Volume 4, Issue 5, September 2001






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!

15th January - Annual General Meeting followed by:
Dennis Smith on The Life of Henry Maudslay

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

Greenwich Industrial History Society would like to add our names to the many people who expressed their sadness at the death of Kay Murch. Kay had worked on the East Greenwich Gas Works site from the time it was a gas works - starting off as a copy typist in the 1960s and ending up as the only person left on site. She went on to become English Partnership's site manager - looking after the site with the eyes of the world on it through Millennium Year. Kay was a member of GIHS from its earliest meetings - and indeed her support made early organisation much easier than it would otherwise have been.

Thanks Kay - and our condolences to Brian..



By Paul W. Sowan

Barbara Ludlow's short item A unique site at Charlton: Nichols's lime kilns, later the Crown Fuel Company and Greenwich Pottery in Greenwich Industrial History 4 (3), May 2001, page 1, is of considerable interest to me, as in 1997 I collected some information on E.G. (Fred) Nicholls' two limeworks in east Surrey. This was summarised in a short article (E.G. Nicholls' Whyteleafe limeworks) published in the Bourne Society Bulletin 170 (November 1997). pp. 15 - 17. The Bourne Society concerns itself with the local history of a number of East Surrey parishes centred on Caterham and Coulsdon. I had also identified the Crown Fuel Company as being involved with the Riddlesdown or Rose and Crown Limeworks. Barbara Ludlow's note tells me much more about the Nicholls family (despite the variant spellings, they are evidently all the same family) and the Crown Fuel Company.

Charlton and Greenwich readers may like to have the following East Surrey details to complete their picture.

The two Surrey limeworks with which the family were concerned were the Riddlesdown (or Rose and Crown) limeworks, of which the large chalk pit remains a conspicuous feature on the east side of the A22 at Whyteleafe; it is best seen from trains crossing the viaduct on the 'Oxted line' between Riddlesdown and Upper Warlingham stations. This pit appears to have been commenced in or about 1824 (a date taken from some 20th century company letterhead), and was already a major obstacle to the construction of the railway from 1865 onwards, hence the viaduct. The part of the pit east of the viaduct is now operated as a closed nature reserve by the City of London, although I recall visiting the limeworks when they were still a going concern in the 1960s. The much smaller and shorter-lived Whiteleafe (or Whyteleafe) limeworks was also on the east side of the main road and railway line, about a mile further south, south of Upper Warlingham station. The Whyteleafe works are not shown on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey large scale maps and plans, surveyed in 1867; but they do appear on the contract plans and sections for the railway dated 1880 (the railway was commenced as the Surrey & Sussex Junction Railway, but failed, and was completed later as the Croydon, Oxted & East Grinstead Railway which opened in 1884). The site is now occupied by modern houses and a small recreation ground off Hillside Road. The latter pit had a standard gauge rail link, but such a link was impossible from the viaduct high above the kilns at the larger pit.

As a result of the Quarries Act, 1894, all open pits for mineral working over 20 feet deep were subject to inspection and regulation. Both pits fell into this category. The Act came into effect on 1 January 1895, but it took HM Inspector of Mines and Quarries for the North Wales & Isle of Man District (which district included Surrey.) a few years to identify, list and visit the large number of open pits added to his workload. Data for the two pits is published from 1897 onwards, and I have ready access to figures for this and the three following years. Nicholls' local manager was one A.E. Mead, and the men employed 'inside' and 'outside' the two pits averaged 15 and 4 for the smaller pit and 11 and 2 for the much larger one. No accidents or prosecutions are on record for either pit for the period 1897-1900 (Clement Le Neve Foster was an enthusiastic prosecutor of quarry operators who failed to observe the requirements of the Quarries Act and of the Factory Acts (he was also Inspector of Factories). As far as limeworks are concerned Surrey directories show Nicholls still in possession of both pits up to 1924 but that for 1927 represents him only as a coal merchant. By the 1930 directory neither Nicholls nor the Whyteleafe limeworks are listed. Clearly reading as wide a range as possible of local Society newsletters might well lead to a lot of jigsaw puzzle pieces being fitted together.



At the 26th July meeting of the Greenwich Planning Board, proposals for the second phase of the development of this new park on the western boundary of the Royal Arsenal site came up for consideration. Members of the Committee had before them a request to grant planning permission for both of the landscaping options submitted; one which retains the Gatehouse Building in Warren Lane, the other which seeks its removal.

Members were unable to reach a decision and recommended that that the two options be brought before the next meeting of the Planning Board as two distinct applications, each with its own specific recommendations. The majority view seemed to be that retention of the Gatehouse Building would detract from the impression of the new open space when approached from the west; only one Councillor spoke in favour of the building's retention. The omens therefore are not promising when this item is considered in late September.


