Friday, August 29, 2014

South London marches on Westminster - John Henry Mackay on the World Metropolis in 1880s

John Henry Mackay (1864-1933) was a Scottish-born, German-raised individualist anarchist. His novel, 'The Anarchists: A Picture of Civilization at the Close of the Nineteenth Century' was written in German and published in English translation by Benjamin Tucker in Boston in 1891.

The novel draws on the author's time in London in 1887, and includes some great descriptions of the city. It opens with the author crossing from Waterloo on what must have been the Hungerford bridge:

'In the Heart of the World-Metropolis:  A wet, cold October evening was beginning to lower upon London. It was the October of the same year in which, not five months before, had been inaugurated those ridiculous celebrations which gave the year 1887 the name of the “Jubilee Year,” — celebrations of the fiftieth anniversary of the rule of a woman who allows herself to be called “Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, and Empress of India.” On this evening — the last of the week — a man coming from the direction of Waterloo Station was wending his way to the railroad bridge of Charing Cross through labyrinthine, narrow, and almost deserted streets. When, as if fatigued from an extended walk, he had slowly ascended the wooden steps that lead to the narrow walk for pedestrians running beside the tracks on the bridge, and had gone about as far as the middle of the river, he stepped into one of the round recesses fronting the water and remained standing there for a short time, while he allowed the crowd behind him to push on. Rather from habit than genuine fatigue, he stopped and looked down the Thames. As he had but seldom been on “the other side of the Thames,” notwithstanding his already three years’ sojourn in London, he never failed, on crossing one of the bridges, to enjoy afresh the magnificent view that London affords from them.

It was still just light enough for him to recognize, as far as Waterloo Bridge to his right, the dark masses of warehouses, and on the mirror of the Thames at his feet, the rows of broad-bellied freight boats and rafts coupled together, though already the lights of the evening were everywhere blazing into the dark, yawning chaos of this immense city. The two rows of lanterns on Waterloo Bridge stretched away like parallel lines, and each of the lanterns cast its sharp, glittering light, deep and long, into the dark, trembling tide, while to the left, in a terrace-shaped ascent, the countless little flames which illumine the Embankments, and the Strand with its surroundings, every evening, were beginning to flash'
John Henry Mackay

The novel includes an account of the 'Bloody Sunday' demonstration in Trafalgar Square in November 1887. The demonstration against 'coercion in Ireland' and unemployment ended in violent clashes which resulted in the death of Deptford's William Curner (buried in Brockley Cemetery). Mackay reports the arrival of the South London contingent across Westminster Bridge:

'Before him stood an English acquaintance. His collar was torn, his hat soiled. He was in a state of the greatest excitement. After a few hasty questions back and forth, he said that the long procession from the south had also been dispersed...

“We gathered at Rotherhithe: the radical and other societies and clubs of Rotherhithe, Bermondsey, etc., met on our way the Peckham Radical Club, the associations of Camberwell and Walworth, and in Westminster Bridge Road also those of St. Georges — it was an enormous procession, with numerous banners, music bands, adorned with green, accompanied by an endless mass of people on both sides, which in the best of order crossed the entirely vacant bridge of Westminster.

“As was agreed, we were to meet with the procession from Lambeth and Battersea in Bridge Street at Parliament House. Then we were to march in a straight line from south to north, up Whitehall, to this place. Just imagine: a single great procession of imposing length, representing the entire south of London, the entire section of the city on the other side of the Thames — from Woolwich and Greenwich to Battersea and Wandworth! ...

“But our two processions had not joined each other, we had not reached Parliament Street, when the battle began. I was pretty far in the front ranks. Ah, the brutes, galloping on their horses into our ranks, breaking and tearing our flags, knocking down whatever comes in their way!”

“It was fortunate you did not get farther,” Auban interrupted him, “for I have heard that the Life Guards were held in reserve in Whitehall. I am surprised that they are not yet here, for the situation is getting more serious.”

“But we defended ourselves,” exclaimed the other, “with my loaded cane I gave one —”'

Bloody Sunday 1887

As with much writing from that time there is a very strong sense of a class-based division between East and West London, with areas like Deptford and Rotherhithe treated as part of the former. Mackay writes in a chapter entitled 'The Empire of Hunger':

'The East End of London is the hell of poverty. Like an enormous, black, motionless, giant kraken, the poverty of London lies there in lurking silence and encircles with its mighty tentacles the life and the wealth of the city and of the West End: those on the left side extending over the Thames and embracing the entire Embankment on the other side — Rotherhithe, Deptford, Peckham, Camberwell, Lambeth, the other London, the South separated by the Thames; those on the right side stealing round the northern limits of the city in thinner threads. They join each other where Battersea runs into Chelsea and Brompton across the Thames...

