Bermondsey Biscuit & Rotherhithe Docker

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The Bermondsey Biscuit & Rotherhithe Docker

Winter 2018

a word in your shell-like

Russell the Fishman on Cockneys, The Blue & Bermondsey Beat

Editor’s letter Laura Burgoine


t is with great pleasure that I introduce the first edition of the Bermondsey Biscuit and Rotherhithe Docker. We created this publication to celebrate the area, to honour its past and embrace its future. Whether you like to walk along the river or crawl along the beer mile, we believe you can find the best of both worlds right here in SE1 and SE16. Every season, you’ll find an array of arts, entertainment, lifestyle and history, right on your doorstep. These are your stories. Thank you for sharing them.

Editor: Laura Burgoine Writers: Michael Holland, Debra Gosling Photography: Christian Fisher Marketing: Tammy Jukes, Anthony Phillips Design: Dan Martin Finance: Emrah Zeki Contact us: Email: Phone: 020 7231 5258 Facebook: @BermondseyBiscuit Instagram: bermondseybiscuit Printed by Iliffe Print Published by Southwark Newspaper Ltd

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A special thank you to all our sponsors and supporters for helping us bring the Bermondsey Biscuit and Rotherhithe Docker to life

Winter 2018

GOING OUT, OUT events... POLE POSITION Look out for flags flying across Bankside. 40 artists and designers created the flags to celebrate Bankside’s independent spirit as part of the London Design Festival.

WINTER SOLSTICE WORKSHOP Join Rotherhithe yoga teacher Amanda York for a festive workshop celebrating the winter solstice and full moon. The threehour event includes moon salutes, Neuro-Linguistic Programming techniques, a walking meditation in Southwark Park and homemade vegetarian treats. Saturday 22 December from 10am-1pm at the Lodge Space, 120a Lower Road, SE16 2UB. Phone: 020 7231 1088. Price: £25 before November 22 or £30 from thereon.

a christmas carrol

MALTBY LATES Maltby Street market is extending to Friday night openings for the run up to Christmas. There’s an array of food and drink offerings, including Little Bird gin and new kid on the block Japanese restaurant Boru. Architectural antiques and salvage company LASSCO, which runs the market, has just celebrated its 40th birthday and has been on Ropewalk since the late ‘90s. Maltby Street night market is open Fridays in December from 4pm-9:30pm.

Southwark Park is transforming into Wonderland this winter with a rabbit hole, flamingo croquet, a Mad Hatter’s tea party and 35 handmade lanterns of Lewis Carrol’s famous characters. At the end of the trail is a Santa’s Grotto, a sleigh ride, 20 stalls and a teacup ride. The organisers are offering a 40 percent discount to locals, while people who live in the borough of Southwark are entitled to 25 percent off tickets. Alice in Winterland Lantern and Light Festival is at Southwark Park, SE16 2TX, from November 21-January 5. Admission: £15 adult, £9 child, £12 concession and disabled, £5 carer.

TEDx ROTHERHITHE Rotherhithe is hosting its very first independently organised TED talk. In keeping with the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx Rotherhithe explores the power of communities. Organised by Timea Kadar, this year’s speakers include the Head of Canada Water Development, the director of the Brunel Museum, and the founder of WWOOF organisation. December 1 from 2pm-8pm at Sands Film Studios, 82 St Marychurch Street, SE16 4HZ. Tickets: £29-£39.

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Winter 2018

GOING OUT, OUT THE BIG CHEESE Build your own festive cheeseboard at Borough Market’s late night shopping extravaganza. Over 20 of the market’s renowned cheesemongers are on hand to advise on drink pairings and cheese recipes while local choirs and carol singers perform. An Evening of Cheese is at Borough Market, 8 Southwark St, SE1 1TL, on Wednesday 12 December from 6pm-9pm. Entrance is free. The market is open every day from December 5 until 4pm on Christmas Eve.



The annual free five-day festival, Illuminate Rotherhithe, is running alongside the international preparations for the 400th commemoration of the sailing of the Mayflower. There’s a lantern procession at Mayflower Park on Tuesday 22 November at 5pm followed by an Illuminate Show at 7:30pm at St Peter’s Church in the King’s Stairs Gardens. Film buffs can watch a screening of The Pilgrims at Sands Films on Saturday 25 November at 11am, and Ai Wei Wei’s Human Flow at the same venue at 6:30pm. The festival concludes with Artifact Artists at Canada Water Library on Monday 26 November at 6pm.

The London International Arts Festival brings boundarydefying musician Piers Faccini to SE16. The British Italian singer has seven acclaimed albums and has toured his music worldwide. Piers is performing at St Mary’s church, 72A St Marychurch Street, SE16 4JE, on Wednesday 28 November at 7:45pm (doors open at 7:15pm)

dissecting a monster 200 years after author Mary Shelley created her monster of a masterpiece, Frankenstein, the Old Operating Theatre is dissecting the science and history of the story with an illustrated lecture by Dr Ruth Richardson and museum curator Karen Howell. November 20 at 7pm. The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret, 9a Saint Thomas Street, SE1 9RY. Tickets: £12. The Operating theatre is also holding an after-hours Victorian surgery demonstration on November 27 (7pm) for those who can stomach a 19th century style operation


DUDE, WHERE’S MY START-UP? Two and a Half Men star Ashton Kutcher was at Canada Water’s Printworks in October for the WeWork Creator Awards, which gives funding to start ups and entrepreneurs.

Multi-award winning Rotherhithe actress Alice Bird is staging her debut one-woman show All the Psychos I’ve met (including myself) at Kennington’s White Bear Theatre where she shares her encounters with polyamory, open relationships, infidelity and monogamy. All the Psychos I’ve Met (including Myself) is at the White Bear Theatre, 138 Kennington Park Road, SE11 4DJ, from November 13-17 at 7pm (50 minute running time). Price:£12 / £10 concession. Phone: 0333 012 49 63.

