Monday, December 31, 2007
‘Police were called to cinemas in London and Liverpool last night to deal with disturbances among youthful audiences as showings of the film ‘Rock Around the Clock’... Police dogs were used to break up a crowd outside the Gaumont cinema, Lewisham, SE, where the same film is being shown. Trouble began during the performance when a youth jumped on the rail in front of the stage, walked along it and chanted ‘Rock – rock – rock’. Others teenagers ‘jived’ in the isles.
30 policemen arrived. One was knocked between two rows of seats when he tried to stop dancing. Police and commissionaires ejected about 50 youths. Six youths will appear in court at Woolwich SE today, charged with insulting behaviour outside the Granada cinema, Woolwich, where the film had been shown’.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
"The first time I saw DAVID BOWIE performing was on THE OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST, on TV. Everything changed, and that was basically the end of normality for me. I was obsessive about BOWIE. I saw my first ZIGGY STARDUST concert when I was 13 at the Lewisham Odeon - ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS - and followed him to every concert hall and radio gig. Saturdays and Sundays, and sometimes after school, I'd go to Beckenham on the bus and just stand outside his house and hang out with all the other fans. We'd talk about him nonstop, about his latest records. latest outfits, his boots, his hair. One day we were being quite noisy outside his home, and his wife, Angie, opened the window and shouted: 'Will you all fuck off!' It was the highlight of our year; we were all quite chuffed to be acknowledged."
There's an audio recording of part of the soundtrack and gig at Lewisham (the gig starts at about 6:40 with Wild Eyed Boy/All the Young Dudes/Oh you pretty things:
The day after the Lewisham gig, he moved on to the Winter Fardens in Bournemouth. There's a remarkable Nationwide TV report form this which gives a flavour of the time (not sure if there is any Lewisham footage in the video, most of it is from Bournemouth).
There's a bootleg of the whole Lewisham gig out there too, the full set list was apparently:
Ode To Joy
Hang On To Yourself
Watch That Man
Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud/All The Young Dudes/Oh! You Pretty Things
The Jean Genie
Time Width Of A Circle
Let's Spend The Night Together
Drive In Saturday
Friday, December 28, 2007
I have been reading 'Culture Clash: Dread Meets Punk Rockers' (SAF: London, 2007), the autobiography of Don Letts, DJ, film-maker, member of Big Audio Dynamite and general mischief maker. Don grew up in Brixton, going to Christchurch Primary School and Archbishop Tennison secondary, but during the punk period when he was DJing at the Roxy club (early 1977) he 'moved to a grand old house in Forest Hil, built on the second highest point in London' with his then girlfriend Jeanette Lee - later a member of Public Image Ltd and later still co-owner of Rough Trade records. Leo Williams and JR, who were in black post-punk band The Basement 5, lived there and 'Both Joe Strummer and Chrissie Hynde also lived there at different times'.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Sadly for South East London, ballet groupie Barnbrook is from Lewisham. He was apparently born in Catford, and has boasted: 'I am a Streetleader for my local Council, which involves removing graffiti, antisocial behaviour and other forms of vandalism from South East London'. I believe that Lewisham is the only local Council in SE London with a Streetleader scheme, so assume that Barnbrook has been living in Lewisham until recently - although he now claims to be living in Barking & Dagenham, as required of a local councillor.
The racist BNP now seems to be targeting parts of Lewisham, particularly in the Downham area. Its London website recently boasted that 'The British National Party was out in force in south Lewisham last weekend (24/25 November 2007) as over 50 members put out around 25,000 leaflets urging local residents to vote for the party and our Mayoral candidate, Richard Barnbrook, in the GLA elections next May'.
As documented at Stop the BNP, the party are currently having some welcome internal disputes with splits, expulsions and accusations of illegal activity. Since the recipients of the leadership's bullying tactics have been other BNP members, our sympathy is limited. But we should bear in mind that organisations like this show some of their true colours in their internal dealings, and only wait the opportunity to apply similar, or worse measures to their real opponents. We might note for instance the history in Germany of the Nazi SD (the Security Service of the SS). 'Its initial task had been to spy on Party members, and thus to give the SS an ascendancy over the regular Party apparatus' (Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jersualem: a Report on the Banality of Evil) - soon its officers including Reinhardt Heydrich and Adolf Eichmann were rounding up Jews and others for extermination.
