David Bowie did not seem to age much in the 43 years between performing Star Man in a fake snakeskin leotard on Top of the Pops in 1972 and the last pictures in 2015, soon after he discovered he had terminal cancer. That was one factor which made his death on January 11 2016 such a shock. Here TOBY PORTER remembers his South London roots on the fifth anniversary.Read more
Lee Lawrence’s win in the memoir category of the Costa Book Awards brought back some of the trauma and anger of the incident which is the pivot of his story. His mum, Cherry Groce, was shot by police in an incident which sparked the 1985 Brixton riots. Here TOBY PORTER recalls the events which shocked a community.Read more
Former Charlton club photographer Tom Morris, who has died suddenly at the age of 76, was a familiar figure on the goal line at Charlton matches, home and away, for more than three decades, writes Rick Everitt.Read more
George Merry, a First World War hero who died in 1920, was a salesman who travelled the world selling cars for a friend – the man who created the Citroen car company. He died mysteriously.Read more
An impoverished tailor with a wife and small child started behaving increasingly erratically as his wife began to lose patience with her alcoholic spouse. JAN BONDESON tells how she came to a sad end – but her killer escaped the noose.Read more
Ned Willsher changed the way cricket was played when his determination to bowl over-arm eventually prevailed.Read more
Former soldier Arthur Meader was adjudged not fit to serve after his sight began to deteriorate amid the First World War. He was helped by a blind charity and married – but his wife led a double life in the West End.Read more
A young air gunner from Lambeth, Eric Kirby, was among the crew of a Lancaster bomber shot down by the Germans after a raid on a railway yard in June 1944.Read more
One lodger was sent to prison for kidnapping guttersnipes; the next a drunkard who hit his wife and was beaten to death.Read more
Henry Ebner was founding partner in the firm Myers, Ebner and Deaner for 40 years, and also twice President of the Hammersmith Rotary Club and raised many thousands of pounds for charity.Read more
Before powerful tools like the internet and social media, the drum beat around race activism in Britain, as well as globally, was generated mostly by radical print media, writes Will Brook.Read more
When Joseph Conrad, below, wrote The Secret Agent, he recalled a South London incident which was the inspiration for its main character.Read more
Five generations of a family have worked to keep the lights on across London for almost 100 years, and there’s a possibility of a sixth generation continuing the tradition in the electricity industry.Read more
The trial of Ada Williams became a sensation in 1913 when, in response to the taunts of her husband, she killed her own son, born before she married him.Read more
Migration Museum A new immersive exhibition by the Migration Museum has opened, exploring 400 years of emigration from Britain, from the Mayflower to the present day.Read more
The National Maritime Museum said it will not meddle with its displays on Lord Nelson, despite the fact he was an avowed opponent of the abolition of slavery. One national newspaper in particular seemed to think acknowledging this fact was a dangerously subversive, leftie idea.
TOBY PORTER looks at the victor of Trafalgar’s links to South London…
The Aylesbury Estate, with 2,704 flats, and built from 1963-77 and is home to 7,500 people, is currently undergoing a major regeneration programme. On September 27, 2005, Southwark council decided that rather than spend £350million updating it, it would replace them with 4,900 flats in blocks built by a housing association. The sale of half would fund the whole scheme.
Author MICHAEL ROMYN makes a passionate plea for its survival.
Ladywell Cemetery contains the grave of an army officer who died in a famous shootout in Dublin 100 years ago last week, as the war between Irish republicans and the British reached its conclusion. MIKE GUILFOYLE tells the story…Read more
Wednesday of last week marked the 80th anniversary of a Second World War German bomb striking Balham Tube station. Here TOBY PORTER recounts what happened.Read more
Peckham Rye Park partially owes its existence to cricket.
When locals wanted to play the game in Victorian England, they converged on Peckham. Some of the matches descended into vicious acts of revenge and other passing pedestrians were in fear of being struck by the sloggers at the crease.
The National Maritime Museum has stressed it has no changes planned for its Nelson, Navy, Nation gallery or its commentary on the admiral. The statue protectors and Laurence Fox can sleep easy.Read more
Between 1809 and 1861 the East India Military College was based in Addiscombe. It was where soldiers trained for the company’s army in India. At the height of its rule in India, the East India Company had a private army of about 260,000, twice the size of the British Army, and came to rule large areas of India.Read more
John Archer, London’s first Black Mayor, reversed Churchill’s claim that “If a man is not a socialist by the time he is 20, he has no heart. If he is not a conservative by the time he is 40, he has no brain.” He moved to the left as he got older. He was first elected as a Progressive – or Liberal, but joined Labour by 1919 and was the election agent for Britain’s first Asian MP, a Communist, by 1922.Read more