Volume 6, Issue 2, March 2003







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

15th July - Captain Glyn Wrench. History of Cable Ships

16th September - Allan Green presentation on The History of Cable

14th October - Paul Sowan on The background story of 'Hearthstone'. The humble step whitener

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


Historical tours of Greenwich Marsh and the Greenwich Peninsula.

1000 years of facts, stories and fabrications from King Alfred to King Tony

Next - 9th March 2003

Start: 10.30am North Greenwich Tube (top of escalators)
Finish: 12.30 (approx) at the Cutty Sark (Ballast Quay)
Tour: £3.00 - numbers limited - advance booking essential.

To book your place, or book a tour on a future date, call:

Rich Sylvester 07833 538143 email:


by Paul Tyler

2003 marks the 100th anniversary of the by-election on 11 March, of Will Crooks, as the first Labour MP for Woolwich, and the fourth member of the Labour Representation Committee (LRC). He was a member of the Philanthropic Coopers' Union, which amalgamated to the NUGMW (GMB) in February 1924. Also he was a leading member that helped set up the Woolwich Labour Party on 31 March 1903, and campaigned for the implementation of independent Labour representation throughout the country. Crooks travelled 50,000 miles in 1904/5 speaking and educating working people on why they should support the Labour cause. He was a significant Labour pioneer: 'A Servant of the People'. Crooks was a member of the Coopers' Union for fifty-four years 1867-1921, and was Chairman of the Woolwich Labour Party 1910-1918. J. R. Clynes MP said of him: 'No man of his time did more to awaken the conscience of the nation upon social conditions; he pleaded the cause of the poor on all manner of platforms, as well as in Parliament.'

Crooks was the first LRC candidate to win a straight fight against a Conservative in a single seat constituency. His victory in Woolwich was the first example of what could be achieved in a Tory stronghold without Liberal opposition. It accelerated the electoral success of Labour, and became pivotal in the Lib-Lab electoral pact in September 1903. The pact in turn laid the ground for the anti-Tory landslide general election of 1906. Crooks' victory should be seen as the beginning of Labour's rise as an electoral force of political significance. The Woolwich election result marked the beginning of Labour's rise electorally, and had a lasting political importance on the pattern and style of future elections throughout the country. The advent of Labour threatened the electoral supremacy of both the Liberals and the Conservatives by influencing decisions that sought to change the balance of power within the bounds of national politics.

Will Crooks was born in a one-roomed home on 6 April 1852, at 2 Shirbutt Street, Poplar, not far from Gough Street, where he lived until his death in 1921. He was the third of seven children, the son of George and Charlotte Crooks. He was born into poverty, and his early years were dominated by want and sorrow. To make things worse, when Crooks was three years old, his father, who was a ship's stoker, lost his arm in a steamship accident. 'We were so poor', he said, 'that we children never got a drop of tea for months together. It used to be bread and treacle for breakfast, dinner and tea, washed down with a glass of water.' When Crooks was nine years old he was put into Poplar workhouse along with his disabled father and brothers and sisters. His mother remained outside the workhouse with the eldest and youngest of the children. Three weeks after entering the workhouse he was sent with his younger brother to a Poor Law School. Years later he recalled, 'every day spent in that school is burnt into my soul.' In addition he said, 'I may truly say that I commenced my acquaintance with the outside world by entering the workhouse door!' Thirty-five years later Crooks became Chairman of the Poplar Board of Guardians, the very board that had given him and his brothers and sisters shelter at that youthful stage and dark times of their lives.

Crooks' work in regard to the Poor Law was perhaps the most important phase in his life. He was different from other Poor Law reformers in that he spoke from experience. He had seen the system from the inside. His bitter encounter with the Poor Law in early childhood had filled him with the resolve to bring about its change; especially in the way it treated children. Concerns with the issues surrounding poverty served to give Crooks the justification to agitate for trade union and political action for the abolition of long hours, sweating, all forms of overwork, conditions of privation, and its corollary unemployment. These in essence were the convictions that underpinned Crooks' political life 1887-1921.

From the mid-1880s until the early 1900s, Tory businessmen dominated Woolwich civic life, being in control of the local vestries, the Board of Works, and subsequently the Borough Council. Edwin Hughes, who held the Woolwich parliamentary seat 1885-1902, was a local solicitor and magistrate. Also, in this period the alliance between the trade unions and the Liberal Party weakened, and finally withered away. Because of the demise of the Liberals, the Tories were able to fill the political vacuum, and win working men to their cause. Crooks helped break Woolwich's political and geographic isolation, and thus the Tories hold on the district. He not only helped to politicise the workingmen of Woolwich though, but he was also instrumental in providing them with better access to work. Crooks was at the forefront of the campaign to build a tunnel at Blackwall, the opening of which in 1896 had a significant social and political impact upon the Woolwich district. Also, while he was Chairman of the LCC Bridges Committee (1898), he oversaw a scheme to provide foot-tunnels underneath the Thames between Greenwich and the Isle of Dogs and Woolwich and Silvertown; the later providing an alternative to the ferry. The foot-tunnels opened in 1902. In addition, it is worth remembering, Crooks was on the LCC Woolwich Ferry subcommittee. Therefore, most workers who voted for him in 1903 were aware that Crooks had influenced improvements in their daily life, whether they had to travel over the river to work, or attend trade union/ political meetings.

Crooks saw that unemployment and low pay were a major cause of poverty, and he emphasized the issues surrounding unemployment and the minimum wage. He believed that the Government of the day should be made responsible for poverty, and played a significant role in placing unemployment and low pay before the House of Commons. The Unemployed Workmen Act of 1905, and the implementation of a minimum wage by the Blair Government in 1999, is part of Crooks' enduring legacy to industrial relations. Also of significance were his contributions in the creation of Labour Exchanges to deal with the unemployed, and the payment of old age pensions to workingmen. Crooks played a leading role in calling for Government intervention in the feeding of schoolchildren. He spoke in support of a Bill, which provided for the feeding of necessitous school children. It was eventually passed in December 1906. After 1945, with the onset of the Welfare State, free school milk and a national network of school meals provision came into being - a measure Crooks had campaigned for since the 1890s. The provision of school meals highlighted for Crooks the relationship between poverty, low pay, unemployment, education and poor housing conditions, which he believed were all contibutory and important factors in determining poverty.

It is important to recognize that Crooks was an important Labour figure, and that his experiences in both Poplar and Woolwich influenced his judgment on the wider issues of unemployment, low pay and poverty. Thus his local knowledge of the needs and interests of his constituents informed his national outlook, enabling him to make better assessments because of his strengths as a local MP.

