Posts Tagged ‘Greenwich’

London’s Cheapest Flight: June-July 2013

Friday, July 23rd, 2021

Eight years ago I took a couple of rides on the Emirates Air Line, better known thanks to London blogger Diamond Geezer as the ‘dangleway’ and posted a number of the pictures that I took from it.

As I pointed out then, “in transport terms its a joke, a slower and more expensive route on almost any possible journey“, but to my surprise this joke is still running eight years later despite huge losses, and my exhortation “if you’ve not taken a ride don’t leave it too long” was then misplaced. Though given the effects of the virus on air travel it may not last much longer, but perhaps the extensive developments on the south bank on the Greenwich Peninsula and the replacement of industrial sites by housing on the north bank, together with the move of the Greater London Authority to the Crystal at the north end of the route by the end of the year may provide a few more customers.

One advantage of the current situation is that, according to the TfL web siteOnly one passenger is allowed per cabin, unless a household or group is travelling together” so you can be sure of having it to yourself, or chosing those you want to travel with. The poor people in the picture above had to share a ride with me.

I think there were notices in the cabins telling you to remain in your seats during the short journey, but clearly I didn’t entirely obey these, but there was no one around to see. Perhaps there might be safety issues if a full cabin of Sumo wrestlers began to throw themselves around but I don’t think my careful movements were any problems.

The service runs weekdays days from 7am to 11pm, stopping an hour later on Fridays and Saturdays and opening later at weekends. It also stops in very strong winds and thunderstorms, though one London reporter made a story out of using it this January as storm Christoph was approaching. His photographs don’t really support his story of being buffeted around by the wind but I imagine there was some tangible swinging motion. When there is any real danger it closes – and that happens around a hundred times a year. There are also some closures for maintainence.

My journeys were both smooth and rather quiet, and the ride seemed much shorter then the 10 minutes it took. A single journey costs £4, more or less the same as in 2013. I generally avoid air travel, but I imagine the carbon footprint of this short journey is quite low.

Back in 2013 I commented “it should be promoted as one of London’s cheaper and more interesting tourist attractions, giving a rather better view than the helter-skelter on the Olympic site at around a tenth of the cost, and with the added attraction of motion in three dimensions.” It has so far only attracted a few more discerning tourists, some of whom are doubtless also following London’s public art trail, The Line and get an unusual view of Antony Gormley’s Quantum Cloud on their ride.


All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


South of the River – 1987

Friday, March 5th, 2021

Scrap Metal, Deptford Creek, Deptford, Greenwich, 1987 87-10l-45-positive_2400
Scrap Metal, Deptford Creek, Deptford, Greenwich, 1987

Many of my favourite London walks were by the River Thames, back in 1987 still lined with industry, most now replaced by luxury flats, and rather less interesting. Walking along Creek Road from Deptford to Greenwich took me past a power station, scrap metal yards, sand and gravel works and a former gas works with the creek flowing past them.

Scrap Metal, Power Station, Deptford Creek, Deptford, Greenwich, 1987 87-10l-44-positive_2400
Scrap Metal, Power Station, Deptford Creek, Deptford, Greenwich, 1987

The final section of Deptford power station had been decommissioned in 1983, but most of of it was still standing, though I think some demolition was taking place around it. And a smaller chimney, I think on the opposite bank of the creek, was still belching out smoke, and there were piles of sand and gravel on the opposite bank as well as the scrap metal at left where the creek went under Creek Road.

Scrap Metal, Deptford Creek, Deptford, Greenwich, 1987 87-10l-32-positive_2400
Scrap Metal, Deptford Creek, Deptford, Greenwich, 1987

Both banks of Deptford Creek here are in the London Borough of Greenwich, something I often forgot when captioning images, expecting the creek to be the boundary. The creek is of course still there, and more conveniently for walkers there is now a footbridge across it a few yards from where it enters the Thames. A path now runs beside the Thames too, where both the power station and gas works once stood, in some ways a gain, but there is now so much less of interest to see.

