Saturday, 28 February 2015

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend. Erith

This entry relates only to the south bank of the river in this square

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

Post to the west Erith
Post to the south Erith
Post to the north Wennington Marshes  and Shared part square to the north Coldharbour Point
Post to the east Great Coldharbour


Bexley Road
Bexley Road also seems to be the name of the steps going down to the High Street from Bosworth House.
33 Celestial Church of Christ – this is an old retail, tyre workshop building.
33 Redeemed Christian Church of God, as above

Bronze Age Way
This is the Erith -Thamesmead Spine Road opened in 1997 and named Bronze Age Way after archaeological discoveries during its construction.  It is the A2016.

Chandlers Drive
Modern housing which part of a development called Ocean Park. To the north and west is a succession of industrial buildings based in West Street or Gas House Lane – predecessors to Telcon’s Ocean Works.

Chichester Wharf
Modern housing which part of a development called Ocean Park. This is the old Ballast Wharf siding.

Cricketers Close
This site is near part of the chalk pit used as a cricket ground and where a touring Australian side played in 1884 and 1890

Erith
The name of Erith is thought to mean a muddy harbour.  This harbour developed where prehistoric track ways met the River.

Erith High Street
Lane leading to Erith Causeway
Pilots' Hut. PLA building at the landward end of the Causeway
22 Police Station. This was used by the ordinary police, following the departure of Thames Division from 1994. It is now housing.
River Police Buildings. These are adjacent to the old police station. The Thames Division extended its patrols with a combined river and land stations at Erith in the early 20th.
Hudson Coal Merchants. This was replaced by the police station
Erith Rowing Club. This is now in the old police station. The club was established in 1943, and had a club house behind the Running Horses pub. The old Thames river police station is now called The Boathouse and the club occupies the ground floor of the building for its indoor training and clubhouse.
Kort. This is a family run firm which operates worldwide and is based in the old River Police building. Kort Propulsion was founded in 1935 in Germany but the licence was suspended in war time and became a UK based enterprise. They were then owned by ship repairers R and H Green and Silley Weir, then P and O. And later was a management buyout .The company has international links and is regarded as the best of marine engineers.
32 Stone Court. Housing built in 1985 with replicas of some pre-existing 18th cottages. Behind is a raised walk way with gardens leading to a modern brick block and Anchor Retirement Home. Stone’s barge yard was to the rear.
Mosaic by Gary Drostle. The design for the frieze was taken from the pargetting plasterwork above no 38’s balcony.
40 Cross Keys. Built in 1892, with fantastic decorative features, replacing a 17th pub. May be closed following problems with customers’ horses – said to be renovated as offices.
43 The Crown. This was on the opposite corner to the Running Horses and was destroyed in bombing with some loss of life
44 Potion Bar. This was the White Hart built in 1903 which had a garden with birds and animals to amuse children. It also had a bell in the bar which summoned theatre-goers when the curtain was due to rise in Erith Playhouse. There is a mural on a side wall of a Thames sailing barge painted by Gary Drostle in 2005 as part of a series of public art works in the town
57 Yacht Tavern. This stood opposite to the police station and was demolished in the mid-1930s as part of a road widening scheme. The licence was taken by the Yacht public house in Bexleyheath.
89 Post Office. Built by the office of Works in 1929
Erith Playhouse. This is on the site of the Oxford Cinema which opened in 1913. It was built for W.T. Collar of the Oxford Picture Theatre Co. and had a Classical facade. In 1929 it was taken over by the independent Sydney Bacon Circuit which was in turn taken over by Union Cinemas who closed it in 1935. After in 1939 it was used by Erith Council as a furniture store for bombed out families.  In 1946 the building was leased to the Erith Theatre Guild who got permission to convert it into a playhouse. Following work by the Guild members this opened in 1949 with a new proscenium and stage as well as a scene dock and dressing rooms. In 1973 a new front of house was built and the original entrance and facade were demolished following which was another grand opening. The building continues to house amateur productions of plays and is administered by a registered charity
Riverside Gardens. Public riverside path running from the West Street junction to the PLA jetty entrance.  The land for the gardens was partly given to the people of Erith by William Cory & Son, the coal and barge company. It began in 1937 when the whole sweep of the river could be seen but there were alterations in 1982 to build the flood wall. The William Cory promenade is along the riverside.
Site of Cannon and Gaze flour mill. The original mill belonged to Fletcher & Gaze, who amalgamated in 1892 with Stephen Cannon of Bexley Mill to form Cannon & Gaze Ltd of Erith. New mills were built in 1903, after the original was destroyed by fire. From humble beginnings in a small country water mill, working three pairs of stones, to one of the most prosperous flour milling enterprises in N.W. Kent. Cannon had worked the South Darenth watermill from 1806 and the family continued with other mills in North Kent. By the 1870s work was concentrated at the Old Mill in Bexley and in 1878 Stephen Cannon bought Erith Water Mill. Two years he formed a partnership with Mr Gaze, from a Norfolk milling family. They were to go on to purchase more mills in the area. In 1892 the steam roller mill was built at riverside Erith to more easily access grain from America. It was Built by Kirk and Randall of Woolwich with 4/5 storeys and a turreted tower fronting the street. The milling machinery was by Robinsons of Rochdale powered by Yates and Thorn and Easton and Anderson steam engines.  There was a Davey and Paxman generator set for electricity.  The old Erith Mill remained in the new buildings which were lit by electricity. A joint stock company was formed as Cannon and Gaze Ltd with all the shares held by family members. In 1913 Erith Mill was remodelled on the cyclo pneumatic plansifter system, increasing capacity to 35 sacks an hour. By 1913 they employed the largest fleet of motor wagons in the industry. Most of it was demolished following fire in 1937 to make way for the Riverside Gardens
Running Horses pub. Originally with an address in West Street in 1874 it had been established in 1834 and rebuilt in its present form in 1938. It was badly bombed in 1940 and many killed.
Swimming bath. This was built in 1968, having been designed by Richard Siefert. It had a glass wall, to give a panorama of the river to the swimmers. A mural by William Mitchell showed scenes from Erith’s history. It closed in 2005 and has since been demolished.

Maxim Road
West Street Nursery

Maximfelt Road
During road works engineers found a cave complex - maybe do it yourself air raid shelters.

Mildred Road
Mildred Road now runs down to new housing which back onto Bronze Age Way, which itself is parallel to the railway line. In the past the road was shorter and the new housing is on the site of sidings running northwest ward from the main line, and curving at the bottom of Mildred Road to what is now Nordenfeldt Road, where it joined the line from the chalk pits.

Nordenfelt Road
This is the line of the railway from the ballast pits.

Riverside Walk
Long modern pier for private boats. This is apparently called Monarch Pier.
Naval Storehouse. The ship building industry was integral to Erith in the early Tudor period and a naval storehouse was built under Henry VIII. Newly-built warships anchored here to be fitted out from the storehouse: the most notable of these being the “Henri Grace de Dieu” or “Great Harry ". This was built at Woolwich Dockyard in 1515, and was then the largest ship ever built in England. Samuel Pepys records visits to the town in the course of his Admiralty duties, and John Evelyn came here about the sale of ships captured from the Dutch. The dock is said to have been west of Railway Station Wharf. There was also a gun emplacement erected somewhere on the Erith waterfront.
Upper Ballast Wharf’. This was built in 1842 and worked until 1971. There was a railway line from Parish’s pits which was used for shipping ballast from Parish’s pits in Fraser Road. Also called Parish’s Wharf it was a wooden cross braced jetty built 1900 11.25m wide and 57.5m from the bank. Locomotives from the pit were uncoupled before they reached the wharf and a horse was backed onto it.  The horse then pulled the trucks the 50 yards along the wharf.  The horse was then uncoupled and the trucks continued alone. A man then fastened a chain under the trucks and as the trucks hit the end of the wharf the tipping mechanism was released – and the sand fell into the hold of the waiting ship. The truck was then pushed back to the siding by a lad. The assembled trucks were then returned to the pit by the locomotive. Later this system continued with lorries which also were not allowed on the wharf.  The wharf ceased working in 1971, but a white lantern tower remained as a land-mark. The cricket pavilion could also be seen, with an engine shed and fitters' shop and an old forge in a long low building. Now all gone, last to go was the engine shed.  The cricket pavilion was burnt down in the 1970s.    Parallel to this was a standard gauge line going to Fraser and Chalmers.   There was also an old wooden house used by the Venture Scouts.
Railway Station Wharf.  This was previously called Lower Ballast Wharf and was used for shipping ballast from Parish’s pits in Fraser Road between 1808 and 1842. A large structure built here with a slipway extending out into the mudflats indicates the presence of ship building or repair work. In 1897 it was renamed ‘Railway Station Wharf’ and it was cut back into the river bank in 1900 when its working side was 50m long. It was later used by Vickers and by Fraser and Chalmers up to the 1930s. It was rebuilt in concrete in a 1977 as a river walk way topped with railings.
A site which thought to be the location of a submarine pen but this has largely been disproved by research
Thames Steam Sawmills. Opened in 1898 by Beadle Bros.with their own riverside wharf built 1897 - 1909 a network of encircling railway or tram tracks. The wharf itself had  was built after the river wall and apparently cut through it. A previous slipway had gone being replaced with a covered entrance to the river with an pair of dock gates. hames Steam Saw Mills built a wharf by 1909 which seems to have incorporated the existing wharf. The site was taken over by Venesta for wood laminates and partitioning in 1949 and a new building erected cutting back much of the wharf area. The works closed in 1995.
Chandlers’ Quay housing is on the site of the saw mills and surroundings.
Cannon and Gaze.  Old Wharf used for the flour mill fronting on hr High Street. There was accommodation for ten 250- ton barges alongside the mill,
William Cory Promenade – this fronts the Riverside Gardens in the High Street
Erith Causeway.  This is a landing Stage first built in 1909 for tenders for ship crews. It was renewed in 1951 and then in 1970. It extends into deep water at low tide and includes a 175m long 2.5m wide Jetty currently used as a landing stage by Erith Rowing Club. It was previously used by the river police. It is said to be owned and maintained by the PLA and the PLA once had a wooden office building at the landward end.
Ferry from Erith to Coldharbour Point. Thought to have been there in 1512.
Stone Brothers Barge Yard.  Operating from Chalk Farm Wharf, they were the main sailing barge builders in the Erith area also operating a lighterage and tug business. The yard was behind the Cross Keys pub and the wharf built in 1890. Stones, also based in Brightlingsea, were the first barge builders to fit a steering wheel, rather than a tiller, to a barge.

