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Eltham SE9



Bob Hope Panto

Totally independent, serving the community for over 7 years


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It is your community, you have the right to a say in what happens




t has been a busy month with a lot happening. The biggest news is the council's proposal to convert the council owned building now occupied by Poundland into a cinema complex. It is hoped that such a development will help grow the night time economy in Eltham. You can read more about this proposal on page 4.

Later in the month I was invited to join a group travelling to a place called Tankerton to have a look at how a micro pub (not micro Brewery) runs and to sample the wares on offer.

Eltham held its annual Lights Up event on November 21st, and, in my opinion, it was the best turn out to date, with thousands on the high street. The fireworks were spectacular and the parade full of fun. However I was surprised that many stores shut their doors and missed a wonderful oppor tunity to entice t h o s e attending into parting with a pound or two.

I must admit to being a little sceptical as to what such a place might look like and if it would be the sort of place which I would enjoy having a real ale.

Another big event in the month was Remembrance Day Parade and wreath laying. This too saw large numbers turn out to march and a huge crowd attend the wreath laying service at the memorial on front of St Johns. Our cover this month captures a moment on that day.

To find out more about micro pubs visit the web address below for a pretty good and brief overview.

The invitation came from a local man who is investigating the feasibility of opening such a place in Eltham

I was pleasantly surprised. The place situated in a small shop front retail premises was packed with people, of both sexes and of that certain age, all enjoying a pint of real ale brewed generally at micro breweries. The mood was bright and friendly. I am certain that if our local entrepreneur can get the plan off the ground and jumps through all the hurdles that will no doubt be thrown in his direction, it will be a great success and a wonderful addition to Eltham.

Totally Independent Main Office

Mark Wall


John Webb


Mark Wall

Phone: Web: Publisher:

020 8333 7493 (For all matters) SEnine Ltd: PO Box 24290, Eltham, SE9 6ZP

Closing Dates. All copy must be received by about the 15th* of each month to appear in the next edition. Contributions and Stories are always welcome from the residents of Eltham. Submissions are subject to our overall editorial policy.

OPINION, FROM MY DESK As we move into December and the Christmas season I would like to wish all readers and supporters a wonderful happy and holy Christmas. With the year drawing to an end with this, the 85th issue we move into our eighth year of production. Over the year I have met so many wonderful people in and around Eltham most who have a passion for the wonderful area we live in. We hope that Christmas trading provides a much needed boost to local businesses and I ask that you try as best you can to give them your custom. Without many of them supporting the magazine with advertising you would not be reading this and the magazine would not have been able to provide seven years of information and enjoyable reading. There is one other group I cannot thank enough, that is the Friends of SEnine. Their valuable financial support has helped the magazine ride out the recent difficult trading conditions.

Merry Christmas.

Enjoy life: Enjoy Eltham.

Cover: Remembrance Day - St John's Church, Eltham Cover photo by: John Webb Cameo: Alex Mayer will make his debut as The Cheshire Cat in this yeas Bob Hope production of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. See page 13 for details.

Friends Membership. Support for the magazine is always appreciated. You can help the magazine with an annual Friends Membership The standard membership is ÂŁ24.00 per year (in the delivery area) Royal Mail membership ÂŁ36.00 per year (Outside the current delivery area and delivered by messenger or post)

Send your name, address and contact details along with payment to 'SEnine Friends' PO Box 24290 Eltham SE96ZP

*Some months do vary, check our web page for exact dates. We only use the very best industry standard vegetable oil based inks. We use environmentally friendly papers, from a sustainable source, with a chain of custody from well managed forests through the supply chain to our printer.

Or visit our web site to pay on line. We look forward to hearing from you.

This publication is subject to copyright - if you want to use something, ask we will usually grant permission




New cinema for the High Street The old Co-op building could be re-vitalised in a council plan for development. John Webb reports


hundred years after the first picture house opened in Eltham, the town could be about to enter a new cinema age. The old Co-op department store building in the High Street is being lined up for re-development as a multiscreen cinema.

Bought by the council for £1.7m from the Co-op group last year, officers have had positive meetings with cinema operators about the potential for the site to be re-developed. Current tenants, Poundland, have a lease until 2015 after which the two storey building would be bulldozed to make way for the new cinema complex, of possibly up to nine screens. The council said: “Initial discussions have been held with cinema operators to explore the potential for bringing forward a cinema and restaurant development. This soft market testing has resulted in strong interest from cinema operators. It is now proposed to take forward the development of this site as a cinema and restaurant. It will be the subject of an outline planning application, before Christmas, from the council and further discussions to select one of the major cinema chains to occupy the site.

The move, which was mooted in the council’s Masterplan published last year, would provide a valued new facility for residents, who currently face drives to Bexleyheath or Greenwich for moviewatching. It will also be a boost for Eltham High Street with a knock-on benefit for local restaurants and more revenue for the after-hours economy of the town. Eltham cinema: the history Eltham has been a cinema black hole since the Coronet at Well Hall closed in 1999. Its peak was pre- and post-War with three cinemas in the town. Eltham Cinema

Photo from the John Kennett collection

On the corner of Westmount Road and the High Street, Eltham’s first screen opened 100 years ago, in 1913 showing silent films to the accompaniment of a pianist. Named affectionately ‘the Bug Hutch’ by locals, it closed in 1931 when the owners, Kent Cinema Company, opened the ‘Palace’ in the High Street. Used for many years as a photographic studio and eventually demolished in 1968.

and Passey Place. Opened on 28 August 1922. It was an imposing building, more like an old variety theatre. In 1934, the interior was remodelled by architect Robert Cromie and it re-opened on 13th August 1934 . It was re-named ABC in January 1964, and closed on 29th April 1972. The building was demolished and the site was redeveloped as a block of shops and office space. The Odeon/Coronet Well Hall Opened in 1936, the cinema was built as an Odeon by the architects Andrew Mather and Horace Ward. The cinema has an eye-catching white façade and the protruding glazed stair-tower strongly resembles the Grade I listed De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill. The auditorium had seating capacity of 1480 when it first opened. Became two screens in 1977 and then re-named Coronet in 1981, becoming Eltham’s last cinema until it closed, in a state of disrepair, in 1999. It has just re-opened as a gym. The Odeon Eltham Hill

The Palace Decisions to be taken will include the need for the building to ‘fit in’ with the architecture of the High Street and whether there will be a need for extra parking to accommodate cinema goers from the surrounding areas. Others will be keen to see an alternative site for Poundland, which has been a busy addition to the High Street.

Opening in April 1938 with 1700 seats, the Odeon had a life of just under 30 years, closing in September 1967. Stars visited the cinema to promote their films and other events including Tommy Handley and Eltham’s own Frankie Howerd. It changed its name to Gaumont in 1949 and eventually became a Top Rank bingo hall opened by comedian Tommy Trinder. On the corner of Eltham High Street


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Eltham parish church of St John the Holy Trinity Eltham 59 Southend Crescent Baptist Eltham High Street Sunday 22 December Saturday 7 December Last Sunday of Advent 10.00 am to 2.00 pm Christmas Fair and Sale 6.00 pm Nine lessons and carols, with the Greenwich concert band Sunday 15 December Tuesday 24 December Candlelit Carol Service at 6.00 pm A traditional candlelit service with nine 5.00 pm Christingle and Nativity. Children lessons and carols followed by mulled are encouraged to come dressed as a shepherd, angel or wise man wine and mince pies 11.30 pm Midnight Mass with the Blessing of the Crib Tuesday 24 December Children’s Nativity at 4.00 pm Bring the children to hear and sing about Wednesday 25 December the story of Christmas around the crib, Christmas Day 8.00 am Said Mass & 10.00 am Parish Mass with children of the church singing and Midnight Mass at 11.30 pm Eltham Park Methodist Church Wednesday 25 December Sunday 15 December Christmas Day Family Eucharist at 10.00 am 10.30 am Christingle Service for all the A service for all the family family St. Luke’s Eltham Park Sunday 22nd December 6.00 pm Traditional Christmas Carols and Readings followed by seasonal refreshments

St. Barnabas Parish Church Rochester Way Sunday 22nd December Carol Service 6.00 pm Tuesday 24 December Christmas Eve Midnight Mass 11.30 pm Wednesday 25 December Christmas Day Family Communion 10.00 am Eltham Park Baptist Church, Westmount Road/ Glenure Road Saturday 07 December 6.00 pm Greenwich Academy Concert Sunday 08 December 10:30 am Brigades Parade Toy Service Tuesday 17 December 3.00 pm Seniors Carol Service & High Tea

Sunday 22 December 4.00 pm Carols by Candlelight Sunday 22 December 6.30 pm Carols by Candlelight accompanied by organ and orchestra

Tuesday 24 December Tuesday 24 December Christmas Eve 4.00 pm Carols and Nativity 4.00 pm Christingle Tuesday 24th December Service for all the family with a story 4pm Carols around the Crib for children of Tuesday 24 December round the Christmas Tree all ages. 11.30 pm Midnight Communion 11.30 pm Midnight Mass of the nativity. Wednesday 25 December Christmas Day 10.30 am A short family Wednesday 25 December Wednesday 25th December 10:30 am Christmas Day Celebration service to celebrate Christmas Day 10.00 am Christmas Day worship

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Travellers' Tale ‘They'd fought with villains and smugglers and gypsies too – many a thief and a crook’.


hank-you Enid Blyton and her Famous Five, back in the day.

