Talks and Events

Lewisham Local History Society monthly talks are held at the Methodist Church Hall, Albion Way, Lewisham, SE13 6BT. Tea/coffee/refreshments are available from 7:30pm onwards, and the Talk starts at 7:45pm (unless otherwise stated in the timetable below). Visitors welcome - donation of minimum £1 invited. Full access for people with disabilities. Free off-street parking at the Hall. Near bus-stops of several routes. Ten minutes from Lewisham bus, train and DLR stations. See map below.


Methodist Church Hall, Albion Way, SE13 6BT.

Programme for 2017

January

Friday 27th January 2017
Royal Fans: History and Owners
Illustrated talk with Mary Kitson
An introduction to The Fan Museum and the history of fans – illustrated by objects that commemorate and celebrate members of European royal families, as well as some royal fan owners.

Fan Museum Trip Friday 17 February – Guided Tour and Cream Tea.


February

Friday 17th February 2017
Fan Museum Trip – Guided Tour and Cream Tea
Details to be announced.

Friday 24th February 2017
Above your head, below your feet
A Talk by Sue Hayton.
A fascinating and well illustrated exploration of street furniture in South East London. You'll never walk urban streets the same way again.

March

Friday 31st March 2017
Annual General Meeting at 7:30pm** followed by:
Modern Nature – Living on the Edge
Creekside Education Trust at a time of rapid transformation along the banks of Deptford Creek. Dynamic forces at work are changing the nature of Deptford in some surprising ways. Talk by Nick Bertrand.
** Venue: Methodist Church Hall, Albion Way, Lewisham, SE13 6BT at 7.30pm

Creekside Trip On Friday 21 April – A Walk or Wade with Tea in the centre. Details to be announced.

April

Friday 21 April 2017
Creekside Trip – A Walk or Wade with Tea. Details to be announced.

Friday 28th April 2017
All you ever wanted to know about “The Lieutenancy” in 45 minutes
A Talk by Colonel Jane Davis OBE QVRM TD DL RGN.
The Lieutenancy has its origins with Henry VIII, so is centuries old and is a great example of the ceremonial heritage of the United Kingdom that has evolved and survived to remain part of the fabric of our society.

May

Friday 27th May 2017
A better class than they look: the Crofton Park Story
An expert exposition on the industrial power-houses of a past era of which barely a trace remain.
A Talk by Carol Harris.

Historian and local resident, Carol Harris, on how this rural hamlet became a suburb of London – including the changing face of education, ‘Brockley Smells’ and that disastrous canal.

June

Friday 30th June 2017
Gaseous Goings On
A Talk by Mary Mills
Dr Mary Mills, of the Greenwich Industrial History Society, has written extensively on industry in London and shares some of her wide knowledge of London’s early gas industry and scandalous happenings in Greenwich.

July

Saturday 08 July 2017
Lewisham Peoples Day, Mountsfield Park, SE6 1AN
12noon - 8pm. Lewisham Local History Society will be there!

Friday 28th July 2017
Sydenham Hill – the late 19th Century
Ian McInnes
A boundary of the Dulwich Estate runs along Sydenham Hill. This talk will review the impact of Crystal Palace on the Estate’s development in the area, and discuss these grand houses and their wealthy occupants.

August

• There is no evening Meeting this month.

September

Friday 29th September 2017
Abraham Colfe: Lewisham’s Benefactor & Protector
with Julian Watson
Colfe’s unique legacy: education, almshouses, a ‘public library’, saving Sydenham’s woods from enclosure and, as Curate and Vicar (1604-1657), the care of the souls - and bodies – of Lewisham’s people in turbulent times.

October

Friday 27th October 2017
The ‘Lenox’: a celebration of a unique heritage
Julian Kingston
400 warships were built in the Deptford Royal Dockyard, covered in layers of concrete for generations and soon to be re-buried under towers of glass and steel. But an inspired group of local people are campaigning to build a replica of just one of these ships. This will be their story so far.


HMS Lenox

November

Friday 24th November 2017
Penguins, not Polar Bears
Sandra Margolies
The three journeys of Captain William Colbeck (1871-1930) to Antarctica at the start of the Heroic Age of Exploration, told by his granddaughter.

December

Friday 8th December 2017
Members’ Evening: ‘Show and Tell’
For our last meeting before Christmas, members are invited to bring along any item, picture, book or artefact and share their enthusiasm or curiosity. Please get in touch with Tamsin on 020 7635 9421, or to email her Click here

Programme Archive for 2016

January

Friday 29th January 2016
Severndroog Castle
Illustrated talk with Margaret Taylor.
A local architectural gem saved from destruction. “London’s greatest folly” now open again to the public.
There are plans for a springtime visit—details to be confirmed later.

