The recent news that the expertise of Dulwich education is being planted elsewhere (following successes in Thailand and China) should therefore come as no surprise. I refer of course to the projected opening of a City Academy in East London by Dulwich College in a partnership between the private sector and the government. Dulwich College is providing £2 million through a so-far anonymous donor, and the Government is funding the £18 million required to establish the new school.
This is not the first time that Dulwich schools have co-operated with the state sector. JAGS received its first publicly funded pupils from the London County Council in 1896 and after the passing of the 1944 Education Act which introduced nationwide secondary education; Dulwich College offered 90% of its places to LCC scholars. This offer was accepted and what was called 'The Dulwich Experiment' lasted until 1978 when political dogma dictated the withdrawal of local authority places from independent schools.
The undoubted success of the Dulwich model deserves to be replicated. It is based on a long tradition of educational expertise. In the late nineteenth century, schools like Dulwich embraced the model created by Thomas Arnold at Rugby some half-century earlier. The concept of prefects, the house system, and school uniform all sprang from Arnold. To these, the mood of the times, with its emphasis on muscular-Christianity led to the expansion of school games and gymnasiums. Over the years of course Dulwich has built up its own traditions and its whole system runs very successfully. These are some of the methods that the Education Minister hopes to introduce into the 200 such city academies of which the Dulwich planting was the first to be announced.
There is every reason to believe that this new experiment will succeed, provided the other key aspects of the Dulwich model - punctuality, attendance, respect, and accountability are also expected and achieved. After all, the primary school sector has raised its profile to such an extent that parents are bewildered that its success has not so far been duplicated in the state secondary sector.
Launch of the Appeal
The Public Appeal for funds to raise a statue to Edward Alleyn was launched by the Dulwich Society at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in May. There was a large attendance and visitors were able both to view the studies of the Finalists' designs and see the presentation to Louise Simson, sculptor of the winning design by Tessa Jowell, MP for Dulwich and Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. As reported in the last issue, sixty applications for the entry details were received, and there were thirty-three designs submitted.
The brief for the Open Competition was to design a life-size figurative bronze statue of Alleyn. Some information on his life and career was supplied but artists were expected to conduct their own further research. The judging was conducted 'blind' by the panel of judges who were unanimous in their choice of the winning design. In addition to the six finalists who each received a cheque from the Dulwich Society for £750, two further statuettes of designs commended by the judges were also displayed in the exhibition in the Linbury Room of the Picture Gallery.
At the time of going to press the Appeal, chaired by our President, Judge Michael Rich QC has raised £40,000. Thirty-four patrons have so far supported the Appeal and there has been a good response from Dulwich Society members and other individuals. The Dulwich Estate, on behalf of the Foundation Schools and associated charities generously contributed £10,000. The total thus exceeds the original target figure but the judges' choice of the winning design is one that includes a second figure, and this will increase costs.
Whilst it is likely that sufficient funds are available to commission the casting of the statue, subject to acceptable tenders being received, there still remains a balance to be raised to provide a suitable plinth. Dulwich Society Members who wish to be associated with the project but have not yet made a donation are invited to send their cheques to the Appeal Treasurer, David Trace FCA, 88 Burbage Road, SE 24 9HE. Cheques should be made payable to the Edward Alleyn Statue Appeal.
Louise Simson - the winning Sculptor
Louise Simson was born in London in 1960. Having learnt certain practical techniques while studying History of Art at Edinburgh University she started painting oils of actors and actresses from their performances at the National Theatre between 1981-86. Capturing the actors' movement became a way of defining not only the person, but also the character they were portraying. Most of these paintings are now in private collections. Amongst the actors painted were Jack Shepherd in Midsummer Night's Dream, Judi Dench in The Importance of Being Ernest, and John Normington in Danton's Death. A number of commissions were also completed in Washington and Philadelphia in 1986. Buyers include Richard Thomas (John Boy Walton), Zach Grenier (Fight Club) and Allison Janney (The West Wing).
Between 1986 and 1990 she worked in film, television and theatre. Films include Sour Sweet directed by Mike Newall, television includes Paradise Club produced by Selwyn Roberts. She did costumes for a number of stage productions, including some directed by Jack Shepherd. These include In Lambeth with Bob Peck, and King Lear with Oliver Cotton. A visit to Egypt in 1990 led to exhibitions of paintings completed there and she took her interest in Egypt further by reading for a BA and then an MA in Egyptian Archaeology.
In 2001, as a direct result of the stupendous Wimbledon Final between Pat Rafter and Goran Ivanisevic she was inspired to sculpt Pat Rafter in bronze. She worked from one of her own photographs taken while he was serving. As a result of the interest this bronze created she was asked to sculpt a bronze of the Wimbledon winner annually, again from her own photographs. Last year Louise was also commissioned to produce a bronze of David Beckham scoring the goal against Greece that put England into the World Cup Final.
She says that her continuing passion in her sculptures is the portrayal of movement. As with her paintings of actors, she has also used movement to portray story and character in her maquette of Edward Alleyn. She lives and works in south east London.
