Thursday, 2 July 2015

Riverside east of the Tower and on the north bank. Dagenham Dock

Riverside east of the Tower and north of the river.

This post relates to structures north of the river only

 A tiny piece of riverside built out with large jetties originally for fitting out the Thunderer warship. 
This is a busy industrial area still undertaking port operations

Post to the north Dagenham Riverside
Post to the east Fords riverside

Dagenham Dock - Perry Road
Efforts were made to create a dock here from 1841. This was built on the site of some of Dagenham Breach - an area of flooded marsh caused by the breaching of the sea wall in 1707, and intermittently flooded throughout the 18th.  In 1865 Sir John Rennie and Butterton built a jetty and a branch railway, with plans for a rail connection and ferry to Erith. They were bankrupted and a deep water dock was built in 1887 by Samuel Williams and Sons, barge builders, who had bought 30 acres from liquidators. By 1891 they had built a timber dock, with a railway connected to the London and Tilbury and Southend railway, together with two new jetties to create a tidal quay in 1907. Samuel Williams and Co. joined John Hudson and Co. and became a successful shipping company and this became a large coaling. Land alongside the dock was used for shipping and haulage either by themselves or by other companies like the Union Cable Company or the Ford Motor Company – who eventually had a ro ro operation here.  It continues to be the location of a small terminal licensed to handle coal off-loading. The site is also used for a number of river-related uses including a heavy haulage depot with 200 tanks for storage of petrol, distillates, etc.
Thunderer Jetty. In the early 20th, HMS Thunderer, the last major warship Orion class Super Dreadnought.built on the Thames. It was being fitted out after construction at the Thames Ironworks in Canning Town.  The new jetty, known as the Thunderer Jetty, was built upstream in 1910-11, by Arthur Williams.  It took nine months to build and the land had to be reclaimed too.  A150 ton crane was also used.
Coaling jetty. Built 1899-1903, for Samuel Williams & Sons. This was built to the designs by L. G. Mouchel & Partners, British agents for Hennebique's patent reinforced-concrete construction system. It was extended by one bay in 1906-7, to designs by Samuel Williams’s son, Arthur, who was an engineer. This incorporated his patent system for the horizontal casting of reinforced-concrete piles, developed in response to problems encountered with the vertically cast Hennebique piles. The Jetty is about 500ft long and  parallel to the river bank.

Bird. Geography of the Port of London
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Barking Riverside History. Web site
Dagenham Dock. Wikipedia. Web site
Port of London Magazine

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Riverside east of the tower, north bank. Barking Levels

Riverside east of the tower, north bank.
Barking Levels.

Riverside strip of marshland used as a dump.  Some small industrial and haulage sites, but huge plans for housing development

This post covers sites north of the river only

Post to the west Barking
Post to the east Dagenham Riverside

Barking Levels
Marshes. This was once extensive grazing made up of low lying land dissected by dykes reclaimed from saltmarsh by building seawalls. They are an important habitat. The amount of grazing marsh in the Thames estuary is now greatly reduced and the whole area is on development pressure.  Much of the site has been used to store coal and power station waste – however some plants and animals are here because of that and are not native to the area. Attempts at agriculture here have often failed because of flooding. Most of this area was called Ripple Level. In the late 19th ice was collected here to sell to fishing boats and for packing fish.  There are now tips of pulverised fly ash and at one point a crater from which the ash has been removed. Other pits were used as settling ponds for fly ash slurry.  There is also some landfill with problems of methane emissions. Grassland covers most of the area and there is now little grazing. There is a very large range of wild flowers and insects. There are many butterflies and moths.
Housing development plans exist for this whole area.

Choats Manor Road
1st Barking and Dagenham Scouts. This is the previous site office for Bellway Homes
Housing at the western end built by Bellway in the 1990s

London Borough Barking and Dagenham. Web site
Nature Conservation in Barking and Dagenham

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Riverside East of the Tower, north bank. Barking Power Station site

Riverside East of the Tower, north bank
Barking Power Station site

Riverside strip of marshland where a major power plant was built in the early 20th.  Many small industrial and haulage sites, but huge plans for housing development

This post only covers sites north of the river

Post to the west Creekmouth
Post to the north Barking Marsh

Atcost Road
Buzzard Creek Industrial Estate.
Trading estates and light industry

Rail line coming into the powers station site from the north east originating from Ripple Lane sidings.

