News Links

Useful links to recent Lewisham Local History Society Newsletters and Talks.
Note for PC users: Where we offer you a PDF file, click on it. You have two Options.
Option 1: it will be displayed in your Browser (so that you can view it immediately).
Option 2: it will be Downloaded (usually to your Downloads folder) when you click on it. You should then SAVE it in that folder. Click on the saved file to view it.
To switch between these Options, look at "Browser Settings" or "Browser Options".
We recommend Option 1. It's quicker.

December 2023

November 2023

Crossness Engines Open Day this month: Sunday November 19 2023 at 10am until 3pm. You need to book in advance at:
Your Editor missed the October opening, because 600 people had already booked. If only our monthly meetings were so popular! But it was, of course, the last Open Day before the clocks went back an hour.

October 2023

Crossness Pumping Station is now fully open again. The giant steam-engine is running again ("in steam" is the preferred term) and the Narrow gauge Railway now takes you from the Main Gate to the Engine House (a 600 metre ride). Next Open Day is Sunday October 22nd 2023 (10:30 – 4:00pm). You need to book in advance at:

September 2023

August 2023

LLHS trip to the Medway Queen paddle steamer on Saturday 12 August 2023.
The Ship and Visitor Centre are at Gillingham Pier ME7 1RX – parking is available.
Go to the Visitor Centre and book a Tour of the Ship (£7), and maybe cream tea £5.
You MUST sign up for the Lunch, Tour and Cream Tea by 8th August. We need to know how many to cater for. Please contact/inform the LLHS Membership Secretary, whose details can be found on this Website; the page is named 'Officers'.

We meet at the Mast & Rigging (pub) for lunch at noon (from the ship, go through ASDA).
You may prefer to go straight to the ship. The Tour starts around 1pm.

Travelling by train:
Bromley South to Chatham (NOT Gillingham), then Arriva Bus Route 1 to Purser Way stop.
Trains at 10:57, 11:06, 11:27, 11:57. Journey time 30 minutes. Return Fare £5

Web Editor's advice (data from
The ASLEF union have banned overtime working at 16 train operators from Monday 5th August to Saturday 12th August. This is likely to affect some train services during this time.

If there is no public announcement that the industrial action has been cancelled, then there is no certainty that travelling by train is possible.

Travelling by bus is possible but impractical, due to limited pick-up points in South London.

It might be helpful if a "car-sharing" scheme could be devised, by arrangement between travellers.

From Catford, the journey is 28 miles and typically takes 45 minutes off-peak, via the A2. Google suggest that you leave the A2 at Junction 1 (Shorne) and follow the A289 to the destination. Satnav (if you have it) might do better. See maps, below.

MAP 1: Local Map showing Bus stop, pub, ASDA, And the Medway Queen.
MAP 2: General map of Gillingham area, showing Links from A2 and M2
The location of the Medway Queen is on the right of the map, near the arrow.

Some Good News: The ticket for the "Tour of the Ship" which costs £7 can be used again for the remainder of the year. Similarly, the ticket for entry to the nearby Chatham Dockyard allows multiple visits, and I believe the same applies to tickets for the "Call the Midwife" attraction. Much of the filming for the series was carried out on the Dockyard site, which still has buildings and cobbled streets in the style required for the film. Possibly your Guide will be a real live Midwife . . . .

July 2023

02/07/2023 Tour de France began. First Stage won by Adam Yates. His twin brother Simon came second (by 8 seconds). British, aged 30, so not so young. Each weighs 59 kg (9 stone 5lbs). Freeview 26 for 3 weeks.
Stage 15: Jonas Vingegaard (Danish) leads Tadej Pogacar (Slovenian, pronounced Pog-Archer) by 7 secs.
Stage 21: Jonas Vingegaard wins by 7 mins. Tadej Pogacar collapsed but recovered to take second place. The Yates bros. were 3rd and 4th.

24/07/2023 Doggett Coat and Badge Race: First run in 1713. 5.95km (3.7 mi) course.
1. Riess Ballard. 31 mins
2. Emily Hickman. 32 mins (first female entrant ever).
3. Matt Brookes dnf (capsized).