About a year ago, a planning application was submitted for the development of this site for a mix of residential and business uses, primarily retaining most of the buildings on the site but with a new seven storey office block to the ear, overlooking Deptford Creek. That application was turned down by the Council on the grounds that it did not comply with the West Greenwich Development Framework which indicates the use of this site for light industry, warehouses and small business units. Recently a new application has been submitted by a developer, Reefmark Ltd., to plans drawn up by BUJ Architects. (BUJ are also the designers for the proposed mixed use development at Anchor Iron Wharf and had previously prepared a scheme for the development of the nearby Lovell's Wharf). The present proposals comply with the Development Framework in that the use is wholly employment orientated and there are to be a series of five buildings ranging in height from 3 to 8 storeys. The development is now not just on the former Merryweather site but also on the site occupied by the Ryder Warehouse immediately to the west.

The proposals envisage wholesale demolition of all the buildings on both sites and, in respect of the Merryweather plot, this gives considerable cause for concern. The buildings which front Greenwich High Road, whilst not to everyone's taste, are a reminder of the thriving business which was carried on here until the late 1960s and more importantly, there remains on the eastern edge of the site adjacent to the Deptford Pumping Station a three-storey warehouse, the Station Building, which, from the outside, appears to be in relatively good condition. The date could be early Victorian or even earlier. Approaches have been made to the Council with a view to getting this element of the development reconsidered to allow for the retention and refurbishment of the building. It is neither on the statutory list nor on the Council's local list, so, at present, it is afforded no protection whatsoever. English Heritage, in the form of Paul Calvocoressi, also has expressed an interest in the retention of the building. Its loss would be yet another addition to the catalogue of buildings throughout the borough squandered for commercial gain.

SciTech 2001
14th October., 11 am - 4 p.m. at Crown Woods School, Riefield Road, Eltham SE9

A unique event designed to celebrate the role of science and technology in society - past, present and future. A fantastic day out that will include lectures, exhibits, and demonstrations, with a few extras (crafts, entertainment and refreshments) to make sure there will be something to appeal to everyone in the family. Incorporates 9th Annual Car and Vehicle Show. Free parking at Avery Hill campus.

Greenwich Industrial History Society will need help on their stall.

Ring Jack Vaughan 0208 855 6512.


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

From Barbara Ludlow

Do you know anything about the Welsbach Incandescent GasLight Co? They sound Welsh or German - I have something about their mantles?

I take it that the passage which runs from Crowley/Anchor Iron Wharf and Ballast Quay is a right of way. Often I have hurried along it hoping the scrap would not fall on my head. The Robinsons (who had the original scrap yard there) who used to live in Mycenae Road told me that their father was not happy about the pathway. Dorothy Robinson told me that they lived at 63 Foyle Road for a time and found papers in the attic about the Brocklebank (shipbuilding family) because Thomas Brocklebank's grandson lived there until 1919. I think Dorothy said that they threw the Brocklebank stuff in the dustbin.

From Tom Ridge

I am interested in a building in Greenwich, which has stanchions and cranes similar to one I am investigating on the Regent's Canal. Ring me on 020 8981 7361.

From Mark Ladley

Could you put the following request for information to your members to help solve a long running puzzle?

The subject is an entry in a Will dated 1727 referring to "a duty and profit arising from the Chains in the River Thames." A copy of the Will had been entered in the local Parish Register (Barnby Dun, Doncaster, S Yorks) and my father and some friends had been transcribing it when they came across this item, and they have been unable to find any information about it since. The Will is that of Francis, Duchess of Sunderland. Thanks,

From Brockelbank family

I came across this site via a search engine, searching for General Steam Navigation. I am trying to find information on my great-great-great grandfather, Thomas Brockelbank (1774-1843), who was Managing Director of the company prior to his death in 1843.

From Colin Read

Can you give me any information, or advise me as to where I can get information about the scientific instrument makers, Troughton & Sims? My grandfather was apprenticed to the firm around 1880.

From Dave Warren

Have just stumbled across your very interesting and informative website. I don't know if you are the right person to ask this question, but here goes anyway. Do you happen to know if Cade's Cavern underneath The Point, Blackheath is planned to be opened for public entry in the not too distant future?

From Valda Low

I just found your Greenwich Industrial History site. This is a long shot but I am wondering if you can help me? My great grandfather, William Reynolds, was an iron moulders here in Australia. Among other things, he worked on the design of lacework for some of Brisbane's prominent buildings. Before arriving in Australia he is listed in Greenwich, Kent in 1881 and as working as an iron founder at "the Works." Can you tell me if there was an iron works or foundry there and if so, could you point me in the right direction to find further information on it?