River Road
Barking A Power Station. In 1920, the County of London Electric Supply Company applied for permission to build a power station here capable of expansion to 600 MW.  This was a consortium of local authorities to rival privately built Battersea. Although originally built to supply the county of London it then served a wider area, including part of Kent, as well as the national grid. It had 8 Parsons turbo-generators and 22 boilers, plus 2 reheat boilers. These were in two boiler houses, one being all chain grate boilers and the other being all pulverised fuel boilers. It opened in 1925 and when completed was the largest power station in Britain built as a complete station at one time. The Yarrow boilers were scrapped in the early 1950s, being replaced by steam from the B station. The pulverised fuel boilers were converted to oil firing around 1964. The site was chosen for easy delivery of coal from the Thames and by rail.
A cable tunnel was built the river to supply the south bank with electricity.
Shaft house for the cable tunnel which took cables to the Arsenal and Thamesmead
Barking B Power Station. This began to operate at full capacity in 1939. The capacity was 303 MW with 4 x 75 MW B.T.H. turbo-generators. It had 16 chain grate boilers, each capable of producing 256,000 lbs steam per hour. These were arranged in two boiler houses, with 8 boilers in each. The power station was transferred to the London Division of the British Electricity Authority in 1948. The B station closed on 1976.
Barking C. This was built by The British Electricity Authority in 1954. It had three B.T.H. 75 MW turbo-generators and 6 boilers, 5 for pulverised fuel and the sixth a cyclone furnace. The pulverised fuel boilers were converted to use oil in 1960. The station was closed on 26 October 1981,
Barking East 33kV Switch House, the Control Room and Office Block, and the interconnecting cable tunnels remain
Dagenham Sunday Market is now on part of the power station site.  It has over 600 stalls and thousands of visitors each week. The market opened in 2002 moving here from Chequers Lane, Dagenham
Barking Guano Works. This factory was at Creekmouth but also on a site later used for the power station,
Powder magazine. This dated from 1719 and in 1885 was sold to the Creekmouth Gunpowder Company, despite attempts by the local authority to close it; it lasted until after the Great War. This now appears to be the reception area for a property company.
Riverside Piers

Barking and Dagenham Nature Conservation
Bird. Geography of the Port of London
Dagenham Sunday Market.Web site
Essex JournalGLIAS. Newsletter
Hillman. London Under London
MPP electric list
Port of London Magazine
Victoria County History. Essex
Wikipedia. Barking Power Station. Web site


Monday, 22 June 2015

Riverside east of the Tower and north of the river. Beckton

Riverside east of the Tower, north bank
TQ 44118 81919

Marshland which became the site of a major 19th century gas works and 19th century sewage works.  Now encroached by housing development, some modern industry and the light railway depot

Post to the south Galleons
Post to the north Jenkins Lane
Post to the east Creekmouth

Armada Way
Armada Point BDM. Delivery contracting company.
Docklands Light Railway Beckton Depot. The depot was built to service and stable the trains needed for the operation of the Beckton Extension and for the use of double-unit trains across the network. There are facilities for 45 trains. Rail access is from spurs from the running lines from the Beckton branch. This is on part of the gas works site
Control Centre, this was built In preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games to ensure the rail service remained operational in the event of a major incident. 

Beckton Gas Works
This square covers only the eastern section of this very large gas works. Gas holders and retort houses.
Beckton Gas Works. The (Chartered) Gas Light and Coke Co. bought land in 1868 from the Ironmongers Company for new works to serve much of Metropolitan Thames. The earliest of all gas companies they had hitherto been based in central and east London with a headquarters which remained in Westminster. From the late 1860s the London gas industry was under government pressure for small companies to amalgamate, close small works and open big out of town works. Beckton was the Chartered’s response and the works was opened in 1870, and became the second largest in Britain at its peak serving 45 million customers. It was named after the then company chair, Simon Adams Beck.  The site allowed the easy delivery of coal from North East England: and the company had its own fleet of steam colliers, and its own railway into the site.  The design and construction of the works was undertaken by Frederick John Evans, the Company's Chief Engineer, assisted by Vitruvius Wyatt, and the contractor was John Aird. Originally four retort houses with plant and gasholders were installed and a gas main was installed to the City and Westminster. G. C. Trewby was the first superintendent living in a company house on site. Beckton continued to develop and eventually 14 retort houses were built. In 1890 a carburetted water gas plant was introduced and in 1931 batteries of coke ovens were built. During the Second World War Beckton was seriously bombed and three holders and the mains were badly damaged closing the works for a fortnight. Later in the war over 200 identified bombs were dropped on the works. In 1959 the first pipe-line supplies of petroleum began and a pipe line was built to storage tanks at Shell Haven and Coryton. Further new technologies were introduced during the 1960s.  With the advent of North Sea Gas the works was closed in the early 1970s, although operation holders remain on site. Famously the site was used for the filming of Full Metal Jacket and Vitruvius Wyatt’s carefully designed buildings were plastered with Vietnamese slogans and turned into ruins. They remained in this state for some years but have now been demolished. Much of the site returned to birch scrub with many birds and plants. A beetle was found here known nowhere else in Britain. 
Gas Holders.  The three remaining holders have apparently been demolished. It may be worth noting that Kent County boundary went straight through the site of the original gasholders. Two of the holders remaining on site in 2000 and listed were: No. 8 built by the original engineer Vitruvius Wyatt in 1876.Ot had unusual buttress- like columns in cast iron with fancy latticework. No. 9 was designed by the later engineer George Trewby in 1890-2 with a capacity of 8 million cubic ft. It was the third largest holder then built in Britain. Its lattice steel, six-tier guide frame was entirely rational.
Beckton Waterfront Business Park.  As part of the preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games in London the London Development Authority purchased the former Beckton Gas Works site to provide alternative employment space for industrial businesses from the Lower lea Valley.  The site is bounded by Beckton Sewage Treatment Works and poplar trees will screen it.  The building layout follows the principal geometry of the site. 