February

Friday 26th February 2016
Tolls, trains and canals
A Talk by Malcolm Bacchus of the Telegraph Hill Society.
A presentation on how transport links grew up alongside the urban development that replaced market gardens in the northern part of the borough.

March

Friday 18th March 2016
Annual General Meeting* followed by:
A presentation about some of the interesting artefacts held in storage.
by Steve Grindlay of the Museum Team.

* Venue: Methodist Church Hall, Albion Way, Lewisham, SE13 6BT at 7.30pm

Thursday 31st March 2016
BBC2 filming in Stratford. See Home Page.

April

Friday 29th April 2016
Introduction to All Saints Cemetery, Nunhead
A well-illustrated explanation of the Victorian cemetery movement; with the history of Nunhead cemetery, its buildings, memorials, ‘notables’, flora and fauna, and ‘Friends’ Group.
A Talk by Jeff Hart of FONC.

May

Saturday 21th May 2016
Prefab Event - 70th anniversary
See Home Page for description and booking details.

Saturday 21th May 2016
Downham at 90
An Exhibition at the Church of St. John the Baptist, Catford of written material, photos, maps and memories to celebrate 90 years of Downham and St. Johns Church.
FREE, Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm, until 28th May 2016 (except 21st May).
1920s Cabaret Evening
Saturday 21st May 7pm at the Church, tickets £10 including Buffet.
Featuring local choirs and singers.
Reminiscence afternoon tea Sunday 22 May, 4pm. Suggested donation £5.
More info: Fr. Thomas 07460 257 103

Friday 27th May 2016
Windmills of Kentish London (and the men who built them)
An expert exposition on the industrial power-houses of a past era of which barely a trace remain.
A Talk by Robert Cumming, historian and author.

• Signed copies of his book will be available to purchase at a discount - as well as our usual bookstall.

June

Friday 24th June 2016
The Rise and Fall of Robert Cocking, (1776-1837)
A Talk by Anthony Cross,
Exploring the life of Robert Cocking whose grave is found in Old St Margaret’s, Lee. An enthusiastic amateur and would-be aeronaut, Cocking’s obsession with parachutes ended tragically when the one he designed plummeted to earth over Burnt Ash Hill in July 1837.

July

Saturday 09 July 2015
Lewisham Peoples Day, Mountsfield Park, SE6 1AN
12noon - 8pm. Lewisham Local History Society will be there!

Friday 29th July 2016
The Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park (an urban marsh home to freshwater wildlife)
Joanne Smith, Site Warden.
The history of this fascinating area - from marsh and agriculture, to heavy industry, and back to marsh - with a brief spotlight on natural flood defences.
• This talk will be followed up by a visit to the park on 08 August.

August

Monday 08 August 2016
The Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park Walk
Joanne Smith, Site Warden.
The promised visit to the park following July's talk.
Timing: We are a pre-booked group, and we will meet at 10am at Albion Way and travel as a group. The 108 bus from Molesworth Street (near train station) runs every 8-12 minutes, and takes 24 minutes to get to the Millennium Village bus-stop (also known as Oval Square bus stop).
Tea/coffee will be available, but we suggest you bring a packed lunch.

To book your place, please phone Tamsin Bacchus on 020 7635 9421, or to email her Click here ; we need to know the total number in the group.

How to get there (if you intend to travel separately):
The entrance is located on the Thames Path, not far from the O2 Dome.

By Tube: North Greenwich station on the Jubilee Line.
To find the Thames Path, make your way to the Emirates Cable Car terminal (the cars are visible above you).
Walk a few hundred yards to the right - your Guide will be waiting at the Ecology Park entrance.

The BEST way to get there is By bus:
Buses 108, 129, 132, 161, 188, 422, 472, 486 stop at Millennium Village bus-stop, (also known as Oval Square bus stop). Find the Pura Café.
The Ecology Park is close by it, on the Thames Path.

See Ecology Park Website for details.

Ecology Park entrance


• There is no evening Meeting this month.

September

Friday 23th September 2016 – 12 noon until 5pm
The Moving Prefab Museum and Archive
The Prefab Museum with the Friends of the Island History Trust.
St. John's Community Centre, Glengall Grove, London E14 3NE.
Book your FREE ticket via Facebook, Eventbrite, or our website.
Guided Walk 12 noon. Talk at 1:15pm. Tea party/ exhibition 2:15pm.
See Prefab Museum Website for booking details.

Friday 30th September 2016
The Downham Estate - the area, history, development and residents
Seen in the context of the London County Council’s interwar housing programme.
with Jane Hearn of the Prefab Museum.