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Winter 2018


otherhithe’s Park Buildings, formerly down the road from the Angel pub, were made famous in the 1959 horror film The Giant Behemoth, with its scenes of panicking locals fleeing the monster emerging from the Thames. The three flat blocks were also where many young couples began their married lives, the Drydens included, and that is where Russell the Fishman was born -although I suspect the sea creatures he sells on his stall down the Blue are of a less dangerous variety. “From Park Buildings we moved to Balman House on the Silwood Estate,” Russell says while ordering tea and toast in Deli Felice on Albion Street. “After that we came back up to Cherry Garden Street, so my schools were in the north of the borough.” Russell first went to St Joseph’s R.C School in Paradise Street, but that didn’t go well. “I got lobbed out of there because I wouldn’t take that Communion stuff. Even though I was only little I knew there was something dodgy about it; I thought it was gonna brainwash me. I wouldn’t do the confession either. I rebelled so I had to move to St James’s School, a Church of England gaff.” Life must have got easier on the religion front for Russell because he survived St James’s and went on to Scott Lidgett School in Drummond Road. After finishing compulsory education the young Dryden was “drifting about like a leaf in a stream.” He remembers working in a wine warehouse in West Lane before driving for local seafood entrepreneur Greg Essex uncle of TOWIE’s Joey - who had a wet fish shop, two stalls and a delivery round supplying restaurants. “I was the delivery driver,” says Russell.

People The last bastion of Cockneydom

By Michael Holland When there was a cash-flow problem the businesses were left to flounder until the quickthinking Russell decided to re-open the stall in The Blue, Southwark Park Road. “I thought I’d get the stall out and see how it goes,” he recalls. “I just thought I’d have a go to see what happens and I’m still there now.” I asked about the finer details of being a fishmonger, such as filleting fish. “I didn’t know nuffink,” he admits freely. “I just knew about delivering. Everything else I learnt meself.” The adventure began, he reckons, around 1988, so when you see Russell filleting sole and cleaning octopus

and squid, you now know that those are skills he has picked up in the 30 years he has been trading as the Fishman. The patter and salesmanship, however, is natural. He says that what he loves most about his work is being out in the community talking to people, and “the unpredictability of it. You never know if you’re gonna earn money or not. It keeps you on your toes.” But fish is not the only aspect of Russell Dryden. “I’ve always loved music and being around bands,” he begins, “so one day I started playing with Eddie Webber, who I could always hear practising guitar in his

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bedroom round the flats. I only went along to watch his band rehearse in an old railway arch but when I got there he said their singer Philip Burkett hadn’t turned up, so I said, “I’ll have a go” and ended up as the singer.” “We never did any gigs and when it all fell apart I vowed never to be in another band.” But those early connections led to Russell and Eddie getting gigs for a small stable of local bands that had emerged in the area and were getting some recognition. Russell recalls “the Southwark News had dubbed this local mini-




Winter 2018


the high street, but they won’t completely die,” he says. “They will change with time but they will never die.’” Russell loves his manor. “The Blue is the last bastion of Cockneydom in the borough, so we have had to metaphorically pull our wagons into a circle to protect ourselves,” he says. He also likens the market square to “a watering hole in the Serengeti where all the different animals come to drink.” Russell Dryden was born in an area where double negatives are double proper and he has no intention of ever moving away. His mum and his daughter live in the Blue and he and his family live Downtown. “I even come down to the Blue on me day off,

just to walk about and chat to people,” he says while dunking his toast in his tea. He shops in the Blue before anywhere else and wishes all the residents within walking distance would too. “It ain’t just about shopping, it’s the walking through and saying hello to people, stopping for a coffee. It’s about the social importance of the Blue; people should use it more and make sure it remains as the heart of the community.” Outside, he looks up and down Albion Street. “Look, I remember when there were three pubs down here and they’re all closed now but this street will rise again,” he says. “You can’t look back, you can only look forward, and it’s what you make it, innit?” n

revolution in music the Bermondsey Beat, so we kept that as our name when the gigs got bigger and better.” After a while Mr Webber left to concentrate on other things and Phil Burkett, whose band had been performing as part of the local music phenomenon, stepped in. Between them, the Bermondsey Beat has been organising the music for the annual Bermondsey Carnival and most musical events in the Blue for the past 20 years. Russell visibly becomes animated when talking about music and bands. He talks about writing songs and recording a new album, and how the one-day carnival is put together over many months of negotiations. He even discusses a potential book to chronicle that era when local bands were making good music and there truly was a Bermondsey beat. On top of this the Fishman spends many hours working on the Business Improvement District (BID), where he uses a pot of money built up from regular donations collected from local businesses to make the Blue a better place. “Without that there wouldn’t be nuffink in the area.” He talks of the family’s Johnny’s Bazaar shop that was a landmark on Southwark Park Road for many years, and how it was put out of business by cheap pound shops. He understands market forces and his mantra is: never look back, but it was a catalyst for his campaigning for small, local businesses. “The council don’t help with rates, and we have to fight for every little thing down here,” he says loudly, eliciting looks from other customers. Russell is an optimist and sees positive changes coming with the Grosvenor development at the old Peek Frean’s site, and hopes to see the realisation of plans to regenerate the market and Bombay Street. “All the papers talk about the death of

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Street smart

Free-blown glass, from £320 Peter Layton London Glassblowing


62-66 Bermondsey Street

Watch artist Tim Rawlinson glassblowing in the Bermondsey Street studio of Peter Layton London Glassblowing. Tim is showing off his skills and talking about his work on November 17 (1pm and 3pm) while his exhibition, which includes pieces inspired by rocks he saw on the Japanese pilgrimage routes of the Kumano Kodo, runs from November 9-21. 62-66 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3UD. Phone: 020 7403 2800.