Beckton Sewage Works
Beckton Works. A sewage works was established here by the Metropolitan Board of Works, which served the whole of North London. It was built by Costain in 1864. And was effectively the terminus of the Northern Outfall sewer. Originally the untreated flow went straight into the river here.  Major work was done by the London County Council in the 1950s and now the sewage from some of the millions of Londoners living north of the River is treated here along with surface water resulting from rainfall.  It was opened by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1959.  Sewage enters Beckton by gravity through five 9 ft diameter sewers. The coarse screens remove everything larger than 5cm across. Further screens and channels remove grit and plastics. It then moves to the sedimentation process. The sewage then flows into large tanks, where the finer solids settle by gravity. It takes about four hours to flow along these tanks, and about 70 of the solids are left in the tanks as sludge. This sludge removed by electrically driven scrapers to troughs at the inlet end and is then further treated. The remaining liquid flows into aeration tanks. Here it is mixed with a biologically active sludge and aerated using fine bubbles of filtered air from diffusers on the floor of the tanks. Activated sludge is made up of microorganisms, which use the remaining pollutants as a food source while the air bubbles provide the oxygen needed to sustain them. The mixture takes about six hours to flow through these tanks then the clarified effluent flows over weirs at the tank's surface and flows directly into the River Thames. The sludge used to be dumped in the North Sea but now it is dried and burnt in the Sludge Power Generator installed in 1994. Gas produced is used as fuel for gas turbine engines for electricity for use within the process.
Wind turbine.  64 meter high wind turbine that will help generate eight per cent of the energy needed to power the site.
Thermal hydrolysis plant. This is an industrial-scale pressure cooker which will heat sludge to around 160 °C, in order to produce up to 50 per cent more biogas, which is then burnt to create heat to generate renewable energy

Gallions Reach Shopping Centre,
Retail Park. Originally this had 30 shops built in 2004. This is on part of the gas works site

Hornet Way
Gemini Business Centre. This is on part of the gas works site

Northern Outfall Sewer
The Northern Outfall Sewer is a major gravity sewer which runs from Wick Lane in Hackney to Beckton sewage treatment work. Most of it was designed by Joseph Bazalgette in the late 1850s.  The eastern end of the Northern Outfall Sewer, running 4.5 miles from Wick Lane, to Beckton is a public footpath/cycleway called The Greenway.
Lee Tunnel.  Thames Water is building this underground link to prevent storm discharge into the river at Abbey Mills. It will follow the Greenway from West Ham to Beckton, but at considerable depth.

Beckton Pier No.1. 19th jetty on cast iron columns for unloading coal, 400 yards, no conveyors, or cranes.  The columns are now all that remain. It was built in 1870, with. Heavy plate girders on cast-iron caissons.  This would have been served by collier vessels from the Durham and Northumberland coal field. It was modernised with hydraulic cranes in 1890.  In the early 1920's it was rebuilt again with modern cranes and conveyors to feed the Beckton internal railway system. There were also facilities for loading for Bromley by Bow and Stratford gas works. This installation was opened in 1926 by King George V
Beckton pier No.2. Built in 1895 this second pier was for coke and pitch,
Managers House. The original managers at Beckton Gas works had a specially built riverside house. It was from here in 1878 that the Trewby family saw the wreck of the Princess Alice and were able do what they could to help rescue and support survivors

Bird. Geography of the Port of London
Bygone Kent
Carr. Docklands History Survey,
Clunn. The Face of London
Diamond Geezer. Web site
English Heritage. Report on Gasholders
Essex Journal
Everard. History of the Gas Light and Coke Co.
GLIAS. Newsletter
James. Chemistry in Essex
Marcan. London Docklands Guide
Millichip. Gas Works Railways, 
Model Engineer
Nature Conservation in Newham
North Thames Gas. Beckton Centenary
Sergison Bates. Web site
Stewart. Gas Works in the North Thames Area
Thames Basin Archaeology of Industry Group. Report
Thames Water. Web site
The Trams. Web site
Walford. Village London

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Riverside east of the Tower, north bank. Galleons

Riverside east of the Tower, north bank

Riverside area where entrance areas to the River for late 19th and early 20th docks were placed along with associated facilities and works including an important shipyard.

This post only includes items north of the river

Post to the north Beckton

Atlantis Avenue
Bohler Sortex. Buhler is a company with Swiss origins who make a wide variety of machinery. Buhler Sortex is involved in the field of optical sorting.

