Monday, September 30, 2013

Music Monday: Sam Lee in Deptford

I was lucky enough to catch folk singer Sam Lee singing a song a couple of weeks ago at a Build the Lenox event at the Master Shipwrights House in Deptford. Sam filmed the video for his song Good Bye My Darling in the garden there last year, sitting by the fishing shack at the end of the garden that overlooks the Thames.

The video also features him walking round various parts of London carrying his boat, and then getting into the river on it by Watergate stairs in Deptford

Friday, September 27, 2013

Clarkshaws: Vegan Brewery in East Dulwich

Clarkshaws is 'a small independent microbrewery in East Dulwich. Our beers are created with a subtle blend of innovation, hard work, and the finest ingredients mixed with a dash of whimsy and serendipity, resulting in contemporary takes on classic British beer styles.We use only ingredients sourced from the UK, supporting local producers and reducing the 'beer miles' of all our products. Our process is designed to be vegetarian and we are London's first micro to produce all Vegetarian Society accredited products'.

When I was a vegan - sorry younger self I haven't lasted the course, though I do actually care for some animals now rather than just care about them in the abstract. I digress... when I first turned vegan, I didn't really know the ropes. In the back of a van heading off to some anarcho-punk squat gig I wondered why nobody wanted to share my cider. Then somebody took me aside and told me - it wasn't actually vegan or even vegetarian. I had no conception, and I guess most people don't, that drink may contain animal products. Fish products are routinely used to clear wine and beer, and some cider contains gelatin.

But yes in East Dulwich there is now a brewery that makes vegan beer and is Vegetarian Society approved. Seemingly approved by Southwark Vegans too, as on Sunday 29th September they are going to visit said brewery. You can tour the brewery any time between 12pm - 4pm complete with a beer sampling for £2.50 (includes a pint of beer).

The brewery is  at Unit 8, Tyrrell Trading Estate, Tyrrell Road, SE22 9NA.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Deptford Vinyl: New Record Shop in Tanners Hill

Excellent... Vinyl,  a new record shop in Deptford, kicking off with some events this weekend:

'Moving south from Soho and Camden, Record Shops Ambient Soho and Dragon Discs touch down in a new retail spot after spending 12 years in festival world with the addition of a coffee bar and gallery. Jenny and Ron bring you a new space to to invade, with Jerome Hill in the record shop

VINYL...Gallery, Record Shop and Coffee Bar is Deptford's latest micro venue serving coffee smoothies cakes and paninis with a licensed bar.

Friday 27th September: Vinyl Gallery premier exhibition Transformation. 6.30 - 9.00 pm Part of Deptford X
Artists: Jenny Brown, Annie Chapman, Chris F Clark, Punkvert, David Vallade, Sam Mattacott.

Saturday 28th September: DJs from 2.00 - 9.00 pm Record Shop Disco

Sun 29th September 2.00 - 7.00m Chill House Downbeat

4 Tanners Hill, Deptford, SE8 4PJ (07930421113)'

I used to frequent Ambient Soho in Berwick Street during the 1990s techno golden age, so will definitely be checking this out.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Nunhead Art Trail Shop Windows

Shop windows in Nunhead have been decorated in the build up to Nunhead Art Trail which takes place next weekend (28 & 29 September). I like this one in Rat Race Cycles:

And this hairdressing scene:

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Commonweal: late 19th century socialism in South London

The Socialist League was a significant force in radical politics in the late 19th century (it existed from 1885 to 1901), most famously associated with William Morris. Its newspaper Commonweal is now largely online and is a fascinating source for London politics in that period, with its listings of meetings and branches.

