23 February 2011

BBC News reports on Honor Oak Rec

BBC London reporter Sonja Jessop came and interviewed various people at Honor Oak Rec yesterday. A short piece appeared on their website, with additional pieces on the lunchtime and evening news.

It was a pity that the Southwark Press Officer felt unable to introduce us to Councillor Barrie Hargrove, Southwark's cabinet member for transport, environment and recycling who will be making the final decision.

Lunchtime News

Evening News

The campaign also been on the radio recently too.
BBC London

BBC Radio 4's Today Programme

World Book Night

Forest Hill Library is the only one of Lewisham's libraries taking part in the largest book give-away ever attempted in the UK, World Book Night 2011.

This dynamic and unprecedented initiative to celebrate adult books and reading will see one million free books given away on World Book Night by 20,000 passionate readers to other members of the public across the UK and Ireland.

From 4.30-8pm on Saturday 5 March 2011, members of the public will have the opportunity to take part in a special event at Forest Hill Library SE23 3HZ. This free to attend event will form part of a nationwide celebration of books and reading on a single evening when 1 million people will receive a gift of a book by one of the 20,000 people who have successfully applied to give away 48 copies of a title they have already read and love. The books being gifted have been chosen from a carefully selected list of 25 titles.

The Forest Hill Library event showcases published local writers and performance poets.

Lauded performance poet and celebrated editor in chief of his own independent publisher (Flipped Eye), Nii Ayikwei Parkes introduces his debut novel, Tail of the Blue Bird, published by Jonathan Cape. It's a beautifully written murder mystery set in a rural part of Ghana and built around the relationship between a western trained forensic scientist and an elderly hunter steeped in the folklore of the village. (Click this link for an interview and reading by the author)

Winner of the Mail on Sunday novel competition, Bronia Kita, tells of The Swansong of Wilbur McCrum, published by Picador. A tale set in the Wild West during the gold-rush as seen through the eyes of an inspired fictional creation.

Chrissie Gittins is Forest Hill’s resident poet. Her poems have won prizes, been broadcast on BBC Radio 4, animated for Cbeebies television, and are widely anthologised.

Steve Smith will introduce his insightful book on the origins and development of gospel music in Britain which traces the early days of British black gospel, from the pioneering African American Choir %th Jubilee Singers in 1873 to the formation of the London Community Gospel Choir an Hip Hop artists of the 90s.

Members from local writing group, Inspired Word, will also contribute to the evening, which will be compered by storyteller, Sandra Agard.

The event is free to attend with courtesy refreshments and you might walk away with a gifted book or be enticed into buying a signed copy of a book from our writers performing on the night. Places must be pre-booked with Forest Hill Library (Tel: 020 8699 2065) - You don't have to attend all the event!

22 February 2011

Bird Walk in Mayow Park

The Friends of Mayow Park have organised a Bird walk in Mayow Park on Sunday 6th March 2011 at 7am, so if you are up in time, go along and experts will help you identify the birds you see. The walk will last about an hour.

If you have a pair of Binoculars, please take them with you. Meet by the Pavilion near the Burghill Road entrance gate

21 February 2011

Route Utilisation Strategy Response

Network Rail are consulting over development of rail services beyond 2019 in their Route Utilisation Strategy for London and the South East.

Issues for consideration:
  • 12 carriage trains on the Sydenham line into London Bridge
  • Improved numbers of evening peak services on the Sydenham Line
  • Increased frequency of services on the Crofton Park route
  • Increased utilisation of the central platforms at New Cross Gate
  • Integration of Bakerloo line extension options into the London and South East RUS (with interchange on the Sydenham line)
  • Additional carriages on the East London Line
  • Late evening and weekend services from central London termini
You can read the full Forest Hill Society Response here.

18 February 2011

Getting rid of old electrical items

Have you ever had something like a kettle, toaster or hairdryer that doesn’t work anymore and you’re unsure what to do with it?

