|New Cross RADICAL HISTORY Walk
New Cross Gate (start outside Hobgoblin Pub, opp tube)
The Red Flag
1889: Jim Connell, an Irishman who had been involved in the Irish Republican Brotherhood and the Land League. Worked as a casual docker in Dublin and moved to London in 1875 after being blacklisted for his attempts to unionise the docks. He wrote “The Red Flag” in 1889 on the train from Charing Cross to New Cross after attending a lecture on socialism at a meeting of the Social Democratic Federation. It was inspired by the London dock strike happening at that time, as well as activities of the Irish Land League, the Paris Commune, the Russian nihilists and Chicago anarchists. Connell was a friend of Stepniak a Russian revolutionary and writer who fled Russia in 1878 after taking part in the assassination of the czarist chief of police.
1944: 168 people are killed on 25 November when a German rocket scored a direct hit on Saturday shoppers at Woolworth's in New Cross (Iceland now stands on the site). Buildings were also destroyed on the other side of the road, hence the prefabs in St James Road. Those killed ranged in age from Michael Glover, aged 1 month, to William Frank, aged 80. built by slave labour. Werner Von Braun
"These rockets are quite similar to some of those they use now. When I see it I think how vicious, how cool and calculating, how foolish, killing people for some other bugger" (Charles Williams, whose sister and niece were killed in the attack)
Among those who rushed to help at the scene was Dr Harold Moody, a Jamaican GP who lived at 164 Queens Road, Peckham . Moody founded the League of Coloured People at his home in 1931.
28.10.44: 8 killed and 57 injured by V2 in New Cross (near Pagnell Street)
6.1.45: Kitto Rd 10 houses and church demolished.
9. 1.45: Adolphus Street, Deptford: 20 dead 'a dazed man walked up and down with a dead infant in his arms, asking where he should put K'
7.3.45: rocket destroys two blocks of flats Folkestone Gardens in Trundleys Road: 52 dead, 64 seriously injured.
Bolts from the Blue: S.E. London and Kent under V2 rocket attack – Lewis Blake (1990)
Deptford Town Hall
Many ships involved in the slave trade and the British Empire were built at Deptford. John Hawkins had a Deptford residence when he became Treasurer of the Navy, and was a pioneer in developing the slave trade. In 1567, Francis Drake sailed with Hawkins on a voyage that saw 500 West Africans captured as slaves and transported to the Caribbean after their villages had been burnt and plundered. Drake was later Knighted at Deptford by Elizabeth 1.
In 1652, Cromwell had been a regular visitor to Deptford to oversee the building of two ships The James and The Diamond. These ships formed part of the fleet sent in 1654 Cromwell to capture Jamaica from the Spanish, where sugar plantations were established worked by African slaves. After the restoration, Deptford royalist John Evelyn was appointed to the Kings' Council for Foreign Plantations. Evelyn's mansion was at Sayes Court.
“arrived at Deptford the 1Oth of December, where we cast anchor just as it was high water. The ship was up about half an hour, when my master ordered the barge to be manned; and all in an instant, without having before given me the least reason to suspect anything of the matter, he forced me into the barge; saying, I was going to leave him, but he would take care I should not... he swore I should not move out of his sight; and if I did he would cut my throat, at the same time taking his hanger. I began, however, to collect myself and, plucking up courage, I told him I was free, and he could not by law serve me so... just as we had got a little below Gravesend, we came alongside of a ship which was going away the next tide for the West Indies; her name was the Charming Salty, Captain James Doran; and my master went on board and agreed with him for me; and in a little time I was sent for into the cabin. When I came there Captain Doran asked me if I knew him; I answered that I did not; Then, said he, 'you are now my slave'.”
1772: "a Captain at Deptford beat his Negro boy in so cruel a manner that he died".
