The Dulwich Society Journal for Winter 2018.
I always think of Dulwich as a green oasis in (more or less) the middle of London. But within this earthly paradise there lurks a silent killer - Armillaria mellea, honey fungus - that often explains why seemingly healthy bushes and trees (and sometimes herbaceous perennials) die unexpectedly. More widely, it’s top of the list of disease enquiries to the Royal Horticultural Society along with box blight (now extensive in Dulwich) and Phytophthora.
The most obvious symptoms are death of the tree or shrub, with early signs being foliage discolouration and dieback of shoots. It can be diagnosed by peeling back the bark on roots or the stem base, which will reveal a thin white layer of fungal tissue (mycelium) and/or thin black strap-like “bootlaces” (rhizomorphs) between the dead bark and the wood. Fruiting bodies - “mushrooms” - may also appear on the surface. These are variable in appearance but come in shades of brown and usually have a conspicuous ring around the stem below the cap. The fungus spreads by air-borne spores emerging from the fruiting bodies and by root to root contact between plants and by underground rhizomorphs. Left untreated, plants will continue to be affected.
The best treatment is to dig up and remove the diseased plant and as much of its roots as possible, as well as those of any adjacent dead or dying plants; in hedges, the RHS recommends taking out plants a metre either side of the dead plant. Then leave the area fallow for 6 to 12 months, digging over regularly to break up and starve any fungal fragments. Sinking an impermeable plastic barrier around the affected area is an alternative. Stress such as the recent drought makes plants more susceptible, so water, fertilise and mulch in dry weather - but do not pile up mulch or soil around the stems of plants as this allows the fungus to spread throughout the stem collar.
The RHS publishes lists of genera of trees and shrubs that are susceptible and those that show resistance (www.rhs.org.uk/honeyfungushosts).
Colby Road lies at Dulwich’s southern edge, linking Gipsy Hill and Dulwich Wood Avenue. It was built in the late 1860s following the arrival of the railways and is said to be named for the Rev. Edmund Colby, a schoolmaster of Dulwich College in 1645. Many of the houses were built by R J May of Pond House, who advertised in the Daily Telegraph in 1871:
FREEHOLD HOUSES to be LET or SOLD, in a first rate healthy situation,
Colby Road, Gipsy Hill, near the Crystal Palace, At rents of £32, £36, £40 & £50.
Fitted with every convenience
The houses were standard Victorian semis and if occupied by a single family the family would have employed a general servant: in 1872 Mrs Eliza Gore advertised for just such a servant for her house in Colby Road. But right from the start these houses were more often in multiple occupation, either as two families sharing, families with lodgers or as boarding houses with bedsits. Lodgers had their own bedroom and possibly also a sitting room and often meals were included. There was a large amount of turnover with residents often staying for just a few years.
The Effect of the Crystal Palace
Given its proximity, Crystal Palace played a large role in the lives of many of Colby Road’s residents, both as a place of work and also as a place to spend their leisure time. Many residents worked at the Crystal Palace, either as ticket-sellers like William Jerome or William Rogers, shop assistants like Minnie Jerome, or waitresses like Helena Joslin. There were also a large number of ‘fancy’, or gift, shop workers including Thomas Moore, Mary Coppard, her brother Charles Coppard, Mary Ray, Ethel Middleton, her sister Eleanor Middleton, Joseph Hazel and Isabella Buttery. There were also artisans who found employment there, like Harry King who was a bazaar fitter, and Alfred Bool, an art modeller and plasterer. Walter Louis Vincent George Bernasconi, a scenic artist at the Crystal Palace, later became the resident artist at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and worked on the River Caves water ride (still operational today) and the much-loved walk-through Noah’s Ark.
