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: http://www.freewebs.com/foresthill/Library%20bid%20-%20public.pdf

05 May 2016

Local Writer Shortlisted in National Awards

Forest Hill resident Chrissie Gittins – a renowned poet, writer and playwright – has been nominated and shortlisted for a national award. Chrissie is shortlisted in The Saboteur Awards, run by leading literature publication The Sabotage Reviews. The Awards are one of the highlights of the publishing and live literature world.

Her book ‘Between Here and Knitwear’, which was launched at Kirkdale Books in Sydenham, is shortlisted in the short story category alongside 4 other collections.

Following the shortlist selections, the final winners will be decided by an online vote

Chrissie Gittins commented: "I’m absolutely delighted to be shortlisted in the these awards. I’ve watched the Saboteurs grow over the last six years and now I’m thrilled"

Chrissie's new children’s poetry collection ‘Adder, Bluebell, Lobster’ will be out in August; it uses 40 of the 110 nature words deleted from the Oxford Junior Dictionary

To vote in the Saboteur Awards please go to: http://sabotagereviews.com/2016/05/01/the-shortlist- for-the- saboteur-awards- 2016/   Voting is open now until 24th May.

03 May 2016

Devonshire Road Nature Reserve – building for the future

If it takes 1 architect around 30 days to design a building, CAN 30 architects design a whole building in a weekend?

Devonshire Road Nature Reserve wants to create a sustainable, low energy building using timber, and which can be partly constructed by volunteers and timber building enthusiasts. The building will be used to support the Nature Reserve’s environmental, education, community and musical activities and events.

We are looking for architects, engineers, timber building specialists, environmental engineers, sustainability/green building specialists, landscape architects, building surveyors, planners, designers and others to volunteer to help to DESIGN a new building for the nature reserve over the weekend of the 21st and 22nd May 2016.

The Devonshire Road Nature Reserve (DRNR) is run and managed by the Friends of Devonshire Road Nature Reserve is located next to the Railway Line in Forest Hill, SE23. The existing building is not in good condition and does not provide the accessible environment that the reserve needs to support the ecology and biodiversity of the site, the programme of educational activites, and the local community.

The Forest Hill Society and Devonshire Road Nature Reserve are organizing a design charrette to survey the site, review the project brief, produce concept designs, plans and detailed proposals for the new building. Over the course of the Saturday we are planning design workshops, presentations to the Nature Reserve Committee, design review, drawing and visualisations, and other activities to support the design of a new building. On the Sunday we will continue the design work and hold an exhibition of the proposals developed so far.

Details: 10-6pm Saturday 21st May and 10-2pm on Sunday 22nd May
Refreshments and lunch will be provided for participants of the design charrette
Please bring drawing materials and any technology you need

Please email us to sign up by the 14th May 2016
email: infodevonshireroad@gmail.com

Edible High Road - Plant Give Away

Saturday 7th May from 2pm in the Forest Hill station's forecourt, The Forest Hill Society will be continuing its Edible High Road project by giving away free edible plants to all comers to encourage people to think green, grow their own and eat healthily.

02 May 2016

Garthorne Road Nature Reserve Walk

Saturday 14th May, 2:30pm - Garthorne Road Nature Reserve guided tour. Starting from the end of Beadnell Road

Bitter Vetchling photographed in 2008 in Garthorne Road Nature Reserve. A plant in the pea family which is rare in London.

28 April 2016

Havelock Walk Open Studios

7th,8th & 14th,15th May from 11am - 6pm

Hidden in plain sight, Havelock Walk is home to a community of artists, designers and musicians in the centre of Forest Hill. Come find them and you will discover a cobbled mews with a delightfully incongruous mix of buildings. Wander through the studios, chat with the artists and designers; relax in the sunshine while you take in a live music set or sample some street food.

Havelock Walk is located off London Road, between Santander and M&Co.

25 April 2016

An ode to Forest Hill

By our Ever Living Poet, Mr.William Shakespeare brought back to life in 2016 by the Forest Hill Society

The Forest that did clothe this very hill
My good Queen Liz did chop down for her ships
And left a gap that was just naught and nil,
But soon rose up a place on all our lips:
A magic place of walrus and of pub
Of Shi-shi caf├ęs, wondrous fine boutiques
Now bringing us by Overground to rub
Along in taverns where we all may speak.
We bathe in pools community has saved
And read in lib-ry, view the Havelock art.
The Street on which we walk - edible paved,
South circular where once canal did start.
But it’s the people of good Forest Hill
Who make it special and they always will.
Compiled by actor Mark Stephenson as part of Teatro Vivo's street performances around Forest Hill to celebrate St George's Day 2016.

24 April 2016

Planting in the Town Centre

Gardening volunteers needed on Saturday 30th April, meeting at 2.30pm in front of Forest Hill station to clip, weed and replant to get ready for our entry to the Royal Horticultural Society's "It's Your Neighbourhood" 2016 - and more importantly to make our town centre look nice.

Please bring a trowel, secateurs or scissors and gardening or other protective gloves.  No experience needed, but as we will be working in close proximity to the road this activity is not suitable for children.

01 April 2016

Croydon Canal to be Reinstated after 200 years

Published on 1st April 2016 as a joke:

The Forest Hill Society have been working hard since last April on a great scheme to replace the existing railway line with the old canal as a step towards a speedier and more reliable commuter service.

The basic plan will be to remove the slow and rather cumbersome railway line and reinstate a large section of the Croydon Canal. We know there is a lot of support in the local community for the environmental and health benefits of the canal as a primary means for transportation in South East London.

Some of the details still need to be worked out in conjunction with TfL but along both sides of canal would be cycle paths allowing commuters to cycle to central London without the hassle of traffic or pollution.
One of the early criticism of this scheme was the lack of train services, but commuters will have frequent solar-powered paddle-steamers that will speed them through the South London suburbs at speeds substantially faster than existing train services. To help with speed on these canal services, water flow would be reversed each day to help with the flow of services.

The canal will run from Crystal Palace through to Highbury & Islington and will be the first canal in the world to go through tunnels under a river. Further investigations are required to test the viability for an 'aquavator' which would allow for the canal services to transfer directly to the Thames, for interchange to surface waterways.
The official launch of the first canal transport on the railway line will take place on the 1st April 2017, and during the first two years canal boats and trains will run alongside each other. This may result in flooding of passenger compartments but this will provide passengers with fish pedicures and the opportunity to catch their own dinner on the journey home from work.

* Press release issued by the Forest Hill Society on 1st April 2016. Some of the details in this article may not be valid on any other day of the year.