A SOUTH EAST LONDON MAGAZINE www.thetransmitter.co.uk
ISSUE 40 | SUMMER 2016
Vive La Palace! Festivals, Fizz and Summer Frolics
Disclaimer The views expressed by contributors are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect this magazine’s editorial policy or the views of any employee of Transmission Publications. So there.
Editor Andy Pontin Sub-Editor Annette Prosser Designer Simon Sharville Images
James Balston Tania Hurt-Newton Jackie King Nik Strangelove Contributors Justine Crow Mike Fairbrass Martin Frelford Louise Heywood Jonathan Main Howard Male Melanie Reeve Michael Wagg Sue Williams Printed by Cantate Communications Published by Transmission Publications PO Box 53556, London SE19 2TL thetransmitter.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org @thetransmitter
I'll be jiggered. Here we are all arrived up at our 40th issue, ain't that something. TBH we are all a bit knackered and have decided to take a minibreak until the big bumper Christmas issue, but please don't go off anywhere cos we'll be back and all. This here summer issue in your mitts is bursting at the seams and fizzing up (can you feel it?) with new Crystal Palace eateries and drinkeries and other très intéressant hyperlocal stuff, all penned and photographed by lads and lasses from the ‘hood. Enjoy!
Illustration by Tania Hurt-Newton
News & Events
WHAT A WAPA
You may have noticed that Bowyers Yard, just off Haynes Lane has a new and very colourful corner. Wapa Design & Art Gallery showcases the work of three Crystal Palace based creators – Asia Sek, Colin Bailey and local doodle man, Dylan – as well as being a venue for guest artists, such as Sharon Kaye, creator of the yard’s roaring dinosaur. Open Saturdays 10-4pm, all are welcome to come inside, enjoy the fun and check out the already infamous purple floor.
Ok so this one is a long way away, but something to flag up on the iPhone calendar nevertheless. STREAM – the South London Children’s Book Festival – returns for the third year on 5 November with a fantastic line up of authors and events for readers from nursery-school age to Young Adult. STREAM patron and former Children's Laureate, author Malorie Blackman OBE, headlines with her new book Chasing the Stars, which is a re-imagining of Shakespeare's Othello set in the future. In the year in which we celebrate Shakespeare's 400th, we also have Marcia Williams with Bravo, Mr Shakespeare! Other authors talking about their work include Ally Sherrick, Kathryn Harkup, Tamara Mcfarlane, Sophy Henn, MG Leonard, Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Natasha Farrant. Chances are these names will be familiar to the younger members of your household, and the list is growing all the time, so check the website for updates. Delicious sustenance will be available from West Norwood FEAST stallholders to keep minds and bodies fed throughout the day. Booking opens at the end of June so now’s the time for any of your literature-loving offspring to plan ahead for that crisp Guy Fawkes day in the autumn. All events are FREE. STREAM2016.co.uk
The transformation of the little park behind Sainsbury's since the Friends of Westow Park was created a few years back has been a joy to behold. But those volunteers now really need a helping hand with the beds. No particular gardening skills are needed as a bit of enthusiasm goes a long way. Every little helps! An hour or two to spare? Get in touch! facebook.com/WestowPark/ 4
OBITUARY : PETER STANLEY
The sad news that Peter Stanley has passed away has deprived Crystal Palace of one of its most colourful characters. I knew Peter for over 30 years and never found him anything less than passionate and enthusiastic about his local area and its history. When I first came across him he was a member of the Crystal Palace Foundation’s committee and regularly volunteered to run their events’ catering with his partner Jo. Peter worked hard to help raise the Foundation’s profile, always making himself available for duties others may have wished to avoid. Interested particularly in Crystal Palace and Penge, Peter was keen to pass his knowledge on, always personally supporting the efforts of others, especially the Foundation’s site work team in its various excavations around the park. After taking early retirement from his gardening job he began collecting then trading in historic images of the locality. Fairly basic to start with, the quality and range improved as Peter found his market. A regular at local history events, often in very colourful attire, he sold pictures and prints, adroitly converted to cards or calendars as the season demanded. Most will probably remember him in this guise, as will local businesses where he gave his custom and attempted to sell his wares. Often seen ‘holding court’ in the cafés, he appeared to be on at least nodding terms with most people. A lifelong supporter of Crystal Palace football club, Peter had renewed his season ticket a few years ago enthused by the upturn in the club’s fortunes. He could not attend this year’s FA cup final but I know he would have been proud and excited for his team whatever the outcome. No doubt had he been well he would have offered us all mementos of the game. In recent years Peter had been assisted by his brother, Ian. The amount of material they could bring to an event was impressive not least because neither owned a car and brought everything by public transport. Hopefully Ian will continue and maintain Peter’s work. The local history scene will not be the same without him, a man determined to enjoy life and the company of others. Martin Frelford Crystal Palace Foundation Trustee
Trading Places AT THE FIVE & DIME
Kirkdalers now have a local vintage emporium full of lovely things to pop in to. Tantalising changing window displays have kept locals intrigued whilst the interiors were being sorted during recent weeks, but now the doors are flung open. From clothing to curios, furniture to fabrics and haberdashery to hoes (for the garden, dears) Mabel’s Five & Dime have now launched their brand new shop. Previously in West Norwood, the new space opened in the middle of June. It’s jam-packed with stuff so go find some treasures. You’ll be able to give Mabel, the shop dog, a little tummy rub too.
Photo by James Balston
Mabel’s Five & Dime 100 Kirkdale SE26 4BG Thursday & Friday 10.30am-3.30pm, Saturdays 10am-4pm MabelsFiveandDime @Mabels5anddime
RUMOUR HAS IT
It’s a mill that never stops in SE19 but there are signs that, yes, Westow Street will soon be home to a Dog Grooming parlour (and let’s face it, our vast green spaces here in South London are very appealing to lovers of man’s best friend). The ‘will they-won’t they’ question of M&S opening up at least a food hall has not gone away (contained within the new Victory Place development) but it’s great news to Team Transmitter’s ears that that beauty & pharmacy chain that begins with S, is not a done deal. We have our fantastic Sefgrove Chemist (see page 8) for all our prescription, baby, cosmetic and beauty needs so no need all you big high street chains to move in & make our retail community just like every other retail community in the country. And here’s a little extra Transmitter shout out here to support your indies: use them or lose them people. 6
There can’t be many Crystal Palace residents who haven’t popped into Hollybush Stores one Saturday morning to buy that vital extra tin of eggshell, pack of Rawlplugs or swiss roll baking tin to aid them in their weekend task. But it came as a shock to find out that the hardware store has been there for nearly 30 years, serving the community’s household needs. But now Raj and Daxita Patel, owners of the business since the late 80s, have handed over the keys to someone new and their shopkeeping days have come to an end. Whatever the customer required, Raj knew just where to find it and could direct you to the relevant shelf with impressive accuracy. And it never mattered how big or small your purchase, he was always happy to answer questions, pass on advice or make a suggestion as to how the job in hand might be less arduous. Both he and Daxita will be missed. New owner of the business is Pritash Patel who we all know from the Post Office and health food shop Planta. He promises that although the interior will have a spruce-up and a bit of streamlining, the usual products we’re used to will stay for the foreseeable future. And no, the name ain’t gonna change. An improved shopfront will highlight the huge range of household items the shop sells and if there’s anything you’d particularly like to see on the shelves, pop in and let Pritash know. Hollybush Stores 24-28 Westow Street SE19 3AH
TABLE FOR FOUR(TEEN)
Photos by Jean Cazals
Foodies take note: THE new CP destination nosh pit is down at Antenna cafe where author, cook and erstwhile Transmitter food writer Rachel de Thample is curating a regular series of meals featuring the very best of the Crystal Palace market produce. The menu features a market-themed welcome drink followed by four fab courses, each themed by a market trader and their hero seasonal ingredients. Each week a market trader will join you to regale with their colourful stories (some of which may even be true), but a word of warning to the incurably shy â€“ there will be an interactive element to each meal ... The Market Table is for just 14 people (ÂŁ38 each) and booking (via Eventbrite) is essential. If you have any special dietary requests, just email rachel@ racheldethample.com and the menu will be tailored to suit your needs. Upcoming dinners 7.30pm on Saturday 2 July & Saturday 23 July racheldethample.com
Main photo by James Balston jamesbalston.com
Family Pharmaceuticals The success of Sefgrove Chemist is plain to see: a family-run business which celebrated its 40th birthday in May and plans to serve its community for decades to come e’re often pointing readers to the new rose in town – a cool cafe, a must-visit market – and perhaps there is a tendency to not bang the drum quite so loudly for the businesses that really make a community what it is. Alongside all the newbies stands a flourishing family-run firm: innovative since day one, exemplary in its commitment to serve the entire community and – some may say an unusual thing in this day and age – actively caring towards its customers. It was on 5 May 1976 that Kirit (pictured) and Daksha Patel opened up Sefgrove Chemist. Married only a few months’ earlier, the first years of the shop were not easy. But those early heady days, for marriage and business alike, were just the start and their decision to create a community pharmacy proved to be the right one for them and a fortunate one for those living in the area. The forty years which followed were recently celebrated when Daksha opened the shop doors – this time on 5 May 2016 and with daughter Shinali – to welcome in customers past and present and to share memories. Although Kirit sadly passed away in 2013, his presence was everywhere that day as people remembered this attentive man who, with kind laughter and professional warmth, had helped ordinary families with their sometimes ordinary, sometimes extraordinary, illnesses and difficulties for so many years.
