Volume 7, Issue 3, May 2004








15th June - Robert Hulse on The Brunel Engine House at Rotherhithe

13th July - Philip Peart on Appleby Engineers

12th October - Dr. Jane Grant on The Co-op Women's Guilds

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


On the 4th April this year an event was held to celebrate the 139th anniversary of the opening of the Southern Outfall Works at Crossness. This was a most successful occasion representing the high point of the work of the Trust over the past 18 years. It was shared by 261 members and guests including Simon Jenkins one of the Vice- Presidents. The afternoon was punctuated by three periods of steaming of Prince Consort each of which was preceded by a selection of live bag-pipe music performed from the gallery of Victoria. Following the second steaming, Peter Bazalgette, the Trust’s Chair, addressing the multitude, spoke eloquently about the history and future of the Trust and its work at Crossness. This was followed by a very generous buffet tea at 3.30pm. Some hearties also walked the newly revised Crossness Trail, which follows a route around the site.

Peter Trigg writes: Following the visit of H.R.H. Prince Charles last year for the first official running of the engine, Prince Consort, a further running took place on 4th April for the benefit of some 300 supporters. This event celebrated the 159th anniversary of the inaugural steaming on 4th April 1865. The engine had been beautifully restored together with the cast iron framework. It ran very quietly considering its size, it was fascinating to watch the operation of the valve gear. After the running was finished the Chairman of the Crossness Engines Trust, Peter Bazalagette, Great, Great Grandson of Joseph Bazalgette, the Engineer of the Project, gave a speech thanking members for their efforts in restoring the engine over a period of 19 years. He expressed the hope that the other three engines might also be restored. A large exhibition of photographs, paintings and drawings was on display. Of especial interest was a section covering the sludge boats, which were only taken out of service some two years ago when the incinerator was brought into use.



In late March, the Mercury ran a story about a CAMPAIGN launched to save Deptford's ‘Seven Wonders of the Waterfront’. This is spearheaded by William Richards and Chris Mazeika from the Shipwright's Palace. The campaign ‘aims to ensure the area's ancient buildings are saved from developers’ in response to the huge influx of development in Deptford and a fear old buildings will be knocked down to make way for new schemes.

Will Richards is quoted as saying: "Five years ago saw the loss of the buildings on the power station site and 1984 saw the destruction of the 1720s' naval storehouse and the removal of the clock to Thamesmead. We must hold on to what is left to save it from the tyranny of the bland which has taken over the north side of the river."

The Seven ‘Wonders’ are:

** Borthwick Wharf – designed by Royal Institute of British Architects Gold Medallist, Sir Edwin Cooper in 1934 it is the late tribute to Deptford’s 500 year old meat industry.

** Payne’s Wharf – listed in 2002 this mid-19th century riverside building has huge Italianate arches and was built for a boiler manufacturer.

** Upper Watergate Stairs. An early river access point – believed to be where Sir Walter Raleigh laid down his cloak for Queen Elizabeth

** Master Shipwright’s House. A listed 18th century building. Now restored to be used as a house, private gallery and performance space.

** The Great Double Dry Dock. This 16th century building is the first granite lined structure in the world. It is currently filled with rubble.

** The Basin – dating back to the 13th century this is mentioned in King Henry VIII indenture of 1513 as containing his second most powerful ship, the Mary Rose.

** Victualling Yard Buildings – these listed 18th buildings are currently used as houses and offices in the Pepys Estate.

Editor's note: – Why haven’t you included the ‘Penn’ bollard Upper Watergate – now the only relic of Penn’s engine builders, and, also, why not the massive covered slip from the 1840s, now called ‘Olympia’!


At their February meeting Blackheath Scientific Society heard a talk by Trevor Williams, Chief Engineer for Transport for London of the S.E. Sector of Roads. The following is a summary, taken from the Society’s minutes, of some of the events surrounding the hole which appeared in Blackheath Hill in 2002.

