Upcoming Local Events.

Do you have an Event that you would like mentioned on this Website?
If it's about history in the Lewisham area, then we might include it. Email or phone the Editor. And say who you are. Any local organisation can use this service. Examples might be parades, medal ceremonies, notification of archaeological investigations or demolition of buildings.

August 2021

Museum of London Docklands
The Havering Hoard

Unearth the mystery of the largest ever Bronze Age hoard discovered in London in our major free exhibition (ends 22 August 2021).

July 2021

Freedom from Lockdown will now happen on 19 July 2021.

June 2021

Freedom from Lockdown is scheduled to occur on 21 June 2021.

April 2021

To see the Only Lighthouse in London: click Here
It is located on the Trinity Buoy Wharf, on the north side of the Thames, opposite the Dome. The Lighthouse is variously called the Bow Creek, the Blackwall, or the Trinity Wharf Lighthouse. Here, you are viewing it from inside the lamp-house. The lamp, mirrors and lenses have been removed.
The Trinity Riverside Bar is due to re-open on Friday 16th April 2021.
The Trinity Wharf is almost an island; from Canning Town station, exit to the West, cross the Red Bridge and walk south (approx 800m). From the South of the Thames, take the occasional Ferry from the O2 boat terminal [Currently closed for Covid-related reasons].
For more details of the Wharf facilities: click Here

For a full Lighthouse Experience and some excellent photos: click Here
Then Scroll down to the Blackwall paragraph.

March 2021

National Census: a message from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
Census day is Sunday 21st March 2021. You will receive a letter with an access code in the post and you can complete the on-line form as soon as you receive it. Alternatively, you can ask ONS for a paper form to fill in. There is help available over the phone if you or anyone you know needs it, including in a range of languages.

If you need help or have any questions, please visit www.census.gov.uk

By taking part in the Census, you can help to inform decisions that shape your community such as those on healthcare, education and transport.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) runs the Census in England and Wales and is independent of Government. Your details are protected by law and personal information is kept completely confidential, but some general statistics are published beginning about a year after Census Day.

February 2021

Crossness Pumping Station
Your Editor has recently received their latest Newsletter, which makes rather gloomy reading, although I doubt if it's as bad as they claim. They say that the pandemic has caused real problems for the Trust, effectively cutting off a very large part of their income, and raising questions about whether or not they could survive. Really? It's a Grade 1 Listed building; a national monument, even a National Treasure. Millions have been spent on its restoration, and I can't imagine that it will be allowed to fail. It has a sideline as a filming location. It has its own narrow-gauge railway. It has had the nearest thing to a Royal Visit; Michael Portillo went there. They are announcing their plans to re-open the site on 28 March 2021. This includes an online Toilet Timeline. Whatever is that? I can't wait....
To find out what's happening, click here.

October 2020

In mid-October 2020, none of the events listed below have taken place. There is one exception: Crossness Pumping Station has shown signs of life.
There was an Open Day on 23rd August 2020, but they were unable to steam the engine. So they are planning another Open Day. Due to the hazardous COVID-19 situation, I am including an extract from their recent Newsletter:

Crossness are hoping to have “steam up” on the Sunday 25th October 2020 Open Day. All bookings are through Eventbrite, with spaces for 150 people for the morning session and the same for the afternoon session. This allows for cleaning and sanitation during each visit.

We have put in many hours of hard work and organisation to keep the public and ourselves safe. Hand sanitizers have been put up at all appropriate positions, screens have been erected in the Cafeteria and shop, and on the “Membership & Volunteering” desk. Social distancing lines have been stuck to the floor and markers will show the way round. All this has enabled us to get our “Good To Go” Accreditation.

To check Crossness opening times and to check that it's happening, Click here
To book and pay on the Eventbrite website, Click here

We hope to have 2 more open Days before the end of 2020.

