We start the New Year with a meeting to encourage you in your research. On Thursday January 18th at 7.30 at the Upper Norwood Library, Westow hill, SE19 1TJ Sylvia Dibbs of the East Surrey Family History Society will be explaining how to undertake family history research.

This could be about your family, or as a useful tool to discover local people when delving into local history. Norwood was very much part of Surrey which, until the late 19th century, stretched as far as the Thames. The East Surrey FHS therefore covers ‘our area’, but much of which Sylvia will be explaining is applicable to any genealogical research.

On February 15th Howard Hope will be talking about Colonel Gouraud who lived at Little Menlo on Beulah Hill, and was the man who brought recorded sound to England.

These meetings are part of a full programme which have been arranged for 2018. Full details can be found on the Society’s website, but below are some:

January 18th             Tracing your family’s history

Sylvia Dibbs of the East Surrey Family History Society talks about family history research and how the Society can help

February 15th              Colonel Gouraud: The man who brought recorded sound to England

Howard Hope talks about the Colonel and his Beulah Hill house ‘Little Menlo’- otherwise known as ‘The Electric House’- and all the amazing things that happened there in the decade from 1888 when he bought it

March 15th                  My House, My Street

Nick Tyson, Secretary of the Brunswick Town Trust, Hove explains how to research the history of your house and street

April 19th                    Who’s buried at St Luke’s?

Francis Howcutt introduces his research into the churchyard of the West Norwood Church and those buried there

May 17th                 Gipsy Hill & Gipsy Road

Explore the area’s history with Alun Thomas

June 21st                 Victorian Leisure & Pleasure

A talk by Blue Badge guide and historian Ian Bevan


Miss Muriel Matters

Monday 15 January, 6.45 for 7.15pm. Durning Library

In 1909 Muriel Matters flew over London in an airship dropping Votes for Women leaflets. The first woman to make a speech in the House of Commons, as a protester, she worked in the slums of Lambeth, and her brother became MP for Kennington. A hundred years after women were granted the vote, Robert Wainwright introduces his new book about this little known but influential suffragette. Light refreshments. Everyone is welcome. There is no admission charge, but a £2 donation towards costs is invited.

Vinyl Memories – Songs of survival and belonging

Tuesday 16 January, 3.30pm. Tate South Lambeth Library

Join Michelle Killington for Vinyl Memories. Bring along your favourite black music vinyl from the 70s, 60s or even the 50s!  Music that reminds you of leaving home, arriving in a new home or simply dancing, loving, surviving…  You can bring along your records but do let us know beforehand so we can be prepared. Send your top tracks for the afternoon to and hopefully we can get them played and you can tell us why they have meaning for you. You never know you may get the crowd dancing!

Remembering the Holocaust and challenging fascism and the far right today

Wednesday 24 January, 6.45pm at Brixton Library

The Holocaust remains the greatest crime in history. Over 6 million Jews were murdered by the Nazi regime, as well as millions of others – including Roma, LGBT+ people and trade unionists. Yet we live in a world where antisemitism, racism and Islamophobia are on the rise again. In Europe, we have seen the growth of far right and fascist forces. We must learn the lessons of the past to oppose prejudice and division today. Join us on Holocaust Memorial Day to remember the victims, but also to commit ourselves to the fight against racism today. Speakers: Julia Bard, National Committee of the Jewish Socialists’ Group, Paula Peters DPAC (Disabled People against the Cuts) whose great great uncle was one of the first to enter Bergen Belsen concentration camp in April 1945, Lubaba Khalid,  MEND (Muslim Engagement and Development), Nadia Sayed, Stand Up to Racism recently returned delegation from an educational trip to Auschwitz.

Life out of this world: how the Holocaust shaped Stanisław Lem’s writing –  in conversation with Wojciech Orliński, Lem’s biographer

Saturday 27 January, 4-5pm. Clapham Library

Stanisław Lem (1921-2006) is one of the most acclaimed Polish writers. His books have sold in millions of copies globally and were turned into independent and Hollywood films. But is it really only the future that concerned Lem? Solaris, Tales of Pirx, the Pilot, The Cyberiad, or The Star Diaries – they are all full of horrifying catastrophes and terrifying behaviours, both of people and robots. They convey the experience of ultimate indifference to suffering and inability of the surviving witness to fit to a normal world, whatever the latter is. Lem had never wanted to talk about either growing up in the wartime or his Jewish background and how it might have had influenced him. Perhaps his books do it instead. Come and join Wojciech Orliński to talk about the influence of Lem’s own traumatic past on his writing and his philosophical and ethical legacy. This event is brought to you in partnership with Stockwell Partnership/Poles Connect project and Lambeth libraries marking International Holocausts Memorial Day, 27 January 2018. FREE, including Children’s Zone: arts & crafts activities for children aged 3+

Berlin to Brixton – journeys in poetry

Wednesday January 31, 7 to 9pm. Brixton Library

Come and hear work from two recent works by Brixtoners Sophie Herxheimer and Stephen Duncan. Both books take inspiration from the London immigrant experience and shed light on London as a place of refuge in the heart of Europe. Berlin Blues, poems by Beata Duncan is edited by Stephen Duncan. Beata emigrated to England aged 12 in 1934 and was a popular poet and performer of her poetry in London. Velkom to Inklandt, by Sophie Herxheimer is a sequence of dramatic monologues written in a phonetic Inklisch, based on the way her grandmother spoke. It recounts twentieth century life in Germany, London and the afterlife! It was The Observer’s Poetry Book of the Month and a Sunday Times Poetry Book of the Year. Event presented by the Friends of Tate Library Brixton.

Languid looms

Friday 2 February, 7.30pm. Brixton Library

Lo-fi hip-hop rapper & poet looms. plays his first headline show with his 3-piece jazz band at Brixton Library in anticipation of the release of his debut EP, mar. With support from KarimThaPeasant, CLBRKS and nine.two, the library is host to a night of lo-fi history. Sponsored By Brixton Brewery. Presented by Aggrandise Management. This is an 18+ event. Tickets £6.


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