Volume 6, Issue 1, January 2003







21st January - ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING. Speaker Chris Grabham on the GLIAS database -

How to record everything of interest to industrial historians in London!

18th February - Brian Sturt on Wandsworth Gas Works and the 'flat iron' colliers

18th March - John King on the Trains and Planes of Berlin

15th April - Clive Chambers on Daft Craft on the Thames

17th June - Wesley Harry with films of the Royal Arsenal at work

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

The GIHS Newsletter would like to apologise to Philip Woollard for the dreadful reproduction of his drawings of clay pipes in the last edition. We are not entirely sure what happened - they were alright when they left the computer but something dreadful seems to have happened at the printers!


By the kind courtesy of the Superintendent a small party were afforded the privilege of inspecting the interior of that building which has attracted so much attention, partly on account of its monster twin chimneys, 270 feet in height - with a second pair threatening to grow up beside them - and also because of its unfortunate position on the geographical meridian and proximity to the Royal Observatory.

These matters, however, were but little thought of as we entered the great dynamo-room, where two steam-driven 5,000 kilowatt alternating-current dynamos are running. The almost entire absence of vibration is, under the circumstances, remarkable, and speaks well for the solid foundations of the building. The armatures of these dynamos are 30 feet in diameter, have 36 poles, and run at 95 revolutions per minute. Eight ropes running over grooved pulleys take the place of the more familiar leather belt.

Near by we notice a smaller dynamo of the continuous-current type, termed an 'exciter,' its office being to supply the continuous current necessary to magnetise the alternators. These are multi-Polar 125 volts 50 kilowatt machines. The current is generated by the alternators at 6,600 volts, which is transformed down to 550 volts at the sub-stations before being supplied to the [tram] cars. These two machines supply current for [tram] 500 cars. This represents only half the power capacity of the station, as' there are two more machines of similar type standing idle, but ready to work when required. The total power capacity is, therefore, 20,000 kilowatts Engines and dynamos, however, cannot work without some motive power, so we proceed to inspect the furnaces and boilers, of which there are 24, half that number only being in use at present. The gauges indicate 160 lb. pressure. We then pass out on to the pier [two lines of the original missing] coal conveyed by elevators to the storage overhead, 11,000 tons are now in store, and the weekly consumption is 2,000 tons. The elevators carry 40 tons per hour and on the return journey bring down the ashes from the furnaces. The coal is not such as would be valued by our engineers or that we would care to have supplied to our households, being very small for economic reasons.

One could only take a passing glance at the main switches, necessarily labelled 'DANGER', two rotary pumps which draw water from the river at the rate of 11,000 gallons daily, and many other clever contrivances which time forbad the inspection, we would like to have given. We finish our visit at the controlling switch-boards, where the whole system is controlled by switches which seem much too small for such important duties. By each switch is a small circular window, a red light denoting the switch to be closed and the line in that particular district supplied with power. The many switches with their little windows in darkness give us an idea of the prospective extensions of our tramway system.

On leaving the building one cannot help a desire to linger yet a while over some of the mechanical marvels, the emanations of man's brain, controlled by a few men, but which supply the power to carry daily to and fro, on business or pleasure; so many thousands of human beings

HELEK. (writing in Co-partnership Journal 1907)


By Fred Bishop

The sinking of the Princess Alice on the River Thames at Galleons Reach on 3rd September 1878 after being in collision with the collier, Bywell Castle resulting in very heavy loss of life.


The Princess Alice was a saloon steamboat, named after the third daughter of Queen Victoria, the reigning monarch. The ship was a paddle steamer used for pleasure purposes on the Thames; she was 251 tons gross, 219 feet in length with 21 feet beam, constructed with 5 bulkheads and built in Greenock in 1865 when, prior to being consigned to use on the River Thames, she was in service in Scotland plying between Wemyss Bay and Arran (a distance of some 40 miles). She was licensed to carry 936 passengers in sheltered passages; life preserving equipment comprised just two lifeboats and 12 lifebuoys which was in accordance with the regulations of that period. Princess Alice was in the ownership of the London Steamboat Company and her captain at the time of the accident was William Grinstead who went down with his ship.

The Bywell Castle was an iron-built collier propelled by a single four-bladed screw, 890 tons gross, 250 feet long and her stem was 20 feet over the waterline. This compares with the Princess Alice which was built to be low in the water). At the time of the accident Bywell Castle was in ballast having been laid up at Millwall Drydock for repainting. She was heading downstream en route to Newcastle to take on a cargo of coal to Alexandria; Master was Captain Harrison and there was also a pilot, Christopher Dix, on board.


On 3 September 1878 the Princess Alice had been on a day-return cruise from Swan Pier, close to London Bridge, to Sheerness and in the evening was making the homeward-bound journey. At about 6.30pm she left Gravesend, location of the Rosherville Pleasure Gardens, having collected passengers who had spent the day there. It is thought there were between 700 and 800 passengers on board, including a band playing on the main deck. Next port of call was to be Woolwich with a further embarkation/disembarkation of passengers.

At 7.30pm Princess Alice approached Tripcock Point at the entrance to Galleons Reach on the ebb tide at a speed of 11 knots. At Tripcock Point the River turns sharply south. At the same time proceeding downstream at half speed (5 knots) was the collier, Bywell Castle, keeping to midstream. On board were a total of 23 men, plus Mrs Harrison, the master's wife. The pilot Christopher Dix, was on the bridge with Captain Harrison. The captain later stated that they were well along Galleons Reach when both he and the lookout in the bows saw Princess Alice's red (port) light and at this point changed direction slightly towards the south shore deciding that because of the ebb tide conditions Princess Alice was heading towards the north shore. Ebb tide conditions around Tripcock Point were known to be difficult in that an offset current ran north across the river towards Beckton Gasworks pier. A vessel coming upstream could meet two forces - first the cross current acting on the port bow (which would oppose a starboard helm), followed by the tide pressing on the starboard bow. The ship would be taken to midstream, thence toward the north shore and finally spinning back to the south. These movements appear to be what occurred in the case of the Princess Alice.

River navigational - "Rules of the Road" - existed at the time, but, it appears, were not always clearly understood by crews. The general rule was that craft either passed red light to red (port to port) or green light to green (starboard to starboard). In the event, or for whatever cause, the Princess Alice crossed the bows of the Bywell Castle on her way back to the south shore. However both masters were men of long experience; there were three lookouts on the Princess Alice and one who survived was also sure that he and Captain Grinstead had seen the Bywell Castle simultaneously.

When Captain Harrison of the Bywell Castle, at a distance of 100 yards off, saw collision was imminent he gave orders to stop engines and to reverse at full speed. The order to stop engines was carried out, but not as was later disclosed, that to go astern, until after some delay. It was not clear why, but there was fear of the screw cutting people up in the water.

