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Topics - Jane

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General Discussion / Prefab Museum open until the end of September
« on: June 07, 2014, 02:06:46 PM »
Hello Downham onliners

It's quite a while since I posted on the forum!

If you're in or around the Downham area do call in to the Prefab Museum, at 17 Meliot Road, SE6 1RY

The Prefab Museum is set in the heart of the UK's largest surviving prefab estate - in a prefab - on the Excalibur 'bungalow' estate in Downham.  Described as Catford's only Museum by the Evening Standard it is organised and curated by photographer Elisabeth Blanchet, and this fascinating slice of 20th century social history, domestic life, hopes and dreams is a show case for artists', photographers' and videographers' work, memorabilia and artefacts.

The museum is open on Saturdays only from 11am - 5pm, on week days by appointment, and on Saturday and Sunday for London Open House on the weekend of 20-21 September. It is free but we welcome donations to support the cost of running the museum and contributing towards the tenants' association who have kindly made the empty prefab available. 

You can read more about the museum at this link:

For up to date information on events throughout the summer, please visit Prefabs - Palaces for the People on Facebook or follow Prefab Photo Project on Twitter.

Celebrate the festive season at Downham Leisure Centre, Moorside Road, on Saturday 11 December. Lots of activities and information for all to enjoy!

Watch the lights go on in Lewisham this Saturday 27 December (lantern procession, followed by switch-on at 4.45pm)

General Discussion / Downham - a place in the country
« on: September 24, 2010, 02:19:43 PM »
I've been fortunate to get a copy of the above named film made in the mid 1980s by Mel Wright and which I think was part of the Downham Reminiscence Group. There are not only very poignant and funny memories of life on the estate and elsewhere but film of Kay's Drapers and the dance hall attached to the Downham Tavern.

We wondered if there is anyone out there who appeared in the original film? I copy this information about the Reminiscence Group and hope it is familiar!

The late Norman Smith, who resided in Rangefield Road, had the inspiration to form the Reminiscence Group during one of his periods in office as Mayor of Lewisham. This coincided with Downham’s official Diamond (60 years) Anniversary in 1986. ...Downham Memories which the late Arthur Andrews and his wife Vera, nee Wallis, guided us through from 1988 to 1998; having taken on the task from Mr Mel Wright; 1986 - 1988.

If you were part of this group, know someone who was involved in the making of the film can you get in touch with me please? I can arrange a viewing of the film, subject to the filmmakers' permission, at Downham Library or Goldsmiths Community Centre.

We are making a series of short films, with the same filmmakers, about the area around the Excalibur pre-fab estate which is due to be demolished after a residents' ballot. It feels like the country and many younger people have said that too.

best wishes, Jane

Notable Downham Residents (past and present!) / Queenie Mortimer
« on: August 17, 2010, 06:56:10 PM »
Dear all

I have some sad news, that Queenie Mortimer passed away this week. She had moved to a nursing home after living in the house she was born in, in Fieldside Road. I knew Queenie for a number of years through her work with the Downham Reminiscence Group, she used to come to our computer group to type up her memories and scan in her photos.

Queenie was a mine of information about Downham and published a book, Downham Pride from its original cubs, which sold out with proceeds going to St Christophers Hospice and Goldsmiths Community Centre - people still ask if there are copies available. Extracts from her book can be read online at

best wishes


Thank you very much to everyone who contributed memories to this new website and put me on the track of some really useful and interesting information. People who use and have used the centre (including a couple who watched the estate being built) gave us fascinating insights into the area in the 1930s and 40s and we have some recordings of their memories linked to the Centre History page.

Queenie Mortimer has also very kindly allowed us to reproduce part of the Downham Originals website. Please take a look:

with very best wishes and thanks again


Does anyone have memories of the Goldsmiths Community Centre on Castillon Road (adjacent to the Excalibur pre-fabs) and the North Downham estate? The centre celebrates its 70th anniversary this year and I am helping to create an exhibition and website showing how it has been used over the years. It is an amazing building and one of the few purpose-built community centres in the country.

Specifically I am trying to find out about the people that used (and the groups they joined) the centre and hoping that someone somewhere has photos from its early days! As the centre was officially opened in 1939 I guess it was requisitioned during the war and any clubs and groups started up after 1945.

Please contact me if you have any information. With thanks, Jane

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