Wednesday, July 26, 2023

New Cross House closed (temporarily)

The New Cross House has closed for refurbishment. I went down last week and it was down to its last few closing down beers, so took a few photos to document it before it changes. I've enjoyed its current incarnation - my payday treat of a book from the Word bookshop opposite followed by happy hour margaritas, pizzas a plenty including after my first London Marathon when food never tasted better, farewell drinks in the old stables block with my international colleagues after I finished a postgrad course at Goldsmiths... Hope they hold on to their queer friendly vibe, which has included drag nights upstairs.

Still I've been around long enough to see this pub flourish through so many changes. I danced there in late 80s when it was a gay pub the Goldsmiths Tavern, hung out in the garden mid-90s when it was a techno charged 'crusty' bar known as GMT  Lager Daleks, went along to its relaunch as the New Cross House (its original name) in 2011. It is after all the pub that gave New Cross its name, or so it seems, so one way or another will hopefully be around for many years to come.


Saturday, July 22, 2023

Firefighters' car wash at New Cross

Firefighters at New Cross fire station (Waller Road SE14) were offering car washes today using actual fire engine hoses. A bargain fee of £5 and all proceeds to firefighters charity.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Jerry Dammers at Deptford Dub Club

Deptford Dub Club's Reggae All Dayer at the Fox & Firkin on Sunday 23rd July features Specials/2 Tone founder Jerry Dammers. The dub club goes from strength to strength and the Fox an Firkin is the perfect location with its huge outdoor area (partially covered for all weathers) and its so Lewisham crowd. Should be a good night (and day) and a bargain at £5. Address is 316 Lewisham High St SE13


Monday, July 10, 2023

Music Monday: Three Wize Men, South London Hip Hop 1988

Three Wize Men were an early UK hip hop trio, putting out an album and several singles on Rhythm King records between 1986 and 1988. This New Musical Express interview from 1988 situates them very much in South London:

'Sarff London!! Sarff London!! In the best traditions of the Hip Hop Nation this was the lip curl message growled out by the Three Wize Men as a prelude to Refresh Yourself, the band's second single released last year by Rhythm King... For the Wize Men (AJ, Jemski, Danny D along with Fil Chill aka DJ Cybertron) it's a matter of fact that South London exists somewhere along a line that links Deptford to Peckham Rye and the the Rve to the convoluted sprawlings of the Gloucester Road housing estate that provided the subject matter for their first single. 'Urban Hell'. A mass of stairwell towers and walkways from which a thousand flats branch off. its fortifications were intended to keep out the noise from a planned Europe-London motorway. The road never came. Now Gloucester Road lacks only the battlements to be a proper castle at war with an outside world, at siege from within.  It was Danny D who once lived there, but AJ tells the stories of kids he'd find comatose over glue bags and cheap skag. The police avold the place and owners Southwark Council despair at their own creation. South. London... It was the WIze Men's appearance in a support slot to Big Audio Dynamite that in August '86 lured Mute Records boss Daniel Miller, alongside newly formed Rhythm King, down to Jemski's Deptford flat'

'Three Wize Men' pictured on their album 'GB Boyz'

'Gloucester Grove Mix' of  Urban Hell

'Burn it down to the ground'  - Three Wize Men take down North Peckham's (now demolished) Gloucester Grove estate on 'Urban Hell' (1986)


Saturday, July 08, 2023

'Jews in Lewisham Fight': a 1936 punch up with Hitler fans

A street fight in Avenue Road,  Lewisham in 1936 seems to have started out with a visit to the local Lyons coffee house where Jewish customers were subject to antisemitic abuse. Edward, Benjamin and Victor Ansell, brothers from Clapton, were out with Rene Low, a young woman from Rembrandt Road in Lee. They got into an argument after hearing remarks such as 'Fancy an English girl going out with Jews' and approving comments about Hitler. Edward Ansell was reported to have said 'I'll give you Heil Hitler' and 'Fascists or anybody else are not going to insult my fiancee'.

Avenue Road no longer exists in Lewisham - I believe it ran off the High Street, but was demolished to make way for the Shopping Centre. The Lyons coffee house was at 64 Lewisham High Street, next to the Joiners Arms (pictured below in 1951).

[story found at British Newspaper Archive]