The origins of independent Labour representation in Woolwich 1868-1904
Published by Glyndon Pioneer & Labour Press, Plumstead, London, 62pp+ 4pp photographs. Review in a future issue.


Massey Shaw, the preserved London Fire Brigade Float, was recently the subject of a TV programme. The following review, by our member Richard Buchanan, is taken from the SLAS News, Newsletter of the Southwark and Lambeth Archaeological Society, No.93. March 2003. With thanks.

On Channel 4 on Monday 20th January there was a programme featuring the Salvage Squad, who had a go at repairing the 1935 Massey Shaw, the first purpose built Fire Boat in London. Did you see it?

The programme features three expert technicians, Claire Barratt, Alex Cleghorn and Jerry Thurston with a presenter (also technically savvy), and shows in half an hour work which has been carried out sometime in the previous year. They showed the repair of four items: the Rubbing Strakes, the Engine, the Fire Pump Control Valves, and the Engine Room Telegraph.

Rubbing Strakes, Alex Cleghorn. These were badly rotting, and needed to be removed (which was hard work, removing old bolts and even then needing a 6 ft jemmy) and replaced with new oak. The replacement of one strake was shown.

New oak, about 4 x 6 in cross section and the length of the boat, was prepared. To be able to fit it, it was steamed for a couple of hours in a long square sheet metal tube, which was well lagged. It was then carefully taken out and handled (while still hot) using G-clamps, inserting the forward end into a steel socket at the bow, and forming it round the boat.

Engine, Claire Barratt. The Massey Shaw was powered by two large diesel engines. It seemed that both engines needed overhaul, but one had been in worse condition and had had one piston removed. They showed the removal of this engine from one side of the boat, through a central hatchway not much bigger than the engine; it's stripping down, and the remetalling of the crankshaft bearings with white metal (they had completely worn down to the copper backing). The boat was counterbalanced with large drums filled with water while the engine was removed. After reassembly the engine was put back in and connected up.

As usual on this programme (as in real life), this was being done to a tight schedule, so there was no time to properly test the engine before they wanted to run it, and it didn't. So they ran the other engine - whose exhaust was ghastly.

Pump Control Valves, Jerry Thurston. Water to the main Monitor and other hose outlets are controlled by a valve where a plate is moved across a pipe by a screw. On stripping down all looked well, until it was found that the bronze screw thread had been badly corroded by the river water, and lost its strength. New ones were made (a bad moment on the screw cutting lathe was shown, when knocking a wrong lever spoilt the piece).

Engine Room Telegraph, Jerry Thurston. The Massey Shaw has conventional (for its day) telegraph with dials and brass control handles, one for the engines and an- other for the fire pumps. The repair was not shown in any detail, just the testing afterwards to confirm that the indicators followed the controls from the bridge, and that the response was correctly signalled.


The Massey Shaw was seen some years ago, left to rot, by the Woolwich Ferry - the principal man in this was featured. It was saved and a trust set up to care for it; the Trust invited the Salvage Squad to help with its upkeep, which was becoming expensive. One of the firemen who had worked on the vessel in World War 2 was also traced, and said how in the blitz at the end of 1941 St. Paul's was only saved because the Massey Shaw was able to pump Thames water to hoses on land when the water main was bombed.

The final scene of the programme was to pilot the Massey Shaw through the open bascules of Tower Bridge.

Richard Buchanan


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

From: Jonathan Clarke

Having just discovered London's Past Online, I stumbled across an intriguing-sounding article by Mary Mills entitled 'A mystery steel works' in Bygone Kent, 20 (1999), 37-42 - about Henry Bessemer's Greenwich Steel Works. That Bessemer might have required Thames-side works in London to better serve national and international customers, away from his competitors in the north, seems entirely plausible.

Were the Appleby Bros, also on the Greenwich Peninsula, connected with Lincolnshire firm, The Appleby Iron Company, formed in 1874 (later of Appleby-Frodingham fame)? They were involved with the manufacture of Marine Boilers.

I wonder whether you might be able to help me with another great steelmaster with Greenwich connections - German-born English engineer and inventor Sir William Siemens (1823-1883). I want to know where his Kentish country house, 'Sherwood', near Tunbridge Wells, was exactly. It may be in institutional use or otherwise absorbed or altered, but do you know whether it survives in any form? According to his biography, he moved there c. 1877. The reason I'm interested is that it made very early use of steel. In 1880, following a discussion about the imminent use of steel in architecture he stated "I had at my house in the country a terrace, and under that terrace I had a billiard-room... I put steel girders over this billiard-room, which was about 20-ft. span, and by filling in between each girder with cement and tiling and lead, I was able to gain 18 in. in height, and obtained a perfectly dry room, whereas before I had considerable difficulty in keeping the water out. This simply shows how, by the use of this stronger material, advantages in convenience and even in cost may be obtained".

From: Dick Moy

I would firstly like to congratulate Jack Vaughan & Mary Mills on producing what I consider to be the most interesting and on-going record of historical research in Kent and the London area.

Having read with interest Philip Binns' suggestion of saving the 1930's Merryweather factory lettering - a very difficult task I fear - I am reminded of a deal I did with that Company about 40 years ago when they demolished the older of the two buildings fronting onto Greenwich High Road. Some of you may remember the two marvellous three dimensional iron cupid masks each 22" in diameter. Both heads blowing hard at the flames. There was sadly no interest in industrial archaeology at that time and having displayed these for some weeks in my shop in Nelson Road, they ended up somewhere in the United States. Photographs of them must exist however.

As an Antique Dealer of 48 years standing, I have so many memories of buying and selling examples of our industrial and commercial heritage. I bought virtually everything of interest from Lovibonds, the brewers, including 8 of the most marvellous thin and deep 10 ft high brass bound sherry barrels. Tools from the coopers and wheelwrights sheds. Order and sales ledgers back to the 19th. A c. 1900 painting of a loaded dray by their tame sign writer. From Woolwich the residual stock and tools from a beautiful c. l800 pottery kiln, from Deptford Victualling Yard/Dockyard site numerous iron plaques from biscuit ovens and relics from the Masting Pond. I tried at that time to get the London/Guildhall Museums interested in photographically recording the last of these buildings - at least those many which unlike the rum warehouses were demolished and was told that the pressures of recording the constantly re-appearing and certainly very exciting relics of Roman London left them no time to stray beyond the City walls. Even a fascinating Roman to Medieval site in Bishopsgate was left to "treasure hunting" by tipping the building team as it was again outside the "Holy Wall". My small photographs of Deptford Dockyard during demolition are the only ones I know of - I have kept numerous smaller relics from the Barbers/Wigmakers in Stockwell Street.

