19 December 2011

Planning: Hindsleyʼs Place and Westbourne Drive

The Forest Hill Society has written in support of the planning application for live work units on Hindsleyʼs Place and Westbourne Drive.
The Forest Hill Society is interested in supporting well designed high quality buildings and appropriate development. In relation to this application, we write in support of it for two reasons:
  • The live/work units proposed provide a flexible and valuable building type that has been successfully demonstrated in the Forest Hill area at Havelock Walk and other developments. We are keen to support proposals that propose genuine live/work development such as this because they add to the richness of the area and support small scale employment opportunities.
  • The proposals are of a high quality and address concerns that have been raised to earlier proposals on the site. This development will make a significant improvement to Hindsleyʼs Place, in particular.

    Planning: 33 Dartmouth Road - DC/11/78718

    The Forest Hill Society has written in response to this planning application to oppose the proposed change of use of 33 Dartmouth Road from A1 to A4.

    Dartmouth Road has had a difficult few year, since the closure of the swimming pool in 2006, however with the reopening of the pool next year we have a strong belief that retail units on Dartmouth Road will be revitalised with the increased passing trade, especially on the route between the station and the pool. At this time we need to council to protect existing retail units so that as the fortunes of Forest Hill change there will be opportunities for new businesses to set up retail units on the high street.

    This site is within the core shopping area of Forest Hill and is therefore covered by STC4: Major and District Centres - Core Shopping Areas

    Within the Core Shopping Areas, the Council will strongly resist any change of use involving the loss at ground floor level of Class A1 shops. The following factors will be taken into account when considering exceptions:
    (a) whether the proposal harms the overwhelming retail appearance of the shopping frontage, with an over-concentration of non-retail uses (normally 3 non A1 uses together and 70% maintained in A1 use);

    In reference to STC 4a, this unit is next door to a pub and a pizza takeaway (currently closed). Changing this unit from retail to non-retail would harm the retail appearance of the road at this section.

    We are also concerned about the proposed hours of operation including until 3am at weekend. This is later than any other pub in the area and feel it would be an unnecessary disturbance for neighbours.

    With the existing concentration of pubs in the immediate vicinity, and new ones approved for opening directly across the road, we believe that this is not an appropriate use for this unit.

    Burns Night 2012

    Following the success of previous years, our Burns Night celebration will again be held at the Foresters/All Bar One, near Forest Hill station.

    Please note that this year, the evening will be on Thursday 26th January (a day late for purists, but please make a note in your diaries). If you would like to get involved in helping organise or addressing the Haggis, please contact alisa@foresthillsociety.com

    14 December 2011

    Lighting Up in SE23

    Under a Private Finance Initiative, Croydon and Lewisham councils have appointed Skanska to improve street lighting across both boroughs including the underpass in Forest Hill. The councils won £151 million of government funding.

    The project includes an initial five year core investment period where the main replacement of lighting stock, traffic signs and street bollards will be undertaken by Skanska, with an ongoing maintenance and repair programme until 2036. During this period, 20 subways will be relit, 38,000 new lighting columns (lamp posts) installed and over 7,000 illuminated traffic signs and bollards will be replaced on a ward by ward basis. Perry Vale is the first ward to be upgraded locally, with work expected to start in February. Forest Hill, Sydenham and Crofton Park wards follow in the second year of the contract.

    The replacement programme takes many factors into account when considering whether to replace or upgrade the existing lighting including age, condition and compatibility of existing equipment. In many circumstances the roads undergo a complete re-design and positions of the columns may be changed as it's not always possible to integrate the existing columns in the new design layout.

    Also, the new design sets light the footpaths in addition to the highway, which means that the majority of the lighting columns will be positioned at the back of the footpath where possible. Lighting on side roads will be converted to Iridium white light sources, rather than the current yellow, sodium lamps.

    One of the major factors in the replacement programme is to reduce energy consumption, and a typical saving of 30-40% per road can be achieved by utilising the latest technology. It is also possible to detect faults quicker due allowing the street lighting to be maintained much more efficiently.

    13 December 2011

    Localism and SE23

    The much talked about Localism Act will bring into force a range of changes that affect local authorities and planning. Much of this will come in to force on the 6 April 2012. This gives a greater role to local authorities under a 'general power of competence'. They will also be given greater powers to work with other councils in order to drive down costs and consider different ways of delivering services.

    Some of the most revolutionary changes will be powers given to communities, such as the ability to challenge the running of Council services and propose cheaper alternatives, and the community 'right to buy' assets of community value. In terms of planning, communities will have a stronger role in developing planning policy through Neighbourhood Planning proposals, and a new requirement for developers to consult with the community on proposals before submitting a planning application.

    Neighbourhood Planning
    This lets communities have more of a say on proposals, allowing them (within reason) to draw up a 'neighbourhood plan'. In 'unparished' areas such as London, the community and Council will need to define what a 'neighbourhood' is and the best group to draw up a plan.

    We have been working with the Sydenham Society on this. In September we organised an event to discuss the key issues. This focused around four locations: Forest Hill, Honor Oak, Kirkdale and Sydenham/Lower Sydenham. This went very well and a report has been produced and is available on our website. An area that we want to work on is to have better information about the specific character of the area so this can be used to inform decisions about new development.

    Our next steps include meetings with Lewisham Council, and the organisation of a Neighbourhood Forum. Then we will be working on a programme of community workshops and events over the next 12-18 months and seeking funding support for this.

    12 December 2011

    Man Dug Pond

    A new wildlife pond has arrived on Albion Millennium Green. ‘Man Digs Pond’ was the creation of local performer, Bruno Roubicek who collaborated with Friends of Albion Millennium Green to produce this unique community event.

    The pond was constructed during 24 hours from the 5 – 6 November, accompanied by around 40 singers including a choir from Holy Trinity School and a community choir organised by Alix McAdams.

    With around 21 volunteers and support in kind from such diverse sources as Theatre Royal Stratford East and Lewisham Green Scene, the event involved a big effort from many in Forest Hill and beyond, so thanks to all who helped, especially Mark Edwards who supplied the delicious food at cost price and Rosalind Meadows who helped out with some great pond plants and advice.

    Two weeks later and the pond looks great. Lets hope we get some frogs in the Spring.

    11 December 2011


    Our exciting initiative of planting at the station and along London Road has been awarded a certificate in the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ scheme.

    We were assessed in the summer and awarded a 'thriving' status - one category (and only three points) down from 'outstanding'. An excellent first year attempt. The beds have also recently been planted with hundreds of spring bulbs, which will be an awesome display next year.

    Well done and many thanks to Quetta Kaye and all the green fingered volunteers, and especially to those who laboured through the summer months hauling watering cans.

    Thanks to Shannon's Garden Centre for donating plants, the Horniman Gardens for donating compost, Natures Gym for helping us break the back of the project by removing the old shrubs, Willmott Dixon for helping to repair some of the flowerbeds and LOROL for their encouragement and support in making this happen. Also thanks to Lewisham Council and the Forest Hill local assembly for providing funds.