Impact occurred at 7.40 pm, the bows of the Bywell Castle striking the Princess Alice amidships, just forward of her starboard paddlebox at an angle of approximately 13 degrees.

The effect of the collision was horrendous; the bows of the collier sliced through 14 feet of the Princess Alice flooding the engine room. Within the space of less than five minutes she split into two pieces, fore and aft rose into the air and sank. Hundreds of passengers and crew, including Captain Grinstead were plunged into the water. Another important aspect of this tragic event was that in 1878 the outfalls of both the northern and southern outfall sewers discharged masses of untreated sewage at high water on the ebb tide (en route to the Thames estuary) very close to the scene of the collision. The water was further much polluted in those days with industrial effluent in the river.

Rescue attempts commenced immediately. Ropes were thrown down from the bows of the Bywell Castle to the unfortunate people in the water below, although few were able to clamber up them. Small boats were launched from the Bywell Castle and elsewhere, but those to be rescued were severely impeded in the filthy water which they ingested causing them to vomit and choke with little hope of survival. Again, a high proportion of the passengers were women and the voluminous clothes of the Victorian era would act as a further impediment by causing rapid sinking. A number were saved by smaller rivercraft. notably 25 who were rescued and taken to Beckton Gasworks in a boat launched by the manager. Some others were taken ashore at Erith. The work of recovering the bodies ensued over the following days. The body of Captain Grinstead was recovered from the river five days later off Woolwich Arsenal. Thames Watermen were paid five shillings for each body they recovered. A diver sent down to the sunken Princess Alice reported that the cabins appeared to be full of bodies, still upright, grouped at points of exit where they had crowded in an attempt to escape. These were freed when the wreck was lifted.

In total 69 people were saved, but the number of those lost was estimated at 650. Some were probably never recovered having been swept downstream or buried in the Thames mud.

Two of those lost were Walter Bishop and his wife, Mary, aged 38 and 36 respectively. Walter Bishop was my great-great-uncle who was born in Chideock, West Dorset, in 1840. His name appears in the 1841 census for Chideock, but not to 1861 by which time he had left his parents' home. Family legend had it that the couple had recently married and were in London on honeymoon at the time of the sinking, but no substantiating evidence for this has yet been unearthed.


Bodies, as they were recovered form the sinking, were transported to a large shed at Woolwich Dockyard where relatives attended for identification purposes. After identification bodies were transferred to another large shed for preparation for burial, either in nearby Woolwich Cemetery or to be taken away by relatives.

The inquest was held at Woolwich Town Hall; the coroner was Joseph Charles Carttar, a 69-year old solicitor, who was coroner for Kent. The inquest commenced on 16 September 1878, continued for ten weeks and concluded with a verdict of death by misadventure.

On 9 September thousands of people attended funeral services in Woolwich Cemetery. A national appeal was launched for a memorial for all who had perished. The basis of the appeal was for donations of sixpence each and in excess of 23,000 people responded. The memorial in the form of a large granite Celtic cross stands in Woolwich Cemetery. In addition some 120 victims; graves of those who were not buried elsewhere are reputedly in the vicinity, but time and weather have taken their toll on any inscriptions and I found none. The City of London also launched an appeal for funds for the aid of the bereaved and some £11,800 was raised. Details were recorded in the "Mansion House" book which is currently lodged in the Borough of Greenwich's museum at Plumstead. (The district of Plumstead is very close to where the disaster occurred).

A Board of Trade inquiry commenced on 14 October 1878 at the Board of Trade court. East India Dock Road, before Mr John Balguy, the Thames magistrate, sitting with three naval assessors. The investigation concluded on 6 November; the resulting verdict was that the Princess Alice was to blame for the accident.

The sinking with the loss of an estimated 650 souls, remains the worst disaster ever in Britain on an inland waterway. A graphically-detailed contemporary model of the collision may be seen in the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich.

The Bywell Castle resumed her voyages to and from the Eastern Mediterranean. On the 15 January 1883 she left Alexandria bound for Hull with a cargo of cotton seed and was never seen again having, it seems, been lost with all hands somewhere in the Bay of Biscay area. She is listed at Lloyds as a missing ship. On 14 December 1878, Princess Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse-Darmstadt and third daughter of Queen Victoria, and after whom the ill-fated paddle steamer had been named, died in Darmstadt of diphtheria, aged 35 years.


Simon Stevens of the National Maritime Museum whose lecture at Plumstead Museum in April 2001 on the Princess Alice disaster inspired me to delve further.
The very helpful staff at London Borough of Greenwich's museum at Plumstead who made available to me their records on the disaster.
Gavin Thurston's book "The Great Thames Disaster" was published in 1965.


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

From: Philip Davies, Director, English Heritage London Region

I enclose for your attention a copy of Changing London: An Historic City for a Modern World, which we are distributing widely. Changing London highlights the crucial contribution London's historic environment makes to people's quality of life and to the capital's economy. We must stop polarizing the old and the new. London's future lies in the successful integration of both into the daily lives of the 7.5 million people who live and work in this great city. The publication coincides with the release of a MORI poll commissioned by English Heritage which asks Londoners about their views on London's historic environment. It is clear that it enjoys enormous public support. People care deeply about it. English Heritage is a facilitator in enabling change. Conservation is about managing, not preventing, change. One of our key aims is to encourage a creative dialogue between conservation and developers.

We believe that the best new buildings arise from understanding and valuing the historic environment. Conservation does not inhibit good new architecture; it provides a framework within which it can flourish. This was demonstrated by the recent RIBA London Awards where 11 of the 14 award winning schemes were for new buildings in an historic context.

Further copies of the publication are available free from English Heritage Customer Services (0870 333 1181). It is also on the English Heritage website,

From: Pat O'Driscoll

Some more comments on Mary Mills' new book Greenwich and Woolwich at Work.

p. 24 - Norton's Barge Yard - Norton's survived into the 1960s. Dick closed it in 1966 but he continued to go down there most days.

p 28 - the bottom picture was taken by me on 27th October 1954. It might be possible to identify the barge hulk being broken up in this picture of Garrett's Barge Breakers.

The bottom picture on page 71 was taken by me on 22nd September 1954. The mast shown outside Enderby House on the Greenwich riverside and said to come from the Great Eastern was made of wood - it was the only one of her masts, which was wood because it was used to mount the ship's compass above the magnetic field of the ship. The other masts were of hollow steel and formed funnels for the ship's auxiliaries (steam steering engine, etc.).

The picture on p. 105 was taken on 22nd May 1972.

The picture of Tower Julie on p.15 was taken on April 3rd 1972. She was then discharging a cargo of maize and it was her very first voyage.

The pictures of old Deptford Creek Bridge are interesting. It's the first one I've seen. The gang of men had to remove the rails so that the bridge could open just 14 inches (I'm told), which would just permit the passage of a ship's mast if the ship was steered very accurately.

