Open air cinema in Greenwich Park and Peninsula (and South East London)

While I haven’t heard of any open air cinema screenings taking place in Blackheath or Lewisham there are a few taking place in Greenwich.


Greenwich Park with Luna Cinema

  • Blade Runner 2049 (Fri 13 July)
  • Pretty Woman (Sat 14 July)
  • Dunkirk (Sun 15 July)

Greenwich Peninsula with Pop Up Screens

  • Baby Driver (Fri 17 August)
  • Bridesmaids (Sat 18 August)
  • La La Land (Sun 19 August)

Ruskin Park, Camberwell / Denmark Hill

Denmark Hill rail station is a 15 minute direct train journey from Blackheath (Victoria Line), you can also change at London Bridge. It’s one stop after Peckham Rye.

Denmark Hill with Pop Up Screens

  • Get Out (Fri 27 July)
  • Grease (Sat 28 July)
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Sun 29 July)

Peckham Rye

The Rooftop Film Club is showing lots of films all summer on top of the Bussey Building in Peckham. The building is a three minute walk (*see note below – the return walk may be longer) from Peckham Rye, which is itself only 13 minutes from Blackheath station on the Victoria trains. Or change at London Bridge.

Films in July include at the Bussey Building with Rooftop Film Club – Black Panther, Romeo + Juliet, Deadpool, A Quiet Place, Pretty Woman, Spirited Away, Dirty Dancing, Spice World The Movie, The Greatest Showman, La La Land, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Cape Fear, Lady Bird, Top Gun, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Avengers: Infinity War, Vertigo, I, Tonya, 2001: A Space Odyssey – but check the listings periodically as they add new films (for example they’ve not listed their August films yet).


Technically it’s slightly closer to Hither Green rail station than to Lee‘s station but it’s also a short walk from a 202 bus stop (Stop ID: 58365, aka Stop F) just by the Sainsbury’s and the 53 bus also stops nearby.

Manor Park Gardens, Lee / Hither Green with Pop Up Screens

  • The Jungle Book (Fri 24 Aug)
  • Dirty Dancing (Sat 25 Aug)
  • Ghostbusters (1984) (Sun 26 Aug)

Charlton and Woolwich Free Film Festival

In the second week of September the CWFFF springs into action and some of the films screened will be in the open air. I’m on the organising team and will be screening The Dish at Charlton House as an open-air screening on Friday 14th September. It’ a free screening so no tickets 🙂

Other free open air screenings

Summer By The River at The Scoop (between City Hall and HMS Belfast and near to London Bridge Station and Tower Bridge (the bridge, the station’s on the opposite side of the river) at More London.

  • Wimbledon live coverage (3 – 15 July)
  • Grease (Tue 17 July)
  • Moana (Tue 24 July)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (Tue 31 July)
  • Beauty and the Beast (Tue 7 Aug)
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Tue 14 Aug)
  • The BFG (Tue 21 Aug)
  • Into the Woods (Tue 28 Aug)

Tudor Barn in Eltham also has some low cost open-air screenings (£3.50 plus booking fee)

All known open air screenings in London

All the open air cinema screening organisations listed, and many others, are showing other films all across London and a pretty complete list is here:
Open Air Cinema Screenings 2018

Note – Bussey Building

*Don’t forget that the last direct weekday trains from Peckham Rye to Blackheath are 23:48 and 00:22 from Platform 4 and you might need to allow a bit longer to walk back to the station as they close off the main cut-through back to the station. I discovered this last year after a lovely screening of Pride and Prejudice there (with a fun Q&A with Joe Wright the director beforehand) which has a run time of 2h 15 and began at 21.45 (they had to wait until sunset first of all and then had the Q&A before the film). I’d allowed 10 mins to get back to the station and had quite the sense of humour failure when someone tried to redirect me to follow a different, longer route in an opposite direction, risking losing the train – fortunately I won that argument, they opened the barrier for me and I got the last train home.

I probably wouldn’t go back to Bussey House by myself for this reason – it’s fine with friends but when I’m visiting as a solo female film-goer then wandering around unfamiliar bits of Peckham by myself late at night and missing trains isn’t something I really want to risk and they don’t warn you about this beforehand, so… no.


M&S Blackheath Christmas and New Year opening hours 2017

Best One Xpress in Blackheath Village is open on Christmas Day (and is open 24 hours a day every day).

