Rotherhithe and Bermondsey Local History Society Events 2020

The Rotherhithe and Bermondsey Local History Society

The aim of the Rotherhithe and Bermondsey Local History Society is to encourage interest in the history of Rotherhithe, Bermondsey, the surrounding area, Docklands and River Thames.

The group meet monthly on the last Wednesday of every month, except for June and August when members go on walks and December (which is mid-month and bit different!)

You can attend the events as a member or guest. For membership information, please visit their website

The Mayflower 400 London Lectures commemorate the sailing of the ship in 1620 and offer an unmissable opportunity to discover her secrets, background, voyage and legacy, and to compare the themes and issues of 400 years ago with those of the world today.

They bring together a group of well-known and highly-regarded authors who have written about The Mayflower, the Leiden Congregation and the settlement of the people who became known as “The Pilgrims” in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Each of the six illustrated Wednesday evening talks is designed to be enjoyed either individually or as part of the series and takes place at Canada Water Theatre in Rotherhithe, the home port and final resting place of The Mayflower and her master.


For any enquiries please email

Booking Essential.

Only £3 (members free) including a glass of wine at the interval, unless indicated as free.?

All lectures at Canada Water Theatre, 21 Surrey Quays Rd, Rotherhithe, London SE16 7AR. ?

Canada Water tube (Jubilee, London Overground) is next door.?

Buses 1, 47, 188, 199, 225, 381, C10, P12 stop outside.

Please note: The talks below start at 7:30pm (doors open 7:15pm) and take place at Time & Talents Centre unless otherwise indicated. Booking is not required for these talks but only for the special Mayflower 400 London Lectures which are detailed on this page.

January 29, 2020 |7.15pm

Childhood Memories of War-Torn Bermondsey With Brenda Watkinson

Brenda Watkinson has lived in Bermondsey for most of her life. In this not-to-be-missed talk, she will recall some anecdotes from her childhood, when she lived in Bermondsey during the Blitz, as well as what it was like growing up in post-war London.

February 26, 2020 | 7.15pm

Jamestown Brides with Jennifer Potter

Jennifer Potter, author of The Jamestown Brides: The Untold Story of England’s ‘Maids for Virginia’ guides us through the lives of the women who, in 1620, were willingly transported to the Virginia Colony and sold, as part of a scheme to stabilise the plantation settlements. It is a wonderful tale of events which occurred at the same time as the preparations for The Mayflower were in progress.

Jennifer Potter Website

March 25, 2020 | 7.15pm

Charting the Mayflower: Workshop with London Bubble

London Bubble Website

April 29, 2020 | 7.30pm |Mayflower Lectures

The Mayflower Compacted

Rita Cruise O’Brien, author of The Mayflower: Myths, Truths and Legacies, introduces the Mayflower story and the importance of Rotherhithe in its early days. A Free Event. Booking Now Open!


May 27, 2020 | 7.30pm |Mayflower Lectures

The Long Search for Freedom

Adrian Gray, author of From Here We Changed the World, discusses the origins of the people who became known as The Pilgrim Fathers. Booking Opens April 29, 2020!

Booking Open Alert

June 24, 2020 | 7.30pm |Mayflower Lectures

Seafarers, Puritans and Beaver Hats

Nick Bunker, author of Making Haste from Babylon, investigates the role of money and The City behind the Mayflower’s voyage.  Booking Opens May 27, 2020.

Booking Open Alert

July 29, 2020 | 7pm |Mayflower Lectures

History, Art & The Mayflower

Local Walk in Rotherhithe led by Blue Badge Guides. Meet at 7pm, departures 7:30pm. A Free Event. Booking Opens Jun 24, 2020.

Booking Open Alert

September 2, 2020 | 7.30pm |Mayflower Lectures

“One of my horses could preach as well as the curate!”

James Evans, author of Emigrants: Why the English Sailed to the New World, considers the state of the clergy in England at the time and the establishment of new faith communities. Booking Opens Jul 29, 2020.

Booking Open Alert

September 30, 2020 | 7.30pm |Mayflower Lectures

One Small Candle

Rebecca Fraser, author of The Mayflower Generation: The Winslow Family and the Fights for the New World, identifies the people who made the voyage and their fate in America.Booking Opens Sep 2, 2020.

Booking Open Alert

October 28, 2020 | 7.30pm

The Thames and its Mysteries with Robert Stephenson

Venue: TBC

November 25, 2020 | 7.30pm |Mayflower Lectures

The Making of the Mayflower Myth

Rita Cruise O’Brien, author of The Mayflower: Myths, Truths and Legacies, considers the myths and legacies of the Mayflower story.  Booking Opens Sep 30, 2020.

Booking Open Alert

December 9, 2020 | 7.30pm

Christmas Special

Venue: TBC

Become a member

The Rotherhithe & Bermondsey Local History Society is an informal group encouraging a shared interest in the history of the local area; all are welcome to join or attend as guests.

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Attending as a guest.

If you are unsure whether you would like to be a member but would like to attend to hear a particular speaker you are warmly welcome. The contribution to attend one meeting is £3 per person and can be paid on the door. If you would like to become a member at the meeting please speak to a committee member who will provide a membership form.

Disclaimer: WISE16 cannot be held responsible for any event changes or cancellation. We strongly recommend to check with the organiser if you have any questions, especially for those events which require paying a fee.

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