March 2020

News about the Crossness Pumping Station:
The giant engine will be “in steam” on Sunday 5th April, 3rd May and 31st May. For a list of dates for the whole of 2020, see: http://www.crossness.org.uk/visit.html
The narrow-gauge railway will be operating over almost all of its planned length.
Please note that the gate that gives direct access to the Thames Path will be closed until June 2020 due to engineering work.

Regrettably, due to the Coronavirus, all Crossness Open Days are Cancelled until further notice. Crossness will review the situation in early April.

Croydon Airport Visitor Centre: Sunday 29th March 2020 Centenary Day has been Cancelled, together with the 5th April and 3rd May Open Days.

February 2020

The next Docklands History Group conference is on Saturday May 16th 2020.
The Conference is Cancelled due to the Coronavirus
Click here for Programme and Booking details.
Also, See our website at: www.docklandshistorygroup.org.uk

Gresham College Public Lecture Click here for the “lates” page.
This month, the Lecture is: Arise, Sir Isaac!  Newton’s London career.
Wednesday, 26 February 2020, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
But you don't need to go there! On the date/time shown above, Click here for details.
Here, the Lecture is live-streamed on the Internet (scroll down a little way – it works like YouTube). See the bigger picture – Connect your PC/Laptop to the largest TV that you own, and set the display to Full Screen! You can also watch it as a Powerpoint presentation.
Missed the Lecture you wanted to see? click on “Watch” at the top of the screen, and you get a list of all past Lectures. You can watch any of them, from your armchair.
There are over 1500 lectures dating back to the mid-1980s. The early ones are displayed only as text. Your Editor especially likes the artistic creations of M. C. Escher (search for Escher).

NOTE that some lectures take place at the Science Museum, which has announced that:

Lectures streamed on the Internet are safe to watch, of course, but the Lectures must take place first, possibly without an audience. The policy has not yet been clarified.

January 2020

A photograph of the audience at the first talk given by LLHS at our new home at St. Dunstans.

August 2019

The RANG Railway at Crossness Engines has started running a passenger service, albeit only on the short track built. Note: RANG Railway means “Royal Arsenal Narrow Gauge Railway”.
Visit us on August 25th or September 22nd (London Open House) - Free entry on 22nd!

July 2019

June 2019

WINDRUSH – An Evening of Inspiration and Celebration – Commemorating the 71st anniversity of the arrival of the Empire Windrush at Tilbury, on 21 June 1948.
Contributors: Dorinda Hulton (Windrush passenger), Damien Egan (Mayor of Lewisham), Janet Daby MP (East Lewisham), Arthur Torrington CBE (Windrush Foundation), Sir Steve Bullock (former Mayor of Lewisham) and Angella Rose-Howell (Deputy High Commissioner for Jamaica).
Includes a tribute to the late Asquith Gibbes.
Friday 21 June 2019 at 7pm. Tickets £3 (Pensioners FREE).
The Broadway Theatre, Catford SE6 4RU

May 2019

A last-minute message from Gresham College:
There is a free public lecture on the “Cockney Romantics” on 14 May by Jonathan Bate, Gresham Professor of Rhetoric, the last but one in his Gresham series, that we thought your members would be interested in. Bate is a superb lecturer. The lecture is at the Museum of London at 6pm on 14 May (also live-streamed online), and is free on a first come, first served basis. For details Click here.

We have received some information from the Docklands History Group about a Conference on May 18th 2019 on the subject of "The Medieval Port of London". For more about the Conference, Click here. To Visit the Docklands History Group Website, Click here

March 2019

Crossness Pumping Station has re-opened! The Open Day on 31/03/2019 showed the giant Beam Engine working, and the new Narrow-Gauge railway that will soon speed the visitors from the Car Park to the Engine Hall - a 700-metre journey. The name of the Loco is “Busy Basil”. Next “steaming” Event Sun 19th May. For opening times Click here. For more train-pictures, Click here

16/03/2019: Last-minute Email from the Painted Hall:
On the day: Go to one of our ticket desks in the Visitor Centre or in the Painted Hall Undercroft. Bring a print-out of your email ticket confirmation, your order confirmation number, or show us your ticket on your mobile device. You will be able to exchange your Eventbrite ticket for a paper ticket and our new Explorer Map. You are welcome to join one of our new guided 500 years of history tour which leave on the hour - 11am until 4pm – from the Visitor Centre.
Booked your free ticket for the 17th or 21st March? DO IT NOW, or it may be too late!

