Volume 8, Issue 3, May 2005






13th September, Frances Ward, Colonel North and Avery Hill

11th Octobe,r John Ford, Siemens Engineering Heritage and Archive

15th November, Geoffrey Belcher, The decline and fall of the British motorcycle industry (particular reference to AMC}

13th December, Paul Sowan, Edwin Gilbert's sand pits at Charlton, desk study and field observations.

24th January, AGM - Speaker Wayne Cocroft. English Heritage, An international exploration of the archaeology, architecture and technology of arms and explosives manufacture

14th February, Clive Chambers, The continuing story of Blackwall Yard

21st March, John King, Croydon Airport

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

Mary Mills is giving monthly talks to the East Greenwich History Club - the club is sponsored by the Forum@Greenwich and the talks are free to all Forum members - membership can be sorted out when you come to the club. Future meetings on 20th September, 18th October and 22nd November. 3.00pm at the Forum.



From Lorraine

I am trying to locate an Invention by Captain William Forbes, Port Arlington, Melbourne who in 1905 went to England to submit his invention The Distance and Course Recorder to the British Admiralty. In 1909 after much testing and discussion with the Navigation Dept of the Admiralty, Hydrographer, Admiral Field and Captain Bacon Director of Naval Ordinance, the project was taken over by Elliott Bros. of Lewisham who altered its design and manufacture. It was then known as Forbes Patent Log. I believe this equipment was used not only by the British Navy but also by the Cunard Shipping Line.

I have tried to find the Elliot Bros. records of the time plus locate the Admiralty records given that the invention was used on a lot of Navy ships. Are you able to assist me or put me in touch with the appropriate organisation?

From P. Haney

You recently published an enquiry from me about Duresco and the Riverside Works, Charlton. I had one reply, which was extremely useful. Thank you. Could I request a further enquiry through your Newsletter? Does anyone have any information on a company called Griffiths Fletcher Berdoe operating in the Charlton area pre-1880? Berdoe could possibly have been Walter Berdoe, an industrial chemist. Is there any information on vinegar making around Charlton pre-1880? uk

From Benjamin Fragner

We are honoured to invite you to the 3rd International Biennial Vestiges of Industry 2005, which will take place in Prague on September 19th - 23th, 2005. The programme of the biennial includes a conference reflecting on examples of European experiences and on the relationship between industrial heritage and culture, a number of exhibitions, excursions and cultural events in Prague and in the nearby industrial town of Kladno. The biennial and its events are organized by the Research Centre for Industrial Heritage (VCPD) at the Czech Technical University in Prague, the Technical Monuments Committee of the Czech Chamber of Certified Engineers and Technicians EKAIT, the Czech Union of Civil Engineers (ESSI) and the City of Kladno, with the direct support of the International Visegrad Fund (IVF). Detailed information and applications are available at: We look forward to welcoming you to the 3rd International Biennial - Vestige of Industry to share your knowledge and experience with the other participants.

Research Centre for Industrial Heritage Czech Technical University in Prague

From Neil Bennett

Congratulations on a brilliant Web site. My interest is in the Merryweather Company which, as well as featuring among my childhood toys and models, l worked for in South Wales after it left Greenwich. I have worn out my printer downloading the Merryweather items from your Newsletter. Didn't know there was so much to Greenwich! I am part of what may or may not be a growing Merryweather nostalgia industry, and I'm researching for a book initiated by Paul Pearson (a fire vehicle restorer) and contributed to by Tony Armstrong (MW chief engineer early 1980s, South Wales) and myself (draughtsman same period). The book is intended to relate the post-WW2 history of the company but I collect information on the whole 3+ centuries. I would offer some snippets as follows:

The company left Greenwich apparently because its workforce was aging and perhaps the building was aging although it and the land were worth a vast sum, making mechanical engineering production there unrealistic. Taken over by the Siebe Gorman Group, grants were sought from the Welsh Development Agency and other sources and a modem factory unit taken in Rassau, pronounced Rassa, near Ebbw Vale. South Wales. It did not seem to be very successful and is reported to have had a succession of managing directors. On Friday 13th April 1984 it did a moonlight flit to the Tecalemit Garage Equipment factory in Plymouth. The chairman of Siebe Gorman was interviewed by Roger Cook on Radio 4. The company became T.G.E. Merryweather, where it only produced fire extinguishers. Sometime later Siebe Gorman merged it with a historic but little-known company, John Morris & Sons Ltd to become Morris Merryweather in Hyde near Manchester. I have a sales brochure of its fire-fighting products including the Merryweather extinguishers. This company was later reported to have gone into receivership. Recently the Merryweather & Sons Ltd name survived, the name having possibly been taken on by its last managing director in South Wales, Paul Abbot. An address for the company is found in Ashford, Kent or alternatively in Croydon, supplying fire alarms etc..

