Friday, December 31, 2010
After the orginal series finished in 1975, two of its characters featured in a spin-off series called Thomas and Sarah, with the former chauffeur and maid pursuing each other over 13 episodes in 1979. Some of the action takes place locally and indeed there is an episode called The Poor Young Widow of Peckham. The series was released on DVD and is repeated sometimes on the outer reaches of satellite TV - anybody seen it or recall its South London content?
Thursday, December 30, 2010
The Royal Albert is described as 'Gastro Pub ideale per il Sunday Lunch. Eventi: ambiente rilassato e giovane nel cuore di Deptford. Per gli appasionati di calcio è l'ideale per seguire le partite di campionato' (something like 'Gastro Pub ideal for Sunday Lunch. Events: relaxed and young atmosphere in the heart of Deptford. For soccer fans it is ideal for following the championship games'.
"I fooled the GPO for six months, and I think I now have a way in which I can broadcast without being detected" he boasted. At the request of IT, Terry has drawn up a list of instructions for construction as well as a schematic diagram of the transmitter he used(see IT 14). Radio Kent could be heard throughout South London from Camberwell to Blackheath, and from Greenwich to Streatham. EVERY MAN HIS OWN MESSIAH.'
(the article refers to Terry Vacanti, the picture caption says Terry Vacani - I think the latter is correct, elsewhere on the internet Terry Vacani is mentioned as a DJ on the Irish pirate station Eastside Radio Ireland - Terry if you're out there tell us more about your South London adventures!)
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
So I'm going to give my vote - and it's my award - to Katy B. OK she's not really a fully fledged pop star as yet, with her first solo single only released in August. But Katy on a Mission got to number five in the singles chart and she also featured on Magnetic Man's hit Perfect Stranger. Her new single Lights On (also featuring Ms Dynamite) was released in the week before Christmas and is already number four in the charts. Expect her to be all over 2011, with her first album due out soon.
Katy B (real name Katie Brien) is South East London through and through, growing up in Peckham and doing a degree in Popular Music at Goldsmiths in New Cross. In an interview with Beatnik Online - conducted in Frank's Bar on top of Peckham car park - she recalled 'I use to go to a studio in Deptford and it was also a place where a load of grime boys could do their mixtape properly. If any boy needed a hook or someone needed help on a demo then I’d be asked to do it! I was about 17. I use to save my money, get my 30 quid here and there...DJ Geeneus was one of the people who would go to the studio and he kind of found me through that.' Geeneus, founder of Rinse FM, has collaborated with Katy on a number of tracks and is one of the producers of her new album.
Wonder which studio it was? As mentioned here before, Crazy Cousinz have used Digital Holdings off Surrey Canal Road, SE14.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
The teacher had met Marley and Nash, then both struggling, at the Soho club the Bag o'Nails. According to Baugh, 'During that conversation they were bemoaning the fact they couldn’t get their single in the top 40 as they could not get any national radio airplay. I suggested as a bit of a promotion they should come down and play to the kids at our school, and a few days later they came down and played two 45 minute sets.” The singers also had a football kickaround with some of the students.
They played in the school's gym in Cator Street - I believe that this is now part of the Damilola Taylor Youth Centre in Peckham, the school having long closed down.
I am not sure if Nash and Marley played together elsewhere, at the time they were promoting Nash's version of Marley's song Stir it Up.
Bob Marley Magazine followed up the Southwark News story with an interview with Keith Baugh, where he recalls that the songs they played included Stir it Up, Reggae on Broadway and I Can See Clearly.
Check out Keith Baugh's website for details of his other art/photography projects including his book on New York subway graffiti in the early 1970s
The Catch a Fire tour
The following year Bob Marley returned to Peckham with his band The Wailers (featuring Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer) as part of the tour to promote the Catch a Fire album. In fact the tour was scheduled to start at the Bouncing Ball club in Peckham but this gig was cancelled. Seemingly Bob Marley & The Wailers did play twice at Mr B's in Peckham on this tour on April 29th and May 11th 1973. The tour ended up at Max's Kansas City in New York, where the band played four nights supporting Bruce Springsteen.
This tour information comes from Wikipedia - I believe though that Mr B's and the Bouncing Ball were in fact one and the same venue at 43 Peckham High Street.
(see also previous post on Bob Marley in South London, including at Crystal Palace) .
Monday, December 27, 2010
"I lived in Peckham for the first 12 years of my life and then my mum and dad decided they really didn't want to bring up their children there. So they saved up money and bought a house in Plumstead, semi-detached, three bedrooms. I remember going into it the first day and the first place I ran into was the back garden. I was saying, 'Oh shit, we have a back garden!'"
His most recent single, Invincible, features some film of him returning to his old school in Abbey Wood (SE2): St Paul's R.C. Secondary School, now known as St.Pauls Academy. On Radio One on Boxing Day he highlighted his visit to the school as one of his best moments of the year, mentioning that they now have a Tinie Tempah Music Studio. He went on to study A Levels at St Francis Xavier Sixth Form College in Balham (SW12).
Earlier this year he was asked to respond to the Chris Ofili exhibition at Tate Britain, and he chose Ofili's painting No Woman No Cry - a tribute to Stephen Lawrence, who as Tinie Tempah mentions, was murdered in 1993 not far from where he lived (Lawrence also grew up in Plumstead).
