newsletter-118-december-1980

Newsletter

Page 1

A MERRY CHRISTMAS

to all members of HADAS from the Editors (six), Contributors (many) and Distributors (a very faithful few) of the Society's Newsletter And may we wish you also, jointly and severally, ten wishes for the coming New Year: May your trenches never be waterlogged and your sections never crumble May your lecturers always be both audible and interesting May your pottery not be Saxon when what you want is Bronze Age May there always be film in your camera when you need it May your spoil-heap never produce finds May your medieval documents always be decipherable May no one tramp across your trench when you've just trowelled it May you have fine days on your outings and fruitful ones on your field walks May your excavated pits always possess recognisable limits And perhaps the key wish, given by the ultimate in archaeological fairy godmothers: May your radio carbon dates be what you expect.

BRIGHTER DAYS AHEAD FOR MIDDLESEX RECORDS?

Eighteen months ago - in July 1979 - our newsletter began with the headline °Bombshell for Local Historians of Middlesex" and went on with the sorry story of the closing of the former Middlesex Record Office at Queen Anne's Gate Buildings and the removal of its invaluable records to a warehouse in Whitechapel. We therefore rejoice greatly to be able to bring you news of brighter- days - if not yet there, at least on the horizon. We have had this letter from James Wisdom, a leading campaigner in the wave of protests which arose from historians all over the London area last year:"I enclose a photocopy of an article from the Daily Telegraph for Thursday Nov 13 1980. As you will see, the GLC has taken a lease on a building in Clerkenwell which will house a new search room and all the records from the old Middlesex Record Office, the GLC Record Office and those records stored in the Middlesex Guildhall. There is no proposal to retain anything below the flood line at County Hall. This news was confirmed by interviews on Thames TV on Thursday evening. This is clearly very good news. There will obviously be another period of disruption while renovations are made and the records moved again, but after that we should have a secure service from the record office for the life of the lease (55 years)." The Daily Telegraph article provides a bit more information. The GLC Archive is to be housed in Bowling Green Lane, Clerkenwell, as a result of "a deal with IPC Business Press financed by the sale of other GLC property." Mr Wisdom also says that the prime figure on the GLC side in finding this now accommodation is Councillor Cyril Taylor, Chairman of the Professional and General Services Committee of the Greater London Council. As HADAS protested loud and long over the earlier arrangement (a fact for which Mr Wisdom was clearly grateful) we have now had much pleasure in writing to Councillor Taylor to congratulate him on what seems to be a happy result. Of course there is going to be a tricky time while the records are moved; as you may remember, when the move from Queen Anne's Gate took place, the GLC Search Room at County Hall closed for 4 months. Local historians will be keeping an eagle eye out for announcements from GLC about another close-down, in order to urge that it be as short as possible. Another area where vigilance may pay off is in the rules laid down for the new search room. At present notice of at least 3 days is required for any records kept in an out-depository, and this has a frustrating effect on research. Often one does not know until one starts working at the Record Office exactly what documents one may need. When everything is housed under one roof it is very much to be hoped that the 3-day rule will no longer be either implemented or necessary.


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PLANNING PROGRAMME

Although it isn't even Christmas yet,this is the time we start planning next summer's programme. It has been suggested that next year, in addition to our normal four or five Saturday trips, we should include some outings which might have a more limited appeal - for groups, for instance, which have special interests. One suggestion - which would doubtless appeal particularly to our surveying and field archaeology members - is a behind-the-scenes visit to the Ordnance Survey centre at Southampton. That is the sort of outing which we might manage to do by minibus, unless it proved unexpectedly popular. We haven't, at the moment, explored this idea fully, but when we do you will hear more of it. Another possibility is for a week or two in Crete, at the end of May or beginning of June. That trip, if it were to come off, would be handled by two HADAS members who know Crete well, Lynn Bright and Elizabeth Goring. They need to estimate in the next week or so how many members might be interested. If you think that you would be, please ring Lynn Bright (on 455 9506) and tell her, and at the same time you can get any further details that she has. The third suggestion is for a weekend study group in the Brecon Beacons. This last project is one for which arrangements must be settled some way ahead, so details of the weekend, Sept.'11-13, and an application form, are attached. For further information, ring Jeremy Clynos on 455 4271.

FRIENDS OF COLLEGE FARM

The Finchley Society, which is organising the Friends of College ' Farm, formed as a result of the Open Days held at the Farm last spring, have asked us to say that they would be happy to enroll more Friends. To join you should send an application to the Finchley Society, Room 4, Avenue House, East End Road, N3, Friends are asked to College Farm in the first weekend of every month, Saturday and/or Sunday, 2 pm to dusk, to join a working party. The first project is to clean up the old bottling department of the dairy. This is to be turned into a home for various animals which can be shown to visiting school parties. If you decide to help with this practical and useful work, please wear old clothes, strong shoes and gloves if you like using them for manual work.