The East End is a world in itself, separated from the West as the servant is separated from his master. Now and then one hears about it, but only as of something far off, somewhat as one hears about a foreign land inhabited by other people with other manners and customs...'

The final chapter sees its main character reflecting again on London, this time from London Bridge:

'Two immense human streams surged across London Bridge; back and forth rolled, rattling and resounding, two unbroken lines of vehicles. The black waters of the Thames flowed lazily. Auban stood against the railing of the bridge, and, facing the east, contemplated the grand picture which presented itself: Everywhere, on both sides of the stream, towers, pillars, chimney-stacks, church steeples rose above the sea of houses... But beneath him a forest of masts, poles, sails... On the left Billingsgate, the great, famous fish-market of London... Farther, where the four towers rise, the dark, dismal structure of the Tower. With a reddish glare the setting sun, the pale, weary sun of London, lay on its windows a few minutes; then also its light was suddenly extinguished, and a gray twilight drew its streaks around the dark masses of the warehouses, the giant bodies of the ships, the pillars of the bridge...

By the clock on the  Adelaide Buildings it was already seven, but still the task of unloading the great ocean steamer at Auban’s feet was not yet completed. Long lines of strong men carried boxes and bales over wavering wooden bridges to the shore. Their foreheads, heads, and necks protected against the crushing pressure of their heavy burdens by strangely shaped cushions, they looked like oxen in the yoke as they staggered along under their weight...

A strange feeling crept over Auban. Such was London, immense London, which covers seven hundred miles with its five millions of human beings; such was London, where a man was born every fifth minute, where one died every eighth... Such was London, which grew and grew, and already immeasurable, seemed to aspire to the infinite...Immense city! Sphinx-like, it stretched on both sides of the river, and the clouds of smoke, vapor, noise it belched forth, lay like veils over its panting body...

Lights after lights began to flash and mingled the warmth of their glow with the dampness of the fog. Their reddish reflections trembled through the twilight. London Bridge thundered and resounded under the burdens it bore. Thus day after day, week after week, year after year, raged that mighty life which never grew tired. The beatings of its heart grew ever more feverish, the deeds of its arms ever mightier, the plans of its brain ever bolder. When would it reach the summit of its aspirations? When would it rest?'

Monday, August 25, 2014

World War One: the first local deaths

Thousands of people from the Lewisham area were killed in the First World War. If you want to get an idea of the sheer scale of the devastation have a look at the Commonwealth Graves Commission site. It includes a fairly comprehensive list of casualties from both world wars and on their 'Find War Dead' page you can search under name or put in the name of a place or street under 'additional information'. If you live in a road that's more than a 100 years old you are fairly guaranteed to find out that someone who once lived nearby to your home died (many of the CWGC records include details of next of kin, with address listed).

Although Britain officially entered the war on 4 August 1914, the first encounter between British and German forces did not take place until the Battle of Mons in Belgium on 23rd August 1914.  And on that first day of fighting one hundred years ago at least four people with local family connections were killed:

- Richard King (aged 35), Royal Scots Fusiliers - the brother of Mrs. A. Gallon, 10 Hales St, Deptford.

- J A Sharpe (aged 36), East Surrey Regiment - husband of Elizabeth Ward (Formerly Sharpe), of 1 Royal Naval Place, Amersham Vale, New Cross

-  Albert  Edward Burstow (20),  Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), son of Mr. And Mrs. E. R. Burstow, of 3, Hanlon St., Grove St., Deptford.

Deptford-born Burstow was a ‘Rivet Carrier’ by trade and enlisted
into the Army on the 28th January 1913 at New Cross.
He was killed in the village of Tertr (source).

- A. Rogers (26), Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), son of George And Sarah Ann Rogers, of Lewisham; Husband Of Margaret Rogers, of 89, Hazlebury Rd., Fulham.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Can't Kill What's Inside

Next Saturday 30 August, London-based Polish anti-fascists Dywizjon 161 (Division 161) are putting on a gig at the New Cross Inn. 'Can't Kill What's Inside' features :

- 210 - 'antifascist hardcore from Russia' - http://210hxc.bandcamp.com/ ; https://www.facebook.com/210hxc

PERMA WAR - punk from London - https://permawar.bandcamp.com/


Tickets: £6 at the door, all money raised going towards PARTIZAN MINSK FC.



