26 September 2012

Mouth Almighty Book signing

Book signing at Sugar Mountain, 57a Dartmouth Road, SE23 3HN by Salihah Agbaje

Local author Salihah Agbaje will be signing copies of her play, Mouth Almighty, on Saturday, 29 September 2012 at Sugar Mountain on Dartmouth Road from 11:30am.

Mouth Almighty is a magical yet cautionary tale of a young boy’s curiosity. Set in an ordinary town, 11 year old Justice is a typical boy with an inquisitive mind, mischievous nature and an unusually big mouth. When boredom kicks in, an invitation from a strange, yet fascinating man, leads him to the lair of a mad scientist and a truly unforgettable experience. Mouth Almighty is a splendid mix of important lessons, humour and sparkling imagination that is certain to get young minds racing.

Salihah Agbaje is an actress, television presenter and drama tutor who has always loved writing and started off as a youngster writing poetry and performing it for private audiences. A lively and avid performer onstage and off, it was no surprise that Salihah took up Performing Arts A-Levels alongside English Literature and Language. She later went on to study at university and holds a BA in Media Performance.

Salihah’s Theatre in Education Company; Spoken World Productions was established in 2009. Salihah has been leading her team of performers and tutors around South London holding previews of the play Mouth Almighty. The drama workshops are based around important issues children may encounter including bullying, stranger danger and the values of keeping good friendships.

19 September 2012

Forest Hill goes Totally Locally

Forest Hill Traders will launch Totally Locally, the award-winning shop local campaign, in Forest Hill on Saturday 22 September with a day of "Totally Locally Fiver Fest" deals - a mini shopping festival for the town where participating shops will have a special £5 offer. This is planned to coincide with the official opening of Forest Hill pools.

Totally Locally Forest Hill aims to encourage people to spend at least five pounds every week in their local independent shops in SE23

Deals on offer will include:

  • Any Totally Awesome 12 inch pizza for a Fiver at Question Bar
  • A Totally Beautiful Bunch of Flowers for a Fiver at Laurels Florist
  • A Totally Bootylicious Fiver deal on a selection of knickers at The Fitting Studio
  • A Totally Brilliant offer of three cards for a Fiver at B cards
  • A Totally Campervantastic free camper van book with any store purchase at Campervantastic
  • A Totally Cool free pair of Children's Disney Character Sunglasses when you spend over £5 on the children's character range at Marie's Boutique
  • A Totally Crackers £5 deal on a selection of takeaway meals at Tse's Chinese
  • A Totally Dappy £5 off your purchase when you spend £15 or more at Dapper
  • A Totally Dazzling £5 Jewellery festival plus £5 off all purchase over £50 at Doopo Doopo
  • A Totally Edible 6oz Burger with Fries for a Fiver at lunch and dinner at All Inn One
  • A Totally Fabulous voucher for £5 off any hairdressing or spray tan service over £25 at Mirror Mirror. (One per customer and not to be used in conjunction with any other promotion or discount. To be used before October 31st)
  • A Totally Gobstoppering 100g bag of sweets free at Sugar Mountain when you spend a Fiver
  • A Totally Gorgeous offer of buy any 2 items and get the 3rd for £5 (*cheapest item) with a free glass of bubbly upon entry at Best of Both Boutique
  • A Totally Herbally 4 herbs for a Fiver (normally £1.69 each) at Shannon's Garden Centre
  • A Totally Hilarious 2 tickets for a fiver for the comedy on Sept. 22nd at 9pm for at The Hob. That's a saving of £8
  • A Totally Magnificant £5 off with every £20 spent, plus free Victorian themed sweets and beverages served all day at Bunka
  • A Totally Potty choice of panini from the Totally Locally Menu with any drink and a home made brownie for a Fiver at The Teapot
  • A Totally Proper pint or a Pimms with a pancake for a Fiver at Canvas and Cream
  • A Totally Radical £5 off all purchases over £50 at Finches Ski and Bike
  • A Totally Relaxing Coffee and a Sandwich for a Fiver at Aga's Little Deli
  • A Totally Satisfying Half Dipped Beef Sandwich and a drink for a Fiver at Sylvan Post. There will also be a carnival atmosphere with live bands and prizes, cocktails and capers
  • A Totally Spicy £5 off eat in meal between 5.30-7.30 pm at Thai Orchard
  • A Totally Staggering £10 worth of haberdashery for a Fiver, or a 'mind-Bowing' £5 off any workshop booked on the day at Stag and Bow
  • A Totally Tropical and Delicious selection of medium meat and vegetarian dishes for a Fiver at Black Hummingbird
  • A Totally Watchable 3 DVDs for a Fiver at For Your Eyes Only

Shoppers will be able to collect a map showing the location of the offers from the Totally Locally stall at the official opening of Forest Hill Pools.