Check out Lewisham Anti-Racist Action Group for local plans to oppose BNP. And watch out for tutu wearing nazis in your area being followed by doe-eyed ex-porn film directors, er sorry streetleaders.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
It is amazing that buildings like this can be allowed to just disappear, so it is heartening to hear that progress has been made in the campaign to have the Rivoli Ballroom in Brockley listed by English Heritage. According to comments at Brockley Central, English Heritage may already have listed the ballroom, if not an application has certainly been submitted by people anxious to prevent its redevelopment.
If you are a facebook user, check out the Save the Rivoli group.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Nothing in New Cross itself, unlike in 1884 when 'the Great National Xmas Fair and South London Healtheries' took place in New Cross Public Hall. For 6d admission the attractions, as advertised on this poster, included Athletes, Juggling, Circus, Knife throwing, Swings, Theatre, Pantomime, Aunt Sally and Marrionettes.
Another poster for this event, held in the British Library's excellent Evanion collection of theatre memorabilia, provides more detail promising "Grand circus including the choicest gems of equestrian art! The most accomplished athletes and gymnasts! the most amusing, funny & grotesque clowns! the clever stud of trained horses and ponies! in fact the best circus in or out of London. … A Richardson's show! - on a scale not attempted in England for the last 50 years, the Grand Spectacular Pantomime entitled 'Harlequin Black Eyed Susan or the Black and Blue-Eyed Captain', supported by well-know London artistes...Burlesque, Comedy, Drama!". All this plus The Crown Minstrels ('a talented troupe of Negro Minstrels, Manager Mr. J. De Voye'), 'Phantasmagoria, or ghost illusions. Under the able direction of Mr. J D Humphreys' plus 'Peculiar dwarfs', 'Giant Ladies', elephants, leopards and performing camels. In short 'The Fun, the Frolic and the Mirth'.
I'm not sure where in New Cross the Public Hall stood, but the poster stated that for this event it was enlarged to hold 20,000 people. Also I have no idea what 'South London Healtheries' denotes. Any information/ideas welcome.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
More about these records here. I haven't been down to the pub on a Sunday afternoon for a while - are they still going strong?
Monday, December 17, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Last month was also the 40th anniversary of the Hither Green rail crash on 5 November 1967, in which 40 people died.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Wednesday 19th December 2007 at 7.30 for food, 8.00pm for film. £4 including veggie food at The Café Crema 306 New Cross Rd SE14.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
As a further contribution to this collection, I have just posted a Youtube clip of the strange spectacle of Fozzie Bear singing the music hall number Wot'cher (Knocked Em in the Old Kent Road) on The Muppet Show complete with Pearly King outfit! American child star Shirley Temple also sang this in the 1936 film Little Princess (clip also on Youtube).
Thursday, November 29, 2007
There's another event on this weekend on The Weird, expect lots of Lovecraftian business and a presentation by Mark K-Punk on The Door and The Wall (a story by H.G. Wells). Not sure I can make it this Saturday, but there's more about it here.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Today is the 250th anniversary of the birth of William Blake, visionary poet, artist, and radical. Blake spent part of his adult life in Lambeth at 13 Hercules Buildings, but he was familiar with many parts of South London.
From childhood he spent time wandering all over London and famously had a vision of angels in a tree in Peckham Rye. This is commemorated today in a mural near Goose Green (East Dulwich) . The incident is related by Blake's first biographer, Alexander Gilchrist:
"On Peckham Rye (by Dulwich Hill) it is, as he will in after years relate, that while quite a child, of eight or ten perhaps, he has his "first vision." Sauntering along, the boy looks up and sees a tree filled with angels, bright angelic wings bespangling every bough like stars. Returned home he relates the incident, and only through his mother's intercession escapes a thrashing from his honest father, for telling a lie". Where exactly this took place is unknown; Peckham Rye at that time covered a much larger area than the current park. Blake's writings are full of references to the South London landscape:
"Wild Thyme from Wimbledon's green and impurpled hills" (Milton).
"Hand had his Furnace on Highgate's heights and it reached To Brockley Hills across the Thames" (Jerusalem).
"Jerusalem came down in a dire ruin over all the Earth, She fell cold from Lambeth's Vales in groans and dewy death" (Vala, or the Four Zoas)
"The Surrey hills glow like the clinkers of the furnace; Lambeth's Vale Where Jerusalem's foundations began, where they were laid in ruin... Return, return to Lambeth's Vale. O building of human souls!" (Milton)
"...from Lambeth We began our Foundations, lovely Lambeth. O lovely Hills of Camberwell, we shall behold you no more in glory and pride, For Jerusalem lies in ruins and the Furnaces of Los are builded there" (Jerusalem)
See also Dance of Albion. The mural on Goose Green in East Dulwich was originally painted by Stan Peskett in 1993.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Saturday mornings sometimes find me in the Laban centre in Deptford Creekside. The cafe there is right next to the Creek, depending on where you sit you can have a good view of the river, and of course you will be sitting in one of the most interesting new buildings in London. It's run by Feast Your Eyes ('the ethical catering co-operative') and you don't have to have anything to do with the dance classes to enjoy its food and drink. Anybody can pop into the cafe in the daytime Monday to Saturday.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
There is certainly something erotically charged about the Rivoli's red velvet, not to mention the sense of being in a film set with all the possibilities of re-invention and role play. Night of a Thousand Stars, which was held there in the mid to late 1990s, was certainly one of the sexiest clubs I've been to. I will post some flyers and memories here soon, or at least those that are decent.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Confusingly, a detailed article about the production of film states 'As most London pubs have been modernized, finding period ones proved difficult. The Salisbury was found in Haringey, and the other pub, The Dog and Beggar, in Deptford'. I am not aware of any 'Dog and Beggar' pub locally (there is of course 'The Dog and Bell'), so I think this is wrong - the fictional pub in the film is called The Dog and Beggar, I assume that the Crown & Spectre is the actual location, especially as the landlady in the pub says so!
I suppose the only way to be certain is to watch the film and then check out the pub. Any volunteers?
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Final event on Sunday 18 November (6pm) sees Mervyn Millar, one of the puppeteers on 'WarHorse', currently at the National Theatre, talking about the process of creating the show with its life-sized horse puppets. The talk will be followed by a programme of short performances by students of puppetry from the Central School of Speech and Drama. This takes place at Sassoon Gallery, 213 Blenheim Grove (behind Bar Story).
All events are free, but some have limited places and require booking in advance. Check website for details.
The location is mentioned by Cronenberg in an interview in Time Out: ‘When we found Watergate Street in Deptford, which is where the body is dumped into the river during ‘Eastern Promises’, I found that very few Londoners knew of it. People who’ve seen the movie ask me where it is. It’s a place where women and children came down to the river to say goodbye to sailors.’ I gather there's also a scene with Naomi Watts eating in a burger bar in Rotherhithe.
For other South East London film location see previous posts
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Not quite sure of what's happening with the Rivoli right now - Brockley Central broke the news that it was for sale for a cool £10 million. However the Estate Agent entry now says that its not on the market. Most worrying on the latter is the reference to it not only as a ballroom but as 'a plot of land ...best described as oblong and measures 15,000 sq ft in size'. The prospect of the maple dance floor being torn out to make way for flats makes the heart sink.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Saturday, November 03, 2007
At Lewisham Registry Office in 1938 he married Kitty Banks, who he had met through the Deptford Young Communist League (her parents ran Lewisham Socialist Sunday School). The reception was attended by CP leaders Harry Pollitt and Tom Mann, but within a year Copeman had left the party - a visit to the Soviet Union seemed to have been the turning point, when on a visit to a factory he observed the same working conditions he had fought against at home (see article here). He went on to be a Lewisham Labour councillor in the 1940s and 50s, and died in 1983.
Friday, November 02, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Although written in 2002, it's name was changed to mark the killing of De Menezes in Stockwell tube station - which I guess almost qualifies it for inclusion in our South London songs list. The lyrics of the song, with their references to 'prophets and their bombs' also gained an added poignancy in the aftermath of the tube and bus bombs of 7 July 2005.
From the 8th to 10th November Don Letts presents 'Speakers' Corner': 'A new live music theatre performance, spearheaded by film and music maverick Don Letts that seeks a contemporary response to the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the British slave trade. Seven lyricists including rapper and poet Skinnyman, human beatboxer Mad Flow and spoken word artist Malika Booker, will examine the concept of slavery in 2007’s multi-cultural generation, from political asylum through to the influence of Hip Hop’s bling culture'. Don Letts seems to be around a lot locally at the moment, DJing at The Amersham Arms and the Love Music Hate Racism gig at Goldsmiths in the last couple of weeks. I know he used to live in Forest Hill, not sure of his current locale.
