03: Battle of Lewisham


Our third episode exploring the history and legacy of one of the most important events in Lewisham's past

On 13 August 1977, the far-right National Front (NF) attempted to march from New Cross to Lewisham town centre, leading to violent clashes with counter demonstrators and the police.

The Battle of Lewisham, as it became known, marked the first time a national NF march was prevented from reaching its destination, and also saw the first deployment of riot shields by police on the UK mainland.

Here we bring you stories that explore the build up to the events of 13 August 1977, firsthand memories of photographers and academics who witnessed the Battle, and we explore its revelvance to the current policital moment. 

Find out more about how Goldsmiths helped mark the 40th Anniversary of the Battle of Lewisham in August 2017.


"They marched for the destruction of multicultural Britain"

In the weeks and months leading up to Battle, Lewisham became a tinderbox of racial tension. Trace the post-war history of race relations which foreshadowed the Battle, as the toxic legacy of British colonialism reverberated on the streets of South London.

Producer Samuel Linge explores the historical context of the Battle, including the rise of the violent, far-right National Front party and the movements that sprang up to oppose it.

Produced and narrated by Goldsmiths MA in Radio student Samuel Linge. Featuring contributions from Dr William ‘Lez’ Henry.

"Things got very hectic as the police charged"

Chaos on the streets of London as a day of violence unfolds with clashes between anti-fascist protesters, the far-right National Front and the police. Hear first-hand accounts of events that signalled the beginning of the end for the National Front, and the first steps toward the militarisation of the police.

Producer Kenya Scarlett talks to photographers Paul Trevor and Sid Shelton about their memories of documenting and taking part in the Battle, while Dr William ‘Lez’ Henry recounts his experiences as a local black teenager who witnessed the clashes and their aftermath.

Produced and narrated by Goldsmiths MA in Radio student Kenya Scarlett. Featuring contributions from Dr William ‘Lez’ Henry, Paul Trevor, and Sid Shelton. Additional music from BASEMENT83 and Mad Radics.

Is it okay to punch a Nazi?

Is it okay to punch a Nazi? From the rise of Donal Trump and the alt right, to the Brexit and widespread Islamophobia, progressive voices are again searching for effective ways to oppose racism and intolerance.

Producer Eleanor Lazaridis explores the cultural movements that spearheaded the fight against racism in the late 1970s and asks what we can learn from them today.

Produced and narrated by Goldsmiths MA in Radio student Eleanor Lazaridis. Featuring contributions from Paul Sillett, Richard Von Abendorf, Sid Shelton and Paul Trevor.