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Deptford Nestival

Deptford Nestival - five days/nights of free music at the Birds Nest, Church Street SE8 - starts tomorrow, Thursday 23rd August. I had a quick glance down the line up and spotted highlights including Elephants and Castles on Thursday and Kate Tempest on Monday 27th.




Faeries of the Minesweeper

Planning to go to this on Friday 22 August, London Dreamtime in collaboration with designer Lucy Williams present 'Faeries of the Minesweeper'- 'music and supernatural tales of ships, waters and the beautiful Others' in Deptford Creek where the Minesweeper is moored. Email neckingernell@yahoo.com to reserve a place.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Divided by Race, United in War and Peace

On Friday 19th September (7:30 pm) there's a screening of ‘Divided by Race, United in War and Peace’ at St Catherine’s Church, Pepys Road, Telegraph Hill, SE14 5TY. Tickets are £5 / £3 (including snacks) and can be booked at www.thc.ticketsource.co.uk

'Divided by Race, United in War and Peace is a warm and life-affirming film, directed by Marc Wadsworth.   The film examines race relations in Britain during and after the Second World War and is a timely reminder of the contribution by overseas troops to the war effort.   Telegraph Hill Ward Community Weekend runs from Sept 19-21 and the film will be screened at St Catherine’s Church, Pepys Road, SE14 5TY as part of the weekend of events. At the core of Divided by Race, United in War and Peace are the testimonies of 13 surviving veterans, West Indian and African young men and women who volunteered to join the war effort and soon afterwards returned to live in Britain.   They risked their lives to serve under the British flag in times of war, then faced a second battle – their right to remain under that flag, as British citizens.   Until now their stories have not been properly heard'.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Feast of Nuestra Senora del Cisne in Nunhead

Came across this procession in Kimberley Avenue, Nunhead this afternoon, with several hundred people marching behind an image of the Virgin Mary, saying prayers and and throwing rose petals over the statue.


Apparently it was a procession of Ecuadorians from St Thomas the Apostle Roman Catholic Church in Evelina Road SE15 to mark the Feast of Nuestra Senora del Cisne (Our Lady of the Swan), a major religious festival in Ecuador to commemorate the supposed appearance of the Virgin Mary in the town of Loja in southern Ecuador in the late 16th century.



Service sheet from the Mass/procession -
'Es Maria la blanca paloma, que ha venido a Londres a traer la paz. En el centro de una blanca nube, se vino volando desde Ecuador'  ('Mary is the white dove, who has come to London, to bring peace. In the centre of a white cloud, she came flying from Ecuador')

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Lost Pet Folk Art

Lost and found pet posters from around New Cross/Nunhead this summer. I have airbrushed the phone numbers on the basis that the people who designed these fine art works might not want their numbers all over the internet.

'Check your sheds or basements this dangerous animal is on the loose'

'small ginger cat, short tail, should answer to his name'

'Lost Beauty.... We will bake a cake for you'

'Kitten found on Erlanger Road'

'The welfare of these rabbits are very important to us'

OK not a pet poster, but cool image of a cat from The Miller pub, SE1

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

White Stag in Deptford

Sightings of the 'Lewisham Natureman' white stag coming in thick and fast. Following last week's Catford appearance, Caroline H. has sent in this photo taken 'on Deptford church street. It;s near the Birds Nest pub at the bottom of Creekside, on the same side of the road as the Crossfields estate'.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

White Stag back in Catford

The 'Lewisham Natureman' white stag has been spotted again. Neil D., who took this photo, noticed this one last week on Adenmore Road, the 'Ravensbourne culvert approaching Catford Bridge Station - looking down as the river runs under the road'.




Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Peckham Black Womens Group 1985

From Bishopsgate Institute on facebook, a 1985 flyer for a Peckham Black Womens Group 'Black Womens Open Day' at the St Giles Centre in Benhill Road, Camberwell. Line up included 'Asian Women's Dance plus dub poetry and song by Lioness Chant'.


Peckham Black Women's Group later opened Peckham Black Women's Centre at 69 Bellenden Road, SE15. It closed in around 1990 following funding cuts.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Telephone Box Library



It's taken me a while to get round to posting these photos of the telephone box library on Loampit Hill SE13 (near to the junction with Tyrwhitt Road). Essentially it's a book swap - people are invited to come along and choose a book and leave one behind.

