Past Tense Publications

South London Histories, Mythologies, Mysteries


Deptford Fun City - a ramble through the history and music of New Cross and Deptford

Neil Gordon-Orr (2004). 72 pages A5. £3.00 including postage and packing.

SE8... SE14... All life is here (or has been)... punks, revolting peasants, gut girls, slaves and slavers, sound systems, suffragettes, speedway riders, sailors, dock strikers, deserters, metal bashers, may queens, pearly kings, ghosts, vampires, tramps... come and meet them all on this alternative tour of New Cross and Deptford.


Down with the Fences! - battles for the commons in South London

(2004). 36 pages A5. £2.00 including postage and packing.

Many of the open spaces - commons, woods, greens - that exist in South London remain today because they were preserved from development by collective action. Read about the battles of One Tree Hill, Plumstead Common, Richmond Park, Wandsworth Common and more.

Download free pdf

Subterranean Southwark

Christopher Jones (2003). 122 pages A5. Currently out of stock.

Ever wondered what's under Southwark soil? Which tunnels, subways, bnkers and hiding holes are right beneath our feet. Whether it's a mile or so of disused Northern Line or the long lost Camber Well, a secret passage way for 18th century villains or an emergency exit shaft for the Jubilee Line. This booklet reveals all.

Nine things that aren't there: a manoeuvre around the Elephant and Castle

Christopher Jones (2001). 12 pages A5. £1.50 including postage and packing.

"Criss-crossing the place called the Elephant and Castle, a local jsut South of The Thames in London Twon, is the right way to go about things. This is because there is no other way to pass through this terrain"

The Mayor of Garratt - mock elections in 18th century South London

(2004). 12 pages A5. £1.50 including postage and packing.

In the 18th Century mock elections for the fictional office of Mayor attracted huge crowds to the tiny South London hamlet of Garratt (between Wandsworth and Tooting). An account of this forgotten episode of drunken popular satire.

The Corruganza Boxmakers Strike

Bronwen Griffiths (2004). 8 pages A5. £1.00 including postage and packing.

An account of the 1908 strike by young women box makers in Wandsworth, South London. Originally published in South London Record.

Southwark Knives

Christopher Jones (2004). 8 pages A5.

"Walking down Crampton Street at 1 am... There is a full moon above that lights up my movement of foot over foot on the paving slabs below. I look at the fenced-in wild land that sits on the junction of Crampton with Amelia Street. I remember the non-space fondly. I played games there. Have milked poppies there. Enacted with friends"

Past Tense Publications is a flag of convenience for a few people to put out things that interest us and might interest others. We write, print and lovingly assemble our efforts in South London. So far most of our material is also about South London but we are not parochial and we are also interested in other places - we might even get round to writing about some of them one day.

Over the next couple of months we will be making more material available online. We could of course abandon the printed word entirely but whether out of nostalgia or bibliophilia we cannot bring ourselves to lose the sensation of the printed artefact. Unfortunately there are less and less outlets, in London at least, for the kind of things we do. Card-covered pamphlets, without a spine, cannot hold their own next to the stacks of glossy commodities in commercial bookshops, and anyway we sell too cheaply for them to make any money. If you want to help keep alive the tradition of autonomous pamphleteering take a chance on some of our efforts or better still publish your own and send us a copy.

All of our titles are available at 56a Infoshop, 56 Crampton Street, SE17 3AE (5 minutes from Elephant and Castle). You can also write to Past Tense Publications care of this address, or email at transpont'at' (replace 'at' with @ - you will appreciate this cumbersome formulation is to prevent us getting spammed any more than necessary by robots).