These facts are however subject to confirmation and further research.

I was very interested in the proposition that Eduard Butler built the first British petrol engined car in the Merryweather Greenwich factory. Was there any feedback on this? The website won't come up on my computer, and normally I'd be wary of internet claims unless backed up by evidence. However, there does seem to be some evidence as the authors of a book published in 1901 by the Merryweather Company, "A Record of Two Centuries" does refer to a 'petro cycle ' being made (the last in a list of non-fire-related products). At that time apparently nobody saw the potential (or potential threat) of the invention, and it is ranked somewhere after 'tanks for camel transport' which must have been useful to someone.

In one Newsletter, Neil Means enquires about fire boats. If they have not yet made contact, l suggest he gets in touch with D.O. Pat Cox at the Fire Service College, Morton in Marsh. He is said to be the authority on fire boats although I have yet to contact him.

Hope some of the above is interesting. Some points I am wondering: is the Greenwich factory building still standing/listed/demolished? Would it be described as Art Deco or what architectural style? (I don't live in the area). Was Edward Butler of petrocycle fame continued as a London resident? Interested in MW's wartime products including turntable ladders mounted on amphibious vehicles for the D-Day landings, (mentioned in Engineering Journal 11.1.1963), and extending ladder vehicle for artillery spotting. Any other interesting stuff about the company or its products, for which I would be grateful or would swap some of my own material.

I am seeking to further enlarge my collection of information on Merryweather. In exchange for new pictures, information etc, I could offer similar, or sincere thanks/modest payment. In Vol I, Issue 4 the Flexible Metallic Tubing Company is mentioned. Around 1980 I worked for Ransomes & Rapier Ltd, Ipswich. They made the NCK Rapier cranes which can still be seen working, mobile (wheeled) cranes, giant walking dragline excavators and among other things the turntable for the revolving restaurant in the Post Office Tower (London). While there my drawings included a piece of flexible exhaust pipe (3 or 4 inches diameter) for a diesel-engined crawler-crane which came from the United Flexible Metallic Tubing Company. lts address was probably not given as Greenwich or l would have remembered it as a neighbour of MW&SL. If it is the same company the addition of the name 'United ' might suggest that it merged with another company at some point and may have moved. Later (1983) I looked them up and they had become T.I. Flexible Tubes, but apparently I did not note their address. The Tube Investments group now has a web-site featuring T.I. Automotive, Their products don't look at all similar, but anyone keen to know more might enquire there. Keen to support industrial heritage but on a tight budget, and unlikely to make it to many of the meetings... but please give some details of what the Society offers.

From Iris Bryce

With reference to the last Newsletter and the piece on War Memorial Hospital, 'artefacts relating to the Hospital are stored '.. I wonder whether they still include the Roman remains mentioned in The Romans in the Greenwich District by Reg Rigden, 1974. He mentions finds from the site of the Memorial Hospital, Shooters Hill giving evidence of occupation during the 1st century. The finds included pottery, flint, animal bones and possibly a piece from a thatched roofed hut. The book was published by the Borough of Greenwich. Reg Rigden was a very oId friend. Owen and Reg first met when they were founder members of the first Revival New Orleans Band in England in 1943. Reg became curator of Plumstead Museum. I'm still trying to find a publisher interested in my collection of essays on life in Wrotham, Kent from the early 50's. Any ideas?