Forest Hill is the latest of many towns across the UK to take up the Totally Locally campaign. This free initiative supports Forest Hill's traders to show the value of local shopping and its benefits for the local economy. Many of the shops, businesses and stalls will have special offers - highlighting Totally Locally's message that if everyone in Forest Hill spent just £5 a week in their local independent shops, it would bring an extra £3.5 million into the town's economy every year.

"This is a chance for locals to discover Forest Hill's great shops and businesses, and the real difference they make to our town," said Totally Locally organiser, Serge Sumerling. "Many of my customers have often told me how much of a thriving place Dartmouth Road once was, with butchers, green grocers, fishmongers, you name it along it"...."You could say there's a bit of a buzz on the street right now and local residents both old and new, are taking a real interest in what's happening and want to be a part of it. I guess we want to find a way to celebrate all the good things happening and to help put Forest Hill back on the map. There are so many people in Forest Hill who really care about their town, are proud of its heritage and want to be a part of its bright future. I'm just one of them... to me its London's Hidden Gem that just needs a little dusting off!

"The launch at the Pools opening is one of many events we have planned this year. It’s all about appreciating and celebrating what we have here on our doorstep.

"Totally Locally has had a big impact on the towns that have run the campaign. We are confident that it can do the same for Forest Hill. We have a wealth of wonderful shops here and Totally Locally will highlight the hidden gems right on our doorstep," continued Serge.

"Totally Locally celebrates all local businesses, from Forest Hill's florists to accountants, from clothes shop to gift shops", said Nigel Goddard from Totally Locally. "These small businesses support many other local businesses, which keep the local economy alive. It’s what the whole fabric of a town like this is built on. The stronger the local economy, the better it is for the whole town".

"Totally Locally isn’t anti-supermarket or anti-internet", said Totally Locally founder, Chris Sands. "There is a place for all these things in our lives. It’s just highlighting how a small change in spending habits can make a huge change to Forest Hill. We have a choice to make the place we live that little bit better by just diverting £5 of our weekly spend back into our local economy. And everyone wants their town to be great, don’t they?!".

For more information about Totally Locally visit their website at www.totally-locally.co.uk/foresthill/

18 September 2012

Parking on your street

Lewisham are consulting about the future of parking in the Borough.

The contract with NCP is up for renewal next year and so they are seeking people's views on how parking should be managed throughout the Borough. This applies to car parks, on street parking and controlled parking zones.

It is really important to feed your views in to the council as this could affect parking policy for the next 10 years or more.

One option under consideration is for the whole Borough to become a controlled parking zone. This would simplify things for Lewisham, may enable the introduction of noon - 2 pm parking restrictions as well as prevent distant commuters from parking on the road by the stations. However, it would probably not solve the parking problem near stations as many local residents drive to the station so that they can get to child care or similar commitments on their return.

The Campaign for Better Transport's (CBT) recent annual study of car dependency in British cities found that London is the least car-dependent city in the UK. Fewer and fewer people feel the need to own a car, and with most of the new homes being built next to transport hubs (another CBT recommendation) per capita car ownership is likely to experience another big drop, reinforcing the downwards long-term trend for car ownership per capita in inner London. The question is whether this trend wlll beat the predicted population growth and inevitably increase pressure on parking space on Lewisham's roads.

The parking survey can be completed online, or hard copies can be picked up at libraries, housing offices, the parking shop and access point.


12 September 2012

Planning Application: Miriam Lodge

The Forest Hill Society has written to object to the planned development of Miriam Lodge on Dartmouth Road.

The plans can be viewed on the council website and include the increase from 125 to 186 hostel places for homeless people with the addition of a six story extension to Miriam Lodge.

The Forest Hill Society have a number of concerns relating to:
  • The size of the new building in relation to neighbouring properties
  • Potential impact on crime and anti-social behaviour
  • Overlooking from rooms in the old and new buildings
  • Inappropriate density of development
  • Loss of amenity space for existing residents
A full copy of the objection can be read here.

10 September 2012

Aga's Little Deli Grand Opening

We are delighted to announce that Aga's Little Deli will be the first stall from our Food Fair to move in to permanent premises.

Aga signed the lease to 49 Dartmouth Road (next to Question Bar) on 7 July and will be throwing open the doors to her new Deli and Cafe at noon on Sunday, 16 September.

