26 July 2011

More Dates for your Diary

Sunday 21 August: Society Walk - Waterlink Way from Bell Green to Ladywell
An opportunity to join us to explore a little known, but rather pretty, river and parkland on the edge of Forest Hill.

Saturday 24 September: Freecycle/Bring and Take event at Dacres Wood Nature Reserve
Following successful freecycle events in Devonshire Road Nature Reserve, we bring this concept to the other side of the railway.

Thursday 6th October: Forest Hill Society AGM
You chance to vote for the next committee and to get more involved yourself. Guest speaker to be confirmed.

Sunday 23 October: open day at Dacres Wood Nature Reserve
Another opportunity to explore Dacres Wood and ponds. Quite possibly the site of one of Shackleton's first expeditions, when he should have been in school!

21 July 2011

Outer London Fund bid

On June 13th, the Outer London Fund which had previously been announced by Boris Johnson, went live. This is a £50m fund to boost regeneration and rejuvenate town centres at the very heart of local London communities. The funding will be distributed in two rounds; up to £10m in Round One, the remainder in Round Two.

Round One applications had to be made through the Boroughs, so we held meetings with our local councillors and Lewisham. Thanks to our approach, Lewisham have now applied for Forest Hill as one of their places. We should hear in August whether they have been successful.

We are very excited by this as the Fund is aimed directly at the issues we have been campaigning on including letting empty units, greening of the Town Centre, better signage, improved environment, Pop Up events and removal of street clutter.

The second round will continue the package of support, adding more places and shifting the balance towards more substantial physical projects that can deliver lasting improvement. Round Two applications are required by midday on 14th October 2011 and are limited to £2M per place. We will continue working with Lewisham to develop their bid for Round Two.

20 July 2011

Save Honor Oak Rec

Southwark Council are currently undertaking the promised public consultation on the future of their cemeteries, including the possible use of Honor Oak Rec.

They would like to involve as many residents and councillors from Southwark and Lewisham as they can to take part, so please submit your views online now.

There is no end date listed on their website, so act now to make sure your voice is heard!

Act swiftly!

Work on the Horniman Gardens project began at the start of this year and although there has been a lot of disruption, great progress has been made. The £2.3 million project will improve access and repair tired infrastructure and facilities, install new facilities for the community, and help to unlock the educational potential of the Gardens and their links with the Museum's collections, by exciting new interpretation and planting schemes, and a purpose-built learning and community centre - now known as the Pavilion.

While most of the funding has been secured, the Horniman are still looking for further funds to complete the project. Joe Swift, garden designer, presenter of BBC TV's Gardener's World and Patron of the Horniman, has donated an hour's consultation to a charity auction. You can now bid online, but hurry as the auction closes at noon on Monday 25th July. They are hoping to raise £1000, so dig deep! All proceeds from the auction will go to the Horniman Gardens Appeal.

Please note that the consultation, which is for up to an hour, is limited to gardens within the M25 and must be taken by 31st July 2012.

To find out more about the progress of the project, click here.

19 July 2011

Capital Clean Up

If you are at a loose end tomorrow or on Saturday, then why not lend a hand to Capital Clean Up.

Following on from last year's success, they have already run eight sessions this year, cleaning various areas including tidying the path opposite Sainsbury's in Forest Hill, and have a couple more sessions remaining.

The first is at Willow Way on Wednesday 20 July from 10 am to noon. Simply turn up if you would like to help. The clean-up involves removing overgrown vegetation and weeds, cleaning off graffiti (where possible), removing flyposters and clearing and sweeping litter. Lewisham council will provide necessary PPE such as hi-viz jackets and gloves but please bring your own sturdy boots and old clothes.

The final session is at Sydenham Garden's De Frene Road Allotment Site on Saturday 23 July from 10  to 2 pm. Apart from the usual volunteers, this event will be joined by 35 members of the Fourth Monkey theatre group and members of the local Safer Neighbourhood Team. Due to the numbers expected, please take suitable gloves with you.

13 July 2011


We are delighted to announce that we are accepting PayPal once more as a way to pay your membership fees, so if you have been putting off joining because it was too much hassle, now is the time to act.