Saltford Close
Bosworth House. This is a 15 storey tower block approved in 1967 and completed in 1971.  It has 56 flats.

Stonewood Road
Stonewood Road is roughly on the line of what was Station Road, accessing the station from the junction of the High Street and West Street before the building of Bronze Age Way. Parallel to it ran the line from the Nordenfelt works to the river at what became known as Railway Station Wharf.
Erith Station. The South Eastern Railway's opened their North Kent Line between London Bridge and Strood via Blackheath and Woolwich in 1849. It had a double track and at Erith there were two staggered platforms.  There was a brick building designed by SER's architect Samuel Beazley on the down side and a goods shed was located at the London end of the down platform. On the up platform was a timber shelter. After 1900 more facilities were provided on the up side platform. There was a water column at the Dartford end of the ''down'' platform. A riveted-steel footbridge was provided by the Southern Railway in 1935 and they also put a valance on the main buildings canopy. The platforms were rebuilt by the Southern Railway in the Exmouth Junction-produced prefabricated concrete and re lengthened in 1954 for ten-vehicle EMUs. . In the 1990s, the single-storey extensions of the station building were demolished, the old brickwork restored, and the taxi forecourt re-laid.
Goods Sidings. There was a goods siding from the start at the Dartford end of the up platform. In 1898 a second set were opened at the Dartford end of the down platform, with a cattle pen. The domestic goods yard closed in 1968. ,
Standard gauge lines.  By 1900 a line looped under the station through a tunnel, linking two armaments works to a railway wharf on the Thames. These joined the South Eastern Railway network by way of the freight sidings built for the goods shed on the ''down'' side.  A spur from the Nordenfelt works ran parallel to the narrow gauge line and used the tunnel under the main line
Narrow gauge line A 4 ft narrow gauge line belonging to Parish passed under the North Kent Line beyond the London end.
Signal Box. This was installed in early 1870s next to the timber shelter, behind the siding. It was without a brick base but had a chimney and sash windows.  Another box was later built next to it. In 1970 the South Eastern Railway designed box from 1890 was closed, and its functions taken over by the Dartford Panel. The original ground structure from the 1870s remained there for the next ten years.
Garden on the roundabout with plinth and interpretation panels.
Baths. The open air swimming pool was on the corner with Walnut Tree Rd and opened n 1907 with a display by the Erith Swimming Club. The pool was damaged by a land mine in 1940. It never reopened to the public but was still usable by clubs who could book it.  It could no longer be properly filled.

Walnut Tree Road
Built by Erith Urban District Council as part of the Erith tramway project. It allowed trams to go from West Street up towards Northumberland Heath
Walnut Tree House this was a big house in grounds where John Parish, of the local loam pits, moved in 1876. It was named for a line of Walnut Trees which had led to the Manor House. He held parties for the district's old people. The estate was acquired by Erith Council in 1900 who laid out Walnut Tree Road and built the generating station, tramshed and library
Tram Depot built for Erith Urban District Council in 1905. Proposals for an electric tramway were agreed in 1902. This included a plan to build a new road through Walnut Tree House Estate and a site for the depot. The existing power station had to be doubled in size for the extra equipment. The depot for 16 cars was built on o the West side of Walnut Tree Road opposite the powerhouse. It had four roads and entrances with a 19 foot clearance. There was a berthing shed and attached maintenance workshops. . In 1933 the undertaking passed to the London Passenger Transport Board. The Erith cars continued running until 1935 when they were replaced by trolleybuses. It was demolished in 1980 and nothing is now left.  The site is to be used for a new Community College.
Generating Station built by Erith Urban District Council in 1903 initially for street lighting. It was a basic 2 storey brick building at one end opening into a hall with five Westinghouse/Bellis generators. To the back was the boiler house with 5 Yates and Thorn Lancashire boilers. It was extended as part of the tramway scheme. In 1927 it was replaced by a cabled supply from Woolwich but continued as a substation. It was demolished after a fire in 1998.
Community College building opened 2015
Town Hall. A two storey brick building built in 1931-2 to the designs of Harold Hind, surveyor to Erith Urban District Council. It was refurbished and given a mansard roof in the 1990s. Used as offices the old council chamber for the Urban District remains with a domed ceiling.
Erith Museum and Library. This was built by Erith Urban District Council in 1906 and designed by W. Egerton in red brick and funded by Andrew Carnegie. There is a cupola surmounted by a bronze sailing ship weathervane. Inside are two war memorial plaques to individuals. On the porch floor is a mosaic with ‘Labour overcomes all things’.  The building has not been used as a library since 2006 and is currently apparently unused.
Erith Museum. In 1931 E. Bridgstock Choat, offered his services as honorary curator for a museum. Part of the library basement became a Museum in 1934. In 1959, the Museum the Carnegie Trust and the Erith Borough Council financed alterations to the first floor and the Museum moved there. As part of the London Borough of Bexley Erith Museum was turned into a Museum Study Centre for schools in 1974. Schools found it difficult to get to Erith and the Museum was closed. It was reopened in 1983 after repairs and redecoration with a new lay out. The Museum was closed by London Borough of Bexley in 2014.
Tram siding protected by the longest level crossing gate in Britain.


West Street
Level crossing for the railway from Parish’s Pit to Upper Ballast wharf which was probably laid at the time the wharf was built. Horses were used at first, but steam had taken over by 1881. Talbot took over the pit in 1932 and they went on running the 4'0" gauge railway until 1957. The lorries which replaced it were not licensed for road use and continued to cross West Street by the old level crossing which It survived for many years with its control box and a standard gauge siding. Traffic was warned of the locomotive about to cross by a bell.
Crossing from the Nordenfelt works by railway which had run alongside Station (now Stonewood) Road and gone to the Lower Ballast Wharf.
71 house once used by J.Stone, barge builder.
105 Erith Youth and Family Centre
110 The Ship. Sports pub. This dates from the 1860s

Sources
Archaeology Data Services. Web site
Arthur Pewty’s Maggot Sandwich. Web site.
Baldwin. The River and the Downs
Bexley Civic Society. Walk 
Bird. Geography of the Port of London
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Bygone Kent 
Chelsea Speleological Society. Newsletter
Cinema Treasures. Web site
Erith official guide
Erith. Official Handbook
Erith Rowing Club. Web site
Grace’s Guide. Web site
Kent Rail. Web site
Kort. Web site
London Borough of Bexley. Web site
London Encyclopaedia,
Pevsner and Cherry. South London 
Pevsner. West Kent
Port of London Authority. Web site
Pritchard. History of Erith
Reilly Country to suburb 
South East London Industrial Archaeology
Spurgeon. Discover Erith and Crayford
Thames Police Division. Web site
Tucker. Ferries of the Lower Thames
Woolwich. Antiquarians. Transactions

Friday, 13 February 2015

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend. Erith


Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend
The railway continues south eastwards

Post to the north Belvedere Marshes
Post to the east Erith  and Post to the east Coldharbour Point


Alford Road
Road built with houses from the 1890s along one side. The other side is a steep slope with trees and at the far end steps leading down to Fraser Road
Pom Pom Fish Bar. Chip shop named for the locally produced “Pom Pom” Machine Gun.


Athol Road
Road built with houses from the 1890s along one side. The other side is a steep slope with trees – going down to what would have been a pit

Battle Road
Road built with houses from the 1890s along one side and on the other a belt of trees with steps going up towards the main, Lower Road and later the railway with a retaining wall.
57 Shri Guru Ravidass Bhawan. Hindu Gurdwara

Birch Walk
A pathway between Kempton Close and Fraser Road
Birch House. Offices and trading units.
G.E.C. (Process Engineering) Limited, Fraser & Chalmers Division. Buildings now in other use.
Birch Walk Open Space. A small grassed area with mature trees and a natural habitat for wildlife, this open space is along the side of Birch Walk

Bramble croft
An estate of town houses on the hillside – built on one side only with a steep slope and steps on the other side.

Bronze Age Way
This is the Erith -Thamesmead Spine Road opened in 1997 and named Bronze Age Way after archaeological discoveries during its construction.  It is the A2016.

Bullbanks Road
The name Bullbanks belongs to a traditional name for a piece of land in this area, belonging to the Ducketts Charity.  This may relate to Bolbec, in France, or various British sites with that name.



Church Road
St.John’s Works. This site has now been redeveloped as housing and the road renamed, Wheatstone Road. The final use of it was by BATT Cable Works, now at The Belfry in Fraser Road.
Vickers Son and Maxim. This site had their woodworking shops and a Maxim and sights factory

Corinthian Manor Way,
Corinthian Yacht Club. In 1872 the Corinthian Yacht Club moved to Erith and in 1892 received its royal title but in 1899 moved away to Port Victoria. The old club house remained on the premises of British Gypsum Limited, and the name is recalled in "Corinthian Manorway".
Plinth. Brick structure at corner with West Street.  This covers a manhole built in 1926 to access the culverted Bedon Stream.
Millennium Milepost. National Cycle Network marker. This one is by Ian McColl, called 'The Cockerel'.
Railway lines crossed the road to access the Vickers Armstrong works from siding east of Belvedere Station.
Bedon River enters Thames here. Now underground

Corinthian Road
Road between West Street and Bronze Age Way. New housing on the site of old housing and some works

Erith Road
This was previously and traditionally called Friday Hill
Trinity School. This is a Church of England Secondary School, dating from the 1970s. It has now converted to an ‘academy’.
Lodge. This is at the school entrance and was built as the lodge for The Oaks
The Oaks. This was the home of Frank Beadle in the 1870s and demolished in the 1970s when the school was built. Beadle left money for the purchase of Franks’ Park which is named after him.
153 The 9th Erith Air Scout Group. This is for young people with an interest in air activities. It is part of the UK Scout Association and has a Beaver Scout Colony, a Cub Scout Pack, An Air Scout Troop, an Air Explorer Scout Unit
181 Nordenfelt Tavern. This was built to the design of Jonathan Ensor in-house architect to Watney Combe & Reid, in 1902 and is named after the local armaments firm. Also known locally as the Pom Pom Tavern after their machine guns.

