Sunday, 29 April 2012

More Dates For Your Diary

May. Pamela Hansford Johnson Centenary Exhibition. Lady Avebury is mounting an exhibition about her mother the Clapham-born author and playwright. Pamela Hansford Johnson wrote 27 novels and several plays which were performed in the West End. As a teenager she was the girlfriend of Dylan Thomas and later married  C. P. Snow. To mark the centenary Macmillan are republishing her novels. The exhibition is at Clapham Library, Clapham High St. The Library has 123 years of continuous community use but is being closed (date to be announced) and the building sold off  because a new library facility is being opened. So marks the end of another part of Wandsworth’s history in Lambeth. Further information on or from

Thursday 3 May. 6.30 for 7pm. The Royal College of Art. Its History & the Battersea Campus. Talk by Dr Paul Thompson (RCA Rector) on the new Dyson building near to Battersea Bridge which will open in the autumn. Battersea Society. St Mary's Church, Battersea Church Road. £5 per person (on the door). 

Sunday 6 May. 1846 Chartists Gathering. The now-traditional Bank Holiday event will take place to commemorate the gathering of thousands of Chartists on Blackstone Edge in August 1846. Walk up to the rocky outcrop on Blackstone Edge in the early afternoon, to picnic, to enjoy the walk and the views, to sing, and to meet and listen to other singers. All as a memorial to the great Chartist gathering there, more than 160 years ago. All are welcome. More information at

Sunday 6 May. Chesterfield Stop War Concert for Peace. Winding Wheel, 13 Holywell St, Chesterfield, Features  
Sheffield's Roy Bailey:; East London's Steve White and the Protest Family:; Chesterfield's Martin Sumpton: Adults: Waged £10. Unwaged £8. Call 07400 927222. Limited tickets available on night.

 Monday 7 May. May Day in Chesterfield. 

9am-3.30pm. Stalls and Entertainment in Winding Wheel
10.30am. March Assembles at Town Hall and set off 11am
11.30am. Rally & Speeches in Rykneld Square
12.30pm. Ichabod in the Winding Wheel
12.30-4.15pm. Live Entertainment in Rykneld Square
1pm. Nottingham Clarion Choir in Winding Wheel
1.30pm. ‘Overcoming the North-South Divide’ - speakers
Paul Salveson and Barry Winter at NEDDC Council Chamber
1.45pm. Brampton Community Band in Winding Wheel
2.30pm. Boomerang Generation and Kworyl at Winding Wheel
Refreshments available all day in the Winding Wheel provided by Derbyshire Unemployed Workers’ Centres, as well as an Exhibition of Anti-war Art by Chris Holden.

Monday 7 May. 7.30pm. Love, Life and Liberty. A celebration of Chesterfield’s unique role in inspiring better places for people. A little over a hundred years ago a meeting took place in the Derbyshire coalfield which was to change the face of Britain. A young mining engineer working for the Staveley Iron and Coal Company, called Raymond Unwin, walked from Chesterfield to the small village of Millthorpe to meet a libertarian socialist called Edward Carpenter. Inspired by the ideals of those he met there, such as William Morris and the trade unionist Ben Tillet, Unwin went on to realise the ideals of the Arts and Crafts and Garden City movements by building outstanding new communities for working people. At the core of the visionary ideals Unwin pursued was a belief that everyone had a right to a decent home with access to gardens, green space, libraries and schools at standards previously only available to the rich. The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) and the Chesterfield Cooperative Party are hosting this special event to repay the debt owed to those early pioneers from the coalfields and to celebrate their inspiration to build a better future. It explores the connections of key figures in the town planning movement, such as Ebenezer Howard and Raymond Unwin, as well as radical thinkers such as Edward Carpenter, William Morris and Prince Kropotkin. It draws out a long lineage of radical thinking about freedom and the land running through John Clare and the Romantics back to Gerrard Winstanley and forward through the music of Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. It celebrates, as the early pioneers did, the power of art and music in communicating political ideas, and reminds us that the imagination, radicalism and personal bravery of these extraordinary figures of the past still have relevance for the present. Love Life and Liberty is a relaxed and informal event performed by actors and musicians who are part the Town and Country Planning Association. Venue. Winding Wheel, 13 Holywell St,  Chesterfield.