There's some lovely remarks in the comments book. I agree that as someone says, libraries are the 'the heart of civilisation'. In fact why do we stop at just having libraries for books  - why not have libraries for all those other things (most things) that we only use once or twice and don't really need to all have as own separate possessions? Tool libraries, maybe even clothes libraries...


All in all a good idea, though my experience of other book swap schemes is that there is a built in entropic tendency for quality to decline over time unless somebody is actively weeding out the books that nobody really wants. What tends to happen is that people take the interesting books and leave behind less interesting ones - eventually Jeffrey Archer and '50 Shades of Grey' take over as surely as bindweed on a neglected allotment. So please help out by taking down some good books and maybe taking out your share of the rubbish.




Sunday, July 20, 2014

Flixation in Forest Hill

Coming up at the Hob in Forest Hill next Friday, the return of Flixation, a night of short films and movies.



Flixation has its roots in the 1990s/noughties DIY underground film scene in London. It was formed in in December 2006 by Caroline Kennedy (former Exploding Cinema), Clive Shaw (former MyEyesMyEyes) and Duncan Reekie (former Werewolf). There's a great archive of old Flixation and Exploding Cinema flyers on facebook. Here's a few of them:


Exploding Cinema at the Albany, Deptford, November 2006

Exploding Cinema at Hatcham Social Club, New Cross, December 2005

Exploding Cinema, Climate for Change, Union St, SE1, November 2007
(benefit for Mindsweeper boat on Deptford Creek)

2006 event in Peckham Car Park

Exploding Cinema at now demolished Area 10, Peckham, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Long Blondes in New Cross 2004

Is it really ten years since the Angular New Cross summer of 2004? Well, yes obviously, but it doesn't seem that long ago that the music press was full of tales of the 'New Cross Scene' (like this one from the NME in May 2004), and then locally-based label Angular Recording Corporation was getting some of the best new bands of the period to play early gigs at the Paradise Bar in New Cross (now the Royal Albert) - Art Brut, Bloc Party, The Violets, The Swear, Vichy Government... good times.

Angular was was founded by two ex-Goldsmiths students - Joe Margetts (who I recall used to work at Toads Mouth Too in Brockley, now the Gantry) and Joe Daniel (who played with The Violets, as well as with the Klaxons for a while). As described at 'As you are', 'Their first release was ‘The New Cross’ compilation album, featuring the first recorded appearances from future stars Bloc Party and the Rough Trade re-released Art Brut track ‘Formed A Band’. This album of local talent went on to win ‘Compilation of the Year 2004’ in NME, and spawn the media hyped ‘New Cross Scene’.. th e label continued to grow, releasing debut singles and EPs by The Long Blondes, Klaxons, The Violets, The Lodger, and These New Puritans. Joe D also found time to coin the joke genre ‘New Rave’ while in Deptford library with Klaxons songwriter Jamie Reynolds'. And of course there was the trig point on Hilly Fields that they christened ARC001.

The Long Blondes hailed from Sheffield,  with their first London gig  being an Angular night at the Windmill in Brixton on 4 June 2004 (supporting The Rakes and The Boyfriends) and their second at the Paradise Bar on Saturday June 12, where Angular were launching their second compilation, 'Rip off your labels'. A quick search of my hard drive, and here's an actual archive email:


From: "angularrecords"  Sent: Monday, June 07, 2004 5:07 PM

Subject: [Angular Mailing List] Thanks !

Thanks to all of you who came to 'London Triangulation : An Angular Festival' last week. It was much fun, and a great success... The Angular Fun does not end there. It is the launch party for the next Angular compilation on this Saturday at the Paradise bar in New Cross. Four bands will be playing your your delight: luxembourg, The Long Blondes, The Fucks, and Mark Sampson, and there is a strong possibility of an angular cake and party bags being given away! 


So yes, I was there, and it was good. And the other night I stumbled across footage from that very night on youtube. Here they are playing an early, fairly shambolic version of what was to be their first, great single - Giddy Stratospheres.



The band split up in 2008, with one of their last gigs back in New Cross a the Amersham Arms (Darryl 853 was there)

The Long Blondes at the Paradise Bar in June 2004
-the stage backed on to what is now the front wall of the Royal Albert

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Kidbrooke Stag

Yet another sighting of the famous 'Lewisham Natureman' white stag - spotted off Kidbrooke Park Road near Old Post Office lane (thanks to Peter for sending photo)


Sunday, July 13, 2014

The World Cup in South London

As the World Cup comes to an end, here's some pictures from around South London over the last month.

