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Covering SE23 and surrounding areas. Issue 18, Spring 2011

COMMUNITY SAYS “NO” TO LOSS OF PARK! The Honor Oak Recreation Ground is a much loved Richard Hibbert and Councillor Alex Feakes. and valuable resource for people in Forest Hill, Honor Oak and further afield, many of whom have Because of the activity and views of local residents, no external space or garden access. and coverage in the national media organised by the Forest Hill Society, the meeting, scheduled for 28 The users of the space have been right over the February, was moved to the end of March. So there's years to suspect that Southwark Council has been more time to ensure that we don’t lose this planning to take even more of the space for burials. considerable local amenity and leisure space. The online petition has over 1,300 signatures; please consider adding yours: Residents and local residents' groups can still demonstrate how much demand there is for the site, raise awareness locally and building support for the campaign. Find out more at:

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY St Augustine’s Church Heritage Appeal; A Cornucopia of Musical Entertainment! Saturday 18th March, 7.30 See for details TV cameras at the Rec (cemetery in the background)

Local authorities encourage residents to take more exercise and are active in promoting sporting opportunities for all. But then Southwark move to take away the very sites where these activities can take place. Southwark's Executive Cabinet recently announced it will be reviewing the ground for more burial space. With the formation of an online petition by local residents against the move, the Forest Hill Society acted quickly to ensure that as many people knew about this as possible. We raised the issue on the Today programme and BBC London News with interviews with FHS Chair

Crofton Pk Assembly: Weds 23 March 7.30 - 9.30pm St Hilda's Church Hall, Courtrai Rd, SE23 1PL Forest Hill Assembly: Weds 30 March 7.30pm 9.30pm: Honor Oak Christian Fellowship, 39 Honor Oak Road, SE23 3SH Easter Bring and Take: Devonshire Nature Reserve Sun 10 April 11am - 3.00pm See inside for details Forest Hill in Bloom: Station forecourt planting: Sat 16 April from 2.30pm. See inside for details

Spring 2011

Perry Vale Assembly: TBC Issue 18



As the Forest Hill Pools are replaced over the next year or so, we’ll hear from members of the team involved in the improvements. This issue we speak to Dominic Collins, Construction Manager for Willmott Dixon.

On Saturday morning, 5 February, 22 would-be walkers filtered onto trains at Sydenham, Forest Hill and Honor Oak Park stations for the inaugural walk of the Forest Hill and Sydenham Walking Group.

Q: What is your role on the pools project? A: I have overall responsibility for day to day running of the project.

The route for the day took us across London Bridge to follow the Thames Path, on the north side of the river, to Canary Wharf – coming across some of the oldest and the newest buildings in London.

Q: What sort other projects have you worked on? A: I have just completed a major school redevelopment in Kent and prior to this constructed the new Grandstand at Epsom race course. Willmott Dixon has constructed over 100 swimming pools over the last ten years across the country. Locally, we have constructed Hither Green Primary School, Crossways Academy and just completed work at Goldsmith's College.

The Thames Path is clearly marked and recommended for all levels. The walk leaders had incorporated some interesting side steps away from the path which took in the pub frequented by JMW Turner, Wapping’s 18th century charity school, and a delicious coffee break in the London Hydraulic Power Company’s 1893 pumping station – now a stylish and highly recommended cafe.

Q: What did you think of the site for Forest Hill Pools when you first visited it? A: The original swimming pool had already been demolished but we were very impressed with the clean and tidy condition of the site.

We were back in Forest Hill by 1.30; after over five miles of steady walking in a gusty wind, we were more than ready for lunch at the Dartmouth Arms.

It’s good to know there are so many keen walkers in our area. 35 people have now signed up to the Walking Group (which does not include any friends, spouses and partners who might also join them). In order to keep the group to a manageable size we have decided to stick with the numbers we have at Q: What is the most interesting aspect? the moment. We will create a waiting list for slots A: For me it is the retention and full refurbishment as they become available. of the original Victorian entrance and lobby building. When set against the original features of Contact for the walking group, and the waiting list, should be made through the new secretary of the the Victorian structure, the modern aspects of the group, Eva Holmes: new facility are striking and say a lot about the buildings’ main purpose and function. Q: What is your biggest challenge on this project? A: The refurbishment of the Victorian entrance and lobby will need complicated temporary structural supporting works on the internal walls and floors. Q: You will be working from Louise House (next to the pools), do you know much about its history? A: I have read up on Louise House on the internet, I know that it was a Girls Industrial Home built in 1891, with Thomas W Aldwinckle as architect and William Johnson, builder. Q: What is your dream project? A: I am a big rugby fan so would love to construct a new stadium.

