Following the success of its Grandchildren of the Blitz project, local theatre company London Bubble has received a second grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

From Docks to Desktops will involve local people, including children and elders in exploring the history of Work in Bermondsey, Rotherhithe and Deptford. It will look at how the area has changed since the closure of the Surrey Commercial Docks and related industries. The project will also look more widely at how changes in employment have affected community life, friendships and health.

The Grandchildren of the Blitz was a fantastic process, involving hundreds of local people in exploring what happened locally in living memory and leading to a great show,” says director Jonathan Petherbridge.

“Lots of the people we interviewed talked about the docks and how the area has changed. Bubble itself works out of a former sacking warehouse near the river, and the building retains some of its original features, including a small crane and loading doors. During the Blitz project one of the older participants told me she used to work here mending sacks and described the machinery in the buildings and the bustle of the surrounding streets. We want to find out more, and scratch beneath the surface.”

Bubble are asking for volunteers to help them develop the project. The aim is to collect personal testimonies from older people and members of South East London’s diverse international communities, talking about their working life and their reflections on how south London has changed in that time. These oral histories will then be developed into a play performed by an intergenerational community cast in the summer of 2013 to audiences in the area.

If you want to tell your story or would like to help Bubble – with interviews, local research, helping with events or simply want to find out more, register your interest with Claire Sexton on 020 7237 4434 or email claire@londonbubble.org.uk

Think there’s nothing games-related happening in SE16? Think again.
The Swedish Seamen’s Church in Lower Road has opened Cafe Svensson during the games

The Nordic churches came together for a special Olympic service at Southwark Cathedral on Sunday

Crown Prince Haakon of Norway visited St Olav’s in Rotherhithe on Monday

The Palau Olympic delegation will visit Rotherhithe this weekend to pay their respects at the tomb of Prince Lee Boo.

In celebration of the Olympic Games starting this week, Canada Water Plaza (or is it Deal Porter Plaza?) has received a “gift from the gods” in the form of an Olympic Javelin. The 10m-long installation will be on show throughout the Olympic period for all to enjoy.

“This installation is spectacular and is really adding to the excitement of the Olympics in Southwark,” says Cllr Veronica Ward.

“We cannot wait to see the torch on Thursday as it travels across the borough”.

Thames Water has applied to Southwark Council for permission to remove the large heaps of material from the Chambers Wharf site.

When the Chambers Wharf buildings were demolished, 24,000 tonnes of hardcore was kept on the site for use in future development.

With the land now likely to be used for Thames Water’s ‘super sewer’ project, the utility company has decided to remove the material from the site.

Most of the spoil will be loaded onto barges using a specially constructed conveyor belt and taken to a recycling plant at Tilbury.

Because of the presence of Japanese knotweed some of the material will be removed by road.

Thames Water says planned hours of operation for the removal works will be Monday-Friday 7am-9pm and Saturday 7am-1pm.

“As a responsible landowner, Thames Water has decided to remove the spoil material from the site, for the sake of the local community,” says the company’s application to Southwark Council.

More details here.

New consultation just launched:

Southwark Council is proposing road safety and public realm improvements in Lower Road, Plough Way and Rotherhithe New Road. The proposals include the introduction of measures to assist cyclists through the link between Oldfield Grove and Plough Way, and the introduction of suitable paving and street furniture to enhance the street scene.

Funding for the scheme comes from Transport for London. The measures are part of the Connect 2 project, supported by SUSTRANS, to create a cycling and walking route from Burgess Park, Camberwell to Durand’s Warf, Rotherhithe.

Full details here.

Lloyds TSB’s Bermondsey branch in Southwark Park Road is  part of the package of 632 branches to be rebranded as TSB and transferred to the Co-operative Group in a deal announced this week.

Lloyds Banking Group, which was rescued by the Government at the height of the financial crisis, must sell part of its business to meet European rules on state aid and has now agreed non-binding heads of terms with Co-operative Group plc.

From next summer the Bermondsey branch will be rebranded as TSB before the transfer to the Co-op is completed in November 2013.

“Today’s agreement is an important step in meeting our obligations under the mandated sale of our branches,” said Lloyds Banking Group chief executive António Horta-Osório.

“We believe the Co-operative will be a good owner for our business, customers and colleagues, and the combined banking business will be a significant competitor on the high street with nearly 10 per cent of today’s UK branch network.

“In agreeing to move ahead with the Co-operative we provide greater certainty for our customers and for our shareholders. In addition to an upfront consideration, we will also get to share in the future financial performance of the combined banking business which will be an effective challenger with a strong customer focus.”

Peter Marks, chief executive of the Co-operative Group, described the proposed deal as “the biggest shake-up in high street banking in a generation”.

He added that the acquisition of the extra branches would “make the services of our member-owned, customer-led, ethically-driven, bank available to millions of people we’ve not been able to serve up until now”.

The bank will become part of a cluster of Co-op businesses at The Blue, along with The Co-operative Food and Co-operative Funeralcare.

On Thursday Borough Market welcomed the next generation of budding entrepreneurs to try their hand at market trading for the day.

Students from Bacon’s College and St Michael’s College joined t the market to sell their wares as part of a project to develop young people’s business and enterprise skills by supporting them to initiate and develop sustainable business ideas.

The initiative, run by Southwark Education Business Alliance, has seen local youngsters working in teams to produce unique business ideas which were then presented to a panel of judges drawn from the local business community.

“Borough Market is proud to welcome some of Southwark’s budding entrepreneurs to the market for the day to try their hand at trading,” says market MD Keith Davis.

“The market is home to over 100 traders who provide a wealth of artisan skills and specialist expertise and are only too keen to share some of their passion and knowledge.  I can think of no better place for youngsters to learn about business and trading.”

Lulzim Osmani from SEBA added:  “We are delighted that Borough Market is offering Southwark’s young people such a wonderful opportunity to improve their entrepreneurial skills by selling in London’s most famous market.

“We hope that this experience will help young people engage more with their local area and appreciate it more.”

Rotherhithe Police Station

The sale of the Rotherhithe Police Station building in Lower Road has been agreed in principle, Mayor of London Boris Johnson confirmed this week.

“Further approval will be sought before the property is marketed for disposal,” said the Mayor.

Mr Johnson has gone back on his earlier promise not to close any police station front counters until a replacement facility was provided in the same area.

All the Mayor will now say is that “every borough will have at least one 24 hour counter”.

A police inspector recently told Borough, Bankside and Walworth Community Council that Southwark’s 24-hour police station is likely to be Peckham.