22 September 2015

The Signal (formerly The Hob)

The Hob, 7 Devonshire Road, temporarily closed its doors in September for renovations under new ownership. Hippo Inns’ Chief Operating Officer, Dawn Donohoe, provided us with news about their plans for the pub.

The Signal will be re-opening The Hob in early October in a very different disguise. We look forward to welcoming local residents and businesses to food tastings and events, and sneak previews from the end of September.

As the pub was originally known as the Railway Signal and we were keen to take it back to its roots, we have chosen to change the name from The Hob. We want The Signal to be a place where you want to chill out and relax, and feel it’s an extension of your own home.

The interior of the pub will feel very homely, cosy and fresh. We are working hard to enhance the original characteristics of the building — we have had to do quite a bit of nurturing to get it back to health!
With regards to entertainment, our focus initially will be on acoustic live entertainment from 6:30-8:30pm, when you will be able to listen to covers of all sorts of old favourites.

Unlike Ron and Emma, the previous owners, we are not comedy experts. However, we do recognise the strong following The Hob had so, we are looking into introducing comedy but need to learn the ropes first — not to mention getting our new team pulling the perfect pint; serving the most delicious, fresh, honest food; and, of course, whipping up the best cocktail you have ever had.

Our food offer harks back to the simplicity of open-fire cooking when ale houses were first born. Our ‘spit and grill’ concept will be visible to the customer, and the menu will showcase the best and freshest British ingredients.

The pub’s main drinks offer will be focused around craft beer and rotating local ales with a 20-strong wine list. Upstairs you will find a feature cocktail bar with the best Gin, Vodka and Rum collection in South London. The cocktails will be quickly and deliciously created by our very own mixologist, who will train and manage our bar team.

We want to get to you know you all and cannot wait to be a part of Forest Hill!

10th Forest Hill Society AGM & Chair’s Report

By Michael Abrahams (Chair, Forest Hill Society)

The first Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Forest Hill Society took place on 25th September 2006 in the Quaker Meeting House on Sunderland Road. That means this autumn, when we will be convening our 10th AGM for the Forest Hill Society, we will begin our 10th year. At our AGM on 22nd October, we intend to look back over what we have accomplished as well as look forward to all the things we have yet to do. We are immensely proud of what the Forest Hill Society has achieved during these past nine years and hope you can join our team to make Forest Hill an even better place to live in the coming years.
Environment Committee

This past year has been another good year for the Forest Hill Society and for Forest Hill. Members of our Environment Committee have been busy maintaining the plants around the town centre: in the planters at Forest Hill station and the Edible High Road tubs for so many of our local shops.

Planning Committee

We were pleased that some of our ideas, developed last summer, for improving the town centre have been incorporated into the early plans for improvements to Dartmouth Road. These plans still need to finalised, but we expect construction works to start in spring 2016. It would have been hard to imagine last summer that, by the end of the 2014, £600k would have been secured by Lewisham Council to start turning some of our aspirations into realities for the town centre. On the back of this, members of our Planning Committee worked with local organisations SEE3 and V22, along with Lewisham Council to successfully bid for additional funding from the Greater London Authority to improve the streetscape between the Forest Hill Pools and Library.

Transport Committee

On transport, we experienced a serious degradation in evening peak rail services from London Bridge earlier this year. However, by keeping up the pressure on Network Rail and Southern Railways through all channels possible, we believe the efforts of our Transport Committee helped in reinstating the rail services that had been cancelled.

Along with other groups we have long advocated for an extension to the Bakerloo line into South East London. Although such an extension may still be some way off, 96% of people who responded to this year’s consultation by Transport for London — for proposed routes that would go through New Cross Gate and Lewisham, and south to Lower Sydenham and beyond — recognised the extension as a useful addition to the transport network. Hopefully, there will be more news on this before the Forest Hill Society’s 20th AGM!

Executive Committee

Additionally, in this past year, we organised informative talks on local history and climate change, as well as another excellent Burns Supper; installed a new street piano in the forecourt of Forest Hill station; worked with local churches to present the annual Christmas tree lighting and carol singing festivities in our town centre; and almost managed to organise an election hustings prior to the Parliamentary elections.

