Notes and news — October 2009
In this issue:
- Bristol City Safari 14-16 August
- St Albans South signal box
- Electric Taxi Cabs
- Smoke at Bankside Power Station
- Slides and negatives on film — all is not lost!
- Woolwich autostacker
- News in brief
- Cabmen's shelters
- An early flatpack on London Bridge
- Using the Camden Railway Heritage Trail
- Brunel monument appeal
The wall-crane was once a common sight in London and there are still many to be seen. They were used to move goods in and out of the upper floors of buildings, or to lower goods into cellars. They ranged in size from small wrought-iron hand cranes to huge lattice steel hydraulic or electric luffing cranes. Usually it is not possible to determine the power used from the external appearance of a crane. These days the likelihood is that only the jib remains with no internal mechanism surviving.
The earliest wall-cranes were made of wood. Just one example remains in London, at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry (see below). But late 18th- and early 19th-century illustrations clearly show wooden wall-cranes on riverside warehouses. A few survive on St George's Quay, Lancaster. It was during the early 19th century that wood gave way to iron for wall-crane jibs.
The smallest cranes are usually made of square section wrought-iron bar, fire welded to form a triangular shaped jib; the sort of thing that any competent blacksmith would be able to make. Often the inclined strut is curved, with one or more rings of wrought iron bar within the triangular shape to strengthen it. Occasionally they are embellished with scrollwork. Larger cranes might be made up of two sections of flat bar, separated by spacers. Sometimes struts are added, sometimes not. Later cranes are constructed of tubular steel. The largest cranes have lattice wrought-iron or steel jibs.
Wall-cranes can be found all over central London, but there are concentrations in Wapping, Southwark and South Shoreditch and a number of small cranes can be found around Long Acre. There is a fine example in Kendall Place, off Blandford Street, but why is it there? The building is not the sort where one would expect to find a wall-crane. There are no loops (the loading doors where goods could be moved in or out of the building).
At the Pizza Express restaurant in Greek Street a hand winch for a ground floor wall-crane has been retained as a feature. It is visible from the street. Another wall-crane hand-winch, made by Tangye's, has been retained in the Regent Quarter at King's Cross. The wall-crane served one of the buildings associated with the coppersmith's works of Pontifex. The wall-crane jib is still in situ, but the winch, originally on the top floor, has been relocated to the yard outside. An older example, which featured in Aubrey Wilson's book, London's Industrial Heritage, (David & Charles, Newton Abbot, 1967, pages 32-3) has been kept at the former Sandeman's premises in St Swithin's Lane. Known as a 'Capital Patent Crane', the winch served both external wall-crane and internal hoist. It has two drums, one above the other, on a slightly inclined shaft turned through gearing by means of a large wheel and handle. The lower wall-crane drum has a chain while the larger, upper drum for the cellar hoist uses rope.
Most of the larger cranes in Docklands had associated control cabins, cantilevered out to give the operator a good view of what was going on below. But nowadays even where the cranes themselves survive generally the cabins do not. A traditional crane cabin can still be seen on the riverside of Metropolitan Wharf, Wapping Wall and a crane on King Henry's Wharf, also in Wapping, has a wooden cabin built around the lower part of the jib.
Although there are plenty of crane jibs still around the same is probably not true of the winches and jiggers used to operate them, though without access to the buildings it is impossible to be sure. But there are some survivals. On Blossom Street there are still a few hydraulic wall-crane jiggers in the former warehouses of Nichols & Clark. At a former wool warehouse in Back Church Lane no less than 14 hydraulic wall-cranes survive and, before conversion of the building to flats, they were complete with their jiggers. Four hydraulic jiggers survive at Metropolitan Wharf and at least one on Stoney Street, SE1. There are, no doubt, a few other examples still to be found. But if you want to see a wall-crane jigger the best place to go is to the Museum in Docklands (right) where a jigger made by the Hydraulic Engineering Company of Chester has been put on display in the sort of position it would have occupied in a warehouse. Two waterside wall-cranes at New Concordia Wharf, on the east side of St Saviour's Dock in Bermondsey have their electric motors exposed to view. These cranes once had wooden cabins surrounding the motors, like the crane at King Henry's Wharf.
