28 December 2006

Round up of 2006

As we approach the end of the year I thought it would be a good opportunity to sum up what has been achieved so far.

Formation of the Society

At the beginning of 2006 there was no Forest Hill Society but during April and May discussion on the se23.com forum showed that many people were interested in forming some type of Civic Society for Forest Hill. A group of people from the forum met on 23rd May 2006 at the Dartmouth Arms and we put into motion the formation of the Society.

By 25th September 2006 we had delivered 10,000 leaflets across SE23 and some surrounding roads and we had our first Annual General Meeting. Response to the Society was excellent, with 150 people coming to the first public meeting and from this a committee of 23 people were elected to run the Society.

By December our membership had risen to 300 people, a very good start but we still need more. December saw the publishing of our first newsletter which was delivered to every member and made available to everybody else on the web.

Planning in 2006

There have been two major planning issues in 2006; Finches Site on Perry Rise and Tyson Road.
In the case of the Finches site the steering committee in conjunction with other local groups were able to get the developers to make a number of changes to the development that will make it better for Forest Hill and for the people living in the development.
In the case of the Tyson Road site we supported local residents who have run an excellent campaign opposing this development. We are still waiting for a decision for Lewisham planning department and we are hoping they will reject the current plans for this site.

Railways in 2006

The other major issue has been the railway. We met with Southern Railways in June to discuss a number of issues around Forest Hill station. A number of these issues were addressed in October including removal of graffiti from the footbridge, replacing guttering in the underpass, resurfacing the pavement at the bottom of the Perry Vale exit and removing a small section of wall from this area.

In November there was an announcement from the Department for Transport that Forest Hill station would be prioritised for accessibility improvements. This is planned for 2009-2011 but it is possible that it may happen sooner as work starts on the East London Line Extension.

However, our main concern regarding rail transport was the proposed cuts in services to London Bridge which are being considered by Network Rail. In November / December we worked with the Sydenham Society to raise awareness of the issue and get the support of residents and politicians to prevent any reduction in our services to the centre of London. This campaign will continue into 2007, but we have made an excellent start with 2,500 leaflets being handed out at Honor Oak Park and Forest Hill (plus more at Sydenham) and our on-line petition has got well over 500 signatures (in under a month). This has helped communicate the strength of feeling to the transport authorities and local politicians.

Forest Hill Pools in 2006

Forest Hill Pools have now been closed since the end of March and it is unclear when they might reopen. Further information regarding the survey of the pool is available in the previous post so I will not repeat this. 2007 looks like being a key year in safeguarding the future of Forest Hill Pool.

We wish everybody in Forest Hill a very happy New Year and we look forward to your continuing support in 2007.

21 December 2006

Swimming Pool Intrusive Survey

The summary of the results from the instrusive survey at Forest Hill pools has been published and can be read on the Lewisham Council Website.

Comments from the mayor suggest that although costs will rise 20% due to more work being required the council is sticking to the plan of refurbishing the existing pool.

14 December 2006

December Newsletter

Newsletters have been distributed to all members of the Forest Hill Society. If you have not got a copy please let us know so that we can update our records.

We are aiming to produce newsletters for all our members four times a year. Download the newsletter to see it in full colour!

Many thanks to Liz (editor) and Jennika (layout and graphics) who have put a huge amount of work into this newsletter.

05 December 2006

Save Our Train Service

The Forest Hill Society is working with other local societies to oppose any cuts to the existing train service to London Bridge. Currently there are proposals to cut the London Bridge service by 2 trains an hour (from 6 to 4). We welcome the coming of the East London Line in 2010 but oppose any cuts to existing services to London Bridge and Victoria.

If you use the trains on a regular basis we would like you to complete our survey of rail usage. Network Rail is meant to be surveying passenger movements but we would like to get your input, so that we can understand passenger needs from our local stations.

In addition we would like you to write or email Jim Dowd MP. His address is House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA and his email address is jimdowd.newlabour@care4free.net. We have prepared a sample letter for you to download for printing or cutting and pasting into email. Please feel free to adjust the text to reflect your own situation.