    08 December 2011

    See It, Report It!

    As part of our drive to improve the area, we encourage our members to report any fly tipping, graffiti or other problem to Love Lewisham (see a poignant example illustrated below). You can report anything from a faulty street light to a dead animal and the sooner it is reported, the sooner it will be removed - don't walk past it.

    Reporting is simple and can be done in several ways.
    • If you have a smartphone and dataplan, download a free application for your phone. You can then take a photo of the problem and send it to LoveLewisham.org. The app automatically logs the location and a picture ensures that the correct team is dispatched to clean up the area, saving time and money.
    • Use the LoveLewisham.org website. Simply create an account or sign in with your Twitter, Facebook, AOL, Google, Yahoo or Windows Live ID (among others). Your password is secure and it is never sent to LoveLewisham. Once signed in, select the location on a map (or type it in), add a picture (if you have one), give them a few details (such as a description) and click the Add button.
    • By TEXT message or MMS. Just send a text or MMS message to 07725 20 20 20 with LCS in the Subject field or as the first part of the message. Include a picture if you can and give a description of the problem and the location. LoveLewisham will get back to you if they need more information.
    • Click on the 'Do It Online' tab, then 'Report It' on the Lewisham.gov.uk website complete the form.
    • Phone Envirocall on 020 8314 7171 and speak to a human.
    Whilst it can sometimes take a couple of reports to resolve the problem, the Society has reported over 20 problems, which have all been resolved.

    Membership Matters

    As I stated at the AGM, our priority for 2012 is building our membership and encouraging existing members to help where they can. With more members we can show wider community engagement and effect more change in SE23. With more members we can have a louder voice about where we live.

    Some of our smaller campaigns take a lot of time, but do not require expert knowledge, just common sense. So how can you help?
    • Update your membership to include other family at your address. It's free!
    • Encourage your friends and neighbours to become members. Give them a voice too.
    • Let us know how we are doing. A postcard, email, tweet or poke are always welcome.
    If you can spare some time then why not:
    • Help deliver newsletters. Each route is quite short and it's only four times a year
    • Grow a few plants for our "In Bloom" flower beds. Pick out litter or deadhead the plants when walking past (Everyone can tell the difference between plants and litter!)
    • Staff a stall at one of our events – even if only for an hour - or bake a cake.
    • Write an article for the newsletter on something you are passionate about.
    So join in, make new friends and have some fun! As one member recently told me "The Forest Hill Society is the friendliest organisation I've ever joined; everyone just helps each other". Please contact me via 2, Perry Rise, SE23 2QL or by email at richard@foresthillsociety.com if you can help.

    The Society needs help for a number of projects in 2012. We need some help in designing leaflets and posters for various events we will be holding and campaigns such as our membership drive. We also need someone with experience in website development.

    So if you are a graphic designer or website designer/developer and you'd like to help out on a voluntary basis then email richard@foresthillsociety.com for everlasting thanks.

    Finally, I would like to welcome Martin and Richard C onto the Transport and Executive committees and thank Alisa and Alison for taking over as our new Treasurer and Communications Officer respectively.
    Richard Hibbert, Chair, Forest Hill Society

    Busy Time for Planning

    Your society has been very active looking at the many new applications for developments in the local area. Below are just a few that we have closely looked at with local residents.

    The Old Bank (Honor Oak Park)
    There were over 300 objections to the application by Dominos Pizza to convert the Old Bank restaurant to a pizza takeaway and delivery shop. Our main reasons for objecting were the poor use of a prime location which should be a retail unit. There were also concerns about the parking and noise generated by motorbikes which would serve the shop during peak hours, and changes to the signage that could be out of keeping with the area.

    We were pleased that the council officers rejected this application and hope that the site will be back in use as a restaurant or retail unit soon.

    Dartmouth Road
    Two applications to convert retail units (A1) into offices (A2). Although this would bring empty shops into use, the council has policies to protect retail units in core shopping areas and conversion to offices would have a detrimental impact on this shopping area. We have therefore asked the council to reject the change of use.

    Dartmouth Road has far too many empty shops. We hope that the opening of the pools next year will start to see a revitalisation of this important part of the town centre. Many members are concerned about the impact of empty shops which is why we successfully bid for funding to produce bright images for some of these empty shops. We are currently working with Horniman Museum on a range of images for shop fronts that will showcase the museum in the high street.

    Hindsley Place / Westbourne Drive
    A previous  application for a six-storey building on this site was withdrawn by the applicant after concerns from neighbours. A new application was submitted for a three and four storey building on this site. This would include seven live/work units built by Jeff Lowe, who has a proven track record of delivering high quality live/work units in Havelock Walk and in other locations in Lewisham. We believe this is a good use of the site and have written in support of this development. It is rare for the Society to positively support applications but we consider that this will provide an additional hub for live/work in Forest Hill and will help develop Forest Hill as an artistic area.

    David's Road
    The Society objected to plans to demolish the gym replacing it with seven flats, as this provided poor quality living accommodation with a lack of natural light and windows facing onto the pavement. If you have concerns about planning applications in the local area please contact us at planning@foresthillsociety.com.


    Our years of campaigning are now visibly evident. On 28 October Forest Hill’s new pools were ‘topped out’ at a ceremony to mark the end of the main construction phase. The Society was invited to attend as a member of the Stakeholder Group. In a somewhat pagan ritual, Steve Bullock, our Mayor, Councillor Chris Best, Lewisham Cabinet Member for Community Services, Mark Tant, MD of builders Willmott Dixon and Ivan Parkinson, Finance Director of Fusion, poured salt, oil, water and corn into a carefully prepared recess in the concrete upper floor of the building.

    We were assured that the offerings would be removed prior to filling the recess in order to ensure structural integrity.

    We were surprised to find both of the new pools full of water – apparently this was to test for leaks. At a subsequent meeting of the Stakeholder Group, we were shown all the surface finishes that were to be used in the building. The main pools hall will largely be finished in a traditional pale blue colour with white tiling in the pool and dark blue lane markings.

    The building is progressing well and should be sealed from the elements by the end of the year. Current plans are for completion by late spring with opening expected no later than early autumn 2012. (Fingers crossed that it will be ready for the Olympics!)

    The stakeholder group had a presentation from Fusion about their management plans for Lewisham‘s leisure facilities in general, and Forest Hill in particular. As a company which is also a registered charity they are committed to returning any profits they make to the benefit of the sporting facilities they manage. They have considerable experience of managing local leisure facilities including Brockwell Lido, Dulwich Baths and Peckham Pulse. With a 15 year contract to manage most of Lewisham‘s facilities, they will be looking after more than 50 facilities in the area.

    Forest Hill Returns to the 1970s

    After a suitable repast of Babycham and a cheese and pineapple hedgehog, the scene was set for Abigail’s Party, at St George’s Church, Vancouver Road, performed by the St. George’s Players.