1960 63: John Cafe, later of the Velvet Underground, attends Goldsmiths College. He was voted 'Most hateful student' by college heads of department and caused a minor scandal at an end of year concert in 1963 by playing avantgarde pieces of music such as La Monte Young's 'X for Henry Flint' accompanied by Comelius Cardew and a rowdy audience
What's Welsh for Zen the autobiography of John Cale by John Cale and Victor Bockris, Bloomsbury: London 1999
1969: Malcolm McLaren was at Goldsmiths. He advertised a summer festival that entertained thousands of unexpected visitors. Claimed that Pink Floyd and Rolling Stones and John Lennon were 'awaiting confirmation'. Met RD Laing and Alex Trocchi at the festival's final debate. Malcolm was asked to work outside the college for the next two years.
Max Anger: "on that day the student union hacks "I'm a moderate!" were preventing non student union members from going into the free festival cum-teach in: our little group opened up a side door and told everybody how to get in. In fact this was far more interesting than what was going on on the stage, which was little more than just a radical version of a chat show... a group of radical womens liberationists disrupted the whole thing, and were treated in a blatantly patronising manner by the stage.”
Pistols and Siituationists King Mob.
Fred Vermorel who lived in New Cross: "I introduced Malcolm to situationism at the 36 bus stop, just outside Goldsmiths College in Lewisham Way"
Fred Carter of Temple of Psckick Youth had a performance stopped short in 1991 called 'Shock, Information and the Negation of Control' 1991 involving self mutilation, cutting himself to a soudritrack of drones, industrial rhythms and hymns.
1990: Poll Tax march from Goldsmiths to Lewisham
1977 Anti NF riot
1977, 13 August: The National Front assembled in Achilles Street. An All Lewisham Campaign Against Racism and Fascism marched from Hilly Fields but was stopped by the police. 2000 of the more militant anti fascists gathered in Clifton Rise where they were baton charged by police. As the NF entered New Cross Road there was hand to hand fighting, and clashes with police and NF continued up into Lewisham. Police used riot shields in Britain for the first time. 200 people arrested.
Fordham Park Festival
Biggest free festival in London. 30,000 people. Last held 1996 (closed down following year by council in post CJA panic)
1981: Test Department formed in New Cross in late 1981 from a group of people living at 8 Nettleton Road. They broke new ground as pioneers of a ‘metal bashing' industrial sound, using scrap metal for percussion. They played gigs in support of the Miners' Strike, the Printworkers Dispute (1987), the Ambulance Workers Strike (1989) and the Anti Poll Tax Campaign (1990). Their involvement in the Miners' Strike is recorded in the now deleted 1984 LP, Shoulder to Shoulder, recorded with the South Wales Striking Miners Choir, all profits from which went to support the strike.
Other 70s/80s local bands: This Heat. Squeeze. Band of Holy Joy. Blur. Placebo.
Moonshot Club, Fordham Park
1975: sound system damaged and several arrests when police and entered to search people.
April 1977: occupied by young people after youth workers were accused on having prior knowledge of police raids on young people's homes.
November 1977: a newspaper reported that an NF meeting had included talk of burning down the Moonshot. On December 18 it was gutted in a firebomb attack and had to be rebuilt. 1
Squatted late 1990s and evicted
435 New Cross Road
General Strike HQ
439 New Cross Road: New Cross Fire
On Sunday 18th January 1981, 13 black youths, all between the ages of 15 and 20 years old, were killed in a fire at a birthday party at 439 New Cross Road. The police reported that the fire was caused by a firebomb, and many believed that it was a racist attack. Racist messages were sent to family members afterwards
On the following Sunday a mass meeting was held at the Pagnell Street Community Centre (formerly the Moonshot Club), attended by over 1000 people. From that meeting there was a demonstration to 439 New Cross Road, which blocked the A2 road for several hours. The New Cross Massacre Action Committee organised a weekly series of mass meetings in New Cross which came to be known as the Black People's Assembly. It was the the Black People's Assembly which decided on holding a Black People's Day of Action on a working day, on Monday 2nd March 1981, and then planned a campaign of support for a demonstration on that day. The Black People's Day of Action, organised by the New Cross Massacre Action Committee, saw the biggest mobilisation of black people ever seen in Britain. 20,000 black people and their supporters marched over a period of eight hours from Fordharn Park in New Cross through Peckham, Elephant and Castle, across Blackfriars Bridge, into Fleet Street, Regent Street, then Cavendish Street and finally into Hyde Park with slogans including: 'Thirteen Dead and Nothing Said', 'No Police Cover Up', 'Blood Ah Go Run If Justice No Come'. The Sun reported it with headline; "Day the Blacks Ran Riot in London"
Later in 1981: Brixton, Toxteth etc.