On Sunday 7th April 2002, Mr. Williams was told that he had a hole in one of his roads. This is not particularly uncommon; but by the following morning, the road had already been closed with an impressive amount of fencing and cones; and four adjacent buildings had been evacuated - one remains unoccupied to this day. The hole, by the junction of Blackheath Hill and Maidenstone Hill, was large and growing. Just before it had appeared a bus had gone by and later a car driver said he had just managed to drive on as the road surface collapsed. Two large water mains had both ruptured, and flowing underground had formed a quicksand. No one will ever know whether a water leak started the hole or if ground settlement broke the water mains - the evidence was washed away. The hole eventually stabilised at about 9m long, 4m wide and 4m deep.

The history of the area is of caverns left by chalk mining over hundreds of years, though not under the road itself; although there was a tunnels under Blackheath Hill, built lower down for an early railway. Another tunnel was said to run from the Victorian church of Holy Trinity to the Horse & Groom pub but was found not to exist. That pub itself had a history of movement and was already empty, another building was moving less seriously and was still occupied. Blackheath Hill divides Lewisham on the south from Greenwich each responsible for the buildings on their side.

Physical investigation by TfL was confined to the area of the road - initially by levelling the road surface at spots around the hole marked by blue crosses. Then Microgravity measuring equipment was brought in to assess whether the ground beneath the whole length of the hill was dense or loose. Microgravity plots were then produced and they generally showed looser conditions on either side of the road, and this was confirmed by the boreholes. Chalk pits, not tunnelled caverns, were found and they had gone 20m below the land surface, except for a spine under the road itself. Even then the odd bite had been taken out and, at a low level, a tunnel had been made to connect the two sides of the workings. The chalk pits had been back filled by the mid 19th Century. This connecting tunnel was found to be satisfactory, as was the later railway tunnel.

The modern road is wider than the original, and now overlaps the chalk spine - it was the old, unconsolidated fill that had collapsed under the hole, down the north side of the spine.

The treatment was first to fill the hole with gravel. Then, to prevent a recurrence, the old fill by the sides of the spine was consolidated. A curtain of grout was created on both sides of the road. Boreholes were drilled through the fill to solid ground, then as the drill was removed high pressure grout was forced in to fill the borehole and any voids, and to compact the surrounding old fill. The grout is cement based, specially formulated to match ground conditions and avoid affecting the chalk aquifer underneath (which is used in London's water supply), or the foundations of adjacent buildings - it has to be water permeable, neutral, and stiff.

Drilling rigs are not plentiful, and Britain was scoured to get seven - six in use with one standby - another was brought on a barge from Italy.

While repairing the water pipes the opportunity was taken to line them from top to bottom of the hill with plastic tubing; which was welded into suitable lengths along the closed off road on the Heath. The retaining wall for Hollymount Close was in a poor state - it was agreed that a new sheet piled retaining wall be built further back, permitting a wider pavement. A special Japanese machine was brought in from Germany for some of this work. The Horse & Groom pub was demolished. After two years the work should be finished.


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

From: Norma Chantler

How very, very pleased I was to locate my husband's great grandfather on the 1871 Census living with fellow members of the Army Service Corps in Woolwich, Woolwich Arsenal, District 9. Henry Joseph Horton served in the Crimean War, in the Army Works Corps as a Labourer for 13 months. We have a copy of the original discharge certificate dated 6th August 1856. Is there any way I could obtain a copy of a history of the Woolwich Arsenal? I would be eternally grateful if you could provide me with more information.

From: Dave

I have a round aneroid barometer which bears the inscription Henry Ward which through research I believe it to have come from such a Thames Sludge vessel. The maker of the item was Lilley & Reynolds Ltd based in Wellclose Square, London, but I have drawn a blank on the name. Could you help me or point me in the right direction so as I can find out who Henry Ward was?


From Barbara Ludlow

I read the front page of the last newsletter about the opening of the Greenwich Heritage Centre – plenty about the Arsenal but nothing about the new Search Room – and only something about Julian Watson’s contribution and retirement at the bottom of the back page. What a pity this wasn’t on the front page! I remember the walk that Julian and I did that Sunday morning in October 1975 with Director of Leisure, Chris Field, and Cllrs. Jim Gillman, Derek Penfold, etc.. It was to prove to them just how important it was to protect the riverside walk.