Galleons Road
Royal Quays. Housing scheme on old rail land.
Galleons Hotel. The hotel was originally built in the early 1880s for P&O shipping company and originally catered for passengers waiting to embark on their liners in the Royal Albert Dock.  It was built on piles with stables in the basements, and with a subway from the hotel to the dockside quay.  It was designed by George Vigers & T.R. Wagstaffe, in the Norman Shaw tradition. It has a long, rendered front with a jettied upper storey, a tower and 'Ipswich' windows. The plaster frieze, which was originally blue and white, was by Edward Roscoe Mullins. The first-floor billiard room opened on to a balcony over the station platform canopy.  It did not close as a pub until 1972 but after the railway line closed it stood alone in immense surroundings covered in railway tracks, and was described as a ‘good place to hatch a revolution’. When the Royal Quay housing scheme was instigated plans were made for its renovation, which was undertaken by the Brian Partnership in 1996. It is now surrounded by new housing, is no longer scary, and houses the headquarters of Irish-London company, Corbyn Construction, The Reach bar and kitchen and Luck’s Gym. The bar was officially opened by the Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny in 2014.   
Galleons Station.  Opened in 1880 and built by the London and St.Katharine’s Dock Company. It was sited north of Galleons Road, adjoining the hotel and the front door opened out onto the platform. Both the dock company and the Great Eastern Railway Company used it. In 1886 it was resited but a fragment of station remained behind the hotel and part of the platform was kept as a raised area in front of the hotel
Galleons Station.  Opened in 1886 and built by the London and St.Katharine’s Dock Company. It was to the east of the previous Galleons station’.  It was bombed in 1940 and abandoned by the Port of London Authority in 1950.  The site has since been redeveloped although the platform survived for a while.

King George V Entrance
George V entrance lock.  This was built in 1921 to take 30,000 ton ships and it much bigger than the Royal Albert entrance lock. It had steel gates and a small automatic local hydraulic pumping station of 1970 to power the lock with a modern accumulator tower which was removed in 1989.
Flood Defence Gate. The gate provides flood protection to the impounded area of the docks. It consists of one 30.5 meter wide flap gate hung from an overhead travelling frame together with 250m of concrete floodwall.
Custom House. Single-storey brick building from 1948 at George V entrance
Offices - Small office for the Lock Keeper built by the Port of London Authority

Lower Galleons Entrance
This, northern entrance to the Royal Albert Dock, was built in 1886 in order to better compete with the Tilbury Dock then being built by the East and West India Dock Company.  It was damaged during the war and was not reopened until 1956.  In 1980 it was reconstructed into a small craft lock.  It is said that its 1950s electrically driven gear is preserved.

Plaistow Level
The Albert Dock and Basin lies in what was the Plaistow Levels - marsh next to the Thames. In the past the site was administratively in Kent, adjacent to the manor of East Ham. A chapel is said to have been still visible in the 18th in what was known as Chapel Field which lay east of Woolwich
Manor Way.

Galleons Branch. Development in this area north of the Royal Albert Dock entrance and around the Galleons Hotel is on the site of an extensive railway system. The Galleons Branch came from Custom House station and was opened by the London and St.Katherine’s Dock Company in 1880.  The Royal Albert Dock received its enabling act in 1875 and this included powers for the construction of a passenger railway from a junction east of Custom House Station to a riverside terminus at Galleons Reach. By later 1880 this line had been built and at first it was very busy with three trains an hour.   There have been two stations at Galleons on slightly different sites. Beyond the station the lines continued to a coal wharf managed by Corys and in 1918 this line was used to access a ferry for workers at the Arsenal. Services were curtailed in the Second World War and the area and the line were devastated by bombing in 1940. It was eventually closed and left to rot.
PLA railways. Around the Galleons Branch and interfacing with it was a large network of Port of London Authority railways accessing the Royal Albert Dock, the Royal Albert Basin, the entrance lock and indeed Cory’s coal wharf.

Galleons Reach. A reach is the part of a river which lies between two bends. The name of Galleons Reach here can be found on maps as early as 1588 and a Galyan family held land here in the 14th.
Galleons Point - This is shown as ‘Gailion Nesse’ on a map of 1588 and ‘ness’ is a word used for a promontory. The actual point is close to the entrance to the King George V dock.
Cory coal wharf. Closed in the 1960s
Port of London Authority. Radar scanner.  This scanner was installed in 20134 as is part of the PLA’s 18-installation network. It covers the eastern bit of the Thames Barrier Control Zone and feeds data direct to the Thames Barrier Navigation Centre. It is on a 65-metre high tower and the Scanter 5102 radar uses solid state technology and operates in a completely different way to traditional marine radars.
Piers – there were a number of steam ship piers around the entrance to the Riyal Albert and George V docks.
Galleons Riverside Footpath. This winds round the riverfront and the dock entrance, despite being closed as a right of way in the 1980s by the London Docklands Development Corporation. Good for bird watchers.
Devils House. A building which would have been on the site of what s now the Albert Basin was on the bank of the Thames north of Galleons Point. This is thought to be The Devils House’. It is thought this was demolished during dock construction and that it was probably a pub.