The answer is here – six brand new small appliance banks have landed in various locations across Lewisham, including the Sainsbury's Car Park on Pearcefield Avenue. This is starting off as a trial, but subject to demand will be extended to cover more locations throughout the borough.

The banks will help Lewisham divert more of its waste to be recycled as well as providing a convenient service for residents, at no cost to the council. The electricals will be taken to SWEEEP to be recycled – click here for more details about the process.

The banks can be found mainly in the south of the borough as residents in the North have easier access to the Reuse and Recycling Centre at Landmann Way in New Cross – where these items can also be taken.

Items which can be receyled in the new banks include Phones, Remote Controls, VCRs, Digiboxes, Electronic Toys, Kettles, Hairdryers, Electric toothbrushes, Shavers, Small kitchen appliances, Irons, Small DIY tools, Clocks and Radios. However, please do not dump TV Monitors, Computers, Cookers, Washing Machines, Lightbulbs, Batteries or anything that won’t fit in the chute here.

The six banks are located at
•Sainsbury’s car park (Pearcefield Avenue, Forest Hill) SE23 3EU
•Laurence House car park (Entrance off Canadian Avenue) SE6 3AT
•Catford Bus Garage (Bromley Road) SE6 2PF
•Grove Park Bus Garage (Baring Road) SE12 0DU
•Junction of Sydenham Road and Porthcawe Road, SE26 5SF
•Junction of Leyland Road an Eltham Road, SE12 8DU

14 February 2011

Save Honor Oak Recreation Park

Honor Oak Recreation Ground is under threat again as Southwark Council faces pressure to provide more burial provision. Southwark council runs several current and closed cemeteries including Nunhead Cemetery, Camberwell Old Cemetery and Camberwell New Cemetery, but according to Southwark councillor James Barber, there was only a year's supply of spaces for burials last September. As a result, Southwark's officers have put forward two options to provide more burial spaces.

The first option is to reuse common graves once they have obtained Home Office approval – this involves adding two foot above the current plots (which are only 4 foot deep). Their initial thoughts are to use concrete blocks to add the required extra height, but this would be contrary to Southwark’s climate change strategy as concrete manufacture is carbon intensive. This option would give another 10-12 years of burial plots.

The second option is to use an adjacent sports playing field (Honor Oak Recreation Ground) giving another 25 years of burial plots. This is what they claimed when they took part of the Rec in 2000.

Friends of Honor Oak Park Recreation Ground are asking a series of questions of local councillors and have started a petition at petitionbuzz.com, but time is short as Southwark are due to make a decision this month. Sign up now to voice your concern.

Lack of burial space is not a new problem for Southwark. In the 1850's, the parish of Camberwell was having difficulty finding space for burials in its churchyards. The Camberwell Burial Board was established to find a solution to the problem, which they did - in 1855. The board bought 30 acres of meadow land and established it as the Burial Ground of St Giles, Camberwell. Camberwell New Cemetery was founded in 1901 in order to provide more space and was opened in 1927. By 1984, 300,000 burials had been carried out at the cemetery. The majority of burials now take place in the New Cemetery.

When you buy a grave in one of Southwark's cemeteries, you buy the 'exclusive right of burial' for that particular grave and this lasts for a period of 50 years. At the moment, anybody can buy a plot, although the fee is greater for those who are not or were not residents of the borough. Some religions prohibit the reuse of graves, but the Diocese of Southwark advises that while the reuse of graves within a period of less than 75 years is likely to cause distress and offence to the living, as well as appearing disrespectful to the dead, the reuse of graves as soon as 75 years have elapsed after the most recent burial should be encouraged, not least so that those presently arranging a burial are informed of what is likely to happen in the future. Rather than planning for re-use on a grave-by-grave basis, there is merit in seeking to bring larger areas into re-use as part of a coherent plan.

  • Contact, email or write to your local Lewisham or Southwark councillors. Tell them how you feel about the loss of open space, how you use the recreation ground and what it means to you.
  • Sign the petition at petitionbuzz.com.