Art Gallery, Wood Wharf, Greenwich, 1987 87-10l-43-positive_2400
Art Gallery, Wood Wharf, Greenwich, 1987

I don’t remember going inside the Art Gallery at Wood Wharf, and I think it was probably now open when I took this picture. Wood Wharf is now tall residential blocks – with a riverside walkway, restaurants and a pub.

The Lone Sailor, pub, Francis Chichester, Old Loyal Briton, Thames St, Greenwich, 1987 87-10l-35-positive_2400
The Lone Sailor, pub, Francis Chichester, Old Loyal Briton, Thames St, Greenwich, 1987

The Loyal Briton at 62 Thames Street went through a variety of names over the many years since it was built, probably around the middle of the 19th Century, possibly as a fire station, though it was selling beer by the 1850s.Its renaming as The Lone Sailor was probably after Francis Chichester’s single-handed voyage around the world in 1966-7 when his yacht Gypsy Moth was put on display not far from the Cutty Sark in 1968, remaining there until 2004, when she was restored and put back into sail. The pub closed in the 1990s, later becoming the SE10 restuarant. It had a brief time as a Chinese takeaway and gambling den, and in October 2013 reopened as a pub, The Old Loyal Britons. But the lease was only for a year, and it closed permanently in October 2014 to be replaced in 2018 by a large block of 1,2 & 3 bedroom appartments.

Lambeth Hospital, Renfrew Rd, Kennington, Lambeth, 1987 87-10l-65-positive_2400
Lambeth Hospital, Renfrew Rd, Kennington, Lambeth, 1987

A workhouse was built in 1871 in Renfrew Rd to house 820 inmates and five years later the Lambeth Infirmary was built on an adjoining site, with the two being combined as Lambeth Hospital in 1922. It was taken over by the LCC in 1930 and by 1939 was one of London’s larger municipal hospitals. It continued in use under the NHS until 1976 when a new wing was opened at At Thomas’ Hospital. Parts still remain – including this building which since 1998 has housed the Cinema Museum.

87-10k-62-positive_2400
Trade Counter, Westminster Bridge Rd, Newington, Southwark, 1987

This is now a part of the Peabody Head Office building, Minster Court.

Royal Eye Hospital, St George's Circus, Newington, Southwark, 1987 87-10k-51-positive_2400
Royal Eye Hospital, St George’s Circus, Newington, Southwark, 1987

The South London Opthalmic Hospital opened with two beds in a house near here in 1857, but after some growth and several name changes it moved to this larger block on the NW corner of St George’s Circus as the Royal Eye Hospital in 1892. Badly damaged in the war it reopened in 1944, becoming part of the NHS in 1948. In 1976 patients were transferred to St Thomas’s Hospital with out-patient clinics ending in 1980. It was demolished in the 1990s and a student hall of residence, McLaren House, built on the site.

Temporary Housing, London Park Hotel, Dante Rd, Newington, Southwark, 1987 87-10k-33-positive_2400
Temporary Housing & London Park Hotel, Dante Rd, Newington, Southwark, 1987

The London Park Hotel was built in 1897 as the Newington Butts Rowton House, the third of its kind under Lord Rowton’s recently introduced scheme of hostels for down-and-out or low-paid working men in London. They had communal facilities including a dining hall, lounge, reading room, washrooms, barbers, cobblers and tailors shops, shoe cleaning rooms and parcel rooms for storage on the lower floors and on the upper floors were private cubicles each with a bed, chair, shelf and chamber pot, all for 6d a day. Lodgers were not allowed into the cubicles during the day. They could either eat in the dining room or cook there own food (more at http://www.workhouses.org.uk/RowtonNewington/).Originally having 805 beds, a new wing added in 1903 increased that to 1017. It was renamed Parkview House and in 1972 re-opened as the London Park Hotel. It closed in the 1990s but was for a while used to house refugees and asylum seekers. It was demolished in December 2007.