October

Friday 28th October 2016
The Thames Discovery Programme
When the tide goes out, the River Thames becomes the longest archaeological site in London. Find out about the many discoveries made on the Thames Foreshore, with Eliott Wragg of the Museum of London Archaeology.

November

Sunday 13th November 2016
Walking tour of prefabs in Beockley and Nunhead
Discover post-war prefabs in Brockley and Nunhead, led by Prefab Museum's team Elisabeth Blanchet and Jane Hearn on Sunday 13th November 2016.
Meet 10.30 am at Brockley station, by the ticket office.
Walk lasts under 2 hours. Finish at the Waverley Arms.
Cost £5. Please use Paypal to pay elisabethblanchet@hotmail.com


A well cared-for prefab

Friday 25th November 2016
Come to the pictures with me
Pam Hudson
Pam Hudson spent her early years in New Cross, from the late 1930s until 2001 when she moved to Beckenham. She went to Haberdashers' Askes school as a girl and later worked there for 29 years. She was a member of the Telegraph Hill Society for about 20 years.
In her Talk, Pam remembers her cinema-going from an early age until the 1950s.

December

Friday 16th December 2016
Christmas on the Home Front in World War Two
The War started in September 1939. When Christmas 1939 arrived, it was in the period which became known as the ‘phoney war’ or ‘sitzkrieg’, a rather surreal time when the war was regarded as something of a novelty. As other Christmases came and went, the war with its dangers, shortages and privations soon ceased to be a source of fun. Christmas itself became an annual remembrance of the pre-war world. People worked very hard to celebrate the festival in spite of rationing and the absence of family members.
Using a host of artefacts and original sources, Mike Brown will look at how the nation strove to have a traditional Yuletide in spite of all these problems.
Mike Brown (Christmas Special)

Programme Archive for 2015

January

Friday 30th January 2015
The Mid Kent Line to Beckenham, Hayes, Addiscombe and Sanderstead
Peter Leigh

Peter Leigh will start his talk with pictures of Spa Road, London’s first station between New Cross and London Bridge, and then trace the history of the line and explain its resonant name.

February

Friday 27th February 2015
George England, Robert Fairlie and the Hatcham Iron Works
Doug Hills & Graham Hood

The history of these two iconic Victorian engineers and steam locomotive builders and their tangled social lives, and the development and history of the Hatcham Iron works until its demolition in the 1960s.

March

Friday 27th March 2015
Annual General Meeting* followed by
Members’ “Show and Tell”
All are invited to bring along a book, picture or other item that interests them, and speak briefly about it for a maximum of five minutes.
To take part, please contact Tamsin Bacchus to give us details of "what" and "why".

* Venue: Methodist Church Hall, Albion Way, Lewisham, SE13 6BT at 7.30pm

April

Friday 24th April 2015
Ernest Shackleton
Michael Smith

Sir Ernest Shackleton, who lived at Sydenham and went to Dulwich College, was among history’s great explorers. He lived life “like a mighty rushing wind” but was happiest in the icy wilderness where he could leave behind his messy private life.

May

Friday 29th May 2015
Beckenham Place and its Park
Malvin and Maggie Mitchell

The past , present and future of Beckenham Place (this neglected jewel on Lewisham’s southern border), covering history, ecology and geography. With information about the Friends and their activities.

June

Friday 26th June 2015
Pioneers of Photography
Roger Mead

From Kingston to Whitby, from murderer to bootblack, hear the strange stories of the people who were involved in the start of photography. Concluding with a snapshot look at the South London connections. An illustrated talk with a display of vintage photographs and equipment.

July

Saturday 11 July 2015
Lewisham Peoples Day, Mountsfield Park, SE6 1AN
12noon - 8pm. Lewisham Local History Society will be there!

Thursday 23th July 2015 at 7:30pm
Broadway Stories – A Talk at the Broadway Studio Theatre
Join raconteur Chris Hare and the Broadway Theatre's General Manager, Martin Costello, for a hilarious evening of anecdotes about the Broadway's varied past - about stars from Morecambe & Wise and Tommy Cooper to Roy Orbison, the Temptations and Maya Angelou, and many acts that have graced Catford's Broadway Theatre.
Presented by Lewisham Youth Theatre in association with LLHS as part of a week of events celebrating the history of Catford.
Tickets are free, but space is limited. To reserve tickets, please visit: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/lewishamyouththeatre, or
call 020 8690 3428.
More events: visit www.lewishamyouththeatre.com

Friday 31st July 2015
Seaside Sauce
Alan Payne

The life and times of Donald McGill, Blackheath resident and leading pioneer of the humorous postcard.