Discovering who made all these wall-cranes is just as difficult as finding out how they were powered. There were several important makers including Appleby Brothers, Waygoods and the Hydraulic Engineering Company. Two at the Ragged School Museum were made by Stannah's of Southwark. One in Ludgate Square is by Aldous & Campbell — the name appears on an enamel plate affixed to the jib. But most surviving wall-cranes are anonymous. Sometimes a crane's capacity is painted on the wall beneath it, but, again, with most cranes this too is unknown.
Next time you are in Docklands or even Central London look out for these cranes, there are still many to be seen. They can even be found on new buildings, often built to look like old warehouses but the lack of loops, or large doors for goods, are a giveaway! Tim R Smith
Bristol City Safari 14-16 August
On Friday, 14 August, 18 of us met at the Hotel Ibis Bristol Temple Meads Quay for a two-day City Safari, led as usual by Sue Hayton, with Dan sweeping at the back. The hotel is in a temporary no-man's land behind Temple Meads Station, a former industrial area where most of the industrial buildings have gone, but little of the planned sea of glass and steel has yet materialised. Our afternoon walk started round this area and its few remaining industrial buildings. The first was the former St Vincent's Iron Works, built from 1800 onwards for Achaman, Morgan & Co, who were responsible for some of the ironwork for Brunel's Great Western Railway. Its stone turrets have been described as 'Ruritanian Romanesque'. It achieved fame more recently when the models of Wallace and Gromit, which were stored in the building, were destroyed in a fire.
The tour continued with warehouses, a former soap works and almshouses before we reached the centre of the city and visited the impressive 18th-century Exchange on Corn Street, now a bank. Opposite was the Market, outside which were four brass tables with nails to prevent money rolling off the tables. Many other magnificent buildings survive (sometimes only the façade), including former insurance offices and the Bank of England, where Phil Cox was able to tell us how it operated in his younger days. We also passed the former Guildhall, a 14th-century conduit and the former, so-called, Grand Hotel, built in 1846 to accommodate travellers on the railway, which never reached that spot. We concluded the walk at Colston Square and took the water bus back to Temple Meads, giving us a different view of some of the buildings and structures we saw on our walks during the weekend.
An early start on Saturday saw us visiting Temple Meads Station, including the Bristol and Exeter Railway Offices and the former Royal Western and Grosvenor Hotels. We then walked along the Floating Harbour, past the former Tramway Generating Station which supplied current for the Bristol Tramways until the bridge connecting it to them was bombed in the Second World War. We saw the stump of the only surviving glass cone in the city; and the Lead Shot Tower built in 1969, now one of only three surviving in the country. The St George's Brewery Site was viewed from several angles, showing the retention of the façades, behind which new buildings have yet to emerge. St Mary Redcliffe Church, where William Penn and John Cabot are celebrated, provided a welcome rest and coffee stop — not to mention its unpredictable Chaotic Pendulum. The walk then continued, past warehouses, across the bridge to Queen Square and the Theatre Royal, home of the Bristol Old Vic, before a break for lunch.
Saturday afternoon was devoted to the Floating Harbour and the Docks, starting with four Stothert & Pitts cranes outside the Industrial Museum, currently being redeveloped. Nearby is the Fairbairn Steam Crane, which was capable of lifting 35 tons. We stopped at the shop of the SS Great Britain, but there was no time to visit it. Later we got a better view of Brunel's restored steamship from across the harbour, together with the reconstruction of Cabot's Matthew, in the original of which he found the American mainland in 1498. We passed boatyards still in operation before reaching the Cumberland Basin and lock at the entrance to the Floating Harbour, from which there was a superb view of the Clifton Suspension Bridge. From there, some members of the party returned to the hotel by waterbus, while the more intrepid members walked back as far as Colston Square before giving in and catching the bus.
