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2012 Annual General Meeting Reports

DULWICH SOCIETY ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - 2012

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE REPORTS for 2011

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

The Society was founded in 1963 and its fiftieth anniversary occurs in 2013. A comprehensive programme of activities and events is currently being planned and the celebrations will open with an exhibition at the Dulwich College Archive Centre in January. Its theme will be Dulwich in the 1950s and 60s.


The Society was consulted by the Estate over their proposed redevelopment of the Crown and Greyhound as a ‘pub with rooms’. The Society welcomes this proposal though it is unfortunate that it will mean the temporary closure of the pub while the works are carried out.

The Dulwich Estate continues to publish the monthly schedule of planning applications to the Scheme of Management on their website and has recently doubled the fees for retrospective applications - which the Society supports. We also continue to monitor the Estate’s implementation of the Scheme through the Advisory group, which meets three times a year.

Amongst many other things, we tried to promote a compromise between the Council and the Estate over the proposed new pedestrian crossing in Dulwich Village, unfortunately without success. We also continued to press for the redevelopment of the former Dairy site in West Dulwich. Unfortunately Lambeth has turned down two planning applications - on what we consider to be spurious grounds, and we understand that the Estate is now appealing against the latest decision.

The Estate has finally agreed to our proposal re-name the lane between Dulwich Village and Gallery Road, next to College Gardens. It was known at the turn of the C20 as ‘Lovers Lane’ and the Society will be putting up new signs at a small event during the summer.

The £5000 grant to the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust identified last year has now been paid. The Society was pleased to note the resurfacing of the cycle track and looks forward to supporting the trust in their endeavors to rebuild the club house.

The final 2010 Cleaner, Greener, Safer (CGS) project, the refurbishment of the rear part of Rosebery Lodge in Dulwich Park, was finished in September and is now being actively used by the Dulwich Vegatable Garden Group. The Society was also fortunate to be able to access some of the unspent funds relating to other projects and secured a programme of repair and redecoration works for the fingerpost signs. There was no CGS funding in 2011 but we have put in several applications for 2012.

The Society funded the Dulwich Park Friends’ improvement works to the rivulet by the lake in the Park and joined with them in objecting to the Council’s proposal for a major Council promoted event last November, the ‘Colour Thief’. The good news is that the Council has still allocated the money for events in the area and is finally setting up a consultation process with local interested parties to agree the form it should take.

We were pleased to note that a new tenant has taken over at the Village Post Office and that all the shops in the Village and West Dulwich are let or in negotiation – the former wine shop in the Village will be a bakery. Dulwich is very lucky relative to many other parts of the country.

The demand for the Society’s annual booklet on ‘Dulwich Gardens open for charity’ continued to grow and there will be a further increase in the print
run this year. 

With its wide range of articles on all aspects of local interest, the Society’s Journal continues to be regarded as one of the major benefits of Society membership.

Once again I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of our Executive Committee and the Chairs, and members, of our sub-committees for the time they dedicate to the Society and its activities - continuing to do their best to maintain Dulwich’s unique ambience.  I would also include the members who deliver the newsletter around Dulwich and welcome the new volunteer deliverers and co-ordinators who have joined us over the last year.

Ian McInnes, Chairman

HON. SECRETARY’S REPORT

The Executive Committee having reduced its number of meetings and now gets together every other month unless something urgent arises. In 2011 the Committee met on 6 occasions.

We were sorry to lose Mr. Patel from the Village post office, and his successors requested us to remove the post office hand cart to allow extra room for more retail sales. We have discussed various possible sites for it but, particularly with a view to its security, have not yet reached a decision.

Our former President, H.H. Michael Rich left Dulwich during the year but in anticipation of this he kindly denoted the bench he had previously installed outside his home to Southwark Council for public use. 

Naturally in view of current metal thefts the Society has been very concerned  over the security of the Edward Alleyn statue; it is insured, treated with ‘smart water’, and has a CCTV camera trained on it, but we are actively considering further safeguards

The red fingerpost we installed with the Herne Hill Society at the head of Red Post Hill was vandalised and the two damaged fingers were quickly reinstated.

In September we ran a stall at the Community Fair held at All Saint’s Church and this was run by Kenneth & Gillian Wolfe and Wilf Taylor; although it allowed us some publicity, attendance was affected by the  poor weather.

In order to be able to communicate more regularly with members over local matter of interest we agreed to invite members to send in their e-mail address  A short notice will be included in the Spring 2012 Journal. 

