Saturday, 19 December 2015

Riverside, east of the Tower and south bank. Blackwall Point

Riverside south of the river and east of the Tower.  Blackwall Point

This post only relates to sites on the square south of the river. Sites north of the river are Old Blackwall

Post to the west Canary Wharf
Post to the north Poplar
Post to the east Leamouth and Dome
Post to the south Greenwich Peninsula West


Drawdock Road
Drawdock Road was built in the 1880s by the gas company as compensation for loss of watermen’s rights on the frontage of the new gas works. It is a public right of way but is not always accessible because of events at the Dome.

Riverside
The riverside walk is now renamed Olympian Way
Blackwall Tunnel vent. This is behind the security fence. This is the ventilation shaft for the ‘old’ tunnel. These vents are not the originals but new installations to clear pollution.  They have an arrangement whereby the roof opens in segments – ‘like a flower’
Meridian Line., This crosses the path here marked with metal strips.  When this area was opened by the gas works there was a sign here to mark the line.
Ordnance Jetty. This jetty is unused and has been grassed over. It served Ordnance Wharf – the gas company tar works. However it is not shown on maps of the 1950s and 1960s, although an earlier jetty certainly stood on this site to serve the shipyard which was here in the early 20th and the Blakely Ordnance Co.  in the 1860s had a jetty which may or may not have been on this exact site.  The jetty now in place does not appear to be a modern enough to have been built by the gas company in the 1970s. However photographic evidence shows a jetty at Ordnance Wharf in the4 1950s-60s which had on it contraption known as a Temperly Transporter.  This appears eventually have collapsed onto the jetty which presumably made both unusable.
Meridian Gardens. This includes the helipad for the Dome and is otherwise a bit of neglected open space with a lot of security fencing.
A Slice of Reality. This is an art work by Richard Wilson.  It is on the foreshore and is a sliced vertical section of an ocean going sand dredger. The ship was reduced in length by 85%, leaving a slice with the ships habitable sections: bridge, poop, accommodation and engine room.   This has been there since 2000,
Dry Dock entrance.  There was an entrance to the Blackwall Point dry dock which seems to align with a long indentation in the river wall – although this is considerably larger than would have been needed for the dock entrance.  The river wall here is modern
Reed bed and flood prevention scheme. This is described on sign board adjacent to a series of terraces built for this purpose on the foreshore.
Forbes, Abbott and Lennard. In the 1867 James Forbes, then based at Iceland Wharf, Old Ford  patented various means of making sulphate of ammonia and sulphuric acid. He had been based there from at least the mid 1840s in partnership with a Abbott and Lennard where they contracted with London gas companies to buy chemical waste.  They latere moved to East Greenwich where they made a variety of chemical products.   When South Metropolitan Gas Company purchased Ordnance Wharf they moved south to a site adjacent to Victoria Deep Water Wharf.  Their revolutionary Lennard still remained on site and was taken over by the gas company for their own use.
Tunnel Avenue
This stretch of Tunnel Avenue was part of Blackwall Lane
Blakely Ordnance Works. Theophilus Blakely opened his ordnance works here in 1865 with a lease from Morden College. He had invented the method of making rifled ordnance, later widely adopted.
The works failed and Blakley died in 1868.  The works appears to have continued under Vavasseur,
Blackwall Point Dry dock. After Blakely left the site was partly used to build a dry dock. This large dry-dock was built in 1868 by Lewis and Stockwell. They were boat repairers and ship builders – one boat built here was a collier called Bulli later wrecked off Tasmania. The dock was sold to the South Metropolitan Gas Company by order of the House of Lords in 1881. While some of the site was used for their tar works the dock itself was leased to a series of ship builders and repairers – the first two defaulted on a mortgage from the gas company and it was returned to them. It was later rented to the large Wapping based ship builder, John Stewart. In 1928 the gas company bought the dock back from the Port of London Authority and used it as a reservoir. A capstan from it is in the Museum of Docklands.
Ordnance wharf. South Metropolitan Gas used this area as their tar works and later included the area previously used by the shipbuilders in their site.  They operated a large pitch bed here as well as laboratories, and tar stills – one of which was the Lennard Still.
Bisophosphated Manure Co., Biphosphated Guano, and Mockford Ordnance Manure Works. These three artificial manure companies operated on Ordnance Wharf pre 1880s.  Mockford opened in the late 1860s and processed guano, mineral phosphates and shoddy



Waterview Drive
Intercontinental Hotel. This vast new hotel is on the Ordnance Wharf site. It has 453 guest rooms and suites on 18 floors. It is part of the Aurora chain.

Sources
A slice of Reality. Web site.

Ballard. Report on effluvia on the lower Thames
Blackwall Tunnel. Web site
Intercontinental Hotel. Web site
Mills. Greenwich Marsh
Mills. Innovation, Enterprise and Change

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