From Linda Scott

My husband's grandfather, Francis Scott, was working as a carman for Pickfords and was the second person to use the Blackwall Tunnel. When it opened he was given a silver or gold topped whip. Are there any photographs of the opening event available, or any other relevant information about the opening of the tunnel? Many thanks.

From A.D.D. Jenkins

I should be grateful if you could provide any information on the identity of the factory manufacturing Kampultican in the Creek Road area of Greenwich and shown on the large scale OS maps of the area.

From 'An Engineer'

The riveted wrought iron roof of the former Neptune Hall of the National Maritime Museum was dismantled about three years ago. The metalwork was put in store with the expectation that it would be re-erected within a reasonable period. Has it been re-erected and if so where?

Via e-Mail

I am interested in Ballast Quay. These were small, humble dwellings and I presume that they belonged to dock workers, rope-makers etc. when built. I would like to know more about them. I understand they were on the site of the Green Man Public House which was rebuilt around 1800 and it would appear that some of the properties date from that time. The buildings of Union Wharf are curious - the symmetrical terrace with the prominent central block has been altered over time and the individual houses have different external details. I have been unable to trace when the building at number 11 was demolished. There is a rumour that the building dates from c.1840, but this does not seem to accord with the physical evidence.

From Geoff Knight

Henry Maudslay's sister Ann married a g-g-g grandfather of mine - a William Hartshorn, who was I believe, employed by Maudslay as a engineer and worked with him on the block making machinery at Portsmouth. This is supposition based on the fact that one of their children - Ann Joanna Hartshorn was born in Portsea in 1803 - the time when the work was underway on the machinery. Do you have any records, or for that matter, any information about Henry Maudslay, or his firm Maudlsay, Sons & Field Ltd?

From Terry Tomlin

Request information on the ship Maulesden built by Alexander Stephen & Sons, Dundee in 1875, to complete an historical painting. The Maulesden sailed from Greenock to Maryborough, Queensland, Australia with immigrants in 70 days, a record that still stands. I need a description of the Maulesdens Figurehead and if possible details of the ribbon carving on the trail boards. Can you HELP?

From Lorna Barter

Greetings! Well, things are really moving for The Swiftstone Trust now... after what seemed like forever - talking, meeting, negotiating, waiting, paperwork and more waiting... at last The Swiftstone officially belongs to the Trust and we have 'hands-on' her to begin the preservation work. Wonderful!!

Sadly, we were not able to get a full qualified crew together at relatively short notice to assist on Barge Race Day - but we have plans to be actively involved in the Sponsored Barge Driving (in aid of the Dreadnought Unit) in August from Erith to Gravesend.

Swifty is now sitting on the foreshore at the (still doomed but not lost) Wood Wharf. There is a lovely report on the day she was moved, written by Ian Hale, on the Updates page at the site. Pop over and have a look when you have a chance Full results and a few pix of the Barge Race are also up now.

If you'd like to get involved with any of the activities or events which are being planned give Reg a call on 020 8310 5167 - cleaning, painting, *sorting out* & *tidying up* or just sitting about and chatting <grin> we'd be happy to have your help!

From James Sargeant

Please would you be so good as to inform Mrs Ward that indeed the Anchor and Hope Public House is indeed still in existence... I must admit to having a certain fascination for this pub as it was owned and operated by my family for 99 years. My Father and his brothers were all born in the pub... and they worked as waterman and lighterman on the Thames.... Kind Regards

From Iris Bryce

Re: Ted Barr's series on 'Small Engineering Firms' -here's some more he might like to include:

Merrett's Coal Yard - The Merrett family lived in Woodlands Grove and their yard was in the alleyway that ran behind the shops in Trafalgar Road between David Greig (on the corner of Woodland Walk - called Woodland Street until the 1930s) and Woolworths. By the coal yard was a wheelwright's business owned by Mr. David Baker who lived next door to my grandmother in Woodland Grove. His son, also named Dave, lived next door to me in 22 Woodland Walk. Another son, Tim Baker, lived in a small house in that alleyway.

There was a blacksmith - sorry, I don't know the name - situated at the top of Mell Street - this street was known as Miles Street when I lived in Greenwich and there was a three or four-storey tenement block opposite the blacksmith, known as Miles Buildings.

From Chris Rule

We have just sorted the GLIAS website address out - it is now at

From Colin Evans, The Maudslay Society

I am referring to the recent seminar on Maudslay held at Kew Bridge Engines Trust. It was very nice to attend this seminar despite the heat in the lecture room! We also talked about the new museum, which is being set up in the old Royal Arsenal to house some of the exhibits from the Artillery Museum on Woolwich Common. In view of Maudslay's early association with the Arsenal and then with Greenwich some space in the new museum should be reserved for a section on Maudslay and his work.

