Where we sing

Deptford and Deptford Community Choir

Deptford Community Choir sings in Deptford, a former London Borough that was subsumed into Lewisham in 1965. The Deptford Area has maintained its unique character and tradition, with the historical Deptford High street at its heart. Deptford Market is a tri-weekly event where you can buy clothes, household goods and second hand items in its junk section. People from all over London and the world come here to experience Deptford’s unique culture. Deptford Community Choir brings people together from everywhere in the area, and the members represent Deptford’s diverse history and background, which has a large population of people African and Caribbean descent.

Deptford History

The name Deptford first appeared in 1293 – when it was known as Depeford. The name refers to the crossing at Deptford Creek at the mouth of the River Ravensbourne, and simply means ‘deep ford’. In 1513, Henry VIII founded a naval dockyard in 1513, and after a hundred years, Deptford was rapidly becoming one of the country’s leading ports and a major industrial and seafaring area. Deptford was the launch site of In 1577 of Sir Francis Drake’s voyage where he sailed, via Plymouth, for a three-year circumnavigation of the globe. On this journey he claimed a portion of present-day California for Elizabeth I. Sir Francis Drake invited Queen Elizabeth the First to dine as a guest on his ship the Golden Hind, where she knighted him. The dramatist and contemporary of Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe was killed in Deptford, reportedly in a bar brawl on Deptford High Street. John Evelyn a famous 17th Century Diarist came to Deptford in 1652 to live at Sayes Court, and the modern Road, Evelyn Street was named in rememberance. Evelyn rented Sayes Court to Peter the Great of Russia who he famously visited London in 1698 to study shipbuilding. A statue of Peter the Great and a dwarf of the court was erected in 1999 outside a new housing development on the site of the former Deptford Power Station. Evelyn was not the only diarist to inhabit Deptford. Samuel Pepys, best-known for his accounts of the fire of London worked in Deptford as an admiralty official.

St John’s

St John’s was the Southernmost part of the Deptford District. The area was originally known as Deptford New Town, but the church dedicated to St John, that was constructed in 1855, gave the area its contemporary name.

Maritime Decline

The Historic Deptford dockyard closed in 1869, and was replaced with a cattle market which lasted just over half a century, and closed in 1913. Deptford was extensively damaged by bombing during the Second World War and with the postwar industrial decline, Deptford underwent a long and harmful era of deterioration. The area finally saw a turn in fortunes in the final quarter of the 20th century, with a lot of new developments and extensive regenerative building, bringing new housing and business to the area, especially along the Thames where the dockyard and industrial buildings and wharfs used to stand.