August

No Meeting

September

Thursday 17th September 2015
Film Show at 7:30 - Catford Constitutional Club, SE6 4SP
Two films will be shown:
'A Place for Us' - the battle to save Catford's prefab Excalibur Estate.
' A House in Bayswater' - the last days of a West London lodging-house.

The Club is in fact a pub, nestled between Catford Bridge Rail Station and Lewisham Town Hall, up a short alley. Free entry.

Friday 25th September 2015
A former Lewisham schoolboy reflects on 50 years ago
His Eminence the Metropolitan Seraphim of Glastonbury

Now a senior Orthodox churchman, His Eminence has vivid memories of the earliest days and personalities of the Society (of which he was a founding member) when he led the 1961 campaign to save the old Town Hall at Catford.

October

Friday 30th October 2015
Members’ “Show and Tell”
All are invited to bring along a book, picture or other item that interests them, and speak briefly about it for a maximum of five minutes.
To take part, please contact Tamsin Bacchus (see "Officers" page) to give us details of "what" and "why".

This replaces the advertised talk, which has been postponed until next year.

November

Friday 27th November 2015
Dr W G Grace, the Great Cricketer
Ian Bevan

All have heard of W G Grace. He was simply the greatest cricketer of his day and the first sporting “superstar”. We follow the life of this great man through his remarkable career to his eventual move to South London where he died 100 years ago.

December

Thursday 3rd December 2015
Medals and their Meanings
William Spencer, Principal Military Specialist at The National Archives

Come to a free talk and workshop at:
Lewisham Local History & Archives Centre, 2nd floor, Lewisham Library, SE13, 4-6pm
• Learn how to identify different types of medals  • Find out where you can get military records  • Explore all the resources of Lewisham Archives  • Get tips on using Ancestry.com and more.

Friday 11th December 2015
An Edwardian Magic Lantern Show
Frank Paine

A talk, illustrated by slides, on some Edwardian toys (for boys and girls) followed by a showing of a series of original amusing children’s “magic lantern” slides from about 1910. A small display of some of the toys is included. (Christmas Special)

Programme Archive for 2014

January

Saturday 18th January 2014
Tour of the Excalibur pre-fab Estate
Elisabeth Blanchet

To prepare you for the Talk at the end of this month, Elisabeth Blanchet invites you to join her on a Tour of the Excalibur Estate, meeting at 1, Baudwin Road, London SE6 1RN at 2:30pm. To book your place contact Elisabeth at: elisabethblanchet@hotmail.com or Click here

Friday 31st January 2014
Britain’s Post-war pre-fabs
Elisabeth Blanchet

The history of post-war pre-fabs in the UK: why, where, how, how many, by whom and for whom they were erected. Elisabeth will particularly focus on the Excalibur Estate, the largest post-war pre-fab estate in Europe, which is just down the road and about to be demolished.

February

Thursday 13th February 2014
Exhibition of pre-fab photographs, Torridon Road Library
At 4pm, Elisabeth Blanchet will give an introductory Talk. Tea and cakes will be provided. The exhibition lasts from Tuesday 11th to Saturday 21st of February. See Torridon Road Library Website for details.

Friday 14th February 2014
Meeting of the Management Committee of the Society
7.30 pm at Lewisham Town Hall, Catford.

Saturday 15th February 2014
A repeat of the Tour of the Excalibur pre-fab Estate.
See January 18th 2014 (above) for details of the time and meeting-place.

Friday 28th February 2014
The South London Botanical Institute: Introducing People to Plants for over 100 years
Roy Vickery

The SLBI, near Tulse Hill station, was founded by Allan Octavian Hume in 1910 to interest local people in plants and fungi.  The speaker will talk about Hume’s extraordinary life as an ornithologist, founder of the Indian National Congress, social reformer, and, finally, botanist, and describe the Institute’s ongoing work.
Click here to visit the SLBI Website.

March

Saturday 8th March 2014
The Prefab Museum Launch Party
17 Meliot Road, Excalibur Estate, 1.30pm until 6 pm.
Museum will be open Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays until April 1 2014.

Saturday 15th March 2014
A repeat of the Tour of the Excalibur pre-fab Estate.
See January 18th 2014 (above) for details of the time and meeting-place.

Saturday 22th March 2014 until Thursday 27th March
“Every Picture Tells a Story”
An exhibition of the photographs of Chris Schwarz.
Various Venues in Lewisham and Deptford. Click here for details.