The Musicians of Colby Road
Musicians who earned their living playing at the Crystal Palace found Colby Road a very convenient place to live. The Crystal Palace concert space was immense (twice the size of St Paul’s Cathedral), so the orchestra was commensurately large. The famous August Manns had a vision for music at the Palace which led to the hugely popular Saturday afternoon classical music concerts. By the 1880s audience numbers were topping 20,000 and the stage could hold over 300 performers. Manns maintained a large resident orchestra which gave the musicians stability and allowed them to forgo the often-peripatetic nature of their profession and put down roots. Thus, many of Colby Road’s residents earned their living by playing at the concerts but also by teaching music. Samuel West was a professor of music as well as the Palace’s music librarian and he also played the cornet in the orchestra. His daughter Clara was a vocalist and music teacher. Sebastian Sauer was a conductor, Robert Hopke Reed was a music professor and played cello in the orchestra. He was from a family of musicians: his father was conductor at the Haymarket theatre. William Welsh was an organist. Walter Leversuch and his sister Julia were musicians and singers. Noel Morel was a singer who came from France to sing at the Crystal Palace and also played the double bass in the orchestra. Heinrich Krause was a professor of music and principal viola player. Even the governesses in Colby Road described themselves as ‘musical’ in the Census. That these musicians lived in the same road as waitresses and shop assistants tells us something of their income and perceived social standing. Certainly, at that time, membership of the Crystal Palace orchestra carried nothing like the professional or social status of the Philharmonic.
Annie Besant - A Vignette
One of Colby Road’s earliest residents was Annie Besant, the 19th century social reformer. She was a remarkable woman and much of her life story is covered in ‘Who Was Who in Dulwich’. However, her reasons for settling here are intriguing. In 1872 she heard the eloquent sermons of Charles Voysey (father of CFA Voysey), who lived in Dulwich, and began to discuss with him her questioning of her Christian beliefs. Voysey, struck by the ‘unusual appearance and earnestness of this beautiful woman of twenty-five’, befriended her, inviting her to Dulwich where she often stayed with him and his wife. When she refused to attend communion, her clergyman husband ordered her to leave the family home and while divorce was unthinkable, in 1873 they legally separated; her husband had sole custody of their son while Annie had custody of their daughter, Mabel.
Through the Voyseys Besant had met Thomas Scott, a middle-class intellectual who lived in Farquhar Road, and became, like him, a free-thinker and it was to these friends in Dulwich that she looked for help after her separation. In 1874 she wrote to her mother: ‘I found a tiny house in Colby Road, Upper Norwood, near the Scotts, who were more than good to me, and arranged to take it in the spring’. She ‘hurriedly furnished a couple of rooms in the little house, that I might now take my mother into the purer air of Norwood’. Though the house was her ‘little nest’ its upkeep was almost beyond her means: ‘the little house in Colby Road taxed my slender resources heavily and the search for work was not yet successful. I do not know how I should ever have managed but for the help ever at hand, of Mr and Mrs Thomas Scott’.
She had a small allowance from her husband and earned some money writing for Scott but there were often days when the money would not stretch to food for all the household, so Annie spent the day ‘studying’ at the British Museum so as to have ‘dinner in town’, the said dinner being conspicuous by its absence. She sold her jewellery and her clothes and clearly considered herself to be on the verge of destitution yet curiously still kept a servant, Mary, who, Besant said, kept the little house so bright and fresh-looking that it was always a pleasure to be in it. The Scotts were assiduous in inviting her to meals at Farquhar Road and if Mrs Scott had not heard from Annie for a couple of days she would visit Colby Road to see what had happened. It was here in Colby Rd that Annie Besant found her public speaking voice: ‘tentatively I took up this keen weapon and have used it ever since’.
Her mother did not live long, dying at Colby Road, ‘worn out, ere old age touched her, by sorrow, poverty and pain’. Besant felt that the rooms of Colby Road were ‘filled with sunshine but unlighted by her presence’. She herself fell ill the following year with a ‘congestion of the lungs’ and in 1874 left Colby Rd for Bayswater.