Franks Park
A wooded park on part of the estate of Belvedere Park which was attached to the house later used as the Royal Alfred Merchant Seaman's Institution. The park was set up by Erith Council in 1920 and named after Frank Beadle who donated the money for its purchase. The Green Chain Walk and associated trails run through the park.
A sunken concrete bowl on top of the hill to the north near the children’s playground is the remains of a garden feature belonging to Temple Mount, a mid 19th house which once stood on the site.

Fraser Road
The road was originally a footpath from the quarry to part of the quarry used as a cricket ground.
Pit. Originally the pit was quarried for ballast to go on ships leaving the Thames. However fine loam lay under the ballast and used as moulding sand for foundries and the workings extended half a mile inland. The land had originally been owned by the Wheatley Estate but from the 1870s it was John Parish. In 1891 Parish sold the land to Fraser and Chalmers and in 1932, it was sold to Talbot Estates. Much of the pit face can still be seen around the industrial site built within it.
Cricket Pitch. Land in a worked out area of the pit was cleared for a cricket ground and a touring Australian side played here in 1884 and 1890. 
Talbot Estates. While part of the quarry was used for factories, some of it continued to be worked for the loam. Talbot worked it from 1932. They were a Hartley based company with pits in Borough Green and Slade Green. Ballast was loaded onto side tipping truck on a two foot gauge railway. There was a four foot gauge railway understood to be unique. They had two Hawthorne Saddletank engines dating from the 1880s and still in use in the 1950s.
Railway tunnel. The trucks with the quarry owner’s locomotive went under the road. This tunnel was used as an air raid shelter for the quarry horses during the Second World War.  In the 1990s the tunnel was blocked but could be identified by screening.
The Nordenfelt Gun and Ammunition Co. bought the northern part of the pit in 1887 with an entrance in Sandcliffe Road. Thorsten Nordenfelt was a Swede who was domiciled in Britain who had developed a machine gun. In 1888 they amalgamated with the, local, Maxim Company. Hiram Maxim was an American domiciled in Britain who had developed a machine gun. In 1897 they were taken over by Vickers as Vickers Son and Maxim Ltd. Vickers were producing armour plate and guns. By 1911 they were Vickers Ltd. and as well as guns they were producing aircraft and had other local sites. From 1919 they made machine tools and production machinery.  Fromm 1910 they made Siddley Autocars. In 1927 they became Vickers Armstrong and went back to making guns. The Erith works was closed in 1931.  In the 1990s some of Vickers Buildings from the 1990s remained on site. These were the gun turnery, the shell and the gun mechanism departments.
Fraser and Chalmers. This company, started by two Scots made mining and milling machinery based in Chicago.  They bought the site in 1891 from Frederick Parish and eventually moved onto the area used as the recreation ground. In 1901 the Fraser US works was sold to Allis Chalmers and the Erith Works independent of them by 1903 Steam Engines were made here from c.1900. They made mine winding engines and electric winders.  They were taken over by GEC in 1918. In the 1990s some buildings remained on site from Fraser and Chalmers – this was the Boiler Shop and the Foundry and the steel framed, brick clad Turbine and Machine shop dated 1907.
GEC – the General Electric Company - took Fraser and Chalmers over in 1918 and bought the next door Vickers factory in 1937 they made electricity generating steam turbines.  The GEC Atomic Energy Division was there and Hunterston Nuclear Power Station was built there. They continued here until the 1980s
The Belfry.  BATT cables. This company is a cable supplier specialising in electrical cables and accessories internationally. It was founded in 1952, making it the oldest cable distributor in the UK. The Head Office and ’superhub’ is based in Erith
Madford Trading Estate. Wickes Store on the site of the Atlas Preservatives. Chemical and paint makers owned by Denis Thatcher. They began in New Zealand and moved to Deptford in 1898. They make paint and wood preservatives as well as degreasing and descaling, camouflage and ammunition paint. It was a steel framed building clad in corrugated iron.  Established here in 1928 to manufacture preservative paint for timber and metal, their de-greasing much used in the Second World War. In 1965 they were taken over by Castrol and then Burmah Oil. Agrochemicals from 1982. Closed  in 1987.

Sewage Pumping Station.  Small single storey flat roofed unmanned sewage pumping house. Erith UDC 1933.
Electricity sub-power station. This was a circular kiosk with a spire which stood at the junction with Alford Roads.
Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  This was built in 1900 as a Primitive Methodist Chapel. As the Tower Cinema it was opened in 1923 and altered by F.W. Pamplin of Abbey Wood. In 1932 it was equipped for talkies and was re-named Rialto Cinema. In 1939, it was re-named Rex Cinema and in 1946, it was re-named Tivoli Cinema. It closed in 1956 and was converted into Kingdom Hall

Galleons Close
New housing adjacent to what was the Gas works site

Gas House Lane
These sites now all housing
West Kent Gas Works. Opened in 1862 as the foundation works of the West Kent Gas Light and Coke Co. and closed in 1914 having been taken over by the South Suburban Company in 1901 and last used in 1900. There were two holders. a retort house, workshops and rail lines to jetties. 
Nordenfeldt Works – the riverside site here downriver of the gas works was used by Nordenfelt/Vickers works. It was then used by Thorn, portable buildings, and then became the Telcon/SCC Ocean Works
J. Thorn Portable Buildings Works. James Thorn took over the riverside works in the 1930s to make portable buildings supplied as hutting to the authorities during the Second World War. This was a second factory to their Bexleyheath works and became the largest supplier in Britain.
Ocean Works. Submarine Cable works. This was a Telcon/SCC works set up to produce transatlantic telephone cables. It was opened in 1954 by the Post Master General and was to manufacture, polyethylene dielectric coaxial cables. The first Atlantic Telephone cable (TAT-1) was a major contract here.
Vencel Resil. This company was based at Ocean Works from 1973 and was a large producer of expanded polystyrene insulation with the Jablite range.  It is now a UK brand leader and the company also supplies other innovative products. The company is now based in Anderson Way off Crabtree Manor Way.

Halt Robin Road
This road goes through Franks Park as a footpath, to emerge as a road at the western end.  It is a woodland path and part of the Green Chain Walk.

Hawthorn Place
Housing development on part of the strip which was once the edge of the ballast pit.  As this site is only a few yards from the tunnel which took pit locomotives under Fraser Road it is to be hoped that the name refers to that of those locomotives and not the plant.

Jessett Close
Named after Frederick Jessett, Erith's first Medical Officer of Health. It was previously part of Pembroke Road – but also where Friday Hill, coming into Erith from the West, crossed the railway to meet West Street going from the north into the centre of Erith.
Church Crossing. This was a controlled railway crossing with a gatekeeper – one of whom was sadly killed by a train in 1865.  There is now a footbridge over both the railway and Bronze Age Way.

Lower Road
The road was once part of the lower main road between Erith and Woolwich, A2016. This has now been superseded by Bronze Age Way.
Bridge over the railway and Bronze Age Way. In 1902 as part of the plans for an Erith tramway it was decided to replace the level crossing over the South Eastern Railway in Lower Road between Erith and Belvedere by a girder skew bridge. It goes by a more complicated system across Bronze Age Way.

Lowry Road
On the site of Vickers Gun Carriage works in Sandcliffe Road.

Nordenfelt Road,
Route of railway from Parish's Pits to Railway Wharf

Park Gardens
Part of the Hillside Estate built by Doultons for their ‘more important’ workers in the 1900s.

Railway
Industrial railway lines from Erith Station. A number of lines ran from the London end of the station and were all standard gauge. One line looped under the SE&CR site through a tunnel, linking two Gun Works and a railway wharf on the Thames. The gun works' lines joined the SER network through freight sidings which also served a single-track goods shed, on the ''down'' side.
A 4 ft narrow gauge line belonging to Parish Loam's quarry pits passed under the North Kent Line, about 320 yards beyond the Erith Station up platforms. This narrow gauge line ran parallel with another spur off of the Standard Gauge line of the Nordenfelt Gun Works.
Siding beyond the Fraser Road tunnel was accessed by Ballast trucks leaving the Talbot quarry hauled by their locomotives. They then reached an overhead gantry. The ballast was then loaded onto standard gauge railway trucks hauled by Fraser and Chalmers Locomotive Another siding had a gantry for loading lorries. .

Riverside Walk
Gasworks Jetties 1& 2. These were built in 1863 and all that remains of either is now ruinous timber. One extended 35m from the bank the other was originally 40 m from the bank.

Sandcliff Road
Vickers Gun Carriage works. This was on the corner with Church Road. They also made aircraft in 1911 and for the 1922 Antarctic expedition. It was also the Maxim gun factory which Opened in 1906 as a range of interconnecting single storey brick built engineering workshops. In the basement was a machine gun testing range. In 1991 it was in use by Batt Cables.
Talbot Quarries offices were based here, plus a weighbridge for lorries leaving the Quarry.

St Fidelis Close
New housing on the road. The road and the area under Bronze Age Way are roughly on the site of the original sand pit in this area. Ballast was dug and sold from this pit from 1805 when it was owned by Lord Wheatley. By 1870 it was owned by John Parish and the working site had moved west.

Burndept Electronics (E.R.) Ltd. .They made electrical equipment and Vidor radios. Before th Second World War made radioactivity measuring equipment.  In the Second World War they made military communication equipment until 1941, when the factory was almost completely destroyed by bombing. They relocated production to Dundee.  However, after the war, they set up St Fidelis Road and in the 1960s, made the SARBE lifejacket beacon for the RAF and other forces. The beacon sent an automatic and continuous transmission of a homing signal as soon as the life jacket entered the water.


St Johns Road
Sovex.  This was founded in 1860 by M.Sauve.  In 1909 the building was used for the construction of timber gun wheels with the Boiler House adjacent. They made Vickers conveyors in 1918. Sovex took the buildings over in 1936 and continued in the same line of manufacture.  They made armaments in the Second World War and then continued with mechanical handling devices until 1980 when they closed. Made mechanised systems of all sorts – sorting systems, escalators, etc etc.

Tower Road
Tower Church. Sir Culling Eardley was a "zealous but liberal non-conformist", and built a chapel in Belvedere Park. This was the "Tower Church", which opened in 1848. It was a self-governing church, the congregation called "Independents", and the pulpit was open to preachers of all Christian denominations. It was replaced on a different site by 1853.  The site is now that of Bexley College.
Bexley College. Originally this was built by Kent Education Committee and was the Erith College of Technology. There is a workshop block of 1966, an administration block of 1971, a tower block set inside a concrete frame and in front was the Library. It was designed by Charles Pike & Partners, in association with E. T. Ashley-Smith, the Kent County Architect.  The second phase was built in 1968-71. The site was closed in 2014.