All the old family and trading records of Hudsons - Greenwich's longest established business, still trading in 1975 - scientific instrument makers, opticians and art material suppliers whose goodwill, stock and trading name I purchased and continued to trade with until 1980.

The tobacconist in Nelson Road, a smithy in Bardsley Lane, a fabulous fitted 19th century chemist shop on Shooters Hill. The beautiful Regency shopfront in Creek Road that, thank God, we did persuade the Museum of London to keep and barge builders', shipbreakers' and other memorabilia from local land-based, water-borne and traveling commercial enterprises. I still have many of the smaller relics and documents in my own collection and quite a lot of other more bulky items somewhere in one or other of my stores. They were kept there waiting in vain for the Borough Museum to make some kind of appearance in the old Greenwich Town Centre rather than remain practically on the borders of Kent.

From: Norman Stancel

I need some help. I have a leather fire bucket that is red in colour with a black stripe around the top and bottom with a leather handle. On the outside it has SAND written on it. The bottom has MERRYWEATHER around the rim and below that it has LONDON.

Can you help or do you know who might? Thank you.

Alpharetta, Georgia, USA.

From: Joe Brierley

I am a final year student at Ravensbourne College of design and communication, majoring in environment architecture. For my major project I am interested in the site of 28-30 Wood Wharf and proposing a sympathetic restoration of the site as part of a local historical and cultural centre. I had chosen the site before researching recent proposals for its redevelopment, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it is such an intrinsic part of the regional maritime history. As it stands, it is a unique time warp into the traditional techniques and processes of the working river. It is this quality I wish to preserve, and as a student proposing a purely concept scheme, I do not have to worry about the revenue earning potential of the site, a factor commercial and residential developers have to consider.

The aim is to design a working museum complex, demonstrating traditional maritime craftsman techniques, and the training of these lost skills. Because the site was also the Great Greenwich Steam Ferry slipway, and was noted for its deep water and narrow beach, I am keen to link the site into a new river transport scheme. Although the "Reach 2000" site around the Deptford Creek is work in progress I intend to incorporate this into my site, and the whole scheme will be an ideal master plan of how the area could look if the history of the area was more important than its income! I have researched the site at the Woolwich Planning Office and have some information on the site, but if you could help in any way I would greatly appreciate it! 07970 100 521

From: Andy Dickson

In researching a vessel seen in Belfast Docks, the Nord Star, I came across your page (Volume 3, Issue 5, September 2000), and a request from a Mr A. Ward for photographs of any ships built by the company of Cubows Ltd between 1972 and 1982. The Nord Star that visits Belfast is a small vessel of less than 500 grt, built around 1978-1980 by Cubows Ltd of Woolwich, and apparently now owned by Shearer Shipping, Lerwick, and Shetland. I have a rather indifferent photograph of this vessel, taken only today (in poor light), but I might be able to get a better picture in the future.

From: Jan Snowball

I stumbled across your web site this evening. I am starting to investigate my family history, which I believe has very strong links with Bugsby's Reach. Great-great granddad had a wharf there, a family run business & changed his name from Bugsby to Bigsby. Also had something to do with manufacturing paint in that area. My father Ernest Victor Bigsby's family business was in the manufacture of paints & it was his grand or great grandad who owned a business [can't think it was still in paints though - how old could the manufacture of paint be?]. Anyway, the story goes that the chap who changed is name used to be a bit of a tyrant & his workers used to call him Bugsby the bugger.... so he changed it to Bigsby. I am led to believe the business was on this site & maybe I assumed there was a wharf there as the stretch was called Bugsby's Reach. Apparently, there is a big family vault somewhere (Rotherhithe?)

Ernest Victor Bigsby was a professional chemist who finished his days at ICI (which has more recently employed my dad & elder brother). so paint is firmly in the blood!! What do you know of the land use along Bugsby's reach, any sign of manufacturing?

From: Mike Jelliss

I am researching my family history, The Jelliss Family, who were mainly engineers in the Greenwich, Deptford and Erith areas. My great grandfather Charles James Jelliss. Died in 18/04/1896 aged 54. He accidentally fell to his death from the ladder of his ship the SS Racoon and drowned in the Thames off College View, Isle of Dogs I have been unable to locate College View or any information on the SS Racoon. My grandfather is described in 1901 as (Stoker in Electric Lighter?). He later worked as an Electrical Engineer with Vickers Sons and Maxims where he helped develop the Maxim Flying Machine. I have been unable to find any references to electric lighters?

From: Jenny Hammerton

I am the Senior Cataloguer for British Pathe News and I have just been working on a film of the Welsbach Lighting Co. factory in the 1910s. Was this in Greenwich? You might be interested in our website at where you can view any film in our collection FREE OF CHARGE thanks to lottery funding - we have films that date from 1896 - 1970 and are still adding to the site. I am sure that there would be some items of interest to your members. Best regards.


From: Eileen & Rod Rogers

My grandfather was Charles Telford Field and he was the product of the marriage between a Miss Maudslay and a Mr Field. I have the original (I believe) model of the twin cylinder steam engine (Siamese) that was proposed to Isambard Brunel for the SS "Great Western". The consortium later decided to build their own engine when screw was preferred to paddle. The engine went on to power many warships as, I am quite sure, you know. I should be interested in disposing of the model but I believe my children do not want this.

From Paul Sturman

So the Merryweather site is going to be flattened; will they never learn? I have some recent colour photos of the site, including the lettered frontage and the original 1876 building (difficult to shoot) taken with a super wide-angle lens. These are available on CD-ROM.

Just a couple of things re the January magazine Jim Arthur wrote to enquire about Merryweather photos and wanted to get in touch with anyone who had any. Could you pass a contact address or phone 01442 233013?

From: Emma Creasey

As a resident of Greenwich I have for a long time admired the industrial riverfront stretching from Deptford down to the Greenwich Peninsular. Over the years this area has seen many changes and faces even more in the next few years. Along with many admirers of this area I have periodically photographed the buildings and shore in order to preserve my memory of them. In doing so my interest in photography increased and I am now studying B.A. Photography at the London College of Printing. For this term we have been asked to explore the theme of history/time; an ideal opportunity form me to further extend my knowledge of the riverfront area and also photograph it more seriously. I am looking for people or organisations, which can provide me with local history and hopefully access to some of the key buildings. Having discovered your newsletters on the Internet I thought that your society might be a good place to start. It would be incredibly useful to me if you could supply me with details regarding your organisation and details of any specialists who might be able to discuss the area with me. I look forward to hearing from you shortly and wish you all the best for the New Year.