Tinie Tempah performed a piece at the gallery reflecting on the painting, the murder ('RIP to Stephen Lawrence') and on his connection with Ofili (they are both from Nigerian backgrounds):
According to the Tate website: 'No Woman No Cry is a tribute to the London teenager Stephen Lawrence. The Metropolitan police investigation into his racially motivated murder was mishandled, and a subsequent inquiry described the police force as institutionally racist. In each of the tears shed by the woman in the painting is a collaged image of Stephen Lawrence’s face, while the words ‘R.I.P. Stephen Lawrence’ are just discernible beneath the layers of paint. Despite these specific references, the artist also intended the painting to be read in more general terms, as a universal portrayal of melancholy and grief'.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
'This is an amazing documentary, truly. I'm really glad we got the chance to screen it... After the screening you can sign up to come along to a talk in Feb (date TBC) about what types of plants are beneficial for bees and other pollinators for those wanting to find out how to attract bees to their gardens and window boxes. There will also be a planting session in the Cafe garden in the spring. This is all free and optional, you can just watch the film if you prefer. 7.30 doors open, 8.15 start. Fully licensed bar/Fair Trade tea and lovely coffee and cake will be on hand'.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
- Meet at Princess of Wales at 12, dance around 1 pm,
- Dance at Crown 2 ish,
- Hare and Billet 3 ish, then music session there.
Francis Sedgemore has posted some photos of the Fowlers Troop's tour of Deptford/New Cross earlier this month, which included students from the University of Greenwich performing a mummers play by the Dog and Bell.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Holst worked as a jobbing musician (playing trombone on Brighton pier) and then as a music teacher, including a long connection with two South East London institutions. His first teaching job was at James Allen's Girls School, the independent school in Dulwich. Holst taught there one day a week from 1904 to 1920, and according to the school's website: 'In 1905 the school performed Tableaux from Tennyson's Princess, for which Holst composed settings of the poems. The songs were sung from manuscript (some of which are in the school archives) and were published in 1907 as Songs from The Princess, Opus 20A, with the dedication 'to the girls of the James Allen's Girls' School. His Golden Goose, a ballet with chorus, also received its first performance in the gardens here'. There is now a Holst House at JAGS and a Holst Hall.
Holst was also Director of Music at Morley College in Waterloo from 1907 to 1924. The Morley Memorial College for Working Men and Women was established in 1889 to make adult education accessible to the less-well off of South London, and was based in the Old Vic until it got its own site in the 1920s. Holst involved the Morleyites (as he termed his students) in his wider musical endeavours, including a series of Whitsuntide festivals of music and dance in Thaxted in Essex from 1916 to 1918. These came about as a result of his friendship with Conrad Noel, the famed 'Red Vicar' of Thaxted.
In teaching his students, Holst 'made them believe in their right to make music as much as any professional. He spent nearly every evening at Morley College now, and much of his social life revolved round its weekend events, which included excursions into the countryside and long rambles, dances and tea parties. He also encouraged his music students to mix with the James Allen pupils and girls of St Paul's [in Hammersmith], often bringing them to perform at the schools and join in school events' (Holst: his life and times by Paul Holmes, 1997).
Holst's friend Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote to him in 1916 that: 'I sometimes feel that the future of musical England rests with you - because every Paulina who goes out, and for the matter of that every Morleyite, will infect 10 others and they in turn will infect 10 others - I will leave you to make the necessary calculation'.
Here's one of the Songs from the Princess (O Swallow, Swallow), which since it was written to be performed by young women at a school in East Dulwich Grove could at a stretch qualify for inclusion in the list of South London Songs:
(performed here by a choir from George Mason University in Virginia)
Sunday, December 19, 2010
And they did go unto that place and had a very good cup of coffee. Good food too - well it a deli as well as a cafe. Only a couple of tables inside, more outside but not many people sitting outside funnily enough.
They also have a little book swap shelf - if you get down there quick you might pick up a copy of Leonard Cohen's Beautiful Losers which I left there.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Much of it is filmed on the Tavy Bridge Estate in Thamesmead, with the Southmere Lake featuring...
Friday, December 17, 2010
You can read it yourself, but to give a flavour here's a couple of great quotes:
“Lewisham is the home of sound-system culture. I don’t think it’s too much of a big claim to say that the way in which the whole culture of sound-system performance and enjoyment developed is so centrally connected to the story of this part of London... The sound-system men were businessmen; they were running dances but they were catering to an audience that wasn’t being catered to, not only in mainstream society, but in the context of this part of London. A part of London that is deeply implicated in the history of empire and relations between here and elsewhere, Africa and the Caribbean, amongst others” (Les Back)
“We set up sound-systems wherever we could. We were using warehouses and garages. We’d capture houses. You name it. White people did not generally hire out their clubs to us. That’s the bottom line. So we used to appropriate spaces and perform. We would say we’re gonna have a dance today in 407 New Cross road. We’d set up in there, the police would come and raid it. Someone else would say ‘there’s another house down the road.’ We’d go down and string up in there and move the dance there. That’s how we used to do it.” (Lez Henry).
See also: New Cross Reggae Shops and Labels; South East of the Thames Border Infection Mix
There's loads of great soundtapes from this era on youtube, particularly at the Vibez4All channel. For instance, here's an extract from Saxon vs. Radics at the Moonshot Club in New Cross on 25 August 1984:
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Here's Normski presenting Detroit's finest Inner City performing Let it Reign on the show:
Last week, Pc Sean Smith from Eltham Police Station was found guilty in Manchester of nine charges of indecent assault against three young girls (although the offences date back ten years from a time before he was in the police).