Valley Road
Erith Working Men’s Club

West Street
St.John the Baptist.  This parish church includes some Roman work but it is hidden. The church is thus possibly on the site of a Roman Christian church, or it is the site of a dene hole. There was probably a Saxon church here but the stone and flint building dates largely from the 12th while the tower was built in the 14th. The steeple has wooden shingles. The church was restored in 1877 by Habershon & Pite. The roof was blown up in explosion. There is a sundial on an outside wall given by Nicholas Stone in 1643. The Wheatley Chapel off the chancel was for 400 years the private property of the lords of the manor. It has brasses and memorials including monument to Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury. There is also a stained- glass window to Maj-Gen William Wheatley a commanders in the Peninsular campaign.
Churchyard. This is enclosed within a stone wall, trees and screens the churchyard from the nearby main road to the north. There is a wooden lych-gate and a path leads to the church porch. There is the grave Sir William Anderson, engineer and head of the local firm of Easton and Anderson and a war memorial in the churchyard dedicated in 1921.
Erith Central School. In 1901 a new Central School was built near St John's Church. Two years later Erith School Board was abolished and Erith Urban District Council took over. The school had departments for Boys, Girls and Infants, each with its own Head Teacher. In 1944 the School now called West Street County Primary School under Kent County Council. In 1973 the Infant School moved to Crabtree Manor Way and in 1987 the Junior School moved next to it and they became Belvedere Infant School and Belvedere Junior School
West Street level crossing – this was for the trucks of ballast leaving the sidings hauled by Fraser and Chalmers Locomotives in sets of ten, a total of 25 tons. The crossing was controlled b two gas operated by a bell from a gatehouse. The control box and the standard gauge siding survived for many years. Talbot went on running the 4'0" gauge railway until 1957. The lorries which replaced it were not licensed for road use and continued to cross West Street by the level crossing.
Erith National School was founded in 1850 on a site near the gas works. The Anglican Church could not support the National School adequately and in 1876 it was transferred to the newly established Erith School Board. In 1901 it was demolished
St Fidelis. In 1867 a Capuchin Fr Maurice was working in Erith and secured a plot in West Street a church dedicated to St Fidelis, a small school and a presbytery were built. This mission was served from the Capuchin base at Greenhithe. In 1875 a Capuchin Friary was funded in Erith with new friary buildings attached to the church. However in 1902 a large site was acquired in of Bexley Road and a new Friary was built there. The church was closed and demolished in 1989.
St. Fidelis Catholic School. This was founded with the church in West Street. The school has been based in Bexley Road since 1960.
St John’s Hall. This is used by Re-Instate, a charity that provides a sheltered workshop environment for adults with mental health problems
177 D.Sebel & Factory previously used by Vickers with an impressive frontage. This Company made Mobo toys. The Mobo Bronco was the most famous but also Stak-a-Bye, Nest-a=Bye and Fold-a-Bye steel furniture. The Mobo Bronco pressed-steel toy ride-horse was first made in 1947 by David Sebel and his son, Harry. It illustrated the change in toy horse production from timber to plastic via pressed metal. The firm continued in production until 1971. From 1948 the toy horses were exported to the United States and other major markets were in Australia and South Africa. In 1951 David and Harry Sebel immigrated to Australia and set up their factory in Bankstown, New South Wales. The horses continued to be made in England and shipped to Australia for assembling and painting. From 1957 the firm concentrate on furniture and this continues. The West Street works demolished in 1990.
177 Albert Products. Synthetic Resin Manufacturers. They made a range of chemicals including pharmaceuticals.

Wheatstone Road
This is a renaming of the eastern end of Church Road


Sources
Bexley Civic Society. Walk
Bygone Kent
Catholic Churches in Kent. Web site
Cox. Kent
Erith. Official Handbook.
Erith. Official guide
Field. London Place Names
Grace’s Guide. Web site
Hamilton. The Industries of Crayford
London Borough of Bexley. Web site
London Gardens Online. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. South London
Pevsner. West Kent
Powerhouse Museum. Web site
Pritchard. Belvedere and Bostall
Spurgeon. Discover Erith and Crayford
South East London Industrial Archaeology
Timber Trades Journal.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend. Belvedere Marshes

Railway between London Bridge and Gravesend
The railway goes south eastwards
TQ 50245 80262

As companies expanded and inner London sites filled up so industries moved to marshland areas down river - and still with river access.  Several famous names came here among many many more successful works. They were served by river wharves and by a network of industrial rail lines.  One of the few London industrial buildings to be listed is here. Many of them have been replaced but it is still an area of busy workplaces.  This was once a marshland haven for wildlife, and some pockets remain - but much of it has gone, along with the travelling families who once saw this as home.

Post to the west Belvedere
Post to the south Erith
Post to the east Wennington Marshes
Post to the north Jenningtree


Anderson Way
Road presumably named for William Anderson, of Anderson and Amos, Erith steam engine manufacturers.  The road appears to be built along the line of one of the marshland dykes.
Infinity House. Vencil Resil, the UK largest producer of expanded Polystyrene insulation under the Jablote range. This company was established in 1973, at the Ocean Works in West Street, Erith and claims to be the UK's largest producer of expanded polystyrene insulation products. There are some other companies on this large site, including a recycling centre for ASDA’

Bronze Age Way
This is the Erith -Thamesmead Spine Road opened in 1997 and named Bronze Age Way after archaeological discoveries during its construction.  It is the A2016.
Footbridge from Crabtree Manor Way
Pirelli tyre works. Now closed. This was the old BICC site fronting Bronze Age Way and running as far as the Thames. The site and the landmark tower were demolished in the early 2000s.

Cables Close
This is now stopped up from Bronze Age Way

Church Manorway
Silver Quay. W. T. Henley. They design and manufacture electrical equipment for electricity distribution and supply networks by electricity supply utilities
Gyproc Trading Estate. The Erith Technical Academy is the longest serving training facility which has been here since 1966. It trains for plaster and drywall systems. It is one in a network of Saint Gobain technical academies.
British Plasterboard.  The development of plasterboard dates to the late 19th in the USA. A site was acquired at Wallasey in 1916 and the assets were sold to British Plaster Board Limited in 1917.  They built a new factory at Erith in 1934 which could manufacture the gypsum plaster and they imported gypsum rock from Canada.  BPB became the dominant force in the industry and became an international company over the next 80 years. Products were Paramount and Thistle. Since 1996 they have been involved with French Saint-Gobain, making glass fibre insulation and were eventually taken over by them. The Erith site is now a training base only
Tracks of an old rail siding to the site from the main line east of Belvedere Station crossed the road here and remained until the 1990s.
Erith Wharf. Conway Asphalt Plant. Conway is an infrastructure services company (road mending and cleaning) which started in 1961 with one lorry.
Piers of a railway bridge remain on the west side of the road, partly hidden by trees and shrubs, which were part of a siding going into Erith Oil Works.
Erith Oil Works. This became British Oil and Cake Mills and was part of Unilever.  The factory processed rapeseed oil for human consumption and for animal feed. It was the largest such works in the country.  A major feature of the site is a bank of 24 concrete cylindrical silos in four rows. These were built in 1916, and were the first major work in Britain using the reinforced concrete techniques from Denmark by Christian & Nielsen.  The architect for the factory, built in 1913-17, was Percival M. Fraser.  Linking the silos to the riverside jetty are two concrete sheds. The original office building has a plaque “1908 EOW 1914”.  The site was badly bombed in the Second World War Part of Archer Daniels Midland Ltd since 1990
War Memorial and Garden of Remembrance unveiled in 1923, to BICC employees who lost their lives in the Great War.
Lorry Park on the west side of the road belonging to ADM. There is a green and seating and what appears to be a semi-derelict electricity sub-station fenced off.
BICC - British Insulated Callenders Cables. This was dominated by a cable-cooling tower 75 metres high. Five sheds were basically cable sheds built in 1902. Callender & Sons was founded to import bitumen by William Ormiston Callender in 1877, and moved to Erith in 1880.  Manufacture of cables was at first a sideline which became the main activity. In 1896 it became the Callender Cable and Construction Co, later British Insulated Callender's Cables. They were a major national supplier of underground and sub-marine high tension electrical cables.  Power was generated on site until 1905.  They made much of the cable for PLUTO in 1944. The cable was loaded into ships from the jetty of Erith Oil Works.  By 1965 this was the principal main factory of the world's largest cable group. In 1999 the works was sold to Pirelli, who closed the works and demolished it in 2005. 
Doulton’s Sanitary Ware. This was Doulton’s Pipe Works. Royal Doulton was the Lambeth based pottery company producing art works as well as the basic artefacts made here and some of their other factories. They bought the site 1925 and made pipes, drains and conduits.  The site was purchased by Hepworth in 1970 and production ended in 1974.
BICC sports ground. Large derelict site to the north of the oil mills. Part of it was the Church Manorway Nature Area which was developed for nature conservation but which is now in a development area and lost. Much of the vegetation was planted but there was a wide range of invertebrates and breeding birds. There was a small pond, choked with reeds and grassland. There were ditches, and a section of Corinthian Dyke. There were water voles
Cedars Transport Depot. Includes Gillray Plant, and others. There is also a filling station.
Hercules Powder Co. Paper making chemicals

Corinthian Dyke
One of a number of waterways in the area – these are drainage ditches and probably not natural. It has several branches and is a complex system. There are some white willows on some sections of this dyke and some other unusual plants, along with frogs and weasels.