For instance in 1889 there was a Walworth and Camberwell branch committee 'meeting every Monday, at 7.30 p.m., at 3 Datchelor Place, Church Street, Camberwell Green'. At this time there doesn't seem to have been a fully established branch in Deptford - 'Persons wishing to join branch now forming are requested to communicate with G.W. Leach, 72 Gosterwood Street, Deptford' (10 November 1888). B
ut socialism was on the agenda at the Deptford Liberal Club on Deptford Broadway. In September 1889, George Bernard Shaw spoke there on "Radicalism and Social Democracy" followed on 6th October that year by future Labour Prime Minister J.Ramsay Macdonald on "Socialist Programme for London." The social question was also being discussed at the West Deptford Reform Club (31 Reculver Road), where in December 1888 the Rev. Stewart Headlam was speaking on "The Unemployed" (Headlam was a Christian Socialist pioneer who later stood bail for Oscar Wilde). Other meetings listed took place at the Hatcham Liberal Club (then at 98 New Cross Road), the South Peckham Liberal Club (19 Linden Grove) and the Star Radical Club (8 Mayall Road, Herne Hill).

On 7 January 1888, the paper reported this sad story of destitution in Deptford:

'Thos. Ansell, of Deptford, 88 years old, and his wife, who was 77, were very obstinate people who would not go to " the palatial dwelling miscalled a workhouse," because of the inhuman treatment they knew awaited them. Rather than be put asunder after 56 years of love and mutual aid by the red-tape of Bumbledom, they kept on battling against increasing infirmity until they could do no more. Then " the parish" gave them "outdoor relief."

The two poor old people were accorded the princely sum of 3s. 6d. per week, out of which they had to pay 2s. rent and "live" on the  balance. Ansell is dead of hunger and cold, and his brave old wife  is undergoing at last the torture she avoided so long - the slow death  of the workhouse. Such things add a bitter point to Cardinal Manning's attack on the present method of " relief." 

Day after day, as we have been reading on the one hand of great feasting by the fortunate, and also of their loudly-vaunted "charity" to their more hapless fellows, so on the other hand have come reports  of deaths from hunger, and horrors unspeakable, the fruit of poverty and degradation. At no time is the baleful effect of the present system shown so clearly as at periods like that just past, which custom  has decreed a festival-tide. But the time passes by, and the lesson is  unlearnt, or if learnt is unapplied. How long will it go on ?'

Where to get Commonweal - a list of South London stockists (December 21 1889)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Open Shipwrights House

It's London Open House this weekend, so lots of opportunities to visit interesting buildings many of which are usually closed to the public. In Deptford, the magnificent Master Shipwrights House on the river front will be open all weekend (entrance on Watergate Street)

The garden of the Shipwrights House last night - the cannon was dug up at Potters Fields by Tower Bridge. Why is there a replica of the Deptford anchor there? And why is the real Deptford anchor currently in Convoys Wharf?  Go along this weekend and ask!

This year is the 500th anniversary of the Royal Naval Yard at Deptford, and this is the oldest building remaining from it - the home and office of the master shipwright  since 1513, remodeled in early 18th century. Today they will be highlighting the proposal to build a replica 17th century ship (The Lenox) as part of the planned redevelopment of Convoys Wharf - the remainder of the dockyard site next door. 

In fact at 10:30 this morning there will be a  Build the Lenox press call featuring 'Samuel Pepys' and 'Henry VIII' and the firing of a cannon. Horrible Histories stars Ben Willbond (who lives in Deptford) and Larry
Rickard will be taking part.

Convoys Wharf  itself will also be open as part of Open House, from 11 am to 4 pm today only.

More information about Convoys Wharf at Deptford Is?

Previous Transpontine posts on Convoys Wharf for more history and the ongoing saga of the dubious plans for this site.

See also: Crosswhatfields? and Deptford Dame

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Rizzle Kicks' Deptford Video

We reported in July that Rizzle Kicks had been spotted filming a video in Deptford. Now the video is out, for their latest single Lost Generation. As you can see it starts out with them walking across the bridge on Broadway Fields looking towards the Stephen Lawrence Centre, followed by a street scene nearby on Cranbrook Road (off Friendly Street). Most of the second half is a big dance number back on Broadway Fields

Incidentally Rizzle Kicks are playing at the Stephen Lawrence memorial concert at the 02 next week (29th September) along with Emeli Sande, Labrinth, Plan B, Tinie Tempeh and many others.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Deptford Dolphins in Daring (Dangerous?) Thames Swim