Sorry Barbara – I thought that it would be better to pay tribute to Julian’s work separately from the note about the Heritage Centre and that it would be more prominent on the back page. Editor.

From: Jean Williams

I just came across your Web site and was very interested to read one of the letters regarding J. Stone & Co. (extract: "That makes reference to J. Stones and Co., Deptford as the producers of the propellers for the QM"). My father worked for this Company from the age of 14 until he retired at 65. 1930-1981. He told me he made the propellers for the QM! Do you know if any records have survived, as I would love to find out more?


From: Dennis Grubb

Is there any resource I can use to find Brickyards and Brickmakers in the Deptford and Greenwich areas about 1700 to 1825?

From: Virginia Stola

I read with interest the article on the Charlton Fire and in particular, the mention of Mrs. Eliza Ayles. I believe she is my great-great grandmother. On the 1871 census, Eliza's occupation is listed as a rope manufacturer. I have several questions concerning the rope company:

What was the name of the company in the 1800's and was it rebuilt after the fire?
Does the company exist today and, if so, under what name?

I am grateful for any information or the name of someone who knows the history of this rope-making company.

From: The Crosses

I've been reading Francis Pryor's wonderful book Britain BC, in which he writes helpfully at a layperson's level about Neolithic flint artifacts. In particular he mentions a childhood incident in which he found himself briefly trapped in a Norfolk flint mine of prehistoric date (maybe it was Grimes Graves??). It's 'design' was so clearly similar to the Dene Holes I was familiar with as a child living in Joydens Wood, Bexley, that I started to wonder whether the purpose of some of these was also flint mining. I had never heard this offered as an explanation when I lived there 30-40 years ago, though of course flints littered our garden. And of course great antiquity was never suggested for these phenomena (well, at least, not at an anecdotal, non professional archaeological level). So I wondered if there'd been any misinterpretation here? Do you know any more?

From: John Janman

I sent you an email a short while ago about an old spirit glass I had etched with pub or brewery names and I have obtained a glass etched within scrolls.... Property of The Bunker Greenwich. Would you believe it I have found the answer to my question !!!! For future reference if needed.... The Bunker is at The Kings Arms Greenwich. During the blitz in the Second World War a bar below the pub was used so patrons could keep on drinking which was called The Bunker. PM

Numerous readers have sent in contributions on The Bunker:

From: Diana Rimel

'The Bunker', Greenwich, was the colloquial name given to the Kings Arms pub in King William Walk, most likely during the Second World War. It was certainly referred to by this name by naval staff of the National Maritime Museum when I worked there in the early 1970s. I am pretty sure the staff used it as a place of refuge (and for drinking) during air raids.

From: Harold Slight

The 'Kings Arms', King William Walk, Greenwich was called 'The Bunker' from the late 1930's to the 1950's. It was my father's favourite pub. The landlord was Bill Barlow - a 6ft 4", 15 stone, down-to-earth Yorkshireman.

From: Iris Bryce

The pub in King William Walk at the entrance to Greenwich Market ‘The Cricketers’ was called ‘The Bunker’ by my father and uncles.

From: Barbara Ludlow

My father, William Wellard, always referred to the Kings Arms in King William Walk as 'The Bunker'. He said that the nickname came from the habit of coal-heavers, in particular those working at the LCC power station at Highbridge leaving their shovels leaning against the wall of the pub when they took some refreshment. Whether it had the nickname before the pub was rebuilt at the beginning of the twentieth century I cannot be sure about, but certainly in the years before WW2 it was commonly known as 'The Bunker'. There is a photo of old Kings Arms P.H. in M.Mills, Greenwich and Woolwich at Work.

Editorial note: How is it that GIHS members know so much about pubs?

