Brockley Boy Burglars Birched! Finding minor Wannop scandals in the Brockley News

I have written before on my love of local newspapers. It’s genetic, I reckon. My father worked as a junior reporter, then sports and crime reporter, rising to news editor and editor at the Luton News and Dunstable Gazette from the age of 17 until his early 60s. My mother was at the same titles… Read More Brockley Boy Burglars Birched! Finding minor Wannop scandals in the Brockley News

“The death of Mr Sam Sloper has cast a gloom over the New Cross and Catford districts…”

The sums of money involved in boxing and wrestling during the late-19th century were quite frequently astronomical. Local tournaments might be fought for a modest £5 or a nice silver watch, but bigger bouts could attract a purse of £25 to £100 – well over a year’s salary for a labourer – with a zero… Read More “The death of Mr Sam Sloper has cast a gloom over the New Cross and Catford districts…”

The Most Popular Man in New Cross (Introducing Jack Wannop to Carthorse Orchestra)

I was recently invited to Carthorse Orchestra, a charming online evening gathering of intimidatingly creative and literary types hosted by the author David Collard. Each week David organises an eclectic programme of short readings, discussion, film and performance to entertain and connect people during lockdown. The night was themed ‘wrestling with French literature or wrestling,… Read More The Most Popular Man in New Cross (Introducing Jack Wannop to Carthorse Orchestra)

PUGILIST KILLED BY ROUGHS – A fatal encounter at the Brockley Jack for The Greenwich Bruiser

By day, the young man who had been attacked at the Brockley Jack was a 28-year-old brass-moulder called John Smith. By night, he was a prize-fighter known as The Greenwich Bruiser.  Smith lived on 13 Torr’s Lane, Deptford, at the time of his death in 1886, which might have been a different address to that… Read More PUGILIST KILLED BY ROUGHS – A fatal encounter at the Brockley Jack for The Greenwich Bruiser