We have received a message from the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, telling us that they they are delighted to announce the launch of the reopening of the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College in March and cordially invite you to the FREE inaugural soft launch daytime openings on either Sunday 17 March (10am - 5pm) or Thursday 21 March (10am - 4pm).

The re-opening is part of a major transformation project that will also see the King William Undercroft re-open after the restoration project. Located beneath the Painted Hall, the grand space will now house a new Café, shop and interpretation gallery, The Sackler Gallery, where Tudor remains have been unearthed.

Please extend this invitation to your members or staff, and family and friends. To book your (and their) complimentary ticket Click here. You will need your unique code XXXXXXX. This is a priority booking for up to 20 people across your organisation. Please book by Friday 8 March as tickets will then be released to a wider audience.

How to Book your complimentary place:
To those unfamiliar with booking a ticket this way: The “Click here” instruction above takes you to Eventbrite, an established worldwide Company (founded in 2006 in the USA, opened in UK 2012) that makes paperless ticketing easy (and, in this case, free). "Click here" takes you straight to the “Painted Hall” section. First, you will be asked to select a date, and then you will be asked to “register” – in this case, by entering your unique code XXXXXXX (which identifies you as a LLHS member). You are then asked (again) for the date of your visit, and the number of tickets required (there's a box on the right; press the down arrow; if you leave it at "0" it won't give you a ticket). And finally you are asked for your name and email address; this is the ONLY information asked for.

Note: "XXXXXXX" isn't the real code, which I will send to selected members in an email. We wouldn't want non-members of LLHS to use up our allocated places, would we?

Finally, Eventbrite will send you an email, to which is attached a PDF file. That's the ticket! Print it out (A4 Portrait) and take it with you when you visit the Painted Hall.

A local example: Eventbrite are ticketing CATFEST at Beckenham Place Mansion on Saturday June 29 2019. Tickets cost £8.68. Eventbrite can be found at:

January 2019

Free Tour of St. Mary's Church, Lewisham
Saturday 26th January 2019
Julian Watson will be leading a FREE Tour of St. Mary's Church Lewisham (Ladywell). We meet at 11am in the Church.

December 2018

John Kennedy Melling
The recent Newsletter Issue No. 212 (published at the end of October 2018) contained an article by John Kennedy Melling called “Gurney Slade”. Mr. Melling had noticed that there were several ways in which the phrase (or name) “Gurney Slade” had been applied, and that he had found a strong Blackheath connection. Your Editor had several telephone conversations with him, and it was decided that a more complete explanation of these events could be published. Mr Melling himself said that “we could make an evening of it!”
Unfortunately, shortly after publication, Mr. Melling died on 10th October 2018. He was 91 and had been in poor health. Several members of LLHS (including your Editor) went to his funeral service at All Saints Church on Blackheath, where we discovered that he was very well-known locally, and had a close relationship with that Church.
We hope soon to honour his long life, much of which was devoted to the writing of books about history, especially the history of the City of London Guilds.

A Piano called Myra
September 8th 2018 welcomes the return of concerts to Bishopsgate Institute, celebrating the restoration of our Piano in Residence, Myra: the beautiful 1927 Rosewood Steinway Model D Grand Piano once owned by beloved British pianist, Dame Myra Hess.
Musical director and pianist Martin Segerstråle presents an evening of enchanting chamber music inspired by works of remarkable female composters, featuring the repertoire of Dame Myra Hess herself. Doors open at 6:30pm.
Click here for details.