M&S in Blackheath Standard is closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day but open at the following times. A few minutes walk away Pravin Supermarket also in Blackheath Standard is open on Christmas Day from 10am to 3pm.

  • Thursday 21 – 8am to 9pm
  • Friday 22 – 7am to 10pm
  • Saturday 23 – 7am to 10pm
  • Sunday 24 – 11am to 5pm [Christmas Eve]
  • Monday 25 – CLOSED [Christmas Day]
  • Tuesday 26 – CLOSED [Boxing Day]
  • Wednesday 27 – 8am to 9pm
  • Thursday 28 – 8am to 9pm
  • Friday 29 – 8am to 9pm
  • Saturday 30 – 8am to 9pm
  • Sunday 31 – 11am to 5pm [New Year’s Eve]
  • Monday 1 – 9am to 6pm [New Year’s Day]
  • Tuesday 2 – 8am to 9pm
  • Wednesday 3 – 8am to 9pm
  • Thursday 4 – 8am to 9pm
  • Friday 5 – 8am to 9pm
  • Saturday 6 – 8am to 9pm
  • Sunday 7 – 10am to 4pm

The @CinemaMuseum needs our help – please sign their petition :)

The lovely Cinema Museum in Elephant / Kennington (53 bus from Blackheath Royal Standard takes you straight there (with a 10 minute walk from the stop by the London College of Communication) is under threat of losing its premises which are being sold by the South London and Maudsley Trust (SLAM). They’re raising money for the NHS (good) but the cinema museum is a lovely place which does all sorts of wonderful things for different communities, and it would be a shame if it were lost (bad).

Sign the petition, share the petition 🙂

I was there last night for a fundraising event with Matthew Sweet interviewing Mark Gatiss (it was great) about some of his favourite films, with clips. It was packed. It’s a really lovely place and I’ve been a few times to see films, attend the Home Cinema Day and hear talks. They serve tea and cake (Tunnock’s products also feature), I’ve had the most delicious spinach and feta ‘sausage’ rolls there too, plus they have a full bar. Plenty of loos upstairs and downstairs and every bit of space is covered in something interesting from cinemas around the UK. My favourite things are the old projectors, which must have been quite a sight when running. Below are some photos of mine (help yourself) and found in other people’s tweets (don’t help yourself but it’s OK to embed the whole tweet).


Upstairs at the Cinema Museum – all the books are for sale and the bit on the right is where the bar is. Further to the right (not in shot) at a 90 degree angle is the tea and cake area. Plus all the recycling bins.


Jeff Goldblum in character as Dexter King from The Tall Guy which I’m hoping to get screened at the museum at some point… it’s not on FilmBank though. This is upstairs, at the back of the room above (where the loos are).


The main upstairs cinema screen / auditorium, packed for Matthew Sweet and Mark Gatiss. To the right of the white and green unit, next to the table (with a white and green gingham table cloth) you can just make out part of the black wooden structure that makes up an image of Charlie Chaplin. It crops up a bit more clearly in Patricia Brown’s tweet below.


A lot of camera lenses.

Here’s another picture I took of it years ago.

Cinema Museum's film camera lenses – original

A post shared by Jo Brodie (@jobrodie) on


The Cinemeccanica projector, with lenses ablaze thanks to my flash. This sits upstairs by the stairwell.


A thing I covet. The clock that reminds me of the microphone used in Singin’ in the Rain. To its left is a Moviola film editing unit.


Lights, cameras, projectors, stuff.


One of the downstairs corridors, again packed full with stuff.


A Kalee projector.

Kalee film projectors at the Cinema Museum

Another photograph I took of the Kalee projectors a few years ago (2011). The light was coincidental, it wasn’t ‘lit’ other than by the sun.


The very lovely glass Cinema sign in the smaller downstairs cinema just as you come in.

2012-10-20 12.51.31

Still no idea what this is. Guessing is fun. I assume a light of some sort.

Free festive family talk on robots at QMUL [108 bus goes nearby]

Screenshot 2017-11-15 21.54.40.png  Screenshot 2017-11-15 21.55.42.png

On Friday 8 December from 5.30pm to 6.30pm there’s a free talk all about robots (aimed at secondary schools and families) at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), sponsored by the IET.