UNEXPECTED SLANT ON 17TH C. MIDDLESEX

The principal speaker at the LAMAS Local History Conference on November 15 at the Museum of London was Dr David Avery. He is a member of the Cambridge group on demography and was until recently editor of that excellent journal, Local Population Studies, His title was intriguing - Middlesex for Sin - and caused quite a bit of speculation beforehand. It turned out to be a quotation from some 17th c doggerel describing the characteristics of various counties - with "sin" (particularly in its immoral connotation) as Middlesex's outstanding feature. His evidence was taken from a study of 7 years of the records of Middlesex sessions - 1612-1618. He began by giving the figures for the numbers of cases which came before the 70 Justices of the county under such headings as:fathering illegitimate children; keeping bawdy houses; frequenting them; whoring (i.e. being a whore); using whores; adultery; homosexuality; rape; bigamy; and a category merely called "other cases." He made the point- that the figures in each category (from 194 men who fathered bastards to 4 who engaged in homosexual practices) were the cases which actually reached sessions; they were the tip of an iceberg. They represented those who were found out. Three offences - rape, bigamy and sodomy - were capital, and tried before a jury; for minor offences the justices (many of whom were said to be leading Puritans) adjudicated without a jury. This is a transition period, when cases which in times past would have gone to the ecclesiastical courts were now being settled by the Justices. Being found out usually resulted from two causes: either information was laid against you (often by a nosey neighbour) or you were caught in the act by the:watch - who had the right, and often used it, to break into private premises without a warrant, if they suspected an offence was being committed. One lasting impression left by the cases and the sentences is of an age of cruelty and inequality. For instance, when a Bishop licensed a midwife to practice her calling, he laid upon her the duty of extract¬ing the name of the father from any mother of a bastard at the moment of birth, When the mother might be expected to be at the point of least resistance. This was considered important because, if the identity of the father could be established, he could be made to support his child, instead of the whole burden of support falling on the parish concerned. If the putative father could not be found, the mother was punished - such punishment usually being "that she be whipped at the cart tail until her body be all "bloodied". 'Districts of Middlesex had particular claims to notoriety. Clerken¬well, for example, had 56 bawdy - or "lewdly famed" houses, as compared with Westminster's 4; and Clerkenwell, too, had high figures for "common whores taken in the street." For the first offence of soliciting a woman was bound over; offences thereafter turned her into a "common whore". Outer areas - like our own - did not feature in the bawdy-house table. The occasional sexual cases which were mentioned for outer areas were, for instance, a Whetstone woman, Ann Robinson, who was hanged for murdering her illegitimate baby by throwing it down the privy; or a step¬father in Tottenham, who committed incest with his wife's daughter by an earlier marriage and was sentenced to 20 lashes and hard labour. The category "other cases" included some odd ones. Three married couples living in South Mimms indulged in a bit of wife-swapping; and there was a splendid instance of four people (three male, one female) having high jinks in one bed for a fortnight; "but," says the report as if it were a total explanation, "three of them were French," The total of "sin" cases coning before the Middlesex Justices over the seven years was 560; it far outdistanced those for any other county. No wonder the old rhyme ran:

Derbyshire for lend Devonshire for tin Wiltshire for plovers' eggs Middlesex for sin. (And Dr Avery says that plovers' eggs are still a Wiltshire specialty).

Other speakers at the Local History Conference were John Richardson, Chairman of our neighbours, the Camden History Society, who gave an interesting talk on the history of the buildings of the Covent Garden area; and Dr R J M Carr, who spoke on Dockland history. Many interesting displays were mounted by local history societies. HADAS had an exhibit on the work - excavation, tombstone recording and documentary back-up - at St James the Great, Friern Barnet. Judging by the exhibits, local history is alive and kicking throughout Middlesex. It was, in fact, rather a pity that the displays had to be mounted in the Education Department of the Museum, which is not ideal for this kind of use; and also that there was insufficient time to study them all. An hour and a quarter (actually cut to an hour) is not enough. Perhaps next year the organisers could consider these points, and perhaps make other provision.


