Blackfen gets Christmassy!

Blackfen’s Christmas event takes place on Saturday 8 December at Blackfen Community Library: Christmas Choir from 12pm, Christmas crafts and face painting from 2pm, Santa’s Grotto 2.15-4.15pm. And at 4.30pm the Mayor of Bexley will switch on Blackfen’s Christmas lights. Don’t miss it!

Blackfen Community Easter Event

Come along to Blackfen on Saturday 8th April 10am-2pm for free children’s activities and raffle.

There will be 400 Easter Eggs to give to the first 400 children (with parent/guardian) who take part in a fun word search game. Go to Blackfen Community Library between 10am and 2pm to pick up your sheet, then visit Blackfen’s shops to collect stamped letters to complete a phrase. Return to the library afterwards to collect your egg! You could also win a prize in the raffle!

There will be farm animals and local emergency services at the Co-op car park, and the George Staples pub will have a bouncy castle.

The event has been organised by Hilary Maile of Shimmer Salon. Thanks to all the traders for taking part in the game and providing raffle prizes. Thanks also to the generosity of local councillors who have contributed the full cost of all the Easter eggs.

Easter 2017

Who’s Who of Blackfen

On 18 March I’ll be giving a talk at Bexley Local Studies and Archive Centre on ‘Who’s Who of Bexley’.

Talk advert

Of course I will be including some of the names from Blackfen who have been in Who’s Who.

Sir Vesey Holt, KBE, banker, lived at Queenswood, Blackfen from 1868 and later lived at Mount Mascal in North Cray. There is also Brig.-Gen. Sir Charles Martel and his son Lt-Gen. Sir Giffard Martel who both lived at Queenswood, Blackfen from 1910. Mike Rann lived in Blackfen as a child but emigrated to New Zealand and was Ambassador of Australia to the UK 2012-14. Audrey Slaughter lived in Blackfen as a child and became a writer and magazine editor. George Wallace, MP, later Lord Wallace of Coslany lived in Blackfen and it was his intervention that saved Queen Mary’s Hospital from closure in 1948. And Rev. David Silk who started his career in Blackfen went on to become Bishop of Ballarat in Australia.

To book a ticket and for more information about events at Bexley Local Studies and Archive Centre, see


Sidcup’s Great War: A Living Pageant

I am helping to organise an event which is taking place in Sidcup High Street on 18 June 10am-4pm. Its aim is to commemorate the anniversary of the First World War and explore what life was like in Sidcup at that time. Sidcup’s Great War: a Living Pageant will have street theatre, live music, school choirs, displays, stalls by a variety of local history/interest and military organisations, talks on aspects of the First World War and concluding with a service at the War Memorial. The event has brought together a large number of organsations, colleges, schools and churches and lots of the shops and pubs are getting involved. There will be plenty to keep the whole family interested, including a Family Poppy Trail which will invite you to walk around the town and discover the story of Sidcup’s Home Front 100 years ago. So please put the date in your diaries and come along! For more info and to keep up with news see

Facebook: Sidcup’s Great War Pageant. Twitter @Sidcup GWP

Blackfen stabbing: women saved his life

Blackfen stabbing victim’s mum wants to thank women who saved his life

On 22 June News Shopper online reported: The mother of a man who was stabbed in the chest in Blackfen on Friday night is appealing for the good Samaritans who saved her son’s life to come forward so she can say thanks.

Vehicle technician Charlie Finch, 21, from Footscray, was rushed to hospital in a serious condition after the attack near Wellington Parade at around 9.30pm on June 19. Two women in a nearby Chinese restaurant spotted the injured Charlie and brought him inside where they called an ambulance.

Charlie’s mum Sue, 58, said her son is doing “OK” in hospital and now wants to thank those women who may have save his life. She told News Shopper: “I spoke to the ambulance people and she said it was really, really important because they stemmed the bleeding. They knew exactly what to do, thank god.” She added: “I do district nursing myself so I know how important it is for people to be first aid aware. Being first on the scene, it’s up to you. You don’t know, someone else might have come forward but they did do it.”

Mrs Finch said she hopes the good Samaritans will come forward so she can thank them in person. She said: “I don’t want them to walk away and think ‘we did something for that boy and we never heard anything else about it’.”

