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First Blood

Thursday 26 March 2020 £10Book now

A talk by Amy Weldon and The Burf

Prizefighting in the Regency and early Victorian period was a great means of social mobility, down as well as up. Fans (known as The Fancy) were from all classes and it gave an opportunity for those of African and Jewish descent and descendants of African-American slaves - and even women - to rise on the social scale. The infamous ‘slumming lords’ (so derided by writer Pierce Egan in his seminal work Boxiana) could, on their part, enjoy a taste of the lowlife. 
Dr Amy Weldon, writer and professor of English at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, will team up with The Burf (Mark Burford) head professional coach at The Ring Boxing Club in Southwark, to bring  to life what can now only be considered an utterly brutal sport. 
The Burf will concentrate on Tom Sayers, the last of the great British prizefighters, on the 160th anniversary of his celebrated world-title ‘battle’ against John Heenan. Amy Weldon will talk about Pierce Egan and earlier prizefighting. Both Sayers and Egan are buried in the West Cemetery.

Starts at 7.30. Doors open 7.00. Latecomers will not be admitted. Tickets include a glass of wine.

The Life and Times of Malcolm McLaren

Thursday 23 April 2020 £10Book now

A talk by Paul Gorman

On the tenth anniversary of the death of Malcolm McLaren, writer and cultural commentator Paul Gorman will talk about the ‘late cultural iconoclast’, locating him as a leading visual artist ‘whose influence can be detected across contemporary culture’. 
Malcolm McLaren, who was buried in the East Cemetery, is perhaps best known as the manager of the Sex Pistols, who shook up music as punk arrived to shock the world.
There is nobody better qualified to talk about McLaren than Paul Gorman, whose work spans fashion, art and music. His book The Life and Times of Malcolm McLaren: The Biography, published by Constable & Robinson in April 2020, is the definitive work on McLaren.

Starts at 7.30. Doors open 7.00. Latecomers will not be admitted. Tickets include a glass of wine.

The Marx Memorial Lecture.The Plot for Karl Marx.

Tuesday 12 May 2020 £12Book now

A talk by Alan Dein

Over a ten year period, oral historian and broadcaster Alan Dein recorded interviews and dug deep into the archives for a BBC Radio 3 feature on the creation of Laurence Bradshaw’s Karl Marx memorial. He interviewed Bradshaw’s wife Eileen, art and social historians, and hundreds of visitors to Marx’s grave at Highgate Cemetery to explore the remarkable story, and the cultural impact, of perhaps the most well-known grave in the world. In this lecture, Alan Dein will share audio and documents from his research and will discuss how Bradshaw’s sculpture inspired other bronze versions of Marx’s head around the world.

Starts at 7.30. Doors open 7.00. Latecomers will not be admitted. Tickets include a glass of wine.

One Day Stonemasonry Course

Saturday 13 June 2020 £120Book now

Cemetery stonemason Neil Luxton leads a day's course on basic stonemasonry techniques.

Starting with a tour around some of the West Cemetery's monuments to see some notable examples of stonemasonry, Having supplied you with a stone slab and tools, Neil will help you with your design. You will then be taken through the techniques you need to be able to carve your design (come prepared with an A4 format design) into the stone, and off you go... Throughout the afternoon, Neil will keep a close eye on your progress, giving advice and showing you exactly what you should be doing. You will end up with a carving you can take home.