Friday 11 May to Sunday 9 September. The Triumph of Pleasure: Vauxhall Gardens 1729 - 1786 Exhibition. Tuesdays-Saturdays:10am-5pm; Sundays: 11am-5pm. In 1729 and 1739 two London institutions changed the face of British art forever, Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens under the management of Jonathan Tyers and the Foundling Hospital for abandoned babies and England’s first public art gallery established by Thomas Coram. To ensure the success of the two institutions both men enlisted the help of two great artists of the age, painter and engraver William Hogarth and composer George Frideric Handel. The Foundling Hospital became the premier venue for London’s polite society to combine socialising and culture with philanthropy whereas Vauxhall Gardens was a place to enjoy contemporary music and art, spectacular design, al fresco dining, beautiful gardens and supper boxes from which to see and be seen. The Triumph of Pleasure: Vauxhall Gardens 1729 – 1786 will explore the Gardens, which for its visitors was an escape from daily realities and a re-affirmation of all the good things that life had to offer. The Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, London WC1. 

Friday 11 – Sunday 27 May Wandsworth Arts Festival. Full brochure downloadable at:

Saturday 12 - Thursday 17 May. The Tooting Transition Shop. The Brick Box cafĂ©, Tooting Market. Keep your eyes peeled as you walk along Tooting High Street. Look out for a shop that's not selling anything but exchanging memories, ideas, images, questions and experiences about the joys and challenges of living now. Tooting Stories that span past present and future are waiting for you and as you step across the threshold you're invited to play your own part in re-imagining our world. The Tooting Transition Shop will be launched on 12 May (12 noon) as part of 'Treasuring Tooting' a day long interactive walk around Tooting to celebrate well-being, from the Lido to the Library, to the Bingo Hall and The Brick Box. Join us, picking up clues to find the shop as we go. For shop address, updates and details:; 0787 069 8333;  or

Saturday 12. May. 10.30am-1.30pm. Consultation on Kids Play at Lambeth Walk Open Space. Roots and Shoots, Fitzalan Street/Walnut Tree Walk, London, SE11.

Saturday 12 May. Rebuilding the tradition independent working class education. 11am-12.30pm. Open Planning Group; Lunch. 1-4pm. Seminar. Presenters include Louise Raw on The Lessons of the Matchwomen's Struggle. Brunswick Centre, near Russell Square Tube, London. £6 includes lunch. Pay on the day. From Russell Square Tube follow Marchmont Street to Entrance One of the Brunswick Centre/big block of flats. There will be signs. Put Flat 10 (Community Centre) in entry phone and ring. Lift to Floor 2. Follow signs. To book a place contact Colin Venables:

Sunday 13 May. 6.30pm. Woody Guthrie: Hard Times and Hard Travellin'. A "live documentary" that sets Guthrie's songs in the context of the American 1930s - the Dust Bowl, the Depression, the New Deal and the state of popular music itself. Will Kaufman will perform the show at Islington Mill, James Street, Salford. The show highlights the blending of music and radical politics that marks Guthrie's most powerful work. £10 on the door only. Fundraising event for Working Class Movement Library.  Venue: Islington Mill Studios, James Street, Salford. More information inc. performances  elsewhere on

Tuesday 15 May. 6.30pm. A History of Garden Visiting. Talk by the Director of the Garden Museum, Christopher Woodward, linked to the exhibition on that subject currently on at the museum. Arrive early to see the exhibition before the talk begins.  Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, London, SE1.

Wednesday 16 May. 7.30pm. St Mary’s Church and Monastery. Fr Dominic O’Toole, the Parish Priest, will talk about the history of the church and monastery. He will be outlining current plans for the restoration of the church and the landmark spire, and for use of the monastery. There will be an opportunity to see some of the interior of these important Clapham buildings. The church was built in 1849 by William Wardell and is a fine example of the early Gothic revival. It was extended in the 1880s by J. F. Bentley, who in 1892 also built the monastery. J. F. Bentley, who is best known as the architect of Westminster Cathedral, lived in Old Town. Clapham Society talk at  St Mary’s Monastery, 8 Clapham Park Road, SW4.