There will be many, many tasty surpises in store including an oyster bar and lovely argentinian wine, cheese, olives, bread and many more delicacies. Take your friends with you and welcome this wonderful addition to our town centre. They will be there till 9pm, but go early to make sure you are not disappointed.

Rest assured that Aga will be at our next Food Fair as well and we are working with other stall holders to find them premises. Hopefully Aga will be the first of many stallholders to fill our vacant shops.

07 September 2012

Forest Hill Pools pass final milestone

Lewisham Council have finally taken possession of the new leisure complex on Dartmouth Road and Fusion Lifestyle were given the keys on Tuesday.

We have been reluctant to post any updates recently given previous false starts, but the final fit out of the gymnasium and other areas now begins in earnest so that the pools can be opened before the official opening on Saturday 22 September.

There will be a day long feast of entertainment, activities and fun throughout the area. While Forest Hill Pools will be one of the main focus areas with taster sessions, tours of the new facility, exhibitions and more, there will be other activities going on.

Forest Hill Library will have a Victorian theme, with story telling sessions, the chance to record your memories of Forest Hill in days gone by and some creative writing opportunities. There will be entertainers throughout the day, traditional Victorian board games and free Victorian sweets.

The day will also be a chance to find out more about the Portas Pilot - an initiative to help regenerate the area and drop in on Sydenham School as they celebrate their 95th anniversary.

Forest Hill Traders will be launching their "Totally Locally" campaign (more on this later). Havelock Walk's artists will also have their amazing original art and design on display.

Truly a day with something for everyone.

06 September 2012

Lewisham Council calls for Expressions of Interest in Louise House

Lewisham council is calling for people or organisations with sustainable solutions to bring Louise House, a grade II listed building which is situated on Dartmouth Road between Forest Hill Library and the newly re-developed Forest Hill Pools, into use to step forward.

Anyone interested in putting the building to good use will need to submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) by 21 September.

The council is looking to secure a viable and sustainable long term use for this landmark building; a use which is not only financially viable but which is also compatible with the adjacent public buildings.

Louise House is owned freehold by the Council and the successful tender would need to provide a sustainable solution to bring the property into use. Lewisham are not in a position to offer financial support to a bidder either by way of capital or revenue contributions.

Full details regarding the tendering process can be found by clicking on this link

03 September 2012

30 years of conservation at Sydenham Hill Wood

Celebrate the 30th birthday of London Wildlife Trust's first nature reserve at free events starting this September. Sydenham Hill Wood, saved from a series of development threats in the 1980s, was opened as
a freely accessible nature reserve in the autumn of 1982, as one of the first steps by London Wildlife Trust to demonstrate people's desire to protect sites in the neighbourhood for wildlife.

Over the next few months London Wildlife Trust will be holding a number of public events to celebrate Sydenham Hill Wood's 30th birthday, beginning with an Open Day on Sunday 9th September. There
will be walks and talks to discover more about the Wood's wildlife and its history, as well as cake stalls and a chance to meet people who have been involved at the Wood down the years. The event will run from
12noon to 16:30 with the main congregation being situated at the top of Cox's Walk, near the footbridge.

Despite the development and upheaval since the 1850s Sydenham Hill Wood is home to a number of species of plants and animals indicative of an undisturbed, natural environment, including English bluebell,
wild garlic, wood sorrel, early dog violet, woodruff, wild strawberry and wood anemone, a member of the buttercup flower that takes a century to spread 2 metres across the ground. This diversity is all
the more impressive due to the Wood's standing within one of the world's largest cities. This underlines the importance of a long-term effort in conserving the Wood's ancient character. Surprisingly, Sydenham Hill Wood is home to a number of butterfly species, including the often unnoticed purple hairstreak, a canopy-dweller in old oak woodland.

Today the Wood is a popular place to visit, and is the focus for a devoted volunteer group that help assist the Trust in maintaining the Wood as a critically valuable nature reserve for central south London.

02 September 2012

A curious entomologist - free course

A one day introductory course offering the opportunity to learn the simple techniques of finding a wide variety of insects, collecting, examining, selecting sample specimens to be killed and preserved for future reference and identification.

You will learn the simple techniques of finding a wide variety of insects, collecting, examining, selecting sample specimens to be killed and preserved for future reference and identification. Led by Richard Jones who is a nationally acclaimed entomologist, a former president of the British Entomological and Natural History Society, This course is aimed at anyone with an interest who wants to expand their knowledge base. It offers hands-on experience of the best ways to find and capture insects, how (and why) to start a collection and how to go about researching and identifying finds.

Places are filling up fast, but we still have some spaces on 13th October 9.30-4pm.  If you are interested please email Nick Pond or call him on 020 8314 2007.