James Hulme is a writer and architectural historian. In 2017 he was appointed to conduct a heritage scoping study for the Charlton Riverside area, paid for jointly by the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the Greater London Authority. The study was necessary because of the anticipated forthcoming change to the area as an “opportunity site” in the London Plan and an estimated 3000 new homes.
Charlton riverside has been somewhat neglected in historical surveys of London compared to the rich heritage of neighbouring Greenwich and Woolwich riversides. In particular, the industrial architecture has never properly been recorded, with scant coverage in the Buildings of England volume for South London, now out of date. More recently, the Survey of London volume on Woolwich (edited by Peter Guillery) included an excellent account of the development of Siemens’ telegraph works, but a considerable gap in knowledge remains.
Drawing upon the archive at the Greenwich Heritage Centre, the Port and River Archive and numerous other sources, including local historians led by Dr. Mary Mills, James has set down the interesting history of the area, in particular the 19th and 20th Century industrial era. He will present the key findings of the report through illustrations, with short accounts of famous local firms including Stones and Corys. James will conclude with an update on what the Borough has done to safeguard the key historical features of Charlton Riverside since the report was completed a year ago.