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02 May 2019

Edible Plant Give-Away

Saturday 4th May, 2:30pm at Forest Hill station’s forecourt.

A selection of edible plants, grown by the Horniman Gardens and surplus to requirements, will be given away by volunteers from the Forest Hill Society.

Possibly with some music to enjoy too!

25 April 2019

Clean Air for SE23 - Putting the Forest Back into Forest Hill

Clean Air for SE23 operates as a working group for the Environmental Committee of the Forest Hill Society. 
It covers the same area as Forest Hill Society i.e.” SE23 and beyond”.

Aims:
1. To reduce air pollution in Forest Hill which will improve the physical and mental health of its residents especially children.
2. To reduce car emissions by promoting behavioural change and to mitigate emissions through greening and street planting projects. This will have welcome secondary effects of reducing CO2 and climate change and creating corridors for wildlife.

We will split the work into two strands:
a. “Mitigation” Greening projects: Planting Trees, Hedges, Green walls, “Green Benches”, “Parklets” (planters outside shops and businesses) Green Bus Stops.
b. Reduction (Expanding ULEZ; Challenging Airport expansion and route changes which affect Lewisham; Enabling Cycling, Reducing Car Use, Promoting Electric Cars; Schools Streets)

Forest Hill has lots of green space but we need people who are passionate about making it even greener. We need volunteers with lots of different backgrounds to make this happen including: Green fingered Gardeners and horticulturalists, Creatives and Designers, Scientists, Fundraisers, Social Media Whizzes, Admin Organisers, Press and PR champs, Campaigners, Local Area Experts, General Helpers and Enthusiasts. We need you!

Please contact michael@ fhsoc.com or Clean Air for SE23 Facebook group.

Horniman Play Park Community Cleanup - Saturday 11th May


Organised by Tewkesbury Lodge Estate Residents Association

18 April 2019

Planning Application: Duncombe Hill Green

There has been a planning application for 7 two-bedroom flats on the green space at the junction of Duncombe Hill and Brockley Rise. You can read the full details of the application on Lewisham's website.

The Forest Hill Society has written to object to this planning application with concerns about:

  • Loss of Green Space
  • Impact on trees with Tree Preservation Orders in place
  • Poor quality of design and over-development

The full details of our objection can be viewed here.

01 April 2019

Lewisham Drivers to Switch Sides

Last week Lewisham Council, in an act of defiance against Brexit, took the decision to fully implement the European Union Traffic Convergence Directive from the 1st April 2019. The main change that we will see on Lewisham’s roads will be the switch from driving on the left to driving on the right side of the road – in line with all other EU countries.

Although drivers in Lewisham will need to drive on the right on all Lewisham roads, this will not apply to TfL roads (red routes) – including the South Circular. Drivers will be expected to change lanes as they turn and Kate Ford, Director of Roads in Lewisham, has said that “interchanges will actually be easier as there is more space for turning when you are switching form one side of the road to the other” - just remember not to turn into on-coming traffic!

Sidney Hampden has been leading a campaign to reduce speeds on roads and has welcomed the changes, stating that “Lower speeds can be achieved through a variety of road interventions. Road humps and cameras have been shown to reduce speeds in 20mph zones, but researchers have speculated that asking road users to switch lanes at regular intervals encourages them to drive more carefully and at lower speeds – resulting in safer road conditions for pedestrians and zebras crossing as well as for drivers”.

But there is no doubt that one of the main drivers of this policy is a last-ditch attempt to keep Lewisham in the EU. Councillor Evelyn Ward has said that Lewisham wants “EU nationals to feel welcome on our roads, and what could make them feel more welcome than driving on the right? We want to show that Lewisham is a forward-thinking borough that is open for business in all directions”. The changes are predicted to give a huge economic boost to Lewisham, which is expected to become a tourist hub for visitors from Europe, and even from America.

The Forest Hill Society is not convinced that this is the right move. We are concerned that road users will not know where the red routes begin and where they end as red markings on the road continue for 50 metres away from the official red routes. It is also not clear what will happen on boundary roundabout, such as on Sydenham Hill. Unlike other Lewisham roundabouts, where road users will orbit counter-clockwise, this roundabout is officially in Southwark despite residents on three sides being classed as Lewisham – so it would be easy for drivers to forget which way to go on the roundabout and end up being too polite to go anywhere!


There has been further opposition to the plans expressed in parliament, led by Lady Wellbrooke. Lady Wellbrooke claims that Lewisham’s 70% remain vote in the 2016 referendum does not constitute a mandate to shift to the right, and the signs being displayed across Lewisham are contrary rules relating to political advertising.

