Home | Membership | News | Diary | Walks | Calvocoressi Fund | Books | Journals | Links | Database | e-papers | About us

Notes and news — December 2011

In this issue:

Secretary's notes

English Heritage have published the Heritage at Risk Register 2011. A separate report is available on the London Region, which features ten Priority Sites which have been designated: Abney Park Cemetery; Crossways, Hanwell; the Finsbury Health Centre; Gunnersbury Park; the Harwell flight of locks; Kensal Green Cemetery; Manor Farm barn, Harmondsworth; the House Mill; the Whitechapel High Street and Stepney Conservation Areas; and 94 Piccadilly. Further information is available at

The Autumn 2011 issue of the 'London Archaeologist' features the expansion of the Greater London Historic Environment Record (formerly the Greater London Sites and Monuments Record), which is now available on line at It enables searches for national datasets, such as statutorily designated information, including Listed Buildings and local authority Historic Environment Records. The GLHER contains over 53,000 records, from the earliest human occupation to the Cold War.

Enclosed with this issue of the 'London Archaeologist' was the Annual London Fieldwork and Publication Round-up 2010, which includes the following items of IA interest:

If anyone would like references for any of these reports, please contact me by email at

The Round-up also included publications in 2010, in which the following are of IA interest:

Brian James-Strong

GLIAS Treasure Hunt 2011

Treasure hunt. © Kate Quinton

On a very hot Saturday in October the treasure hunt devotees assembled at Edgware Road Station, Bakerloo Line. Narrowly avoiding being involved in a public demonstration, we set off to find clues around the area near this part of Edgware Road. Fiona and Chris had produced 26 questions altogether. These included six photographs to be identified, which could be anywhere on the treasure map. Some were on walls and others were statues like the window cleaner by Allan Sly in Chapel Street. The remaining questions were spread among four areas.

These areas stretched from Marylebone, where there were items on the Great Central Railway and many different coal hole covers, to Little Venice, where we had an anagram to solve ('hop onto a budding frog' — this can be found on Westbourne Terrace Bridge over the canal).

Many famous people are remembered in the area including John Masefield, with a blue plaque in Maida Avenue, TS Eliot in Homer Row and Octavia Hill in Cato Street. This street was also the scene in 1820 of a conspiracy plot to murder the chief members of the government of the day.

Marjorie Allingham created her fictional detective, Albert Campion, in Westbourne Terrace. He would probably have been very surprised by our efforts at clue solving, although at least in our case the only dead bodies involved were John and Ann Bones in the graveyard in Paddington Green. Paddington Green itself was full of interest. George Shillibeer's first London bus ran from here and William Hogarth was secretly married in St Mary's Church.

We reassembled at the end of the Hunt on the Green and we were very glad to sit down among the trees. Two teams tied with the best marks so Chris had to use a tie breaker question to resolve this. Prizes consisted of the traditional early edition maps. We all had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon in an interesting and often attractive part of London and we would like to thank Fiona and Chris very much for providing us with such a fascinating search. A great deal of hard work was involved and we do appreciate all their time and effort. We are looking forward to their next challenge in 2012. Kate Quinton

Handley's Woodside Brick Works, South Norwood, SE25

Mr Edward Handley, son of the founder of Handley's brick works, gave a talk on their history to the Norwood Society on 20 October. His father, from Lincolnshire, had already operated a brick works in Acton before buying the 46 acre South Norwood site. At the time brick making was seasonal, using clamps. Handley Senior had three Staffordshire and two Hoffmann kilns built at approximately two-yearly intervals from 1928; the Hoffmanns were destroyed by bombing.

GLIAS visited the works in 1972, a few years before closure. By then the two stationary steam engines, a Robey two cylinder compound (cylinder numbers 31331/2) of 1912 and Ruston, Proctor & Co Ltd tandem compound (class 175H, number 39445), were disused.