Every year I ask for new volunteers to get more involved, either by joining our Executive Committee or one of our other committees. I am pleased to say that every year our team has seen a few more new faces, who bring new energy and enthusiasm to the efforts we pursue. Nevertheless, once again, I would ask you to consider joining one of our committees, and seeing if you like it. The Executive Committee meets every 6-8 weeks to come up with new ideas and ensure we implement them.

While we surprise ourselves every year with what we are able to achieve, we know how much more we would like to achieve if only we had a few more active members. Whether you have just moved to the area or have been living here for 80 years — it doesn’t matter — what matters is that you want to join our team to help ‘make Forest Hill an even better place to live’!

19 September 2015

Dates for your Diary

Forest Hill Fashion Week 2015: Thu 24th - Sun 27th September. 
Perry Vale Ward Assembly: Tue 6th October, 7pm. Forest Hill School, Dacres Road.

Forest Hill Ward Assembly: Sat 17th October, 1:30pm. Voting to take place to allocate 2015-16 Assembly Funding on local projects. Venue TBC.

Crofton Park Ward Assembly: Thu 22nd October, 7pm. Venue TBC.

Forest Hill Society’s Annual General Meeting: 
Thu 22nd October, 7:30pm. The Honor Oak pub (upstairs), 1 Saint German’s Road (on the corner of Brockley Rise). Arrive early to buy a drink at the bar.   

Forest Hill Society's Pub Crawl: Thu 26th November.  
Imbibe at pubs new and old in SE23, starting at the All Inn One on Perry Vale at 7:30pm and departing for the next venue at 8pm. Just turn up!

Havelock Walk Winter Weekend: Sat 28th - Sun 29th November, 11am-5pm. Artists’ open studios. For more info: www.havelockwalk.com.

Horniman Farmers’ Market: Every Sat 9am-1:30pm, Horniman Gardens’ bandstand.

Dacres Wood Nature Reserve: Open to the public on Sat 26th September. Behind Dacres Estate, Dacres Road. For hours and more info: dacreswood.org.uk.
Devonshire Road Nature Reserve: Open to the public on the last Sunday of each month. 170 Devonshire Road. For more info: www.devonshireroadnaturereserve.org.

• For local assembly meeting info, see bit.ly/1JSHn9b

18 September 2015

Forest Hill Fashion Week - 24-27 September 2015

Forest Hill Fashion Week showcases local talent in a festival of fashion, design and craft. It is a family-friendly, inclusive, community festival with something to offer for people of all ages; and celebrates South East London’s wonderful creative buzz. Founded in 2013 by South East London local Louise Brooks, this traditionally bi-annual event builds on the momentum created by the SEE3 Portas Pilot investment to regenerate local high streets in the area.

Featuring established and up-and-coming designers, the fashion week is organised by a group of volunteers with local shops, cafés, bars, other venues and community interest groups all joining forces to fund and host an exciting line-up of fashion-themed events — illustrating Forest Hill’s community spirit, creativity, love of sharing and commitment to high street regeneration.
The 2015 theme is ‘Creativity, Community and Culture’ — three things that definitely make Forest Hill such a vibrant and unique part of London. This year’s FHFW will focus on the community cohesion that exists in Forest Hill. There are several themed events planned for the week to involve the whole community. The catwalk event will close with a very special show from ‘Pavement to Catwalk’, an inspiring organisation dedicated to involving people with mental health problems, addiction issues and disabilities in creative projects using fashion and design. The Pavement2catwalk section of the show will focus on homelessness, addiction disability, mental health and also the elderly.

FHFW 2015 is coordinated by Pauline Wright, who runs Forest Hill’s iconic Sugar Mountain sweet and ice cream shop; Donald Waugh, a noted actor, singer/dancer who founded the social enterprise Pavement2catwalk; and Emma Drysdale, who runs locally-based Gems Performing Arts, offering classes in dance, acting and signing for ages 3-16.