George Glenny (1793-1874)
The horticulturalist, lived at Paxton Villa, named, appropriately, for Joseph Paxton, the gardener and architect who designed the Crystal Palace. Glenny founded and edited several gardening magazines, was the first person to have a gardening column in a newspaper, wrote many gardening books and won so many silver cups for his own plants that he was able to lay his dinner table for 57 guests with a silver cup at each place setting. However, he was a man of strong views, once described as a ‘horticultural hornet’ and he fell out with most of the gardening establishment, being censured by the council of the Horticultural Society. Glenny spent many years trying to improve the English tulip and, probably as a result of his efforts, the appearance of the English tulip changed dramatically. He died at Paxton Villa in Colby Road in 1874.
The Tweddell family lived at Athol Lodge. Major Tweddell had served in the Bengal Infantry England, they lived in Colby Road. His daughter, Augusta Kate Tweddell, was born in 1869 in Karachi and married Richmond Trevor Crichton in 1891. Though unrecorded, Augusta was in fact a talented painter of miniatures.
George Birnie Mackenzie (1872-1952) went to Dulwich College and joined the army straight from school. By 1914 he was a major, commanding the 2nd Siege Battery in the British Expeditionary Force, the first siege battery to open fire in WW1. At the beginning of the war, with little transport, motorised or horse, the army marched on its boots. When his soldiers arrived in St Omer after a hundred-mile march from Aisne, Mackenzie found that his men’s boots were in a deplorable condition, so he personally bought up all the boots in the village for them.
In October 1914 he was put in charge of the first super heavy 9.2in howitzer to be deployed at the front. Given the nickname ‘Mother’, the gun was difficult to operate which was why it was given to Mackenzie, as he had been involved in its testing in Wales only a few months before. It was designed to be as light as possible so that it could be towed by horses but this meant that to fire it involved weighing it down with nine tons of earth in a time-consuming and repetitive operation. Transporting it by tractor created large clouds of smoke, giving away the gun’s location. Nonetheless Mackenzie got it working and it was used extensively.
By the end of the war Mackenzie was a lieutenant colonel (and acting Brigadier-General). He died in 1953 having been awarded the CB, CMG, DSO and in France the Legion d’Honneur and the Croix de Guerre.
Colby Road and WW2
Colby Road suffered badly during the Blitz, particularly between October 1940 and June 1941. One only has to look at the proximity of the railway line to realise why this area was so heavily bombed. The London Country Council’s bomb damage maps show a quarter of Colby Road as totally destroyed, with a large part of the remainder of the road seriously damaged. After the war it took some time for repairs to property to be completed. A walk along Colby Road today shows post-war houses filling in the gaps where the Victorian houses were demolished.
The park that we know as Sunray Gardens was originally the water garden of Casina House which was built in 1796 on the Casina Estate. Casina House was demolished in 1906 and most of the land was acquired for social housing as the Sunray Estate which was formed in 1920. The area around the lake was preserved as open space for recreational purposes and was first known as the Casino Open Space, then renamed Sunray Gardens in 1923.
Sunray Gardens was therefore already well planted with Elms, Limes, Ashes, Weeping Willows, Alders, Horse Chestnuts, Sycamores, London Planes, Beeches, Hawthorns and Hazels all of which are still very much present in the park. Some of the larger trees were lost in the great storm of 1987, but many are still with us.
In 2001 the newly formed Friends of Sunray Gardens were awarded a lottery grant which with matched funding from Southwark Council provided £220k to refurbish the park. The Friends organisation disbanded after the park had been substantially improved. In the last few years Southwark Council have introduced some very attractive new trees to Sunray Gardens, including several species that originate from China.
Overhanging the Netball Court is an attractive Japanese Pagoda Tree (Styphnolobium japonicum). Despite its name the Japanese Pagoda tree is native to China but for a long time had been cultivated and naturalised in Japan, where the trees were often planted in the grounds of Buddhist temples. Known in China as the Scholar Tree it has been planted in Chinese gardens and temple grounds for over 2,000 years. The tree has beautiful white flowers in August but flowering normally only commences when the tree is 30-40 years old. This year we were fortunate to see these white flowers. Fruits form after the flowers fade, looking like bright green strings of pearls.