Plume and Champagne Diamond Necklace, £625 Alex Monroe 37 Snowsfields, SE1 3SU

Volunteers Alex, Adriana, Paula and Tatenda

Heart Shaped Christmas Decoration £7.50 Tower Bridge Gift Shop


Mary’s Living and Giving Shop, which opened on Bermondsey Street a year ago, is looking for volunteers to work in the shop for four hours a week. Stop by the charity shop on 90 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3UB or call 020 7407 3617.

London Brick soap £6.95 Lovely and British 132a Bermondsey Street 020 7378 6570


Soak up the coast and countryside of Suffolk at Ross Loveday’s exhibition The Fire Within. Prince Charles selected the ex-optician’s work for a show at the Mall Gallery in the ‘90s – and bought the painting for his own private collection – which sparked a second career for the self-taught painter, printmaker and sculptor. November 8-December 2 at Eames Fine Art Gallery, 58 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3UD.


Bermondsey Street honey Bermondsey Street Bees £15 for 330g

Winter 2018

Mrs Darlington’s Jam, £3 Surrey Docks Farm Shop Rotherhithe Street 020 7231 1010

Winter 2018




Art and science collide in the heart of the capital with King’s College London’s new permanent cultural venue – Science Gallery London – in London Bridge. The first of its kind in the UK, Science Gallery London, which opened in September, is a vibrant, creative hub, where rigorous scientific research is made accessible to visitors young and old through innovative installations and a diverse programme of exhibitions and events. Visitors to the free-to-visit Science Gallery will be asked to examine urgent global issues through the creative responses of artists working in collaboration with King’s researchers and scientists. Open to all and with 15-25 year olds as the primary target audience, Science Gallery London aims to capture the imagination of young adults and inspire them to consider their world in a new way. Science Gallery London’s Young Leaders, a group of 15-25 year olds from Southwark and Lambeth and King’s student community, will play a crucial role in the direction of the gallery. King’s academic research is central to Science Gallery London’s purpose. Professor Edward Byrne, President and Principal of King’s College London, said: “It will take critical new research on urgent issues beyond the university walls and bring them to life through science and art.” Science Gallery London is hosting three seasons a year. Its inaugural exhibition HOOKED delves into the complex world of addiction and recovery. From gambling to gaming and smartphones to social media, HOOKED questions what makes the human race vulnerable to addiction and interrogates the underlying factors and routes to recovery. Science Gallery London, which features exhibition spaces, an auditorium, a café and a shop, has been designed by LTS Architects and is situated on the site of Boland House, part of the historic 18th century Guy’s Hospital in London Bridge. During the project the last undeveloped Georgian courtyard in London has been transformed from a car park into a newly-landscaped public square. This project has been made possible thanks to funding from Shard Funding Limited, in recognition of HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the father Emir; Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity; and the Wellcome Trust. Science Gallery London is part of the Global Science Gallery Network, launched in 2012 with the support of founding partner For more information visit:


A renowned international hip hop dance competition is coming to London Bridge in January. Popcity UK volume 4, presented by Fiya House in association with Team London Bridge, is a space for emerging and established Hip Hop dancers of all ages from across the country to come together to train, share knowledge and compete. It’s open to anyone who is interested in watching or taking part in Street Dance. Popcity will see 450 dancers from all over the UK unite for the first Hip Hop event of the year. Featuring international judges, guest performers and live DJs, the battle will create an authentic Hip Hop experience with artists from around the globe and around the corner. Winners will have the chance to represent the UK at the Popcity Finals in Asia, in December 2019. Popcity UK is on Saturday 5 January 2019 at Ugly Duck, 47-49 Tanner Street, SE1 3PL. Tickets: £8-£10, available from

If you’re an artist living, working or studying in the borough of Southwark, then you could see your art on display in the prestigious London Bridge Hotel for six months. The London Bridge Hotel Open Call is a new project supporting local makers.


The selection team is looking for contemporary works, which can be displayed on walls, windows sills and hallways of the historic building, which is furnished with contemporary decor. The deadline for submissions is Friday 14 December 2018 and selections will be made in January 2019. Artists can enter a maximum of two pieces each and must submit to To enter, send: 1. A digital photograph of your work (2MB or less. If you would like to send a larger file please email to be provided with a DropBox link). 2. Dimensions of the work and any notes regarding its display. 3. One page CV including address, current projects and exhibition history For more news and events from London Bridge visit

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hose with a magpie eye will have noticed jeweller Alex Monroe’s growing ubiquity. His signature dragonfly earrings have adorned the ear of BBC’s Doctor Foster and - in the first ever BBC jewellery collaboration - Alex has designed an ear cuff for Jodie Whittaker: Doctor Who’s first female doctor.

The Camberwell local finished university in 1986 and started his career as a jobbing jeweller with an interest in fashion. Today his global brand is sold by 160 stockists in the UK, including Liberty and John Lewis. “I still have imposter syndrome,” Alex told the Biscuit. Starting off as a wholesale business, the jeweller opened up his flagship store in Snowsfields seven years ago. Alex had outgrown his studio in Kennington’s Iliffe Yard and


was on the hunt for a new space. “I remember I got on my bike and zig zagged east looking to find somewhere affordable,” he said. “They’d started building the Shard and in the time we had this place ready, the whole Shard had gone up.” Alex converted the derelict, one-storey building into the sixstorey shop and workshop the team works in today. “Picking this area was mostly luck. It wasn’t a property investment; it was an investment in the business,” Alex said. He also has a workshop nearby in Tower Bridge Road, from where the web team now work. “The Snowsfields shop is popular with our bespoke jewellery and engagement rings,” boutique manager Jutta Pfannkuch said. “All the originals are made onsite with the workshop upstairs.” Alex Monroe jewellery also has a fast growing US presence. “The handmade market really works over there,” Jutta said.