Crabtree Manor Way
The road consists of a series of industrial sites and trading estates with numerous businesses.
Euro Trade Centre. Concorde Metal Recycling – a family firm of scrap dealers based in Sittingbourne.
Crabtree Farm. This was on the west side of the road north of what is now Anderson way.
Football Ground. This was one of several football grounds in Crabtree Manor Way before the Second World War. This was opposite Crabtree Farm, there was another south of Claytonville Terrace and others near the railway.
Oyo Business Park.  This is on the site of what was the Helio Mirror Co. OYO stands for ‘Own Your Own’.  This is now divided into trading units.
Helio Mirror Co. The site has now been cleared following a takeover of the company by Thales. Some sheds on the site were built by BICC sheds in 1917 to produce field telephone cable for trench warfare in the Great War.
79 Crabtree Tavern. This was demolished for road widening in 1970 In 1913 the landlord was a Thomas Clayton, however it appears to have been rebuilt since photographs show two very different buildings. The brewer was Kidd and Sons.
Houses. This had a plaque on which says “Claytonville Terrace. 1857”.  Presumably this has some relationship to the landlord of the Crabtree Arms in 1913 – Thomas Clayton
Burgess Cottages. These cottages were south of Claytonville Cottages and were there before the Second World War
Footbridge over Bronze Age Way
Durable House. Offices and trading area Durable Contracts
North Kent Indoor Bowls Centre
Croda Chemicals and Resins. This was previously Plastanol Ltd. They made Phthalic Anhydride and synthetic resins - products for the manufacture of paints and inks. They still make a range of chemicals and paints and sealants.
Cleveland Cable. Cable distribution company with international branches and links
Pura. Manufacture of edible oils and part of the ADM group.
Maybrey Reliance. Die and Sand Casting Foundry. The foundry goes back to the 1850's. George England were engineers based in New Cross, South London, producing railway locomotives, and machine tools at the Hatcham Iron Works.  Reliance Foundry was a major supplier to them and they merged in the 1930's as Reliance Foundry Ltd and General Engineering & Boiler Co. in 1986 they were bought by Hills Diecasting Ltd and later by F.W.Birkett of Yorkshire. The name of Reliance Foundry was kept as part of the Caro Group

Jenningtree Way
Housing for gypsy families. Up to the 1940s in the winter months up to 1,700 Gypsies would congregate on the marshes. Erith Borough Council tried over 20 years, to remove them. In the 1953 floods many sites were washed away the site and many families were housed by the council. The 1956 700 people were removed from the marshes but Norman Dodds, the local Labour MP campaigned for their rights and his successor James Wellbeloved took up the campaign and in 1968 the Caravans Sites Act was passed which placed a duty on all local authorities to provide sites. The Cob horse statue on Picardy Manorway is a reminder of the old horse drawn carts.

Lower Road
Entrance to Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple
165 Halfway House Pub

Marshland
Belvedere Marshes extend to the Thames. The Romans probably built the original river walls and the monks at Lesnes Abbey kept them repaired drained the marshes. Sometimes the river has broken through and flooded the marshes – in 1230, and again in 1527, when the land was not reclaimed for 60 years. In 1928 there was serious flooding and when the whole marsh area was water the railway line was cut.


Mitchell Road
31 Guru Nanak Durbar (Sikh Temple)
Queensland Stores. Shop said to be next door to the Queensland Cinema which had doors from the Empire Exhibition at Wembley, depicting Queensland in Australia
Assemblies of God Pentecostal Church. The Belvedere Electric Theatre or the Cinematographic Picture Palace opened in 1913 in what had been an auction room, converted to the plans of W. Roberts of Erith. After 1924, it was re-named Queensland Cinema, as it was next door to the Queensland Stores. The Cinema was operated closed in 1929. It was later converted into a skating rink, and then became the Pentecostal Baptist Church
Belvedere Community Centre.  The Centre dates from the 1970s and shares grounds with the Belvedere Infants and Junior Schools.
Belvedere Junior School

Mulberry Way
Named because some of the Mulberry Harbours made there in the Second World War. This is now a trading and industrial area with many units and companies
Conway Asphalt offices and material testing laboratory
Denton’s Wharf – many units and companies
Crawley Parker. Timber and fencing company.  This is made up two older names in the timber trade. Crawley originates from the Burt Boulton Timber Group and the Parker name from the Parker Timber Group, two of the largest timber importers in the UK.  Belvedere was the historic London base for the two original companies who were fierce competitors

Riverside Path
RMC Erith/Gyroc/British Plasterboard jetty.  This was built and extended in 1928.  It is a T plan timber jetty extending 200m into the river and had two cranes and a conveyor system for access. It is a safeguarded wharf which has previously handled waterborne aggregates but it is understood it is being re-designed and reconstructed for general cargoes as well as in association with a new concrete batching plant.
Conway’s jetty. This is a new jetty built in 2011 alongside the old Plasterboard jetty, celebrates 50 years with a new Thames-side Jetty. This is in association with their new Asphalt Plant which is said to be the busiest in the UK.
Jetty – disused timber jetty used by Doulton’s earthenware works. This dated from 1928 and was equipped with two travelling Butters cranes which ran on electric current run in a conduit along the jetty.  There was a large loading hopper made of concrete half way along with a conveyor to the shore. The main incoming cargo was the clay used in the works.
Albion Wharf Erith Oil Works Jetty. This is a T plan concrete jetty.    It supports a 4 floor concrete cargo handling building which was partially renewed 1951.  It was used for loading and unloading Pluto pipework .  It is a safeguarded wharf.
Albion Wharf. This is a second jetty built in 1909 to a T plan with a section parallel to the river.
Pioneer Wharf. This is an aggregates wharf used by United Maine aggregates. It is a safeguarded wharf used by self discharging dredgers

Viking Way
Stone Vickers Warrior Works. This was the sole surviving Vickers site in the area. Now closed.
Telecommunications tower and associated switching station.


Sources
ADM Web site
Baldwin. The River and the Marsh
Ballard. Nuisance
Belvedere Community Centre. Web site
Belvedere Junior School. Web site
Bexley Civic Society. Walk
BICC. History
BPB Web site
Bygone Kent
Cara. Web site
Cinema Treasures. Web site
Conway. Web site
Jablite. Web site
London Assembly. Web site
London Borough of Bexley. Web site
Pevsner. West Kent
Pevsner and Cherry. South London
Port of London Authority. Web site,
Port of London Magazine
Pritchard. Belvedere
South East London Industrial Archaeology
Spurgeon. Discover Erith and Crayford
W.T. Henley. Web site

Friday, 6 February 2015

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend Belvedere

Railway between London Bridge and Gravesend
The railway continues eastwards but, after Belvedere Station, begins to turn south eastwards
TQ 49471 79167

Somewhere here there might be the site of an old marshland village, or even of a respectable working class neighbourhood - with a large and transient community of travellers on the marshes.  Now it seems every facility Belevere ever had is closing, and there are flats, superstores and a statue of a horse.

Post to the west Yarnton Way
Post to the east Belvedere Marshes

Post to the north Belvedere
Bronze Age Way
This is the Erith -Thamesmead Spine Road opened in 1997 and named Bronze Age Way after archaeological discoveries during its construction.  It is the A2016.


Eastern Way
This section of Eastern Way, A2016, from Thamesmead to the roundabout with Picardy Manorway was completed in the mid-1980s.


Gilbert Road
Gilbert Road is named for the last owners of Heron Hill.
St Augustine. A large red brick church built in 1916. This was built to serve the growing part of All Saints' Parish at Lower Belvedere. Originally it was an iron mission church dedicated to St. Augustine opened in 1884. A building fund was opened after a meeting in 1909 but there was locally unemployment and the collection of money was hard. The architect C. Hodgson Fowler, with Temple Moore, altered the plans and the foundation stone was laid in 1915 but the church could not be completed until 1965.
66 Belvedere Workings Men’s Club.


Hailey Road
Hailey Road Business Park
Europa World Wide Services. This is Europa’s Head Office. They began in 1966 with one van going to and fro to Italy, by 1976 they restructured as an international haulier


Lower Road.
Erith and Belvedere Football Club. An Erith FC had existed at the turn of the 20th century, however Erith and Belvedere FC was formed in 1922. They played at Park View Ground. In 1997 the club was forced to leave this ground, after a fire wrecked the main stand and they moved to a ground share arrangement at Park View Road in Welling.  The original site is now a super store.
Belvedere Family Centre


Mitchell Close
Belvedere Junior School. The Erith National School was founded in 1850. The Church could not support it adequately and in 1876 it was transferred to the Erith School Board. In 1901 a new Central School was built and the duties of the school board were transferred to Erith Urban District Council, from 1938 Erith Borough Council.  In 1944 Erith ceased to be an Education Authority and the School now called West Street County Primary School came under Kent County Council. In 1973 the Infant School moved to Crabtree Manor Way and in 1987 the Junior School moved next door changed its name to Belvedere Junior School. This school is now an ‘academy’ with another local school in a Trust


Picardy Manor Way
Picardy Manorway was built in the late 1980s and replaced a nearby level crossing. At one time the A2016 took this route and turned left along Lower Road and West Street until Bronze Age Way was built
Horse on the roundabout. This is the Belvedere Cob by Andy Scott with associations to the traveller community who lived on the marshes.


Picardy Street
Picardy is an old name locally; it appears in a document of 1569 and conjectures as to its origin include unconvincing. The road was sstraightened in 1962
Co-op shop was replaced with a library. That seems to have gone too, and the Tesco is about to close.


Sheridan Road
Grand Cinema.  Built in 1913 and renamed Cosy Talkie Cinema in 1931. This became the Kit Kat Ballroom. Demolished 1961 and a flats built on site. It was on the corner with Picardy Street


Station Road
38 Belvoir Tavern. Closed.
Belvedere Station. Built in 1859 by the South East and Chatham Railway it lies between Abbey Wood and Erith Stations on South Eastern Trains.  It was built on the North Kent line at the time that estates being laid out in the area and has two storey brick building on the up side with wooden hutted platforms buildings and a steel framed passenger footbridge.  It was bombed in 1941.  It was rebuilt in 1968 and in 1999.
Goods Yard. This closed in 1968.
Level crossing. This closed in 1989 and a bridge built over the tracks.
Railway Electricity Sub Station. This brick building was installed by the Southern Railway upon electrification in 1926. It contained two rotary converters driven by ac power from Deptford Power Station supplying dc power to the conductor rail.
A grass strip alongside the down track was the track-bed of the siding to Belvedere Gas Works.


Yarnton Way
Belvedere Gas Holders. Set up by the South Suburban Gas Company around 1922 as a gasholder station. The two gasholders are from 1923 and of 1931.


