SELFS TALK: Thursday July 9th: The Undead Of London & Elsewhere

(Image MS912, Senate House Library, University of London)

This month’s SELFS promises to be a real treat with talks from both Scott Wood, whom many SELFS regulars will remember ran SELFS before moving on to run the London Fortean Society with David V Barrett, & Christopher Josiffe, library cataloguer at Senate House & eldritch writer.

Scott will be talking on Revenants. Across the west and across history the dead have risen with as much ferocity as the vampire of folklore from eastern Europe. The dead riot in the Netherlands, confess sins in London, attack livestock in Oxfordshire, rock their graves in Islington and are held back by St Augustine’s cross in a church in England. How often has the dead returned to their loved ones bedroom at night?

This talk goes from classical myth to Icelandic saga to case notes from Royal Bethlehem Hospital and W.B. Yeat’s private letters to trace the secret life of the unquiet dead.

Christopher will be talking about Doctor Eric Dingwall. Dr Eric Dingwall, – twentieth century psychic investigator, anthropologist, sexologist and librarian – is a much less well-known figure than his friend, rival and sometime enemy Harry Price. But he deserves to be remembered, for his rigorous and scientific methods when investigating alleged psychic phenomena, and for his early use of then-nascent psychoanalytic theory as a tool to understand the psychic, the medium, and the post-World War One séance phenomenon.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Scott Wood co-founded the London Fortean Society and gives regular guided walks on the themes of ghosts, folklore and London’s forgotten history. He writes a column for the Londonist on “Fortean London”, and is the author of London Urban Legends: The Corpse of the Tube.
Christopher Josiffe is a library cataloguer at Senate House and writer whose articles on Arthur Machen, Rollo Ahmed, Aleister Crowley, Eric Dingwall and Gef the talking mongoose have been published in Faunus, Fortean Times and Abraxas. He is currently writing a biography of Gef.

The talk will start at 8pm in the upstairs room of the Old King’s Head

Entrance is £3/1.50concs

to avoid disappointment in event of a full house you can email nigelofbermondsey@gmail.com to book in advance

SELFS TALK: Thursday 11th June: The Poorest Hee

988546_10152800562157073_5521374006977075919_nThe English Civil War: Roundheads, Cavaliers, Cromwell, Charles the First. One of the major formative periods in our nation’s history & one many folk don’t know much about. Join storyteller Sarah Rundle in a comprehensive history. There may be Levellers, Ranters & Quakers. Christmas may be banned. 5% of the population may perish. There will be an interval for drinks.

The Old King’s Head, off Borough High Street

Talk starts at 8pm
£3/1.50 concession

To be sure of a place you can email nigelofbermondsey@gmail.com to book

SELFS TALK: WEDNESDAY MAY 13TH: YEATS IN LONDON

WB_Yeats_nd

W.B. Yeats was one of the twentieth century’s key poets. He spent some very formative years in London. Yeats authority, Niall McDevitt will guide us through a side of Yeats you may not be familiar with…

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS TALK IS ON WEDNESDAY NOT THURSDAY THIS MONTH!

The Old King’s Head, off Borough High Street

Talk starts at 8pm
£3/1.50 concession

To be sure of a place you can email nigelofbermondsey@gmail.com to book

SELFS TALK Thursday April 9th 8pm: SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE: LIFE IN SHAKESPEARE’S LONDON

William_Shakespeare_1609SELFS TALK Thursday April 9th 8pm: SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE: LIFE IN SHAKESPEARE’S LONDON
The life of William Shakespeare, Britain’s greatest dramatist, was inextricably linked with the history of London. Together, the great writer and the great city came of age and confronted triumph and tragedy. Triumph came when Shakespeare’s company, the Chamberlain’s Men, opened the Globe playhouse on Bankside in 1599, under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth I. Tragedy touched the lives of many of his contemporaries, from fellow playwright Christopher Marlowe to the disgraced Earl of Essex, while London struggled against the ever-present threat of riots, rebellions and outbreaks of plague. Globe takes its readers on a tour of London through Shakespeare’s life and work, as, in fascinating detail, Catharine Arnold tells how acting came of age. We learn about James Burbage, founder of the original Theatre in Shoreditch, who carried timbers across the Thames to build the Globe among the bear-gardens and brothels of Bankside, and of the terrible night in 1613 when the theatre caught fire during a performance of King Henry VIII. Rebuilt, the Globe continued to stand as a monument to Shakespeare’s genius until 1642 when it was destroyed on the orders of Oliver Cromwell. And finally we learn how 300 years later, Shakespeare’s Globe opened once more upon the Bankside, to great acclaim, rising like a phoenix from the flames Arnold creates a vivid portrait of Shakespeare and his London from the bard’s own plays and contemporary sources, combining a novelist’s eye for detail with a historian’s grasp of his unique contribution to the development of the English theatre. This is a portrait of Shakespeare, London, the man and the myth.

Catharine Arnold is an author, journalist and academic, best known for her ‘London’ series of popular history books: Necropolis: London and Its Dead, Bedlam: London and Its Mad and City of Sin: London and Its Vices. Her most recent work is Shakespeare’s Globe: Life in Shakespeare’s London.

