Saturday, 7 March 2015

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend. Slade Green

Railway line from London Bridge to Gravesend
The railway continues south eastwards

Post to the south Thames Road
Post to the east Crayford Marshes
Post to the north Erith Anchor Bay

Bridge Road
Bridge. The bridge over the railway dates from 1961. Plans to build it were approved by Crayford Council in 1955 but construction was delayed because problems of design of the bridge and footpaths. Agreement with British Rail was not achieved until 1959. Up to this time the only access to the area was via level crossings over the railway.
Slade Green Medical Centre
Community centre.  This has now closed
Pop in parlour. This has now closed as a result of the Community Centre closing. It had been run by AgeUK
Library. This was built in 1965 and is now closed

Cedar Road
Terraced houses built in the late 1800s by Messrs. Perry and Co. of Bow for railway workers. These were authorised in 1898 by the South eastern Railway in its final months. A second contract was let to Messrs Smith & Sons' of South Norwood.

Elm Road
Christian Fellowship Church and hall. This was Slade Green Baptist Church and remains within the Baptist Union. It is a substantial building dating from the early 1930s
Railway housing –built by the South Eastern Railway in the late 1800s for workers at their large maintenance depot, adjacent.

Forest Road
Slade Green Station. The station lies between Dartford and Erith on South Eastern Trains.Trains also run between here and Crayford Station. Land was purchased for a station here by the South Eastern and Chatham Railway in March 1899 to serve the engine shed and those who were to work there. It was opened in 1900 and named ''Slades Green'', rather than the previously designated name of ''Whitehall''. There were two platforms and a brick building on the down side and a timber shelter on the up side. There was a subway between the platforms. It was called Slade Green from 1953 and at the same time the platforms were extended. In 1968 the station was rebuilt using the CLASP modular system.
Level crossing. Originally called Whitehall Crossing, this was replaced with a footbridge in 1968 and closed in 1971. The gatekeepers house, built at the same time as the other local railway housing was demolished in 1968
Signal box. This was at the Dartford end of the up side and built by Evans, O’Donnell and Co. It closed in 1970, and was demolished.
Shops. These were built in 1954 - having been promised by the South Eastern Railway in 1900.
British Rail Staff Association Slade Green Club, This is on the site of the original Railway Institute and is known as 'The Hut'.

Hazel Drive
Slade Green Recreation Ground. This has a children's playground and two football pitches.
Tumulus. This is shown on maps pre-Second World War and appears to be in the area of the children’s playground

Hazel Road
The Lord Raglan. Rebuilt in 1900 but originating from 1855,
Terraced houses built in the late 1800s by Messrs. Perry and Co. of Bow for railway workers.
Howbury Lane Open Space. Playing fields.

Hollywood Close
Thames Water site. The Dartford Rural District Sewage Works was here. This later became a council depot. The Slade Green Sewage Pumping Station was a small brick building beside a sewage sump pit built in1902.  It was demolished and replaced with an automatic electric pump house in 1998

Moat Lane
Was once called Whitehall Lane – the area was then known as Whitehall.
1a Railway Tavern. This was a decorative public house with columns and an open balcony. It was Built by the South Eastern Railway and opened in 1900 as the Railway Hotel. It was built by the same contractor as the adjacent railway housing in the late 1890s and was illuminated by electricity. Its main role would have been a pub, with bed and breakfast rooms for visiting management, contractors, or workers. After being derelict for many years it was converted to housing in 2006
The Glen. Slade Green Athletic Football Club. Before the Second World War Slade Green had three football clubs. In 1946 they merged to form Slade Green Athletic Football Club. They were successful for many years but closed down in 2009.  The club played on a pitch named The Glen. In 1987 the 'Small' prefix was added. The ground has a car park and clubhouse, with a shelter alongside pitch.
35 The Sportsman. This is a drinking club in what seems to be a big old sports pavilion.
Howbury Farm. This includes the walls, the moat and the remains of a 19th oast house.
Howbury moated grange.  This is a 12th moated manor site once the home of a Tudor official, later rebuilt. The Norman moat encloses the manor house - a 17th building now damaged beyond repair. The wall of the moat is still there but the drawbridge was replaced by brick one in 1778 which has now collapsed. Occupants of the property were latterly tenant farmers, and after the building of a new house -  Howbury Grange to the south - in 1882 the building was abandoned in the 1930s.
Howbury Cottages. Built for farm workers,
Tithe Barn at Howbury Farm. The barn is 17th or earlier. The doorpost has the remains of a mechanism to adjust the shutters during winnowing.
Howbury Grange. This was built for the tenant farmers on a Saxon site. It is the offices of the Russell Stoneham estate, local landowners and apparently part of ReadyMix.. There is a house of 1880 plus stables and a coach house. This currently has conditional demolition consent as part of a large road and rail freight interchange.
Oval camp 500 yards south east of the Grange.