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DIG AT CEDARS CLOSE a further note from PERCY REBOUL

The season’s excavation at this site finished on Oct 24 and the trenches have been covered for the winter. The owner has specifically asked us not to backfill, as he is considering the whole future of his garden and may want to use the uncovered structures as a "feature." There is little to add to the surmises of the preliminary report (see Newsletter 112 June 1980) Almost total lack of stratification (the area was backfilled with yards of coal ash back in the early 1930s) means that identification and dating of the brick structures and drain complex will have to be done by examining maps and consulting garden encyclopaedias. of the time. It seems reasonably certain, however, that we have been excavating in what was the kitchen garden area of the old Tenterden Hall and the work is middle and late Victorian - a golden age of horticulture. Two giant volumes on British Gardens have just been obtained through Barnet Reference Library and the object will now be to study them in detail. Work will start soon on the final report on the digs Dave ??? is doing final drawings; many photographs have been taken and a number of interesting finds made - most recent being some Tudor bricks.


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INVESTIGATIONS OF ROMAN LONDON HELEN GORDON reports on the November lecture

We were shown a delightful series of portraits of the antiquarians of Roman London when Dr Hugh Chapman, of the Museum of London, lectured on their history. The development of their style of dress through the 400-year's span of time, from elegant bewigged gentlemen to modern archaeologist, bears an inverse relationship to the refinement of the methods at their disposal. However, that may be, we are fortunate that they became obsessed so early with the accurate observation of Roman. London. One of the first John Stow, born 1525, recorded Roman remains in his Survey of London. He is commemorated by his statue in the Church of St Andrew Undershaft, which holds a real taill pen, renewed annually. In the 17th c Sir Christopher Wren kept a watch for Roman antiquities. The Great Fire of London gave him the opportunity for extensive observation, and while rebuilding St Paul's cathedral he was able to lay the legend that there was a temple to Diana underneath; he records there was no evidence for this. He noticed the Roman cemetery at Spitalfield and recorded that the graves contained cremations and grave goods. Wren found the Roman carriageway of rough stone' beneath St Mary-le-Bow, though he thought it was the northern boundary of the city; and the famous tombstone of the Roman soldier, which appears in so many histories of Roman London. He gave it to the Archbishop of Canterbury; it later passed to the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, from where its return to its city of origin was negotiated only at the time of the opening of the Museum of London. Many other antiquarians contributed to our knowledge of Roman London by their close and careful observation combined with a sound classical know¬ledge. Stukeley, born 1687, Secretary of the Society of Antiquaries, made the first plan of the city. Throughout the 17th and 18th c many antiquarians made collections, the largest being that of Charles Roach Smith (1807-1890) which constituted the first Museum of London Antiquities„ Ho had great difficulty in persuading the authorities to recognise the importance of antiquities: and they refused to house his collection. Eventually he sold it to the British Museum. The Corporation of Londron opened the Guildhall Museum in a room in their library in 1841. Excellent recording was carried out in the 19th c particularly by Henry Hodge, who made a great number of water colour sketches and meticulous drawings of the Basilica in 1880 and 1881. . World War II was an opportunity comparable-with the Great Fire for observation in devastated areas. Our President, Professor W F Grimes, with archaeology now developed into a science, was able to examine 63 bomb sites, and one cutting at least was made in each between 1947 and 1962; this led to discoveries such as the city Mithraeum, with its associated group of marble statues, and investigation of course continues whenever development permits. This brief summary does no justice to Dr Chapman's detailed account nor to his excellent slides of people, pictures and plans. But the slide which gave the most amusement was of a drawing of the Roman soldier's tombstone, so highly embellished as to be unrecognisable: not the work of the antiquarians for whose excellent recordings we have reason to be thankful.

ROMAN LAMPS

The pottery department of the Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute has produced another batch of the attractive Roman lamps that we used, in two styles, for our Roman banquet a year ago. These are available from John Enderby at the Institute, price £4 each. more information can be obtained by phoning him on 455 9951.

OUR MEMBERS

This seems a good time to welcome the new members who have joined us in the last few months, and to wish them pleasure in their membership of HADAS. They are: Dr S Adam, Golders Green, Martin Balanon, Hampstead; David Bowler Hendon; Camden School for Girls (institutional members); Gladys Clark, Hendon; M W Coffee, Parliament Hill; Ann Collins, Hampstead; James Cox-Johnson, Hampstead; Linda Friedman, Hendon; C H Guntrip, Golders Green; Evelyn Gunz, Hendon; E G Halse, NW9; Barbara How, Hampstead '

JulIet Levy, NW11; Miss C M Lyons, '

South Woodford; Miss C F McMullan, Garden Suburb; Harry Pickett, N. Finchley; .C Rochester, Kingsbury;' Diana Rockledge, NW6; Mr & Mrs H. E. Boyle, Hampstead; David St George, Garden Suburb; Jean Snelling, Finchley: Joanna Walton, Hampstead; Also on a personal note, good wishes too to an "old" (though not in years) member, Wendy Page, one of the stalwarts of Dorothy Newbury's outings team. She was married this autumn and is now Wendy Cones. She remains a HADAS member, though now living in Watford; and we are sure that members will want to wish her every happiness and send her our congratulations.