Mr Handley said a booklet is being written about the works. I have loaned him my photographs and site notes so that they can be used/copied and mentioned that a (silent) 8mm film has been given to Croydon's local history library. If any other members have photographs that they would be willing to loan for copying, or know the fate of the two stationary steam engines, please get in touch with me as soon as possible. David Thomas

Elkes Biscuits

In November 2003 Elkes biscuits from Uttoxeter (GLIAS Newsletter August 2001) merged with Fox's biscuits in Batley, West Yorkshire and Elkes sedate malted-milk biscuits were given a Yorkshire makeover. The marketing people appear to have had a veritable field day. The new packet had a black and white Friesian-cow style pattern with slogans such as 'Amoozing Malted Milk Biscuits' and 'a whole herd in every pack'. We were reassured that 'no cow suffered in the making of these biscuits'.

On the biscuits inside, the image of contented cows was replaced by various cow faces in relief with large overlapping eyes. Beneath the images were slogans such as Udders-field (oh dear!), Moo-dy (appropriate face), Moo-stache (cow with moustache), Heffer-vescent (cow face with bubbles), Bull-dozer (bull's face with ring through nose and both eyes closed), Bulls-eye (bull's face with ring through nose and one eye), Cow-hide (cow peering out from behind a tree), Cow-boy (cow wearing cowboy hat), Cow-asaki (cow on motor cycle), Milk-shake (cow operating pneumatic drill), etc.

The biscuits described were made about 2008 and there were about two dozen in a pack. They may no longer be on sale. Has anyone seen a packet of these mad biscuits in London recently? Apparently Elkes stated making-malted milk biscuits in 1924, the 1936 date (GLIAS Newsletter August 2001) may refer to the biscuits which depicted contented cows. Bob Carr

News from King's Cross — St Pancras

Great Northern Goods Yard's Granary Building © Robert Mason 2014

The new University of the Arts on the King's Cross goods yard site is now open (GLIAS Newsletter October 2008). First impressions are disappointing. True, the Cubitt granary (right) has been retained but the overall impression is one of sterility. What survives are the bare shells of a few buildings and there is now almost nothing of the rich industrial archaeological heritage so abundant there until just a few years ago.

On Monday 10 October a new north-south road was opened, called King's Boulevard. This name has been criticised as bland and not reflecting the history of the area. Over the next ten years about another twenty streets on the 69-acre Railway Lands site have to receive names and there have been suggestions in the local press. The following ideas may be of interest to readers: Pontecorvo Street after Jane Pontecorvo — Camden campaigner for historic buildings, Imperial Street after the Imperial Gas Light and Coke Company (see GLIAS Newsletter August 2011 for their gasholders), Stanley Street after Stanley Buildings (GLIAS Newsletter December 2007 & GLIAS Newsletter April 2006), Culross Street after Culross Buildings now sadly demolished (GLIAS Newsletter December 2008), Chilton Street after Charles Chilton who grew up in the King's Cross area — in memory of his BBC work creating Journey into Space and producing the Goons, and Mackendrick Street after Alexander Mackendrick who directed the 1955 film The Ladykillers. Bob Carr

Kings Cross station, 2004. © Robert Mason

The old footbridge which spanned platforms at King's Cross station until 2009 is to be reinstalled on the Mid Hants Railway.

The 118-year-old bridge, built by Victorian iron founder Andrew Handyside (GLIAS Newsletter October 2010), was erected in 1893 and removed as part of the station's £500m redevelopment (GLIAS Newsletter October 2011). In recent years it found fame by featuring in the Harry Potter films.

The bridge will now span lines at Ropley on the heritage railway, also known as the Watercress Line, which runs from New Alresford to Alton.

Before it was removed, Network Rail said the only people still using it were Harry Potter fans and station staff.

Further information on the King's Cross redevelopment: and

London Bridge station

There is a triangle of brick railway viaduct west of Borough High Street. From Borough Market Junction one carries tracks towards Cannon Street and the other has two tracks towards Charing Cross. The third side carries a link line between the other two. From the west side of the triangle there are four tracks towards Charing Cross. Borough High Street is now crossed by a second railway bridge, erected earlier this year and slightly apart from the first one. It is to carry two additional tracks towards Charing Cross, thus giving four tracks on this section. In 2018. This is part of a scheme by Network Rail to rebuild London Bridge station with more through platforms. Several features or areas of historic interest would be affected by the rebuild.