“Are robots really going to take over the world? Will robots be able to replace humans? What does it mean to be human? Take a journey through the weird and wonderful world of robotics. You will discover the challenges and possibilities facing today’s engineers and scientists with the quest of creating the man’s new best friend (or will they be our enemies?) “

QMUL’s campus is in Stepney Green, on Mile End Road, which is about four miles from Blackheath so fairly accessible to people in SE3 etc. The 108 bus goes almost all the way and turns onto Mile End Road up by Bow Church (DLR).

TICKETS (free) at Eventbrite.


  • Doors open & registration: 5.00pm
  • Lecture start: 5.30pm prompt
  • Lecture finish: 6.30pm
  • Reception: 6.30pm-7.30pm

Download a free flyer IET_QMUL_Xmas-lecture_2017-1

TRAVEL from Blackheath
Ideally get off the 108 just before it turns (right) into Mile End Rd – as you want to be on the same side of the road to pick up the 25 or 205 bus (or ~15-20min walk) and head left along Mile End Road to the big white Queen’s Building where the event takes place (technically in the People’s Palace to its left).

You can even shave off a few minutes of your journey by getting the 422 to Tunnel Avenue, then picking up the 108 and continuing through the Blackwall Tunnel – this cuts out North Greenwich tube station.

Other quick routes are any train to Cannon Street then a District Line train to Upminster or Barking that stops at Stepney Green. Exit the station, turn left, carry on up Mile End Road crossing Globe Road and you’ll be at the Queen’s Building in less than 10 minutes.

Professor Kaspar Althoefer
Professor Kaspar Althoefer is a roboticist with a keen interest in soft and stiffness- controllable robots. He likes to apply his octopus-inspired creations to areas such as keyhole surgery and human-robot interaction for the factory of the future. On occasions, he has collaborated with artists, designers and architects on soft robot installations.

Dr Ildar Farkhatdinov
Dr Ildar Farkhatdinov is a Lecturer in Robotics at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). He is interested to study how human senses and movements and how this can be used to improve interaction between humans and robots. This research is important to develop robots for medical, service and eld applications.

He currently studies sense of balance in humans and how bio-inspired balance control methods can be applied to robots for walking assistance.

Dr Lorenzo Jamone
Lorenzo Jamone is a Lecturer in Robotics at the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at
QMUL. He was born and he studied in Italy, completing a PhD in humanoid technologies before moving rst to Japan and then to Portugal to acquire additional
international experience as a researcher in robotics. Lorenzo joined QMUL in 2016, where he is one of the founding members of ARQ (Advanced Robotics at Queen Mary), he also collaborates with the Cognitive Science group and with the Centre for Intelligent Sensing.

Lorenzo’s research combines robotics, sensing and cognitive science, with a twofold objective: creating more intelligent robots that can co-exist and co-operate with people, and obtaining a better understanding of how the human body and brain works (for more info: Lorenzo is also passionate about science ction stories and lms, especially when robots are involved.



Trains from Blackheath to London next week – thank you helpful commuter

Next week commuters using Southeastern rail services from Blackheath station to London will find that none going to London Bridge, Waterloo East or Charing Cross. Trains are going to Cannon Street and Victoria.

Helpful hashtag is #southeastern, be nice to them on Twitter too @Se_Railway.

  • The 521 bus goes from Cannon Street (stop MB) to London Bridge – there are also lots of other nearby buses heading in that direction and it’s a 10-15min walk too.
  • Cannon Street or Victoria tube will take you to Embankment for Charing Cross [Tube map]
  • London Bridge is on the Jubilee Line from Canary Wharf (DLR) or Canada Water (Overground).

Don’t forget that the (always busy, mind) 53 bus goes to Elephant & Castle and Lower Marsh (Waterloo-ish) from Blackheath Standard, more links to transport alternatives below.

Live train departure information for local stations, from… Blackheath / Charlton / Kidbrooke / Lee / Lewisham / Maze Hill / Westcombe Park / Woolwich Arsenal / Woolwich Dockyard

1. Temporary new train times from Blackheath in August
I spotted this in Blackheath station yesterday, by the exit on Platform 1. This person is a kindred spirit, thank you whoever you are 🙂 See tweets below for more on the history behind this.

Train times from Blackheath next Tuesday to Friday (29 August to 1 September). I strongly recommend the CityMapper website (plus excellent and free app) – it’s really good for public transport.

photo 1.JPG

The text of the poster says ….

