An Evil Device by Jack Thompson
A political thriller set in the former East Germany, every page of Jack Thompson's novel is infused with inside knowledge, expertly depicting the expat life and its continual conflict between irritation and deep affection for the country in question. And this is a country in turmoil, struggling to come to terms with die Wende: the fall of the Berlin wall and subsequent reunification of Germany after forty-odd years of political, ideological and economic division. The protagonist, Charlie Barrow, is less complicated than the world he inhabits, a rather lonely middle-aged journalist with a fondness for a drink and a past in military intelligence: a kind of Olde English Jack Reacher, he's unafraid to take on skinhead thugs in a Dresden tenement bar, but crumples at the gory sight of dismembered body parts on the streets of Berlin. Tenacious to the point of recklessness, he inevitably comes to play the leading role in his own news story. When his boss at the TV station refuses to let him cover the deaths of two local members of The Movement, a right-wing group the government is trying to ban, he walks out on the job and chases the story as a freelance. He's not entirely alone, though, aided by his newshound pal Maguire and enlisted by an irresistible police inspector (all crisp German efficiency with a soft centre) to meet up with some neo-Nazi informers and chase the story to its dramatic conclusion.
From the intimate detail of internal politicking in a TV news station, to the depressing airport café and the desperate greyness of wet autumnal streets, Thompson describes the grubby, noirish atmosphere of post-Reunification Berlin to perfection. The trail takes him from the capital into the heart of the former Eastern bloc to meet up with the informers and, ultimately, to learn what drives the Movement and how it has managed to recruit East Germans and Arabs alike.
After a slow start, the plot speeds from location to location, with twist and countertwist aplenty, until you're almost as confused and unsure who to trust as Charlie himself. But with the web of intrigue spreading far and wide into Germany's various secret services, the international media, even into government, everything is building up to a suitably dramatic climax - the ultimate assassination plot that must be foiled. Occasionally the expository dialogues on history and politics go on longer than seems strictly necessary, and a few elements such as Charlie's dream life (beautiful women loved and lost, and the Holocaust) fade away without resolution, but overall An Evil Device is a worthwhile read and one that leaves you with a deeper understanding of one of our European neighbours.
Jack Thompson has lived in Dulwich for twenty years. He was the foreign correspondent for the BBC World Service, covering Eastern Europe, Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge regime, Lebanon and Iraq. In 1995 he left the BBC to join Deutsche Welle TV in Berlin. Since 2002 he has devoted his time to writing. His next book is entitled Breaking the Cross and is set in Hungary
The Order of Merit: One Hundred Years Of Matchless Honour by Stanley Martin
Foreword by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh OM
The Order of Merit: One Hundred Years of Matchless Honour is a comprehensive history of the first hundred years of this senior order from 1902-2002. In the personal gift of the Queen and limited to 24 Ordinary Members at any time, the Order of Merit recognises leaders and exceptional personalities in a wide range of fields, ranging from Winston Churchill to Florence Nightingale, Laurence Olivier to the Prince of Wales and Lucien Freud to Tom Stoppard.
The biographical sketch of each member focuses on achievements for which he or she received the honour. In the process this work functions as a highly original insight into 20th century British political and cultural history and an unusual reference book on Britain's elite. Also fascinating is the section detailing those who have refused the Order, notably Rudyard Kipling, and those who might have been considered. The book is a key addition to an understanding of how power and patronage work in Britain at the highest level. The text is illustrated by over sixty photographs, portraits and cartoons drawn from contemporary sources including the Royal Collection.
Philip Ziegler writes; Stanley Martin combines the fruit of considerable research with a light touch and, with the benefit of hindsight he is not afraid to discuss whether the right people were appointed and who he thinks might have been better candidates. His anecdotes help to bring to life many of its members.
Stanley Martin CVO, a long time Dulwich resident, was a diplomat for 35 years, First Assistant Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps and Associate Head of the Protocol Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He is now Extra Gentleman Usher to the Queen. He is Chairman of the Royal Overseas League.
