Sunday, April 29, 2018

In praise of Uncle Wrinkle

It's very easy to take for granted places you pass every day, so I want to give some appreciation to a Chinese takeaway that has been in New Cross for as long as I have - Uncle Wrinkle at 299 New Cross Road SE14 since 1995.

As a vegetarian, the great thing about Uncle Wrinkle is that it offers its full range of main dishes -all 19 of them - with bean curd or mixed vegetables, as well as beef, pork, chicken, squid or prawn. Uncle Wrinkle doesn't deliver at present, so if you want to sample its delights you will have to collect.

Oops didn't take a picture of the other page of the menu, which includes my favourite 'Aubergine in Lemon Grass Sauce'.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

No Nazis in South London 1977

This 'No Nazis in South London' poster dates from 1977. It calls for people to assemble for a demonstration on Saturday September 10th at Elephant and Castle called by the 'South London Co-ordinating Committee'.

This was a few weeks after the August 1977 anti-National Front 'Battle of Lewisham' but was not on the same scale. According to The Times (12 September 1977):

'Nine men were arrested at an anti-racist march by 1,500 people in south-east London on Saturday. Two policemen were slightly injured. It is understood that those arrested were counter-demonstrators. Two or them were juveniles.

The marchers, who included blacks and whites, passed through Walworth and Camberwell chanting : “Black and white united, will never be defeated.” About 30 young people walked alongside, taunting the marchers. The demonstration was organized by the South London Coordinating Committee for
Anti-Racist and Anti-Fascist Organizations. Speakers, who addressed a rally afterwards included the Bishop of Stepney, Dr Huddleston, the Bishop of Woolwich, the Right Rev Michael Marshall, the Bishop of Kingston upon Thames, the Right Rev Hugh Montefiore, and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Southwark, the Most  Rev Michael Bowen'.

Anyone know any more?

Monday, April 16, 2018

Music Monday: Novelist Guy

Brockley grime artist Novelist has an LP - Novelist Guy, released on his own MMMYEH Records label - and its great as expected. There's catchy anthems galore, politics (Stop Killing the Mandem), positivity and of course some blue borough love from the man who gave us Lewisham McDeez as part of The Square. 'Better Way' features the lines - 'Cos I’m a Southern G, South East that’s where I’m from and I walk with G.O.D., from Lewisham borough the colour is  B.L.U.E'. That track starts with a nice field recording of children playing with an  ice cream van chimes - kind of setting up a South London 'Summertime' vibe (as in Fresh Prince/Jazzy Jeff). Everyone will be poring over the lyrics but I love the beats and beeps too,  including on the opening and closing instrumental tracks.

There's a nice interview with him in  Time Out (16/4/2018)  where he talks about  growing up locally:

'You grew up in Brockley. What was it like living in south London as a kid?‘I used to spend a lot of time in Ladywell Fields and Hilly Fields parks. That’s where me and my boys would link up. We used to roller-skate around there and the borough. For those from south London, they’ll definitely know about the Lewisham skating days. I’ve got good memories of growing up there.’

Novelist confirms the lyrics on twitter

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Skehans in London 'Cool List'

Slightly surprized, to say the least, to see my local featured in the Evening Standard magazine 'Cool List' of  'what's hot in the capital now' (11 April 2018). Skehans - once known as McConnells and before that the Duke of Albany - is on the corner of Kitto Road and Gellatly Road, SE14.

According to journalist Frankie McCoy, if you want a BNO (Big Night Out) you start by 'hitting Nunhead (go down to Peckham, then keep going down) for pints at Skehans, the old Irish pub now rammed with Central Saint Martins students before heading to disused pub The Rising Sun, home of a bunch of Goldsmiths students who make music, play music and throw some pretty wild parties'.
Don't worry folks, the pub hasn't changed - it's the same old Irish pub with Thai restaurant in the garden and sport on TV as before, but it has got a bit busier recently, which is generally a good thing because there was a time a few years ago when there would be just one or two people in the bar and I worried about whether it could survive.

But I think anybody following the Standard's tip and travelling across town might be a little  underwhelmed  unless they've never seen a pub before and I doubt they would pick up an invitation to a private house party down the road. Also not everybody under 25 in the pub went to Saint Martins... some went to Goldsmiths or Camberwell!

Also while near to Nunhead station, and close to the Nunhead/New Cross border at the edge of Telegraph Hill, the pub is in SE14 and the blue binned borough of Lewisham and I don't think most people would say it was in Nunhead.

Still  the pub does have a historic connection to Nunhead, and its Roman Catholic church of St Thomas the Apostle. The church was damaged by a bomb during the Second World War and 'For a time Masses were held in a room above the bar in the public house in Kitto Road' (see church history)

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Band of Holy Joy at Ivy House on Friday

A great gig coming up this Friday 6th April 2018 at the Ivy House in Stuart Road SE15 (east side of Peckham Rye) with the Band of Holy Joy:

'A night of beastly beatitude and other sonic deviances at the Ivy House in London. Come and join us at The Ivy House London's first co-operatively owned pub with the best back room and stage in London. Band Of Holy Joy make a long over due return to South London whilst welcoming Quarterlight down from the North East and looking forward to grooving with the house cats Pendennis, this will be all held together with our brilliant MC Richard Strange [ex Doctors of Madness], who will be channeling his rogueish inner Donleavy spirit the whole night through. Come and join us for some good old bohemian beatnik post punk kicks...'

I've waxed lyrically at this blog a number of times about BOHJ so for now will just repeat what I wrote about them last time I saw them: 'The Band of Holy Joy are surely one of the greatest bands ever to have been associated with New Cross. In the late 1980s they were fairly massive on the indie scene with their lush Brechtian/Brelish/folk-tinged tales, but they split up in 1993... Obviously if you loved them then you will want to see them now. But apart from nostalgia, why bother? Well since they reformed they have been putting out some fine new music...  Rather like The Pogues, their music was always 'mature' - back in the day they were young musicians singing as if they were old men and women looking back on lifetimes of passion and regret. Now maybe they've grown into the songs!'  

They have been fairly prolific in recent years, and their latest album 'Funambulist We Love You' (2017) is as strong as anything they've done before.  They are always a great live act, so come along on Friday. I have my ticket get your's here for a mere £7: