There has apparently been a failure of negotiations between the Dulwich Estate and a company named Citygrove Estates over the future of the Herne Hill Velodrome (see page 3). This may in the end be seen to be fortuitous. When negotiations, which descended into wrangling, between the original parties connected with the Velodrome; Southwark Council, the London Velodrome Trust, British Cycling, Burbage Road Residents Association and the Dulwich Estate were going on, there seemed little chance that the 2012 Olympic Games would be held in London.
All has now changed. If we are to give substance to the London Olympic bid team's claim in Singapore, that the Games should inspire Britain's youth involvement in sport, then the Herne Hill Velodrome, should and must, have a role in supporting this vision. The Olympic velodrome on the East London site which will be used in the Games will not be ready for some years, meanwhile, Herne Hill; the venue of the 1948 London Olympic Games is ready and waiting for the intensive training necessary and is the only such facility in London and the south of England, the nearest being in Manchester. It can also become a focal point again, in encouraging young people to take up the sport.
The stadium was underused; there was a failure of Southwark Council and many schools to use the facilities including the running track, the mountain-bike circuit or the expensively improved surface of the cycle track itself. The three year lease now granted to a cycling consortium by the Dulwich Estate gives a valuable breathing space. At the end of this lease, and four years before the Games open, the velodrome is likely be regarded as a national facility until the new London track is ready. The costs of such a facility are unlikely to be able to be borne by the consortium and it would be essential for the Greater London Authority to become directly involved as they have done over the Crystal Palace National Recreation Centre.
Commendable flexibility has been shown on the future for cycling at Herne Hill by the Dulwich Estate, much as their predecessors did when the track was first laid out by a small private consortium in 1892. To assuage the concern of local residents, covenants need to be included which would minimise disturbance, such as an agreed limit on major events, control of public address systems, the banning of motor-cycle paced events and a requirement no to let the stadium out to third parties. On the other hand, residents might have to accept the need for the track and some other areas to be floodlit.
As the Newsletter was about to go to print we heard the sad news of the death of our Vice-President Reg Collins. Reg was Chairman of the Dulwich Society from 1991-1995 and had been its vice-chairman from 1989. He had also been chairman of transport and planning committees in the 1980's. We extend our sincere sympathy to Sigrid.
On October 8 the Dulwich Society will host an historic event; the unveiling of the Edward Alleyn statue by the Rt. Hon. Tessa Jowell MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Member of Parliament for Dulwich. It is one of the most ambitious projects the Society has undertaken. The life-size bronze statue of Edward Alleyn, sculpted by Louise Simson and raised on a York stone plinth is the culmination of a three year project by the Dulwich Society to mark what was felt to be a long overdue tribute to the Founder and benefactor of so many institutions, the benefits of which its members continue to enjoy. The occasion of the 400th anniversary of Alleyn's purchase of the Manor of Dulwich, from which financial base he was later able to launch his enduring legacy provides the people of Dulwich today with the opportunity of appropriately commemorating his act.
It is pleasing that the entire Foundation has associated itself with the project and that on October 8 the stewarding will be carried out by senior pupils of Alleyn's School and music will played by those from Dulwich College and James Allen's Girls' School. A Tribute to the memory of Edward Alleyn will be read by Julian Glover, a National Theatre Player and old boy of Alleyn's School. Dulwich Society members are cordially invited to attend the unveiling from 10.30am-12noon.
Mobile Telephone Masts
There has been a concerted campaign by local residents, concerned by the decision of the Dulwich Estate to offer the boundary of a sports field in Gallery Road as a site for the installation of two 60' high mobile telephone masts. They argue that this will not only spoil the rural appearance of Gallery Road for residents and visitors to the Picture Gallery alike, but the proposed masts will be in a Conservation Area. They also stress that these masts are of the powerful type which emit a beam of maximum intensity over a 200 metre radius. They point out that the field proposed is used by Pelo Football as a playing field used daily by youngsters for football training and that the pavilion in the neighbouring field will be used for at least a year by the children at Dulwich College Preparatory School Nursery during rebuilding of their main school.
The proposal has naturally alarmed the Prep school parents who claim that the Stewart Report, which prompted recent government health warnings about the danger to children by their using mobile telephones, "even in an emergency", also advises against positioning of masts near schools. In addition to the Prep Nursery, the radius of the 200 metre beam from the masts will also encompass the Dulwich Picture Gallery's education facility and classroom as well as local houses.