Sources
Bygone Kent 
Friends of the Earth. London Gasworks
London Borough of Bexley. Web site
Pritchard, Belvedere & Bostall
SABRE. Web site.
Spurgeon. Discover Erith and Crayford

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend. Yarnton Way

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend
The railway continues eastwards

Post to the west Thamesmead
Post to the east Belvedere
Post to the north Crossness Sewage Works


Alsike Road
Parkway Primary School

Centurion Way
Anchor Bay. Southern England offices of construction materials Supply Company


Northwood Place
Northwood Primary School.

St Augustine Road
St.Augustine of Canterbury. Church of England Primary School and Children’s Centre. This school is in a building clearly older than other local schools.

Veridion Way
Horizon Business Centre. Light industry and trading areas in Veridion Park
Thames Innovation Centre. Business units and support

Woodland Way
Nature Reserve. Area off Yarnton Way designated as a Nature Reserve. This constituted CrossDyke2 and Alders Dyke which were habitats for water voles. Since destroyed

Yarnton Way
Wurth.  The British head office of a German company set up in 1954 and with outlets worldwide trading in assembly and fastening materials
Emmanuel Baptist Church Thamesmead. Pastor David Manktelow, moved to one of the first flats in Thamesmead in 1968. The Thamesmead Baptist Church was formally constituted in 1972 and absorbed members of Abbey Wood Baptist Church. It became Emmanuel Baptist Church in 1995.  The church has been involved in much social action in Thamesmead and integration of new residents.
Parkview. Built 1969-79 some in point blocks, but the lower housing behind is arranged around large, more open spaces
The Business Academy. This is school for ages 3–19 is an ‘academy’. It appears to have two sites – and some sixth form input. The web site tells you absolutely nothing concrete.  It was previously Riverside Secondary School
Lime Row Shopping Centre. A parade of small shops.


Sources
Anchor Bay. Web site
Emmanuel Baptist Church. Web site
London Assembly Web site
London Borough of Bexley. Web site
News Shopper. Web site
Northwood School. Web site
Parkway School. Web site
St.Augustine of Canterbury Primary School. Web site
Thames Innovation Centre. Web site.
Wurth. Web site

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend - Thamesmead

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend
The railway continues eastwards

Post to the east Yarnton Way

Abbey Way
This footpath leads for from Southmere to the Lesnes Abbey ruins and the woods. It is mostly on a ridge, created using soil excavated from Southmere. It is carried by bridges across main roads and the railway line.   It is described as a linear park.

Binsey Walk
The earliest residential buildings in Thamesmead were built here as a linear block of maisonettes and old people’s accommodation. The construction method turned out to be inappropriate for industrialised construction methods.  These early homes were restricted to having no ground floor rooms because of by-laws against flooding. This area has now largely been demolished.
Newacres Library. Thamesmead Library managed by Bexley Council. This has now been demolished and a new library is planned.

Boxgrove Road
Mulberry Park Childrens' Centre. This includes Grace Neighbourhood Nursery.
Boxgrove Primary School. The school has recently been extended.

Corraline Walk
The earliest residential buildings in Thamesmead were built here as a linear block of maisonettes and old people’s accommodation. The construction method turned out to be inappropriate for industrialised construction methods.  The first show house on the estate was here, and the first residents moved into an adjoining property in 1968.
32 The Barge Pole. Pub

Eynsham Drive
Thistlebrook Industrial Estate
1c Freda Powell Centre, People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals. The hospital opened in 2001 funded by Jim Powell in memory of his wife, Freda . Freda and Jim Powell grew up near Eynsham Drive, where the PDSA PetAid hospital, stands.

Felixstowe Road
Lyndean Trading Estate
137 African Community Centre

Great Marsh
From Erith marshes stretch westward to Plumstead, below the high water level of the Thames and kept from flooding by the river wall. little creeks run through it. The marshes were a grazing ground with alluvial clay 4 to 10 feet thick above a peat bed, full of trunks and roots of as 'submerged forest'.
Plumstead parish included 1000 acres of marsh between Crossness and Woolwich Arsenal. In 1279 the abbots of Lesnes enclosed a great part of the marsh and in following years a commission was set up which included the Lord of the Manor. Nevertheless there were great breaches in the wall and terrible floods ensued.  Following the reformation is was difficult to identify the monastic land and various commissions followed. Effective drainage and river walls were eventually put in place.

Harrow Manor Way
On the east side are some of the original system built Thamesmead flats. Because of Bexley by law about flooding of ground floor habitable rooms had to be on the first floors and it became too expensive to complete.

Kale Road
St John Fisher School. Small catholic primary school

Lensbury Way
Bexley Referral Unit
Pathways Short Stay School
Church of the Cross. An ecumenical church shared by the Church of England, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church

Seacourt Road
Willow Bank Primary School. Now an ‘academy’.


Southmere
Southmere. The largest of the Thamesmead lakes – this square contains only the southernmost tip.

Tavy Bridge Centre
Shops and community rooms along a on a windswept plaza and the first local shopping centre, built in 1972. This has now been demolished and is being redesigned and rebuilt.
Lakeside Health Centre. Attractive angular by Derek Stow & Partners, 1970-2, dramatically jutting out on piers over the shallow southern corner of the lake. Quite dramatic

Thamesmead
Built from the mid-1960s and planned by the London County Council as a self contained community rather than a suburb. Altered as building fashions changed. Thamesmead was built as part of the new Labour vision. Although it was aimed to provide homes for 60,000 people, it never achieved its target.

Thistlebrook
Thistlebrook Travellers' Site. Built 1967. The Plumstead and Erith marshes has been a traditional camping ground for Travellers. Their horses used to be seen in very great numbers on the marshes here, The Travellers were very badly affected by the 1953 floods.  The council provided a site for about 54 caravans on a site planned in conjunction with the Gipsy Council.

Wilton Road
Abbey Wood Station. Opened in 1849 it lies between Belvedere and Plumstead Stations on South Eastern Trains. It was built by the North Kent Railway, along the line of land where the marsh and river cliff meet. It was managed by the South Eastern and Chatham Railway from 1899, and in 1923 it became part of the Southern railway. A new station was built in 1975.  The station is again is being rebuilt in preparation for Crossrail for which it is to be terminus of one of two eastern branches and will offer an interchange between terminating Crossrail services and existing Southeastern services

Sources
Abbey Wood Station. Wikipedia. Web site
Boxgrove Primary School. Web site
Bygone Kent
Green Chain walks
Greenwich Historical Society Journal
Ideal Homes. Web site
London Borough of Bexley. Web site
London Borough of Greenwich. Web site
London Encyclopaedia
North West Kent Family History Society. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. Kent
Spurgeon. Discover Woolwich
Spurgeon. Discover Erith and Crayford
Wright. Thamesmead. Back to the Future

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend. Co-op Estate

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend
The railway continues eastwards
TQ 46485 78406

Area between Plumstead and Abbey Wood with much woodland and open space on hillsides. Housing by the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society

Post to the west Plumstead

Abbey Wood Road
25-27 on the site of Abbey Wood Baptist Church, built and closed before 1914

Bostall Heath
Bostall comes from an Old English word meaning a 'place of refuge or protection', from Old English. The word also can mean in the south-east a 'winding path up a steep hill'.
The Heath was part of the Waste of the Manor of Plumstead but also partly in East Wickham. The spread of housing in the 19th threatened the Heath. It was then owned by Queens College, Oxford, who attempted to enclose it in the 1880s and following riotous protests by commoners it was acquired by the Metropolitan Board of Works as public open space.

Bostall Hill
26 Maybloom Club. Working men’s club. Now demolished

Bostall Lane
Bostall Farm was bought by Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society in 1886. It stood roughly where the shop stands at 108 Bostall Lane by the corner with Federation Road. The Co-op's Bostall Estate was built from here.
Plaque. The first brick of the estate was laid in 1900 by Alexander McLeod, and a tablet to commemorate the event was put up at the corner with McLeod Road. When the Store was built the tablet was moved and fixed to the wall facing Bostall Lane. It is moulded from creamy gold terracotta, with an inscription panel, between moulded relief pillars. A pediment at the top has moulded acanthus leaves and the badge of the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society
Hutments were built at the top end of the lane to house Arsenal workers in the Great War.  They were replaced by the Flowers Estate.

Bostall Manorway
Jam Factory built by Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society. This was bombed in the Second World War and remained as a bombed shell through the 1960s and since replaced with housing.
Footbridge over the railway is old and said to be in a poor condition. It has no facilities to assist mobility impaired people.

Bostall Woods
The woods were the focus for dramatic protests following attempts by the landlord, Queen's College Oxford, to sell the land as private property.  After the Metropolitan Board of Works bought the Heath in 1877 The London County Council bought the woods in 1893 from Sir John Goldsmid who agreed to sell the land cheaply.  The woods are mainly secondary broadleaf trees plus a planting of Scotch fir and larch and sweet chestnut.  There is evidence of past coppicing and pollarding,

Bracondale Road
The area between the road and the railway was once allotments.
191 Jolly Marshman Pub. Long closed,

Church Manorway
Bannockburn Primary School. This is now a part of the school to the west in Bannock Burn Road. It was previously Church Manorway Secondary School, which appears to have been a London School Board girls school opened around 1903.
St Nicholas Gardens. The road runs along the eastern boundary of the churchyard, now converted to gardens.  The gardens include a line of evergreen trees along the boundary with Church Manorway, and there are the remains of older churchyard walls with modern railings above. Two entrances with steps lead up to the gardens. At 19th mortuary was also on the eastern side of the park, later replaced with public toilets accessible from the street but these have now gone.
Plumstead Gardens. The majority of the gardens lie in the square to the west. The gates in Church Manorway display the arms of the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich, which originally opened and maintained the park,
Church Manorway Crossing. This footbridge had no ramps to assist mobility impaired persons and is part of the route to school for children who need to cross the tracks to get to the schools on the north side. It is to be replaced as part of the Crossrail scheme.
Church Manorway Halt. This station was opened in 1917 to serve wartime munitions workers. It belonged to the South Eastern and Chatham Railway and closed in 1920.
Seven Acres Sports ground. This was previously the Royal Arsenal Sports & Recreational Association F.C. (RASRA).

Dahlia Road
Abbey Wood Nursery School

Eynsham Drive
Road bridge built in the 1960s. It is the main access road onto Abbey Wood Estate from the south. It is a single carriageway road with footways on both sides. It spans the railway and Bracondale  and


Fuchsia Street
Alexander McLeod Primary School. This was originally Bostall Lane School. The London County Council bought land along Bostall Lane from the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society in 1903 and built a school for 1000 children - infants on the ground floor, girls on the middle floor, and boys on the top floor.


