Dancing Books events

DanceWest logoDancing Books is an innovative project using children literature as an inspiration for creative dance classes for pre-school children and their families. Following a successful pilot project in April 2016, DanceWest in partnerships with Hammersmith and Fulham Council, won significant funding by the Arts Council England Libraries Fund to expand the programme and make Dancing Books available to more libraries in Hammersmith and Fulham.


The Dancing Books sessions are free, interactive, involving both children and carers, and are led by an experienced and talented team of DanceWest dance artists in the selected libraries.

Sessions start next week in three of our libraries –

Monday 24 April, 10.15 to 11am at Hammersmith Library

Thursday 27 April, 10.15 to 11am at Shepherds Bush Library

Friday 28 April, 10.15 to 11am at Fulham Library

Dancing Books sessions are free and no booking is required. It’s a popular programme so sessions will be first come, first served.


More information about further dates can be found on the LBHF Library events webpage.


DanceWest, based at the Lyric Hammersmith is the community dance organisation for West London. Their projects includes working with schools and communities and producing a programme of high quality dance events and performances across West London. For more information www.dancewest.co.uk

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4 March 1967

4 March 1967 might seem like a random date picked out of the air from 50 years ago. And QPR 3 WBA 2 to some might seem like a random list of letters and numbers. However, those who were at Wembley Stadium that day, or local people of a certain age, or avid Queens Park Rangers fans will know that on 4 March 1967 Queens Park Rangers beat West Bromwich Albion three goals to two to win the Football League Cup final.

Copy of the 1967 Cup Final programme

Copy of the 1967 Cup Final programme

At that time Rangers were flying high in the old Division 3 (equivalent to League 1 now) and West Bromwich Albion were mid table in Division 1 (equivalent to the Premier League now). West Brom had already won the League Cup the previous year.

It was a day after my birthday and I was at Wembley along with my dad, brother and my close friend as part of the 97,952 crowd to see this memorable match. By half time West Brom were two nil up and as Rangers were the underdogs. Most of us were expecting a complete whitewash. In fact my brother was already talking about going home. But when Rangers returned to the pitch for the second half amazingly they started attacking from the whistle. Winger Roger Morgan scored in the 63rd minute and local hero Rodney Marsh equalized in the 75th minute. He described that goal as ‘the defining goal of my career’. As the tension grew in the stadium Mark Lazarus scored the winning goal for Rangers in the 81st minute.

So Rangers had won their first major trophy and under manager Alec Stock then went on to top the 3rd Division that season. By coincidence they topped the league at the end of the 1967 season with 67 points. In three consecutive seasons they went from Division 3 to Division 1. It was the golden age of football in Shepherds Bush.

Some would say it was the most memorable day in the history of Queens Park Rangers but others younger and more cynical would say it’s very unusual for Rangers to win anything. In fact the game itself was unusual for many other reasons.

QPR. and WBA are the only two teams in the football league who routinely are recognized by their initials. It was the first time Rangers had ever played at Wembley and the first major tournament that they had ever played in. In fact Rangers were the first third division club to play at Wembley.

The 1967 League Cup Final was only the seventh League Cup competition; the six previous finals had been played mid-week over two legs.  It was the first to be played at Wembley and the first final to be played on a Saturday. And Rangers made history by becoming the first 3rd division side to win the League Cup.

DVD from Peter Trott's collection

DVD from Peter Trott’s collection

In the previous two-leg 1966 final ex Ranger’s player Clive Clark played and scored to help West Brom beat West Ham 5 – 3 on aggregate. In the 1967 final it was Clive Clark who scored both first half goals for West Brom. Incidentally, Clive Clark lodged in Thorpebank Road whilst playing for Rangers in the late fifties.

The amazing second half comeback by Rangers saw Roger Morgan, Rodney Marsh and Mark Lazarus score for Rangers and Captain Mike Keen lifted the cup.  Strangely out of the team of 11 players only these four players had a name beginning with the letter M.