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
'ORCHARD PLANTING - SAT 15 JAN 2011 - HILLY FIELDS from 11.00am to 1.00pm
Everyone is welcome to join in with (or just watch) the planting of a small apple orchard on Hilly Fields (next to the Stone Circle) from 11.00am to 1.00pm on Saturday 15 January, 2011. This will be the first community orchard in a major park in the borough of Lewisham and we, from Transition Lewisham/Brockley are delighted to be initiating this project, together with the Friends of Hilly Fields and the London Orchard Project, with funding from Capital Growth and support from Lewisham Council and Glendale.
The orchard is being planted to promote the growing of fruit locally (in an area which previously had many fruit orchards), to provide habitat for wildlife, and for people to enjoy. It will be a family activity day, with digging, planting, composting, mulching and treeguard staking. Come along for some warming spiced apple juice, hot apple soup and apple-themed sweet things'.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
GOLDSMITHS OCCUPATION STATEMENT
We have occupied the university library in opposition to the increase in university fees and cuts in education as a whole. We act in solidarity with all those facing cuts across the social sphere.
We stand against the proposed change in fees structure and the cuts to teaching subsidy across education in the UK – which will include a 100 percent cut to funding for teaching in arts, humanities and social sciences. The proposed changes in Higher Education represent a historically unprecedented attack on society.
We have taken over Goldsmiths’ Library, the most publicly visible and accessible physical space in the College. We are opening it as a centre for organisation, available 24 hours a day to students and all those on the receiving end of the government’s assault in the Lewisham community. We offer our support to recipients of the EMA grant, benefits and services, all of which are being attacked by local and national government. We support library staff at Goldsmiths and public libraries across Lewisham.
Until our demands are met, there will be no business as usual at the College.
We act to support and intensify the efforts of all those involved in the nationwide wave of occupations.
We demand that Goldsmiths’ management:
• Immediately make a public statement opposing fees and the vote for their increase due in Parliament on 9th December. We refuse all current and further cuts at Goldsmiths.
• Implement no further cuts to departments and budgets at Goldsmiths, nor any further redundancies.
• Steps forward to defend all those from Goldsmiths arrested or in other ways victimised during the current struggles against the cuts. We condemn the police’s violent and heavy-handed tactics used against students, staff and their supporters.
• Do not penalise library staff in any way, nor dock their pay during the occupation.
• Ceases its campaign of cuts against the Goldsmiths Nursery.
• Retract their threat to charge Goldsmiths’ Student Union £15,000 in response to the occupation of Deptford Town Hall. This occupation, like that one, is independent of the Student Union.
• Do not take any disciplinary actions whatsoever against those involved in this occupation.
The library remained open during the occupation, although without staff on the first day as the occupation orginally decided not to have staff working in the building - a policy changed following a lengthy debate at a meeting on the Tuesday night.
When I went along along on Tuesday, it was a busy space with various meetings and activities going on on the ground floor. A group of students were doing life drawing of a couple of men in their underwear, while another group were getting some practical training on resisting being kettled by the police. A delegation from Lewisham Anti Cuts Alliance came down, and news was exchanged on local campaigns, including Council cuts and the proposal to turn Tidemill school in Deptford into an Academy. Some practical things came out of the discussion, including a local teacher advising the occupation's 'outreach working group' the best time and places to leaflet local schools, which they were planning to do in relation to the demonstration on Thursday. Later on there was music and poetry from Excentral Tempest and others.
With most occupiers going on the demonstration, Goldsmiths management retook control of the library that day. On Friday, Management announced that they would be closing the library for the weekend, and so the library was partially reoccupied on Friday evening. The occupiers argued that 'Management’s unnecessary decision to close the College Library until Monday for stock-checking and cleaning is an attempt to punish students for protesting against their policies'.
Yesterday afternoon I gave a talk on New Cross radical history as part of an occupation teach-in. The atmosphere felt very different from earlier in the week, with the occupation confined to the reception area of the ground floor only - the rest of the building, including the upper floors where the books are kept, being locked. By the end of the afternoon Goldsmiths management had agreed that they would re-open the library today (Sunday), and in return it was agreed to end the occupation. They say: 'This is a victory for the occupation, which did not accept the SMT’s reasons for closing the library building to students for the entire weekend. As such we will withdraw from the library building... We will continue to struggle with students and academic staff against the withdrawal of educational goods in general and against fees and cuts in Higher Education in particular. The movement continues to grow'.
As well as welcoming the determination of the Goldsmiths students and staff opposing cuts, it was also great as a bibliophile local resident to have a look around the library - I even managed to do a bit of research. I have been living nearby for almost 15 years and had never set foot in it before. A point well made in the following film is that the public library in New Cross is tiny and under threat of closure.
More details at: http://goldsmithsinoccupation.wordpress.com/
See also the report at 853: 853 also has an interview with students taking part in a 24 hour work-in this week at the new Greenwich peninsula campus of Ravensbourne College - with a rather fine 'Rave Against the Machine' banner outside.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
- Deptford Christmas Fair - Saturday and Sunday you can get a free rickshaw ride from New Cross to Deptford, and there will be a free big wheel.
