Barry Albin-Dyer – Bermondsey funeral director and well-known local personality – has died after a long illness. He was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2013.

Barry worked long-established family firm of FA Albin & Sons for 45 years and been its proprietor since 1985.

He had also served as a magistrate and a deputy lieutenant of Greater London.

His sons Simon and Jon posted this message on the company website on Saturday:

It is with much sadness that we have to inform you that Dad passed away today.
He fought to the end.
We are so proud of him and we offer our sincere thanks for all the many prayers and messages of support that we have received.
You will appreciate that this is a very difficult time for our family and all the staff at Albins.
We will issue a further update in the coming days.
Love to you all
Simon & Jon

His autobiography Don’t Drop the Coffin was turned into an ITV series.

* Read Barry’s 2006 interview with The Observer.

The date has been set for the Bermondsey Carnival on Saturday 4 July.

Now the application process for traders is open.

From the letter to potential traders:

Opportunities are available for commercial traders, catering concessions, charities, community organisations, fun concessions and even for local individuals through our Rumble in the Jumble area.

The application form is also online.


The Blue Bermondsey Business Improvement District, local landowner Grosvenor and the London Borough of Southwark have launched a new online survey map which asks local businesses, residents and visitors for their views on the neighbourhood and its future development.

Accessible at, all you have to do is click on any location on the area map, add your comments and select what you would like to see more of in the Blue Bermondsey area.

BID manager and local businessman Russell Dryden said: “The appeal of the Commonplace survey is that it is so easy to use and will give all in the neighbourhood an opportunity to air their views.

“We can then use this vital input to assist local businesses in improving business growth to create more employment opportunities and working with the council to influence future planning, will contribute to making our area more prosperous for all.”

Katherine Rodgers of Grosvenor said: “We know that being new to Bermondsey means we have a lot to learn, and so we’re looking forward to hearing what the community loves, likes or even dislikes about the area to help inform what we do here.”

South Bermondsey councillor Leo Pollak added: “We are all excited to see this unique survey up and running.

“Unlike other consultations, everyone’s comments and ideas can be seen and the input collected will influence the future direction of the BID, as well as the council’s approach to the high street and market place, so it’s important we all have our say.

“I would encourage everyone who cares about the future of our area to add their comments and to encourage their friends and neighbours to do so as well.”

To add your comments, or simply see what others are saying about the Blue Bermondsey neighbourhood, visit

One of the successful bids in the latest round of Southwark’s High Street Challenge came from Blue Bermondsey Business Improvement District which will receive £22,695 to create new murals in the John Bull Arch.

They will also host workshops and events related to the murals to encourage people to spend more time in the area.

Cllr Ian Wingfield, cabinet member for communities, employment and business, said: “The high street is at the heart of our thriving communities right across Southwark, and the Council is backing local businesses to grow, expand and achieve more.

“We are pleased to have received so many applications which confirms what we already know; that businesses care about the towns they live, work and socialise in. As a council, we are committed to supporting businesses with innovative ideas and backing groups running locally-led initiatives for the good of the high street.

“We’re looking forward to receiving more inspiring ideas and applications when the next round of funding opens later this month.”

Don’t Drop the Coffin – the documentary series about funeral directors FA Albin and Sons first shown on ITV twelve years ago – is to be repeated on local television channel London Live.

The series starts on Wednesday 7 January at 8pm.

London Live is on Freeview channel 8 in the London region, Sky channel 117 and Virgin Media 159.

Albin’s was recently honoured with a Southwark blue plaque.

The whole series is available to view on YouTube courtesy of the production company STV.

On Sunday the Blue Bermondsey Business Improvement District hosted a Christmas event at the Blue.

Sponsors included Biscuit Factory developer Grosvenor.

“The BID already seems to be doing a fantastic job of uniting the surrounding communities, and we’re only too happy to support its efforts,” said Katherine Rodgers, project director at Grosvenor.

“We feel lucky to have such active neighbours, and look forward to celebrating Christmas together for many years to come.”

Photos courtesy of Grosvenor

From a City Hall report published this week, authorising the expenditure of £20,000 on research about broadband connectivity in London (the emphasis is ours):

Investigating the state of London’s connectivity, providing recommendations to address this and then working with providers to improve the service across London is a critical and urgent piece of work. There are significant issues in important inner London locations (including large parts of the City and Westminster) and in several other locations across London (including but not limited to Rotherhithe, Barnet, Bromley, Ealing and Barking and Dagenham). These issues affect small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and residents disproportionately as big businesses can usually afford to pay for their own leased line. The Mayor is passionate about rectifying this issue as quickly as possible. This issue has also recently been highlighted by the Prime Minister.

It’s good to know that City Hall officials are taking the issue seriously.

Photo by Davina Connor
Photo by Davina Connor


Eight fire engines and 58 firefighters and officers tackled a fire at the rear of the What!!! Stores shop on Surrey Quays Road on Wednesday lunchtime.

According to the London Fire Brigade, three gas cylinders are believed to have exploded and there are reports of more cylinders involved in the blaze. There are no reports of any injures at this stage.

Firefighters from East Greenwich, Dockhead, Old Kent Road, Deptford, Peckham, Whitechapel, New Cross and  Lewisham fire stations were sent to the scene.

The smoke was visible from a large part of south-east and central London.

Surrey Quays Road and Canada Street were shut to traffic.

What!!! Stores is the discount hardware shop next to the former Harmsworth Quays printing works.

Police are investigating a burglary at FA Albin & Sons funeral directors in Culling Road.

It is believed that the burglary took place overnight between Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 July.

Officers from Southwark CID are investigating and no arrests have yet been made.


Anyone with information should call police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.