People also remembered Shinali and brother Shilen (who now owns pharmacies in Balham, Tooting and Cranleigh) running around the shop as children. When both were teens their father stressed how important it was for them to experience other parts of the country, encouraging Shinali to first study for a Pharmacy degree in Liverpool at John Moores University, then to work as a locum throughout the UK for over 5 years. In 2008 Shinali returned to Sefgrove to work alongside her mother as Kirit had become unwell. This ability to understand different lifestyles, nurtured in her by her father, has stood Shinali in good stead ever since: it is this level of experience and support Sefgrove customers have come in search of in times of need. But these days running your own chemists is not so straightforward. With the government sending out cold, harsh emails announcing major cuts in the pharmacy sector and then responding coolly to the 1.8m signatures of those who complained about it, someone needs to start banging the drum a little louder. Sefgrove, like many good independent pharmacies, provides endless services (including flu vaccinations, free vitamin drops to the under 5s, stop smoking schemes, travel clinic and meningitis vaccinations to name but a few). All demand commitment from Shinali and her staff.
It’s not all about prescriptions at Sefgrove. In the 1970s Daksha was the one to skilfully select the beauty & skincare products for the shelves and that hasn’t changed. She brought glamorous brands Vichy and Maybelline New York to SE19 back then and has continued to keep up the standard ever since. Amongst other brands you can find products by Bioderma, L’Oreal, La Roche-Posay and Burt’s Bees as well as scents by Chloe, Dolce & Gabbana and Marc Jacobs in the perfumery. The range of baby goods is impressive from Avent and Oilatum to Tommee Tippee, and there’s excellent make-up too – the Maybelline range continues along with L'Oreal and London favourite Rimmel. Celebrating, commemorating and remembering the last 40 years on that recent day in May was a great reminder to Shinali and her family – and to us too – that thoughtful concern, sensitivity and attention, not only ‘customer service’, is something so important to cherish. Sometimes a business you really need actually does go that extra mile. Kirit would be proud to see that vital love and care for the community is continuing Sefgrove Chemist 3-5 Westow Hill SE19 1TQ Monday-Saturday 9am-6.30pm (6pm Saturday) Sefgrove Chemist 9
tzruns.com Photo by
Crystal Palace businessman, Glen Keegan, has just run his 100th marathon and has a dedication to make: ‘This 100 Club medal is for all my wonderful clients, colleagues and family, who’ve ribbed and supported me in equal measure over the past 12 years of running. Without them, I wouldn’t have made it through all the hard yards.’
DOING THE HARD YARDS f you’re up and about early enough, you might see Glen running into work at Words & Pictures, the creative design and print business in Stoney Lane he has owned and managed for the past 20 years. The dawn pavement pounding is part of a punishing up-to-50miles-a-week training schedule. ‘It has to fit around a lot of other demands – I’ve got three daughters to look after and a busy business to run,’ he says. ‘My wife works shifts as a midwife and it’s usually me in the kitchen of an evening, so I do a lot of my running very early.’ The marathon madness began at the age of 40. A dream Glen had always had, he knew it was now or never. After some serious training he ran his first marathon in Dublin in 2004. Glen acknowledges that a mid-life crisis may have created the initial urge to run, but after the first one, he was hooked: ‘Next thing I knew I’d completed 10 marathons and haven’t stopped since.’ Longer distances then started to appeal (like nonstop from Birmingham to London, even across the Namibian Desert). At Tooting Bec track Glen clocked up 110+ miles during a 24-hr ‘ultra run’, his dad supplying drinks and yoghurts to keep energy levels up. After that one ‘it was two weeks before I could get my trainers back on again …’. At the end of May, Glen joined the elite 100 Marathon Club after completing the Kent Road Runner Marathon. Just like the first time, his wife and daughters were there to cheer him over the line. So, is that it now? Er, no. ‘I run with people in their 70s, 80s and 90s. There’s a great feeling of camaraderie and I want to be part of
that for as long as I can,’ says Glen. ‘Every marathon there are people running the 26 miles for the first time. The look on their faces at the end is still a thrill. Anyone can do it, you just need to believe.’ Words & Pictures has been in Crystal Palace since 1981, initially in Church Road, then Westow Street, before moving to Stoney Lane in 2014. Clients include big names like Penguin and Random House: chances are that book advert you saw recently was designed by Glen and his team. As well as creating business cards and stationery for big cheese clients, Words & Pictures also serves us locals and is very much at the heart of Crystal Palace’s creative and business community, providing much of the artwork for the annual Crystal Palace festival. Turns out running a business and running a marathon have a lot in common: tough times are always hard but knowing that you’re surrounded by a great team is what gets you through. ‘We have a laugh, we keep each other going,’ smiles Glen. Of course design and print has been revolutionised since the early 80s (remember Letraset, people?) and there’s a world of possibility in the industry now everything is digital. ‘Crystal Palace too has been transformed,’ says Glen, ‘and with rents rising it can be a struggle for local businesses. But there’s a real buzz here, and we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.’ Words & Pictures Ltd 8 Stoney Lane SE19 3BD wordsandpictures.co.uk
Photos by James Balston jamesbalston.com
DALHOUSIE ell, just where to start? One minute the dashing Derek Taylor (right) is living in downtown Toronto organising events for American Express or singing along to Gladys Knight at a midnight baking session … the next here he is in SE19, charming the pants off everyone and promoting the delights of polenta to anyone who’ll listen. It really is all about the cake for Dalhousie (pr. dalHOW-zee, named in honour of Derek’s last Canadian address). His undoubted favourite is an old-fashioned chocolate cake but subtle twists a-plenty can be found in the glass cabinet (pecan fans, check out the brownies). But this is no place for the ubiquitous rose-covered tea set: with a welcome breath of fresh Canada air Derek has brought us sleek, neat, white, ergonomically-designed tableware in a sleek, neat, white, Elle Deco setting. Think Instagram. Think Pinterest. In fact, think of when you’ll next want to treat your best friend to a really nice calm cuppa with a slice of Victoria Sandwich as This Is The Place to take them. Over two floors, Dalhousie caters for two kinds of cakey experience. Downstairs – spacious and light thanks to its huge front window – is simple with its pale floor, marble tables and mix of banquettes and aluminium chairs. Open and uncluttered, the architectural drawings on the walls add to its industrial feel. Upstairs is a bit less like other coffee shops in Crystal Palace. The split-level first floor features an ontrend pale grey décor, open brickwork, upright radiators, metalwork stairways and a polished wood floor. Steel chairs continue the industrial theme but alongside them
you will find cosy wing armchairs and leather sofas, all laid out in rather more homely style. It’s calling out to you … Come on over! Sit down! Relax! Derek will tell you himself that the concept of slowing down, taking time out and treating yourself to something supremely delicious is Dalhousie’s raison d’etre. Ever since childhood food has meant a sharing of love and hearing him recall memories of arriving home with his two brothers to hear country music blaring out from the radio in the kitchen – ‘we knew then, mum was home, and she was cooking’ – is a delight. A baker for as long as he can remember, all the recipes Derek uses at Dalhousie are third generation, passed down from his grandmother. His best memories are about family meals and friends’ celebrations, so starting up his own cake business feels the ultimate dream come true. Yes there’s great coffee (via Union Roastery) and superior tea (Jing’s), yes ingredients have been carefully researched (Marriage’s Flour, Wilkins Tiptree Jam, Bread Factory sourdoughs, Northiam Dairy milk) and yes, you can have a glass of Digby Fine English Sparkling Wine with your gateau if you so choose. And one more thing: if you would like Derek to make you a whole cake for a special occasion he most definitely will. All you have to do is ask. Share a cake, share the love Dalhousie 1 Westow Street SE19 3RY Monday to Saturday 8am-6pm, Sunday 10am-6pm dalhousie.london 14
The Great Palacian FizzOff Justine Crow tries out two new bars on the Triangle,
both ideal for a sneaky after-work glass of fizz