    It was well-cast with an excellent homage to Alison Steadman, with her fabulous gauche and gangly walk. The play was perfectly rehearsed with excellent timing and energy throughout. The story line builds from cringing moment to cringing moment to a fabulous crescendo of sexual tension, frustration and naiveté: set against the sublime character of Sue.

    The performance was well lit and the costumes relevant to the decade. The gem of a set was a professional evocation of the era down to the hostess trolley, the 70s lamp and the wallpaper.

    The venue is a great one, and lovely refreshments were served by other members and Players. St.George‘s Players put on two plays a year at the church in May and October and details can be found at www.st-georges-players.org.uk

    Photo Competition

    Local award-winning photographer Paul Murphy chose the winning entries and the overall winning picture came from Yomsa, which showed Honor Oak in warmer times, with a well composed, black and white picture of One Tree Hill Allotments in the summer. Yomsa wins a £20 gift certificate from local delicatessen, Hills & Parkes – so hopefully can keep well stocked up with organic vegetables through the winter!

    With only six participants, and a weighting towards pictures of snow, we have had a challenge creating the 12 month calendar!

    Please look on the flickr site, http://www.flickr.com/groups/foresthillcompetition/ for the set of fantastic winning entries.

    23 Night Out at the Foresters

    In the last newsletter we showcased the acoustic night on a Monday night at the Foresters/All Inn One.

    This time it was electric when our very own Jake brought his band, Jonah‘s Raft, to the venue for our regular series of events on the 23rd of the month.

    We had a great turn out and picked up a few new members while we were at it. Thanks to Lindsay, Andy and Vitor on guitars, Jake on cello and Christophe on cajon and percussion.

    Even better connected SE23

    The transport committee remains active on many fronts. We continue to be a thorn in the side of the authorities on both the Forest Hill Station underpass and the rail bridge. The promised repairs to the underpass were well below the expected standard and we have now enlisted Cllr John Pashoud in our dealings with the council, and in turn, Network Rail. The repainting of the railway bridge also failed to meet expectations, and we are putting pressure on for this to be completed.

    Honor Oak Park Station
    Again, ongoing work has fallen well short of our expectations, in particular the embankment and the work on the platforms, which remain tatty. We'll ask Network Rail about landscaping plans for the embankment – if not, then we will be applying pressure to get this important wildlife reserve reinstated.

    Lifts are still due at Honor Oak Park Station, probably in 2013 however, the lifts are of limited value if a step ladder is still required for the less agile to get onto and off trains! The step onto trains on platform one must be one of the largest on the network. We will shortly be down with our measuring stick, but it feels like a foot (24 cm). This presents a real challenge for anyone with luggage or a buggy let alone those with less mobility. Not really a good enough answer in the 21st Century.

    As we go to press we are considering responses on a number of issues raised with LOROL – later running of trains, fare avoidance, longer platforms, five car trains and the staffing of the new Surrey Canal Road station.

    We'll report in the next edition but meanwhile please do share your views with us.

    More tranquil times at Honor Oak. (picture courtesy of Steve Grindlay)

    05 December 2011

    Improved Recycling in Lewisham

    Lewisham residents can now recycle a larger range of materials from the doorstep collection, now including: juice cartons, all plastics, aerosols, and clothes.

    More information on Recycle for Lewisham web site

    03 December 2011

    Christmas Delights

    Forest Hill Christmas lights
    Saturday 10 December, 3.30 - 5pm, Forest Hill station forecourt
    The Society invites young and old to see the lights switched on the Forest Hill Christmas tree and sing carols. Mulled wine, mince pies and more. Get some lovely festive cheer inside you.

    Kirkdale Village Pop-Up ChristmasOn Friday 9 and Saturday 10 December, businesses and the local community are hosting a special event. Participating businesses will hold short sessions including singing, yoga, drumming, music, drumming and dancing. There'll also be theatre, fashions shows and more. Info at www.kirkdalevillage.net

    Christmas Carols at Horniman GardensSunday 11 December, 5pm - 6pm
    Due to on-going work, this will be a smaller event this year so bring your flask and mince pies! See:

    Magic of Christmas Fair – Mayow ParkOn Sunday 11 December Grow Mayow Community Garden is holding a magical mix of all things festive for all the family from 12-4pm. Children‘s crafts, handmade gifts, carols and more.

    New Year’s EveSaturday 31 December at The Railway Telegraph Stanstead Road. See in the new year with the one and only Tippa Irie in concert. 020 8699 6644
    Tickets £10 in advance. Open until 3am

    LOCAL ASSEMBLY MEETINGS(All venues and times to be confirmed, check www.foresthillsociety.com for details)
    Sat 28 Jan: Crofton Park Assembly (venue TBC)
    Thurs 2 Feb: Perry Vale Assembly
    Weds 22 Feb: Forest Hill Assembly
    Tues 22 March: Perry Vale Assembly

    02 November 2011

    Forest Hill Pools Topping Out

    Last week saw the Topping Out Ceremony for Forest Hill pools, with the main structure now completed. The project was 'topped out' by the ceremonial pouring of some wine, oil, corn and salt into a suitably prepared recess in the concrete of the first floor.

    The pools have been filled with water for testing purposes, as can be seen in the photo. There is still lots of work to do with the building project expected to be completed in the Spring and the pools open to the public in September 2012.

    More photos of the construction process can be seen on Flickr.

    30 October 2011

    Devonshire Road Nature Reserve - Halloween special

    Planning: 51-53 Canonbie

    The Forest Hill Society has objected to the plans for a development at 51-53 Canonbie Road.
    You can view the application here. And you can view the letter of objection here.

    Since the submission of the objection some amendments have been included in the plans, in particular removing the parking from the rear of the property and adding three parking spaces to the front of the property, within two metres of ground floor bedroom windows. We have adjusted our objection to take account of these amendments.

    25 October 2011

    Planting Spring Blubs

    Riverwork Days on the River Pool

    Information of Events from Thames 21

    October: 26th
    November: 9th, 23rd
    December: 7th

    Join Thames21 in our new fortnightly Riverwork Days on the River Pool.

    Learn how to support and manage our vital river systems by making a practical difference.
    This an opportunity for people to get involved in a long-term project to enhance the character of the river, and make improvements to the river and bankside vegetation.
    No experience necessary. All equipment, including safety boots, gloves and tools provided.

    People of all age groups and abilities are welcome. Children under 16 need to be supervised by an adult.

    TIME: 10.00am - 1.00pm
    MEET: Meet at the bridge on Winsford Road, Bell Green, SE6. http://g.co/maps/r2er8

    14 October 2011

    Planning: Old Bank in Honor Oak and 13 Church Vale

    The Forest Hill Society has recently objected to two planning applications in the local area.