Friday 28th March 2014
Annual General Meeting* followed by
“Mr Lewisham”: Les Stannard and his work in the Borough
Doris and Doug Smith

Born in poverty with his political consciousness raised by the Depression and the Spanish Civil War, Les Stannard in his retirement continued fighting for the good of the elderly in Lewisham and London wide. Doris Smith, who succeeded him as Chair of the Lewisham Pensioners Forum talks of his work and legacy.
*Alternative venue: Civic Suite, Lewisham Town Hall, Catford at 7.30pm

Saturday 29th March 2014
The Prefab Museum - a Talk
English Heritage expert Julian Holder, architect Ian Abley and photographer Elisabeth Blanchet.
17 Meliot Road, Excalibur Estate, 2 until 4pm.
Followed by a tea party. Please book your place for the talk:
elisabethblanchet@hotmail.com

April

Sunday 6th April 2014
Crossness Engines Trust Steaming Day
Combined with Local History Fair (with Bexley Civic Society)

Crossness Pumping Station, near Abbey Wood, was a vital part of Sir Joseph Bazalgette's huge scheme to solve London's sewage problem. This is one of the few Open Days this year when you can see one of the giant beam engines “in steam”. See Crossness Web Site for details.

Saturday 19th April 2014
A repeat of the Tour of the Excalibur pre-fab Estate.
See January 18th 2014 (above) for details of the time and meeting-place.

Friday 25th April 2014
The history of the Elephant and Castle
Stephen Humphrey

A threnody for the heyday of “the Elephant” between about 1840 and 1940, when it was a lively, thriving area sometimes called ‘the Piccadilly Circus of South London’. This formal lament is illustrated with slides and the book of the talk is available to purchase.

May

Saturday 10th May 2014
A repeat of the Tour of the Excalibur pre-fab Estate.
See January 18th 2014 (above) for details of the time and meeting-place.

Friday 30th May 2014
Biscuits, Chocolate and Jam – the food industry in Bermondsey
Jennie Howells

The stories behind the smells for anyone who remembers travelling out from London Bridge and catching through the train windows the sharp tang of vinegar from the Sarson’s factory or the warm scent of cooking biscuits from Peak Freans.

June

Saturday 7th June 2014
Summer walk along the Wandle
LLHS members and friends are invited to join a Walk along a well-maintained, level path following the lower part of the River Wandle from Morden Hall Park to where it joins the River Thames at Wandsworth.
The Wandle has a rich industrial history, which we will explore. The 5½-mile Walk will take about 2 hours, with a break for lunch at one of the many pubs or cafés.

For full details including maps and travel arrangements, Click here.
For a “taster” of highlights of the walk in Wandsworth, Click here.

Friday 17th June 2014
History of the Crystal Palace
Ian Bevan

The Crystal Palace was built to house the Great Exhibition held in Hyde Park in 1851. Later it formed the centre-piece of Britain’s first ‘theme park’ in South East London. This illustrated talk traces the history of the building from its inspired inception to its demise in the fire of 1936.

July

Saturday 12th July 2014
Visit to the Cinema Museum, Kennington

A tour booking has been arranged for 2.30pm, 12 July 2014, at the concession price of £7 per head. The guided tour lasts about 1½ hours. Address: The Cinema Museum, 2 Dugard Way, SE11 4TH.
For full details, Click here.

Saturday 12th July 2014
Lewisham People's Day
12 noon–8pm Mountsfield Park SE6
Come and meet the Lewisham Local History Society! Bookstall, etc.

Friday 25th July 2014
Doomed From The Start – The story of the decline and fall of the Zeppelin raiders
Gordon Dennington

This talk given by the Society’s Chair and Newsletter Editor is set to mark the centenary of the start of WWI on 4 August 1914.

August

No Meeting

September

Friday 26th September 2014
From Shillibeer to Borismaster: The Story of the London Bus
John Wagstaff

John Wagstaff is a member of the Beckenham Historical Association and has worked in the head offices of London Transport for 35 years. He is now a driver with Arriva. The talk is illustrated with slides.

October

Friday 31st October 2014
Mr Guy’s Hospital and the Caribbean
Jane Bowden-Dan

Exploring medical links between the Caribbean and London that throw light on the position of blacks in 18th century British society. Was it humanitarian concern or self-interest that led sugar merchants to send ‘Negro Sampson’ to Guy’s Hospital in 1752 for treatment arranged by the leading surgeon, Mr Samuel Sharpe? (Black History Month special)

November

Friday 28th November 2014
The History of Women in Parliament
Oonagh Gay

A chance to learn about the first women MPs elected after 1918 when women over 30 got the vote. Jennie Lee, Barbara Castle, Bernadette Devlin all feature, as well as Nancy Astor and the first female MP, Countess Markievicz, who never took her seat. House of Commons Library expert Oonagh Gay will tell you more. (Parliament Week special)

December

Friday 12th December 2014
London’s Shops: the World’s Emporium revisited
Susan Jenkinson

Harrods, Covent Garden Market, St James's and Bond Street are as well known to most visitors as Westminster Abbey, the British Museum and the Houses of Parliament. This lecture looks at the buildings and history behind a selection of a vast array of shops, large and small, which we hope will not disappear in competition with chain stores. (Christmas Special)

Wednesday 17th December 2014
PREFAB HOMES book launch
Islington Town Hall, 8pm.

