolwich doesn't count as 'real' Thames?). Inside there is more detail - round the Arsenal site and then along the 'boring concrete promenade' to Crossness where they describe the pathway as 'unfortunate' and on to Erith.


It is understood that a new history of Greenwich Yacht Club has now been published - anyone with any details is encouraged to write a review.


The River Lea is only a short (108) bus ride away from Greenwich. Cruises on it are offered by the Lower Lea Project on Pride of the Lea - and are very, very highly recommended. Dates of trips undertaken by Marian and her team have been included in our Diary section.

For details contact: The Lock Office, Gillender Street, Bromley by Bow, E3, Tel: 020 7515 8558.

Mary Mills has written a new book about the early gas industry in East London - she would very much like a volunteer critic/proof reader to go through the text. Please ring on 0208 858 9482.


By Ted Barr

This, the second part of the list published in the last issue, is offered with the idea that others may have further knowledge or can help in other ways. Please add and amend it as you think fit.


Moss Wire Mills Ltd. 123 South Street - wire manufacturers

Kent Wireworks - wireworkers, 18 King William Street

Stevenson and Davies - paint manufacturers, somewhere in the area of Tunnel Avenue and Dreadnought Street.

Southern Manufacturing Co. - Sheet Metal and Motor Works, 26-34 Blissett Street,.

Harrison Barber & Co. Blackwall Lane. Animal Slaughterers and Pet Food Makers (referred to locally as 'down the knackers yard on the marshes' -not be it noted 'down the Peninsula').

Royal Manufacturing Co. Tinsmiths, 48 Royal Hill.

Case Development Co. Engineers. 1 South Street. I never knew what they did but No.1. was at one time occupied by Thompson of Emdyne Works and later Hudson the opticians and optical instruments.

W. A. Wilson - 22 Eastney Street, Mineral Water Manufacturers.

Lee Cooperage - Coopers, Eastney Street,

Vigzol Oil Co. Oil Refiners. 14 Eastney Street. This was, of course, the former Roan Boys School. We have on the North York Moors Railway a collection of old cabin trunks, heavy leather suitcases, etc. as a reminder of travel in the old days. Among this lot is a 5-gallon Vigzol oil drum which always takes my mind back 70 years to schooldays at Roan.

OK Electrodes later Esab Ltd. Anchor and Hope Lane. Makes of welding consumables. After World War II they moved, I believe, to Gillingham, Kent. The Managing Director was a Mr. Gaughan who was one of the lecturers on my City and Guilds Welding Course at the South East London Tech. during World War II days.

Adams Door Spring Works. Anchor and Hope Lane. The name's enough!

Antifouling Composition Works. Anchor and Hope Lane. Again, the name tells it all!

British Ropes. Anchor and Hope Lane - rope walks.

Stones Bronze Propellers. Anchor and Hope Lane. I suspect that the products of this Charlton site have turned up the waters of every sea and ocean on the face of the globe. Stone's propellers were fitted to most of the old transatlantic liners both British and foreign. The bigger products were regularly seen from the United Glass Blowers works on the opposite side of the lane at the end of the day awaiting night time haulage to avoid disruption to traffic. There was sometimes damage to items of street furniture and the Council's Finance Department has a special expenditure code titled 'Escorting heavy loads through the Borough'. This reminds me of another, somewhat macabre, expenditure code heading for the 5/- (25p) fee payable to anyone fining a corpse washed up on the riverbank (not 'Thames Path').

British Oxygen Co. (formerly Brin's Oxygen Co. - our Science Master at Invicta always used the old name). Like Stone's they were among the 'lesser big boys' but employed many people, of whom I knew quite a few. One in particular, a chap named Bill Faulkner, an area technical engineer, was my workshop tutor at the South East London Tech. I remember one evening he arrived a bit hot and bothered because he had spent all day in Ashford Loco Works showing the locals how to repair cracked cylinder castings of up to 3 tons apiece. He reckoned he had been chased all the way home up the A20 by flying bombs! This would have been 1944.

Penn's Ironworks Blackheath Road. This must have been a big establishment, once reputed to be the largest marine engine builders in the world.

Merryweathers Greenwich High Road. This also must have been a big business, their products very widely known. The tradition of boiler making is still alive (just) today on the site in the form of a firm making scale model boilers for the model engineering fraternity. I knew only one man who worked there as a fitter/turner. He never spoke about the place because he was unceremoniously kicked out after 35 years of service,

Francis. Tin box makers on Penn's old site.

Cook, Troughton and Sims. Troughton Road, Instrument makers.

