Saturday, March 24, 2018

1970s football and factories - Charlton, Millwall and Palace

Found recently at Deptford market, three football programmes from three South London teams - Crystal Palace, Millwall, and Charlton (guess they must have been from a Chartlon fan, as the Palace and Millwall programmes are from matches against the Addicks). As well as a window on 1970s football adverts in programmes recall an age of mass employment in  London factories

Chartlon v Oxford United 1975 - this was a League Cup match that ended in a 3-3 draw.

Stone Manganese Marine Ltd - 'the world's largest marine propeller builders' based in Charlton advertising for staff in the CAFC programme. The propellor factory later moved to Birkenhead (it closed there in 1998), though the related Stone Foundries is still going.

Millwall v Charlon, September 1977 - a 1-1 draw in Division Two

Millwall sponsors 1977 - mostly small business by the look of it, wonder how many of these are still going. I can see the Duke of Albany, Monson Road in there - New Cross pub now flats. Parke Record Distributors, based in Bromley, went bust in 1981.

Palace v Charlton in Octobe 1977 - 1-1 in Divison Two

'Congratulations on reaching the second division from a first division company'. Philips advertises for staff at its Croydon factory, where it made TVs.  The company moved its electronic HQ from Croydon to Guildford in 2004.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Folk in the Woods (and at the White Hart SE14)

I hope the weather warms up for next weekend in time for the free Woodland Folk Music Festival on Saturday 24th March 2018, 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm in Brockley Nature Reserve, Vesta Road, SE4 2NT. The event, that is part of the Telegraph Hill Festival, features the South East London Folk Orchestra, Grande Scheme and The Flatfoot Boys.

Also definitely worth checking out is the Irish traditional session in the White Hart on New Cross Road, held every Sunday from 2:00 - 4:00 pm I believe. I caught it a couple of weeks ago and there was some great musicianship.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Strike and Corruption at New Cross Steam Engine Factory

Bunnett and Corpe was a 19th century engineering firm with a factory in New Cross Road. The Post Office London Directory, 1843, described them as 'engineers and patentees of the concentric steam engine, and of revolving iron shutters' with an office at 26 Lombard Street and factory in New Cross.

In 1865 there was a strike at the factory, as recorded in the Kentish Mercury (18 November 1865)

'It is with regret that we record that a “strike" has taken place in the well-known, and for very many years past, well conducted firm (now a limited liability company) of Messrs. Bunnett and Corpe, New Cross Road. Under the new management, a certain code of rules has been adopted, hitherto unknown at the works (although in vogue at a neighbouring firm), and which rules were felt to be repugnant to and subversive of the interests of the workmen, the principal objection to which is that any defect in the work done is to be made good out of the wages of the person employed. A general meeting of the men employed was held on Tuesday, at which the new roles were generally condemned, and as the company refuses to yield as regards the points in dispute, a “turn out” has taken place, and some 150 workmen remain idle'. 
Interestingly a decade before, the firm's foreman at the New Cross Road factory was accused of a fraud that involved him personally pocketing deductions from workers' wages. John William Stuart had been working there for 18 years for at least 12 of which he had been on the make. It seems he was in control of the firm's payroll, and received a sum each week to pay the workers at their full wage. But many of the workers had payments deducted for stoppages. So with some creative bookkeeping he was able to siphon of the difference between what the 200-300 workers were actually paid, and the wage budget provided by the company. No doubt this also gave him an incentive as manager to maximise the deductions from worker's wages. On top of that he actually paid the workers a lower wage than he was declaring to the company owners.

Illustrated London News, 22 November 1856
He was also said to have 'been in the habit ofemploying the men and material of the firm in the construction of lathes, &c., and disposing of them for his own individual benefit. The most heartless portion of the fraud, however, is the receipt by Stuart of a sovereign from Mr. Bunnett for an injured carman, which was never paid ove. A search warrant having been obtained, the police proceeded to Stuart's residence, 4, Amersham-road, New-cross, and brought away half a cart load of property (recognised by Mr. Bunnett as belonging to him), consisting of house chandeliers, gas lamps, corrugated iron ornamental articles (including two aquaria well stocked with fish), manufactured from the material of his employers, with which the house was decorated.(London Morning Post, Tuesday, November 18, 1856).