- Brockley Christmas Market - today in Coulgate Street from 12 to 6 pm.
- Ladywell Christmas Market - today, 10am – 4pm, outside Ladywell rail station followed by mulled wine, mince pies and live music at the Ladywell Tavern in the evening.
- Devonshire Road Nature Reserve Tree Dressing in Forest Hill tomorrow, 2 to 5 pm.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Here's a few local banners (photos taken as marchers entered Trafalgar Square at lunchtime).
The University for Strategic Optimism, initiated by people from Goldsmiths
Lewisham People Before Profit (who incidentally are holding their AGM next week - 7.15pm on 13th December at The Broca, Coulgate St, SE4):
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Monday, December 06, 2010
Students at Camberwell College of Art (University of the Arts London) have today occupied the college building in Wilson Road, Camberwell. Here's their statement.
'We, the students of Camberwell College of Arts, believe that if the massive cuts 'proposed for education happen, it is unlikely that academies such as ours will continue to exist. Arts and humanities courses are being targeted with the largest cuts, while still requiring a great deal of funding, which even a rise in fees will not cover. In response, we have decided to occupy the Wilson’s Road building at our college.
We see the arts as occupying a vital place within society, one which benefits us all, both culturally and economically. If arts education ceases to be a viable route for students, that benefit will be lost.
An artless society is a heartless society!
We oppose the transformation of education into a market. Education should be a forum for all publics, not just those who can afford, to learn, experiment and debate.
Therefore, we call for all arts students, especially those from UAL to join this occupation, and call for more arts-led occupation and actions. We propose to use our space for a practice led resistance. We will run workshops, performances, debates and experiments, creating a collective space of generative discourse. At no point will we disrupt any fellow student’s education, allowing all scheduled lectures to continue. We wish to propose, rather than simply oppose!
We demand that UAL:
•Issue a statement condemning all cuts to Arts education, and the rise in tuition fees and defending the value (economically and culturally) of Arts education for society, and its place within government funded education.
•Put pressure on the MP of every borough that UAL has a college in to vote against the educational reforms.
•Guarantee that there be no more course closures, or course amalgamations. This includes, if possible, the re-instatement of the Ceramics course at Camberwell.
•Safeguard all jobs for our teaching, research and support staff.
•Issue a statement guaranteeing no further cuts in access time to workshops and facilities. This means no losses of current facilities, studio space or access time to workshops.
•Provide full details of the existing budgets, and any projections of how the budget is likely to be spent if cuts and fee reforms do happen.
•Provide all cleaning, catering and security staff with a full living wage package, again with no loss of jobs or hours, and that all outsourced staff and services are brought back in-house.
•Provide a more effective, regular structure for student feedback which effects positive change, in the normal running of the University.
•Do not victimize anyone taking part in this occupation.
•Allow free access in and out of the occupation for all students, staff, speakers and other visitors.
The Occupiers, Camberwell College of Arts'
Other SE London cuts news
* Lewisham Anti Cuts Alliance are meeting tomorrow night (Tuesday), 7 pm upstairs at the Amersham Arms (opposite NX station)
* Here's a short new film by students and staff from Goldsmiths anthropology department. I like the fact that it looks at the broader question of education funding, including schools, rather than just focusing on fees:
'The strike movement yesterday spread to a section of London schoolboys. Some six London County Council schools in the Shoreditch and Islington districts are stated to have been affected - namely, Wenlock-road, Bath-street, Central-street, St Luke's, Napier-street, and Hanover-street, all within a short distance of each other. The first indication of the 'strike' was when about 30 boys paraded the streets. At dinnner time that number was increaed to fully 100. The boys marched along the street shouting and singing 'Fall in and follow me!'. Many carried 'ammunition' in the shape of stones and other missiles.
At Deptford a number of boys attending the London County Council school in Alverton-street organized a demonstration outside the school, and amused the neighbourhood by shouting 'We are on strike'. They published their grievances by chalkwriting on the pavement, and their demands were the abolition of home lessons and the cane, and the concession of an extra half-holiday in the week. When the headmaster of heard of the 'strike' he went out and called the boys in. Nearly all of them returned to their lessons' (source: Times 12 September 1911).
A Dock Strike in Deptford
The context for the school strikes was the proliferation of strikes amongst adult workers in that period. A couple of weeks after the Deptford school strike, there was a dock strike in Deptford. The Times reported on 27 September 1911 that 'Five hundred men at Dead Man's Dock, Deptford, are on strike owning, it is stated, to the action of the owners of the dock who, the men declare, have broken the recent agreement. The men's representatives are approaching the officials of the Board of Trade on the subject'.
The strike seemed to have involved casual labourers employed by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway Company - it included a deputation of 150 workers to the company's HQ at London Bridge (Times 29 Sept 1911) and ended on Friday 6th Ocotber with the Times reporting that 'Various concessions have been made to the men' (7 October 1911).