From Howard Slight

Further information on Ted Barr's 'Smaller Engineering Firms':

The premises of Haybeard, a manufacturer of small electrical transformers, was situated in the building that forms the corner of Blackheath Road and Lewisham Road.

The electric cable manufacturer whose factory was situated in Georgette Place (not Luton Place) and extended along behind King George Street was, in the mid 1920s, the Croydon Cable Works Ltd. In the early 1930s the premises was taken over by the Metropolitan Electric Light and Power Co., later LEB, who used it as a store. In the 1960s the land was compulsory purchased by the GLC. In the 1970s, part of the main building was used by the Greenwich Theatre to build stage scenery and later the whole building became artists' studios. The land is now partly school property and partly private housing.

Henry Sykes, the pump manufacturer still exists and has premises in Gallions Road, Charlton.




Has set up a scheme for legacies and donations. Age Exchange was founded in 1983 as a professional theatre company mounting original productions based on older people's local reminiscences. The Reminiscence Centre in Blackheath Village opened in 1987 and has 30,000 visitors a year. For details ring 020 8318 9105.


Dr. Mary Mills has been elected to the Council of the Association of Industrial Archaeology - a national organisation based in Ironbridge.


Rumour has it that the path round the Dome is to open to the public on 17th September.


This new organisation began with a flourish - anyone interested in being kept in touch with this Forum on London's river should contact kevin.reid@london.

Greater London Authority, Romney House, 43 Marsham Street, SE1 3PY. Tel: 020 7983 4991


This article is from Tony Coles, Grange-over-Sands, and is reprinted from Historic Gas Times, with their permission.

I am writing this sat at a leather topped oak desk made by the Chippies at East Greenwich Gas Works pre-1958 and bought for £1.50!

I started in 1956 at Old Kent Road Gas Works, then went to Sydenham Gas Works and then East Greenwich Gas Works. Nothing much had changed! I do miss the characters. The Station Engineer at East Greenwich - not a Colonel, but 'God' was referred to as 'Kipper'. I was told not to let him hear you say it, as it was 'gutless and two faced'.

Some time in 1963 I was a Gas Engineering Assistant at East Greenwich, after graduating. I was relief Shift Controller (paid at the rate of £1,200 when acting!) £870 basic salary. Early on, I had to do a couple of shifts on my own as my mentor Fred Page had a car accident and was off.

First, round the works - I went to no. 1 CWG plant - a great cavernous building containing eight Humpheries and Glasgow CWG units. These were set up for naphtha (petrol in effect) reforming. I wandered up to the first floor where the foreman's office was located - one Ernie Low an ex-serviceman in his forties. He said 'Tony do you want tea?' - dare I refuse! I said that I had seen in the Shift Log that the naphtha control valve was faulty on No 1 unit and that it was shut down on standby. (Replacement of the valve required that it was isolated, steamed out to remove all traces of naphtha with a full permit to work issued by an authorised person.) I said 'I think we had better get the shift process fitter and instrument technician to replace the control valve' and that I would give a permit. Ernie said 'Can you do this Mr. Coles?' I said 'We can't let the plant stay out of action'. Ernie then said 'Can you give a permit, sir?' I said 'Well I will have to. I can't leave the unit off.' Ernie then said 'You had better put a note in my book, SIR! You are the Engineer - on your head be it!' I then said 'You may be right we will leave it for the next shift!' Ernie then said 'How about that cup of tea Tony'.

The postscript is that on the Tuesday (it was a Bank Holiday) I came in on days and was instructed to see the Deputy Station Engineer, Fred Cope. After the regular wait of ten minutes in the corridor outside his office - I was summoned in and was asked in no uncertain way why I had left a CWG plant unavailable on a Saturday night? This plant was important! I answered that I could not issue a permit since I was not yet authorised so to do.

Fred Cope then reached into his drawer and ceremoniously gave me a completed form of authorisation to issue work permits. Had I issued a fudged permit then I would have been dressed down and left under supervision for several more weeks! I did thank Ernie!


by Philip Binns


25th July

Visitor Centre, Pepys Building, King William Walk - plan to re-erect the statute of Sir Walter Raleigh from Whitehall. Welcome and unobjectionable.

Millennium site, Greenwich Peninsula. Details of Riverside Walk and Cycleway. Still no sign of the plans so can't comment.

Mumford's Mill - 23 Greenwich High Road. Conversion and external alterations for 35 residential units with commercial space, parking etc. Revisions of the scheme are seen as major improvements - including retention of the watertower etc. [This application has now been to the Planning Committee and agreed].

6-28 Blackheath Road. Redevelopment of site for 95 residential units. This is the site of the old Kentish Mercury building and print works. Plans include commercial floorspace and car parking. Welcome reduction in size of the development. Feel the building is still too high - should be read in conjuction with the Lewisham based scheme at Deals Gateway and the proposed 26-storey tower block there. Parapet feature of the old print works should be kept.