May 2023

Talking Pictures TV Website.

April 2023

March 2023 Talk: Luke Agbaimoni and the Lewisham Lens.

March 2023: Culverts in South London (Scroll Down).

March 2023: Arado Metal Detector. Guestbook Updated 01.02.2021

March 2023

As below, but for AGM March 2023 Notes.

March 2022

Click here to read The AGM March 2022 Notes.

A PDF file will be displayed. You can read it directly from the screen. To SAVE a copy of this PDF file, click on the Download icon (top right of page) and SAVE it in a suitable folder, such as Downloads. You can then, if you wish, print it in the usual way. It will print correctly on A4 paper. You may wish to bring it to the AGM (March 2022 Meeting), but this is not compulsory.

February 2022

January 2022

Basil Trott
There are Sound Files with Trott's voice, available from the Imperial War Museum: Click Here and look for the black horizontal bar
When you see this bar, click on the triangle/ double-bar on the left to listen; adjust the volume if needed. There may be about 30 seconds of a high-pitched tone; be patient. Then you can hear up to 30 minutes of conversation. You are permitted to download these files and put them to use, provided that you obey the conditions given.

To visit the U.S. Naval Institute, which has an online presence at this website: click here

To visit the Lewisham Borough of Culture website click here

Frederick Lanchester is mentioned quite often.

To read the Frederick Lanchester book called "Aircraft in Warfare; the Dawn of the Fourth Arm" click here

Note the word "archive" in this web address; it indicates a special class of document. An organisation known as "The Wayback Machine" set itself the task of savings important documents that must (in their opinion) never be deleted. It sounds like a hopeless task but it works well, especially for books (like the one mentioned here) that will never be reprinted in paper form. Probably.

The Preface to Lanchester's book, written by MAJ.-GEN. SIR DAVID HENDERSON, K.C.B., DIRECTOR GENERAL OF MILITARY AERONAUTICS, contains this statement: "Any plausible rogue, gifted with sufficient assurance, and aided by a ready pen or supple tongue, has been able to pose as an 'aeronautical expert,' and to find some kind of following ....."
In the remainder of the Preface he is unable to maintain his belief in the superiority of the military method. But when Lanchester finally decided to build an aircraft to his own design, he failed dismally. It was unable to fly, partly because it was too heavy, and the project was abandoned.

June 2021

April 2021

Visit The Blackheath Society

The Lanchester Website
We regret to announce that Lanchester Legacy Ltd has closed down after many years of providing Lanchester Legacy volumes to motoring enthusiasts worldwide. It is possible that Chris Clark, the Lanchester Historian, can still be contacted with any Lanchester queries here:
The video starring Chris Clark and Sir David Jason may still be available here

Visit The Migration Museum website

Trinity Buoy Wharf (lighthouse)

Gresham College History Lectures

Thomas Doggett

News update about the postponed 2020 & 2021 Doggett's Coat and Badge
Read the Doggett book online ('bw.pdf' version recommended)
Readers who look at the book may notice, by scrolling down the screen a little way, that the main author's co-author is Nickalls, G.O. born in 1899, which would make him 9 years old in 1908 when the book was published. In fact, the co-author was his father Guy Nickalls (1866-1935). Three generations of the family were involved in rowing. The son Guy Oliver (1899-1974) won a silver medal at the 1920 Summer Olympics, rowed for Oxford in two Boat Races, and had many other successes. In 1927 he was a commentator in a boat hired by the BBC to cover the Boat Race for the first time, and later worked with John Snagge.

