Severndroog Castle film night at the Shooters Hill Local History Group

Severndroog Castle
Severndroog Castle

Severndroog Castle is the topic of the Shooters Hill Local History Group‘s next meeting, to be held on Thursday, 16th March at Shrewsbury House starting at 8.00pm. Steve wrote to me with the details:

There is a Severndroog Castle film night on Thursday 16th March at Shrewsbury House at 8pm arranged by the Shooters Hill Local History Group.
Films of the campaign to save Severndroog will be shown by the Shooters Hill Camcorder Club and will include the TV Restoration programme; the visit by the mayors of Greenwich, Lewisham and Southwark: the opening of the building and an open day event.
A visitor fee applies, everyone welcome.

The story of Severndroog Castle is one of successful community activism, which started when the castle was under threat of being sold off to a private company for use as offices in 2002. The Severndroog Castle Alliance (later the Severndroog Castle Building Preservation Trust) was formed by residents living in the area with the aim of saving the building for community use. The castle was included in the BBC Restoration series in which viewers voted on which listed building should be given a Heritage Lottery Fund grant for remedial work in 2004. Although the castle only managed second place in the south-east section of the programme, ultimately it was Heritage Lottery funding that allowed its restoration, as well as funds from charities such as the Country Houses Foundation; The Pilgrim Trust and The Architectural Heritage Fund. Now the castle is run by volunteers who organise regular events and open the castle to the public on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays from 12:30-4:30pm. It’s worth a visit for the views alone.

Should be an interesting evening.

 

Severndroog Castle under wraps for its restoration
Severndroog Castle under wraps for its restoration
Severndroog Castle and rainbow from Westmount Road
Severndroog Castle and rainbow from Westmount Road

The future of Enderby House at the Shooters Hill Local History Group

Enderby Wharf development
Enderby Wharf development

Dr. Mary Mills of the Greenwich Industrial History Society will be talking about the future of Enderby House at the next meeting of the Shooters Hill Local History Group which will be this Thursday, 16th February. As usual it will start  at 8pm and it will be held in Shrewsbury House. Steve e-mailed the details:

The next meeting of the Shooters Hill Local History Group will be on Thursday 16 February at 8pm at Shrewsbury House.
The presentation by Mary Mills of the Greenwich Industrial History Society will be about the future of Enderby House on the Greenwich Peninsula.
Everyone welcome, a visitor fee applies.

Enderby House is a grade II listed building which has been neglected and fallen into disrepair over the years. It was built in about 1835 by the Enderby family who established a ropewalk and a factory for making sales on the Enderby Wharf site around the house.  In the 1850s a company called Glass, Elliot & Co took over the site and it was where they jointly made the first transatlantic telegraph cable as well as many other early telegraph cables. Later they were absorbed into the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company (Telcon) which manufactured a second transatlantic telegraph cable at Enderby’s Wharf. This was successfully laid by the SS Great Eastern. Submarine cables were made by a succession of companies at Enderby’s Wharf up until 1975.

The area has since been redeveloped and the river front is now crowded with blocks of flats, with more being built. It is also the proposed site of a controversial cruise liner terminal: there is concern about the air pollution created by docked liners which will have to generate their own electricity using their diesel-powered engines because no shore-based generating capacity is planned. Enderby House is still standing, sandwiched between blocks of flats and the cruise liner terminal, but its future is  not entirely clear. The developers say they “are proud to be refurbishing the building into a Gastro pub and cultural hub for Greenwich”, but a group of local people have formed the Enderby Group to “secure the future of Enderby House and the cable loading equipment on the Alcatel-Lucent jetty as a permanent centre for telling the story of the sub-sea cable industry on this site, its key role in world-wide communications”. They have their own ideas about what should happen to the house and its surroundings to ensure that the area’s historical importance to modern telecommunications is not lost.

Thursday’s speaker is the secretary of the Enderby Group, so it should be a fascinating talk covering the history of Enderby House, and much more.

 

Appendix 3 of the Enderby Group Pender Plaza Proposal: Barratt Model of Enderby House
Appendix 3 of the Enderby Group Pender Plaza Proposal: Barratt Model of Enderby House

 

Film Night at the Shooters Hill Local History Group

Memorial in Woolwich Cemetery to those killed in the Princess Alice disaster
Memorial in Woolwich Cemetery to those killed in the Princess Alice disaster

Shooters Hill Local History Group will be meeting on Thursday, 1st December at Shrewsbury House starting at 8.00pm. Steve wrote to me with the details:

The Shooters Hill Camcorder Club are putting together a local history film night for the Shooters Hill Local History Group on Thursday 1 December at 8pm at Shrewsbury House.
Short films will include ‘After the Storm’ about the 1987 storms; ‘Down to Earth’ featuring the tunnels under Greenwich Park and ‘The Princess Alice Disaster’ telling the story of the sinking of the passenger paddle steamer.
Everyone welcome.
A visitor fee applies.