They've also got Charlie Dark doing a kids show and a gig from Duke Special (November 21st) - a man who wrote a song, Brixton Leaves, after a gig at The Windmill.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Then in two weeks time (November 10th) there's a free half day event, also at Goldsmiths in New Cross, with films and speakers.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
Its local significance is that according to Pete Marsh (from where this fine picture was sourced), the very first stock car race on British soil took place at the New Cross speedway stadium, off Ilderton Road, on Good Friday, 16th April 1954. A 26,000 sell-out crowd attended with as many as 20,000 more were locked out of the packed venue.
The South London Press reported of the night: 'This is not a sport for the statistician, beyond a pure record that a French driver won the final. Thrills and spills are the points that count with the crowd. It gives them the thing they want in speedway, tumbles and accidents without anybody getting hurt... Cars were bumped and rolled over and over with their drivers getting out afterwards without a scratch. Wings were wrenched off as cars jostled for position. The ladies were there , and to show that the female sex give nothing away to the to the men one English girl driver won her heat. Unfortunately she was the centre of a three way crash in the final and never finished' (SLP 21.4.1054).
Two weeks later 48 drivers attempted to 'turn over or wreck each other in their bid for the £50 prize for the winner of the final'. The competitors included East London's 'Oily' Wells, the crowd's favourite on the first night, ex-New Cross speedway star George Craig and two women - 'English girl Tanya Crouch and French driver Michele Cancre d'Orgeix' (SLP 30.4.54). Not long afterwards, Stock Car racing left New Cross for Harringay in north London.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Passed this memorial to Magda Pniewska, 26 year old Polish care worker, on the way to work yesterday. She was on her way back from work at Manley Court Nursing Home home when she was shot dead in John Williams Close, New Cross.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I like these pictures on the hoardings around the building site on the corner of Kender Street, New Cross.
Better still, is it true they're building a new library there (among other things)? Possibly even one that has more than a handful of books and opens a bit more often than the current one in New Cross.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
The discovery of New Cross is a hardy perennial that seems to crop up on a recurring cycle. A few years ago the Standard published a two page spread on New Cross called 'Welcome to the New Hoxton' (9 July 2004). Around the same time, there was all the music press interest in the 'New Cross scene'. An article in NME (27 October 2005) declared that 'there are a hundred bands, fanzines, DJs and micro-labels doing exciting, inspiring stuff'.
We like to see some acknowledgement that there is life in South East London, but at the same time we don't really want to become the new anywhere else especially if its means the life being squeezed out of the area by rising rents and prices.
It is noteable that some of the 'scene' landmarks mentioned in the 2004 Standard article have already vanished. Moonbow Jakes, described as the 'New Cross artists' hang out and cafe' has closed, while the Temporary Contemporary gallery in the Seagar Distillery was displaced to make way for the Distillery development.
There's a great quote from Ian McQuaid in the latest Standard article: 'The scene is thriving, they say, partly because it is difficult to get to, meaning that locals are forced to stay local. "It is very insular here," says McQuaid. "They're about to shut the East London line for five years to build the extension. By the time they come back we'll all have sprouted claws and wings."'
The story of the Bounty, and Fletcher Christian's mutiny against Captain William Bligh, has been mythologised in Hollywood and other versions, but it is also a story very much rooted in local history. The Bounty sailed from Deptford in October 1787, on a journey planned to take breadfruit plants from Tahiti to grow on the slave plantations in the West Indies. Indeed pots for the voyage were actually made at a pottery on Creekside itself, possibly even a pottery known to have stood on the current site of the APT gallery.
There's a couple of free talks coming up at the gallery linked to the exhibition. Next Thursday 18 October 2007 at 7 pm Scott Plear presents 'Don’t let truth get in the way of a good story', focusing on interpretation of the Bounty story in film.
The Amersham Arms is going to be a real addition to South London nightlife, with something on every night of the week. I know it's been a good music pub for years, but it had got a bit stuck in the rut of late. I was pleased to see that the new owners seem to be going for a diverse music policy, rather than just wall to wall lowest common denominator guitar bands. There's Dubdisco next Wednesday with Don Letts DJing, and Redbricks Festival of Folk next Sunday 21st October. Today (Sunday) would be a good time to check it out if you're curious, with free entry to Sunday Best from 5:00 pm featuring Radio One's Rob Da Bank. If you get there early you might even be able to grab one of the big sofas.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Basically it's all to promote an exhibition, "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs," opening in November in Greenwich at O2. But the veneration of Anubis is nothing new in South London. In 1996 a Roman cemetery was excavated by archaeologists in Southwark in Great Dover Street (part of the original Kent Road). The grave of a young woman included several lamps with images of Anubis, as well as one with a gladiator image, prompting (probably unfounded) speculation that the grave was of a female gladiator.
