Tag Archives: books

Walking the Heath

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Message from Neil Rhind:

Dear Buglers

Sorry to do a little self-promotion but Roger Marshall and I thought your followers would like to know that our Walking the Heath book is now published. There was a delay but that is all over now and copies (£7.50) can be had from the Blackheath Society , 10 Blackheath Village, SE3 9LE, or the usual outlets. Also this Saturday 21 December, from 11am to 1pm at the Age Exchange shop. Members of the Society or those who join on the spot can get a copy (only one, mind you) for a Fiver. For those slightly fed up with Rhind on Blackheath history topics might like to know they can rest until mid summer when Volume III of the Blackheath serial should be available.

It’s also in The Bookshop on the Heath (see photo).

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Bookshop on the Heath selling up

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Massively sad to hear that yet another independent shop in the village is selling up. The Bookshop on the Heath is a fantastic place. I really hope they find a buyer to continue the shop as a going concern.

Their press release is below. If anyone has any good examples of how local communities have managed to stem the exit of local businesses from their high streets, please place them in the comments.

Richard and Jasmine Platt, founding owners of the Bookshop on the Heath Ltd in Blackheath, South East London, have announced that they are selling the business in order to pursue other interests in the leisure industry.
During the past ten years, the business has won awards for excellent customer service and it has been independently rated as one of the country’s finest bookshops. From day one, it has posted excellent year-on-year profits.
There has been a bookshop in this location since 1949, making it one of the longest continually running bookshops in South London. The bookshop has become a real fixture in Blackheath Village and it has generated a tremendous local goodwill. More recently it was the setting for part of an episode of the BBC1 drama “Spooks”.
Richard says, “After a very happy and successful ten years here, we feel that the time has come for us to step back and pass on the legacy and reputation of the business to someone else. We hope that they can now also realise their dream like I did ten years ago by taking over and further developing a super little shop in a marvellous trading position. It would be lovely to think that the long tradition of bookselling could be continued by someone who shares our passion for offering fine books, maps & posters with friendly, personal service. Trade has been exceptionally good and there is also the opportunity for the new owner to develop web sales and sales of new books (children’s in particular) – areas which we have barely touched upon.”
The bookshop continues to open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and by appointment at all other times. If you are searching for a quantity of specific quality stock or you are interested in buying the whole of this successful and profitable turn-key business, please contact Richard Platt for more details on 01526 352267 or email richard@bookshopontheheath.co.uk

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Turkey coming and going

The Bookshop on the Heath has interesting books about Turkey in its windows. Never read The Eunuch of Stamboul, but according to this blog post, looks like an entertaining read. Apparently it was also made into a film in 1936, which can be viewed for free at the BFI’s Mediatheque.

The Eunuch of Stamboul by Dennis Wheatley in the window of The Bookshop on the Heath

Book about Turkey in the Bookshop on the Heath's window

Speaking of Turkey, Blackheath’s dabbling with Turkish food has come to a close. Not a huge surprise given some of the competition nearby. It was never a great place, as many of the reviews here have mentioned. Will Cote be any better?

Fistik about to become Cote

Cote coming soon

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Books about Blackheath

Here are a few suggestions for books that are either about or inspired by the local area. For each one that you buy, I get a few pennies from Amazon that might go towards a lump of coal for Mrs Bugle…

Seriously though, please go and check The Bookshop on the Heath for these books first – the links below should be a last resort! If there are others books that I don’t know about, drop me a note in the comments, and I’ll add them to the list.

All the Neil Rhind books
The Heath by Neil Rhind
They’re the best source of historical information about Blackheath bar none. There are 2 large volumes – Blackheath Village and Environs Volume 1 covers the village and Blackheath Vale. Volume Two is almost impossible to find cheaply as it is out of print. I found it in Blackheath’s Cancer Research shop for a few pounds, but this was a miraculous discovery – it’s usually £50 or so.

There’s also a third volume, called The Heath, which unfortunately I don’t possess (yet).

Fiction

The Blackheath Seance Parlour by Alan Williams

A new addition in 2013 is The Blackheath Seance Parlour by Alan Williams. It’s a great spooky tale about two sisters in Victorian Blackheath, who decide to open a seance parlour. Highly recommended, read my full review here.

A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff

In terms of books inspired by Blackheath, the one that springs to mind was published a couple of years ago – A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff is pretty much exactly how it looks… Easy to read, fun, and primarily aimed at a female audience. Here’s my review of it from 2009.

Nathaniel Hawthorne - Our Old Home

Going back into time, and Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote a series of sketches about living as an American in England. Called Our Old Home, it contains reminiscences of his time living in Blackheath. His novel The Scarlet Letter (although not about Blackheath) was the inspiration for the (very funny) movie Easy A from last year.

Charles Dickens makes passing mention of Blackheath in Our Mutual Friend, and also in David Copperfield, as mentioned previously on the blog.

UPDATE:
The Most Intimate Place by Rosemary Furber - a thriller set in Blackheath
The Most Intimate Place by Rosemary Furber is a thriller set in Blackheath. Looks great, and gets excellent reviews. I might try it over Christmas! Thanks to @helstweets for suggesting it.

EVEN MORE!
Some excellent suggestions from The Greenwich Phantom:
Blackheath Poisonings on DVD
Blackheath Poisonings on DVD

Greenwich and Blackheath Past by Felix Barker
Greenwich and Blackheath Past by Felix Barker

The History of Lee by F H Hart
The History of Lee by F H Hart

The Dead of Summer by Camilla Way
The Dead of Summer by Camilla Way sounds like a chilling read, set in the tunnels beneath Greenwich Park – see the Phantom’s review from 2007.

And Jennifer’s suggestion from the comments below:
A couple of duffers go to war by Geoffrey Lee Williams
A couple of duffers go to war by Geoffrey Lee Williams

Another one from a commenter:
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Stuart Weatherby
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Stuart Weatherby – set mostly in Blackheath, it’s a nice (fictional) read by a local author.

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Childrens books scattered across the library


Taken by twitter user gwithiansunset
By the way, if you’d like to stop nasty Mr Pickles from turning our empty Nationwide into a betting shop, you’d best click this link.

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James Abbott’s book

Image from Narrative of a journey from Heraut to Khiva, Moscow, and St. Petersburgh, Volume 1. by Sir James Abbott
From Google Books, the complete volume 1 of James Abbott’s book (he of the previous post): Narrative of a journey from Heraut to Khiva, Moscow, and St. Petersburgh, Volume 1.

PDF PDF Version here. Image above from the book scan (book is from 1843, so is out of copyright).

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Thomas Noble’s Blackheath poetry book

A wonderful find on eBay (starting bids at £200), this 1808 poetry book about Blackheath.

Thanks to the wonder of the internet, you can look through its dusty pages for nothing, by going to this Internet Archive page. They have a great PDF version – complete with pen and ink illustrations, or the text only version (with dubious character recognition) is here.

Blackheath illustration from Thomas Noble's "Blackheath"poem

The illustrations are brilliant, as are the footnotes – little pieces of local history, like this one (page 40):
Continue reading

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