From Veronica Hampton

I ran an internet search on "the Old Sheer Hulk" and Jack Vaughan's article 'The Old Sheer Nonsense ' came up Mr. Vaughan, quoted a booklet on 'Woolwich, Plumstead and Neighbourhood ' and reproduced some of the info on the pub in your Newsletter. I am interested in any further information contained in this booklet on The Old Sheer Hulk. My interest is family history, and a cousin by marriage was the publican at the Old Sheer Hulk from 31 July 1952. I am in the process of transcribing oId letters written during his term of tenancy at the pub. To date the letters have been only mostly about family matters and the 'new life indoors' at the pub. It was a Watney's establishment in 1952:

"The trade here is not too bad, but not fortune to be made. I can sum it up by saying I work harder and get about the same money, but can't get out to spend as much. This place is not small. Large public and Saloon Bar, kitchen, scullery, sitting room and 5 bedrooms. I employed a batman at first but found trade hardly merited it and he could only do mornings and not weekends. We have two cleaners. Overheads are pretty heavy but trade is about second best along here. I find things a bit awkward because my predecessor did not leave me any figures as a guide. Still we are managing and now preparing for the Christmas orders. I can't say I'm entirely struck on this trade because you've no time off and you never know whether it’s going to be a busy night or not, but as Tom says, I'll get used to it in time.
H.J. STEED, Sunday Nov 2nd 1952"

"Now for the pub, it’s quite homely and the people not too bad, but they don't stay long, they go from one to the other, you see there is about 4 Houses within five minutes walk.
L STEED, Sunday Nov 2nd 1952"

From Museum of London

The Postcodes Project website is a new resource aimed adults with an interest in local history. It showcases a wide variety of objects from the Museum's collections, highlighting one for each London postcode area. In addition there are numerous links to local museums, libraries, archives and adult education centres to encourage people to get more involved in local heritage. The really exciting aspect of the site is a system that enables individuals and members of community groups to submit their own stories about an area. These will gradually build up to create a website which is as rich and diverse as the city it portrays.

While working on the Newsletter archives in 2020, the Webmaster notes: Unfortunately this Project no longer appears to have a Web presence.

From Bill Sanman

It seems very little information has been preserved on London shipbuilding. In particular I am looking for any information about the ships built in the following yards:

Ditchburn & Mare
Blackwall John & William Dudgeon, Millwall, London
Green. Blackwall
Thames Ironworks, Blackwall
Wigram, Blackwall

I have seen no citations whatsoever for Ditchburn & Mare, John & William Dudgeon or Wigram. There is a very limited amount of information about Green and Thames Ironworks. Perhaps you, or some of your colleagues within the Society, know of sources relating to these yards. There may be a local or regional library that contains files in their facial collections. Or there may be a local expert who knows of these shipyards. I am interested in a number of ships that later served in the Confederate, Spanish and Japanese navies. I am trying to locate any information that may be available, such as contracts, specifications, and plans/drawings, sketches or other images. They may have all been launched from the same port but they later found themselves in the thick of maritime history around the world.

From contact at the AIA

What a contrast we are with the Swiss Transport Museum at Lucerne. It has just announced that the paddle steamer Rigi, which has been on display there since 1958, is to be completely refurbished and put back into steam on the lake by 2009. Rigi is about Reliant’s size and, ironically, was built at Greenwich in 1848. So all credit to the Swiss for showing what can be done in a positive way to preserve maritime heritage for future generations.

If anyone could provide a good translation of this German language site -- we would be happy to use it as a future article here.

While working on the Newsletter archives in 2020, the Webmaster notes : It would appear that this proposal didn't make it to a full reconstruction, but instead, a very impressive Augmented Reality simulation was created of what the Rigi would have looked like originally. This is viewable on their Web site at

From Richard Budd

I am interested in researching my family tree and my Grandfather, Harold Charles Cleall Budd (1892-1968). He was a long-term (49years) employee of Messrs Siemens Brothers & Co in Woolwich, Kent, England. I was wondering if you had any information on Siemens and if there any chance that Archive material could be held concerning W J Graham and the work that he performed for the company? I understand that he had extensive experience in the Power Cables Department. In the 1920s he managed a cable laying expedition in the West Indies on the cable ship CS Faraday.

From Nick Banks

I work for a not-for-profit energy agency based in Southwark. We are interested in the idea of converting old mills and waterwheels on London's rivers to generate electricity. You may have seen that there have been some similar schemes in Devon and Cornwall recently. We would also be particularly interested in getting hold of any maps showing waterwheels and mills in the Greater London Area.