1. 64-84 Tooley Street, a wedge-shaped five-floor office block, built 1897-1900 for the South Eastern Railway. The rear is close by the track alongside platform 1. The Victorian Society in applying for 'listing', which was refused, noted that it is the only surviving commercial building designed by Charles Barry Junior. Perhaps more important is its streetscape value. Network Rail's plans appear not to widen the viaduct. They justify proposed demolition as providing a new station entrance (which could be through arches on the ground floor), as providing a green space (their artist's impression show only pavement) and, most recently, because a wider pavement outside the station would provide better structural protection from potential car bombs.

London  Bridge - roof of the 1864-6 train shed. © Robert Carr 2. The LB&SCR train shed over eight terminal platforms, 1864-6, listed. This has a central arched span and two flat side spans of glazed roof, supported by cast iron columns and flank walls, all on brick arches (see below). Plans show six terminating platforms remaining and new through platforms aligned so tracks continue over the new bridge. This would require demolition of part of the north section of the train shed. The proposal is to demolish it all and provide a new roof over the remaining terminating platforms. English Heritage and the Victorian Society say they will not object to demolition.

3. Ornate facings to some of the arches St Thomas Street and Crucifix Lane, 1864-6. Polychrome brick and some stone carvings. 'Listed' earlier this year despite objections from Network Rail. Not affected by the proposed station rebuilding.

4. The extensive arches/vaults beneath London Bridge station, some of which are London & Greenwich Railway, 1836. A section of these was opened up when the combined Jubilee Line/Northern Line entrance off Tooley Street was created and a route made to an escalator feeding to the concourse for the terminating platforms. A considerably greater area would be opened up for passenger circulation, including a new entrance from the site of 64-84 Tooley Street. Several tenants would have to move.

5. Remaining fragment of the entrance to the (dead end) London & Croydon Railway station, 1839. This is at the north east end of the former Joiner Street, now part of the station entrance off Tooley Street, and has not been specifically mentioned as threatened.

LB Southwark's Planning Committee will consider the proposals on 20 December. On 1 November Network Rail named contractors appointed for redevelopment of the station and the surrounding area. It would be impossible to connect tracks to the new bridge without at least part of the planning application being granted. Work is due to start in 2013 and be completed in 2018. David Thomas

Sadgrove Aircraft Company

A recent copy of the newsletter of the Chadwell Heath Historical Society contained information gleaned by some members about this local company and we would like to know more about it. The site of their factory continued in industrial use until five years ago. Chadwell Heath is, a 'suburban village' between Ilford and Romford, east London with postal area: RM6.

In January 1918, Messrs Sadgrove applied to the Ilford Urban District Council for planning permission to extend their factory in Grove Road, Chadwell Heath, the reason for the extension was that the offices were needed 'in consequence of the factory being converted into an aeroplane factory'.

Architects drawings held in the Redbridge Local Studies and Archives, show a number of buildings with an area for doping [varnishing?] and another for welding.

The May 1918 'Flight' magazine contains a list of new companies registered, among them was Sadgrove Aircraft Co Ltd with an initial capital of £15,000, a W H Sadgrove was one of its three directors, but no address was given.

The National Archives at Kew indicate that the company did not appear to have a good human resources record: MUN 3/251 — Sadgrove Aircraft Co. Complaint of Miss Eva Bly of unjust dismissal from the firm. The National Archives notes that this document was retained as 'Specimens of Documents Destroyed', ie they were typical! The folder contains two letters, both from local ladies, one from Miss Bly and a similar one from Mrs E Symes written to The Ministry of Munitions in July 1918 asking for advice. She had recently been engaged as a doper and 'having been taken with an attack of the prevailing [Spanish flu?] epidemic', thought that she was entitled to a week's wages in lieu of notice since on returning to work with a doctors note she found that she had been dismissed.

The Kelly's London PO Street Directories (1918-1938) show that the Sadgrove Aircraft Co Ltd was formed from Sadgrove & Co Ltd, wholesale and export cabinet makers and upholsterers, which had been established in 1780. In the 1919 Trades Directory section the firm is listed under 'Aircraft Manufacturers' as distinct from one of the other 19 categories of suppliers of specialist services to the aircraft industry. It had a head office at 2-12 Wilson Street, EC2 and their works were at Grove Road, Chadwell Heath, Essex. Their entry specifically states that they are 'contractors to HM Government'. However, the following year in 1920, the Sadgrove Aircraft Co Ltd is listed as furniture manufacturers at 346 & 348 Bethnal Green Road, E2, but by 1923, they were not listed, and Sadgrove & Co Ltd were using their Bethnal Green Road premises. Sadgrove & Co Ltd were still being listed in the 1938 directory.