Railtrack footbridge between Straightsmouth and Greenwich High Road. Erection of ceramic tile plaques. Unobjectionable but would like to know the subject matter of this proposed artwork.

Building 20 Royal Arsenal. Repair and adaptation for 8 residential units. No case file so can't comment.

Former Chloride Works, Felixstowe Road, SE2. Residential development of flats with roads and landscaping. Feel the scheme is of an unacceptable barracks like appearance. Will need assurance of site decontamination.

Building 41 Royal Arsenal, alterations of wings and covering of courtyard for more facilities for Firepower museum. Welcome it and the structural detailing.

Shooters Hill Fire Station, Eaglesfield Road, SE18. Conversion and rehabilitation to provide 21 homes - welcome this, which omits the separate housing in the previous scheme. This concentrates on the importance of the listed building and provides more amenity space.

28th August

43-81 Greenwich High Road (Merryweather site). Plans for mixed use development in five buildings. Only information so far is about demolition. Group expressed concern at demolition of 3-storey 'Station Building'.

Severndroog Castle. Plans for refurbishment. Group is glad that some action is being taken at last on this important building. But concern at how an office complex will function in the area of woodland and the Green Chain Walk. A pavilion at roof level should be discouraged and there should be an agreement to allow the public occasional accesses to the building.

757 Woolwich Road, SE7 Victoria Pub. Conversion to flats. Think it is important to keep the faience detailing and three-dimensional eagle.


by Andrew Turner

The Angerstein branch has always operated as a freight-only line, but occasionally enthusiasts' passenger trains have ventured onto the line. One such ran in July and I took the opportunity to join it and see the area from a different angle.

The tour first visited two other branches once associated with Thames river traffic - the truncated former GWR line to Brentford and the line to Thames Haven in Essex. From the latter, it made a leisurely run to Charlton, where we turned off onto the Angerstein branch. After curving past the former signal works and passing under the Greenwich line, the train paused for a few minutes before continuing along the embankment and crossing over the Woolwich Road. Just before Bugsby Way, the line splits with the section straight ahead now forming part of a run-round loop. The train took the other line, passing a WW2 pillbox and crossing Bugsby Way on the eastern bridge. Beyond this is a largely vacant area, once presumably covered by sidings. We continued across this and finally came to a halt about 250m from the River, just short of the covered discharge shed used by Aggregate Industries. This receives incoming stone by train from Leicestershire for local distribution. To the east, another siding runs to Tarmac's loading point, where dredged gravel and sand are loaded for distribution by rail to several locations in the London area. The various items of plant and machinery on the site restricted the view forward and made it difficult to understand the overall layout of the various works. After a stay of a few minutes, the train set off back along the branch and returned to central London.



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.

The Woodlands Farm Trust Newsletter

Woodland's Farm Newsletter for summer 2001 gives bad news about the effect of both constant rain and foot-and-mouth disease on work at the farm. Things are improving though and sheep shearing has gone on regardless. They continue to call for volunteers - particularly to pull ragwort!

GLIAS Newsletter

The August 2001 edition contains notes about the Crossness Open Day and the opening of Firepower (already reported by us!). And information about the Royal Iris, berthed at the Thames Barrier,

Industrial Archaeology News

Autumn 2001 edition gives information about the Royal Iris - berthed at the Thames Barrier - in a letter from Bob Carr.

Newcomen Society Bulletin

Has been asking for information about the Great Wheel at Earls Court - which some have claimed was built by Maudslay Son & Field in Greenwich. The replies given in this issue (August 2001) suggest otherwise. Robert Bossing writes to say that the axle only was made by Maudslay (but not at which of their works). The ironwork was made by William Arrol and the carriages by Brown Marshall of Birmingham. Paul Calvocoressi repeats this information - and since he is one of our members - perhaps he could comment on which Maudslay works was likely to be the site of the axle manufacture, and if Arrol might have had anything to do with the Greenwich-based Appleby Works (next door to Maudslay in this period, and associated with Arrol).

Bygone Kent

The July 2001 issue contains an article of interest to Greenwich historians. This is Part 2 of Mary Mills' series for Bygone Kent on copperas manufacture in Deptford and Greenwich. This describes work at the Deptford works in the mid-17th century and the founding of the Deptford Works by Nicholas Crispe. It goes on to discuss the possible ownership and operation of sites on the Greenwich bank of Deptford Creek and on the Peninsula.

The August 2001 issue contains several articles of interest to Greenwich historians - one by R.B. Parish details Some Follies of the Weald, Central and South Kent. In this he mentions the Rotunda on Woolwich Common 'remarkable' and asks the whereabouts of 'the tower of an underground church - a shaft constructed for a sewer' which was somewhere in Eltham.