Also close to the hardcourt area are three Maidenhair (Ginkgo biloba. These were introduced to the UK from China in 1758. Fossils show that they existed over 270 million years ago. They are elegantly shaped trees and the leaves have a very distinctive fan shape split down the middle. Ginkgos are now widely planted in parks and in streets as they tolerate pollution and seem to thrive in built up areas. The tallest of these three Ginkgo is a relatively rare female tree which produces large yellow ovules containing seeds. These ovules litter the path in the autumn, and have the most unpleasant pungent smell. There is another mature Ginkgo tucked into the corner at the Elmwood Road entrance. The leaves from the Ginkgo turn golden yellow in autumn and form a yellow carpet on the ground.
Also just inside the Elmwood Road gate is another very attractive tree that is native to China - a Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata) - also known for some reason as Pride of India although they did originate in China. The delicately shaped leaves have from 7 to 15 leaflets with deeply serrated margins, unfolding red in late May, turning pale yellow then green, and in autumn yellow and brown with dramatic flowers of mustard-yellow plumes. The pinkish bladders, like Chinese lanterns, turn deep orange in the autumn, each holding 3 pea-size seeds.
Along the back of the park we are very fortunate to have four White Mulberries (Morus alba) - they are fast growing trees, native to Northern China but have been widely cultivated across the world for silk production. Cultivation of white mulberry trees for silkworms began over 4,000 years ago in China where they had discovered that White Mulberry leaves were the food required for the tiny caterpillars that produce the precious silk fibres. China maintained a monopoly on silk production for 2,000 years until Japan acquired the secret.
Amongst the Mulberries is a strange looking tree - a Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) - also known as Chinese plum or Japanese plum, but it is a native of south-central China. It is a large evergreen shrub or tree with a rounded crown, short trunk and woolly new twigs. Leaves are long, dark-green, tough and leathery. Loquats are unusual among fruit trees in that the flowers appear in the autumn or early winter, and the fruits are ripe between early spring and early summer, but seldom in the UK. The flowers are white with five petals and have a sweet, heady aroma that can be smelt from a distance. The fruits grow in clusters, are pear-shaped with a yellow or orange skin, and the flavour is a mixture of peach, citrus and mango.
A recent addition to the park is a young Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) - a deciduous conifer from China. It is an ancient tree and while known about from fossil records it was thought to be extinct. It was re-discovered and the first specimens were brought to Britain in 1948. They have pale green leaves with opposite leaflets, which turn into a rust colour in the autumn. They have a neat shape and have become very popular in parks. This tree was an orphan that was originally located towards the top of Red Post Hill, but had been planted in the shade of an oak tree where it would not have thrived. It was relocated out of season just a few months ago so we have been regularly watering this tree during the very dry summer, and hoping that it will survive.
Another newly planted tree is a Turkish Hazel (Corylus colurna) - this was another displaced tree that had to moved from the pavement of Dog Kennel Hill because of the building work beside East Dulwich Station. This was relocated behind the swings in the middle of the summer, so we have also been watering this newcomer regularly and hoping that we have done enough to make it feel welcome. If this tree does survive, the nuts will be larger than the Common Hazel and very popular with the squirrels, with cups that are very bristly and contorted.
There are also many of the more traditional British trees in Sunray Gardens.
On the bank of the lake are several English Elms (Ulmus procera) - These Elms are the remains of the Elm Wood of Elmwood Road. They are all less than 20 years old, and unfortunately this year seven of these taller elm trees reached a height of around nine metres at which point they came to the attention of the beetle Scolytus scolytus that carries the fungal pathogen known as Ophistoma novi -ulmi which causes what we know as Dutch Elm Disease.
However Elm trees continue to renew themselves by sending out suckers to produce many more young Elm trees. There are quite a few very young Elms here which should remain healthy until they also reach maturity. These Elms have small leaves that are hairy, scrubby and uneven, with a pimple leaf gall that is unsightly but not harmful to the tree. These immature Elms are sadly nothing like the magnificent Elms that Constable used to paint to depict a typical English landscape.