If nothing else, it would be interesting to know from HM Government/Ministry of Munitions sources, what the Sadgrove Aircraft Co Ltd supplied to them. Would it be possible to find out, any suggestions of sources to try? And how typical was the creation and demise of small firms such as the Sadgrove Aircraft Co Ltd that were presumably created initially to supply equipment during the First World War? Peter J Butt

See also:

Arabel previously a tug?

With reference to the Arabel (GLIAS Newsletter October 2011) the letters YC stand for Yard Craft 1. There was a separate set of numbers for each Naval Yard so there were several YC20s 2. The Sail and Steam Navy List 3 gives some information on HMS Foxhound on page 298 with the entry — coal tug 1897, renamed YC20. Sold as hulk Arabel 1920.

It seems curious that a vessel the size of Foxhound, 125 feet long, should be used as a harbour tug. Might she perhaps have carried some coal herself as well as towing a coal barge or two? The Navy List includes a separate list of harbour craft from 1864 in Appendix B but there does not seem to be a YC20 which fits Foxhound. Not that many Yards were big enough to have twenty or so yard craft so the number of yards she might have worked at is quite limited — Portsmouth is a possibility.

Surely the Royal Navy had quite a large number of purpose-built harbour tugs 4 but Appendix B does not list any? In later years Royal Naval tugs were numerous. In the 1940s there were over 180 TID (Tug, Inshore and Dock) type tugs, 65 feet long, which were identified by the letters TID followed by a number 5. TID172 is preserved in working order and has been operating in the Harwich and Mistley area and TID164 is based at Chatham 6. Bob Carr

With reference to footnote 1 in the note on the Arabel (GLIAS Newsletter October 2011). The designation Y C meant Yard Craft. It was introduced in 1864 and a separate sequence of numbering was used by each Naval Yard so there were a number of different Y C 20's. See the Sail & Steam Navy List by Lyon and Winfeld Appendix B. Alan Ludbrook

I believe YC is a two-letter naval symbol for 'open lighter'. Bob Rogers

News in brief

The important Salaman Collection of trade and craft tools in the museum at St Albans has been put in store*. The Salaman Gallery is now used as an art gallery on behalf of the University of Hertfordshire. A reason given for the change was that 'no-one is interested in tools'.

The Malett, Porter and Dowd building near Caledonian Road underground station (GLIAS Newsletter August 2011) has been reduced to just the front wall, probably reduced in length, supported by steelwork. In the London Borough of Islington this façadism may be getting popular. Are there other examples?

It is reported that the Webb Patent sewer gas lamp in Carting Lane (GLIAS Newsletter December 2007) has lost its top. This lamp is probably unique in London. Does anyone have further information?

At Deptford Dockyard (GLIAS Newsletter June 2011, GLIAS Newsletter December 2009) surviving subsurface remains are substantial and important. Archaeological work has been going on at the site for some time. The two listed shipbuilding sheds are at present likely to be surrounded and obscured by new high-rise buildings. These listed slipway covers are the only extant shipbuilding structures above ground in Greater London. (Ref RJM Sutherland TNS vol 60, pages 107-126.)

Among the many famous ships associated with Deptford is HMS Pandora. She was sent to the Pacific to round up the mutineers following the infamous mutiny on the Bounty. In August 1791, returning with some of the mutineers imprisoned in a purpose-built cage she sank after running aground on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

The wreck of the Pandora, undiscovered for nearly 200 years, is now considered to be one of the most significant shipwrecks in the southern hemisphere. Unlike most ships that ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef, Pandora did not break up. She was refloated by her crew but despite valiant efforts subsequently foundered, virtually intact. Later becoming covered with sand, the bulk of the artefacts remained more or less undisturbed in their original setting inside the ship. As an archaeological site at present at a depth of about 100 feet Pandora can be compared with Pompeii.