More pictures on page 7 of my 1987 London Photos on Flickr.


All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


Greenwich Riverside Walk

Monday, October 19th, 2020

One of my favourite London walks has for many years been beside the River Thames on the path downstream from Greenwich. I first walked it in the 1970s and went back occasionally over the years, both on foot and later taking my Brompton bicycle to it on the train. When I was on foot I often went as far as Woolwich, not a great distance but I was always a photographer rather than a walker. Other riverside walks began from Woowlich or railway stations further east including Erith, Dartford and Gravesend.

On October 18th 2018 my walk was rather shorter as I was with three other photographers, and we began at North Greenwich. Parts of the riverside walk had recently reopened after closure for the continuing process of ruining the Thames by lining it with tall blocks of expensive flats and I was keen to walk it again after some years away.

There were other reasons for the walk too. One was a visit to the Pelton Arms, arguably Greenwich’s finest pub. Its in a homely area, developed like the pub around 1844, though the Grade II listed street of granite setts from around 1870 stops a few yards short. It’s just a short walk from Granite Wharf, which got its name as it was here than Mowlem landed its granite from Guernsey that once paved much of the streets of London. But the real attraction is its fine range of real ales and comfortable atmosphere – and, although quiet when we visited is one of South London’s leading music venues.

We were also on our way to an evening event across the river in North Greenwich, and after a meal in the centre of the town hopped on the DLR at Cutty Sark for the single stop to Island Gardens and a short walk to where another of our photographer friends, Mike Seaborne was having the launch of his book on the Isle of Dogs. It was getting a little late when we had finished our meal otherwise I would have suggested going across the river on foot, not walking on the water but under it in the Greenwich foot tunnel.

There are many more pictures from the walk on My London Diary. Most but not all are ultra-wide views with a horizontal angle of view of over 140 degrees. Often I crop these to a more panoramic format, but here I decided to leave them covering the full frame to fit better with the few less wide-angle images. All except one in this post are ultra-wide and they are presented in the order of the walk.


All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


Meridian 1

Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

One of the blogs about London I keep my eye on and occasionally read with interest is the rather oddly named ‘Diamond Geezer‘, who posts daily articles, usually about his walks or bus rides around some of London’s more obscure areas. As someone who spent around 20 years walking around many of these taking photographs, I often find these interesting even though I don’t share his preoccupation with some of the minutiae of Transport for London’s oddities.

The two most recent of his posts have been Prime Meridian 0° Day 1 and Day 2 and by the time you read this, there will probably be a Day 3. Since he is only walking along the line (or rather as close to it as you can) in Tower Hamlets and Newham there probably won’t need to be a Day 4.


Greenwich Observatory – Peter Marshall, 1985

I was particularly interested because I carried out a similar but rather longer project in 1994-96, completing it despite failing to get any of the Millenium funding which was on offer. I began at what seemed the obvious place, the Royal Observatory in Greenwich – as this was the Greenwich Meridian. My walk, carried out over several days, was rather longer, ending more or less at the Greater London boundary in Chingford – and later I extended it south from Greenwich to New Addington at the southern boundary.

Greenwich Riverside – Peter Marshall, 1985

It was rather harder then to actually trace the Meridian on the ground. There were rather fewer actual markers then and I think no published walks along it. Although my application failed, others were successful and obtained funding to put in new Meridian markers and publish walks at the time of the Millenium and yet more have been added since.

West India Dock – Peter Marshall, 1985

Back in 1994-6 I had to draw my own line on my maps – it was only in 1998 that the line was added to the Ordnance Survey maps – in order to allow people to celebrate the Millennium on it. Back then we had no mobile phones and no GPS – the first phone based GPS navigation system was only introduced by Benefon in 1999 and it was a few years before this became universal.

Greenway & Channelsea River, Stratford – Peter Marshall, 1995

I first published these images on the web in 1996, having then recently acquired a colour film scanner. It wasn’t a very good scanner and getting good results from colour negative film was tricky. I think I scanned most of them again later, but some could still be improved.