What sort of man was our Founder, and what prompted the creation of his Foundation?
An American President was being briefed by an aide for an interview he was to give to a Senator known only to him by reputation. "You must remember, Mr President, that Senator X is a self-made man". "I am pleased to hear it", the President replied, "it relieves the Almighty of a terrible responsibility!"
Edward Alleyn, actor, manager, impresario and property developer was certainly a 'self-made man'. But does that mean that he was the kind of man the President's retort implies - conceited, self-serving and concerned chiefly for his own reputation?
To answer this question we must think ourselves back into a world very different from our own, a world in which the Providence of God and a judgement to come were certainties as fixed in the public consciousness as the recurrence of the seasons and the fact of death - and without the benefit of anaesthetics or palliative drugs.
It was a world in which the common good was not sufficiently served by a conventional respect for law, the occasional casting of a vote and some degree of political correctness. A world in which care for the elderly and education for the young could not be left to the fiat of elected representatives however enthusiastically supported but which depended very largely on the good-will of the more fortunate members of society; and where alms-giving was not an hobby for those who like that sort of thing but a duty owed by a creature to his Creator.
This was a world of which Alleyn was very much a part and whose assumptions he seems to have willingly embraced. Of course that is a consideration which cuts both ways; where religion is universal it can very easily be formal. The churchwardenship of the Parish of St Saviour's, Southwark, for example, which Alleyn enjoyed for many years, brought with it considerable prestige as well as a few 'perks'. And he was not indifferent to prestige; he spent time and money on securing a coat of arms for himself and his family and was at one time hopeful of securing a knighthood as well. But this does not mean that his convictions were insincere.
Consider this note appended to his accounts for the year 1620-21: "Blessed be the Lord God Everlasting, the only giver and preserver of all. Amen". Not every dealer in real estate, even in those days, would have added such words, as Alleyn did almost every year - particularly since the record was made for his own use solely, there being no Inspector of Taxes to demand it from him!
Consider, too, the opening sentence of his Will, made only a few days before illness claimed him,..."first and principally I commend my soul to Almighty God my merciful Creator, and to Jesus Christ my most loving Saviour..." and later in this same document, "...my body I will to the earth from whence it came without any vain funeral pomp or show..." Can we really put these sentiments down to a death-bed conversion?
Moreover Alleyn's provision both for the occupants of his alms-houses and the 'poor scholars' of his College makes it clear that their spiritual welfare and, in the case of the scholars, their religious education was a very large part of his concern. His own regular attendance at Communion with the 'poor brethren and sisters' in the Chapel he had created for them amply confirms this. Nor did he hesitate to rebuke those 'Preachers' who failed to appear at the proper time for Divine Service!
His religious views were, for his day, fairly liberal; he seems to have been willing to converse with many who did not share his convictions - in regard, for example, to public entertainment on a Sunday. But this gives us no reason to doubt the sincerity of his devotional utterances, nor his motives in creating an 'Hospital'.
Our generation may have a greater faith than did Edward Alleyn in shared responsibility and the democratic process, though even that is open to question. But even if we have, that scarcely justifies us in ignoring or impugning the generosity of an earlier age - a generosity from which we still benefit - nor in denying the sincerity of those like our Founder who regard such generosity as a logical response to God's Gift.
Nick Earle taught mathematics at Dulwich College before becoming Headmaster of Bromsgrove School. He is the author of a number of books, including the polemical What's wrong with the Church? And most recently Does God Make Sense?
After National Service as a wireless operator in the RAF, Brian joined the staff of the Daily Mirror with which he was to remain connected as a staff man and freelance for much of his career. He served variously as the paper's crime reporter, Old Bailey correspondent and as editor of the "Live Letters" column. For three years he was news editor of The Sun after it became a tabloid in 1969.
Always on the lookout for a good story, he unexpectedly found himself to be part of one in March 1974 when he was riding in a taxi down The Mall. In a car following was Princess Anne and her then husband, Mark Phillips. Close to Admiralty Arch a car slewed in front of the Royal car and a man, leaping out, thrust a gun through the window; he planned to kidnap the Princess and demand a £3 million ransom. A police inspector in the car with the royal couple tried to reason with the assailant, and was shot. Brian, hearing the crash and then the shots, jumped out of his cab and ran to the crashed car, telling the gunman: "You can't do that. These are my friends. Don't be silly. Just give me the gun."
In reply the man told him to get out of the way, and then shot him in the chest. Staggering to the side of the road, Brian said to a woman there, "I think I've been shot". "You'd better sit down" she replied. The kidnapper was overcome, having shot not only Brian and the inspector, but also another policeman and the royal chauffeur - all four were taken to St. George's Hospital and all recovered. Brian McConnell was presented with the Queen's Gallantry Medal for his role in helping to foil the kidnap.