PRETTY POLLY OF DEPTFORD.
Air—" Meg of Wapping."—(C. Dibdin.)
'Twas at Greenwich fair, I shall never forget,
When my messmates and I were all merry
At the Ship pretty Polly of Deptford I met
Whose cheeks were as red as a cherry.
Her eyes shot a four-pounder plump through my heart,
And though love I had always called folly,
I spilt all my grog o'er a messmate so smart,
While looking askew at Miss Polly.
So I looked like a lubber, my messmates all laughed
While Pardon I asked of Miss Polly.
But you know, British sailors for trifles don't stand,
And Polly forgave me so sweetly,
That I asked, when the fiddler struck up, for her hand,
For at dancing I can jig it featly;
But while we were footing it, 'twas love, I suppose,
Though she smiled, I was all melancholy,
For right I went left, jibbed, and trod on her toes,
Missed stage, and came down with Miss Polly.
So we called 'Jack's alive,' and I footed away,
And came in for a kiss of Miss Polly.
So my heart struck its colours, but don't go to think
I struck only because she was pretty;
I found she'd a heart that could part with the chink,
When distress came athwart her for pity.
She was none of they vixens who scratch out your eyes,
Tip you faintings, and all that queer folly,
Could work at her needle, make puddings and pies
And wa'n't that a charming Miss Polly ?
So she blushed her consent, and a license I bought,
And next day I married Miss Polly.
Friday, October 05, 2007
Any way, on 11th October South East London Folklore Society presents Patsy Langley talking on Ghosts of South London, with a particular focus on Borough and surrounds. 8 pm at the Old King's Head, Kings Head Yard, 45-49, Borough High St, London, SE1 1NA, £2.50 / £1.50 concessions.
Not sure if I can make it due to being treble booked, so I will throw in my own tale now. One of my neighbours in New Cross thinks they've got a haunted piano, or a house haunted by a ghost that is partial to tinkling the ivories. There was the time she thought her daughter practicing the piano, but she was actually in another room; the time she heard the piano being played in the night; the time everybody in the house was sitting down to dinner and they all heard some strange piano music (described as like fairy music). They live in a Victorian terrace on a busy road, so you could explain it as neighbours' noise, passing car stereos, or a hallucination. If you want to explain it by something else, why pick on ghosts (spirits of the dead), rather than say aliens or fairies? I guess that's folklore, the stories we tell to make sense of the things that don't appear to fit in with our habitual way of seeing the world.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
-Professor Paul Gilroy - sociologist, ex-Goldsmiths lecturer and author of Ain't No Black In The Union Jack and The Black Atlantic;
- Balwinder Rana and Ted Parker - veterans of Lewisham '77 and the Anti-Nazi League;
- Martin Lux, author of Anti-Fascist: A Foot-Soldier's Story;
- Dr William(Lez) Henry - former Goldsmiths lecturer and South London reggae DJ, author of What the Deejay Said: A Critique from the Street.
- speakers from Lewisham Anti-Racist Action Group (LARAG) and No One is Illegal.
Check the Lewisham '77 website to keep up to date with details.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Those who worried that the pub might lose its musical character under new management can relax . It will include a 300 capacity live venue, Sunday carvery, gallery upstairs, smaller live stage, and late license from Thursday - Saturday.
Events in the first month will feature Ross Allen , Alice McLaughlin, FourTet, They Came From the Stars I Saw Them, Hatcham Social, The Gluerooms Halloween Special, Twisted Charm, Don Letts, MaryAnne Hobbs and loads more.
I'm not sure how imminent this threat is, or whether it extends to the other shops in that stretch, including Prangsta and Rubbish & Nasty. It does highlight once again the role of Goldsmiths as a major property owner/developer in the area - over the past 20 years or so it has expanded to take over a Church, former primary school, former Town Hall and the Laurie Grove Swimming Baths. It would be a shame if it now used its wealth/power to close down one of the few points of interest in the anonymous traffic corridor that is New Cross Road.
Supporters are asked to pop down to 306 New Cross Road to sign a petition. Inevitably there's also a Save Cafe Crema group on Facebook.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
No more parties though at Crystal Palace, where over the summer there have been a number of unofficial events in the subway under Crystal Palace Parade. Bromley Council say they have stepped up security to prevent access to the subway, which is a Grade 2 Listed Building in its own right. The acknowledge that there has been no damage to the subway, an impressive crypt like structure built in the 1850s to provide access from a now-closed railway station to the Palace.