Runner 500 local blog - (search for Elmwood, Nelgarde Doggett's house)
EdithsStreets blog - (search for Elmwood using Ctrl-F)

Doggett's Race (2023) will take place on 19 July (2023 Southwark)
Southwark News
Spitalfields Life
The Guardian
Playing Pasts

Lancashire Local History Federation

Doggett's pub, Blackfriars' Bridge south side (SE1 9UD)

June 2020

Click here for The Croydon Typhoid outbreak of 1937

Click here for Dr. Holden’s own report:

Click here for the American Journal of Public Health Report on Croydon:

Click here for more about Jean Armand de Maillé, Marquis de Brézé

George the Retired Spy
In the Newsletter, George Woodnutt is referred to as "CPO Woodnutt".
"CPO" means "Chief Petty Officer", a non-commissioned Naval rank. "PO Woodnutt" signifies a Petty Officer, equivalent to a Sergeant in the Army. "CPO" is equivalent to a Warrant Officer in the Navy, a Sergeant-Major in the Army or a Flight-Sergeant in the RAF.
The system of ranks applies to all the armed services, and all the ranks, commissioned and non-commissioned, are aligned such that similarly named ranks have similar seniority. In addition, all the ranks have a NATO equivalent number, which establishes levels of leadership, seniority and pay grades throughout the NATO organisation.

Other organisations that have a ranking system:
Police: a simplified system, with non-military names (apart from "Sergeant"). The London Metropolitan Police and the City of London Police have additional ranks.
(Maritime): Full rank system (non-military names).
(Coastal): Simplified ranks, with additional ranks for Volunteer members (lifeboat crew).

Older Members may remember a radio comedy series called "The Navy Lark" (1959-1977), in which Jon Pertwee (a member of a large theatrical family) played the part of the scheming CPO Pertwee. The actor was in the Royal Navy for six years during WW2, and was transferred from HMS Hood (shortly before its sinking on 24/05/1941) to Portsmouth as an officer cadet, and when commissioned he was attached to Naval Intelligence, where he worked with espionage personnel at an operational level. He had an interest in ingenious contrivances, and he found himself employed to explain devices such as a secret map hidden in a handkerchief and a pipe that, in addition to its normal use for smoking tobacco, could fire a single bullet.

Lewisham VE-Day Victory celebration
At the end of World War 2, everybody celebrated, including Lewisham. We present a series of 8 images, scanned from a celebratory Booklet published by Lewisham Council and distributed, we imagine, to everybody in the Borough.

VE-Day was on 8th May 1945, but the celebrations were delayed because it took a lot of organising. There may have been a hope that VJ-Day (Victory over Japan) would occur soon after VE-Day, but that did not happen until 14th of August 1945.

[Clicking on any image below will take you to the next image]

Front Page

The celebrations in Lewisham started on Sunday 3rd of June 1945, with a Parade that marched off from Albion Way (known to all LLHS members) at 2pm. All the Services (Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force, and all civilian services) took part. The Mayor of Lewisham (Mr. H. E. Brown) took the Salute in Rushey Green. The Parade took the form of a Pageant of Thanksgiving to all the Services taking part.

Page 2

The Pageant began at 3:15pm at Lewisham Hippodrome. It was repeated at 7pm (Admission by ticket only, according to the printed Programme).

Page 3

Celebrations continued on the Monday (Dancing at Home Park and Forster Park) and the Tuesday (more dancing). The dancing continued on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Page 4

The dancing continued on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Page 5

Wednesday also saw a Concert party at Mayow Park, Thursday offered an "Old Peoples Tea" at Ladywell Baths.

Page 6

On Friday dancing also took place at ladywell Baths

Page 7

Saturday saw the end of the Celebrations: a Procession through the Borough, Old Peoples' Tea at Sydenham, more dancing, and the Mayoral Ball at Ladywell Baths. Tickets 5/- (5 shillings, or 25 new pence).
Also on Saturday, there were five Tea Parties for Children in various parts of the Borough. These were privately organised and not part of the official celebrations.

Page 8

The last page of the Programme booklet lists casualties in the Borough:
killed, seriously injured and slightly injured. Damage to houses is also listed.

July 2019

Diana Rimel

View a PDF document about Diana's life.

Frederick Lanchester
Click here for the Daimler and Lanchester Owners' Club

Albion Way bomb
Click here for the map at the National Library of Scotland Website
To view the Map, remove the large white square by clicking on the 'X').
Use the mouse to drag the map around, and view other parts of Lewisham.