Two men were arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon in connection with the incident and taken to a south London police station for questioning.

Stabbing in Blackfen Road 19 June 2015

On the evening of 19 June 2015 news came that someone had been stabbed at a house party near the Wellington Chinese take-away. Police taped off the area and paramedics were treating a man lying on a bench.

On Twitter: @Kent_999s: BLACKFEN update: Unconfirmed report of a male stabbed in Blackfen Road and taken to hospital tonight.

@Kent_999s: BLACKFEN update: A man in his 20s is seriously ill after being stabbed in the chest at Wellington Parade 9:30pm last night. Two arrested.

According to News Shopper online 20 June 2015: A man in his 20s is in a serious condition after being found with stab wounds to the chest in Blackfen. Officers were called to Wellington Parade around 9.30pm last night (June 19) to reports of a man with stab injuries. They found a man in his 20s who had been stabbed in the chest. He was taken to hospital by the London Ambulance Service where he remains in a serious but stable condition.

Two men have been arrested for possession of an offensive weapon in connection with the incident. They were taken to a south London police station for questioning. The manager of a nearby Chinese takeaway shop, who asked not to be named, said: “The people in the shop saw him and brought him inside our shop while they called an ambulance. They stayed with him until the ambulance came, it happened further up the road. The boy just lay down inside the shop here, he looked about 21 or 22. We just tried to help him, I didn’t see any blood, I was scared to look.” Police do not believe the incident is gang related.

Metropolitan Police said “Police in Bexley were called to Wellington Parade, Sidcup at 21:31hrs on Friday 19th June by London Ambulance Service (LAS) following reports of a stabbing. Officers attended and found a man in his twenties suffering from stab injuries to his chest. The man was taken by LAS to a south London hospital where he remains in a serious but stable condition. Two men have been arrested in connection with this incident and taken to a south London police station for questioning. At this early stage, this incident is not believed to be gang related. Enquiries are ongoing.”

Talks on Blackfen’s history

I will be giving some illustrated talks on Blackfen’s history during 2015. The first will be at Central Library Bexleyheath on Saturday 21 February at 2.30pm as part of Bexley Local Studies and Archive Centre’s events programme. Tickets can be booked here. [This event is now SOLD OUT]

I will also be giving a talk at Blackfen Library on Thursday 12 March at 2pm. Tickets can be booked at Blackfen Library or by telephoning (020) 8303 8877.

Book early to avoid disappointment!



Talk sold out

Police Officer shot during arrest

From 4 October 2014

A man has been arrested after a police officer was shot in the hand in Welling.

Police were called at around 21.10hrs on Friday 3 October to reports of a car having collided with a number of cars and then a lamppost on Westwood Lane, Blackfen.

The suspected driver of the car was seen to walk off from the scene. A short time later, a man matching the description of the suspected driver was stopped by two Bexley officers in Wendover Way. This man then produced a revolver style handgun, pointed it at officers, and discharged it. One of the officers, a male PC, suffered a gunshot wound to the hand.

The second officer, also male, detained the suspect, aged 51, and he was subsequently arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and drink driving – he remains in custody. Both officers were taken to a local hospital for treatment and have both since been discharged. They are being provided with welfare support by the Metropolitan Police.

Borough Commander of Bexley Peter Ayling said:

“Last night’s incident highlights the dangers that police officers can face as they go about their job. My officers, knowing they were faced with a man in possession of a firearm, did not shirk from their duty to protect Londoners. They bravely confronted this man, disarmed him and arrested him – I cannot praise their courage enough.”

The weapon and ammunition was recovered at the scene. Officers from Trident investigate – enquiries continue.

Anyone who witnessed the incidents is asked to contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

The incident was reported in the News Shopper and can be seen here. It was also reported on the front page of the News Shopper 8 Oct. 2014.

Guided walk of Blackfen

On 28 September 2013 some members of the Blackfen Past and Present Facebook Group joined me for a walk around Blackfen, taking in some of the historic aspects of the district. Starting at Merino Place, our walk lasted over three hours! It was lovely to share my research with others and to hear other people’s memories of the place. And of course we finished our walk with a pint in the George Staples.

A photographic version of the walk will be put on this website soon, for all those who live too far away to have joined us.