Sunday, December 05, 2010
Uk Uncut at Lewisham Boots
The UK Uncut protests against wealthy tax dodges shut down a number of stores in Oxford Street yesterday, there was also a related protest at the Lewisham branch of Boots organised by Lewisham Anti Cuts Alliance. This is from the leaflet they gave out to shoppers and staff:
Lewisham Anti Cuts Alliance has issued a statement about last Monday's demonstration in Catford outside the town hall, where several people were arrested:
'Last night (29th November) Lewisham Anti Cuts Alliance lead a peaceful protest outside Lewisham Town Hall in Catford to protest against first wave of cuts (c. £20m in the first tranche – possibly up to £78m over the next three years) which Steve Bullock was presenting to full council. The protest gathered various trade unions, the NUT, Unison, PCS, UCU and Unite, users of public services such as local libraries and Opening Doors and students from Goldsmiths College. Already the council has announced the closure of five libraries, the Amersham Children’s Centre, the Opening Doors employment centres as well as making 466 council workers redundant.
Around 150-200 people gathered from 5.30pm onwards in the freezing cold, wanting to express their democratic right to oversee the council and attend the public gallery of the council chamber. Upon arriving we discovered that just 28 people were to be allowed in. An orderly queue formed, where people were searched by security guards and the police. At 7.30pm when the meeting was due to start our protest began to gather outside the doors of the Council to make our voices heard.
We were met with harassment and abuse from the council employed security guards and the police, who were illegally preventing us from undertaking our democratic right to attend council meetings. Riot police then assaulted protesters and cleared the public gallery of all visitors and violently cleared the lobby.
Art Against Cuts
There were well over 100 people at the Art Against Cuts event at Goldsmiths Student Untion yesterday, including a sizeable contingent from Goldsmiths as well as other art colleges - notably from the Slade, where there has recently been an occupation. There were various workshops planning creative actions in the lead up to Friday's demonstration on the day that the House of Commons will be voting on fee rises. The event continues today (Sunday), all welcome.
Unkettling education Teach-in at Goldsmiths
Tomorrow - Monday 6th December - there's a 'teach-in' at Goldsmiths in New Cross from 10 am to 9 pm, seemingly with lots of speakers from the Anthropology department. They say:
'The coalition government has launched a multi-front assault on education in Britain. Schools, colleges, universities, libraries, nurseries, youth programmes - all the places where we learn, teach, think and critique, from cradle to grave - have been targeted for a calculated offensive amounting to nothing less than an educational kettle. Join us for a collaborative teach-in to build the resistance and strategise a more progressive, inclusive, just educational future'
University for Strategic Optimism go to Tesco
The University of Strategic Optimism, which proclaims the need for 'free and open education, a return of politics to the public, and the politicisation of public space' held a lecture last week (November 30th) at the Tesco store in the Old Kent Road:
Simon Hughes Protest
Goldsmiths Student Union are calling for a 'Protest outside Simon Hughes office in Bermondsey, WEDNESDAY, meet 12 noon outside Goldsmiths RHB Building. He MUST vote against the fees!'.
Think that's all for now!
If anybody gets a photo of the Three Wise Men walking over Hilly Fields, please do send it in.
Saturday, December 04, 2010
Friday, December 03, 2010
This weekend (December 4th -5th) sees the Arts Against Cuts Long Weekend at Goldmsiths College Student Union in New Cross. According to the organisers:
'For 48 hours, Goldsmiths will become a furnace of creativity, a place to re-imagine resistance against the cuts. The Long Weekend will reclaim the public, critical space that universities and art schools should be. We will transform the buildings into a living laboratory, an art school for the future, which brings together art students, artists, cultural workers and those fighting the cuts from across the UK to share in defiance... against the relentless marketization of our education and our lives. We will share knowledge and skills; we will collaborate across disciplines, ages and backgrounds; we will turn our imagination and desires into tools of disobedience. We will make sure that all the knowledge, ideas,tools and projects which emerge from the event will be disseminated and put into action in streets and public spaces across the country and be shared by all those in the anticuts movements.
The Long Weekend will be a feast of non stop workshops and presentations, slide shows and films, how-to sessions and skill shares, and a free space for spontaneous creation of events, actions and expressions. Its not important what art is but what it does, and right now it has the potential to turn the crisis of cuts into an opportunity for change...'
All welcome to drop-in (you don't have to be an artist or at Goldsmiths), it starts at 10 am Saturday and finishes at 11:30 pm on Sunday.
Update: this case is now being taken up by Liberty, who are supporting legal action against the Police in relation to the the kettling of children. If you have any information that would assist with this, please contact Liberty.
(nb - you have to buy the magazine to read the full article, Searchlight do not publish all material online - details from the website)
Thursday, December 02, 2010
More Winter Tree Dressing this weekend (Saturday 4th December), this time in Southwark's Burgess Park. There will be mullled wine, mince pies and a choir from 11.30 to 4.00 pm. The day will also feature the announcement of the name of the new cafe in the park, right by the playground next to Chumleigh Gardens. Park was looking beautiful today, complete with an igloo.
See also Tree Dressing in Forest Hill
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Just picked up this report from S.:
'There was a demo starting at 18.30 outside Lewisham Town Hall. Probably about 3-400 people present, half students, half members of local anti-cuts protest groups and the usual contingent from SWP and other left groups. The meeting was due to start at 19.30. The council and cops had said that only 28 people would be allowed to get in the public gallery.