An article by Bernard Brown is All Change at Greenwich. Or the 'Blackheath Omnibus. This is about Stephen Scudds, coach and fly proprietor of Eltham who initiated a coach service from the new Greenwich Railway Station to St. Mary Cray via Eltham and Foots Cray in 1838. This was extended over the year to other local services based on meeting travellers by train from London who wished to continue into suburbs yet not served by train. Eventually the business failed and Tilling became the predominant omnibus provider in the district.

Finally, Mary Mills has contributed the third in her series of articles about Greenwich and Deptford Copperas. This article is based on the diary of Elizabeth Pearson, sister of the owner of the Deptford and Greenwich copperas works in the early nineteenth century. It describes some of the entries in her diary with relation to copperas works in the area and to her life in Greenwich before 1820.

Redriff Chronicle

The Summer 2001 issue contains several articles of interest to Greenwich industrial historians. First, there is a resume of the talk given to the Society by Peter Gurnett on Stones. Peter has also given this talk to GIHS in the past and, as Redriffe Chronicle points out, those wishing to read more should look at Peter's account in the Lewisham History Society Journal for 1986/7 pps 6-46. Another article by Mary Mills is about the previous history of the old Molins Site in Deptford and describes the Torr family factory which stood on the site previously (Torr were animal charcoal makers). An article by Peter Gurnett and Malcolm Meachen describes Captain Taylor and his Museum in Amersham Grove.

Historic Gas Times

The September 2001 edition contains a letter about East Greenwich Gas Works (reproduced below) and also another article from Mary Mills on A Phantasmagoria and Mount Etna - on stage. If you want to know what it is about you will have to ask me. There is also a response to a previous article from Brian Sturt which details some buildings built on local gas works. He gives particular details of the amazing sulphate store at Phoenix Wharf, Greenwich, completed in 1955. 'This was designed to protect 10,000 tons of ammonium sulphate and has a near parabolic concrete roof of 60 foot span and rise of 66 feet'. The building was demolished just as the world outside was beginning to realise its architectural significance.

Biography of Stephen Lawrence

While not being industrial this little book is of great local importance. It is by Verna Allette Wilkins, costs £10.99 a copy and is available from Jubilee Books c/o Eltham Green School Complex, Middle Park Avenue, Eltham, SE9. <>

Lewisham Local Studies and Archives Newsletter

This gives details of Ideal Homes - Suburbia in Focus - a website funded by the New Opportunities Fund which will chart suburban development in South East London. It will include detailed studies of Blackheath and Deptford New Town.

Lewisham Local History Society Newsletter

Gives details of Lewisham Voices a project set up with the Museum of London and Lewisham Libraries. This will use digital technology to produced instance images of people and places and leave an interactive record of thoughts, feelings and life experiences of a cross section of the community.

Holiday Geology Guide - Greenwich

This glossy fold out leaflet is one of the most exciting things to turn up for a long time. It is basically a discussion of the stone work and its relevance in the World Heritage Site area of Greenwich. This is a geologist's look at the tourist quarter! It tells us for instance that the Bellot Memorial is made of 'Peterhead Granite with paler granite (aplige) veins and small darker patches of hethens of included Highland Rock. It illustrates 'shrimp burrows' on the Wolf Statue and shows us how in the Royal Naval College Chapel is 'remarkable for its geological deception' Portland Stone and Cornish Granite are only used where they show - the statues are all cheaper Coade Stone and the Sienna Marble columns are paintings on a papier mache base (you can tell the fake bits by tapping). This wonderful little leaflet is available from the British Geological Survey ring 0115 936 3241 <>.

The Magic of Hot Water

The latest illustrated guide to come from Andrews Water Heaters - in reality extracts from Paul Yunnie's collection of pictures and leaflets about his favourite subject - hot water. At £5 this is terrific value for 138 pages and a great picture on every one. Available from Paul G. Yunnie, Flemish House, Bridge Street, Lower Moor, Pershore, Worcs WR10 2PL.

Industrial Heritage

- great little journal from Hudson History, Proctor House, Kirkgate, Settle, North Yorks, BD24 9DZ. Sadly, the latest edition has nothing in it about Greenwich - but Phil Hudson is always short of articles and this note is to encourage people to send things to him.

Kent Underground Research Group Newsletter

The newsletter features the following story about Abbey Wood - Sand Mine, Abbey Wood by Nesta Caiger....

On Friday 8th June 1001 KURG investigated a small sand mine in the back garden of 18 Old Park Road. A short adit had been dug into the sand and it seemed clear that there was another short adit close by which was inaccessible. This was due to a vast collapse of walls and rock - garden debris from a landscaped part of the garden. The adit had been driven straight into the sand level and measured about 8 ft 6 ins in length, 4ft 6ins wide. Pick marks were seen on the walls but the original floor level was unknown, due to the fill of earth - so the roof level above the investigators was only about 4 ft. A probe with a pole was made to try and estimate where the second small mine could have been and a somewhat limited void was found. The owner of the house which had been built in the 1930s on land known to have been part of 'Cook's Farm' was a Mr. John Davis...