The Artmongers mural on Deptford High Street redecorated in Argentinian and German colours for today's final,
by artist Patricio Forrester, who is Argentinian 

Watching the world cup at Tomi's restaurant in Deptford High Street, on night Nigeria played Iran
(photo posted by DJ Tim Westwood on Instagram)

Brazilian and Colombian flags at Restaurante Santafereno in Brixton

Brazil fans at the Coronet at Elephant and Castle
(photo by James Doleman on twitter)

Colombian fans celebrate at the Elephant and Castle after their team beat Uruguay
(photo by Instailka)

England flag at 2 Sisters Tandoori in Nunhead

French flag in Kitto Road SE14

German flag on New Cross Road

England and Italian flags in Brockley Grove

Ghana fans at the Castle Tavern in Woolwich
(see 853's report on this)

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Festive SE London this Weekend

Lots going on this weekend, here's a few things people have asked us to mention.

Blythe Hill Fields Festival, Saturday 5th July 2014 - free event with music, stalls etc. in this Lewisham park gem.


Nunhead Beats the Bounds, also on Saturday 5th July, a procession around the boundaries of the Nunhead area, starting 2 pm at Nunhead Green and 'Ending at 4pm back on Nunhead Green with music, refreshments and a free glass of Nunhead Whacker, an ale specifically brewed for this event'.


Sydenham Arts Festival - two weeks of events kicking off on 5th July with the 'street celebration' launch event, featuring music, stalls, dance and performance.




Monday, June 30, 2014

Funerals and remembrances

A couple of ceremonies this week for people who in their different ways made a difference to their local areas.

The funeral of Alan Porter (pictured below) takes place tomorrow, 1 July 2014, at Honor Oak Crematorium. Alan helped out at the Hill Station/Telegraph Hill Centre in Kitto Road SE14. Details here.




Later today (around 2:45 pm), the ashes of Peter Flack will be scattered on the Thames, his friends gathering first at the Cutty Sark pub in Greenwich. Peter was a Crossfields Estate resident in 1970s Deptford, responsible for poetic graffiti in the Creekside area. Details at Crosswhatfields?

Lines from Shelley's The Daemon of the World in Creekside, courtesy of Peter Flack
Deptford Misc remembers the life of Richard MacVicar (MAC), who died earlier this year. Richard was a key figure at Deptford Adventure Playground from the 1970s until a couple of years ago.

Richard MacVicar (1947-2014)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Peckham Rye parkrun

Peckham Rye is the latest local park to host parkrun, the free weekly Saturday morning 5000m run. The inaugural event took place on Saturday 21 June with 200 runners setting off from the start by the Colyton Road entrance, and doing three laps of a circuit taking in the flatter area of the park that includes the formal gardens and lake. Blog 7T has a full report and photos.

Sky Sports presenter Kate Riley (left) was timekeeper at first Peckham Rye parkrun
(photo by @ronnie_haydon)

The first event of a new parkrun always attract a big crowd as runners come from far afield to take part, after which they tend to settle down to a smaller number and gradually build up. Yesterday's second event included 67 runners, and will no doubt increase steadily over next few months.

The other well-established South London parkruns are all still going strong and indeed growing including Hilly Fields, Dulwich Park, Southwark Park, Crystal Palace, Brockwell Park, Burgess Park, Avery Hill Park (Greenwich) and more. For details of all these, see the parkrun map.

All events start at 9 am on Saturday, with most people finished by 9:30ish and heading for a post-run coffee. You can just turn up and run, but nearly everyone registers as a one off with parkrun - this gives you a barcode which you can get scanned wherever you run, and then sent details of your times etc. The events are friendly and inclusive, attracting runners of all abilities.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Sham 69/Lewisham 77 - punk and (anti) fascism

The riotous anti-National Front demonstration in New Cross and Lewisham in August 1977 has been covered here before (see this chronology of the events). Jon Savage's classic book 'England's Dreaming: The Sex Pistols and Punk Rock' notes that an image from that day taken by rock photographer Jill Furmanovsky featured on the sleeve of a punk record released in the following month - 'No I Don't Wanna' by Sham 69 (the band's name sadly refers to Hersham in Surrey, not Lewisham). The single - the band's first - was released on Step Forward records, Sham having been signed by Deptford punk Mark Perry (of ATV and Sniffin' Glue zine fame).