Royal Albert Dock Basin and lock.
Galleons Point Marina -  this is in fact Albert Dock Entrance Basin. All-purpose boating facility offering temporary moorings, maintenance, tuition and equipment sales. It is said to be upmarket with no residential moorings.
Royal Albert Basin and lock. This is very large –larger than many actual docks and intended to be large enough and deep enough to take any ship then afloat
Lock – built in 1880. This, southern entrance, was filled in during the 1960s
Thames House. There was a control centre here responsible for safety of navigation from Crayfordness to Teddington. Vessels would switch from Galleons Radio, channel 14, to Barrier Control, channel 18, between Margaretness and Blackwall Point.  This is now completely dealt with at the Barrier.
IVAX Pharmaceuticals. European Headquarters of the IVAX Corporation, opened in 1999. These long grey buildings are at the far east of the Royal Albert Dock. These buildings were vacated in 2007.
National Construction College (East London)
Pumping station.  This is a red-brick single storey structure with gable built in the same idiom as Port of London Authority buildings. Dates from 1930.

Woolwich Manor Way 
Galleons Point. Housing estate by Fairview developers built 2003 on the Harland and Wolff ship building and ship repair works site.
Sunderland Point. 12 storey tower on the riverside.
Harland & Wolff. This very large ship building and ship repair establishment was on the site of what is now known as the Galleons Estate. The main part of the yard was to the south in Woolwich Manor Way, but the works extended to the side of the George V entrance lock.

Bird. Geography of the Port of London
Bygone Kent
Carr. Docklands History survey
Connor. Branch Lines around North Woolwich
Connor. Forgotten stations of London
Field. London Place Names

London Borough of Newham. Web siteLondon Railway Record
Marcan. London Docklands guide
Nature Conservation in Newham,

Port of London Authority, Web site
Port of London Magazine
Royal Docks Trust. Web site
Victoria County History. Essex

Friday, 19 June 2015

Riverside east of the Tower, nort bank.North Woolwich

Riverside east of the Tower. North bank. 
North Woolwich

Old riverside settlement, once in Kent and part of Woolwich proper. and thus the north end of ferry and foot tunnel.  19th railway development plus a pleasure park and later a museum.  Surrounded by industry the area of an important shipyard is now modern housing. Otherwise a down market area with many facilities closed

This post covers north of the river only for this square

Post to the west North Woolwich
Post to the south Woolwich

Albert Road
12 The California.  Pub of 1914 with art nouveau lettering designed by Robert Banks-Martin. Closed 2007 and demolished.
North Woolwich Police Station, Built 1904 and designed by J. Dixon Butler, in striped brick and stone. The station was "K" Division of the Metropolitan Police.  There is a lamp at the corner of the road with "POLICE" in the glass. It is now partly closed.
74 The Royal Albert. This pub was present by 1867 and was owned by Watney’s Brewery. It closed in 2002 and is now housing.
102-104 The Albion Pub. This pub was known locally as the Cowshed.  It was present by 1872 and was destroyed in an air raid in 1944.
The Kent Arms was at the corner with Dock Street. Its name may relate to North Woolwich’s position in Kent until 1889. It was demolished in 1975. A replacement pub was called Katie's Place – which had been the name of a small road alongside it. It was also later called Churchill’s and Jimmy Dean's but it closed in the 1990s and has been demolished.
The Prince Albert. This was on the corner with Pier Road and was demolished in the 1970s.
The Woodman. This pub was destroyed in Second World War bombing.
Royal Standard. Pub dates from1898 with brick Baroque details and Art Nouveau iron overthrow to the saloon entrance. It is one of the last of the 19th docklands public houses left in the area.

Barge House Road
Woolwich Council Houses. Row of early local authority housing erected by the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich in 1901 with a loan from the London County Council. These were the first houses built by the Woolwich council.  At one time there were notices on them showing their origins which seem to have gone
Barge House Tavern. This is said to have been a barge on the foreshore here which was built up into a pub.
Barge House Ferry. This ran to Warren Lane in Woolwich.  In 1839 a Mr. How built an esplanade here and installed a large boat for the ferry. It was to carry livestock – horses and cattle. It was normally prorated by the proprietor of the Barge House.
Military Ferry. In 1820 the Royal Arsenal set up a ferry from its landing stage to the Barge House for the transport of artillery and provisions by the Royal Army Service Corps.
Barge House draw dock
Hoba Wharf

