Tag Archives: Old Mill pub

The Plumstead Wyrm. A Tale for Midsummer.


Wyrm 6

The Wyrm?????

Art Plumstead’s Midsummer event was a bit different in style from the last couple of years, having a different artistic director, but it took place on the 21st June as before, and there were still a few floral headdresses to be seen to help set the mood as well as the knee tremblers from last year.

Wyrm 16

Starting at The Star Inn, there was a chance to mingle and for the early birds to have first dibs on a variety of jaunty head adornments, freshly constructed from local greenery that very day. This prepared them for a brief synopsis of the tale of The Plumstead Wyrm (pronounced worm), penned by our own Poet Laureate Dee, whereby the key players of the piece were identified before a brief rhyme, accompanied by a ringing of bells, explained how everyone would know when it was approaching time to move on. Naturally, it included the words ‘Hey Nonny-Nonny-No’ as you would expect.


The assembled party then moved in a suitably jolly fashion to The Old Mill where the Resident described what a Wyrm is and what is a Penwyrm – someone who helps the Wyrm. With another jangle of bells, all present trotted off down the steps to the Slade Pond. Here, the Wyrm spoke for the first time to describe its birth on Shooters Hill in the River Woghbourne that ran down to the Thames. Jelly worms were distributed to munch on the next stage of the journey.



After the bells jangled for the penultimate time, the audience climbed up the opposite flight of steps, walked past the young men playing volleyball and all the way to the far end of Winns Common. This was the setting for the waves and the wind to give advice to the Wyrm, describing local characters, some of whom seemed to bear a remarkable resemblance to certain members of Art Plumstead. The knee tremblers and party blowers were issued to the participants who went clattering down Purrett Road and into the Plume of Feathers. By now, the person who was to play the Wyrm had mysteriously disappeared.



The grand finale in which the Wyrm and lover are reunited took place in the garden of The Plume of Feathers. Just to add to the excitement there had been recent works undertaken to excavate the old Anderson Shelter since the previous planning visit by Art Plumstead. This meant the Wyrm had to make a last minute change of hiding place (against the wall with a few wisps of ivy pulled across) before emerging. Thanks to a couple of handy umbrellas and a biddable audience who were happy to be shepherded into the lower part of the garden, no-one suspected a thing. As the imaginary curtain fell, there was a round of applause, the playwright heaved a sigh of relief and beer a-plenty was consumed before those who remained to the last tottered back up to the Common where a memento of the nights revelry was suitably displayed.

Wyrm 66

wyrm 46

The Woghbourne today – Home of the Wyrms.

The attachment below is the script with directions.

The Plumstead Wyrm A.P. website copy.

And this is the bibliography.

The Plumstead Wyrm Bibliography version 2




A Good Square Meal for Christmas 2014

It can be fairly said after three years that it is an Art Plumstead tradition that we go for a Christmas Meal at a local venue. This year, as Andy had been advertising home cooked food, we chose The Old Mill.

Some of us did wonder if it would be possible to all sit together, but the space was more accommodating than we had realised and there was ample room for everyone. Nor was it odd to be dining en masse in the pub. We did our thing and everyone else did theirs. Starters and desserts were available for anyone who wanted them, but frankly there was no need. The main meal – most people chose turkey with all the trimmings – came on a generously filled square plate, which was more than enough to keep the nadgers at bay. It was well cooked and arranged nicely on the plate.

A few new faces showed up and plenty of familiar ones. It was a relaxed, pleasant evening, with people moving around to chat after they had eaten. We may have indulged in a little ‘shop talk’ about next year’s projects, but the emphasis was, quite rightly, on relaxation and enjoyment.

Plumstead Common Photographic Walk – A Summary

AP Photographic Walk When doing this walk, it’s worth remembering to look back periodically as you go, to capture anything you may have missed on the way; and consider coming back in different light conditions/weather as this will give you a completely different experience.
Starting at Old Mill, walk diagonally left across Common to St John’s Terrace, past the Victorian Lodge on the corner. Walk down to end of St John’s Terrace, go down steps and along edge of railings on the right.past houses on Blendon Terrace, and continue ahead into Vicarage Road. At the bottom of the road turn right past the Vicarage (c.1790) and at the end turn right, up Vicarage Park. At the top left corner, where there is a concrete lined dip inside railings, turn left into the Conservation Area down some steps. There are views across the horse paddock and an old mulberry tree, a legacy of the time when this was a garden. After 5 minutes here, retrace your way back up the steps to Blendon Terrace and bear round to the left to rejoin the Common. (There is an alternative set of steps which will take you up by the top of Bramblebury Road, be aware that at the top of them there is a slope which could be muddy/slippery after wet weather, which is why we will be returning on the steps to Vicarage Road)
Continue back across the Common, walking between the tennis courts to your left and the bowling green to your right. Once back on Waverley Crescent, detour left to look at Alms Houses built 1896, before continuing past The Old Mill, and heading past the end of Chestnut Rise (views to left). Go down steps to Slade pond. Continue round to the right to take photos through the railings of the pond, as far as the western end, then retrace your route and climb up steps on the right to The Slade. Turn left, down Lakedale Road, before crossing over onto the Common.
Continue along Green Chain Walk, parallel to King’s Highway, and onto Bleak Hill Lane, a cinder path. Detour onto a path on the right through an area of grass, directly after a patch of brambles peters out on your right. Follow this path to the very end, as it dips down and up through an area of mixed trees and grassland. When you reach a set of steps on your right which lead down to King’s Highway, do not go down them but instead, turn left, away from them and skirt round the edge of the Common. Presently you will see a fairly narrow entrance to the Wildflower Meadow on your right. Go into the Wildflower Meadow. If you walk to the very eastern tip of it, through some trees you will see a high view over Wickham Lane with Bostall Woods beyond. Leave the Wildflower Meadow, bearing right before you reach the Common, over an area of burnt grass, the site of a bonfire, then emerge through the trees to skirt along the Eastern edge of Winn’s Common and enter the Green Chain path dipping down into woodland on your right. Go as far as the small post on the right of the path where you will see the backs of houses, then retrace your footsteps back up the path and re-emerge onto the Common. Turn right, walk to the edge of the Common, noticing the rusty old stench pipe to your right. Look at the old steps on the small area of grass across Winn Common Road next to Grosland Road in the shadow of the flats.
Walk along Winn Common Road, note views right down Purrett Road. Stay on grass verge to right of Winn Common Road, cross Riverdale Road (more views) and along Heath Villas. Bear right onto the spit of land, which juts out to the North with excellent panoramic views over to Essex through trees, and views to the left towards Shooters Hill. Continue towards the Childrens’ Paddling Pool, going down a small dip on the way. Walk over to the bench to your right to enjoy additional views North.Then cross towards the steps to the left of the three storey houses on Lakedale Road, walk down these steps, noticing the picturesque gardens on your right, to re-emerge back at The Slade Pond, then continue up the steps alongside the pond towards Plumstead Common. Continue back to the Old Mill, where the walk ends.