From: John P. Dawson

I am researching a steamer that was built in the mid 1800's with a Penn engine.
Do you know if any records of that Greenwich builder are extant?

From: Diana Rimel

Christopher Phillpott's otherwise excellent study of the Creek has re-iterated the myth that Captain Cook's old ship the Discovery was moored in the Thames as a convict hulk. The following is part of a project I put together last year on 'Convict Ships and Prison Hulks'.

"Old disused ships declared unfit for sea were considered acceptable for housing prisoners and sick and disabled sailors in the 18th and 19th centuries. Several of these were moored in the Creek or off it in Greenwich Reach. In 1824, Discovery, the ship of the explorer, George Vancouver, who had served under Captain James Cook, was used as a convict hulk. Vancouver had charted and sailed to the North-West American coast, the Cape of Good Hope, Australia and New Zealand, and from 1791-95 circumnavigated the world in the converted collier Discovery. In 1833 Discovery was broken up and replaced by the frigate Thames. The Seamen's Hospital Society in Greenwich established a hospital on the hulk of the ship Grampus in 1821. This proved too small so the Society fitted up the Dreadnought with 200 beds in 1831. It was moored near the east side of the Creek mouth. The former Dreadnought Seamen's Hospital was named after this ship. Conditions on board these vessels were very bad. The hulks were broken up for their timber when they were no longer of any use. The practice of using them for prisoners ceased by the 1860s."

From: John Day

Sorry to disagree with Jim Arthur, but the muzzle loading rifled bore goes back to 1498 when Gaspard Zollner used straight rifling in a hand gun to overcome fouling caused by poor powder. A couple of years later Augustus Kutter used helical rifling and a gun having six grooves with a helix of one in twenty six was made in Hungary in 1547. This gun used to be in the Rotunda years ago, but has long disappeared. R.M.L.s (Rifled Muzzle Loader) were still in use in the earlier part of the last (20th.) century. The early breech loading rifled guns (R.B.L.) were so unreliable that a return was made to R.M.L.s for some years. The Russians used "shunt" rifling having a double groove, a deep groove allowing the studs to slide freely during loading and a groove decreasing towards the muzzle, with which the studs engaged to provide rotation on firing. There is a paper on 'The History of Rifling' in Vol. 12 of the Journal of the Ordnance Society. The official title of the device shown pages 50 & 51 is 'Apparatus Lifting Guns, Hurst Pattern, Mk.I L for R.M.L. 38 Tons'.

From: Gordon Broughton

I was born in 1915 in Eastcombe Avenue, Charlton, and my wife was born off Blackwall Lane, Greenwich, in 1917. I was educated at Fossdene Road School and Roan School for Boys, initially in Eastney Street, Greenwich, and then Maze Hill. In 1931 I started my career of 45 years as a Laboratory Attendant in the Research Department in the Arsenal, which at that time was under the War Office. Eventually, after several name changes, the complex of laboratories became the Royal Armament Research and Development Establishment at Fort Halstead, near Sevenoaks, from where I retired in 1976 as a Senior Scientific Officer.

Mary Mills' Book Greenwich and Woolwich at Work, makes brief reference to the Research Department, which, although within the Arsenal Walls off Griffin Manor Way, was not a component of the Royal Arsenal per se which had its own Metallurgical Laboratory. I began and ended my career in the Metallurgical Research Branch, which particularly in the 1930s had several eminent scientists whose basic research papers were published by the Institute of Metals and the Iron and Steel Institute.

One memorable experience of my early days was the firing of 18-inch Naval guns at the proof butts in the Arsenal on Fridays. Residents of Plumstead would have feared for their windows on Fridays. Quite often I was performing the menial task of taking a barrow load of rifle barrels to another proofing range and had to pass very close to the Proof Butts.

I was surprised to see Mary Mills linking the Royal Arsenal in the same chapter with the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society. Their Commonwealth Buildings were of course in the old Royal Dockyard established by Henry VIII. The cobbler shown on page 31 of her book may well be an uncle of mine! Before leaving Orpington for Cirencester in 2000 I visited the Crossness pumping station where an amazing restoration is being done by keen volunteers. It was also featured a few months ago in Channel 5 TV's The Great Stink a tribute to the great engineer Bazalgette. The site is perhaps just outside the Woolwich boundary.

From: John Barratt

I am building a model railway of the old Greenwich Park Station that stood where the hotel and cinema now stand. The main station building stood in Stockwell Street and ran between Burney Street and London Street (now Greenwich High Road) and under Royal Hill.

My problem is relatively simple. Whilst I have a plan of the station building and a lot of pictures, I have nothing that has a scale to it. I therefore can not model the station building with any accuracy. I have been everywhere, to Mycenae Road (who were very helpful), bought various books over the years, been to the track mob at Waterloo (who sent me the unsealed station plan) and even to the National Railway Museum (who have station building plans, but apparently not one of Greenwich Park).

Even the South Eastern and Chatham Railway Society, to which I belong, can not think of anything more to do to try to get scaled plans.

So I wondered whether, with your contacts, you could either send me scaled elevation plans of the station or point me in the direction of someone who can. I would, of course, pay reasonable costs. Thanks.


Channel 5 recently showed a programme, The Great Stink, which featured Crossness Sewage Works - and the Crossness Engines Trust. Here's what the Winter 2002 edition of Crossness Record, had to say about it:

The 'Great Stink', made for Channel 5 and presented by Peter Bazalgette, the Trust Chairman, was very informative to the layman but 'bread and butter' to the volunteer Trust member, who has a weekly opportunity to become re-acquainted with the consumption of the previous day. It told the story of London's sewage disposal or principally its transportation from one sensitive location to the great Cathedral of sewage - Crossness.

An interesting programme which involves every member of the public, full of facts and well presented... although the presenter, after wading in sewage, manure and visiting cess-pits, latrines and public conveniences, complete with illustrations on the wall, managed to keep his shoes so clean. However, he found it necessary to don protective clothing, safety harness and breathing apparatus in order to descend into a main northern sewer, which was large enough to accommodate a single-decker bus, and enthuse over its construction and brick-work built with Portland cement. This must have dulled the olfactory sense as he seemed unaffected by the odour and the sensation of cold, wet sewage flowing past his knees with the fear that his boots would not be high enough to prevent the flow going over the top.

