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.


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



Mycenae House’s PARKSfest 2017

I popped into Mycenae House after a visit to Blackheath’s M&S for yesterday’s ParksFest and failed to take any photographs as my phone was charging at home, oops. Fortunately other people brought their cameras and tweeted some stuff (below). Looks like it was a really enjoyable day. I was surprised to discover how large the Mycenae Gardens are and amazed to see a large redwood tree, among some other pretty interesting trees. I signed up to become a ‘friend of’ the gardens and was given a leaflet on the gardens history.

Mycenae House (built in 1776) Gardens were created by someone whose name – Angerstein – I had heard of only in the context of freight trains shuttling between Angerstein Wharf and Bardon Hill quarry in Leicester. He filled the garden with some trees that have been there for over 200 years (a lovely old plane tree is still there) and after his death his collection of paintings also kicked off the National Gallery. Angerstein actually lived in ‘Woodlands’ (now a Steiner School) next door to Mycenae House.

The friends of the Garden had a couple of good tree quizzes – it turns out I’m better at recognising a species from its leaf than from a picture of the tree.

A few years ago I saw Shaun of the Dead in the gardens thanks to Pop Up Screens, it was fab though I got bitten by midges 😉 I don’t think they’re doing any screenings at Mycenae House but they do have films in Greenwich Peninsula in August (also Lee / Hither Green which is nearby).

Mycenae House (What’s On) –
Friends of Mycenae Gardens –
Westcombe (Park) Society –
Blackheath Society –
Charlton Society –

I enjoyed the bunting seen in the tweet above.

Christmas shopping in #Blackheath – pt 2, Royal Standard, #SE3

Recently I spotted an edition of The Resident, a local magazine (with separate magazines for various segments of London including Blackheath / Greenwich), which had lots of information about where you could buy Christmas presents. Unfortunately none of the shops mentioned seemed to be local and Blackheath is a fantastic place to go Christmas shopping so I thought I’d see what I could find.

By the way, on Saturday 6 December 2014 it’s the inaugural Blackheath Village Day with events and lantern-making, Santa’s grotto and our local horses trotting parade-ly around the village. There’s a big switch-on of the Christmas lights by Nick Ferrari at 4.30pm.

2014-11-29 15.28.58

Getting here
Rail: Westcombe Park | Blackheath | Charlton | Maze Hill
Buses: 53, 54, 89 (within walking distance) 108, 202, 286, 380, 386, 422

Blackheath Royal Standard shops
Homepage for Blackheath Standard / Royal Standard shops
• Shops in Old Dover Road
• Shops in Stratheden Parade – Section 1 | Section 2
• Shops in Westcombe Hill – Section 1 | Section 2
• Shops in Vanbrugh Park
• Shops in Station Crescent (refers to Westcombe Park station)
• Shops in Humber Road

This part of Blackheath has a Marks and Spencer and a big library as well as lots of smaller local shops.

Whenever I’m in the area I usually try and pop in to Blackheath Cooks as this place is a bit of a treat and I’ve done a couple of their evening cookery classes here. There are plenty of fun things in the shop bit at the front for children and adults as well as classes in the spacious kitchen at the back.

Obviously the shop has lots of cookery sets, some aimed at children like this dinosaur cookie cutter kit and there are nice little aprons. I’m not sure how much children enjoy jam making but their selection of jam jars at the front is great. The thing that I was really smitten with though were the colour-in kits from Eggnogg and I bought a few of them for various nieces and nephews. The Christmas colour-in table cloth is lovely and visitors to the shop can colour a bit in themselves.

I got some colour-in bunting for myself. In the lower two pictures above you can see a range of Growing Gifts boxes, including Pizza Chef and Veg Patch.

I’ve never been in Ottie and the Bea before but it turned out to be the perfect place for little pull back friction-vehicles (the ones you roll on the ground and they carry on rolling) – I got a lovely little metallic aircraft and car. They also sell copies of Okido science magazine for 3-8 year olds (here’s their Tumblr) and lots of these kits and games (picture below) from Djeco (switch sound off before clicking).

Pegga Stores
This is a lovely shop (here’s what the Greenwich Phantom had to say about it in 2007) which is packed full of greeting cards and diaries, I picked up a couple of festive-themed gift bags, an ‘old fashioned’ style Advent calendar (my ‘primary’ Advent calendar is of course this colour-in one from @MooseAllain) and a couple of notebooks, which are rather lovely.

See Part One
Christmas shopping in #Blackheath – pt 1, Blackheath Village, #SE3


Christmas shopping in #Blackheath – pt 1, Blackheath Village, #SE3

Recently I spotted an edition of The Resident, a local magazine (with separate magazines for various segments of London including Blackheath / Greenwich), which had lots of information about where you could buy Christmas presents. Unfortunately none of the shops mentioned seemed to be local and Blackheath is a fantastic place to go Christmas shopping so I thought I’d see what I could find.

Pootling around Blackheath Village is not always that fun on a Saturday afternoon as the pavements are narrow and the shoppers are numerous (a lot of prams) so I spent a bit of time in shops I’d not usually associate with ‘Christmas shopping’ as well as the more obvious ones. There are quite a few I missed out so I’ll have to make an excuse to do this again.

By the way, on Saturday 6 December 2014 it’s the inaugural Blackheath Village Day with events and lantern-making, Santa’s grotto and our local horses trotting parade-ly around the village. There’s a big switch-on of the Christmas lights by Nick Ferrari at 4.30pm.