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Spring 2011

Group photo on our first walk.

CHAIR’S REPORT One of the challenges with all voluntary organisations is that they rely on volunteers, often with precious free time. Luckily, although I have been otherwise occupied this quarter, other members of the Executive have been very busy.

their closure on 28 May, despite strong lobbying. However, there have been four expressions of interest from Exam Success Education Centre Limited, Eco Computer Systems, John Laing Integrated Services Ltd and SociaCapita Solutions to run them on a community basis. Council Officers are now acWe are, sadly, saying goodbye to Liz, who has been tively pursuing these solutions, there is also the Editor and Communications Officer since the Socipossibility of a new library provision at the Ackroyd ety started. We are very thankful to her for all her Centre. gentle chivvying as she chased articles for the newsletter and e-newsletter and for her magnifiWe finally heard from TfL following a meeting to cent publicity efforts – the latest of which involves discuss the Red Route through Forest Hill. In a comthe publicity for Honor Oak Rec. on local television prehensive reply, they have agreed to make several and BBC Radio 4. She will be sorely missed and we changes, including a right turn lane onto Waldram wish her and her family well in their new home. As Place and extending the loading period outside Mirwith all farewells, this is also the time for a new ror Mirror to 7am-7pm among other changes. We start and I would like to thank Belinda, Alison and continue to push for other changes including better Alisa for continuing time and energy. traffic flow through Forest Hill and improved signposting to the car parks. The imminent threat of closure hangs over Crofton Park and Sydenham libraries. The Mayor agreed to Richard

NATURE RESERVES -‘FREECYCLE’ AND OPEN DAYS The Forest Hill Society organised a Freecycle day in January, hosted by the Friends of Devonshire Road Nature Reserve. Everyone was invited to bring along unwanted goods with the option to take away things they could put to good use. Items included electrical gadgets, household goods, children’s toys and games, clothing, books, films and music. Several larger items arrived, including a few bikes, baby-carriers, musical instruments and furniture.

At the end, the best of the toys and books were taken away to donate to charity, everything else was taken by the council for recycling, so very little will have ended up in landfill. Good stuff. The next event will be on 10 April from 11am to 3.00pm at the reserve. If you’re coming along, please carefully select the items to bring. DVDs are welcome, as are books in really good condition or of antique interest. Please do not bring old clothes or videos. Come along during the Easter holiday, and please do bring the family!

DACRES WOOD NATURE RESERVE Sunday 27 March 2011; 1 –4 pm

Refreshments and cakes were provided and the Nature Reserve was open for visitors. Lewisham Council were on hand for advice on recycling and to supply ‘No Junk Mail’ stickers and freebie bags.

Please join us for our open day activities including a history talk by Steve Grindlay, guided walks, indoor and outdoor creative activities for children, stalls by Mayow Park Community Garden, Master Gardener's table. Tea and cakes will be on sale in the Centre. Entrance via Field Centre—driveway to right of Homefield House, opposite junction of Silverdale and Dacres Road).

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the trees due to be removed.


Green er times at Tyson Road

The last few months have seen a lot of new planning applications around Forest Hill, some that may be considered good, and some bad. The former post office on Dartmouth Road has been given approval for conversion to a restaurant/bar by Antic, the owners of Jam Circus and the East Dulwich Tavern. The flats above will get a face lift and an additional floor. Whilst the Society expressed concern about the additional floor, we believe that the overall changes are very positive. The Perry Vale fire station, (see below), a listed building, had an application rejected despite Council officer recommendation. Lewisham’s planning committee agreed with us that some

29 April 2011 - ROYAL WEDDING STREET PARTY Whether or not you are a royal fan, the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on 29 April this year will be a great excuse for the whole community to come together and have a bit of retro fun. So the Society is planning a Forest Hill Street Party! We’re still working on the details as we go to print, but we’ll let you know what they are nearer the time. We’re particularly keen to get local craft groups involved in making this event distinctive. Jeni Johnson at Messy Makers ( is already on board with this project. She runs art workshops for pre-school children and they’ll be making exciting bunting for the street party next term. We can’t wait! affordable housing should be provided on a development of this size. St. John's Church on David’s Road had massive signs, and a concreted over garden. The Council deemed this not in keeping with the conservation area and the signs were removed. A suitable way forward for the garden area and footpath between David and Devonshire Roads is now being discussed. A planning report would not be complete without mention of the Tyson Road development. The landscaping plans have been approved and building can now commence. Local residents had provided videos of bats in the gardens, but the Council’s ecologist said there was no evidence they were in Page 4