From: Kelya

You cannot imagine my delight when I found Vol.3, Issue 2 of March 2000 by Greenwich Industrial History Society on the Web, with comprehensive notes regarding Charles Enderby and the Auckland Islands in the "Making History" section and the article by Barbara Ludlow titled "The Enderby Settlement Diaries". It has added much to my research regarding the ill-conceived settlement and spurred me on to find more information so I wanted you to know how much I appreciated the article, albeit four years after it appeared in print. I am seeking the passenger lists of the ships - "Brisk", "Fancy" and "Samuel Enderby" which carried the intended settlers to the Islands and am also endeavouring to have the Enderby Settlement Diaries checked for Mann Family references. I would be happy to hear from any descendants of the original settlers who may have contacted you following the articles, with a view to exchanging data. Once again, many thanks to the GIHS for wonderfully informative articles which certainly "struck a chord down under".

From: Flos Harrap

I have searched for information on George Mence Smith Ltd which I now understand was founded in Greenwich and your society published an article on this recently. I am keen to find out anything I can about the company, which I remember from my childhood in Watford.


From: Ron Jones

One of the piers at Woolwich Arsenal which I think is Victorian, is being dismantled as I write. I walk to Woolwich & back every morning and evening and have been taking photographs of it being dismantled. If anyone is interested I could put up a temp web page showing the progress.

From: Edward Collins

I am interested in the copperas industry that flourished in Deptford and Rotherhithe in the seventeenth century.

I came across your publication part of Christopher Philpott's study of industry in Deptford published in the GIHS Newsletter Volume 4, Issue 2 (March 2001). In it he refers to the Copperas lands north of the Gravel Pits where he says early dye and chemical manufacture was established by Sir Nicholas Crispe. He also refers to a map of 1674 showing coppris beds on the north side of Copperas Lane with coppris houses in the southeast corner and to the east a dock opening onto the creek with a crane. I was wondering where I might be able to view the map he refers to and what his other sources are. My particular interest is in James Smith (1587-1667) and his son, Sir John Smith (1627-1673), both of whom were involved in the copperas industry in Redriff (Rotherhithe). It seems that the lives of Sir Nicholas Crispe (1599?-1666) and James Smith overlapped to a certain extent. For example, not only were they both involved in the copperas and dyeing industries but also James Smith, like Sir Nicholas, had a house at Hammersmith and was involved in the establishment of the chapel of ease (now St Paul's) at Hammersmith (the church contains memorials to both). Did their lives overlap in other ways as well? Sir John Smith was Master of the Salters' Company at the time of his death in 1673. He was also sheriff of London in 1669. The coppris works in Redriff (or Redderith) were settled on Sir John by his father in 1662 and are described in Sir John's will as follows:

".. .the coppris house and coppris works with the warehouses [cisterns] beds boilers coolers yards grounds structures sheds and other edifices thereunto belonging in Redderith aforesaid in the County of Surrey and the wharf and crane and tenements near to the North East end of the said coppris work and the messuage or tenement and lands late in the occupation of William Stephens deceased and now in the tenure or occupation of Thomas Lunt coppris maker adjoining at or near the said coppris house... [and] the Cole Yard in Redderith aforesaid adjoining to the said coppris work on the East side thereof... and certain lands meadow and pasture lying behind my coppris house called Maddbrook alias Threescore Acres [alias Sixty Acres] in Redderith aforesaid which I lately purchased of Mr John and Mr Cuthbert Winder of Bray near Maidenhead..."

I would like to find out where the Smith copperas works were and whether any records of them survive. Can any of your readers help either with this or with general information about James and Sir John Smith and/or the extent of the copperas industry in the area at the time?

From: SS Robin Trust

Morgan Stanley International Foundation have very kindly awarded the Trust £10,000 towards the education programme - this is a tremendous boost for everyone involved in trying to get the project off the ground. The money will allow us to focus on bringing local schools into the gallery over the summer, and means we can look ahead positively to teaching kids on board there!

From: Roy Tindle

I am now in touch with the owner of the Mersey Ferry, Royal Iris, which has been moored for some years at the Thames Barrier. Work is continuing on her and she is being restored.