On Sunday morning, we caught the bus from Temple Meads Station to Clifton, passing magnificent 18th-century houses; interesting workers' housing; other buildings and early electric lighting. The building of the former Pump Room survives, as well as the tunnel of the former Clifton Rocks Railway, which a group hopes to restore to working order. The weekend was rounded off by crossing the Clifton Suspension Bridge, originally designed by Brunel but completed after his death, and the visitor centre with an interesting video on the history and construction of the bridge.
Inevitably, this is a short summary and there is not room to mention all the buildings and structures we saw, but I hope it gives a flavour of a fascinating weekend, which June and I very much enjoyed. Brian James-Strong
St Albans South signal box
The sole surviving signal box on the Midland Railway line from St Pancras to Bedford and Luton has been recently restored at St Albans South by the St Albans Signal Box Preservation Trust.
The Grade 2 listed box, which stands near platform 4 south of St Albans City Station, was officially opened on 12 September 2009. It contains a rare 1906 Midland railway tumbler interlocking lever frame.
It was built in 1892, replacing the original signal box and is a type 2a, prefabricated in Derby. It now has 44 levers and was used to control four lines. It has been repainted in maroon and yellow with white window frames.
The trust holds open weekends from May to September. They give signalling demonstrations, showing how the signals and the block telegraph system worked. There is also a model steam railway and various other artefacts are on display.
Visitors can go individually or in groups. Kate Quinton
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 01727 836131. Web: www.sigbox.co.uk
Electric Taxi Cabs
Currently there is a lot of discussion about providing green vehicles in London. A lot of the discussion seems to be centred around taxi cabs.
Without entering into this debate, it might be of interest to learn that the current move to establish an electric cab fleet in London is not a new concept. The first electric cabs operated in London from 19 August 1897.
These cabs were called 'Humming Birds' because they ran so quietly. Because of this fact they were considered a hazard, as neither people nor horses could hear them. Today, in addition to the reduced atmospheric pollution, we would consider the reduction in noise pollution as a bonus!
According to available literature, their biggest problems seem to have been with tyres not, as one would expect, the batteries! This was around the same time as the pneumatic tyre was patented in 1888 by J B Dunlop (later revoked in favour of R W Thomson whose patent was taken out in France 1846 & the US 1847) that went into production in 1890 when he went into partnership with W H Du Cross.
The company that constructed these vehicles was the London Electric Cab Co, located in Juxton Street, Lambeth in London. They were in business between 12 November 1896 to 8 August 1899. The company was liquidated in 1899. The cab fleet seems to have disappeared over time and most people seem to have forgotten that it ever existed.
The London Electric Cab Co was the successor to the Ward Electrical Car Co of London that was founded by Radcliff Ward who is mentioned as designing a battery-driven bus. In 1896 they received the capital to form a bus/cab syndicate and later became the London Electric Omnibus Co.
Thus, the electric cab has already played an important part in the development of the transport system of Victorian London — not what one would have expected! Dan Little
Smoke at Bankside Power Station
I was interested to read the article about a photograph taken from Tower Bridge showing Bankside Power Station making smoke (GLIAS Newsletter August 2009).
It was indeed unusual to see black smoke issuing from Bankside. Due to its location close to central London and particularly buildings such as St Paul's Cathedral, which was down the prevailing wind, a flue gas washing plant was installed to minimise the issue of acidic materials which would fall onto the surrounding area. I can't remember the technical details of the plant but in principle the flue gas from the oil-fired boilers was passed through a water spray system which resulted in the chimney plume being mainly white, ie water vapour.
The size of the plume varied according to the weather. On a cold damp day it was large, on a warm summer day it would be very small. The performance of the washing system was very important and if it did not come up to the standard required the power station was shut down. Detectors were placed on various buildings around the area, including one on St Paul's to check that the washing plant was doing its job.
The following story may be apocryphal but it was recounted by one of the power station chemists whose job it was to check these detectors on a regular basis.
