Friday, 23 November 2018

Christmas Closure Local History and Archives Centre

The Local History and Archive Centre will be closed for the Christmas period on Monday 24th December 2018-5th January 2019 inclusive. The first drop in day after reopening will be Tuesday 6th January 2019.  Please note that staff will not be able to answer any telephone or email enquiries during this period beginning 12.00 noon 21st December 2018. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

In the meantime. We invite you to explore our collections online at (books and pamphlets) or (archives).

You can still follow us on Facebook @LewishamHistory, Twitter #Lewisham History and our blog for scheduled postings, including some special festive postings running most days while we are closed.

We are very grateful for your support over the past year.

Best wishes

Julie Robinson, Local Studies Librarian

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Remarkable Residents: Kwes

Throughout October to celebrate Black History Month the Lewisham Local History Archive Centre will post our chosen 15 truly remarkable residents. People who were born in the borough or lived within its borders

15/15: Kwes

Kwes: Art work for record cover
Kwes (Kwesi Sey) is a record producer, songwriter, musician, mixer and recording artist from Lewisham.

Kwes is best known for his production and collaborative work with a variety of artists including Bobby Womack, Damon Albarn, ELIZA, Kelela, Loyle Carner, Micachu, Nao and Solange. He has also reworked several artists including Hot Chip, Metronomy, Lianne La Havas, Zero 7 amongst many others.

Born in 1987 he has been actively interested in pop music, since he was four years old it began in Lewisham in 1990, raised on a diet of Top of The Pops and the Top 40 Chart Show. On his seventh birthday, Kwes received a gift that rapidly accelerated his musical prowess – a keyboard from his grandmother.

In 2011 signed with Warp Records and in the summer of that year Kwes travelled to the Democratic Republic of Congo as part of Oxfam's DRC Music project. He was invited along by Damon Albarn to join a team of fellow producers and musicians that included Richard Russell, Actress and T-E-E-D.

In summer 2012 and early winter 2013, Kwes partnered with Go Opera and Peroni Brewery to create a series of opera concerts, entitled as Opera di Peroni. The project was staged live in various cities throughout the UK and had featured Kwes’ and Go Opera's take on selected arias from Verdi's La Traviata and Puccini's La Boheme and La Rondine.

Local History and Archives Centre.

Remarkable Residents: Maxi Priest

Throughout October to celebrate Black History Month the Lewisham Local History Archive Centre will post our chosen 15 truly remarkable residents. People who were born in the borough or lived within its borders

14/15: Maxi Priest

Max Alfred "Maxi" Elliott (born 10 June 1961), known by his stage name Maxi Priest, is an English reggae vocalist of Jamaican descent. He is best known for singing reggae music with an R&B influence, otherwise known as reggae fusion. He was one of the first international artists to have success in this genre, and one of the most successful reggae fusion acts of all time.

Maxi Priest was born in Lewisham, the second youngest of nine brothers and sisters. His parents had moved to England from Jamaica to provide more opportunity for their family. His father was a steelworker in a factory, while his mother devoted her life to Christianity; she was a missionary at a Pentecostal Church and lead singer for the church choir, and as a youngster.  Maxi grew up listening to Jamaican greats such as Dennis Brown, John Holt, Ken Boothe and Gregory Isaacs as well as singers like Marvin Gaye, Al Green, the Beatles, Phil Collins and Frank Sinatra.

He was working as a carpenter when he was invited to build speaker boxes for the prominent Saxon International sound system. It wasn't long before his contacts there discovered that he could sing as well, and soon he was participating in live dancehall shows; in 1984, he and Paul "Barry Boom" Robinson also co-produced Phillip Levi's "Mi God Mi King," the first U.K.- born reggae single to hit number one.  

His first major album was the self-titled Maxi Priest (1988) which established him as one of the top British reggae singers.

Local History and Archives Centre.