This has come from some people who may or may not be close to the Deptford Three Sided Football Club. The tale of  a 'pre war equinoctial swim' in Deptford may or may not be pseudo-history. But they are deadly serious about swimming in the Thames at Deptford on Sunday 22 September:

'Through playing 3-sided-football with some of the guys down at (new) Deptford Green on sundays there has been a move to try and establish a Deptford Alternative Sports group and a few of us have decided to try and kick start this by resurrecting the pre war equinoctial swim out to the Borthwick dolphins from the Watergate steps. This (apparently) used to occur around the 21st Sept at the autumn high tide and involved swimming out from the steps to the crane derrick, climbing to the top of the wooden support braces and diving back in to return to the steps. Accomplishment of the swim would (apparently) allow the participant to be addressed as a "Deptford Dolphin".

We are intending to do the swim at the 3.15pm high tide on Sunday 22nd September. Meeting in the Dog & Bell pub on Watergate St at 2.00pm. While there are three of us committed, it would be great to expand participation a bit'.

OK at low tide it doesn't look far from the shore to the crane derrick (the structure on the left), but there will be water in between. Strong swimmers only and I would leave the drinking until afterwards!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Light Houses: film in the streets of Telegraph Hill

One of the highlights of this year's New Cross and Deptford Free Film Festival was Light Houses, where people projected films in their windows for passers-by to watch from the street. Now Cinetopia, who helped organise it, are planning a second Light Houses event on Sunday 8 December. They say:

'For those who don't know about this, Light Houses gives local residents the chance to turn their front room windows into mini cinema screens for the evening...The idea is to use a projector to screen a film onto your window which can be seen from the street. The audience then amble around the streets enjoying a wide range of cinematic delights and meeting the neighbours. This year we had home-made animations, pet videos, themed compilations and even foetal scans. The choice of film is up to you. The December event will run from 5 pm to 8 pm and we can provide technical advice if needed'.

It's fairly straightforward if you have or can borrow a digital projector, you just stick a sheet or better still a shower curtain up in the window and away you go. If you are interested in taking part please contact

The area included is broadly the Telegraph Hill area, as shown in the map below showing where films were shown last May.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Save Lewisham Hospital Victory Parade Tomorrow

From Save Lewisham Hospital campaign:

'We will be holding a VICTORY PARADE through LEWISHAM and PARTY IN THE PARK Saturday 14th September! Meet at 12 NOON, Lewisham Roundabout (nr train station) followed by a celebration in Ladywell Fields!

We want to THANK the INCREDIBLE Lewisham community for your amazing support and to celebrate together our victory at the High Court! Although we've since found out that the Government is appealing, we WILL go ahead with this event as the High Court ruled the Government's proposals to close our Hospital UNLAWFUL and we will continue to fight. Let's make this a fantastic day to celebrate our community and the incredible journey we've travelled together!'

 More details:

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hilly Fields Parkrun Birthday

This Saturday (9 am), Hilly Fields parkrun will be celebrating its first birthday. In the last 12 months, 887 different people have come to the park on a Saturday morning and run 5 km. The combined distance they have run is 17,640 km - which is further than from Hilly Fields to Sydney, Australia. Most weekends there are between 70 and 100 people taking part, plus a team of volunteers organising it. For the birthday celebrations there will be cake and prizes - and running the course around the park in the opposite direction to usual.

I've written here before about the wonders of parkrun - it's a free, accessible run (or walk if you want), and a great community event. For details of Hilly Fields parkrun, see the website. Weather forecast is that Saturday will be a day of sun in a week of rain, so get along and join in!

Photo from Hilly Fields parkrun flickr group

There are other parkruns in many other London parks (see map here). Last week a new one started in Southwark Park, getting off to a fine start with 150 people taking part (see report here).

