I was delighted to hear that community choir Bermondsey Voices will be bringing Bermondsey history alive in songs celebrating people and events which have also inspired my novels.

The choir will appear at The Lord Mayor’s Show, on Saturday 8th November, performing specially commissioned songs composed by local musician Mike Mansbridge. They will be singing about the Bermondsey factory women's strike of 1911 which inspired Custard Tarts and Broken Hearts. Their song echoes the women’s own powerful words “are we downhearted?” The answer was of course a resounding “No!” and the women went on to win their fight in true Bermondsey spirit.

Another song is inspired by Ada Salter, the social activist, who makes an appearance in my forthcoming novel, Jam and Roses, set in 1920’s Bermondsey. The song celebrates her amazing life. Becoming London’s first woman councillor and Bermondsey’s first female mayor, she dedicated herself to improving the lives of countless Bermondsey people, and transforming their environment. Her brainchild, ‘The Beautification Committee’, planted thousands of trees and flowers, turning Bermondsey, from one of the dirtiest, most deprived boroughs of London, into one of its greenest.

I’m looking forward to seeing Bermondsey Voices bring the Bermondsey spirit to the Lord Mayor’s show. It might not be on the route, but I’m sure that, with their specially designed float and Edwardian costumes, they will certainly ‘knock ‘em in the Old Kent Road.’


Mary Gibson's new novel, Jam and Roses, the story of three sisters struggling to make ends meet, until the events of one long hot Summer change everything, is available to buy in ebook now. The hardback will be out in all good bookshops on 15th January 2015.


For more information contact about Bermondsey Voices tweet @BermondseyVoice, or contact info@bermondseyvoices.co.uk or head to bermondseyvoices.co.uk

Tickets for The Lord Mayor's Show can be bought here.