2016 was a very special year for the Dulwich Almshouse. Henry Briggs the first resident moved into the Almshouse in September 1616. 400 years later the Almshouse still provides homes and a supportive community for its residents, whilst continuously looking to ensure that the Almshouse will still be able to provide suitable homes for residents into the future.
Mr Brian Green the eminent local historian, has spent many months researching the history of the Almshouse, from its founding in 1616 to the lives of its current residents. The product of his labours, “The History of the Dulwich Almshouse 1616-2016”, was launched at a reception on Wednesday 7th September.
It is superbly written and a fascinating insight into the last 400 years. Copies of the book will be distributed over the next few weeks, to schools and libraries. Flyers with an abridged version will be distributed to homes locally as well as being available in key locations. And finally, to prove that we have entered the 21st century, the book will be available to download from our website as of the 8th September
We are immensely grateful to the London Borough of Southwark, and particularly the Councillors of the Dulwich Community Council, for a grant from their Neighbourhoods Fund to pay for the printing and distribution of this history.
In addition to the book launch there was a celebratory tea-party for the current residents and outreach beneficiaries, together with their friends and family, trustees past and present and key support staff.
As we don’t have a room large enough to accommodate such an event the tea was eaten on the lawns in front of the Almshouse with a marquee providing some much needed shade from the sunshine. The marquee was wonderfully decorated by many yards of bunting knitted by the residents themselves. Maureen Taylor deserves particular thanks having knitted more than 100 triangles. One of the residents Betty Buxton had arranged the flowers most beautifully which were much admired. In the evening a cake was cut by our longest and oldest resident, Carol Calver who recently celebrated her 100th birthday.
Boys from Dulwich College provided musical entertainment which was appreciated and enjoyed by the guests in equal measures.
At the end of the day the residents retired to their homes to put their feet up and to enjoy a cup of tea from their commemorative mugs and to start to read their copies of the History of the Dulwich Almshouse.