The new rules, scheduled to start on 1st April 2019 will only apply to cars – buses will be exempt, so that passengers can safely embark and disembark from buses using existing doors. However, all buses operating in Lewisham will be required to have ambidextrous entry and hover board storage facilities by January 2015.


* Press release issued by the Forest Hill Society on 1st April 2019. Some of the details in this article may not be valid on any other day of the year.

31 March 2019

Dates for Your Diary - Spring 2019

Spring Walk: Sunday 28th April, 2:30pm. Meet at Honor Oak Park station

Edible Plant Give-Away: Saturday 4th May, 2:30pm. Forest Hill station’s forecourt
A selection of edible plants, grown by the Horniman Gardens and surplus to requirements, will be given away by volunteers from the Forest Hill Society.

Guided Walk through the Woods along Sydenham Hill Ridge: Tuesday 7th May, 6:30pm. Meet at Bluebell Close off Sydenham Hill. (Organised by Sydenham Hill Ridge Neighbourhood Forum)

Spring Planting at the Station: Saturday 11th May, 2.30pm. Meet in Forest Hill station’s forecourt

24 March 2019

Summer Visitors to SE23

 Swifts are seen (and heard) in the UK from May to August, and they are regularly seen over parts of SE23. There are swift

nesting colonies in Wynell Road (off Perry Vale), Kilmorie Road, Lowther Hill and Devonshire Road/Tyson Road.

Swifts are small, fast and agile with a distinctive silhouette. They are often seen in groups circulating high in the sky and have a distinctive 'screaming' call.

They are migratory birds, flying from Africa to northern climates where they nest and raise their young, before flying back to Africa. Amazingly, swifts spend most of their lives flying and never land, other than to nest. They even sleep whilst flying!

Swifts have adapted to nesting in buildings, not trees, which means cities are ideal nesting grounds. However, swift numbers have declined dramatically because their existing nests are under threat from building renovation, and there are few alternative nesting spaces in modern buildings.

Swifts depend on gaps and small holes high up in buildings, for example under eaves or behind gutters. But as houses are repaired these holes and gaps are blocked up and swifts lose their nesting places.

Each swift pair return to the same nest every year. Unfortunately if their nest has disappeared they cannot breed unless they find a new site, which is difficult because modern building design does not provide nooks and crannies.

A local swifts group (known as Lewisham Swifts) was created by Rebecca Headd, a Forest Hill resident who wanted to protect her local swift colony in Wynell Road. The group, which aims to raise awareness of swifts and tries to protect and extend nesting sites to increase the swift population, has now grown to cover the whole borough.
Lewisham Swifts maps reported swift sightings across the borough. This forms a picture of where swifts might be nesting and is also a way of encouraging people to take an interest in the birds.

Last May, ten swift nest boxes were installed on the side of a block of flats in Wynell Road by the London Fire Brigade, who used it as a training exercise to use their ladder platform. The boxes are visible from the top of Wynell Road at the junction with the alley, so passers-by can keep an eye out to see if any swifts take up residence.


23 March 2019

Heathrow Airport’s Flight Path Consultation

By Tim Walker, Forest Hill Society’s Flight Path Group

Many people are bothered by noise from aircraft heading over our area to Heathrow and London City airports, though research shows that the decibel level and frequency of aircraft at which people become significantly disturbed varies. Surely, some aircraft noise is part and parcel of living in London? When planning huge expansions, airports are under environmental pressures as expectations rise for less noise and pollution. How then should Forest Hill ensure that its interests are taken into account?

In August 2018, I published a report on aircraft flying over our area, entitled No respite from aircraft noise in SE23. This explained how two airports, Heathrow and London City, combine their aircraft’s flight paths over Forest Hill, with each airport’s planes flying different paths and changing flight direction in different wind conditions. One of the report’s surprising findings was that south east London was unique in getting this double overflight situation; there was never a day when we did not get either one airport or the other’s planes, and quite often we get both at the same time. The Times picked up on this recently, name-checking Honor Oak and Forest Hill when the London Assembly reported on the issue.

London City airport controls the lower-level airspace over Forest Hill. In February 2016 residents along a line from Sidcup to Catford, Forest Hill, Dulwich, Herne Hill and north to Vauxhall noticed a sudden change: Aircraft that were previously dispersed were now flying along a very precise path over the same homes and schools at or under 2,000ft. People living under this relatively new low-altitude concentrated route are now affected significantly worse than before.

Until 4th March Heathrow is running a huge consultation, the first of several, on a complete redesign of the higher -level airspace they control over London. A third runway is planned for 2026 and, whether or not it is built, the airspace that has evolved piecemeal over 70 years will be redesigned.

