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Christmas fairs in and around Dulwich!

There are so many wonderful fairs planned for this month, I hope that I have brought you the details of the best!

Thursday 5 December: Artisan Christmas Market
5pm-10pm.  Locally made Christmas gifts by local artists. Live music, mulled wine, kids meals available. Honor Oak Pub, 1 St German’s Road, Forest Hill SE23 1RH.

Saturday 7 December: East Dulwich Christmas Cracker 2019
11am-5pm. The 2019 East Dulwich Christmas Cracker will be a wonderful way to get everyone in the festive spirit. Lordship Lane, North Cross Road and beyond.

Saturday 7 December: Dulwich Craft and Design Fair
10am-5pm. St Barnabas Village Hall, Dulwich Village, London SE21 7BT. Admission: Adults £2.50, Children under 18: Free, Concessions £1.50/with flier £1.50. www.dulwichcrafts.co.uk.

Saturday 7 December: Workshop Christmas Sale
10am-4pm.  A wide range of beautiful handmade gifts for you, your home and the ones you love. Christ Church Centre, 263 Barry Road, East Dulwich SE22 0JT. www.theworkshopsale.co.uk.

Saturday 7 December: Fairlawn Primary School Winter Fair
12-3pm. Something for everyone! Fairlawn’s fantastical donkey rides, explore the enchanted garden, visit Santa in his grotto, strut your stuff at our Danceathon, make some Christmassy crafts, drink a cup of hot mulled wine, relax in the Christmas cafe, buy presents from local craft makers, have some amazing homemade, warm food! Fairlawn Primary School, 16 Honor Oak Rd, Forest Hill, London SE23 3SH.

Saturday 7 & Sunday 8 December: Pexmas Festive Market
11am-6pm.  At Pexmas this year you will find over 100 independent boutique stalls including prints, plants, bath products, ceramics, clothes, accessories, jewellery, homewares, foodie gifts, craft beers and wines, textiles and a million things you never knew you wanted. PLUS: Streetfood, DJs and our infamous mulled wine. Unit 8, Copeland Estate, Peckham SE15 3SN.  www.pexmas.com.

Sunday 8 December: Winter Craft Fair
11-4pm. Join us this festive season at Herne Hill in South London.. Stock up the fantastic selection of gorgeous gifts on offer, beautifully handcrafted by some of the best designers and makers.. Admission: FREE.  Station Hall, Herne Hill SE24 0JW. www.indiefairs.com

Sunday 15 December: Christmas Fair at Heber Primary School
12-3pm. It’s fun for all the family at Heber’s epic community Christmas Fair! There’s so much to do on the day including an unforgettable Santa’s Grotto experience for the children. Free entry. Everyone welcome. Thank you to the generous support of Pedder estate agents. All proceeds go to Heber Primary School.

Art exhibition prompts questions on meaning of Christmas

An art exhibition including a painting that depicts the baby Jesus and his mother Mary as refugees in a camp in Calais will be held this December in St John’s East Dulwich.

The massive 8ft square painting called ‘Our Lady of Calais’ will hang in the sanctuary where the altar normally sits throughout Advent and Christmas and will form the backdrop to all the activities and services at St John’s this December.

First exhibited in St Paul’s Cathedral, the painting will form part of an exhibition called ‘What are you expecting?’ that the organisers hope will get people thinking about the true meaning of Christmas.

‘For many of us, Christmas is a lot about our expectations of presents and parties’ said Curate, Reverend Raymond Baudon, ‘but we hope these paintings will get people to encounter the meaning of Christmas in an unexpected way. We know the nativity story so well, that we forget Jesus was born to what might be described today as a homeless migrant family.’

The exhibition opens on Sunday 1st December at 3pm with a special service of blessing and dedications led by the Rt Rev Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark. At the service the Elm Singers will be singing Britten’s ‘Ceremony of Carols’ and there will be a drinks reception after the service. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The exhibition runs right through until 29th December and is open every day from 9:30am.

As part of the project, the artist Sara Mark will be leading workshops with local school children to respond to the art. Local artists are also invited to come at any time with their materials to respond to the artwork in their own way. However, there will be a special artists’ open day on Saturday 7th December. St John’s will be taking part in the Artists’ Open House weekends in May next and as a legacy of this December exhibition artists are invited to submit works to be displayed in May based on the themes explored in the exhibition.

A programme of events runs alongside the exhibition, including on 8th December the owner of ‘Our Lady of Calais’ will be in conversation with the development officer from St Paul’s cathedral who commissioned the painting. There will also be a talk that afternoon by Dr Jennifer Craig-Norton about her book re-examining the Kindertransport called ‘The Kindertransport: Contesting Memory’.

Please see the listings pages to find out what else is going on throughout December. If you would like more information about the exhibition then please contact Rev Raymond Baudon at St John’s: curate@stjohnseastdulwich.org.

An Unholy Row – Jazz in Britain and its Audience 1945-1960

Award-winning jazz writer and musician, Dave Gelly will be talking about his book on Tuesday 10th December in the Carnegie Library, Herne Hill. This is part of the series of monthly talks by local authors.An Unholy Row describes the years when jazz was the Youth Music of the day – along with The Goon Show, Skiffle, Ealing Comedies, Giles Cartoons etc. Illustrated with snatches of music to bring it all back – if you`ve reached the age of discretion!

