MINUTES OF THE 45th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE DULWICH SOCIETY held on Tuesday, 29th April 2008 at St.Barnabas Centre SE21 7DG

PRESENT; President (in chair): HH Michael Rich QC

Vice-Prsident: HH Michael Goodman, and approximately 45 members.

Apologies: Vice-Presidents: M.Gibbs & I.Dejardin; P.Reynolds, A.WiIkes,R.Dawson.

MINUTES of the 44th AGM (available before & at this meeting) held on 27th March 2007 were approved and signed.

MATTER ARISING:Query regarding Flooding in the area: Report prepared last January following engineering survey by Thames Water recommending (now approved) further storage capacity (estimated cost £20 million) hopefully to be implmented 2010/15, and a new sewer across South London (£200 million) which will not be started before 2014.

REPORTS for the year 2007 were available before this Meeting on the Society's website or from the Hon. Secretary as reported in the Society's Newsletter.  The following is a Summary of the points highlighted by the Committee member presenting each Report:

CHAIRMAN'S REPORT:(Adrian Hill): Membership has slightly increased.  Executive and Sub-committes met regularly and were active, and tribute is deserved to these members,those who deliver the Newsletters, and all  who assist in fulfilling the aims of the Society.   Amongst our activities has been working with The Friends of Dulwich Park to further improve the Park including planting trees and bulbs, and consulting over the future of the lodge houses and use of the Francis Peek Centre. We are pressing Southwark to maintain the Park, and are exploring the possibility of a community trust to manage the Park. In respect of Crystal Palace Park we participate in the process set up to monitor and influence its restoration. We are considerably concerned at the pressure being brought by insurance companies for the felling of trees said to be responsible for subsidence and have supported opposition where appropriate but some fine specimen trees have been lost. There have been a number of applications for late night sale of alcohol and entertainment and we have opposed several of these. Mobile masts: our policy is to oppose these where to be sited near schools or housing.  There is an apparent need for better reception and;we did not oppose an application for a mast in the South Bank University Sports Ground off Turney Road but Southwark refused consent which is the subject of appeal.

The Advisory Committee under the Scheme of Management is a very useful forum for us to meet with Trustees of the Dulwich Estate -and express our views.The Estate is obliged to give a reasoned response to queries we raise which have included preservation of particular trees, conversion of front gardens for vehicle parking and monitoring budgets and estimates of expenditure payable by freeholders under the Scheme.

After 8 years as Chairman I am standing down and wish to record my thanks for the help and encouragement I have received during this time, and wish my successor every success.

PRESENTATION to Adrian Hill;  To mark his retirement as Chairman (and previously Vice-Chairman) the President on behalf of the Society thanked him for his leadership and dedication and presented him with an engraved spade and fork to aid him on his allotment,for which he will now have additional time.

HON.SECRETARY'S REPORT:(Patrick Spencer): The Executive Committee met 11 times during the year.  To emphasis our appreciation of the volunteers on committees and delivering the Newsletter,we held a Summer Evening Party for them, about 100 attending.   The quality of our Newsletters under the editorship of Brian Green was recognised by The London Forum of Amenity & Civic Societies in granting us a Walter Bor Media Award. In December 2007 the boy of the Edward Alleyn statue was wrenched off but subsequently found in the nearby shrubbery and after repair will be more securely fixed.

HON.TREASURER'S REPORT:(Russell Lloyd): Audited Accounts for 2007 were circulated.  Income was slightly lower and expenditure slightly higher than the previous year but allowed for £7374 to be earmarked for donations and carrying forward £424 to funds.  Gift Aid amounted to £2591.  It is greatly appreciated if members will pay by Banker's Standing Order. The Accounts were formally adopted by the meeting. Our thanks to Sally-Anne Jeffries, our Honorary Auditor, who was re-elected.

MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY'S REPORT:(Wilf Taylor):  Membership wes just over 1100 at the end of the year.  As always there was significant loss and gain of members, and all are urged to recruit new neighbours and friends.


Traffic & Transport (Alastair Hanton): Much work has been put into preparing a Community Travel Plan for Dulwich and in this connection an Open Meeting was held in October attended by Lynn Sloman, an expert on travel and transport problems. Discussions have taken place on Car Clubs and Car Sharing Schemes as well as measures to improve safety (particularly at certain road junctions) and encourage walking and cycling to schools etc. 2 bids were submitted (1 successful) for funding under the Cleaner Greener Scheme.   It is,we believe,largely through our efforts that there is now an improved service on the West Dulwich etc. line.

