Showing posts with label traders. Show all posts
Showing posts with label traders. Show all posts

10 September 2019

Forest Hill's Secret Fishmonger

 By Jeremy Cutler

Many residents, especially newcomers, bemoan the lack of a permanent fishmonger in Forest Hill. However, there is one which people may not know about but has been well-established for over 30 years. The business does not have shop premises, but trades from a van on Thursday mornings, parked on the slip road adjacent to WHSmith near Forest Hill station.

Grant Stanley is the man with the van and has been in the family fish business himself since he was a boy — out on the fishing boats as well as helping with all aspects of the business.

I spoke with Grant recently, and he said he had reluctantly reduced his visits to Forest Hill to fortnightly instead of weekly. He gave me three reasons for this: firstly, Lewisham Council had been unhelpful, telling him that he had no right to park and trade where the family had been doing so since 1977; secondly, Network Rail had also challenged Grant about parking on 'their' road (although I understand that ownership of the roadway may not be fully established); and thirdly, business had dropped off, as loyal customers had died or moved away.

The selection of available fresh fish depends upon what has been caught and landed in Hastings, where Grant is based. This is supplemented with Scottish Salmon, as well as fresh cod and haddock, which are also usually from Scotland. My own experience has been one of excellent choices which are reasonably priced, cleaned and filleted (if required) on the spot, with expert cooking advice if needed.

Not many areas of London are fortunate in having fresh fish supplied directly from the coast, and I would encourage residents to try Grant’s fish. If we don't use him we might lose him. Grant indicated that, if there were more interest, he might bring back his weekly visits. Some appreciation could go a long way in ensuring he doesn't become ‘the one that got away’!

Grant also does home deliveries (call 01424 441745).

22 May 2016

Bid for Forest Hill Library

The Forest Hill Society, together with Forest Hill Traders Association, and V22 (who run artist studios in Louise House) have formed a consortium to take over Forest Hill library as a community library. Our consortium bid for Forest Hill Library is now available online for you to read and discuss. We have removed some sections containing financial data and personal information, but we are sure that this version will give you an idea of our bid.


We believe that running a successful community library in Forest Hill will be about having the experience and skills necessary to manage and maintain a listed building, making the best and most appropriate use of the space to generate revenue, working with the community to provide essential support, volunteering time and community guidance, and staying true to a vision of providing community benefit and a valuable resource for learning.

Incorporating local residents and associations within a joint management committee to run the library will bring confidence that the local community is fully committed and involved with the continued running of the building. The community is the ideal seat for an ongoing dialogue on service provision, ensuring service provision remains current with local requirements, public engagement, and the long‐term development of community‐based services.

This partnership bid brings together V22's considerable experience of renovating, maintaining and transforming buildings, and operating them for arts and community benefit, with representatives from the Forest Hill Society, Forest Hill Traders’ Association, and experienced individuals. Together we bring considerable collective experience of building management, a deep‐seated local knowledge, a wealth of community contacts and goodwill, and experience of making civic improvements for the benefit of local residents. We believe this bid combines an exceptional team that will be well placed to provide library services; to find, motivate and manage the local volunteers so essential to running a community library; and to build upon the core services of a library to make it a true community space run for and by the community ‐ building upon the needs, interests and aspirations of the people of Forest Hill.

Read more at:

26 February 2016

Time of the Signs

At the end of January the Forest Hill Traders Association unveiled a new notice board and trade directory for the town centre.

Strategically positioned at the entrance to the station it provides a place to find out about shops and community events, and we even know who has the key (unlike the previous notice board).

The notice board was designed by Cyrus Colquitt from Stag & Bow and The Framing Salon, and includes a collection of local buildings rising up above the ’Welcome to Forest Hill’. Funding was provided by SEE3 Portas Pilot, Forest Hill ward assembly, and traders themselves.

07 December 2015

Forest Hill Traders Association reject Library Proposals

Forest Hill Traders have come together to oppose Lewisham Council's plans to convert Forest Hill Library to a Community Library.

"We do understand the Council has a need to cut costs and that there is an opportunity to reduce outgoings by re-structuring the existing council-run libraries in the borough.However we wish to stress in the strongest possible terms that in our opinion a community library would not be suitable for the Forest Hill, nor would any change of use of the current space on the ground floor into a café, or indeed any other commercial operation."
Full text of their letter to Sir Steve Bullock can be read here.

20 September 2013

Fiver Fest - check out the offers

It's your lucky weekend in Forest Hill. There's so much happening that the traders have decided to run a Fiver Fest with 30 of them offering special deals. Not only that, but if you buy today's issue of the South London Press (SLP), you'll find further special offers inside.

Simply click on the picture to download a copy of the Fiver Fest flyer, but you'll have to buy a copy of the SLP for those offers

19 September 2012

Forest Hill goes Totally Locally

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

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

Deals on offer will include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information about Totally Locally visit their website at

07 September 2012

Forest Hill Pools pass final milestone

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

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

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

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

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

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

Truly a day with something for everyone.

26 May 2012


We found out yesterday that the rumour mill was right and Mary Portas will not be coming to Forest Hill just yet, but we are not disheartened.  We always knew that the competition would be tough and that, with only 12 Portas Pilots for the whole country, it was unlikely that there would be two winning bids in London. We just hoped that our bid and supporting video were strong enough to win the day. 