The Society's policy is to object to all applications within the Conservation Area and particularly near schools. Southwark Council planners recently refused an application for a shorter mast on the corner of Allison Grove and Dulwich Common and hopefully they will do the same for the one in Alleyn Park by the railway bridge.
Herne Hill Velodrome
A press release issued just before the Newsletter's copy date confirmed that the Velodrome would open for cycling on August 5. An agreement has been reached between the Dulwich Estate and the British Cycling Federation on a three year lease. It appears that both the London Velodrome Trust and the Velo Club de Londres are also involved. The Society further understands that Southwark Council has agreed to provide some additional financial backing but at this stage it is not clear if this has been taken up.
At the same time the Dulwich Estate is continuing negotiations with Citygrove Estates to look at various options for a more secure future for the track. Both the Society and the local residents' associations have made their views clear to the Estate on the sustainable nature of any proposed development.
In the last Newsletter we reported on a proposed redevelopment at Bullfinch Court, just north of the Croxted Road shops. The scheme was for 17 social housing units of various sizes, each with its own private garden, planned around a central parking court in an area at present occupied by garages. The Society objected to the density, layout and design of the scheme and we were pleased to note that the application was subsequently withdrawn. A revised and much improved scheme by a different architect was shown to local residents at a public exhibition at the end of June.
Ujima is a housing association which has several projects proceeding in the area. There has been some concern over one named Surrey Mews, located adjacent to the Estate behind the Sir Joseph Paxton PH. It appears that the new houses were built much closer to the site boundary than had been shown on the original drawings and that neighbour aspect was severely compromised. Lambeth Council subsequently refused a retrospective planning application for the houses and the case has gone to appeal. Some local residents feel that Ujima has been less than sympathetic to their concerns and the errors should have been dealt with much earlier.
Village Petrol Station
S.G. Smith & Company is applying for consent to remove the former filling station at the Gilkes Crescent end of their property and also to demolish the canopy over the present filling station at the Calton Avenue end and turn both spaces into car parks, presumably for car sales vehicles. The removal of the 1930's filling station will mean the loss of the only attractive building on the site while the other will be the loss of a major Village amenity. It will also mean that the nearest petrol stations will be Croxted Road or London Road.
Planning Committee decisions upheld
Two recent cases where councillors of Southwark Council Planning Committee refused applications against their officers' advice have been upheld. These are for an additional house in the rear garden of 9 Dulwich Village and for the demolition of the Sir Ernest Shackleton PH and its replacement by flats on the Kingswood Estate.
Two local museums win major awards
Both the Dulwich Picture Gallery and the Horniman Museum recently won major awards. Dulwich Picture Gallery won the Independent Award at the Museums & Heritage Awards for Excellence 2005. The gallery was nominated by the British public as their favourite attraction. The Horniman Museum, which last year was awarded the title 'Museum of the Year', while its gardens won Green Flag status in both 2004 and 2005 has this year been awarded a £1.1m grant from ReDiscover - a pioneering fund for science centres.
With the money Horniman Museum is embarking on a £1.5m aquatic venture, scheduled to open in 2006. The area in the basement, currently housing the Horniman Library, will be completely transformed. Fifteen captivating life displays in seven distinctive zones are scheduled for construction with more than 250 different species of animals and plants going on display. It will replace the popular old aquarium. Transferring the animals in the now outdated aquarium presented a challenge as some of the fish were over ten years old.
It was the intention of the museum's founder, Frederick Horniman to show the Victorian public the living world close up. The displays will try to be true to his vision. The first zone - Drawn to Water - will display a typical Victorian-style parlour aquarium. British Pond Life is dedicated to educating visitors about the variety of life forms in endangered ponds across the UK. There will be viewing dens and an interactive learning zone so that visitors can view microscopic marine life beyond the reach of the naked eye. Drifters will be devoted to saltwater jellyfish and plankton. Seashores will show marine life found along the coastlines of the British Isles and will include a mesmerising display of seahorses along with a North Devon rockpool complete with crabs, shellfish and realistic wave surges Viewers will also be able to study examples of a Fijian Coral Reef, a Mangrove Swamp and a breathtaking South American Rain Forest featuring atmospheric sounds and a mind-boggling array of flora and fauna.
