Wednesday, December 16, 2009

SE London Green Fair 1986

SE London Green Fair took place over two days in 1986 (21-22 June), starting off with a day of stalls, workshops and music at the Albany, followed the next day by a community festival in Fordham Park, New Cross.

'Greenwich 264' has recently posted a video on Youtube shot at the time by Tim Spencer and it really is a priceless social historical document, opening a window not only on to 1980s Deptford but to the green/peace/left movements of that time.

As described by Graham Bell (complete with some classic 1980s glasses!) the themes of the event were International Year of Peace and green campaigns around Transport. He mentions the launch of a campaign called Commuters against Polluters and the proposed East London River Crossing (a threat to Oxleas Wood, it was finally cancelled in 1993).

Across the event we see stalls and local activists of the time - Jeanette Prior of Deptford CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) with a 'One Missile is too Many' banner; the Anti Apartheid movement, Dorothy Shipp of Lewisham United Nations Association; Ron Wye, London Cycle Campaign ; Kevin D'Cruze, Lewisham Peace Council; Micheael Prime, Lewisham Greenpeace Supporters Group; Tim Wright, Lambeth Friends of the Earth; and a short interview with Peter Tatchell ('I'm here because I'm a socialist and i think green politics is really important'). There's also a Brockley Bean stall - a vegetarian shop/cafe in Coulgate Street at the time.

Musically there's Irish folk from Goats Brigade, Grange Lunchtime Band, Barflies, Childeric School Steel Band, Lewisham Lizards (doing 'Cajun Two Step') and a reggae sound system from Catford Link. The famous Dewdrop Inn can be seen in the background in the park scenes. All this plus a beer tent, face painters, clowns, jugglers, inflatables and animals from Stepping Stones Farm in East London.

Apparently there was a similar event the year before, at Goldsmiths and in Fordham Park. Does anyone know if it happened again?

There's a bit in the first part of the film where Catherine Maguire leads a workshop in the Albany on 'Creating Your Own Future', asking people to envisage the world they would like to live in in the year 2000. Did your dreams come true?

1 comment:

south london solicitors said...

What a great blog! I am an ex SE18 boy living in the wild of Wiltshire but South London is in my genes. I remember the Albany Empire well (my Mum taught in Deptford, my Dad had a market stall in the market.)

The South London river crossing would have gone through my old school. St Pauls in Abbey Wood I am glad they scrapped it.