Sounds like a really interesting meeting!
There’s an imposing memorial to those who died in the sinking of the paddle steamer Princess Alice near Woolwich in 1878. The inscription on the memorial tells the story of what happened:

The Saloon Steamer
“Princess Alice,”
Returning from a pleasure excursion
Was wrecked off Tripcock Point
By collision with
The steam collier “Bywell Castle,”
On the night of
September 3rd 1878.
It was computed that
Seven Hundred
Men women and children
Were on board,
Of these about 550 were drowned
One hundred and twenty were buried near this place.
To the memory
Of those who perished
This cross
Was erected
By a
National sixpenny subscription
To which
More than 23000 person contributed.

Inscription on memorial to those who died in The Princess Alice Disaster
Inscription on memorial to those who died in The Princess Alice DisasterInscription on memorial to those who died in The Princess Alice Disaster

The WElling WILL REMEMBER THEM project at Shooters Hill Local History Group

The Welling War Memorial in its current position at St John the Evangelist Church
The Welling War Memorial in its current position at St John the Evangelist Church

Shooters Hill Local History Group‘s next meeting is on Thursday, 20th October at Shrewsbury House starting at 8.00pm. Steve wrote to me with the details:

A presentation is being given by a member of the East Wickham and Welling War Memorial Trust to the SHLHG on Thursday 20 October at Shrewsbury House at 8pm. A visitor fee applies.
The presentation is about the WElling WILL REMEMBER THEM community project which received Heritage Lottery funding.
The project researched those men from the district who served and died in the First World War. See also www.ewt.org.uk

The East Wickham and Welling War Memorial Trust was established following the First World War to raise funds to construct a Memorial Hall  dedicated to the men from the local district who fell in the war. The hall is no longer in existence and the Trust re-registered as a grant giving charity in 1995. Since October 1995 the Trust has awarded grants of over £600,000 to the community, and is probably now the largest source of community funding in East Wickham and Welling.

The WElling WILL REMEMBER THEM project was set up in 2013 to research and tell the stories of the local men from East Wickham and Welling who fought in the First World War.  Local people were recruited as Research Volunteers to uncover the stories of the 105 men who are listed on their war memorial and to find out about other men from the local area who fought in the Great War.  They were assisted by Year 5 and Year 6 children at Foster’s School who researched some of the men who attended their school.

Sounds like another interesting meeting at the Shooters Hill Local History Group.

The Welling War Memorial in its current position at St John the Evangelist Church
The Welling War Memorial in its current position at St John the Evangelist Church

Film Night at Shooters Hill Local History Group

Entrance to Beresford Square Market
Entrance to Beresford Square Market

Shooters Hill Local History Group‘s next meeting at Shrewsbury House this Thursday, 21st January at 8.00pm is a film show featuring three locally-made local history films. Steve wrote asking me to post a reminder:

It would be appreciated if you could provide a brief update about Thursday’s film show featuring:
‘The Catherine Wheel Dig’ – the archaeological search by members of the Shooters Hill Local History Group and friends for the “Catherine Wheel” ale house at the crest of Shooters Hill, which predated the “Bull” as a stop for stage coaches on the road to Dover.
‘This Girl went to Market’ – a young lady researches the history of Beresford Square market and finds her future (real life) husband.
‘The Plumstead Make Merry’ – the preparation for this popular local festival and the many aspects of how people enjoyed themselves at the two day event on Plumstead Common.

All are welcome. There’s a small visitor fee to cover the cost of the room.

Request to de-list Elmhurst Cottage turned down

Elmhurst Cottage
Elmhurst Cottage

I was very pleased to hear that the council has decided to reject the request to remove Elmhurst Cottage in Shrewsbury Lane from their Locally Listed Buildings list, retaining for it the protections given to buildings on the list.

The e-mail with the news came from Principal Conservation Officer Rebecca Duncan, and said:

Please find below details of the decision taken on 15/12/15 by Councillor Thorpe, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport, which comes into force today 22/12/15.
Decision:
·         Approved: the retention of Elmhurst Cottage on the Royal Borough’s List of Buildings of Local Architectural or Historic Interest (known as the ‘Local List’).
·         Agreed: the amendment of the List entry for Elmhurst Cottage to accurately describe the building’s architectural interest, historic interest and environmental significance.