Tales from the Pub 1 - what's in a name?
Although the Plough P.H. changed its name to the ridiculous Goose & Granite a few years ago, such was the outcry that it bore the even more ridiculous name of The Goose & Granite at the Plough. Corporate madness knows no bounds, who, in his (or her) right mind would pass up the 200 years of tradition and the free advertisement on those London buses (and trams before them) that terminated at The Plough? Transport for London, not unexpectedly re-titled their bus terminus in East Dulwich as Dulwich Library in the face of intransigence by the pub owners. We now note that the pub has been given its old name back on large hoardings at front and side. What is now urgently needed is the hiding of the bare walls by the introduction of some ivy and the replacement of the fine old Plane tree that once softened the angular but distinctive lines of the Plough.
Tales from the Pub 2 - Time called on St. George
Although relegated over thirty years ago by the Vatican to be classed as a second-division saint, England's patron saint - St George, has had further ignominy cast upon him, this time by a rather less elevated body - Messrs Mitchells and Butler Leisure Retail Ltd. The company is the current owner of the Crown & Greyhound in Dulwich Village and has made an application to extend the operating hours of the pub from 10am-Midnight daily. In addition, extensions to these opening hours by 1-2 hours are being sought on Valentine's Day, Burns' Night, St. David's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, Halloween and all the Bank Holidays. * But no St. George's Day! Are we to be offended that our Patron Saint is omitted from the year's festivals, or relieved we are spared being awoken by revellers at 2am? Scottish readers should direct their complaints for the omission of St. Andrew to Messrs Mitchell and Butler, not the Editor!
On a sad note with regard to the Crown & Greyhound we are sorry to record the death this year of both Dorene and Sydney Kitching who were very popular licensees for over twenty years from 1950's. Sidney became a publican following his leaving the RAF in which he served as a fighter pilot in World War ll.
*The Dulwich Society has objected to the proposed extended opening times.
The vacancy on the board of trustees of the Dulwich Estate, which is the appointment of the Archbishop of Canterbury in his capacity as Visitor to Alleyn's College of God's Gift, has been most appropriately filled by The Venerable Robin Turner CB. Robin Turner was Chaplain in Chief of the Royal Air Force and on his retirement was obliged to forgo the benefits of the rank of Air-Vice Marshall and chauffeur driven car and turn to decorating his house at Forest Hill under the direction of his wife! Shortly after, he took up the post of Chaplain of Dulwich College with the added task of teaching boys of all ages. After initial qualms, Robin settled down to thoroughly enjoy his new career. He also acted as honorary curate at St. Stephen's, South Dulwich until his second retirement. He was then appointed Canon of Southwell. The Archbishop's choice of Robin as his representative on the board of the Dulwich Estate is an inspired one.
Devoted to Life Walk
Marie Curie Cancer Care is promoting a sponsored walk with a difference, in Dulwich, on Sunday 2nd October. The Devoted to Life Walk will offer a historical tour of Dulwich, taking in landmarks from the fascinating history as you stroll through its prettiest parts. There are two options: a 5km walk and a 10km option - depending on how fit you are feeling. Many walkers take part to remember a friend or a loved one. Others simply enjoy a day's walking in a beautiful setting. By walking you can make a difference to the lives of cancer patients and their families by raising money for Marie Curie Cancer Care. For more information please call 0870 240 1021 or visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/events/devotedtolifewalks
Dulwich Picture Gallery - Two new Lecture Series
Following on from the two previous successful lecture series, The Victorians and The Georgians, Dulwich Picture Gallery's Education department has assembled an impressive list of lecturers for The Stuarts its new series which commences on September 27 and concludes on July 25, 2006. The cost of the 19 lecture series is £133 and takes place on selected Tuesdays 10.30-11.30am in the Linbury Room. Bookings to Georgina Pope 020 8299 8732.
The Friends of the Gallery present a Tuesday Evening Lecture Series - A History of British Art. This course of 6 lectures starts at 7.45pm on Tuesday 20 September in the Linbury Room. Course fee £48. Bookings to Brenda Jones (020 7771 1409).
