Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Did you have someone at the Royal Arsenal? .............. a fascinating online history of a munitions factory

Now I like the way that the internet has made it possible for historians to both share their research and dig deep into the archives. 

Years ago I accessed all the early reports from the Poor Law Commissioners’ from 1838 through to 1854 which were invaluable for getting an understanding of both the Poor Law and life in our rural communities.

Ordinarily these would have been difficult to access and in fact my copies were originally on a dusty shelf in a university in the mid west of the USA, but through Google books they were available in an instant.

All of which is a lead in to a wonderful new site I came across yesterday on the story of the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich.*

It is run by Steve Peterson who is keen to receive contributions from anyone who had a link with the munitions factories.

And that for now is that.  I am hoping that Steve will add a story about his site for the blog in the future.

In the meantime I fully recommend a visit.*

and leave you with Steven explaining why he set up the site.

"Growing up as a Thamesmead kid I used to explore the East Arsenal in the late 1980’s early 90’s and also used to participate in a scheme run by the metropolitan Police called Thamesmead Adventure in the Royal Arsenal danger area and firing range/proof butt waste land.

I was always fascinated by the Arsenals ruins.  

I used to dig up live bullets, empty shells, grenade shrapnel and cannon balls.  I wanted to know the in's and out's of the Arsenal, exploring in the summer school holidays and after school mapping it out in my head from bomb shelters to railway tracks to the odd shaped blast mounds of the Danger buildings.  

It was the ultimate adventure, exploration and excavation growing up looking for the next unusual find with no answer to what it once was buried in half a century's worth of nature overgrowth.

 Later to be confirmed 'what once was' the largest most dangerous secret factory in Europe.

I attended the Woolwich walk in 1995 when the Royal Arsenal was open to the public for the first time ever for one day on the Western side.Location, Woolwich"

Picture; courtesy of David Harrop and Steve Peterson

*Royal Arsenal History,

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