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A GAZETTEER OF TRANSPORT IN THE BOROUGH OF BARNET

Part II: Rail Compiled by BILL FIRTH


Great Northern Railway, main line. Opened 1855, much altered in recent years by electrification and upgrading for 125 mph High Speed Train running. Many GNR features have disappeared only quite recently Stations - all c 1890 but may incorporate parts of earlier 1855 stations; all altered, but some Victoriana remains:

1 New Southgate.84 Friern Barnet, TQ 287 923
 
2 Oakleigh Park, TQ 270 948
 
3 New:Barnet, TQ 265 959
 
4a SouthgateTunnel, TQ 277 936 to TQ 274 941, original 2-traced 413 bore 1855, 4-tracked c 1290.
 
4b Friern Hospital wall at New Southgate station, bricked-up arch through which line serving hospital ran. No other visible evidence now remains.

Great Northern Railway, High Barnet Branch (now LT Northern Line, Barnet Branch). Opened to Finchley Central 1867, to High Barnet 1872. Stations;

5 East Finchley, TQ 272 891, rebuilt for LT electrification and extension 1938-9, in typical "Holden style."
 
6 Finchley Central, TQ 253 906
 
7 Woodside Park, TQ 257 926
 
8 Totteridge Whetstone, TQ 261 939
 
9 East Barnet, TQ 250 962 These four above date from 1872 and a considerable amount of original work remains, together with adjacent related buildings.
 
10 Finchley, TQ 256 918; built 1933, but in older style since material and fittings from other old stations were used. Great Northern Railway, Edgware Branch.Opened 1867, now open only as LT Northern Line Mill Hill East branch as far as Mill Hill East, Electrification through to Edgware was proposed in 1938 works programme. Interrupted by World War II, the scheme was finally abandoned in 1954. Most of the trackbed can be followed from Mill Hill East to Edgware; there are considerable traces of the early works of electrification and some other interesting features noted below.
 
11 Dollis Viaduct, Dollis Road, N3, TQ 246 911. 13-arch red brick viaduct over Dollis Valley, opened 1867
 
12 Mill Hill East station, Bittacy Hill, NW7, TQ 241 914, built.1867
 
13 Bridge carrying Watford Way over Bunns Lane, NW7, TQ 219 912. Railway ran through southern arch, track A. converted to M1 slip road before M1 extended to Staples Corner. Now- this too is disused.
 
14 Bunns Lane Bridge at junction with Flower Lane, NW7, TQ 217 916.Built 1867, originally took Bunns Lane over the railway. Road improvements in .1960s re-sited road over filled-in railway track so bridge remains as an isolated monument.
 
15 Site of Mill Hill, The Hale, station, Bunns Lane, NW7, TQ 213 917. Traces of now platforms built by LT in 1938/9 are visible.
 
16 Deansbrook Bridge near Westway, Edgware, TQ 199 917. Three-arch structure of 1867. On north side original GNR railings remain, on south side those have been replaced by LT railings. The structure to hang a colour light signal beside the line on one of the bridge piers remains.
 
17 Edgware station, car park behind Green Shield House, Station Rood, Edgware, TQ 194 917. Goods shed remains, now part of junk yard. From car park traces of station platforms are visible. Midland Railway. Extension from Bedford to St Pancras opened 1867. Much altered by building of M1, Mill Hill station is modern, Hendon station buildings have been reduced to a booking office and platform shelters. Currently being electrified and re-signalled, most of what remains of the old MR features will disappear in the next few years. Throughout, the line retains MR mileposts and gradient posts. Major marshalling yard - Brent Yard - north of Cricklewood, at least 100 acres now largely derelict, on east side carriage sheds including new: one for new electric trains. Stations:
 
18 Cricklewood, Cricklewood Lane, NW2, TQ 239 559. Station entrance 1885, platform buildings.rebuilt 1906.
 
19 Welsh Harp, Edgware Road, NWa. TQ 229 874. Open 1870-1903.Notraces remain except cobbled entrance road from Edgware Road, which could be original.
 
