New Cross/Deptford – not spooky

So, a guided walking tour around the spooky sights (and building sites) of New Cross and Deptford.  How was it, you’re all asking?

Well, not so spooky, but not half bad.

Things got off to a bad start because New Cross Road is a MAJOR thoroughfare so all attempts to tell us about the V2 bomb that landed there in the war or the more recent evangelical Christian church ‘miracle baby’ scandal was continually foiled by buses, police cars, ambulances and motorbikes.  It was crowded, too – about 30 people turned up for the walk – which also made hearing more difficult.

Still, once we headed away from New Cross and into Deptford things got more interesting (not least because of the major police/ambulance incident at the Deptford branch of Iceland – obviously the cause of all the emergency traffic earlier!)  We saw where Christopher Marlowe was killed, the churchyard where he’s buried (although, not the grave – no one knows where that is) and we heard about the usual thing that seems to happen in stories of everyday folk from 100+ years ago: that there seemed to be a riot pretty much every day, for the smallest reason.  They loved a good riot back then – I bet your granny never told you about that, eh?  The good old days, when we used to riot at the drop of a hat.  Ahh, great days…

Oh, and the bizarre story of the boozing ghost in a Deptford churchyard (not the Marlowe one), of whom the chronicler says, ‘it so scared a small dog that the poor creature STOOD STILL!

That’s right: the main thing still remembered about this unearthly apparition was that it caused a dog to stop moving.  Not exactly Night Of The Living Dead, is it?

For those of you who enjoy a bit of local colour you’ll be pleased to hear that one of the blokes on the walk sounded EXACTLY like Boycie from Only Fools And Horses, and even resembled him a little.  Every time I heard him speak I couldn’t help thinking, ‘Marlene!

Thanks once again to the lovely South East London Folklore Society for an enjoyably eccentric evening out.

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