Friday, April 30, 2010

Conservative Election Poster

According to the site this somewhat irreverent alteration to a Tory billboard is near to New Cross Gate station.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mayors of Deptford

The Metropolitan Borough of Deptford was created by The London Government Act 1899, and abolished by the London Government Act 1963. The first election of councillors to the new Borough took place on 1st November 1900. Over the next 65 years 43 men and 5 women held the office of Mayor up until the Borough's abolition in 1965.

The list of Mayors in the council chamber of Deptford Town Hall on New Cross Road.

Some of those listed have blocks of council flats named after them, some are only remembered by their families and some are forgotten. One (Scott) appears under a different name to his name (Schultz) when he was Mayor. I will post about those I have further information on and add links to other sites where appropriate. Any information from relatives of those listed would be much appreciated.

Mayors of Deptford
1900 - 1902 Benjamin Joseph Jacob
1902 - 1903 Alexander Dickson
1903 - 1904 W A Scott
1904 - 1905 Joseph Arthur Pyne
1905 - 1906 John Peppercorn JP
1906 - 1907 Jesse Jacob
1907 - 1908 Ernest G Simmonds
1908 - 1909 E Mumford Preston
1909 - 1911 Edward G H Berryman
1911 - 1912 E Mumford Preston
1912 - 1913 W A Scott JP
1913 - 1914 W F Marchant
1914 - 1920 Lt Col Sir W A Wayland
1920 - 1922 Walter Henry Green JP
1922 - 1923 Joseph Tiffen
1923 - 1924 George Tams
1924 - 1925 Frederick J Bryer
1925 - 1926 Frank Trew
1926 - 1927 Robert L W Hall
1927 - 1928 Beatrice M Drapper JP
1928 - 1929 Frederick D W Ross
1929 - 1930 Walter Taylor
1930 - 1931 Arthur Aplin
1931 - 1932 George William Strong
1932 - 1933 John Speakman JP
1933 - 1934 William T Cleobury
1934 - 1935 John Edward Pearson
1935 - 1936 John Harrington
1936 - 1937 Horatio Albert Waldegrave
1937 - 1938 Frederick Bright
1938 - 1939 Ernest C Sherwood
1939 - 1945 Colin G Blanchard OBE
1946 - 1947 William James Coombs
1946 - 1947 Richard Anderson
1947 - 1949 Eugene Murphy
1949 - 1950 Edward Arthur Robinson
1950 - 1951 Frederick Rolf
1951 - 1952 George J Umpleby
1952 - 1953 Frederick John Morris
1953 - 1954 Doris Burley
1954 - 1955 Robert S Marriott
1955 - 1956 Alice Margaret Ott
1956 - 1957 Alfred Seabrook Simons
1957 - 1958 Mary J Chrisp
1958 - 1959 Albert John Blackman
May - Oct 1959 Lt Col Colin G Blanchard OBE (died 23 Oct)
Nov 1959- 1960 Albert John Blackman
1960 - 1961 William Hall
1961 - 1962 Robert James Lowe
1962 - 1963 Florence K Dolby
1963 - 1964 Frederick W Bullion
1964 - 1965 Charles F Fordham

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

East London Line Farce

This morning I attempted to travel between Deptford and Whitechapel. Being aware that the re-opening of the East London Line had been postponed I made the (perhaps naive)presumption that the ELW replacement bus service would be running the same service as in recent months.

Coming out of Shadwell DLR station there was a "Buses on diversion sign" at the south end of Watney Street pointing west (along Cable Street). I walked to the usual bus stop in Candle Street to find notices saying that the ELW would stop running on Friday 16th April.

I telephoned Transport for London's Travel Information line. The clearly uninterested 'travel advisor' was less than helpful, trying to tell me that the replacement bus service had stopped running several months ago. I explained that the ELC (south of the river) had stopped last year and repeated what the notices said. Eventually, after much umming and arring he transferred me to London Overground (or rather yet another menu). When I eventually spoke to someone their response was basically 'Dunno mate I'll have to transfer you to the East London Line". After brief ringing tone there was a recorded message "The dialled number cannot be reached" and the call ended.