After these issues were discussed at the last Forest Hill Society AGM, a group of members has been intervening where it has seemed effective, for example by:


  • Taking a seat on behalf of the Society on the Heathrow Community Noise Forum
  • Approaching Lewisham’s councillors and environmental protection officers to see how Lewisham might engage more — and act on our behalf on consultations like Heathrow’s
  • Discussing shared issues with the Dulwich Society
  • Briefing London Assembly members and members of the new Heathrow Community Engagement Board on south east London’s overflight issues
  • Preparing a guide for south east Londoners on the current Heathrow consultation


We’d like to see regular breaks from aircraft noise for all communities, planes flying higher for longer and an end to the crossing of flight paths above us. We'd also like to make sure that the voices of Forest Hill and neighbouring south east London communities are heard on plans that affect us. Each individual can make a small difference by participating in consultations and by complaining, when disturbed by noise, to airports.

Aside from our overflight issue being noted by The Times, it has also been acknowledged by London City airport, which has for the first time carried out some initial noise monitoring in our area; and by Heathrow airport, whose consultation specifically mentions the need to address the double overflight situation. 

22 March 2019

125 Years of Bowling in Forest Hill

The Forest Hill Bowling Club is celebrating its 125th Anniversary this year, and they will be hosting three Special Celebration Matches plus other events throughout the summer season.

Bowls is a sport and pastime for everyone. You can make new friends at the Club and spend summer afternoons and evenings in safe and pleasant surroundings.

For those who have not bowled before or who have limited experience, the Club can provide the assistance of its qualified bowls coaches.

Their outdoor season starts on Saturday 20th April and runs until Sunday 22nd September. From the beginning of May, they meet for practice, skills and coaching on Tuesdays and Fridays at 5pm.

The Club’s members play matches on Wednesday afternoons, Thursday evenings, and Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Why not pop along to try bowls for yourself?

Address: 28 Wynell Road, Forest Hill, SE23 2LW
Website: www.foresthill-bowling-club.com

21 March 2019

Water Bottle-filling Fountain at the Horniman

By Brendan Cuddihy

You may have noticed something new at the Horniman Museum and Gardens in late 2018. The museum is one of twenty well-visited locations chosen by the Mayor of London for the first wave of new public water fountains that provide free access to healthy tap water for refilling water bottles. This is part of an effort to reduce the more than 20 million single-use plastic bottles that Londoners consume every week, many of which end up in landfill or polluting the environment.

We think this is a great initiative and would love to see more of these bottle-filling fountains around Forest Hill.

What do you think, and where would you like to see them located? Let us know in the comments

20 March 2019

New Street Trees for Forest Hill

Stuart Checkley, member of Street Trees for Living, told us about their project to increase the number of trees around Lewisham and beyond.

Last winter at least 30 new trees were planted on the streets of Forest Hill. Each new tree on a particular street required the street's residents to raise the necessary funds to purchase it (£270) and to find someone to water the tree for its first two years. When more than one tree was to be planted on a street, a planting plan to increase the attractiveness of the street had to be formulated by the residents or their representative. In each case the resident in front of whose house each tree was to b
e planted had given their written consent to the planting.

After all this was done, Lewisham Council surveyed and approved the planting sites, and ordered the trees. The Council supervised the planting of the trees and organised their insurance.

But none of this would have happened without the voluntary organisation Street Trees for Living, which has supported local groups of residents through all of the above and has done so working closely with the Council. Street Trees for Living has helped to get over 200 trees planted before spring in different parts of Lewisham.

If you would like to get trees planted on your street next winter, contact Stuart@streettreesforliving.org. Stuart will help you to get started by giving you leaflets for surveying the views of residents in your street, through which you will undoubtedly discover other tree enthusiasts. You will then be able to work with your neighbours and Stuart to decide upon the trees that you would like, and before long you will get them planted.

And there are a lot of attractive trees to chose from. As our summers get hotter, so trees from hotter climes are starting to flourish on our streets, like this Crepe Myrtle (above), which this summer brightened up a sheltered stretch of Forest Hill Road in nearby Southwark.

19 March 2019

200th Anniversary of the Enclosure of Sydenham Common

By Andrew Orford, Friends of Albion Millennium Green

Between 1810 and 1819, we tragically lost our very own ‘jewel’, a 500-acre common, in a lengthy process of enclosure. This would take away access to our natural landscape, and a way of life, permanently, and set the course for the eventual creation of the suburbia we recognise today. To contemplate this loss requires a leap of the imagination, as it seems there are so few clues left until you start to look for them. When you next pass The Greyhound pub in Sydenham, be sure to read the interpretation plaque that accompanies the large mural facing Sainsbury’s. However, if you stand in Sydenham Wells Park, you can experience the gentle undulating hills which once characterised the common, a space about 25 times larger than the park. Just imagine the park before its neat horticulture, where animals grazed and some ramshackle buildings provided shelter; you might capture something about Sydenham Common, which was previously called Westwood Common.

