The Battle of Lewisham August 13th 1977 Cafe Royal Books


Syd Shelton’s important photos of ‘The Battle of Lewisham’ captures the provocative march by members of the far-right National Front through Lewisham and New Cross, multicultural districts in South East London.

The All Lewisham Campaign Against Racism and Fascism (ALCARAF) tried unsuccessfully to get the march banned by legal means through the High Court. Local activists and clergymen realised the only response they could offer was a peaceful counter-demonstration. On August 13th 1977 it became quickly clear that it would be impossible to avoid violent clashes as the NF made clear their determination to not be rerouted by the police and locals gathered to stop them. When the NF marchers eventually dispersed more violent clashes ensued.

Photographer and graphic designer Syd Shelton a ‘key activist in the Rock Against Racism movement’ studied Fine Arts in the UK and worked in Sydney, Australia in the early 1970s.  He established Hot Pink Heart/Red Wedge Graphics which evolved into Graphicsi Design. Award-winning books include A Day in the Life of London, and Ireland: A Week in the Life of a Nation. His work is held in the collections of the V&A, Tate, The Photographers Gallery, The Istrian Museum of Modern Art and Rock Archive


Café Royal Books publishes limited edition Photobooks coveted by fans and collected by major institutions. The Zines focus on British documentary photography. Café Royal is run and founded by Craig Atkinson.

Craig explains ‘My aim is to create a focussed and complete archive of British documentary photography. I publish roughly 70 titles each year with a small edition ‘archive box’ every 100th title. These archive boxes are aimed at major collections, libraries and museums — helping to increase the visibility of the work and making the books publicly accessible for as long as possible. Collectors are wide and varied but include, MoMA NY, Harvard University, Oxford University, Cambridge University, The British Library, The Hyman Collection, Martin Parr Foundation, TATE, V&A / National Art Library’.

36 pages
14cm x 20cm
b/w digital

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Additional information

Weight 80 g
Dimensions 16.0 × 0.3 × 23.0 cm

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