From: Liza Walden

I wonder if you can help - my granddad, Edward Farrow, was working at the Woolwich Arsenal in the Second World War. I don't know if there was an accident at the factory or the factory was bombed. He lived but lost half an arm and some fingers on the other hand. I would much appreciate any thing you could tell me about this accident.

From: Doreen Carter

Can anyone give me information about a Captain Langmead who was involved with CS Faraday?

From: Anthony Bryer

I am interested in Henry Bryer who lived in Greenwich. In 1857 & 1864 he is described as a Floor Cloth Manufacturer. I have been unable to trace any reference sin the trade directory. In anticipation of your help.


by John Day

The first article which this Newsletter ever received dealt with John Day’s memories of his apprenticeship at the Royal Arsenal. We have run this as an intermittent series ever since. Here, now, is the last episode – and with apologies to John for the length of time it has taken to get this far. Don’t let it put you off sending more stuff in!

We had our moments at the Woolwich Polytechnic where Dr. Mallet was the Principal. At the end of our second year most of us went for interviews at one or other of the London Colleges to study for degrees. Only three were successful, Hibbert, Maybe and Walker. The first two went to Kings College and Walker to City and Guilds. It was said that Mallet only agreed to the departure of those who were not likely to gain a degree, or whose parents could afford the fees for a College education. This seemed to have been borne out since nearly all who stayed at the Poly were successful.

We were joined by several non-Woolwich apprentices for the three years, among whom were Grey (a Belgian), whose engineering drawings were works of art, Eric Smith, who after a spell at British Celanese took over a wire drawing machine firm in Rochester, and TonyWeston. Tony was the butt of two practical jokes, one when we chained the rear axle of his Swift car to a bundle of girders destined for an extension to the Engineering Dept. The other on 5th November, when we rigged up a rocket pointing through a louvre in the top of the bonnet with a piece of fuse wire across the starter terminals. We began an argument about starting times and solemnly went out to the car park armed with stopwatches. It worked beautifully.I bought myself a green tweed suit and sitting one day at the controls of the tension test machine I was presented with a child's Green Line conductor’soutfit. After he had sold his Swift, Tony Weston bought an Austin Seven, which he found one day had been taken through double doors and down a flight of steps and parked in a corridor.

The staff at the Poly included Dr. Walter Scoble, chairman of the Committee on Wire Ropes, who tried to teach us metallurgy in the first hour after lunch on a Friday. "Sweater" Ashworth, a very kindly Lancastrian who instilled the basics of thermodynamics without actually telling us anything. His system was to put a problem on the board and leave us to it. After a reasonable time, he would look at our vacant faces and write his magic formula on the board - Heat lost = Heat gained - then he would ask what was lost and what was gained and the problem was solved! Sweater drove an open Humber tourer and he would pick up any tramp, lash his pram with its contents to the luggage grid and take the tramp to his next nights stop.

The lecturer that took us for structural design had designed the tall radio masts at Rugby. He was also friendly with the builders of Waterloo Bridge and we had a visit one afternoon when the centre span consisted of a couple of planks. Did you realise that the actual piers are only three feet thick and they allow the deck to move an inch or so with the movement of the traffic? We were lectured on mathematics by Lowry, a brilliant man who was so wrapped up his subject that he was oblivious of anything that happened in the room. He had a habit of apparently snatching a number out of nowhere, when queried what it was he would say, in a slightly hurt voice as if everyone knew, that's the cube root of XXXX! He also had a habit leaving out lines of a calculation.

As you will have gathered I left the Arsenal in 1939 to go to the Patent Office, I was there only a few weeks before I was seconded to the R.A.E. Farnborough. For the war years, my love of internal combustion engines was met by my being deeply involved with Rolls-Royce engines and turbines, a subject that had nothing to do with Woolwich. However, I did return to Woolwich during the war, when my office was in London, and did a spell as a leading fireman at Red Lion Lane. I also lived on Shooter's Hill until 1963. But they are stories for another day.....



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 Autumn 2003 Quarterly Review...

from English Heritage’s London Region lists some archaeological work in Greenwich Borough area. Inevitably these are ‘dirt’ archaeology which takes scant interest in industrial remains. However, some highlights are:

Anchor Iron Wharf, Lassell Street, Greenwich (dig by the Museum of London Archaeology Service).