Tinkers, pedlars, travellers or Roma, a few names which have been given to gypsy communities over the years. I’ve always had a soft spot for them. My first year of primary school teaching was in Hertfordshire. I remember a couple of open and friendly ten year old gypsy boys who would talk about their beloved animals and ‘country sports’. On to Yorkshire and I once let a gypsy girl bring her pet ferret in to school for

the day. ‘Health and safety’ hadn’t been invented then and, thankfully, nobody was bitten. Of course, in the 19th century, many gypsies were forced into the suburbs when their rural livelihoods were threatened by enclosure and changes to farming. So it was that here in SE9, before most of our homes were built, that this was an area rich in gypsy families and customs. There was a long standing community recorded as living in Kidbrooke Lane, perhaps associated with the farmland attached to the Tudor Barn. The 1881 census doesn’t just record residents of houses, but also people living in caravans and tents. Many d e s c r i b e d themselves as ‘general dealers’ and others as ‘horse traders’ in times when these might have been considered respectable roles. New Eltham had

its settlements with some living on land at Merchland Road, surname Lee, a common name among travellers. Others were recorded as inhabiting ‘vans in fields’ in Cross Lane, now Southwood Road. Family histories record grandparents who were born in tents on Eltham Common, one Emily Louder, born there in the 1870s, then shown in the 1881 census as living, still in a tent and one of 11 offspring. Of course, in south east London, there’s Gypsy Hill and nearby in Beckenham is buried Margaret Finch, known as the Queen of the Gypsies, said to have died aged 109 and famed for her fortune telling. My own experience of that is mixed. While expecting Jottings Junior, a gypsy called at my door in Yorkshire selling pegs and heather. Panicking a little, I bought a sprig. The lady wished me well and said it would be a boy. It was a girl.

Jane Webb has lived in Eltham since '85 with her husband and daughter. She has taught at several local primary schools'

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Vale to a remarkable Lady O

ne of SE9’s oldest residents, Steph Stevens has died, aged

overcome problems. And that it’s never too late to realise ambitions, with remarkable foreign travel plans and a hot air balloon trip over Kent undertaken after the age of 90.


Born in Eltham of an Armenian father and local mother in 1911, she remembered seeing Zeppelins over Eltham in World War One.

Living for many years in Glenlyon Road, and latterly the Abbeyfield Home in Westmount Road, she remained an active member of St Luke’s Church until her death. A funeral service was held at Eltham Crematorium.

At the age of 99, she ventured into the world of publishing to record her remarkable and varied life story. This took in a comfortable suburban childhood, two world wars, poverty and homelessness in the 1930s, religious conviction and the warmth of countless friendships

Step Stevens at her 100th birthday party

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‘I Remember‌The Memoirs of a Nonagenarian’ by Stephanie Stevens is published by Memory Lane, priced ÂŁ9.99 available at or



News in Brief Author, author First it was the Eltham poetry competition; now it’s the Eltham short story contest. Organised by Eltham Arts, 'Tales of Eltham' is a 300 word short story competition with the theme 'An Eltham Experience'.


Gold Ring

Eltham Choral

“What a shock” said Bill Lawrence of Elibank Road, “I had given up hope of ever seeing it again”

Eltham Choral Society’s annual celebration of Christmas will take place on Saturday December 14 at Holy Trinity Church, Southend Crescent.

With tear filled eyes, Bill explained to SEnine how the wedding ring had dropped from his finger while walking home from his daughter’s home in Rochester Way some months ago. They had searched up and down the route looking for the ring without success.

The stories can be of any genre, including comedy, ghost, romance, sci-fi, adventure, true or mystery.

There will also be a varied selection of Christmas carols both for the choir and audience. Led by conductor Peter Asprey.

Competition leaflets have been sponsored by Conran Estates and are available across town including Eltham Library. Everybody is free to join in! There will be a celebratory event on World Book Night in April.

Tickets for the concert, which starts at 7.30pm, are £12 (£10 - concessions) available from 020 8850 3532, Normans Music, Well Hall Road or on the door.

Eltham Arts will support the contest by organising some events working with residents, businesses and organisations in the area. If you want to know more about Eltham Arts and what it is planning, more details on the Eltham Short Story Competition , or run an arts/ creative activity and want to be part of Eltham Arts, email Elthamarts@ or phone Gaynor Wingham 07976 355398 . You can also follow twitter on @ElthamArts . Eltham Arts has been set up by Gaynor Wingham with the support of members from the community to promote the arts in the SE9 area offering support and a forum to existing organisations, encouraging all members of the community to get involved and creating an artistic identity for SE9.

Pride & Prejudice A new version of one of Jane Austen’s most famous books, ‘Pride and Prejudice’, is being performed in Eltham in January. The full-costumed narration, which has been recently performed at Chawton, Austen’s home in Hampshire, will be in the elegant period surroundings of St Mary’s Community Centre in Eltham High Street. Written and staged by Wendy Reynolds, Austen’s work of manners, morality and marriage has been adapted to be performed by her troupe Theatricks. See St Mary's on page 11 for details.


The main work performed will be Benjamin Britten’s ‘St Nicolas’, to mark the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth this year. The soloist is tenor Julian Forbes and the Amadeus Orchestra will accompany.

Christmas Concert

“The ring was very important to me”, Said Bill. “My wife, Yvonne, passed away in March 2013 and the ring was a constant reminder of our wonderful 52 years of married life together”. In a last hope attempt, Daughter Karen Lawrence, contacted SEnine who ran a small story in the November issue of SEnine. A plain envelop arrived at the offices of SEnine. Upon opening, it contained a man’s gold wedding band and a brief unsigned note explaining where it had been found. Bill, who has 5 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren and has lived in Eltham for 53 years said, “Thank you does not seem enough to the anonymous finder. They have healed a sadness in my heart that was caused by the loss”

An inaugural Christmas concert is being held at the new Kemnal Park cemetery and memorial gardens on Saturday December 21 at 5pm. ‘A Service to Remember’ is being held on behalf of Kemnal’s Christmas charity appeal, in conjunction with the Salvation Army. People attending are encouraged to bring wrapped gifts for distribution over the Christmas period. The event will take place in the park’s modernist chapel, which has seating for 150. Those wishing to attend should contact Kemnal in advance on 020 8300 9790. Singing will be led by a local school choir. There will be complimentary glasses of mulled wine and mince pies. Kemnal opened earlier in the year and provides state of the art facilities for burials and services, sited in woodland just off the A20 at New Eltham.

Late Notice Eltham United Reformed Church December 15 Christingle Service 11.00 am December 22 Carol service 11.00 am December 25 Christmas morning service 09.30 am

Join in a Community Activity


ST MARY’S COMMUNITY COMPLEX Merry Christmas from St Mary's One Night ONLY

5 Wonderful sites for your CHRISTMAS Function

not to be missed.

A performance of 'Jane Austen's' 'Pride and Prejudice' adapted by Wendy Reynolds with cast in full costume. The performers read from scripts enhanced with the visual benefit of wonderful costumes.

24th January 2014 arrive 7:15pm for 7:30 performance to finish at 10pm including a refreshment interval. Held at St Mary's Centre 180 Eltham High Street. Tickets £5. There are only 80 seats available. Please book

For more information on Halls and Rooms for Hire at affordable prices contact the main office on 020 8850 2040

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020 8850 2040 Main Office 180 Eltham High St

Orangery Opens A leading local interior design agency with a global clientele is among the first occupants of Eltham’s prestige new office accommodation, the Orangery. Four local small businesses have now moved into the suite of offices which have breathed new life into the elegant 18th century listed building.

to seven business units, three of which are still available. Local interior design company Innovare was the first small business to move into the accommodation.

The Orangery, once in the garden of Eltham House which fronted onto the High Street, had been left neglected for many years before becoming the brainchild of Greenwich Enterprise Board director Michael Finlay. Now incorporated into a contemporary office development, the Orangery has been given a fresh purpose with its proud architectural features restored to peak condition. Linked to a new structure to its west, the £2m Orangery Studios is now home

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Innovare has clients across the w o r l d , specialising in retail design, including shop space, architecture, interior design and branding. Also moving in are three other local companies, M J Rooney Construction, Treasure Publishing and Prestige Graphic Applications from Woolwich.

Client Services Director Rebecca Sharman said: “This is great accommodation for us and it has the ‘wow’ factor. We had outgrown our previous office and were looking for somewhere to expand with the right image and facilities.”

The size of the seven units ranges from approximately 25sqm to 120 sqm, with rent levels yet to be fixed. Anyone interested in taking one can contact Jane Holman at GEB on 020-8305-2222,




Saturday November 30

Saturday December 14

Christmas Bazaar

Greenwich Community Choir and Friends

St. Luke’s Church, Westmount Road. Hand made cards/crafts, tombola, Christmas gifts, toys, books, cakes, bric-a-brac, books, CDs & DVDs, games, raffle & refreshments - 10.30 am – 1.00 pm Adults 50p, children free.

