This is one of the first films of the Carnaval del Pueblo, a regular and popular fixture on Southwark’s festival calendar. It features a procession along Walworth Road, showing off traditional costumes and dancers, followed by the main event in Burgess Park, featuring a host of musicians and singers including well known figures like Adalberto Santiago and Willie Colón. The video captures the spirit of the carnival with scenes of Southwark’s people dancing, eating and enjoying themselves.
‘Oppin was produced by the Bermondsey Borough Council Health Propaganda Department in 1930 and shot on 35mm film. It sets out to record the life of the hop pickers and the conditions under which they lived. We see families preparing for the annual hop, travelling by road to the Kentish farms, picking and assessing the hops and all the activity associated with this trade that was a staple holiday for working class families in Southwark during the 19th and early 20th Century.
What was ‘Nonsuch House’ and what does Arizona, USA, have in common with London Bridge? This film about the history of London’s first bridge answers these questions and more, beginning with the origins of the ‘Old’ bridge, which took 33 years to build from around 1176. The film includes some fascinating snippets of history like the purpose of the gate towers at either end of the old bridge, the story of the removal of Sir Thomas More’s head from the gate.
This film looks at the history of the Camberwell Resettlement Unit, which, over the course of 160 year gave temporary accommodation to more than a million homeless men. The hostel was started by the Sisters of Christian Retreat in 1848 and taken over by the Camberwell Board of Guardians in 1850 as an extension of its nearby workhouses. The ‘Spike’, as became known is thought to have been home briefly to George Orwell while he was writing Down and Out in Paris and London.
This month’s film shows Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh on a visit to Bermondsey and Rotherhithe as part of The Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977. The Queen unveils a commemorative stone near Kings Stairs Gardens and is presented with a leather-bound book of prints of Southwark. There is also a Pageant depicting important periods in Southwark’s history.
This film, made by Cricks and Sharp in 1906 is one of the oldest surviving documentaries and the quality of the film is remarkable given its age. It shows us all the stages of biscuit production, from preparation to packing and distribution. James Peek and George Hender Frean built their first factory in Dockhead, Bermondsey in 1857. They moved to Clements Road in 1866, where the company remained until 1989. Peek Freans was one of the largest employers in the area until the mid-20th…
Pigs were fitted with nose rings like this one to stop them 'rooting' or digging through the soil with their snouts. This ring was found with other Roman items at Tokenhouse Yard in London in the century.
Samian ware, also known as terra sigillata was a very common type of Roman red pottery. It was imported from three regions of Gaul (modern France) over the centuries and was middle-class table ware for home use.
Cinerary chests like this one were used to store cremation ashes. This reclining figure is a familiar form in Etruscan funerary art, but thought to be rare for Roman Britain.
This olla or urn is made of Upchurch ware, produced by the kilns of Upchurch marshes in Kent. Vessels like this could be used for cooking, food storage, or as in this case as a burial urn for cremation ashes.
This male figure with cap, quiver, short tunic and dagger is thought to be a god of hunting. A figure of a dog and, probably, a stag are at either side. The figure and its various elements mix together a variety of Greek or Roman and native British gods such as Diana, Apollo, Mithras, Attis, Sylvanus and Maponus.
This statue was found in a Roman well during excavations under Southwark Cathedral in 1977 and dates from around It represents a Genius, a Greek-Roman entity which could act as a personal deity or kind of guardian angel for a person or household.