It appeared that the detectors on St Paul's regularly gave higher readings than any of the others. This caused great consternation with the Cathedral authorities who were always very averse to having a power station so close by. Investigations were carried out by power station staff and others and the conclusion was that the contamination picked up on St Paul's was coming from their own oil-fired heating system. Can anyone confirm or deny this story? Ian White
Slides and negatives on film — all is not lost!
Bob Carr's article, informing us that Kodachrome film was going out of production (GLIAS Newsletter August 2009), also hinted at the resulting possible demise of film processing.
On this I think Bob was being a bit negative (excuse the pun!). Although a number of professional film processing firms have already been put out of business by the digital revolution, including two near me here in W14 that I had used in the past, at least one high street chain is still happy to process slide film. This is Snappy Snaps, who have numerous branches in Greater London and elsewhere — see www.snappysnaps.co.uk for locations.
They can also scan slides onto CD, either at the time of processing (price around £2-£3 per film), or subsequently. The price for this latter service varies as it is clearly labour-intensive; setting up and writing one slide costs £6, but a bulk order of mounted slides can bring the cost down to around £1 per slide.
I have found their work to be of a good standard, having recently had a number of my own 35mm slides scanned and subsequently colour-printed in a book on building conservation. Encouragingly, the manager of my nearest branch, in Hammersmith, told me this week that they had no intention of withdrawing these services in the foreseeable future.
Other photo processing shops might well offer a similar service, as might advertisers in photographic magazines. My local shop does all its processing on site, minimising the risk of losing precious original slides in the post or otherwise in transit to a laboratory.
Alternatively, there are film scanners available at prices from the reasonable to rather more costly. I have seen small models offered (eg on the current Radio Times Readers' Offers website, www.readersoffers.co.uk) for under £100; these can scan slides, both mounted and in strip form (negatives accommodated too). They generally appear to need a USB 2.0 port (not to be found on older computers), while offering a reasonable resolution quality. Some flatbed scanners have film-scanning attachments, while companies such as Epson and Nikon produce dedicated film scanners with a range of options (including clever photo-editing software and the capacity to handle medium-format images) at prices up to more than a thousand pounds.
Clearly, if you have many slides to scan then you can save money by purchasing (or borrowing) a film scanner and 'doing it yourself' at home, rather than going to a photo processing shop. However, from my own experience, this does need patience and a clean atmosphere — scanners suck in dust, carpet fluff, etc that will blemish the scanned image more efficiently than the average vacuum cleaner!
NB: glass-mounted slides should always be temporarily re-mounted in plain mounts, both to avoid any risk of damage to the film should the glass break, and to ensure that the scanner focuses on the film and not on the glass.
Bob raised a related issue that particularly concerns me and others in GLIAS, I'm sure, who aren't getting any younger and have a collection of slides and other film-based images accumulated over several decades. We are wondering whether, and how, these could be made available to those who might find them of historical interest in the digital future. This is a subject for a separate discussion! Railway photographers already have a reasonable choice of established public and commercial-cum-private archives; but industrial archaeologists, whose broader interests are reflected in their photographic collections, have yet to be as well catered for. Michael Bussell
The footnote at the end of the short article on Kodachrome (GLIAS Newsletter August 2009) should not be read — 'throw all your old colour slides away unless they are Kodachrome'. This was written from a photographic point of view with respect to the making of large prints. An E6 or even E4 slide, properly processed and kept in the dark since then, should still be capable of making a postcard print and perhaps one of half plate size. For historic purposes — an illustration in a publication or image to illustrate a website — slides of this type can still be of great value.
Slides processed by Kodak, Agfa etc are probably in better condition than ones processed by firms offering cut prices. Not renewing stale solutions or taking sufficient care with the washing of films will render the end product more susceptible to decay. Slides repeatedly projected, say for lectures, will also have faded more than those never projected or shown just once. Look at your old slides and see what state they are in. What is important is for you to have clear records of the subject matter. Not many of our slides will be sorted by Peter Stanier who forwarded a selection of Bill Hines's to the local Record Office for archiving. Boxes of unlabelled holiday slides from various tourist locations around the country and abroad are difficult to cope with and are likely to thrown away. Bob Carr
Colin Long mentions an automatic car park that never worked (GLIAS Newsletter August 2009).