Stratford – Peter Marshall, 1995


To be continued…

South of the River 1985

Tuesday, April 21st, 2020
Container ship, biker, Shornemead Fort, Shorne, Gravesend, Gravesham 85-6c-43_2400

In 1984, I more or less came to an end of my work on the River Lea (though I returned to it later) and the major focus of my photography shifted to London’s Docklands, and I’d photographed the West India and Millwall Docks as well as the Royal Docks, pictures from which I’m currently posting daily on Facebook. And later in that year I also went to the Surrey Docks, where work by the London Docklands Development Corporation was well advanced.

I was very aware of the political dimensions of the redevelopment, with the LDDC taking over from the elected local authorities and imposing its own largely business-led priorities which although accelerating the development distorted it away from the needs of the local area, and particularly away from the still pressing need for more social housing and for better employment opportunities for local people.

Northfleet, Gravesham 85-8e-35_2400

In those years I read every book in my local library on the history and geography of London, and began to build up my own collection of older works bought from secondhand bookshops and by post. Before the days of on-line listings I used to receive a monthly duplicated list of books on offer from a dealer I think in Brighton, and found many topographic and photographic items of interest, often very cheaply, and would look forward to receiving heavy parcels wrapped in several layers of newspaper. Yes, there was mail order before Amazon, and it was rather more exciting.

Cement Works, Northfleet, Gravesham 85-8e-53_2400

It was reading one of the books, Donald Maxwells ‘A pilgrimage of The Thames’, published in 1932 with his imaginative text and evocative drawings (some originally printed in the Church Times) that prompted me to walk in 1985 as he did from Gravesend west through Northfleet and Greenhithe exploring what he christened ‘the Switzerland of England’. As a rather more down-to-earth guide I also had the more academic ‘Lower Thameside’ picked up for pennies in a secondhand bookshop, which included a chapter on its 1971 cement industry by geographers Roy Millward and Adrian Robinson.

Crossness Marshes, Belvedere Power Station, Belvedere, Erith 85-9j-53_2400

My series of walks traversed what was an incredible industrial and post-industrial landscape, altered on a huge scale by quarrying and industry, continuing past Gravesend along the riverside path past Erith and Woolwich to Greenwich and Deptford (areas also covered in my 1985 London Pictures), as well as walking further east to Cliffe and Cooling.

Cement Works, Manor Way, Swanscombe, Dartford 85-9g-36_2400

It was a project that I returned to for several years – and I went back to the area more recently when the Channel Tunnel Rail Link was being built as will as the occasional walk or bike ride over the years.

You can see 280 of my pictures from 1984 now on Flickr in the album
1985: South of the River: Deptford to Cliffe


All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, please share on social media.
And small donations via Paypal – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.


Zero Time for Action

Monday, January 27th, 2020

I’d walked halfway up the hill to Blackheath where South East London Extinction Rebellion were holding their two day South East London Rebel Rising festival, but had to rush off and run back downhill to catch a train back to the centre of London to cover events there. But I was able to return without having to climb the hill again, taking a train to Blackheath station which is at the top of the hill, and just a short walk to at Blackheath Lincoln Field where the Greenwich Observatory Die-In was going to start.

I arrived just in time as the march to the observatory was about to set off, and was able to photograph them as they walked across the common and into Greenwich Park.

It wasn’t a huge group, which was just as well as they pretty well filled the space in front of the Royal Observatory which isn’t very large and a triangular area with very busy paths along two side, full of tourists going to see London’s finest view from the terrace just past the observatory or to visit the observatory. This is now a museum for tourists with a large meridian marker in the ground where people like to photograph themselves with a foot in each hemisphere (and I admit I’ve done so in the distant past.)