From Rob Fantinatto

Scribble Media is proud to announce the release today of Echoes of Forgotten Places, a DVD about Urban Exploration, Industrial Archaeology and the Aesthetics of Decay.

From Camilla Way

I am trying to find information on the mines and caves under Greenwich.

From Maxine

I understand that there is a picture of Sutherland Champion in the Town Hall at Woolwich. Does anyone know anything about this?



In our last Newsletter we published a letter from a Canadian researcher, Pamela White, enquiring about the East Greenwich gasholder and the gasholder builders, Samuel Cutler.

First of all -- who were Samuel Cutler & Sons Ltd? The following is an edited version of an article on Cutlers, which appeared in the Gas Journal of October 2nd 1935 - and thanks to Brian Sturt for finding this for us...

''Over 90 years ago, in 1844, two brothers, George and Samuel Cutler, established a factory in City Road. North London for the manufacture of gas-works plant, and the management of the Firm has, during all this long period, been conducted by their lineal descendants, the present Chairman and Managing Director, Mr. Samuel Cutler, and the General Manager and Director, Mr. Ernest Cutler, both grandsons of one of the original founders. The business soon outgrew the capacity of the original factory and was transferred to larger premises at Millwall in 1858, and again transferred 10 years later to the present extensive Thames-side premises, Providence Ironworks, Millwall.

The Firm remained a partnership until 1911, when it was constituted a private limited liability company. The Chief Offices of the Firm are at Westminster and have recently been considerably extended. Although Messes. Cutler manufacture a large variety of products, they have always been particularly identified with gasholder construction and have a world-wide record and reputation in this important branch of the Gas Industry. Manufacturing methods have been revolutionised time and time again during their 90 years of activity, but they have always kept well abreast in all improvements both of design and machinery, and can claim to have at Millwall the most modem and efficient plant of every kind for accurate and economical manufacture.

In their early days steam was the only motive power; machines were driven from countershafts and the manual work of fabrication was heavy and exhausting. Holes were "punched" with resulting deterioration of the metal. and standards of accuracy were necessarily low compared with those now attained. Cast iron entered largely into constructional work of all kinds, and machined surfaces were the exception rather than the rule. By contrast, the present machinery at Millwall comprises for power purposes gas, electricity, oil, hydraulic, and pneumatic services and machinery for stamping, shaping, and drilling with a minimum of manual labour practically every part of the numerous and diverse structures manufactured. Also the use of cast iron is restricted to purposes for which it is especially suited, and machine surfacing is the rule and not the exception.

Gasholders are the largest moving metal structures in the world, and Messrs. Cutler have constructed many of the largest now in use. To convey some idea of the size of these huge constructions, it may be mentioned that the Albert Hall at South Kensington could be comfortably accommodated inside the 8 million cu.ft. gasholders erected by Messrs. Cutler at .the Kensal Green Station of the Gas Light and Coke Company 'and at the Neepsend Works of the Sheffield Gas Company. It is no mean engineering achievement that these giant constructions operate for a 24-hour day, year in and year out, in all weathers for half- a-century almost unattended. The location of Messrs. Cutler's Works on the Thames has assisted them in securing many Important contracts for gasholders in colonial and foreign lands, and, to instance only a few, these Ceylon Bombay Calcutta, Smyrna, Malta, Berlin, Vienna, Home, Hanover, Frankfort, Turin, Milan, Genoa, Pernumbuco, San Paulo, Townsville, &c. Messes. Cutler is, at the present time, erecting new gasholders in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Jamaica.

In the home trade their record secures them a place in the tendering list for practically all gasholder work of every size and kind, and there are few gas-works that do not contain some of their constructions. Recent contracts include large gasholders at Beckton, Hornsey, Watford, North Middlesex, Barnet, Brighton, Worthing, and many reconstructions and repairs.

