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Notes and news — October 1985

In this issue:

Association for Industrial Archaeology conference

This year saw the AIA holding its annual get-together north of the border in Glasgow. Four days of preliminary events were followed by the weekend conference proper.

Attendance was somewhat down on previous conferences, with about 120 participants, but as always the GLIAS contingent was the largest even though they had a long way to travel. The accommodation, a former hotel overlooking the Clyde in central Glasgow, had only just been acquired by the University of Strathclyde and we had to endure their settling in and learning process which meant that mealtimes were a shambles! It cannot claim to be the best organised event and there were more than the fair share of failings. They even managed the impossible — a visit to a brewery without staying to sample the product! The highlight visit on the Saturday afternoon was to New Lanark to see the work of the conservation trust in restoring not only an important industrial complex associated with David Dale and Robert Owen, but also a community.

The success of the latter was demonstrated by the tea, salmon sandwiches and cakes laid on for our benefit by the ladies of the village in the village hall. The main theme of the AIA'S proceedings was the massive workload in dealing with IA at national level. This all falls on the shoulders of individuals who are in the main part enthusiasts like ourselves. For example some 350 listed building applications dealing with demolition or change to industrial sites are processed and investigated by John Crompton, the council member with that task. The AIA is therefore seeking to find some means of funding a permanent officer to help with the work and represent the AIA at national level. We look forward to hearing that progress on that front is being made at next year's conference, which is to be held at the University of Loughborough from Sept. 12 to 14 1986. David Perrett

Letters to the editor

Frank Holland wrote a long and interesting letter. He said he was impressed by our Newsletter No. 99 together with its enclosures and expressed his appreciation of the IA walks compiled by David Thomas.

Frank is 75 and unfortunately has been confined to a hospital bed for a few weeks but hopes to be out soon. His chatty letter contained reminiscences of his younger days and referred to trams and trains, and how he remembers the great pylons being built at Fords, Dagenham, to carry the National Grid across the Thames in 1931-36, also the water mill up Dartford Creek at the foot of East Hill, which was still intact in 1925.

Frank would be interested to hear from anyone who would like to know more of his memories or his knowledge.
Frank Holland MBE; The Musical Museum, 368 High Street, Brentford, Middlesex. TW8 0BD

The Wrong Baker. Bob Carr's interesting contribution on Thames Bridges (GLIAS Newsletter June 1985) attributes Battersea Railway Bridge to Benjamin Baker and T.H. Bertram. But the Baker concerned was William Baker, chief engineer of the London & North Western Railway 1859-1878; his best known works are the Runcorn Bridge and Broad Street Station, just demolished. T.H. Bertram was chief engineer of the Great Western Railway 1859-60 and probably had very little to do with this bridge. Michael Robbins

Congratulations to GLIAS on reaching the Centenary of its Newsletter. Over the years the amount of information which has been published in its pages now provides a valuable corpus of knowledge about the often overlooked aspects of London's industrial past — knowledge which, had it not been recorded at the time, would have been irretrievably lost, but is now available for future historians. Long may its valuable work continue. John H. Boyes, Hon Editor, The Newcomen Bulletin

Gazetteer of London industrial archaeology: Hammersmith and Fulham


Stretching from Harrow Road in the north to the Thames opposite Putney in the south, the borough is traversed by major transport routes radiating west from central London. Apart from individual enterprises such as the Fulham Pottery and Fulham Gasworks, little significant development occurred until the mid 19th century when market gardening gave way to brickmaking and house building south of Shepherds Bush towards the river, while industry became established beside the canal and the railways north of Wormwood Scrubs, taking advantage of these transport facilities. For the same reason, a ribbon of industry spread along the riverside from Chelsea past Hammersmith Bridge.

543. WORMWOOD SCRUBS, 227812. Wormwood Scrubs' connection with flying dates from 1909 when the Daily Mail had an airship shed built there for the Frenchman Alphonse Clement who was sponsored by the paper to bring his airship to London. Grahame-White used the shed to repair his aeroplane between his first and second attempts to win the London-Manchester prize and took off from here on his second attempt. The site belonged to the War Department and other airships used the shed. In 1914 the RNSA took it over and until the end of World War I it was an airship station but then reverted to peaceful duties. All that now remains is a section of the perimeter wall which now forms the west boundary of the West London Stadium.

544. WILLESDEN JUNCTION STATION, 218829. Typical LNWR suburban electric station, although some alterations have taken place. Good example of original overall platform roof.


545. FULHAM POTTERY, 210 New King's Road, SW6. 245761. Founded c.1672 by John Dwight, the first English pottery to make salt-glazed stoneware on any large scale. The choice of Fulham in preference to the established ceramic districts of Southwark and Lambeth has not been fully explained, but a site close to the river obviously eased the transporting of coal and clay for firing products that were then taken down the Thames to the City. In operation for nearly three centuries, making both practical and ornamental stoneware and other ceramics, the pottery was frequently rebuilt as operating needs changed or the New King's Road was re-aligned (three times in the 19th century alone). Commercial stoneware was last made in 1929; some artists' work and smaller items were fired until 1961 and water filters were assembled until 1969. The mainly 19th-century two- and three-storey brick offices and workshops were demolished 1974-5, and Kiln House, a seven-storey office block, erected on a curved plan to embrace the listed brick hovel (outer casing) of a bottle kiln built c.1860, rebuilt 1894. This has been repointed, with iron binding hoops painted black.

All that survives of Fulham Pottery, December 1982

As yet plans for it to become a site museum have not been effected. The three-storey garage block west of Kiln House was originally part of the Pottery but is much altered internally. Extensive documentary research and archaeological excavation took place from 1970 until after demolition.

546. PENNING'S GRANITE MARBLE AND MOSAIC WORKS, Ranelagh Gardens, London SW6. 244758. Established at the beginning of the 20th century on Willow Bank Wharf, next to the public drawdock at the foot of Fulham High Street. Stone, originally brought by river, passed through here for many notable London buildings. Now derelict, sheds and some machinery remain.

547. FULHAM CONVICT PRISON CELL BLOCK, junction of Rigault and Buer Road, SW6. 245762. The prison was built in the 1850s and closed in 1888. Most of the site was developed for housing but this two-storey brick block survives as Burlington Lodge Studios.

548. PUTNEY BRIDGE STATION, Ranelagh Gardens, SW6. 245759. Opened in 1880, this was for nine years the southern limit of the District Line, later extended to Wimbledon. Main building on west of line, imposing white brick facade of three storeys. Street level entrances under brick viaduct and in central archway of arcade, stairs up to platforms. Westerly platform carried north on wrought iron trusses on cast iron columns alongside the viaduct which continues as far as

PARSONS GREEN STATION, Parsons Green Lane, SW6. 250767. This is a more modest version of Putney Bridge Station.

Michael Bussell

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© GLIAS, 1985