Back when I first visited the observatory it was free, but now it costs £16 for an adult ticket (cheaper if you book online.) When they started to charge for entry you could walk into the yard and photograph yourself on the meridian marker for free, but now you have to pay to get through the gate. Though there is a much older marker on the footpath just below if you want to save money.

Greenwich advertises itself as the home of Greenwich Mean Time, and Extinction Rebellion chose the venue to point out that we are running out of time and need to take urgent action now to avoid mass extinction. Some of the protesters had ‘clock faces’ painted on their faces or carried clock posters.

While most of those present lay down for a ‘die-in’, others handed out leaflets and used a megaphone to speak to the tourists wandering past, some of whom applauded the action, while others either ignored it or just looked confused.

It was another event where my fish-eye lens came in useful, though even it wasn’t quite wide enough to take in the whole scene as I wanted. The top picture on this post shows a fisheye view, slightly cropped at top and bottom, and it couldn’t quite let me take the whole scene I wanted. I had to angle the lens down to get in the foreground banner as I couldn’t move further back and you can see a little cut-off at both top corners after a little attempt at correcting the verticals. Photoshop could of course have generated a little sky at the left and tree at right to fill the gap but I decided that would be cheating.

You can see some other pictures made both with the fisheye and, like that above this paragraph made with a rectilinear ultrawide lens – the 10-24mm Fuji zoom at 15mm equivalent focal length – on My London Diary, along with others made at longer focal lengths.

Rebel Rising Royal Observatory Die-In

Train windows and London’s best view

Sunday, January 26th, 2020

Back in the old days of British Rail (and at times after privatisation) I often used to enjoy taking pictures out of train windows. Then many carriages on suburban routes had doors between every pair of seats, and the doors had windows that you could slide down to around waist level and so take pictures unobstructed, though it might make it rather draughty for your fellow passengers. There were stern warnings about not leaning out of windows, and unless you braced yourself against the door frame it might have been possible to fall out, but you could photograph in any direction.

Some of the older rolling stock you needed to open the window to actually open the door at stations, as the doors only had handles on the outside, a useful safety precuation which made the carriages childproof and avoided any accidental opening, but sometimes meant infrequent travellers were trapped inside, unable to work out how to open them. Older readers too may remember the thick leather straps with holes to fit around a pin to hold the windows open at various levels.

Slightly more recent carriages came with a stiff handle you had to move sideways, protected by a raised surround, which only trapped mainly elderly ladies whose hands were no longer strong enough to move them and relied on other passengers to allow them to alight.

Now we have automatic opening doors and fixed windows with air conditioning on almost all services (though some still have narrow windows that don’t open enough to be useful) and can be sweat boxes when the air conditioning fails in summer or chill you if it can’t be switched off in winter. But more importantly for photographers, they have windows that are often scratched inside by bored travellers and almost always filthy outside. I have at times travelled with a cloth so when joining a train at the start of its journey I could select my seat and then step off the train to clean the window I was going to sit at so as to get a clearer view.

But either the train I joined at Charing Cross was new (and it did have that toxic smell of plasticiser) or had been recently cleaned, and for once I had a clear view. I hadn’t got onto the train to take pictures, just to get me to Blackheath, but it seemed to be too good a chance to miss, so I made a number of exposures.

The problem with photographing through glass is of course reflections. You can cut these down by removing any lens hood that would interfere and holding the front of the lens (or lens filter) directly against the glass. However this can cause vibration, so a small gap is a good idea, particularly while the train is in motion. Modern train windows are double glazed and while this close approach can avoid reflections from the pane you are in contact with, you still get them from the outer pane.

It also only works when the edge of the lens is in contact with the window all around, meaning you are restricted to views directly opposite the window and cannot aim the camera to left or right.