For those of you who missed
the South Eastern photo of the
handwritten time table (!!),
here it is typed up for ALL
to see clearly…






Brought to you by a commuter who could be bothered spending
10 mins typing this up


2 Alternative travel arrangements

Live train departure information for local stations, from… Blackheath / Charlton / Kidbrooke / Lee / Lewisham / Maze Hill / Westcombe Park / Woolwich Arsenal / Woolwich Dockyard

Thames Clippers ferries from Greenwich Pier or North Greenwich Pier (go to Canary Wharf, Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Bankside, Blackfriars, Charing Cross (Embankment Pier), Waterloo [‘London Eye’] and Westminster. The 108 or 422 buses will get you to North Greenwich, the 286 or 386 will get you to Greenwich by Cutty Sark for the Greenwich Pier. Greenwich Cutty Sark is also on the DLR line.
• ‘Next boat’ information from Greenwich Pier / North Greenwich Pier

Buses from Blackheath to Lewisham station take two routes in opposite directions. The 54 and 108 pick up at the bus stop next to Age Exchange / Shepherd’s Foods on the other side of the road from the station. The 380 picks up on the same side of the station – turn left out of the station, go past the barriered car park (there’s a Farmers’ Market there on Sundays) and past a 24 hour shop, Oddbins and a fruit / veg shop then up the hill past the shoe shop and the one selling electrical equipment. Keep going to The Crown pub from where the 380 will take you to Lewisham station.

From Lewisham station – walk there or bus. The route is prettier over the heath by Wat Tyler Road (the 380 bus route). DLR goes to Bank via Canary Wharf (also on the ferry route).

From New Cross (53 bus) or Denmark Hill (Blackheath train to Victoria stops here).




The 1900 House (TV prog from 1999/2000) was set in Charlton & Blackheath Standard

The other day, while doing some housework, I remembered the hardworking and brilliant ‘maid of all work’ in a television programme I saw years ago when I first moved to Blackheath, called The 1900 House. I’ve discovered that the whole programme is available to watch again and spent yesterday watching it on my day off while rain and thunderstorms raged outside. The programme was filmed in 1999 and moved a modern family into a house as it would have been in 1900, to create a living history documentary to see how they found the experience of being Victorian. Tough as it happens, but they enjoyed a great deal of it, as did the audience.

There’s a lovely bit a few weeks in where Joyce (the mum) is reflecting on a point at which she’d had enough and just wanted to ‘put on her hat and walk out’. That sounds a very Victorian way of expressing it – no-one really wears everyday hats these days – so it seemed like she was certainly in the right mindset. They all stuck it out. The maid, who was a cleaner in real life and whose mother and grandmother had been too, wasn’t in the programme for very long but there were scenes of her visiting a library to discover more about the very hard life of working class Victorian women who might work for 15 hours a day every day. They didn’t have much time (or resources to fall back on if they lost their job) to campaign for votes for women, something done more by middle class women. It was an interesting programme.

I was very new to Blackheath when it aired in 2000 and had completely failed to spot that it’s set in the next village, Charlton, with excursions into Blackheath Standard. I was reading the Wikipedia article which mentioned Elliscombe Road (‘hang on that sounds familiar’) and then spotted that it was the one in Charlton. The Clarendon Hotel features in the opening sequence as the family changes their 1999 clothes for 1900 ones and are then conveyed in a horse-drawn carriage to their new house in 50 Elliscombe Road.

Occasionally I take the 380 bus to Charlton rail station, alighting at the Sundorne Road bus stop on Wellington Road. The previous bus stop, also on Wellington Road, is the Elliscombe Road one and the bus announces the road name, so I’ve been hearing that name for years while paying attention to it so that I get off at the next one (incidentally I wonder if there are any two bus stops in London closer together than those two). I’d not like to drive a horse and carriage down Eastcombe Avenue though, which is further up in the journey from Blackheath, it’s a bit steep.

The Apple N’Orange fruit shop at Blackheath Standard opposite the library features in the programme too – it’s still there, same name, open late and on Sundays. At one point the eldest daughter gets a Saturday job there to stave off the boredom of having not that much to do and limited opportunities as a sixteen year old Victorian girl. We also see some bicycling going on around Blackheath Pond (Princess of Wales pond) and St German’s Place too.

Further reading