P. 65 - note the solid front tyres of that lorry. These would date the picture from the early 1920s before pneumatic tyres came on the scene.

p. 35 that barge alongside Woolwich Power Station looks as if she is a steel one, possibly one of Goldsmith's. She would be a river barge rather than a coasting barge because on bowsprit can be seen. Coasting barges generally had a bowsprit. I can't think what sort of bales she would be discharging here. The crane has an iron bucket rather than a grab, which would seem to rule out coal, which one would be more likely to find being discharged at a power station. A bit of a mystery here! I'd like to show the picture to Bob Childs, who might well know the answer.

p. 102 I think the reason why no books can be seen on the shelves in Plumstead Library is that most public libraries in the early past of the 20th century were closed access ones where the books were out of sight and would be borrowers chose a book from number in a catalogue and the assistant fetched. Some libraries had a big board with details of books and a number beside each book. The libraries I used to work at (Forest Hill branch dating from 1900) only went over to open access in 1932 so that the books were on shelves as they are in today's libraries. The branch librarian who had been in post since 1920 told me about the changeover.


From: Bob Aspinall, Museum in Docklands

I am taking this opportunity to update friends and colleagues on the latest news regarding the Museum in Docklands (MiD), which is as follows:-

The Museum in Docklands ran in to financial problems earlier this year, due to the escalating cost of converting this magnificent Grade I Listed warehouse into a museum capable of accommodating the demands of 150,000 visitors a year. The only way that the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) would bail us out was to bring about a merger between MiD and the Museum of London (MoL): this was based on the premise that most of the collections which would be displayed at MiD already belong to MoL, together with the contents of the Docklands Library & Archive. The MoL agreed to the merger on the understanding that a funding package could be put together to take on MiD and run it in the future. This funding package has three components:- the HLF: the Department of Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS): and the Corporation of London (CoL). At the moment, DCMS and CoL support the MoL on a 50/50 basis. All the support has to be "new money"- the MoL cannot run MiD out of its existing budget. So far, HLF has coughed up, DCMS has put in some money but not as much as was originally hoped, but the CoL has so far refused to make a contribution. This failure has caused the announcement of the merger between the two museums to be put back twice, in November and December. It has also meant that the plans to recruit 40 new staff to run MiD have had to be suspended. The job adverts have been issued: hundreds of people have applied: shortlists have been made: but job interviews scheduled to take place in the first full week in January have been postponed.

Meanwhile, the staff here is continuing to work on getting the MiD ready for opening. As many of you will know, the displays in the galleries are about 90% complete, the lecture theatre is operational and the Library & Archive is in place. But the reluctance of the CoL to put money on the table means that the merger will be delayed at least until the next MoL Board meeting in January. Despite that, the MoL remains confident that it can still achieve the scheduled opening date of the 12th April 2003. However, if the CoL fails to commit to its share of the funding in January, the opening date will have to be put back once again. I am sure you can imagine the effect that all this is having on the MiD staff- 2002 has been a bleak year for all of us. Merger with the MoL is now the only option left open to MiD if it wants to open to the public. Let us hope that the current problems will be resolved soon and we can at long last deliver this wonderful museum. All I can say to you is, watch this space!


From: James Purtill

Your November Newsletter includes a letter from Michael Cooke regarding the electric telegraph and submarine cables. I worked in the submarine cable industry for some years and I have some information which could be helpful. I have a copy of a book entitled "From Elektron to 'e' Commerce - 150 Years of Laying Submarine Cables" which was jointly produced in 2000 by Global Marine Systems Ltd. (address: 27 Duke Street, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1HT) and Alcatel Submarine Networks of Greenwich. It is possible that copies could be available from these companies. The book includes some information about submarine cable manufacture at Greenwich among a lot of historical detail about the development of the industry. Technical detail about telegraph cable manufacture and laying should be available from the Porthcurno telecommunications museum in Cornwall. Their website (http// includes details of equipment in the museum and a few relevant books. I presume Alcatel must have some old records but I am not sure.

Finally, Captain Glyn Wrench at the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich will be able to assist. He spent a lifetime working on Cable & Wireless vessels and is an expert and an enthusiast on the subject. He would be delighted to hear from anybody with an interest in the industry. I hope this is helpful.

Tel. 01245 359831


From: Barbara Ludlow

My Billingsgate Dock article should be in Bygone Kent next month. Did you hear Julian Watson (Greenwich Local History Librarian) and Eve Hostettler (Island History Project) talking about the Greenwich Foot Tunnel on 'Making History' this week?

More to the point - who heard Barbara herself talking about Enderby House on the same programme a couple of weeks ago?


From: Malcolm Tucker

You had a query from Kay Bigsby (GIHS p.7) about an engine driver or building worker c. 1900 (presumably the father of the person on the birth certificate!). He might have tended a portable engine for driving machinery such as a mortar mixer on a large site. But supporting it was a railway locomotive engine - I enclose a copy of an article on contractors' railways by Edwin Course (1992). Although these were used mainly on civil engineering works the article mentions mental hospitals, and after World War One when productivity became of greater concern to the building industry these were used on large housing contracts both public and private. The sites did not have to be connected to the mainline system, nor large in area, a recent article in another journal described the use of a standard gauge loco for constructing the water works service reservoir at Fortis Green nears Muswell Hill, N10 , in the Edwardian period. By the nature of the construction industry a worker would need to move from site to site, so he may not have worked close to home except occasionally.

Those with past connections with the Royal Arsenal Woolwich are usually eager to point out 'Woolwich Arsenal ' is the railway station - but your note from Peter Wood (GIHS 5 pp 8-9) states that some bronze memorial plaques manufactured at the Arsenal in the 1920s are marked 'WA' Any comments?

The article which Malcolm sent is from the Construction History Society Newsletter No.19 April 1992. If anyone wants to see it please contact Mary 0208 858 9482.


From: Jim Arthur

I read and enjoyed Mary Mills' book 'Greenwich and Woolwich at Work'. I am interested in Merryweather and Sons I would like to be put in touch with anyone who has a collection of pictures. I saw many photos in old bound copies of London Fireman. I regret I did not grab the opportunity of acquiring these, as some were priceless. Just also to say that on p.10 of the book is the 'Woolwich Infant' - authorities differ on this, I would say a muzzle loader had to be a smooth bore, but on p.51 a similar gun shows feint rifling marks at the muzzle !!!