The New Cross Empire music hall was situated on the corner of Watson Street. Louis Armstrong played here in 933.
On May 9 1926, during General Strike, thousands attended a strike meeting at the Empire, featuring the Deptford Labour Choir leading the singing of the Red Flag. As people left the meeting there were clashes with police. That night a convoy of armoured vehicles passed through New Cross.
The Deptford Official Strike Bulletin (published by a committee at 435 New Cross Road) reported “mass pickets posted at most works in the Borough" (8th May). The strike seems to have been solidly supported locally, but as elsewhere middle class strikebreakers were brought in. This led to police baton charges to clear pickets blockading the New Cross Tram Depot (now the bus garage). There were also clashes on Deptford Broadway, said by the Kentish Mercury (15.5.26) to be “rendered almost impassable by a dense crowd” and at a bottle factory in Church Street.
New Cross Road
Roman road Watling Street
1930s: British Union of Fascists attempt to reach Deptford were prevented by a crowd in New Cross Road.
1936: New Cross Road was blocked.by 10,000 people marching from Deptford to Old Kent Road against rises in gas prices (successful).
Blocked during New Cross Fire movement.
1886: unemployed riots in Traflagar Square. In the same week, there was panic in London as rumours spread that a crowd of unemployed rioters were on their way to Elephant and Castle and Borough smashing shops on their way. Shops were boarded up and extra police sent down the Old Kent Road. A telegram was sent to The Times from the Old Kent Road: "Fearful state all round here in south London. 30,000 men at Spa Road moving to Trafalgar Square. Roughs in thousands trooping to the west. Send special messenger to the Home Office to have police in fullest force with fullest military force to save London".
There was a crowd gathered in Deptford Broadway but no riot. In fact in Deptford the rumours were of a crowd heading towards them from the Elephant and Castle!
1889 dock strike rumours: "The tram men have revoked, cars have been left on the road out Bow and Bromley way"; "Rioting has broken out, the docks are to be fired"; "The strikers are marching to attack the railway depots and turn the carmen out"; "Deptford meat market is in the hands of the insurgents who won't allow London to be fed" (Quinn)
1887: Bloody Sunday, when several people were killed by police during a Mass illegal demonstration
"The most savage and determined attack upon the police was, however, made by contingents from the Surrey side, composed of choice spirits from all the slums between Battersea and Greenwich.
"The South London contingents, cornposed of agitators and Radials, who have 'free speech' as their word of order, Home Rulers... and the Socialists who desire universal anarchy... One contingent, which came over Westminster Birdge, included the rough elements of Woolwich, Plumstead, Deptford, Greenwich, Rotherhithe, Bermondsey, Southwark and Lambeth" (Times, 14.11.1887)
Deptford High Street
January 1867 at a time of high unemployment, the hungry crowd in Deptford were told that the bread depot, which dispensed bread to the poor, had run out of bread. The crowd headed to Deptford High Street where they sacked a bakers shop; another baker gave away all his bread to prevent a similar outcome. Mounted police dispersed the crowd, but the next day people marched on a meeting of the Poor Law Guardians in Greenwich.
