Welcome, thank you for visiting!
Running Past is a South East London local history blog – there are occasional posts on running, but in the main, the ‘running’ element is the means of transporting me to the places mentioned in posts. I am an adopted Londoner, growing up in a former mining town, but I have lived in what used to be the grounds of Lee Place (below) for over 25 years.
Running is a good means of exploring the city, it enables me to be a slightly faster flâneur (Baudelaire’s stroller and observer of the city streets) – I still notice the things I would see walking, but I cover a bit more distance. My historical interest comes with a geographical overlay – I am fascinated by landscapes, particularly the features that have been lost or hidden by the growth of the city.
I write about a variety of things, although there are several clear strands:
- The local history of the area I live in – the Lee/Hither Green borders, particularly
- the large country houses and their links to slavery;
- the farms that pre-dated urbanisation;
- the pubs, shops, cinemas and churches where people came together
- some of the house builders who have contributed to the urban landscape
- Early athletics – from the ‘pedestrians’ who walked prodigious distances in the early 19th century to some of the professional and amateur athletes of the 20th century;
- During 2018 I am celebrating the centenary of women getting the vote with a series of posts about Lewisham suffragettes;
- Some of the other radicals who made south east London their home – such as the anarchist and geographer, Peter Kropotkin, who lived in Bromley; and
- South east London’s rivers and streams – I have followed the Quaggy and its (often buried and diverted) tributaries and have moved on during 2018 to another Ravensbourne tributary, the River Pool.
If you go back a year or two you will find a few posts about running, particularly races I competed in. Such posts are rare now – I tend to Tweet rather than blog about them – this wasn’t really a deliberate choice (although I realised that few people read them) but probably relates to my times getting slower – a combination of the ageing and the recovery process from having my neck broken in early 2015 by a Fiat Punto whose driver failed to understand the significance of a red traffic light next to a pedestrian crossing.
I hope you find what you are looking for, sorry if you didn’t – I can sometimes tell from the WordPress statistics package that there have been disappointments – doing a Google search looking for ‘Haunted Catford’ and then clicking on a link for a Catford ghost sign was never going to end well.
Do interact! If you think that I have got something wrong or your own local knowledge is better than mine so that a post can be improved, please do tell me, I like feedback! Comments are easy to make, you only have to register once (you can use your Facebook, Twitter or Google login), the first comment will be moderated so make take a while to appear.
If you like what you have found, why not sign up so that you don’t miss future posts? There are ‘buttons’ either at the bottom or side (depending on your viewing platform) to follow via
- WordPress Reader, do don’t need to write your own blog to have this;
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- Twitter – this will ‘entitle’ you to a range of other 280 character ramblings and retweets as well as links to new blog posts, although, unless you end up interacting a lot with me, you may miss things as a result of the changes that Twitter made to timelines in Spring 2016.
Similarly, if you think that there is something I should be covering, that I haven’t – do suggest it to me!
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Thanks for visiting!