If you’d like to get involved, please contact:

Spring 2011

MORE LITTLE RUSSETS In the last Newsletter, we told you about Tom and Sara Russet’s plan to celebrate their daughter’s birth by planting some Russet apple trees on Albion Millennium Green. Well, on 23 January the planting ceremony was carried out and we hope that in years to come Nell Margie Russet - and the rest of the community - will be able to enjoy the fruit planted in her honour. We would love to hear from other members of any similar stories! To th e right: Tom, Sara and Nell enjoying th e planting

HONOR OAK PARK STATION IMPROVEMENTS (continued) Following our report in the last newsletter, work is continuing. The stairs are being replaced and newly painted ironwork is emerging from under the tarpaulins. The cutting behind platform 1 is being re-graded and at some stage the platforms will be repaired and extended. When all of that is complete, the station is going to receive its Phase 3 upgrade with improved lighting, new signage and redecoration. But we have not been informed how long this will all take. Getting information from Network Rail is proving very difficult; however the Society has been told that the stairs should be in place at the end of April. We have suggested that getting the level of platform 1 rather closer to the level of the trains, either by raising the platform or lowering the track, might also be a worthwhile improvement. Getting

Looking mor e like th e Pompidou Centr e or Lloyds buildings, the stairs under construction!

on or off trains is a nightmare for anyone who is not reasonably agile, or who has a buggy to contend with. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that this objective will be achieved any time soon.

Grand May Day on Albion Millennium Green Sunday 1 May: 12 – 3.00pm The Bedlam Bunch return to offer two shows (12 and 2.00 for children aged 3 – 8. Parents welcome.

Landscaping at Honor Oak Park station.

Bring your own picnic lunch (1.00pm – 2.00pm). Face painting, (squirrels, badgers, hedgehogs galore), May Kings and Queens, bird boxes, cakes and much more. With support of The Localities Fund, LB Lewisham.

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Well maybe not quite. Lionel Logue, speech therapist to King George V, lived for some years in our area on Sydenham Hill (house shown below).

We’ve been featuring some of SE23’s new coffee shops and, in this issue, we move further away from Forest Hill town centre to find out what makes the perfect coffee experience. This time we speak to Ben Morris from Hop Scotch in Honor Oak Park and Anna Marciniak at The Brothers, Dartmouth Road Ben was asked about his coffee: “Good, balanced, middle-of-the-road beans (not too strong or weak but 'rich'), freshly ground coffee bean dispensed by knowledgeable, trained baristas on a classic manual / lever machine for maximum flavour, cream and perfect froth!”

The film ‘The King’s Speech’ depicts the relationship between the two with Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth playing the roles respectively. Logue had come to England with his family in 1924, supposedly on a holiday. Instead he took jobs teaching around London and then enjoyed a successful career as a speech therapist. In the 1930s he lived at Beechgrove, a Victorian villa on Sydenham Hill, which had 25 rooms, five bathrooms, five acres of garden and a tennis court. The house is now gone but interestingly you can still see the folly, rockery and remains of an ornamental stream. The area, part of Sydenham Hill Woods, is open to the public.

Hop Scotch

BURSTING INTO BLOOM The Forest Hill Society’s entry in the London in Bloom ‘It’s your neighbourhood’ category has been accepted. The Localities’ Fund award from Lewisham Council is agreed and dates are set. Forest Hill station forecourt will be the centre of our attention – being the most visible point of entry and exit in our town, but with a leafleting and poster campaign in the offing, we hope to inspire individuals, shops and businesses to brighten up their homes, shops and premises with flowers.

Anna, who is introducing a touch of Eastern Europe to SE23, gave her views on cafe culture: “A great café is a convivial place where people can sit and meet surrounded by friendly and helpful staff who are willing to bend over backwards for their customers.”