The Winter 2011 Journal had some colour photographs, a ‘first’ for us, and Brian Green, the editor, has received many compliments on this initiative.

Patrick Spencer, Hon Secretary

MEMBERSHIP REPORT

The current membership stands at 1082 ordinary and 5 corporate members. It dropped very slightly in 2011 as we lost 43 members and gained only 24, but the Society remains one of the largest local amenity groups in the country.  However, there are signs that the number of new members is beginning to pick up again in 2012, despite the credit crunch. Many of these are families living in the Dulwich area so we still represent a high proportion of local residents.

Charity Gift Aid of £2556.38 was claimed. Our thanks to the many members who have signed the Charity Gift Aid declaration forms.

Wilfrid Taylor, Membership Secretary

ANNUAL REPORT OF THE PLANNING & ARCHITECTURE GROUP - 2011

Dulwich Estate Licence Applications: The Planning and Architecture Group continued to make monthly visits to the Old Grammar School on the corner of Burbage Road. The Group commented on just over 200 Scheme of Management licence applications over the year.

Southwark Planning Applications:
60 Dulwich Village: A revised planning application for part demolition and new extension works to the Grade II listed house was refused by the Dulwich Community Council. An appeal was lodged in December 2011. The Society has written objecting to the revised proposals on grounds of loss of amenity to neighbours and the scale of the proposed extensions relative to the original Georgian semi-detached house.

James Allen’s Girls’ School ( JAGS ) : Planning permission for a Community Music Centre was granted subject to a very wide range of conditions, particularly in respect of noise nuisance, light pollution, car parking arrangements, and a construction management plan to protect the amenity of the surrounding area. There were other conditions including the number of major events (4) allowed in any one calendar year, landscaping, the protection of trees on the site, cycle parking, a system of event marshalling as part of the school travel plan and a community use scheme. The Dulwich Society made written representation to Southwark Planning Department in support of the application.

Other matters:
The Concrete House, 549 Lordship Lane: Southwark Council granted planning permission in January 2010 for the refurbishment and conversion of the existing derelict Grade II listed building to provide five flats. In conjunction with the heritage of London Trust, the Council has now acquired the building and grounds by compulsory purchase. Detailed plans and documents for the implementation of the restoration and associated works have been prepared for work on site to commence in Spring 2012.

Gallery Road: The installation of granite kerbs, and the re-surfacing of the footpaths and roads – with indented parking bays, has been completed.

Dulwich Mill Pond: The Dulwich Estate has commissioned detailed proposals for the cleaning out and improvement of the pond. The Estate has confimed that these works are now to take place towards the end of 2012.

Streatham and Marlborough Cricket Club: The cricket club is seeking to make a major improvements by replacing the existing 1950’s clubhouse, the changing rooms between the two cricket fields, and the garages near Dulwich Common, with a single storey modern clubhouse. The building would be in the same location as the existing clubhouse.

St Peter’s/Deeper Life Bible Church: A grant of £3,000 has been awarded to the Dulwich Society by the Heritage of London Trust towards the cost of restoration of the 60 metres of stone boundary wall and decorative railings along Lordship Lane. The Deeper Life Bible Church has agreed to contribute £15,000 and the Dulwich Society £3,000. An application has also been made to Southwark Council for a grant of an additional £15,000 under their Cleaner, Greener, Safer scheme

The Crown and Greyhound: The Dulwich Estate has prepared plans for the refurbishment of the pub and conversion of the upper floors into a hotel – as it was when originally built. The existing historic bars and main function room will be retained. The Society has supported this proposal.

Beltwood: A new owner prepared plans to develop the site with six new houses in the grounds. The P & A Group viewed the proposed plans and supported local residents who were concerned that the proposed houses (higher up the slope of the hill) would impact on the amenity of rear gardens along Crescent Wood Road. The site has now been re-sold.

Architectural Poster: The detailed drafting of the map has continued during the year.

David Lloyd Roberts, Chair

ANNUAL REPORT OF THE TRAFFIC AND TRANSPORT COMMITTEE - 2011

Road safety and the improvement of facilities for walking and cycling continued to be the sub-committee’s main focus during 2011.  However, other projects have moved forward.

Herne Hill Retail Improvement Project: This Southwark Council project is considered to be a success.  The footway repaving has greatly improved the retail environment. A pedestrian refuge in Half Moon Lane at the entrance to Stradella Road has been built to make it safer for pedestrians crossing the road. The footway on Herne Hill up to the Sainsbury store has not been repaved, but funding for this is being sought.