The Islington Archaeology and History Society has very kindly agreed to host the launch of the book 'Prefab Homes' by Elisabeth Blanchet. There will be drinks! The author will give a Talk about prefabs.
Please RSVP to elisabethblanchet@hotmail.com as the number of places is limited!

Programme Archive for 2013

January

Friday 25th January 2013
BURNDEPT, the Wireless Wonder of South East London
David Shaw

Founded in Blackheath in 1922, this company became one of the largest wireless makers in the world. The talk looks at the rise and fall of this once great manufacturer whilst also revealing how wireless for the masses changed British society forever.

February

Friday 22nd February 2013
Slideshow on Southwark, London's most historic Borough
John Beasley

The author of Southwark Remembered and Southwark Revisited will talk on a journey from the Thames to Dulwich.

March

Friday 22rd March 2013
Annual General Meeting* followed by
Grove Park in the Great War
John King

As the 100th Anniversary of the beginning of the Great War approaches, John will explain the military importance of the district.
*Alternative venue: Civic Suite, Lewisham Town Hall, Catford

April

Friday 26th April 2013
My Post-War Years in Lewisham
Gordon Dennington

Our Newsletter Editor's unexpected work experiences as a young teenager in austerity Britain.

May

Friday, 3rd May 2013
Meeting of the Management Committee of the Society, 7.30 pm at Lewisham Town Hall, Catford.

Saturday 18 May 2013
Nunhead Cemetary Annual Open Day
11am-5pm. Free Tours, music, plant stalls, refreshments.

Friday 24th May 2013
Memories of a Mayor of Lambeth
Rudey Daley
Due to unforeseen circumstances, this Talk did not take place.
David Eley kindly gave an impromptu talk about London Trams.

June

Friday 28th June 2013
A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body. Victorian philanthropy in Forest Hill and Sydenham
Steve Grindlay

The fascinating story of how a small plot of land on the Sydenham/ Forest Hill borders, awarded to the church, became a place of education, exercise and cleanliness for local people. The significance of the school, swimming pools and girls' home built in 1902, all surviving today, is recognised at home and abroad.

July

Saturday 13th July 2013
Lewisham People's Day
12 noon–8pm Mountsfield Park SE6
Come and meet the Lewisham Local History Society! Bookstall, etc.

Sunday 21st July 2013
Appreciating The Ravensbourne
Gordon Dennington

Gordon, an authority on the Ravensbourne system, will lead a Riverside Walk, 2.30pm-4pm, Sunday, 21 July. Meet at Catford Bridge Station, west side (Adenmore Road, by the archway under Catford Bridge). The Walk will follow the riverside route by the Ravensbourne and Pool River to Lower Sydenham bus terminus (Sainsbury superstore). Several bus routes operate from here: 194, 352, etc. Learn more about the river’s history, geography, and influence on local amenities, industry, communications, and landscapes. If intending to join, it would help to let Gordon know in advance (not essential). The Walk will be abandoned if there is persistent rain (but not by occasional showers!).

Friday 26th July 2013
Ugly Monsters in our Midst
Alan Payne

Born within a bus ride's distance of each other, four southeast Londoners who went on to feature in iconic 1930s Hollywood Horror Movies widely regarded as the best of their kind.

August

No Meeting

September

Friday 27th September 2013
The Road to the Abbey
Jennie Howells

The story of Bermondsey Street and village, from monastic life to industrial centre of the leather trade.

October

Wednesday 16th October 2013, 10am - 12 noon
Free Forum Seminar
in the Broadway Theatre, SE13 4RU
Lewisham Pensioners Forum - What does being a Trustee of a registered Charity mean?
(Ring 020 8690 7869 to register).

Sunday 20th October 2013, 11am - 3pm
Big Book Sale
Saville Centre, 436 Lewisham High Street, SE13 6LJ
A Lewisham Pensioners Forum Fundraiser - Books from 50p! Café with tea, cake etc.