We do know that in 1813, when Washington Irving visited the poet Thomas Campbell (whose house on Peak Hill overlooked the Common and the reservoir which topped up the Croydon Canal), he was surprised and delighted that it reminded him so much of the countryside in his America. Campbell’s house was a hotspot for such visitors and one of the more accessible centres of a complex social network in Sydenham. His distant cousin was society hostess Lady Charlotte Campbell, who was the daughter of the 5th Duke of Argyll and
lady-in-waiting to Princess Caroline, and keeper of an anonymously published series of diaries, among which records the first known written encounter with William Blake. She lived nearby in the mansion house called Westwood House, for whose earlier owner a fine grove of Elms were planted in an avenue, leading toward the centre of the mansion, that today we know as Jews Walk.

In what seems like an improbable twist, Eleanor Marx, who would live in Jews Walk much later, is also descended from the House of Argyll — which we know because Karl Marx was questioned by police when he pawned his wife’s silver. The crest of the house of Argyll was identified on the silverware and Jenny Marx had to explain that her great-grandmother was a Campbell.

These little vignettes transport us back to a completely different age, yet something recognisable to visitors of Hampstead today. The thought that we, in south east London, had lost the equivalent of something like two-thirds the size of Hampstead Heath is lamentable. But the works, letters and diaries of contemporaries mean that we can piece together a substantial picture of life in Sydenham and Forest Hill at that time.

We can verify many of the described locations by cross-referencing them, and plotting them by using online maps spanning the last two centuries. We are living with the paradox that, if we piece together the evidence, we would come to know more about life around Sydenham Common than would have been known to its most observant and well-connected residents. The capability of Wikipedia to provide this type of evidence has been a sea change in the fortunes of local historians. We can be grateful to the voluntary contributors to Wikipedia and reflect on the fact that it is founded on a model called ‘Creative Commons’, which itself draws from the original traditions of commoning, showing the reinvention of this deep-rooted need.

In July 2019 London will be designated as a National Park City, exactly 200 years after the final enclosure of Sydenham Common. The Forest Hill Society had the pleasure of hearing campaigner Daniel Raven-Ellison talk to us at our last AGM, describing the genesis and development of this astonishing idea. I think Forest Hill and Sydenham should seize this opportunity to celebrate the launch of London National Park City and commemorate the Common by promoting the understanding of, and access to, nature. One month beforehand in June, the London Festival of Architecture will explore its theme of ‘Boundaries’. I wonder if we can somehow work towards physically marking the historic boundary of the Common, perhaps (eventually) permanently and, in doing so, use social media to welcome in the National Park City.

One special space that sits within the former Common at the very boundary of SE23 and SE26 is Albion Millennium Green, a gift from the nation. 'Albion' was one of 245 green spaces across England that was created under the Countryside Agency’s Millennium Greens scheme with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to commemorate the year 2000. We have been working with volunteers to secure the future of the Green and its health, and we know that to continue this we must appeal to our collective sensibilities.

The Green (like the Common once before it) is something we all need to look after, for the benefit of everyone. Being located so close to Forest Hill Library and Pools, it feels like it is our own village green even though it seems so much like a secret garden. It is even used for 'Forest School' activities which combine outdoor learning with appreciating nature. The Friends of Albion Millennium Green would like to thank all our visitors, volunteers and supporters, for keeping alive such a vision — not just as a 'Sleepy Hollow' but as our very own part of "England's Green and Pleasant Land".

18 March 2019

Solar Panels at Forest Hill Station

Let there be lights... and there were lights — but the festive feel is not just for Christmas!

Environment-friendly solar-powered lights have been installed as a permanent fixture in the trees in Forest Hill station’s forecourt. Financed through the Forest Hill Ward Assembly, Repowering and the Forest Hill Society, the lights were fitted just in time for Christmas by Repowering’s Felix Wight and Ali Hammoud, ably assisted by volunteers from the Forest Hill Society. As the daylight hours lengthen the lights will switch on for longer periods so that, by mid-summer evenings, Forest Hill town centre will have a truly festive and welcoming feel.

Elsewhere the Environment Committee is hard at work with plans to install more planters in Dartmouth Road and, we hope, to add pollution-absorbing trees to the empty forecourt of the BT Openreach building on Waldram Park Road. Watch these spaces!

 With current awareness of the need to eat well and to cut obesity, and the importance of fruit and vegetables in our diets, we are pressing our local councillors to insist that Lewisham Council makes a healthy eating option a requirement in the food franchises in all its parks.

Raising awareness is also why we are working with the Horniman Gardens’ head gardener, Wes Shaw, to produce edible plants for our annual “Edible Plant Give-away” which will be on Saturday May 4th. Think and eat green and grow your own… and save money in the process!

