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Today – 14 October – is the 80th anniversary of the World War II bombing of Millstream House in Jamaica Road.

By looking at the brickwork, you can see where the building has been patched up.

Curiously, when the building was restored in 1947, a gargoyle recovered from the debris of air raid damage at the Palace of Westminster was included in the works.

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gargoyle

Earlier this year planning permission was granted for a two-storey roof extension to Millstream House, adding six extra flats.

A new TV documentary by broadcaster and journalist Andrew Marr will explorer one of JMW’s most famous paintings – and it has a strong Rotherhithe connection.

The third episode of Great Paintings of the World with Andrew Marr – devoted to The Fighting Temeraire – will be broadcast on Channel 5 at 6.15pm on Saturday 20 June. It will then be available to view on demand via My5.

One of Turner’s most eminent paintings, The Fighting Temerairedepicts HMS Temeraire which played a distinguished role in Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

Painted in 1838 it depicts the Temeraire being towed to Beatson’s yard in Rotherhithe to be broken up.

Timber from the ship was used to create an altar and two chairs which can still be found in St Mary’s Church in Rotherhithe.

The painting is on display in the National Gallery and was voted the nation’s favourite painting in a 2005 poll run by BBC Radio 4.

Turner and the Temeraire are featured on the new polymer £20 banknote introduced earlier this year.

Plans to install a new memorial to members of the Norwegian Merchant Navy who served in World War II outside Rotherhithe’s Norwegian Church have been submitted to Southwark Council.

St Olav’s Square already includes a grade II listed Norwegian seamen’s memorial erected after the First World War.

“In close collaboration with the Norwegian Embassy in London and the Norwegian Ministry of Culture, St Olav’s church now wish to erect a memorial to the Norwegian Merchant Navy veterans who made a very important contribution to the Allied war efforts during the Second World War,” wrote planning consultant Andrew Renshaw.

“The sponsors are hoping that a representative from the Norwegian Royal Family will be able to unveil the memorial.

“The church has particular significance to the Norwegian Royal Family, as the church served as a refuge for the Norwegian Royal Family during the wartime period of exile.”

The proposed sculpture – by Nico Widerberg – would be cast in bronze.

For further details see planning application 20/AP/1360

Rotherhithe’s Brunel Museum has launched a ‘COVID-19 Crisis Appeal‘ to help secure the attraction’s future.

The appeal has so far raised more than one third of its £12,000 goal.

The museum says that a donation of £30 will cover gas and oil for a month; and a donation of £1,700 will pay for basic running costs for a month during the enforced shutdown.

In normal times the museum costs £10,000 a month to run, but at present doors are closed and staff are on furlough.

Local residents are being invited to show their support for a project to create a seven-metre artwork from parts of the ‘red crane’ or scotch derrick that used to stand on the riverside near Odessa Street.

Local blacksmith Kevin Boys rescued some of the parts of the crane when it was dismantled to make way for a new housing development.

The developer, Hollybrook Homes, has part-funded the artwork project and built a plinth for the sculpture on the Thames Path – but more cash is needed to complete the project.

The Rotherhithe Red Crane is now on crowdfunding site SpaceHive where it will compete with other projects for a share of funding from the Mayor of London, as well as backing from local people and businesses.

The scheme will soon be open for pledges from the public, but you can already register your support.

You can also follow @BuildCrane on Twitter.

As the 400th anniversary year of the Mayflower sailing from Rotherhithe gets under way, there’s another chance for local groups to apply for funds to support related projects.

The Southwark Mayflower 400 Grants Fund – set up by Southwark Council, British Land and United St Saviour’s Charity – has a budget of £25,000 for its third round of grants.

Applications for this round close on 31 January. More details here.

The Bank of England has revealed the design for the new £20 polymer note to be introduced in 2020 – and it has a Rotherhithe connection.

The new polymer banknote features artist JMW Turner and his painting The Fighting Temeraire.

Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, said: “Our banknotes celebrate the UK’s heritage, salute its culture, and testify to the achievements of its most notable individuals. 

“And so it is with the new £20 banknote, featuring JMW Turner, launched today at Turner Contemporary in Margate.  Turner’s contribution to art extends well beyond his favourite stretch of shoreline. 

“Turner’s painting was transformative, his influence spanned lifetimes, and his legacy endures today.

“The new £20 note celebrates Turner, his art and his legacy in all their radiant, colourful, evocative glory.”

One of Turner’s most eminent paintings, The Fighting Temeraire, depicts HMS Temeraire which played a distinguished role in Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

Painted in 1838 it depicts the Temeraire being towed to Beatson’s yard in Rotherhithe to be broken up.

Timber from the ship was used to create an altar and two chairs which can still be found in St Mary’s Church in Rotherhithe.

The painting is currently on display in the National Gallery and was voted the nation’s favourite painting in a 2005 poll run by BBC Radio 4.

The Rotherhithe & Bermondsey Local History Society has named its first two speakers for next year’s Mayflower 400 London Lectures – barely a month after hearing it had received funding for the talks. And they are two of the world’s leading authorities on the subject.

Society president Michael Daniels has announced that Adrian Gray and Nick Bunker which begin the series of events which it is planning for summer and autumn 2020.

The talks and walks will commemorate the 400th anniversary of The Mayflower’s departure from Rotherhithe, the home port and final resting place of the ship and her master.

The five talks are to be staged chronologically, so these first two speakers will provide the context and background to the voyage.

The Long Search for Freedom, on 27 May 2020, is to focus on a group of people from the Midlands and what drove them to embark on an extraordinary voyage across the Atlantic, creating both history and a major step towards religious freedom in the process.

Seafarers, Puritans and Beaver Hats, on 24 June 2020, will provide an insight into how the voyage was financed by trade and negotiations in the City of London.

“Adrian and Nick are two of the most prominent historians in the Mayflower world, and we are delighted that they are coming to share their expert knowledge with us here in Rotherhithe,” said Michael Daniels.

“Their talks will provide a unique opportunity to discover the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of the famous voyage, and many of the themes they will explore are likely to be as relevant today as they were 400 years ago.”

Rita Cruise O’Brien (co-director, Mayflower 400 London Lectures) added: “Adrian Gray is an expert local historian from the Nottinghamshire/Lincolnshire area and will talk of the history of the Trent Valley where the pilgrims first started their journey into exile in Holland in 1607. He will trace the origins of the separatist movement and the long story of non-conformism in this part of England.

“Nick Bunker is author of Making Haste from Babylon, the most outstanding modern book on the pilgrim story. He will consider the role of trade and finance in maritime London and the origins of the Mayflower project. His talk will include his fascinating research which uncovered the significance of the beaver trade in the making of the Plymouth Colony.”

The talks will take place in Rotherhithe and will be open to everyone at affordable admission fees. Further speakers to be announced.

The series is funded by the Southwark Mayflower 400 Grants Fund.