FREE Summer Arts Camp for teenagers
"Talk about Art" is launching a week-long arts festival to give young people in Lewisham the chance to explore wide range of hands-on arts skills and crafts.
It is free of charge to 13-16 year olds living in Lewisham and runs from Monday 30 July to Friday 3 August at the art room in The Dumps Adventure Playground at 14 Oakwood Rd, Bellingham, SE6 3QF.
You will spend five days working with professional artists producing art inspired by a range of techniques including casting, print making, film and animation, emoji design, and sculpture. All the art created will go on show in a public exhibition in September at Lewisham Library, followed by a tour of the borough.
For more information and to receive a registration form please email Melanie Jones at talkaboutart@outlook.com. And look at www.talkaboutart.co.uk.

Dan Snow: An Evening with the History Guy
Churchill Theatre Bromley, Sunday 1 July, 7:30pm. Tickets £29.00

Lewisham Armed Forces Day and Garden of Remembrance Annual Service
Sunday 24th June 2018, 11:00am, Allerford Road, Bellingham SE6 3DE (off Bromley Road).

BBC Antiques Roadshow at Eltham Palace and Gardens on Sunday 10 June 2018
Doors open at 9.30am and close at 5.00pm. Entry to the show is free, everyone is welcome, and no tickets or pre-registration is required.

Beckenham Place Park History
Mal Mitchell from the Friends of Beckenham Place Park has asked us to bring their Website to your attention. It contains a massive amount of information that tells you everything (or maybe more than everything) you ever wanted to know about the park.  Click here to read it.
Storyboards highlight the history and wildlife on Blackheath
Seven storyboards depicting the major events and wildlife on Blackheath have been unveiled in a £30,000 project led by the Blackheath Society. The boards form a history trail around the Heath, providing information of the events which occurred in each area, important characters who have shaped our history and, where relevant, ecological issues and its flora and fauna. They were unveiled on April 29 in a ceremony next to the first board, on Royal Parade
Archaeology News
The Society receives regular emails from Historic England, which in 2015 inherited the statutory and protection functions of the parent organisation well-known as English Heritage. These emails tell us that archaeological work at local sites will be starting shortly. The source of these emails is Mark Stevenson, Archaeology Advisor (South London). The organisation's Web Site is https://www.historicengland.org.uk/ and it is very interesting. The “dig” sites are:

Received 09/04/2018:
St. Dunstan's Jubilee Sports Ground and Club House, Canadian Avenue: 18/105843 (Lag/023/575) Clo25963 - Archaeology
The work is an evaluation of the site of proposed hockey and football pitches at the Jubilee Pavilion site, and is a condition of Planning Permission for levelling the ground for the pitches and revising the parking arrangements.

Received 09/04/2018:
Beckenham Place Park, Beckenham: 18/106331 (LAG/023/001) CLO26098 - archaeology
The scheme will comprise a range of work to restore and enhance the landscape of the park including the restoration of the original pleasure grounds, relocation of the main car park, restoration of the 18th-century lake and the creation of new footpaths.

Received 26/03/2018:
17 Brandram Road: 17/103409 (LAG/023/0597) CLO21862 - archaeology
Before the construction of a new two storey development at No. 17 Brandram Road, Blackheath starts, an investigation of some interesting decorative features will be made. An entrance lodge to Dacre House may be present, with possible evidence of a stable block.
Received 28/02/2018:
153 New Cross Road: 17104783 (LAG/023/567) CLO25458 - archaeological watching brief
Planning Permission is sought for the demolition of some industrial buildings, followed by the construction of a 3-storey building plus basement, all comprising 8 self-contained residential units and associated amenity space. Previously, artefacts from Roman times to the 19th century have been found.

We do not know the exact dates on which the above work starts or finishes. Full information about the above work is provided in a number of very large .PDF files which we cannot include here. I hope to talk to Mark about simplifying access to this data.