The Optical Works. Garland Road, Plumstead

Hugh Baird. Spread Eagle Yard, Nevada Street/ maltsters. Presumably they supplied Lovibonds, just down the road.

Workshop for the Blind of Kent. :London Street. Now called Greenwich High Road. I seem to have a recollection that they were at one time in Eastney Street, makers of basketwork.

Warnes of Greenwich High Road. Makers of constructional kits for modellers

Matchless Motor Cycles. The name tells you! They used to employ 1,000 people at Burrage Grove. One of the original Collier Bros., believed to be the sole survivor of the Collier family was known to be living during World War II at a house next door to Tree Tops on the Kent side of Shooters Hill.


This list of meetings and events has been culled from leaflets and notices brought to our attention.

If you want your meeting listed here please contact 24 Humber Road, SE3 7LR (020 8858 9482)

Every Sunday (Foot & Mouth restrictions permitting!)

People required to do real work at Woodlands Farm.
Hot drinks provided. Ring Iain 020 8691 8979 or the Office 020 8319 8900


2nd May, Visit to St. Dunstan's Church Stepney. DHG, 020 7515 1162

5/7th May, Waterworks Operation Days, Kew Bridge Steam Museum.

5th May, GLIAS Walk - Woolwich Arsenal Riverside Path (hopefully). Meet Woolwich Arsenal Station. 2.30p.m.

5th May, Pride of the Lea. Cruise East London Ring, eat fish and chips.

5th May, Thames People. 10.30a.m. - 4.15p.m. National Maritime Museum. Info: 020 8312 6747.

8th May, Crossness Engines Visitor Day. Ring 020 8311 3711

9th May, Sir Neil Cossons Lecture. Newcomen Society. 5.45p.m. Science Museum, Directors' Suite.

12th May, Pride of the Lea. Cruise East London Ring, eat curry Passanda

13th May, Greenwich Society Walk 2000 - Thames Barrier to the Pilot with Diana Rimel. Meet Thames Barrier Café, 11a.m. £3.

17th May, Opening of Exhibition at the Maritime Museum - including pictures by Terry Scales

18th May, T.W. Sanders, The Great Gardener by David Cropp. 7.45p.m. LLHS, Methodist Church Hall, Albion Way, SE13

18th May, Pride of the Lea. Cruise East London Ring, eat pie and mash.

19th May, Plumstead Common Riots. Borough Museum 2.30p.m. Free but book at 020 8855 3240.

20th May, Pride of the Lea. Cruise to the Ragged School Museum

20th May, New Croydon Tramways. Peter Trigg, Blackheath Sci. Soc. Mycenae House, 7.30p.m.

20th May, Crossness Engines Open Day. Ring 020 8311 3711

22nd May, Commercial Ice Wells and Ice Works. Malcolm Tucker. SLAS, 7.30p.m., Hawkstone Hall, Kennington Road, SE1

25th May, Maze Hill Pottery firing - arrive before 9p.m .and continue to Midnight - but the most interesting bit is likely to be around 6p.m.

26th May, Pride of the Lea. Bow Lock to Waltham Abbey (visit the gunpowder mills or stay with them for the week)

26th May, Kent Underground Research Group. Annual General Meeting. Fort Borstal. 10.00 am

26th May, Maze Hill Pottery firing. Visit for a demonstration of pottery skills by Lisa Hammond.

27th May, Pride of the Lea Waltham Abbey - Hertford.

27th May, Maze Hill Pottery firing - opening of the kiln will take place from 11 am on.

28th May, Pride of the Lea Hertford - Royden.

29th May, Pride of the Lea. Royden - Bishop's Stortford

30th May, Closure of the Surrey Docks. Michael Holland. Rotherhithe and Bermondsey Local History Group, (R&BLHG, hereafter) Old Mortuary, St. Mary Church St. Rotherhithe. 7.45p.m.

30th May, Pride of the Lea. Bishop's Stortford - Harlow

31st May, Pride of the Lea. Harlow - Waltham Abbey


1st June, Pride of the Lea Waltham Abbey - Bow Lock.

1st June, Three Mills. House Mill, Craft Market, Pride of the Lea

1/3 June, Managing the Thames Estuary. 10.30a.m. - 4.15p.m. National Maritime Museum. Info: 020 8312 6747

2nd June, GLIAS Walk. Kilburn. Meet 2.30 Kilburn Jubilee Line Station.

5th June, Crossness Engines Visitor Day. Ring 020 8311 3711

5th June, Armchair Tour of SE3. Allan Burnett. Bromley BHS. Methodist Church Hall, Bromley North. 7.45 £1

6th June, Piers for the New Millennium. Tim Beckett. DHG, Room C. Interpretation Dept. Museum of London, London Wall, EC2. 5.30p.m.

