Curious Carvings in the Thames Wall
Here’s one of those Greenwich oddities that gets my mouth watering. It was spotted by local author David Ramzan (it’s in his book ‘Royal Greenwich Through Time‘) but he knows nothing more about it and is wondering whether anyone here does.
It’s in the Thames Wall up by the power station and David says:
None of my friends or relations who know riverside Greenwich well, had any idea this inscription was on the riverside wall close to the old Power Station, and it would be interesting to find out if anyone knew any more about it.
For example would this type of inscription have been commonly found along the riverside walls close to old historic landing places? Unfortunately like a lot of the historic Greenwich riverside architecture, these little curiosities are also gradually beginning to be lost to time.
To me it looks like re-used stone, though from what and when it was built is a mystery. Perhaps it was built when the power station was built, between 1902 and 1910, but the stone could have come from anywhere.
It also looks as though they broke the stone – either in transport, during the build – or, how about this for a theory – actually at the stonemason’s yard, when the junior carver got a clip round the ear and a month’s wages docked for spelling ‘friends’ wrongly..? Perhaps the master mason decided to sell the stone off for scrap and it ended up here?
I wonder what the message was – all I can make out is
Neighbours and Freinds (sic) welcome ar (e?) XXXXwill strangers XXy XermiXX
Okay – let’s see who can fill in the gaps with the best phrase… (Scared of Chives, I still haven’t forgotten ‘…and gut your first octopus‘…)
In the meanwhile – does anyone know anything more about this – or, indeed, has anyone ever actually noticed this before? Do you know of any other places strange messages are carved into the river wall?
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