Notes and news — September 1973
In this issue:
Industrial Monuments Survey
- Industrial Monuments Survey
- Current projects
- New projects
- Annual General Meeting of GLIAS
- Billingsgate Dried Fish Market
- Commercial Ice Wells
- Kew Bridge Water Works
- Hibernia Chambers
With this Newsletter, members will find the first of a series of handlists of London's industrial monuments, prepared by the Survey sub-committee (Michael Bussell, Paul Carter, Derek Holliday, Martin Nail, and Malcolm Tucker). It is intended that these will fulfil two aims: one is to inform members of what there is in London, particularly those who do not possess a copy of 'Industrial Monuments of Greater London' — published in 1969 and long out of print. The sub-committee has been discussing ways and means of producing a new booklet: a recent, unexpected but most welcome development in this respect will be announced when present formalities have been concluded. The second aim of the handlists is to encourage an active response from members, both in correcting or updating the information in the lists and in supplying details of monuments not included. There are hundreds if not thousands of industrial sites and structures in London that are unknown to the sub-committee and if each member sent in details of only two, we should almost double the present record. SO PLEASE HELP. Details of the Survey have been published in the past, but please write to Michael Bussell for further information and some CBA record cards. Corrections and improvements to the published lists will also be gladly received.
The handlists are set out by industries rather than boroughs, based on an interpretation of the Standard Industrial Classification published by Ian Donnachie in the 'Journal of Industrial Archaeology', Vol. 6, No 1, 1969 (with due acknowledgement), and further adapted by the sub-committee to suit London's needs.
The information on a monument is presented in six columns, viz.: Name (and address if necessary); Borough (in abbreviated but we hope decipherable form); National Grid Reference (square TQ); brief details; whether listed (indicated by L); and state of knowledge. This last item is shown as follows:
no sign more information badly needed
+ bare details known, further work required
++ well documented , not necessarily by GLIAS
It is suggested that members check the entries for monuments in their own area or field of interest; confirmation that details are correct will be as valuable as correction. A note of published references will also be welcomed.
The handlists will be published in instalments with each Newsletter and it is hoped that they will be complete in mid-1974. By then, with your assistance, the first lists should be ready for amendment and enlarging.
Members are reminded of a number of GLIAS or GLIAS-assisted projects that are continuing. If you are willing to help, please contact the individuals named:
Markfield Road Beam Engine Restoration of a free-standing 100 h.p. compound engine of 1886 by Wood Bros, Sowerby Bridge. Cleaning, painting, etc. Alan Spackman
Woolwich Dockyard Recording of 19th-century buildings due for demolition, many interesting structural features. Ken Catford and Danny Hayton
Industrial Monuments Survey Unlimited scope for recording, measuring, photographing, tape-recording machinery at work, etc. — also documentary research. Michael Bussell
Railway Housing Marylebone One or more members are needed to initiate work on the following: During the last survey session along the Regent's Canal, a large railway housing estate was located. It is Wharncliffe Gardens, Lisson Grove, NW8 (centred on TQ 267825). Someone, possibly with an interest in railway or building history, is needed to investigate the history and construction of this estate of 580 dwellings built by the Manchester Sheffield & Lincolnshire Rly c.1895. Contact Paul Carter.
Fitzrovia A remarkable industrial quarter bounded by Oxford Street, Tottenham Court Road, Goodge Street and Rathbone Place is likely to be lost soon by piecemeal and/or comprehensive redevelopment. What industries were located there? What survives? Contact Michael Bussell who has some basic information.
Maconochies Wharf A recent newspaper item reported the sale of this wharf in West Ferry Road, E14, and adds cryptically that this was the site for the assembly of iron ships in the mid-19th century. Anyone who would like to do research to enlarge on this statement, please contact Michael Bussell.
Annual General Meeting of GLIAS
The Society's fourth AGM was held on Saturday 7 July at the Institute of Archaeology, Gordon Square, WC1. Despite the rival attraction of Wimbledon Finals Day, there was an attendance of about 40.
The Chairman, Denis Smith, welcomed those present and opened the meeting by recording apologies for absence from the President, Mr R.M. Robbins, the Treasurer, Mr B. Woodriffe, Mrs C. Vialls and Messrs R. Graham, D. Needham and T. Thomas. The retiring Secretary, Paul Carter, began his report by noting that the year had been one of consolidation for the Society, with a great deal happening "behind the scenes", the results of which should begin to appear in the coming year. In particular, the ways in which GLIAS could more effectively cover the London area had been given much thought; at present the Society's administration took up much of the time of members who would otherwise have been more active in the field. Demolition continued at an increasing rate particularly in Dockland and along the river; in the future, changes could be expected arising from the reorganisation of the water supply industry, while many old railway stations would be rebuilt or modernised. The obsolescent Addington Well pumping engines were typical of many industrial monuments whose fate was of concern to the Society. The closure of the Museum of Transport at Clapham had happily been offset by the opening of the Syon Park display of London Transport exhibits from Clapham.