On a side note, Southwark has spent a lot of time and money cleaning up the illegal dumping of building materials near Honor Oak Park station. This cleanup has taken over 18 months and will finally be resolved with the planting of new trees and bushes. This area is only expected to accommodate one year of burials.

08 February 2011

Sing Out...!

Song Thrush
Don’t just sing in the shower - there’s a vocal group near you that wants to hear your voice!

Sing Out! launches at Trinity Laban, Creekside in Deptford on Saturday, 19 February with the BBC Singers. Go along between 10am and 4pm to enjoy free workshops, talks and demonstrations from professionals.

This event marks the start of a year-long programme of activities exploring all types of singing that will culminate in the Music Nation weekend on 3, 4 and 5 March 2012 as part of the Cultural Olympiad. You can also register to be part of the biggest mass singing event ever held in Lewisham at People’s Day in July 2012.

Local Choirs

If you cannot make it to Sing Out..!, why not get involved in a local choir? Many choirs sing by ear rather than from sheet music, and many sing rock, gospel, world music and jazz, so don’t be put off because you can’t read music, or choral works aren’t your thing. Singing can also make you look and feel good – it improves your posture, tones your stomach muscles and releases feel-good endorphins – just like chocolate, but a lot less fattening. It is fun, joyful and uplifting and has inspired poets and poetry, writers and playwrights and more than a few romances. Choirs can also create an increased sense of community and belonging and are a great way to meet new friends.

Raise the Roof (Horniman)
Three ten week courses with a concert performance in the Gallery Square at the end of each term. Contact raisetheroofchoir@googlemail.com

Lewisham Choral Society
Provides an environment for amateur choral singers with a diverse range of experience and backgrounds that is dynamic, challenging and forward-looking. Contact annie.rimmer@breathemail.net

Honor Oak Singers
Chamber choir welcoming singers of all levels who are looking to learn to sing in a warm encouraging atmosphere. Repertoire is varied including music from shows, jazz, pop and classical genres. Contact carolynherail@yahoo.com

Seniors Choir
Over 50s choir at the Seniors Centre on Stanstead Road. Contact seniorsmembership@hotmail.co.uk

Singology Sydenham
A community choir with Mark De-Lisser, who took the ACM Gospel Choir to the final of TV’s Last Choir Standing. Download an application form from their website

Click here to see a map of other local choirs in Lewisham.

03 February 2011

Cinema approved for Crystal Palace

At a recent planning meeting, Bromley Borough Council approved the change of use for the building at the junction of Anerley Hill and Crystal Palace Parade.  The former Grape & Grain pub and car showroom will be redeveloped as a two screen cinema, cafe and bar.
The South London Press reports that Peter Hall of Future Projections was “delighted it’s gone through. This is something we’ve been wanting to do for years.  The model we want to use is to create a mix of the Electric Cinema in Notting Hill and the Everyman in Hampstead, with more of a neighbourhood feel.  Ninety-nine per cent of the art cinemas in the UK were made by us, including the Clapham Picturehouse.  That’s what we’re looking at for Crystal Palace.”

The full story, including the views of the Picture Palace Campaign group who would rather that the former Bingo Hall was converted back into a cinema, can be read on the SLP website.

02 February 2011

Lewisham College Open Day

Lewisham College has its Open Evenings over the next couple of weeks.

Go along to the Lewisham Way campus between 4:30 and 8pm on Thursday, 10 February if you're interested in studying  Beauty, Business, Computing and IT, Engineering and Electrical Installation, ESOL, General Education, Health Care Courses, Higher Education Courses, Hospitality, Travel and Tourism, Performing and Creative Arts, Supported Learning, Teacher Training, The Academy for Foundation Skills, Trade Union Studies.

If you are interested in studying Sports Studies or Construction, then go along tyo the Deptford campus on Thursday, 17 February between 4:30 and 8pm.

You will be able to talk to the tutors and other students, explore the College, complete an application form, take part in the various activities and collect a free goody bag

For more information call Lewisham College on 0800 834 545 or email info@lewisham.ac.uk