Brian took an academic as well as a professional interest in crime and was the author of Assassination (1969), which covered the topic from the Assyrians to the Kennedys, The Rise and Fall of the Brothers Kray (1969) based on the Daily Mirror reports on their trials, The Neilson File (1983) about the serial killer Donald Neilson.
It cannot be said that Brian McConnell ever actually retired. Even after leaving Fleet Street he still was willing to take over the Editorship of this Newsletter from 1994-2000 and with Margaret looking after advertising and distribution (which she continues to do), the Newsletter became an almost cottage industry at their home in Frank Dixon Way. As Editor, Brian was combative when he thought local authority administration poor. Nowhere was that more so than in the then management of Dulwich Park.
More time allowed Brian to pursue more good stories and he was enthusiastically working on an unknown and early Dulwich VC holder of the Maori Wars. His lectures in the United States resulted in a penchant for sporting a Stetson which challenged the supremacy of his other favoured headgear, a straw hat, which he invariably doffed to male and female alike. Brian was a jovial, interesting and modest man who will be much missed by the Dulwich Society. We extend our deepest sympathy to Margaret in her sad loss.
The centre block has the most interesting features and is currently intended to be preserved. The former chapel above the entrance has been divided into two with an extra floor, but still has some of the original stained glass. Exterior water-level indicators remain on the two water-towers. The foundation stone can be seen to the right of the main entrance but the large plaque commemorating the opening in 1887 seems to have disappeared.
The pavilion ward blocks and connecting corridors on the eastern range will be demolished next year. They have fine architectural details which have been photographed. During the First World War, the hospital was used by the military and the remains of the war memorial are in the grounds at the front of the building, where they have been moved from the original location outside the main entrance. The inscriptions to those who died in the hospital can be clearly read and have been recorded.
The hospital has a rich history of serving the community over a long period. A brief outline was given in the last Dulwich Society Newsletter, and it is hoped that more research might be carried out. Further information in Southwark Local Studies Library, which reveals for example that Charlie Chaplin's mother stayed there in its early days, explaining why he and his brother had to be cared for in the Newington workhouse. Patient records found in the basement might throw more light on this. They go back to the foundation of the hospital and are being examined by archivists before being transferred to the appropriate record office.
Chairman, Local History Group
Tough new parking restrictions proposed for College Road
The proposed scheme to calm traffic and enforce parking control by the Dulwich Estate was circulated to residents in the College Road area early in the summer for their comments. The reason such control is proposed is to help reduce the danger from speeding traffic, especially motor-cycles. The danger is exacerbated by parking of vehicles in the vicinity of Sydenham Hill railway station where the bend in the road is sharpest and the width of the road narrowest. Parking has also increased sharply since the introduction of the Congestion Charge.
The existing white painted 'No Parking' signs have not deterred motorists and the unsightly red and white painted bulks of timber have also failed. What the Estate suggests is fairly draconian - ' No parking at any time' signs, accompanied by double-yellow lines painted on the road, the scheme to be enforced by a private wheel-clamping company. In addition, to slow traffic down, road humps are to be introduced and two zebra-crossings; one connecting with Low Cross Wood Lane, the other across the road at Ducks Nursery School.
The Dulwich Estate says that other measures were considered such as speed cushions but these could be easily avoided by motor-cyclists. Speed cameras were rejected because the Estate would not be able to effectively pursue offending motorists.
The response to the consultation process was fairly strong with almost 30% of those canvassed writing or e-mailing the Estate. A large majority was in favour of the speed restrictions and a majority approved of the proposals to control parking (with some reservations). A common concern was that enforcing 'no parking' would drive commuters, using the railway station, to trespass by parking on the private estates and roadways off College Road. Some residents have requested that the non-restricted parking areas be controlled to prevent all-day parking.
Those against the proposals mourn the loss of the rural character of the road and dislike the "urbanisation of the environment" but the Estate says that it considers its main obligation is to guard public safety in view of the increasing volume of traffic. The truth is that car parking in the upper end of College Road in itself destroys much of the road's charm. Indeed, the new restrictions may have the effect of retrieving some of it.
The Estate will now discuss with its traffic consultants the proposals, in the light of the comments received and the Board is expected to approve the final scheme shortly, recognising that the parking situation will have to be kept under review.
All Saints' Church, West Dulwich: Reconstruction Begins.
After what is three and a half long years for the parishioners of All Saints following the major fire on 9 June 2000, the redevelopment of the church is at last underway. A contract in the sum of £5.9 million, mostly financed from insurance recovery, was entered into with Killby & Gayford as main contractor and the site was made available to them in February. The contractors are a long-established firm, based in Clapham.
The work is progressing well. Already the slab which formed the nave and the two aisles has been removed: the floors of the chancel and Lady Chapel are to remain in place. The piling outside the present west end of the building has been completed. The hole is huge; on one day alone 47 lorry-loads of spoil were removed. Paye Ltd., specialist sub-contractors in the field of brick and stonework restoration have also started work. They have by far the largest part of the sub- contract (worth some £650,000) and will be working their way around the building until next spring. Much of the necessary scaffolding is now in place and the tower crane will remain on-site until next March.