Your membership fees help to pay for the newsletter and to cover any expenses involved in putting on the various events and activities we organise during the year.

Joining is easy. Simply follow the instructions on our Membership page. If you had previously signed up using Paypal, there is no need to take any further action.

09 July 2011


Sydenham Arts Festival Fri 1 July – Sat 9 July
All over the place!

Havelock Walk Open Studios Event Sat 16 – Sun 17 July 11am–5pm: Havelock Walk

Crofton Park Assembly Fri 15 July 12.30 - 9.00pm: Community Carnival, Courtrai Road, SE23 1PL

Forest Hill Assembly Sun 14 August 2.00 - 4.30pm: Sydenham Girls’ School

Perry Vale Assembly: TBC

A Right Royal Do

On Friday 29 April, the Forest Hill Society held a party on Dartmouth Road to celebrate the nuptials of the now Duke & Duchess of Cambridge as well as a day off work for many!

Antic, who will run the old Post Office, provided a pop up pub venue offering beer, cider and sausage rolls, whilst FHS set to sprucing up the space outside with flags and bunting (and undertaking some much needed weeding!).

The event was well attended with Forest Hilliers getting into the spirit, enjoying the sunshine, sharing cakes and sandwiches as well as partaking in games - guess the weight of the cake, pin the crown on the princess and decorating paper plates. The gorgeous sunny afternoon was a lovely show of community spirit and enjoyed by everyone. Here's to next year and the Queen’s Jubilee!

The Pools Progress

As the Forest Hill Pools are replaced over the next year or so, we’ll hear from members of the team involved in the improvements. This issue we speak to Bill Duke, structural engineer on the Forest Hill Pool’s rebuild

What is your role on the pools project?
I am the structural engineer – which basically means making sure it doesn’t fall down!

What sort of projects do you normally work on?
All sorts of developments including schools, hospitals, factories, retail and leisure projects. This is the fifth pool I’ve done; the last one was the Corby East Midlands International Pool which won a number of awards. It will be an Olympic training venue.

What do you think is the most exciting aspect?
I think any project like this has a major positive impact on the local community and playing a key role is very rewarding

What will be your personal biggest challenge?
As structural engineers we must deliver the design and details to meet the build program and this is always a challenge, particularly on a ‘wet leisure’ type project

How much involvement will you have in the pools project during the construction?
I’ll visit site every two to four weeks and at key steps. Our team will have a heavy involvement in the early stages whilst the building gets off the ground.

What sort of projects are you most interested in?
I’ve done many projects but I find the most challenging are the most rewarding. They are not necessarily ‘high profile’ jobs. I led a team of up to twenty over a two year period in the design and construction of a major factory extension. Contractors worked round the clock to complete it and it was quite invigorating.

Which of the facilities in the new pools complex would you be most likely to use?
Definitely the swimming pool!


February 5 this year saw the launch of a new exhibition ‘Changing Faces’ telling the story of the life of One Tree Hill, St Augustine’s Church and the people connected with it. As time has moved on, so has the building which is now in desperate need of repair.

Changing Faces launched a major fundraising campaign to save this iconic landmark, and the plans are to develop as a key venue at the heart of the local community; the exhibition is still on show in the studio space.

St. Augustine’s is also about to launch a new project called The Green Rooms which will focus on the areas of the Arts, quiet and meditation and the natural and built environment. Through performances, workshops and community volunteer days we want to serve and celebrate our local community as well as connecting faith and the world around us.

There are many more exciting projects planned. If you would like to be involved in any of the fundraising projects, donate further archive material to the exhibition or would like to hear more about The Green Rooms, please e-mail info@augustaineonetreehill.org.uk


Commuters may have seen the original rear signage that was revealed for the first time for decades during recent building work. This can be seen from the train line. Sadly the brewery has gone, and so may the public house.

Chair's Report

Five years ago, on 23 May 2006, a group of people who had met through a local forum got together at the Dartmouth Arms and put into motion the formation of the Society.

A few months later, they had delivered 10,000 leaflets throughout SE23 and surrounding roads, held the first Annual General Meeting and published the first newsletter.

Since then, the Society has achieved a lot. Notable highlights include a successful campaign to retain the swimming pools on Dartmouth Road, persuading Southern Railway that we needed at least five trains per hour in the evening peak and a respected presentation at the Tyson Road planning enquiry.