About 19.15 the crowd moved to the front door, which was poorly defended by about half a dozen police and the same number of security guards. About thirty or so people got inside. Outside, things began to get heavy. Police reinforcements with riot shields (the small round ones) turned up and started to push the crowd off the steps outside the front door of the town hall. There was a fair bit of pushing and shoving, a glass door pane was broken. Then some completely excessive violence against some students on the steps: grabbing people by scarves, pushing them down a flight of five steps into each other, etc. There were one or two nasty and vindictive cops who made the running, hitting people with the shields. The crowd seemed to be made up of people who were not especially used to this type of stuff, but equally seemed absolutely unintimidated, which I found heartening. Music was being played and a chant of "this is what democracy looks like" went up, which I thought was pretty apt.
Even more police arrived, some with long riot shields, and a bunch of thuggish looking plain-clothes officers. They seemed to go completely over the top, closing down the South Circular Road (which runs past the town hall) with their cars. By then they had got the crowd off the steps. Things quietened down a bit and people started to leave. So did the full-length riot shields...
Note that this was a meeting of a Labour-majority council, voting on a budget that it had put together before the general election. I am struck by the contrast with the Thatcher government, under which Labour councils put up all sorts of token resistance to the cuts right up until the capitulation of the GLC in 1983-84. This time they didn't even wait for the coalition to get elected to start pushing the cuts through'.
(not sure last point is completely accurate - I don't think the detailed budget had been put together before the general election, but it's certainly true that Bullock and co. haven't hung about in making cuts)
Here's some footage of the crowd before some of the demonstrators made their way inside:
There's also some photos up at Lewisham Right to Work.
The Lewisham cuts package was approved, 36 for (Labour), 3 against (Green and Tories), 11 abstained (Lib Dems). The result was probably never in doubt, what may turn out to be significant was the scale and intensity of the demonstration outside - in 1990 the movement against the poll tax saw similar demos outside Town Halls, notably in Brixton and Hackney, injecting a momentum that was followed by the huge anti-poll tax demonstration in Trafalgar Square and six months later by the resignation of Margaret Thatcher. Has Cameron's downfall started in Catford?!
Didn't expect to find one about Leslie Nielsen, the US star of Airplane and Naked Gun fame who died at the weekend. Then this popped up via Max Tundra on Twitter:
Yes, there he is standing outside the Half Moon pub at Herne Hill. Seemingly it was 1988, and he was in town to film this cider commercial, which I assume was filmed inside the Half Moon:
They don't make Red Rock any more do they? It was a brand for Taunton cider.
'In 1973 a youth was stabbed while in a queue at a fish and chip shop in South London. The police arrived and a crowd gathered. The police began to panic and tried to push the crowd back, but the crowd was under pressure from people pouring out of a fair in Brockwell Park. The police drew their truncheons and laid into the crowd. A general fight developed, a policeman was hurt and reinforcements sent for. A police riot ensued; they attacked people all around them and lost control of themselves. Three black youths were arrested... and each given three years in prison. One later won an appeal against conviction, but the other two were not so lucky...
After this the stunned black community in Brixton began to mobilise. On 20 March  a meeting was held in Brixton town hall at which a fund was started for the three and a committee formed to campaign for them. On the 27th the Tulse Hill Students' Collective organised a meeting attended by 70 children from nine to 17 years old. The collective which had raised £100, urged other schools to raise money. At the meeting a Black Students' Action Committee was formed. On 30 March, a 500-strong demonstration and a public meeting took place to spread information about the case. Then on 3 April 1,000 school pupils, most of them black, came out on strike. They held a rally and march - parading past the local court, the police station, Tulse Hill School, where another 100 pupils joined them, and Brockwell Park'
(Source: Robert Moore, Racism and Black Resistance in Britain, Pluto Press, 1975)
Sunday, November 28, 2010
'A young Muslim couple’s wedding reception was wrecked by the police when they were arrested at their home full of guests and taken to the local station on allegations that it was a forced marriage. Shahid and Kiran Iqbal were getting ready to go to the celebrations, when police first raided their home in Sydenham, south London on October 31. “They pushed into our house without warrant and demanded to see my wife, Kiran. They didn’t tell me why they were there,” Shahid told The Muslim News...
There were around 200 people in the house and around 800 were waiting in a reception hall. At around 12.30 the bride and groom and the family and friends began leaving for the reception led by musicians playing drums. “As soon as we began leaving around 10 police officers came to our house. They told me they were not satisfied and told me I was under arrest,” Shahid said. “I asked him for what. He replied, ‘For kidnapping.’ I asked, ‘Whose kidnapping’, he replied, ‘you kidnapped a young girl under the age of 18 and you are force marrying her.’ I said this was not the case and that you had talked to my wife earlier and you told us it was Ok.”
... Shahid, his parents and parents of Kiran appealed to the police officers to allow them to go to the reception and said they would willingly go to the police station after the celebrations. “We told them they could accompany us to the reception to ensure we don’t run away,” said Shahid.
But they were taken to Lewisham police station where they were questioned. Kiran said she was asked the same questions as before. They asked her name, her age, what she did, how long she had known her husband and whether she was forced to marry. “I said no. I told them I was happy to get married. They asked me to sign a statement to this effect which I did,” said Kiran...
“They did not even apologise after they had spoilt our day which we were looking forward to enjoy and celebrate. We spent so much money, the large amount of effort we put into to make the wedding reception perfect. All of this went into waste,” said Shahid. Most of their guests, who had come from around the country, had left when they reached the reception. “I was embarrassed when we walked into the hall. I felt humiliated,” said Kiran'.