9th June, Pride of the Lea. Cruise East London Ring, eat Biryani

9th June, GLIAS AGM - Speaker Malcolm Tucker - Gasholders in London, Royal Entomological Soc. 41 Queens Gate, SW7 2.30

10th June, Pride of the Lea. Nature Reserve Visit

15th June, Pride of the Lea. Cruise East London Ring, eat fish and chips

17th June, Crossness Engines Visitor Day. Ring 020 8311 3711

17th June, Pride of the Lea. Cruise to the Ragged School Museum.

19th June, Pride of the Lea. Cruise to Royal Gunpowder Mills

20th June, GLIAS Walk Kings Cross. Meet 6.30 Great Northern Hotel

23/24th June, Pride of the Lea. Cruise to the London Canal Museum

27th June, Boat Trip on the Thames. Rotherhithe & Bermondsey LHG

29th June, Morison Picture Gallery, Erith by Peter Hickson. 7.45p.m., LLHS, Methodist Church Hall, Albion Way, SE13

30th June, Pride of the Lea. Cruise East London Ring, eat fish and chips.


2-6 July, The Sea. 70th Anglo-American Conference of Historians. Inst. Hist. Research. Maritime Empires. Details 020 8312 6716.

3rd July, Crossness Engines Visitor Day. Ring 020 8311 3711

4th July, Wharf Manager on the Thames, Alan Hawkins. DHG, Room C. Interpretation Dept. Museum of London, London Wall, EC2. 5.30p.m.

7th July, Crossness Engines Open Day. Ring 020 8311 3711

7th July, GLIAS Walk. Croydon - Castles and Car parks. Meet West Croydon tram station, 2.30p.m.

7th July, Pride of the Lea. Cruise East London Ring, eat Bhuna

14th July, Pride of the Lea. Islington Cruise - visit Wenlock Basin.

15th July, Neil Rhind for Blackheath Society. Walk Blackheath as a celebration of Pevsner's Buildings of England. 10a.m. & 2.30p.m. £3.00

15th July, Pride of the Lea. Cruise to the Ragged School Museum.

18th July, GLIAS Walk. Hammersmith. Hammersmith/City Station. 6.30p.m.

20th July, Letters from a Victorian Schoolboy, David Crane. 7.45p.m. LLHS, Methodist Church Hall, Albion Way, SE13

20th July, Pride of the Lea. Marshland cruise

21st July, Pride of the Lea. Cruise East London Ring, eat fish and chips.


1st August, Some Aspects of Warehousing. Malcolm Tucker. DHG, Room C. Interpretation Dept. Museum of London, London Wall, EC2. 5.30p.m.

4th August, GLIAS Walk. Royal Victoria Dock. Meet Royal Victoria DLR. 2.30p.m.

11th August, Pride of the Lea. Cruise East London Ring, eat Tikka Masala

15th August, GLIAS Walk Wapping. Meet Wapping Underground 6.30p.m.

17- 24th August, Assoc. Industrial Archaeology Conference.
Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. AIA Liaison Officer, School of Archeological Studies, Univ. Leicester, LE1 7RH

19th August, Pride of the Lea. Cruise to the Ragged School Museum.

26th August, Pride of the Lea. Marshland cruise with roast dinner on board

24th August, Pride of the Lea. Cruise East London Ring, eat fish and chips

31st August, Pride of the Lea. Cruise to Royal Gunpowder Mills


1st September,. GLIAS Walk Islington. Angel Station. 2.30p.m.

2nd September, Pride of the Lea. Cruise to the Ragged School Museum.

5th September, Excavations at the Riverside in North Southwark. Harvey Sheldon. DHG, Room C. Interpretation Dept. Museum of London, London Wall, EC2. 5.30p.m.

5th September, Pride of the Lea. Cruise East London Ring, eat Dansak

9th September, Woodlands Farm Autumn Show.

9th September, Pride of the Lea. Nature Reserve Visit.

14th September, Pride of the Lea. Cruise East London Ring, eat pie and mash

26th September, Southwark Park. Pat Kingwell. R&BLHG, Time & Talents, SE16

28th September, Deptford and the Naval Dockyards. Ann Coats. 7.45p.m. LLHS, Methodist Church Hall, Albion Way, SE13


3rd October, London's Lighterage Industry, John Jupp DHG, Room C. Interpretation Dept. Museum of London, London Wall, EC2. 5.30p.m.

