Southwark Council has decided that the original retaining wall of Glengall Wharf should be replaced with a concrete block barrier similar to those used on motorway embankments. Flowers and plants in the gaps will look ‘nice’, but effectively erase any idea of a canal bank.
Original wall of Surrey Canal round Glengall Wharf
The existing wall is certainly not pretty, but it’s a major piece of industrial archaeology from the days when the canal ran alongside and turned down towards Peckham. Apart from the small low concrete ledge in the grass oppposite, it’s the only piece of original canal bank left on the entire three and a half mile length of the Grand Surrey Canal. It features in numerous historic photos of the area.
Glegall wharf around 100 years ago. ©Museum of London
In this image, you can see the black painted wall with timber fenders attached part way down. In the present-day image above and below, the black painting is still visible, with plain concrete below, where the fenders had been attached.
Two stone blocks just visible, embedded in concrete
It’s also still possible to see large stone blocks embedded in the wall, if you take a walk today. These were the footings of the large loading chutes visible in the historic image. There are 12 visible on the Peckham route, corresponding to the 6 loading chutes which were on that side of Glengall Wharf.
It seems a great shame to bury almost the last signs of industrial canal heritage for the sake of a tidy-up.
See more on the history of the wharf here.
Tethered hot air balloon
This year’s Friends of Burgess Park May Fair showcased the heritage of Burgess Park and launched the Heritage Lottery Funded project – Burgess Park: The Bridge to Nowhere?
Thank you to everyone who came and supported the May Fair this year. We had a great time and were delighted to see so many of you.
The history of Burgess Park was illuminated with the temporary photographic heritage trail. The trail covers about 2.5 miles and will come down after Sunday, 26th May.
History came to life at the Burgess Park May Fair as the “lime kiln worker”, “Peeler”, “Factory Girl” and “Gentleman” visited Chumleigh Gardens.
The 17 points along the trail explain how the Burgess Park development took place gradually, within living memory. The ever-increasing patches of green which stretched along the canal route were named Burgess Park in 1973. There are still a few remaining features of the park’s “pre-history”, including: canal bridges; former almshouses, library and bath-house; and a lime kiln which was once on the bank of the canal. The site is a lost part of London – an area where thousands of people lived, went to school and worked, and which is now covered by expanses of grass, numerous pathways, and a lake.
If you have memories of the park please get in touch we want to collect your stories and share your memories and photographs. Email email@example.com
At the May Fair this year we enjoyed:
Friends of Burgess Park stall, historic cutouts by Davies and Daughters and the marvellous Heritage Photography Trail; First Place: Victorian Games and Costumes; Art in the Park: Brickmaking and sculpture walk; The Hour Bank; tea and natural cosmetics at the Glengall Community Garden; Hollington Youth Club; Paris Rock; Massage to You; Lorna’s toys and clothes; Camberwell College of Art; Peckham Vision and Network; Peckham Shed; Pembroke House; Southwark Carers; Faraday Safer Neighbourhood team (Met Police); Southwark Circle; Docks to Desktop (Bubble Theatre); Cinema Museum; St Peter’s Church; Sweet Tooth; Purple Mango; Manmade Food; Dean Masters Caribbean Kitchen; Rosie’s Cakery; Clarice Catering; fishing with Thames 21; and Exclusive Ballooning — the balloon went up; Vauxhall City Farm; Carla’s Boot Camp; Dogs Trust displays; steam train rides and live music!