The story of Burgess Park in WW1
Revealing the impact of World War I on people’s lives and society
Almost one hundred years ago, on the night of 19th October 1917, a Zeppelin bomb landed in Calmington Road, Southwark. It killed 10 people, injured 24 more, and destroyed a fish and chip shop, a doctor’s surgery, and many homes. The Friends of Burgess Park project “Zeppelin 1917” will uncover the stories of local heroes and piece together the dramatic raid right over what is now Burgess Park.
Jon Pickup and Andrew Pearson, from Friends of Burgess Park are leading the project supported by a successful £9,800 Heritage Lottery Fund award. Jon Pickup said “We’re looking for people to volunteer, get involved and during the summer we’ll be visiting the Imperial War Museum and Southwark Heritage Library to look into archive material about the people who lived in the street. This is a fantastic opportunity to do some original research and uncover hidden stories. We’re also delighted that Southwark Council are funding an art piece for the park to remember this event.” Sally Hogarth has been appointed as the artist.
The project kicks off over the summer. Volunteers will find out more about the Zeppelin and the lives of ordinary people who took heroic action as part of the war effort. In September, children’s workshops led by Art in the Park will take place at the Creation Trust, Giraffe House.
During October 2017 a festival of events at Theatre Delicatessen, in the Old Library, Wells Way, will showcase the work created by local residents. John Whelan will bring together the historical research with volunteers to tell the story of the raid through an animated walk. Stephen Bourne, local historian, and author of Black Poppies, will talk about the armed services as well as men and women who stayed at home and played a role in the civil defence.
The Zeppelin 2017 festival will feature:
Exhibition – A timeline of the raid and archival display – open Saturdays during October 2017, with opening talk by Zeppelin expert Ian Castle on Saturday 7 October.
Hidden Heroes – Talk by Stephen Bourne, author of Black Poppies, on the black community and the Great War, Saturday 14 October 2017.
Animated Walk – Created by actors using research by local volunteers, to animate the history of WW1 and the Zeppelin Raid on Calmington Road in October 1917, on Saturday 21 October.
Family events – Drop-in family events including art workshops with Art in the Park, Cuming Museum object handling, stories and rhymes with Vanessa Wolf, Saturday 7 and Thursday 26 and Friday 27 October.
Zeppelin 1917 research and archive events