However, we've not sat back and waited for Mary to come and get us out of our difficulties.  We've been working very hard to help ourselves.  The Portas Pilot bid process acted as the catalyst to bring many ideas to fruition, encouraging people who had been talking about possibly doing something to decide that this was the time to act.
  • We have started building the database of traders, landlords and local organisations which Mary recommended in her review.  This was something we had been developing, but the bid focised our attention and we have managed to contact most of the retailers in Forest Hill and several of the landlords.  There have been some who are not interested in participating and others who are wary of our motives, but generally the reaction has been positive once the purpose was explained and the more we do, the more are willing to join in.
  • We have organised and run a Food Fair, which far exceeded our expectations and lead to several retailers having their best Sunday ever.  The Food Fair was so much more than just a market.  With just ten stalls, we managed to prove that there is the demand for quality produce in Forest Hill.  Several stalls sold out in the first 90 minutes of trading while Franklins, who brought ridiculous amounts of stuff (their words), also sold it all.  The addition of the Tapas Taster Trail was a great success as it pushed the food lovers out to the restaurants and has seen many of the customers who tried the £2 specials returning for more.  Traders who initially feared that they would lose custom as the stalls were selling similar products, benefitted from the increased footfall and want to see the event run again.  Some of the stall holders would like us to run the Food Fair on a weekly basis, but that is probably a step too far.  However, we will be running another Food Fair on Sunday, 3 June from 10am to 4pm with a few more stalls.
  • We have increased our planting at Forest Hill station, in the Town Centre and at Honor Oak Park station. We are entering the RHS "It's Your Neighbourhood" scheme again as well as "Lewisham In Bloom"
  • St Augustine's have held the first of what they hope will become an Annual One Tree Hill festival, with nine concerts and several other events, this has celebrated the creative heart of Forest Hill, bringing together local artists, musicians and organisations with a fantastic line up of events from community singalongs to classical arias via folk music and clowning.  We worked really hard to get the recently rediscovered "Indian Lady and Tiger" clock by Kit Williams (of Masquerade fame) displayed in the church, but were ultimately unsuccessful.
  • Havelock Walk artists have run two Open House weekends as part of the Dulwich festival and many other local artists also showed off their amazing talents and creativity.
  • Two new businesses have opened up on Dartmouth Road.  We would like to welcome Chantel of Best of Both Boutique and Clare of Marie's Boutique to the street and wish them every success.  They have been overwhelmed by the support and reception they have received.  Agata will be opening a third business, Doopodopo, also on Dartmouth Road.  Doopodopo will be selling contemporary and designer furniture and accessories.  We just need to work with landlords to get the right tenants into the remaining vacant units and help those quality businessses which are struggling to survive.
  • The Council has finally reached agreement with Network Rail on the design, terms and responsibilities for refurbishing the underpass which links the Perry Vale and London Road sides of the Town Centre.  This is the result of more than six years of campaigning and pressure by the Sydenham Society and Forest Hill Society.  Although Network Rail are currently refusing to refurbish the steps and provide handrails, we will keep the pressure on them to undertake this important work.  We have had initial meetings with several people regarding the replacement of the mural in the underpass and have met one of the young lads who did the work 15 years ago. We hope to bring the Horniman Museum together with Havelock Walk and other local artists to develop an idea which will celebrate the richness within our community.
  • The Trader's Association had faltered following the death of Michael Davey last year.  We have organised two meetings, which have been well attended by traders from the Town Centre as well as councillors and Council officers, and a new committee has been elected.  It is wonderful to see the energy and enthusiasm from this group and we have high hopes that they will be able to help drive our agenda forwards, working together to improve the Town Centre.
  • We have met with local magazine publishers to discuss how we can work together to market Forest Hill better and improve their circulation.
  • Boutique marketing consultancy, Bake London has run two networking events in local bars.  These events provide a venue for professional people to meet and form business relationships or simply to discuss local problems and provide solutions.
  • The Local Assembly has met and is developing an action plan for the ward which will address the priorities of the Assembly, including the Town Centre.
  • The new leisure centre is about to open, several months ahead of schedule.  Businesses along Dartmouth Road really suffered when the pools closed in 2006 and suffered further when Thames Water had the road closed to through traffic for two years during which they replaced the water main.  We are already starting to see the effect that reopening the pools will have on their prospects.
So what does the future hold? 

Firstly, congratulations to Bedford, Croydon, Dartford, Bedminster, Liskeard, Margate, Market Rasen, Nelson, Newbiggin by the Sea, Stockport, Stockton on Tees and Wolverhampton.  We will be bidding for funding in Round 2 of the Portas Pilots.  Before we do that, we will be talking to DCLG to try and find out what they thought of our bid, its strengths and weaknesses.  We will also be looking at the winning bids to see what lessons can be learned and how we should modify our bid.  Whatever happens, we will need to update our video so that Mary is aware of the progress we have made since the beginning of April.  If she or Grant Shapps would like to see the opportunities for themselves, here are just some of the events happening in the next few weeks.