26 June 2016

Planters for Perry Vale

The railway wall on Perry Vale is not the most attractive part of Forest Hill. So the Forest Hill Society decided to do something about it and work with Rockbourne Youth Club and AeroArts to create new planters out of old tyres (kindly donated by A A Tyres & Wheels of Standstead Road).  Huge thanks to all those involved in the preparation work and setting them up just as the rain came down.
We hope you enjoy these colourful additions to the streetscape and if you see rubbish in them it would be great it you could help by removing it!

25 June 2016

Community Library a step closer in Forest Hill

The Forest Hill Society have been working with V22 and Forest Hill Traders Association to bid to manage Forest Hill Library. We have now been recommended as the preferred partner group to take on management of the library.

Lewisham Council's Safer Stronger Communities Select Committee will meet on Monday 4th July to discuss library services. Documents online show that council officers are preparing a report to Mayor and Cabinet will recommend that:
"V22 is approved as the preferred partner for Forest Hill and that the Executive Director for Regeneration is delegated to negotiate a lease for the Forest Hill Library building for a minimum term of 25 years to enable the provision of a community library in partnership with Lewisham Council."

One other organisation had submitted a bid for Forest Hill library, however their bid stated that they would require ongoing revenue support from the council and that proposal was therefore not taken forward by the council.

There will still be a number of contractual and technical issues to sort out before the transition occurs, but we are confident that we can work with the council to create a good community library for Forest Hill.

In the last few months more than 80 people have got in contact to offer their help volunteering in the library once it becomes a community run library. Thank you to all our members who have been in contact to tell us the importance of the library in the community, and who are willing to put their time and energy into ensuring a successful future for this important asset in Forest Hill.

However, the library is currently open for 66 hours per week, so we will still need more volunteers to help staff the library properly and safely. Whether you are available during the day or in the evenings for a few hours per week, it would be great to hear from you.

If you would be interested in volunteering for a few hours per week at the library we would like to hear from you so that we have a great volunteer list ready for the transition in the autumn. At this stage we don’t know what your duties would be, but an interest in books and internet research would be a big advantage. If you would be interested, please contact michael@fhsoc.com

19 June 2016

Festival in the Forest

Festival in the Forest is an unforgettable summer's day filled with great music, food and drink. Listen to the best Jazz, Folk, Country Rock, Indie and Blues on two stages in a hidden paradise, right in the heart of Forest Hill.

15 June 2016

Planning Application: 41a Dartmouth Road

An application has been made for the conversion of part of this site to residential.

You can read the planning application on Lewisham's planning website.

The Forest Hill Society has written to object to this development:
"We believe that dividing the ground floor retail unit to provide access to the upper floors is detrimental to the retail unit because of the reduction of its size and the poor design quality of the frontage. This will affect the future viability of the retail unit at a time when Dartmouth Road is at last coming back to life as a retail area, with promised street development and many small businesses starting up. We do not want to see any of the retail units suffering a reduction in their viability."

Full letter of objection can be read here

12 June 2016

Transport Update

Some good news ... The new platforms 8 and 9 will open at London Bridge station on August 30th, which will allow us to travel to Waterloo East and Charing Cross again without having to use the Tube.

Part of the new underground concourse will open beneath Southern Rail’s platforms. Passengers will be able to alight from their trains and then use the new escalators, stairs or lifts — which are currently boarded up on each platform — to reach the new concourse, which connects with the new platforms for Charing Cross.

However, work will then start on rebuilding the Cannon Street platforms. This means there will be no interchange at London Bridge with Southeastern rail services to Cannon Street from late August until 2018. As with the Charing Cross services, National Rail tickets will be valid on London Underground to complete your journey.

Once the work is completed, London Bridge should have all of its services restored (we will be keeping an eye out for the return of the 08:32 from Forest Hill), as well as a much-increased and improved Thameslink rail service, giving us more rail connections than before.

On the Buses

Route 185 has been re-awarded to Go-Ahead London  with new battery-hybrid buses. This new contract will begin in October, so we should start to see new quieter, less-polluting buses appearing on this route.

The peak-hour vehicle requirement on this busy route is going up from 24 to 25, which would suggest a slight increase in peak-hour buses, possibly to one every 7 minutes towards Victoria in the morning and towards Lewisham in the evening.

The 363, which runs along Wood Vale and Sydenham Hill, is also going hybrid from October this year.  

09 June 2016

A Folly In Forest Hill

The new notice board of the Forest Hill Traders Association at the station is a welcome addition to our neighbourhood. However, a few yards away, in front of WH Smith at the pedestrian crossing to London Road, is a minor blight on our streetscape. There are three poles, one with legitimate street signs and directions to bus stops, but the other two are inexplicable, misleading, redundant, or all three.

One of these puzzling poles has three signs: one to a Police Station which has been closed for three years; one to a Post Office in the vague direction of Brockley or Catford but which, of course, has been located right behind the sign inside WH Smith for about five years; and a broken sign to the Horniman Museum — or at least to the ‘Horni’ or the ‘Jseum’. Times move on and buildings and organisations come and go but this peculiar pole remains.

Even more baffling and irritating to me is the “Emergency Help Point” pole, with no explanation of who is responsible for it, who will help in an emergency and how. But what kind of emergency? Victims of crime, in a neighbourhood which no longer has a police station? Or Confused and Lost in Forest Hill with its misleading street signs? I have a picture in my mind of Lewisham Council providing this help point in the far-off days when money was less tight and of a Council employee, even now, sitting in a dusty office in a corner of Laurence House waiting patiently for the emergency calls which never come. But, I don’t even know if the Council is responsible for it. I have long resisted the temptation to press the button but maybe if I do, I will find out!

Article By Alistair Dey

Lark in the Park - Mayow Park - 18th June

Lark in the Park Community Festival 12.00 noon – 4.00 pm 18th June
Mayow Park SE26

You are cordially invited to Lark in the Park – Perry Vale Ward Assembly’s community festival with FREE activities for everyone.  Come along and take part in a host of FREE summer fun and activity including:

For kids
·         Teddy Bear’s Picnic – bring your bear and a picnic to share!
·         Soft play for under 5’s
·         Storytelling in the make-believe tent
·         Tennis and croquet sessions
·         Face painting
·         “Make a protest” placard-making fun

For everyone
·         Fun fitness class tasters
·         Love your Bike - Cycle Security Marking from Safer Neighbourhood Team, and bike health checks by Dr. Bike
·         Pet health checks & advice
·         Find out how Friends of Mayow Park volunteers protect and improve our green space and how you can get involved
·         Launch of Big Mix-Up Cook Booklet by Forest Hill Boys School
·         Brent Knoll School crafts
·         Outdoor gym equipment demos
·         Sample Fair Trade goodies

And much more!