Friday, 23 November 2012

Lewisham Central Public Library opens 23rd November 1901

On 23rd November 1901 Lewisham Metropolitan Borough opened Lewisham Central Library next to Colfe's Almshouses in the High Street. The 1917 borough guide describes it as a red brick and terracotta building with a lending department, reference room, news room and magazine room. In the entrance hall was a tablet commemorating Alfred the Great, a previous Lord of Lewisham. This was installed in the new Central Library when it replaced the original in 1994.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

First World War: New Perspectives

"As we approach the 100th anniversary of the First World War this series of short talks presents new perspectives on the world’s first experience of the war. Produced by the University of Oxford, and presented by renowned experts in the field, the series explores topics such as ‘conflict culture’, ‘surplus women’ and the role of the historian in the centenary.  A world class resource that is set to grow in the coming years, be prepared to move beyond the mud of the Western Front and reconsider the the varied impact of one of the largest conflicts in history.

First World War: New Perspectives
Posted from JISC World War One Commemoration Programme

A large body of work to support WW1 study has already been undertaken by JISC to support teaching, learning and research around WW1 through a range of digitisation and crowd-sourcing projects. An example of this work is The Great War Archive which digitised items contributed by the general public related to ‘someone’s experience of the First World War, either abroad or at home’. This has given rise to similar projects in participating countries e.g. in Germany, ‘Erster Weltkrieg in Alltagsdokumenten’

Building on the work of the JISC eContent programme, the JISC WW1 Commemoration programmes aim to provide a wealth of unique and authoritative digital materials which are “comprehensive, open and sustainable”.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Remembrance Sunday in Lewisham

Lewisham will mark Remembrance Sunday with two events this year on Sunday 11th  November. The first event will take place at the war memorial in Upper Brockley Road at its junction with Lewisham Way and the second at the Lewisham High Street war memorial.

Lewisham Heritage's Lewisham War Memorials wiki has collected information on all known memorials in the borough commemorating the military and civilian dead and is adding details of the names recorded. We have contributions from relatives of the war dead and local historians. If you have any information on a relative who is recorded on one of these memorials, then you can add it to the wiki, or send it to for us to add.

Ninety-four years on from the signing of the Armistice in 1918, Lewisham Council will pay homage to those who died during the two world wars including a tribute to the hundreds of Lewisham men and women who gave their lives in the service of their country.  You can find more details on the Lewisham Council website

Blackheath Caverns

Interesting article in Greenwich Industrial History blog about Blackheath Caverns and the industrial past of the area.

"Ever since last spring we have been meaning feature an article in the April edition of that wonderful publication ‘Subterrania’ – the article is  ‘Chalk Mining near Blackheath Hill, Southeast London. Including Jack Cade's Cavern’ by Anthony Durham
Ostensibly it is yet another account of the caverns known to lie under Blackheath Hill but the author does raise some interesting points and tries to examine the subject holistically.  However, to begin at the beginning – he says ‘ten years ago I had very little idea what lies under the ground near my home. But that all changed on 7 April  2002, when the A2 main road through Greenwich  collapsed into a big hole halfway up Blackheath Hill’.  Having opened up his interest he began to look further  and discovered more....."

Monday, 5 November 2012

Lewisham Rail Crash 4th December 1957

At 6.20pm on 4th December 1957 one of the worst rail crashes in Lewisham's and south east London's history took place in dense fog. A passenger train from Charing Cross to Hayes stopped at a signal under a bridge and the following train to Ramsgate crashed into it.  The railway bridge collapsed onto the carriages underneath.  There were 90 fatalities and 109 people were kept in hospital. The trains had been carrying over 2,000 passengers. The bridge had to be cleared away and it was over a week before the lines under the bridge were reopened, and another month before the bridge had been rebuilt and traffic allowed over it.
The driver of the Ramsgate train was charged with manslaughter, but acquitted after two trials. 

You can see a newsreel of the accident on YouTube 

and find out more on Wikipedia