Woolwich Free Ferry. The ferry has been free of toll from 1889. It was opened by Lord Roseberry, Chairman of the three day old London County Council. Woolwich was arrayed in flags and bunting and there was a procession through the streets with mounted police and all the local organisations with banners and bands. The first ferries, were "Gordon", "Duncan" and "Hutton", and could carry 1000 passengers, and 20 vehicles. After 30 years they were replaced by "Squires", "Gordon" and later "John Benn" and "Will Crooks".  In 1926 Squires was hit by a US freighter. In 1940 they worked all night evacuating people from the blazing Essex shore, with oil burning on the river. They ran a 24 hour service in blackout without navigation lights and with bombs falling around them. It was finally decided to replace the old side loading ferries with "end-loading" vessels. In 1963 three diesel engined boats were built by Caleden shipbuilding Dundee- Ernest Bevin, James Newman and John Burns. They are double ended and able to proceed in either direction.  The terminals are Husband & Co., built 1964-6, with steel-trussed ramps adjustable to a 30-ft tidal range, replacing floating landing-stages of 1889.  Long queues of traffic develop throughout the day and the ferry is still a vital link for heavy lorries. It remains Free.

Foot Tunnel
Woolwich Pedestrian Tunnel. Built 1909-12 by the London County Council engineer Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice for the London County Council. The entrance rotunda is in red brick with a Copper dome with little conical-roofed lantern on top. Lifts were installed in the Woolwich tunnel from its inception until they were closed for replacement in 2009. 

North Woolwich
North Woolwich is in itself an interesting anomaly. It is an enclave of Kent on the north bank of the river. It was originally in Woolwich parish; and as such was eventually part of the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich until 1963 - and thus part of Kent. This situation probably had its origin in the land around Ham creek which was held in 1086 by Hamon, Sheriff of Kent and there is some speculation that the name ‘Woolwich’ originated here as a trading area for sheep. Two bits of land had been given by Offa the Saxon king to St.Peter's Monastery in Westminster and this was part of the ancient manor of Hammarsh. In 1963 it became part of the London Borough of Newham.

Pier Road
This was previously be called Stanley Road
North Woolwich Pier A pier was built here for the Great Eastern Railway Company for a ferry to Roffs Wharf, Market Hill in Woolwich.  This was known as the Penny Ferry. In 1908 the Great Eastern Railway withdrew the service as it was unable to compete with the free ferry. The pier on the north bank was retained and until the Second World War was used by the LNER as a calling point for river steamers going to Southend and Margate. In later years the pier was used by the Alexander shipping company, who operated their "SUN" tugs. The pier remains although the wooden decking has timbers missing. It includes there is a steel shelter with an asbestos roof and the remains of a small booking office.
Bus Station. A small bus station and turn round exists adjacent to the foot tunnel rotunda, serving the ferry and the foot tunnel – and until recently the now defunct station  The road itself on this stretch is essentially a queuing area for the ferry and designed as such with long lines of waiting traffic. There is a heavy flood protection area along the riverside and at the ferry terminal – and a previous attempt to improve things with red brick planters is now neglected.
1 The Three Crowns. This pub closed in the early 1990s.  This pub was present by 1855 and was a Charrington’s House. It is now flats.
North Woolwich station.  The earliest station may have been in the area of the park. The line had been opened in 1846 from Stratford, by the Eastern Counties and Thames Junction Railway to connect with a ferry from North Woolwich pier, to provide a quick journey from Shoreditch to Woolwich.  There were hourly services until 1854 when the brick station building was erected. It had three platforms, a goods yard and a turntable.    The station was badly damaged in Second World War bombing in 1940.   The goods yard was rationalised and closed by 1970, and the line reduced to a single track in 1969. The other tracks were lifted.  The station building ceased to be use and was used as a rubbish tip.
North Woolwich Station. The original station became a museum and was replaced. From the 1980s only one track went on to North Woolwich from the Connaught Tunnel and in 1985 the station became the eastern terminus of the North London line running to Richmond via Stratford and Highbury.  The station building was moved away from the road behind a small parking area to the west of the old station building beside the old goods yard. A small station building and a single platform were provided. The station and the line to Stratford closed on in 2006. This little station has now been demolished for Crossrail.
North Woolwich Station Museum.  After closure the old station was taken over by the Passmore Edwards Museum. It was built in 1854 and is a striking building with a central single-storey ticket office, originally set back behind an open arcade. There was office and meeting room accommodation on the first floor.  It was restored by Julian Harrap and became the Great Eastern Railway Museum which was opened by the Queen Mother in 1984. The museum, which is run by the Passmore Edwards Trust tells the story' of the Great Eastern Railway. The interior in record of its condition of c1910, with the staff dressed in Edwardian dress the exhibits include a wide variety of steam railway displays and artefacts in train models, equipment, old notices and signs etc to a large booking hall. With a reconstructed ticket office, booking hall and general waiting room. It was at one time also used as a small public library.  On the turntable site was a small shunting tank engine built in at Stratford in 1895.   For whatever reasons London Borough of Newham began to close the museum services run by Passmore Edwards Museum in the 1990s and ceased publicising the museum. The Great Eastern Railway Society removed their exhibits. Inevitably it closed in 2008, despite dedicated staff. It s understood the bulldog will become flats.
Public toilets. These date from the time when the area was part of Woolwich Borough. They have been closed for many years.
Electricity transformer station. This was opposite the ferry entrance and had a plaque on it showing the Woolwich Coat of Arms. These were removed although the building remains – the date 1937 is still on it.
2 Royal Pavilion.  It is large pub of 1849, extended 1852. This pub was close to the ferry and had a jazz club. It closed in the early 2000s and was demolished in 2003. It is to be replaced by a tower block of flats.