    Old Bank, 76-78 Honor Oak Park
    Details of Planning Application for conversion to Domino's Pizza take away
    You can read the full letter of objection here

    13 Church Vale
    Details of Planning Application for conversion of residential property to children's nursery
    You can read the full Letter of objection here

    09 October 2011

    AGM Minutes

    The following Officers of the Society were elected for a period of one year at the AGM on 6 October 2011.

    Chairperson: Richard Hibbert
    Vice-Chair: Michael Abrahams
    Secretary: Katherine Willett
    Treasurer: Alisa Owens
    Membership Secretary: Belinda Evans
    Communications Officer: Alison Wadley 
    Committee Reports:


    Quetta Kaye gave a short presentation at which she summarised the activities of the Environment and Leisure subcommitte and outlined proposals for the next year.
    • Raising awareness of environmental issues through public events such as May Day and various Open Days at local nature reserves.
    • Had reached a different demographic by holding events at Dacres Road nature reserve as well as Devonshire Road
    • 'Friends' groups were now up and running at Albion Millenium Green, Devonshire Road and Dacres Wood. It was hoped to start one for Garthorne Road too.
    • Money would be received from Ward Assembly for continuing Forest Hill In Bloom at the station next year. We had not yet heard how the results for this year.
    • There had been regular meetings with the Head of Lewisham's Environment and Waste Management team which had resulted in less bins on pavements in the Town Centre. There were still issues to be resolved.
    • Shannon's Garden Centre, Willmott Dixon and LOROL were thanked for their sponsorship of our 'In Bloom' entry
    • There would be a Christmas Tree in the Town Centre this year (funded from the Localities Fund) which we would be able to decorate again
    • There had been three 'Bring & Take' days during the year. These had proven very popular and there would be another in the spring
    • Lewisham's Environment department had said they would provide wildflower seed for the bank at Honor Oak Park station if we could organise people to broadcast the seed


    Andrew Reid then presented the report of the Transport sub-committee.
    • The committee meets every 4-6 weeks
    • We continue to keep pressure on the relevant authorities to improve the standard of our stations and their surroundings.
    • We represent the community at Lewisham Transport Liaison Meetings and on the LOROL and Southern Passenger Boards
    • Platform extensions to 10 car are under way. Forest Hill platforms are now both being extended towards Croydon.
    • Network Rail claimed they had finished the works at Honor Oak Park and handed responsibility to LOROL. There were still areas which looked unfinished and we would raise this with LOROL
    • Work was supposed to have been completed on Forest Hill Subway, but the programme had slipped and Network Rail were refusing to refurbish steps or supply handrails. The relevant personnel at Lewisham and Network Rail were leaving shortly, so progress may be further delayed.
    • The December timetable would see 10 car trains running on some Southern services, but the 1725 and 1824 services were being withdrawn due to low passenger numbers on these badly spaced services.
    • The Olympics would impact train and bus services. The Overground should be running later evening service. A member requested that we lobby LOROL for later running ELL services, particularly at the weekend
    • In the near future, there would be:
      • Possible cuts to our London Bridge service starting in December 2012. Southern will only be able to run 24 trains per hour into London Bridge instead of the current 30, but are unable/unwilling to tell us how this may affect us.
      • Step free access at Honor Oak Park, Brockley and New Cross Gate as part of Access for All. The current date for this to be completed is December 2013.
      • a new Franchise from 2015. We expect consultation on this to take place late next year
    • In the more distant future,
      • Further extensions to the platforms for 12 car trains (for Thameslink)
      • Direct service from East Croydon to Finsbury Park when Thameslink is completed in 2018
      • Crossrail would provide step free access at Whitechapel
      • The Overground would probably be extended to 5 car trains, with Selective Door Opening at Canada Water, Rotherhithe, Wapping and Shadwell.
      • An extra two trains per hour have been proposed by TfL from Crystal Palace to Dalston Junction
      • TfL are currently working on proposals for Tramlink to be extended from Harrington Road to Crystal Palace providing 6tph to Beckenham and Croydon.
      • Tfl had produced draft plans showing the DLR being extended from Lewisham to Forest Hill via Catford
      • Tfl had supported extension of the Bakerloo line via New Cross Gate, Lewisham and Catford to Lower Sydenham and Hayes
      Despite these improvements, our line was still expected to be one of the most crowded by 2021
    • We had met with TfL London Streets and they had promised a number of improvements to the A205 South Circular including a right turn lane under the Railway Bridge onto Waldram Place and removing the loading restrictions outside Mirror Mirror on London Road.
    • We had met with Lewisham to discuss the abysmal gritting last winter. They would be providing chains for the griting lorries so that they could treat the hilly roads, among other improvements
    • Network Rail had told us that the A205 South Circular would be closed on 10 October so that the Railway Bridge could be repainted. It was not known whether this was an all day or early hours closure.
    • Live Countdown information is now available by sending a text to 87287 or online at m.countdown.tfl.gov.uk. This allows you to find out the times of the next bus at any bus stop by simply entering the bus stop number, which is displayed on a label attached to the bus stop.

    Planning and Development

    Hilary Satchwell explained how the Planning committee operated and ran through the various planning applications which we had objected to in the last year. Two current applications which had provoked strong local feelings included an application by Domino's Pizza to change the Old Bank in Honor Oak from A3 (Restaurant) to A5 (Takeaway) and Southwark's plans to use Honor Oak Rec for burials.

    She then went on to discuss Neighbourhood Planning. We had recently run a very successful event in conjunction with Sydenham Society.

    Communications and Membership

    Alison Wadley gave a brief presentation on the activities of the Communications sub-committee and asked for feedback on the Newsletter. We had introduced PayPal as a means of payment this year and it was proving popular. Most people were paying extra to cover PayPal's fees.

    Chairman's Report

    Richard Hibbert then summed up before the elections of the Officers. This year had been one of less intense campaigning and more supporting of other single interest groups, such as the Friends of Honor Oak Rec due to our concentration on the Town Centre. We had persuaded Lewisham to put in a bid for the Outer London Fund, but this had been ultimately unsuccessful.

    He went on to thank all members of the Executive for their contribution over the year, particularly Quetta, Charlie, Alison, Alisa and Hugh. He also thanked Peter, Liz and Helen who were stepping down this year for all their work.

    Man Digs Pond

    An exciting event from our friends at Albion Millennium Green...
    • A Man will move.
    • A Man may sing.
    • A Man will not speak.
    • A Man may cry.
    • A Man will not leave until A Man has dug a pond.
    Over 24 hours, A Man will dig a wildlife pond, complete with a garden bog area, flora and fauna and a rock garden for amphibians.

    Start: Saturday 5th November 8.00pm
    End: Sunday 6th November 8.00pm

    Venue: Albion Millennium Green

    From 1.00pm - 8.00pm on Sunday, delicious and great value bbq food for sale, (with veggie options).

    This is a free event. The audience can come and observe A Man working for as long as they want. There will also be an opportunity to sing if you want to. School choirs and groups and individuals of mixed singing ability will sing a song or two as an accompaniment to the action. From 1.00pm till 8.00pm Sunday you can just turn up and sing anything you want. As long as there is nothing offensive in the lyrics. There will be no amplified sound, so no microphones. Feel free to bring an acoustic instrument. Out of respect to the neighbours there will be no drumming after dark.