e have had two new epicurean distractions open on the Triangle in the last few weeks and in the interests of accurate scientific research The Transmitter has put on its scrubs and conducted some of the very best evaluation tests on your behalf from the top of the beverage menu. Ultimately, the Fizz Off (as it was referred to by our experts) turned into Pop versus Posh. First the Pop. And there is lots of it at The French House: on the television above the bar in black and white as 60s stars of the French hit parade get groovy, on display with rows of vintage-labelled 45s and in our glasses courtesy of a Crémant d’Alsace, Mayerling Brut. The dainty bubbles, straw hues and refreshing bounce were not dissimilar to the swinging jeunes yé-yéing on the screen. An accompaniment of olives was provided at our request even though they weren’t on the menu and we whiled away a pleasant afternoon nursing our inner Jane Birkins and trying out the lingo on the staff. They passed. They would, being French and all. Audrey O’Neill is proud of her Alsatian roots and hopes that, as well as the food, the far-out cocktails (named after Sylvie Vartan, Francoise Hardie and naughty old Serge himself) reflect the sense of playfulness characteristic of a fondly-remembered Gallic cultural episode. Some might venture that it’s a shame they changed the record … Regional specialities include choucroute and tarte flambées along with many other well-known loved French dishes (and one not loved by all, which may just produce un petit backlash). 16
For the Posh, we took an evening window seat on Church Road at The Wine Bar at Crystal Palace Market. Until recently, the space was given over to a fishmongers and, deriving their inspiration from its previous retail life, Fabien Joly and his team provide a candle-lit and cultivated atmosphere amidst the tiles and utilitarian kitchen chic. There’s a range of spots to relax in, from breakfast bar to intimate, or you can sit Sheekey’s supper-style at the bar and indulge in the enticing offers such as a dozen oysters and two glasses of champagne for £32. There is even a choice of the revered shellfish that ranges from the brinier rock oyster to the refined classic Zeeland flat. With charcuterie and cheese on the menu as well as an excellent wine list, we were surprised at the affordability of such presumed luxury and the Prosecco Galanti Spumante we sipped was matchless – a pale, creamy treat and really good value. Good job we were on our best behaviour. So here you have the results of our stringent examination. If you fancy the border valleys mixed with a touch of St Tropez this summer, you’ll certainly dig the vibe at Audrey’s convivial effervescent emporium. If decorum and polish is more your designer bag, then Fabien’s cool wine bar has a sophisticated delectation suitable for the discerning grown-up. Santé! thefrenchhouse.co.uk thecrystalpalacemarket.com
us s r e V
Crystal Palace Festival
s the annual Crystal Palace Festival has grown into a humungous event over the last few years, the organisers felt they needed to regroup and are taking a year out to plan for its future. It will be the summer of 2017 in the blink of an eye, dear reader, so worry not. But in the meantime, SE19 just would not be SE19 if a bunch of traders and residents didn’t get together to Make Something Happen in the absence of our regular summer highlight. So get yourselves ready for the Crystal Palace Triangle Festival on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 June. As the name suggests, most of the action will take place at venues on the Triangle: Westow Hill, Church Road and Westow Street. Music rules of course and there’ll be plenty of it about with DJs or live music at the pubs and bars (and outside Bambino, natch). The Grape & Grain will host a Rock’n’Roll All-Dayer (featuring a charity dance-off) and Hot Jazz; The Alma will have a garden stage (with accompanying barbecue); and The Royal Albert will entertain with Digitalsoul + DJ legend Paul Trouble Anderson (plus alfresco dining thanks to #FISH). Add to this kids’ entertainers, face painters and more popping up
throughout our brilliant independent Crystal Palace caffs and restaurants, shops putting on events and offering special deals, it’s kinda like not a good time to be driving down to Dorset for the weekend. Throughout the two-day event, the festival will be raising funds towards the restoration of St John’s Church in Auckland Road. A 10-minute stroll from the Triangle, St John’s will be hosting a tribute to David Bowie on the Saturday with a film screening and media presentation inside the church. Stalls and a children’s area in the grounds outside (bouncy castle alert!) will add to the fun. In keeping with the spirit of Crystal Palace and festivals past, nobody really knows what exactly will be happening until the weekend itself. So find out from your favourite pubs & eateries, look out for posters, check the local social media, and, when the day arrives, just go see what joys and delights you can find Crystal Palace Triangle Festival Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 June Midday til late crystalpalacefestival.co.uk The Crystal Palace Triangle Festival 2016
Sydenham Arts Festival T
he Sydenham Arts Summer Festival takes place 1-10 July. Hot on the lauded heels of the Spring Festival of Music in April (launched for the first time this year by Sydenham Arts and highlighted in the national press) this 10-day event aims ‘to advance the arts for the benefit of all’ and will embrace multi-disciplines. Read on, the lineup is tempting. For a start, any budding Keats, Plaths or Rosens, hear this: poetry will lie at the heart of the festival, with an energetic campaign to make Sydenham known as the UK’s first Poetry Town. Poetry Town began last year with a simple weekly poem offered by the Kirkdale Bookshop. Hugely popular with residents and visitors, it has now grown into a partnership with Sydenham Arts. Weekly poems will be displayed – in doctors’ surgeries, cafés, banks, at the bus stop, at the station – filling SE26 with verses by famous poets and locals of all ages. ‘Poetry has the power to reach people at a profound level and articulate experiences in ways that everyday speech and prose cannot,’ says Helen Goward, festival director. The SE26 festivals have a successful track record of presenting poetry and the children’s Poetry Treasure Hunt will ensure all ages can participate. No stranger to the beauty and power of words, songwriter Michele Stodart (pictured above) will be performing alongside her brother Romeo (yes, they of The Magic Numbers) and Ren Harvieu at St Bartholomew’s Church on the evening of 9 July. Michele’s second solo album, Pieces, is due for release the previous day. An imaginative contribution to the nationwide WW1 centenary commemorations will take the form of 20
a Great War Classroom. The recreation, suitable for young and old, will offer visitors an immersive experience of the effect of the conflict on classrooms in this part of London. Other highlights include a Comedy Festival and the 7th visit to the Sydenham Arts Festival by 5-piece band Balalaika, Russian and Jewish music specialists, described by one local as offering ‘dangerously high levels of enjoyment.’ Look out too for more fantastic live music at the Devonshire Road Folk Festival. SE26 is bristling with visual artists, and this summer the Sydenham Artists’ Trail will take place on the weekends of 2/3 and 9/10 July as part of the festivities. Participating artists include Anna Lovely, who trained at Camberwell College of Art and the Royal College of Art, and opened a local gallery in 2014; glass artist Pippa Stacey who trained at Central St Martins and artist Jacqueline Pennell who will present site-specific works at Dacres Wood Nature Reserve. An army of enthusiastic volunteers is what makes any community festival really work, but Sydenham Arts are lucky to also have the generous support of Arts Council England, the Big Lottery Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Lewisham Council, Property World and many private sponsors. All the usual social media places will have the latest updates and you’ll find brochures in Sydenham stores and eateries which list all the festival’s performing and visual arts. sydenhamarts.co.uk @sydartsfest @SydenhamArts
Penge Festival B
y the time this Transmitter summer issue is on the streets, the Penge Festival will have been in full swing for a couple of weeks but there’s still time to catch the closing weekend which promises to be a fitting climax to all the festivities. The theme of this annual event organised by Penge Partners dream team Wendie Roche and Chris O’Shaughnessy (with massive support from other volunteers and local businesses in particular Rob Harris, Manager of the Bridge House Theatre) is Celebrating Heritage. Along with local history walks and talks, outdoor and indoor activities for children and families, open days, music, comedy, drama, dance, the Tour de Penge and the Grand Fete, one-time SE20 residents actor Ira Aldridge and poet Walter de la Mare are celebrated. Penge Library hosts Presenting Ira Aldridge, an exhibition in which eight gifted local artists respond to Ira’s story, until the end of June. There’s still plenty to choose from during the closing weekend – Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 June – so be quick and get down to the Penge Art Trail where 30 artists are opening their homes or studios (to aid your cultural meandering download a map at www. pengetouristboard.co.uk or pick one up from Penge Library, Designer Drapes or Solitaire). In addition there are exhibitions in various cafés and pubs until the end of June and don’t forget that if you see something you like, much of the art on show is for sale: an opportunity to buy something new, exciting and locally-produced. On the Sunday you can go bargain-hunting at the same time as the Penge and Anerley Jumble Trail takes place from 11am til 4pm. Lots and lots of households will be setting up shop in front of their homes and, yes, there’s a map for this too (www.jumbletrail.com/event/ SE20june26). Go find some hitherto hidden treasures! Other closing weekend highlights include comedy, satire and catchy tunes from Sally Ironmonger and her Band at the Bridge House Theatre on Friday 24 June (tickets at www.bhtheatre.com); live music from Clause IV in the Side Bar of the Crooked Billet on Saturday 25 June and, the official closing event of the festival, a music evening at the Bridge House Tavern from 7.30pm on Sunday 26 June
