London History Events from 26 October & News

Wednesday 26 October. 1-3pm. The North Woolwich trail: Deep Water

‘This audio trail features the sounds and voices of the river and docklands at the far end of the docks. Walk the Thames path along wild stretches of river that may soon be overshadowed by a new Thames road bridge; cross the locks used by some of the biggest ocean liners in the world; discover the ultra-modern dockside campus of the University of East London and follow the trail to North Woolwich, its free ferry and the last traditional dockers pubs in London.’

Composed by Mark Hunter, featuring archive interviews from the Eastside Community Heritage collection and the Docklands collection at the Museum of London. Audio equipment will be provided and the walk will be guided by Dr Toby Butler and students at the University of East London. Meeting point: Entrance to King George V DLR Station. Approximate duration: two and a half hours. Distance: 3.5km (ending at Cyprus DLR).

Limited places, please email  to book. 

Thursday 27 October. 2-4pm.  The West Silvertown trail: gunpowder, flour and flood

‘This audio trail includes the beauty of Barrier Park, the horror of the biggest explosion ever to rock London and first-hand accounts of working life in the riverside factories and dockside flour mills as well as a vision of how this area could change in the very near future. Composed by Jo Thomas. Audio equipment will be provided and the walk will be led by the composer along with Dr Toby Butler and students at the University of East London. Meeting point: main entrance, Excel Centre (Custom House DLR). Approximate Duration: two hours (ending Pontoon Dock DLR).’

Limited places, please email to book.

Thursday 27 October. 7pm. Foreign Pickers – film screening and discussion 

‘The film offers an insight into the heritage, culture and economics of ‘going picking’, bringing together former hop-pickers ‘who went down to Kent’ from east London and today’s pickers who come there and are both key to British agricultural success. They share the experience of being so-called foreigners in the Kent countryside; east Londoners and current ‘foreigners’, often EU citizens from eastern Europe, who come to Kent as seasonal agricultural workers. Both groups of pickers are and have been essential to British agriculture, providing the en-masse low-cost manual labour necessary to grow and pick crops and fruits. Furthermore, both have developed their own cultures around being seasonal and casual workers on low income, from adapting mobile or low-spec accommodation, securing cheap travel, inventing free spare time activities, to socialising away from home.

This screening will be accompanied by a talk by Kathrin Böhm and Dr Toby Butler, University of East London, discussing the history and heritage of hop picking and Kathrin’s ongoing project, Company: Movements, Deals and Drinks. Two new Company Drinks beverages which resulted from East London pickers going to Kent in 2016 will be also available: a Thinning Soda and a Gleaned Cider.

University of East London, University Square, 1 Salway Road, Stratford E15 1NF.

Free, no need to book 

Saturday 29 October. 12-4pm. Newham Heritage Awareness Day

Information stalls, pop up museum and exhibitions, including the RSHC exhibition and oral history display on the 1943 Bethnal Green Underground Disaster.

East Ham Library, 328 Barking Rd, London E6 2RT

See the full programme at

Commemorating Sidney Lewis in Tooting

‘Hundreds of people gathered in Tooting on Saturday 24 September for the unveiling of a blue plaque to Sidney Lewis, the youngest British soldier to have served in the First World War. Sidney, who was unusually tall for his age, talked his way into the army at just 12 years old. When his mother found out, she wrote to the War Office who sent her son home … from the Somme.’

The plaque, at 934 Garratt Lane, is on the house where Sidney grew up. It was unveiled by his son, Colin, now 83 years old.

The memorial was instigated by Geoff Simmons, founder of the Summerstown182 project which is dedicated to researching all 182 names on the war memorial in the local church. Geoff, who leads regular walks round the area, raised £1,000 through  crowdfunding to cover the cost of the plaque and a community celebration at St Mary’s Church in Summerstown.

An exhibition of posters about Sid’s story is now on display in Tooting Library.

Wandsworth Historian

Wandsworth Society has begun to put some of the articles in past issues of Wandsworth Historian on its website , including

Keith Bailey on Domesday Wandsworth; Dorian Gerhold on the Watermen’s Chest Charity in Putney; and Nicola Hale, Neil Robson and David Ainsworth on the experiences of a Victorian schoolboy in Battersea. Go to, click on ‘Wandsworth Historian’ and scroll down the page to read them. More articles will be added over time.




About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I am a member of the Love Norbury Residents Associations Planning & Transport Committees, and Chair of Nobury Community Land Trust. I write for Croydon Citizen at I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics database. History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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