The Environment Committee is seeking to initiate a Lewisham-wide campaign to raise awareness of the toxic effects of leaving stationary car engines idling. Our local councillors have agreed to work with Council officials to pursue this issue. Updates on both campaigns will be presented in future newsletters.

 Our planting efforts in the town centre and on the station’s platforms received its sixth consecutive Royal Horticultural Society “Outstanding” award in 2018. To keep up the good work, Saturday May 11th will be the day we renew and tidy up our planters. Meet at 2.30pm in Forest Hill station’s forecourt with protective gloves and, if possible, a trowel. To do this work we need volunteers; so please join us and enjoy a convivial hour or two tidying up the old and planting the new. No previous experience is required; however, because of the proximity to busy roads and parking cars, this activity is not suitable for children.

 And look out for the new Forest Hill Society poster near the bike stand on Platform 1 of Forest Hill station, designed in cooperation with Repowering. We hope this bit of self-advertising will encourage more people to volunteer and join the Forest Hill Society to help make our town an even better place in which to live, work and work.

Article by Quetta Kaye, Chair, Forest Hill Society's Environment Committee

17 March 2019

Aga of Aga’s Little Deli

Very soon, Dartmouth Road will welcome a new enterprise from Aga Czarnota of Aga’s Little Deli. Jason Kee sat down one afternoon with Aga to talk about her new venture, her home in Poland and, of course, cheese.

Aga originally hails from Kazimierz Doly in eastern Poland. She describes a beautiful small town of 5,000 people. The town is largely untouched by war, and full of restaurants, bars and galleries. Aga studied journalism in Poland and began her career with the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper covering a range of cultural issues, including arts and film. She came to London in 2003 to learn English while writing about London’s culture and arts scene for Gazeta Wyborcza back in Poland. She returned home for a short spell, but London was calling and Aga came back — first writing for, and helping to establish, Cooltura the weekly Polish language magazine in the UK. Culture appears to be in her genes, but it wasn’t long before food became Aga’s passion.

In 2005, Aga was also working at the Coach and Horses pub in Mayfair. While there she was given the opportunity to work in the Neal’s Yard Dairy Wholesale Arch in Bermondsey. Over the next three years Aga learned the cheese industry inside and out.
Aga speaks passionately about her time with Neal’s Yard, then leaving to work with Bermondsey cheese supremo Bill Oglethorpe, now the owner of the famous Kappacasein Dairy. It was while working with Oglethorpe that Aga no doubt got her taste both for retail, working three days a week in Borough Market, and for her sense of business, working on his accounts on other days.

After having worked with Oglethorpe for four years, Aga found herself at a meeting in the Sylvan Post pub which laid the ground work for the 2012 Forest Hill Society’s Food Fair in Forest Hill station’s forecourt. It’s remarkable to think that this short-lived enterprise has provided such long term benefits to the Forest Hill community. Not only did it bring about Aga’s Little Deli, but it was from here that Ruth and Nathan then opened the Forest Hill branch of the Butchery.

However, it wasn’t long before Aga decided to open her first shop. “We didn’t really think about what we were doing,” Aga said, “but the whole idea was to bring Borough Market to Forest Hill under one roof, and then see what happens.” She signed the contract for 49 Dartmouth Road in June 2012 and was open for business by September.

When asked why she chose Dartmouth Road, she said, “It was always to be Forest Hill.” This should be no surprise since Aga has always lived in this area. And now, with a family including two boys and one girl, her connections run deep. It is with understandable pride she speaks of the business she’s built and her contribution to the revival of Dartmouth Road.

Anyone who has visited Aga’s Little Deli during the past 6½ years will have seen changes here and there but the essence of the shop remains. Aga talks about the community it has created: “Customer have become friends with each other, and they have become our friends too.”

Aga’s Little Deli is a great Forest Hill success story. But one shop does not seem enough. Working with Anna Kokornacka, Aga will open a zero-waste shop and greengrocer in the former premises of Sugar Mountain at 57a Dartmouth Road. They collected the keys on March 1st and hope to open by the end of the month. The shop will champion zero waste with a range of dried goods — including beans, nuts and lentils — that will be available in bulk to take away in any size or volume. The shop will also feature “really great vegetables”, finally bringing a greengrocer back to Dartmouth Road. It will be the kind of shop Aga remembers from her youth in Karczmiska, providing a range of essentials food items for the local community.

Aga is keen to note this is only a start: “We want to see what people need, listen to our customers about what they really want.” She adds this may also include a range of vegan products though is quick to point out that, while not actually a vegan shop, it will be a meat-free one. All will be revealed in a few months.