Friday, September 28, 2007
What is shocking about these stories is the assumption that people who are just going about their daily lives without harming anybody can be treated as criminals, arrested and locked up in detention centres just for having the wrong papers - and that this should be regarded as normal. The South London Press car wash story even invited readers to phone Crimestoppers to 'report suspected illegal workers'. A dangerous trend in which whole categories of people, rather than actions, can be classified as illegal and in which Gordon Brown can revive the 1970s National Front slogan of 'British Jobs for British Workers' and barely raise an eyebrow.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Inspector Sands has weighed in, particularly mocking the suggestion that we should be grateful because our little corner of the world would be a cultural and culinary desert if it wasn't for the money being spent by the inhabitants of similar developments - You should be grateful we moved here, poor people.
Following our previous posts on Disappearing Deptford it is interesting that somebody commenting at Greenwich Phantom took great umbrage at the suggestion that Millennium Quay wasn't in Greenwich - this development is in the London Borough of Greenwich, as are many other parts of South East London that nobody would call Greenwich, but is most definitely on the Deptford side of Deptford Creek, whatever estate agents might say.
Some fundamental questions in this debate about regeneration, gentrification and public space that I shall return to when I have the time to collect my thoughts.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
More worrying still, Neil from Essential suggests that the demise of the shop is a foretaste of the further redevelopment and gentrification of Greenwich:
'Greenwich is run by Greenwich Hospital [ Basically the Government] which is supposed to be a charity for Royal Navy casualties - That is where the money is supposed to go. Oh, all of a sudden it doesn`t make enough profit despite having sold off the Royal Naval College to create Greenwich `University` [Basically pay-as-you-go]. So, Greenwich must now become a theme-brothel for stylish sophisticates [They wish] and New City overspill. No singing, no dancing, no playing of instruments, no gladrags. [Can I just mention the ONLY place I have EVER been refused entry to is the Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen-decorated INC Bar, although I guess a somewhat worse for wear Jamie Reynolds didn`t help - I expect they`ll let him in now].
We`re out of there. Mass exodus. Start barricading Deptford'.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
The event starts on Friday 14th September 10.30 and continues with two days of workshops, films and discussions, ending up with joining the Lewisham 77 walk on Saturday 15th September at 3 pm (by New Cross Inn). The aim is to reconvene the Migrating University at the No Borders camp near Gatwick next week. For details of the programme see John Hutnyck's blog, Trinketization.
Richard Cabut (known to some of you I'm sure as Richard North) has written a short story, How It Ends, for the festival which will be available in Nunhead Library during the Arts Week - or you can email email@example.com for a PDF version. More details at the Nunhead Arts blog.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Interesting talk coming up next week at South East London Folklore Society, with Rob Stephenson on 'Stones & Bones of London' - the stories of strange stones and unusual bones in London. Rob is the convener of London Earth Mysteries Circle, so really knows his stuff.
Thursday, September 13, 2007 at The Old King's Head, Kings Head Yard, 45-49, Borough High St, London, SE1 1NA. Nearest stations are London Bridge and Borough. It is just off Borough High Street.Talks start at 8.00pm £2.50 / £1.50 concessions. All Welcome.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
The Coterie of Zombies is 'about one man, his boyfriend, his best friends and a bunny in Brockley. It's about art, knitting and gay sex'. Zombiemaster Howard James Hardiman is currently working on a participatory art project in Brockley where he's asking people to put in pictures of the local area under monsters, giant ants, zombies and their ilk to be displayed during October at the Broca café. It's called Brockzilla and people have until the end of September to submit pictures.
London SE4 is Brockley's only Italian language blog in which Moya writes a 'Blog di arte, cultura e tutto quello che (mi) capita a Londra... '. My own knowledge of Italian doesn't run much further than 'autonomia operaia' and 'Bella Ciao' but good to see anyway.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Schoolkids went on a sandal strike - and won. Pupils at Sedgehill School, Bellingham, were told the could not wear their colourful plastic sandals in school. But a group of them organised secret meetings to plan a strike. And when the break-time bell rang pupils claim 500 stayed in the playground. One of them Sharon Williams, 14, of Morley Road, Lewisham said: 'One of the teachers came out and threatened the boys with a beating and girls with suspension. Some went back and the rest stayed'.