Saturdays November 30 onwards

Christmas Concert. Eltham Park Methodist Church Tickets on the door. 7.30pm

Sunday December 15 Eltham Farmers' Market

Wednesday December 4 Quiz night at the White Hart On behalf of local charities Includes carvery meal and dessert £10 per ticket from 8850 1562 Doors open 6pm, quiz starts 8pm

Saturday December 7

Wednesday December 18 Christmas Concert with the Mottingham Village Concert Band. Maryfield Hall to the rear of Our Lady Help of Christians at junction of Mottingham Road and Leysdown Road. The programme will include popular and seasonal music with carols. Admission free with a retiring collection. Refreshments available. 8pm

‘A Service to Remember’

Eltham Park Baptist Church, Glenure Road Tickets at the door - 7pm

Saturday December 7

Sunday Dec 29 to Sat February 1

Progress Residents Association AGM and Christmas Social

Alice in Wonderland

Progress Hall, Admiral Seymour Road Mulled wine, mince pies and raffle - 1-3pm

Annual panto. Bob Hope Theatre, Wythfield Road Tickets £10 and £8. 8850 3702 or www.bobhopetheatre. 2.30pm, 5.30pm and7.30pm

Thursday December 12

Tuesday January 21

Eltham Jazz Club

‘Deer: In London and beyond’

Hugh Ockendon Trio and guests Woodcroft Club, Eltham High Street £9 on the door - 8.30 – 11pm

Illustrated talk by Derek Stimpson, chair of the south east British Deer Society. Eltham Nature Club St Mary’s Community Centre, Eltham High Street More details £1.50 members, £3 non-members. 7.30pm

Saturday December 14 Winter birdwatch Eltham Nature Club Woodlands Farm, Shooters Hill - 2pm

Saturday December 14 Family Christmas party Avery Hill Park Café Eldorado performers, sing-a-long carols, raffle, mince pies, mulled wine, Father Xmas. Entry free. 2-4pm

Sunday January 26 Comedy Night With John Mann, PaulMcMullen, Paul Adams and Phil Butler. Bob Hope Theatre, Wythfield Road Tickets £10 (on door), £8 pre-book. 8850 3702 or 7.45pm

Weds March 12 – Sat 15 ‘Pygmalion’

Saturday December 14 Eltham Choral Society Christmas Concert Featuring Britten’s ‘St Nicholas’ and carols for choir and audience. Holy Trinity Church, Southend Crescent Tickets from 8850 3702 or Norman’s Music. 7.30pm


3rd, 10th & 17th December French Group 2pm – 4pm Join other Francophiles and brush up your French. Beginners and improvers welcome. For more information contact: Community Volunteers Time Bank - 020 8315 1883 19th December Christmas Floristry Workshop 11.00 am – 1.00 pm – with expert tuition, learn how to create, and take home, your own festive table centrepiece. For more information contact: Pauline Cahill on 020 8294 3017 /

Saturday December 21 Christmas carols at Kemnal Park cemetery and memorial gardens. For Kemnal’s charity, the Salvation Army Complementary mulled wine and mince pies Off the A20 at New Eltham. Reserve a seat in advance at 020 8300 9790. 5 – 6.30pm

Greenwich Youth Band Christmas Concert

TUESDAY 3rd, 10th & 17th Dec Exercise Class. 10am – 11am Sit & Get Fit - exercises to help keep you keep fit! For more information contact: Yvonne Conway on 020 8315 1850

Range of fresh produce. Passey Place. 10am – 2pm

‘Material Matters’ Exhibition exploring the relationship between cameras and sculpture, Gerald Moore Gallery, Eltham College Entry free. 12-4pm until February 1

Age UK Bromley & Greenwich 2-6 Sherard Road

Classic musical. Bob Hope Theatre £9 (£8 conc). 7.45pm

Every Monday Greenwich Community Choir Eltham Park Methodist Church on Westmount Road 7.45pm. All Welcome. An opportunity for people aged 18+ to enjoy singing in a fun choir. It meets every Monday during term time.

10th December: Nutritional Advice 10am – 1.00 pm 1 to 1 tailored advice from our nutritionist. For more information contact: Wendy Smith on 020 8294 3013/ WEDNESDAY 4th, 11th & 18th December Community Health Trainer 10am – 2pm Get up to six weeks’ lifestyle support from your own free personal Health Trainer, part of Royal Greenwich Public Health & Wellbeing Team. Booking essential for more information contact: 0800 587 5833 THURSDAY 5th, 19th December Craft Group 10am – 12pm Bring along your own craft project or try something new with fellow enthusiasts! For more information please contact:Community Volunteers Time Bank 020 8315 1883 / communityvolunteerstb@ageukbandg. 5th, 12th & 19th December Forget-me-not Singing 2pm – 3.30pm For older people, people with disabilities, those with Alzheimer's, dementia and their carers. For more information contact: Rose Waghorn 0781 118 7490 / FRIDAY 6th, 13th & 20th December Technology Club 10am – 11.30am We offer help and support on a range of subjects to help you Keep in Touch with Technology from mobile phones, tablets, cameras to laptops. For more information contact: Louise Donovan on 020 8315 1850 / SATURDAY 7th December Knit & Natter 10.30am 12pm Bring along your own knitting project or try something new – Tunisian crochet, finger knitting, learn or teach how to cable. For more information contact: Community Volunteers Time Bank 020 8315 1883 /

Eltham has something for everyone


PREVIEW by Beattie Slavin

Bob Hope Panto - A Must See Most of the parts have been double cast, due to its long run. And they have found the alternative performances that the different combinations of cast have created have been a boon for the directors and cast alike. The choicest versions have been cherry picked for the best show possible. Alice is played by Katherine Vennard and Annalise Webb (Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz), Dinah the Cat is Alexandra Thompson and Louisa Dodd (typecast as she was the cat last year), the White Rabbit is Jodie Upton and Heather his musical masterpiece has been Claisse (seen this June in specially adapted, combining Alice Cider with Rosie), whilst Tweedledum Through the Looking Glass, to make and Tweedledee are played by identical it a Bob Hope original. With some twins Daniel pantomime elements, it is a Christmas and James show that will be adored by everyone, T e m p l e t o n . even those who aren’t too keen on Trudi De-Lisser pantomimes. There are no ‘behind yous’ Boyle who and no dame. Its appeal for children was Prince will be by being more musical and less C h a r m i n g wordy than many of the versions you last year is may have already seen. Caterpillar One this year, Directors Larissa Webb and Ian a l o n g s i d e Hamilton have worked together before Marcia Hinds. on The Wizard of Oz and Return to the Phillip Inns and Forbidden Planet, and had a desire Susan Owen to work together on a pantomime. are Caterpillar Once they had decided on Alice in Two. Ria Wonderland, they wanted their own Mahady who version to maintain the essence but was Cinderella be more Christmassy. Adapted by last year is the Jacky Webb (another experienced Bob March Hare, Hope director and Larissa’s mum) it is a and Graham full on all singing, all dancing musical Johnson, who Christmas feast. Bright costumes, big directed Cider dance numbers, original music mash- with Rosie, is the ups and well known musical theatre Mad Hatter. The numbers. The Musical Director is Richard dancers joined Cooper (Acorn Antiques – The Musical), for the Wizard and as usual you’ll be tapping your feet of Oz, and have and wanting to bop in the aisles. The done every year Caterpillar ‘Rhythm’ number is one of since. many high energy gems. The Cheshire


Be a good neighbour

Cat is Alex Mayer’s debut. He’s the landlord of the White Hart which is hosting an Alice themed fundraising quiz on Wednesday 8th January. They are raising money for the RNIB, which is using Alice in Wonderland characters as the theme of their fundraising this year. The set has quite simple backdrops, but there will be special effects and surprises. The costumes, being made by Jacky Webb, are perfect for a Christmas show. There will be no dull moments in this highly subscribed production. Don’t delay in getting your tickets as more than a 1000 have already been sold six weeks before it starts, and the expectation is that they will sell out early as in previous years.




Childhood Obesity, Prevalence and Prevention Story by John Webb


n epidemic of obesity among children is gripping the borough and threatening the health of future generations, SEnine has learned. The latest figures, which have been down-played by Royal Greenwich, show that children in the area are much more likely to be overweight than others across the country. They are also significantly heavier than in other London boroughs with a similar social and ethnic mix. The new figures, which have been unheralded publicly by the borough, will be a heavy blow for the Council, which has staked its reputation on reaping an ‘Olympic legacy’ of sports participation and healthy living. An official report to the borough concealed the extent of the problem by presenting the figures as part of a three year rolling average; these show higher levels of obesity in Greenwich than in comparable boroughs but were said 'not to be statistically significant’. However, SEnine has seen written copies of an oral report from the borough’s Assistant Director of Public Health, Bridget Imeson, which admits that the latest figures show childhood obesity levels in Royal Greenwich are indeed both substantially and significantly higher than in Lewisham, Lambeth, Southwark and Haringey.