There is a solution to these problems, and it is in the form of a giant floppy lens hood with a hole at the centre which stretches to fit on the body of any lens. It’s called ‘The Ultimate Lens Hood‘ and is around 25cm across, and I have one sitting on my desk. The main problem with it (apart from looking rather eccentric) is that although it is a silicone rubbery thing that can squeeze down considerably, it is still too large to easily fit in my normal camera bag, at least without leaving out something essential like my sandwiches. So it was sitting there on my desk while I made these pictures 25 miles away. Slightly smaller versions are available and I think I might get one. Even a normal cheap rubber hood as I’ve used in the past can help a lot.

I was on my way to Blackheath to photograph an event that ended at the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, and my final pictures in this set were taken without benefit of any windows of the incredible view from the terrace in Greenwich Park north across the River Thames. It’s a view I first saw and photographed many years ago, and though rather changed since the building of Canary Wharf remains London’s most splendid.

I did try to take more pictures from the train on my return from Maze Hill to Waterloo, but the windows were not so clean, and only a few were usable – and then required considerable retouching.

More pictures at Charing Cross to Greenwich


All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


March to the common

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020
The banner ‘Are We The Last Generation blocks the main road for the march to take place

Lewisham Council’s web site records that Blackheath’s common has played host to more than its share of:

  • rebel gatherings
  • military encampments and exercises
  • royal meetings
  • religious festivals
  • sports
  • fairs
  • circuses

and a host of other activities.

And it goes on to list some of them, including Danish invaders in 1011, Wat Tylers anti-poll tax rebels in 1381, Jack Cade’s rebel yeomen in 1450, rebel Cornishmen in 1497 and John Wesley who preached there.

2009 Climate Camp general meeting at Blackheath

It fails to mention the chartists and the suffragettes who met their, or the Climate Camp with whom I travelled there in 2009, recorded their setting up and later returned to photograph.

Clearly it is an area that has a strong association with rebels over the years and so it was highly appropriate that South East London Extinction Rebellion chose it for the location of their two-day festival  on Global Climate Change.

I went to photograph their march from Greenwich to the festival site, and almost had to leave before it began, as the samba band which was to play a major role in bringin it to the notice of people in Greenwich was around an hour late in arriving.

I stayed with the marchers as they blocked the main streets of Greenwich and made their way up into Greenwich Park, climbing with them most of the way to the top of the hill before I had to leave and run downhill to catch a train back to central London and the next event I wanted to cover.

XR Rebel Rising March to the Common


All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, please share on social media.
And small donations via Paypal – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.


London 1980 (6)

Sunday, December 29th, 2019

The sixth set of black and white pictures I took in London in 1980 together with the stories about them first published on Facebook.


Disused Wharf and gas holder, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24j-23: wharf, derelict,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24j-23.htm

Looking from the inside of the derelict shed you can see the two gas holders through the windows.


Machinery, Enderby’s Wharf, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24j-25: wharf, machinery

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24j-25.htm

Enderby’s Wharf was where the cables that provided worldwide communication long before the age of radio and the satellites were made. The Telegraph Cable Works was established here in 1854 by Glass Elliott and William Henley, though Henley moved to North Woolwich. The company later merged with Siemens and were taken over by Submarine Telephones and Cables Ltd in 1979, later becoming part of Nortel and then Alcatel. The first transatlantic cables were made here and laid in the mid 1860s by the SS Great Eastern. Manufacture of cables here ceased shortly before I took this picture. There is a short length of cable by the riverside path and this piece of cable loading gear is still by the riverside.

Enderby House was built in 1830 for a member of the Enderby family, who were coopers in London and later moved into shipping and set up a patent rope, twine and canvas factory here, beofre losing their fortunes in the Antartic whaling industry. Grade II listed, it was deliberately allowed to deteriorate. As a condition of planning permission the developer were required to restore it to a decent condition and it is now incorporated into a larger building, though not I think as it originally was.


Disused Wharf, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24j-34: wharf, derelict, graffiti,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24j-34.htm

Another picture inside the derelict shed at Bay Wharf. Among the scrawlings on the wall was a rather better than averagely drawn chalked reclining nude, apparently signed by the artist, ‘John 25.5.80’, almost certainly the day before I took this picture on the Spring Bank Holiday, which that year was on May 26th. The view also shows some details of the building and its vaulted roof.