20 Hendon, Station Road, NW4, TQ 222 883. Such MR features as remained after M1 was built have recently disappeared under electrification
 
21 Mill Hill Broadway, 'The Broadway, NW7, TQ 212 920, rebuilt in 1960 in connection with Ml extension. Signal boxes will all go out of use on completion of resignalling scheme in 1983. All of typical MR style, note "triangular" inserts in top of windows, many retain MR style finials on roof ends. Adjacent to 10. Cricklewood, TQ 239 860, visible from station.
 
22 Brent No 1 and Brent No 2, 228 870 .controlling Brett Yard and junctions to and from Midland & South West Junction Railway connecting with North London line at Acton Wells junction, thus giving MR round London access to south. Between boxes typical MR 8-post signal gantry (only 4 now in use) some with MR finials on top. Best view from footbridge complex at Staples Corner TQ 227 872. Adjacent to 20. Hendon, TQ 222 884, visible from station Other features:
 
23 Silkstream Junction TQ 224 897, accessible by public footpath from Aerodrome Road, NW9
 
24 Campion, Needham, Johnstone, Midland and Gratton Terraces, in 12, Tcl 237 860. Housing built by MR for workers in adjacent Brent Yard. Derelict Midland Institute at NW corner of estate.
 
25 Brent Terrace (originally Midland Brent Terrace) NW2, TQ 235 866. MR housing.
 
26 Macadam Works, Tilling Road, NW2, TQ 230 874, derelict, now scrap car dump. Only remains of gas works built by MR to supply Brent Yard before there was any public supply in area.
 
27 Shelmedine & Mulley Ltd (service station), Edgware Road, NW2, TQ 233 865. Only remaining building of Cricklewood locomotive depot, now in other use.
 
28 Brent Viaduct, North Circular Road, NW2, TQ 225 874, 19 arches, 30 ft high over Brent valley, originally 4 tracks, 2 added on west side c 1890; note different style on each side, and "join" in arches showing where extension was built.
 
29 Portals to Elstree Tunnel, TQ 197 948, eastern 2-track original 1867, 4-tracked (western tunnel) c 1890. London Electric Railway (now LT Northern Line Edgware branch). Opened to Golders Green 1907, to Edgware 1924.
 
30 Site of Bull & Bush station, underground, visible from passing trains, TQ 260 870. No 1 Hampstead Way is said to stand on intended site of surface buildings.
 
31 Tunnel Portals, c 400 m to the London side of Golders Green station, TQ 252 873. Only LER tunnel portals of this date (1907).
 
32 Golders Green station, TQ 253 874. Basically original 1907 station and only above ground LER station of this date. Wooden platforms currently being replaced, with loss of original platform features. Golders Green Maintenance Depot, adjacent to station, TQ 253 875, 1901. One of only two remaining early Underground maintenance depots (Ealing Common is the other). Other stations, designed by S A Heaps, LER Architect, only example of this style:
 
33 Brent Cross, originally Brent, TQ 238 879, 1923 Site of passing loops used briefly to allow non-stop trains to pass slow trains at platforms.
 
34 Hendon Central, TQ 230 885, with office block built over it. Opened 1923.
 
35 Colindale, TQ 214 900, rebuilt after World War II bombing.
 
36 Burnt Oak, TQ 203 907. Opened 1924.
 
37 Edgware, TQ 195 919, opened 1924, East wing demolished in 1939 as part of uncompleted plans to rebuild for extension to Bushey Heath. Inside, platforms 2 & 3 are original, platform 1 is a 1939 addition. Other features:
 
38 Brent Viaduct, TQ 238 880. The whole length of line from Golders Green station to the far side of the bridge over Sheaveshill Avenue, TQ 236 861, is built on brick arches or in brick supported cuttings with a number of brick arch or iron bridges and might be regarded as an industrial monument in itself. (If it dated from the 1840-1860 railway age it certainly would be),
 
39a Burroughs Tunnel, TQ 229 887 to TQ 222 894, built in the same way
 
39b as the deep tube tunnels under London.
 
40 Under the 1938 New Works Plan it was intended to extend the line beyond Edgware to a terminus at Bushey Heath which is now the site of Aldenham bus depot. Quite a lot of work was done before it was stopped during World War II; it was never resumed before the plans were finally abandoned in 1954.-. The route of the line can be traced, the major relic is the part-built arches of the viaduct which would have taken the line across Edgware Way near Spur Road, (See HADAS Newsletter 36, Feb 1974, for further information). LT Piccadilly Line. About 1 km of the northern extension of this line (1932-33) lies in the easternmost corner of the London Borough of Barnet and two of the major civil engineering works of the line (excuding stations) are in the Borough.
 
41 Viaduct over Pymmes Brook valley, TQ 292 931; the northern end is in LBB.



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