Bermondsey Municipal Ofices

Southwark planning officers have granted planning and listed building consent to Hollybrook Homes for the conversion of the former Bermondsey Borough Council municipal offices in Spa Road into 41 homes.

The municipal offices were built in the late 1920s as an extension to the adjacent Bermondsey town hall. When the town hall was bombed, 19 Spa Road became the home of Bermondsey Borough Council until the metropolitan borough gave way to the London Borough of Southwark  in the mid-1960s.

The building stands on the site of the old Bermondsey Baths and it seems Hollybrook intends to call the scheme “Bath House Lofts” in recognition of this history.

A new term of weekly theatre-making groups for children, teenagers and adults starts in September at London Bubble.

The groups are friendly, fun and creative, and include games and exercises which will help to develop confidence and a range of performance skills.

No previous experience necessary, just turn up with enthusiasm.

The autumn term runs from the week commencing 17 September till the week of 3 December 2012.

6-8 years:                            Tuesdays             5-6.30pm

Saturdays            10-11.30am

9-11 years:                          Tuesdays             6.30-8pm.

12-14 years:                        Thursdays           5-6.30pm

15-19 years:                        Mondays             6.30 – 8.30pm

Adults:                                 Wednesdays      7-9pm

Thursdays           7-9pm

Venue:                 London Bubble, 5 Elephant Lane, London SE16 4JD.

Taster classes:
If you’re new to Bubble you can come along for a trial class when the new term starts in September. Just call to find out more or to register


To find out more or register for a class
call:                        020 7237 4434
email:                    [email protected]
Sign up online:

Two of the 99 ‘tiny games’ to be found around London until 20 August are right here in SE16 at the Blue market and Canada Water Plaza.

The free games are designed to be played on the spot with everything needed to play the game being contained within a simple vinyl poster and the surrounding environment.

Games have sprung up around the capital in bandstands and parks, on paths and tube station walls; on high streets, by shopping centres, under archways, in corners, in squares, by statues and lakes and bus-stops.

The playful experiences were created by London game design studio Hide&Seek and Southwark Council has worked with the design team to bring the innovative experience to the borough.

“The biggest sporting event of the summer has created great opportunities for everyone to get involved in sports across Southwark and this one of them,” says Cllr Veronica Ward, Southwark’s cabinet member for culture, leisure, sport and the Olympics.

“It’s a great community-building activity which can be enjoyed by young people, family members, groups of friends or even neighbours.”

To find out more about Hide&Seek’s 99 Tiny Games visit



The new Southwark Free School  will open its doors this September after education secretary Michael Gove signed the funding agreement for the school.

The school will eventually be located at 399 Rotherhithe New Road but will not be able to move into that building for another two years.

The first pupils will be accommodated in the Ledbury Estate  TRA Hall in Pencraig Way SE15, just south of the Old Kent Road.

The Ledbury Estate site is nearly two miles from the Borough area in SE1 where the school had originally planned to open.

“This is fantastic news and the culmination of months of hard work and determination,” says chairman Patrick Shine.

“We are now set to open in September and begin to realise our ambition of providing an outstanding primary school in Southwark.”

Jeanette Mason, chair of the Ledbury Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, said: “This is absolutely fantastic! The hall has badly needed repairing for years and it’s empty during the day because nobody wants to use it.

“This way, not only do we get a brand new school that will help a lot of young families on the estate, but we’ll have a completely renovated hall and much needed investment in the community.”

Patrick Shine added: “Located in the estate, our school will be at the heart of the community, a place where children will have the chance to benefit from a first class education. We want to thank the secretary of state and Ledbury Tenants’ and Residents’  Association for enabling this to happen.”

Southwark Free School is be holding a series of public exhibitions for local residents and prospective parents. Taking place on Thursday 16 August 3pm-9pm and Saturday 18 August 10am-4pm at 399 Rotherhithe New Road, the public exhibitions will allow residents the chance to come and view the plans, meet the project team and have their say on what is being proposed.

Southwark Free School will eventually accommodate up to 420 children as well as up to 60 nursery places on the site of the old print works at 399 Rotherhithe New Road.

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 [email protected]

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.