Wednesday 16 May. 9pm. Woody Guthrie: Hard Times and Hard Travelin'. The Green Note, 106 Parkway, London NW1.

Thursday 17 May. 8pm. May I Have the Pleasure? Illustrated talk by Francoise Carter about the importance of dancing in late 17th and 18thC society. The Wandsworth Society. West Hill Church, Melody Road (corner of Allfarthing Lane), SW18. Free. More information 020 8767 3814. Wheelchair accessible by arrangement.

Friday 18 May. 7pm. "Co-operative enterprises build a better world". Iain Macdonald gives annual Robert Owen Commemoration Lecture. Robert Owen's School for Children, New Lanark Mills, New Lanark, South Lanarkshire. See For other UN International Year of Co-operatives 2012 events in UK go to events section and search under UK:

Saturday 19 May. 38th Annual Levellers Day 19 May - Burford, Oxfordshire. Speeches, Debate, Music. Displays:
·         Oxford & District Trades Council: Oxfordshire Struggles: Past and Present
·         Bristol Radical History Group.

Saturday 19 May. 4pm onwards. Wake for the Castle Pub Battersea. Live music, food and real ales. Celebrate a lifetime of service to the Battersea community and pay your last respects. Girls to be in glam black and gents in black tie. There may have to be tickets/invitations/guest list depending on demand. Book early. The developers have confirmed that the pub will be boarded on 23 May and that another planning application can be expected shortly thereafter. Castle Pub, Battersea High St, London, SW11. The"Defend the Castle!" Battersea Campaign is in full flow.

Monday 21 May. Fundraising For South West London Law Centres (SWLLC). At a time of increasing demand due to the ConDem Government’s attacks on benefits and legal aid, the survival of Law and other advice centres is vital. Members of the Atkins Hope lawyers team are walking in support of SWLLC, as part of the 8th London Legal sponsored walk. The team includes Sarah Newens, known to some of my readers from her days in Battersea. SWLLC grew out of the Wandsworth & Merton Law Centre and has branches in Croydon, Tooting, Battersea, Morden and Kingston. Each year they help over 20,000 of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the area with social welfare law matters such as housing, debt, benefits, employment, asylum and community care. Atkins Hope lawyers volunteer with them to provide free legal advice. ‘We know what a great service the Law Centre provides for people in severe need. We also know how desperately they need funds to maintain the service.’ Please sponsor them via or send your money direct with your name and address to Sarah Newens:;; (0)208 680 5018 Ext: 226. Atkins Hope’s main office is at 74-78 North End Chambers, Croydon, CR9 1SD. It also now has offices in Clapham Junction and Chatham. Note:  Atkins Hope also supports the Croydon Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Festival. Back when SLLC was getting set up I undertook an analysis of the best locations for its offices in relation to the areas of most social and economic need.

Monday 21 May. 6.45 for 7.15pm. The delight of all persons of reputation and taste’ – an introduction to Vauxhall Gardens 1661-1859. Avant-garde art, underground music, exotic architecture, and terrible food! This talk by David Coke, co-author of Vauxhall Gardens: a History, aims to evoke a little of the atmosphere of Vauxhall Gardens in its heyday. Friends of Durning Library. Light refreshments. All welcome. Suggested donation £2. Durning Library, 167 Kennington Lane, London, SE11.

Tuesday 22 May. 7pm. North East Politics & Society 1840-1914. Talk by John Charlton. Re-arranged NELH meeting on North East Popular Politics. Irish Centre.

Wednesday 23 May. 6.30 for 7pm. Handel: Fireworks and Frolics by The Amadè Players. Concert of music by Handel, including his famous Music for the Royal Fireworks (originally performed at the Vauxhall Pleasure gardens to celebrate the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, and repeated four weeks later at The Foundling Hospital) and the Ode for St Cecilia. This concert is in conjunction with the Foundling Museum's summer exhibition on Vauxhall Gardens. Foundling Museum. Tickets: £15 (£10 concessions and Foundling Friends). To book call 020 7841 3600 or drop into the Museum.