Alternatively you can sign our on-line petition.
Thank you for your support.

04 December 2006

Introducing the new Forest Hill Society Logo


We are delighted to announce that the Forest Hill Society now has its very own LOGO, thanks to local graphic designer, Jennika Argent.
Jennika wanted to emphasise Forest Hill’s arboreal origins, still preserved in Sydenham Hill Woods, for example. "The roots are included because they are the most important part of the tree," Jennika says.
Over the year, you’ll notice that the tree logo changes with the seasons. "The changing seasons of the tree represent the changes we all go through all year long," Jennika explains. "The importance of the changing seasons logo is that it shows that nothing must be stagnant and for things to improve they must continue to change and improve and grow."

02 December 2006

Tree Axed!

Adrienne and Michael from FH Society met with Councillor Paschoud and local Police Officers regarding the pathway between Shipman Road and Sunderland Road. This path is a useful shortcut for many residents in Perry Vale Ward wishing to get to the station and Forest Hill town centre, as well as Perrymount School right beside the path.

We are investigating ways to make the path feel safer and deal with some of the overgrown areas around the path. There was already some discussions about way to improve this path but there was an incident there in early November which has increased everybody's desire to improve the area.

Within a few days of discussing this with John Paschoud I am please to say the tree at the middle of the path has been cut back to avoid blocking the light from the lamppost. This path is now one of the best lit paths in Forest Hill but it still needs more improvements over the longer term.

25 November 2006

Meeting with Jim Dowd MP

Pat Trembath and Barry Milton from the Sydenham Society joined me last night to meet with Jim Dowd to discuss the potential cuts in services to London Bridge. We had a very positive meeting and were able to explain our concerns to him regarding the proposal to reduce services from Sydenham and Forest Hill to London Bridge by 33%.

Jim will be meeting with TfL and the Secretary of State for Transport over the next week so our timing in meeting him was fortuitous. We hope that he will make the views of our societies and our members known to those making the decisions regarding services to London Bridge.

23 November 2006

Review of Rail Services to London Bridge

Len Duvall (GLA Member) provided the following information on SE23.com on 21st November (London Overground thread):

TfL say "whilst initial studies by TfL indicate a possible reduction by 2 trains per hour to London Bridge, these are actually Network Rail services and they are the appropriate body to contact on this matter. Network Rail are currently undertaking the Southern Route Utilisation Strategy, looking at service provision in the area as a while."

At the meeting on Friday there was a real commitment not to cut services - it is too premature to say there will actually be a 2 train reduction. TfL said that we are about 2 months away from a decision on the London Bridge trains.

The Forest Hill Society is opposed to any cuts to the London Bridge service from Forest Hill and related stations. Although the East London Line will provide additional transport options it is clear that with limited carriages and seating, as well as fewer useful transport connections to the city and West End, the London Bridge service will continue to be vital for our areas of South East London in 2010.

Creative use of Thameslink upgrade (utilising interchange potential and New Cross Gate) and the opportunities for interchange that Crossrail in 2013 will provide additional opportunities for interchange from the East London Line, but not in 2010. For this reason we believe it is important that no reduction in service is contemplated prior to 2013.

10 November 2006

Increased Accessibility at Forest Hill Station

Good news for Forest Hill from the Department for Transport. We are in the next round of funding for increased accessibility at stations. Work will be carried out by Network Rail and completed between 2009 - 2011.
The press release can be seen here.

Horniman to stay under the control of DCMS

Back in September there was a consultation on transferring Horniman Museum to the control of the GLA. This was opposed by Forest Hill Society and many local residents and societies.

The results of the consultation can be read here.

130 responses (out of a total of 157) were solely concerned with the issue of the future sponsorship of the Horniman Museum and Gardens.

"Having considered the views of stakeholders concerning the sponsorship of the Horniman and Geffrye museums, the Government has decided that responsibility for these two institutions shall remain with DCMS."