The winning team consisted of Springett (goalkeeper), Hazell, Langley, Keen (captain), Hunt, Sibley, Lazarus, Sanderson, Allen, Marsh and Morgan. Goalkeeper Peter Springett played for Rangers from 1962 to 1967 and his brother Ron, also a goalkeeper, played for Rangers from 1955 to 1958 and from 1967 to 1969. Ron Springett later went on to open a sports shop in the Uxbridge Road.

The Springett brothers both being goalkeepers never played in the same team together. In fact there are very few brothers that have ever actually played together and even fewer twin brothers. Twins Roger and Ian Morgan were wingers who regularly played together in the Rangers team. Roger actually played in the final but Ian was the substitute that day.

For the final Rangers played in an all-white strip whilst West Brom played in their regular away strip of red. They had used the red away strip since the late 1950s but after their defeat in 1967 changed to an all-white strip. By a strange coincidence in the 1968 final Leeds who wore an all-white strip beat Arsenal who wore red tops.

Replica of the League Cup photographed during a visit to the Rangers stadium in 2015

Replica of the League Cup photographed during a visit to the Rangers stadium in 2015

When Rangers won the cup it caused a problem for the Football Association. Previous winners qualified for the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, but the competition rules stated that the winning team must come from the highest tier of that country’s league. So Rangers were not allowed to play and Nottingham Forest, Leeds United and Liverpool qualified for the following season’s Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.

I mentioned earlier that Clive Clark once lodged in Thorpebank Road. In the late 1950s and early 1960s many Rangers players lodged in Shepherds Bush. My own parents took in Rangers lodgers (read about my memories).

In 2014 The Octavia Foundation in partnership with QPR in the Community Trust were putting together a documentary on the story of Queens Park Rangers. I gave them an oral history of my memories of Shepherds Bush and living in a house with Rangers players. I also lent items for a small exhibition at the stadium. As a result of that I was invited to the premiere of R’STORY that took place at Westfield in 2015. At the after party I was honoured to speak to Mark Lazarus and shake the hand of the man that I saw score the winning goal at Wembley all those years ago.

Copy of the DVD given to Peter Trott by The Octavia Foundation and QPR in the Community Trust

Copy of the DVD given to Peter Trott by The Octavia Foundation and QPR in the Community Trust

P.S. As a very quirky coincidence West Brom’s goalkeeper that day was Dick Sheppard and ‘Sheppard’ is the earliest known reference to Shepherds Bush i.e. Sheppards Bush Green (1635).

[Peter Trott, Local Studies volunteer]

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Alfred Daniels’ Murals In Hammersmith | Spitalfields Life

Source: Alfred Daniels’ Murals In Hammersmith | Spitalfields Life

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John Leech, Illustrator and caricaturist for Punch magazine

Many of the Hammersmith & Fulham archives are still in Lilla Huset in Talgarth Road where they were housed before we moved to Hammersmith Library.  I was looking through some of the old volumes and came across John Leech’s Pictures of Life & Character from the collection of ‘Mr Punch’.

John Leech’s Pictures of Life & Character from the collection of ‘Mr Punch’

John Leech’s Pictures of Life & Character from the collection of ‘Mr Punch’

John Leach (1817-1864) was a popular Victorian illustrator and caricaturist but I was not aware of any links to Hammersmith or Fulham.  He was born in the City of London in 1817 and rather than follow his father and uncle into the restaurant business he was determined to become an artist.  A little research, however, revealed that he had lived for some years in Brook Green.