An alarming projection by Ms Imeson is that, on current trends, by 2023 more than twothirds of 11 year olds will be overweight. She says that in 2011/12, 41.3 per cent of Royal Greenwich 11 years olds (Year 6) were found to be overweight, compared with 39.6 per cent in similar boroughs and 33 per cent nationally. Among reception class children (4/5 year olds), 28 per cent were found to be overweight compared with 24 per cent in comparable boroughs and 22 per cent in England as a whole. Since April, boroughs have become responsible for implementing the National Child Measurement Programme. The figures are a blow to the borough’s hopes for a beneficial O l y m p i c legacy in terms of improved public health; the deterioration of the obesity figures has accelerated through the entire six year build up to the Games, leaving Greenwich one of the worst effected areas in the country. Levels of sports participation have so far failed to respond to the success of the UK team with state of the art facilities now in place across the borough providing facilities for a broadly similar number of individuals and teams.

In truth, Royal Greenwich’s efforts were always likely to be against the strong headwind of blanket marketing across traditional and social media that has created a culture of snacking and sugary, fatty diets. But, despite Ms Imeson’s warnings, neither ‘obesity’ nor ‘weight’ appears anywhere in the Council’s Best Value Review of public health as presented to the Council’s ‘cabinet’ in November. She says that the obesity figures leave children at greater risk of developing cancer, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease in later life, early puberty, eating disorders, asthma, teasing and discrimination by peers, low selfesteem, anxiety and depression. In response to the problems, the Council has put in place a ‘healthy families’ pilot programme focussing on Charlton and Woolwich Riverside, but not in SE9, working with parents, children and fast food outlets to improve diet; also generic work through schools and children’s centres looking at nutrition and the need for exercise. Cllr John Fahy, the Council’s representative on the Greenwich Clinical Commissioning Group said tackling obesity remained a ‘high priority’ for the borough. In the last two years the increase for Year 6 children has levelled off, testimony to the work done in schools on physical activity and the ‘Olympic legacy’. But the numbers arriving in reception class already over-weight remained a concern. Numbers involved in sport had remained stable in recent years but it was hoped that heavy investment in new facilities would start to show an increase.

Help keep Eltham tidy! Put your litter in bins.


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Fi Fitness Classes St. Luke’s Church, St W Westmount Road, W Wednesday 7-8 pm TThursday 7-8 pm 5 plus Ladies 50 C Classes (all levels) EEltham Park Methodist Church M Westmount Road, W Monday 11.00am - 12.00pm Wednesday 2.00pm - 3pm

Make a difference in your community

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0751 009 4170 or 15



Locksmith Stickers SEnine spoke to Sergeant Marianne Catmull, in charge of the Eltham North Safer Neighbourhoods team.


ocal police in Eltham have received an increase in calls to local policing teams and the non-emergency number when locksmith stickers were placed on many properties around Eltham. It was suggested that the stickers may be a way for burglars to mark vulnerable properties. However there is no evidence yet linking the stickers directly to any criminal activity in Eltham. Inspector Ivor Gwyn said: "I am aware that people are really concerned in relation to the stickers. Our advice is to remove them if you see them. We have received a number of calls from members of the public reporting such stickers and are working to establish exactly where the stickers have been found and if they are linked to any burglaries. Our local intelligence team is aware of the stickers and we have a number of officers working on this issue." Police officers in Eltham are asking members of the public to remain vigilant and do all they can to keep their property secure in order to make it harder for criminals to break into homes. Whilst overall burglary in Eltham and across Greenwich is down there is a seasonal trend for it to increase over the period from September to December. Officers across the borough are reminding residents that a number of simple measures can make a difference and reduce the risk of becoming a target for burglars. Sergeant Catmull said: "Figures show that residents become more vulnerable to burglars at this time of year as the evenings get darker with burglars on the prowl for vulnerable properties. During this period residential properties


Sergeant Marianne Catmull

remain in darkness for much longer periods which makes them easier for burglars to target. A number of simple steps can really help to protect your property."

those can generally be the type of goods which can easily be sold on. Cancel milk or other deliveries if you will be away for days or weeks - milk left outside tells a burglar that the house is empty.

Sergeant Catmull's advice is as follows: Do not leave your car keys, valuables or ID documents near a door, letterbox or window. We have had incidents where car key and house keys have been ‘fished’ through letter boxes. Close and lock all your doors and windows, even if you are only going out for a few minutes - some people tell us that they have been burgled after popping down the road and thinking that it would not be necessary to lock their door. Do you have a UPVC door? Take great care in locking it. Don’t just turn the handle up, but use the key to double lock it. Burglars are able to ‘pop’ UPVC doors and open them easily if you have not locked it. Keep your valuables out of sight money, jewellery, mobiles, and other expensive items left by the window can simply attract unwanted attention. Leave some lights on a timer so they can come on when it gets dark if you are not in your home - this gives the impression that someone is in and it can be an excellent deterrent. Fit a mortice lock to your front door and other external doors and consider installing a police approved burglar alarm. Always keep sheds and outbuildings locked - burglars are aware that people store valuable items in sheds and

Mark or etch your property with your postcode, house or flat number or the first three letters of your house name. Register items with a serial number at Sergeant Catmull added: "We have a great range of crime prevention advice on our website, including a virtual house designed to advise you on areas that may be vulnerable in your home. Of course our team, as all the other teams across the borough, remain available to offer burglary crime prevention advice by phone or in person." More information on how to protect your property is available on line at crimepreventionbumblebee. You should call 101 to report crime and other concerns that do not require an emergency response. For example, if: Your car has been stolen, Your property has been damaged, You suspect drug use or dealing in your neighbourhood Or to: Report a minor traffic collision, Give the police information about crime in your area, Speak to the police about a general enquiry You should always call 999 when it is an emergency, such as when a crime is in progress, someone suspected of a crime is nearby, when there is danger to life or when violence is being used or threatened.

Take a walk in the Tarn


Get fit and change your life. Whether you want to drop a dress size or run a marathon, the perfect gym is just around the corner. The Dome Gym offers a friendly and relaxed environment – and highly competitive rates. Our qualified staff will answer all your questions and help you get fit. They will also take you through our excellent facilities, including our full range of cardio-vascular and resistance equipment. Want to find out more? Just drop in or get in touch Dome Gym, Southwood Site, Avery Hill Campus, University of Greenwich, Eltham SE9 2UG 020 8331 9945 University of Greenwich Avery Hill Gym

Join a local community group




A View to London Work to open up one of the finest views in London, over the rooftops of SE9, is progressing well. John Webb reports. Renovation of the historic Severndroog Castle, a dream of campaigners for more than 12 years, is only months away from being realised. Their ambition is to return the Castle to the community, together with the panoramic vista from its summit, not only southwards over SE9 but also towards London, into Kent, Blackheath and the river Thames. Local conservation contractors Hilton Abbey are three months into their task to restore the Shooters Hill Castle as close to its original 18th century glory as possible. This includes the winding spiral staircase leading to the rooftop viewing platform which has been out of bounds to the public for decades.

A ground floor kitchen area will service a first floor cafeteria space.

T h e n upwards to a second floor education a n d interpretation r o o m containing details of the b u i l d i n g’s history and origins. Work is scheduled to trim back some of the trees surrounding the top of the Castle in order to open up vistas to all point of the compass. A new entrance is being opened up to facilitate access with modern kitchen and toilet facilities built in.

pipes will be an air source heat pump, located on the building’s roof, giving the latest low-cost sustainable energy solution. Barring last minute hitches, the Severndroog Castle Building Preservation Trust will be handed over the keys in January; following this, there will be gearing up for a formal launch to the public in April. Although unexpected works will bite into the Trust’s contingency reserve, the building work is expected to come within the budget of nearly £850,000, which has come from a variety of private and public sources lead by the Heritage Lottery Fund. SEnine was given a sneak preview of the on-going work in order to record the progress being made.

Finally railings, in Georgian style, will be erected around the site to finish the effect and increase the site’s security, alongside comprehensive CCTV coverage. Providing warmth to the rooms via under-floor heating

Trustee Steve Daly said: “It has been many years of effort but now we are within sight of our ambitions; to return the building to the community for public enjoyment.” The Trust is looking for variety of voluntary helpers including marketing assistants, tour guides and interpretation helpers. There are plans for a webcam to beam pictures from the roof terrace and


Be active in your community



community events taking place in the Castle during the evenings. It’s planned to bring in a professional company to run the catering operation. A new-look website gives details of the Castle’s history and latest developments of the progress towards the official public opening. Lee Hilton, contract manager, has been responsible for co-ordinating teams of craftsmen restoring brickwork, acres of plastering, gilding cornices, reinstating sash windows, and installing wiring, plumbing and pipework. He says it has been a complex job requiring heritage skills to match new brickwork with old and shades of mortar which in time will blend in with features which have been in place since the building was constructed in the 1784. Doorways have been bricked up, plaques taken down and given a deep polish and windows re-glazed to a heritage standard finish. Old doors, opening inwards, are being restored and will be re-hung to open outwards, which will reveal automatic sliding doors to keep in the warmth. This will be an important

issue; with a ceiling height of nearly five metres on each level, temperatures will not be high in the winter months. Constant discussions have taken place with conservation officers from English Heritage and Greenwich Council in order to ensure a finish which respects the fabric of the unique building, which is expected to bring in visitors from across London and the Home Counties. As ever when working with a building of this age, unexpected problems emerged, including insecure brickwork on the ground floor which required 15 courses of new bricks and pinning work to make the structure sound for another 230 years.

pointing and windows. On the inside, it has been providing the necessary service facilities, replacing ceilings and massive areas of replacement plastering. Door and window surrounds to match the original finish have been a challenge and the company’s carpentry has been commended by conservation experts overseeing the work.” Finally, three lightning rods to reduce the risk of natural disaster. The Castle might be a folly, but that was 230 years ago; soon Severndroog will be, literally, the area’s top tourist attraction.