For a round up of South London running, check out Go Feet.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Friday the 13th at Lewisham Arthouse

An evening of music, film and movement on Friday 13 September 2013:

MONKEY PUZZLE TRIO Viv Corringham, electric voice, Nick Doyne-Ditmas, electric double bass, Charles Hayward, drums and keyboards

JO THOMAS will unfold her elegant and mysterious soundworlds

GONE HOUSE, GHOST HOUSE (film plus live soundtrack by RABBIT with butoh interventions/actions by Bridget Scott)

£5/£3 doors 7.45pm start 8.15pm

Lewisham Arthouse
140 Lewisham Way
London SE14 6PD
Map and directions
020 8691 9113

Friday, September 06, 2013

Rewind Nunhead

Lots of amazing free events happening at the Peckham and Nunhead Free Film Festival over the next ten days, including tonight 'Rewind Nunhead'. From 6 pm to 8 pm, short films will be shown in shops along Evelina Road/Nunhead Green, followed by a showing of 'Be Kind, Rewind' on the Green at 8:30 pm.

Among the shorts to be seen tonight is Nun Heads, Cinetopia's compilation of clips depicting the life of nuns as represented on screen from the Bells of St Mary to Bad Lieutenant, showing at Nunhead Corner.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Frendsbury Gardens Green Flag Day

Frendsbury Gardens is  along the railway line next to the Honor Oak Estate, SE4. The Friends of Frendsbury Gardens invite everyone to help celebrate Green Flag day on Saturday 7 September. They say:

'Come along and join in the fun and celebrate because Frendsbury Gardens has been awarded a Green Flag! Green Flag awards, handed out by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, recognise and reward the best parks and green spaces across the country. Activities from 10am will include:

* Bug club for 0-12 year olds (bug hunts and arts and crafts),
* A foraging, picking and preserving workshop by Grow Wild
* Mosaic-making.
* Storytelling.
* Mobiles making.
* Information about 'going green'.

Lewisham mayor Steve Bullock will be raising the Green Flag at 11:45am. He will be accompanied by local councillors and local residents. Frendsbury Gardens is off  Frendsbury Road. There is street parking and places to lock bikes nearby and the 484 and 343 buses stop outside.  Please do come along and invite all your friends and neighbours!'. Facebook event details here

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Kilimanjaro via Amersham Arms

From Laura Witt: 'In February 2014 myself and my husband will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for a charity called Hands on London, which helps provide volunteers to support local charities including Deptford Reach and the Ahoy Centre.  We are also running a marathon in October and have arranged a gig to support our Fundraising at the Amersham Arms on 22ndSeptember, with a great line up of 3 bands; Deltorers, Capital X and Moonlighter'. 

Good luck Laura, as I told a friend who climbed Kilimanjaro be sure to have this on your ipod:

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

New Cross Party in the Park

Huge amount going on at Party in the Park in New Cross on Saturday 14 September, a big free festival in Fordham Park with loads of local musicians and other stuff. Ben Holland, Eddie Capone, Shocks of Mighty!, Unit 137 Sound System, The Pit Ponies, The Hotelles, The Fruitful Earth, Nunhead Folk Circle and many more - see facebook events page

Should be good, but to make sure it it is the organisers - New Cross Learning and Madcap Coalition are asking for people to lend a hand: 

'New Cross Party in the Park NEEDS ALL OF US on sat 14th september

New Cross Party in the Park is happening a week on saturday (14th) in Fordham Park between 1pm and 8pm with loads of great music, community stalls, food, drink and much much more - it's just the kind of thing that we need, if you agree can you PLEASE help and make sure that it's a successful event that we can do again and again. 

The people who are currently making this possible are a very small group of very dedicated people - but there's only so much they can do - if you can offer 2 hours on either the saturday or the days either side you will be able to enjoy the party that much more knowing that you are doing something to make it happen.

All you need to do is email saying which 2 hour slot(s) you want to do - simple, but i can assure you that it will be HUGELY appreciated'.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Sanford Housing Co-op Open Day

The famous Sanford Housing Co-op in New Cross (Sanford Walk SE14) is having its annual open day on Saturday 7th September, 2 - 8 pm. Come down and find out about its permaculture and eco heating, listen to the acoustic open mic or maybe try out some juggling. For more about the place and its history, check out this post I did a couple of years ago.