Unfortunately, although Crossness was mentioned it was not a programme which could give credit to Crossness Engines Trust. This would require a separate programme, featuring the original construction by William Webster and the recent restoration, supported by the Trust members. This would be an epic narrative of intrigue, expert knowledge and wonderful workmanship, together with the daily lives of the management and workers: the muscular artisans in their tight moleskin breeches, swigging the velvet brew in the Halfway House, attended by camp followers and buxom wenches from the surrounding hamlets: what was the purpose of the pulley at the top of the column ? Why the bath, large enough for two in the condenser chamber ? Who attended, and took advantage of being screened from the public eye, a riotous party in the candle-lit reservoir ? What was really kept under the stove pipe hats ? All this, including the secret formula for obtaining 90° proof spirit from Brasso …and more can be revealed.


The Docklands Light Railway

We welcome the Docklands Light Railway coming to Woolwich, but unfortunately many listed buildings will be demolished during its construction. All the buildings between the Woolwich Equitable Buildings and the "Elephant and Castle" public house, including the Lloyds Bank building will be demolished, at Greens End; and in Woolwich New Road all the buildings from the Station to the corner of Spray Street, including the baker's on the corner will go.

The "Pullman" pub, formerly the "Royal Oak", was of course, where in October 1886 the Dial Square Football team changed its name to "Woolwich Arsenal". This is the team that in 1913 moved to North London and dropped the name of Woolwich. (We believe they still play somewhere in North London!) Ironically the public inquiry into the Docklands Light Railway proposals will be held in the Directors suite at Charlton Football Stadium at the Valley SE7. This started on the 28th January, 2003, and anyone may attend.

Susan Bullivant

(Writing in the Newsletter of the Woolwich and District Antiquarian Society as the Secretary of their Conservation sub-committee)



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 latest issue of Bygone Kent (Vol. 24 No.2) contains an article by Barbara Ludlow on Billingsgate Dock, Greenwich, the Story of an old Draw Dock. This is a very important and interesting article. Readers are advised to get a copy of Bygone Kent immediately (Rainham Bookshop, 17-25 Station Road, Rainham, Gillingham ME8 7RS. 01634 371591 £2.50 per copy)


At a recent meeting of the Blackheath Scientific Society, Mr. Cantle brought a piece of Pluto pipeline used in World War Two, and spoke briefly about it. The sample was of 3" bore lead pipe, with double steel tape round it, armoured with galvanised steel wire, and covered in tar impregnated hessian tape. This was designed at Siemens in Woolwich, and derived from lead sheathed power cable without the cable. With the assistance of other cable companies, it was manufactured in lengths of 35 miles for laying between Dungeness and the Pas de Calais (11 pipelines) and 70 miles for laying between the Isle of Wight and Cherbourg (2 pipelines), using specially adapted merchant ships. After the war the pipelines were recovered, because of their hazard and for their scrap value.



In October 2002 GIHS Chair, Jack Vaughan, went to talk to Rotherhithe and Bermondsey Local History Group on the The Royal Arsenal at Woolwich. Here is what their newsletter, Redriffe Chronicle, reported:

"The history of Woolwich Arsenal as a facility dates back over 300 years, though records show the presence of ordnance facilities as early as 1565. Jack commenced with a map showing the initial area size of the establishment, then known as the Warren, a name which still persists in the town centre of Woolwich today, only changing its name to the Arsenal at the insistence of George the third in 1805. During WW1, at its peak, 80,000 were employed within its extensive boundaries, appropriately described as a Secret City, walled, guarded and self-sufficient, with its own railway system, both narrow and standard gauges, power generation plants, with over 1000 buildings of various sizes, wharves, canals, ships and housing for employees. Over the centuries it evolved and adapted while possessing the capability to research, manufacture and prove a vast range of armaments ranging from earliest forms of cannon and shot, through to massive WW2 naval gunnery and field and tank weaponry. The key feature of Jack's talk centred on the Verbruggens, Dutch Master Founders of the 1700s. A serious accident while casting barrels from captured French weapons in the year 1716 at a private foundry of Moorfields in North London caused the death of 17 workers. This unfortunate event, lead to the establishment of the Woolwich Arsenal Royal Brass Foundry. By a remarkable coincidence, the Verbruggens were not only Masters of armament, but also accomplished artists, basing his talk on reproductions of the Verbruggens' water-colours, Jack ran through the manufacturing process of 18th century cannon, from the initial wooden pattern models, the sand moulding, casting in metal then boring, heat treating and final proving (test firing) of the cannon. The Royal Ordnance factory closed in 1967 and the Ministry of Defence scaled down it presence over 12 years ago. A group known as The Royal Arsenal Museum Advisory Group (RAMAG) has worked with the Woolwich local authorities to establish heritage facilities on the site. Jack presented a number of slides showing some of notable buildings such as Dial Square and New Laboratory Square. By the end of the evening Jack had only reached the end of the 18th century, so we will obviously have to invite him back!

Malcolm Meachen


This very successful event was held in February and chaired by Professor Andrew Lambert of Kings College, and Professor Sarah Palmer of Greenwich Institute of Maritime History. There is no space here for a full report on papers - but they included

Royal ships on the Thames before 1450 by Susan Rose

Susan showed how it was clear from the surviving records of the Clerks of the King's Ships ( from 1344), that until the appointment of William Soper as Clerk in 1421, the administration for royal ships was based in London. Where were the shipyards? Can we locate an early forerunner of the Deptford navy yard? Where did supplies come from, especially the all-important timber? Was the necessary skilled work force available?

Convicts to Australia: HMS Glatton and her sister ship HMS Calcutta, former East Indiamen, 1802-3 - Brian Swann

William Evans, shipbuilder of Rotherhithe and his steamships - Stuart Rankin

Scott Russell and the screw collier: a lost opportunity for Thames shipbuilding? - Roy Fenton

This discussed the technical developments which made the iron screw collier possible.

Some steam warships supplied to the Spanish Navy in the 19th century by Thames shipyards - Edward Sargent. The first iron warship for Spain, a paddle steamer, was built by Ditchbum & Mare in 1845. Shipbuilding at Deptford and Woolwich in the early eighteenth century - Ann V Coats. This paper focussed on the administration of these two Thames yards, within and without the yard boundaries, without which ships could not be built. Management of these two yards in this period reflected both tradition and innovation, as they were the oldest and most continuously developed of the royal yards, glorying in their traditions, but also nominally under stricter control by the Navy Board than the other yards. This paper looked at continuities of families and practices: labour practices - hours and chips; and management practices - how tightly it had to oversee the quality and quantity of work produced and how responsive it had to be to the needs of the men in order to get them to work. It emphasised the level of management discourse necessary both within and without these yards. Ann focussed on a six month period revealed through correspondence from the dockyard commissioner based in Deptford to the Navy Board in 1702, to show how varied and all-embracing the management role of the dockyard commissioner was, and how delicate a line he had to tread to maximise productivity and preserve 'the Queen's treasure'. The language takes us into a quite distinctive and earlier world view, when management had to negotiate subtly to try to end restrictive traditional rights and privileges, raising the question: 'How far could management manage labour in the early eighteenth century?'