The talk, in the series of monthly free events, is hosted by the Friends of Carnegie Library and begins at 7pm. Refreshments will be served, and any voluntary contributions will be gratefully accepted!

Carnegie Library, Herne Hill Road, SE24 0AG

Public transport: By bus – P4 (Lewisham to Brixton)

68 or 468, (buses stop at top of Herne Hill Road)

Please note: As space is limited in the library, it`s advisable to come early to avoid disappointment. Doors open at 6.30pm.

Around Dulwich – December news!

‘Tis the season to be jolly… merry and bright, naughty and nice, bake gingerbread houses and eat mince pies. It’s a time when everything sparkles – from the windows on our high street to the sequins on our party skirts. We drink our wine warm, sip our chocolate hot, eat our chestnuts roasted on an open fire – or so the song goes – and add cinnamon and ginger to everything!

I love the Christmassy feeling in the air, but not a day before 1st December. I was hoping the new Christmas rom-com with all the music by George Michael was going to be our December Film Club pick, but it came out in the middle of November! November is the month for fireworks, bonfires and kicking leaves, not for movies about an elf in a year-round Christmas shop. I’ll still go and see it though, obviously because… it’s George!

This year, we are adapting some of our festive family traditions to have an eco-friendlier Christmas. I shall be giving more thoughtfully too and there are many ways to shop locally, support small businesses and the community this season.

The Winter Makers Market (1 December) at Stag & Bow offers beautiful handmade items direct from the makers’ hands.

The Dulwich Village Christmas Stocking (1 December) is a free community event and features special offers in many of the independent shops with carols from local school bands and choirs, as well as a mystery Christmas stocking trail with prizes for children.

A group of talented applied artists will bring you the latest in their collections of jewellery, knitwear, ceramics, stationery, prints, shaker style boxes, textiles and greeting cards at the Makers Market at Art@57 on North Cross Road (7 December).

The 2019 East Dulwich Christmas Cracker (7 December) is a wonderful way to get in the festive spirit. This year’s street festival programme will include an exciting array of entertainment from choirs and performance groups, exclusive offers from the fantastic local traders, a suitably seasonal North Cross Road market with tempting gifts, delicious festive food and the return of the delightful Children’s Christmas Treasure Hunt in aid of Link Age Southwark.

At Pexmas this year (7 & 8 December) you will find over 100 independent boutique stalls offering prints, plants, bath products, ceramics, clothes, accessories, jewellery, homewares, foodie gifts, craft beers and wines and a million other things you never knew you wanted.

The Dulwich Charity Lunch (5 December) will be held at The Lordship pub this year. Many local businesses have donated items for the charity auction, which will raise much-needed funds for Link Age Southwark.

Come and share the joy of an afternoon with the seven Massive Violins (8 December). They perform jaw-dropping versions of famous songs – from Elvis to Adele, taking in the Beach Boys, the Beatles, the Back Street Boys, Mozart, Shaggy and Clean Bandit.

The Magic of Christmas Family Show (23 December) is a popular Christmas themed parlour magic show, now in the beautiful surrounds of Belair House.

These are just a few of the many events in and around Dulwich this festive season. It really is the most wonderful time of the year!

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. I’ll see you on the other side!

Details of all local events including ticket and booking information can be found on our events page and Instagram @arounddulwich.

The Last Word: James Edwin, Reflexologist

My name is James Edwin and I live in Forest Hill with my wife and our dog, Jackson. I have recently retrained as a reflexologist and practice here in SE23.

How long have you lived in the area?

I have lived in Forest Hill for 20 years

What brought you here?

My then girlfriend, now wife, already lived here and we loved the green open spaces

What has changed most during that time?

There are definitely more interesting independent coffee bars and food places now

Do you know your neighbours?

Yes, unlike other places I have lived in London- we know them, we socialize and it is lovely

Do you belong to any groups?

Well I am a member of the Association of Reflexologists if that counts! My wife is more the person to ask- she is in The Forest Hill Gin Club and a local rock choir…

Describe your perfect weekend

Ultimate Cheese Toastie and coffee at Agas’s Little Deli, food shopping at Beetroot & Beans and Jones of Brockley, a walk in Beckenham Place Park and a beer at Ignition Brewery Taproom. Sunday – lunch at the Dartmouth Arms and a film on the sofa at home.

What’s your favourite place for a night out?

I am currently loving the Fellowship & Star with its great bar and cinema.

What is your favourite place to eat?

In the summer, in the garden with friends

Coffee or tea? Where?

Always coffee, always Aga’s Little Deli

The best kept secret…

SubPlot 57, the bar beneath Leaf and Groove on Dartmouth Road. My wife says they make the best cocktails in London

Where’s your favourite place to walk?

Beckenham Place Park with the dog. Watching what they have been doing there, with the lake, planting and the refurb of the house is amazing. I love it there.

When I want to relax…

I have just been lucky enough to get an allotment and I go there to dig it over and plan what I am going to grow.

jamesedwinreflexology.com