1893: Deptford Broadway described as 'a meeting place for idle characters'; 1899: Deptford Broadway described as 'Triangular open space, paved with cobble stones. Stands for barrows and the meeting place of the neighbourhood. Political and other meetings held here' (Booth)
In July 1842 over 2,O00 Chartists gathered on Deptford Broadway and even more turned up the next day on Blackheath. On Wednesday 15th March 1848 that year another mass Chartist rally was held by the Greenwich and Deptiord Chartists on Blackheath. The Chartist paper Northern Star reported “No sooner did the placards announcing the meeting make their appearance, than the minions in power set to work to destroy the meeting if possible. Hundreds of special constables were sworn in, and the whole of the police from the neighbouring stations were ordered to attend on the day of the meeting likewise the mounted police from London” (NS 18.3.1848). Later, in August 1848, a group of Chartists were arrested for planning an uprising. George Davis, a police informer, had joined the Wat Tyler Brigade of the Greenwich Chartists and gave evidence for the prosecution. As a result William Cuffay, a black Chartist, was transported to Tasmania (Anim Addo, 1995).
George Julian Harney (1817 1897) born in Deptford on 17 February 1817, the son of George Harney, a sailor. Hamey was one of 59 Chartists tried at Lancaster in 1843 for taking part in the 'Plug Riots' at Manchester, during August and September of 1842. He started the Red Republican, and other papers, met Marx and Engels and was a member of Brussels Communist Correspondence Committee and an influential English workers' leader, known as a left wing Chartist.
1889: strike at South Metropolitan Gas Company Old Kent Rd and Deptford
11 May: half mile long procession of gas workers converged on Deptford Broadway with a brass band calling for an 8 hour day. This was secured.
December: no strike clause. union
scabs workhouse inmates, prisoners lived in corrugated iron huts inside works
William Derry, a striking stoker, got into a fight at the Dover Castle in which he took two herrings and a haddock from a scab's pocket.
Gas Company Chairman: George, Livesey Telegraph Hill Park in New Cross built by him as part of attempted non-union paternalist deal with gasworkers.
The Lewisham branch of the Women's Social and Political Union was very active in this area. In the space of a couple of weeks in May 1908 they'spoke to a crowd of 4000 5000 working men and women in Deptford Broadway', held a similar size meeting on Blackheath, and had a meeting in the New Cross Hall
Direct action between 1912 and 1914 saw post boxes burned and blown up in Deptford, Greenwich, Brockley and elsewhere and fires at Dulwich College and, in January 1914, at a cricket pavilion in Burnt Ash Road. A fire at St Catherine's Church on Telegraph Hill was blamed by the press on Suffragettes although this was never proved. May Billinghurst, a founder of the Greenwich branch of the WSPU in 1910, was jailed for 8 months for an action against a letter box in Blackheath in December 1912. Billinghurst was a disabled wheelchair user who lived at 7 Oakcroft Road, and was responsible for a number of letter box ‘outrages'
In 1890s Deptford anarchist group was one of the most active in the country, said to have 100 members.
New Cross Bomb Outrage
In August 1894 a post office was blown up at 117 New Cross Road, the first of several such attacks in South London. A message was left written in French: “In memory of Racachol, Bourdin, Vaillan, Hend and Sante and Vive I'Anarchie." In April 1897, Rolla Richards, a member of the Deptford Anarchist Group, was sentenced to 7 years in jail for these attacks.
Kate Sharpley was born in Deptford had been in the anarchist movement in south London just before and during the First World War. She had worked for a German baker in South London but gone into munitions in Woolwich during the war and was among the first of the shop stewards movement.
