Since 1961 the Lewisham Local History Society has been encouraging and assisting study of the local history of the London Borough of Lewisham and nearby areas through talks, excursions and the Society's quarterly Newsletter and annual Lewisham History Journal.
A study of Newsletter articles and over items over the years reveals the wide range of interests and activities covered by the Society. Items on local industrial and commercial activities have covered factories at Lower Sydenham; Lewisham aircraft makers; Brockley Steam Laundry; Chiltonian, Lee; Deptford Dockyard; Elliott Bros., Lewisham; SW Farmer & Sons; film making in Lewisham and Southend Village; Leeway (Patterson Edwards); Lewisham Silk Mills; Robertson's Golden Shred Works, Rogers Hi-Fi Works, Catford; and many others.
Well-known names associated with Lewisham and Deptford finding a place in these pages have included, Dame Cicely Saunders, Raymond Chandler, Margaret McMillan, Edith Nesbit, John Evelyn, Camille Pisarro, Henry Williamson, W G Grace, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Spike Milligan, James Elroy Flecker, Denis Thatcher, Peter The Great, George Orwell, Heddle Nash, Jane Austen and Barnes Wallis.
A cross-section of pastimes and sports topics cover Bellingham outdoor swimming pool, Catford Wanderers, a range of cinemas and theatres, ladies' cricket in the 1920s, football teams, Laurie Grove Baths, Lee Cycling Club, New Cross Scouts, Private Banks Sports-ground, Catford Church Lads Brigade... Schools, hospitals, churches, transport (e.g. tramways) and stores (e.g. Pyne Bros., New Cross) all find a place, as do buildings of note (some now no more), such as Horniman Museum, Forest Hill, Manor House, Lee, Sion House and Camden Villas, Lewisham, and the old Crystal Palace. Topics range from suffragettes to sundials and street fire alarms. As might be expected, both World Wars regularly figure, e.g. evacuation, rationing, sheltering. It is not all 'bricks and mortar' history. Today's strong interest in what life was like for ordinary people is also catered for, not least in the shape of members' personal memories.
The Society's annual Lewisham History Journal caters for fuller articles, usually based on original research or personal knowledge. For example, recent issues have contained articles on Memories of Southend Village, David Jones – Brockley artist, writer and poet; Slavery and the Black Presence in Lewisham; and Herbert Morrison and the South Lewisham Labour Party.