Monday, 21 December 2015

Riverside, south of the river and east of the Tower. Peninsula west

Riverside, south of the river and east of the Tower. Peninsula west

Post to the north Old Blackwall and Blackwall Point
Post to the east Greenwich Marsh
Post to the west Millwall
Post to the south Cubitt Town

This posting refers to sites on the south bank only. The north bank is Blackwall

Riverside – Tunnel Avenue
This riverside strip of wharves mainly front onto the river on the west and Tunnel Avenue on the east.  This stretch of Tunnel Avenue was one called Blackwall Lane or Marsh: Lane
Point Wharf
This is a Morden College owned area.
Blackwall Tunnel vent. This is the ventilation shaft for the ‘old’ tunnel. These vents are not the originals but new installations to clear pollution.  They have an arrangement whereby the roof opens in segments – ‘like a flower’ this one is marked on pre 1960 as maps as 'stairs' - access stairs to the tunnel when it was used by pedestrian traffic
Edmonds Barge Builder. Augustus Edmonds had a barge building works here in the late 19th.  He lived nearby in Blackheath. The yard was eventually taken over by Humpheries and Grey
Humphrey & Grey (Lighterage) Ltd. These were two rival lighterage firms which amalgamated. They also operated a boat building yard here, and, for instance, built their own tug, John Wilson, on site in the 1930s. They were later taken over by Hays and moved to Bay Wharf shortly after the Second World War.
Thos. W. Hughan & Co. Ltd. Hughan built many vessels here – for example - in the mid 1960s a twin engine motor vessel called Thames Commodore, and in 1972 the Chay Blyth currently in use as a ‘disco boat’ and in the 1980s were building barges to be exported to Ghana. Around the same time the Elizabethan was built here – the replica Mississippi paddle ship frequently to be seen on the river.
Jacubaits. Joe Jacubaits moved his boat building and repair business here in the 1980s having left his previous site beau see of ‘regeneration’ in the Royal Docks. In the late 1980s he employed 18 craftsmen and three apprentices with an order book full for the next two years.  Following more regeneration artefacts from his business remained here until removed during ‘tidying ‘operations before the Millennium Exhibition.
North Pole Ice Co. . This firm moved here in the late 19th with Danish promoters. They are said to have had Machinery of 200 tons daily ice-making capacity was installed here and it was delivered daily to their depot at Waterloo. Their works appears to have been in the central part of Point Wharf
Bullet from a Shooting Star. Artwork by Alex Chinneck. This is imnmediately south of Drawsdock Road. The enormous lattice of steel takes the form of an inverted electricity pylon that appears to have been shot into the ground at a precarious angle. It is made up of 450 pieces of steel and 900 engineered connection points,

Tunnel Wharf
This is a Morden College owned area. This wharf is given at a number of locations but current PLA plans show it south of, and the southern area of, Point Wharf.
Shrubsall. Horace Shrubsall’s original barge yard was at Ipswich in 1894 although he came from Sittingbourne. He later moved to a yard in Limehouse and then permanently moved to London. In 1901 he leased Tunnel Wharf where there was a large foreshore for barge blocks and repair berths, a saw pit etc. He launched a series of barges from here