Herne Hill Velodrome: The committee has held a watching brief on this major local project, to which the Society has contributed financially. During the year there has been considerable progress.  The track has been resurfaced and was formally opened by the Minister for Sport.  A 15 year lease has been signed by British Cycling and a successful application made to Southwark’s Olympic Legacy Fund for further work related to the track.

Friends of the Velodrome met for their inaugural general meeting at the end of 2011.  The Herne Hill Velodrome Trust has been set up and trustees appointed.  Plans to upgrade the pavilion are next to be considered and liaison with local residents is maintained.

Road Safety in Dulwich Village and Burbage Road: Local residents continue to be concerned over the changes made at the roundabout at this junction.

School Crossing Patrols: In spite of pressure from parents and schools, a decision has not yet been made by the Council about a reduction in this service on East Dulwich Grove. We are actively discussing possible measures to reduce danger to pupils with Council officers.

Paxton Green Gyratory: The adjoining Medical Practice, local schools and Ward Councilors have discussed plans with Council officers to make this junction safer for pedestrians, bus users, school pupils, cyclists and vehicles.  Formal consultation on a new layout is to begin shortly, following Southwark Council’s announcement at the end of 2011 that they are considering replacing the gyratory with T-junctions.

Access to West Dulwich Railway Station: Despite shortage of Network Rail funds we are continuing to press the railway authorities for improvements to access to the platforms.  The present arrangements are unsatisfactory for people with buggies, wheel chairs and heavy luggage.

Red Post Hill: The Council has now implemented the changes favoured by a majority of residents who responded to consultation, namely central refuges in place of speed cushions on the stretch of Red Post Hill near Denmark Hill.

Cleaner Greener Safer Bids: Several CGS bids have been made.  An open meeting is to be held shortly with the Friends of Belair Park to consider one of the Society’s bids, namely to improve the entrance to Belair Park from the South Circular.

Car Parking in front of the shops in Dulwich Village: Traders have concerns about all day parking in front of their shops and this matter is under discussion with Southwark Council.

Car Club: Local recruitment is slow, but it is hoped that over 2012 more people will join the scheme so that sustained growth can take place. 

Droppings from pigeons beneath the railway bridge at Herne Hill: Both Southwark and Lambeth Councils have been requested to approach Network Rail seeking a solution to the problem of pigeon droppings on the pavements and road under the bridge.

Alastair Hanton, Chair

ANNUAL REPORT OF THE LOCAL HISTORY GROUP
 
The work of the committee and its members has focused around history walks, publications, answering queries and planning future events. History walks led by Ian McInnes have been arranged in association with the Dulwich Festival, the Friends of Dulwich Picture Gallery and the Herne Hill Society. Brian Green has given talks on the 18th century Dulwich organist, Richard Randall, and local spies; and the Society sponsored a talk by former Alleyn’s pupil, David Weston, on acting Shakespeare, was given at the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

Publications this year have included a booklet on Christ’s Chapel by Brian Green; the history of Kingswood House first issued by the Dulwich Society has been revised by Patrick Darby and published in a new edition by Southwark Libraries. Several articles covering new research have been written for the Society’s Journal. These include features on Richard Randall and the Home Guard post at Dulwich Golf Club, as well continuing series on local streets, buildings and architects.

The Journal and the Society’s website result in a number of useful comments as well as new information from members and the wider public. Queries have been answered on a range of subjects from Dulwich’s sporting heritage and the female athlete, Mary Lines, who attended James Allen’s Girls’ School to the former Casino House, Herne Hill and sundials in Dulwich.

Plans are being made for the erection of plaques to commemorate the local sites of multiple civilian deaths during the Second World War. It is intended that these will be put up in 2013.

Bernard Nurse, Chair

ANNUAL REPORT OF THE GARDEN GROUP

Our annual publication ‘Dulwich Gardens open for Charity’ was published in March.  There was a strong demand for this booklet which quickly went out of print.  A number of garden owners were kind enough to write to us to say how much the booklet had increased their visitor numbers (and the money they raised for charity).

The first event of our year was an excellent talk by Mrs Joyce Bellamy on the work of the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association.  The Association has played a vital role in the preservation and improvement of countless gardens and green spaces across London, including the restoration of two antique lead planters in the Dulwich Picture Gallery garden.