The Order of Merit: One Hundred Years of Matchless Honour is published by I.B. Taurus in hardback £25
On The Street Where You Live - Dulwich Village by Ian McInnes
The St Barnabas Literary and Social Society
On Tuesday, 19th March 1912 the St Barnabas Literary and Social Society proposed to hold a kinematographic lecture delivered by a Mr Richard Kearton. Frank Godden, the secretary of the Society, who lived at 3 Elmwood Road, wrote to the Clerk to the London County Council on 14th March noting that 'The lecture agency of the Outer Temple is supplying the lantern and cage and I am advised that non-flammable films are being used. I am also advised by the regulations governing these entertainments that notice should be sent to you. Your inspector can examine the apparatus any time after 7.30 pm on the evening intended'. It is a reflection both on the efficiency of the Clerk's office and the quality of the postal service at the time that the LCC were able to reply within three days confirming that they had no objection.
In the early days of film, when the projector was located in open halls, there had been a series of major fires caused by the flammable film stock in use at the time and several lives had been lost. The LCC had introduced strict regulations for premises where films were to be shown, even only occasionally, and, unfortunately for Mr Godden, an LCC Inspector decided to attend the show. He found that the films were not non-flammable and the LCC Clerk wrote to him on the 12th April setting out the Council's requirements if films were ever shown at the Hall again.
1. The cinematograph lantern should be placed in a smoke tight non-flammable enclosure of adequate dimension in the room at the rear of the stage and the picture projected onto the back of a transparent screen fixed in line with the front of the stage.
2. The gates in the railings next the High Street and Elms Road should be locked back during the display.
3. The two outer doors between the vestibule and the open yard next the High street which open inwards only should be removed during the display.
4. The mortice lock and barrel bolts on the exit doors to the High Street should be rendered inoperative during the display.
5. The chairs forming the seating should be battened in sections of not less than four and set out with side and intersecting gangways each of a minimum of 3ft 6in and the rows of seats should be arranged as to have always a depth of not less than 12in measured between the perpendiculars.
6. The exits to the High Street and Elms Road should be indicated by means of notices in 7in letters illuminated by colloza oil or candle lamps.
7. The Home Secretary's regulations should be applied with in all details, special attention being given to the clauses regarding the use of limelight and the provision of fire appliances.
The Assistant Bank Manager
Three of the most interesting houses in Dulwich are numbers 111.113 and 115 Dulwich Village. They are very different in style from the other properties on the road and date from 1907/08. The site, just north of what is now Barclays Bank, but which was then the London and South Western Bank, had not been built upon previously and the Governors were approached in June 1906 by a Mr Edward William Roberts, of 196 Oxford Street, described as 'an assistant Bank Manager', to lease the northern most plot. The house he started to construct was sold prior to completion in January 1907 and in May he was back to the Governors to lease the two further plots down towards the bank. The contemporary Estate minutes confirm the lease of the plots 'bounded to the south by land in the occupation of the London and South Western Bank limited and on the East by the Estates Woodyard, for the term of 99 years from the 24th day of June, 1907, at the rent of £12 10s for the first year, and there after £25 yearly, and to contain the builder's agreement to build two detached private dwelling houses, to cost at lease £1000 each house, and other conditions usually required by the Governors in agreements of similar property, and be signed by any five of the Governors.'
The Architect and Surveyor, Charles E Barry, was quite enthusiastic in his report confirming that 'the exterior surfaces of the walls will be covered with rough-cast and the roof will be tiled' and that 'The houses will be picturesque in appearance and I think the plans may be approved'. The Governors, however, were less impressed and instructed Mr Barry to 'see Mr Roberts with a view to obtaining an improved front elevation'. This he did, changes were made, and work started.