From: Brian Molony

This letter comes from the University of Hull on the banks of the Humber to Humber Road. I hope that is a good omen! I am Emeritus Professor of Italian at the University of Hull and have written two books and a number of articles on the Italian writer Italo Svevo (1861-1928). With Prof. John Gatt-Rutter, who has written a biography of Svevo, I am now preparing an edition of Svevo's letters and essays from/about London. You no doubt know the English Heritage blue plaque at 67 Church Lane, Charlton (which for some reason omits to say that he also lived there from 1920 to 1927). Italo Svevo was the pseudonym of Ettore Schmitz, who worked for the paint firm of his parents-in law, Gioacchino and Olga Veneziani. He set up the Veneziani factory in Hope & Anchor Lane. I am now looking for information about the factory - even, ideally, a photograph of it - as well as some of Svevo's neighbours, such as Richards, the owner of the factory or workshop next door, whom Svevo mentions in his essays. I shall be very grateful if you can draw the attention of your members to our project, which I think will be of interest to them, and to our need for some help. Is there also a Charlton Local History Society you could put me in touch with? I also need information about some Charlton residents.

33, Churchill Avenue, Cottingham, East Yorkshire, HU16 5NJ
Tel. 01482-84448


From: Peter Solar

For some years I have been collecting information on flax, hemp, and jute spinning mills in the U.K. I wonder if you or any of the members of the Society might be able to tell me more about a mill in Greenwich. What I have found to date is summarized below:

Factory Inspectors' Statistics for flax, hemp and jute mills in Kent - 1839 1, 1850 1, 1857 0, 1862 0, 1867 0, 1871 0,

1905 1 (hemp)

In 1839 factory inspectors' statistics the mill is in Greenwich parish and has 40 hands (but no sign of it in Pigot's directory for 1840) In 1855 sale auction: twine sp & prep machinery of Hemp Works, East Greenwich, near London; 10 sp fr; 15 twisting fr (Dundee Advertiser, 24/7/55).

Enderby, C.H. & G. (38, 39) (not 24, 51) New East Greenwich and 15 Great St Helens, London Founded:1834

Closed: Product:

Notes: In Pigot's London & Provincial Directory for 1833 new entry for 1834 is Enderby Bros, rope & canvas mfrs, 15 Great St Helens. In 1837 listed in London as merchants at 15 Great St Helens. In 1839 flax spinning mills & patent rope makers. In 1845 Charles, Henry & George Enderby, rope & canvas mfrs. Spindles:

I suspect that the advertisement cited above refers to the Enderby concern. I would be interested to know whether this mill was newly constructed or converted from some other use and what became of the site after hemp spinning was stopped in the early 1850s.

Professor of Economics, Vesalius College, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels


From: Jay Edwins

Hello, I wonder if you can help me settle a friendly argument! I believe that the Blackwall Tunnel has major bends in it for engineering reasons. My chum, however, insists that it was built like this so horses would not bolt when they saw daylight. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


From: Glyn in Tasmania

Hi everyone, I am researching the building of the Lady Nelson in Dudmans Dock in 1798. Some reports refer to Deadmans Dock. Are these the same place? Any information would be most welcome.


From: Bob Forrester

General Steam Navigation Co. and its Deptford Factory:

You may recall that I contacted you some time back concerning my research at the Greenwich Maritime Institute into General Steam and, specifically, my interest in its Deptford Factory ship repair and engine building facility on the banks of Deptford Creek.

I wonder if a mention in your up-coming Newsletter may yield some leads. I have visited both the Greenwich and Lewisham libraries and made contact with Peter Gurnett who produced a booklet, A History of the GSNCo., a couple of years ago. I have been thoroughly through the GSNCo. archive in the National Maritime Museum and also looked through the limited material available at the Museum in Docklands. I have also had a chat with Alan Pearsall. Any leads or information your members may be able to offer concerning the Factory or relating to the Brockelbank family which was resident in Westcombe Park will be greatly appreciated. (Thomas Brockelbank, a timber merchant, was closely involved with the company from the 1820s.)

Bob Forrester, 21 Poyntell Crescent, Chislehurst, BR7 6PJ


From: Tony Wright

I am researching William Harding, Gent, Merchant of Greenwich, Kent. Born in Poole, Hampshire he subsequently married into a Barbados Plantation family. He had two sons, William and John. John at some stage lived in Greenwich and inherited plantations. John died around1718. His father William died 1707. Any info. would be most welcome.


From: Dennis Grubb

Can you find someone who would be able to research News Papers about 1905 or so for information on a court case and subsequent closure of the Cemetery Brickyard in Southland Road Plumstead which was run by my ancestors at that time. Please advise what they would want me to pay

Dennis Grubb, Adelaide, South Australia


From: Ian Sharpe

We have updated and trust you will find many useful links to explore, do let us know what you think about our site by e-mail, or you can sign our visitor Guestbook and even link your URL there.

Best wishes for the festive season....

Chair of LEA Heritage Community Group


From: Reg, Jacqui and Lorna Barter

It appears that we are the custodians of the only Merryweather Firepumps left in Greenwich (in Massey Shaw)!

(Well Reg … there's a mysterious valve cover in Vanburgh Hill with 'Merryweather' written on it …. What lies beneath?)



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 December 2002 issue includes an article by Peter Kent in his River Watch series. He talks about all the changes, which have come in to the area in that time - and includes his usual wonderful illustrations. In the same issue Neil Rhind does his best with Jack the Ripper - was Jack a Blackheath man called Montague John Druitt?


The Newsletter has quite a bit of Greenwich interest - some bits reproduced elsewhere without permission. There is also a series of notes by Bob Carr about the river based around trips in the Gravesend area. He notes that SS Sheildhall was at Tilbury in November (she is an ex-Glasgow sludge carrier now based in Southampton). He also mentions a derelict steamship in Gravesend Canal Basin and asks for information. Bob Rust describes the GLIAS cruise along the Gravesend riverside - Henley's riverside cable works reminded him of 'visions of Greenwich, loading at Lovells's or Badcock's and watching the cable snaking out of Submarine Cables Ltd. in to the ship lying alongside Enderbys. The place, I was told that the first trans-Atlantic cable was made'.

Fourth Annual Report from the Greenwich Maritime Institute

The Institute has continued to flourish with a postgraduate programme and has hosted the Maritime World Conference and the report gives details of activities of staff and students in this period.

Kent Underground Research Group Newsletter No.75 December 2002

Contains an article by Mary Mills on the Blackheath Hole.

Heritage Today - December 2002

This is the magazine for the members of English Heritage. This contains an article by GIHS member Malcolm Tucker on Monuments in Metal - gasholders. This outlines Malcolm's report on gasholders for English Heritage - but does not mention our own holder at East Greenwich (which, together with its predecessor at Old Kent Road is the subject of a great deal of the original report on the grounds of its importance as a ground breaking structure).


Neil Rhind's popular history and guidebook to Blackheath has been revised and updated for 2003.

This history - the definitive story of 1,000 years of recorded events, and based on primary sources, not legend and hearsay - has remained in print for many years but was last revised in 1985. The new edition published on 7 December 2002 brings the story up-to-date.