Finches Site

Last night the planning committee granted permission for this development. I believe that the objections raised by the Sydenham and Forest Hill Societies, Tewkesbury Lodge and other objectors have resulted in an improved development than was originally proposed.

CGI of developmentKey changes included solar panels on the roof, lift access to all flats (including affordable housing), slightly improved views of Christ Church, change of designation for one of the retail units to A3 only (cafe or restaurant), a recognition of the issues around noise levels and improved ventilation for the flats facing Perry Vale. I believe our objections have helped secure a better development for a key site in the centre of Forest Hill that was in dire need of redevelopment.

08 November 2006

Tyson Road Objections Template

Local residents around Tyson Road and Honor Oak Road have put together the first draft of an Objections Template to help people who are planning to object to the development. The views expressed in this document do not necessarily reflect the views of the Forest Hill Society, however, we are happy to help any residents' group in the local area.
If you wish to get more details on this campaign by the local residents you should contact se23openspace@hotmail.co.uk. (This is independent of Forest Hill Society).

06 November 2006

Tyson Road Planning Application

A planning application has been submitted for 84 flats on the site behind the Christian Fellowship Centre and Tyson Road. Full details can be read at Lewisham Planning site.

Members of the public are welcome to comment on these plans before 20th November at http://www2.lewisham.gov.uk/lbl/planning/planningform.asp or by emailing planning@lewisham.gov.uk.

The Forest Hill Society would also be interested to hear your comments. You can email foresthillsociety@gmail.com This will help us best represent the views of the local community.

Update: As of 23rd November there are 102 objections to these plans and there is a petition against the development. The Forest Hill Society have objected to the this development.

Committee Meeting - 26th October

Full minutes of the committee meetings are distributed to members of the committee and are available on request to members of the Society. However, below are a few notes from the meeting which cover the key points discussed in the meeting:
  • Review of Inaugural General Meeting
    • Went well with a good turn out
    • Guest speaker was very useful and gave a good focus to the evening
    • Not enough time to discuss other issues of interest to members
  • Membership for the Society is approaching 300 members. It was confirmed that £5 is an annual membership fee.
  • Sub-Committees were setup on five topics. These will be able to focus on specific areas of interest:
    • Transport
    • Planning
    • Leisure and Amenities
    • Communications and Events
    • Constitutional Review
  • We intend to print and distribute a newsletter to members at the beginning of December
  • We intend to have general/public meetings more than once per year and intend to have the next meeting early in 2007 (possibly February or March).
  • Planning issues:
    • Some improvements have been achieved for the Finches site and the latest plans are available on Lewisham's Website today (26th October)
    • Honor Oak / Tyson Road development is likely to need some scrutiny later this year
  • Transport issues:
    • We have the answers from Nigel D'Souza to the remaining questions from the General Meeting. Transport committee will look at these responses and prepare feedback for Lewisham Council Sustainable Development Committee.
    • Transport issues include roads as well as trains. There are plans to have traffic calming in Dartmouth Road which will help reduce traffic speeds

20 October 2006

Railway Bridge at Forest Hill Station

Railway BridgeIt is a pleasure to see the the railway bridge has finally been fixed to remove the boards with graffiti that were falling apart. This is yet another significant improvement to the environment of the railway station.

Let's hope that we don't see graffiti returning to the bridge.

19 October 2006

Answers to ELL questions from the AGM

For answers from Nigel D'Souza from Tranport for London to a number of questions that were outstanding from the forest Hill Society AGM, please click here

14 October 2006

Further notes from Sustainable Development Select Committee

Blushingsnail posted some additional notes from the meeting on www.se23.com/forum

Here’s a summary of relevant points made at Lewisham Council’s Sustainable Development Select Committee, 5/10/2006. Please remember that this is based on my personal note-taking and has not been seen or endorsed by the participants. Official minutes will eventually be available on Lewisham’s website.