Doubtless the police were obliged to investigate the allegation of forced marriage (which they now acknowledge may have been made maliciously), but did they have to pile in such a ham-fisted and insensitive way?
On Wednesday 1st December, Lewisham Anti Racist Action Group and Goldsmiths Studnet Union are holding a meeting on 'Fighting Racism and Islamophobia today - Defend our rights, celebrate diversity'. It takes place at Goldsmiths Student Union, Dixon Road, SE14 from 4 pm to 6 pm. The meeting is part of the One Society, Many Cultures initiative.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
First speaker was John McDonnell MP, left wing Labour MP, who denounced the police treatment of young people he witnessed on Wednesday's student demonstration in Whitehall - they were 'Trampled, hurt and kettled... They were cold, they were hungry'. He called for solidarity with those arrested and students occupying colleges elsewhere. Tony Benn did his usual litany of English radicalism, placing the students in the line of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, Suffragettes and Chartists.
Biggest cheer though was for Jack Jordan who talked about the school students walk out he was involved in from Haberdashers Aske's in New Cross. He noted the irony of being pulled in for a warning by a senior teacher immediately after an assembly praising Nelson Mandela, who was expelled from school for organising a protest. It seems that on the day of the protest, sixth formers went in to school and then walked out (as they are allowed to come and go), the younger students worked out they could be locked in the school so they didn't go in at all, instead they went straight to Goldsmiths and met up with students to go in to town. We have heard from other students that some of those who took part were given a detention and told to write an essay on the pros and cons of student fees!
Tony Reay from Lewisham Anti Cuts Alliance talked about planned cuts in the Council and other local public services, including the conversion of Deptford Job Centre (his workplace) into a wine bar and flats. He called on people to join a demonstration at Lewisham Town Hall on Monday night, where Councillors will be voting on cuts.
There also speakers from Goldsmiths Student Union (James Heywood, arrested at Millbank), Goldsmiths UCU (Jon Wadsworth), Coalition of Resistance (Jon Rees, a Goldsmiths postgraduate), Green Party, Lewisham Right to Work (Jess Edwards, a local teacher). From the floor there were contributions from Martin Powell-Davis (National Union of Teachers), the Save New Cross Library campaign and a member of the Communication Workers Union whose daughter was also arrested at Millbank.
All in all it did feel that momentum is building for a widespread movement against cuts locally and nationally, even if in my personal opinion there is still too much looking back to the anti-Thatcher movement of the 1980s. The point is surely that with the exception of the poll tax, the then Conservative government defeated most of the opposition it faced. So just reviving 80s slogans and tactics seems a bad place to start (or for that matter 1968 slogans and tactics, as Nina Power has argued). Rousing speeches are fine, but we also need more imagination and discussion about how to move forward.
Tomorrow night's (Monday 29th) Lewisham Anti Cuts Alliance protest at the Council meeting takes place from 6:30pm at the Town Hall in Catford.
Last week's school protests
Meanwhile more news has emerged about what happened in local schools on last Wednesay's day of action against the cuts. The South London Press (26.11.10) reports that 'Pupils from schools includong Crossways Sixth Form in Sprules Road, Brockley; Dunraven School in Leigham Court Road, Streatham; The John Roan School in Maze Hill, Blackheath; Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham College in Pepys Road, New Cross; Lewisham College in Lewisham Way; and Prendergast-Hilly Fields College in Adelaide Avenue Brockley, also joined the protest'. As reported here previously, students at Forest Hill Boys and Sydenham Girls were (mostly) prevented from leaving schools to join in, while a commenter to an earlier post reported that at Charter School in Dulwich 'there was a sit in by a couple of hundred kids in a hall... after they were refused the chance to leave to join the protest, and the whole school was locked down'.
Many of those who did make into Whitehall for the demonstration ended up being detained for hours in the police 'kettle' operation. According to The Guardian:
'Jasmine Simmons, 18, a student at Crossways College in Brockley, south London, said: "It's madness in there. Everyone is angry because they just want to go home. The police are letting people out 15 at a time now but there are still hundreds of students in there, it's going to take hours." Naz Ramadan, 18, from Lewisham, east London, said: "It's so dangerous in there. I felt dizzy, some people were injured, and they still wouldn't let us out'...
Two mothers with children stuck behind police lines said their children had contacted them earlier in the day to say they had been blocked in. Sara Tomlinson, 45, received a text message from her 16 year old daughter Katie at about 3pm. "I got here at 5pm. She sent me a text message at 3pm and said 'mum we have been kettled, and we have got to be here til 9pm'." Tomlinson said that while she was waiting for her daughter she was caught up when officers on horse back charged the protesters. "I said can I talk to someone about the welfare of my child. They have been there eight hours without food or water and what is the temperature?... But they kept forming a line of horses and then charging. We were running and trying not to fall over."
Tomlinson's daughter attended the same school - Lambeth Academy [in Clapham]- as Sam the son of Margot Turner, 55, a medical lecturer."I think it's appalling. I was really scared," said Turner in reference to the charge by mounted police. "I think it is their democratic right [to protest]. It is them that are going to university in 2012 and they won't be able to afford it."
The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts has called a further day of action for this Tuesday 30th November.
Last Thursday also saw a group of students blockading the Bermondsey office of Simon Hughes MP.
The first gig was on 18 May 1978, the second on Thursday March 13 1980 (flyer below). Both were recorded and can be heard on the box set TG24 (cover from cassette release of 1978 gig above).