Oak Road
Housing built for railway workers in 1900 for the South Eastern and Chatham Railway.

Railway
Junction with the Bexleyheath Line. In 1895 a triangular junction was opened from the North Kent Line to the Bexleyheath Line. Called Perry Street Fork Junction.
Railway sidings to sandpits north west of the station to clay pits and brick works in the 1890s. Crayford Brick sidings
Railway sidings to Eonit and brick works to the north
Slade Green Railway Works.  A railway locomotive and rolling stock depot built over 12 tracks parallel to the North Kent Line in 1899.  In 1897 the South Eastern Railway drew up plans for a large steam locomotive engine shed here. The shed, built for the suburban tank engines of these intensively-used commuter lines, was completed 1899. The plans outlined a building, nearly 600 foot in length and housing ten parallel tracks, two of these which were dead-end and a repair shed. A through line was planned to serve a coal stage on the south western shed to be used instead of a station goods depot. The building was to be built in yellow bricks. It was initially called ''Whitehall, Erith'. the shed lines had a pair of 50 foot turntables, flanking the building entrances, the engine shed had a total capacity, of 110 engines. All regular maintenance and heavy repairs were undertaken here and there were two five ton travelling cranes within the adjoining repair shed, and all roads had an inspection pit. A 150,000 gallon water tank was complete with water softener. After Grouping, the Southern Railway began an electrification programme here and it was proposed in 1924 for the engine shed to be converted into an electric multiple unit depot. Also a new heavy maintenance building was to be built to do all major repairs on the fleet. This was complete by 1925, in time for electric working on the North Kent Line to start the following year. The depot also had a mechanical carriage washer in 1935. the engine shed building was lengthened in 1954 to take the longer trains. the depot officially became ''Slade Green'' in 1953. In 1990 the 1925 repair shed was replaced to take eight dead-end tracks for the 'Networker fleet. This opened in 1991. It continued to do repairs on the 1952 slam-door stock until 1995.
Trench Warfare Light Railway. This came off the running lines some 350 yards beyond the ''Dartford'' end of the engine shed, curving sharply to go in a north east direction across the marshes to the Thames Ammunition Works. It was 1½ miles long and opened in 1917. It closed after the Great War but the internal rails of the works remained, as did a section between Slade Green and a refuse dump which went out of use in 1924.

Slade Green
The name of Slade Green is found in records from the 16th meaning a low flat valley. The area was farm and marshland until industrial developments in the 19th.  Slade Green belonged to Howbury Manor and was locally called  'Cabbage Island' – that being the crop grown in market gardens between Whitehall Lane and Slade Green Lane.

Slade Green Road
Church, schools and Howbury Centre all lie in the square to the north
Electricity Power Station. This was built by the South Eastern and Chatham Railway beside the railway line in 1899 to supply power to the railway workshops. There were some remains of the building on the Power Works Industrial Estate albeit altered and extended.
Power Works industrial estate. This was built on site of South Eastern Railway power station.
Corner Pin Pub. This was originally built by the Stoneham family in 1844 as part of a row of farm labourers' cottages. It eventually took over the cottage next door. The public house, was demolished in 1958 and rebuilt

Whitehall Lane
Whitehall Lane Clay Pit. Small pit worked probably by Furner. This was extended to Slade Green Brickworks with a clay pit and brickworks which were owned by William Furner 1870-1915 A tramway from the railway ran into the site

Willow Road
Railway company housing,

Sources
Baldwin. The River and the Downs
Bexley Civil Society. Walk
Carr. A spot that is called Crayford
Chelsea Speleological Society. Newsletter
Hamilton. Crayford Industries
Ideal Homes. Web site
Kent Rail. Web site
London Borough of Bexley. Web site
London Encyclopaedia
Pevsner and Cherry. South London
Spurgeon. Discover Erith and Crayford
South East London Industrial Archaeology
The Glen. Wikipedia Web site

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