McLeod Road
Co-op Shop which was originally the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society store.  The original shop here included a Co-op reading room and library in 1904
Bostall Gardens. This is on the site of Bostall and Suffolk Place Farms. In 1886 the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society bought Bostall Farm and Suffolk Place Farm in 1899. The area which is now the park was left as unused farm land and the farm buildings and a thatched tithe barn. In 1938 the Woolwich Borough Council bought the Tithe Barn and the ground surrounding it to turn it into a park but the Second World War intervened. The Tithe Barn was bombed and destroyed. In 1952 Bostall Gardens was opened, with paths, flowers and lawns. The original walls and railings remain with the Woolwich Borough Council arms on all he gates. In time there were toilets, a bowling green, a pavilion and terraces. In the 1970s the council had a nursery at the rear of the site. In the 1980s this closed and the area locked up. The bowling green closed and the park keeper went. In 2004 the pavilion was refurbished and a children’s playground and court were built on the bowling green site.  The nursery site was used as allotments for a short time and has since been taken by Groundwork.
Abbey Wood Methodist Church. The church began as a Baptist group meeting in Greening Street.  As the group expanded meetings were held in an old off licence. The site in McLeod Road was leased from the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society and the freehold acquired in 1944. The church was opened in July 1934 in what is now the Church Hall).

Myrtledene Street
This was originally called Cordite Street – reflecting some of the local products.

Wickham Lane
95 Spiritualist church


Sources
Abbey Wood Methodist Church. Web site
Barr-Hamilton and Reilly. From Country to Suburb
Bygone Kent-9/3
Clunn. The Face of London,
Connor and L.Halford. The Forgotten Stations of Greater London
Crossrail site documentation. Web site
Field. London Place Names
Hutments. Leaflet
Ideal Homes. Web site
Kent Archaeology. Web site
London Borough of Greenwich. Web site.
London Encyclopaedia
London Gardens On Line. Web site.
Nature Conservation in .Greenwich 
Pevsner and Cherry, South London
PMSA. Web site
Pritchard. Belvedere,
Spurgeon. Discover Erith and Crayford
Spurgeon. Discover Woolwich
Woolwich Antiquarians Journal.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend. Plumstead

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend
The railway continued eastwards

Post to the west Plumstead
Post to the east Co-op Estate

Amar Court
This close off Benares Road provides accommodation for Asian elder. The Plumstead Tithe Barn seems likely to have been situation at the eastern end of the area.
Plumstead Tithe Barn. This was part of Plumstead Manor Farm. It was very large, thatched, and latterly use by a building contractor. It was demolished in 1908.

Bannockburn Road.
1-11 Quantum Theatre. Old Button Factory. Quantum Theatre for Science was founded in 1988 to meet the need for educational drama available to schools about numeracy and science
1 Button Factory. This was a factory for William C.Seamons, button, buckles, etc. Since moved to Eltham,
63-67 Shree Radar Krishan Dham. Greenwich Hindu Temple (Mandir). This was founded in 1978 and initially, members met at each other’s homes. St. Nicholas Mission Hall was purchased in 1984 and was converted into a Temple. Marble Murtis were donated from India. In 1993, the Temple was refurbished and the Singhasan was constructed.
Scout Hall - St.Nicholas Mission Hall was latterly used by the Scouts

Bargate Close
Houses climbing up a hillside on what appears to be the boundary between what was Weymouth House, at the top of the site until the 1960s, and other properties. It appears historically to have been an orchard but the site is very steep and embanked

Bebbington Road
Built in the late 1890s through the fields of Butcher’s Farm

Brewery Road
North Kent Brewery. The wall remains of the Beasley brewery. This was founded in 1845 as the Park Brewery run by L.Davos.  In 1878 it changed its name to the North Kent Brewery run by Mitchell and Beasley. It was rebuilt in 1889 by Inskip and Mackenzie featuring a central tower with an illuminated clock. They also used the Invicta.  It was taken over by Charles Beasley Ltd in 1943 and brewed Pale Ale, Bitter, Brown Ale and Stout. Courage bought Beasley’s in 1963 and seemed ran it as a bottled beer brewery producing Courage Light Ale, Brown Ale, IPA and 3 Star. The brewery closed in 1965.


Chestnut Rise
This was originally Chesnut Road
Woolwich Borough Yard. This had been the Plumstead Parish Yard but following amalgamation with Woolwich was the depot covering East Plumstead. It had an iron shed and a stink pipe to relieve the sewer below.  The site is now housing.

Galossan Road
Built in the late 1890s through the fields of Butcher’s Farm
Conway School. Built by the London School Board in 1897

Grosmount Road
Great Bartlets. The road, built in the early 20th, runs across the area of hillside and woodland once known as Great Bartlets. This is now the name of the belt of woodland between the road and Wickham Lane.
Cold Blow – this is the name for the isolated group of houses at the top of the road, beyond the blocked section.
Tower Blocks. A London County Council estate built 1962-4. These are eleven-storey point blocks, sited on a slope.

Hector Road
The road is built round two sides of the Invicta Athletic Grounds.
Invicta Athletic Grounds. This appears to have been an orchard but in 1890, the Royal Arsenal Football club moved here to play their games. It had a stand, terracing and changing rooms. They stayed three years and changed their name to Woolwich Arsenal Football Club and became professional. When they left an amateur football team called Royal Ordnance Factories played here but a year later the ground was developed with housing. It is said that some of the stadium terraces where people watching the games stood, survives in the back gardens.
St.Patrick's Church.  This was originally St Paul's Church (Church of England) built in 1909 by William Basset Smith in red brick. In since 1969 it became St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church having been sold to the Catholics in 1968. This was a legal first and needed an Act of Parliament

Hull Place
Casual Ward. Site of the Woolwich Board of Guardians Casual Ward for vagrants.

Lakedale Road
The road was originally called Cage Lane because the Parish Lock up stood somewhere near the junction with the High Street.
46 Church of Christ the King. This evangelical church is in what was Cage Lane Mission. This was opened on the site of what had been the Clifton Castle Tavern which had been taken over by Kate Russell in 1875. She came to Plumstead to undertake mission work and rebuilt the church in 1879.
40 Brewery Tap. For the adjacent Beasley’s Brewery.
18-30 Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society Department Store. This dated from 1896 and sold groceries and provisions, men's tailoring, chemist, hairdressers and butchers. It had a prominent clock tower.  There was a hall above the menswear department used for many different functions. This included the Socialist Sunday School and the Woodcraft Folk Club.  It had a reading room from 1902. Later demolished
14 Tram Shed. This was the depot for 54 trams in the 1880s.   In 1881, a 3' 6" gauge horse tramway was built by the Woolwich and South East London Tramways Co. between the terminus of the Bexley trams at The Plume of Feathers in Plumstead to The King William IV in East Greenwich. This was their depot where the narrow studded garage block was the tram shed for the narrow horse trams. The London County Council bought it in 1903 and instigated a system of electric trams.  It became a garage for a private bus operator in 1925; this was Pearson operating on a variety of routes. The 'Tram Yard' sign dates from 1977 and a garage currently operates from the site.  At one time a tram line ran from Plumstead High Street into the site.
1 Fire Station. This was built by the London County Council. Architects Dept. Fire Stations Division in 1907 under Owen Fleming including C.C. Winmill and W.E. Brooks.  It is a neo classical building of 5-storeys in red brick. There is lettering saying: 'L.C.C. Fire Brigade Station, Plumstead'. The exterior has two principal elevations on the prominent corner location. There are two large appliance bay entrances for horse-drawn fire vehicles and there was once fireman's accommodation on the upper storeys. Inside is the wood casing and doors to the sliding pole. It was opened in 1907 by the Chairman of the Fire Brigade Committee of the London County Council, Rupert Guinness and replaced a number of small houses

Liffler Road
1a New Testament Gospel Church. This is in what was St.Paul’s Memorial Hall. There is a stone memorial plaque on the Conway Road wall to the building.

Marmadon Road
Railway marshalling yard was behind it to the north

Mineral Road
The road is built round two sides of the Invicta Athletic Grounds. The eastern end is on the line of Butchers Lane going up to Plumstead High Road. It is named for the previous owner George Weaver who had a mineral water factory in Plumstead High Street

Nathan Way
Access to the Ridgeway Path along the Southern Outfall to Crossness

Parkdale Road
Receiving House for Children, previously known as ‘Artizans Dwellings’. These had been built by the Plumstead Vestry to house people whole their houses and property was being disinfested. There is now new housing on this site.
Dispensary. This was connected to the workhouse and used as a Tuberculosis Dispensary. There is now new housing on this site.

Plumstead Gardens
Plumstead Gardens.  This park is accessed from Church Manorway, to the east. The park dates from soon after the Second World War. it was originally laid out as an ornamental garden with a raised terrace at the east end, and a central bay on an axis with an ornate sunken garden with central a pool, walks and rose beds.  There was also a children's paddling pool, and a roller skating rink. Later there was a track for BMX and mountain biking. In the early 1990s the formal ponds were drained and some of the stonework damaged, and this area was later demolished and infilled. A pavilion built in the 1950s for youth groups and clubs and the toilets were demolished following vandalism.