There are a great many common ash trees in the park - Common Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) - they have distinctive leaflets in pairs on either side of a leaf stalk and have winged fruits in the form of single wings known as ‘keys’ and they are often seen hanging in large bunches late into the autumn. These ash trees spread their seeds everywhere and there are very many self-seeded ash trees now growing around the nearside bank of the lake. These will need to be thinned out very soon before they completely dominate the park. There are concerns in the country about ash tree diseases as a fungal infection Chalara fraxinea, also known as Ash Dieback, which has ravaged other European countries has now spread to the UK, killing 90 per cent of the trees it affects. The Common Ash is also under attack from the emerald ash borer beetle. There are fears that between these two threats many of the country’s Common Ash trees may be eventually lost. One of our tallest Ash trees has been attacked by the wood decaying fungi Inonotus hispidus, and will soon have to be taken down.
In the middle of the park are three Weeping Ashes (Fraxinus excelsior pendula) - these are formed by grafting on to a Common Ash trunk an umbrella-shaped crown of hanging branches arching to the ground.
There is also a very attractive ash tree near the boundary fence of the grassy area - a Manna Ash (Fraxinus ornus) - or South European flowering ash. It is an attractive medium-sized domed tree that in early May is smothered in fragrant creamy-white flowers which have delicate, skinny petals. The Manna Ash is smaller than most other Ash trees, but flowers earlier and more spectacularly, but the autumn foliage display is just as attractive with the leaves turning green to yellow to red to purple and then falling. It is also not vulnerable to the various diseases afflicting other Ash trees.
The magnificent tree at the Red Post Hill entrance is a Common Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus). They are native British trees that produce male catkins in spring, and the fruit is a small nut held in a leafy bract that is slightly asymmetrical which makes it spin as it falls, improving wind dispersal. They can live for 300 years. There is another fine Common Hornbeam just a little further round on the boundary fence, plus several smaller Hornbeams along the boundary.
Alongside the lake amongst the many Common Alders is a very tall and upright Swamp Cypress (Taxodium distichum) which produces small cones each with many seeds. In the middle of the park are four small upright Irish Yews (Taxus baccata fastigiata) - an upright growth of the Common Yew grown as an ornamental tree.
If you wish to further explore our trees there is a Sunray Gardens Tree Trail together with a map that can be downloaded from the Friends of Sunray Gardens website at https://friendsofsunray.com
The Friends organisation has recently been re-established to help develop the park with Southwark Council. There are plans to continue the planting of interesting and attractive trees in Sunray Gardens over the next year.
The crossroads at the junction of Thurlow Park Road and Croxted Road has been the home of Oakfield School since the early 1880s. Rosemead School, a couple of hundred metres to the west was, from 1878 to WW2, the site of the Dulwich High School for Girls (run by the Girls’ Public Day School Trust) while there were a number of smaller prep and dame schools in the streets nearby, The two largest and best known were the ‘Waldrons’, which opened in 1916 next to the West Dulwich Police Station at 132 Thurlow Park Road, and ‘Thurlow Grange’, its successor school, which occupied No 127, the substantial house on the north side of cross roads. Over the last 130 plus years Oakfield has progressively absorbed all its rivals, apart from Rosemead, and expanded its site to the one we see today.
The two semi-detached houses on the south side of Thurlow Park Road (Nos 126/128), were built in the mid-1860s by Benjamin Colls, a builder from Camberwell, as part of a much larger scheme that went almost as far south as Park Hall Road. His firm was to become better known as Trollope and Colls when it amalgamated with George Trollope & Sons in 1903. No 127, across the road, was developed in 1877-79 by a local builder, James Rodda. He sold it to a prominent civil engineer, Thomas Ormiston, a well-known designer of large scale port facilities, mainly at Bombay in India. He lived here only a few years before his death in 1883. His son, Old Alleynian Thomas Lane Ormiston, is best known as the author of the Dulwich College Register which listed all the pupils and masters who had attended or taught at Dulwich College between 1619 and 1926.