So what of Aga’s Little Deli? When asked, Aga notes that her top three selling cheeses are Comte (her personal favourite), Colston Basset Stilton and Montgomery Cheddar. But she thinks more people should try her British goat’s cheeses like Ragstone and Tymsboro. While the fennel pork salami is the best-selling meat, she recommends Perinelli salami made close by, in Penge, by a guy from Forest Hill.

And what could make Dartmouth Road better? “Longer parking times and a fishmonger,” said Aga.

The Forest Hill Society wishes Aga well with the new venture.

16 March 2019

Sfizio — Italian Tapas


Belinda Evans asked the owners of Sfizio, which opened in October 2018 at 31 Perry Vale, to tell us all about their new venture.

Is this your first restaurant venture? 
This is, in fact, not our first restaurant. We previously owned and ran La Luna Pizzeria on Walworth Road near Burgess park and Camberwell, until it was sold in 2012 to a different owner. We also opened and ran one of the first pizzerias in south London, La Pizzeria Italiana, which is still open and trading in Catford and which we opened in 1986 but ultimately sold. In total, we have over 30 years of experience running and establishing restaurants which ar
e still going to this day.

Which regions of Italy influence your food? 
Our menu is influenced by various regional cuisines of Italy, since the concept of Sfizio was to incorporate regional Italian food into a tapas-sharing format.

As we are from Sarno — which is located near Salerno in southern Italy — we naturally wanted to bring some dishes from the area to our restaurant; our Melanzane Parmigiana and Neapolitan meatballs, which we serve in a tapas format, are both dishes eaten in Campania, south Italy. However, overall we would say our food is mostly influenced by central and southern Italian cuisines.

Why did you choose Forest Hill for your new venture? 
We chose Forest Hill as it is an extremely vibrant and lively area of south east London, with plenty of people who would be interested in trying our Italian tapas concept as well as our sourdough pizza. We know there are plenty of families and young professionals who wanted something different in the neighbourhood, and we wanted to properly utilise the space left behind by The Perryvale Bistro & Bar.

Everyone is intrigued by the name Sfizio — does it have a special meaning? 
Sfizio, when translated directly, means 'on a whim'; however, this doesn't necessarily do justice to the word. Sfizio is derived from the word Sfizioso, which is usually a word used to describe an action which is different, exciting or interesting. As we were introducing a new concept to south east London — in the form of Italian tapas — we wanted to choose an appropriate word which was short and to the point; and embodied our intention to do something different, exciting and interesting by going against the grain of most Italian restaurants and by emphasizing purely traditional dishes.

What is your most popular dish? 
We are fortunate enough to have quite a few popular dishes! Our Arancini, Calamari Fritti and Salsiccia con Fagioli are all very popular. Our most popular pizzas are the Piccante Calabrese pizza with Italian pepperoni sausage and Calabrian nduja, and Salsiccia Frierelle pizza served with Neapolitan broccoli and Neapolitan sausage.

We also sell a lot of our fresh pasta which we make — especially the Strozzapreti, which features Provola cheese (smoked mozzarella) and aubergine in a San Marzano tomato sauce.

Do you have a specialty dish? 
Our specialty dish is our Panuozzo, as it is something different to what most pizzerias in south London serve. It is a staple of Neapolitan street food — a pizza baguette often stuffed with parma ham, fresh tomatoes and melted fior di latte mozzarella. We have two variations: a Neapolitan-style with buffalo mozzarella and parma ham; and a Gragnano version which includes aubergine, fior di latte mozzarella and Neapolitan sausage.

How do you choose your wines? 
We try to provide a variety of lesser-known Italian wines for our customers. We really believe Italian wine is some of the best in the world, and we wanted to showcase some great organic wines on our menu too.

What's your most popular cocktail so far?
It's an even match between the Margherita and the Fragolino. We are currently running our Aperitivo Time offer between 5 and 7pm every Tuesday to Thursday, when customers can receive 2-4-1 on cocktails.

If you have time to eat out in Forest Hill where do you like to go? 
We really enjoy BOnA; whilst we make sourdough pizzas ourselves we really appreciate the good quality of pizzas they serve. We also enjoy The Signal pub and the Sylvan Post.

On your doors you have some Italian words — can you tell us what they mean?
Rillasarrsi: Relax. Gustare: Enjoy. Condividere: Share.
This was the mantra developed behind Sfizio — the concept of enjoying, relaxing and sharing your food. It's at the heart of the restaurant and the experience we want to give to every customer.

Visit Sfizio online at www.sfiziotapas.com

23 February 2019

Bell Green Masterplanning



The Sydenham Society together with Discourse Architecture are organising a public meeting to discuss ways in which Bell Green could be improved for residents and visitors. The meeting takes place on Wednesday, 6th March at 7pm at The Railway Tavern, on Southend Lane.

