Renforth Street Rotherhithe

Yesterday & Today
How we lived then & How we live now
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Renforth Street Rotherhithe

Postby fosney » Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:06 pm

Renforth Street Rotherhithe

Another building of interest is this former London Hydraulic Pumping Station, now a Grade II listed building, was built in 1902 for the London Hydraulic Company and was converted into flats in 2002.

The Londodn Hydraulic Company was set up in 1883 to install a Hydraulic pressure network throughout London. It was the successor to the Steam Wharf and Warehouse Company, which had been founded in 1871, and as we can see by the map, the area covered by the Hydraulic system covered a vast amount of London. Six Hydraulic Stations, at Wapping, Bankside, Pimlico, City Road, East India Dock and Rotherhithe maintained pressure at 800psi, most of the pipes ran below street level and the power generated was used in Docks, and Warehouses and was also used to power lifts and theatre curtains, as well as the Tower Bridge and Fire Hydrants.

The secret of the utility of the hydraulic main lies in the fact that water is virtually incompressible and is the ideal agent for transmitting power from one place to another.

The water used was drawn from the Thames and was heated in winter to prevent freezing . At its peak the Company was pumping some 1.6billion gallons of water at 700psi supplying some 8000 outlets. Wartime bomb damage and the decline of company activities in London led to he Company's decline and pumping ceased in 1977 when Electrification took place.

The Company was acquired by Rothschilds who recognised the importance of the piping network for the coming network of communications systems. The 1,150 miles of pipes and ducts and conduits were sold to Mercury Communications an since that time many miles of fibre optic cable has been laid within this network of pipes.

This building is once again a reminder of the source of power behind the industry that operated in Bermondsey and as such is part of Bermondsey Yesterday and Today.



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