Monday, August 31, 2015

Update: Between Bridgers by Mary Wilson

Some blog readers will remember me asking for information about F. Mary Wilson's small book Between Bridgers, which has been out of print for a very long time and is almost impossible to locate by anyone wanting their own copy.  I am delighted to announce that Between Bridgers has now been made available on the British Transport Treasures website for download as a PDF e-book.  The site is run by Stuart Rankin, one of Rotherhithe's most prominent local historians, who has published numerous booklets about Rotherhithe, its docks and its ship building past.  There is a small fee of £1.05 for downloading the book, which helps to cover the hosting costs and day to day running of the website, and for each sale made 5p goes to the Help for Heroes charity.  It's a great opportunity if you would like to know more about the Downtown area of Rotherhithe in the 1960s, when the Surrey Commercial Docks were still open, and when life was unrecognizable to those of us who have come into the area since the closure of the docks.

For readers who didn't see my posts on the subject, Mary Wilson wrote a much-loved book about Rotherhithe called Between Bridgers, which focused in particular on the Downtown area and was illustrated throughout by Mary Want.  Mary Wilson was a resident of Rotherhithe's Downtown area, the Head Teacher of Redriff Primary School and had expert knowledge of the area.  More than that, she had a real feel for the place, its present and its past. The "bridgers" of the book's title are the swing and lift bridges that crossed a number of cuts (links between different docks) in the Surrey Commercial Docks.  Although the book is not exclusively about Downtown, it does take a distinctly Downtown-centric view of things, and that's really refreshing because most books about Rotherhithe focus on the area around St Mary's Church, which is nowadays referred to as Rotherhithe village.

For more books about Rotherhithe available from British Transport Treasures, see the side bar to the right.