At first the hull sank onto the sea floor on its starboard side but over a period of years settling slowly into the sea bed Pandora became buried as layers of sediment accumulated in and round the hull. The upper part of the vessel collapsed and disintegrated following the activity of marine insects, the effect of currents and to some extent wave action. The significance of the Pandora wreck is what can be found inside: artefacts uncovered so far have given unexpected insights into 18th-century seafaring and life in general. (See the Queensland Museum website).

HMS Pandora, a 24-gun Porcupine Class frigate just over 114 feet in length, was designed by Sir John Williams and built in Deptford by Messrs Adams, Barnard & Dudman in 1778-9. Excellent archaeological and historical evidence has confirmed that the wreck discovered in Australia in 1997 is almost certainly the Pandora.

There is bad news from Enderby Wharf (GLIAS Newsletter October 2010). Security is no longer being maintained at the property next door and squatters have got into Enderby House; the interior is now so badly damaged that the house's continued status as a listed building is under threat. The developers have decided that the Enderbys were 'unkind to whales' so it is bad to perpetuate their memory. The name Enderby Wharf will probably be changed. On the riverside the preserved cable-loading gear (see Dockland, NELP/GLC 1986 p255) may easily disappear. Bob Carr

Call for scrap metal law change

There is an e-petition on a Government website, calling for a change to the law (the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964) to make all transactions involving scrap metal to be paid for by cheque or direct bank transfer, not by cash.

The aim, by obliging both vendor and purchaser to provide what we hope is a traceable identity, is clearly to help to reduce metal theft, which has become endemic on heritage sites as well as elsewhere. (I have first-hand knowledge of a recent theft of part of a listed iron structure from a supposedly 'secure' storage site, doubtless only for its scrap metal value, while serious delays to rail travellers from the theft of valuable copper cabling are regularly reported. And I have heard of manhole covers being stolen overnight, causing accidents in the dark early next morning.)

The e-petition is to be found at

The current signature list is only just over 40,000, which means it has a long way to go before it reaches the 100,000 trigger that puts it before a committee that then decides whether Parliament should consider it. Every signature will help! Michael Bussell

Historic aerial photographs now online

The latest English Heritage Conservation Bulletin highlights a new website which will give free access to 18,000 of the earliest aerial photographs from the Aerofilms Collection.

The item is illustrated by a photograph of Southwold from a fragile glass plate negative in 1920; the Bryant and May Match Factory at Bow taken in 1921; and Ipswich Lock in 1920. The project will continue until 2014, by which time 95,000 images should be available online.

Members can sign up to receive a regular newsletter by emailing Brian James-Strong

Barron's Engineers

I note that an Enfield Society has come across a dough mixer made by Barron's Engineers and they ask for any information on the company.

In the tiny village of Helpringham in Lincolnshire there is a disused steam bread oven made by Barron's Engineers. It was the village bakery until taken over by the Co-op and is now a private house. The bread oven is painted green and gold, an imposing sight, situated in a brick outbuilding and it is in first class condition, not a sign of rust. The outbuilding is in regular use and the owner keeps it warm and dry.

It has two ovens, one above the other, and a proving box at the base. There is a boiler and steam pipes. It is about 7 feet high, 6 feet wide and 12 feet long plus the fire box and boiler. It appears to be complete.

We believe the oven was installed between 1928 and 1935 because the address on the plate is 120, High Street, Tooting.

Our researches indicate that Barron Bakery Engineers (Leicester) was in business at 148, Curtain Road, EC2 in 1919. In 1927/8 they moved to 120, High Street, Tooting. We can find no reference to them after 1935 so assume they went out of business in the pre-war recession.