JEWELS OF NATURE By Laura Burgoine The most popular items are the silver and gold-plated pieces around the £150 price range. “Customers fall in love with the brand,” Jutta said. “What we do is genuine. There’s real love that goes into this.” Alex Monroe boutique is at 37 Snowsfields, SE1 3SU. Phone: 0207 378 6061 n

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Rotherhithe local Kam Hong Leung zooms in on the neighbourhood’s natural beauty

Dragonflies (Aeshna Mixta) Russia Dock Woodland

Kam has called Rotherhithe home since 1989. Growing up in the concrete jungle of Hong Kong, he was drawn to the area’s green spaces and describes photography as both his meditation and salvation.

Cherry blossoms Southwark Park


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A Cormorant Canada Water

A frozen Albion Channel struck by the Beast from the East Canada Water

An Indian Ringneck Parrot Russia Dock Woodland

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Farm manager Gemma Hooper By Laura Burgoine


et crafty this festive season at Surrey Docks Farm’s annual Christmas Fair. Make your own wreath in the river room or do some shopping at the local craft stalls.

The farmyard is being transformed with stalls selling all sorts of Christmas gifts. The local church stall is back selling its popular Peach Brandy, while the bar is serving mulled wine, warm spiced apple juice, and home-made soup. The real Christmas Tree sale is back by extremely popular demand. The farm has three sizes on sale to fit all budgets (and bus rides home!). Based on their sell-out year last year, staff suggest people arrive at 11am to avoid disappointment. Father Christmas is paying a


special visit to the farm, taking orders from excited kids. His elves have promised to keep him supplied with mince pies and ensure every child gets a present. The cost is £4 per child. There’s also a raffle, games for children, face-painting, donkey rides, and the whole farm is open as usual; you can buy bags of feed at the farm shop to feed the goats, sheep, pigs and poultry. Entry to the Farm is free, but there’s a charge for the activities in order to raise much needed funds to keep the farm running year round n The Christmas Fair is on Saturday 8 December from 11am-4pm at Surrey Docks Farm, Rotherhithe Street, SE16 5ET. Phone: 0207 231 1010. Admission: free.

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NA testing, apps to track your workout and no egos; workouts in Surrey Quays are taking on a new shape.

A GYM WHERE EVERYBODY KNOWS YOUR NAME The Long Jump British champion has been in the industry for years, while Ben was a gym manager for Soho House. “I was the 2013 indoor champion and then I ruptured my Achilles and did a lot of physio, learned a lot then started my consultancy training professional footballers and rugby players,” Matt said. The Fitness Space team consists of four coaches: Matt and Ben are joined by Charlie and Chris and

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By Laura Burgoine

Bermondsey local Ros, who teaches yoga. “We have elite coaches, who are top quality with no ego, who make sure your technique is flawless,” Matt said. The gym also has spin classes, yoga and hot yoga


Coaches Matt Burton and Ben Ayling opened Fitness Space on Plough Way in September and pride themselves on making elite exercise accessible. “Our demographic is more people who are intimidated by a ‘normal’ gym,” Matt said. “But who are also used to high quality and service.” Smart exercising can achieve “amazing” results, Matt said. “It’s incredible to see people who are terrified of the gym, and within six weeks are losing kilos of fat and gaining kilos of muscle and becoming far more confident.” “We know all our clients personally by name. There’s always a friendly face to greet you. And beyond that everyone is likeminded,” the trainer continued. “We have all ages, sizes, genders using the weights area; people can be comfortable in every part of the gym.” After joining, clients get at least one personal training session to start while most continue with one PT session a month. “Beyond that we empower people to do their own workout with a bespoke program, which is on an app,” Matt said. “People can have their body composition on their phone, targets, sessions can show videos, and everything is there to be checked.” The more information coaches have, the more efficient people can be in the gym. “Everyone takes a DNA test when they start, which allows us to see what type of training is good for you,” Matt said.

Fitness Space is at Unit 3, 3 Aurora Point, Marine Wharf, Plough Way, SE16 7FQ. To book a tour or consultation email or call 0203 972 0350.



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hat if we all had a blueprint that revealed our life and soul purpose? Well, we do. And Soul Plan Practitioner Vicky Paul can help you find it.

The Glaswegian, who now calls Shad Thames home, is an intuitive, energy healer, and spiritual artist who helps people reconnect with their soul to become the best version of themselves. The psychic studied soul planning at Arthur Findlay College in Stanstead, a place she likens to Hogwarts. A Soul Plan reading is done using a person’s full name, as shown on their birth certificate. The results show your spiritual challenges, spiritual talents and spiritual goals as well as worldly challenges, talents and goals. The idea is we are all born into this life with challenges to overcome, talents to help us, and goals to achieve. “You are born with the knowledge of what your life purpose is,” Vicky said. “We manifest into this life in order to learn and grow.” The readings provide people with a better understanding of themselves and can explain why they’re drawn to certain people or situations. “We’re here to learn. The reading reconnects everything and can bring a real sense of peace and understanding of life. It doesn’t give you predictions because people have free will, but it looks at your life lessons,” Vicky said. The confines of society see a lot of people ignoring their inner instincts; soul planning can help open the mind to different ways of living, “We’re born with knowing. This reempowers you to tap into that. Meditation is brilliant for that also. It brings people back into themselves,” the psychic and former radio presenter said.