Veron Smith, 15, of Erlanger Road, New Cross, said: 'We said "Give in and we'll go in and do our work" and they did. The next day they announced we could wear them'. A teacher, who asked for her name to be withheld, said: 'They were told they could not wear them because they were dangerous and bad for their feet'.
After the strike last week, which lasted 15 minutes, some of the leaders claim they were picked out for punishment by being sent home. One of those sent home, David Fisher, 15, of Southend Lane, Bellingham, said: 'The plastic sandals are just cooler in the summer. I don't know why they are supposed to be dangerous. It was the deputy head, not the headmaster who stopped us wearing them'.
Headmaster James Turner declined to comment. An ILEA spokesman said: 'It was just a handful of pupils at the end of break discussing these plastic sandals which a member of staff though were slippery. The headmaster examined the sandals and felt that though they were unsuitable, they could still be worn'.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
'Stunned star spotters were shocked to see mysterious lights flying above East Dulwich on Saturday, fuelling rumours of secret military experiments or visitors from the space in the area. Lawyer Richard Pringle, 33, of Peckham Rye, was walking home with his flatmate about 11.30pm when he spotted the UFOs rise above the Crystal Palace skyline.
He said: "We were both completely sober and we could see a row of four lights coming up over the hill and over Dulwich Village. If it was a plane you would have said it was at about 15,000 feet and you couldn't see any lights flashing or anything, you could just see a constant orange glow". Mr Pringle said the lights were followed by two more chains of four lights which moved as if propelled by an engine. He added: "There is no way you would have normal planes flying like that. People have said it's possibly planes from a military base nearby."'
Some discussion of this too over at the East Dulwich Forum, with suggestions including Chinese Wedding Lanterns, and account of the sighting (presumably from same person):
'Me and my flatmate (both rational professionals and sober at the time) were walking up peckham rye on the east side of the common at about 11 pm on saturday 4 august and saw 3 or so lines of quite small orange fiery lights, each line with about 4 lights in it, moving almost vertically up from the horizon near crystal palace masts, then, when they were fairly high in the sky, their trajectory flattened out sharply and they began to travel east over east dulwich and peckham rye. the speed and altitude were similar to that of a jet plane, but the flight path, formation, numbers and appearance were quite different. we watched for a few minutes. we left the road and went into our apartment building to get binoculars and look from our roof terrace; in the couple of minutes it took to get there, they had disappeared. did anybody else see this?'
The MOD wesbite records another sighting in East Dulwich on 19th January 2003 at 1 am, with a description of 'Lights, that were formed in a worm shape, wriggling around in the sky'.
Friday, August 10, 2007
The trees in the area are mostly hardy London planes and their bark is certainly robust enough to cope with staples and drawing pins, so I don't think there's a green argument here. For years they have functioned as a kind of community newspaper, carrying news of lost pets, meetings, car boot sales, gigs and other events in local schools, pubs and community centres. I have never seen this abused by people mass flyposting for commercial advertising, and if people do put up something out of character they just get pulled down - a kind of communal editing of the local street paper. It will be a real loss to the area if this is destroyed.
Lewisham has apparently proposed a community notice board as an alternative, but unless there are lots of them this will hardly suffice. The point about the trees is that they are located all over the place and seen by people as they walk around, unlike say a board in a park which only a minority will see. The point is also that there should be a public sphere in which people can communicate with each other without needing to fill in forms or otherwise seek the permission of the Council or other authorities.
This is not just a Lewisham issue - the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 gives powers to Councils to impose on the spot fines for flyposting, dogs, noise etc. Most of these things were already covered by previous legislation, so people could be prosecuted if the offence was serious. Now they don't need to go through the trouble of actually involving the courts where evidence can be challenged. Lewisham do however have discretion in how they implement the Act.
Everybody wants 'cleaner, greener, safer neighbourhoods' (to use the Government jargon) but do we really want sterile neighbourhoods where every social interaction is regulated by the local or national state and harmless community posters are banished? Please don't tell me this is making my neighbourhood safer - there were three burglaries in my road last week and my partner had her handbag snatched! One of the things that does make communities safer is a flourishing civil society where people meet each other, talk to each other and look out for each other. Precisely the kind of things that events like Hillaballo encourage. But if people can't promote them with posters, how are we even going to know they're happening?
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
According to 'Moonage Daydream - The Life and Times of Ziggy Stardust', it was while living at Haddon Hall, a decaying gothic mansion at 42 Southend Road, Beckhenham, that Bowie and friends put the finishing touches to Ziggy.