The following notes add some detail (though it may not be wholly accurate):
This was called an Autostacker, and was designed for 256 cars to be parked 16 on either side the building on eight floors. A car would be driven onto a pallet at the entrance, then taken by lift and conveyor to a free bay within; drivers would be saved the difficulty of manoeuvring and less space was needed as cars could be packed more tightly. (One would hope it would all still work on ones return.)
Automation was by Standard Telephones & Cables (STC), not from their nearby works at North Woolwich but at Footscray. This used relay circuitry and worked. However, the building suffered from settlement, preventing the conveyor system, by John Brown, from operating — they tried to get part of it going for the opening by Princess Margaret in 1962. But settlement continued and eventually the building was demolished.
Woolwich is one of those few places along the Thames where high ground reaches through the marshes that existed before the river was embanked. Woolwich has two pieces of high ground, the one to the west with St Mary's Church on it, overlooking the site of Woolwich Dockyard, and the easterly one where the Woolwich Power Station was. Archaeological investigations, when Power Station was built, and more recently when the adjacent area between Warren Lane & Beresford Road was cleared for development, showed that the Romans had a settlement on the eastern eminence, around which they dug an enormous ditch (about half the size of the moat at the Tower of London).
I think the Autostacker was built partially over the ditch. Richard Buchanan
When I worked in Victoria in the 1980s I occasionally used the automatic car park in Artillery Row, behind the Army & Navy Stores. At the time I was told that there were only four in the country, one of them being in Newcastle.
Then in 1987 I moved to Leeds and found another one there, no doubt the same one that Colin refers to. It is located in Russell Street in the city centre and is still very much in use, though only for contract parking (you can't just turn up and park there).
I suspect that the technology dates back to the 1950s though I have no actual evidence of that. Obviously it saves a lot of space since you don't need access ramps etc; apart from the car lift, the entire space can be used for parking. In 2000 and 2001 I used the Leeds one for about 12 months and it always felt very strange to leave the car with the handbrake off — though clearly essential in the circumstances. There was also a lingering feeling that one day (a) the mechanism would jam and all the cars would be trapped in the car park or (b) the mechanism would work rather too well, propelling my car into the barrier and causing damage — both of which did eventually happen!
Is the automatic car park in Artillery Row SW1 still operational? Does anyone know where the other ones are? Ted Belmont, Leeds
News in brief
The paddle tug Reliant, launched in 1907, continued to work until July 1969. After various attempts to maintain her she was brought to the Thames and at Charlton was sectioned by Cory Bros. She was put on display in the Neptune Hall at the National Maritime Museum (GLIAS Newsletter September 1969). That was until 1996 when the remains of the vessel were cut up as the space occupied was needed.
In August 1993 the German submarine U534 (pic), sunk in May 1945, was raised from the sea bed and by a roundabout route arrived in Birkenhead in 1996. She was put on display at the Nautilus Museum in the care of the Warships Preservation Trust. The Trust was forced into liquidation in February 2006 and the problem arose of what to do with a submarine 253 feet long, in a decayed state, and out of the water. U534 was cut into five sections and moved north to the Woodside ferry terminal where now repainted and in four sections, she opened as a public attraction in February 2009.
The MV Wincham was built of steel in 1948 by Yarwood's of Northwich. She operated from the River Weaver carrying chemical products in bulk to Liverpool and Birkenhead for transfer to larger ships for export. Withdrawn in 1983 she was kept in operational condition until late 2008 at Canning Dock, close to the Merseyside Maritime Museum. Owned by the Wincham Preservation Society Ltd much of the funding for Wincham came from the Friends of the National Museums Liverpool. Following a dispute with the Director of the National Museums Liverpool the 1,700 strong Friends were disbanded in January 2009. Wincham was sold for scrap and had been completely cut up by the end of April 2009 at the Mersey Heritage ship repair yard, Bromborough.