Crossrail work. Crossrail will cross the river in this area. A tunnel portal will be created on the site of the former North London line between Albert Road and Factory Road.

Royal Victoria North Woolwich Gardens. 
Royal Victoria North Woolwich Gardens.  During the 1840s the North Woolwich Land Company, owned by George Parker Bidder, railway engineer and entrepreneur promoted a new railway and ferry here. In 1850 William Holland, proprietor of the now demolished Pavilion Hotel had begun to lay out the gardens and he opened them in 1851 as the Royal Pavilion Pleasure Gardens – a cheap alternative to the Great Exhibition.. The Gardens attracted large numbers of people with all sorts of entertainments – recreated as a play by local people in the 1980s. By 1853 there was a bowling green, rose gardens, walks and a maze as well as fairground attractions.There was also an Italian garden with scarlet geraniums, a Chinese dancing platform, the larges dance strafe in London and a lake. However, from 1882 things began to deteriorate. The Bishop of St Albans, the Lord Lieutenant of Kent and the Bishop of Rochester petitioned the City of London to buy the gardens for a public park. A fund was set up and an appeal launched. This money was finally raised in 1889 through the Charity Commissioners and a donation from Queen Victoria. They were the handed to the London County Council and re-opened in 1890 as the Royal Victoria Gardens.  Under the LCC gardens were completely redesigned. The area divided into a series of square or rectangular cells each with a different character or activity. The Gardens suffered bomb damage in 1940 and little remains today, except for the bowling green and a shrubbery. There are enhanced sports facilities and a modern café next to the bowling green and run by the bowlers. . In 1971 the park became the responsibility of Newham Council.
Silvertown Open Air Baths. This was Opened in 1922 and provided by the London County Council via Woolwich Council.  The pool suffered damage from wartime bombing and was closed in 1948.
Steam Hammer. It was made by manufactured by R.Harvey of Glasgow in 1888 and it was used in the blacksmiths shop of the nearby firm of R H Green & Silley Wier Ltd, shipbuilders and repairers. It was used to shape forgings, comprising a hammer-like piston located within a cylinder. The hammer is raised by the pressure of steam injected into the lower part of a cylinder and falls down with great force by removing the steam.

Store Road
Victoria Ale Stores.  Burnt down in 1897.

Woolwich Manorway
Improved in 1896. Manor Way is an old name for road leading to the ricer,
Manor Way draw dock
Sankeys Wharf. Used by a builders merchant
19 Round House. 19th brick pub in the shape of a curved building. This was a Watneys pub which closed in 2003 and has now been converted to flats. 
Pumping Station. Built by the London County Council in. 1900 for main drainage. Red brick, very plain.
The Lodge. This is a 19th house.  It was built as the Pumping Station Manager’s house. It is a detached house facing the adjacent pumping station and the side alley leading east to Barge House Road behind.
Gaslight & Coke Cottages. A terrace of eight cottages built by the Gaslight & Coke Company for its workers in the 1900s.
Harland & Wolff. This very large ship building and ship repair establishment was on the site of what is now known as the Galleons Estate. The firm was formed in 1861 in Belfast by Edward Harland and Gustave Wolff. Famously they built the Titanic and other major vessels. They expanded to Glasgow and elsewhere, including North Woolwich. The machine shop was capable of producing shafting up to 80ft long and crank shafts of 5ft 6 ins, there were upholstery and French polishing workshops, sail making, boiler making, a foundry able to forge iron with up to 14ins square section under hammer, producing castings up to 15 tons. In the 1930s they built here vessels for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company. Known as the Small Woolwich class they were of composite construction, and fitted with National diesel engines. Later they built 24 vessels of the Big Woolwich class.  They also built steam ships in the yard at that time, as well as other working boats, like lighters. The yard also worked on refits for major vessels, including warships. They undertook a range of repair and maintenance contracts for marine equipment.  Other works were for instance eight marine diesel platforms - i.e. Esso Pegwell Bay - built between 1962 and 1964.   One of the last vessels built by Harland & Wolff was the bulk cement carrier Blue Circle launched from their slipway in 1971.  This 1,000 ton vessel was built for Associated Portland Cement Manufacturers Ltd.  The square at the centre of Galleons Estate was the site of a large workshop.  The large ornamental gates to the yard are preserved in Lyle Park.