Pauline told us that, initially, only £1,500 in funding was available from SEE3 to put the event together. “I knew there wouldn’t be much funding when I decided to take the event on, but I could never have made it possible without my friends Donald and Emma, and my customers getting behind me to make FHFW possible this year. Many of my local customers are lending equipment and another customer is printing flyers — advertising the events — for free. Just by chatting to my customers, many offered to help — which shows amazing community spirit in Forest Hill.”


• Thu 24th, 3pm: Pavement2catwalk workshop
• Fri 25th, 4.30pm: Kids’ fashionable face painting workshop
• Fri 25th, 4.30pm: Kids’ fashion cupcake decorating workshop
• Fri 25th, 6.30pm: Youth performance workshop
• Fri 25th, 8pm: Drop Dead Gorgeous salsa night
• Sat 26th, 12pm: Kids’ balloon modeling workshop
• Sat 26th, 12pm: Crepe Records catwalk warm-up show
• Sat 26th, 2pm: Main catwalk show
• Sat 26th, 8pm: Catwalk after party
• Sun 27th, 2.30pm: Mad Hatters Tea Party. Look out for a flashmob!
• Sun 27th, 4.30pm: Kids’ catwalk show

 Up-to-date details of all events, including ‘Warm up’ events between 19th-20th September, can be found at fhfw.co.uk

16 September 2015

"Outstanding" for a third year in a row

For the third year in a row the Forest Hill Society's work on planting and maintaining flowers around the town centre has been recognised as 'Outstanding', the top category in London In Bloom awards.

This is not just about pretty flowers around the station and town centre, but our work with the local traders on the Edible High Road, the launch of the Edible High Road where we gave away hundreds of edible plants started by The Horniman, working with local schools to remove litter, and our work at engaging with members and the wider community to make Forest Hill a greener and more pleasant place, despite the South Circular running through the middle.

On behalf of the Forest Hill Society I would like to thank all the volunteers who help to keep all the plants watered and looking their best.

01 September 2015

Autumn Tidy Up - 19th September

The Forest Hill Society are organising an Autumn tidy up of the planting at Forest Hill station on Saturday 19th September, meeting in the station forecourt at 2.30 pm. 

No previous gardening experience is necessary, but it would be useful to bring, if possible, any of the following:  secateurs, shears, gloves, trowel, a spare plastic bag.  As we will be working mainly in the car park with proximity to passing traffic this event is not suitable for small children.

New Women's Institute for Forest Hill

V22 Louise House: Community Consultation

Thursday 3 September 2015, 4.30–7pm V22 Louise House
V22 Foundation is delighted to invite you to an open discussion session for proposed renovations at Louise House, Forest Hill. Louise House is a Grade II listed building. Originally a Victorian Girls' Industrial Home, it now houses fifteen artists’ studios in the main building and we are planning a range of initiatives for the garden and rear of the property.

V22 Foundation has received funding from the Mayor of London’s High Street Fund and Arts Council England Small Capital funding in 2015/16 for the redevelopment of the property. With this funding we are able to:
- renovate the rear building as an exhibition space, community studio, café and events space and provide a community garden;
- redesign and build the front garden to form a single space in combination with the Forest Hill Library and Pools.
All of these ideas have come about through our discussions with the local community and we now want to invite all interested parties, from Forest Hill, and our V22 art audiences, and further afield to join us in finalising the plans.

For further information see V22 website.

Portas Pilot/SEE3 Town Team Meeting

Portas Pilot/SEE3 Town Team Meeting

Thursday 3rd September, 7-8.30pm Forest Hill Pools

The Portas Pilot/SEE3 Town Team meets once a quarter in the community room at Forest Hill Pools, Dartmouth Road. Meetings are open to all – from local residents who love their locality to budding entrepreneurs, local traders and aspiring market stall-holders. Particularly welcome are those with experience in bid-writing, who can help forge SEE3’s next stage of development. One of the main agenda items on September 3rd will be the presentation of the latest designs for the frontage of Louise House and Forest Hill Pools. Come along and join in!