After a year's break, the Dulwich Festival returned under the direction of a new team led by Alpha Hopkins and Nina Jex. Over 40 events took place over the ten-day period of the Festival in and around Dulwich. We had the backing of local resident Jo Brand who kindly agreed to launch the Festival in local newspapers and magazines.
As in previous years, there were many and varied events to suit a wide range of tastes, pockets and age groups. Everything was well-attended and, once again, the Festival managed to capture the enthusiasm of Dulwich.
As well as featuring many of the popular events of previous festivals - walks, workshops, talks, musical concerts - there were some new ones. The Festival kicked off with a new type of event - a debate focussing on this year's Make Poverty History campaign. It was a gamble which paid off - it sold out and the debate itself could have run and run. Another successful addition to Festival's programme was the evening of 1920s, '30s and '40s music held at Beauberry House. Guests were invited to come and dress up in the style of the period and, on one balmy Sunday evening, Belair was scene to a host of flapper girls, farm girls and gangster with their molls. The band Blue Harlem hit the roof with tunes from Cole Porter, George Gershwin and Irving Berlin and people Charleston-ed the night away.
One of the more intriguing events was 'Art of Permanence and Change', a week-long exhibition of artistic activity in Sydenham Hill Wood. Over 20 artists from the UK and overseas were invited to develop a discourse between the past, present and future function of the woods. When exploring the woods visitors would discover many surprises - during its first weekend, performance artists took over the woods and visitors came across many acts including a woman dressed in black with a black labrador letting off black balloons, tree stumps which had been wallpapered, and an acrobat performing on a single rope suspended from a tree.
There was a strong film element to the programme. This year marked the first South London Short Film-Makers Competition. There were almost
40 entries and, in a hotly contested competition for the documentary prize, the eventual winner was won by Jonathan Goodman Levitt for 'Gangbreaker'. In showed former South London gang member Errol describing his personal decision to move away from the teenage world of tit-for-tat violence, and to become a youth worker; encouraging young kids on the streets to avoid his previous and perilous path. At times tragic and moving, it explored the devastating impact of gang violence on South London's black community.
There were lots of events to entertain children. 'Finding Alleyn in Dulwich' was a beautifully illustrated history game which had children finding out about Dulwich's past. Children were invited to draw a picture about an aspect of Dulwich they found particularly inspiring. Their pictures were then exhibited in the Sackler Centre at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. Again at the gallery, Jon Snow came to talk about his career as a journalist to a sell-out audience.
The Festival rounded off on the final Sunday with a hugely popular Teddy Bears' Picnic in Dulwich Park. Over 200 people gathered in the Rhododendron Area with their teddy bears to munch through picnics, play games and watch a version of 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears' enacted by the youth group of the Dulwich Players.
Plans are now afoot for next year's Festival. Alpha Hopkins and Nina Jex, co-directors of the Festival said, "The Festival was a tremendous team effort with great support from venues and volunteers alike. We were particularly grateful to the previous Festival Directors for all their behind-the-scenes guidance. We were delighted that the Festival was such a success this year; we are looking forward to building on that, learning from it and designing a whole host of delights for Dulwich in May 2006."
The provisional dates for next year's Dulwich Festival are 12-21 May and developments for 2006 include more children's and adults' workshops, a food festival, a poetry competition and the possibility of online ticketing. If you'd like to take part in the Festival or have any suggestions for next year's programme, please do contact the Dulwich Festival on 020 8299 1011 or log on to the website, www.dulwichfestival.co.uk.
Parents of primary school age children in Dulwich are invariably perplexed by the apparently anomalous situation of having a totally separate infants' school (Dulwich Village CofE Infants School) for ages 5-7 from the neighbouring primary school (Dulwich Hamlet School) for ages 7-11. Not only that but each school has a different admissions policy, the former, being a Church of England school, gives priority to up to fifty children out of the ninety admission places, from families who live in the parish and who regularly attend the parish church (St. Barnabas). Within this number the school also offers some priority to communicant members of other churches outside of Dulwich for which Dulwich Village Infants is the nearest church school. The remaining forty places are offered to local children. Transfer from one school to the other at age 7 is not automatic and application to Dulwich Hamlet School must be made and children who attended the infants' school with an external church priority may not necessarily be accepted. The area from which local children may be accepted is calculated by the distance of the safest waking route and this can vary from year to year depending on numbers of children applying for entry.