The proximity of the Dulwich High School for Girls may have persuaded a young teacher called Mary Louisa Adams that this was the ideal place to start a small girl’s boarding school to attract girls from out of London who wanted a ‘Metropolitan education’. Her father, Frederic Elisius Adams, rented Nos 126/128 on behalf of his daughter and the school began. Adams himself was an interesting character - born in Camberwell, he had worked as a customs agent for the East India Company at Aden (in what is now the Yemen) where he had married the daughter of a Royal Navy Captain. The couple had returned to London in the late 1850s and he had gone into business as a marble merchant. His daughter was clearly a very ambitious woman and, appreciating the need to promote her school, she advertised for pupils in the London Evening Standard in April that year
‘HIGH CLASS EDUCATION FOR YOUNG LADIES: with home training and comforts-
OAKFIELD, Thurlow Park Road, West Dulwich. Large garden, lawn tennis,
certified mistresses and masters. Pupils prepared for local exams.
She also travelled around the country, an advertisement in the Warwick & Warwickshire Advertiser in November 1887 told the locals that
‘Miss Adams, Principal of a First-Class College for the Daughters of Gentlemen, will be at the
Warwick Arms Hotel, Warwick, Nov 5th, and the Manor House Hotel, Leamington, Nov 7th,
to see Parents desirous of placing their Daughters under her charge. Photographs of House and
Grounds, list of Professors, and high Testimonials will be shown. inclusive terms, 50 to 70 Guineas.’
We even know the names of all her teachers, and what they taught. The Gloucester Journal of July 1888 tells us that Music & Harmony were taught by Miss Webster RAM and Mr F Kiakia FRSM, drawing & painting by Mr Fred Cowie, dancing by Madame Julienne, drill by Sergeant Lewis (hopefully this meant gym rather than military drill!), singing by Madame Conri and Miss Cooke, German by Madame Van der Gobt, French by Mademoiselle Carroll and Latin by Miss Tuck.
Later that year Mary Adams married a solicitor, Horace Addison Davies, four years younger than her, and the 1891 census shows them in residence at No 128 Thurlow Park Road aged 36 and 32, she the Principal of a Ladies College. Living with them are four teachers, 17 scholars & six servants. Following her husband’s death in 1895 she remained at the school for another ten years until she moved to Epsom to set up another school called Garrett’s Hall. She sold Oakfield to Miss Mabel Westhall, who had previously been running a girls’ school in Kingston, and she remained in charge until the early 1930s when it was taken over by Miss Elisabeth Nottcut Green. Her speech at the annual prize giving in 1935 has resonance today; ‘children must have leisure time to read on their own, to think, to make things with their hands, to get out of doors, instead of a ceaseless rush to the pictures or switching on the wireless’.
Meanwhile, over the road, following the death of Thomas Ormiston, No. 127 had been bought by wealthy retired actor, Henry Betty. His father, William Henry West Betty, had been one of the best known and feted young actors in the first few years of the nineteenth century and had made a considerable fortune in a very short time - such that his family never needed to work. He was succeeded by a wealthy Mexican merchant, Henry de Brieba. The 1911 Census noted that he was living on private means but he had other business interests which did not apparently prosper during WW1. Whether or not he committed suicide, or fell out of his bathroom window by accident, we will never know as the inquest jury returned an open verdict.
The next owners, Alfred and Annie Burnard, were frequently reported to be in arrears on the rent and, late in 1926, the lease was up for sale again - with local estate agent, Messrs Marten & Carneby. Their office was under the bridge at West Dulwich station (where Indian restaurant Chadni Raja is now). After rejecting offers to use it as a nursing home, the Dulwich Estate finally leased the property to Miss Lilian Bowditch and her business partner, Miss Eliza Florence Roberts, who were running the ‘Waldrons’ school nearby. The Estate readily agreed to transfer the school use from No 132 to No 127, though there was a slight hitch when it was discovered that Mrs Burnard had let the flat on the first floor for three years on a short-term tenancy to someone else, but the school moved in anyway - and its brass plate was relocated to the main gate. The new school was renamed Thurlow Grange. It prospered until WW2 when, after moving to Bognor Regis to avoid the blitz, it closed down.