Paul Dean (Head of Rail Planning, TfL): TfL’s long-term transport strategy is called Transport 2025 (86 page document here: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/downloads/pdf/T2025.pdf and 92 page slide pack here: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/downloads/pdf/T2025-slide-pack.pdf )

Richard Bourn (London Campaigner, Transport 2000): supports what TfL are doing but has issues with the general approach of Transport 2025, ie the predicted growth in the amount of travel, rather than the number of people travelling. Solutions to ease congestion are locating jobs away from the centre; meeting needs locally and reducing the need to travel; and contra-peak travel, ie encouraging travel in the opposite direction to peak travel.

Darien Goodwin (Head of Transport, Lewisham): 2025 looks to make best use of the rail network to increase capacity but this will have downsides for users, eg long trains means further to walk to the ticket barriers, and more standing room means fewer seats. The perception of journeys may become worse because it’s capacity that’s being addressed, rather than customer experience. Destinations who want a Metro-style service, such as Lewisham, may not benefit in the way they expect.

Cllr Mark Bennett: assumption that fewer people will want to go to London Bridge?

Cllr John Paschoud: do non-stopping trains that go through Forest Hill stop at New Cross Gate? If so could this be a London Bridge/ELLX interchange – which would increase passenger capacity to LB?

Cllr Philip Peake: ELLX would run on the same corridor as Thameslink – is there a proposal for an interchange?

Paul Dean (TfL): would be looked at as part of the ongoing RUS.

Cllr Philip Peake: short platforms at existing ELL stations – is ongoing development taking into consideration future expansion? Would the new stations have longer platforms?

Paul Dean (TfL): ELLX will remain a 4 carriage railway. Didn’t know about the new stations – would need to check and respond back.

Darien Goodwin (Hd of Transport, Lewisham): issues about Mayor’s powers over long-distance trains, eg enforcing extra stops. It had almost been decided to close Wapping etc stations as part of the ELLX project.

Paul Dean (TfL): the Mayor had wanted them to stay open and therefore the project had to go ahead on the basis of a 4 carriage railway.

In response to questions on station accessibility, Paul Dean (TfL) replied that, to his knowledge, no major changes would be made and there would be no substantive work to introduce step-free access at this stage. TfL would be responsible for a basic level of facilities at stations – "making stations presentable" – and would concentrate on safety and security.

The Committee later decided to invite representatives from Network Rail (a rep had been invited to this meeting but had been unable to attend) and TfL to their meeting on 9 January 2007 for a rail review update.

06 October 2006

Sustainable Development Select Committee

A few of us attended the Sustainable Development Select Committee yesterday. I expect official minutes will be available on the council website eventually but I wanted to make a few quick comments before I go on holiday:

There are a lot of plans still being worked out by TfL, Southern and particularly by Network Rail (who were not present).

It does seem that there will be less trains for FH to London Bridge but overall there will be more trains due to the ELL trains. To be fair this will allow easy interchange to Jubilee line (for Bond St, Waterloo, Canary Wharf) as well as interchange as Whitechapel to District and Hammersmith lines (Liverpool Street north east of the squ mile). In addition Crossrail will eventually allow interchange at Shorditch for Farringdon, Stratford and fast access to West London.

Speaking to one of the councillors after to meeting it may be that we only have one train per hour direct to Victoria, although more that go to Crystal Palace and Norwood Junction where you can change.

At present TfL have no plans in place for taking over management/ownership of the stations on our route, but have requested that this happens.

Trains longer than 4 carriages will not be possible on ELL due to the stations at Rotherhithe and Wapping. It would cost vast amounts of money to make these bigger and the only alternative, closure of these stations, was rejected by the mayor.

A formal submission will be prepared by the committee with recommendations to all rail providers and other interested parties but a couple of clear ideas were:
* Increased interchange at stations like New X Gate with the possibility of some more fast trains stopping here (likely to be unpopular with Surrey/Sussex/Kent Councils).
* Selling off Network Rail assets around the stations for property developments to fund station improvements. And allowing private developments in close proximity to the stations in return for section 106 money for improvements to stations and surrounding facilities.