In June, fifty of us went on a full day outing to Pashley Manor in East Sussex and then on to Scotney Castle.  Pashley Manor is a gem; the owner, James Sellick, an ex Dulwich resident, welcomed us and we then explored the garden, which was outstanding.

Thanks are due to our committee members, without whose hard work, these activities could not take place.

John Ward, Chair

ANNUAL REPORT OF THE TREES COMMITTEE

The Festival Tree Walk, through part of Dulwich Park starting from the College Gate, was again led by Letta Jones. About 60 adults and children attended. Many of us know the Park well, but there is always so much more to be learned.

At the end of April we were able to visit Buckingham Palace Garden, led by the Gardens Manager, who is a member of our Committee. He gave us a very full and interesting tour, particularly pointing out the two very tall Planes, planted by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. We were lucky to see the two Davidia  (‘Handkerchief’) trees in full show, amongst a great selection of both fine specimens of the more known trees and many unusual species from round the world .

A watch is being kept on the truncated Zelkova at the College crossroads, and photos are being taken annually to record re-growth.  The sad state of the Beech Grove at the Horniman Triangle has also been recorded, and discussed with the London Borough of Lewisham who will arrange replanting in the next season. Thanks to the improvement of the Play area and the Café, water has now been laid on to the site, which should help with watering and maintenance.

Two Committee members are still invited to accompany the Governors to tree sites where decisions have raised issues in the latter’s committee. Our views are sought, though we have no right to a vote.

Advice has been sought with regard to a small Tree Trail for Nursery children, and a talk was given on Dulwich Trees for another group.

A profile on a local tree of interest is written for the quarterly Dulwich Journal with a photograph supplied by the Editor. The Dulwich Tree map still sells well, over 60 being supplied by the Gallery, the Park Café, Village Books, and a new stockist in Chennor Books of Lordship Lane.

Assistance as been given with the Gallery Whip planting, and Committee members continue to monitor the general streetscape, and replanting after diseased trees are felled. Unusual and previously unnoticed trees eg Albizia and Oxydendron, are noted and photographed.


Jill Manuel, Chair

 ANNUAL REPORT OF THE WILDLIFE COMMITTEE

We have continued to act on the findings of last year’s detailed plant and wildlife surveys, focusing on the biodiversity of three main areas: the Gallery Road hedgerow, Dulwich Park and Belair Park lake.

The vegetation on the west side of Gallery Road was given a much-needed facelift and clean-up and, as they say, it “scrubbed up very well”. With the backing of a £500 Dulwich Community Council grant, plus further generous funding from the Society, and the hands-on help of London Wildlife Trust and many local volunteers, some 250 small hedging shrubs were planted in November. These included a rich variety of native species, such as hawthorn, field maple, alder buckthorn (great for brimstone butterflies), crab apple and guelder rose. The result is not only a wonderful boost to biodiversity – the hedge is a valuable wildlife corridor for birds, small mammals and insects – but it has also enhanced the appearance of this road leading from the busy South Circular into the village.

We continue to work closely with Dulwich Park Friends to maintain the valuable wildlife habitats in the park.  Park Friends volunteers have been very active in adding to and maintaining these areas by improving the lake vegetation, both around the bank edge and in the water itself, maintaining the perimeter hedges alongside the outer fences of the park, and putting in more bulbs in grassed areas. Half a dozen Spring-flowering cherries have also been added to the Village Copse to encourage bees.

In Belair Park, silt, leaf debris and litter were removed from the lake and decoy channel (by the “smelly” bridge) with the help of a long-armed digger and a temporary pontoon. This was made possible by a past £20,000 Dulwich Community Council “Cleaner, Greener, Safer” grant, obtained by the Society. Some money remains for planting reeds and other vegetation planting and we are presently waiting to hear whether a recent application for more oxygenating water plants has been successful. The lake is an important feeding ground for insect-hungry Daubenton’s bats.

Bird records are being diligently maintained by committee members Peter Roseveare and Dave Clark.  These show that our work to help boost our resident and visiting bird populations is bearing fruit. Steven Robinson has continued his valuable awareness-raising work for swift conservation, including overseeing the provision of nesting boxes on one of the Dulwich Park lodges. Next year, we hope to help with a wildflower meadow project in Dulwich Park and continue to work to improve oxygenation of the water bodies in our local parks.

Angela Wilkes, Chair.

Last Updated on Sunday, 22 April 2012 13:03

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