Tag Archives: christmas

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).


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.

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.

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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Blackheath Christmas Lights switch on 4.30pm today

Blackheath’s Christmas lights will be switched on at 4.30pm today. Father Nicholas Cranfield of All Saint’s Church, the Mayor of Greenwich Councillor Jim Gillman, and the Deputy Mayor of Lewisham Alan Smith will do the switching on.

The Salvation Army will play live music from 3pm.

There’s also a children’s funfair on the heath near All Saint’s Church all weekend.

Flashing photo above is from 2008’s event!

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Christmas Lights On

Blackheath High Street after the Christmas Lights switch on

After the testing a couple of weeks back, and two countdowns, the Blackheath Christmas Lights are finally on. Not Nick Ferrari this time – someone called Kevin who I didn’t recognise (although apparently he’s famous?) Kevin Bridges, and a fairly gloomy theological analysis from Father Nick, the Christmas Lights finally switched on.

It’s amazing how many people show up in the village to watch some bulbs (LEDs) switch on. In this age of high definition 3D entertainment, you’d think it would get overlooked (Mrs Bugle says it’s a very European phenomenon).

Anyway, they look lovely. The lights over the chipshop parade seemed to be forgotten about, but came on shortly afterwards. The (rather blurry) photos show before and after, but aren’t taken from exactly the same perspective, unfortunately. The Salvation Army were also parping away in a jolly fashion – audio is below.

Audio mp3 of the Salvation Army playing God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman.

Blackheath High Street before the Christmas Lights switch on


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Lovely things

The Christmas lights are back. Last year it was December the 5th, so not sure why so early. But they make Blackheath look amazing. Give them money.
And look at this. Stunning.
Blackheath in the frost by twitter user @AndyWilliams_
By Andy Williams, spotted by Adam Bienkov.


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Public Loos and Christmas Cards

Hello, Boulangerie Jade is a strange place to sit and attempt a crossword when jet-lagged…. Just saw a nice piece about the ever-smiling Big Issue seller outside the station. And it seems that nobody knows who owns the public toilets on Charlton Way, so the council are going to knock them down. I’ve never understood how public conveniences became so unfashionable. Ditching phone boxes I can understand – we all have ultra-portable versions in our pockets now. But until someone invents the magic folding toilet, it would be handy to still have some public lavs wouldn’t it?


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Handmade and Vintage

Blackheath Handmade and Vintage Shopping Evening
Sacha says:

I wondered if you might be interested in putting something on your site about a fund raising evening I am organising for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. The event is the Blackheath Handmade & Vintage Shopping Evening on 3rd December. There will be local designers and craftspeople, and independent traders to selling gifts for Christmas. It is going to be held in St Michael’s Church Hall, Pond Road.

It’s from 6-9pm and entrance is £5. Not the first time vintage clothes have appeared on this blog!


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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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