Sand and gravel wharf, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24j-41: wharf, sand, gravel,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24j-41.htm

Sand and Gravel at Granite Wharf. The site is now occupied by new and expensive flats. The whole area, including Greenwich Wharf, Lovells Wharf, Granite Wharf, Providence Wharf, Badcock’s Wharf, Pipers wharf and Cadet (or Paddock) Place is now known as Greenwich Wharf.


Sand and gravel wharf, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24j-42: wharf, sand, gravel,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24j-42.htm

More sand, aggregate and gravel at Granite Wharf, which remained in use by Tarmac until mid-2001. It was first let by Morden College to Victorian road builder John Mowlem in the 1840s.


Riverside path, River Thames & Sand and gravel wharf, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24j-43: wharf, sand, gravel, footpath, river

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24j-43.htm

I think the massive concrete blocks were bases for cranes at the wharf. The inlet here where Cadet Place left the riverside path was known locally as Dead Dog Bay, Mary Mills suggests possibly because animals which escaped the Foreign Cattle Market at Deptford and were drowned washed up here.

THe whole area is no covered by recently built flats, The River Gardens, where a 2-bed flat will cost you a little over £600,000, and Cadet Place no longer exists. A walkway, River Gardens Walk, with steps up from Banning St opposite Derwent St occupies roughly the same position.


Pier, River Thames and view of Millwall, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24j-44: children, pier, river,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24j-44.htm

One of several piers on the riverside path, this may be at Primrose Wharf, but if so had been considerably modified since I took this picture. I don’t think the pier was officially open to the public at the time I made this picture.

Primrose Pier belonged to Amylum and was later opened by them to the public but in 1998 it was resurfaced and part-rebuilt by the Groundwork team, with reed beds being added on either side and disabled access provided.


More to follow…

London 1980 (5)

Saturday, December 28th, 2019

The fifth set of black and white pictures I took in London in 1980 together with the stories about them first published on Facebook.


River Thames and Millwall from Greenwich Riverside path, Greenwich. 1980
24h-64: river, rigging

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24h-64.htm

This was I think taken from Ballast Quay or Lovell’s Wharf, and some of the buildings which can be seen across the river are easily identified.

One, a white building is clearly the Great Eastern (though then it was the Watermans Arms) part of the Cubitt Town development built by William Cubitt it opened as the Newcastle Arms. It is a few yards from the Newcastle Draw Dock

It was writer and broadcaster Dan Farson who changed its name to the Watermen’s Arms when he became landlord in 1962 (though he hired a couple who had worked at Streatham Conservative Club to actually run it for him) featuring it in a TV programme about music halls. He did the place up and got a number of well-known entertainers to visit and sing at the place – including Judy Garland and Shirley Bassey – and other celebrities to come and listen and recorded a few episodes of his ITV series ‘The Entertainers’ there, but the audience proved too rowdy and later shows were made in a recreation of the pub in the studio.

Farson’s tenure only lasted a couple of years and after he left the pub quickly began to run down (perhaps partly because of high costs of ‘protection’ for businesses in the area), becoming a venue for striptease and drag artists, though still occasionally being used for TV and films, and it closed in 2011.

New management converted it into a pub and backpacker’s hostel – and renamed it to The Great Eastern. I walked past on a very hot day last year, hoping to take a rest there and have a pint, but as I approached a fight was taking place between two police officers and a man outside the door, and I decided to walk on.

And just to the right you can see the spire of Christ Church sticking up above the spar.


River Thames and Millwall from Greenwich Riverside path, Greenwich. 1980
24h-66: river, ship,rigging

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24h-66.htm

Another view from the same place shows a similar riverside vista, but this time extending to the tower block on the Samuda estate at the right. Apart from some housing not far from the Watermans Arms the rest of the buildings have I think been replaced by more recent developments.