Other highlights include:
  • Organising evenings out, history talks and nature walks
  • Campaigning to improve park facilities at Horniman Triangle and Honor Oak Rec
  • Keeping the rear stairs open from platform 2 at Forest Hill station
  • Responding on a range of planning applications in the local area
  • Decorating the Christmas Tree in Forest Hill
  • Planting the raised beds outside Forest Hill station and entry into the RHS "It's Your Neighbourhood" scheme
  • Pop Up Forest Hill, an evening when we matched drummers with estate agents, puppets with pubs and generally created a buzz in Forest Hill

There is also the less glamorous attending of Council and other meetings, ensuring that our local needs are heard and addressed. We continue to push for improvements to the underpass and the high street environment, better winter gritting and preservation of Honor Oak Rec. Thank you for your support - please spread the word and encourage your friends and neighbours to join.


Following the huge success of our Pop Up event last December, we are now organising a second event to bring a buzz to Forest Hill, again matching artists and venues, shops and customers, locals with something new. There will be more information over the coming months.

In the meantime, we are keen to hear from businesses interested in getting involved, artists wanting to find a venue or local groups or parties willing to help get involved with organising this.
You can get in touch with us via chair@foresthillsociety.com


The Forest Hill Society digital photo competition is still open. With its fabulous views and eclectic mix of old and new, there are sure to be some fantastic images to be found in Forest Hill. Pictures can be of any part of the area and taken at any time of day, night or year.
There will be 12 winning photos selected which will then go on to form the Forest Hill Society Calendar 2012, which will be available for everyone to buy. Winners will be notified and presented with an award at the Forest Hill Society AGM in November.
Entrants can submit as many digital pictures as they like to www.flickr.com/groups/foresthillcompetition
Every submission must be accompanied by an e-mail sent to PhotoComp@foresthillsociety.com with your name, address, phone number and photo ID/name.
The closing date is 15 October 2011 and the final 12 photos will be chosen on 30 October. The competition will be judged by Paul Murphy, local resident and winner of the ‘Rose Award for Photography’ Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2010. Paul is the second person ever to win this award.
Please read the rules for copyright and privacy issues. Full competition rules can be found here
The competition is only open to digital photographs. We hope to be able to accept printed images in the future.


Eighteen volunteers joined members of the Forest Hill Society in replanting Forest Hill station’s forecourt, as the Society’s entry to the London in Bloom ‘It’s your neighbourhood” category’.

Many of the volunteers became involved through leaflets or were just passing by on the day. Expert help was also given by the head gardener of the Horniman Gardens, Shannon’s Garden Centre and Lewisham’s Green Scene.

Judging will take place in mid-July so we need to make sure that the forecourt continues to look its best.

Constant watering will be needed for the coming summer months, plus occasional weeding, a watering rota of eight regulars has been established but additional volunteers would be really welcomed.

The beds have suffered a little from littering, even with bins right next to the beds, so if you feel like helping you could help here, or with dead heading, then please do.

LOROL have been very supportive of the scheme and have now agreed that the Society can use a bed on platform 1 and we plan to plant bulbs in autumn for a delightful spring display

Posters were kindly donated by Willmott Dixon

Honor Oak Park Station

Station users will be delighted that the new and improved stairs are now open. They also include a second hand rail for children.

The re-grading of the bank up to the Southwark cemetery land continues and, once the planting on the bank develops and matures, the station should feel very much more pleasant than before, hemmed in with ugly fencing and the overgrown cutting.

Unfortunately, we continue to get no answers to our questions about exactly what is planned for the future of the station, although London Overground have indicated that lifts may be provided in the period 2012-2013. We are seeking confirmation of this information. With a platform to train step of around 15 inches, disabled access to trains will still be difficult without the use of a ramp.

As the major works at the station come to a close, we expect London Overground to complete their ‘Phase 3’ upgrade which includes total re-painting, new signage etc; smart new benches have appeared on the platforms which are very welcome.


Plans for refurbishment of the Forest Hill Station subway are finally beginning to come together thanks to the efforts of Lewisham Council’s nominated officer.