Volunteer landsmen recruits to the Royal Navy 1795-1811: the case of three Thames-built frigates - Nick Slope. The three fifth-rate 36 gun frigates (four commissions) under consideration were HMS Trent, HMS Emerald (two commissions) and HMS Glenmore that were all built and fitted out on the Thames (Trent and Glenmore at Woolwich and Emerald at Northfleet). The careers of 3766 men, marines, volunteers and boys have been put onto the database and the information interrogated.

Marmaduke Stalkartt: a significant 18th century naval architect and shipbuilder - Fred M Walker'. Stalkartt was bom in 1750. On completion of a shipwright apprenticeship at the Royal Dockyard, Deptford, it became apparent that this training had prepared him well for his relatively short, but most distinguished life. His shipbuilding skills came to the fore when he took charge of a shipbuilding yard at Rotherhithe, from where some remarkable, unusual and very fast ships were produced.

Coastal shipping and the Thames - John Armstrong

This paper argued that coastal, estuarial and river traffic were essential to the growth of London during the process of industrialization in the late-eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Some Thames and Medway dry-docks - Ian Buxton

The River Thames remained a primary centre for ship repairing longer than for shipbuilding. Although the first proper dry-docks were built in the 17th century, it was not until the mid 19th century that dry-dock numbers expanded rapidly to over forty. The paper traced this growth, concentrating on docks over 300ft. suitable for iron steamships, excluding naval dockyards, which are better documented.


by Philip Binns


6-42 Blackheath Road. Redevelopment of the site for 108 homes, 30 live/work units, parking spaces, cycle spaces, etc. Seen as an improvement on a previous application but many features are not acceptable. The distinctive parapet should be dismantled and reassembled as a hard landscape feature in the courtyard.

Building 22, Royal Arsenal, Refurbishment to provide 309 flats and parking for 250 cars. Welcome retention of the building but concern on the removal of the solid elements over the facades and introduction of new windows.

Building 46, Royal Arsenal. Repairs to roof timbers and parapet gutter - unobjectionable but need to know that the new roof will be in natural slate.


Land at Stockwell Street/John Humphries House. Demolition and rebuilt for mixed-use options. The urban grain is properly appreciated at the southern end of Stockwell Street but the introduction of both wide plot widths and horizontality of the superstore and offices are alien to the Greenwich tradition - much should be learnt from the simplicity of Joseph Kaye's work of the 1840s.

Building 22, Royal Arsenal. Refurbishment for 309 homes. Welcome changes, particularly the retention of the circular window elements and the extension of the Edwardian approach to the third floor over the whole building. The circular window feature should be extended to include the central pedimented bay.

Building 36, Royal Arsenal. Conversion to 73 homes - Group found this a bit unclear.

Building 50, Royal Arsenal. New building for 312 homes, parking etc. Courtyard forms an improvement to Warehouse-style blocks but concern at the great increase in the number of flats.

90-96 Greenwich High Road. Demolition of existing buildings and replacement with B1 floor space and flats. Regret no attempt made to refurbish the existing factory building as part of the overall development. Height is regrettable and pastiche treatment sits uneasily with the Grade II listed buildings. Object strongly.

Meridian Gateway development. Creek Road/Copperas Street/Deptford Creek. Amendments. Less homes and less offices are welcomed. Many objections but mainly that the development flouts the mixed-use criteria set down in the West Greenwich Development framework.

Greenwich Conservation Group has also written a letter to the developers of the old John Penn site (Wickes' site, Blackheath Road) -

Application ref: 02/1797/O - land east of Ditch Alley, John Penn Street, SE10... at a meeting of Greenwich Council's Greenwich Area Planning & Environment Committee... conditional outline permission was granted ….. for the erection of a three-storey block of 12 flats. …. one matter raised was the need to retain as much as possible of the enclosing wall to the west and south of your site (in Ditch Alley and a part of John Penn Street), as this represents the only remnant of the marine engineering works established in Blackheath Road in 1825 by John Penn. As such the wall is of significance in terms of the industrial archaeology of the area. The wall on the west side of Ditch Alley has already been lost as a result of the recent Blackheath Approach development here by Barratt New Homes and in its place is a mundane close-boarded timber fence between concrete posts.


by Allan Green

About 20 years ago on a business trip to Ireland I had the good fortune to stay in a very pleasant country hotel in Co. Wicklow and there started an interest that has, in the past two years been rekindled. One of the benefits of business travel was sometimes (probably less so today) the opportunity to stay in some very nice hotels where comfort and good food might be found after a hard days work. "Tinakilly House" was, and still is, a luxury hotel and restaurant (see Ref 1) and it has an interesting history which I was unaware of until I arrived there.

Captain Robert Halpin was First Officer and Navigator of the "Great Eastern" when she was purchased to lay the Atlantic Cable and he built "Tinakilly House" at Rathnew near Wicklow town around 1870. In 1868 he was made Captain of the "Great Eastern" and during his service laid many thousands of miles of cable around the world. Almost all that cable had been manufactured by Telcon (Telegraph Construction & Maintenance Co Ltd). It is reported that the British Government gave Halpin the money in "thanks for his great contribution to world communications and trade" (Ref 2)

Arriving at "Tinakilly House" I spotted a cabinet in the entrance hall housing a substantial looking piece of cable and the owner, William Power, later told me the history of the house and the cable which was part of the shore-end of the first French Atlantic cable. See photograph of myself (taken after a very good dinner and a bottle or two of good wine), together with the cable and William Power.

For more than 30 years electrical wires and cables was my business life with the Alcatel Cable Group though quite unconnected with the Greenwich factory or indeed with submarine cables at all. I was based in the UK for most of the time and responsible for the Group's aerospace and electronics wires and cables, which were manufactured in France. From the point of view of size and weight these miniature, wires were about as far away as one can get from submarine telegraph cables. Both types do, however, have one very important thing in common. That is the need for the highest possible standards of performance and reliability (we do not have to spell-out the consequences of failure in the 100 miles or more of complex wires and cables which go into a large airliner today).