Friday 25th October 2013
History of Hither Green
Ben Honeybone

Includes 40 minutes of film, and interviews with Godfrey Smith and Ron Cooper

November

Friday 29th November 2013
The Changing Face of Greenwich
Julian Watson.

Change is a strong theme in most London communities, but the changes which have taken place in Greenwich over the centuries and which continue today, particularly to its long riverfront, are radical and impressive.

December

Friday 13th December 2013
Gladstone - our MP, the PM
Doctor Alex Windscheffel

The Grand Old Man of British politics was MP for Greenwich from 1868 to 1880, when the constituency included Deptford (and may do so again!). Dr. Windscheffel, Senior Lecturer in history at Royal Holloway, University of London, will relate Gladstone's sometimes troubled relationship with our area.

Programme Archive for 2012

January

Friday 27th January 2012
London before London
Jon Cotton.

Jon will speak on early man in the London area.

February

Friday 24th February 2012
Christopher Marlowe
Barbara Wooding from the Marlowe Society

The Elizabethan poet, dramatist and possible spy was killed and buried in Deptford. Unless he survived to write the plays of Shakespeare!

March

Friday 30th March 2012
Annual General Meeting* followed by
(speaker to be confirmed)

*Alternative venue: Civic Suite, Lewisham Town Hall, Catford.

April

Friday 27th April 2012
Thomas Dinwiddy - the forgotten architect
Diana Rimmel

An architect who made a major contribution to building Victorian South-East London.

May

Friday 25th May 2012
A personal experience of schooldays in WW2
Gordon Dennington

Gordon draws on his memories of growing up under the shadow of the bombers.

June

Friday 29th June 2012
Edmund Halley
Dick Chambers

England's most famous astronomer, buried near St Margaret's, Lee.

Of all the comets in the sky
There's none like Comet Halley.
We see it with the naked eye
And periodically.
The first to see it was not he
But still we call it Halley
The notion that it would return
was his originally.

Royal Astronomical Society drinking song 1910.

July

Friday 26th July 2012
The Barings of Lewisham
Clara Harrow from the Baring archive

Barings Bank, founded in 1762, was the oldest Merchant bank in London until its collapse in 1993. Clara details the family's connections with our area, including Manor House library.

August

No Meeting

September

Friday 28th September 2012
The Buildings along the New Cross Road
Malcolm Bacchus.

The Talk scheduled for this month did not take place, and Malcolm Bacchus kindly stepped in to give an "armchair walk" of buildings along the New Cross Road.

October

Friday 26th October 2012
Sir MancherJee Merwanjee Bhownagree
Councillor Mike Harris

Between 1895 and 1906 a Conservative politician of Indian Parsi heritage was Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green North East, the second Indian to be a British MP. (Black History month)

November

Friday 30th November 2012
Deptford and me
Joan Ruddock MP

A personal memoir of Deptford.

December

Friday 14th December 2012
Thomas Tyrrell's photos and maps of Lewisham 1897.
Julian Watson

Julian Watson kindly stepped in to give this month's talk; the scheduled talk (about Gladstone) was postponed until a later date.

Programme Archive for 2011

January

Friday 28th January 2011
George Barnes
David Snow

George Barnes was a pioneer in the story of aviation. Before WW1 he lived in Algernon Rd, building an aeroplane where Lewisham Police Station now is.

February

Friday 18th February 2011
The History of Grove Park*
John King

The Society's previous Programme Secretary will share the fruits of the research for his book on this verdantly named corner of the Borough of Lewisham.
* Venue: Methodist Hall, Burnt Ash Hill, Grove Park SE12 OQD.

March

Friday 25th March 2011
Annual General Meeting* followed by
A Personal Journey through the History of Lewisham
Heidi Alexander MP

Heidi talks of her time as a councillor, Deputy Mayor, and MP for Lewisham East.
*Alternative venue: Civic Suite, Lewisham Town Hall, Catford

April

Friday 15th April 2011
Leland Duncan and Ireland
Julian Watson

Antiquarian and author Leland Lewis Duncan 1862-1923, of Lingards Road, had a wide range of historical interests. This talk focuses on his interest in Ireland.

May

Friday, 3rd May 2011
Meeting of the Management Committee of the Society, 7.30 pm at Lewisham Town Hall, Catford.

Saturday 18th May 2011
Nunhead Cemetary Annual Open Day
11am-5pm. Free Tours, music, plant stalls, refreshments.

Friday 27th May 2011
The V1 and V2 Rockets
Frank Taylor

If you want a memorial to these weapons of mass destruction, look around you! Frank tells us about the Vergeltungswaffens, the secret weapons that Hitler boasted would win the war.