The programme of works will see the roof completed by February, the construction of the new west end by January and electrical and mechanical services by the end of this year. The internal finishes and external landscaping will take place between February and August. Those readers who would like to follow the progress of the reconstruction can access it on www.killbygayford.co.uk.
New Fireworks Law welcomed
The new regulations governing the use of fireworks will come as a relief to most Dulwich residents. Usually in the autumn they have been subjected to regular earth-shattering explosions from displays held by wedding celebrations and by various clubs and PTA's. One of the noisiest displays however, took place in July on Founder's Day in the field next to the Dulwich College PE Centre at Pond Cottages. The display shook the windows of houses almost a mile away. The new law restricts the noise level of fireworks to 120 decibels and requires an 11pm firework curfew which will be lifted only on November 5, December 31, Diwali and the Chinese New Year when displays may continue until 2am. Failure to observe this new law will be an offence which carries fines of up to £5000 or six months imprisonment.
The Day That The Rains Came - Tuesday 27 April
It is not every day that a Dulwich mother gets a telephone call from an anxious daughter in Switzerland asking if she and Dulwich are alright as she had heard on the BBC World News that Dulwich had been flooded. Tuesday 27 April 2004 will be a day to remember. Or more accurately some 90 minutes of it. The rain started lightly at 5.30pm but within a few minutes had turned heavy, and after 30 minutes had become a deluge followed by torrents of hail the size or marbles which clogged both drains and gutters, stripped gardens of flowers and turned the landscape white.
Roads like Burbage Roads and Half Moon Lane became virtually impassable and the water built up to a considerable height under the railway bridge in Village Way where a fire engine became trapped by the rising water. Much of Dulwich Park's horse track washed out of the College Road gate to provide interesting sandbanks along Dulwich Village and neighbouring roads for months to come. Cellars at Herne Hill were flooded to a depth of 7 feet as water coursed down the old and forgotten Langbourne stream bed from Red Post Hill along Half Moon Lane to meet the main watercourse of the underground River Effra that was in full flood down Croxted Road before turning sharply east and north again to flood houses in Turney Road as in days of yore.
Schools closed, churches were water-logged, some unfortunate residents of Playfield Crescent had to move out of their flooded houses and ground floor rooms were awash in the Village and Court Lane. According to one local weather buff, 6'' of rain fell in the space of an hour and a half. Curiously, Dulwich was also the centre of another such storm, but fortunately of shorter duration, in July, when again large hailstones covered gardens in a white carpet.
No Waiting List for NADFAS
The Dulwich Decorative & Fine Arts Society commences its 2004/5 programme of lectures on Thursday October 14th (see 'What's On in Dulwich'). The programme comprises a diverse range of topics, from Egyptology and Theatrical costume design to the work of John Singer Sargent. All the lectures take place in the Sixth Form lecture hall at James Allen's Girls' School and coffee and biscuits are included in the price of admission. Although individual lectures can be attended (£7), it is obviously cheaper to become a member and enjoy the entire year's programme for a very modest £30. The Membership Secretary, Mrs Vanessa Sutcliffe (tel: 020 8670 5895) will be happy to answer any queries. Apart from the monthly lectures from October -July, the Committee arranges two study days and a number of visits for members.
50th Anniversary Walk
The Crystal Palace High Level Railway line closed fifty years ago, a victim of one of Dr. Beeching's cuts. Some of the trackbed through Dulwich Woods and Horniman Gardens remains and the opportunity is being taken to both commemorate the old line and at the same time launch an extension of the Green Chain Walk along part of the old line. Details of this extension were reported in the last issue of the Newsletter. The double event will take the form of a walk titled 'From the Nun's Head to Screaming Alice' on 19th September. Anyone can join in the five-mile walk which starts at Nunhead Station at 10.30am and will be led by Matthew Frith the vice-chair of the London Wildlife Trust. A lunch break will be taken at the Horniman Museum and the day will finish at the Crystal Palace at 4pm. For further information please call the London Wildlife Trust (tel: 020 8699 5698)
As reported last autumn, Marguerite Weedy and Alison Loyd the organisers of the Dulwich Festival, who had been running the event since its inception in 1993 were looking for able people to take over the reigns. While much interest was expressed nothing concrete emerged in order that a Festival might be held this year. It is pleasing to say that two local women, Alpha Hopkins and Nina Jex, both with previous experience in art administration, have been appointed by The Dulwich Festival (a Registered Charity) to plan the Dulwich Festival 2005 Saturday 14th May - Saturday 21st May.
They would like to hear from anyone who is prepared to be involved in assisting in the organisation of this splendid local festival of art, music, drama, poetry and other events. They would also like to hear from groups or individuals who would like to be considered for an item in the Festival programme.
For further information please call the Dulwich Festival at: tel 020 8299 1011.