Turning to the Society, Paul Carter paid tribute to the efforts of Vere Glass (membership), Stephen May (Publications Officer), Bryan Woodriffe (Treasurer), Derek Holliday (Events) and Caroline Kenward, who had been Secretary to the Monitoring Group in its first year. Thanks were due also to the retiring members of the Committee, Valerie Hunn, Christine Vialls and Martin Nail, who were not seeking re-election.
One of the major successes of the year had been the British Film Institute — GLIAS film evening at the National Film Theatre, credit for this being due to Christine Vialls and John Kenward. Restoration of the Markfield Road beam engine continued under Alan Spackman, while local interest in the Crossness engines had recently become apparent; GLIAS would remain closely involved in their future. Plans for the Society's first Journal were progressing under Michael Bussell, who had also written a paper for the Committee on the future organisation of GLIAS on a more local basis. This would be published soon for members to comment and it was hoped that its recommendations if acceptable would be put into effect in the coming year. The Industrial Monuments Survey had got under way and although some valuable work had been done, notably by Mr & Mrs Wood, more help was urgently needed from members. Paul Carter ended with the hope that the year ahead would be one of increasing activity for the Society.
In reply to a question on the Secretary's report, Michael Bussell explained that the GLIAS Journal would initially appear once a year and would be A4 size with about 32 pages including drawings and photographs. It was intended for sale to the public at large, as well as to members to whom it would be available at a reduced rate. The delay in publication was due not to lack of material but to finance and finding a printer who could achieve a high standard of production at a reasonable cost. The first Journal would include a report on the Windmills survey conducted by Martin Salzer, Jonathan Hopton and others. Members also expressed a desire for lectures to be arranged and the Secretary undertook to refer this to the new Committee.
Paul Carter then presented the Treasurer's Report and Statement of Accounts, apologising on behalf of the Treasurer who was in Russia and unable to be present. The Accounts had not been audited and some members present asked that the Accounts should be re-cast to show the Society's income and expenditure in more detail. Paul Carter said that Bryan Woodriffe would be asked to do this on his return and the Accounts when audited would be circulated to all members.
Denis Smith then reported on behalf of the Monitoring Group. A number of visits had been paid to inspect threatened buildings and several representations had been made. It was hoped that members would notify the Group of cases in their area.
The four Officers for 1973-4 were elected unopposed, but voting was necessary to choose the seven individual Committee members from the 10 nominations. The following elections were made:
Chairman: Denis Smith*
Secretary: Vere Glass*
Treasurer: Colin Hartford*
Publications Officer: Michael Bussell *
Individual Members: Stephen May, John Smith, Paul Carter, Ken Catford, Derek Holliday, Terry Thomas, Malcolm Tucker
Not elected: Alan Spackman, Adrian Tayler, Bryan Woodriffe
After an interval, Denis Smith in a further role, as speaker, gave an illustrated talk on 'The Houses of Parliament — the Rebuilding 1835-70'. He dealt principally with the structure and building services, including the controversial schemes for ventilation and revealed that a steam engine is still at work in the basement. Denis received a well-earned ovation for his talk, and the meeting closed with thanks to the Director of the Institute for the use of the building.
Billingsgate Dried Fish Market
A note in the 'Daily Telegraph', accompanied by one of Geoffrey Fletcher's evocative drawings, records the demolition of this 1890s building.
Commercial Ice Wells
The Southgate Civic Trust is seeking information on a site known as The Wells, Winchmore Hill Road, N14, where a possibly unique group of commercial ice wells operated until at least the late 1860s. The former owners, Simmonds, collected ice from nearby streams and stored it for use by local hotels, fishmongers, etc. The domestic ice house is fairly well-known, but its commercial counterpart is rare. If anyone can help, please contact Michael Bussell who will forward the information.
Kew Bridge Water Works
A report in the Brentford & Chiswick Times on 19 July suggests that the M.W.B. station may be taken over by a trust and opened as a museum. At present the station with its five beam engines may be viewed by prior arrangement only. It is implied that the engines will be returned to working order.
An Evening Standard report in late August referred to the restoration of Hibernia Chambers, a listed building on the South Bank in Southwark. Over film??????? will be spent in restoring the exterior to its original appearance and renovating the interior — a welcome alternative to the past and future demolitions in this area, which is fast losing its distinctive riverside "feel".
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© GLIAS, 1973