Lee said: “Most of the work has been to the interior. Basically, the structure is sound although we have had a lot of work to the

The Castle was erected in 1784 by his wife, Lady James to commemorate Sir William James after his death. She wanted it erected on Shooters Hill so it could be seen from her home, Park Farm Place, in Glenure Road. Donations should be sent to The Treasurer, 155, Greenvale Road, Eltham, London SE9 1PG. People can also sponsor a brick or make donations online at;

Help keep Eltham safe - report suspicious activity!




The White Hart

John Kennett looks at the history of a popular local pub

The present White Hart public house was erected in the mid 1920s and is numbered as 2 Eltham High Street and stands opposite Sherard Road. The site is historic and would once have been owned by the Crown, as were some nearby properties until recent times. John Border is the earliest recorded licensee in 1838 when the beer house was the first, or last, place of refreshment in Eltham for local drinkers and travellers between London, Maidstone and the Channel ports. Between 1843 and 1847 James Pilbeam was licensee until he died that year on 14 June, aged 88. The memorial erected at his burial spot in St John’s churchyard faces towards the White Hart and concludes with the words ‘Judge Me Not’ which is open to wide interpretation! In 1843 he had a ‘run in’ with a local police inspector when he was brought to court at Greenwich before Mr Jeremy, ‘for keeping his house open after the hour of ten o’clock at night, contrary to the statute’. Mr Jeremy declared that by the recent Act, the power of fixing the hours was taken away from the magistrates but in places having 2,500 inhabitants the beer houses might be kept open until eleven o’clock, whilst those places not so inhabited must close at ten. The number of inhabitants was to be proved by the last census of 1841 but the chief clerk said the return had not been published but it was a well-known fact that the Eltham population did not amount to more than 2,300. As this fact was only hearsay, Mr Jeremy dismissed the summons with lack of proof but the defendant was warned not to run a similar risk. In 1851 widow Mrs Charlotte Pilbeam is recorded as the licensee. In the 1860s Thomas Gimson is recorded as the beer shopkeeper and was born in Chislehurst. In the 1861 census beside his wife Mary and son Alfred there were also residing eight male lodgers


described as ‘labourers’. At this time some property west of the White Hart was demolished to make an access to meadow land where a large house, Kings Garden, was built on Crown land; in the mid 1930s this was redeveloped as Kings Orchard. A parade of four shops was built over the former house access in 1935 by local builder WE Wright with workshops to the rear for his business; they were converted to Hill View Studios in 2009. The 1871 census records William Frederick Turner as the beer shopkeeper with his wife, two young daughters, a servant, a potman and three labouring lodgers. That year on Wednesday 25 April saw the savage attack in nearby Kidbrooke Lane of housemaid Jane Maria Clouson who was discovered at an isolated spot near a Kidbrooke farm by a policeman on his early morning round. He was able to summon more police support at Well Hall and the poor victim was taken by stretcher to the home of Dr King who lived opposite the White Hart and then on to Guy’s Hospital where injuries to her head were investigated. She died the following Sunday unable to give any information about her assailant. The case prompted wide public attention and the jury eventually acquitted the man brought

for trial. The picture of the White Hart shown here was part of a contemporary montage produced to illustrate the events under the title, THE MURDER AT ELTHAM and is the earliest likeness of the beer house where no doubt the sad events were recalled. Between 1882 and 1910 the landlords were John Frederick Annett, Thomas John Marshall, Richard John Lane and Alfred G Nunn. In 1904 the pub was bought by the Dartford Brewery Co. Ltd. 1913 saw the publication of The Amateur Gentleman by popular novelist Jeffery Farnol who lived at 71 Eltham Road. It tells the story of a hero from humble beginnings who inherits a fortune and cuts a figure in the fashionable world as a Regency buck and eventually wins ‘the lovely lady’. The locations in this book include references to Eltham, the races and two Eltham pubs, The White Hart and The Chequers (now Draughts). ‘Bright rose the sun upon the ‘White Hart’ tavern that stands within Eltham village, softening its rugged lines, gilding its lattices, lending its ancient timbers as mellower hue. The inn of the ‘White Hart’ is an ancient structure and very unpretentious (as great age often is), and being so very old, it has

The 1871 drawing of the White Hart


SEnine known full many a golden dawn. But surely never, in all its length of days, had it experienced quite such a morning as this. All night long there had been a strange hum upon the air, and now, early though the air, Eltham village was awake and full of an unusual bustle and excitement.’

In the mid 1920s the old premises was demolished for a new house. Some old objects were unearthed, including a pair of slippers bearing the royal monogram MR encircled by four crowns, several coins including a Queen Anne florin of 1707, a nosebag with the initials DT, and wild was the unfounded speculation as to their historic importance. Three disused wells were found in the garden and there was a request to, ‘try and use some of the old beams in the rebuild’ but no details were recorded of such an action. The new premises were opened in June 1926 under licensee Mrs Elizabeth Harriet Batchelor.

The timbered White Hart and the small Sherard Stores corner shop. c. 1923 by Llwyd Roberts

This was published in the time when William John Batchelor was the licensee but in April 1916 he was the victim of a near fatal attack when a drunken customer who, being ejected from the premises, rose to his feet and seriously injured the landlord’s throat with a knife. Following court proceedings the farm labourer, from nearby Lyme Farm, was sentenced to six months detention at His Majesty’s pleasure. In 1920 trams from Lee stopped almost outside the White Hart and in 1921 the missing link was completed from ‘Eltham Church’ for journeys towards London.

time jazz evenings were held on Thursday featuring Patsy May’s band. In August 2010 the pub closed and was boarded up and then offered for sale freehold. In 2011 a ‘TO LET’ board appeared and in September the pub was receiving a revamp and paint and re-opened in November 2011 with new signage as a ‘Pub and Carvery’.

Across the road old property including Kingsdene, the one time home of Dr King was demolished and the Eltham Baths opened in April 1939.

During the 1980s the landlord owned the unique PUB 1 number plate attached to his car often parked on the

Pub sign, 2012

Present management HRM Pubs Ltd commenced trading on 14 March 2012 and have attracted customers in a welcoming atmosphere of food, drink and charitable activities.

Landlord’s unique number plate, 1989

The White Hart in 1964

pavement in front of the pub – it must now be worth a fortune! In June 1997 work commenced on the rear garden to create a single storey restaurant extension, which was finished in September. For a short

Top - Advert from 1949 Below - 1970 advert from Eltham Little Theatre programme. All pictures are from the John Kennett collection




Badgers Sports Club

Home of Cray Valley (pm) FC & Erith Town FC For Cray Valley: Contact Dave Wilson (Secretary) 07715 961886 or Frank May (Chairman) 07778 987579

For Erith Town: Contact James Davie (Secretary) 077807 712149 or Ian Birrell (Chairman) 07956 291274

Decembers Fixtures

Striker Joe Nwoko (CV, green) against Holmesdale

TBA (home) Canterbury City (home) Beckenham Town (away) Jan 2014 Rochester United (home)

Erith Town 7th 21st 28th 4th

Norwich United (away) FA Vase Ashford United (home) Phoenix Sports (home) Jan 2014 Holmesdale (away)

Ryan Sawyer keeping a close eye on a Redhill striker!

November was a very good month for Erith Town as they progressed to the 3rd Round of the FA Vase to join 4 other Southern Counties East Football League clubs in the draw. I think that in itself shows the strength of our League and hopefully one of our clubs, and it’s destined not to be us unfortunately, can emulate Tunbridge Wells who managed to reach the final last season before narrowly losing to Spennymoor United at Wembley Stadium! Erith comfortably beat Hartley Wintney 5-1 at Badgers (with Aaron Jeffery scoring a hat-trick for the Dockers) as the Millers were gaining a creditable 1-1 draw at South Park. We were slightly unlucky to lose 3-2 in the replay at Badgers four days later after leading 2-1 with 7 minutes of the tie remaining! Erith will now travel to Norwich United in the next round while the Millers have to await a reshuffle from our fixture’s secretary to see who we face in the League as the Dockers are making the journey up the A12 on January 7th.