8pm at the
Old King’s Head Pub,
The King’s Yard
45 Borough High Street SE1 1NA.

Entrance is £3/1.50 concs.
These talks can get busy.
To avoid disappointment you can email nigelofbermondsey@gmail.com to book in advance.

Those who have booked in advance will be seated first and the room will be open for those who want to take a punt and turn up on the night at 7.40

SELFS TALK: Thursday 12th March: The Last Witchtrial

Helen-duncan-cheeseclothHelen Duncan, a Scottish medium notorious for producing ectoplasm, also known as Hellish Nell, was the last Briton to be imprisoned under the 1735 Witchcraft Act. Upon her verdict & sentance Duncan cried, “I have done nothing; is there a God?”
Geraldine Beskin of the Atlantis Book will relate this fascinating tale of second world war paranoia & persecution.

8pm at the
Old King’s Head Pub,
The King’s Yard
45 Borough High Street SE1 1NA.

Entrance is £3/1.50 concs.
These talks can get busy.
To avoid disappointment you can email nigelofbermondsey@gmail.com to book in advance.

SELFS TALK: Thursday February 12th: Vanished City; London’s Lost Neighbourhoods

Screen-Shot-2014-09-25-at-15.32.50London is in a state of constant transformation, layer upon layer built up over centuries of destruction and reconstruction. There is so much change all around us that we scarcely notice it, but among the areas now vanished and forgotten are some of the city’s most famous, and infamous, neighbourhoods.
These include the most feared neighbourhood in the Western world, London’s first Olympic Park, its first port, the original Grub Street, a high society spa resort, an occult square, a landscape of ancient, mythical kings, a notorious slum, and the streets stalked by the first London serial killer. Through these streets crowd the Earl of Essex, Christopher Marlowe, Charles Dickens, Alexander Pope, Emmanuel Swedenborg, Aleister Crowley, Greta Garbo, Fu Manchu, the Ancients of Norton Folgate and the possessors of 8,000 unidentified corpses.

8pm at the
Old King’s Head Pub,
The King’s Yard
45 Borough High Street SE1 1NA.

Entrance is £3/1.50 concs.
To avoid disappointment you can email nigelofbermondsey@gmail.com to book in advance.

SELFS TALK: Thursday 8th January: Lewis Carroll & The Supernatural

dl-portrait-npg-lewis-carroll

Lewis Carroll, creator of Alice in Wonderland, was fascinated by the occult, magic and ghosts, and was a very early member of the Society for Psychical Research. This month, Jenny Woolf, author of the biography THE MYSTERY OF LEWIS CARROLL, delves into this tangled web of Victorian creepiness, examines some of the weirder things that Carroll wrote and read, considers possible medical reasons for the experiences he might have had, and casts light on the endless battle that raged in his own mind between religion, logic and the world of the unreal.

This talk will be held at the Old King’s Head at 8pm

It will cost £3/£1.50 concs.

to guarantee a seat email nigelofbermondsey@gmail.com

SELFS TALK: Thursday 11th December: What Is Christmas?

Mummers

Christmas. What is it for? What does it mean? How has it changed? For the last South East London Folklore Society of the year we will be having a look at the origins of Christmas, traditions and customs & some fun stories & songs along the way. Mince pies & Yule log will be ate!

This talk will be held at the Old King’s Head, The Kings Yard, 45 Borough High Street, SE1 1NA London at 8pm

It will cost £3/£1.50 concs.
to guarantee a seat email nigelofbermondsey@gmail.com
or you turn up on the night & it will probably be fine

SOUTH EAST LONDON FOLKLORE SOCIETY THURSDAY NOVEMBER 13TH 8pm JOHN CROW SPEAKS.

4521510444

John Constable; playwright, poet, performer and purveyor of unusual walks.

His best known work, The Southwark Mysteries, received in a vision on 23 November 1996, was performed in Shakespeare’s Globe and Southwark Cathedral.
He is also widely known as John Crow, the urban shaman who raised the spirit of The Goose at Cross Bones, south London’s outcasts’ graveyard. In this magical persona, he has conducted The Halloween of Cross Bones on thirteen consecutive Halloweens, rituals at Glastonbury and other festivals, and vigils at Cross Bones, where he curates a shrine at the gates and campaigns to protect the site as a garden of remembrance. His Sha-Manic Plays, The Southwark Mysteries, his stage adaptation of Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast, and Secret Bankside – Walks In The Outlaw Borough are all published by Oberon Books.

This evening he will be telling us a variety of interesting things, telling tales, histories & poems. There will be an opportunity to ask John questions too.

For those of you who are familiar with John Crow you will know that this will be very interesting indeed.

For those of you who are unaware of John Crow you are in for a treat…

The evening will start at 8pm

It costs £3/£1.50 concesssion

To avoid disappointment you can book a place in advance by emailing nigelofbermondsey@gmail.com

Upstairs at the Old King’s Head, The Kings Yard, 45 Borough High Street, SE1 1NA London