After a soul plan reading people often become more comfortable in their own skin. It won’t change external circumstances; what happens is an energetic shift. “People find themselves moving with the flow. Life shouldn’t be that hard. If you let go, things will come to you,” Vicky said. “You need to be in the space to accept responsibility for your place in this life.” The readings can be very powerful as people become reconnected with their bodies and get through tough blockages. “It’s a soul clearing. If you imagine a blueprint for your soul, we strip everything back to get to it,” Vicky said. Sessions can be done in-person or over skype. “Energy is everything. Energy doesn’t die; it can be shifted or moved,” Vicky said. Everyone is born with psychic ability, according to Vicky, but she discovered her talents early. “When I was a kid I remember being in the garden in spring and saying it was going to snow and then a freak snow storm came,” she said. Intuition is more of a knowing rather than a voice talking to you. “A psychic tunes into your energy and can expand or contract it, and they can blend with your energy,” Vicky said. “It’s like remembering a memory. You don’t need to close your eyes but it’s very vivid and all your senses are heightened.”n A full Soul Plan reading takes 60- 90 minutes and includes a clearing exercise at the end. Cost: £80. A mini reading takes 30 minutes and costs £30. Vicky is offering a 20 percent discount for Bermondsey Biscuit readers up until December 15. For more information visit: or email


ogis in SE16 have the UK’s best yoga studio right on their door step. Canada Water’s Lodge Space, which opened last year, was recently voted number one in a list of the nation’s 30 best yoga studios, in a survey by OriGym.


Located on Lower Road, the old park keeper’s lodge has a health kitchen, yoga studio, fitness classes and treatment rooms. Breast cancer survivor Jane Wells set up the hub to provide a relaxing space for the local community to escape from the stresses of London life. “In addition to a variety of yoga classes, we also offer a range of fitness classes providing a blend of healthboosting benefits from toning, cardio, stretching and meditation, to provide a holistically beneficial package to our members,” Jane said. The Lodge also has a health kitchen catering for a range of dietary requirements and choices. “We provide a selection of vegan, vegetarian, gluten free,

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WELLBEING By Laura Burgoine

Soul woman dairy free and paleo meals, providing choice to our members and their guests,” Jane said. “Our space is fantastic for events and we regularly host takeovers, such as corporate summer BBQs and supper clubs.” If you’re looking for green space, the Lodge’s Zen Garden looks out over Southwark Park with cosy day beds and rustic wooden chairs, all overlooked by the resident Buddha statue. The café is open to all – not just members - and from mid-November they’ll be serving food up until 9pm. What better way to warm up this winter than with a glass of organic wine by the fireplace? The Lodge is also getting into the festive spirit with a Christmas Fair on Saturday 8 December n The Lodge is at 120a Lower Road, SE16 2UB. Phone: 020 7231 1088.




olk singer Ösp Eldjárn’s two worlds collide in a live gig at the Lodge. The musician, who lives in a valley in the north of Iceland, is traveling back to Surrey Quays, the place she called home while studying in London, to perform songs from her debut album Tales from a Poplar Tree. Osp joins Helga Ragnarsdóttir and Elimarit, whom she met while singing with London Contemporary Voices.

“That choir put on really fun concerts. We performed with amazing artists,” Osp said. “The first time I saw Imogen Heap live I was onstage singing Hide and Seek with her.” Elimarit sang on Osp’s first album, which was nominated for folk album of the year at the Icelandic Music awards in March this year. “That’s the first time they’ve had that category,” Osp said. “Folk music is not something that’s ‘in’ but it’s always there. The scene is growing, particularly in London. Pop folk like Mumford and Sons contributed to bringing a folky influence forward.” Osp moved to London in 2011 to study creative musicianship at the London Centre of Creative Media (LCCM) in Union Street. “It’s a small school aimed towards the industry to help you with overall musicianship,” she said. “I didn’t do that much singing there; the focus was on the other aspects.”


By Laura Burgoine

Folk of the faraway three

“I’m from a very musical family. My mum and dad are both singers and were in an acapella quartet with my uncle and his then wife,” Osp continued. “They did folky music and a bit of the Beatles - I grew up listening to them rehearsing and singing in harmonies. I didn’t learn to read music until I was 20; everything was by ear.” Singing in a choir from an early age, Osp also played the flute and gigged with her parents and brother. “It kind of just became a career. It was a thing I’ve always done and then people started to give me money for it,” she said. “Singing has always been a natural part of life so the risk wasn’t as big. I wanted to “make it” as a musician

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but mainly music is sharing. It’s telling a story, sharing a moment in time with people.” At the Lodge the trio is performing songs from Osp’s album, written over the past eight years, and some new music. “It’ll be very cosy and I’ll be singing in Icelandic as well as English,” Osp said. “Sometimes when you don’t understand the lyrics n they can take you to another place.” Osp, Helga Ragnarsdottir and Elimarit are performing at the Lodge, 120A Lower Road, SE16 2UB, on Saturday 17 November at 7:45pm (doors open at 7:15pm). Price: £14 adults / £8 child.

Winter 2018


Food & Drink

Marley and me By Laura Burgoine

Marley’s Cupcakes is the brainchild of an American-born sweet-tooth, who grew up on a farm in Virginia growing peaches, blackberries and apples and making them into every dessert imaginable. With his cupcake company, Marley set out to create bite-sized treats allowing for indulgence in moderation. French baker Daniel Marie has been working for the company for two years and is at the Shard Arcade’s shop most days. The beautifully presented baby-cakes come in 40 flavours, frequently changing, with 12 different flavours each week. “They’re not too big, we have vegan offerings, and we now have cheesecakes in a jar,” Daniel told the Biscuit. “The bakery is our laboratory. We bake from around 5pm until midnight and we talk to the customers to come up with new ideas for flavours.” Flavours include Snickers, honey lavender, chocolate chip pancake, peanut butter and jelly, and black forest. Daniel has been baking for ten years and joins the nation in his love of the Great British Bake Off. “I love it. It’s great for ideas.” n Marley’s Cupcakes is at the Shard Arcade, London Bridge Street, SE1 9SG, and is open from 8am until 7pm daily.