South Norwood Festival T
he main focus of the South Norwood Community Festival (SNCF) is undoubtedly the free family day at South Norwood Recreation Ground, just a few minutes’ walk from Norwood Junction Station, on Sunday 10 July. Here you’ll find a fun fair, music of all kinds, food of every description as well as a varied schedule of events. Many local bands will be performing on the main stage, including SNCF stalwarts Ruby Red, Ten Tonne Ska, Random Acts, Rock Pixies and Stone Blind. Expect a kids’ zone, a performance area, arts & craft stalls and, of course, a beer tent (serving real ale from the Hogs Back Brewery, cider & wine). This is a family event and there are regulations regarding dogs and alcohol, so have a quick peek at the website for details. In the lead-up to the big day, other events (some you’ll need to buy tickets for) are dotted around the South Norwood area including live music outside Yeha Noha Café between 11am-9pm on Sat 2 July and Sat 9 July; Edge Ensemble play at the SNCC (10 South Norwood Hill) at 8pm on Tues 5 July; Stanley’s Film Club at Stanley Halls (12 Norwood Hill) at 8pm on Wed 6 July; and comedy with Holly Burn and Eleanor Tiernan at The Gold Coast, Portland Road at 8pm on Thurs 7 July southnorwood.net 21
Bethlem Justine Crow visits a corner of nearby Kent and compares
the shocking cruelty of the past with a contemporary compassion and new understanding of mental health
Photos by © Bethlem Museum of the Mind
he swooping downward trajectory of Anerley Hill is like a free fairground ride down through Victorian South London. But just past the ribbon of Croydon Canal and just before Beckenham Crem (where WG Grace bats at his perennial crease) the postcode slips from sooty SE20 to leafy BR. Lying ahead – confidently pebbledashed and mock-Tudored – is a different era. Here, less than fifteen minutes from Upper Norwood, deeper into hushed suburbia, passing gabled Sunday carvery pubs and through a cloister of chestnuts along the evocatively named Monks Orchard road, the humble gateway to one of South London’s most discreet medical institutions appears. A flash of NHS blue signage delivers a visual jolt beneath the green canopy. It wasn’t always this modest. In the public view at least Bethlem Royal Hospital has had an hysterical reputation, fraught with terrifying narrative and grotesque imagery. Once infamously sited at the corner now occupied by the Imperial War Museum – imagine that taciturn baroque exterior being the very last thing you saw before being dragged to the end of your days – it eventually came to this pastoral estate in West Wickham in the 20s. Its mainly art deco cottage buildings are testament to a more enlightened approach to mental illness that has continued to evolve. In 1997 the Museum of the Mind was founded, re-launching in the hospital’s exemplary main building in 2015. The frankly stunning central staircase cleaves effortlessly upwards behind the vast stone memorabilia salvaged from the institution’s previous less savoury incarnation: twin statues – entitled
Raving and Melancholy Madness from Bedlam’s 17thcentury entrance – writhe with gigantic internal agony in the lobby. Above, the clean and streamlined aesthetics of the very best deco design draw the visitor inward, with calm marble hues and open ceiling reminiscent of another circular masterpiece of the era in South London, the lounge at Eltham Palace. Instantly engrossing, the exhibition’s most precious asset is the testimonies of the psychiatric patients over the centuries to the present, as witnessed in writing and painting. Their commentaries are both distressing and compelling, officially validated in the open registers that are like macabre visitors’ books inscribed in the elegant copperplate of the day. The entries combine the mundane with the startling: ‘bodily condition’ of a new arrival – healthy; ‘form of disorder’ – maniacal. Another log has a poignant entry briskly noting death on discharge from ‘exhaustion following puerperal mania’ – postpartum infection, sepsis after childbirth. In a brilliantly conceived architectural extension, with an inspired drop window that completely frames a whole tree that must be more than fifty feet tall, are the recordings of the accounts of those treated under the Mental Health Act, from a ‘patient’ in 1897 to a ‘service user’ in 2008. All the while the listener is aware of a robust section of padded panel and accompanying slotted door, displayed nearby, that was in use not so very long ago. There are many other ghastly pieces on display such as a straitjacket or ‘strong dress’ from the 19th century, plus a selection of evil restraints for ankles and wrists, a ‘belt and braces’ contraption and the brutal ‘female 25
Photo by © Bethlem Museum of the Mind
collar’. Deceptively jolly-looking discovery aids – such as the ‘Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children’ complete with its parlour game-style box – all relay history’s determination to nail the four humours of the body. There’s even a machine with Bakelite knobs and switches that could be straight out of a scene from Disney’s most disturbing movie ever, Return to Oz, sinisterly-labelled the ‘Improved Electric Machine for Nervous Diseases’. Indeed, the notion of any physical intervention using this array of archaic instruments is likely to test even the most phlegmatic and sanguine among us. There is art everywhere too, visual depiction seemingly a most effective route to therapy. In Louis Wain’s work, the schizophrenia that dogged the famous illustrator of anthropomorphised cats is thrillingly evident, even to a lay observer; the vivid, feline portraits sporting devious technicolour grins would surely send his most ardent Victorian of greetings-card correspondents fluttering for the smelling salts. There is William Kurelek’s extraordinary 1955 detail of his condition – a striking cross-section of the contents of his mind in gouache – art by Anna Kavan the novelist and also by celebrated Bedlam inmate Richard Dadd, tormented creator of The Fairy Feller’s MasterStroke. In an adjacent space, a modern dining room tableau featuring chairs fashioned from barbed wire demonstrates the breadth of affliction that is covered both here at the museum and in the daily reality of the institution that surrounds it. As well as art, there are letters from patients and relatives, some even in gratitude for their treatment. There are photos, too, of pantos and of fancy dress 26
balls, allegorical perhaps to the indiscriminate nature of psychiatric disorder: it is impossible to discern the staff from the sick in their absurd costumes. Alongside such perplexion and sadness, there is also an essence of kindness. Incredibly, this small archive, a repository of voices within a larger human repository, has been shortlisted for the Museum of the Year 2016 and is up against some intimidating contenders including the behemoth V&A (gulp) and Bristol’s handsome Arnolfini, with the winner announced in July. It deserves the accolade. Meanwhile beyond the walls, the museum fronts 240 acres of grand trees, rescued orchards, rare bluebell colonies and flamboyant shrubs criss-crossed by ‘cow paths’ and trails. Set against the backdrop of a grim past, the impression of Bethlem now is one of benevolence and calm, and its powerful, intelligent little museum reflects changing attitudes towards mental health and the continuing efforts to treat those who suffer. When I head out through the gates and glance back at the proud, iconic NHS logo, I can’t help but think that for those who would have us go backwards – and they know who they are – there is an archaic and cruel steel contraption on display inside, with their name on it Museum of the Mind Monks Orchard Rd Beckenham BR3 3BX Open to the public Wednesday-Friday 10am-5pm and every first & last Saturday of the month museumofthemind.org.uk bethlemgallery.com
Help your body to prepare and recover
THROUGH PREGNANCY & BEYOND
Mathilde Theill, Training Points Mathilde is Principal Owner of Training Points, where many clients need help with postnatal recovery. As a mother herself, she understands first-hand the demands of parenthood and fluctuating energy levels. Labour pushes women's bodies to tremendous levels: loose joints and stomach muscles need to be gently encouraged back together. Many women immediately begin sit ups and crunches, which can actually cause harm by causing adrenal fatigue and burnout. Instead, focus on core and overall strength. To help your body recover from diastasis recti, combine abdominal massages with deep core workouts, which will bring stomach muscles together without scarring tissue.
With the vast array of buggy-friendly coffee shops, sing-alongs and classes in anything from music to sign language, new mothers in Crystal Palace have a busier social life than ever before. But the demands of pregnancy and early motherhood can make maintaining a healthy diet and sleep routine a real challenge. Here, four women who work in Coopers Yard (set back from Westow Street) share their tips on how to look and feel your best.
Jackie King, portrait photographer Babies grow so rapidly that it’s easy to miss the multitude of changes which occur every day. Here, Jackie King, resident portrait photographer, shares her tips on why and when to take photos. The best time to photograph your bump is between 28 and 32 weeks, when morning sickness is hopefully a thing of the past. As babies change so quickly, it’s best to photograph your new arrival within 14 days to capture the ‘new born’ look. Capturing your baby bump and first few moments as new parents is truly magical. Getting a professional photographer involved means you’re in safe hands, and can concentrate on looking your best. It’s so important to spend time together, capturing the little details.