Kate’s father and brother were both killed in action, while her boyfriend was conscripted and not heard of again. Later when Queen Mary was handing out medals in Greenwich, most of them for fallen heroes being presented to their womenfolk. Kate, then 22, having collected medals for her dead father, brother and boyfriend, then threw them in the Queens face, saying, “If you think so much of them, you can keep them.” The Queens face was scratched and so was that of one of her attendant ladies. The police, not a little under the influence of patriotic propaganda, then grabbed her and beat her up. Kate was said by the local press to be under the influence of anarchist propaganda. When she was released from the police station a few days later, no charges being brought, she was scarcely recognisable. After her clash with the police she was sacked from her job on suspicion of dishonesty (there was nothing missing but a policeman had called checking up on her ... ) and, selling libertarian pamphlets in the street, she was recognised by the police and warned that if she appeared there again she would be charged with soliciting as a prostitute
1931: 5000 unemployed march on Town Hall.
1932: police ordered a group of people in Deptford Broadway to stop singing the Red Flag. When this was ignored, they were baton charged and 6 were arrested. The next day, unemployed workers in local training centres went on strike and 5000 met in the Broadway and defeated and scattered mounted police. Later that year, Kath Duncan of Deptford NUWM was jailed for a month.
October 1932: marchers from Kent stopped off at Deptford from which people marched towards County Hall. Police stopped the march from its destination and there was fighting around Waterloo as the police tried to forcibly break up the crowd.
1381: the peasants revolted against a new poll tax that would mainly hit the labouring classes. 60,000 rebels from Kent set up camp at Blackheath where they were addressed by the radical preacher John Ball who argues that all things should be held “in common". The peasants destroyed prisons and killed the Archbishop of Canterbury before the rebellion was crushed with the deaths of thousands of rebels including their leader Wat Tyler who was killed by William Walworth.
1450: Jack Cade led the Kentish rising against excessive taxation of the common people. As in 1381, they established a camp at Blackheath. Later they move their headquarters to the White Hart in Borough High. Street, Southwark. After a bloody battle on a burning London Bridge, the rising was defeated.
1497: 5,000 Cornish rebels marched on London in revolt against a new tax to pay for king Henry VII's planned invasion of Scotland, joined by sympathisers from Devon and Somerset on route.. The rebels reached Blackheath Common on the 16th June 1497. The following day English troops had surrounded the area around Blackheath Common, and were ready to attack the Comish soldiers holding Deptford Bridge, with their archers behind them on 17th June 1497. The rebellion was at an end. Two hundred Cornishmen had been killed compared with eight of the King's soldiers. Cornish leaders An Gof and Flamank "enjoyed" the king's mercy by being hanged until they were dead before being disemboweled and quartered. Their head's were then stuck on pikes on London bridge.
Oxford Arms Birds Nest
River Ravensbourne/Creek: vital but invisible
1976/7: ATV Mark Perry: MP published first punk fanzine Sniffin' Glue from 24 Rochfort House, Grove Street. ATV Here and Now free festival.
Albany, Creek Road linked in 1970s with SE London Claimants Union
47 Creek Road
The 1970s saw the rise of racism in Deptford and the escalation of the National Front. The Albany tried to counter this with its very popular "Rock Against Racism' gigs, a three day "All Together Now” festival, a benefit to scrap the sus laws and a successful anti racist show called "Restless natives". On the 14th July 1978 the Albany was gutted by fire. The next day notes were pushed through the door of the shell on Creek Road saying "GOT YOU". Not all members of the community had appreciated the Albany's efforts to improve race relations.
June/July 1998: Resonance FM (London Musicians Collective), temporary radio station. Running throughout Resonance FM was Peter Cusack's London Soundscape. Listeners were asked to send in or tell of their favourite London sounds. It included a recording of Deptford Creek, particularly memorable with the power station hum and the Thames brought together.
Charles Booth found this area to one of the poorest in London:
Addey Street: "Some prostitutes and criminals, low rough class. The Inspector reckons that this is the worst part of Deptford"
Giffin Street: “Many of the houses at the east end are dilapidated and boarded up. Slatternly women standing about, some shoeless children. Low class, some prostitutes, hawkers etc."