The author separates fact from fiction in the story of the ancient underground caverns and chalk pits as well as more modern structures, like the soon-to-be-restored Heathkeeper's Lodge and the Gibb Memorial shelter. He nails (once again) the nonsense that Blackheath was named after the so-called Black Death of 1349 and demonstrates that the name was in the record by the 12th century - 200 years before the pestilence.

Published by the Bookshop Blackheath, 74 Tranquil Vale SE3 and the Warwick Leadlay Gallery, 5 Nelson Road, London SE10. £14 from the publishers and all good bookshops. ISBN: 0 9505136 6 0. More information from Neil Rhind MBE: No 3 The Lane, Blackheath Park, London SE3 9SL. 020 8852 3009. e-mail:


This fascinating work by the acknowledged authority on Blackheath is a re-write of his earlier study. Lavishly illustrated, this book deals with principal events and buildings around the Heath and much else besides.

Although not obviously an industrial area readers will discover that besides sand and gravel extraction there were mills, a brewery and a laundry industry. In addition to architecture there is plenty to interest students of crime, sports and entertainment not to mention military history and public administration.

Those who attended Harry Pearman's recent talk on the caverns below the Point will find references and illustrations.

Thoroughly recommended to all with an interest in the history of the area.

Alan Mills


by Malcolm Tucker

In May 2002 a group from the Gunpowder and Explosives History Group spent the day on the Royal Arsenal site - the following report comes from the Group's Autumn 2002 Newsletter.

Not to be confused with Woolwich Dockyard, further west (building naval ships from 1513 to 1869), the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich manufactured big guns, shells and other munitions for the army and navy. Starting as an ordnance depot in 1671, on open land beside the River Thames known as The Warren, it made ammunition from 1696 and cast brass cannon from 1717. The name the Royal Arsenal was awarded in 1805. Its buildings, storage grounds and testing ranges developed eastwards, especially after the shortcomings revealed by the Crimean War (1854-56) and the Abolition of the Board of Ordnance in 1856. By the First World War the site covered two square miles and over 80,000 were employed there in the manufacture of munitions. It closed as a manufacturing establishment in 1967, but the Ministry of Defence (MoD) Quality Assurance Department remained until 1994.

Most of the land to the east has been cleared and redeveloped. The western part covering 75 acres containing many listed and unlisted buildings within a Conservation Area, have since 1997 been in the custody of English Partnerships and their successor the London Development Agency. Large areas of ground, saturated with history but also contaminated, were stripped away at great public expense in 1999, and new roads and drains laid. Housing and industrial developments, combining new construction and conversions are now proceeding apace. The Royal Artillery's, Heritage Lottery funded museum Firepower was opened in 2001. The local museum of the London Borough of Greenwich is also due to move on to the site shortly to present some of the Arsenal's archaeology and history with artifacts recovered from excavations.

The GEHG visit in May 2002 greatly benefited from the presence of Wesley Harry, who was the technical information officer and archivist at the MoD Material Quality Assurance Directorate until his retirement in 1987. In the morning Wesley outlined the Arsenal's history and then led a walk around the earliest surviving parts, notably the Royal Brass Foundry (1716-17, partly rebuilt 1771-4), the remains of the Royal Laboratory (1694-6), Dial Square archway (1717-20), and the Military Academy and Board Room and latterly officers' mess (1718-20). The distinctive architecture of the Academy building, now refurbished as part of the museum, and the militaristic archway, beyond which the ancillary operations of gun making were once performed, are now attributed to Nicholas Hawksmoor.

The Royal Laboratory was where shot, explosive shells' fuses and fireworks were prepared. Its two, now derelict, but handsome pavilions, are perhaps the oldest surviving manufacturing buildings in the country, other than wind and water mills. Associated ranges, and the 1850s ammunition factory that infilled the large courtyard between them were cleared away in the 1960s, We also saw the New Laboratory Square, with two-storeyed ranges of the Napoleonic period. A 'Blitz Event' in the courtyard added music and bustle to the day. Two octagonal Guard Houses (1814-15) mark the site of the riverside stairs and the quay (now replaced by a flood wall), where gunpowder and other materials were landed and outgoing products despatched. The first shipping pier was added in 1856.

Lunch was eaten in the Firepower Museum which occupies the former Paper Cartridge Factory (1855-56). It has a very handsome Polonceau trussed iron roof set upon decorative cast-iron beams and columns. On its upper floor, nimble fingered children once rolled the paper cartridges for muskets. After experiencing the displays here, and their sound effects, we made a quick visit to the large-exhibit hall, formerly a woodworking machine shop, with ornate ironwork that once carried line shafting beneath north light roofs of 1878 and later.

Malcolm Tucker then led a walk around the rest of the heritage area, ending at the former Chemical Laboratory. We passed various premises of the Royal Carriage Factory - its earliest buildings date from 1802-05, classically styled with a clock turret, surrounding a tall erecting shop of 1937 where tanks were built during the Second World War. The Mounting Ground opposite enclosed a building of 1887, where field guns were placed on their carriages. The metal working section of this factory in Building 7 has several ranges of former forges and machine shops from circa 1860 onwards, recently refurbished as industrial units, while the corresponding woodworking buildings were recently demolished, after archaeological recording.

Expanses of open ground marked the sites of other buildings, including the Shot and Shell Foundry (1855-6) where the handsome gatehouse has been retained. The iron- framed Armstrong Gun Factory (1856) still stands and is used as a British Library store. Nearby were former Shrinking Pits, cast-iron lined well shafts filled with oil into which red hot gun barrels were plunged to shrink them out of their liners. Malcolm has recently been engaged in recording these, when they were dug out during decontamination work. Our walk then passed the stone pilastered quadrangle of warehouses (1806-13) known as the Grand Store, for military equipment, and the massive four-storeyed Central Office (1908).

The Chemical Laboratory (Building 20), was established in 1864 by Sir Frederick Abel, War Office chemist, who had a major role in the development of cordite. It is a two-storeyed building in yellow, white and red bricks, in the sub-Italianate style favoured for gasworks offices. At one end we viewed through an open window the two-storeyed room with a ventilator ridge, where chemical tests were performed. Abel is said to have lowered materials and instructions to his assistants from the safety of the balcony. External balconies, now removed, presumably provided relief from fumes, and rooms at the other end of the building were used for photography. The building, later extended, is now being converted into flats, and Malcolm has been carrying out recording work with the Oxford Archaeological Unit for Berkeley Homes.

Thanks are due to Mary Mills who organised the visit, the London Development Agency's staff for arranging the meeting place, and Wesley Harry for coming along at relatively short notice and sharing his knowledge so freely. The writer acknowledges the work of Peter Guillery and his staff at the former RCHME contained in the reference below.