They found 17th and 18th century deposits and structural remains of the 16th to 20th centuries. The earliest remains are likely to be associated with the 'Hobby Stables' of 1532-1533.

Safeway Store Extension, Thamesmead (dig by MOLAS).

They found fragmentary remains of a wide stone wall across the site made of hard ragstone rough hewn blocks on the north side, and facing the Thames. A second wall built of rough-hewn chalk blocks might be associated with Tripcott House. It is thought that proximity to a vertically faced river wall would allow small craft to offload here.

White Hart Triangle, Thamesmead (dig by MOLAS)

The Royal Arsenal, Woolwich (dig by Oxford Archaeology)

As well as remains from the Military/Industrial period, they uncovered evidence of Roman and late Medieval activity. They found part of an extensive late Roman cemetery containing c.140 graves. There was also structural and landscape evidence of Tower Place, a mansion house with extensive grounds on the eastern limits of the Arsenal site. Adjacent to the site of Tower Place, was a tile-built double-flued pottery kiln with associated waste dumps, and clay storage pits. Work on the Thames foreshore showed preserved timber posts and plank revetments. Other timbers at the western end of the site could be from a wharf and the cranes that operated there. The main excavations centered on the historic core of the site where the Royal Laboratories, built in 1696-7 for ammunition and 'fireworks' production, and the Great Pile or Dial Arch Complex, a cannon boring workshop and storehouses of 1717-20 attributed to Nicholas Hawksmoor, are located. Both areas revealed evidence of their original layout amid a vast array of structural evidence which had been added over their c.300 year operational existence. Structural remains included foundations, walls and floors, machine bases, coal cellars, iron and bronze furnaces, a casting house, engine house, boiler houses and complex flue systems. Other investigations at the site found a large amount of below ground structural evidence from demolished buildings, spanning the entire period of the site's military role, including details of a range of officer's quarters known as the New Barracks (1739), lost ranges of the Grand Store (1806-13), early 19th century magazines, the Rifled Shot and Shell Foundry (1855-6) and the 'Old Forge' (1856-8) used in the production of Armstrong-type guns and the Central Power Station (1895). In addition, historic road surfaces often with inset rail-track, and their underlying service runs were recorded. In addition, building recording was done on New Laboratory Square (1783?-c1890) and the pair of Riverside Guard Houses (1814-15). Finds ranged from Roman pottery, glass and jewellery, to the late medieval-early post medieval kiln furniture and clay pipes, to post medieval and modern small arms ammunition such as musket shot and bullets to cannons and cannon balls.

A second piece of work on a different site uncovered a series of small scale, timber stake and wattle structures inland from the current line of the Thames River Wall and dating from the medieval period. They are thought to be part of former fence lines, possibly fish traps, plus the foundations of an earthen River Wall. Two ditches, running E-W were thought to be part of the network of drainage ditches to allow Plumstead Marshes to provide agricultural land. This drainage system is apparent on maps dating to 1670, 1701, 1717, 1725 and 1749 and may have their origins from the 'inning' of the marshes in the medieval period. In 1779, this area was incorporated into the Arsenal. The well-preserved brick built remains of the Proof House, late to become the Proof Offices (built pre-1780) survived. There were other brick buildings, which related to the Proofing Workshops (built 1780-1802) sited south of the still extant E-W drained channel. There was no evidence for the contemporary Convict Sheds built to the north of this channel, although these may have been totally removed to make way for the north range of the Grand Stores east Quad constructed in the same position. A substantial cut in the northern-most part of the trench may be associated with the new River Wall begun in 1802. This allowed for a new river frontage before the construction of the Grand Stores 1806-15. In the second decade of the 19th century, the area was completely remodeled with the construction of the East Quadrangle of the Stores Department. The drainage channel was infilled, and brick culverts were constructed to drain the area. These culverts were then buried under a massive land raising exercise prior to the timber piling alignments upon which are constructed the substantial brick foundations of the Grand Stores. At the East Quad the remains of this piling pattern were recovered and correspond to the SE corner of the northern range of this quad. Documentary sources reveal that this range suffered dramatic subsidence and was demolished in 1831. Most of the remains from the late 19th and 20th centuries were removed during remediation work as part of the recent infrastructure works.