The wheels in motion Three Wheels Coffee started life four years ago as a tricycle-drawn coffee cart parked up outside the Shard. After two years, owner Rory Doyle moved up to an espresso bar in the Shard arcade; he was the first business to venture into the area, which now sees thousands of people walking through it daily. The Irishman discovered his passion for coffee after he packed in his sales job and went traveling to Australia and New Zealand. “I learned to make coffee there, then I went to South America and lived on a coffee farm in Colombia for six months,” he said. The original coffee machine tricycle ran off gas and a car battery, with Rory pedalling the


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350kg beast for miles every day to work. The barista uses beans from small-batch Brixton roastery Volcano Coffee Works and from Assembly Coffee, who sell exclusively to independent cafes. “They blend to the seasons,” Rory said. “We’re also doing Cold Brew, which was huge in the summer.” Since setting up shop Rory has become the go-to guy for local workers and sees most of his customers two or three times a day. The business is expanding, with a sit-down coffee shop opening soon in Canning Town. Watch this space n Three Wheels Coffee is at the Shard Arcade, 32 London Bridge St, SE1 9SG, and is open 7am-4:30pm (Monday to Friday) and 8:30am-3pm (Saturday).

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By Laura Burgoine


first encountered Beanbag Coffee a few years ago when founder Gary Kirby was set up with his pedalpowered coffee stand outside One Tower Bridge, smashing up avocados and putting them in coffee. This was before the hipsters were smashing up avocados and putting them on toast. I remember the coffee, I remember the buzz and I remember thinking Gary should find a way to take all his energy and bottle it. That day has come.


The Walworth boy’s love affair with coffee started in Thailand where he was studying Muay Thai and urban Krav Maga, in which he’s now a qualified instructor. It was there he learned to brew coffee in true Thai street-style, through a muslin cloth. He also picked up the serving style of selling coffee in zip lock bags with a straw – a practical way for people to grab their coffee to go. For years Gary has been taking his coffee all around SE1, working weekends at Maltby Street Market and getting city workers and gym-goers through the week with much needed caffeine hits. Now, he’s stepped up to retail and is selling bottled cold blend coffee. “I’ve got a couple of business partners now: Oliver and Dan Acton, who are from Rotherhithe. We went to St Michael’s together and the three of us are like family, and we’re producing all our coffees locally in Bermondsey in a factory off Galleywall Road,” Gary told the Biscuit. “We produce grab and go cold coffee in different flavours. We’ve got peanut butter, coconut flesh, coconut ginger turmeric, and peanut and cinnamon.” Next year Beanbag is launching a coconut and cardamom flavour. “I’m like a little mad scientist,” Gary said. “Everything I do is for flavour; if it doesn’t taste good it’s not going in.” Everything is made by hand. “It’s the same way you brew alcohol; you have a big pot, you slowly put water over it. It takes three of us to pull the muslin cloth out but it saves on gym membership,” Gary said. “Then we chill the coffee and add in ingredients.”

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“As a business we’re interested in remaining independent and using natural ingredients. I will never deviate from that,” Gary continued. “It’s the way I’ve been brought up: to put care and consideration into what you do in life. The same rule applies in business.” “Oliver, Dan and I control what goes into the brew, we do all the labelling ourselves. On a brew day we’ll start at 4am and go until 4pm. I’m immune to caffeine at the moment,” Gary said with a laugh. The entrepreneurs have their sights set on getting their drinks stocked in supermarkets, and plan to release a new range of drinks in North America and Australia where the cold coffee market is thriving. “We’re predominantly stocked in gyms at the moment. Everything is perfectly balanced with protein, carbs and caffeine, but I don’t want to exclude a wider audience,” Gary, who drinks eight bottles of coffee a day, said. “I’m looking into decaf coffees next because I recognise some people want the functionality but not the crash.” Beanbag Coffee is stocked at Omoide, 126 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3HS.

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War on the home front Albion Street School By Debra Gosling


n November we commemorate the centenary of the cessation of World War One, when so many lives were lost or changed forever, both on the front line and at home. Much has already been written about the sheer enormity of the conflict but these pages reflect the lead up to Armistice Day and the aftershock our ancestors had to bear. Despite the Zeppelin bombardment of Bermondsey, those at home were relatively unaffected by the situation


across the channel. They had seen their sons, brothers and sweethearts off to war with a cheery patriotic wave, ignorant of the horrors that would later emerge. Young lads married their girls before marching away, handsome in their crisp uniforms with a sparkle in their eyes. It would be over by Christmas - that is what they had said. What was it like living here in 1918? There was food rationing and some hardship but, in general, life went on as normal. There were reminders, of course, with the local regiments setting up bayonet practice and square bashing. Every piece of open ground was given over to growing vegetables - even a rubbish dump in Swan Road was transformed into a carrot patch. Mr WH Aggett, the superintendent of the borough’s parks and gardens department, certainly did his bit.