    Getting There:
    Entrance at the end of Albion Villas Road. London. SE26 4DB.

    02 October 2011

    Forest Hill Society AGM 2011

    Thurs 6 October, 7.30pm Upstairs at The Hob (opposite Forest Hill Station)

    Come along and find out what your local community group achieved this year and what's being planned for next year. The Forest Hill Society AGM is open to all residents in SE23 and we’d love to see you there. If you are interested in joining the Executive Committee, helping out at events and local activities, or just finding out what we do, then please do come along to a relaxed and social evening. There’ll be a bit of updating on what we’ve been doing and what our plans are, and a vote for committee members. Primarily, it’s about finding out what you want.

    We’re passionate about making SE23 an even better place to live.

    If you are interested finding out what the Executive Committee gets up to with a view to joining please email richard@foresthillsociety.com

    If you’d like to help out on a less formal basis come along on the night and see what takes your fancy or, email alison@foresthillsociety.com and we’ll be in touch as and when.

    Date for your Diary

    Sun 23 Oct 11am-3pm: Open Day at Dacres Wood Nature Reserve
    Sun 30th Oct - 2:30pm : Spring Bulb Planting at Forest Hill Station

    Sat 5th Nov - Sun 6th Nov, 8pm-8pm: Man Digs Pond, Albion Millennium Green

    Weds 12 Oct 7pm: Perry Vale Ward Assembly, Forest Hill School, Dacres Road, SE23 2XN
    Tues 1 Nov 7.30pm: Forest Hill Ward Assembly, (venue TBC)
    Weds 9 Nov 7pm: Crofton Park Ward Assembly (venue TBC)

    Success at Assembly!

    We are happy to report some excellent news following our campaigning! The Forest Hill Local Assembly voted to fund 13 projects across the ward and the Forest Hill Society was lucky enough to receive funding for all four of our proposals - totalling just under £19,000. Two projects will improve the Horniman Triangle play park: the addition of two new sets of equipment; swings for the young and games tables for all ages. The games tables will allow park users to play table tennis on sturdy outdoor tables.

    The two other projects improve the town centre. We’ll be able to continue the flower planting around the station and opposite the Horniman Museum. The funding will also allow us to maintain the planting and expand the scheme to other locations in the town centre, as well as improve watering facilities at the station, to make maintenance much easier. The final project will target empty shop fronts in the town centre and use them to display large images from the Horniman collection, brightening up the town centre and providing a visual link between the town centre and the Horniman Museum.

    A great result for us, and for the community. Well done to the Society members and SE23 people who worked so hard to develop and submit these bids.


    Richard and Julia have been running the Foresters for over ten years making it more family friendly, and offering a good range of food and drink. The building itself is fascinating, originally mid-Victorian, but following bomb damage, a major make-over was undertaken in the 1950s.

    Unknown to many, on Monday nights they hold an acoustic bluegrass session. This American roots music, derived from English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish folk, with jazz and blues influences, originally featured guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo and double base. As Forest Hill local, Dave Marshall, explains they accept all comers such as dobro and drums, and delve into other genres, popular and traditional.

    Dave is a captivating character. He recalls his formative years in the 60s when he was mesmerised by groups including The Animals, Howling Wolf and John Lee Hooker at Newcastle’s Club A’Gogo. He late ran a folk club at the Bird in Hand.

    The session is held virtually every Monday, check http://ukbluegrass.com/forum/ (search for ‘Foresters’) for details or contact Dave directly: davermarshall@yahoo.com. Session members, such as dobro player Mark Langmead, can give advice on lessons and where to buy a instruments.

    You don't need to play to enjoy the session. You can enjoy a quiet chat, read or contemplate life, and let the music wash over you. For those new to this you may wish to take out the wonderful Coen brothers DVD 'O Brother Where Art Thou'.

    The Foresters has tried other nights including trad jazz, and Blues, sadly falling my the wayside. Richard and Julia are happy to consider suggestions.


    We are keen to hold regular events for both members and all residents of SE23. Previously, this was done via social evenings in local restaurants and called the 23 Club. We felt that these events, apart from being at a cost, also missed out some of the fabulous things to do in the area. Plus the word club could sound a bit exclusive. And that we are not!

    So, we plan to organise monthly events, on or around the 23rd of the month. The forerunner was a river walk in August along the Pool and Ravensbourne, from Bell Green to Ladywell. It was a lovely walk and a gorgeous day, so much so there was a mass dipping of toes to cool off. However we need ideas so come to the AGM or look out for e-news for details.

    Chair's Report - September 2011

    It may seem that we have been a little quiet in recent times, in the absence of high profile issues such as the possible demolition of the pools, and threats to our train services. These united the community in opposition. But let me reassure all members that our work does not stop there and there is plenty going on behind the scenes!

    The main campaign we have supported this year has been the ongoing fight to save Honor Oak Rec from being claimed as burial space.

    Another focus has been the town centre. To this end, we have been actively involved in decorating the Christmas Tree and planting the flower beds outside the station and organising a pop-up event. We have also been active in removing graffiti, pushing for the underpass to be refurbished and getting the railway bridge repainted, as well as meeting with TfL to make some changes to the South Circular. Some of these changes are still in the pipeline and we will be following up to make sure that the promises are delivered.

    The next year looks very busy, with over £17,000 of projects to deliver from the Local Assembly Fund, the effects of the Localism Bill to react to and a resurrected monthly social event. We would like to do more, but need more volunteers. If you have something you feel strongly about, or can spend a few hours a month volunteering then please consider joining the Executive committee. Each year some people leave due to moving house, a new job or University commitment. Children grow up and new residents arrive and we hope that they will all become active in their community.

    I look forward to meeting you at the AGM and hearing your news.

    Five Years on and Still Going Strong

    Whilst there's no room for complacency, nor should we go all sentimental, it is still good to reflect that our AGM this year is our fifth anniversary.
    Of course it's not been all plain sailing, we have a broad range of opinions and strive to represent the views of all in this, until recently, relatively hidden gem of SE London.

    So how did it all start? On 23 April 2006 a local resident with the pseudonym ‘Roz’ started a post on the chat room SE23.com about setting up a new society. Interest picked up quickly and, a month to the date, around 20 of us met at the Dartmouth Arms. This included mystery residents who used evocative monikers such as Hilltop General, KK, and Loneranger.

    It all seemed very organic at the time, but looking back much had already been done by the time we met, our current vice-chair (and former chair) Michael had already started working on a constitution. Importantly we ensured that this recognised that Forest Hill and Honor Oak were already thriving areas, and that our role was to make SE23 an even better place to live.