In the Woolwich Antiquarians current newsletter, Tony Robin writes:

Does anybody have memories of Thomas and Edge the builders who had their office at Station Chambers, Cross Street, and their works at Royal Dockyard Wharf? The firm was established in 1895 by the formation of a partnership between Edwin Thomas and John Edge. Many of the buildings in Powis Street and Hare Street which date from the turn of the last century, were built by them. They carried out many contracts for the Government in World War I, including extensions to the Royal Herbert Hospital on Shooters Hill. When peace was restored they built numerous local housing estates and sewer and drainage projects.

Editor’s Note – no memories Tony, but I’ve got a copy of their company history!

THE GLIAS JOURNAL is now available:

Nothing about Greenwich in it this time but lots of other fascinating material (Victorian Street paving, Barratt & Co. sweet manufacturer, and the Camden Hydraulic Accumulator). More details to come!


by Philip Binns


Meeting held 16th March 2004.

27 Kirk Lane, SE18

Erection of a house on vacant builder’s yard. Question of suitability in relation to adjoining buildings.

Meeting held 17th April.

Payne’s Wharf & Borthwick Wharf, Borthwick Street, SE8

Demolition of buildings at Borthwick Wharf and partial demolition of buildings at Payne’s Wharf for a development of 275 homes with commercial space, and basement parking. The Group considers that insufficient thought has been given to the retention and refurbishment of the cold store building at Borthwick Wharf, designed for Borthwick's by Sir Edwin Cooper in 1934 and one of fast disappearing purpose built industrial buildings associated with river trade still in evidence; the monumentality of the building and its excellent brickwork detailing make this a candidate for spot listing and the Group fully supports efforts in this respect by local residents in their representations to DCMS. The partial retention of the Payne’s Wharf building, listed Grade II, is welcomed but the introduction of a two storey glazed box atop the elegant colonnaded facade to the river detracts from the quality of the building and its setting; the decision to retain the Borthwick Street frontage of this building and replace its heart with a new infill development is questionable, although the Group welcomes the proposal to open up the interior to Watergate Street to the west; the proposal to introduce a river walk linking both sites is also welcomed but it is regrettable that the opportunity of a further connection to the Thames Path on the Millennium Quay development appears not to have been investigated; the proposed replacement for the Borthwick Wharf building is, at 24 storeys, excessive in height and bland in appearance; there is no justification for building to such a height. New build on the Borthwick Wharf site should be no higher than the highest part of the adjacent Millennium Quay development and, on the Borthwick Street frontage, new blocks rising to seven storeys are considered excessive in relation to the three storey height of the retained elements of the Grade II listed Payne’s Wharf building. There is also concern that the 160 car parking provision is all set in a basement car park, a part of which is below the listed building, and there is concern that the scheme will over-burden the existing infrastructure; the scheme represents over development leading to excessive density, particularly in view of the fact that the site is remote from good transport facilities - at least a 10 minutes walk to Deptford BR station and at least 15 minutes walk to the BR and DLR links at Greenwich.

Adjacent Buildings 54 and 55, Royal Arsenal, SE18

Erection of 16 sculpture pieces - object strongly; the proposal is inappropriate for the location, will detract from the Grade II listed guard house buildings and could cause an obstruction to pedestrian movement between the pier landing and No.1 Street, one of the key axis points within the Royal Arsenal redevelopment; the Group fully supports art in the public realm but, in this instance, a subject matter better related to the history of the Arsenal should have been chosen; a model should also have been submitted..

The Warren, Royal Arsenal, SE18

Environmental Impact Assessment - given the scope of the proposed works and their relationship to listed buildings within the Royal Arsenal Woolwich Conservation Area, this is considered to be essential; reference to buildings ranging in height from 5 to 13 storeys is an immediate concern as would be the impact on traffic/pedestrian movement both within and adjacent to the Royal Arsenal complex.