Savour the moment
Get back to work (or even just to Sainsbury’s) looking fab Louise Heywood, hair and make-up artist Life with a baby can change a once-thorough beauty regime into a hurried scrub with a flannel. Artist Louise provides make-up lessons in her studio and is on hand to provide tips on how to look and feel great when time is of the essence. When maternity leave ends and a return to work is imminent, women need a make-up routine that is quick and easy to help give them the confidence to get back into the world of work. Use a tinted moisturiser followed by full-coverage under-eye concealer. Cream eyeshadow sticks and blush enhance skin’s natural glow and are quick to apply. Curling lashes before mascara application helps to make you look – and feel – awake. Finish off with lip balm and a little powder on the T zone.
Help baby to eat and sleep well Jayne Russell, baby massage and weaning Jayne runs a weekly baby massage class and weaning talks, as well as owning a multi-award winning, certified organic skincare range NOMNOM. Here, she shares her wisdom on baby massage. The benefits of baby massage are myriad. Sessions can provide a wonderful opportunity to meet other mums (and sometimes dads) and learn a valuable skill. It can also help to ease colic, wind and constipation, encourage better sleeping patterns and bonding. Attending a weaning talk prepares parents for this milestone in their baby’s life, covering the when, what and how of both spoon feeding and baby-led. Talks can include tips to encourage healthy eating, prevent fussiness and reduce the potential for allergies and intolerances. 30
Poppy is 30 weeks pregnant and works at Willie Smarts Hair Emporium. She regularly goes round the corner to Coopers Yard for Pregnancy Pilates, Yoga and Pregnancy Massage. Poppy was keen to use only natural and organic cosmetics, so Louise used Dr Hauschka Foundation, Cover Stick, Kajal Eyeliner in 04 and Bronzing Powder (all available locally at Planta Health Store) and Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Sweet Violet (available locally at Northwood Clinic). nomnomskincare.com 2prepare.co.uk trainingpoints.co.uk jackieking.com louiseheywood.com
Dino Island is Nik Strangelove’s first exhibition in Crystal Palace and, in a new collection of photographs, celebrates the dinosaurs created in 1854 as part of the Crystal Palace Exhibition. These prehistoric park-dwelling friends are in danger of crumbling into extinction all over again; working in partnership with the Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs Nik gained exclusive access to the island in a bid to help with fundraising. A percentage of all photographic sales will go towards the dino conservation fund. Born in London Nik grew up in Oman and Singapore and began taking photographs when he was 16. Since then he has won the Guardian/NUS Student Photographer of the Year award (1994), worked freelance specialising in portraiture and reportage (and had some of his work purchased by the National Portrait Gallery) and most recently won a TOWRY Award in the National Open Art Competition (2013). After 15 years in Cornwall, last year Nik moved back to the big bad city and now lives in Crystal Palace. A fan of analogue equipment he processes all his own work using traditional techniques: all photographs in this exhibition were shot on black & white film and hand-printed by Nik in his darkroom You can donate to the dino fund at
Photos by Nik Strangelove nikstrangelove.com
Dino Island exhibition Domali Café 38 Westow Street SE19 3AH Until 31 July nikstrangelove.com @NikStrangelove Strangelove14 33
Hawkins’ Bizarre (1): Vince & the Time Trial by Michael Wagg
Vince had a sleepless night, he was trying to work out how many seconds there are in nine minutes, his maths isn’t great, he’s better working with his hands, fixing things like shoes or bent keys, the others often wake in the dark, splosh out into the middle and squeeze themselves into a blue pedalo, one each, then they do time trials, laps of the lower lake, trying their best to avoid sitting ducks, Vince likes to see the others having fun, but still he won’t go near a pedalo, the memory of water’s too raw; Vince came to Quaternary Island in nineteen seventy-eight, and the last thing he wants to do is get back on a boat, so he stays on dry land, with the younger Megaloceros, looking forward to the whirr of miniature racing cars on bank holidays, and sighs: There are just 540 seconds in nine minutes, thinks Vince, this is how close The Eagles came to lifting the Cup, as an Iguanodon comes tearing round the bend wearing a Jason Puncheon t-shirt. 34
Photos by James Balston jamesbalston.com
discovers that our new Turkish eaterie is anything but a turkey
t is the bookseller’s day off and as usual he is up at the shop, trapped behind the till. When I ask him what his plans are he mutters something about taking the train up to town if only he could get away. Sensing I need to employ an emergency offensive to extricate him from the counter, I produce my opening salvo: ‘Lunch?’ He hesitates, thoughts processing the prospect of queuing at a stall full of tourists at London Bridge to buy a pulled pork roll in an hour’s time. I reload: ‘Now?’ He’s still looking at the screen. I unleash the secret weapon: ‘Hummus?’ And that’s all it took. We had already experienced the whipped sesame condiment at the Triangle’s latest addition to SE19’s crack at world culinary domination and it didn’t take much persuading to get back round the corner and sample the special daytime menu. We even managed to wrench our eyeballs from Do South’s window display. We had gone there for dinner, the previous Friday, after several recommendations. Somewhat sceptical, however, of what lay beyond Blue Door Bicycles and the launderette (it’s fair to say that in recent times other food enterprises haven’t exactly caused a riot along that stretch of pavement) we certainly weren’t expecting to be greeted by such a fervent throng so evidently enjoying themselves. It seems they couldn’t resist the hummus either. That Friday night, the place was brimming with chatter and music and the occasional swishing sizzle
DEM from the charcoal grills over which guys in bandanas played numerous kebabs like percussionists in an orchestra. At the door the owner, Yuksel, was directing traffic with a clipboard while the rest of his staff zigzagged back and forth, good-naturedly tending to the 120 covers in their charge. That’s a heck of a lot of covers. We got thirsty just watching. So we ordered a couple of chilled Turkish Efes lagers. It has been a hundred years since me and the bookseller were in Turkey, in the days when its resorts were still only three storeys high, but we have very happy gourmet memories of the place. The dish of deep red ezme salad that had miraculously appeared in front of me at DEM that evening was pretty perfect and the crushed chillis, red onions, tomatoes and herby concoction poked fun at our docile British taste-buds. We’d ordered mixed hot and cold meze and suddenly our table was gridlocked with colours and flavours redolent of that trip back in the old days when both of us still looked good in bikinis. This particular evening there had also been some seriously sharp-elbowed competitive dipping – for the hummus, ispanakli (spinach with yoghurt), pureed aubergine, cacik (yoghurt, cucumber, mint, garlic) – with flatbreads that had been finished off on the grill. Thin slices of Turkish sausage were crisp and piquant, the salty halloumi had just the right external crunch and it was all perfectly matched with the zesty catch-all green tabule. There was kalamar too and dainty sigara
boregi – filo finger rolls filled with feta. The décor is Aegean canteen practical and as the paddles on the overhead fans continued churning, the people kept arriving, Yuksel greeting them like old friends. Customers sashayed through the seemingly endless dining room to their tables looking very pleased with themselves. I imagine we also looked fairly smug when the main courses landed. Lamb shish that was tender on the inside, firm on the out; spiced lamb kofta; juicy chicken shish. Each had an aromatic whiff of coals like a barbecue on the beach and each was served with vibrant salad, rice and yet more heavenly hummus. We had deliberately kept it simple but with wraps, quails and poussin, seafood and oven baked musakka on the menu, there were plenty of opportunities to be adventurous if the holiday mood prevailed. Turkish culinary culture prides itself on the freshness of its food and Yuksel knows what he is doing. Recently resident in Gipsy Hill, of Kurdish extraction, he has run successful restaurants in central London and Angel and he admits with a shy smile that he saw potential here in Crystal Palace. Not to mention the fantastic views. Tailoring business to fit busy weekends alongside quieter weekday trade is a challenge we retailers all face but his kitchen is more than capable and on our daytime return the following week we are shown a distilled, manageable lunch menu, as neat and tasty
as their perfect falafels, which is what I order. The two courses for less than a tenner midday deal is an appetising offer and clearly one that, along with ourselves, as we observed from our less frenetic daytime perch, even a couple of local beat coppers couldn’t resist. And you can’t ask for more than the approval of the long dipping arm of the law, eh? Dem 11 Central Hill SE19 1BG demrestaurant.co.uk
COSMETIC CHEMISTRY Beauty expert Louise Heywood
gives Sefgrove's Shinali McCusker her own mini make-up refurb to help celebrate 40 years of our fabulous independent family-run pharmacy hinali has great skin and gorgeous eyes and I knew I wanted to accentuate both by warming up her skin with a cream blush and going darker with her eyeshadow. I started with a little foundation in a shade that matched Shinali’s skintone (Rimmel Lasting Finish 25hr Foundation). Even if you want to warm up the skin, it’s best not to go darker with the foundation. Shinali usually only uses bronzer on her cheeks, no blush. But believe me if you use blush, bronzer and highlighter your cheekbones will come alive! I love using cream products on the cheeks as they leave a dewy glow and look more natural than powder blush, but make sure you use a brush so it’s not patchy. For Shinali I began with a warm coral shade (Rimmel Stay Blushed Liquid Cheek Tint in 004 Sun Kissed Cherry) and then a bright pink on the apple of cheeks (Maybelline Dream Touch Blush in 06 Berry).