Set in the grounds of Cray Valley & Erith Town Football Clubs, Badgers Sports Club is the ideal venue for a variety of functions & events. Our professional catering & hospitality team

Cray Valley 7th 14th 28th 4th

You can of course keep up to date with all the latest fixtures and results at or Meanwhile, in the League Cup, we brushed past Deal Town by an aggregate of 8-3 (including a 5-1 home leg win) while Erith were beating Holmesdale by 7-5 to put both clubs into the Quarter Finals. Let’s hope more success is on the way! Fixtures are pretty sparse during December as we all look forward to the Christmas break and spending some time with our loved ones but we will be back to full swing in the New Year. All that’s left for me now, on behalf of all of us at Badgers, is to wish all readers of SEnine, a very Merry Christmas, a happy and prosperous New Year and I look forward to seeing some of you at Badgers soon! Frank May, Chairman, Cray Valley (PM) FC

can tailor a package that best suits your requirements. Our newly rebuilt & refurbished Clubhouse has lifted the whole venue, now with air conditioning, while the large glass domed roof fills the

hall with sunlight. As part of our package we can also recommend a range of services, from Wedding cars & flowers, to DJs & even live bands if you require.

Middle Park Avenue Eltham SE95HT

020 8355 4378


Join you local neighbourhood watch scheme

SEnine n rde a G r Bee n New Ope

Follow us on Facebook & Twitter@TheWhiteHart3

Christmas is coming

Why not book your Christmas party with us here from 1st December - 23rd December 2013?

We are offering set Special Lunch Menu Monday - Friday Christmas meals , Christmas 12pm - 4pm Buffet Menus. We also will 2 course meal for £10.95 be hosting 'Bring a party to 3 course meal for £12.95 a party' on Friday evenings. Full Christmas Buffet and Disco. Price per person to be confirmed

Suspended until further notice due to renovations

Christmas will be full of fun and laughter with colleagues , friends old and new here at White Hart. Just call us at 0208 850 1562, or send us an e-mail

2 Eltham High Street Eltham London SE9 1DA

020 8850 1562

Book now for Christmas

Gusella's Ristorante

Italian & Cypriot menus

Try our SET LUNCH - £9.95 *

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90 Eltham High Street SE9 1BW 020 8294 0303 or 07899 078 686

Take an interest in local events

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Experience the Gusella difference. Fine food, fine wine and service with a smile

Full range of beauty treatments. Dermalogica® stockists. Gift vouchers. Graham Webb salon 202-204 Eltham High Street Eltham SE9 1BH Telephone 020 8850 6311




Fit for Purpose Eltham’s latest sports facility - the Kinesis Gym and Fitness Centre – has opened to a fantastic response from the local community.


ore than 650 members in the first month have been recruited to the beautifully restored former cinema space bringing ‘keep fit’ at affordable rates to local people. The magnificent Art Deco space has been lovingly restored with the addition of a sensational glass atrium overlooking Well Hall roundabout, kitted out with the latest cardio-vascular equipment. Open seven days a week, from 6am in the morning weekdays to catch the commuter trade, and 8am at weekends, Kinesis offers convenience and easy parking to its patrons. The introductory offer for the first 500 members was snapped up rapidly and Kinesis is heading towards the 1,000 mark by the Christmas season, when membership is expected to be a musthave Christmas gift in Eltham stockings this year. In the New Year, the second floor studios will be open with a range of keepfit classes running through the week including yoga and ‘spin bike’ sessions to music led by trained instructor.

The stunning foyer area is being kitted out as a ‘chill-out’ space serving, initially coffees, teas, healthy drinks and light snacks, but eventually with a more extensive menu.

New members Holly Rouse and Louise Commuters will be offered a ‘breakfast’ Coxall said they were enjoying being take-away menu which they eat en able to drop in to the facility when they route to nearby Eltham Station or the like, timed around their working lives. 132 bus to North Greenwich. Manager of the family-run concern, Matt Suggars, said: “We’ve doubled our expectations for the first few weeks and people are really loving coming in here. “We’re taking feedback from our customers all the time; we started with the essential equipment at first and then we will add features which are popular and in demand”, he said. The refurbishment of the space has been to the highest specifications with exterior tiles restored, Art Deco glass staircase renewed and period features added. The livery is in the colours of the Odeon group, which originally opened the cinema in 1936.


“We’re getting great comments from local people who are pleased the building has been restored after 15 years of dereliction”, said Matt.

“It’s close to home and a great place to come and keep fit”, said Holly. Using the cardio-vascular equipment looking out on Well Hall, Taylor Scully, not previously a gym member, said: “I’m coming down three or four times a week; it’s close to home and has easy parking. I’m really enjoying it.” More details at Membership is £29.99 per month or £24.99 per month for an annual subscription. Joining fee £25.00.

Local Business - use it or lose it



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Hair & Beauty

190-194 Eltham High Street

 Modern & Traditional Fireplaces

Left to right

Hayley, Style Director - Wed & Sat Kim, Senior Technician - Fri & Sat Zoe, Senior Stylist - Mon to Sat

 Large showrooms  Wide Selection on Display

Stylist Offer Senior Stylist, Cut & Blow Dry's £25.00 short, £29.00 long Highlights (Bleach) with Cut & Blow Dry (foil) Short Hair £49.95 Med £59.85 Long Hair £69.95

 Site Survey & Fitting Service

Tinting extra per colour £8.95

Style Directors Alan, Jason, Karen Brenda and Hayley

 Friendly Service  Easy parking

Cut & Blow Dry's Short Hair £36.95 Long £39.95 Highlights (Bleach) with Cut & Blow Dry (foil) Short Hair £75.00 Med Hair £85.95 Long Hair £95.95

 Over 20 years in business

Tinting extra per colour £13.50

 We service gas fires  Issue landlords certificates.

020 8303 1131

Ring for your appointment today Appointments not always necessary

51 Welling High Street Welling, Kent DA16 1TU

Beauty with Seeta High Definition (hd) brows £25.00

Mon - Thur 9 - 6  Mon M Friday 9 - 7 Saturday 9 - 6

020 8859 5228 020 8850 2931

Greenwich Association of Disabled People offer disabled or elderly people in Eltham the opportunity to choose who, when and how their requirements for Personal Assistants are met: Leisure support so you can enjoy a regular activity like swimming or a short trip away Money support with basic financial tasks including paying bills and record keeping Personal support with everyday things like bathing, dressing, preparing meals and shopping Support at night if you need someone there Assistance with laundry and cleaning Sitting or companionship service. Established for nearly 40 years, Greenwich Association of Disabled People is a registered charity enabling disabled people to be independent. We reinvest income from Personal Assistant services into developing more services for disabled people. Contact us today on: 020 8305 2221 Email:

When in doubt, do the right thing




The Heart of the Park Once a run-down shelter, Eltham Park cafe has become an important part of the community which had a busy summer. Matt Bell talks to proprietor Caroline Parnell and her plans for the winter months. How long have you been running the cafe? I took over in January 2011 after I'd worked there for a while. I was sure it had more potential than just doing teas and coffees.

When does the cafe open? Seven days a week, from 9am to closing time, which depends on the time of the year so can be up to 7 or 8 o'clock in summer. Sometimes in the summer we do 17 hour days. What do you like about the job? Our regular customers; I’m my own boss running my own business; it’s outdoor in a lovely park. Who are your regular customers? We get dog walkers, parents with young children, ramblers, older people who just want to get out of the house and council workers. Saturday mornings we get parents and children from the Marathon Lions football club who train here, there are tennis classes and cycling clubs run by Limited Edition for children and adults on Saturday and Sunday.

What did you change? I introduced an extensive menu of hot food and freshly made cakes and other snacks. I brought in Rob, who I knew as a customer, to be chef. He makes all our cakes on the premises, our bread is fresh and we do all our cooking on site. We also serve cappuccinos and lattes, ice creams, sweets and cold drinks. Is it only outside? No, we have the indoor room when it’s poor weather or for people who prefer to be inside. Has it been hard work? Yes. I’m here seven days a week from 7.30am to get things ready. No holidays? Just one a year, we close for a couple of weeks.


What about events? We organise our own, such as the Hallowe’en party we did recently. It helps to generate business and provides a service for the community. We cater for private parties like a children's birthday celebrations. Has this summer's weather helped business? Yes, it's been really good, so different from the year before when we struggled badly after the poor summer weather of 2012. That was followed by a tough winter. We barely had enough money to pay the bills and came close to closing down but people encouraged us to keep going and supported us.

So it’s not just individual customers? No, we cater for groups, I’ve just served 22 lunches for the ramblers in our indoor room; we’re doing three course Christmas dinners for parties of 10 or more. Have you and Rob got families? Yes, we both have grown up children, Rob used to bring his to this park when they were young, I come from Welling, so we’re both local. Do you get support from Greenwich Council? We could definitely do with a lot more help from them to attract people to use the park. The swing park and play area need improving, it's a bit rundown. Kids want more facilities, perhaps a skateboard area? More sport would be good.

Give us a taste of your food menu? Home-made vegetable soup, roast lamb or pork baguettes, 100 per cent beef half-pound burgers, chilli con carne, jacket potatoes, chips, and food like bacon, eggs and sausages for breakfast, home-made cakes" What's your ambition for the future of the cafe? I'd like to see it thriving with lots more going on in the park and the cafe at the heart of it all, people sitting at our tables and enjoying the community spirit.

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Artistic Gymnastics One of the area’s longest running gym clubs, Falcon Spartak has celebrated its 40th anniversary.


he club, which was formed in 1973 and is based at Hurstmere School in Sidcup, marked the birthday by holding a gymnastics display and party. Many of its members come from SE9 as it serves Greenwich and surrounding boroughs.