Irish streets – “the block between the Railway and Hales Street” (included Giffin Street)
"Baildon Street if any men and women have the criminal brand upon their faces, these seem on my two visits unmistakenly to bear if
1707: site of a House of Correction (a Prison for paupers and vagrants). Became a workhouse in 1926. Another workhouse was built soon after in Sayes Court.
Rules of St Nicholes Workshouse: "Rising bell at a quarter before six, at six prayers and afterwards employment, retiring to bed at nine, children at eight. Breakfast shall be at 8, the dinner hour at one, and supper at 7. All other hours shall be considered working hours. No person permitted to leave the house... Grown persons who shall refuse to work shall be confined and kept on bread and water"
In 1727: the parish of St Nicholas paid a waterman to “carry out of town... a bigbellied woman almost ready to lye in, she carrying two children with her” to prevent here being a 'burden' on the poor rate.
An inquest in 1848 held at the Royal Oak, Deptford High Street, found that Thomas Sturges Nichols, a labourer aged 50 had died of starvation (illustrated London News 15.1.1848)
Rachal McMillan Nursery
Margaret and Rachel McMillan were two middle class socialists who opened the first open air nursery school at Deptford in 1914. In the 1880s they met Williarn Morris and Peter Kropotkin, and were involved in supporting the 1889 dock strike. They were members of the SDF and ILP. Also opened school clinics in Evelyn Street and Deptford Green
In 1911 Margaret McMillan published The Child and the State where she criticised the tendency of schools in working class areas to concentrate on preparing children for unskilled and monotonous jobs. Margaret argued that instead schools should be offering a broad and humane education. Rachel McMillan died on 25th March, 1917 and Margaret McMillan.died on 29 March, 1931.
MacMillans Pub, MacMillan St – benefits and other local gigs held here in 1980s-90s - (later Heathers veggie restaurant)
“In Deptford, near a Place called Flaggon Row, dwells one Anne Arthur, that had a long time got her Living, by selling things about the street, who "according to her own report, had diverse Discourses with the Devil, on the Third of this Instant March 1684, who offered her Gold and Silver; telling her many strange and Wonderful things; And, in the end carried her in the Air a Quarter of a Furlong'. "She has been a notorious Liver, often given to swearing, and calling upon the Devil; brealdng the Sabbath, and the like"
Jack in the Green
c. 1903 police suppress 'Jack in the Green, the chimney sweeps' May Day festival' which featured 'The Deptford Jack, in his tower of greenery... surrounded by traditional dancing and music making attendants'
17th and 18th Century: people marched from Cuckold Point in Bermondsey through Deptford and Greenwich on October 18 to Chariton with horns on their heads, the men dressed as women. Banned in mid 19th century after a fight between dockers and army cadets.
St Nicholas Church
Deptford was home to many early black Londoners; church burial records:
1692: an Indian called 'Cobit'was buried;
1724: Thomas Berry 'Negro Mariner' buried;
1726: George Jameson, a black man from on board ship
1783: two black men were buried, Manuel Le Ceasar and Domingo Antonio;
In 1721 a 'free Negro' seaman from Deptford led "a Mutiney that we had to many Offiers, and that the work was too hard and what not"
Sugar spices and human cargo: an early black history of Greenwich by Joan Anim Addo (Greenwich Council 1996)
Thomas Whyche, the Deptford priest who was burnt at the stake in 1362 for being a Lollard. He is remembered in a plaque in Deptford Church.
Christopher Marlowe was stabbed to death in Deptford on 30 May 1593. Various theories have been put forward as to the circumstances of his death, with suggestions that he was caught up in the power struggles of the Elizabethan secret state and that he was a freethinker. After Marlowe's death Richard Baines, an informer, claimed in a note to the Privy Council that Marlowe had said that “all they that love not tobacco and boys are fools" and proclaimed the heresy "That Saint John the Evangelist was bedfellow to Christ and leaned always in his bosom; that he used him as the sinners of Sodom".
