Obviously, I need no persuading on the value of local history; but I do love new ways of exploring it. One of the most creative is artist Amy Lord's The Takeaway Shop. In an hour-long session, participants make their own book before filling it with images and text about Deptford's history.
The mixture of craft and historical discovery is irresistible. Lord has put together a wonderful selection of materials, from maps to images of buildings to photographs of events. That allows everyone to choose their own approach and create a unique personal archive to take away. It's also an opportunity to chat to other local people and share knowledge of Deptford's past.
Along with the cutting, gluing and creating, I loved exploring new documents. Among my favourites was an advertisement from a job applicant in 1840. I've explored similar approaches to job-hunting by other Deptfordians, but this appeal for the job of gravedigger was new to me. The applicant didn't emphasise relevant skills (as an unemployed sugar-mould potter he presumably had none) but rather his personal misfortune: he and his eight children were left dependant upon his wife. His unemployment, he was careful to explain, was because wrought-iron moulds had rendered him redundant. What a wonderful combination of industrial, social and local history: a perfect illustration of the value of The Takeaway Shop.
There's only one day of this event left, but if you want to book a last-minute place for Friday then click here. Transpontine has also visited.