    Four months later at the Friends Meeting House in Sunderland Road 150 members met. The feature was a discussion on the proposed new East London Line extension (aka the Overground) and it was refreshing that whilst most welcomed this, there was a strong voice objecting to any degradation of the existent service to London Bridge. (Now we look to more exotic proposals such at the Bakerloo and DLR extensions). You may find it interesting to revisit these minutes: www.box.net/public/rk7cyyyet6

    Committee members were voted in and, in what seems like record time, the Society had gone from a speculative discussion to a fully fledged organisation.
    (To be continued in Autumn 2016!).


    Michael Abrahams, from our transport sub-committee, explains how three major rail projects that are already in hand, and a fourth under consideration, could affect us.

    Crossrail (see right) will provide fast connections in an East-West direction across central London. For passengers from Forest Hill the interchange at Whitechapel (on the East London Line) will provide good connections to the West End, Paddington, West London and Heathrow.
    Thameslink trains are expected to run a stopping service including our stations, allowing direct travel to Blackfriars, Kings Cross, and further north. This could be a half-hourly service during morning peak, extending two existing services into London Bridge.

    DLR recently published a map (see below) showing proposed extensions to the East (to Dagenham), to the West (Victoria and Euston), and to the South (Catford and, taking us by surprise, Forest Hill).

    The configuration of railway tracks and roads South of Lewisham is a challenge, beyond Catford is more problematic - elevated above or underneath the South Circular, or through houses.
    Another option may be terminating at Bell Green rather than Forest Hill, which could be part of the regeneration of the area. We are already well served for Canary Wharf and beyond.

    Finally, the East London Line phase 2 project is an important new service for Southwark residents, complimenting phase 1 taking us to Canada Water, Shoreditch, and now Highbury & Islington.

    Michael will be explaining how we hope to influence the Bakerloo line extension in our next edition.

    Countdown 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1,0

    TfL has quietly introduced an online Countdown bus information service for mobile phones and PC/Mac users. After testing has completed, this should enable you to find out approximate bus times by either typing in a bus route, postcode, bus stop name, bus stop code or if you have a smartphone, GPS will find your local stops for you. You can find the site on your mobile at http://m.countdown.tfl.gov.uk or on your computer at http://accessible.countdown.tfl.gov.uk/


    In spite of having a lot of money spent on the ticket hall and steps up to the road, Honor Oak Park Station continues to look like an abandoned building site. New benches have been provided, but some are behind fences! As a moderately disabled person, I find that it is not easy to get on/off either the Southern trains or the Overground ones. Why oh why did they not raise the level of the platforms to make it easier for every passenger to get on/off the trains while they were modernising the station? The slope has been stabilised and a ‘weed field’ established. Will this avoid any maintenance?

    SE23 On Show

    A number of local historic buildings were open to the public on 17/18 September as part of the London Open House Weekend. Here we focus on one of our many gems.

    The Capitol pub entertained a couple of hundred or so visitors, taking them around many of the original features. Opened in 1929, and now Grade II listed, this is the only remaining John Stanley Beard designed cinema in the country. In its heyday it sat 1,640 for films, variety shows and the Saturday morning childrens’ club. On the first day the queues went all around the building. It was the perfect location, as the comedy actor Frank Thornton (‘Are You Being Served’, and ‘Last of the Summer Wine’) recalls, being on the convergence of bus, tram and train. Planned for silent movies, it pioneered a new sound system where the speakers went behind the screen, which had 1000s of small holes made in it.

    Visitors explored the balcony with all the seats still intact, and marvelled at the views over toward the Greenwich and the ‘Dome’. You can see one of the three resident ghosts in the previous picture.

    The architecture has been described as Art Deco Egyptian, but it is more Greco-Roman. The sensitive refurbishment was carefully agreed with English Heritage and Lewisham Council; the few original features not on show were carefully hidden, or where removed replaced by a sympathetic addition. It closed as a cinema in 1973, and as a bingo hall in 1986. Developers would have loved to get their hands on it, but J D Wetherspoons preserved it for public use for the foreseeable future.

    Many thanks to ‘Bean’ for showing us around and hope he recovers swiftly after repeatedly climbing all those stairs. Some members will recall the tour the Society had in one of our pub crawls. Bean please keep looking for the keys to the projectionist’s room, and tell us when you find the original Compton organ, in its time the largest in the country.
    The self build ‘Segal’ houses in Walters Way, that share many similarities with timber framed buildings from Elizabethan England, have now been on display at numerous open houses. Many have now been remodelled to provide a most eclectic mix, set-off perfectly on the slope of a wooded hill only spitting distance from Honor Oak Park station.

    Numerous Havelock Walk studios and The Horniman Park and Gardens were also open on the day, giving visitors the chance to see behind the scenes.

    Last year we showcased Louise House, and in a years time this and the Pools may well be on the Open House list. We would be interested in hearing from others who may wish to be involved in next year’s event.


    Are you a frustrated craftsperson? Do you get a kick out of DIY? Have you ever dreamt of building your own shelter in the woods? Do you watch those TV programmes about building your dream home and think “these people are buffoons!”; well the Devonshire Road Nature Reserve has just the thing for you!

    We need volunteers to build a greenoak shelter with a living roof at the reserve. We’ll be running carpentry workshops during the winter, cutting and shaping the green-oak frame for the building, making the mortice joints and bracing pieces and forming the curved roof timbers.
    In the spring we’ll be clearing the site, casting the pad-stones ready for an Amish style ‘barn-raising’; a two-day buildfest to get the frame erected and the roof on. Finally we’ll be running hands-on workshops to build and plant the living roof (similar to the roof on the Horniman Museum).

    We’ll have seasoned professionals on hand to guide the work, but the building will truly be yours, something to look back on and say “I did that!”. Contact Jake on 020 8291 2272 or e-mail jake@foresthillsociety.com to enrol.


    Following our article in the last issue on new shops, we now feature some old favourites.


    Mirror Mirror, 25 London Road
    Mirror Mirror Hairdressers, on the ‘boulevard’ side of London Road, has been styling the hair of Lewisham residents since 1994.
    Their hairstylists are all qualified and also colour specialists who take pride in their constantly updated skills. So if you feel like an autumn spruce up, pop in and be the fairest one of all.

    ON THE GREEN Shannon’s Garden Centre

    99-105 Stanstead Road
    Henry Shannon started his landscaping company in 1959 and won major awards, including the '1988 Principal Award for Hard Landscaping Construction' awarded by the British Association of Landscapes Industries. This was for a project carried at Coin Street River Walk, SE1.
    He opened his garden centre in 1989 which was the realisation of a dream for Henry. It is now run by the next generation, and still has Henry Shannon in the background to see that it is run the 'correct way'. They are always happy to give customers advice on plants and flowers and will recommend suppliers for landscaping etc. They will also deliver if you just love gardening but can’t carry all your purchases. Shannon’s are very keen to play a part in the local community helping and advising on planting projects such as The Stanstead Strip. They have also been fundamental in getting the planting at Forest Hill station underway and this year helped the Forest Hill Society with the plants in the forecourt and on the platforms.


