Wednesday 10 August 2011

Eltham and the London riots (& UPDATE)

I've no time to post a longer piece (so much to say here), but for now, I really welcomed local MP Clive Efford's statement last night. He was "furious" at the self-style activists from outside the area tying up police resources in Eltham being drunk and disorderly.

Here's a report and footage posted by the NewsShopper:

I've spent years writing about the wonderful things going on in Eltham, so it is particularly galling to see these scenes. As I understand it, there was NO looting in Eltham last night, just the police having to deal with these unruly people. I spent hours yesterday on Twitter yesterday trying to dispel all rumours of 'EDL riots', but then I started seeing the tweets and pictures from those taking part and I got a bit cross about people bigging them up without knowing what was going on. Surely, proper defenders would be liaising with the police and not have spent hours drinking in the pubs?

There's also an awful Eltham picture I've seen of the police having to kettle the 'defenders' with riot shields! However much we appreciate people defending Eltham (and that is a brave thing), there is something wrong with doing it in this way, isn't there? 

[UPDATE: Wednesday (10 Aug) night:
You'll know by now that, while all around London the troubles were at last quietening, much of this happened again tonight ('London riots: vigilantes hurl bottles at police in Eltham'), though this time with hundreds of police and lots of police vans in attendance. Sky News had live cameras trained on police as they again had to deal with crowds gathered once again.  Here's the ITN News footage ('Police clash with Eltham rioters').

This time, however, following lessons learnt yesterday, the police had advised that Eltham High Street pubs be closed, from early evening. Then at about 10.15pm, with this succinct message from the Met Police, the evening was concluded as far as they were concerned: "Missiles thrown at officers in Eltham. Incident dealt with and group dispersed. Police remain on scene."

The police did an brilliant job - apparently there were police groups from all over the country and even Wales. The saturation policing of London has largely quelled the disturbances. This shows that we need the police numbers rather than reducing them.

One of the rabid debates on Twitter was whether far-right groups were or were not involved. Some people even objected quite vehemently to this being discussed at all - it's akin to being unpatriotic about Eltham, or something like that (some of that 'flame mail' came my way). Widely-viewed video footage certainly shows that they were present on Tuesday evening, with their 'Regional Organiser' saying he was there 'to manage and control' people there.  I guess if you don't want to be associated with these groups, or fear that you may become a target of them, this would have made it difficult for all citizens of Eltham to be able to take part in 'defending Eltham'.

I hope we can return to the Eltham we've come to know and can enjoy. We've got so much going for this town - perhaps we need an event or coming together to get over this horrible episode, show our solidarity, and ensure that we don't see headlines like that about Eltham again.]

Wednesday 3 August 2011

Eltham and SE London events - August 2011

Here's some Eltham and other local-ish events for August (while I'm not getting on and writing other things...):

Saturday, 6th Aug 2011 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Crayford Town Archive open day
An exhibition of photos of Old Crayford including a continuous slide show, photos and artefacts from David Evans silk works, and albums of pictures to peruse. Free.
Please bring your old pictures of Crayford, Slade Green or Barnehurst for us to copy onto our data base.
Address: Crayford Town Hall, Crayford Road, Bexley, DA1 4ER

Sunday 7 August:
Tea in the Tarn

light refreshments, children's activities
Friends of The Tarn will be on hand to welcome visitors to The Tarn and provide teas, coffees, soft drinks, etc, along with children's activities such as wildlife identification sheets. Walk with Wildlife Photographer.
Address: The Tarn, Court Road, Eltham, London SE9 5AQ
The Tarn location map

Sunday 7 August:
2pm to 4pm
Live music on the Lawn
Enjoy the delights of live music on the Tudor Barn lawn every Sunday from 2.00pm to 4.00pm throughout July and August.
7 Aug:  Espree featuring Suzie Bailey
14 Aug: Espree featuring guest singer
21 Aug: Steve Mac
Address: Tudor Barn Eltham, Well Hall Pleasaunce, Well Hall Road, London SE9 6SZ

Sunday 7 August
Walk from Ladywell to Forest Hill
Meet at Ladywell station 10.30am
An easy four mile walk exploring Blythe Hill Fields, One Tree Hill and Forest Hill with the fascinating Horniman Museum. Suitable for people with young children. Dogs
are permitted on this walk. For enquiries email Des at

Sunday-Tuesday 7-9 August
Knights & Princesses at Eltham Palace
Nearest train stn: Eltham or Mottingham
£9.30 per adult, £6.60 per child
Transform yourself into a noble lord in squire training, and even try on armour in the academy for budding knights and princesses. Children can take part in a hobby horse joust and children's battle.

Monday 8th August
Let There Be Drums! With Ali Clark & 3 drum kits
at Mycenae House Open Mic, Blackheath: £5/£4 (conc) 8.30pm
“Mycenae House, one of London's best kept musical secrets, is the perfect opportunity for you to perform on stage amongst respected musicians, no matter what your experience! Many legendary musicians and artists have been featured over the years.”
Event part of Jazz Nights.
Address: 90 Mycenae Rd, London SE3 7SE. Enquiries: Dave Silk 01689 875 683

Wed 10 Aug, Wed 17 Aug, Wed 24 Aug, Wed 31 Aug:
The Wednesday Fayre
The Wednesday Fayre every Wednesday in August (3rd, 10th,17th, 24th, 31st) – fun for parents and children at Greenwich Market. Cream teas for the parents in our pop-up English garden and fun for the kids on the bouncy castle, face painting and lots of children’s craft activities. Daily (10am?) or 12 noon to 5pm.
Greenwich Market, Greenwich  London SE10 9HZ10am- 5pm.