Pirates: Captain Kidd sailed Corn Deptford on his ship, the "Adventure Galley" on Feb. 27, 1696
Royal Naval Dockyard
Henry VIII decided to set up dockyard in 1513
1739: workers at Deptford shipyard went on strike because management wanted to stop them taking home 'chips' bits of wood left over from ship building. This was part of a process of increasing control over working day which leads to new laws against 'stealing' from work and the building of a brick wall around the shipyard (Linebaugh)
1779: conspiracy to set alight to shipyards exposed when Deptford sailmaker turned grass.
Press Gang (conscripted on the spot): 1795 strike all along the River until a shipwright was released by the press gang
In 1774, sailors on a warship at Deptford had enough of going without pay and food, and came ashore to take what food they could from market gardens and farms. Five were arrested, after which 300 armed sailors stormed the watchhouse at Deptford Broadway to release prisoners. They were joined by sympathetic local people and a crowd of 2000 marched on Greenwich to break open the watchouse there where the remaining prisoners were held. The sailors were said to have sworn “most bitter oaths they would hang in the market place at Greenwich every magistrate and constable they could find". (Steele 1993)
Convoys Wharf is on the site of the Royal Dockyard, and from 1879 to 1913 was the Corporation of London's Foreign Cattle Market for the import and slaughter of animals.
Many of the workers were young women known as Gut Girls, whose job it was to clean out the innards of the slaughtered animals.
Their financial independence, behaviour and taste in clothes were a source of moral panic for the respectable. There were complaints that they spent their wages on outlandish hats instead of underwear!
A Deptford Fund Committee was set up to train 13 16 year old girls in the essential arts of cookery, laundry, needlework, dressmaking and simple matters of hygiene. The intention of all this instruction was to prepare the girls for more suitable and ladylike employment and perhaps even for marriagel The Albany Institute, which opened in 1899, grew out of this work.
1986: During the News International Strike, Convoys supplied newsprint to Rupert Murdoch's company. Lewsisham Print Support Group and striking printers held pickets of Convoys Wharf. The pickets were usually held on Friday mornings from 6.30 am. A report of one picket on the 18 April 1986 said; "About 60 printers and Lewisham support group picketed Convoys Wharf a Kings Street, Deptford. There was some contact with drivers but not much, due to hostility of T&G stewards. Some delay was caused” (Picket, no.8, 20 April 1986). On 2 June 1986 there was a major fire at Convoys Wharf.
East India Company
The Stowage site was the base for the East India Company until 1782.
In the 18th century ended up running most of India with its own private army and trading monopolies in salt, tobacco, opium and other commodities. In 1769 and 1770 they created “famine over wide areas by cornering rice and refusing to sell it except at exorbitant prices” (Morton).
Statue here of Tsar of Russia Peter the Great (who stayed in Deptford while studying the docks/navy with view to building his own back home): To finance his military campaigns and domestic reforms, Peter imposed high taxes on the Russian people including the beard tax. He also dealt harshly with people who opposed the reforms. Peter forced many Russians to work against their will in his mines and factories and on building projects. Peter also extended serfdom, a system under which the majority of Russian peasants lived in conditions little better than slavery.
Gentrification of river: Pepys Estate tenants against sale of Aragon Tower with its riverside views to property developers.
Rations and Rubble: remembering Woolworths: the New Cross V2 Disaster, Saturday 25th November 1944, edited by Jess Steele, Deptford Forum, 1994.
Sugar spices and human cargo: an early black history of Greenwich by Joan
Anim Addo (Greenwich Council 1996)
Equiano, 0., The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African (London, 1789)
Peter Linebaugh, The London Hanged
Linebaugh, P., The Many Headed Hydra
A L Morton, A People's History of England
Quail, John, Slow Burning Fuse
Steele, Jess., Turning the Tide: The History of Everyday Deptford
General Strike: Deptford Official Strike Bulletin;