John Leech

John Leech

Leech was a good friend of Charles Dickens and illustrated some of his novels.  In the winter of 1843 he produced four illustrations, etched on steel and coloured by hand, as well as wood text engravings for A Christmas Carol:

Frontispiece. “Mr Fizzywig’s Ball”, illustration for Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, 1843

Frontispiece. “Mr Fizzywig’s Ball”, illustration for Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, 1843

Another book he illustrated for Dickens was Cricket on the Hearth published two years later:

Text illustration from Charles Dickens’ Cricket on the Hearth, 1845

Text illustration from Charles Dickens’ Cricket on the Hearth, 1845

Another author he worked with was Gilbert à Beckett whom he had met in 1832 when they were both medical students and who later became a writer at Punch. He wrote A Comic History of Britain for which Leech provided both colour prints and text illustrations:

“Henry VIII monk hunting”, illustration for A Comic History of Britain

“Henry VIII monk hunting”, illustration for A Comic History of Britain

Early in 1845, John Leech and his wife, Annie, moved from Bloomsbury to 10 Brook Green, next door to their friend, Mark Lemon, at no 12 in “the quiet suburb” of Hammersmith. He obviously enjoyed being a “villa dweller” as is described in the following letter to Hohn Foster:

Letter and drawing of Leech’s house in Brook Green (reproduced from Houfe’s biography)

Letter and drawing of Leech’s house in Brook Green (reproduced from Houfe’s biography)

Leech’s move to Hammersmith coincided with the order to call out the militia in early 1846.  Leech joined and had fun with the over-domesticated, amateur soldiers in “The Brook Green Militia Man”.  In the drawing of Militia Man being presented with colours (an old shirt tied to a stick) can be seen Leech’s house in the background.

Presentation of Colours to the Brook Green Volunteers

Presentation of Colours to the Brook Green Volunteers

John Leech is best known for are his illustrations for Punch magazine, a connection that started in 1841 and continued until his death. He was not one for the original engravers but he was asked to do some work a few weeks later.  Unfortunately, he sent in his drawings on wood block so late that the magazine could not appear in time, distribution failed and there was a serious fall in the week’s circulation.  Not surprisingly, it was some time before he was offered more work and he was much helped in this by his old school friend, W M Thackeray, joining the staff.

Leech contributed more than 3000 illustrations to the magazine and was soon a popular illustrator. It was felt he reflected the views and attitudes of much of the magazine’s readership.  He was seen as a family man, unpretentious, patriotic, championing the underdog and standing up for the common sense view.  His social observations often highlighted the plight of the poor and forgotten or concerned the daily humour of family life and leisure in Victorian England.

Much of his drawing is considered autobiographical.  During his early marriage when he was living in Brook Green he produced the series ‘Domestic Bliss’:

In 1948, he moved to the more affluent Notting Hill Terrace, Kensington and this was reflected in his drawings:

'Servantgalism, or, what's to become of the missuses' by John Leech

‘Servantgalism, or, what’s to become of the missuses’ by John Leech

Later Leech discovered the country and a new series was developed about Mr Briggs and the pleasures of horse-keeping.  He became a well known sporting illustrator and in the 1850s he contributed numerous etchings of sporting scenes, together with woodcuts, to the novels of by Robert Smith Surtees, including to the Handley Cross novels featuring the character of Mr Jorrocks.  Hopefully this later material will be in a future blog.

[Fiona Fowler, volunteer Local History Room and Archives]


[Except for the first book which you need to request, the books are available on the shelves in the Local History Room].

Leech, John Pictures of Life & Character from the collection of ‘Mr Punch’ 1887, H927.4 LEE

à Beckett, G A  A Comic History of Britain, 1st ed 1850, H&F Library ed 1897,  H928.7 ABE

Brown, John  John Leech & other papers, 1882, H920 LEE

Houfe, Simon  John Leech & the Victorian Scene 1984, H920 LEE

Speilmann, M H  History of Punch, 1895, H920.08 PUN

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Owl craft fun in Shepherds Bush Library

We had lots of fun creating these cute baby owl pictures at the Shepherds Bush Library Tuesday Craft Club. The children used cotton wool balls for the fluffy little baby owls and added lots of details to make a night time owl picture.