Although for economic reasons spiral-guided holders have, in recent years, been very generally adopted, there is still much to say in favour of the guide-framed type, and the ‘Cutler’ triangulated guide-frame is claimed to be the most scientifically designed and extensively adopted form of standardised guide-frame ever introduced. In regard to spiral guiding, Messrs. Cutler have to their credit many improvements relating to the reliability of the guide carriages and safe access to them for periodical examination and lubrication, including their patent ‘London’ lubricator which, by a piston and star wheel device operated by the motion of the rollers, forces grease from a container on to the axles and keeps them self- lubricated without manual attention. This useful device can also be applied to the rollers of guide-famed holders.
In addition to gasholder building, Messrs. Cutler have a long record in condensing and purifying plant of all kinds. Their first patent for water tube condensers dates back to 1878, and they were the introducers of deep- filled purifiers on the ‘Jager’ system.

In retort work they were co-introducers with the late Mr. Charles Hunt of the ‘Dessau’ intermittent vertical retort system into this country. Conveying plant, storage bunkers, and telphers are an important branch of their business, and large installations- of plant of this kind have been constructed by them at many British and foreign gas works.

Apart from gas-works plant, Messrs. Cutler have many other manufacturing interests of long standing including refrigeration, oil storage tanks, and every kind of constructional steelwork. For over 40 years they have manufactured most of the ice making tanks in use at British fish ports, many of 50 to 100 tons ice capacity, and numerous ice making and brine cooling tanks for export to India and the Colonies. Steel tanks of every size and type for oil storage have long been a standing specialty. During the War years 1914-1918, almost their entire manufacturing resources were requisitioned by the Admiralty in the production of submarine mines, depth charge gears, &c., and hydrogen producing plant. Several hundred plants, ranging in capacity from 2,500 to 60,000 cu.ft of hydrogen per hour, were made at Millwall for airship and kite balloon inflation. It is interesting to note that Messes. Sami. Cutler & Sons, Ltd., are the only gasholder makers whose Works are in London. This location might, a few years ago, have been considered rather a handicap, but, having regard to the present trend of industrial movement, their tenacity to the South appears to be fully justified and to place them in a favourable economic position for much future business, especially as, in addition to possessing excellent wharfage on the Thames with 20ft. depth of tide, they have rail communication into the Millwall Docks and thence on to all trunk railways, also a frontage on the West Ferry Road providing equally good facilities for motor transport.

It is pleasant to lean that many of this old-established firms employees are the sons or even the grandsons of their former workmen.

Pamela also sent information she had picked up implying that the East Greenwich holder was built by Cutlers. An extract from Eve Hostettler's History of the Isle of Dogs..

Samuel Cutler and Sons was another Island firm renowned for engineering. Their premises were at Providence Iron Works in West Ferry Road. Cutlers' specialty was gasholder construction. When the Society of Engineers visited Millwall in 1879 for their annual dinner, jointly hosted by Samuel Cutler and Frederick Duckham it was reported that Cutlers "had in hand about a dozen orders for gas holders from various towns. including an immense telescope gas holder for Ipswich which is about 122 feet in diameter and is in two lifts of 32 feet depth". The company's order book expanded to include work overseas. Cutlers were gas work specialists, but were also builders of all kinds of tanks, oil storage, sewage farms, refrigeration plants, coal conveyors, hangars, mooring masts for the R101 and Crystal] Palace Bit/aerial mast. They built the largest gas holders in the United Kingdom - Greenwich No. 2 holder, originally 12,200 cubic feet but reconstructed to 8.9 million cubic feet with a steel tank 303 feet in diameter and a height of 184 feet when fully inflated, and No.1 holder with a capacity of 8.6 million cubic feet and a height of 200 feet".

Samuel Cutler was a clever engineer. He developed numerous improvements to gas holder design and was also a keen supporter of the idea of a Channel Tunnel. He wrote a book on the subject, describing the twin tunnels, single tunnels and double track, which he advocated. Cutler's employed hundreds of skilled workers - boilermakers, riveters, platers, fitters and pattern-makers, as well as labourers and apprentices.

And from the Port Cities website

The gasholders on Blackwall Lane in East Greenwich were constructed by Samuel Cutler, whose engineering firm was based on the Isle of Dogs. The holders were built between 1886 and 1888. The larger of the two holders was, for many years, the largest in the world with a capacity of 8 million cubic feet (225,000 cubic metres)

Malcolm Tucker also sent information about Cutlers and the East Greenwich holder to Pamela:

The Geography at East Greenwich has changed considerably since the earlier photographs you have seen of the gasholder. That part of Blackmail Lane has been replaced by new roads with an enclave remaining as part of Boord Street. But you will easily find No.1 gasholder and I think you will be glad to have seen it. However the Port Cities web site is quite wrong in saving that the two holders were built by Cutlers and also wrong in some other details). My research in the gas company's minute books found that No.1 was built by Ashmore, Benson Pease and Co., of Stockton onTees and No. 2 by Clayton Sons and Co of Leeds.