He gathered 200 men to work on 200 allotments. As so many had been called up to fight, it was left to the elder members of the borough to pitch in and plant like mad. Cabbage, kale, potatoes, turnips and parsnips miraculously sprouted from the soil. There was enough for everyone and any excess was donated to local military hospitals. Paper collections became big business for the kids, who earned a ha’penny for every pound-weight of paper collected. The saddest sight to be seen was a telegram boy knocking at someone’s door. How awful for a mother who had reluctantly waved her boy off to war to hear of his demise in some cold, water-filled ditch. To make

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matters worse the soldier’s uniform was returned home, covered in thick mud and blood. Other lads were sent home on sick leave with terrible injuries. Once nursed back to health they would be sent back again as ‘cannon fodder’. It was said that when the guns went off at the Somme, they could be heard in the Old Kent Road. Despite such awful times people still wanted to be entertained. The Bermondsey Cinema at 120 Jamaica Road showed continuous performances of British silent films, normally with a subliminal message: The Splendid Coward, The Measure of a Man, plus the comedy She Did Her Bit were the flavour of the month. Over in Rotherhithe,

HISTory the Hippodrome continued its musical entertainments with popular stars Leo Dryden and Dolly Elsworthy on the bill. On 10th October 1918, Albion Street School was visited by Lady Blair, wife of Sir Robert Blair, the LCC Education officer. She presented silver cigarette cases to the old boys who had been fighting at the front. In attendance were Sgt Major Henry Drake MM DCM, and brothers Private TE Smith MM and Private JH Smith, Belgian Croix de Guerre. Headmaster, Mr Litton, reminded his pupils of their duty in maintaining the fine reputation the old boys had built for the school and gave them the day off! Many children were set to work fundraising, both to help the troops and to ‘feed the guns’. The Princess Club in Jamaica Road raised £1,035 with all the big name factories chipping in: Peek Freans, the Pink’s jam factories, Southwells and Hartleys, Courage, Welch Margetson and Bevington’s. Then it happened. Armistice Day! November 11: the end of the war. When the good news was received, Mr Bingley, the Magistrate at Tower Bridge Police court, adjourned for ten minutes to ‘allow an opportunity for the excitement to subside.’ That was not long enough, was it? This day had been expected and once it was declared, a huge sigh of relief followed, but this just marked an outpouring of grief and shock that would tear through the district. Four years had passed since our girls had waved off their men but they were barely recognisable when they came home. Those sparkling eyes were now filled with the horrors of war and it was only then that reality hit home. So many had died, so many were injured both physically and mentally affected by the terrible sights they had seen. Those ‘lucky’ enough to have survived were changed men, both physically

and psychologically. Shell shock played havoc in many households with the victims sitting staring into space, or shaking uncontrollably. Children did not recognise their dads and were alarmed by their injuries. Some men could not adjust to normal life and took to drink and domestic violence. Others were so badly injured that they did not come home at all and spent the rest of their lives in hospital. The effect of the noise and the shock of the devastation left some soldiers deaf, blind or mute. It became the norm to see men on the streets with false eyes and missing limbs selling bootlaces and matches from a tray. They were always well turned out and wore their medals with pride. The year 1918 turned out to be a bittersweet affair: ‘our boys’ came home but a deadly flu virus swept across the world, killing thousands of people. On 8th November 1918, Bermondsey Mayor William Shearring contracted influenza. Luckily he recovered but his daughter, Mrs Stubbs, had died from it and due to this he could not attend

\ A bill from the Rotherhithe Hippodrome

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his last meeting as Mayor. People gathered to mark the Armistice but a second wave of infection surfaced and as they celebrated it was to engage with them. A year later and people were ready to celebrate Peace Day, which was altogether a more cheerful affair. Bermondsey Borough Council did not hold any formal celebrations but folks did their own thing. A dummy of the Kaiser was hung over a restaurant in Lower Road. Similar effigies were hung across the road in surrounding streets and there was a huge bonfire on Rotherhithe New Road. One notice displayed outside premises in Jamaica Road read: “Will someone kindly return the flags they took from this place?” Things were getting back to normal. n


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aisy Wilson was born Daisy Smith in 1919 and grew up in 1, Rouel Road, where she lived until she married in 1940. It was a simpler time then. Children would entertain themselves with objects they found; Daisy thinks it was better growing up back then. “We could play in the street without having to dodge cars - all we had to dodge was the horse and carts!” she said. “We used to get a bit of rope to play skipping or high jump with all the other children in the street. That same bit of rope would then be tied around the top of the old gas lamps to make a swing.” Daisy’s eyes lit up as she recalled playing marbles and hopscotch. “Nobody minded if you chalked a hopscotch outside their house. I was also very good at roller-skating; I used to skate in Linsey Street because that was a nice smooth road.” But straying away from the safety of the front door was strictly forbidden for Daisy, especially up along the river where cranes would be lifting heavy loads literally above the heads of pedestrians, plus the dangerous tides in the Thames. “I wasn’t allowed to go up there until I was about 13,” recalls this lady with almost a century of memories. “But even then I wouldn’t go down on the beach as I was always frightened. I don’t like water as I never learnt to swim.” “I used to go over Southwark Park a lot as a child and then when I had my own children I would take them over there. All

A TRUE BERMONDSEY GIRL By Michael Holland you needed was a bat and ball to enjoy yourself.” Some Saturdays would be spent with aunts and cousins in Greenwich Park. “We used to get a penny ride on the No. 68 tram to get there; I was an only child so I liked going out with other kids. All we took was a sandwich and some water and we’d spend the whole day there. I loved it.” As time went on the borders of Daisy’s world expanded. “If we had someone older with us we were allowed to go over to the Tower with a picnic or a jam sandwich and play all day on the big guns there.” Christmas was always a