Details of the new cladding and lighting for the subway are being finalised and Network Rail will undertake surfacing and drainage improvements to co-ordinate with the installation of the cladding and lighting.

Unfortunately, it is anticipated that the works will require the subway to be closed for around two months to allow the refurbishment to take place.

We’ll share more information as soon as it comes to light.


Friday 1 – Sunday 17 July

Since its beginning in July 2008, the Sydenham Arts Festival has grown to be one of the biggest arts festivals in the country.

There are a whole host of events going on including classical concerts, comedy, dance, drama, family activities, visual arts, and craft workshops.

There are far too many fabulous events to mention here, so best visit the website and see the calendar of events for details, venues, dates and timing.

Many of the events are happening in Forest Hill, a nice way to enjoy a start the summer.

Retail Therapy

We take a look at some great new shops opening in SE23; next issue we’ll feature some firm old favourites.


A great new shop selling with refreshingly distinctive stuff...unique and beautiful greeting cards and stationery from the likes of Treasures Pop-Ups, Orla Kiely, Moleskin, Paperblanks and Pantone, to name but a few!

There are lots of lovely and stylish wrapping paper and gift bags, all of a very high quality including party accessories, thank you cards, notelets and much more. They have a great selection of Children’s cards too.

Well worth a visit and excellent for those gift purchases from the lovely Bunka. Bunka opened this shop in March; good to have such nice shops just a hop and skip apart.

Canvas and Cream
Situated on the old Aceri site on London Road this has multiple community roles:

* Neighbourhood Dining/Cafe
* Artist's and Artisan's studios
* Gallery and Showcase
* Community Workshops and Gatherings

In opening her new venture, Proprietor Joanna Gore is enlisting the help of her family, including her Mum.

“We are going to convert it from a space that has been empty for at least five years into an arts community hub.

All furniture and fittings will come from recycled materials - two old Mercedes car seats will become cafe chairs, chandeliers will be made from old decanters and walls will be papered with old music sheets and comics.”

Looks like a great addition to Forest Hill!

Home Accessories Extra

Opened recently on the former Blockbusters site, this shop with the bright frontage is a real treasure trove of household and other useful wares.


Vaidas, originally from Lithuania, trusted his instincts having no experience of Honor Oak, when he started his bike sales and servicing business , close to the station, 18 months ago. And that proved a very good decision for local cyclists. Vaidas says that this is a small shop with big ideas! He is looking to build further links with the community with a series of short rides, aimed at beginners and social cyclists. Watch this space of go to www.vaidasbicycles.com


49 Honor Oak Park

Since setting up their stall outside Honor Oak Park station most weekends for the last six months, Mrs Hills and Mrs Parkes are about to take over their own delicatessen in the old ID premises on the same road.

The shop will sell freshly baked artisan breads from Blackbird Bakery, fruit and vegetables, cheese, milk and other dairy products, charcuterie, pies, cakes and pastries, jams and chutneys, dips, salads, ready to cook meals, pasta, rice, spices, oils and vinegars and all number of other tasty delights.

Planned opening is mid to late July.

Visit www.hillsandparkes.com for developments.

We are the Champions

LATEST FOOTBALL RESULT: Forest Hill Park 1 Hildenborough Athletic 0

In a nail biting final game of the football season in, Forest Hill Park FC won the Vandanel Kent County Football League cup against Hildenborough FC.

Although played on Hildenborough’s turf, Forest was the home team and took full advantage of it.
Forest took the initiative and threatened early on but the away side showed some predatory play in retaliation. As the nervy, tense affair settled it was the home team that gained control of the game putting the Hildenborough defence under pressure.

Early through the first half a well-angled kick from the first post put the score at 1-0.
With the away team under more pressure, substitutes were made and a red card given but to no avail; as the official signalled full time Forest Hill FC were well and truly the champions.

Forest Hill Park FC is a local community club made up from players from, or previously from Forest Hill – a fact they are very proud of. Their home ground is Ladywell Arena with its excellent facilities. As ticket prices for the big football clubs continue to rise, the thought of a local team with good transport links sounds just the thing for next season.

More information, contact details and a fixtures list can be found at www.fhpfc.co.uk

“Back of the net!”