Cutting up ships is all too common. Things in museums do not last forever. See them now while they still exist.
The Light, 233 Shoreditch High Street E1 (TQ 334 820), on the border between Shoreditch and The City may not be demolished after all. It had been planned to replace this building by a 50-storey tower block. The present economic climate now makes this unlikely. There has been a campaign to save the Light by OPEN Shoreditch. Currently the building houses the Light bar and restaurant. It was built c1893 as an electricity generating station to provide lighting for the Great Eastern Railway*. Urban Edge had carried out restoration of the building to a high standard. Railtrack sold the freehold to City developers. It is a two-storey red-brick building situated on the west side of the road.
* See 'The Great Eastern Light' by J E Connor, published 2000Following the success of Terminal 5 at Heathrow airport it is planned to substantially rebuild the older Terminals 1 to 4. This includes possible demolition of the early airport buildings such as the 1955 Control Tower by Frederick Gibberd and the Queen's Building. The latter may already have gone by September 2009.
It is hoped that SS Robin can return to London in 2010 (GLIAS Newsletter December 2008). Currently Robin is in need of Trustees. See the SS Robin website for instructions on how to apply. Meetings are held monthly usually at 6pm in Central London. Bob Carr
I thought the following might be of interest in the continuing saga of Cabmen's Shelters (GLIAS Newsletter December 2008).
While going on holiday to Northumbria we made a stop in the Yorkshire city of Ripon and to my surprise we found in the Market Square a very ornate Cabmen's Shelter painted in a cream and dark green colour scheme. It was also unusual in that it was mounted on cast-iron wheels.
Attached to its door was a plaque that read:
CABMEN'S SHELTERThere was an elderly gentleman watching with interest while I was taking pictures and it turned out in conversation that he could remember the shelter being used by cabmen when he was a small boy.
This rare shelter by Boulton & Paul of Norwich was provided in 1911 though a legacy of £200 by Sarah Carter, a former Mayor's daughter, for use by cabmen waiting on fares in the Market Place. By 1982, when acquired by Cllr R Simpson and passed to this Society, it was badly decayed and has twice since been extensively restored. In 1999 this Society gave it back to Ripon City Council.
RIPON CIVIC SOCIETY
Boulton & Paul Ltd started out as an Ironmonger's business in 1797 and went into general manufacturing, including sheds of various types, around 1900. They set up an aircraft department in 1915 which was eventually transferred from Mousehold aerodrome (Norwich) to Wolverhampton around 1934. They produced such aircraft as the Overstrand, Defiant, Balliol and P111 (delta wing research aircraft) as well as missiles and aircraft gun turrets. They withdrew from aircraft production in 1954 but still continue in the original business. Dan Little
An early flatpack on London Bridge
What is the industrial archaeology of the 'flatpack'? This question was raised by an article (GLIAS Newsletter April 2007) concerning the Yavari, a cargo-passenger ship that was built by the Thames Ironworks Shipbuilding and Engineering Co Ltd in Canning Town and then 'flatpacked' to be rebuilt on the shores of Lake Titicaca in Peru. Similar questions occurred when researching corrugated iron buildings. So I was particularly interested to read the following paragraph in the July 2009 History Today magazine concerning a house on the old London Bridge in an article by Leo Hollis entitled Spanning Centuries:
The most resplendent house on the bridge was Nonsuch House, built in 1580 to replace the old Drawbridge Gate. It was said to have been constructed in Holland of wood and then transported to the Bridge and assembled on site without using a single nail. Despite being an early example of flat-pack living, the house lived up to its name — it was unlike anything else in the world. An elaborate Russian turret stood at each corner of the building, which could be seen from every corner of the city. There were two sundials on the south side.Leo Hollis's article was prompted by 2009 being the 800th anniversary of the building of the stone bridge of London, which was completed in 1209. As Hollis points out, of all the major anniversaries that fall this year, it is the one most likely to be forgotten, but it is among the most important, for without London Bridge there would be no London. It is this iconic bridge that spanned the Thames until replaced by Rennie's bridge in 1824-25 or was it 1829-35?