LATEST REPORT AND ADVENTURES of a newly preserved tug

June - Nothing happens for ages and then suddenly it all comes at once!! The Swiftstone finally transferred to us officially on June 1st 2001. She was close to the action though on barge race day, moored on the roads off Wood Wharf at Greenwich... and we have since moved her onto the foreshore and started to really get to know 'the old girl'. It was an amazing manoeuvre, repositioning the 'roads' anchor, getting her up on the foreshore (without crashing into the wharf!) and securing her with a web of ropes & chains. A wonderful day... and thanks go to everyone involved.

'Swifty' on the day of the Great River Race, 15/9/01

Ian Hale wrote - ' privileged, here I am standing on the ex-Cory motor tug Swiftstone taking in the sights and sounds of a large turbo-charged diesel engine. This is Swifty's first trip in private preservation and favours will be done today for the barge owners and ex-Tilbury Ferry The Edith - moored near Wood Wharf. We admire the shape of Swifty's hull, enthuse over the machinery, and generally run out of superlatives! After copious amounts of tea and coffee are imbibed, Reg is presented with a special flag, which now adorns the masthead.


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


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. Harvest celebration - sheep dogs, wool working, guided walks, etc. etc.

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

11th Crossness Engines Industrial Museum, Abbey Wood. Visitor Day. Ring 020 8311 3711 for bookings.

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

15th September, Mary Mills - Maudslay Son and Field and their Greenwich Shipyard. Greenwich Borough Museum, 232 Plumstead High Street, SE18. 2.30 p.m. Please book on 020 8855 3240.

15/16th September, Royal Gunpowder Mills 1940s Living History Weekend. Powdermill Lane, Waltham, Essex. Tel: 01992 767 022 or <Info@royalgunpowdermills. com>

19th September, Introduction to Greenwich History by Frances Ward at Greenwich Historical Society 7.15p.m. Music Centre Blackheath High School, Vanbrugh Park, SE3

20th September, 1940s Tea Dance. Age Exchange Old Bakehouse Theatre. 2 p.m. £2.50 includes tea and cake. Ring 020 8318 9105

22nd-30th September, Paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture by John Kane and Jacob Hussey at the Long Gallery, Lauderdale House, Waterlow Park, Highgate Hill, N6. 10-2 pm (30th until 5 p.m.). Includes many pictures of Greenwich and the river.

22/23rd September, Open House Weekend. Will include:

89 Genesta Road, SE18 - the first British housing project completed by Lubetkin.
The country's only modernist terrace and said to have been built for workers at a local factory.

23rd September, Woodlands Farm Annual General Meeting. 2.30 p.m.

23rd September, Crossness Engines open day. Thames Water, Belvedere Road, Abbey Wood, SE2 10.30-5 p.m. No booking required.

25th September, The Emergency Services in the Second World War. John Mills, SLAS, 7.30p.m. Hawkestone Hall, Kennington Road, SE1

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

28th September, Deptford and the Naval Dockyards. LLHS. Ann Coats of the Naval Dockyards Society. 7.45pm Lewisham Methodist Church, Albion Way, SE13

29th September, Lambeth Archives Open Day, Minet Library, 52 Knatchbull Road, SE5. A Cabinet of Curiosities, 10-5, Admission free. Includes a collection of talks all day at Michael Church Burton Road, SE5. Details 020 7926 6076 <>


1st October, GLIAS Recording Group Meeting, Kirkaldy's Testing House Museum. Southwark Street, SE1. Entrance in Prices's Street. 6.30 p.m.

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

4th October, The Hershels. Seminar on the family of amateur astronomers. National Maritime Museum 10-30-16.15. £35 ring 020 8312 6747 http://www.

6th October, Naval Genealogy, 10-30-16.15. £28 National Maritime Museum (details as above)

14th October, Crown Wood Car and Vehicle Show and Industrial Heritage Fair. GIHS stand. Help/ideas required!

17th October, Iron and Glass. Conference on the Crystal Palace and its influence. Institution of Civil Engineers & Victorian Society. Details from 1 Priory Gardens, W4 1TT

17th October, Across the Seven Seas. Launch of three-dimensional exhibition at Age Exchange in collaboration with the National Maritime Museum. 4.30p.m.

19t24th October, Mike Neill on Convict Hulks at Woolwich. Greenwich Historical Society. 7.15p.m. at Music Centre, Blackheath High School, Vanbrugh Park, SE3.