With fingers blend a cream highlighter on to the top of the cheekbones (Rimmel Good to Glow in Soho Glow) and finish with a little powder bronzer under the cheekbones, as well as into the hairline of the forehead, temples and down the centre of the neck (Rimmel Natural Bronzer). For Shinali’s eyes, I chose a bronze shadow, keeping the darkness on the outer corners to elongate the eyes slightly (L’Oreal Color Riche L’Ombre Pure in 502 Quartz Fume) and lined the lash line with my favourite brown eyeliner (Maybelline Eyestudio Gel Eyeliner 24hr in 02 Brown). Finally, I used Shinali's favourite lipstick (Maybelline Color Elixir in Rose Redefined 710) with a little gloss over the top (Rimmel Oh My Gloss in Snog 330). All the products I used are long wearing, so Shinali can get through her busy working day without having to constantly reapply
Photos by Jackie King jackieking.com
Shinali Says I always thought – because of my dark circles – that I should use a pale pink eyeshadow to brighten up my eyes, but I love how the dark eyeshadow brightens them up much more. And this has transformed the way I think about blusher – I thought on darker skin a bronzer should be used and that pink was a no-no! The make-up looks natural and has given my skin a glow. I love it! All products available at Sefgrove Chemist 3-5 Westow Hill SE19 1TQ Louise Heywood provides One to One and small group lessons in her studio in Crystal Palace louiseheywood.com
ay and June are a feast for the senses for the gardener. A wet and warm spring has led this year to a fulsome explosion of foliage and colour. The roses are tremendous, throwing up statuesque branches of fresh colour. My cardoons have reached spectacular heights already and all around is bursting and budding. It is the season for a bit of blouse; the English cottage garden in all its wanton glory. Or, put a bit more prosaically, it’s time to put in the bedding plants. This year I have decided to mix up my container planting and try to inject a touch of pizazz. First off I’m using any item kicking round the garden as a possible flower receptacle. Chimney pots, buckets, wooden crates … once they’re overflowing with foliage and colour they will provide valuable height and shape. Also I am mixing a bit of vegetable-growing in with the flowers. Tomatoes, courgettes, pumpkins will all grow happily in pots in amongst the general mix and help to create that glorious jumble of contained chaos. A good quality compost is essential for container planting. It is worth investing in an organic product which is peat free. Peat dries out really quickly and doesn’t contain much goodness. John Innes produce various specialist soils for pots – all to be found at our own Secret Garden – and are worth spending the extra pennies on. When the flowering season is over, come October or November, the compost can be spread on the garden to enrich the beds and borders. It is also worth administering a good feed of fertiliser every couple of weeks as summer plants can be a greedy bunch. What to plant? There are some summer staples which are hard to ignore. I am a great lover of geraniums. They come in myriad forms: trailing, variegated, ivy-leafed, scented and in every colour from white to deepest purple. They will continue to flower right until the first frosts and are excellent doers in almost any setting. If they are hard pruned in the winter and stored in a greenhouse or very sheltered spot they will perform year on year like the hardiest perennial. Speaking of perennials the African lily (or agapanthus, pictured) works very well in containers. These exotic looking plants are surprisingly hardy and react very well to having limited root space. In fact being almost pot bound encourages them to throw up flowers far more successfully than in the open ground. The foliage is almost evergreen – only dying off with the frosts – and they can be purchased in white or light and dark blue. Another striking perennial is the salvia. This plant produces vivid bluey-purple spires throughout the summer and is loved by bees. It is a good candidate for planting on into the garden after one season where it will flourish year on year. For a touch of downward drapery there is of course the seasonal mainstay lobelia. One type is even named after good old Crystal Palace although there are other options, some of which will return if the winter’s not too harsh. Diascia is a semievergreen perennial which bears loose racemes of delicate flowers with names like Dark eyes, Twinkle and Ruby field. It flowers for month after month and reacts well to planting into the borders where it will proliferate year on year. I for one like a plant that you don’t have to throw away when the summer is over. Probably my Lincolnshire roots. Nicotiana (the tobacco plant) is a good choice for planting near to the house as it will throw off a heady scent in the evenings. Lavender is another contender. Likewise sweet peas grown through a wigwam of canes – a real cottage garden touch – will enhance your nasal experience. Almost anything can be grown in a pot: nasturtiums will grow in very poor soil and clamber in wanton fashion until the autumn; antirrhinum (the wonderful snapdragon) will spread unfettered as will petunias and verbena. There is a huge array of plants available at very reasonable prices at this time of the year and the more the merrier as far as I’m concerned. I have used some of my window boxes this year for tomatoes. I’m thinking a few bronze fennel wouldn’t go amiss in the others. So long as the plants are thoroughly watered during a hoped-for dry spell and a touch of feed is administered now and then anything goes. Let your imaginations run riot and hopefully your garden will too. Happy gardening
Sue Williams has wild and wonderful plans for this year’s summer bedding
Five books to read this summer recommended by Jonathan Main
rontown(s) – the s was lost over time – the football club founded in 1874 by bearded Victorian industrialists, that resides within both the novel Iron Towns by Anthony Cartwright (Serpents Tail £12.99) and the geographical location of the west Midlands, has never had much to celebrate. True there was once, a long time ago, an FA Cup final win at the old Crystal Palace. Between 1895-1914 the final was played at the Palace twenty times, with a record attendance of 120,028 for the 1913 game between Aston Villa and Sunderland. Irontown’s victory is somewhere in that twenty, remembered by ghosts and not many more. More recently there was a failed Championship playoff final, when their star player, Mark Falla, chose to try and chip the keeper with a last minute penalty, from which the opposition went straight to the other end and scored. If you are a Leicester City fan, this may have a certain resonance. Now the club are fighting to stay afloat at the bottom of the football league, the ground and the town is falling, and Mark Falla walks the streets, his boots in the bin. These days most people take him for a drunk. He isn’t one, but he befriends those in the town who are, as though he thinks he knows his place in the scheme of things. His old, estranged, friend and teammate Liam Corwen, the other local talent, the other young hopeful,
who was lined up beside him for that penalty kick, whispering in his ear, don’t try and chip it, has returned home from Finland to play one final season as club captain. He once played for England, for 26 seconds and, most people say, never got a touch of the ball – although, of course, Liam knows otherwise. Twenty years ago they were young footballers with the world at their feet, but somewhere it all went wrong and the fate of the Iron Towns themselves only seem to reflect that undoing – the industries that founded the towns and made those bearded men their fortunes long gone: had it happened overnight, not across forty years, there would be soldiers on the streets, helicopters to drop relief packages all the way up the valley. Instead it is quiet, moss and rust grow on factory gates. There is a long slow drift into silence. Iron Towns is a football novel with a proper sporting cliffhanger of an ending, but it is much more besides: in its use of myth and legend – and a gently heightened reality – it paints a picture of change that is both gradual and sudden. In Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain (Doubleday £12.99) playwright Barney Norris uses a crash in the centre of Salisbury between a scooter and a car, to explore the colliding of five lives across the town. Each of the five speak in their own voice: the electrifyingly cheeky fuck-up Rita the flower-seller; the timid sixteen
year old boy Sam with the dying father; the recently widowed man; the lonely army wife fearing for the life of her husband; and the young man working as a nightwatchman at Old Sarum. And some part of their lives has touched the other in some way. As Liam the security guard says: Stories weave into one another. Lives intertwine. And the result of tracing these patterns through the air is that you begin to know the air they are moving through a little better. This is a very fluent first novel, contentedly un-showy, and yet in its empathetic delineation of grief and loss, finally, very moving. Addlands by Tom Bullough (Granta £14.99) begins – a world and a lifetime away from our own present-day metropolitan concerns – with the birth of a son Oliver in 1941 to Idris and Etty, hill farmers on the Welsh borders. It traces Oliver’s life and that of the borderland landscape through seventy years, as the future in all its forms gradually arrives and the old ways recede. This is a beautifully-pitched slow ballad of a novel, the story of a barreling man and his mother.