I explained the result of my call to four other passengers at the stop and then a Wapping bound ELW came round the corner. I asked the driver if Whitechapel bound ELW buses were stopping there. He said yes, but he did not know if there were any other buses on the route today apart from him. Not knowing how long it would take to get to Whitechapel, or how long it would take to get home, I gave up and caught the DLR back to south London.

On my return I telephoned Transport for London's Customer Relations department to complain. I explained the above and the person suggested 47 to Liverpool Street and another bus from there. I explained that I was perfectly capable of working out alternative routes, but in addition to my complaint about how my earlier call had been handled I also wanted to know how often the ELW is actually running. I was told that I would get a response within 10 working days. I suggested that 10 days to find out how often a bus is running was a bit excessive, but to no avail.

I then searched on the TfL website for contact details for the East London Line and found 0800 587 2441, called it only to get the same recorded message as above. I then called the TfL main switchboard and was given the number 020 7826 4863. I dialled it and yet again received the same recorded message. I called the main switchboard again and was put through to a supervisor at the Travel Information office. He managed to be even less helpful than the travel advisor I had spoken to earlier. After telling him several times I wished to know how often the ELW was running he insisted on trying to suggest other routes. He then claimed that he could not tell me how often the bus runs unless I told him exactly which 'points' I was travelling to and from. (In that the ELW runs between Wapping and Whitechapel and only stops at Shadwell this was nonsense.) I reminded him that I had already told where I was trying to catch the ELW to and from. He than started telling me that buses stop at 'points' and that if I did not tell him what 'points' he would be unable to find out the information. He then suddenly said he would have to transfer me - to the same recorded message.

I rang the main switchboard yet again and they said that they had tried to find out what was wrong with the East London Line's telephones but to no avail and suggested I leave it an hour or two before trying again.

I took some time to look at TfL's Journeyplanner site and it suggested Deptford to Whitechapel via Cannon Street and Deptford Bridge to Whitechapel via Bank or Bow Road. Entering Shadwell to Whitechapel suggested DLR to Bank and District to Whitechapel - no mention of the ELW bus. Put together with the supervisor's waffle about points, the suspicion must be that Travel Information these days is merely people looking up journeyplanner without much idea about what to do if information is wrong or missing.

At 5.15pm the main switchboard eventually managed to connect me with the East London Line office. I was told that the ELW should be operating a 15 minute service until the line re-opens and that the signs on the bus stop should have been removed this morning. I explained all the problems that I had experienced today and was told that Journeyplanner would be updated, and that the incorrect signage would be removed.

There has been much speculation about when the East London Line will re-open, and why dates have been announced and then withdrawn. My farcial experiences today suggest that we should brace ourselves for a repeat of the shambles when the Jubilee Line Extension opened some ten years ago, and no doubt a re-run of the present day engineering works on the Jubilee to correct the construction foul-ups. After all if this multi-milion pound project cannot arrange the removal of signs from three bus stops and the entry of simple timetable information on a database can we seriously believe that they are capable of building a functioning railway?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Master Shipwright's House for Sale

Leafing through the Times this morning my eye was caught by this photograph of the Master Shipwright's House in the Bricks and Mortar property supplement. (link to article) The house is for sale with an asking price of £5,000,000. Marcus Binney refers to the house appearing in John Cleverly's 1747 painting of the St Albans being floated out of dry dock. The painting is here.

This 300 year old building is hidden away at the north end of Watergate Street adjacent to the Upper Watergate. It is the only private house in Deptford, and one of only a handful downstream of central London, that has a garden right on the waterfront.

For nearly 300 years ownership of the house lay with the owners of what was the Royal Dockyard (the Crown), the Foreign Cattle Market (the City Corporation), Reserve Supply Depot (the Crown again) and eventually Convoys Wharf (News International). Back in the mid 1990s when News were still investing in Convoys Wharf the house was regarded as a nuisance and was eventually sold off to William and Chris in 1998.