11 February 2019

Heathrow Airport: Flight Path Consultation

Below is a guide to the consultation by SE Londoners, for SE Londoners responding to the Heathrow Airport flight path consultation.

• Heathrow is planning for a  third runway in 2026 and, whether or not that goes ahead, it is redesigning all its flight paths. Where you live in London probably affects how you view this. We each have until 4th March to complete their online questionnaire. If you’ve ever been woken by planes from before 5am, or had use of your home disturbed by planes overhead many miles from Heathrow, this is a chance to join everyone else in having your say.
• Please don’t be put off  from saying anything by the length or detail of what Heathrow says. It’s doesn’t need to take long and it seems important that SE London interests are properly represented by each of us.
• Thinking about how Heathrow and London City airports affect our environment by flying over us, we’ve made some suggestions as to how SE Londoners might want to respond to individual questions. If you use these, great, if you don’t agree or have additional points that’s fine too.
• We hope that our suggestions bring out a lot of the key points for our area and that this might be helpful for those who don’t want to spend too much time on this.
• For each of Heathrow’s questions we’ve put a few brief comments from a SE London point of view, with suggestions as to what you might say. Our comments are in the yellow boxes on the following pages.
• Worth noting that there is significant opposition to Heathrow from London Councils and environmental groups, but the principles established in this consultation are expected to be used whatever happens so it seems worth getting our SE London voices heard.
• Links to the Consultation and Other Useful Sources
• The link to the online Heathrow consultation is here:- https://afo.heathrowconsultation.com/



Question Number
Our Recommendation
Additional Information
1a
Yes
It seems essential that Heathrow does have a noise objective.
1b
In its noise objective, LHR should put the health and well-being of London’s overflown communities as a high priority. Cost benefit to the wealthy airline industry is a lower priority than the long-term health and wellbeing of millions of overflown Londoners.”

2c
We would like rotation/alternation of airspace and runways so that early morning wake-ups do not happen more than, say, once per week. They are currently from around 05:00am in SE London.
There should be managed dispersal or several rotating routes in each noise envelope and these should be as far apart from each other as is possible.
For weekends and evenings we seek the longest durations of respite possible to allow enjoyment of open windows and the outdoors.”

3a
“No”
Click on your preference, but we feel none of these options works well for SE Londoners and we think the answer should be “No”. We explain why in 3b.
3b
“Westerly operations means all  Heathrow arrivals will pass over north east and south east London including the very early morning flights from before 5am which wake us up and the evening flights which spoil enjoyment of the outdoors and continue to 11.30 at night.
We feel it essential that flights are dispersed more fairly between east and west, and a westerly operations preference will disadvantage SE London and anywhere east of the airport.
Westerly operations also overfly the low altitude route of London City Airport in our area, meaning that we are given no respite from one or the other.”

3c
“Yes”
We think prolonged periods of single direction operation day after day require intervention if wind strength and direction allow.
3d
This flexibility provides a particularly useful way for Heathrow to avoid periods of simultaneous overflights with London City Airport.
It also may prevent SE London having the early morning wakeup flights day after day when winds are set in one direction for days on end, and allow Heathrow to provide relief and sharing of impact.”

3e
“We feel strongly that London City and Heathrow Airports should immediately begin planning flight paths together, co-ordinating operations and directional planning very closely to avoid crossing of flight paths and double overflight of SE London communities as both airports increase flight numbers.”

4a
Probably “Option 2”

4b
“These early morning start times are for communities near to the airport, SE London overflight will be approximately 10 minutes earlier. We think the later the better for everyone’s undisturbed sleep but there is not much difference here.”
From Heathrow’s presentations we believe that Option 1 will allow rotation so that we will get 2 weeks out of 3 with no flights 05.50am over SE London which is better, in those weeks, than we get now.
4c
“There must be opportunity to commence operations much later than this if the 3rd runway goes ahead.
Airline industry business objectives to accommodate early morning flights cannot and must not be at disproportionate cost to the health and wellbeing of the communities over which they fly.
We think it unreasonable for SE London, many miles from Heathrow, to endure any overflights before 06:30 am.”

5a
“We believe Heathrow should have and enforce the most stringent of aircraft environmental standards that will protect overflown Londoners as much as possible from commercial aircraft noise and pollution.
London Heathrow should adopt a world leading position on this issue.”

5b
We feel that the currently proposed night flight ban of 6.5 hours is inadequate on health and well-being grounds.
Our preference would be for a night flight ban of 8 hours duration.”

6
“Much of SE London (e.g. Sidcup, Mottingham, Catford, Forest Hill, Dulwich, Herne Hill, Stockwell, Vauxhall) are overflown by both London City and Heathrow planes, sometimes at the same time. The two airports should work together now on revising both airports’ flight path design so that crossing of flight paths is minimised, and simultaneous overflight ended.
Heathrow planes should fly higher whenever crossing London City flight paths, so that London City planes can fly higher than the current 2000ft.”
This is about three runways, from 2026.