Bunnett and Corpe  was one of a number of engineering firms which flourished in the area in this period. As described by  Geoffrey Crossick in 'An Artisan Elite in Victorian Society: Kentish London 1840-1880' (though I think it is may be aerror that he names the firm as Bunnett and Forbes in this section):

Source: Google Books

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Music in Telegraph Hill Festival 2018

There's already been lots of music in this year's Telegraph Hill Festival, not least last weekend's community production of West Side Story with an all ages cast of 250 and some fantastic singing from the leads including Lucinda Freeburn (playing Maria) and Xavier Starr (playing Tony) - pictured below.

More music to come including:

Friday March 17th

The Commie Faggots and The Four Fathers

'The Commie Faggots and The Four Fathers return to The Telegraph for a night of marvellous music, mayhem and singalong fun. Frustrated by Brexit? Furious with Boris? Singing about it makes you feel so much better! Both political protest bands have had a busy year, appearing together in front of a lorry at The Arms Fair Blockade and a Housing Benefit Gig at The Birds Nest. The Faggots bring anarchic, cross-dressing comedy and cabaret to the political party. The Fathers vent their spleen through punky, folky reggae and rock'

The Telegraph, Dennett’s Road, SE14 5LW, 8:00-10:00pm

Saturday March 18th

BRÅK #6 – An Evening of Improvised Music

BRÅK is a regular improvised music night which takes place in Telegraph Hill beer shop waterintobeer, where local improvisers Cath Roberts, Colin Webster and Tom Ward pair with musicians from around the country to create spontaneous compositions. March’s evening is the sixth in the series and features the following pairings: Cath Roberts & Seth Bennett/Tom Ward & John Macedo/Colin Webster & David Birchall

waterintobeer Unit 2, Mantle Court, 209-211 Mantle Road, SE4 2EW, 6:30-10:00pm, £5

St Patrick’s Day at Skehans

Pop along during the day for a free bowl of Irish Stew with Soda Bread (while stocks last). From 9pm The Clarkes will rock the joint in their customary style. It’s going to be a good day, and a lovely evening. Please join us.

Skehans, Kitto Road, 8 pm - FREE
Telegraph Hill Sings

An evening of local choirs singing everything from pop to gospel, jazz to protest songs, and classics to soul standards. Participating choirs include The Hasty Nymphs, Trade Winds,  Nunhead Community Choir and Highfield Community Choir

St Catherine’s Church, Doors open at 7:30pm), 8:00-10:00pm £6 (£3)

Wednesday March 21st

Sonic Imperfections

'Sonic Imperfections returns to The Telegraph Hill Festival with another line up of stunning musicians working in the experimental area.

Charles Hayward - This local boy needs no introduction, An endlessly inventive musician who has spent decades at the forefront of the cutting edge music scene. There are simply too many songs, groups, recordings, gigs to mention. This will be a truly special performance.
Extext - Renowned Harpist Serafina Steer and singer Catherine Carter bring their improvised Operetta to The Telegraph Hill festival.

Rotten Bliss - Cellist Jasmine Pender plays a unique brand of darkly brooding weird-folk and drones. It is our absolute pleasure to welcome her to The Telegraph Hill Festival.
Nostalgia Blocks - Mark Browne (Reeds and Percussion) is one of the most striking improvising musicians working today. Richard Sanderson is fast becoming one of the most influential people in the South East's experimental music scene. A record label owner, a promoter and a musician. Tonight he plays Amplified Melodeon and Electronics in a duo with Mark. Two musicians at the top of their game, expect 100% commitment, invention and a few surprises'.

St Catherine's Church, £8/£4.

Friday March 23rd

The Collective – Local Record Label Error 343 & Friends

'Come listen to the collective which includes record Label Error 343, The Vintage Group, Blakie & Cellar Door amongst others talk about how they are forging their way into the music industry. From the DIY route and the infamous Shed Studio hear all about the label and its first Album Release, to touring and Music Video making and the sheer dedication and determination to follow their creative passion. This event will include visuals and headphone listening on three channels, as well as a chance to get those burning questions answered'

The Hill Station, 8:00-10:30pm £3

Punk Rock Karaoke at The Five Bells

'Back again, but this time at The Five Bells, punk vagabonds My Midlife Crisis provide the adrenalin charged accompaniment for any budding delinquent troubadours.  Join our Punk Rock Karaoke page on Facebook to view latest news and choose your song in advance of the night'

The Five Bells, New Cross Road, SE14 5DJ, 8:30-11:30pm £5 (Venue until 2:00am)

Tickets for events and further details at:

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Plague of Toads on Telegraph Hill?

