09 July 2011


Commuters may have seen the original rear signage that was revealed for the first time for decades during recent building work. This can be seen from the train line. Sadly the brewery has gone, and so may the public house.

Chair's Report

Five years ago, on 23 May 2006, a group of people who had met through a local forum got together at the Dartmouth Arms and put into motion the formation of the Society.

A few months later, they had delivered 10,000 leaflets throughout SE23 and surrounding roads, held the first Annual General Meeting and published the first newsletter.

Since then, the Society has achieved a lot. Notable highlights include a successful campaign to retain the swimming pools on Dartmouth Road, persuading Southern Railway that we needed at least five trains per hour in the evening peak and a respected presentation at the Tyson Road planning enquiry.

Other highlights include:
  • Organising evenings out, history talks and nature walks
  • Campaigning to improve park facilities at Horniman Triangle and Honor Oak Rec
  • Keeping the rear stairs open from platform 2 at Forest Hill station
  • Responding on a range of planning applications in the local area
  • Decorating the Christmas Tree in Forest Hill
  • Planting the raised beds outside Forest Hill station and entry into the RHS "It's Your Neighbourhood" scheme
  • Pop Up Forest Hill, an evening when we matched drummers with estate agents, puppets with pubs and generally created a buzz in Forest Hill

There is also the less glamorous attending of Council and other meetings, ensuring that our local needs are heard and addressed. We continue to push for improvements to the underpass and the high street environment, better winter gritting and preservation of Honor Oak Rec. Thank you for your support - please spread the word and encourage your friends and neighbours to join.


Following the huge success of our Pop Up event last December, we are now organising a second event to bring a buzz to Forest Hill, again matching artists and venues, shops and customers, locals with something new. There will be more information over the coming months.

In the meantime, we are keen to hear from businesses interested in getting involved, artists wanting to find a venue or local groups or parties willing to help get involved with organising this.
You can get in touch with us via chair@foresthillsociety.com


The Forest Hill Society digital photo competition is still open. With its fabulous views and eclectic mix of old and new, there are sure to be some fantastic images to be found in Forest Hill. Pictures can be of any part of the area and taken at any time of day, night or year.
There will be 12 winning photos selected which will then go on to form the Forest Hill Society Calendar 2012, which will be available for everyone to buy. Winners will be notified and presented with an award at the Forest Hill Society AGM in November.
Entrants can submit as many digital pictures as they like to www.flickr.com/groups/foresthillcompetition
Every submission must be accompanied by an e-mail sent to PhotoComp@foresthillsociety.com with your name, address, phone number and photo ID/name.
The closing date is 15 October 2011 and the final 12 photos will be chosen on 30 October. The competition will be judged by Paul Murphy, local resident and winner of the ‘Rose Award for Photography’ Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2010. Paul is the second person ever to win this award.
Please read the rules for copyright and privacy issues. Full competition rules can be found here
The competition is only open to digital photographs. We hope to be able to accept printed images in the future.


Eighteen volunteers joined members of the Forest Hill Society in replanting Forest Hill station’s forecourt, as the Society’s entry to the London in Bloom ‘It’s your neighbourhood” category’.

Many of the volunteers became involved through leaflets or were just passing by on the day. Expert help was also given by the head gardener of the Horniman Gardens, Shannon’s Garden Centre and Lewisham’s Green Scene.

Judging will take place in mid-July so we need to make sure that the forecourt continues to look its best.

Constant watering will be needed for the coming summer months, plus occasional weeding, a watering rota of eight regulars has been established but additional volunteers would be really welcomed.

The beds have suffered a little from littering, even with bins right next to the beds, so if you feel like helping you could help here, or with dead heading, then please do.

LOROL have been very supportive of the scheme and have now agreed that the Society can use a bed on platform 1 and we plan to plant bulbs in autumn for a delightful spring display

Posters were kindly donated by Willmott Dixon

Honor Oak Park Station

Station users will be delighted that the new and improved stairs are now open. They also include a second hand rail for children.

The re-grading of the bank up to the Southwark cemetery land continues and, once the planting on the bank develops and matures, the station should feel very much more pleasant than before, hemmed in with ugly fencing and the overgrown cutting.

Unfortunately, we continue to get no answers to our questions about exactly what is planned for the future of the station, although London Overground have indicated that lifts may be provided in the period 2012-2013. We are seeking confirmation of this information. With a platform to train step of around 15 inches, disabled access to trains will still be difficult without the use of a ramp.