Brian Sturt whose knowledge of the South Metropolitan Gas Company is much greater than mine confirms that. Brian has contacted the Port Cities web site to point out their error as a result of your alerting us. No.2 gas holder in the background of the photographs was Britain's largest gasholder of 12 million cubic feet and built 1891-2

Cutlers are now little known except by those familiar with the gas industry and it is odd to find such an attribution to them in a lay publication. I think the clue to this may be in the history of the Isle of Dogs compiled, largely from oral sources, by local historian Eve Hosteller which quotes an ex-Cutler employee attributing the East Greenwich holders to Cutler. The respondent was born in the 1890s so will have had no first hand knowledge of the erection of these holders. It is conceivable that Cutlers did maintenance work on them in the 20th century, hence the data he gives (although that itself is not accurate since No.2 had a tank of concrete not of steel). I shall try to trace the original autobiography by Haines.

Best wishes for your trip.

Following this Pamela White wrote again -.

I thought that I would just update you on the correspondence that I have received both by email and by post regarding the Samuel Cutler and Sons gas holders. For example, Mr. Malcolm Tucker sent to me by post a number of articles from the Gas Journal that describes the firm and its history. This has proved to be very interesting. Again many thanks for asking for those persons who have an interest in the topic to contact me.

Upon reading other material posted on the Internet, I notice that a Samuel Cutler gasholder is located near Ben Jonson Road. While it was standing in 2000, does it still exist? I found out about this gasholder from the February 2000 GLIAS newsletter that is available on the Internet.

The reason for my enquiry is that I will be in London in August. I thought that I would travel out to Greenwich. While I am there l thought that I would attempt to find the gasholders on Blackwall Lane. I have never seen a gasholder, though I understand even the city where I lived as a child (Ottawa, Ontario) did have one until the industrial area where it was located was re-developed. Given this, l thought that the gasholder attributed to Samuel Cutler on Blackwall Lane and which still exists (the lattice framework at any rate) would be interesting to see.

Pamela and her husband did come to Greenwich, and we did go down and look at the East Greenwich holders from as many angles as we could manage. Pamela also looked at houses in the Westcombe Park area where Samuel Cutler lived. I showed her Neil Rhind's 'Blackheath Village and Environs' which has the following information on Cutlers..

George Benjamin Cutler (not mentioned above but one of that family firm) lived 1896-1898 at the White Tower -- one of the Vanbrugh houses in what is now Vanbrugh Fields. Neil also suggests that much of the surrounding land was granted in a development head lease to Cutler. Cutler also lived 1879-1901 and 1914-1918 at 52 Westcombe Park Road. Between 1903-1913 he was at St.John's Park and then until his death at 38 Hardy Road. Clearly some of these dates overlap but there is probably an explanation.

However -- another letter has now arrived.. from Bernard Lehman (in Australia).

This week I received a book, Sid's Story, written by my mother's cousin Sidney Rock (1913-2005). Much of it concerns the partnership between Sam Cutler and the Rook brothers, recruited from the Midlands, to work for Cutler building gasholders in UK and Europe. Sid worked for Cutler in Millwall till the 1940's. Sam Cutler was evidently a very kind and highly respected employer. The book has pictures of Sam, gas works and also maps and a social history of the Millwall community. My grandfather, Francis/Frank Rock (1876-1950), worked for Cutler before becoming manager of the gas works in Rye, East Sussex. Please contact me for more details on Millwall and the Cutlers.

Clearly this story is going to run and run!!