Failure of those 19th century submarine cables perhaps 2 miles down in mid-Atlantic was not likely to have been life-threatening but it would have presented significant loss of revenue for the emerging Telegraph Companies to say nothing of the engineering challenges to locate the fault, haul up the cable and effect repairs. How those early cables were designed and made to meet the needs of the rapidly developing telegraph technology is a fascinating story. They had to withstand the severe rigours of laying, the deep-sea environment, the rocky shores and many other hazards both natural and man-made. Putting together that story has been the object of my studies for the first 2 years of my retirement and is very much an on-going interest.

To-date those studies have taken me to many places in search of submarine telegraph cables history.

In Greenwich, to Alcatel Submarine Networks where unfortunately little remains of their early cable manufacturing days and the National Maritime Museum where in the Caird Library there is much useful material (including the Telcon archive which is not yet fully catalogued) and many of the early books on telegraphy and cables. The Science Museum in Kensington has a very interesting and well-preserved collection of samples of early cables and telegraph equipment but not on public display. The Science Museum and Imperial College Library has many useful archives related to cables and cable laying as well as an excellent collection of early books. Also on my quest for information the Archives of the Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEE) in London, Special Collections at University of Bristol Library, Tyne & Wear Museums and my "local" Reading University Library have proved fruitful.

However, the "Jewel in the Crown" when it comes to studying the early history of telegraphy, is the Museum of Submarine Telegraphy and Cable & Wireless Archives at Porthcurno near Penzance. From 1870 up to the present day Porthcurno has been the landing point for many submarine telegraph and telephone cables. Covering a period of around 100 years the telegraph cables, all of them no longer in use have run up the beach to the cable-hut and on to the Telegraph Station, which was the hub of the world's largest communications network. The Eastern Telegraph Company ("The Eastern") later to become Cable and Wireless was truly the world's first "Internet". That station today houses the Museum and archives. During bad storms the beach at Porthcurno is heavily scoured by the waves and sand is displaced, sometimes to a great depth to reveal sections and broken protruding ends of the old cables. Being a public beach and a very pleasant holiday area these old cables can present a safety hazard and are cleared by contractors as and when they become exposed.

The cut lengths of cable dating from around 1870 up to 1950 are retained by the Museum who has kindly allowed me to cut samples for in-depth study. This work is on going at the moment on 4 quite different cable samples. All these were certainly made in Greenwich or local area either by Telcon, Henley's, Johnson & Phillips or The India Rubber, Gutta Percha, and Telegraph Works Company Limited. Finding that cable sample in "Tinakilly House" and researching its history, together with the story of the "Great Eastern" was how it all started. The cable was made in Greenwich, the ship that laid it built up the river at Milwall but for me the story began in Ireland and for the past 20 years has been very much on the back burner. For those interested in the story of the "Great Eastern" I recommend a book titled "The Great Iron Ship". (Ref 3.)

Some work has yet to be done before my story of the four "Porthcurno cables" is complete but I hope that before the end of the year I shall have the opportunity to tell you more about them… the jigsaw is far from complete and I would be delighted to hear from anyone who has information, of any kind about the local cable manufacturers mentioned above and also about cables made by the two other locals, Siemens and Hoopers.

E-mail : (Alan Green will be making a presentation to the Society on 16th September)


1. "Tinakilly House", Rathnew, County Wicklow Ireland. Phone 00 353 404 69274. I am pleased to hear that William Power is still around but understand that the hotel is now managed by his son and daughter-in-law.

2. Rees. Jim "The Life of Captain Robert Halpin". Arklow, County Wicklow. Dee-Jay Publications .
Also summary information on the hotel web-site :

3. Dugan. James. "The Great Iron Ship " London. 1953. Hamish Hamilton Ltd


In the letters section of this issue there is an item from the Greenwich Conservation Group about remnants of the walls of the Penn's Engineering Works on Blackheath Road (now the Wickes site). Following this the Group was told that more remains were to be found there - and were recommend to talk to George Arthur. Here is what he has to say:

I am sorry to have to disappoint you about the house on the John Penn site. On further checking I have found that No.10 Lewisham Road was not part of the works. I am attaching a plan of the works from Robert Smiles' 'Model Establishments' with a description of the offices. No.10 is a house with a central entrance similar to that described in Smiles; article, however on checking the site again recently I find there is a gap between No.10 and John Penn Street of about 20 ft (6m) wide which I considered not wide enough to have housed a building as described even though Smiles says 'This entrance is only a few yards wide'. This is now a car park and unloading bay for the DIY store on the site of the erection shop.

There is a developer's sign on the area marked Smiths shop. If this area is developed soon, will they retain the existing wall?


Extracts from Great Industries of Great Britain c.1880. Model Establishments, by Robert Smiles -

"A list of the vessels fitted with engines by Messrs. John Penn and Son would occupy more space than can be spared, and would be only dry reading; but the starting-point in their career as renowned engine builders demands a word of reference. In 1836, a number of boats, built on very fine lines by Mr. Ditchbum, were put upon the Thames to ply between London, Greenwich, and Woolwich. These were- fitted by Messrs. Penn with oscillating engines, that proved themselves in all respects greatly superior to those on the side- lever principle. The royal yacht-tender Fairy was built on the same pattern; by engines, of the same type, were fitted by Messrs. Penn, who also applied the screw propeller to the Fairy, which was one of the finest vessels in Her Majesty's navy fitted with this kind of machinery. Among .the first of the ships of the navy fitted with their improved oscillating engines, by Messrs. Penn, were &emdash;the Black Eagle, the Sphynx, the Banshee, and the royal yacht Victoria and Albert; also the renowned Australian liner Great Britain, and many other ships for the navies and mercantile marine of various countries.

The entrance used by the heads of the firm, managers, clerks, draughtsmen, foremen. etc., is at the junction of John Penn Street with Lewisham Road. This entrance only a few yards wide; from it the natural contour of the ground dips by a rather steep incline. Passing through the outer door and down it a few steps a hall is reached, with on each side a range of well-lit Offices, and counting, model, waiting and other rooms.' Over all these, on a first floor, is large drawing office, admirably lit, partly from the roof. In this part of the premises, marked o o o o in our sketch, the initiatory steps are taken in connection with every engine or boiler produced by the firm. On the ground floor, the "interviewing" and the correspondence, of a polyglot character, that precede orders or contracts, are conducted. Preliminaries settled, the work is passed upstairs, where complete drawings and specifications are prepared by chiefs of departments, in concert with the heads of the firm. From the finished designs working drawings are made, showing in exact pro- portions the minutest details, down to rivet and bolt holes. These drawings are passed to the head foremen in the different shops, who are responsible for the production of the numerous and varied parts that are to be brought into harmonious combination in a vast and complex machine. With the distribution of the working drawings among the foremen, the actual manufacture of the engine may be said to begin, and will give full scope to watchful over- sight and skilled work. On the inner edge of the office hall other doors and a flight of steps give access to the erecting shop and heavy turnery, and from it to all other parts of the works.