Southwark failed to have all the voter registers available when polling opened at the St. Barnabas Hall for the elections for London's Mayor in June. Effectively they were disenfranchising people who turned up when the Polling Station opened and could not return later in the day, says Ian McInness, Vice-Chairman of the Dulwich Society. It took over an hour for the remainder of the registers to be delivered. Other complaints have been made over the failure of the postal ballot in Dulwich, with voting papers failing to arrive.
Edward Alleyn in a double bill
The Dulwich Society Local History Group presents A Double Bill - "Discovering Edward Alleyn's Theatre" - a talk by Harvey Sheldon, archaeologist and director of the excavation of 'The Rose Theatre', Bankside, Edward Alleyn's and Philip Henslowe's playhouse - Followed by "Discovering Edward Alleyn the Actor" a talk by Jan Piggot, Archivist of Dulwich College, on Thursday 18th November at 7.30pm, The Old Library, Dulwich College. Refreshments. ( Admission free to Dulwich Society Members, £5 to non-members).
Tuesday July 29th, for most commuters in London was the day to make a speedy exit from the Metropolis before the London Underground system shuddered to a stop as drivers walked out for a one day stoppage at 18.30. Bemused office workers and other mortals, exhausted from their day's labour and red-faced by the exertion required to mount the steep flight of stairs from North Dulwich's Down Platform, were surprised to be greeted by what appeared to be a large reception committee in front of the station. And what an impressive reception committee it was. Headed by Dulwich's MP Tessa Jowell, it included virtually the entire executive committee of the Dulwich Society, supported by their President and at least one Vice-President. Then there was the managing director of Southern Railways, officials from Southwark Council, local councillors of various political persuasions, the chief executive of the Dulwich Estate and suited gentlemen who could not be identified but looked very important.
It was all to celebrate the completion of the restoration of the station's facade and the official opening of the York paved forecourt as Dulwich's first piazza.
The restoration arose out of Tessa Jowell's 'Safer Stations Initiative' (in the years before she was elected as Dulwich's MP) and so the project was probably 10 years in gestation! It is also fair to say that without the tenacity of the Dulwich Society's Transport sub-committee under its active chairman, Alastair Hanton it might never have happened at all. In the event the restoration amply justified the splendid celebration that ensued. Accompanied with wine and nibbles, generously supplied by Hampton's International Estates' Agents who share the premises with station, all those who had contributed both financially or practically, as contractors, were presented with a 'before and after' folder of photographs of the station.
Southwark Building Design Service submitted the entry for restoration works and Southwark Council contributed £25,000 under its regeneration programme for the improvements to the forecourt and pavement area. The Railway Heritage Trust paid £83,227 in order that the masonry in the station's loggia and the forecourt's decorative walls and associated railings could be repaired. Seltrans (Division of Railtrack) contributed £57,000 for the cleaning and renovation of the station frontage and The Dulwich Society gave £3000. The Society's contribution allowed the forecourt to be paved in York stone.
Both the exiting commuters and the Railway Heritage Trust expressed serious concern however over the condition of the ticket hall, platforms and stairs. As Charles Horton, Managing Director of Southern Trains was at the ceremony your reporter took the opportunity of relaying these concerns to him. Mr Horton gave an undertaking that the following list of improvements would be completed by Christmas.
1. In conjunction with Transport for London new CCTV monitors will be installed to deter vandalism and graffiti.
2. The station will be locked at night.
3. Both platforms and the ticket hall will be repainted in a brighter colour scheme by the end of the year.
4. All graffiti will be removed.
5. All the existing signage will be replaced with vitreous enamelled signs from which graffiti is easily removed.
6. There will be a regular team of cleaners to remove graffiti.
7. Improved ticket issuing facilities are to be installed.
History of North Dulwich Station
North Dulwich Station and the adjoining railway bridge were built in 1866 for the London Brighton and South Coast Railway Company. The station was designed by Charles Barry jnr., the surveyor of what was then Alleyn's College of God's Gift (hence the initials A.C. on the heraldic shields which decorate the bridge). North Dulwich Station is the most elaborate of the three railway stations built on Dulwich land and was intended by this ambitious architect to compliment other grand schemes he envisaged in putting Dulwich on the map. He also caused the College's monogram to be displayed prominently on railway bridges and viaducts over the estate.
Described by Nikolaus Pevsner as remarkably fine and unusually ornate, North Dulwich is built in a hybrid Romanesque style in red brick with a considerable amount of decorative plasterwork and stone decoration. It has a recessed entrance area (loggia) featuring stone columns supporting three arches with human mask keystones. The delicate pierced tracery parapet was unfortunately removed in the 1970's, together with the fine large clustered chimney stacks. The station is listed Grade ll.
Tuesday 14th 10.30 - 11.30am Dulwich Picture Gallery Georgian Studies Course . First lecture in the Series - An Introduction to the Georgians by Desmond Shawe-Taylor, Linbury Room. Course fee (14 lectures) £98, £84 concs.