30th October, Random Acts. Playback Theatre - come and see your memories on stage - Age Exchange, Bakehouse Theatre. 6.30pm £10+£8 inc. refreshments and wine.

31st October, East India Company & the River Thames. Tony Fuller, R&BLHG, Time and Talents, SE16


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

15th November, Picture Restoration. 10-30-16.15. £35. National Maritime Museum (details as above)

17th November, Underwater Archaeology. 10.30-16.15. £28. National Maritime Museum (details as above)

22/23/24th November, Don Austen 'Stalking George Best'. Actor and ex-Mayor of Greenwich in a one man show. Age Exchange, Bakehouse Theatre. 7.30p.m. £5 & £3.

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

27th November SLAS AGM and Rosemary Weinstein on The Mystery of the Pewter Plates. (details above) 28th November,.

Excavations at Bermondsey Abbey. Alison Steele, R&BLHG, Time and Talents, SE16


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

7th/8th December, Science and the Sea. Breathtaking advances since the Second World War. 10.30-16.15. £45. National Maritime Museum (details as above)

19th December, Magic Lantern Entertainment. Rosemary Gill. R&BLHG, Time and Talents, SE16



30th January, Museum in Docklands. Chris Ellmers. R&BLHG, Time and Talents, SE16


27th February. Frost Fairs on the Thames. Jeremy Smith. R&BLHG, Time and Talents, SE16


Deptford Creek - surviving regeneration. This programme will run from September 2001 and be held in the Creekside offices. Wednesday 3rd Oct - 7th November. £19 fee.

Deptford Past and Present. This will run from Spring 2002 in Lewisham Library. 15th January - 12th February. £19.

Horniman Museum. Goldsmiths classes held at the Horniman Museum, Forest Hill from Summer 2002 in a new arrangement. Horniman Museum taster on Wednesday 10th October. Free.

Historic Architecture in London and Local Boroughs will be held in September 2001 with Diana Rimel as course tutor. Mondays from 7th January. £32 and £21 in the summer term.

Know London will run from Spring 2002 and be run by two blue badge guides. Wednesdays from 7th January 2002. £32

Details of all the above courses from PACE Goldsmiths College, 0800 092 0659 <>

Master of Science (MSc) and Diploma in Industrial Archaeology at the University of Bath in Swindon. Post graduate course of 12 months full time or 28 months part time. Details from Mrs. Emma Greeley, University of Bath, Dept. of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Bath BA2 7AY. 01225 826908 <>

Industrial Archaeology courses at City University. Tuesday evenings course with Bob Carr. Write to the Extra Mural Studies, Centre for Continuing Education, City University, Northampton Square, EX1V 9HV 020 7477 8268 <>

The East India Company and London. Mondays 19.00-21.00 8 weeks from 8th October. National Maritime Museum (details as above). Can be taken as part of BA course.

A Sea of Faces. Tuesdays 8 weeks from 9th October. 10.30-12.30. National Maritime Museum (details as above)

Submarines. Tuesdays 10.30-12.30 8 weeks from 29th January. National Maritime Museum (details as above)

Seapower in the Age of Nelson. Wednesdays 10.30-12.30 from 30th January. National Maritime Museum (details as above)

A History of the Royal Navy. Tuesdays 8 weeks from 23rd April. 10.30-12.30. National Maritime Museum (details as above)

The Beach - history of its role in the seaside. Wednesdays 10.30-12.30 8 weeks from 24th April. National Maritime Museum (details as above)

Discovering London's Local History. With Brian Bloice. Wandsworth Adult College, South Thames College, Wandsworth High Street, SW18. Tuesdays 1.00-3.00 p.m. 020 8918 7107 and at Morley College 61 Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 020 7928 8501 Wednesdays 2.00-4.00 p, and Lambeth College, Adare Centre, Adare Walk SW16. 020 7501 5596 Thursdays 1.30-3.30 p.m.

MA in Maritime History and MA in Maritime Policy, for details contact Dean Surtees, GMI, University of Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College, SE109LS. 020 8331 7688 <>


MAUDSLAY SON AND FIELD, ENGINEERING PIONEERS at Kew Bridge Engines, Green Dragon Lane, Brentford, Middlesex TW8. - will run until 30th September. It features not only Maudslay but also a photo of our own Jack Vaughan, and Alan Pearsall - plus some very complimentary things about Jack. 020 8568 4757

TIDE MARKS September 14th - October 14th Friday to Sunday, 1:00 pm to 6:00pm: The Electrical Store, Trinity Buoy Wharf, 64 Orchard Place, London E14. Stephen Turner has created a work by tracing the tide along Bow Creek onto a series of large canvases totalling over thirty metres in length. Placed along the riverbed at low tide, they record an interval of twelve hours in the life of the creek.


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