The programme is: Saturday 9 April 10.00am – 1.00pm: work with volunteers from Nature’s Gym to help dig the existing beds. Saturday 16 April from 2.30pm: All ages welcome to help with the replanting. If you join in, many hands will make light work of transforming the station forecourt into a thing of beauty. Forest Hill will bloom this year! Page 6

Spring 2011

The Broth ers Cafe

GREAT NEWS FOR NORTH LONDONERS! The extension of the Overground from Dalston Junction to Highbury and Islington opened on 28 February, bringing even more North Londoners easy access to our hidden gems. All Overground trains through Forest Hill now run the full length of the line. This will give more footie fans a far easier journey to see their SouthEast London teams play. It will also open up some great places for people to visit – Crystal Palace, The Horniman Museum and all the other lovely spots in our area!

A FOND FAREWELL With a mixture of sadness and happiness we say goodbye to Liz Hannaford, one of the very first members of the Forest Hill Society. Liz has been with the Society from the first meeting and has provided all manner of communications including the excellent newsletters for all of this time (with a couple of short breaks on maternity leave). She has also been wonderful in organising stalls, walks, and lots of other fabulous events. Her cheerful smile will be sorely missed. Pictures of Liz are rare as she is always dashing around, but she was caught in the attached photo celebrating our victory in the battle to keep the swimming pool in Forest Hill. Alas, she may now never be able to swim in the pool, but since she is moving to Manchester, where it is apparently always raining, she may never be dry again.

Top soccer at the Crystal Palac e

The May timetable will continue to include three late trains through Canada Water to New Cross Gate. These will connect with the last Southern services, to enable a late night return home. The new route from Surrey Quays to Clapham Junction is expected to open late in 2012. Rumour has it that this is also good news for South East Londoners! Happy travelling

Forest Hill Society Contacts Chair- Richard Hibbert (07833 315563)

Newsletter Team Editor: Alis on Wadley alison@for Layout & distribution: charlie@for Our sincere thanks to the contributors to this edition: Andrew Reid, Richard Hibbert, Quetta Kaye, Hilary Satchwell, Liz Hannaford, Alisa Brown, Jacob T wyford, Philip Peake and Michael Abrahams. Please submit any articles for the next news letter to the editor:, or Forest Hill Society, c/o 2 Perry Rise, LONDON, SE23 2QL. We look forward to hearing from you. All articles are subject to editing.

Vice Chair – Michael Abrahams Treasurer – Helen McA llister Secretary – Katherine Willett For up to date information, please check our website:

You can commen t on any article in this newsletter on our website:

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LET’S GET SNAPPING This year, for the first time, we are holding a digital photo competition. With its fabulous views and eclectic mix of old and new, there are sure to be some fantastic images to be found in Forest Hill. Go creative, get snapping! We are delighted that the competition will be judged by Paul Murphy, local resident, Society member and winner of the ‘Rose Award for Photography’ Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2010. Paul is the second person ever to win this award. There will be 12 winning photos selected which will then go on to form the Forest Hill Society Calendar 2012, which will be available for everyone to buy. Winners will be notified and presented with an award at the Forest Hill Society AGM in November. Entrants can submit as many digital pictures as they like to our Flickr group Every submission must be accompanied by an e-mail sent to with your name, address, phone number and photo ID/name. The closing date is 15 October 2011 and the final 12 photos will be chosen on 30 October. Please read the rules for copyright and privacy issues. Full competition rules can be found at: The competition is only open to digital photographs. We hope to be able to accept printed images in the future. Photo to th e right: the view over London fr om th e Hill, with thanks to Rob McIntosh

If you would like to join the Forest Hill Society, recommend us to a friend or neighbour, or set up a standing order, please send the form below with your name, address and email to Belinda Evans at 2 Perry Rise, London, SE23 2QL. Thank you.

Forest Hill Society Standing Order Bank Details for Standing Order: Name of your bank/building society:

________________________________________________________________________ _

Address of your bank/building society:

_________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________

Account number




Sort Code ______________________________________________

Your Name ____________________________________________ (please print) To the bank: please pay the Forest Hill Society (HSBC Bank, Holborn Circus Branch, SC: 40-03-28, a/c no.: 82160943) the sum of £5 immediately, and then on 5 September each year with immediate effect and until further notice. This replaces any Standing Order in favour of the “Forest Hill Society”. Please complete the forms and return to the Society at the address below; we will forward the instruction to your bank. Send the forms to: Forest Hill Society, c/o Belinda Evans, 2 Perry Rise, London SE23 2QL

Keep up-to-date with what is happening with the Forest Hill Society on our website: Page 8

Spring 2011

Newsletter 18 - Spring 2011  
Newsletter 18 - Spring 2011  

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