2014-11-29 15.28.58

Getting here
Blackheath rail: live departures & arrivals
Buses: 54, 89, 108, 202, 380

Blackheath Village shops
Landing page for Blackheath Village shops
A. Tranquil ValeSection 1 | Section 2 | Section 3
B. Montpelier ValeSection 1 | Section 2
C. Blackheath Village Section 1
Royal Parade Section 1
Lee RoadSection 1
F. Blackheath Grove Section 1
Montpelier Row Section 1
Hare And Billet Road Section 1
Lawn Terrace Section 1
Cresswell Park Section 1
Tranquil PassageSection 1

Fergus Noone Photography has lots of gorgeous prints of local things and a spectacular Greenwich 2015 calendar. He has some lovely pics of Greenwich Park in the mist and snow, his website’s well worth a look. I also spotted some PiP Studio china items and soft fluffy lambswool Avoca throws.

Hortus is a magical place (I took loads of photos) though not generally of much relevance to me as I’m not a gardener but it does have plenty of other things for the home, including cucumber-scented candles (a new one to me, very cucumbery) and plenty of Christmas decorations and Christmas trees. It also has a nice selection of toys including a sparkly-looking balloon modelling kit and grow-your-own plants kits, including Foodie Garden items. They also sell A London Village Cookbook and lots of ‘Gifts in a Tin‘ items from Apple to Pears, including Build Your Own Microscope (website says it’s not available until Feb 2015 but I beg to differ as they had them in the shop – see the picture with coloured tins, it’s the dark blue one).

I didn’t go into Fat Face but it’s probably a good place to go if you’re in need of snuggly jumpers and fleeces.

Rymans has a good range of basic necessities such as wrapping paper, cards, sellotape etc as well as a good range of coloured pencils and pens (I am a sucker for a full set of coloured pencils – also for a tenner they have a complete range of those Sharpies pens which have become.. trendy? We used to use them in the lab to mark glassware, I think they only came in four colours then. Anyway they’re great and I might treat myself). Also batteries! And, strangely, a thing called a ‘Nutribullet’ which seems to macerate food for you to help you extract nutrients and energy. To be honest, thanks to evolution coming up with chewing, stomach motility and enzymes, your digestive system will do the same job at no cost but if you can’t chew well I suppose it’s ideal. And they had those plastic geography globes that tell you where everything is.

I was particularly taken by the fact that McColl’s newsagents has, right at the back, a pretty decent selection of ready-to-go plastic gift cards. To be honest I’d have thought they’d want to advertise this fact a bit more at the front of the shop – surely everyone would want to know that they have a range of flat credit-card sized gifts from £10 to £50. Anyway they had Amazon, Waterstone’s, iTunes and App Store, Google Play, Primark, Debenham’s, Claire’s Accessories and B&Q gift cards. They also had one month or six month subscriptions for Moshi Monsters and the usual things like chocolate advent calendars, gift cards and crackers. And Lindor chocolates.

Lindor chocolates also featured in Shepherd’s Foods along with walls of other chocolate-y items including Charbonnel et Walker (glorious packaging) and Pfeffernusse which might be an essential festive item in my household. They also have Bendicks Mints, Guylian, Lindt and stollen as well as a massive range of fairly obscure jams and preserves (I don’t really know the difference to be honest, but they’ve got everything you might ever want to put on your toast). I spotted a Gruffalo advent calendar (and proper old-fashioned chocolate-free advent calendars) and a Ninjabread Cookie Kit from In the Mix for £5.99.

Blackbird has lots of nice-looking clothes and a very blue window display, liked the bag with stars on it, though I’ve not much use for it myself.

2014-11-29 15.52.28Cookery Nook always has fun themed coasters (eg Dr Who), also a large Dr Who mug with a dalek on it. They have everything any cook or food fan might want including cake tins and those little things to rest spoons on as well as ‘I heart Blackheath’ mugs and tea-towels with local maps on them, eg Kidbrooke. Presumably if someone’s cooking they’ll need to wash it down with some plonk, fortunately Oddbins is but a short stagger away.

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Age Exchange: an interesting twist on the aeroplane kit concept – the one in pink is a flying fairy.

I also popped into Cancer Research UK where you can find Christmas cards and Christmas crackers as well as decorations (possibly these are second-hand). Then I had a nice cup of tea and a lemon bun in the Age Exchange where I picked up some little painted wooden vehicles (for little hands) but they have a few other stocking-filler type items as well (see pic above).

See Part Two
Christmas shopping in #Blackheath – pt 2, Royal Standard, #SE3



Bunting, boats and bodging – #TallShips festival at Greenwich, September 2014

The Tall Ships Festival at Greenwich, North Greenwich and Woolwich is ending tomorrow but it has kept me entertained for the last few days while sailing home to Greenwich and Woolwich. I spent Sunday afternoon (7 September 2014) with some friends and their kids in Greenwich and we had a lovely day.

See the full gallery at Maritime Merriment on Flickr. They’re creative commons licensed so help yourself but please credit to Jodiepedia.
Skeins of dyed wool and some bunting
Lovely ships, some in sail, some not. Just to the left of the red-hulled ship is one of the Thames Clippers ferries heading towards Greenwich Pier.
Pole lathe turning aka bodging

Greenwich Regatta
Different angle on the lathe
Painted tent-top. Made me think of mediaeval knights and jousting though they didn’t have that at the festival. I’m guessing boats and horses don’t mix, for a variety of reasons.
Childe Roland to the dark tower came… (link isn’t to the Robert Browning poem but the fairy tale I knew from reading Rosemary Manning’s Green Smoke as a child, with a dragon who’d probably have liked the tent top above).
This impressed me. Someone has had the brilliant idea of setting up a walled pool of water and two large fans to give it a bit of wind. It was permanently surrounded by excited kids (we only saw one fall in) launching these little seemingly-unsinkable boats. The walls were flexible so people were pulling and pushing on them to create waves. It was fantastic!
We also popped in to the beautiful Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College. It’s full of tables (it’s a working dining hall) on which sit lots of these lovely candlesticks.