Falcon Spartak’s history has featured medal winners at tournaments both in this country and beyond starting from its original mission to offer men’s artistic gymnastics to those who were interested in training’. In recent years, it has expanded to offer gymnastic opportunities to young people of all ages and abilities, including those with disabilities. Team members attend events both across this country and beyond.

Special needs coach Iain Slater, from New Eltham, (pictured with gymnasts) has been associated with the club for more than 20 years, having started as a five year old and been on numerous trips to events across Europe, training up to three times a week in his childhood. He has now come back as a coach, having taken his qualifications and returned to the area following university. Taking sessions with disabled gymnasts on Saturdays is an ideal antidote to his pressurised work as a producer on ITV's ‘X Factor’ programme, he says. “I enjoy helping young people to develop as gymnasts and gain selfconfidence”, he said. "You get to meet a wide range of people, but also, because the club is integrated, our disability gymnasts can learn from the mainstream gymnasts and vice versa, so it is good that the club has them training side by side." Lesley Walsh became involved with the club when she took her daughter Joanne to the club. She was so inspired by the club’s friendly atmosphere that she decided to continue helping with its administration after her daughter has passed through the ranks.

Training is held in the school’s spacious gym four times a week with fully integrated sessions in artistic and rhythmic gymnastics on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for fully integrated groups. On Saturday, sessions are held for gymnasts with disabilities in the morning with a general session in the afternoons.


Kay Salter has been the chairman and senior coach of Falcon Spartak for 26 years having been involved in gymnastics all her life. Since retiring six years ago, she has devoted much of her time to running the club, which has 110 members. She said the club had the full range of men’s and women’s equipment for artistic gymnastics including pommel horse, rings, parallel bars and beam; for

rhythmic gymnastics there are hoops, ribbons and balls. She said: “I just enjoy being with the gymnasts; having a mixture of people, some with disabilities, means they help each other and work together. “It improves sociability, co-ordination and how people see themselves”, she said. The able-bodied gymnasts are encouraged to enter general competitions; for the disabled there are two national events a year, plus one organised by Kay herself, in Poole, which this year attracted more than 250 entrants. The club still has spaces for new members, all the way from 4 years upwards to adult.

Anyone interested should call Kay on 07967 346060; the club’s website is at

Smile , it feels good



Lights Up Eltham P

upils from Deansfield primary school were among a giant turn out for this year’s Lights Up parade and celebrations up and down Eltham High Street.

Fireworks lit up the sky at the end of the parade, which marks the official start to the Christmas shopping period in SE9. This year’s theme, of the Royal Greenwich sponsored event, was ‘classic children’s stories’ prompted by Eltham

author E Nesbit, who wrote her most famous stories while living in Well Hall in the first two decade of last century. D e a n s f i e l d ’s chosen book was ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’; lanterns were prepared by the children

and, on the night, the youngsters w e n t to see a beautiful p i r a t e b o a t , hauled along the

High St with others from St Mary's, Greenacres, Alderwood, Montbelle, Kidbrooke Park, Haimo, Holy Family primaries as well as St Thomas More secondary and Eltham Hill. Workshops were held at St Mary’s Community Centre and the Eltham Centre; other schools had drumming sessions, providing an upbeat soundtrack to proceedings. Established 1969

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Weathering the weather I

t turned out to be a case of Big Storm/ Little Storm. Despite the predictions, the weather of 28 October was nowhere near as big a blow as the one 26 years previous. There were some serious incidents; a giant lime tree crushing a car in Court Yard, large boughs down in Avery Hill Park and some giant oaks in Shepherdleas Woods threatening the railway line.

Tree down in Court Yard Photo by John Kennett

Horn Park suffered the brunt of the wind and lost eight willows, poplars and oaks blown down. In Well Hall Pleasaunce an old smooth leaved elm went down and an ornamental cherry tree by the Tudor Barn, planted when the park was first laid out in the 1930s.

At first sight, decaying timber might look like neglect or poor management. But it is estimated that more than 1,800 species of fungi, lichens, hoverflies, beetles, birds and bats rely on old wood for their food and homes, a wealth of biodiversity living off each other.

Compare that with 16 October 1987 when 200 trees were lost in Greenwich Park, 50 in Avery Hill Park and around a third of all trees in Oxleas Woods were said to be toppled or damaged.

It also begs the question about the moment when a tree actually dies. It’s not as straightforward as for humans or any living creature in fact.

But many lessons were learned from that event. The standard response had been for fallen trees to be quickly chopped up, burned or taken away.

Trees are a long time a-dying and, in some respects, the process begins when they’re saplings. In later life, they start a process of ‘veteranisation’, which can produce the richest habitat of all.

That was not the right thing to do. Decaying timber is one of the country’s most important of habitats and, by being excessively tidy, it has been under threat at the hands of our own foresters with a generation of rotting material having been swept away.

Fungus can breed in the outer layers of a tree quite happily for years, creating humps and hollows for beetles and woodpeckers. Open crowned ancient trees with hollow trunks are best of all for nature. A good woodland manager will have all ages of trees and plenty of deadwood around.

Balloons Fly at School Opening T

entire school re-built and modernised over the past three years.

A new Sixth Form centre, taking both female and male students, was the final piece of the jigsaw which has seen the

Students in the Sixth Form will study both for A levels and the International Baccalaureate (IB) qualification, which has a broader and more varied curriculum.

he new multi-million pound rebuild of Eltham Hill school has been officially opened.

Eltham Hill has become the borough’s centre for students wanting to study for the IB and the first students taking the qualification are now in their first year. The new Sixth Form centre, and catering complex, has been sensitively built around the original buildings of the school which back on to Queenscroft Park.

Headteacher Madeleine Griffin said the official opening was a great day for the school, and all the students who would be educated there. The opening was attended by former pupils Pat Allen (L) and Sheila Wood (R) with the plaque being unveiled by the newly ennobled Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon.

It joins the new high-tech three storey building fronting on to Eltham Hill itself alongside the state of the art sports and leisure centre.


Take a walk in the Pleasaunce



Tan away the winter blues mart, clean and modern', that was the simple brief for the establishment of a new Tanning Studio in Well Hall Road Eltham.


The premises boasts the latest in tanning equipment with two 225 watt, 60 tube stand up booths and one 71 tube lay down bed.

The shop, H & H Tanning derives its name from business partners Anna Hershman and Tom Hanks.

"We have made hygiene and cleanliness a focus while also concentrating on ease of use" Anna commented.

The concept and design came from Anna who had very clear ideas of what was to be achieved. But the work was done by Tom with help from family and friends, all who live in Eltham, making the business truly a 'made in Eltham' affair.

"We have all the top name creams and products available, you can buy a

"All the staff are local or family" said Anna. "They have all been trained in the processes and products used in the tanning studio".

bottle or we have a bulk supply and can put a 'shot' of product into a s m a l l container, t h u s reducing the price" said Anna. Whether it is to get a head start for your trek into the holiday sun or brighten up your tan for the Christmas season pop in and see Anna and the team for advice and that perfect tan. H&H tanning 54 Well Hall Road, SE96SH 020 8850 2020

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Raising the roofs…. SPY’s property correspondent is becoming excited about the possible breaking of SE9’s house price record which he believes is likely to be shattered in the coming months. The title deeds to the record have been held by a house in Court Road since 2006 when it sold for £1.45m at a time when property and the economy seemed on a non-stop track to oblivion. Although three others in Court Road, and one in North Park, have broken the £1m sound barrier since then, the big money has gone elsewhere. But SPY’s ‘man on the Zoopla omnibus’ informs him that there are now five properties in the area which might have the winning ticket. Top of the tree is the re-build on Court Road just south of North Park, which is said to have ‘instant kerb appeal’ as well as seven bedrooms (all en suite) and the obligatory rich-man’s toy, a cinema room. Close behind is a neighbouring property which boasts ‘a wonderful in-out driveway’ and includes an outdoor pool but just six bedrooms. A snip at £2m is an eight bedroom number with jacuzzi, sauna garage and ‘teenage den’. It also has gated access to the 10th tee of the Royal Blackheath Golf Club, handy if you can’t sleep. None of the agents, apparently, mention the handiness of the local bus services just beyond the gated driveways. Sited slightly more sedately in North Park are two further properties jostling at £1.5m which could conceivably sneak the record, possibly for a cash buyer? (no questions asked).

Posh prices.. Also in the posh end of town, nearby Eltham Palace, SPY understands, is not up for sale, despite the increasingly commercial antics of owners English Heritage, who apparently keep it in trust for the nation. Many locals started to doubt this proposition when the heritage cognoscenti ripped up the ‘free for Greenwich Card holders’ access to the lovely gardens and started to demand entry fees. The final sell-out came when the ‘garden only’ ticket was withdrawn earlier this year leaving it an expensive £9.80 a head stroll for locals already familiar with the house and Hall. Surely a chance to hand an olive branch to the poverty-stricken serfs from Eltham village? Not a bit of it. Entrance £6.20 each.