By Philip Binns

Comments by the Conservation Group on current planning applications

Meeting held 18th July

Land at Creek Road/Norway Street, SE10. Redevelopment for 1,006 homes, etc. etc. Welcome the fact that something is happening on this long derelict site. Applaud the introduction of a maritime element with the Museum in Dockland but why not the National Maritime Museum? Many elements give rise to concern -- although the modest tower block bucks the trend for massive statement blocks. Not happy with the density and the residential mix -- the closeness of the World Heritage Site mitigates against this. There is no privacy for ground floor flats overlooking walkways and there is no defensible space in some blocks. A desire line will be created through the space by a bridge over Deptford Creek. We would like to boost the minimal private open space planned for ground level. Concern at the loss of Dowells Wharf -- a reminder of the rich maritime associations and his should have something more fitting than the nondescript beach being proposed. Provision of boat yard repair to replace Wood Wharf is appreciated although here is no sign of where this is to be sited in the drawings. It will need good service arrangements so as not to impinge on living conditions for residents. There is also a need for testing of the cumulative effect of large blocks on protected views.

Deptford Creek between Greenwich Reach and Millennium Quay. Construction of a pedestrian footbridge. No reason why this should not be allowed and trust it can accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists.

Land at Royal Arsenal, SE18. Erection of high tower for radar antenna. Note this is further away from the guard-houses but now near the Heritage centre. All needs to be improved.

Shooter Hills Golf Club EaglesHield Road, SE19. Erection of telecommunications mast disguised as a cypress tree. Object strongly.

Land at Creek Road/Bardsley Lane. Demolition of existing building in a mixed-use redevelopment. Group welcomed redevelopment of this long neglected area. However, concern at some elements -- particularly the ovoid tower which they feel is too high for its setting. Regret the loss of trees in Creek Road. Also regret that St. Alfege Recreation Ground will be used as a private amenity space. Also regret the potential loss of the Lord Hood pub.

40 Victoria Way - this is the far west area of the old Johnson and Phillips site (i.e. not particularly near Victoria Way). Major concerns on access from surrounding Victorian streets.

Old Auction Rooms, Lassell Street, SE10. Unobjectionable and represents as big improvement on the existing situation.

Federation Day Centre - demolition of existing buildings and erection of a three storey block. Continue to comment on maintaining access to the chalk mines and bat colony.

Meeting held 22nd August 2005

Thames Water Installation at Castlewood Reservoir off Well Hall Road, SE9 -- construction compound for use while reservoir is repaired and rebuilt. Group regrets felling of trees and ask about re-routing of cycle path.

134 Timbercroft Road, SE18. Conversion of commercial premises into 5 one-bed flats. Group thinks this will result in unacceptable living environment reliant on roof lights. Also question loss of jobs.


Bygone Kent July and August 2005. These editions carry two excellent articles by Barbara Ludlow on Coombe Farm in East Greenwich.

Crossness Engines Record Summer 2005. The Newsletter gives news of the Heritage Fund Lottery bid -- which hopefully will transform the work and fortunes of the Trust - or what they describe as a 'steady metamorphosis'. They hope to be able to open to the public for a couple of days each week. In addition they hope to restore the outside of the engine house and repair the roof of the boiler house -- then to do up the exhibition area in the Boiler House. They hope soon to be able to get the Easton and Anderson beam engine into steam - and to train a whole new generation of engineers. Meanwhile a Haythorne Davey engine has arrived from Bristol waterworks.

Greenwich. A History and Celebration. Denise Sylvester-Carr. This very posh and well-illustrated book has been published by Ottakers - clearly to catch the tourist trade which floods into their bookshop near the Cutty Sark. Denise has done a really good job with this - and has been very careful not to ignore Greenwich industry with a whole chapter including cables, the Greenwich railway, and much more. Denise should be congratulated.




16th Thames Nelson Flotilla. Recreation of Nelson's funeral Greenwich Maritime Festival Event
16th Mariners and Migrants. Jim Rawlings. Ring 020 8312 6648
17th Guided Walk on Nelson's Greenwich. 11.00am meet Cutty Sark figurehead Greenwich Maritime Festival Event
17th Trafalgar Great River Race. Greenwich Maritime Festival
18th Crossness Engines Public Steaming Day, 10.30 am
18th London Open House Day -- Sevendroog Castle open 10am
20th. East Greenwich History Club. 3.00pm all welcome
20th The Nelson Letters. 10.30 & 16.15 £37 National Maritime Museum.
21st Researching family History. Francis Ward. Greenwich Historical Society 7.30pm, Music Centre, Blackheath High School SE3
23rd Woodlands Farm Quiz Nite and Fish and Chip Supper.
24th GLIAS Walk Treasure hunt in the Bermondsey area
28th Bridge House Estates - talk by Alan Gartrell. Rotherhithe and Bermondsey Society
29th Nelson’s birthday Gala funding diner
29th A riverside journey from Greenwich to Tilbury in Old Picture Postcards, East London History Soc., Lorimar Congregational Church Hall, Ernest Street, E1. 7.30


