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The Rotherhithe & Bermondsey Local History Society aims to encourage an interest in the history of Rotherhithe, Bermondsey, Docklands and the surrounding area, including the River Thames.
Our society was established in 1987 by local historian Diana Rimel, who had been running local history courses at Goldsmiths College since 1978. It was funded by the London Docklands Development Corporation (L.D.D.C.) which was set up in 1981 to regenerate the area and the disused docks; it sought to give something back to the local community following the disruption caused to the locals by the new development. The society’s meetings were initially held in the former Dock Offices on Surrey Quays Road until 1994, when the L.D.D.C. had completed its regeneration of the area, and the society then relocated to Time & Talents in St Marychurch Street where it remained for almost 30 years.

In 1997, Diana stepped down from the society. She handed the reigns over to the local historian Stuart Rankin who was appointed as its first Chair. He was succeeded by Paul Blosse, Michael Daniels, Claire Sexton and Michael A Reardon. The current Chair is Robert Hulse, former Director of The Brunel Museum.

2011 saw us simplifying our relationship with Time & Talents to become the autonomous society we are today. We appointed distinguished local historian Stephen Humphrey as our first President and Sir Tommy Steele, O.B.E., as the society's Patron, and are extremely grateful to them both for being part of this new chapter.

In 2022 our society took a lead role in commemorating the sailing of the Mayflower from Rotherhithe, and the life its Rotherhithe-based master. It staged a series of major lectures at Canada Water Theatre which attracted an audience from across the country, and participated in national and international Mayflower 400 events. This led to us outgrowing Time & Talents, so we moved around the corner and feel privileged to now hold our monthly meetings in the wood panelled splendour of the beautiful and historical Norwegian Church.

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