Further reading: Harry, W, 1987 The Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, MoD Public Relations, Hogg, 0 F G, 1963 The Royal Arsenal and its background origin and subsequent history, OUP (2 volumes), Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1994 The Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Historic Buildings Report, typescript report (2 volumes).


by Philip Binns


The November Greenwich Area Planning Committee granted Planning Permission for the demolition of all buildings on the site at 43-81 Greenwich High Road despite a number of representations from members of the local community (particular thanks to Mick Delap).

After the November meeting of the Planning Board, I wrote to Philippa Mason, the planning advisor for Reefmark, to enquire whether the developer would be prepared to extend the scope of Condition 12 to include coverage of the historical associations of the site and, in particular, the part that the Merryweather company played in its industrial heritage. About the same time it was suggested to me by Cllr. Mary Mills that perhaps steps should be taken to carefully dismantle that part of the Greenwich High Road frontage which contains the Merryweather lettering with a view to its use as a potential landscaping feature within a part of the new development. Extracts from my letter:

"Given the undoubted universal acceptance that some of the buildings on the site have played an important part in the Borough's industrial past, I would hope that your client would be sympathetic to recognising this by extending the scope of condition 12 to include not only educational interpretation focussing on the ecological recovery of the Thames and its tributaries but also educational interpretation relative to the previous uses of the site, its occupation by Merryweathers and the buildings they built for the manufacture of their fire-fighting apparatus and appliances. The Borough's Local History Library, as well as local historians, will no doubt be able to furnish you with information on which any educational interpretation might be based. I also understand that the Merryweather company continues to hold archive material based, I believe, in Nottingham.

Perhaps the Merryweather connection might also be recognised in the naming of the new commercial park."


Convoys Wharf - notes approach made by residents for the Group's support for safeguarding historic artifacts and agreed to refer to other organizations since the site is outside the Borough.

DLR extension to Woolwich Arsenal Station - members are attending presentations and enquiry meetings.


A Conference for Historians of the Built-Environment

arranged by



Sheppey College, Bridge Road Sheerness

(an associate College of the University of Kent)

Saturday February 15th 2003

10am to 1pm (doors open 9.30am)

Richard Morrice, English Heritage

Philip MacDougall, Dockyard historian and writer

Michael Bussell, Consultant on historic engineering structures

David Hughes Naval Dockyards Society

Further information: telephone/fax 01795 470450

Tickets £5 (£4 for members of CPRE and Kent Archaeological Society) from Honorary Secretary Michael H Peters c/o CPRE Kent, Coldharbour Farm, Amage Road, Wye Ashford Kent, TN25 5DB



Bob Rust

(Reproduced from GLIAS Newsletter)

I regularly loaded paper out of Convoy's (GLIAS Newsletter 200, pi 1) and was surprised that no mention was made of the huge almost semi-circular building, like a Nissen hut but nearly 100 feet across. We were always told that it was a listed building and was the slaughterhouse of the cattle market. On the right just inside the gate were the sheds that replaced some destroyed in the 1940 Blitz. These had a plaque commemorating their building.

When I first started loading from there, there were several ranges of beautifully built yellow stock brick buildings, apparently left over from its days as the Royal Navy Victualling Yard. When these were demolished by Convoy's to expand the wharf, the demolition contractor took the bricks as payment for the job. The unique one was the 30ft square windowless building used as a gear store. This had walls about 5ft feet thick, a massive steel door and a corrugated iron roof. We were told that this was the powder magazine and was constructed so that if there were an accidental explosion the blast would go straight up. There was also a large open area where a shed had been destroyed by arson during the newspaper strike. On the downstream end was the decorative wharf front of Payne's with its name built into the pediment. While behind that was the range of buildings, which the dockers called Nelson's House (which is of course at Woolwich) but which seem to fit the description of the workhouse built on the site of Sayes Court. There is also the connection with Peter the Great and Queen Elizabeth I and Sir Francis Drake.


This organization, which was Greenwich based until very recently, has launched a sheet on which people are invited to note things of concern on the riverside and report to the association. Please contact Mary on 0208 858 9482 for details of LRA and their new contact address.


Another section of Christopher Phillpott's study of the Deptford Creek area

Deptford Creek continued to run between embankments fringed with marshes until late in the eighteenth century. In some places the banks survived until late in the nineteenth century. Church Marsh was still drained by its sluice opening into the Thames to the west of the Creek mouth as late as 1841 Most of the lines of the current Creek walls were not established until the nineteenth century, and a number of inlets were in-filled at that time or subsequently on both sides of the Creek.

The revetment on the east bank to the north of the railway bridge was constructed in 1842. Before the construction of the Sewage Pumping Station to the south of the railway bridge, the embankment survived on its site with an open ditch running along its rear side. The contract drawings for the cast iron river wall which replaced it in front of the Pumping Station have survived.

The embankment was cut down behind the new river wall and removed from in front of it. A timber revetment was added in front of it, retaining an area of consolidated rubble as a barge hard for the coal barges serving the Pumping Station. Storm water outlets with splash aprons of granite sets were added in 1868.

In 1878 the river walls on the General Steam Navigation Company property on the west side of the Creek mouth were raised above Trinity House High Water Mark to meet the recommendations of the Board of Trade for precautions against flooding.

In the 1850s on the east side of Church Street opposite Flaggon Row were the Vicarage and the Grasshopper Tea Mart. Small and poor houses were built on the site of the Trinity Almshouses in 1877. Pender Street was built on the line of the north and east ranges, and Berthon Street on the line of the central gateway, extending eastwards beyond the almshouses site. All these houses were demolished in the early 1960s in advance of the widening of Church Street; their foundations were found in the later excavation.

Further south along Church Street were three-storey houses and shops. An area of three-room cottages to the east of Church Street, centred on Russel Square, was known as "The City" and had its own mock Lord Mayor's Day.

To the south, Addey Street had a bad reputation for criminality and prostitution. The flats of the Crossfield Estate were built across this area by the London County Council in the late 1930s (except Farrer House, which was not built until 1949), and remained under the management of the Greater London Council until 1971.

In the first half of the nineteenth century a theatre stood on the east side of Church Street near the site of the Bird's Nest public house, in a building which had formerly been a school, a warehouse and then a chapel. It closed in 1857.

In 1900 the Stowage was "a stinking unpaved lane" occupied by a rough waterside population, according to Charles Booth's survey. However, there was one notable three-storey house on the south side.

Deptford Green had wooden houses in multiple occupancy and also three-storey houses with basements and tiled roofs. The St Nicholas House flats were later built here by the London Power Company to house its workers.

In the early part of the century hulks were moored off the mouth of the Creek to house prisoners, and sick and disabled sailors. A former ship of Captain Cook, the Discovery, was moored off the Dockyard as a convict hulk in 1824. It was broken up in 1833 and replaced by the frigate Thames. The Seamen's Hospital Society established a hospital on the hulk of the Grampus in 1821. This proved too small, so the Society fitted up the Dreadnought with 200 beds in 1831, and moored it near the east side of the Creek mouth. These hulks were all broken up for their timber when they reached the end of their working lives.