Click here for a list of all the identified victims of the WW2 bomb

Click here to see the wording on the Plaques
(Panel 3 has the bus-driver Joseph George Moss near the bottom).

Plaque 3 (detail).

To read the full story of Leonard Mokotow: Click here (and search for Mokotow)

Eagle House (Whitbreads)

January 2019

Images shown in the Xmas 2018 Newsletter

June 2018

The final edition (No. 7) of the “Prefab Post” is on this website: Click here to view.
Here are the Links to view the Barton and Littlemore prefabs in Oxford.
Click here for Barton houses
Click here for Littlemore houses

Leland Duncan Grave Restoration
In 1998, this Society, Colfe’s School, the Old Colfeians and Lewisham Council jointly placed a headstone on the unmarked grave of the Lewisham historian and Old Colfeian, Leland Duncan. The Society and the Old Colfeians together recently carried out further restoration.

To mark this restoration, the Society and the Old Colfeians are meeting at the graveside at 11:30am on Friday 29 June. The cemetery is in Hither Green Lane - NOT in the adjoining crematorium. It will be signposted. After the brief ceremony, members are invited by the school to the Old Colfeians Club House in Eltham Road, Lee for light refreshments.

No booking is required but we need to know how many members will be attending as a matter of courtesy to the Old Colfeians. Click here to email John King, or telephone 020-8857 1819.

Here is a link to an essay that gives a balanced view of Duncan's work: Click here to view. There are a few “typo” errors, mainly in Latin words.

May 2018

Book Launch with Sabrestorm Publishing: Friday 18th May 2018
"Dear Old Blighty" by Mike Brown.
Author Mike Brown talks about the experience of civilians in 1914-1918 and the effect of the war on every level of society.

In the summer of 1914, Britain felt secure that the old order was firmly in place. Britain, through its navy, ruled the waves, and a fair part of the world through its Empire. Yet this security was an illusion; a war of unimaginable scale was just days away.

The war would affect every level of British society; first through the urgent need for a massive expansion of the armed forces, drawing in ever-more men from civilian life. This in turn denuded the factories, shops and farms of labour, at a time when industry needed to expand to clothe and supply the armed services, and agriculture needed to fill the shortages of food created by the U-boat assault on our merchant fleet.

Book Launch Poster. Use the QR Code above to view the YouTube video.

February 2018

The Sydenham Cottages

October 2017

A Medical Mystery

July 2017

Last month’s Talk (on Friday 30th June 2017) was given by Dr. Mary Mills on the subject of the Gas Industry in Greenwich. Towards the end of the talk there was a controversy about some of the facts presented. Dr. Mills has been kind enough to provide some notes that will clarify these facts.
Click here to read Dr. Mills’ notes. The notes also contain a link to Dr. Mills' original lecture in 1989 called “The South London Gas Workers Strike 1889”.

Issue 208 - Spring 2017

Kent History Federation - There are quarterly meetings at either Sandwich or Maidstone.

John King’s essay - The possibility of creating a ‘proper’ Museum for Lewisham.

Eldorado Musical Productions - Eldorado website.

Stephen Tuck’s Blog - WW1: Gladys in Hither Green.

The Glue factory rebuilt

Bromley Borough Local History Society

Bob Hope Theatre Eltham.

Do you want to write for the Newsletter? Have you a story to tell?
Lewisham Local History Society welcomes contributions to the Newsletter. These should be in ‘Word for Windows’ format, or any other format readable by Word on a PC. Photos and illustrations should be separate not embedded, in .jpg format, with a resolution of at least 300 dpi where possible. Names of image files should be all in lower-case.
Complex text formatting is not helpful and may be changed. A full page (A4 size) contains about 570 words; for A5 paper (for example, the ‘Journal’) a full page is about 450 words. If you aren’t sure if your spelling and grammar are good enough for publication, don’t worry. We can (discreetly) improve your contribution, and in some cases we can improve the appearance of photographs. All the files should be attached to an explanatory email and sent to the Web Editor. If you need to find another way to send your work, contact the Web Editor by telephone.