4th Crossness Engines. Guided Tours. 020 831 1371 on Tues or Sun daytime for bookings.
13-16th City Safari to Frankfurt
13th Laban Centre for Contemporary Dance, Creekside. SE8 3.00pm visit by the London Society
15th After the Battle Francis Ward on the Royal Hospital for Seamen. Greenwich Heritage Centre. £3. 2-4pm
16th Crossness Engines. Guided Tours. 020 831 1371 on Tues or Sun daytime for bookings.
1st Trafalgar Night Dinner. Painted Hall. Greenwich Maritime Festival Event
18th East Greenwich History Club. 3.00pm, all welcome
22nd An afternoon of Exhibitions to celebrate the bicentenary of the Battle of Trafalgar. Greenwich Heritage Centre. Plus Anthony Cross on They brought him home in a barrel of brandy, didn't they? 2.00pm, £3 entry
22nd Greenwich Trafalgar Night Dinner. Painted Hall, Greenwich Maritime Festival Event
23rd Nelson Mass. Chapel RNC
25th An evening of free entertainment including Zaagba Oyortey on The Transatlantic Slave Trade, important event 6.30pm for 7-9. also music and dance and refreshments.
26th 1805 Support for the Fleet. The Royal Dockyards on the Eve of Trafalgar. University of Greenwich at Medway ticketed event ring 01634 88315
26th Nelson's Greenwich. John Swindell and Lesley Veach. Greenwich Historical Society. 7.30pm, Music Centre, Blackheath High School, Vanburgh Park, SE3
27th A history of the Blackwall Shipyard and a voyage to India on a Blackwall Frigate. Clive Chambers. East London History Soc., Larimer Cong. Church Hall, Ernest Street, E1. 7.30pm
29th Napoleon. 'the Man and the Navy'. 10.30-6.15pm, £29
29th Old Royal Naval College. Visit by the London Society (limited numbers). Book from 020 7253 9400
30th Crossness Engines Public Steaming Day, £4, 10.30am. Special Family history focus


lst Crossness Engines. Guided Tours. 020 8311 3711 on Tues or Sun daytime for bookings
3rd Guided Walk on Nelson's Greenwich. 11.00am, meet Cutty Sark figurehead. Greenwich Maritime Festival Event
3rd Pickle Night dinner, Greenwich Maritime Festival Event
5th The Naval Graveyards of Greenwich. Malcolm Godfrey, Greenwich Heritage Centre. £3.
12th The Coast Exposed. l0.30-16.15 £29. Nat Maritime Museum. 020 8312 6522
12th Black History Work in 17th and 19th Donald Hinds. Woolwich Antiquaries Charlton House.
19th Guided Walk on Nelson's Greenwich. 11.00am meet Cutty Sark figurehead Greenwich Maritime Festival Event
20th Crossness Engines. Guided Tours. 020 8311 3711 on Tues or Sun daytime for bookings.
22nd East Greenwich History Club. 3.00pm, all welcome
23rd East Greenwich Waterfront. Peter Kent. Greenwich Historical Society. 7.30pm, Music Centre, Blackheath High School, Vanburgh Park, SE3
26th Woodlands Farm Christmas Fayre with Father Christmas again in the Barn
26th Blood and lce. The search for the North West Passage.10.30-16.15 £29, Nat Maritime Museum. 020 8312 6522
30th A Tour of Southwark. Talk by John Begley. RBLHS Time and Talents, St.Marychurch Street, SE1, 7.45pm



For further information on the Firepower Museum see the Wikipedia entry at The Royal Artillery Museum


The Society's officers are currently as follows:

Past 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 2004. 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).

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


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 park at the Old Bakehouse.


The Web version has been created by;

David Riddle, Web Master

Logo and page end design are by Peter Kent – with thanks