Incidentally, prior to Throbbing Gristle band members Geneis P.Orridge and Cosi Fanni Tutti were in the performance art group COUM Transmissions. They staged their pieces 'Birth of Liquid Desires' (1974) and 'After Cease to Exist' (1976) at Goldsmiths, the latter in the same year that they were denounced by an MP as ‘wreckers of civilization’ following their famous ‘Prostitution’ exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts.
Later, P.Orridge and others founded Thee Temple Ov Psychick Youth (TOPY). In 1991, Fred Carter of TOPY had a performance called ‘Shock, Information and the Negation of Control’ stopped short by the Student Union at Goldsmiths. It involved self-mutilation, with Carter cutting himself to a soundtrack of drones, industrial rhythms and hymns.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Coil's album Astral Disaster states on its sleevenotes that it 'was recorded in two days at Samhain 1998... under the level of the river Thames in the ancient borough of Southwark'. As Christopher Jones mentions in his book 'Subterranean Southwark', Coil told him that it was made 'in a private studio nearby to Clink St'.
This was the studio run by Gary Ramon of Sun Dial and Prescription records, as Ramon recalls:
'We had a studio in London Bridge in London. It was in an old debtors' prison two floors below ground! It was a studio originally built by Iron Maiden and became known as Samurai studios (I think Motorhead recorded an album there) The Stranglers took it over for awhile, then we took it. With Prescription, I wanted to let artists loose in the studio to make what they wanted. With that freedom, I think it worked well. I played on most of the albums in some capacity. Coil made an album Astral Disaster there'.
From Coil's Astral Disaster here's an extract from the track The Sea Priestess
See also: Throbbing Gristle in New Cross
Thursday, November 25, 2010
On Youtube there's even some footage from the gig. Anybody remember it?
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
- Hundreds of college and school students set off from Goldsmiths in New Cross to take part in demonstrations, including a group who briefly occupied a Lloyds TSB bank at London Bridge for the 'inaugural lecture' of the University for Strategic Optimism, 'A university based on the principal of free and open education, a return of politics to the public, and the politicisation of public space' (film clip below).
- students have occupied the Language Centre (threatened with closure) at South Bank University, Elephant and Castle. They have issued a statement tonight: 'Today has been a momentous occasion for the student movement and the wider campaign against the coalition government’s ‘austerity cuts’ across the country. We offer our solidarity to all those students protesting today including those ‘kettled’ in Central London, the thirteen students arrested in today’s protests and those students from Rednock School, Gloucestershire, excluded for walking out, all in protest to the cuts in education funding and rise of university tuition fees'
- There were protests at various schools - the Standard reports that 'Around 60 students at John Roan School in Greenwich were among the first to walk out of class'. Anti-cuts reported earlier that 'students from Crossways sixth form are on their way to Trafalgar Sq. Blocking the local roads as they go!' (Crossways is in Sprules Road, SE4). At other schools, staff prevented students from leaving. For instance at Sydenham Girls a crowd gathered in morning break, but staff blocked the exit. Small groups got out later. Similar scenes at Forest Hill Boys. Still waiting to hear what happened at Haberdashers' Aske's in New Cross and elsewhere.
Anyone from South London schools or colleges take part? -Let us know what happened where you were.
Last month Kings of Leon played a gig there for Radio 1, and Brockley Central reports that Kenneth Brannagh's film My Week With Marilyn was being filmed there earlier this month, starring Emma Watson.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
'He is the brilliant Oxford graduate with a burgeoning career in television, including a stint on Melvyn Bragg's The South Bank Show. But Thom Costello can also be unmasked as the ringleader of an anti-capitalist movement that is bringing chaos to high streets across Britain. Mr Costello, 22, has already orchestrated a protest against Vodafone, shutting down about a tenth of its stores over claims the company has evaded a £6 billion tax bill... Mr Costello, whose father runs a theatre in south London and who has accompanied his son on one Vodafone protest, founded UK Uncut late last month with a group of activists after a meeting in a London pub... After leaving Oxford, he briefly worked as a teacher at his old school Langley Park Boys School in Lewisham' etc etc
Liberal Conspiracy has dissected this story. Incidentally Langley Park is a comprehensive school in Beckenham in the borough of Bromley. Can't these illiterate journos even use google?
Monday, November 22, 2010
The theatre is one of the projects of Art Saves Lives, which is 'committed to finding space for any artist, writer or poet that feels for whatever reason they are marginalised by society, to help them to find and share their voice'. According to a profile in The Guardian: 'Hot Tap Theatre's creative director is playwright and artist Dean Stalham, who learned to write scripts while serving time in Wandsworth for dealing stolen art (Kenneth Clarke really should be paying attention). He set up umbrella organisation Art Saves Lives last year, and last month launched the 100-seat venue with the aim of staging six fresh plays by new writers annually. It's based in a defunct warehouse, the chairs are frayed old cinema seats, the stage was painted by homeless people, and the stage manager is Glaswegian Eve McDougall, who became an artist and author after being sent to prison for stealing food when she was 15'.
The current Hot Tap show (18th to 27th November)is 'The Disappearing Act', written and performed by Allan Royal and directed by Pam Brighton.
At the weekend they had a pop up Christmas craft fair (below) and they also host comedy and music nights.