It is a slim book but nevertheless one that requires, in places, a strong stomach. Ostensibly the story of a married woman who decides that she will no longer eat meat in a society where such a thing is still anathema. It is of course, about much more than that. Once read, it will stay with you for a long time. In A Walk in the Park (Jonathan Cape £18.99) Travis Elborough writes an erudite history of ‘a people’s institution’, a concept that the author explains is less to do with something that we might have thought had always existed, and – in many cases at least – more to do with entrepreneurial invention. One fact from this gloriously rigorous book: Joseph Paxton designed the park in Birkenhead that would in turn become the inspiration for Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux when they came to design and build Central Park in New York @BooksellerCrow
Any one of the three books above, and indeed all of them, should rightly be in the running for one of this year’s incoming book awards. One book that did win an prize is the south Korean novel, The Vegetarian by Han Kang translated by Deborah Smith (Granta £7.99) which recently won the Man Booker International Prize. 43
Melanie Reeve revisits BOB Wines,
now settled in their new Sydenham shop
BOB II hen I caught up with owner Kenrick Bush, he was busy planning a series of in-store tasting events. ‘We’re ideally placed for footfall from Sydenham rail station,’ he explained, ‘yet we’re finding lots of weekend visitors like to browse our shelves too, looking for something a little different.’ A well-chosen and impressive selection of English still and sparkling wines, along with BOB’s crowdpleasing range of craft beer, demonstrates their commitment to locallysourced products too. Savoury snacks include Serious Pig, produced in Peckham, and the shop shelving was installed by a Crystal Palace-based company. Kenrick is rightly proud of his treasure-trove of wines and recommends these for the coming months: ‘The Ramoro Pinot Grigio, an ‘orange wine’ due to extended skin contact. And the Savatiano, a dry, fruity white wine from Greece. Both of these are perfect for the summer. If you’re a red wine fan, this Cabernet Franc from the South of France would work well at this time of year; it has the softness of a Tuscan wine and is excellent value for money.’ Such was the success of the refillable bottle scheme at the Crystal Palace shop, that the scheme has been introduced at BOB Wines Sydenham. ‘Our wines on tap are really popular, and we rotate a selection of styles to keep things interesting.’ I sampled the dry, fruity rose which would work wonderfully with a selection of seasonal salads. So, it seems that BOB Wines are unstoppable: two stores, a team of knowledgeable and friendly staff, much locally-sourced produce and plenty to taste and discover
BOB Wines 29 Anerley Road SE19 2AS Unit 4 Sydenham Station Approach SE26 5EU BOB WINES Melanie Reeve Wine Alive 44
Melanie’s verdict on Kenrick’s choices Lunaria Ramoro Pinot Grigio 2014 Terre di Chieti IGT, Italy This organic and biodynamic ‘orange wine’ is not your average Pinot Grigio. A short period of skin contact with the pressed juice gives the wine a light coppery hue, more concentrated peach flavours and a slightly fuller mouthfeel. Pair with baked cod and roast chicken. Domaine Papagiannakos Savatiano Old Vines 2015 Markopoulo PGI, Greece Intensely fruity, dry white with bright citrus and tropical fruit notes of fresh pineapple, great with avocado and seafood dishes. (Read more at www.mostlyfood.co.uk) Domaine Mas Barrau Cabernet Franc 2015 Pays du Gard IGP, France Ripe, soft and juicy with aromas of red berry and dark plum. A hint of woody herbs and a touch of pungent spice make this a great match with roasted vegetable pasta or grilled steak.
Howard Male ruminates on the allure of human voices from Haiti, Brazil and France, before ending with an album of instrumentals as it arrogance or bravery that prompted the New York-born Haitian-American singersongwriter Leyla McCalla to take a handful of Langston Hughes’ poems and set them to music on her 2013 debut album Vari-Colored Songs? Poetry is designed to be heard against silence; it doesn’t need the flying buttresses of melody and harmony to make it leap, dive and shimmer. However, McCalla had loved the American literary giant’s work since she was a child, and fortunately that love shone through on what turned out to be a moving collection of poignant and haunting songs simply arranged around acoustic guitar, banjo, cello and violin. McCalla’s aesthetic remains largely the same on the follow-up, A Day For The Hunter, A Day For The Prey (Jazz Village Records). The title track grows from the agreeably physical sound of McCalla’s bow being rhythmically bounced off the strings of her cello. The end result sounds as timeless as any of the tradition Haitian songs she also chooses to cover here. Tom Wait’s regular sideman Marc Ribot drops by to delivery his standard zigzagging Cuban-tinged guitar solo on Peze Café, and last but not least there’s McCalla’s voice – a richlytimbred instrument that perfectly complements the woody rasp of her cello. It’s funny how much you can tell from a voice. McCalla is a young mother with an adoring husband and a rosy future ahead of her. By complete contrast, septuagenarian Brazilian icon Elza Soares’ growling booze-ravaged voice seems to contain within it every twist and turn of an exacting life. For Elza that life has included surviving an abusive marriage aged 12, the loss of a child and husband by the time she was 21, and the tears and triumphs of an on-off-on music career spanning more than half a century. For her 34th studio album The Woman at the End of the World (Mais Um Discos), Soares chose to work with some of Sao Paulo’s most respected avant-garde musicians, and the end result is an excitingly corrosive mix of rock and jazz with traditional samba. When she was asked by producer Guilherme Kastrup what she wanted the album to be about she replied: ‘Sex and blackness.’ Listening to this tense, funky, noisy and dark record makes one wonder if by blackness she was referring
to the colour of her skin or the colour of her mood. But either way this is a stunning piece of work that lyrically covers everything from the impending apocalypse to the death of a crack addict transvestite. Still keeping it tense, angry and anarchic, the young multi-ethnic London-based band Melt Yourself Down also deal in a genre-defying Molotov cocktail of punk, funk, contemporary jazz and galloping polyrhythms-aplenty. Their second album Last Evenings on Earth (Leaf) – another apocalyptic title – is all about the groove, and driving it home with a vengeance. That is until the groove self-implodes and we’re dragged down a free-jazz side street to have our wallet and passport stolen. Singing in French, English or simply chanting or screaming with in-the-moment abandonment, Kushal Gaya’s taut – sometimes near-hysterical – vocals find their nearest comparison in Fear of Music-era Byrne or Flowers of Romance-era Lydon. We certainly don’t find out much about him from his voice, as we do with McCalla and Soares, but it rides the storm created by his band mates, serving to crank up the tension and unease. If you’re old enough to remember Rip, Rig + Panic and Pigbag, that’s the kind of ballpark we’re in here. Anyway, enjoy. Or maybe I might tempt you with something a little mellower and more ambient? Back in January of this year we lost one of the greatest British songwriters and performers of the 20th century, David Bowie. Quick off the mark with a respectful and even challenging tribute was composer Jherek Bischoff with Strung Out in Heaven – a striking string quartet medley of half a dozen of DB’s songs. Bischoff’s second album Cistern (Leaf) doesn’t have any direct connection to this tribute but, having said that, this collection of atmospheric instrumental pieces, conceived in an empty two million gallon water tank, has its musical antecedence in the ambient tracks on Bowie’s Low and Heroes albums. It’s a haunting and suitably immersive listening experience in which the multi-instrumentalist makes maximum use of his talents in a minimalist context. Howard Male’s religious satire and murder mystery Etc Etc Amen is available from the Bookseller Crow 47
What’s on SO LAST CENTURY VINTAGE & RETRO FAIR
Venue 28, 28 Beckenham Road, Beckenham BR3 4LS (next to the Spa)
On Sunday 26 June the streets of SE20 will be lined with treasure for the second annual Penge and Anerley Jumble Trail, part of this year’s Penge Festival. Last year was a huge success, with over 140 stalls signing up, and this year looks set to be even bigger as entrepreneurial local residents sell all manner of things from their front gardens. Nearly new children’s clothes, toys, upcycled furniture, vintage clothing, jerk chicken – you name it, they’ve got it! There’ll also be a mini craft fair at the ever popular Goldsmiths Arms, a walking Street Art exhibition and a Battersea ‘ambassadog’ to meet. The Jumble Trail starts at 10am and finishes at 4pm, so why not make a day of it, and grab a pub lunch midway or tea and cake from someone’s stall? Treasure hunters from all over are very welcome. Maps are available online and at several pick up points along the way. jumbletrail.com/event/se20june26
Sunday 26 June 11am-5pm Over 40 stalls on two floors and outside selling retro treasures from the 30s to the 70s. Tea & cake stall upstairs, plus hot street food outside £2 entry (£1 with a flyer or if you like/follow us on Facebook or Twitter), children under 16 free solastcenturyfair.co.uk @solastc solastc
DULWICH PICTURE GALLERY Gallery Road, Dulwich SE21 7AD
EXHIBITIONS Winifred Knights (1899 – 1947) Until 18 September
FILM Victim (1961) Cert 18/90 mins
Monday 11 July Bar 7pm, screening 7.30pm (Linbury Room) Melville Farr (Dirk Bogarde), respected barrister about to become a QC, has a homosexual past. Guilt-ridden over the suicide of a former lover, jailed for stealing, Farr decides to investigate. He uncovers numerous homosexual victims also being blackmailed, but agrees to represent them at the expense of his very promising career. Also starring Sylvia Syms, Dennis Price and Peter McEnery. Directed by Basil Dearden. Tickets £9 (£7 Friends of DPG) dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk
The Dulwich Players
The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare Saturday 9 July Dulwich Picture Gallery Gardens 12 noon and 3pm Tickets £12 (chair provided) or £8 (on the grass/bring your own chair) Saturday 16 July and Sunday 17 July American Gardens, Dulwich Park 2pm and 5pm Tickets £8 (on the grass/bring your own chair)
Antenna Studios Gallery Saturday 16 July 7.30pm Broken Biscuits returns for another evening of spoken word, music and comedy. Featuring Joe Duggan, Idle Eye, Franck Alba and a mystery comedian! Maybe even some short animations by Dan Laidler if we can find a projector. Whatever happens, expect the unexpected. Since its hugely successful Crystal Palace debut in April, BB is now booked for Hastings, Brighton, Sheffield and Exeter, with more in the pipeline.