Saturday 18th 10.30am-4pm Designing a Wildlife Garden. Centre for Wildlife Gardening, 28 Marsden Road, SE 15. (tel: 020 7252 9186) Booking essential
Open House Weekend Christ's Chapel, Dulwich Village (17thC) open in the afternoon, teas available; Dulwich Picture Gallery.
Sunday 19th 2pm-4.30pm Annual Garden Fete, London Cheshire Home at Athol House, 138 College Road, SE 19. To raise money for two new baths to meet new regulations.
Open House Weekend - Christ's Chapel, Dulwich Village (17th C) open in the afternoon, teas available, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Kingswood House.
Saturday 25th Children's Book Festival 11am Meet Children's author Sally Gardner who talks about her book Boolar's Big Day Out (age 5-8) 3.00pm Zizou Corder author of Lion Boy (age 8-12) in the Linbury Room, Dulwich Picture Gallery.
Sunday 26th Children's Book Festival 11am Author Jeremy Strong talks about his book The Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog (age 5-8) 3.00pm Caroline Lawrence author of The Enemies of Jupiter (age 8-12). Linbury Room. Tickets; £5 each event or £8 family ticket of 2, available from The Bookshop, Dulwich Village (020 8693 2808)
Tuesday 28th 10.30 - 11.30am Dulwich Picture Gallery Georgian Studies Course Poetry and Turner Jan Piggott. Linbury Room
Wednesday 29th Dulwich Chamber Music Festival - Gaudier Ensemble Quintet for Horn and Strings, Mozart; Octet for Wind and Strings, Francaix; 'Trout' Quintet for Piano and Strings, Schubert. St Barnabas Church 7.30pm. Tickets from The Art Stationers, Dulwich Village or Box Office 020 8693 3973 £13 (includes a glass of wine)
Thursday 30th Dulwich Chamber Music Festival - Gaudier Ensemble Serenata in Vano, Nielsen; Quintet for Piano and Wind, Mozart; Quintet for String Quartet and Double Bass, Dvorak. St. Barnabas Church 7.30pm. Tickets as above.
Saturday 2nd Dulwich Chamber Music Festival - Gaudier Ensemble - Children's Concert. The Gaudier Ensemble will introduce this concert which will include a performance for Narrator and Ensemble of Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev. 3pm St Barnabas Church. Concert lasts approx 1 hour. Tickets £5 as above.
7.30pm Gaudier Ensemble Concert. Strauss Till Eulenspiegel 'Einmal Anders'; Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, Mozart; Octet for Strings and Winds, Schubert. St. Barnabas Church. Tickets as above.
Thursday 14th Public Meeting - Future of Dulwich Park. Organised by The Dulwich Society. The Old Library, Dulwich College 8pm.
Dulwich Decorative & Fine Arts Society Lecture The Kingdoms of the Ancient Nile Delia Pemberton, 8pm James Allen's Girls' School (6th Form Lecture hall) Admission £7
Tuesday 19th 10.30 - 11.30am Dulwich Picture Gallery Georgian Studies Course The Influence of the Far East on the Georgian Interior Diana Lloyd. Linbury Room
Thursday 21st, Friday 22nd Saturday 23rd. The Dulwich Players present The Man who came to Dinner a comedy by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman at The Edward Alleyn Theatre, Dulwich College at 8pm. Tickets £6 from The Art Stationers, Dulwich Village
Saturday 23rd- Sunday 24th Art Exhibition 13th Annual Friends of the Horniman Art Exhibition, The Old Library, Dulwich College, 10am-5pm Admission Free
Wednesday 27th - 16th January Exhibition - Quentin Blake at Christmas, Dulwich Picture Gallery 10-5pm Tues-Friday (weekends 11-5pm)
Thursday 4th 7.30pm for 8pm Meet the Authors at the Dulwich Picture Gallery -Great Tales from English History. An evening with Robert Lacey. Linbury Room, tickets £10 (includes a glass of wine/soft drink) from The Bookshop, Dulwich Village or Friends Desk.
Saturday 6th - Sunday 7th 10am-5pm Dulwich Quilters 2004 Exhibition. The Old Library, Dulwich College. Demonstrations, refreshments available. Admission, incl. catalogue £2.50, children free.
Tuesday 9th 10.30 - 11.30am Dulwich Picture Gallery Georgian Studies Course Pictures of Innocence: Portraits of Children from Hogarth to Lawrence Amina Wright, Linbury Room.
Thursday 11th 8pm Dulwich Decorative & Fine Arts Society No More Mugs - the work of John Singer Sargent lecture by Ann Clements, James Allen's Girls' School. Admission £7
Tuesday 16th 10.30 - 11.30am Dulwich Picture Gallery Georgian Studies Course The Georgian City Gavin Stamp, Linbury Room.
Thursday 18th Dulwich Society Local History Group present - Edward Alleyn Double Bill 'Discovering Edward Alleyn's Theatre'- Talk by Harvey Sheldon archaeologist of the Rose Theatre site, Bankside and 'Discovering Edward Alleyn the Actor' by Jan Piggott. 7.30pm. The Old Library, Dulwich College. Admission free to Dulwich Society members, £5 non-members.