12-13 August 2011:
LeeFest is a non-profit music festival held at the Highams Hill Farm. Winner of 'Best Grass Roots Festival' UK Festival Awards '09. LeeFest is held on a small, rural working farm, just on the outskirts of Bromley and Croydon (about 15 minutes from either town centre).  There is camping and the site is family-friendly. 2,000 capacity
Address: Highams Hill Farm, Sheepbarn Lane, Warlingham, Surrey, CR6 9PQ
(ok, not really that close to this blog’s territory but it sounds good...)

Saturday 13 August 2011:
The fifth Crystal Palace Overground Festival will take place on Saturday 13 August with several smaller events running in the week leading up to the big day. The festival will include live music, poetry, theatre, comedy, film, food and fashion around the Crystal Palace Triangle with another festival hub in Westow Park. The park will host arts workshops, sports and kids activities and entertainment for all the family.

Saturday 13 August 2011:
Life Of Brian Open Air Cinema at The Churchill
Cinema In The Park - Life Of Brian (Cert 15)   
An open-air event taking place in Bromley Amphitheatre, situated in Church House Gardens behind the Churchill Theatre. In partnership with Bromley Comedy, Where is the Nomad (pop up films) bring you one of the best British Comedies ever if not the best. Look out for surprise guests and do feel free to come dressed as a Roman or wearing some outlandish garb associated with the film - it will be a wonderful themed alfresco film experience. Check the website for performance times and prices. 
Address: Church House Gardens, foot access via Bromley High street beside the Churchill Theatre, BR1 1RH.

Saturday 13 August 2011:
Oxleas Wood Volunteer Workdays
10am-1pm. Oxleas Café, Crownwoods Ln, SE18 3JA
Nearest train station: Falconwood. Meet at the café on the meadow and help the ShootersHill Woodlands Working Party and park rangers with light woodland work.

Sunday 14 August 2011:
Oxleas Woods Ramble
10-11.30am. Oxleas Café, Crownwoods Ln, SE18 3JA
Nearest train station: Falconwood.  Meet at the café on the meadow and join the rangers for
a light, informative walk. 

Sunday 14 August 2011:
Ride a Model Steam or Electric Train
2.30-5pm.  Electricity Station, off Rochester Way
Nearest train station: Falconwood.  The nostalgia model railway at Falconwood Fields is a
real gem that few people know about. Train rides for children and adults, with the last ticket issued at  4:30pm. Refreshments are available in the clubhouse.  See
(repeated Sunday 28 August 2.30-5pm)

Sunday 14 August 2011:
Proms in the Park at The Churchill
An open-air event taking place in Bromley Amphitheatre, situated in Church House Gardens behind the Churchill Theatre. Proms In The Park – with fireworks This spectacular prom in the park is performed by the Kent Sinfonia, the foremost professional symphony orchestra for the County of Kent. Its members either live in Kent or have strong links with the County; many also play with major London orchestras such as the RPO. Here, in the gorgeous surroundings of Bromley Amphitheatre, the Kent Sinfonia delivers a wonderful evening of familiar and well-loved music, including Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, Elgar's Nimrod and music by Vivaldi, Rossini, Strauss and others. The event is accompanied by a stunning finale of fireworks and FX show.
Check the website for performance times and prices. 
Address: Church House Gardens, foot access via Bromley High street beside the Churchill Theatre, BR1 1RH.

21 Aug 2011:
Farmers' Market in Passey Place, off Eltham High Street, SE9
Support the farmers' market in Passey Place.
The market is held on the third Sunday of each month between 10 am and 3 pm.

Sunday 21 August:
Columcille - Open Garden for NGS
Small garden featuring Japanese sanctuary, influenced by Zen tradition, incl water feature, lanterns, traditional Japanese plants and garden shed transformed into a tea house. Also cottage garden section with colourful display of roses, digitalis, lupins, peonies and delphiniums, especially in June; lilies July, dahlias Aug and Sept
Admission £3, Children free (share to St Nicholas Church). Times:1-5. Open for charity.Columcille, Chislehurst, London BR7 5RN

Friday 26 August to Monday 29 August 2011:

4 Day Music and Beer Festival

Four days of the finest music in the area in a variety of styles starts on Friday night with the rock band VOYD. Saturday starts 1330 with guest artists and open mic followed in the evening by Seven Stars Live with Jude Onyeaka and the Andy Smythe Band. Sunday 1100 - Heritage Walk from Water Lane, North Cray to the Seven Stars 1330 guest artists and open mic 2000 Blues Night (provisional) Monday 1230 - guest artists 2000 - 'Graham Corbould Presents' Guests include Ron Trueman-Border, Felix's Rock Choir, Missouri Gutts, Open House, Dave Kenningham, Mick Woods, Zahira Al-Zahira Throughout the festival there will be a good selection of Guest Real Ales that are not normally available at the Seven Stars and these will be varied as the weekend progresses. For details see website

No charge for entry but collections will be taken. Guest beers and Pub Grub available Good Car Parking or Buses. 
Address:  Seven Stars, Foots Cray High Street, Sidcup, DA14 5HJ  London DA14 5HJ

Saturday 27 August 2011:
‘Jimmy Day'
Eltham Park South, Glenesk Road, Eltham, London, SE9 1AG
Jimmy Mizen Foundation

Sunday 28 August:
Family Fun Day at Well Hall Pleasaunce website
10am to 6pm

Family activities, stalls, displays, activities and live music in the beautiful garden setting of Well Hall Pleasaunce. Stalls, inflatables, animal dispalys, craft demonstrations and live music and much more. (free)
Address: Well Hall Pleasaunce, Well Hall Road, Eltham, London SE9 6SF
Well Hall Pleasaunce location map