05 October 2006

Forest Hill Society blog goes live!

This is the new format for www.foresthillsociety.com to allow us to easily update everybody about developments in Forest Hill related to the Forest Hill Society.

Commenting has not been switched on for this blog, this is to encourage people to use the two Forest Hill Community Forums (www.se23.com and www.foresthillonline.org.uk) where more general discussion can take place.

If you would like to make any comments regarding this site please contact me at foresthillsociety@gmail.com

04 October 2006

Minor Improvements to the Underpass

I noticed this morning that the guttering has been repair in the underpass which should make the underpass a little better to use, especially in the rain. This follows last week's demolition of a pointless piece of wall at the bottom of the staircase that allowed rubbish to collect and from the smell it was being used as a urinal.

This makes two or three issues dealt with since the meeting between Southern Rail and FH and Sydenham Society at the station in June. Remaining minor issues like we would like to see addressed before the complete rebuild of the station:
  • Removal of graffiti on the footbridge
  • Wider exit on the southbound platform to avoid congestion
  • Better lighting on the steps from the southbound platform (especially as we approach winter)
  • Convex mirror at the top of this exit is facing the wrong way to be of any use
  • Removal of the gate from the exit (which is never closed and causes an obstruction when opened onto the platform)
  • Resurfacing at the bottom of the stairs
  • Possible improvements to lighting and CCTV in the underpass

Let's hope we see more improvements soon.

Latest news (Thursday 5/10/06) - we have seen more improvements - the resurfacing of the bottom of the stair and the surrounding pavement. More good news for Forest Hill.

28 September 2006

Sustainable Development Rail Services Review

Lewisham Council's Sustainable Development Committee is meeting on Thursday 5th October at 7:30pm at the Town Hall. They shall be taking evidence from expert witnesses and the public is invited to observe.

The expert witnesses include:

  • Paul Dean, Head of Rail Planning - Transport for London
  • Brain Cooke, Chairman - London TravelWatch
  • Kirsty Stalley, Campaign for Independent Living (CILL)
  • Mike Gibson, Public Affairs Manager - Southeastern Trains
  • Yvonne Leslie, Stakeholder Liaison Manager - Southern Railway
  • Roland Anderson, National Rail Utilisation Strategy (RUS) Consultation Manager
  • Richard Bourn, London Campaigner - Transport2000
  • Barbara Britton, Chair – Lewisham Disability Coalition

27 September 2006

Minutes from First AGM

Click here to view the minutes from the first AGM of the Forest Hill Society held on 25th September.

Below the minutes are open questions which are being followed up by TfL regarding the East London Line Extension.

We had 150 people at this meeting, demonstrating the demand for such a Society in the local area.

Picture of the Committee

This is a picture of most of the members of the committee, elected at the AGM.

26 September 2006

Video from the AGM

Which side of the railway?

And a new railway coming soon

You can download the full East London Line Overflight Movie from http://ellp.tfl.gov.uk/ellp.aspx/ell-further-information.shtml

19 September 2006

Membership Application Form

Click here to access the official application form. Membership costs just £5 per year and entitles you to recieve the Society's Newsletters and to vote in the AGM.

Forest Hill Society Leaflet to 10,000 residents

I found a way to put the leaflet on the web in PDF format. If you did not get a leaflet, or want another, you can print it out from here

This leaflet was delivered to 10,000 houses in SE23 and some of the surrounding area.

17 September 2006

Inaugural Meeting of the Society

The Forest Hill Society will be holding its first General Meeting
Monday 25th September at 7.30 pm
Friends’ Meeting House
34 Sunderland Road

We are pleased to welcome Nigel D'Souza from the East London Line project as our Guest Speaker. He will talk about possibly one of the most important events in Forest Hill history – the arrival of the London Overground (East London Line Extension - ELLX)

The New Civic Society for London SE23

We are PROUD to live in Forest Hill and think the time is right to give the area a strong VOICE. By supporting the Forest Hill Society, we can make sure that our community gets the amenities, the transport and the environment we need and deserve.