    EJ Carpets, 1-5 Perry Vale
    Established in 1974, E J Carpets is a family run business offering a wide variety of flooring including carpets, real wood, laminate and vinyl floorings
    As well as advice and sales they provide a friendly and professional installation service too. As members of the Carpet Foundation and accredited by the Office of Fair Trading, it seems we have a real gem on our doorstep.

    ON YER BIKE Finches Ski Emporium

    25-29 Perry Vale
    You can tell by the name that this is much more than a bike shop. Also a local, family run business, Finches has six different departments: Skiing, Snowboarding, Cycling and General Sports in the winter months, Skateboarding and General Sports in the summer months. They also trade online at www.finches-ski.com.
    Current customers will know that the shop front on Perry Vale leads you into a wonderful 200 square metres of beamed space filled with every type of gadget and accessory you could imagine. They also stock ice spikes for shoes and boots, essential for traversing the slopes of Forest Hill in the icy winter.

    28 September 2011

    Honor Oak Rec deadline. Act now!

    The consultation process by Southwark Council is almost over - you have until Friday to submit your questionnaire. If you have not already done so, the questionnaire can be completed online at Southwark's website.

    About 150 people attended last weekend's Public consultation event at the Rec and the questions and comments gave the loud and clear message to the council :
    that our community want the Rec to stay as an open green space, to be improved and not used for burial.

    We recognise that the passing of loved ones is an emotional affair and that people need to visit graves to grieve, but are also cognisant of the fact that we have limited space locally for the living and the deceased. We are not against burial, but urge Southwark (and Lewisham) to follow a sustainable policy which does not consume valuable amenity space; the previous extensions of Camberwell New Cemetery were supposed to last many years and yet are already full. Using the remaining space of Honor Oak Rec will merely delay the inevitable day when there is no more burial space available in Southwark and Lewisham - it is not a solution to the problem. In 2007 the Government stated it was supporting London boroughs in the reuse of burial grounds that are more than 75 years old.

    Our suggested answers
    How often do you visit the cemeteries or crematoriums in Southwark?
    Enter frequency of visits to all Southwark cemeteries and Honor Oak Rec (which is part of Camberwell New Cemetery from the viewpoint of this questionnaire)
    What is the reason for your visit(s)?
    Tick all that apply
    Do you have a preference for burial or cremation?
    Answer truthfully. Obviously, if you say burial, then more burial space is required.
    If you have chosen burial as a preference please let us know what would be important to you when selecting a cemetery plot
    If you chose burial, then explain that you want a sustainable solution, encouraging grave reuse by lift-and-deepen. The Church of England recommends grave reuse after 50 years in its Churchyards' Handbook.
    Do you feel it is important for Southwark Council to continue to provide burial space for its residents
    If you feel that Southwark should provide burial space, then stress that this should be either by reuse of existing space, or by provision of new space outside the Borough
    Please rate the following options in order of those you feel most appropriate for the future of burials in the borough. Please number your preference from 1 to 8 with 1 being your first preference and 8 being your least favoured option.
    A. Re-use of common graves - 1
    B. Re-use of private graves - 2
    C. Use of burial chambers - 3
    D. Find burial site outside of Southwark - 6
    E. Share other cemetery or buy privately - 4
    F. Find shared land with other councils - 5
    G. Use some/all of Honor Oak Recreation Park - 8
    H. Stop burying in Southwark Providing a burial service is not a statutory responsibility. - 7
    Add comments stating the need for any Burial policy to be sustainable. Also note that when Camberwell New Cemetery opened, there was plenty of green space in the Borough and this is no longer the case; burial space should not be provided at the expense of amenity space.

    The campaign to preserve the Rec is being supported by Fields in Trust as well as the Friends of Honor Oak Rec.

    Apple pressing afternoon at One Tree Hill

    The One Tree Hill allotment society have their annual apple pressing afternoon on Saturday, 1st October, between 1pm and 5pm.  All are invited to go along and join them “chop/ mash/ scrat/ press apples into lovely fresh juice for you to drink".

    It’s a free event at the One Tree Hill Allotments, just off Honor Oak Park. Entry is by the top side gate on Honor Oak Park. See this map for the location (marked “ALLOT”) or email london_cider@btinternet.com for further information.

    15 September 2011

    'Bring and Take' day - Saturday 24th September

    The Forest Hill Society is organising a 'Bring and Take' day on Saturday 24 September 2011, 11.00am to 3.00pm, at the Dacres Wood Reserve Field Centre, off Dacres Road SE23.

    BRING: usable items you no longer need
    eg bicycles, push-chairs, books, toys, CDs, DVDs, tools, small items of furniture, musical instruments, good‑quality clothing, electrical goods, kitchenware etc

    TAKE: items you will find useful

    This isn’t a swap so you don’t need to match a Bring item with a Take item. Bring and Take whatever you like but remember, the more items people bring the more there will be take away!

    Please note: Items you bring should be in good working order.

    In addition, Lewisham Council are providing a van for the collection of WEEE waste (electrical and electronic equipment), so if you have any electrical items that no longer work you can bring them along to be disposed of properly.

    How to find the Dacres Wood Field Studies Centre:
    Entry to the Field Centre is off Dacres Road, between Catling Close and Homefield House, near the junction of Dacres Road and Silverdale. An unmarked driveway leads directly to the Field Centre from Dacres Road. Parking is available on Dacres Road and other nearby roads.

    The Nature Reserve won't be open but the Forest Hill Society are organising an Open Day on Sunday 23 October 2011.

    View Larger Map

    11 September 2011

    Open House Weekend in SE23 - 17th-18th September 2011

    Havelock Walk Open Studios
    Saturday and Sunday 12pm-6pm.

    Tour of the landscaping of Horniman Gardens- Sat - 2pm-4pm.
    More details

    The Capitol - Sat 10am-5pm/Sun 10am-5pm.
    Regular architectural tours including behind-the-scenes to largely untouched first floor area. Pre-book ONLY on 020 8291 8920. Last tour 4pm.

    Walter Segal self-build house with eco-refurbishment
    8 Walters Way, Honor Oak Park SE23 3LH - Sun 1pm-6pm.
    Regular tours, first come basis.

    10 September 2011

    What is Neighbourhood Planning,and why might it be relevant for us?

    The Forest Hill Society and The Sydenham Society invite you to a neighbourhood planning workshop on 21 September 2011 at 7.30pm,  Upstairs at The Hob (opposite Forest Hill Station).

    You may have heard about a range of changes to The Planning System that the Government are proposing.  One of the positive things to come out of the draft legislation is the proposal for Neighbourhood Plans that allow communities to put together their own vision and plan for the future in a way that can then become planning policy.

    The Forest Hill Society and the Sydenham Society are hosting an event on the 21st September at the Hob to consider the neighbourhood planning proposals, to discuss how it might be relevant for Forest Hill, Perry Vale and Sydenham and whether it is something we should to do.  The idea is that the event gives information about Neighbourhood Planning and Localism, but that it also focusses on the specifics of the areas we are interested in and gets people to think about what could change for the better and what the key issues might be?