14th October, Crown Wood Car and Vehicle Show.


7th November, History of Turk's Boatbuilders. Mike Turk DHG, Room C. Interpretation Dept. Museum of London, London Wall, EC2. 5.30p.m.

24th November, Charities of Deptford and Lewisham by Jean Wait. 7.45p.m., LLHS, Methodist Church Hall, Albion Way, SE13


5th December, Christmas Quiz. DHG, Room C. Interpretation Dept. Museum of London, London Wall, EC2. 5.30p.m.

7th December, The Medway. Bob Ratcliffe. 7.45p.m., LLHS, Methodist Church Hall, Albion Way, SE13

Assoc. Industrial Archaeology, Visit to Australia. Will include Conference of Inst. Engineers, Australia in Canberra.
Contact Paul Saulter, 62 Marley Road, Rye, Sussex. TN31 7BD


Terry Scales tells us that some of his pictures of riverside industry have been selected as part of an exhibition to be held at the Narional Maritime Museum from 17th May 2001. They include scenes of Pipers Wharf and other well known wharves on the Greenwich Riverside. The exhibition will run until mid-September - and for everyone interested in the Greenwich riverside in its recent past this is a 'must go and see!'


FIREPOWER takes a challenging, dramatic and emotional look at the role of the "Gunner" in peacetime and war. It provides an innovative glimpse of the story of artillery, and in particular the Royal Regiment of Artillery that was founded nearly 300 years ago. It takes visitors from slingshot to supergun, from Crécy to Iraq, and is undoubtedly London's most explosive day out!

Using the unique collections of the regiment, mostly unseen by the public before, this is the first time that the fascinating story of artillery can be told properly. Comprising cannons, mortars, guns, medals, artefacts and library and archive collection, this will not be a standard regimental museum but a modern family attraction. The emphasis is very much on lively and engaging displays for the whole family, with many interactive elements and simulator experiences that recreate the duties of a Gunner.

The centrepiece will be the ground-shaking Field of Fire, a major multi-media presentation that puts the viewer in the centre of the action. This spectacular bombardment of the senses will captivate and provoke visitors into realising what life as a 20th-century Gunner has been like, through war and peace. The Gunnery Hall and History Gallery give a more traditional approach to the collection and tell the story from Roman times to modern day. Everyone can muck in at "The Real Weapon" gallery, which shows the functions of ammunition and the principles of hitting the target - very much a 'hands-on' area.

Come to the free Firepower Extravaganza on 27 and 28 May to celebrate the opening of this brand new visitor attraction for South-East London. With displays by the Kings Troop of the Royal Horse Artillery, the Royal Artillery Bands and the Pipes and Drums, live firings of artillery through the ages, spectacular parachute drops, paint ball for the kids, a tribute to the 'animals of the artillery', fun fair and lots more, Extravaganza promises to be an explosive day out for all the family. Gates are open from 10am to 6pm.

Firepower, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich
10am to 5pm Daily. Admission: Adult £6.50 Child £4.50 Concessions £5.50
Tel: 020 8855 7755 Fax: 020 8855 7100


The Society's officers are curently as follows:

Chair - Jack Vaughan

Vice-Chair - Sue Bullevent

Secretary - Mary Mills

Treasurer - Steve Daly

Committee - Alan Parfrey, Andrew Bullevant

Auditor - Juliet Cairns

Members are reminded that subscription renewals fell due in October 2000.
Subscriptions remain at £10 and should be sent to:

Steve Daly, 5 Pankhurst House, Garrison Close, Shooters Hill, SE18 4JE

The AGM also sent its best wishes - and concern - to Jack Vaughan who has been immobile and housebound since early December. Please come back Jack - we all miss you!

This newsletter was produced for Greenwich Industrial History Society, Chair, Jack Vaughan, 35 Eaglesfield Road, SE18. Views expressed in it are those of the authors and not of the Society.

Contributions (within reason) are always welcome.


Please send to Mary Mills (address below).


Meetings as advertised at the head of this newsletter will be held at;

The Old Bakehouse, (at back of the) Age Exchange Reminiscence Centre, 11 Blackheath Village, London, SE23 9LA.

Do not go to the Reminiscence Centre itself - The Old Bakehouse is at the back, in Bennett Park. Walk into Bennett Park and turn left into a yard. The Old Bakehouse is the building on your right. The entrance is straight ahead. By the way - there is an urn and cups - have we a volunteer who could make tea/coffee for members?



The Web version has been created by;

.... David Riddle, Goldsmiths College

Space courtesy of Goldsmiths College, University of London