The original 900ft long stone bridge was at the time the longest in Europe and also the most impressive of the inhabited bridges, there were others in Florence, Venice and Paris. His article also includes information as to when the subsequent Thames bridges were built, a communications aspect of Greater London that I have never thought about before. London Bridge being a toll bridge, the City understandably was anxious to protect its monopoly and strenuously fought against any new bridges being built. For example, a bridge at Westminster was proposed before the Great Fire of 1664. However, a loan (!) by the City of £100,000 bought Charles II's support which along with the obvious backing of the watermen and ferry boat owners, scuppered that project. But by 1729 a wooden road toll bridge 7½ miles up river at Putney had been constructed. Although opposed by the City and the owners of Putney Bridge, in 1738 work began on a bridge at Westminster which was paid for by Parliament and was toll free so it became a direct challenge to the importance of London Bridge. To lessen the congestion on London Bridge the buildings had been demolished in 1756 and by 1782 all tolls were also removed, but the consequence of this was that congestion increased! Interestingly, Waterloo Bridge built in 1817 was initially a toll bridge but it never made a profit for its shareholders. Perhaps ironically, the owners of the Southwark toll bridge were bought out in 1866 using funds from the City's Bridge House Trust, a trust created by the tolls charged on the pedestrians and traffic using the original London stone bridge.
Another aspect raised while preparing this note is how the concept of 'London' has changed over the years. Surely, now it is taken to be the area covered by the London Boroughs, the area roughly within the M25. This area includes Staines where a wooden bridge was recorded in 1222 but some think that the Romans also built a bridge there. Nearer into the centre, the Thames was bridged at Kingston in 1565 and endowed by a local worthy so was 'toll free'. However, it must have been rebuilt at some time for there is a reference to Kingston Bridge becoming 'toll free' in 1869!
Apart from the article by Leo Hollis my other 'findings' have been the result of 'Googling' and not from original documents. Some dates were surprisingly hard to find and there are some apparently contradictory statements out there!
Leo Hollis is the author of 'The Phoenix: The Men Who Made London', published this year. Peter J Butt
Using the Camden Railway Heritage Trail
I walked the Camden Railway Heritage Trail on 16 August using the booklet sent to us with GLIAS Newsletter 243. Thank you for giving me more information than I had when I last visited the area, and the views from the points mentioned in the booklet were great, not having got as far as Primrose Hill before!
When I got to the Camden Goods Depot area and the market I found it much changed from when I led a part of Ramblers along the adjacent canal some two years ago. The detailed map in the middle of the booklet gave me much information, which I only previously guessed at and the visit was much enhanced.
I looked around the market area, and even since you had the booklet produced much has changed as the market authorities have made much of the Horse Tunnels, and much new development briefly mentioned has now nearly been finished. One of the market stallholders told me that they had only been moved in one week!
The booklet was overall most helpful although there are a few flaws with the directions being on a different page, and some text is wrapped around the photographs irrationally, while on TP 11 the text does not follow down the page but across it, which is not the same on all pages.
Thankfully also the Routemasters are still on at least route 9 and hopefully on route 15! David Nichols
Brunel monument appeal
The Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery has established an Appeal Fund dedicated to the conservation of monuments of national importance. The first to be restored with assistance from the fund is that of the Brunel family as a conservation report has identified problems including subsidence and damage to the marble monolithic block.
Sir Marc Isambard Brunel, his son Isambard Kingdom and grandson Henry Marc, together with other family members are commemorated here and the estimated cost to restore the monument to its former glory is £15,000.
Donations to the fund will enable a specialist conservation company to make the necessary repairs and will be recognised in a Register of Donors and by an invitation to the official unveiling of the restored monument.
Cheques made out to 'The Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery' should be sent to: Brunel Monument Appeal, FOKGC, c/o General Cemetery Company, Harrow Road, London W10 4RA. Peter Finch
For more information — www.kensalgreen.co.uk or email@example.com
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© GLIAS, 2009