Displaying the first of 11 old photos of Woolwich. View all Woolwich photos
Historic maps of Woolwich and the local area, hand-drawn by Ordnance Survey and Samuel Lewis. View all Woolwich maps
Woolwich area books
Displaying 1 of 16 books about Woolwich and the local area. View all books for this area
Memories of Woolwich
I have such fond memories of Woolwich, I was born in 1962 in Erith Maternity Hospital in Barnehurst. I lived for a while with grandparents at General Gordan Place before my parents got their own place at 17b Glendale Road, Erith. I remember both my grandparents houses and loved visiting. The house on General Gordan Place was a army home opposite Woolwich Common and had 4 floors. Everyone that visited entered through the basement door and that's where everything happened - the kitchen and dining room were there. My grandmother was Chinese and met my grandad in China while he was fighting the Japanese; he was a Japanese pow. My granma also worked on Woolwich market in the 70's/80's on the fruit and veg stall, she was well known as Plum. My grandparents had 10 children so the house was always busy and we all came for her famous Chinese food. My maternal grandparents live in a wonderful tardis-like house, 38 Whitworth Road SE18, just off Herbert Road. It looked... Read more
Pre-War Woolwich And Shooter's Hill
As a very young lad I lived on Ankerdine Crescent on Shooter's Hill, but Mum frequently took me down to Woolwich for shopping on the market. I can clearly remember a butcher's stall close to Powis Street where the cry related to 'Lamb's tickers' (lamb's hearts), something I sorely miss these days, living here in Sweden. What the Swedes do with the lamb's tickers I'll never know. We also took trips across the river on the old paddle-wheel steam ferries. Our next-door neighbour but one was one of the engineers on the ferry, and we often looked in at the control room where he stood at the controls of one of the paddle wheels. It was fascinating seeing the shiny piston rods at work, and all the polished brasswork. You got into trouble if you simply went to and fro on the ferry, so we used to go ashore on the north side, wait for that ferry boat to return, and then came back to our south shore again. And yes... Read more
There has been a ferry at Woolwich for many centuries but the people of Woolwich complained in the 1880s that West London had free access across the River Thames by bridges so why couldn't they have free travel? The river was too busy to put a bridge over and there was not room to put in a tunnel so the newly formed London County Council decided to provide a free ferry service with boats large enough to accomodate vehicles. It was opened on 23rd March 1889 and there were three ferries Gordon, Duncun and Hutton. The second generation of paddle steamers were Squires and Gordon (again!) built in 1922 and Will Crooks and John Benn built in 1930. By the 1960s the ferry traffic was clogging up Woolwich where the traffic waiting to board the ferry often streached back into the main shopping streets. So three new bigger boats were built in 1963, John Burns, James Newman and (pictured here) Ernist Bevin. They were 'Roll on, Roll off' type boats... Read more
A Day Out to Woolwich
During the early years after the Second World War my mother would take me to Woolwich as a special treat. I was about 8 year old then. We would catch the 696 trolleybus from Dartford market and arrive at the Woolwich Arsenal around lunch time. Our first stop was Manzie's Pie and Eel shop - absolutely delicious after the wartime food. From there we would walk past Woolwich Empire on our way to the ferry. On the way we would watch the trams changing their electric shoes and then proceed to the ferry pier. When we boarded I immediately went down to see the steam engines at work. They had polished brass bearing and well-oiled pistions. The smell of steam, coal, and oil still remains with me. Arriving at the other side we would simply walk to the Royal Victoria Gardens (still there) and, after an hour or so return to Woolwich. It doesn't seem much now but after the blitz it was really a great day out.
Over The Water !
The Woolwich Ferry was the only way I can remember in the 1950s and 60s that we could go 'over the water ' from South to North London. I can remember trips with my Nannie as a child , catching a bus from Eltham to Woolwich and then on the Ferry when she went to visit a Methodist Church on the other side of the Thames. The Thames at that time was so smelly she used to give me a hankie with lavender water to hold to my nose! I loved going on the ferry and can remember the noise and smell of the engine room and the excitement of landing on the other side. To me it was a journey to another land !
Never Seen Aunt Fanny by Gaslight !!
Woolwich Market ..what a hoot ! I can hear the stallkeeper at the far left there now back in 1959...
'ere y'are luv..step right up...step right up..see these 'ere brand new silk bloomers ...never seen dayloit, never seen moonloit and never seen Aunt Fanny by gasloit 'aven't these 'ere bloomers...wot'lyer give me then...three pairs a shilling then...come on nah....
I lived on Mill Lane up by the barracks...used to love wandering around the market on a Saturday, I did.
Callis Yard Stables
Callis Yard Stables are just behind Powis Street today, they have been unused for many years. The council sold them in 2008 and since then the building has stood unused and ready for redevelopment. I was wondering if anyone had any information about the stables or knew someone who worked there? I am keen to find out more. Any anecdote, big or small, would be welcomed!
Woolwich Markets 1940s
I used to lived in Eltham from 1940 until 1951 - before that it was Plumstead. I visited Woolwich Markets numerous times. My last school was Woolwich Politechnic just a stroll away. I recall eating eel soup at fourpence a bowl in the fish restaurant right on market square. Then there was Dirty Dick's Hotel close by. And of course, the trips on the old paddle-steamer ferries across the Thames, and even the long, long walk along the under-river tunnel... how different it was then. I recall the red sails of the sailing barges, and the tug boats hauling lines of barges. The lines of cranes and ships funnels sticking up all along the docks on the North side of the river. To get to school I'd take a 361 bus, change at the Eltham main street and catch a double-decker tram right into Woolwhich, going past a park, then the playing fields which belong to Woolwich Polly, and the the Royal Artillery Barracks. I left all that behind... Read more