Reverting to our sketch, it should be mentioned that the entrance for the workmen is by a wide gateway (G') in John Penn Street, where the timekeeper has a lodge (6). This is also the principal entrance and exit for raw materials, and for finished work... a powerful weighing machine (a) is placed within the gate, upon which the loads are weighed when necessary. The gateway referred to, it will be seen, affords ready access for pig iron to the foundry, malleable iron to the smiths' shop, timber to the carpenters', and materials for the different departments.


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)



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

6th March, The London Coal Trade. Alan Pearsall, London Canal Museum, 12 New Wharf Road, N1 7.30pm. £2.50

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

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

9th March, Historical tour of Greenwich Marsh 10.30am. Rich Sylvester 07833 538143

11th March, Exhibition in the Town Hall on Will Crooks Centenary opened by John Edmunds and John Monks.

12th March, Poplar Cemetery tour of Will Crooks' grave. 2.00pm-4.30pm

12th March, Buffet Dinner in celebration of Will Crooks, Progress Hall organised by Eltham Labour Party. Speaker Rodney Bickerstaffe. Tickets £17.

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

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

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

15th March, AGM and The Lantern Slides of F.Wm.Nunn. Doug Morton. Woolwich Antiquarians Charlton House, 2.15pm

15th March, Neil Roth. Transport in S.E. London. Charlton Society, Charlton House, SE7. 2.30pm

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

18th March, Visit to London Metropolitan Archives. Charlton Society

19th March, An Evening with the Stars. Royal Observatory Planetarium. 5pm (£6), 6pm (£8) & 7pm (£10)

19th March, Distilling in London. Brian Strong. GLIAS Lecture Theatre 2/3, Charterhouse Square, EC1. 020 8692 8512

21st March, The Concord Accident. Capt. J.Hutchenson. Blackheath Scientific Soc., Mycenae House, SE3. 7.45pm

21/22nd March, The Nineteenth Century Navy. 10.30am. £45. NMM. 020 8312 6747.

21st March, Our Cinematic Heritage. Richard Gray. Following AGM, Lewisham Local History Society. Methodist Church Hall, Albion Way, SE13. 7.45pm

23rd March, Architecture History and Development of the Royal Observatory. Graham Dolan. Greenwich Society Annual Lecture. King William Court, Greenwich University. 11am. £6 (£5 if you book in advance)

26th March, The coffee house set: Robert Hooke and his contemporaries. 10.30am. £35. NMM. 020 8312 6747

26th March, The London Fire Brigade. Esther Mann, RBLH Time and Talents, St.Marychurch Street, SE16. 7.15pm

26th March, Prof. Alaistair Coupar, Regulations and loopholes. Greenwich Maritime Institute, 7.15pm. Windsor Castle Room, Queen Anne Court. Old Royal Naval College.

26th March, Anthony Cross. A spoonful of sugar. Financial establishment of the Royal Hospital Greenwich. Historical Assoc. Music Room, Blackheath High School, Vanburgh Park, SE3. 7.45pm.


5th April, SERIAC, Thames - The Waterway of the World. University of Greenwich, Romney Road, SE10. 020 8692 8512

6th April, Finding Time. Family Learning Day. 10.30am £8 (children £6). NMM. 020 8312 6747

9th April, Francis Goold Mororny Stoney. A. Caton Crozier. Newcomen Soc., Science Museum, 5.45pm.

10th-13th April, City Safari to Barcelona (details Paul Saulter, 80 Udimore Road, Rye, Sussex TN31 7DY)

13th April, Crossness visitor day (Ring 020 8311 3711)

16th April, GLIAS AGM plus film and video. GLIAS Lecture Theatre 2/3, Charterhouse Square, EC1. 020 8692 8512

18th April, Human Rights and Ethics. Dr. Faladin Meckled-Garcia. Blackheath Scientific Soc, Mycenae House, SE3 7.45

22nd April, Crossness visitor day (Ring 020 8311 3711)

23rd April, Julian Bowsher - Debunking Roman Greenwich. Greenwich Historical Assoc. details above.

25th April, Lewisham 2000 - A Success Story. Richard Merry , LLH. Methodist Hall, Albion Way, SE13 7.45

26th April, Fan Museum. Charlton Society. Charlton House, SE7 2.30

30th April, AGM. plus Clive Chambers, Rotherhithe Steam Ferry. RBLH Time & Talents, St. Marychurch Street, SE16. 7.15pm

30th April, Prof. Forbes Munro on Maritime Enterprise and Empire: William Mackinnon and his business group 1846-93. Greenwich Maritime Institute, 7.15pm. Windsor Castle Room, Queen Anne Court. Old Royal Naval College.


7th May, Engineering History or the History of the Engineer. Prof. David Cannadine. Newcomen Soc. Science Museum, 5.45pm

10th May, Eclipse. 10.30am £28. NMM. 020 8312 6747

11th May, Crossness visitor day (Ring 020 8311 3711)

16th May, Blackheath Scientific Soc., Mycenae House, SE3 7.45pm

16-17th May, Saving our Seas, 10.30am. £45. NMM. 020 8312 6747

17th May, Gill Cooper on Charlton House. Charlton Society, Charlton House, SE7 2.30pm.

18th May, Woodlands Farm. Spring Show.

20th May, Crossness visitor day (Ring 020 8311 3711)

22nd May, Visit to Woodlands Farm. Charlton Society

25-26th May, City Safari to Lyons (details Paul Saulter, 80 Udimore Road, Rye, Sussex TN31 7DY)

30th May, David Jones. A Brockley Artist and Poet, Meurig Owen, LLH. Methodist Hall, Albion Way, SE13. 7.45pm


ELIZABETH. 29th April, 10.30am. £39. NMM. 020 8312 6747

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

THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE. 11th May 10.30am. Planetarium. Adults £8. Children £6. NMM. 020 8312 6747

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

INDUSTRIAL HISTORY OF EAST LONDON. Birkbeck College at North Woolwich Old Station Museum. Lecturer Mary Mills. From 30th April, Details from Mary 0208 858 9482, Don 020 8445 5081 or Birkbeck 020 7631 6633

THE INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY OF GREATER LONDON. Fieldwork course from Tues 6th May at City University, with Dr. Bob Carr. Details 020 7040 83268



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