FOLK OF THE WOOD FESTIVAL CEILIDH
The British Home, SW16 3JB Friday 8 July 7pm Starring acclaimed Flamenco dancers LA MORENITA plus the legendary Dancehall singer of hit song ‘Walk And Skank’ JAH SCREECHY, we've also got exuberant Polish traditional dance with ORLETA plus You Tube sensation and Radio 3 star Sam Robson aka The One Man Choir! Plus hosts CEILIDH TREE + caller will be providing 3 sets of raucous folk dance merriment, and there'll be support from Australian singer DUNCAN WOODS plus trad from folk troupe THE GREEN RAVENS. There'll be hot food by Beamish & McGlue, fully licensed bar with wines, local ale and scrumpy. folkofthewood.co.uk @ceilidhtree
Whatâ€™s on SOUTH LONDON THEATRE
Stanley Halls, 12 South Norwood Hill, SE25 6AB AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS
by Toby Hulse after Jules Verne 19-23 July 8pm A Mr. P Fogg, an honest-looking, well-turned out chap with good teeth is being pursued by detective Fix of Scotland Yard, who thinks that Fogg is the mastermind behind a recent bank robbery. A mad-cap adventure which quickly moves along on a succession of locomotives, steamers, and hilarity.
BOUNCERS (1990s REMIX)
by John Godber 9-13 August 8pm Godber's much-loved comedy about the shenanigans in a downmarket nightclub as seen through the eyes of four brutish bouncers who portray over twenty different characters as we are invited for a night out on the town.
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice 23-27 August 8pm (Saturday matinee 2pm) The rock opera that has been wowing audiences for over 40 years, Jesus Christ Superstar is a timeless work set against the backdrop of an extraordinary and universally-known series of events but seen, unusually, through the eyes of Judas Iscariot.
BETTE AND JOAN
by Anton Burge 13-17 September 8pm Once grande dames of Hollywood, by 1962 arch-rivals Bette Davis and Joan Crawford were in danger of becoming has-beens. Then an opportunity came along; to appear together in a new movie called Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? southlondontheatre.co.uk 50
@ ECONOMYCUSTARD 52
by Mike Fairbrass
Â© SIMON SHARVILLE 2016
Out In In was coming but Out was fit. Out had wit but In got tuition. In felt decent but Out had grown. Out gunned but In had ability. In decided but Out had spoken. Out was smart but In was capable. In took action but Out manoeuvred. Out was patient - In stood still. In dignity. Out voted. Out stripped. In dented. In justice. Out cries.
You like to live as if you have free will but decisions are difficult and tiring to make, so it is good to know that for financial worries, romantic problems, or health issues, it was not chance or bad luck that led you to where you are right now in the toilet reading this. When you interact with the universe (such as when you punch a colleague in the face), data is produced and stored. This is “Big Data”. When you consider a future action (such as fantasizing about head butting your colleague), mystical data is formed, this “Cosmic Data” is gathered by your personal Guardian Angel (GA) and stored in the firmament cloud. Your cosmically qualified trend analyst GA compares fresh data to records of your prescribed fate and destiny to identify anomalies within your future landscape. He (they are all male, heaven is deeply sexist) will then adapt your behaviours to steer you back onto the true path of your default destiny with tools such as luck, peer pressure, kismet, media spin, religious indoctrination, karma or alcohol. All of that may come as no surprise as you reflect on your hum drum existence 54
but here’s the fun part: As your destiny is predetermined and inevitable, with practice and the right tools it is possible to know, or “predict”, what events have been predetermined by higher powers for your personal future. Spiritual Charlatans try to unlock the mysteries of fate but these mere mortals are always doomed to failure (ironically that is their fate). You need a cosmically qualified professional and my credentials speak for themselves (so no need to list them here). It is insurance companies who lead the field and I work closely with the top brands to develop complex psychic algorithms which determine exactly when people will die, so that policies can be tailored to expire literally minutes before hand so not a single premium payment is missed. I can not only show you your destiny, but also how to use future knowledge to steer your life path. In time it is possible even to control others and with years of practice, learn how to influence world and even cosmological events. I personally enjoyed causing Madonna to fall arse over tit at the Brit Awards.
Going backwards alters the past which changes the present, meaning you didn’t go. Going to the future affects something yet to happen meaning the pasts present is altered, also meaning you didn’t go. So even if you do go you haven’t. Either that or you kill your grandfather or marry your grandchild in a parallel universe with a divergent history. This gets awkward and frustrating so best to leave well alone unless you fully comprehend the phenomenon of gravitational time dilation based on velocity in the theory of special relativity. Which you don’t.
Mine is a Native American warrior called Blue Tooth and he's next to useless. He rarely connects and when I do find him, he tells me about some slave or serf from his time who will be reincarnated as another unimportant person in future times. Who cares? I tell him. He just doesn't move in the right circles. My advice is to cosmically resonate with a dead person who is more connected and has a wider network with 5G.
Strictly for amateurs and charlatans, this forecasting method can be a great way to fool the foolish if you simply need some extra cash. However, as serious predictors of world events results are too generalist as the cards deal in archetypes: 'It's generally going to be bad' or ‘there is some war somewhere’ which any idiot can get from the BBC’s excellent 24 hour rolling news service. Not so much a window to the beyond as a cat flap.
Your sixth sense is more active when in a state of sleep as your consciousness is at rest, but to call it a sense is deeply misleading. What it actually does is run around in your dreams like a headless chicken making you tickle your neighbour’s lingerie wearing grandmother one minute, then biro random stock exchange numbers under Donald Trump’s wig the next. If that does turn out to be precognisant of your future then good luck to you.
Prayer does actually work really well. You can ask advice around difficult choices or request to influence the outcome of important medical tests and the messages really do get through. As an omnipresent all-powerful entity God can easily answer every prayer ever whispered to him, but in (non)reality what really happens is that he just lets them form and ever increasing gigantic spiritual pile of mortal hope on his celestial doormat because he just doesn’t give a monkey’s rainbow painted arse about humanity.
Nostradamus is the most famous one as he predicted 9/11, the Kennedy Assassinations, The Moon landings and any number of major world events that people can look back from with hindsight to selectively interpret one of his many hundred obscure ‘quatrains’ from the original old French to fit whatever it is that just happened. Which is what happens so it’s total ballbag. I’m not for prophet.
Mind altering drugs are a great way to wander freely in your own head. However there is rarely any insight into the future beyond ‘getting some snacks’ and also it is not a tool to use often as your brain will turn to a mush of paranoia (which incidentally is not paranoia, you really do release cranial entities who actually are out to get you). So all in all it’s mostly nonsense and comes with risks, but it’s so very pretty, trippy and colourful in there so I recommend you give it a go just for fun.
Mystic Mike is omnipresent but you can interact with him here:
You can use reflective black Obsidian stone or a mirror but I find them off-putting as my future self can’t resist pulling silly faces. Crystal balls are a much better tool. It’s good to have a pair for stereoscopic vision so you can tell how far away future events are, but do be warned, you have to know how to handle them; rub too vigorously with youthful inexperience and psychic variables can cause them to rupture or burst, drenching you in all of the future all at once which, I can tell you, is pretty messy experience.
The Daily Mail is a noble source of future moral or fiscal trends. Prophesies to regurgitate at dinner parties include: “Facebook to release cancer causing superbug”, or how “Obese ‘Jenny’ Foreigner to get NHS gender swap surgery”, or how “EU paedophiles will spark gypsy immigrant swarm”, or how “ISIS hunk vows to behead Pippa Middleton before Ramadan”, or how “Islamic asylum seekers to slave traffic royal children under Burkas”, or how “Banned Myleene Klass wardrobe malfunction pics set to fuel global warming property crash”.
The ultimate way to see the future is to be omnipresent like me so one can simply focus ones physical entity in a certain spot (I chose Crystal Palace obvs), and from there select a time frame according to your whim. So as I sit here in the future being fed 3D printed insect protein objects by my personal cloud of mind controlled Nano robots in my driverless car, all I can advise with certainty for you, is that if you want to know the future the best and most reliable method is to wait.
A South London Magazine