Full details of the decision, including an interesting report, can be found on the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s web site. The new listing for Elmhurst Cottage gives much more detail about the cottage’s importance:

A small, single storey weather-boarded cottage, with slate roof and sash windows.  Decorative trellis work to sides of windows and projecting porch.  Set back from the road at an angle, with extensive front and rear gardens.  The building and its site is of historic interest since it has historic associations with the Lidgbirds and the Dallins, significant and well-known landowning families who shaped Shooters Hill.  The estate containing the cottage can be traced from the Lidgbirds in 1851 to the trustees of Mary Dallin in 1901.  The building is of architectural interest since it is a rare example of a small, weather-boarded Kentish dwelling, the last-surviving one of its type in the area.  Built between 1866 and 1894, it is one of the oldest buildings on Shrewsbury Lane and survives the two large houses in the locality, Haddon Lodge and the original Shrewsbury House.  The building is of environmental significance since, with its unusual and attractive open setting, it is a time-honoured and locally valued feature which contributes to the character of Shrewsbury Lane and also provides a valuable wildlife haven for lizards, butterflies, bats and birds.

Twentyseven of us responded to the consultation about Elmhurst, of whom 25 were against de-listing the cottage and 2 in favour.

I suspect we haven’t heard the last of attempts to redevelop the land that the cottage occupies.

 

Shooters Hill Local History Group meeting on Thursday

The Ypres Milestone at Christ Church
The Ypres Milestone at Christ Church

Shooters Hill Local History Group‘s final meeting of 2015 will be a “Social and Curio” evening at Shrewsbury House this Thursday at 8.00pm. Steve sent me details:

The next meeting is on 17 December and will be a Social & Curio Evening.
Everyone is encouraged to bring along an item with a history and talk about it.
It does not necessarily need to have a link with Shooters Hill, it could be a book; map; photograph; medal; football or concert programme to name but a few.
All welcome, bring nibbles, drink and a glass!
Visitor fee applies.

The group has also been planning their programme for 2016. Currently they have:

21st January: Films of Shooters Hill and area – “The Catherine Wheel dig” and “This girl went to market” etc.
18th February: TBA (perhaps St George’s RA Chapel
17th March: Talk on the local tram system

Should be interesting.

Detail of moulding at Shrewsbury House
Detail of moulding at Shrewsbury House

Talk on the History of the Greenwich Peninsula on Thursday

The cover of Mary Mills' Greenwich Peninsula history book
The cover of Mary Mills’ Greenwich Peninsula history book

Shooters Hill Local History Group  will be hearing about the history of the Greenwich Peninsula from local historian and former councillor Mary Mills tomorrow, Thursday, 19th November at Shrewsbury House. Steve wrote with the details:

Mary Mills, Secretary of The Greenwich Industrial History Society will be giving a presentation to the SHLHG about the history of the Greenwich Peninsula next Thursday.
The presentation is based on her new book ‘Innovation, Enterprise and Change on the Greenwich Peninsula’.
The book is ‘a snapshop of the Greenwich Peninsula showing how it was home to industries which brought change both in Greenwich and worldwide’
See also, http://greenwichpeninsulahistory.wordpress.com/book/
Meeting starts at 8pm, a visitor fee applies.

I’m enjoying reading Mary’s book about the highlights of peninsula history from 1194 to the present, and it should be a very interesting presentation. All are welcome: there is a small charge for non-members to cover the cost of the room

Baby Killers Over Woolwich – local history talk on Thursday

British propaganda postcard from 1916. Text reads: "The End of the 'Baby-Killer'". Public domain, source Wikipedia
British propaganda postcard from 1916. Text reads: “The End of the ‘Baby-Killer'”. Public domain, source Wikipedia

Steve wrote to tell me that Shooters Hill Local History Group will be hosting a talk by local archaeologist Andy Brockman on Thursday about Zeppelins in the First World War. Andy posted further details in the History Mill Facebook Group:

“Baby Killers Over Woolwich – how Zeppelins brought the First Blitz to south east London”
A talk for the Shooters Hill History Group by Andy Brockman
8pm Thursday 15 October 2015
Venue: Shrewsbury House, Shooters Hill
A century on form the first blitz on London, the talk will tell the story of the attempts of the German Imperial Navy and Air Force Zeppelin crews to attack London and their impact on Woolwich and Plumstead.
All welcome
Cost: Free to SHLHG Members, Guests: £2 to help cover room hire.

The area around Shooters Hill was subject to a number of bombing raids by Zeppelins during WW1, including one which severely damaged a number of homes in Dickson Road on the Progress Estate. There was also an anti-aircraft gun in Eaglesfield Park, the base of which was uncovered by the Digging Dad’s Army project.

Andy is a very engaging speaker on our local history: it should be a fascinating presentation.

Andy Brockman at Colonel Bagnold's air raid shelter
Andy Brockman at Colonel Bagnold’s air raid shelter
WW I poster from Wikipedia - "It is far better to face the bullets than to be killed at home by a bomb. Join the army at once & help to stop an air raid. God save the King" Public domain.
WW I poster from Wikipedia – “It is far better to face the bullets than to be killed at home by a bomb. Join the army at once & help to stop an air raid. God save the King” Public domain.

