Category Archives: blackheath common

John Lewis Music Festival plans for Blackheath

UPDATE: OnBlackheath have decided to postpone the event, and are now thinking of September 2014 as the likely date. See post here.

The plan to host a music festival on the Heath has reappeared. OnBlackheath have applied to host a festival in September, sponsored by John Lewis.

See the email sent by the Blackheath Society earlier today:

We have received confirmation that OnBlackheath (previously NIMBY) has applied, at this late stage, to Lewisham Council for permission to hold a two day pop festival on the Heath on September 7th/8th. The event is apparently to be sponsored by John Lewis and called “John Lewis on Blackheath”. Little further information is currently available.

Members will recall that the Society lost its appeal against the granting of the Premises Licence for this event (in perpetuity) in 2011. However, we are fortunate that this current application takes place in the context of an Events Policy for the Heath agreed as a result of the earlier controversy, and with procedures well defined. Any such application has to be considered by the Blackheath Joint Working Party, and a detailed Event Management Plan has to be submitted and agreed before Lewisham issue any final permission.

We expect to play a full part in this process, and will keep members fully informed. The issues which caused serious concern last time will be re-examined in this exercise.

Members views and feedback are always welcome, at any stage.

Please play nicely in the comments…

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Eliot pits – playground proposed

20130501-091214.jpg
There’s a plan afoot to build a playground on Eliot Pits. (Eliot Pits is not a kid that went to the same school as you). It’s that really picturesque valley from where you can look down across the whole of London, on the edge of the Heath. It’s also been left relatively unchanged and wild for centuries.

The funding has come from a strange place. Boris has proposed a quite sensible idea to increase the number of “pocket parks” in urban areas, so that more people can enjoy green spaces. Which is a great idea! The problem is that this is already a green space, and it is being seen by some as a way to sneak development into this area by the back door.

A website opposed to the proposals has been created.

There’s a petition to stop building on the site.

And a campaign leaflet.

It seems like this should be a core issue for the Blackheath Society over the next few months…

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It looks like a pint of Guinness settling over Blackheath

1650 Blackheath by Flickr user Andy Linden

An awesome pair of Blackheath photos to see in the new year!  The photo above was taken by Flickr user Andy Linden. Both of these must have been taken at around the same time, I think – they both have a lovely colour to them.

Blackheath Common by Flickr user Baskill
This photo is by Flickr user Baskill. The full set of photos are here

http://www.flickr.com/photos/baskill/3141239924/in/set-72157609123838652/

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New Year’s Eve pubs in Blackheath

UPDATE: New Year’s Eve 2011 Pub opening times are here.

The Bugle will be back in Black(heath) for New Year’s Eve, and has come up with a list of pub opening times, and whether you’ll need a ticket to get in.  This was achieved  by spending the day walking around the village grumbling about the cold.

Cave Austin

I think Cave Austin are doing some sort of (ticketed) New Year’s Eve party, but their website makes my ears hurt, so I had to run away…(Just called them instead – tickets are £50, including drinks from 9pm-3am, plus a bit of food).

The Railway
The Railway pub Blackheath new years eve

The Railway pub has no ticketing system for New Years eve, which is probably a good thing, but they have a James Bond themed evening, which probably isn’t. And they often have a bouncer in the toilets, which is a definite no no.

The Hare & Billet
The Hare and Billet pub Blackheath new years eve

The Hare & Billet has no ticketing, is a nice pub and is open until 1am (or maybe 2, can’t remember). They also had no posters of any kind about the festivities.

The Crown
The Crown pub Blackheath new years eve
The Crown doesn’t require tickets and is open until 1am.


The Princess of Wales

The Princess of Wales pub Blackheath new years eve

The Princess of Wales is open until 2am, with no ticketing.  I bet it will be heaving, (as will the customers if they overindulge).

Zero Degrees

Zero Degrees pub Blackheath new years eve

Zero Degrees rather weirdly is having a masked ball. Tickets are £10 and the meal is £30, which seems a bit steep.

Blackheath Halls

Blackheath Halls are having a “Bohemian Ball”, until 2am.  More info here.