Site of the former Federation Day Centre, Federation Road, SE2

Demolition of existing building and erection of a new part two/part three storey block of 21 flats with car parking - the design is unimaginative and there is a concern at the proposal to build so close to an established bat colony in the adjacent former chalk mines; the contents of the thorough outline ecological assessment prepared for the developer by Andrew Waller in February 2004 should be carefully considered; development on a site included in the Council's Bio-Diversity Action Plan and recognised by the London Mayor as being of ecological importance should not be undertaken lightly.


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)



12thMay, The Big Flood, the 1953 East Coast Floods. 10.30-16.15 National Maritime Museum. £29. Bookings 020 8312 6747.

18thMay, Crossness Engines Visitors Day. Must pre-book 020 8311 3711

20thMay, Some Great Families of Blackheath. Michael Egan. 7.00pm plus wine and a light buffet. £8.50

21stMay, The story of a dinner plate. Anne Haworth. Lewisham Local History Soc.

22ndMay, Visit to the Woolwich Ferry and its Maintenance Workshop. Blackheath Scientific Society. Limited numbers.

23rdMay, Hidden History of the Greenwich Peninsula. Rich Sylvester ‘eco historical walks’. Meet North Greenwich Station. 10.30am. Booking 07833 538143.

25thMay, Charles Brooking - The Brooking Collection in Greenwich - past and future. Univ Greenwich, Howe Lecture Theatre. 7.30 £8 please book via Greenwich Society, 8 Beverley Court, Breakspears Road, SE4 1UN.

25thMay, History of the London Fire Brigade. Esher Mann. SLAS. Hawkstone Hall, Kennington Road, SE1. £1.00. 7pm (ring the lower bell if you are late). email:

27thMay, Ranger’s House and the Houses on the Waste. Neil Rhind. 7.00pm. Ranger’s House.£8.50 plus wine and light buffet.


2nd June, Blackwall Yard, Elizabeth Usherwood. DHG Museum in Docklands, West India Quay. 6 pm

5th-16th June, The Sea and History 1700-1800. Maritime History Summer School.£650.00. (does not cover accommodation). 020 8312 6747

5th June, Crossness Engines Public Steaming Day. 10-30-5 pm. £4 just turn up.

6th June, Hidden History of the Greenwich Peninsula. Rich Sylvester ‘eco historical walks’. Meet North Greenwich Station. 10.30 am. Booking 07833 538143.

12th June, Eastern England Region IA Conference Blythburgh, SAE Brenda Taylor, Crown House, Horsham St Faiths, Norwich, NR10 3JD.

25th/26th June, The Agenda for Understanding Industrial Archaeology in Britain. Nottingham University. email:


22nd April - 10th June, The Stuart Age. Thursdays, National Maritime Museum. £29. Bookings 020 8312 6747.

28th April - The Industrial Archaeology of East London - see boxout below.



For further information please contact;

Firepower on 020 8855 7755,, website


The Society's officers are currently as follows:

Emeritus President - Jack Vaughan

Chair - Sue Bullevant

Vice-Chair and Committee - Ray Fordham - Andrew Bullevant, Alan Parfrey, David Riddle

Secretary - Mary Mills

Treasurer - Steve Daly

Auditor - Juliet Cairns

Members are reminded that subscription renewals fell due in October 2006. 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 the Greenwich Industrial History Society.
Chair, Sue Bullevant, 11 Riverview Heights, Shooters Hill, SE18. Views expressed in it are those of the authors and not of the Society.

Contributions are always welcome. If possible, please send on disk 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.
Members and visitors are strongly advised not to try and park in the yard at the Old Bakehouse itself.

Mary Mills now has a limited stock of Greenwich and Woolwich at Work available at £8 each plus £2 postage from 24 Humber Road, London, SE3 7LT, 020 8858 9482

Mary Mills


This Web site is managed by David Riddle

David Riddle

Web space courtesy of David Riddle