Forest Hill should be shouting from the hilltop about the great things the area has to offer – the Horniman Museum and Gardens, some architectural gems, fantastic views, and many good shops. There’s a lot to feel good about.

BUT ….. …what is the FUTURE for Forest Hill?

The station needs upgrading, the swimming pool is closed indefinitely, there are far too many empty, commercial properties on the high street. The list goes on.

The Forest Hill Society will promote what’s best about the area as well as working with the Council to get the improvements we urgently need.

Our neighbours in Sydenham, Dulwich, Peckham and Brockley already have active Societies securing important benefits for their areas. Forest Hill must not get left behind.

27 June 2006

Forest Hill Society Minutes of Inaugral Meeting

Held at the Dartmouth Arms, Dartmouth Road, Forest Hill on 23rd May 2006.

Michael Abrahams
Pat Trembath (Syd Soc)

(Initials used to protect identities on the web)

The attendees included many long term residents of Forest Hill.
Everyone introduced themselves and outlined why they thought a FH Society was needed; i.e.
  • Inclusivity
  • Economic regeneration.
  • Public transport concerns.
  • Public awareness and involvement
  • ‘lets get beyond a talking shop’
  • ‘Where does everyone go – so many commuters who seem to disappear in the evenings’?

Everyone welcomed Pat Trembath to the meeting.
Pat outlined the origins of their Society and what they were working on at present, i.e. Bell Green Public Inquiry, Sydenham Town Centre regeneration, and Forest Hill regeneration. Syd Soc has over 1000 members, and represents the part of Forest Hill which is in SE26 plus the Pool and Library area, hence takes an active interest in the Forest Hill town centre.
Pat made some suggestions as to what should be our main concerns i.e. Forest Hill Pools, Library, Louise House, also the station area.

In respect of setting up a new Society Pat also advised the following;

  • Len Duvall (London Assembly Member) very interested in Forest Hill regeneration and supportive.
  • SE23 needed resident rep on Town Centre Management Group.
  • We will need sub committees i.e. planning, roads and transport, (bus routes, trains, potholes) etc.
    Important to build good working relationships with other Societies in the area. Pat advised that the Syd Soc would work actively with FH Society on issues of mutual concern.
  • There is a large conservation area in Forest Hill of which we need to be aware.
  • Important to build up good relationships with officers and councillors. Likely that most local Councillors will want to be seen taking an interest in the Society’s activities.
  • Need to promote diversity of membership, equality of opportunity and demonstrate encouragement of increased participation, in order to have credibility with the Council, i.e. to be seen as representative of the local population rather than just a minority pressure group.
  • Importance of leafleting - aim to get as many contacts as possible.
  • The purpose of the AGM is to conclude business as concisely as possible and then to socialise. Secret ballot for elections of officers perhaps not necessary.
  • New magazine, ‘se23 living’ coming out, circulation area Forest Hill and Honor Oak. 4500 Mag drops, 40% editorial, community news and information – a great place to start.
  • Dulwich Picture Gallery event on 31st May at 6.30pm for officers of local civic societies- Pat has received an invitation and has invited two officers of the FH Society to join her.
  • 6th June- Transport Liaison Group of the council- all operators coming along to take written questions. AR attending.
  • Pat advised of the benefits of having a wide constitution in order to avoid need for constant amendments.
  • For elections, avoid immediate and surprise officer appointments by asking for nominations in advance.
  • Syd Soc was unincorporated to avoid filing accounts and need for auditors. Had Civic Trust membership but first year free- £175.
  • The meeting thanked Pat for her attendance and excellent advice.

There was considerable discussion about the draft constitution which had been prepared and circulated by Michael Abrahams.