Bowie had the ground floor of the now-demolished house from 1969 to 1973, painting the ceilings silver and holding parties in the garden. The Ziggy outfits were stitched together at Haddon Hall under the direction of clothes designer Freddie Burrett (known as Burretti), and the songs that became The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars were rehearsed in an impromptu studio created under the stairs, as well as at the Thomas a Becket pub in the Old Kent Road.
The haircut was done by Suzi Fussey, who worked opposite the Three Tuns in Beckenham in the Evelyn Paget (now Gigante) hair salon - although she apparently copied the design from a magazine. The famous red and black platform boots were made by Stan Miller of Greenaway and Sons in Penge.
More on the Beckenham connection here.
Friday, August 03, 2007
At Camberwell Squatted Centre, South London Radical History Group present 'Underground Lambeth' covering secret bunkers, lost rivers, junk-filled basements... all the stuff hidden beneath the streets and houses. 8 pm start at 190 Warham Street (free).
Meanwhile at Review in Peckham, Chris Roberts (One Eye Grey) presents 'Disappearing dancers, Pagan Estate Agents, Angels and Faceless Nuns', a talk about these as well as other singular Peckham and London Folklore, Ghost stories and other ephemera. 7:30 pm at 131, Bellenden Rd, SE15 4QY, tel: 020 7639 7400.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
- a walk along the route of the march/counter-protest, including people involved at the time. This will start from Clifton Rise, New Cross at 3 pm on Saturday 15th September 2007.
- a half day event in New Cross on Saturday 27th October 2007 (2pm start - venue to be confirmed) with speakers, films and a social event in the evening.
More at http://lewisham77.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Still some truth still shines through. Last night's episode followed the wedding plans of couples on both sides of the social divide, with the universal theme of love and marriage on the one hand and on the other the different class experiences of havng to get into debt to buy a ring rather than having parents buying you a starter home overlooking the Thames.
See also Andrew; Ragged School; Kate
Monday, July 23, 2007
It now seems that the vision he saw was actually work in progress by Dean Kenning for his exhibition 'The Dulwich Horror- H.P. Lovecraft and the Crisis in British Housing'
The window exhibition runs at Space Station 65 in Northcross Road, East Dulwich until September 2nd, with the launch this Friday 27th July, 6.30-8.30 2007 and a closing event with performances on Sept 2nd 2007 (all welcome to both events).
According to the blurb 'The outside walls of rented accommodation constitute a vast advertising billboard for Estate Agents. They appear without warning. ‘TO LET’, ‘LET BY’ - they never seem to come down. If you live in rented accommodation, your home has been branded: you are a temporary occupant subject to the authority of the property owner and his agent. For The Dulwich Horror ‘TO LET’ signs across London will form the canvas onto which Dean Kenning will paint images representing the supernatural and monstrous entities from H.P.Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. Horrible alien beings such as Yog Sothoth, The Outer Ones, and Great Cthulhu himself are famously beyond description (the sight of such creatures would drive any human over the edge of insanity). Nevertheless, Kenning will have a go'.
Sounds great, but must admit my favourite remains the lego Cthulhu.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
"The phrase ‘history from below’ is the product of a group of French historians known as the Annales school. It is their description of an approach to subjects and areas previously considered historically unimportant. In England this approach was taken up by a group of Marxist historians who developed a set of methodologies and a worldview at odds with existing Marxist and historiographical orthodoxies. In 1946 a group consisting of E.P. Thompson, Christopher Hill, Roger Hilton and Dona Torr among others formed the Communist Party Historians Group. Their aim was to draw out forms of agency that had been hidden by traditional approaches to history. Along with Raphael Samuel, CLR James and Peter Linebaugh we take this loose grouping as the starting point for the making and study of history as a contested field in which ‘the below’ plays an active role.
Kennington Park has been the scene of radical debate, publishing and political organisation (public speaking, meetings, protests) as well as the enactment of the powers of the State (hangings, enclosure, policing). The pamphlet looks at the methodologies of the historians from below as they worked to change their own contemporary system of knowledge production in relation to the self-produced, self-distributed knowledge of their subjects."
Date: 3PM, 21st July, 2007. Meet: Oval Fountain, Kennington Park opposite Oval Tube station
A PDF version of the pamphlet is available for download here; More info and resources: http://caughtlearning.org/all_knees_and_elbows/. More information on the history of Kennington Park can be found at Wikipedia and in Stefan Szczelkun’s Working Press pamphlet Birthplace of Peoples’ Democracy (RTF file).