It seems that there was almost immediate interest from potential purchasers and Mr Roberts wrote to the Governors in July saying that he had an opportunity to sell one of them 'provided a back entrance can be obtained for the purpose of giving access for a carriage or motor car to the rear of the premises.' He suggested that the Governors grant him an easement over the road leading to the Estate Woodyard, together with the lease of a strip of land 18 feet wide at the rear of all three of his houses. The Manager thought that a figure of £10 per annum, was appropriate with Mr Roberts to erect a substantial oak fence at the rear of the new extended garden. However, it seems that the potential purchaser must have pulled out as there was no further discussion on the subject.
Regrettably there is no record of the original architect, though when an extension was proposed to Fountain Lodge, number 115, in April 1909, the architects for the scheme were Messrs Greenaway and Newberry, who had recently designed the St Faith's Hall in Red Post Hill, and it is certainly possible that a satisfied owner used the architects of his original house for an extension. The Architect and Surveyor noted 'The proposed addition, which is one storey high, consists of a billiard room, entrance porch; lavatory etc. is to be erected at the front of the house. The exterior of the addition would match the existing building and would, I think, be an improvement to the latter. The estimated cost is £350. I think the plan might receive the approval of the Governors'. This time it was approved without changes.
In 1912 Mr Roberts returned to Dulwich and had a meeting with the Governors to discuss a far more radical proposal. He suggested that they grant him a building lease over all the land bounded by Gallery Road, the south side of Burbage Road (the former site of the Camberwell Council horse cart depot and local pig farm), as far as the new houses in Turney Road. The Governors declined, as they wished to see if other builder/developers might be interested, but shortly afterwards the First World War intervened and nothing happened until Mr Ellyatt built out the south side of Burbage Road in 1919/20.
At much the same time, on the other side of Dulwich Village, local builder Mr Kingsman had been carrying out his development of the former grounds of the Greyhound Inn, demolished in 1895. Pickwick Road had been the first development to be built, the houses designed by architects Wilsden and North, and had started to sell well. It was common at that time for the builder to complete the road as house sales progressed, and all the new roads had to be finished in tarmac in order that the Council would adopt them - even though there were still a large number of unmade roads in the area. To show that lack of co-ordination between statutory service suppliers is nothing new, the Governors became very concerned when the County of London Electricity Supply Company decided to install their electric light mains in the newly completed road and sent a postcard to the Governors just before work was due to start.. The Manager reported 'This road had only just been made and completed by the contractor and I therefore, on behalf of the Governors, objected to the Company interfering with the road in anyway without giving the full notice and depositing plans and information of the proposed works as provided by the Camberwell Electric Lighting order of 1896. I understand that the Company had been given ample notice of the making of this road.' The Manager was instructed to arrange for the restoration by the Company of the road 'immediately after the laying of the mains, and also for the making good by them of any dilapidations to the road which may arise within twelve months from the laying of the mains.'
On 23 February 1743 Henry Bulley was tried, with his common law wife, Ann Peacock, otherwise Bulley, otherwise Hubbard at The Old Bailey for the crime of theft: burglary. The robbery took place at the Hospital of Bridewell, a workshop and a place of correction near Blackfriars Bridge, It is assumed the victim was the Governor. The stolen goods were taken to the Bell Inn at Dulwich which stood in College Road near the present Dulwich Park gates where it is assumed they were to have been sold. This is an edited transcript of the proceedings of the trial.
Henry Bulley and Ann Peacock were indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling house of Joseph Taylor Esq., in the Hospital of Bridewell about the Hour of three in the Night, and stealing one Silver Cup and Cover; 2 Silver Muggs; six Salvers; 3 dozen of Spoons; 2 dozen Silver handled knives; 37 Forks; 1 Silver Sauce-pan; 3 Salts; 3 Salt-Spoons &c. Value £80, the Property of Joseph Taylor, Esq: in the said Dwelling-House, February 15.