River Thames and Millwall from Riverside path, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24j-15: river, rigging

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24j-15.htm

And a third view, with a longer lens (probably a 50mm standard lens) which shows the buildings on the bank opposite more clearly


Disused wharf and River Thames, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24j-35: wharf, river, crane

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24i-35.htm

For once I know exactly where this picture was taken, at Bay Wharf, and it is now the premises of a dry dock company, formerly at Pipers Wharf (now part of the site of the Greenwich Wharf development) immediately south of the former Victoria Deep Water Terminal, though I think all the buildings on the site have been demolished.

The man looking into the river had come with me along the riverside walk, and had wandered into the shed while I was taking other pictures.

Bay Wharf appears to have been the site of the Great Breach or Horsehoe Breach of the sea wall at some time before 1622. The area was owned by Morden College and in the mid 19th century Bay Wharf was leased to various industries, including American boat builder Nathan Thompson,and his company, The National Company for Boat Building by Machinery, which went bankrupt more or less immediately and the lease taken over by Maudslay Son and Field in or before 1864, and they used the site to set up a shipbuilding operation, mainly concentrating on screw powered steam ships, and including an experimental ship for Henry Bessemer whose small steel works were at what later became the Victoria Deep Water Terminal.

But they became better known for two iron hulled sailing clippers, Blackadder in 1870 and Halloween in 1871. Blackadder had a very chequered career, leading to a number of court cases, but both boats were record breakers – with Halloween making passage from Shanghai to London in 91 days, knocking 19 days from Cutty Sark’s best. Maudsleay didn’t remain for long as ship builders, but continued to make marine boilers for some years before going bankrupt in 1902.

The site was then leased to Segar Emery, an American mahogany importer, and around 1945 became home to Humphrey & Grey (Lighterage) Ltd, part of Hays Wharf. These derelict buildings were their barge repair slips.

As always much of this information comes from Mary Mill’s encyclopedic Greenwich Peninsula History web site


Disused Wharf and Gas holders, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24j-11: wharf, gas holders,

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24j-11.htm

Taken from within a few feet of the previous image at Bay Wharf, but with my back to the river, looking towards the gas works.

No 1 gasholder, 180ft tall and 250 ft diameter was the first ever built with four lifts, rather than three and was completed in 1888. It was in use until recently despite some minor damage by the IRA in 1980, It could hold 8.2 million cubic feet. No 2 holder, at left in the picture, wider at 303ft diameter, was built in 1890 and was the ultimate in frame guiding gas holders, with 6 lifts, two of them ‘flying’ above the guide frame and could hold 12 million cubic feet. The two flying lifts were damaged by the 1917 Silvertown explosion and removed, and the whole holder demolished in 1985.

No. 1 gasholder is currently still standing, though currently threatened with demolition. Only a few gasholders around the country were selected for listing and preservation, and presumably despite its novelty when constructed this was not judged of sufficient interest, though it is a decision hard to understand except on commercial grounds.


Disused Wharf, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24j-12: jetty, sheds, works, wharf

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24j-12.htm

Another view of Bay Wharf, this time from the south of the breach, with the large shed on the site of the Maudsley shipbuilding works, though the building is much later, built as barge repair slips for Humphrey and Grey. The shed at left is I think a part of the Victoria Deep Water Terminal.

Mary Mills on her Greenwich Peninsula History web site mentions a jetty erected at Morden Wharf in 1859, which she says “it seems likely that this was in fact part of the area described under Bay Wharf” and I think this may be the jetty shown here.

As mentioned in a previous comment, Bay Wharf is now now the premises of a dry dock company, formerly around half a mile upstream, moved to facilitate the exploitation of the riverside there for expensive flats.


Disused Wharf, North Greenwich, Greenwich. 1980
24j-21: wharf, derelict,

A detail inside the derelict shed at Bay Wharf

http://londonphotographs.co.uk/london/1980/24j-21.htm


The series continues…


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