Notes from Bob Carr — April 1992
World's first central power station finally demolished
- World's first central power station finally demolished
- Further changes in Moreland Street
- Glais colliery
- British Archaeological Awards
- Demolition in Cheltenham
The remaining arches of Sebastian de Ferranti's Deptford power station of 1889 have been demolished along with most of the post-Second World War Deptford East power station. Explosives are being used and there has been concern among local residents who have feared IRA bombs. At the time of writing the Deptford East chimney still has to come down. Some of the pumps in the basement of Deptford East power station were claimed to have come second hand from the PLUTO (pipe line under the ocean) project. Information will be gratefully received.
The original Ferranti station supplied central London at 10,000 volts AC, 83.3 Hz — the frequency decided on was 5,000 cycles per minute. A reasonably good view of the Ferranti arches, set in the south wall of the 1950s East power station building and painted red, could be obtained by looking through a gate on the north side of Stowage SE8. There used to be a substantial model of the 1889 Deptford power station in the Science Museum, South Kensington, which gave a good idea of Ferranti's original arrangements. Bob Carr
Further changes in Moreland Street
The King's Arms public house in Moreland Street EC1 no longer exists. This Banks and Taylor pub has apparently not survived demolition (GLIAS Newsletter February 1992).
Such buildings in London are not usually at risk and this architecturally presentable Vicwardian edifice seemed ripe for adaptive re-use even if licensed premises were no longer required on the site.
Founded in 1981 Banks & Taylor of Shefford in Bedfordshire were one of the most successful of the new small brewers and four or five years ago by leasing public houses had built up a network of 12 pubs, seven of them in London — the largest of any new brewer. Their first London pub, the Lord Rodney's Head in Whitechapel Road, E1 was leased from London Transport. The brewery had an output of about 60 barrels a week but just lately they do not seem to have been doing so well. Bob Carr
A photograph on page 38 of the book Nicholas of Glais by Dr David W Howell (ISBN 0 9518323 0 1) depicts pithead buildings at Glais Colliery c1925.
Dimensions indicate a moderate size undertaking for the time, there were wooden headstocks over what must be the downcast shaft, a stone winding engine house with a tapering square-section brick chimney alongside, strengthened with iron bands.
To the left, at right angles to the winding engine house was a tall three-storey stone beam pumping engine house. The beam projected over a bob wall over the downcast shaft and the pump rods must have shared the shaft with the two cages. In the rectangular space of which the beam engine house and the winding engine house formed two sides were three boilers in the open, Cornish or Lancashires.
There is a good deal of pipework evident in the photograph and a safety valve is blowing off. Both engine houses have pitched slate roofs. The group of buildings was probably erected towards the end of the last century. Bob Carr
British Archaeological Awards
The ten biennial British Archaeological Awards which include industrial archaeology are the most prestigious in British archaeology. This year 1992 the Ironbridge Award, Heritage in Britain Award, Sponsorship Award and the Virgin Group Award are particularly relevant to industrial archaeology. The closing date for entries is 30th June 1992. Bob Carr
Demolition in Cheltenham
This September the annual AIA Conference was to have been held at the Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Further Education. This institution will shortly be applying for University status and a fair amount of new facilities are required. This means that some of the necessary demolition work will most likely have started by the time of the AIA Conference.
At the Park the bar would be replaced by a portacabin and demolition work begun on the gymnasium, Derwent Hall and chapel. Apart from the number of conference places available now being limited, the ability to watch demolition at first hand while in residence was not considered an essential part of the annual industrial archaeology conference and so a move to Cirencester, a former woollen town, with accommodation at Cirencester Agricultural College is a very probable alternative. Bob Carr
© GLIAS, 1992