The General Steam Navigation Company was formed in 1820 and established its shipyard on the west side of the Creek mouth in 1825, partly on the site of the former pottery. Stowage House was used as the residence of the Company's superintendent. Views of the yard in cl840 show a square building with a clock tower and a cupola, with a porch on its side, and several ancillary buildings. The main building was burned down in January 1858. The main entrance was from the Stowage. The Company extended its holdings westward by leasing glebe and Bridge House land, and also converted its leases of the premises into freehold tenure in a series of purchases in 1837, 1839, 1853 and 1872. Here it built and maintained its paddle steamers. One of the founders was Thomas Brocklebank, a timber merchant of Deptford, who built seven of the Company's early paddle-steamers at his nearby yard on the bank of the Creek. A small inlet was cut as an access to the Creek cl868-76, but there were no docks here. A new joiner's shop, a boiler house and other buildings were constructed towards the end of the century. In the middle of the nineteenth century the Company acquired the lease of the dry dock at Deptford Green, with warehouses, and purchased the freehold in 1880. The Company's dockyard and wharf were used for war work during the First World War. In 1916 a new joiner's shop, a shed and an oil store were built. The Company retained control of the site until 1968, when it was taken over by Blackmore's Motor Transport Company for use as a heavy lorry depot and cargo transfer point. The evaluation found possible boat timbers in a nineteenth-century foreshore deposit on the east side of the Power Station site covered with levelling dumps for the construction of a warehouse, a wall of which survived.


His Worship the Mayor of Woolwich (Councillor J.J. Messent, J. P.) formally opened yesterday (Thursday) the Borough Electrical Station at Plumstead. As a matter of fact, the establishment has been working at full pressure for some considerable time, but, however, it is not customary that the opening ceremony should take place until works of this kind are in such working order that the engineer in charge feels himself justified in declaring them in a thoroughly perfect state. This is the explanation in the long delay attending the ceremony.

The electrical plant, which the Borough Engineer, Mr J. B. Mitchell, has to control,, is of the most up-to-date character, comprising generating apparatus, accumulators, dust destructor and brick making machinery. In the spacious and lofty engine house there gathered, about 2.30 yesterday afternoon, a company which, although by no means large, was in several senses representative of the dignity and importance of the Borough. Besides the Mayor, it included Sir Edwin Hughes (first Mayor of Woolwich), Lady Hughes, Mrs Elliott, Councillor J. J. Dark (Chairman of Electricity Committee), Alderman H. H. Butter and Councillor W. Kemp (members of the Electricity Committee), Alderman Colonel Tulfourd Hughes, Councillor Colonel Richardson, Councillor Akers, Mr. John B. Mitchell (Electrical Engineer), Mr. G. W. Keats (Assistant Electrical Engineer), Mr. Frank Sumner (Borough Engineer and Surveyor), Mr. A. B. Bryceson (Town Clerk).

The Mayor opened the proceedings with a brief speech. He observed that, although the inception of the undertaking was not begun by the Woolwich Borough Council, it had been thought by the Electricity Committee that the station should be opened before the present Council ceased to exist. The idea of its inauguration was due to the old Plumstead Vestry, and he would ask Sir Edwin Hughes, as representing that defunct body, to make a few observations. Before resuming his seat his Worship wished the undertaking every success, and hoped that the dreams of the Vestry regarding it might be realised to the full. Sir Edwin said the Vestry had an objection to private monopolies, and so they conceived the idea of having their own electricity. Speaking of the present, he said that all that was wanted was customers, and to rain [rein] these, the Council would have to offer fall facilities and cheap rates. It would be good policy, if necessary, to spend £100,000 so that every street, and every house in the Borough, might have light, rather than struggle on in a small way. He warmly congratulated the Council on the way they had conducted the enterprise during their term of office.

The Mayor was then conducted to the nearest of the large engines, and, under instruction, turned the stop-valve, which started the engine and set the dynamo in motion. Councillor Dark then addressed the company, sketching the history of the undertaking with a few deft touches. The Provisional Order was applied for in September, 1898, and obtained in August, 1899. Plans and specifications were got out by Mr. Mitchell for the plant, and by Mr. Summer for the building, and finally agreed to by the Borough Council which came into existence just at that time. The total expense was about £90,000, of which the plant, including four miles of cables, cost £46,000, and the buildings £44,000, including the dust destructor. The brick making plant, which was laid down later, cost from £4,000 to £5,000. To start with the total number of their customers was 29 and they had 1,974 lamps. Now they had 554 customers and 5,510 lamps.

The Mayor having spoken in warm terms of the skill and perseverance of Mr. Mitchell, Mr. Sumner and the Town Clerk, as displayed in the enterprise, and especially of Councillor Dark as chairman of the committee. Alderman Butter put the sentiment into the form of a vote of thanks, and Councillor Kemp seconded. The vote having been carried, the gentlemen referred to replied in suitable language. At the request of the Electrical Engineer, the Mayor named the engines, "Flavia" (after Mrs.Dark), "Wilhelmena" (the name of Mrs. Butter), "Gertrude" (Mrs. Mitchell) and "Muriel" (Miss Churches).

Article in the Friday, October 30th, 1903 edition of the Kentish Independent newspaper. Thanks to Dave Ramsay for the copy.
The works - which became the White Hart Road depot - is now in use by a film company.


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)



8th January, AGM, plus Technology and British Cartoonists. J. Agar. Newcomen Soc. Science Museum, 5.45pm

11th January, Silk Production. Lisa Doyle Burnett. Woolwich Antiquarians, Charlton House, 2.30pm

12th January, Crossness visitor day (Ring 020 8311 3711)

11-16th January, Day Skipper. (over three weekends). £250, NMM. 020 8312 6747

15th January, GLIAS Chris Rule London's Type Founders, Lecture Theatre 2 or 3, Charterhouse Sq., EC1. 020 8692 8512

17th January, An Evening with the Stars. Royal Observatory Planetarium. 5pm (£6), 6 pm (£8) & 7pm (£10). Special session for deaf visitors at 6pm

17th January, The Management of Pain. Sister Jane Meldrum. Blackheath Scientific Soc, Mycenae House, SE3 7.45pm

18th January, Val Weedon on Work of the UK Noise Association. Charlton Society, Charlton House, SE7 2.30pm

21st January, Crossness visitor day (Ring 020 8311 3711)

22nd January, Greenwich and Woolwich at Work. Mary Mills. Greenwich Hist. Soc.. Music Centre, Blackheath High School. Vanburgh Park, SE3. Details 020 8854 1716

24th January, An Evening with the Stars. Royal Observatory Planetarium. 5pm (£6), 6 pm (£8) & 7pm (£10)

28th January, Visit Charlton Athletic Football Ground. Charlton Society.

