Monday, December 08, 2008

Livesey Memorial Hall

Brockley Ukulele Group played a gig last Saturday night at the Livesey Memorial Hill on Perry Hill (Lower Sydenham). We did a 'uke box' set, where people shout out what song they want us to play from a list - as it was a charity gig, we got people to pay for the privilege of hearing songs like The Cure's Friday I'm in Love, Prince's Kiss and Love Goes to Building on Fire (Talking Heads). Dads Aloud played too, and the evening raised £2800 for Kids Company and Smile Train. BUG are doing another Uke Box night at the Amersham Arms in New Cross next Sunday night, 14th December - admission free.

I've never been to The Livesey Memorial Hall before - it's a grand building which like the Livesey Museum on Old Kent Road and Telegraph Hill Park owes its origin to the South London gas magnate George Livesey. The Hall was originally built as a social club for people working in the adjacent Bell Green gas works, which closed in the 1980s.

Even more remarkable than the building itself is the war memorial outside, unveiled in 1920 and listing employees of the South Suburban Gas Company who died in World War One (World War Two dead were added later). It seems to depicts the angel of victory triumphing over a serpent of evil. There's also a Rupert Brooke quote (you can probably guess which one): 'if I should die, think only this of me: that there's some corner of a foreign field that is forever England'.
(photograph by fitz3xl at flickr)


Anonymous said...

Also come down to Greenwich to see the war memorial to gas works dead - it is on John Harrison Way opposite the millennium village,and was moved there through the efforts of Kay Murch who started work at the gasworks as a teenager and was still there as site manager when the Dome was built.
Livesey was Chair of South Suburban Gas as well as South Met.
At one time all South Met. Gas Works had their Livesey Institutes - surely I am not the only person who remembers the one in Old Kent almost on the canal bridge -happy to let you have a picture! The East Greenwich one was at the point at which they stop the traffic on Millennium Way when they have Barry Manilow or whatever on.

Transpontine said...

Thanks Mary, I would be interested in a picture of the Livesey Institute on the Old Kent Road.