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The Ragged School Blog Deptford

Monday, April 18, 2005

History in the wwwrubble

I can never get over the fact that buildings (like this Ragged School) are threatened with demolition and that with so much going on in the world, its hard to go on about it when so much else needs fixing. I think the saddest part of a demolition is the last few days when its remaining contents are also going to be mixed into the rubble which will be sent to landfill. There was a BBC series called The Reclaimers which showed architectural salvage crews getting sometimes just 24 hrs to remove valuable interior fittings at low or no cost. Usually they had been contacted by the demolition contractors who were at liberty to dispose of any valuable assets in this random and roughshod offer. If you didnt get that art deco ceiling, its dust by dawn. Then I came across this striking webpage about a very similar situation concerning saving documents - valuable to historians at the late Deptford Power Station. The site is now a 'luxury' apartment block. There is no memorial outside to Sebastian de Ferranti and the Worlds first high voltage generation station, although the new park opposite the Laban has been named Ferranti Park as a result of a competition to find a name. Interestingly there is a statue of Peter The Great and his dwarf commemorating his visit to the Naval Dockyard and Sayes Court, but it displaces a suitable monument to Ferranti and the power station workers.


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