Joseph Avery I am Butler to Mr Taylor, in Bridewell: I looked the Plate over on the 13th Day of this Month when my Master went out of Town: I left it locked up in the Back-Parlour, in the Beauset, and took the Key with me to Stanmore. On Thursday, when my Master came to Town, I found the Beauset was broke open, and the Plate was gone, as mentioned in the Indictment: the biggest part of the Plate was found: this is the Cup and Cover which I left in the Beauset, locked up when I went out of Town. (There was a Silver Sauce-pan and some other Pieces of Plate produced, which were prov'd to be Mr Taylor's)
Rachel Walker When I went to Bed, on Monday was seven-night, the Door was locked; and in the Morning, I found the Beauset was broke open, and the Plate was gone: There was a Boat and a Sauce-pan which stood by the Dresser, they were both gone. The Door was locked when I went to Bed, and I believe it was barred: They came in at the Window, up one Pair of Stairs: the Sash was pushed up.
Job Steele In the first Place, Henry Bulley, his Wife Ann Bulley and I, were at the Ben Johnson's- Head in Shoe-Lane. (I never was there three Times in my Life) The last Night I was there, I was with them: it was Monday was seven-Night; and we agreed to rob Esquire Taylor's House, in Bridewell, that Night.
Q Was you ever Servant to Mr Taylor?
Steele I never was his Servant.- And accordingly, departing from that House, we entered into Bridewell undiscovered, without any Suspicion; and went up a winding Fair of Stairs. We went into the House about Three o'Clock in the Morning; all Three of us. I was the Person, that entered the House; and I will tell you by what Method: I lay concealed upon the Stairs and when I thought they were all asleep I came into the inner, and then into the outer Court , and Bulley helped me up over the Pallisades: there was a Sash-Window, which I lifted up and entered in, as better knowing the House than he did (though he knew it pretty well). I went down, opened the Door, and let them in, and they struck a Light with their Tinder-box, which they carried away with them, and broke the Beauset up; they filled two Bags which they carried with them and they left more Plate behind, than they took away: They might have taken Plates and Dishes along with them, which they said were Pewter, and they would not take them; but they were Plate. I am sure the two Prisoners are the Persons who took the Plate away, Gentlemen: I have not known the Woman above three Months, but I have known him 20 Years. They took it all away, I had none of it.
Q What had you nothing at all for your Pains?
Steele No; I had nothing at all for my Pains.
Richard Price On Saturday last Mr Taylor sent for me, with a Message, that he desired to speak with me; he said, he believed he had got a Person who would give him Information of the People who had got the Plate: I went with the Person to a House in Horsleydown, but I did not see them that Night; I went over again the next Morning with a Search-Warrant; there are two doors to the House, 2 of us went in at the Fore Door, and I and another went in at the Back- Door; the first Person I saw was Henry Bulley, and I believed according to the Account that was given to me that he was the Man; I endeavoured then to know where they lodged, in order to find the Woman, but as I had a Search-Warrant to search the House, I did search Part of it, and they brought me Word the Woman was in the House; we went into the back Part of the House and found her there, and I found a Wooden-Chest, and in that chest a brass Pistol: I found this Plate in the House where the Man was: It is the Sign of the Boatswain and Call, in Horsleydown, Fair Street: I think the Man's name is Redrosse; I believe Bulley came in as a Guest, for they told me he did not lodge there.
Council We shall now prove how this Plate was carried about from one Place to another.
John Gyles (coachman) My Stand is by White-Chapel Bars: Last Thursday was sen'night, between Twelve and One, the Prisoner at the Bar (the Man) came to me and asked for a Hackney-Coachman to go to Dulwich. I called a Hackney-man out of the House, I do not know whether he asked him 8 or 10 Shillings; the Prisoner bid him six: I said, I could get him a Chaise and Pair for 7 Shillings: which I did and took him to Wentworth Street, Spital-fields, and took up a Portmanteau-Trunk, and put it in the Hay-Bag, and a little square Box. This is the Box; the Box was very heavy. The Box was put in the Chaise: I was ordered to go to the Bell at Dulwich, and unluckily the Portmanteau burst open on the Road; I saw there was Plate in it; and when I had sat him down I came away and was then to fetch the Woman, which I did, and two Dogs - I left this Box and Trunk with Henry Bulley, at the Bell at Dulwich.