    We want to include people who don't know anything about this at present but who are simply interested in the area(s).  We don't have a set view about whether a Neighbourhood Plan is the answer or not yet, or how it would work, but understanding the issues behind this is one of the purposes of the event. We particularly want to attract people with good ideas and thoughts about what could be done to improve the area.

    The meeting is open to all, from SE23, SE26, and those further afield who are interesting in what neighbourhood planning might mean to them.

    03 September 2011

    Perry Vale Energy Savers - Launch Event

    Time: September 13, 2011 from 7pm to 9pm
    Location: Kilmorie School, Kilmorie Road, London SE23 2SP
    Organized By: Susan Wise and Lewisham Council

    Perry Vale residents (see map of Perry Vale Ward) have been awarded funding from the GLA to improve energy efficiency in their homes.

    Participating households will receive a visit from a professional energy advisor who will asess which energy and water saving devices residents can benefit from, install them and offer practical advice on how to reduce energy use,  The scheme is open to everyone in Perry Vale, is completely free with no obligation on the resident's part.

    Please attend and learn how to save energy and reduce your energy bills!

    Cross Post from Love Perry Vale.

    31 August 2011

    Planning: 15 David's Road and 2 Radlet Avenue

    The Forest Hill Society has recently objected to two planning applications in the local area.

    15 David's Road
    Details of Planning Application
    You can read the full letter of objection here

    2 Radlet Avenue
    Details of Planning Application
    You can read the full Letter of objection here

    15 August 2011

    Forest Hill Society wins Funding from Ward Assembly

    The Forest Hill Local Assembly yesterday voted to fund 13 projects across the ward and the Forest Hill Society was lucky enough to receive funding for all four of our proposals - totalling just under £19,000.

    Two projects look to improve facilities in the Horniman Triangle play park with the addition of two new sets of equipment; Swings for young children and Games Tables for everyone.
    The Games Tables will allow park users to play table tennis on sturdy outdoor tables. Similar tables are well used in Dulwich Park.

    The two other projects look at improving the environment around the town centre. The first continues to flower planting that the Forest Hill Society started around the station and opposite Horniman Museum. The new funding will allow us to continue to maintain the flowers in these locations and expand the scheme to other locations in the town centre, as well as improving watering facilities at the station, to make maintenance easier.

    The final project will target empty shop fronts in the town centre and use them to display large images from the Horniman collection, brightening up the town centre and providing a visual link between the town centre and the Horniman Museum.

    08 August 2011

    River Walk

    Sunday 21st August, start time 11am
    Start point: Bell Green, on Stanton Way, between Sainsbury's Petrol Station and the Southend Lane bridge. Map at http://bit.ly/q9Dt7I
    Join us for a walk along the Rivers Pool and Ravensbourne to Ladywell Station. Walking time will be 60-75 minutes.

    Picture from here © Copyright Stephen Craven.

    06 August 2011

    Stolen Property in Lewisham

    Lewisham police have recovered a number of suspected stolen items of jewellery and are using Flickr.com in an attempt to re-unite the items with their rightful owners.

    The Burglary Squad in Lewisham have photographed all of the property including watches, charms, bracelets, necklaces, brooches, rings and earrings and posted them on the Metropolitan Police's Flickr page in the hope that those owners will come forward to identify them. They are also using traditional methods to try and return the missing property, including sending letters out to victims of crime who have reported their jewellery stolen through a robbery or burglary.

    It is hoped that the Flickr set entitled "Gold jewellery recovered by Lewisham Burglary Squad" will allow the public to search through pictures of the stolen items to try to identify anything that might belong to them.

    If you do believe any of the stolen jewellery could be yours, you are asked to contact PC Aaron Barr during office hours (8am - 4pm) on 020 8284 5040 or alternatively email Aaron.A.Barr@met.police.uk to arrange to view the property at Lewisham Police Station.

    Please note:
    - You should only get in touch if your property was stolen prior to 4 July 2011
    - You may be asked for identification, proof of ownership and be required to make a statement

    02 August 2011

    Wacky Olympics - Saturday 20th August - Mayow Park

    Information has been sent to us regarding a fun local event in a few weeks time, and all for a good cause....

    Wacky Olympics – Mayow Park, Saturday August 20

    Lewisham’s first ever Wacky Olympics – a family sports day with a funny twist
    Date: 20th August
    Location: Mayow Park, Sydenham (SE26)

    Bring your trainers and winning attitude and join us for fun, laughter and games to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Take part in the space hopper and two people sack races. Get stuck together and go under in twin limbo & many many more silly competitions for the whole family.

    Time: Opening ceremony for the Games begins at 12pm and ends at 3pm. To get involved in the games, contestants are encouraged arrive earlier to register.

    Other activities include:
    · Bouncy castle
    · Food and refreshments
    · Beat the goalie
    · Face painting and arts and crafts and nail art
    · A raffle

    Entry for the games: £3 adults. £2 for children
    Concessions: none

    I’m a 33-year old L&Q resident from Forest Hill, who, had a clean bill of health and used to go to the gym 5 days a week. I was working as an Associate TV Producer for C4 until September 2009, when I was diagnosed with a rare form of Leukaemia after going to Lewisham Hospital for a routine blood test. On diagnosis, I was given a 20-40% chance of survival and spent four months in hospital isolation receiving chemotherapy. I’ve had to give up working to have 2.5 years of cancer treatment have had 72 blood transfusions to stay alive. Without the help of Macmillan Cancer Support, I would have probably lost my home. To show my enormous gratitude for the financial generosity received from the charity, I want to raise money for Macmillan Cancer to help other families affected by this disease.
    Where is the money going to:
    I aim to raise £5000 which will to Macmillan Cancer Support. In the process of trying to restrict the funds to local Macmillan services to support local people affected by cancer.

    Alternatively you a can make a donation on

    01 August 2011

    Forest Hill Localities Fund

    The Forest Hill Society has submitted four bids for funding from the localities fund in the Forest Hill ward. We selected four projects that we believe are of particular importance to the local area and fit with the assembly priorities.
    1. Empty Shops - Horniman themes posters - £1,600
    2. Flowers for the town centre and watering facilities in the station forecourt - £3,800
    3. Swings for the Horniman Triangle - £9,500
    4. Games Tables (Table Tennis) for the Horniman Triangle - £4,000

    In addition there are a number of other excellent applications from other organisations to improve facilities and services within the ward. All of the project will be put to the vote on Sunday 14th August at 2pm at Sydenham School on Dartmouth Road. Please come along and vote for your favourite projects.

    26 July 2011

    More Dates for your Diary

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

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

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

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

    21 July 2011

    Outer London Fund bid

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

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

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

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

    20 July 2011

    Save Honor Oak Rec

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

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

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

    Act swiftly!

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

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

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

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