Our interest, as The Friends of Heckington Eight Sailed Windmill, is that there was a bakery on the mill site. Work is planned to restore the old bakery and it was under consideration to move the oven to our site, about two miles away. Sadly it is too big and moving costs are beyond our funds especially as we have major repairs on the sails to cope with this winter so we can get back to milling next year. It is also not really the right period since the Mill Bakery was, we believe, set up in the mid 19th century.
John Knight, Miller/Guide, Heckington Eight Sailed Windmill, Lincolnshire

The next generation: pylon of the future unveiled

Jonathan Glancey's article in The Guardian (15 October 2011, p25) reported that:

Sir Reginald Blomfield (1856-1942). His architectural career included work on 'Chequers', the prime minister's country house and the Paul's Cross in the NE corner of St Paul's churchyard (1910). After the First World War his country-house practice declined, however, he became one of the principal architects of the Imperial War Graves Commission, superintending the design of cemeteries in France and Belgium, and he designed the Belgian war memorial (1917) and the RAF memorial (1921), both in London. From 1916 to 1926 Blomfield completed the rebuilding of Piccadilly Circus and the whole of the Quadrant, Regent Street, left unfinished when Norman Shaw, whom he had worked for as a young man, died. In the 1920s and 1930s, Blomfield fought hard to prevent the proposed demolition of the London city churches and Waterloo Bridge. Working with others he designed the new Lambeth Bridge (1932). In his later years Blomfield was a doughty opponent of continental modernism, so it was ironic that he was appointed by the Central Electricity Board to advise on the design of supply pylons — a modernist icon. Peter J Butt


In his article on TR Thompson and the LEO computer (GLIAS Newsletter October 2011) Peter J Butt mentions a contemporary working on the project going to 'Cadbury Hall' in North London and asks what was the LEO connection?

Could this not have been Cadby Hall, the HQ and manufacturing centre of J Lyons & Co, in Hammersmith? Peter Finch

More on the Woolwich Ferry

Readers may not know the connection between the Woolwich Ferry (GLIAS Newsletter October 2011) and Crossness.

In the 1890s the London County Council (LCC) was formed to replace the Metropolitan Board of Works who, among other things, had responsibility for dealing with London's sewage. It was at the time when south London's sewage began to be treated and the resulting sludge from the process had to be removed from the Southern Outfall Works. This was done by transporting it, by ship, to a deep area of the estuary where it was dumped. The sludge vessels which did the job needed servicing fairly regularly. The LCC felt that much of the work could be done by direct labour instead of contracting it out. In 1894 a minute states that 'the execution of many repairs and other works that are required on sludge vessels from time to time, and there are five vessels now in regular use and a sixth is about to be added, we are of the opinion that a considerable saving to the Council will be effected if a gridiron in constructed for that purpose'.

It was also suggested that the Woolwich Ferry boats could be serviced on the gridiron at Crossness and 'with a little alteration in the levels of the blocks the gridiron can be used for the Fire Brigade boat'.

The drawings show an elevation for the gridiron which has an outline of a sludge vessel and also an outline of what clearly appears to be a ferry with its paddle boxes. The gridiron was 230 feet in length and about 50 feet wide, constructed mainly of fir timber, a lot of it 12in square. Several 12in x 12in timbers were driven vertically into the river bed. Cross members were used to support the vessels and 12in x 12in keel blocks were positioned to support the ships while being serviced.

The idea was that ships would be floated onto the deck of the gridiron at high tide and suitably moored and would settle down onto the keel blocks as the tide receded. Work could then be carried out, on the underside of the ship if necessary, until the tide came in.

There are some remains of a similar structure at Woolwich, just downstream from the ferry, on the Woolwich side of the river. Known as the Woolwich Barge Blocks they are not so extensive as the gridiron at Crossness. The Crossness gridiron survived into the 1940s as it is shown in an aerial photograph of this date. When it ceased to be used and where the vessels were serviced then, is not yet known. David Dawson

Re: Woolwich Free Ferry — Memories Of The Paddle Boats (GLIAS Newsletter October 2011). I am prompted to put pen to paper because of David Bosomworth's last sentence about 'little justification' for the taxpayer funding the ferry. The Woolwich Ferry is living heritage and many of the foot passengers (like me) would not be able to use the foot tunnel. As such it is a lifeline. I find his views as abhorrent as the infrastructure of this land crumbles away. Bob 'Sewerpipe' Rogers

Fire Brigade Museum faces axe

The London Fire Brigade Museum at Southwark is under threat of closure by the Fire Authority, which means that its unique collection of artefacts could be sold off.

The Friends of the Museum have launched an online petition to raise support to save the collection at

A meeting to decide the fate of the museum was due to take place on 24 November.

Next issue >>>

© GLIAS, 2011