Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Forest Hill Pools re-open

Forest Hill Pools re-opened on 22nd September after major rebuilding work. The original Victorian frontage has been retained, but the new pools, gym, studios and cafe are totally new. The Pools have had a long history in their community, having originally opened in 1885, and we have created a blog to help us record and curate some of the memories associated with them.

You can find it at Forest Hill Pools

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Borders in the Literary and Visual Arts of David Jones

"The modernist poet  David Jones, whose work was greatly admired by T.S. Eliot and W.S. Auden, and who lies buried in the Brockley & Ladywell Cemeteries is to be featured in a seminar by The David Jones Society in the Dissenter's Chapel on Saturday 22nd September...." 

Borders in the Literary and Visual Arts of David Jones
Posted from Friends of Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries

Monday, 17 September 2012

The National Archives and the V&A launch resource on Victorian Britain

"A unique e-learning resource The Victorians, which combines documents from The National Archives with objects from the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) to teach primary school pupils about the Victorian era, has been launched today."

The National Archives and the V launch resource on Victorian Britain
Posted  from The National Archives

Ladywell Tower Trust AGM Weds 19 September - please come along!

"The Annual General Meeting for the Ladywell Tower Development Trust will take place this Weds 19 Sept at Lewisham Methodist Church, Albion Way, SE13 6BT starting at 5.30pm. The Trust has been established to oversee the renovation and re-use of the ‘Playtower’, the Grade II Listed Victorian former swimming baths situated on Ladywell Road.  The meeting will include a presentation from the architects working on the project (RCKa), an update on the work of the Trust from its Chair, James Jennings and also elections to positions on the Trust."

Ladywell Tower Trust AGM Weds 19 September - please come along!
Posted from Ladywell Village Improvement Group

Thursday, 13 September 2012

2 new listed buildings in Lewisham

English Heritage has today released its London List 2011, a compilation of all the sites awarded listed status in the capital last year. This includes 2 buildings in Lewisham -

Kirkdale Centre, Kirkdale, Sydenham, Lewisham

1859-61 by Henry Dawson, possibly with Sir Joseph Paxton; extended 1904 by William Flockhart
Listed Grade II

"The Kirkdale Centre has its origins in the Sydenham Public Lecture Hall, established in the late 1850s by a committee of local philanthropists including Sir Joseph Paxton, engineer-architect of the nearby Crystal Palace. The original design for the hall, resembling a north-Italian palazzo with twin cupolas and extravagantly banded brickwork, was reputedly supplied by Paxton himself, although the more modest version actually completed in 1861 was by the young architect Henry Dawson. The Sydenham Working Men’s Association ran the programme of evening lectures and also maintained a library and reading room; during the daytime the building was used by the Sydenham British School. The latter was taken over by the London School Board in 1875, and in 1904 the building – now wholly in school use – was enlarged and remodelled by the architect William Flockhart. Tall extensions were built on either side of the original hall, as well as an idiosyncratic new entrance porch resembling a compressed bell-tower, and the vibrant polychromy of the 1861 brickwork was toned down with a coat of grey roughcast. The result is an intriguing blend of the High Victorian and the Arts and Crafts, the combined product of mid-C19 philanthropy and early-C20 state education."

Former Prudential Building, 187-197 Lewisham High Street, Lewisham

1908 by Paul Waterhouse

Listed Grade II
"Alfred Waterhouse’s sequence of buildings for the Prudential Assurance Company was continued after his death by his son Paul, to whose designs the Lewisham branch was built in 1908. Here, the Pru’s signature palette of pink granite and flame-red brick and terracotta – prominently displayed at Waterhouse senior’s headquarters building on Holborn – has been carefully kept up, but the style has shifted in accordance with contemporary taste from High Victorian Gothic to Edwardian Baroque. The building makes dramatic use of its corner site: the entrance porch, boldly rusticated like the rest of the lower storey, grows upward into a balustraded niche adorned with swags of fruit and flowers, which contains a three-quarter size figure of Prudence; in the attic above, the building’s name is displayed in gilded lettering between the huge broken pediments that crown the flanking wings. The interiors have been altered, but retain some original fittings including panelled doors, armorial panels in terracotta, and the principal staircase with its decorative iron balustrade."

You can find out more at http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/about/news/londons-historic-treasures/ and see the full list at

Deptford Notebook

Interesting article by Philip Dodd about a research visit to Deptford

"It’s September and, although the nights are drawing in, the mornings are still bright. I’m walking down the road at 6.15am, a time of the day I seldom see. The sun isn’t up over the North Downs yet but there’s enough light leaking into the thin cloud to illuminate the familiar shape of the valley. I’m heading to Otford train station, and from there onto Deptford in south-east London. It’s what I suppose you could call a writing research trip. But it feels much more like a pilgrimage. My fictional character Danny is based loosely on the lives of Irishmen who came to live at Carrington House, a large lodging house in Deptford, from the 1960s through to the end of the 1980s. Deptford has to be as much a character as Danny is, so it feels important that I go walk in his shoes. In particular, it felt important that I get a feel of the place early in the morning, as it wakes up....."

Sculpture outside the Deptford Project. Photo by Philip Dodd.

Deptford Notebook writes...

"Anyone who has stories to tell about Carrington or who may have useful contacts for Philip, you can contact him by emailing domesticatedbohemian@gmail.com. This is an edited version of an article which is available in full on Philip’s blog."

Deptford Notebook
Posted from Deptford High Street

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Rebuild The Lenox At Convoys Wharf, Deptford

Interesting article in The Londonist on the Build the Lennox project

"Enthusiasts in Deptford are keen to rebuild the Lenox, the first warship constructed in a grand shipbuilding project of Charles II. The replica ship would form the centrepiece of the new Convoys Wharf residential scheme and restore maritime pride to this forgotten centre of industry....

If you’d like to learn more about the project, and perhaps lend your support, visit the Build the Lenox website."

Also covered by Transpontine

Rebuild The Lenox At Convoys Wharf, Deptford
Posted from The Londonist

Friday, 7 September 2012

Dedication of memorial to Rorke's Drift veteran, Gunner Arthur Howard

"On Sunday 16th September, there will be a dedication of memorial to Gunner Arthur Howard at Brockley Cemetery.  The event will take place from approximately 11:30am to 12:15pm. The initiative to fund the headstone was that of Corporal Bugler Tim Needham, Royal Marines, who started a campaign to have the defenders of Rorke's Drift memorialised....."  

Dedication of memorial to Rorke's Drift veteran, Gunner Arthur Howard
Posted from Friends of Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries

Monday, 3 September 2012

Sinking of the Princess Alice

On Monday 3rd September 1878 the passenger steamer Princess Alice collided with cargo ship Bywell Castle on the Thames near Woolwich Pier. All of the 700 passengers of the Princess Alice were thrown into the heavily polluted river or trapped below the decks of the sinking vessel. Fewer than 100 passengers survive. Among the dead was 16 year old cabin Boy Henry Robert Hughes from Deptford. His body was recovered and interred in Brockley Cemetary. Also saved was the Rev J.C. Gill of Lewisham, while the dead and missing included 4 members of the Crawford family from New Cross.

Thames Police Museum
Wikipedia article
London Metropolitan Archives image