El Theme Palace.... But EH bosses have big ideas for the site. SPY understands that Heritage HQ is aiming to promote the Palace into a higher league in the history stakes. There is to be a children’s playground installed this winter and next year a plush new restaurant will

Have your say, your opinion counts

be built near the car park off Court Road. To service this extension, a new 40 place car park will expand the overspill provision through a hedgerow into an adjacent field. The siting of the new play area is puzzling, occupying the old tennis court installed but rarely used by the Courtaulds. The puzzle is that the over-educated elite which runs EH is spending most of the winter ordering beautiful flower beds to be grassed over in the name of historical 1930s authenticity. So what about the tennis court then, hitherto considered an important and authentic Courtauld feature? Anyway, are we sure yew-berry hedges and children are a good combination?

Invading the Palace? It’s antics such as this which is putting the Palace on the radar screen of Royal Greenwich council bosses. Shortly, and held back for four years by the Olympic Games, the council is to launch its own heritage trust which will oversee historic sites such as the Tudor Barn, Charlton House, and Severndroog Castle. Councillors hope the trust will soar into the sky with the success of Greenwich Leisure Limited and have long term ambitions to bring Eltham Palace within its ambit, the first time the royal site will have been taken by force in its 1,000 year history. Pipe-dreaming possibly. If its role is to co-ordinate the borough heritage efforts, perhaps the first task will be to install proper street signage for the Tudor Barn, so long denied it by the council’s un-joined up Highways section.

Hidden heritage… It’s good that heritage is taking a step out of the shadows and the latest exhibition at the Heritage Centre, tucked well out of sight at Woolwich Arsenal, contains two priceless gems relating to SE9’s past. The first is the sole surviving manuscript of Eltham author E Nesbit, who wrote her famous books while living at Well Hall, which has never previously seen the light of public view. One of her lesser-known tomes is ‘The Magic City’ and the original manuscript shows her keen, flowing handwriting, with numerous amendments. Interestingly, the paper is marked ‘Woolwich Public Libraries’ which suggests that, despite her fame, she deemed it necessary to ‘borrow’ paper to do her work. Also on show is a ledger with the landing sites of the war-time ‘flying bombs,’ or doodlebugs, in the area, with casualties. It logs the first V1 hitting a site near Avery Hill Road on 17 June 1944. Just reading the list of the landings, dates, deaths and familiar street names brings home the real

Yalways newsy, sometimes inaccurate or irreverent, often controversial or gossip, but never the opinion of SEnine.

terror which must have been felt by our recent predecessors. Fascinating reading but, scandalously, not available for all to see on the internet, just a few passing souls, Censorship by neglect.

Endangered species... So what have a dodo, the Loch Ness Monster and young car-less couples who can afford £250,000 apartments have in common? Yes, you’ve guessed it, none of them exist! Unless you’re Greenwich Council and a developer trying to sort out Eltham’s longest running derelict site, aka Grove Market Place. SPY learns that new contenders, Citigrove, are planning 144 flats with just 49 car parking spaces, which runs contrary to every bit of current planning guidance. No bother, say Citigrove, the answer’s obvious. People who have cars just won’t want to buy them! That’s ok then. Although it isn’t. Young couples with cars will buy them but leave their vehicles strewn around neighbouring residential areas. This causes apoplexy at the nearby Bob Hope Theatre, never normally ones to make a drama out of a crisis. Planning watchers will remember council leader Chris Roberts giving them assurances that their evening parking requirements would be listened to in re-developing the eyesore, a promise which came to nothing when Cathedral got the go-ahead for their doomed commercial hub proposals. History’s repeating itself.

Floored proposals…. SPY wonders if anyone else noticed that the previous six storey apartment planned for the Grove has become eight storeys in the latest plans. How? By putting flats in the basement car parking space, calling it ‘lower ground’ and using the continental system of numbering from the second floor upwards. C’mon, we can count boys.

In the queue…. Meanwhile, pre-Xmas shoppers queuing for ages to find a parking space in Orangery Lane will be pleased to hear relief is at hand. After having spent years denying there were more cars than spaces in Eltham, brain boxes in the town’s regeneration board now accept there’s a shortfall at ‘peak hours’. SPY thinks we could have told them that some time ago. Expect proposals for a new multistorey in the area.

Pizza Hut… Pizza shut. That's all I have to say about that.


MAILBOX ....... Have your say Park Path I don't know who all the local objectors to a path round the circumference of Avery Hill Park are, but I think it's long overdue. Surely we should be encouraging people to exercise all year, including winter, when the unpaved path is a quagmire. I often walk the circuit and think it's great that I don't have to dodge dog poo and don't have to hose my walking shoes off afterwards. More crucially, people with buggies, wheelchairs and those with sight or walking problems will find it so much easier. It is a large, underused park which now has an extra excellent resource. S Darvill - Colepits Wood Road

Sun Yard I am pleased to see that the old name of Sun Yard has been revived for the access road alongside Eltham Library at the suggestion, I understand, of the Eltham Society. What a pity that the area is blighted by Prezzo and their eight refuse bins. When the Eletriq café operated the area contained no bins, Prezzo have turned it into ‘Bin Yard’. E.J., - Eltham…..


Progress Problems As a resident of Progress estate I have the overall trust that most people have in our fine estate, I have a nutty front garden with all kinds of interesting things in it and has many viewers and kids love it, along with my husky, but a few weeks ago I was appalled one morning when I noticed 3 of my large metal red/white mushrooms had gone walk about. I would be grateful if anyone has seen them around to let me know through se9 mag, as they are very old and are around 2/3 foot high metal, and I’ve had them for 10 years.

Your Spy blithely asserts (November issue) that Lidl ‘would certainly give Mottingham high street (sic) a fillip’. He hasn’t been spying in Mottingham, then.

Another matter is the up keep of the estate which seems to be falling. I regularly report to the council about our ever running problem of the cracked and broken paving and repairs which are usually repaired when too late, but this is pprobably a large hazard, as there are many of them because of the parking on pavements, on bin days I have to walk in the road as you can’t gget through, which is a real safety issue and tenants parking 3/4 on pavements as well all oother times. I know our roads are narrow but this problem really needs addressing, posts or ssomething to stop pavement parking which is the main cause of all the broken pavements ,and iif it takes not parking your car slap bang outside yyour house so be it , LLesley Ann Vint - Brome Road

Furthermore, Lidl’s PR machine has backfired. An exhibition attempting to tout the new supermarket locally was supported by just 22 people out of hundreds participating in an exit poll. And a widely promoted Lidl online survey has flopped, with under 30 named respondents supporting a supermarket out of thousands living here.

Pernicious Retailer

In April, a packed residents’ association meeting gave Lidl a unanimous thumbs down to a supermarket in our village and a week later, an anti-Lidl mass demonstration was broadcast on BBC News. All our councillors and both local MPs and the relevant government minister oppose Lidl’s scheme.

So why all this opposition to Lidl? This pernicious retailer proposes to demolish The Porcupine, an attractive old building that houses a community asset that has been run down for decades by successive incompetent owners of the pub. Their proposition involves the destruction of many trees, the paving over of extensive gardens for pparking and permanent disruption of the lives of sscores of families living around the site. AAdd to this the unacceptable increase in local traffic and Lidl trolleys littering our streets, pplus job losses through the inevitable closure of eexisting local shops that already serve our local sshopping needs, and Mottingham people would hhave to endure a sharp decline in their living eenvironment. SSome fillip. M Mike Park - Court Road

What is your opinion? Either go to the SEnine web site at or write to the Editor at:

SEnine, PO Box 24290 Eltham SE9 6ZP


SEnine does not necessarily agree with or support any letters published.


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More Muck & Marrows I

f there’s a subject on which Herbaceous is conspicuously quiet, it’s politics. Not because he has no views, in fact he has more than plenty, but their outlandish nature makes them ‘comedic’, as they say these days.

Similarly the latest efforts to help couples buy their first houses. The only ‘help’ he ever got was from a sharp-suit putting his interest rate up to 17 per cent. The poor lad spent a whole year having to eat home-grown carrots. Mind you, the cottage only cost £15,000, so it was just about doable.

They’re the result of the distorted prism through which the Old Grump sees the world and are seasoned by his own experiences. But there’s a constant theme. An example is his views on job seeking, the prevailing view is that it’s good to help young people find them. To Herbaceous, this is little more than a game of musical chairs. You help one youngster find a job, it’s just snatching it from under the nose of another.

Again, he reckons, helping one couple get their toes on the ladder only serves either to push another’s off or to shift the ladder completely. Same with his bills for electricity. So, a million folk club together to make their bills cheaper. But it only serves to make everyone else’s more expensive. Where’s the point in that? It’s as much help as handing out glow sticks.

Loads of kids getting ‘on their bikes’ just results in loads of kids going round on bikes, not more of them actually working, he reckons.

As ever, Herbaceous’ preferred analogies come from the world of horticulture. Is it better, for instance to help some people get allotments, without adding to the

number of allotments? Or to order more compost so that more can be grown on each plot? And, instead of people growing cabbages – only one per plant – better courgettes, which produce more the more you pick. So, if he were a politician, that would be his slogan. ‘More muck and marrows. You know it makes sense!’ You can see why he keeps it quiet.

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Branches also at: Petts Wood, Dulwich, Forest Hill, Sidcup, New Cross & Camberwell

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December 2013  
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