Thursday 24 May. 7.30pm. Richard Dadd, C19 painter. Talk by Nicholas Tromans, author and senior lecturer in Art History, Kingston University. Although Dadd suffered from severe mental illness for much of his life he was encouraged to continue painting as part of C19 Art Therapy for the treatment of mental illness, and used also widely today. Battersea Society. St Mary’s Parish Church, Battersea Church Rd, SW11. £5 on the door.

Friday 25 May. 7.30 - 11.30 pm. Celebration of Africa Day. Lit & Phil, 23 Westgate Road, Newcastle. £10 including Home Cooked African Food, 10th Avenue Band + Guests. All funds raised donated to Tegwani Secondary School in Zimbabwe. For tickets or more information contact Rod Hlalo 0191 2402956 or

Saturday 26 May – Sunday 10 June. Wandsworth Heritage Festival.

Saturday 26 May. 11.30am-5.30pm. Growing People Power - Grassroots 2012.  Jointly organised by trade unionists and community activist organisations committed to tackling the big challenges.This year’s gathering will focus on three areas:
Rise up! Building support - How we campaign effectively on issues.
2, 4, 6, 8: How will people congregate - How can we build membership organisations that engage?
Reaching Out - How do we communicate our messages effectively?

Sunday 27 May. Cleaver Square Fete, Kennington.  For more about the Square see:

Monday 28 May. 5.30pm. Opposition to Royal Jubilees from Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth. Keith Flett and Sherrl Yanowitz. London Socialist Historians Seminar. Senate House, Malet St, London, WC1.

Tuesday 29 May. 7 for 7.30pm. Battersea Society AGM. Followed by a talk on 'Roman Remains in Wandsworth' by Dr Pamela Greenwood, author of many books and publications on the archaeology of London and the South East. All Saints Church, Prince of Wales Drive, London, SW11.

Monday 11 June. 5.30pm. Was the Chartist Movement Anti-semitic? Prof. Denis Paz. London Socialist Historians Seminar. Senate House, Malet St, London, WC1.

Thursday 14 June. 5pm. Esther Bruce. Stephen Bourne will talk about his adopted aunt Esther Bruce at Fulham Library, 598 Fulham Road, London, SW6. Near Parsons Green Tube. Admission free.  Monday 18 June. 6.45 for 7.15pm. Summer party, Friends of the Durning Library. Light refreshments. All welcome. Suggested donation £2. Durning Library, 167 Kennington Lane, London, SE11.

Monday 25 June. 5.30pm. Class, Corruption and the 2012 London Olympics. David Renton. London Socialist Historians Seminar. Senate House, Malet St, London, WC1.

Saturday 30 June. North Lambeth Parish Fete.  Lambeth Palace Gardens. Theme is ‘Earth’. Offers of assistance to Simon Gibbs, Fete Co- ordinator: 020 7582 6901 or

Thursday 12- Saturday 14 July. Radical History School. Tolpuddle, Dorset. And

Friday 13 - Sunday 15 July. Roots of Solidarity. Paths of Progress. 2012 Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival. For full lists of speakers, seminars, meetings, commemorations, workshops, bands, singers, stuff for kids and teens, booking, accommodation and travel go to

Monday 16 July. 6.45 for 7.15pm. Protest Movements Around the World. Paul Mason, economics editor of Newsnight: ‘Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere’. Talk on his new book on the protest movements around the world, and on his other books (one is a novel about a protest by ghosts in China). Friends of Durning Library. Light refreshments. All welcome. Suggested donation £2. Durning Library, 167 Kennington Lane, London, SE11.

Thursday 19 July. 1.15-2pm. Esther Bruce: A Black London Seamstress. An illustrated talk by Stephen Bourne about Esther Bruce and other black Britons represented in the National Portrait Gallery collections. National Portrait Gallery, 2 St Martin's Place, London WC2H 0HE. Admission Free.

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