About the Society: Society meetings

Our meetings and how to get there

Our public meetings are usually held on the second Wednesday of most months at Herne Hill United Church Hall, Herne Hill (junction with Red Post Hill), London SE24 9PW.

For venue (unless otherwise stated), see the map at the bottom of this page. Our guest will normally speak for 45 - 60 minutes, followed by around 15 minutes for questions and discussion. Then we take a refreshment break, a raffle and announcements.

Meetings are free and open to non-members, so bring your friends along. But as no tickets are issued, we cannot guarantee a seat.

We start promptly at 7:45pm (doors open at 7:30pm). Please arrive before the speaker is introduced to avoid disturbing others.

Winter 2016/17 calendar

Wed 9 November, 7:45pm
“River Effra, South London’s secret spine”
by Jon Newman, Manager, Lambeth Archives

The Effra vanished underground 150 years back, leaving just a few legends and a nagging fascination. This willow-fringed haunt of eels and herons had been transformed by unregulated suburban development from a small river into a large sewer until finally it was covered over. Yet it still flows below South London and, just occasionally, it still floods.

Wed 14 December, 7:45pm
“An Entertainer’s Life in London”
by Annie Gelly

Long-standing Society member Annie Gelly (AKA Annie Bright) tells some amusing tales of her 50 years in the entertainment business, and will show some clips of TV shows in which she has appeared. From working men`s clubs to continental casinos, prisons to palaces and pubs to backs of Army trucks, Annie has entertained all over the world. Among her audiences have been royalty, Arab sheiks, ambassadors and even gangsters! Annie has been a band singer, session singer, recording artist, backing singer, cabaret performer, swing-jazz singer – to name but a few – and has appeared on TV, Radio, and worked on cruise liners and stage shows including pantomime. So it can be said that she is a true ‘Variety Artiste’ in every sense of the word!

Wed 11 January, 7:45pm
“Maps and the 20th Century: Drawing the Line”
by Tom Harper, Curator of Antiquarian Mapping, The British Library

Map historian Tom Harper gives an introduction to the exhibition which runs from 4 Nov 2016 – 1 Mar 2017. See how 100 years of mapping technology – from the original sketch of today’s London Underground to the satellite imagery of the 1990s – has monitored and shaped the society we live in.

Wed 8 February, 7:45pm
“From Sumo to Ainu: Traveller’s Tales from Japan”
by Peter Bradley, local historian

Lured by a desire to see weighty men wrestling and to discover more about its indigenous people, Peter Bradley paid a three-week visit to Japan in cherry blossom season. From calligraphy to cuisine and temples to toilets, he gives his own idiosyncratic take on the Land of the Rising Sun.

The venue, and how to get there

Herne Hill United Church Hall is the smaller building next to the Church. It is on the 68/468 and P4 bus routes, and a 15-min walk from the following stations: Herne Hill, Denmark Hill, Loughborough Junction and North Dulwich.

The hall is accessible to wheelchair users.

Meetings you may have missed

To get an idea of the sort of events we put on, go to our Facebook page. Talks are reviewed in our quarterly Herne Hill magazine.