Daisy (above) and (right, standing) with her paternal grandmother and a cousin

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special time of the year for Daisy, which would be spent with her grandparents in Wolseley Buildings, two roomed flats with shared toilets and water. “It sounds very crude but people used to get on with it,” she remembers. “And Christmas was the only time we ever had chocolate.” These days, though, she sits with a packet of Jelly Babies and Werthers Originals always within reach. Daisy’s mum, also Daisy, at one time worked in an animal skin factory - part of Bermondsey’s huge leather industry. “If mum was ever out of work she




would easily find another job. She worked in Hartley’s Jam Factory, Crosse & Blackwell’s canning factory in Crimscott Street, and at Easter and Christmas she worked in Shuttleworth’s - the chocolate factory - so she always worked, but was always there when I got home from school.” Her father Bert’s employment was not as regular. Daisy reveals: “It was a bit iffy for Dad as he was a welder and couldn’t always find work. He used to queue up at Surrey Docks where the men called on at the bus shelter in Redriff Road, to see if there was any casual work there. Now and again welding jobs came along; one was making Crittall Windows out in Essex, so he had to leave very early in the morning, and then a job making toys for Triang.” Charlie Wilson was a member of the famous Oxford and Bermondsey Club for boys and Daisy went to Time and Talents Club, where young ladies went. “One day, when we were about 16,” begins Daisy, “a message came from the boys’ club asking if any girls wanted to play badminton. We didn’t even know what it was but still managed to find four of us to play. We went along and were given partners - I got Charlie - and we became quite good at it. And, guess what?” she asks rhetorically. “All four of us girls ended up marrying our badminton partners!” Daisy related tales of playing against clubs in the East End and the thrill of walking back victorious over Tower Bridge to stop at the coffee stall that was once there. “I used to have a sav sandwich and a cup of tea,” she tells me, remembering those happy times with a chuckle. “I loved a


Daisy with Bruce, Amanda and Anita

Daisy, Charlie and Pam

sav sandwich.” Daisy Smith’s first job was in Hobbs, a drapers store on Southwark Park Road. “I used to get six bob a week (30p) and had to give my mum four bob of that (20p),” she laughs at the memory. “I ended up with two bob for myself (10p).” The Bermondsey girl adds “we didn’t have much money to spare but we were happy and that’s the main thing.” Hobbs didn’t give pay rises, so Daisy moved to a baker’s in the Old Kent Road and then to a job in Gamages, the huge department store in Holborn. “That was a lovely job, I loved it there.” In 1940, when Daisy married Charlie, who worked at an estate agent’s in Grange Road, they moved into two

rooms just along from her family home at No.7 Rouel Road. “With the bombing and all that,” begins this local legend, “we got bombed out and was given a flat in Penge. I had to travel to work by train and my husband joined the army.” While at Penge her first son Peter was born, so Daisy moved back to Tenda Road to be close to her family and has memories of nights spent in the Anderson shelter at the end of the garden. With her mum looking after baby Peter, Daisy got a job in the offices of the old Bermondsey Town Hall in Spa Road, where she spent many happy years. When the war ended, and

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with the family more settled, Charlie and Daisy had more children: Barbara, Bruce, Pam and Amanda arrived and in 1962 they moved into a house in Wilson Grove. “You had to have five children to qualify for a house,” Daisy recalls, “and we had five.” Anita, the youngest, was born next in the new home that the Wilson siblings were raised in, and it is the home where Daisy lived happily for the next 56 years. Her daughter Amanda and her family still live in that house, but Daisy sadly passed away in 2018 at the grand age of 98 - not long after she did this interview. RIP Daisy Wilson, a true Bermondsey Girl n

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Look after your body


odytonic clinic based in the historic Dock Offices, 2 minutes’ walk from Canada Water tube station, has helped over 15,000 local residents since moving to its larger clinic premises in 2014. The clinic was recently awarded “Practice of the Year” at the Institute of Osteopathy awards, a national award which recognises the best practices in the country. With a team of 20 practitioners and therapists, the clinic offers a wide range of treatments to help individuals achieve their goals of better movement and improved wellbeing. Do you have regular treatment or have you never had a treatment before? Whether you answered yes or no to the question there’s something for you to explore at the clinic. To help you further, clinic director and registered osteopath James Gill has put together a short overview of the services provided and how they can help you. Osteopathy Do you suffer with aches and pain such as back pain, sciatica or have you picked up a sports injury? If so an osteopath can help get you back on track. Osteopathy is a medical manual therapy, similar to physiotherapy, which focuses on the muscles, bones and joints of the whole body. Osteopaths can help with conditions such as: • Sports injuries • Neck and back pain • Poor posture • Sciatica & Lumbago • Muscle spasms • Headaches & Migraines

• Aches and pains • Joint pains including hip & knee pain • Frozen shoulder & tennis elbow • Fibromyalgia • Cramps & Digestive problems • Arthritis & more

Massage Massage can help to reduce everyday anxiety and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and aiding sleep. The most popular massages are sports & deep tissue massage. Our highly skilled massage therapists provide tailored treatments depending on individual needs and goals. For more holistic treatments Bodytonic clinic provides: • Aromatherapy massage • Manual lymphatic drainage • Hot stone massage

• Indian head massage • Reflexology • Pregnancy massage

Foot Health & Podiatry This winter Bodytonic clinic has introduced foot health and podiatry treatments to help with conditions such as cracked heels, corns & calluses, ingrown toenails and verruca. Foot health treatments are also beneficial for general foot care and are popular treatments for diabetics who have regular diabetic foot care assessments and treatments. We often forget to look after our feet despite standing on them all day, so maintaining your foot health is vital to staying active and in regular activity. The team at Bodytonic clinic offer free discovery consultations for osteopathy, 1:1 Pilates and foot health assessments. If you would like to receive further advice and you would like to visit the clinic and the team, then these 15 minute appointments are a perfect opportunity to discover more about your health and wellbeing.

Anyone of any age can benefit from osteopathy and you don’t have to been in pain or discomfort to have treatment from one of our registered osteopaths. It is becoming more and more popular for individuals to maintain their health and movement, to ward off the stresses and strains of everyday life. Our osteopaths are registered with all insurance companies including AXA PPP and BUPA and in addition provide medical acupuncture; taping and Pilates rehab as part of their treatments.

Bodytonic clinic 10-11 Dock Offices London, SE16 2XU 0203 6060 490


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