Thursday 25th 7.30pm for 8pm Meet the Authors at the Dulwich Picture Gallery The Edwardians - An evening with Roy Hattersley. Linbury Room, tickets £10 (as for November 4th)
Tuesday 30th 10.30 11.30am Dulwich Picture Gallery Georgian Studies Course Masters of the Sea: The Story of the Maritime Act 1714-1820 James Taylor, Linbury Room.
Saturday 4th Dulwich Symphony Orchestra Concert. St Barnabas Church 7.45pm. Programme includes Tintagel - Bax, Songs of the Auvergne - Canteloube, Sea Pictures - Elgar, Symphony No 1 - Elgar. Conductor Julian Williamson, Leader Paula Tysall
Thursday 9th 8pm Dulwich Decorative & Fine Arts Society It Will Never Show - Designing Historical costumes for Films & Television Lecture by Anna Buruma. Lecture preceeded by wine and mince pies in the Holst Hall, James Allen's Girls' School. Admission £7
Tuesday 14th 10.30 - 11.30am Dulwich Picture Gallery Georgian Studies Course "At Home" - Music in a Georgian Townhouse Carole Taylor, Linbury Room.
Newsletter ArticleBy Oliver Stutter, Senior Arboriculturist, Southwark Council
It's not often that you get £100,000 worth of good news! But that is the case for tree planting in Southwark this year as part of Community Council funding. Last planting season (November-March) we successfully replaced all street trees which were dead, dying, vandalised or just plain vacant, something of a first amongst London Boroughs.
But the effort doesn't stop there - of the 12,147 street trees surveyed and logged on our database, there is a 5% per annum loss through natural and not so natural death, chiefly car damage, vandalism and drought. That leaves 600 trees to be replaced every year just to maintain what we have: less pollution, added value to property and a greener and more 'liveable' environment, to name only a few of the benefits.
Members of the Dulwich Society can request trees where they think they will make an improvement, such as on streets currently bereft of tree cover or specimen planting at sites where the community feels a tree could make an impact. Sometimes trees give their names to local roads, Elmwood Road, Oaks Avenue and Chestnut Road are local examples, and local character can be determined and enhanced by the right species in the right location thus adding to the general appeal and distinction of a neighbourhood (or genus loci as the Romans defined it).
Below is a list of tree species which have ' most favoured status' and the reasons why. Ideally, newly planted sites should only have one or two species in order to avoid the 'spotty' look of some streets where tree form and colour are haphazard and less appealing.
The major proviso in actually getting new sites planted is considering the residents' point of view - the potential obstruction of light, access, and increasingly, satellite TV reception. Added to these obstacles to planting are sight lines at junctions, lamp columns and CCTV cameras. If these are not a problem then underground services (especially cable TV) can be the final nail in the coffin. Space for trees is an ever decreasing opportunity.
Once planted, we water trees using a portable bowser, with 45 litres per visit, six times a year. Over the past few years, summer droughts have become more severe so local residents are more than welcome to do their bit to help trees establish in their vital first year. Used bathwater is an especially good source for phosphates - should you feel inclined.
Please feel free to contact me with any thoughts and requests:-
Streetscene, 151 Walworth Road, SE17 1RY
Tree Species Currently Planted In the London Borough of Southwark
Common Name Scientific name
Horse Chestnut Aesculus hippocastanum White candelabra flowers with distinctive lobed leaves. Up to 20 metres mature height. Parks and verges
Grey Alder Alnus incana Upright form with very attractive feathery leaves and conspicuously red-tinted, pendulous catkins. 10-15 metres
Himalayan Birch Betula jacquemontii Upright form with spectacularly white bark and delicate branching. 10-15 metres
Hornbeam Carpinus betulus Native species, similar to Beech with smooth bark, sinous trunk, graceful branching habit. 10-20 metres. Major roads, parks and verges.
Indian Bean Tree Catalpa bignoniodes Sparsley branching, low habit with foxglove-like white flowers in late summer and broad, heart shaped leaves. 10 -20 metres.
Nettle Tree Celtis australis Small to medium tree with smooth trunk, broad crown and serrated oval leaves. Very tolerant of urban pollution and thriving in dry conditions once established. 10-15 metres
Broad-leafed Cockspurthorn Crateagus x prunifolia Notable for its persistent, showy fruit, polished oval leaves and rich autumn colour. Small and compact habit 5-10 metres.
Common Ash Fraxinus excelsior Large native broad-crowned tree with pinnate feathery leaves and very tolerant of pollution. 20 metres, major roads, parks and verges.
Chinese Privet Ligustrum lucidum Small to medium evergreen with long pointed leaves and white flowers in autumn. Tolerant of most soils and useful in restricted space. Often seen in secluded courtyards, 10 metres.
Foxglove Tree Paulownia tomentosa Very large heart-shaped leaves, open crowned tree with remarkable violet blue flowers. Fast growing but requiring shelter from strong winds, 15 metres.