The situation in Dulwich is not unique but it is rare; there is apparently only one other such instance in London. How this situation arose is examined under the Historical Background below. Both schools are administered by Southwark Council, but the infants' school, being voluntary aided receives only 90%of its funding from the local authority. It is required to raise the balance itself and is able to borrow money to make up the difference when considering major projects, from the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education which also advises on the spiritual ethos of the school and has its own inspector.
At present both schools offer a three-form entry and the Hamlet has made a commitment to reduce its class size from 32 to 30 by September 2005. In the past, teachers' unions set the class size still lower and when the extension to the Infants' was built on the other side of Dulwich Village, thirty years ago the size of its classrooms was designed to accommodate 25 children. However, an increased demand for places soon after caused class sizes to rise. In recent years the increasing popularity of Dulwich as a place to live has put even greater pressure on its schools and the right of appeal by parents of rejected children has also, on occasion, further pushed up class sizes.
There is another problem concerning education which also needs to be addressed. That is the government's requirement for local councils to provide working parents with child care facilities. Where can such extra provision be found to be available in Dulwich? At Dulwich Village Infants, the wish to have a nursery class has been an item on earlier governors' agendas since the 1930's and it was anticipated that when the 'new site' was occupied in the 1970's this might indeed be provided.
The contraction of both schools' admissions' areas means that it is no longer certain that children living within the St Barnabas parish boundary will be accepted by the Infants' school or in roads adjoining Half Moon Lane by the Hamlet. Even the end of Dovercourt Road is apparently a doubtful area. This has led to great difficulties for some families, especially those within the North Dulwich triangle, because the nearest alternative primary school, Bessemer Grange, is similarly oversubscribed. A part of North Dulwich, apparently, falls outside both schools' admission boundaries. Such is the desperation of parents to get places for their children that in recent years attempts have been made to use bribery to use an address within the catchment area to make an application for admission. Two children had to be removed at the beginning of the last school year at the Hamlet as false addresses had been given for their admissions.
The situation is not new but it does seem to have worsened. At a meeting of the Infants' school governors in the late 1980's, shortly before the arrival of LMS (local management of schools) a decision was made to explore the possibility of amalgamating the Hamlet and the Infants School outside of local authority control but as a Church of England JMI (junior, mixed and infants) voluntary aided school. The outcome was surprising. The Southwark Diocesan Board of Education was alarmed at such a notion and was at pains to point out the expense of acquiring outdated and expensive-to-run buildings which the Hamlet occupied.
There is however a case for re-visiting this proposal. Together, the Hamlet and Dulwich Village Infants' occupy a very large site which because of the history of their foundations in no way utilises the space potential offered. Under one banner as a JMI, be it a county primary, a voluntary aided church school or a independent school directly funded by the Department of Education with some serious money for development it would be in a position to offer a four-form entry and nursery provision. Both schools meet the government's criteria, as successful schools for enlargement and investment.
There is a case for holding a Public Meeting to review public primary education in Dulwich. Perhaps the Dulwich Society is the right body to convene such a meeting.
Dulwich Village Infants' and Dulwich Hamlet School - the historical background
In a chicken and egg situation the Infants' school can be found to have arrived first! In 1830 a well-meaning and determined local lady, who might easily have stepped from the pages of George Eliot's Middlemarch, persuaded the Master of Dulwich College, who since1741 had been given the task of overseeing the Dulwich Reading Schools, founded by James Allen and later renamed the Dulwich Free School, to open an infants' class at the school.
The Infants' School
Mary Ranken was a spinster and lived with her wealthy cousin and his wife at Belair. With the help of a number of friends who either volunteered or were press-ganged into helping with the infants' class and also with a wide range of other charitable enterprises in the Village, she made her educational enterprise a success. At the beginning, the Infants' class was considered a seperate entity to the Free School and was inspected by the National Society in 1840. However, over time it became an integral element of the Free School.
