The area is known for the many authors and poets of the 18th and 19th century who made the district their home. Robert Maurice-Williams will show us where they lived. Booking not necessary, however we plan to have lunch at the Chelsea Hospital garden so please let the office know if you would like to join us.
Neil Rhind, MBE, local historian will lead a walk round Blackheath Village finishing at the Princess of Wales. Exact timings and further details to be announced.
How Lewisham changes!
A walk led by society member John Causer. We will meet in Blackheath and take the train to Lewisham. Discuss the passing of the slums, regular flooding, organised animal cruelty, doodlebugs and unreliable public transport all to be replaced by tower blocks, new roads, the Lewisham Natureman and the DLR. All welcome but numbers will be limited so please register your place with the office, email firstname.lastname@example.org. As usual suggested donations of £5 towards the Society on joining the walk.
Tessa Boase will present her new book on Margaretta Lemon, a past resident of Blackheath, entitled Mrs Pankhurst's Purple Feather - Fashion, Fury and Feminism - Women's Fight for Change.
Margaretta Lemon, felt passionately about the cruel Victorian fashion for plumage, wings and whole dead birds on ladies’ hats. She could often be heard on a Sunday lecturing local ladies on their ‘murderous millinery’ as they made their way to All Saints church. While in her twenties she helped found the RSPB, and was soon running the Society and pushing for anti plumage legislation. She did not, however, believe in Votes for Women – and Mrs Pankhurst's appetite for plumed hats enraged her further still.
The evening will be held in the Bakehouse Theatre, Bennett Park, and begins at 7pm with a welcoming drink followed by the talk at 7.30. Questions and book signing will follow. Tickets are £10.00 available from www.Eventbrite.com where you should search Fashion, Fury and Feminism
AFTER THE EVENT we said.....
An excellent evening at The Bakehouse Theatre. Tessa explained how she came to research this unusual lady from Blackheath and the writing of her book. It is a remarkable story of how a group of women began the protection of the birds that fashion was pursuing to their extension. Etta Lemon did not join The Suffragette Movement but used their tactics of marches with banners and pictures among the shoppers of Regent Street to prick the conscious of the bird hatted women! In 1904 legislation began to be put in place.
Tessa's book looks like a jolly good read with many illustrations and photos. The local bookshop was there for the evening and has it in stock.
We note the fight to protect birds and their feathers against the fashion continues today ..
In 1815 George Wilson undertook a great feat of walking 1000 miles around Blackheath Common in 20 days. We will follow part of the route he took and consider what the Heath was like then. The walk will be led by Paul Browning who writes the blog, runner500.wordpress.com. Meeting point to be announced.
AFTER THE EVENT we said ....
This is a most extraordinary story. Paul led us round the walker's route and we learnt how this was the fashionable sport of the times. Bets were placed, money lost and made. The walkers did not become wealthy and were often tripped and clubbed to prevent them completing the challenge. The crowds that came to watch and their unruly behaviour led to the decline of the sport. So Blackheath became a popular venue for other sports. We enjoyed hearing tales of this time and also looked at the new storyboards about the Heath as we walked. Sad to say the Tea Hut was too busy to cater for our coffee break, but we did retire to the pub for our lunch break.
Wednesday, 2nd May: The Suffragettes of Blackheath. Maureen Corcoran, blue badge guide and member of the Blackheath Society will lead a walk around the sites where suffragettes and other radicals walked, talked and protested. No booking required, donations to the Society on joining the walk.
Maureen will also lead a guided walk around historic Bow with a focus on the Suffragettes as part of her Blue Badge tours programme on 11 June. Contact email@example.com for more details and booking.
AFTER THE WALK WE SAID.....
Blackheath is an interesting place with so many remarkable past residents. This was demonstrated yet agan in this WALK AND TALK. Dartmouth Row's Church of The Ascension and The Grey Ladies College both fostered early pioneers of the movement, most notable Millicent Fawcett. Maureen showed us the sights of " terrible deeds " and the residences of Rose May Billinghurst and Florence Gadesden. There have been two WSPU (Women's Social and Political Union) Shops in Blackheath Village. Sadly the rain sent us indoors for a warm coffee where we continued our talk about The Women's movement.
STORYBOARDS ON THE HEATH
Come and join the community for the launch of the 7 new Heath Storyboards.
There will be music, food, drink and an exhibition for the unveiling of our new Storyboards. The boards tell the stories of the major events and the wildlife of the Heath. We will be in the green gazebos on the Heath, between Royal Parade and All Saints’ Church. This area is known historically as Washerwomen’s Bottom, come and find out more!
An exhibition celebrating the photographic work of year 4 children from Blackheath
Walk led by Society Vice-President, Tony Aldous.
Social evening in conjunction with The Blackheath Halls.