Sham went on to have a number of hits including 'If the Kids are United' and 'Hersham Boys'. They had quite a skinhead following, including for a time some racists, and there were fights at their gigs as a result. The band played for 'Rock Against Racism' to try and distance themselves from this.

Savage suggests that the fight against the National Front was a turning point for Punk, in the early stages of which there were some flirtation with swastikas as part of a mostly apolitical shock the elders strategy. In this context, he sees the August '77 events as a watershed: 'The events at Lewisham also helped to break Punk apart under the weight of its own contradictions. In superseding Punk's rhetoric with reality, it showed the apparent lie behind the antinomian heresy: freedom was not in the mind or the imagination, but to be fought for here and now'.

'England's Dreaming' includes an account of the events by Angus McKinnon of the NME, who took part in the anti-fascist mobilisation. He recalls that the fighting started in New Cross, where the NF were assembling to march to Lewisham: 'We were contained up by the New Cross area. The Front was a small march: there must have been about a hundred and fifty of them, all ages... They were eventually escorted onto the man street which goes towards Greenwich, and as they came out, there were mounted police, and things started to get vary scary very quickly. People started picking up bricks and stones. Some of the NF has sticks already, they threw bricks back at us. Someone close by went down with a brick in their face, the police horses came towards us. Police horses are very frightening indeed, the crowd was surging forward and back. Basically the police were saying, you have to clear away, these people are going to march. The crowd got very angry and there was a lot of brick-throwing'.

Later many of the marchers headed to Lewisham town centre. McKinnon remembers that 'There were baton charges, orange smoke everywhere. People throwing things through shop windows... Marchers and police up and down Lewisham High Street, and all over it was this enormous pall of orange smoke, very thick, acrid and very unpleasant. I slipped down the side of the High Street to get away, and then we were stuck, seven or eight of us in a cul de sac at the back of a supermarket by the delivery bay, huddled in absolute terror. Right down the end of the High Street, we were rounded up and put by a police bus to be shunted off. We weren't, only because someone started throwing stones and bricks at the police bus, which withdrew. We were denied the dubious pleasure of being detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure for rioting'.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Yesterday is Now History - materials from a Lewisham archive

I went to the opening of a fantastic exhibition today at 310 NX Road Gallery, New Cross SE14 6AF:

'Yesterday is Now History, curated by artist Eleanor Davies and anthropologist/historian Sophie Parker, is a celebration of the everyday objects that we frequently take for granted, or think of as rubbish. These often overlooked objects tell a story of the subtle cultural shifts that underlie historical change. 



The exhibition explores the history of Lewisham from the days of the foreign cattle market, the battle of Lewisham in 1977, the millennium, to the ongoing protest to save Lewisham’s hospital. The unlikely objects brought together in this exhibition prompt a discussion about the nature of archives, and their purpose and meaning in a society driven by mass consumption'.

Most of the material in the exhibition is drawn from the archive of Lewisham Local History Society, stored downstairs in New Cross Learning.

The exhibition is only open  

for a few days  -10- 4pm Thursday to Monday 23 June, but get along if you are at all interested in the history of the area, or more generally in the nature of archives and material culture.


The exhibition features some original paper and plastic bags from local shops - as they note, these 'transient objects' that survived their expected fate of being thrown away powerfully 'evoke specific moments in time '

W.G. Ward, 407a New Cross Road - 'High Class Confectioners and Tobacconist'

Princess 2 Hour Dry Cleaning, 26 Loampit Hill SE13 and 50 Broadway, Deptford
'We give green shield stamps' (1970s?)

There is also a display of 'entertainement ephemera',  flyers and posters for local cinemas, nightclubs and sporting events.

'A Grand Dance' on a Monday night with the Silver Star Band at the New Cross Palais de Danse 1927
 (later the Harp Club, now The Venue)

The Kerry Blues Showband at the Harp Club (1969?) - the Harp Club was then an Irish dancehall, now the Venue

Metrogas Amateur Sports Association swimming at Laurie Grove Baths in 1927 with instruction from Mr and Mrs Cyril Walker (the former baths are now art studios at Goldsmiths)
The exhibition also includes some material related to political movements, including original newspaper articles related to the anti-National Front 'Battle of Lewisham' (1977), the 1981 New Cross Fire and the recent campaign to Save Lewisham Hospital.