June

Friday 24th June 2011
The Victorian and Edwardian Sunday School
Councillor Chris Pond

Learn about this early example of the Big Society, often the only educàtion many Lewisham children received in the early Victorian period.

July

Friday 29th July 2011
The Ashburnham Triangle
Diana Rimel

John Ashburnham, from a Sussex family of 'stupendous antiquity', acquired land in Blackheath as part of an inheritance in 1755. Find out what happened next.

August

No Meeting

September

Friday 30th September 2011
The First London Olympics in 1908
Kevin Kelly

The Olympics first came to London when the most important thing was not to win but to take part, and made a profit on a budget of £15,000.

October

Friday 28th October 2011
The Pan African Conference of 1900
Professor David Killingray

David tells us how people such as Rev Armstrong Lee from Lewisham were involved in the conference which brought black people from around the world. Calls for legislation for racial equality got a frosty response from the British Government. But it happened eventually!

November

Friday 25th November 2011
Topic to be confirmed
Godfrey Smith.

Godfrey Smith is giving more thought to a scintillating and fascinating new topic from the history of Lewisham.

December

Friday 9th December 2011
The history of New Cross in the Twentieth Century
Ray Thatcher

New Cross during the Twentieth Century lived through interesting times. Illustrated with slides

Programme Archive for 2010

January

Friday 29th January 2010
The 21st Century Almshouse
Madeleine Adams

The speaker, an architect, has been very involved in the restoration of the 17th Century Boone's Chapel in Lee. In 2008 she organised an exhibition on the almshouses of today.

February

Friday 26th February 2010
Wyberton House, Lee Terrace - The Story of a Lee Mansion
Neil Rhind

This talk will focus on a 1869 building which as one of Lewisham's largest ever private houses, has had a very interesting history including home of the civil engineering contractor William Webster, of Thomas Peacock who founded the harberdashers Hope Brothers, a school and Order House for the Christian de la Salle Brothers. The building was converted to flats in the late 1990s.

March

Friday 19th March 2010
Annual General Meeting* followed by
A Political Journey in Lewisham
Jim Dowd MP

The society has never had a talk from a serving Member of Parliament. West Lewisham MP Jim Dowd began his political career as a Lewisham councillor in 1974 and was Mayor in 1992 when he was elected to Westminster.
*Alternative venue: Civic Suite, Lewisham Town Hall, Catford

April

Friday 23rd April 2010
Naval Victualling in Deptford
Janet MacDonald

This will focus on the feeding of the navy in the period of the Napoleonic Wars. The speaker has already had a book published Feeding Nelson's Navy.

May

Friday 21st May 2010
Thankfull Sturdee and the Deptford Jack
Thankfull Sturdee was born in Deptford in 1852. A press photographer for the Daily Mirror in later life, he also took many local photographs which are in Lewisham's archives and were used in the 1980 book One Man's Deptford which was published by Lewisham Council.

June

Friday 25th June 2010
Telegraph Hill: The History of a Community
Malcolm Bacchus

Malcolm Bacchus will talk about the history of an interesting and often forgotten community which was once an important market garden for London. Located to the north of Lewisham in the former borough of Deptford, it was within the ancient Manor of Hatcham.

July

Friday 16th July 2010
The Span Houses of South London
Tim Crocker and Charlie Mackeith

The speakers will examine the Span Houses that were built in the 1960s when over 2,000 homes were built in London, Kent and Surrey. Mainly two and three bedroom single-family homes and apartment buildings, they combined modernist design with attention to detail and harmony with the suburban environment. This meeting is joint with the Lewisham Environment Trust.

August

No Meeting

September

Friday 24th September 2010
Lal Mohun Ghose and Indian Nationalism in Deptford
Ray Thatcher

Lal Mohun was an Indian nationalist who for a few years lived in Deptford and in 1885 stood for Parliament as a Liberal. The speaker is a member of the society and has a particular interest in the history of Hatcham.

October

Friday 25th October 2010
Policing in Lewisham: Some Memories
David Michael

In 1973 the speaker was the first black constable in Lewisham where he was one of a team on a case of pick pocketing band street robbery known as The Lewisham 24. Born in Dominica, he eventually became a Detective Chief Inspector at New Scotland Yard.

November

Friday 26th November 2010
The New Cross Speedway
JNorman Jacobs.

The New Cross Speedway was next to Millwall's football ground. The speaker has recently had a book published on the subject, Out of the Frying Pan.

December

Friday 17th December 2010
Some Pubs in Lewisham
Neil Pettigrew

Several public houses have disappeared in recent years in Lewisham. The speaker will focus on the history of some of the buildings.


End of “Talks and Events” Archive