In 1941 the site was acquired by William Moffat Livingstone, the new owner of Oakfield School, He had been a teacher at the Dulwich Prep in the late 1930s and when that school evacuated to Wales during WW2, he moved over to Oakfield. Luckily for him, he had recently married into a wealthy local family, the Petherbridges, and it would appear that his father-in-law helped him buy the school. The school’s campus was complete when he finally acquired the adjoining house No 125. in 1957.
Like No 127 it had been built by James Rodda, and had had a number of different owners. The first, in 1881, was local medical practitioner Alexander MacLachan. The next was Dr John Henry Tudsbury(1859-1939) DSc., M.Inst. C.E., Honorary Secretary of The Institute of Civil Engineers, and a noted waterworks engineer. He had travelled to Japan to work on projects for the Imperial Government, and later had an office in Liverpool - he made the first engineering survey of the Mersey Estuary in 1888. He was followed by Harry Powell CBE, of the Whitefriars Glass Company (see Dulwich Society Journal article December 2015).
The houses’ most notable resident was the Rt Hon J H Thomas MP (1874-1949) - the house was bought for him in 1920 for £2000 by his trade union and YouTube has a short film, of him and his wife at the house https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kW3vG02NeMM. Born in Newport, Monmouthshire, and originally a railway worker, he become an official of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants and in 1913 helped to organise its merger with two smaller railway trade unions to form the National Union of Railwaymen - he was the NUR’s general secretary from 1916 to 1931. He was first elected to Parliament in 1910 as MP for Derby and was appointed Secretary of State for the Colonies in the Ramsay MacDonald’s 1924 Labour government. He later held several other ministerial posts, the final one of which was Secretary of State for the Colonies in 1936 but he was forced to resign from politics when it was revealed in the press that he had been entertained by stock exchange speculators and had dropped heavy hints as to tax changes planned in the budget. For example, while playing golf, he shouted "Tee up!", which was taken as a suggestion that the duties on tea were to rise.
This Christmas the Dulwich Players return to St Barnabas Hall in Dulwich to perform “Jack & The Beanstalk” (or “Jacques & The Brexit Talks”), written by Dulwich resident John Hedley.
Suitable for all ages, this is a traditional Christmas family pantomime with music, song and dance - and a highly topical dilemma: should the inhabitants of the village of Dull Itch stay in the Kingdom of Remainia, or will they be better off in Cloud Cuckoo Land, a country ruled by a fearsome but bumbling Giant named Boris? A magic beanstalk is the only link between the two realms. But will our hero Jack have the courage to climb the beanstalk? Will the good Fairy save him from the Wicked Witch’s cooking pot? Will Daisy the cow end up on the Giant’s barbecue? Will Jack manage to steal the Giant’s treasure and win the heart of Meghan, the beautiful American girl? The answers to these, and to many other questions you never ever thought of asking (oh, no you didn’t!) will be revealed in an evening of fun, fantasy and frolics.
THE DULWICH PLAYERS PRESENT
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK
written and directed by John Hedley
Musical director : Paul Grimwood
St. Barnabas Parish Hall, 23 Dulwich Village, SE21 7BT
Thursday 20th December - Sunday 23rd December 2018
Date and Times
Thursday 20th December and Friday 21st December at 7.30pm
Saturday 22nd December at 3.00pm and 7.00pm
Sunday 23rd December at 3.00pm.
Tickets: £10 (£12 on the door) and £5 (under 16 years of age)
Online at www.dulwichplayers.org (Ticketsource) Dulwich Players Box Office 07936 531356
or email : firstname.lastname@example.org and from The Art Stationers, Dulwich Village