Another gong for Gabriel Gbadamosi’s novel Vauxhall

Gabriel Gbadamosi, Vauxhall-born novelist, poet and playwright (and Vauxhall Society committee member), has just won the ‘Best International Novel’ award at this year’s Sharjah International Book Fair for his autobiographically-tinged novel Vauxhall. Even before it was published Vauxhall was a winner, for in 2011 it collected the Tibor Jones Pageturner Prize. Gabriel leads ‘My Vauxhall’, November’s […]

Vauxhall: A Little History – order direct

Vauxhall: A Little History is a full-colour paperback by Ross Davies, Chairman of the Vauxhall Society. Described by the London Evening Standard as ‘must-read for members of Parliament’, Vauxhall: A Little History is, writes Vauxhall author, film and TV star Joanna Lumley, a book that ‘wears its learning lightly and charmingly’. Novelist Will Self says […]

These Were Our Sons – order direct

In 1922 the names of 574 local men who perished in the First World War were carved into the panels of Stockwell’s War Memorial. Who were they? The book contained the stories of the jack-the-lads, fraudsters and underage volunteers, as well as seasoned soldiers, steady family men and hardworking artisans. They were bank clerks, printers, […]

How an advertising pioneer revived Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens

Thomas Bish

Kennington resident Gary Hicks has contributed a page on advertising pioneer Thomas Bish to the Vauxhall Society’s History section. Bish, whom Hicks describes as “a strange mixture of idealist and spiv” helped raise the equivalent of £2 billion for good causes, and made a mint in the process. Royalty and politicians courted this early media star […]

Book review: Stockwell orphanage boy makes good

 Much More of This, Old Boy…? by Peter Paterson, is the best memoir of a life in print journalism I have read since H. L. Mencken’s rollicking Newspaper Days (1941). Mencken, however, wrote of the reporter’s life in the Baltimore of the early 1900s. Paterson looks back on the Fleet Street of only yesterday. His […]

Growing Up in Lambeth

We recently rediscovered , written by Mary Chamberlain (born in Lambeth in 1947) and published by Virago in 1989. It paints a fascinating picture of life in Lambeth in the 20th century through oral history and her own experiences. You can pick up a copy for 1p on Amazon.

Vauxhall Gardens: A History by David Coke and Alan Borg

Vauxhall Gardens: A History, David Coke, Alan Borg

“It feels as if every possible detail and document relating to the gardens have been scanned and assimilated. The result is the most complete reconstruction of this vital place there is likely to be.” Read The Guardian’s review of Vauxhall Gardens: A History by David Coke and Alan Borg. Yale University Press review

Coin Street Chronicles by Gwen Southgate – life in pre-war SE1


I read this book, a few pages at a time, on the bus to work. Every day I get off at the Elephant and Castle and walk down Great Guildford Street to Southwark Street. I pass the junction with Lavington Street, where Gwen Southgate, according to her fascinating memoir of life in Waterloo, regularly went […]

These Were Our Sons: Stories from Stockwell War Memorial by Naomi Lourie Klein

These Were Our Sons

In These Were Our Sons Naomi Lourie Klein has researched the lives of 574 men whose names are carved into the stone panels of Stockwell War Memorial. Using census information from 1911 and earlier, Commonwealth War Graves Commission information, original Service and Pension files, rolls of honour, contemporary maps and the vast resources of the […]