A number of queries were raised including the danger of cycling on pavements not designated for such.

Planning & Architecture (David Roberts):Applications for consent for work to the Dulwich Estate under the Scheme of Management have been checked, and suitable response made bearing in mind the Estate's guidelines and effect on neighbours etc. Similarly, we respond if we consider it necessary to applications to the local "Councils.

We remain very active in the pursuit of having the listed boundary wall rebuilt in Red Post Hill.  We requested the Estate to put on the tollgate lodge the weathervane originally designed for it my our member Don Adie and made by the boys at Dulwich College, and having tracked down its whereabouts, it has now been erected.

Wildlife (Angela Wilkes): Success was achieved by the grant by Southwark to' form a Woodland Walk on the perimeter .of Belair Park; we had proposed this supported by the Trees Committee and Friends of Belair Park.  It will provide owl and bat havens.  Birdlife monitoring continues,and detailed records are kept and reports published in the Newsletter.  Support is given to the Trees Committee to preserve trees that,for example, insurance companies wish to have felled but which may be saved by pruning.   Members took part in bat-surveying and tree tagging at Horniman's and Sydenham Hill Woods. We provided at the Francis Peek Centre  birdlife fact sheets for teachers,a bird display board, and wildlife recording book.

Trees (Stella Benwell): Subsidence claims continue to be the most serious threat to trees in Dulwich; we attend the Estate tree surveys and defend trees where possible but have lost several specimen trees. The Tree Map continues to sell well. We arranged a well attended walk in May in Sydenham Wells Park. We have planted 3 more trees in Long Meadow (which is alongside Dulwich Wood Avenue) adding to the 12 already planted together with a long stretch of hedgerow.

Gardens (John Ward): Numbers were down attending our annual lecture and local gardens - if you wish to be on the list notified of the open gardens contact a committee member; we are most grateful to the owners of such gardens and for the committee volunteers; offers of further gardens and helpers are very welcome.   The away visit this year was to West Dean Gardens

Local History (Bernard Nurse): The Summer Evening Walk took place in the rain which,no doubt, accounted for the poor turn out.   A happier occasion was the visit to the Society of Antiquaries which was celebrating its 300th anniversary with an exhibition at the Royal Academy which was also visited. In November we held,assisted by members of the Dulwich Players, readings referring to Dulwich in fact and fiction; about 60 attended.   The restoration of the Dulwich Village Post cart continues by Society members Willis Walker and Graham Nash.


The following,having been proposed and seconded, were elected:


  • Chairman: Ian Mclnnes
  • Hon.Secretary: Patrick Spencer
  • Hon.Treasurer: Russell Lloyd
  • Membership Secretary: Wilf Taylor

Executive Committee:

  • Brian Green to be also Newsletter Editor
  • Alastair Hanton to be on Traffic & Transport sub-com.
  • David Roberts to be on Planning & Architecure group
  • Stella Benwell to be on Trees sub-committee
  • Angela Wilkes to be on Wildlife sub-committee
  • John Ward to be on Garden group
  • Bernard Nurse, Bill Higman, Adrian Hill, Kenneth Wolfe to be on Local History sub-committee

Honorary Officers:

  • President: HH Michael Rich
  • Vice-Presidents: QC Graham Able MA.MA, lan Dejardin MA, Dr.Colin Diggory, Marion Gibbs BA Mlitt, HH Michael Goodman, Peter Lawson FRIBA, FRSA

ANY OTHER BUSINESS:  Matters raised included: John Payne requested the Executive Committee's views on the proposed Development Plan for Crystal Palace Park which included some property development on the periphery of the Park - the same point was raised at last year's AGM and our view remains the same:we are opposed to it if sufficient funds can be obtained elsewhere but should this not be possible we would consider limited appropriate development provided that funds so raised were put to capital improvement of the Park.

The Green Chain Walk was being extended to Southwark - Crystal Palace to Nunhead with branch off to Dulwich Picture Gallery. Attention was drawn to the information on the website of the Dulwich Estate

The Meeting ended at 9.15pm and wine etc. was served.