Walking up Kitto Road SE14 last night, alongside Telegraph Hill upper park, I saw a toad. Then a few metres along another one, and then another. In fact I saw five toads in procession all on the pavement heading up hill in the direction of St Catherine's hurch, where people were queuing to watch the community production of West Side Story. Whether the toads were Sondheim fans or just migrating from one pond to another I cannot say. There is of course a big pond in the lower park, but they would have to make a perilous road crossing to get there. According to Froglife: 'Common Toads are very particular about where they breed and often migrate back to their ancestral breeding ponds each year. They follow the same route, regardless of what gets in their way, which sometimes leads to them crossing roads'. In some parts of the country volunteers have arranged toad patrols to help them cross the road, and I gather that this has sometimes happened here on Kitto Road.

Must admit I did post on twitter that they were frogs, but people there were quick to correct me so unless some amphibian expert tells me otherwise I am going with the Common Toad.

(Just to be clear I love toads and frogs, the reference to 'plague' was a biblical allusion as they were churchbound, not a negative comment!)

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Telegraph Hill Festival 2018: The Lost Island of New Cross & other local history events.

The 2018 Telegraph Hill Festival kicks off today (Saturday 10th March) with the first of the sold out community performances of West Side Story. Between now and 25th March, there's lots of artistic, musical and other cultural events taking place in this corner of SE14 (well and a bit of SE4). You can check out the full programme here

On the local history front, John Price from Goldsmiths has already done a couple of walks today - one a New Cross radical history walk, and the other Deptford walk based around Charles Booth's description of the area in 1899. He will be repeating these two walks next Sunday 18th March - book your place at

Tomorrow - Sunday 11th March - Malcom Bacchus will be leading a Telegraph Hill Walk from 11 am to 12:30 pm, meeting in St Catherine’s Churchyard for  'A stroll around the core of Telegraph Hill, looking at our architecture and galloping through some of the history' (free

Then at 2 pm Malcolm will be venturing further afield into New Cross with a walk exploring the history of its residents and buildings, meeting outside Haberdashers’ Aske’s at the bottom of Jerningham Road  (no need to book for either of these walks)l

On Tuesday 13th March at the Hill Station, Kitto Road SE14 (next to church), Neil Gordon-Orr will be talking on the 'Lost island of New Cross Road':

'The junction by the White Hart pub, London SE14 marks the divergence of two ancient trackways – now known as Queens Road and the New Cross/Old Kent Road. Major currents of London history, literature and mythology have swirled around it. It has been the location of a tollgate, and before it vanished beneath the waves of the A2 in 2010, of a traffic island whose toilets were both a grandiose example of Victorian public architecture and a place for illicit encounters. The lost island witnessed bombs, political protests and dreams of a New Cross pirate republic. All of this and more will be covered in Neil Gordon-Orr’s talk, illustrated with maps and photographs. Tickets (£2) need to be booked in advance here:

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Strike at Goldsmiths

I've been down to the picket line at Goldsmiths in New Cross a couple of times in the last week to show support to the striking lecturers and other college staff. They have been taking part in a national strike which will continue next week unless there is some movement from employers in the next few days over their threats to reduce pensions.

'We are taking strike action to defend our right to a fair pension. University employers want to end guaranteed pensions and reduce retirement income for all. University staff have always accepted pay levels that are lower than comparably skilled professions, partly because we had a decent pension. Now our right to a well-earned retirement is under attack.

What employers' hardline proposals would mean:

Final pensions would depend on how the stock market performs not on contributions.

A reduction in retirement benefits by between 20% and 40% depending on grade and length of service. A typical lecturer stands to lose around £10,000 a year

The worst pensions in the education sector, far worse than those available to both school teachers and staff in 'new' universities

A recruitment and retention crisis as staff seek better financial security elsewhere'.

The strike at Goldsmiths have been well supported, with talks and appearances from Paul Mason, Dawn Foster, Gary Younge and others, performance art from students and lots more. Follow Goldsmiths UCU on twitter for details.

'Against the slow cancellation of our future'

Women's Suffrage Talk at Lewisham Library

Coming up this Saturday 10th March 2018 at Lewisham Library (199 Lewisham High Street
Se13 6lg), 'It’s not all about the suffragettes'.

The free event, which runs from 10 am to 12 noon, .will feature  Dr Claire Eustance  discussing some of the women – and men – with connections to Lewisham and the wider local area who challenged inequality in the late 19th and 20th centuries. Claire is a historian and lecturer at the University of Greenwich who has researched and published on the women's suffrage campaign

Previous women's suffrage posts at Transpontine:

Lewisham Suffragette Banner

See also some great related posts at Running Past