Monthly Archives: December 2008

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!

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

Druidic Blackheath

An arch druid priest, from wikipedia dated 1845

Blackheath has a druidic past. There are many connections in the area with Druidic orders and secret societies.  The danger here is that as soon as you type the word “druid” into a search engine, all manner of crazy things appear, “did we land on the moon?” etc etc.  So take all of the links below with a pinch of NaCl.  But, once you have seasoned your palette, dive in and enjoy:

This one in particular sounds magnificent – the idea of a secret society formed in Blackheath:

The Ancient and Archaological Order of Druids was merged in 1966 with the Literary and Archaological Order of Druids to form the Universal Druidic Order, the new organisation being based in Blackheath, London. This merger occurred  under the guiding hand of Desmond Bourke the head of the Ancient and Archeaological Order and subsequently the Universal Druidic Order.

Unfortunately, these druids don’t seem too hot on technology for some strange reason…  When you try to find out more about Desmond Bourke, there are slim pickings: he lived in Broad Walk, Blackheath (according to an obscure French book “Les druides” by Michel Raoult), but passed away in 2005.

However, there is more great stuff about Pagan London in general, and Blackheath specifically, at the rather wacky Fantompowa website.  Greenwich may have received its name by association with The Green Man, a wonderful pagan symbol if ever there was one, also the name for the Blackheath highway man’s hostelry of choice.

There is also a section about the Maze of Maze Hill, which is described as a kind of labyrinth for initiation ceremonies, which may also have been duplicated on Blackheath common.

With my limited delving about, it is almost impossible to know how much of this is romanticised Edwardian/Victorian fantasy about our pagan origins (see the print at the top of this post), and how much has a grain of truth… Especially with headlines like Churchill’s Druids and Britain’s Satanic Prime Minister screaming out from the search results…  But it is a great photo of the young Winston:

Winston Churchill being installed into the Albion Lodge of the Ancient order of Druids at Blenheim Palace, 15th August 1908

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We are still here…

We're still here in Woolies, Lewisham
Sad little message on the front of Woolworth’s in Lewisham… Bet the staff aren’t having a very good Christmas.

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Twittering in Blackheath

The Blackheath Bugle on Twitter

Blackheath Bugle gets addicted to Twitter.  Image by

The Blackheath Bugle is now twittering (tweeting?).  Twitter is really handy for keeping up to date with events and news stories, a bit like sending text messages to groups of “followers”. It doesn’t cost anything, and from now on, each new post on this blog will appear at  However – the image on the right by may serve as a warning.

If you have an iPhone, try Twitterrific for reading messages, it is free and works really well.  If you’re on a PC, just use the website.

Of course there may be an occasional rant if the mood takes me.. Join up now and say hi!

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Morris Dancing in Blackheath

The Bugle has packed up his suitcase (excessively over-stuffed by Mrs Bugle) and thumped it down every one of the steps towards the London-bound platform for the last time before Christmas. I’m starting to wish that the proposed station lift had appeared.

If you’re in Blackheath over the festive period, and are looking for a way to digest some turkey, you might like to check out the Blackheath Morris Men. As their website claims: “They are men and they are from Blackheath”. More importantly, they will be appearing at several pubs around Blackheath on Boxing Day.  From the website:

The traditional start will be at the Princess of Wales , next to the Pond, Prince of Wales Road (almost Montpelier Row) SE3. Fine Ales, fine views of the Heath under a leaden sky and bracing winds. Meet from 12.00, dancing will be sometime between 12.30 and 1.30.

1.30 at The Crown, Tranquil Vale, Blackheath Village, for dancing at about 1.45. Fine Ales, fine views of the Village under a leaden sky and tranquil winds.

2.45 at the the Duke of Edinburgh, Lee High Road (next to the Quaggy River, Tigers Head end near Sainsbury’s) for dancing at 3.00. Fine Ales, fine views of the main road and shopping trolleys in the Quaggy under a leaden sky and wind. This will probably be followed by a session in the Pub.

All times are approximate.

One of their flag waving, stick clacking group also runs a very
good local blog called Baggage Reclaim. It’s a shame that the Bugle can’t be there, not because he’s a big fan of the Morris (he’s with Sir Arnold Bax – the googling is left as an exercise for the reader), but he’d love to find out what Bagrec thought of Red Mars, and the various other books mentioned on his excellent blog!

Anyway, a merry Christmas, Eid, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Hogmanay, Yılbaşı, New Year, and anything else that Londoners enjoy, to all Bugle readers, and if you have any top tips for how to spend the festive season in Blackheath, do drop me a line.

Coming up in the near future, some amazing Victorian Blackheath Postcards, possibly a Blackheath book review, and more on the Blackheath Scientific Society.

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Subliminal suggestion by local council?

Just noticed the new instructions on the recycling wheelie-bins. It seems that they are recommending that we recycle one particular brand of trash…

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Lewisham Station Adjammed

KitKat advert graffitti sexism lewisham station london adjam

Couldn’t be bothered to wait for the train at Lewisham, so trudged the classic route past the building work (do they ever do any building work in there?), and spotted this wonderful piece of Subvertising.  Quite right too – I couldn’t believe it the first time I saw the ad in London Bridge.  This blogger put it far more eloquently than I could with the post Merry Christmas You Fat Cows (Love from Nestle).

And it seems, according to The Grocer, that we will be seeing a lot more of them next year.  £6 million pounds worth of Nestle processed food ads.

Urban feminist’s comments about KitKat might need an update…  And here’s the Advertising Standards complaints form, should you feel the urge (seems to be down at the moment).

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Filed under Not Blackheath but nearby, transport

Blackheath Society

Blackheath Society Newsletter

The Blackheath Society have just released their latest newsletter.  It is always well worth a read to find out what is going on around the village, particularly with regards to town planning.  Highlights include Momo Franks (unlikely to make a return, it seems), plans for a pedestrianised square near the Library, and trouble with the proposed lift for disabled people at the station.

There’s probably a paper copy in the library, and I imagine that they’ll publish it online here very soon.

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Grauniad in Bugle love-in!

Pages 39 & 40 of The Guardian newspaper
They said nice things!  Not exactly long-winded, but better than nothing.  And no spelling errors.

Photo by flickr user SideLong.

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The Blackheath Scientific Society

The Cutty Sark from Wikipedia

Here’s a nice thing I hadn’t spotted before… In the spirit of all the other societies that seem to exist around this area, I also discovered “The Blackheath Scientific Society“.  They started in 1857, hold regular lectures, most of which are open to the public, and meet in Mycenae House, here (which apparently used to be a convent).  Their next lectures are in January – something to look forward to in the post-new-year gloom, and range across a wide range of scientific subjects, from Aviation Terrorism, to Glaucoma, and a talk about the restoration of the Cutty Sark.  I’ll post a reminder when the next one is coming up.

It reminded me of this brilliant website, full of free lectures in London, which sadly isn’t updated any more, due to the author passing away.  I used to frequently go to these (back when I had days off in the middle of the week!), it’s such a shame this amazing site isn’t updated any more.


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