As the major works at the station come to a close, we expect London Overground to complete their ‘Phase 3’ upgrade which includes total re-painting, new signage etc; smart new benches have appeared on the platforms which are very welcome.


Plans for refurbishment of the Forest Hill Station subway are finally beginning to come together thanks to the efforts of Lewisham Council’s nominated officer.

Details of the new cladding and lighting for the subway are being finalised and Network Rail will undertake surfacing and drainage improvements to co-ordinate with the installation of the cladding and lighting.

Unfortunately, it is anticipated that the works will require the subway to be closed for around two months to allow the refurbishment to take place.

We’ll share more information as soon as it comes to light.


Friday 1 – Sunday 17 July

Since its beginning in July 2008, the Sydenham Arts Festival has grown to be one of the biggest arts festivals in the country.

There are a whole host of events going on including classical concerts, comedy, dance, drama, family activities, visual arts, and craft workshops.

There are far too many fabulous events to mention here, so best visit the website and see the calendar of events for details, venues, dates and timing.

Many of the events are happening in Forest Hill, a nice way to enjoy a start the summer.

Retail Therapy

We take a look at some great new shops opening in SE23; next issue we’ll feature some firm old favourites.


A great new shop selling with refreshingly distinctive stuff...unique and beautiful greeting cards and stationery from the likes of Treasures Pop-Ups, Orla Kiely, Moleskin, Paperblanks and Pantone, to name but a few!

There are lots of lovely and stylish wrapping paper and gift bags, all of a very high quality including party accessories, thank you cards, notelets and much more. They have a great selection of Children’s cards too.

Well worth a visit and excellent for those gift purchases from the lovely Bunka. Bunka opened this shop in March; good to have such nice shops just a hop and skip apart.

Canvas and Cream
Situated on the old Aceri site on London Road this has multiple community roles:

* Neighbourhood Dining/Cafe
* Artist's and Artisan's studios
* Gallery and Showcase
* Community Workshops and Gatherings

In opening her new venture, Proprietor Joanna Gore is enlisting the help of her family, including her Mum.

“We are going to convert it from a space that has been empty for at least five years into an arts community hub.

All furniture and fittings will come from recycled materials - two old Mercedes car seats will become cafe chairs, chandeliers will be made from old decanters and walls will be papered with old music sheets and comics.”

Looks like a great addition to Forest Hill!

Home Accessories Extra

Opened recently on the former Blockbusters site, this shop with the bright frontage is a real treasure trove of household and other useful wares.


Vaidas, originally from Lithuania, trusted his instincts having no experience of Honor Oak, when he started his bike sales and servicing business , close to the station, 18 months ago. And that proved a very good decision for local cyclists. Vaidas says that this is a small shop with big ideas! He is looking to build further links with the community with a series of short rides, aimed at beginners and social cyclists. Watch this space of go to www.vaidasbicycles.com


49 Honor Oak Park

Since setting up their stall outside Honor Oak Park station most weekends for the last six months, Mrs Hills and Mrs Parkes are about to take over their own delicatessen in the old ID premises on the same road.

The shop will sell freshly baked artisan breads from Blackbird Bakery, fruit and vegetables, cheese, milk and other dairy products, charcuterie, pies, cakes and pastries, jams and chutneys, dips, salads, ready to cook meals, pasta, rice, spices, oils and vinegars and all number of other tasty delights.

Planned opening is mid to late July.

Visit www.hillsandparkes.com for developments.

We are the Champions

LATEST FOOTBALL RESULT: Forest Hill Park 1 Hildenborough Athletic 0

In a nail biting final game of the football season in, Forest Hill Park FC won the Vandanel Kent County Football League cup against Hildenborough FC.

Although played on Hildenborough’s turf, Forest was the home team and took full advantage of it.
Forest took the initiative and threatened early on but the away side showed some predatory play in retaliation. As the nervy, tense affair settled it was the home team that gained control of the game putting the Hildenborough defence under pressure.

Early through the first half a well-angled kick from the first post put the score at 1-0.
With the away team under more pressure, substitutes were made and a red card given but to no avail; as the official signalled full time Forest Hill FC were well and truly the champions.

Forest Hill Park FC is a local community club made up from players from, or previously from Forest Hill – a fact they are very proud of. Their home ground is Ladywell Arena with its excellent facilities. As ticket prices for the big football clubs continue to rise, the thought of a local team with good transport links sounds just the thing for next season.

More information, contact details and a fixtures list can be found at www.fhpfc.co.uk

“Back of the net!”