The main local factor we think is the interaction with London City flight paths over SE London as both airports have strong growth plans that affect SE London.

7
“Much of SE London (e.g. Sidcup, Mottingham, Catford, Forest Hill, Dulwich, Herne Hill, Stockwell, Vauxhall) are overflown by both London City and Heathrow planes, sometimes at the same time. The two airports should work together now on revising both airports’ flight path design so that crossing of flight paths is minimised, and simultaneous overflight ended.
Heathrow planes should fly higher whenever crossing London City flight paths, so that London City planes can fly higher than the current 2000ft.”
This is about two runways as at present.

The points about double airport overflight in SE London seem the same as in Q6, whether Heathrow has two or three runways.

To repeat, the main local factor we think is the interaction with London City flight paths over SE London as both airports have strong growth plans that affect SE London.

8
Fly higher for longer in South London – flights arriving over most of SE London need to be higher than proposed in order to reduce noise and create additional space for the low flying London City planes beneath.
As a general principle disperse flights fairly over all London communities so that noise and environmental impact is shared.
Concentrated flight paths should be separated as widely apart as possible with frequent rotation to give periods of relief to those on the ground.”

9
You may wish to consider any of the following issues:

Aircraft noise disturbance
       Enjoyment of outdoors – loud enough to stop conversation. Summer evening activities
       Enjoyment of indoors too, when doors/windows are open
       Early morning wakeups from before 5 am (Heathrow)
       Late night arrivals to 11.30pm (Heathrow)

Concentrated flight paths using new technology
        Across the world have created noise corridors, replacing aircraft dispersal and sharing of noise
       Create high frequency of overflights, same homes every time - London City 15 per hour at peak

Low altitude
       Low flights create louder disturbance. London City only 2000ft over SE London. Heathrow higher over SE London, but much bigger, louder planes.

Environmental pollution
       Low at ground level in east London, but will increase as the two airports expand

 

26 January 2019

Litter Tidy Up - 2nd Feb 2019

Volunteers from the Forest Hill Society will be tidying the green space beside Forest Hill Swimming Pool on Saturday, 2nd February, from 10am. We would welcome others to lend a hand and complete the task quickly.

Work is expected to last less than one hour.We have arranged to have litter pickers and garbage sacks to help us in this task, but we recommend that anybody joining in brings their own gloves.

18 January 2019

Planning Application: All Inn One, Perry Vale

There has been a planning application submitted in 2018 to demolish the All Inn One pub and build a six storey building with pub and hotel. The details of the application can be viewed on the Lewisham website.

The Forest Hill Society has written to object to this development for a number of reasons:
  • Scale and massing of the development
  • Concern over loss of pub amenity
  • Lack of details relating to the new A4 (pub/restaurant) unit 
  • Loss of character and heritage value of the pub
  • Negative impact on daylight to neighbouring properties

We have also asked for consideration of how the Perry Vale car park might be used and for consideration to be given to an improved crossing point on Perry Vale to service the hotel and local residents.

The full text of our objection can be read here.

15 January 2019

Lego comes to Horniman Museum from 16th February


From an ancient Egyptian pyramid to Old London Bridge, and from the natural wonder of a coral reef to the modern marvel of the international space station, travel through history and explore over 50 models made using half a million LEGO bricks.

Build your imagination at the interactive play areas, and don’t miss two special models of Horniman icons created especially for the show.

More than 50 models will be on show, from individual pieces that will inspire visitors to build them at home, to awe-inspiring dioramas and mosaics. Visitors can build their own brick wonders in interactive play areas – including a graffiti wall, a tower-building challenge, a magnetic mosaic puzzle and big bricks for little hands – and the exhibition includes a mini-cinema showing short LEGO animations.



Further details from the Horniman website.

01 January 2019

Burns Supper - Saturday, 26th January

Once again, the Forest Hill Society in conjunction with All Inn One, on Perry Vale, will be hosting a Burns Supper on Saturday 26th January.

There will be the traditional Address to the Haggis and the opportunity to listen to or to read from the works of Robert Burns. We will also have some local musicians to round off the evening.

The meal is from 7.30pm, and if you'd like to join us you must book in advance, please call the pub on 020 8699 3311 or email info@allinnone.org.uk to book.

The cost is £21.95 per person for 3 courses and a very enjoyable evening. (Please let them know if you would prefer the vegetarian haggis to the meaty version).

Everybody is welcome; members, non-members, Scots, Sassenachs, and all friends of Scotland.

Early booking is recommended as places are limited.