Charles Shooler (Carrier) I took the two Prisoners up at the Flying Horse, in Lambeth Street, and carried them to the Fox under the Hill, at Camberwell; and then went to the Bell at Dulwich, and brought from thence a Box . That is the Box, and a Portmanteau, that I believe is the Trunk. And I carried them into Horsleydown, Fair Street, to the Boatswain and Call and set both the Man and the Woman down there. I left the Trunk and Box there below Stairs.
Prisoner, Ann Bulley I desire that Box may be opened (Which was done, and a Pistol taken out) Whose Pistol is that? It is his Pistol.
Job Steele I know the Pistol well. - I own it to be my Pistol.
Ann Bulley Whose things are those? (A Pair of Pistols, and two dark Lanthorns were taken out of the Box.)
Job Steele What signifies my knowing of these Things. I know them very well: These Pistols are your's, I have seen you handle them many a Time: These two Dark Lanthorns, I believe, are the Lanthorns we made Use of at Mr Taylor's House. - All the Things in the Box, were Bulley's except one Pistol.
Ann Bulley The Man who is the Evidence is the Person who sent the Box with the Plate in it under our Care. He sent it by unknown Hand, and I did not know how he came by it.
Elliot I saw Job Steele come into Bridewell, with a Man and a Woman with him, on Monday was se'ennight, a small Matter before Eleven o'clock at Night. By their size they are the same; I did not see their Faces. - I am sure Job Steele was one, I have seen him more than an hundred Times, and I know it was him.
Andrew Culley On Shrove-Tuesday, about half an Hour after Five in the Morning, I met both Prisoners coming out of Bridewell loaded, and I thought they were going a Country-Journey, because they went out Bag and Baggage at that Time in the Morn, I had no Suspicion of them, if I had I should have stopped them.
Verdict Henry Bulley guilty, Death. Ann Bulley acquiited, as being at present with her Husband, and supposed to act under his Direction.
Abbeyfield is a national charity which offers a home for people over 65, in an atmosphere of care, companionship and service of the highest quality. In Dulwich there are two Abbeyfield houses, both in Stradella Road, SE24. One accommodates seven residents and the other six, and both are managed by their own experienced and competent housekeeper. Each resident has their own flatlet, or in a few cases bed-sit, all with en suite or nearby private bath or shower room and toilet. They are all let at a very reasonable cost. Hot meals are provided and eaten communally.
The essence of Abbeyfield is that each house is supervised by a house committee of dedicated volunteer helpers who make sure that each resident feels needed and supported. In addition, each independent Abbeyfield Society has an executive committee, also composed of volunteers, including professional people and members of the house committees, which runs the Society.
We are currently looking for volunteers who would be interested in joining a house committee to help us to look after the needs of our elderly residents, a socially useful role which many people find deeply satisfying.
Anyone interested in helping in this way as a volunteer should apply to Mobbs Pitcher on 0207 733 1587 or 07721672623 (mobile). She will also be happy to give more information on this national charity, including information of the availability and cost of accommodation in our houses in Dulwich for those who are themselves interested in becoming residents or would like to find a congenial home in the area for an elderly relative.
The last few issues of the Dulwich Society Newsletter have contained items about local croquet clubs. So why not come and try croquet for yourself, you may find you enjoy it! No experience is required, the Club will supply the mallets, friendly tuition is available and all adults are welcome.
The Old College Lawn Tennis and Croquet is holding Open Days for new members to try things out. The croquet section will be open for visits by prospective members on the morning of Sunday 22 April between 10am and 1.00pm and on Tuesday evening May 8 from 6.00pm onwards.
The members of the croquet club have regular sessions four times each week during the season: afternoons on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays and evenings on Tuesdays. There are also days set aside for croquet in the mornings, and a tournament each year with a splendid tea after the final.
If you would like more information, telephone Pat Wilson on 020 8670 0377 or Sheila Meadows on 020 8670 6833, or just come along and try it for yourself!