Plumstead High Street
Leads towards Bostall Heath and the woods. Before the Thames was embanked by the monks at Lesnes an ancient road ran between Erith and Woolwich on the margin of the marshes and the stream and washed by the tide.
11-15 Plumstead Community Seventh Day Adventist Church
15 Plumstead Community Sdaj
26 This industrial building fronted by shops has signage at first floor level for Maxi Engineering Co. They appear to have left and the building appears to be a bedding warehouse plus a number of churches, including the Redeemed Christian Church of God, The Dominion Life Assembly, and the Fresh Grace Global Christian Centre. Before the Second World War this was the site of the works of W.Dingle, printer. This was a general print and publishing business but produce some works for the philatelic market.
64 Mineral Water Factory. This was owned by George Pike Weaver along with land later built up as Mineral Street. The building remains in other use.
65 The Electric Theatre. This was a shop conversion to a cinema in 1909 which closed in 1913. It is now a shop.
67 O’Dowd’s Pub. This was originally the Green Man, an early 20th pub with terra-cotta decoration. It was also once called Blue Moon
95 Red Lion. This pub is now a noodle bar. Part of the structure dated from the early 18th and it said to be a timber-framed building. There is however 19th tiling and 20th half timbering.
81-93 Century Cinema. This opened as The Empire Kinema in 1913. It was taken over in 1928, by Gaumont/Denham Theatres, but was operated by Bernstein/Granada. In 1928 the facade was reconstructed by Cecil Masey and it re-opened in 1928 as the Kinema. It was re-named Century Cinema in 1952, and closed in 1960. It stood back from the main street behind a narrow forecourt. It was converted into a warehouse, and later a training centre. From 2002 it was unused and in 2012 was demolished and flats were on the site named Century House and Bernstein Court.
100 Paddy Power. This was once The Belfry, Social Club
105 Plumstead Community Law Centre
107a Barclays Bank. This replaced a Methodist Chapel
Butchers Farm. This farm seems to have fronted onto the High Street at roughly no 110. It appears to have been in front of the tram yard and to have been in place until the 1890s.
Bannockburn Primary School. This school has another site in Church Manorway. The High Street branch was a London School Board School dating from 1896.
Plumstead Methodist Central Hall opened in 1905. The site is now flats and houses.
Police Station. Opened in 1991 to replace an older station.
130 The Volunteer.  This was the originally westward one of two buildings used as the vicarage and belonging to John Hobby's Charity and leased as a pub from 1865. It was exchanged for the building now called Bramblebury. It has been altered since. It is now a two-storey building with a rendered and painted front. It may once have been called The Greyhound.
142 – 146 Plaza Cinema. The Plumstead Cinematograph Theatre was opened in 1911. In 1931, it was re-modeled in an Art Deco style and re-named Plaza, operated by London & District Cinemas Ltd and later, in 1946, taken over by Granada Theatres. It was closed in 1954 and was empty until 1961, when it became a shop. It was later demolished and a Woolworth’s shop was built there. This closed in 2009 and is now Iceland.
232 Plumstead Library. Built in 1904 by the Borough Engineer, Frank Sumner as a Carnegie Foundation Library. It is in red brick with a projecting bay windows and stone. Above the entrance is the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich coat of arms and the words 'Public Library'. The Borough Museum was originally on the first floor and there was a small theatre to the rear. There was a flat for the Librarian on the Second Floor
234 Plumstead Baths. There were two Swimming Baths, warm slipper baths for men and women and also Turkish and Russian Baths. There was a public laundry. Plans were drawn up for the baths following the amalgamation of Plumstead and Woolwich in the 1890s and were agreed in 1902. There are now flats on much of this site
236 Kinara House. This was used as local authority offices and community buildings in a red brick building which appears to be pre-Great war. It may have originated as a medical centre.
242 Redeemed Church of God.  Kings Chapel. This was previously the Horse and Groom pub
244 Expo International Supermarket. This was previously the Electric Orange pub but in fact originally The Prince of Orange pub.
282 Plume of Feathers. 18th pub with lean-to weather boarded extension
Pavilion Theatre. This is said to have been near Wickham Lane 1914/15
St Nicholas Gardens.  This was a Cemetery but is now a small park and playground. 40,000 burials took place before 1890 and the ground is uneven because of the layers of tombs. There have been 2nd century Roman coins here. Many famous military burials and some unmarked including Daniel Cambridge, VC. The churchyard was later closed for burials and gravestones were cleared largely to the perimeter. South of the church it was laid out an ornamental public garden in 1955, with a railed path between it and the church. There are remains of old walls along Church Manorway, and two old entrances with steps lead up to the gardens. The 19th mortuary was replaced by toilets but these have also now gone.

Purrett Road
6 Plumstead Children’s  Centre
Gallions Mount Schools. This is near near the top of a hill which overlooks Gallions Reach – which is where the name came from. Initially an all girls' school, but since being rebuilt in 1977 it is co-educational.  It was originally called Purrett Road School and was a London School Board School

Quilter Street
Housing and car parks on the site of Plumstead Public Baths
Flush Bracket. Triangulation mark on metal plaque on the wall of Plumstead Library

Railway
Sidings and marshalling yard parallel with Marmadon Road and including line going into the Arsenal site.  Some of this site is currently being developed for the Crossrail tunnel portal.
Transformer Station

Rippolson Road
2 Old stable and forge, former Farrier’s workshop, arch dated 1883 plus a horseshoe.

Riverdale Road
This was previously called Skittles Alley

Southern Outfall
The Southern Outfall Sewer takes sewage from the southern area of central London to Crossness. It was designed by Joseph Bazalgette as part of the plans for handling sewage in the late 1850s. Three major interceptor sewers were constructed south of the river and meet at Deptford, and then proceed to Plumstead with another sewer joining at Charlton. From Plumstead the covered sewer forms the southern boundary of Thames and is landscaped as an elevated footpath called the Ridgeway.  It can be accessed from Nathan Way

Speranza Street
Leisure centre built in the late 1960s, and known as Plumstead Leisure Centre. In 2010 the centre was refurbished to include dance and performance arts studios and became The Warehouse Sports and Performing Arts Centre. It is now managed by Greenwich Leisure Ltd. T has a bowls rink, gym, 4 badminton court sports hall and other facilities.

St Nicholas Road
St. Nicholas' church. The church is believed to have been founded in 950 probably built of wood. Before the river was embanked by the monks at Lesnes the church would have stood on the edge of the flooded area of the Thames. There are two ancient splayed windows. A modern stained glass above the porch shows St Nicholas as Bishop of Myra who rescued three children from an evil butcher. The current building dates to the 13th and the size of the old church can be seen from the columns of the south aisle. In 1958 workmen found a 13th chisel, which is now in the Science Museum. Work begun in 1230 is assumed to have halted because of flooding .The tower, was built in 1664 and Being close to the Thames has been used as a beacon for ships arriving in London. It was also used by Cadets of the Royal Artillery for sighting and calculating distances on rangefinders. When In the late 19th the flagstaff was destroyed in a storm the War Department paid for its replacement. There are four bells Three cast in 1686 and the fourth in 1790. The wooden ceiling of the Lady Chapel is in the style of an upturned keel. The church was badly damaged in the Second World War and Restored in 1959 by T. F. Ford & Partners.
Manor Farm. This was north east of the church and featured a massive tithe barn.

Tewson Road
Plumstead Health Centre. Built 1977-80 by P. Hockaday of the Greenwich and Bexley Area Health Authority
Parish Workhouse. There was a parish workhouse in Plumstead in 1777. From 1838 this was part of the Greenwich Poor Law Union but in 1868, a new Woolwich Union was created which took in Plumstead. In 1870, the foundation stone for the new Woolwich Union workhouse was laid by the Revd Francis Cameron and it was inscribed "The poor ye have always with you". The workhouse was at the south side of Plumstead High Street, and was designed by Church and Rickwood. It is not shown as fronting on the main road.  In 1872, a separate infirmary was erected to the south of the workhouse which included three ward blocks with staff quarters, kitchens, offices and committee rooms. There was accommodation for children and a sick bay for vagrants from the casual ward. In the 1920s it was known as the Woolwich Institution, and the infirmary as the Plumstead and District Hospital. In 1930, the site passed to the London County Council ad was renamed St Nicholas Hospital. In the Second World War the northern block was destroyed by bombing.
St. Nicholas Hospital. Built as the infirmary for the workhouse of the Woolwich Union opened in 1874. From 1884 emergency cases, brought in by the Woolwich Union horse ambulance were admitted.   In 1890 two observation wards were added, as well as padded cells.  In 1900 another ward block was added, and a laundry, and in 1902 a Nurses' Home was built and a Matron appointed.  In 1928 the Board of Guardians renamed it the Plumstead & District Hospital.  In 1930 it passed to the London County Council who renamed it St Nicholas' Hospital.  In the Second World War it suffered considerable bomb damage and in 1945 was damaged by a V1.  In 1948 it joined the NHS and later a six-storey ward block was built including the Gooding Ward with 23 maternity beds.  In 1965 a new Accident & Emergency Department opened. It began to close down from 1978 and finally closed in 1986.  The Hospital site is now a housing complex.  The only surviving building is now the St Nicholas Centre, owned by Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust.

White Hart Road
Council depot. White Hart Road Depot. This was the site of the Woolwich municipal electrical generating station fuelled by domestic rubbish and the second such plant built by a local authority’s engineer and surveyor Frank Sumner in 1903. It supplied power to streets, public buildings and domestic premises. The main building had the generating hall referred to as the 'tiled hall'. Copper and aluminium were removed from the rubbish by women known as scratchers ad sold to dealers. A ramp at the front was for dust carts were driven into the unloading area. Rubbish was fed on to moving belts which was then tipped for loading into the boilers. The chimney was Low chimney because of the closeness to the Arsenal firing grounds.  There was a Meldrum destructor with 4 grates, Babcock and Wilcox boilers. Power generation ended in 1923 when the municipal power station in Woolwich was opened but incineration of rubbish continued into the 1970s.   The main generating hall has a tiled interior the second hall has brick walls painted white and the third hall, is thought to be an addition but has offices underneath,.
Laundry. This was on site and integrated with the power station. The washing of foul items from social services and other outlets was the last function to run on site.
Piggery. In the 1920s until he Second World War the site included a piggery where residents were encouraged to collect food waste for the pigs. The resulting bacon went to Council children’s and old people’s homes
Road making site. Clinker from the destructors was used in an associated road making works on site.
37 Salvation Army. This is a large 19th building from which the Army actively works.
Shaheed Udham Singh Asian Community Centre


Sources
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Bygone Kent
Cinema Treasures. Web site
Clunn. The face of London
English Heritage. Web site
Field. London Place Names,
Glencross. Buildings if Greenwich
GLIAS Newsletter
Greenwich Hindu Temple. Web site.
Greenwich Industrial History. Newsletter
Greenwich Industrial History. Blog site.
London Borough of Greenwich. Local List
London Borough of Greenwich. Web site
London Gardens. On line. Web site
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site.
Meantime Brewery. Web site
Nature Conservation in Greenwich
North West Kent History Society. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. London South
Plumstead Stories. Web site
Quantum Theatre. Web site
Smith. History of Charlton
South East London Industrial Archaeology
Spurgeon. Discover Woolwich,
Spurgeon. Discover Greenwich and Charlton
Woolwich Antiquarians, Transactions
Workhouses. Web site