Attempt to de-list Elmhurst Cottage

Elmhurst Cottage
Elmhurst Cottage

An application has been submitted to the Royal Borough of Greenwich to remove Elmhurst Cottage from the council’s Locally Listed Buildings list. If successful this would remove the protections given to buildings on the list, and ease the way for redevelopment of the 0.3 Acre site. It was submitted by a local company, Building Design & Services Ltd., but appears to be on behalf of a company named Broadberry International Limited. There is no indication as to the reason for the request, but I suspect it is not out of academic concern for the historical accuracy of the local list.

The heart of the case to remove Elmhurst Cottage from the list, which is laid out in a Heritage Statement prepared by HeritageCollective and submitted with the application,  appears to be twofold: that the cottage was not built until 1895-1896 and that it was too humble for important historical people such as the Lidgbird and Dallin families to live in.

The evidence presented that the cottage was not built until 1895-1896 relies on part of a hand-drawn map that was submitted with an 1889 planning application for a new stable on a property further down Shrewsbury Lane. The map, which is part of catalogue item MBW/BA/39056 in the London Metropolitan Archive, is shown below followed by the equivalent area from Alan Godfrey’s 1894 OS map, which clearly shows Elmhurst Cottage. The hand-drawn map does not include a number of buildings that are shown in the OS map from just 5 years later, and has a number of inaccuracies in the shapes, orientations  and positions of the buildings compared to the Ordnance Survey map. For instance, it does not include the huge Haddon Hall, just over the lane from Elmhurst Cottage. Haddon Hall also appears on Alan Godfrey’s 1866 and 1914 maps, so it was certainly there in 1889. The size, shape and outbuildings of the large house named Elmhurst are not captured accurately on the 1889 map, nor are those of the Homestead. In fact it is an amateur map intended to show where a new stable would go, not to show the size, shape and location of neighbouring buildings.

It is clear that the 1889 hand-drawn map is not conclusive evidence of the presence or absence of Elmhurst Cottage, or of the date it was built. The Heritage Statement includes a snippet of the 1894 OS map mislabelled as being from 1896, plus a part of the 1866 OS map mislabelled as being from 1889. If nothing else the presence of Elmhurst on the 1894 map shows that it was there before the 1895-1896 claimed.

Map from HeritageCollective's Heritage Statement about Elmhurst Cottage
Map from HeritageCollective’s Heritage Statement about Elmhurst Cottage
Snippet from Alan Godfrey’s 1894 Ordnance Survey Map of Shooters Hill
Snippet from Alan Godfrey’s 1894 Ordnance Survey Map of Shooters Hill

The Heritage Statement provides no evidence that a wealthy family such as the Lidgbirds or the Dallins would not have lived in a cottage such as Elmhurst Cottage other than some information from a directory of 1910 about who lived at the cottage. This is many years after the Dallin family lived at Elmhurst.

The Heritage Statement quotes a passage about the history of Elmhurst Cottage from an e-shootershill post about buildings of local interest, however it fails to include any of the more detailed information about the historical associations of the cottage in a later post about Elmhurst. This cottage is one of the few reminders of the families – the Lidgbirds, Dallins and Jacksons – who shaped Shooters Hill. Colonel Bagnold also lists a number of senior military people who lived at Elmhurst: Col. Shipley; Lord Ribblesdale; Col. Foster; W Fitzhardinge; Col. Wooley-Dod; Col. Murray-Smith; Major Barstow; Col. F. Watts-Allen. A rich local history.

Why is someone trying to de-list Elmhurst Cottage now? Who knows – the applicants haven’t given any indications of their plans, nor have they talked to neighbours of Elmhurst Cottage,  who first learned of the attempt to de-list when they got the Royal Borough’s letter. Although it seems clear that the cottage has been sold because it is no longer up for sale, the Land Registry has not yet been updated with the new owner’s details. HeritageCollective produced the Heritage Statement for Broadberry International Limited. No company of this name comes up in a search of the Companies House web site. and a Google search only gives a British Virgin Islands company for which the last information is 2007. It seems unlikely that Broadberry Data Systems, Broadberry Consulting or Broadberry Care Solutions have moved into property development, so the plans for the site remain a mystery.

The notice about the application gives details about how to comment:

Any person who wishes to make representations to the Royal Borough about the application should do so in writing (via email or post) by 08-Sep-2015 to building-conservation@royalgreenwich.gov.uk or to Planning Department, 5th floor, Woolwich Centre, 35 Wellington Street, Woolwich, SE18 6HQ

It is also possible to comment on-line on the planning pages for the application. The Royal Borough of Greenwich web site includes information about how buildings get on the local list, as well as the list itself.