  • Remove ‘need for secret ballot’.
  • Remove ‘3 year criteria for people in office’.
  • Add ‘officers to resign if standing for Council election’.
  • AGM in March. - need to define year end.
  • AGM can be any time. Constitution won’t exist until formal adoption.
  • To add ‘sustainability considerations.’ as an objective of the Society.
  • A revised draft to be produced and will be used as a working document until ratification or amendment at the AGM.
  • Post meeting note; AGM to be on a weekday evening in September. A suitable venue to be located in Forest Hill. RM to arrange but suggestions appreciated.
  • It was agreed that elections would need to take place at an Annual General Meeting to formally elect the Executive Committee. Until this is held a Steering committee will be in place to move the Society forward. This will involve publicising the Society, recruiting members, organising the General Meeting, and starting to
work on some of the priority identified at the meeting.

Election of Acting Officers of the Society
The following were duly elected by the meeting;

Acting Executive Committee.
Chair Michael Abrahams
Vice Chair MAF
Honorary Secretary. RM
Treasurer and Membership Secretary RG
Communications Officer LR

Acting Planning Sub- Committee

Acting Transport Sub- Committee.

Official representative of Tewkesbury Lodge.


  • Some discussion on geographical boundaries - primarily SE23 and surrounding areas
  • To consider separate group/sub committee on FH Pools. Await outcome of intrusive survey.
  • Forest Hill Day- consider getting a stall. Exec to meet to plan this.
  • Bank account - HSBC to be considered. RG to look into this.
  • Adoption of constitution.
    1. To be adopted at AGM- currently in draft form until formal adoption.
    2. Public meeting- first AGM - Sept 06.
    3. Discussion of membership fees- £5 pp- concessions - £2pp- some further consideration needed.
  • £115.00 in voluntary contributions was collected at the meeting for petty cash.
  • Distributors will be required for circulation of notices, etc to members. Preference is for communications to be ‘online’ as far as possible.

The Chair formally thanked the following;

  • Michael Richards of the Dartmouth Arms for hosting this first meeting.
  • Pat Trembath of the Sydenham Society for her support of the new Society and excellent advice on setting it up.


  • Next meeting of Exec Friday 3rd June at LR home.
  • All to communicate by email in the interim.

Post meeting note.
It proved not possible to get a stall at Forest Hill Day due to restrictive criteria on new stalls imposed by FHTA and the Horniman.
Further Steering Group meetings will be held in the summer to progress the Society in advance of the AGM.

17 June 2006

Forest Hill Station meeting with Southern Railway

On Thursday members of the FH and Sydenham Society met with representatives from Network Rail and Southern Railway at Forest Hill station. We were discussing the current state of the railway station and some issues that we have with the current station. The main areas we explored were:

1. The footbridge. There are plans to refurbish this. Particularly to remove the graffiti.

2. The new timetable - SR agreed to find out details of whether direct trains to London Bridge were to be cut once the East London line extension is built. If trains are to be cut would the Victoria "loop" (from London Bridge to Victoria) survive?

3. Entrance and steps from Platform - SR would look at whether they could widen the entrance from the platform, provide better lighting and resurface the area particularly at the base of the steps and onto Perry Rise.

4. The underpass. SR would discover who owned this area - themselves, Lewisham Council or Network Rail. In the meantime, we agreed that it would be a good idea to organise an on-site meeting between the FH Society and the Forest Hill / Perry Vale Councilors to specifically discuss the underpass and its refurbishment.

I am confident that meetings like this are a great way for FH Society to make a difference to the local area.

05 June 2006

Article in Local Press

Catford and Lewisham News Shopper have an article about the start of the Forest Hill Society: Residents want to improve town

VOCAL residents are moving from an internet chatroom to the council chamber to try to make their town a "better place".

People from Forest Hill have not been shy in expressing opinions on their neighbourhood via the SE23 website in recent months.

Now they have decided to set up their own residents' group called the Forest Hill Society in a bid to turn their words into actions.

Founder Michael Abrahams says his group will work with the council and other groups to improve facilities in Forest Hill.