Last year, in a vain attempt to watch some fireworks across London, we squelched our way up onto the heath, and stared out across a really cold, wet, and decidedly bleak heath to try and squint at some fireworks through the rain, with little more than a candle borrowed from the Prince of Wales pub, a thoroughly unhelpful umbrella, and a bottle of champagne.

Hopefully this year will be a drier one, and we’ll find a better vantage point.

Happy new year to you all!

UPDATE:
O’Neil’s
O'Neils Pub

Finally got through to O’Neil’s – they are selling tickets for New Year’s Eve – £5 a ticket, and probably open til 2am, but depends how busy they are.

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Filed under blackheath, blackheath common, blackheath village, events, pubs, things to do

Best fireworks in the UK, or Blackheath at least

fireworks-blackheath photo by flickr user Gillbrit
The Guardian had a very internet friendly headline the other day “10 Best Bonfire Night Celebrations in the UK“. I’m glad to say, Blackheath was included, but slightly less happy that I can’t see it, as I will be at the Brockham bonfire.

The Blackheath bonfire night fireworks event is on 8th November at 8pm and is free to enter.

Great photo by Flickr user Gillbrit taken in 2007.

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Well it doesn’t look like that any more…

The Hare and Billet Pub, Blackheath, old painting

“Near the Hare and Billet Inn” – a section from a painting by Thomas Luny (1759-1837) held in the British Library.  Click here to see the full image.  And a mysterious comment spotted on a message board about a ghost in the Hare and Billet pub:

The Hare and Billet Ghost – a woman in Victorian dress with a bonnet and no face supposedly haunts the bit right outside the pub on Blackheath, just standing there, looking like she’s waiting for a bus. She was supposed to run away with her lover, but hung herself from the elm trees near the pond after realising she’d been jilted. Two of my friends claim to have seen her last November while out jogging, without knowing of her existence. They Googled her and found out the last reported sighting was also in November back in the 70s.

Well, no amount of googling will reveal the Hare and Billet ghost to me!  I’ll just have to head over there, and wait for her to appear.  A few pints should do the trick…

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Springheeled Jack – Blackheath’s Bigfoot

Spring Heeled Jack

Spring Heeled Jack on a Penny Dreadful

Before Jack the Ripper terrorising Blackheath, there was Spring Heeled Jack. Part bogeyman used to scare small children, part mysterious criminal. He was popularised in Penny Dreadfuls – cheap serialised booklets, where he was depicted almost as a comic book anti-hero. Wonderful name, Penny Dreadfuls… I wonder what the modern online equivalent is?

Picture the scene in 1837 – poor Polly Adams, slightly the worse for wear staggering around Blackheath Fair, when a terrifying figure leaps out of the darkness, like the devil himself, with glowing eyes, and vomiting blue flame…

But was he real? Or just the product of an early mass hysteria? From the Black Cat Press:

He was also the first of his kind. While legends of strange phantoms have existed since the beginning of history, Spring Heeled Jack was the first to enter the official record as a real phenomenon, or at least as one whose witnesses could be found and would testify to the veracity of their experience. Part of this may have been due to the changing culture of the early nineteenth century, and the rise of mass printing technology, the first newspapers were largely responsible for the general publics awareness of the events, but there was also something unique about him. There were other similar changes at the time too, for instance the first identifiable witnesses to the infamous ‘phantom horse and carriage’ and the classic ‘haunted mansion’ also date to the early nineteenth century, perhaps for similar reasons, and even the aforementioned Bigfoot was first spotted in Canada in the mid 1830’s according to some researchers, but none captured the public imagination as Jack did. He can in many ways be regarded as Britain’s patron saint of weirdness.

Now, my much more appealing alternate theory. In the 1830s, the Marquis of Waterford developed a top secret version of what is now known as Power-Bocking. Rather than selling them to the public, and making his fortune, he decided to terrorise young maidens by leaping out at them instead. Just look at the video below, and imagine one of these heading straight for you as you wandered over the Heath in the dark… Eeek!

See Also

Really detailed page about Spring Heeled Jack
http://www.mikedash.com/investigations_jack_paper.htm

South East London Folklore Society
http://members.lycos.co.uk/skitster/

The legend of Spring Heeled Jack
http://www.thecobrasnose.com/xxghost/shj.html

Top image is from from Wilson’s Almanac. Lower image from Wikipedia.

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