Delta Wharf
This is a Morden College owned area.
William Courtney. This site appears to have been on the northern part of what is now Delta Wharf but Courtney was on site before the building of Drawdock Road – and in any case was very negligent on his boundaries. William Courtney claimed to be a ship builder and leased this site south of the Blakeley works in 1862.  He is said to have built a jetty here. No ships seem to have been built and there are undiscovered issues on claims of fraud.
Grieg’s Wharf. London Seed Crushing. The site had been Courtenay’s but he became bankrupt and his plot was subdivided. Part of it was occupied by three consecutive limited companies involved in linseed crushing, each of which failed. From 1885 the premises were run as Grieg & Co.’s Mills until the late 1890s. In 1898 it was sub-let to Bell’s Asbestos Company Ltd with Poyle Mills Company Ltd as, apparently, sub-tenants.  In 1915 it passed to the Delta Metal Company Ltd.
Bell’s AsbestosWorks. This lay south of Delta Wharf. They took over the London Seed Crushing plant in 1900 and remained on site until the 1920s.  They had a headquarters building at 59 Southwark Street where a bell motif remains over the door. In 1929 as Turner and Newall they moved to Erith
Eastwoods Barge Builders. Eastwoods were a barge and brickmaking firm dating back to the early 19th with a large brick and cement business at Conyer. Their barge fleet with its building and repair business was primarily concerned with haulage. Their cement business became part of Rugby Cement in the 1960s.
Delta Metal. In 1883 George Alexander Dick, started to market Delta products, and five years later the Delta Metal Company was incorporated. From 1882 he had worked to improve brass and other alloys and produced and iron-zinc copper alloy became Delta Metal. The Greenwich works was opened in 1905 and in late 1940s took over the Greenwich Inlaid Linoleum works, for offices. Delta Storage was formed in 1956 and was closed in 1972.  The company expanded with takeovers and mergers. The Greenwich works closed in the 1980s and for a while operated at the Johnson and Phillips Charlton site. They have now moved to the Far East.
Blackwall Aggregates. This was a joint venture between Hanson Aggregates and United Marine Aggregates handling sea-dredged aggregates. They were on site here in the 1990s and early 2000s
Golf driving range. This opened in July 2015as a 60 bay driving range as part of joint venture between Knight Dragon Developments and N1GOLF.
Greenwich Inlaid Linoleum Works. The lino works’ north factory lay south of the asbestos works. 

Imperial Wharf
This is a Morden College owned area.
Bethell Chemical works. A wood preservative system was that pioneered in the 1830s by John Bethell. A barrister from Bristol. In 1848 he patented a way of 'preserving animal and vegetable substances from decay'.  . The eventual success of Bethell's process was to lead to the world wide use of wood for such things as railway sleepers and telegraph poles.  At Greenwich the works eventually specialised in the manufacture of tar soaked wood block paving. His first approach to Morden College had been as early as 1839 and coal tar was purchased in bulk from the Imperial Gas Company works at St. Pancras and Haggerston.  After Bethell's death in the 1870s his wife Louisa retained ownership – and in the 1880s the works was transferred to the Improved Wood Pavement Company in which the Bethell family remained involved.
Improved Wood Paving. This company made tarred road blocks and built roads and pavements of them under contract to local authorities. It was on site in the early 20tht
Grays Ferro Concrete. This company was on site here in the 1930s. They appear to have been a Glasgow based company involved in large scale concrete structure.
A.S.Henry, sack makers. The firm was founded in 1805 in Manchester by Alexander Henry to market and distribute the products of the cotton industry. Branch offices were opened in many parts of the country including this factory in Greenwich. They were taken over by Great Universal Stores in 1972.
Greenwich Saw Mills. This company had existed from the 1850s owned by a Mr. Wynn, although the site then is not clear. They were sited at Imperial Wharf in the 1950s and early 1960s.

Sussex Wharf
This is a Morden College owned area.
Forbes Abbott and Lennard. James Forbes had been, based at Iceland Wharf, at Old Ford from at least the mid 1840s in partnership with a Mr. Abbott and Mr. Lennard.   They later moved to a site near Blackwall Point where they made a variety of chemical products.   When South Metropolitan Gas Company purchased Ordnance Wharf they moved to a site adjacent to Victoria Deep Water Wharf which they called Sussex Wharf - this may relate to their works at Shoreham and Rye in Sussex.  In Greenwich they made anthracene, and hydrochloric acid. They were later known as the Standard Ammonia Co.
National Benzole. Benzole is a product made from coal tar originally used as a motor spirit. It was sold as a motor fuel. National Benzole was originally a co-operative sales organization. This Greenwich site appears to have been one of several storage depots along the river for what became a major supplier of motor fuels. However this is on a site previously occupied by the developer of the Lennard still and is clearly adjacent to a large gas works where benzole was made and to the national Fuel Research station where its use was developed.