Carr. Dockland
Carr. Docklands History Survey
Chrismansfieldphotos. Web site
Closed Pubs. Web site
Clunn. The Face of London
East London Old and New
Eastside. Web site
FOGWOFT. Web site.
GLIAS Newsletter
Great Eastern Railway Journal
Industrial Heritage
London Borough of Newham. Web site
London Encyclopaedia
London Gardens Online. Web site
Marcan. London Docklands Guide
Model Engineering
Nature Conservation in Newham   
Newham walks,
Pudney. London River Crossings.
Spurgeon. Discover
Tucker. Ferries of the Lower Thames

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Riverside east of the Tower. North Bank. North Woolwich

Riverside east of the Tower, north bank
North Woolwich

Riverside industrial strip which includes a still functioning a very large sugar refinery. Other industry replaced by haulage and retail.

This post covers the north bank of the river only

Post to the west Silvertown
Post to the south West Woolwich
Post to the east North Woolwich

Factory Road
Tate and Lyle Thames Refinery. Thames Refinery is the largest sugar refinery in the EU and one of the largest in the world, with a capacity of 1.2million tonnes per annum. This was opened in 1878 by Henry Tate, specialising in cube sugar. The refinery now produces a wide range of sugars – for specialist applications as well as familiar types. They also produce artificial sweeteners. ‘Sugar boats’, ships of up to 35,000 tonnes, still call at the jetties. There is a Raw Sugar Jetty,   a Refined Jetty, and the Shore Berth. They Handle: 72,000 tonne of raw sugar and Export Refined Sugar. The massive refinery dominates the area and The office frontage building fronting North Woolwich Road is an example of 1950s Festival of Britain commercial architecture with its well detailed façade of strong verticals, clad with decorative tiles. It has an attractive lattice balcony in the setback end bay. Thames Refinery was sold in 2010 to American Sugar Association Refining
Silvertown Gas Works. This was set up by the Victoria Docks Gas Company and opened in 1864. It was taken over by the Gas Light & Coke Co. in 1871. It was closed in 1909. And the site was sold in 1911, but the gasholders were in use till 1914. Before that it had been used as a coal station and was managed at a distance by the staff at the Bow Common Works.  Eventually the equipment was too out of date to continue to be used. The site was taken over by adjacent Tate and Lyle and it was thought some buildings from the works survived into at least the 1960s.
Silvertown Sewage Works. This lay alongside Ham Creek. The Silvertown area had been omitted from the general sewage works for West Ham at Bow Creek as the area was very cut off. In the late 1860s factory owners began to press for something to be done and sponsored a private Bill and the sewer was extended to the area.  In the 1880s a works was built especially for the area alongside the gas works.
District Chemical Works – this was managed by a Charles Wulffing. Nothing more is known.
London Teleport. London North Woolwich Earth Station was opened in by 1984 BT London’s first satellite earth station; it was designed to handle business services from the City and provide trans¬mission facilities for satellite television and radio companies. It first transmitted commercial cable TV broadcasts using the European Communications Satellite (ECS). It was then renamed the London Teleport following a visit by The Duke of Edinburgh.  It became the hub of BT's international SatStream service, videoconferencing and several other specialised satellite services from computer data transfer, facsimile transmission, and telex and telephone communications over private leased lines. In 2011 it was sold to Arqiva who have closed it and cleared the site
Sewage Pumping Station. Designed for Thames Water by Grimshaw Architects in the late 1980s, built in 1995 with deliberately, lopsided curved roofs.  
Henleys. W.T. Henley came to London in 1830, as a dock labourer who taught himself instrument making. When the Electric Telegraph Company was set up Henley supplied the telegraph instruments. As his business developed he eventually set up a factory at North Woolwich. The first order received was to armour the cable link from Ceylon to India and this was followed by other orders. The firm continued making submarine cables and began to diversify. After the Second World War the company became part of Associated Electrical Industries Ltd., and the North Woolwich factory closed the main works being that at Northfleet.
Loon Fung. Chinese Cash and Carry. Loon Fung was established in central London in the 1970s as one of the first Chinese supermarkets in the UK. In 2006, the cash and carry opened in Silvertown, East London to supply oriental foods to the growing cosmopolitan population in the Docklands area and beyond. An oriental gateway advertised the site.

Ham Creek
This small stream once flowed southwards through the area, but disappeared following dock and other building. It formed part of the boundary between East and West Ham.  Its outlet into the Thames formed a small bay and it is said that between 1656 and 1673 it was used as a naval dockyard, supplementing that on the south bank opposite at Woolwich.

Henley Road
Named for the Henley Factory which was alongside the road.

Pier Road
Some artefacts lie along the riverwall. A propeller is mounted on a plinth, along with a small mobile crane and an anchor.

Railway line into North Woolwich Station. This was originally built in 1847 as the Eastern Counties and Thames Junction Railway from Stratford.  It has latterly been part of the North London Line to Richmond. It is now closed and will be part of Crossrail.

Atlantic Cable. Web site
Co-partnership Journal
Crouch. Silvertown
Exploring East London, Web site
Hughill. Sugar and all that
Loon Fung, Web site
Stewart. Gas Works of the North Thames Area
Tate and Lyle Web site
World Teleport. Web site