29th January, One Hundred Years of an Eltham Street. Gaynor Wingham. RBLS Time and Talents, 7.45pm.

29th January, British Ship Building in the 20th Century - the failure of policy. Dr. Lewis Johnman. Greenwich Maritime Institute, 7.15pm, Windsor Castle Room, Queen Anne Court. Old Royal Naval College.


1st February, Royal Arsenal Past and Present by Alan Turner. Woolwich Antiquarians Charlton House, 2.30pm

7th February, An Evening with the Stars. Royal Observatory Planetarium. 5pm (£6), 6pm (£8) & 7pm (£10)

9th February, Crossness visitor day (Ring 020 8311 3711)

12th February, Development of Dry Docks to 1914. R.A.Otter. Newcomen Society. Science Museum, 5.45pm

14th February, An Evening with the Stars. Royal Observatory Planetarium. 5pm (£6), 6pm (£8) & 7pm (£10)

15th February, Symposium on Thames and Thames Built Ships, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
Royal ships on the Thames before 1450 (Dr. Susan Rose)
Convicts to Australia: HMS Glatton & HMS Calcutta, East Indiamen, (Dr. Brian Swann)
William Evans, shipbuilder of Rotherhithe (Stuart Rankin)
Volunteer landsmen recruits to the Royal Navy (Nick Slope)
Scott Russell & the screw collier (Roy Fenton)
Naval shipbuilding at Deptford & Woolwich Dockyards, (Dr. Ann Coats)
Warships supplied to the Spanish Navy by Thames shipyards (Edward Sargent)
Marmaduke Stalkartt (Fred M. Walker)
Coastal shipping & the Thames (Professor John Armstrong)
Thames & Medway drydocks (Dr. lan Buxton)

15th February, Rev. Jean Griffiths. Prison Chaplain. Charlton Society. Charlton House, SE7 2.30pm

18th February, Crossness visitor day (Ring 020 8311 3711)

19th February, Street Furniture. Sue Hayton. GLIAS (details above)

21st February, Chance Rules. Life is a gamble. Prof. B. Everett. Blackheath Scientific Society, Mycenae House, SE3 7.45pm

22nd February, GLIAS RECORDING GROUP WALK - 11 am Wandsworth Town BR station.

26th February, Public Transport in Bermondsey and Rotherhithe by Stuart Rankin. RBLH (details above)

26th February, Marine Fisheries management, rationale, objectives and method. Dr. David Whitmarsh. GMI, (details above)

26th February, Liquid History, the history of the River Thames, Bob Crouch. Greenwich Historical Assoc. details above.


1st March, The Private Nelson. 10.30am £28. NMM. 020 8312 6747

7th March, An Evening with the Stars. Royal Observatory Planetarium. 5pm (£6), 6pm (£8) & 7pm (£10)

9th March, Crossness visitor day (Ring 020 8311 3711)

12th March, The Archaeology of the Colossus at Bletchley Park. Anthony E. Sale. Newcomen Society, Science Museum, 5.45pm

13th March, Harrison's Clocks. 10.30 £28. NMM. 020 8312 6747

13th-16th March, City Safari to Brussels (details Paul Saulter, 80 Udimore Road, Rye, Sussex, TN31 7DY)


5th April. SERIAC to be held in the University of Greenwich, Romney Road, SE10.



PACE Goldsmiths College, Mycenae House, Mycenae Road, SE3 10.15am-12-15pm
(Info. 0207 919 7200

London Sings (Mel Wright), Tales from the Ashburnhams (Diana Rimel), A stroll in EC4 (Allan Burnett), St. Mary's Church, Lewisham (Julian Watson), Greenwich Town Centre (Janet Stewart), South London Art Gallery (Chris Jordan), Visit to Women's Library, Greenwich at Work (Mary Mills), Garden Suburbs (John Goodier), transport in Bermondsey and Rotherhithe (Stuart Rankin), Riverside Pubs (Diana Rimel).


Lewisham Library , Thursdays from 6th Feb. 10.30-12-305 (info. 020 7919 7200

CONVOY. THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC. Tues. 10.30 from 28th January. £39 NMM. 020 8312 6747

OUTPOSTS OF EMPIRE. Wednesdays 10.30 from 29th January. £39 NMM. 020 8312 6747

ELIZABETH. Tuesdays from 29th April 10.30. £39. NMM. 020 8312 6747

A SEA OF ISLANDS. A MARITIME HISTORY OF THE CARIBBEAN. Wednesdays from 30th April. 10.30 £39. NMM.

THE RED PLANET. Sundays from 12th January. 10.30. Planetarium and Discovery Room. Adults £8. Children £6. NMM. 020 8312 6747.

THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE. Sundays from 11th May 10.30. Planetarium and Discovery Room. Adults £8. Children £6. NMM. 020 8312 6747

EXPLORING THE PLANETS. Sundays from 8th June 10.30. Planetarium and Discovery Room. Adults £8. Children £6. NMM. 020 8312 6747


Shows daily 2.00 pm and 3.30 pm. £4 (children £2).

Special shows first Sunday in each month 11.30 - 12.30, include - Messier objects, retrograde motion of the planets, skies of the Arctic and Antarctic, skies of Africa, solar eclipse.

Greenwich Maritime Institute

Offers MA in Maritime Policy, MA in Maritime History, MBA in Maritime Management and applications for students wanting to undertake research for MPhil and PhD in maritime-related subjects. Info:

GMI Administrator, Greenwich Maritime Institute, University of Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College, SE10 9LS 020 8331 7688

Second Symposium, Shipbuilding on the Thames and Thames-built Ships
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich - Saturday, 15 February 2003

This will be the successor to the first symposium, which was held at Nelson Dock House, Rotherhithe, in September 2000. Papers offered to date include:

William Evans, shipbuilder of Rotherhithe and his steamships - Stuart Rankin
Thames built ships of the Orient Line and the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company - Peter Newall
The General Steam Navigation Company Yard at Deptford - Peter Gurnett
Early steamship machinery installation and repairs on the City Canal, Isle of Dogs - Roger Owen
Coastal shipping and the Thames - John Armstrong
Convicts to Australia. The story of HMS Glatton and her sister ship HMS Calcutta, former East Indiamen, 1802-3 - Brian Swann
An aspect of warship building on the Thames - Rif Winfield

Dr. J.R. Owen, 8, The Drive, West Wickham, Kent, BR4 OEP,
Tel: 020 8777 7013, e-Mail:-

Professors Sarah Palmer and Andrew Lambert will co-chair the Symposium.
The fee will be £10. Further details will be issued towards the end of the year.



For further information please contact;

Firepower on 020 8855 7755,, website


The Society's officers are currently 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 2002.
Subscriptions remain at £10 and should be sent to:

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

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.



The Web version has been created by;

.... David Riddle, Goldsmiths College

Space courtesy of Goldsmiths College, University of London