Victoria Wharf
Henry Bessemer and/or his sons were here from 1865 and had a small steelworks on site. It may also have been the London Steel and Iron Works, which it was known as from 1869. Bessemer is however still recorded in Morden College documents as the site owner into the late 1870s.
London Steel and Iron Works.  This appears to have been a later incarnation of Bessemer’s Greenwich steel works and may have had some input from Josiah Vavasseur.
Hodges and Butler. Based on American experience this works was set up to make pipes and paving from various stones broken and reconstituted. Some pipes and coal whole covers made by hem survive. The works was also known as Thames Silicated Stone Works and Improved Silicate Stone Work.  Later Imperial Stone produced paving of which several examples exist with their trade name embedded in it.
Ransome. This firm, led by Frederick Ransome, was a branch of the Ipswich based engineers but made a product based on artificial stone. This was a patent method of producing a plastic stone which could be moulded into artistic items, or used for pavements, or whatever. Ernest Ransome, Frederick’s son, was to become a major designer of concrete structures in the United States
Appleby. This company took over Bessemer’s site having been based in Southwark.  They had previously been part of the Renishaw Iron Company. Their catalogue shows a very wide range of items which they could make at Greenwich. They later went into partnership with Jessops of Leicester and two steam engines made by them survive. They were later to become specialists in hoists and cranes.
The Greenwich Inlaid Linoleum works was the third lino factory to be set up by Frederick Walton.  By 1910 this was a huge works with three vast machines which could automatically produce patterned lino. The works was sold to Nairn of Kirkaldy after Second World War
Metropolitan Storage and Packing. Extant here in 1950
Victoria Deep Water Terminal. This was originally the Victoria Wharf handling general cargo. As The Deep Water Terminal it opened in 1966 as a privately owned container terminal receiving containers and unit loads from Europe.
Hanson Aggregates. This handles sea-dredged aggregates since 1990 with vessels of up to 8000 tonnes.

Bay Wharf
This is a Morden College owned area. It was previously known as Horseshoe Breach and is an area where the river inundated the river wall before the 1620s and was never repaired.
Sir John Pett Lillie. Manufacturer of artificial stone
National Boat Building by Machinery. Nathan Thompson’s company for making 100s of identical boats by machinery was opened here around 1863. He was out of business in a year and appears to have disappeared
Maudslay Son and Field . They set up in the abandoned Thompson boat yard. A subsidiary of the Maudslay engineering firm based in Waterloo they built a series of sailing and other ship – initially a collier called the Lady Derby. They built two vessels for Cutty Sark owner, Willis – fast sailing ships Blackadder and Halloween. In 1871 they also built the first ro-ros for Turkey to be used on the Bospherous crossing – one of these ships, Sahilbent, was still at work in the late 1990s. They later became a franchise for the French Belleville Boiler Company but eventually went out of business. The entire property of the Maudslay company was auctioned here in 1902, many items going to the Science Museum.
Alfred Manchester. This major waste paper company was here before moving to a larger site in Charlton.
Humphrey & Grey (Lighterage) Ltd. They were taken over by Hays and moved here in 1945. They were Barge and Tug Repairers and Builders Manufacturer and Servicing of Tarpaulins
Bay Wharf Construction Co. This company, a subsidiary of Humphrey and Grey, took on many construction projects, but did carry out some boat building. Some tugs built by them are still extant on the river. Their yard – some buildings of which survive – was built in 1949.
Thamescraft Dry Docking. This company had recently moved to Bay Wharf having been relocated by developers from Badcock’s Wharf. They undertake boat repairs and similar activities of all kinds/.

Tunnel Avenue
Blakeley Cottages. These were built in 1866 for the workers at Blakely’s factory. They we`re never finished and became housing for contractor’s staff when the gas works was built and subsequently allocated to gas workers.  They were replaced after the Second World War – one building becoming a motel. They have now been demolished.


Sources
Greenwich Chamber of Commerce. Wharves 1952
London Design Festival. Web site
London Rivers Association. Greenwich Riverside Report
Mills. Greenwich Marsh
Mills. Innovation, Enterprise and Change on the Greenwich Peninsula
Port City. Web site
Port of London Magazine

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