Turkey Oak Quercus cerris Large, fast growing and gracefully branched tree tolerant of harsh conditions. 20 metres, parks and verges.
Evergreen Oak Quercus ilex Highly drought and pollution resistant with dense round habit. 20 metres, parks and verges.
English Oak Quercus robur Large broad crowned native. Should be planted where space permits due to immense biodiversity value. 20 metres, parks and verges
Black Locust Robinia pseudoacacia Medium tree with broadly rounded habit and showy lilac pendulous flowers. Tolerant of poor soil and drought. 15-20 metres.
Japanese Pagoda Tree Sophora japonica Wide spreading crown with hanging white pea-like flowers and grey pods. Drought resistant, once established. 15-20 metres, major roads, parks and verges.
Maidenhair Ginko biloba Initially conical in form with distinctive fan-shaped leaves turning a clear tallow in autumn. 10-20 metres, tolerates pollution and poor soil.
Honey-locust Gleditsia triacanthos Slender, upright form with frond-like leaves and long shiny brown pods. 10-20 metres.
Sweet Gum Liquidambar stryraciflua Best known for its distinctive maple-like leaves, corky bark and remarkable crimson autumn colour. 20-25 metres.
Tulip Tree Liriodendron tulipifera A beautiful medium tree characterized by its distinctive, oddly shaped three-lobed leaves which turn a rich butter-yellow in autumn. The peculiar flowers are tulip shaped, yellow-green banded with orange at the base but are not produced on young trees. 10-15 metres.
Dawn Redwood Metasequoia glyptostroboides A vigorous deciduous conifer of conical habit when young, with shaggy, cinnamon-brown bark. The feathery flowers are bright green becoming tawny pink and gold in autumn. 25 metres, major roads, parks and verges.
London Plane Platanus x hispanica The large, noble tree familiar to many European cities. Large palmate leaves and attractive mottled or patchwork flaking bark. Rounded seed clusters hang like baubles on the branches from early summer to the following spring. Extensively planted because of its tolerance of atmospheric pollution and severe pruning. 30+ metres, major roads and verges.
Cherry, variety Prunus spp. 5-12 metres depending on the variety. Dozens to chose from with showy flowers of differing colour and season.
Ornamental Pear Pyrus calleryana 'Chanticleer' 5-10 metres, abundant white flowers and glossy waxy leaves with no or very small fruit. Ideal small street tree due to its vigour and ability to survive cold, pollution and very poor soil.
Mongolian Lime Tilia mongolica Small to medium sized tree of compact rounded form with smooth, reddish shoots. Attractive ivy-like glossy green leaves turn bright yellow in autumn. 10-15 metres
Caucasian Lime Tilia x euchlora A medium sized tree with smooth green twigs and glossy oval leaves, an elegant form with arching branches. It is a 'clean' lime free of aphids, 10-15 metres
(Or Dulwich's 18th Century version of Crop Circles?)
In the last issue of the Newsletter use was made of local resident Robert Adie's collection of eighteenth and early nineteenth century plans of fields and houses in Dulwich to trace the enlargement of the stables and coach houses of the old Greyhound Inn. Another example from Robert's collection is reproduced below and depicts a plan of part of Dulwich Woods. A brief inscription on the back of the plan states - 'The Laps Wood Cost £20 1819' and is signed 'Stephen Whitton'. According to the text on the front it was bought by Messrs Lamburd and Doo of the Corporation of Dulwich College.
We know a little about Benjamin Doo. Before he became a 'Poor Brother' or pensioner in the almshouse at what was then called Alleyn's College (but is today called Edward Alleyn House) he drove the stage-coach which plied between Dulwich and Sydenham. It is clear that after he became an almsperson his circumstances improved sufficiently for him to make this substantial purchase. This improvement in Doo's fortune is supported by evidence that the income to members of the Corporation of Alleyn's College of God's Gift in which the almspeople shared, rose substantially in the late 18th century as wealthier incomers took out building leases and built their substantial houses, some of which still survive. It is more likely that Lamburd and Doo's purchase was a lease on the woodland.
The sketch plan depicts that part of the Woods which are better known as Lapse Wood (probably named because of its steeply sloping topography) and the dog-leg shaped track running from bottom to the top of the map is Cox's Walk. Today Cox's Walk follows a slightly different course as it was realigned to cross what was the new High Level railway line to the Crystal Palace. Present-day Sydenham Hill is shown running left to right at the foot of the plan.
What is curious about the plan is the fact that it shows two avenues of trees bisecting each other to form a Christian cross. Around the bisecting point is a circle of trees and within that tree plantation, joined by dots, are other trees which form a star. Does this mean that the two other nearby plantations called First Low Cross Wood and Second Low Cross Wood had similar complex ornamental planting and is that why they were so named? Since Doo's time this area has been transformed several times - to a railway cutting and gardens and now to Sydenham Hill Wood Nature Reserve and nothing remains that bears resemblance to the plan.
The Editor would be pleased to receive any observations from members about this curious plantation.