Shepherds Bush Library craft Club runs every Tuesday (term-time) 3.45 to 4.45pm and is aimed at children aged 3-11. There is a small voluntary fee of 50p towards craft materials. come and join in!

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Creative writing with Joy Rhoades

Joy Rhoades writing workshop at Hammersmith Library 2017

Have you always wanted to write but are not sure where to start?
Have stories that you want to tell on paper but don’t know how?

Joy Rhoades’ recent creative writing workshop at Hammersmith Library helped 25 budding writers with these questions and more.

A graduate of the Creative Writing Master’s program at the New School University in New York, Joy has published a number of short stories in the United States. Her debut novel, The Woolgrower’s Companion, is forthcoming from Penguin in early 2017 in Australia and the UK.

Joy began the session by introducing the basics of fiction-writing, including:

  • What to write about?
  • Why ‘write what you know’?
  • Why writers are readers
  • The writing process: writing, reading, editing, sharing
  • When you have something polished, what then?

Attendees also had some fun putting words on paper, and were given a chance to read out and discuss their work in a supportive and inclusive atmosphere.

Don’t worry if you missed out; Joy will be repeating this FREE workshop on Thursday 28 February, 6pm at Shepherds Bush Library. Please contact the library on 020 8753 3842 or email marilyn.welsh@lbhf.gov.uk to reserve a place.

Joy Rhoades writing workshop at Hammersmith Library 2017

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Would you Adam and Eve it?*

xmasAround this time of year newspapers and the radio repeat stories such as the urban myth about changing the name Christmas to Winterval. Also you see references to Xmas and Seasons Greetings rather than Christmas and Merry Christmas.



The computer age has also created new words such as Twitter, Cloud, Snapchat, etc. And now a cookie is more commonly known as a small piece of computer data rather than something you eat.

crsI was born in the ‘Baby Boomer’ age – an invented word for the period after the Second World War when the birth rate increased dramatically. A large part of my family originated from the south east of London and as a child I didn’t realise that some of my everyday language was a mixture of cockney rhyming slang and old sayings.

When someone was flabbergasted they would say ‘Well I’ll go to the foot of our stairs’ – which made no sense. When it was time for bed you went up the wooden hill – up the stairs. And when it was cold you put the wood in the hole – closed the door. I accepted that if I came home dirty after a hard day playing in the street I was as ‘black as old noogits’. It was many years later that I discovered this meant I was as black as the large black knocker on the door of the old Newgate prison.

To confuse things even more a lot of the cockney rhyming slang would be shortened to one word making it even more difficult to understand. For example ‘tom’ was short for ‘tom foolery’ which meant jewellery. And the ‘currant’ was the ‘currant bun’ which meant the sun. Some rhyming slang was in part descriptive too, such as ‘trouble and strife’ for wife. This could be rather apt for a lazy or hen-pecked husband referring to his nagging wife.

crs1Some rhyming slang was created to keep up with modern trends, for example when flared trousers became fashionable they were known as ‘Lionel Blairs’. But now I often hear references or quiz questions about rhyming slang created by over-imaginative people who have no idea about original rhyming slang. Someone recently decided a nose would be a ‘fireman’s hose’ just because it rhymed, but the original rhyme was in fact an ‘I suppose’. I’ve even heard Santa’s Grotto referred to as Blotto just because it rhymes, but every true Londoner will know that being blotto means being drunk!

Every part of the body was included in rhyming slang, from ‘plates of meat’ for feet to ‘Barnet fair’ for hair. Some were slightly risqué such as ‘Bristol City’ and ‘bottle and glass’ which I will leave for you to interpret.

So this Christmas if you are going out for a knees up put on your whistle, titfer and daisies. Put your greens in your sky and go down the frog to the ruba. Have a few tiddlies but don’t get Brahms.

wineIn other words this Christmas if you are going out to celebrate put on your suit, hat and boots. Put your wages in your pocket and go down the road to the pub. Have a few drinks but don’t get drunk.




Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.




*Would you believe it?

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