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Transpontine, E. Nesbit, Blackheath and Fireworks

Fireworks being prepared on Blackheath by twitter user niponravel
Fireworks being prepared on Blackheath – photo by twitter user niponravel

Interesting piece by Transpontine on E. Nesbit (author of The Railway Children), who spent some time living in Blackheath.

Yet again I won’t seeing Blackheath’s fireworks. I’ve never seen them, as BugleDad’s birthday is this time of year. If anyone can think of a convincing argument for Blackheath’s fireworks over Epsom‘s, I’d love to hear it- god knows I’ve tried everything I can think of!

As simonj007 pointed out, there are expected to be 65,000 people at the Blackheath Fireworks, so best turn up early, and think of an ingenious exit strategy at the end! The council’s official page on the fireworks is here. It starts at 8pm.

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Like pulling teeth…

Hello – sorry for not adding anything meaningful today, but the Bugle has had a wisdom tooth removed today, so isn’t feeling at his best…

Just a quick note – I thought you might like to know some of the stranger things that people have come to this site hoping to find.

Everytime someone comes to this site from Google, I get to see what they typed in to get here. It seems my post named “Ah Shepherd Foods, you Cruel Mistress” gets a lot of interest from people who type “mistress in Lewisham”, which wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.

I also think I should start a health section, as “Black health” seems to be another hot topic that the Bugle has overlooked.

Wonderful photo thanks to this flickr user.

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The Other Blackheath…

Blackheath Mountains with fog

By Flickr user Beppie K

Writing a blog on Blackheath (London), I spend a lot of time googling around, looking for photos, videos, and stories containing the keyword “Blackheath”. Whenever I search using Flickr, I always find loads of amazing images from Blackheath, New South Wales, Australia, so I just thought I’d share a couple with you.

Any Blackheathens been to Blackheath Australia? I’m sure they’d find the delights of Blackheath and Greenwich Park to be equally exotic… Perhaps an exchange party should be arranged…

Blackheath Mountains

By Flickr user “Powerhouse Museum

Please click on the photos to go to the photographer’s pages on Flickr.

UPDATE: There’s another Blackheath near Guildford, in Surrey (UK) as pointed out on this post about spiders.  Plus I think there’s one in the Midlands too.


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Blackheath Experimental Society

Blackheath Experimental Society

Every time I walk past this sign, I wish that the Blackheath Experimental Society really existed. Maybe it is because I’m reading “The Lunar Men“, a book about a group of industrialists in the 18th Century – they experimented with everything that was new and exciting to them at the time – electricity, steam power, astronomy, etc.

If Blackheath had an experimental society now, what would they be doing?

Gene splicing in their living rooms?

Creating intelligent neural networks inside their computers?

Building hover-boards?

Flying cars?

Creating Earthship homes from household rubbish and living off the grid?

Setting off autonomous robots to roam across the heath?


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Blackheath’s fonts – a proportional response

Fonts, signage, shop fronts… Which would take your vote for best in Blackheath? The Bugle is no font expert, but every time this comes into view, it causes upset:

The Railway pub in Blackheath

Proportional fonts are a wonderful thing. The letter “i” is thin. It doesn’t need as much space as the letter “R”. If you’re going to use a familiar font, keep the spacing the same throughout. And is it me, or is the whole thing slightly squashed?

Now, this is another kettle of fish entirely:

The Travel Lounge in Blackheath

“Hey, come on holiday somewhere exotic, relax, try some new things”…

Now, I’ve never been inside The Travel Lounge, but I bet they don’t have a toilet attendant handing you paper towels in the (decidedly unclean) gents. The same cannot be said of The Railway. Maybe judging an establishment by their font might be the way to go…


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Book-worms in Blackheath

Blackheath LibraryBlackheath Library was closed today. This seems to be its default state whenever I try to go there. However, if you can remember when it is open (not Mondays, Wednesdays or Sundays), it can be much more use than its small size might suggest:

The Death of Grass by John ChristopherI recently became interested in a book called “The Death of Grass” by John Christopher. It is out of print, and was recommended on a literary blog called The Age of Uncertainty. I looked on abebooks
, as this is usually the best place to find obscure books cheaply. They wanted £20 for a paperback, or £60 for the hardback version!

So then I went to the Lewisham Library page, and looked up the book using their online catalogue search. My book appeared! I reserved it online, and a few days later I received a note through the post (how quaint) saying that it was ready for collection – all for the princely sum of 50p! So Blackheath’s library is bigger than it may appear. It’s a great book incidentally – about the world’s food supplies being wiped out by a virus that attacks all forms of grass (an online version is here).

The Bookshop on the Green in BlackheathTwo other bookish parts of Blackheath are worth a mention – “The Bookshop on the Heath“, a wonderful place to browse, full of treasures, including a 1920s illustrated edition of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (for some huge price)… They also have a good selection of paperbacks outside too, as well as local antique maps which I have covered before.

Oxfam shop in BlackheathThe other one is the slightly hidden Oxfam shop at the top of Tranquil Vale. The upper floor of this shop is entirely dedicated to second-hand books.


I always forget when the library is open – here are the opening times, as of 4th July 2008

Monday         10am to 7pm
9.30am to 5.30pm
Wednesday    CLOSED
Thursday       9.30am to 7pm
Friday             9.30am to 5.30pm
Saturday        9.30am to 5pm


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Blue Plaques, Saucy Postcards, and Lunar Craters in Blackheath

Blue Plaques – there seem to be quite a few. In Bennett Park alone there are three. Having seen them a few times, I thought I’d look them up. If you know of others, please contact the bugle!

The most interesting one is in the big building at the end of the road – called The Blackheath Art Club (even though the Blackheath Expensively Renovated Flats might be a better title). It was the site of the GPO Film Unit, where the film Night Mail was made:

Bearing in mind this was made in 1936, and was a big success, it must have been an exciting place to work. There is more about the GPO film unit here.

Blackheath's Donald McGill Blue Plaque

Then there is Donald McGill down at the other end. According to Wikipedia, he was the best known illustrator of saucy seaside postcards… And was fined by the courts under the 1857 obscene publications act, because of his designs in 1954.

Blackheath\'s Arthur Eddington Blue PlaqueFinally there is another one almost opposite McGill, belonging to Arthur Eddington.

Eddington was a mathematician and astronomer. He was the first English-speaking astronomer to properly understand Einstein’s theory of Relativity, was a Quaker, a conscientious objector, and is about to be portrayed by Doctor Who (alright, David Tennant) in a BBC Drama called Einstein and Eddington, alongside Gollum from Lord of the Rings.

And next time you look up at the moon, have a look for Eddington Crater.


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