The new infants department together with the existing two classes of the Free School, one for boys and one for girls, each with a class of sixty pupils, continued until 1842 when the Dulwich College Grammar School, opened in the building still standing at the corner of Dulwich Village and Gallery Road. It was built to provide education for local boys to enable them to obtain apprenticeships in worthy trades. As a consequence, the boys' class moved from the Free School (now the site of Wates Estate agents and the adjoining house in the Village) across the road to the Grammar School where they joined the Lower Division. The removal of the boys from the Free School allowed the girls to enjoy the full benefit of James Allen's endowment of 1741 which was composed of the rent from four houses in Kensington Church Street. The Infants' department was still being supported by Mary Ranken and her circle. Her influence at the school now widened to include the girls' class and she became the school's virtual manager. She collected up to £70 per year from local subscribers and distributed the money in the form of clothes in an award ceremony twice a year according to the number of tickets gained by the children for industry, regularity and good conduct.
Great changes came in 1857 when Parliament reformed Alleyn's College (popularly called Dulwich College). The Grammar School was closed and the staff paid off. Two new schools, under the name of Dulwich College opened in the former Grammar School building; the Lower School for sons of the industrial classes, and the fee-paying Upper School. The twelve poor scholars continued to be chosen annually and were taught in the Lower School. The final clause of the Dulwich College Act 1857 prescribed that the funds from James Allen's endowment of the Free School were to be placed in a separate account to be called the Dulwich Girls' School Account.
Mary Ranken's energetic and valuable role in the life of Dulwich Village Infants' School ended with the implementation of the new Act and the death of her cousin which required her removing from Dulwich. The management of the wide list of charitable enterprises she started, together with the Dulwich Girls' School were all lumped together in what was called the Dulwich Local Charities. As far as the school was concerned the new Act required it to be administered three Trustees; the chairman of the newly formed College governors, the Master of the College and the College chaplain. It was the Chaplain, who acted as the local vicar (Dulwich was still a hamlet, the parish of St. Barnabas was not created until 1890) who oversaw the school and was chairman of the Dulwich Local Charities.
Protest and progress
Numbers had dwindled in Dulwich Girls' School; a combination of competition with a number of private schools which had sprang in Dulwich and Camberwell and also because of the poor state of its accommodation. While the Master and the Chaplain realised that the existing curriculum and school buildings were together insufficient and obsolete and were agreed that new buildings were necessary, a difference of opinion over the question of the infants' class in the projected new school arose. The chaplain (Rev. John Oldham) wished to retain the mixed infants' department as an integral part of the school but the Master (Canon Alfred Carver) felt all the income from the endowment of James Allen of the Kensington property would be needed for the girls' school alone, if new buildings with potential for enlargement were to be provided.
In the end it was the Charity Commissioners who ruled that the Act of 1857 intended the James Allen foundation to support a girls' school only.
Meanwhile the parents of the infants' department were becoming increasingly concerned over the conditions in which the children were being accommodated. Ninety children were being educated in a small low-ceilinged room at the Free School which was considered very over-crowded and unhealthy. In 1861, a meeting chaired by the Revd. Oldham, resolved to try to raise funds to build a new infant's school capable of holding 150 children. Room to spread out at the Free School had been hampered by the opening of a National School for boys in the building by the newly formed Dulwich Local Charities committee (made up from the local gentry and also chaired by Oldham).
In 1863, with no real progress achieved and the College being criticised for dragging its feet in providing a site, a public meeting was held at the Greyhound to discuss building a new infants' school by public subscription. As before, it took a determined woman to take control and Mrs. Oldham became the driving force behind the campaign, motivating parents and well-wishers alike. Funds were raised and the present Infants' School was opened two years later
How the Infants' became a Church School
In 1904, following implementation of the 1902 Education Act, Dulwich Village Infants' School officially passed from the control of the Dulwich Local Charities Committee to the London County Council as a 'Non-provided public elementary school'. It would be managed by four Foundation Managers of whom the Vicar of St. Barnabas was always to be one. The Dulwich Local Charities had already effectively been taken over by the new Parish of St Barnabas in 1892. In 1911 the first extension of the building was undertaken to increase the roll to 250. The parish of St. Clement's, East Dulwich, assisted with funds for the manager's share of the cost. A further extension to provide a hall took place in 1927 and in 1945, a vacant site on the other side of the Village was earmarked for further extension. Because of shortage of funds it would take over 30 years for that extension to be realised.
How Dulwich Hamlet (Girls) began
A new schoolhouse for Dulwich Girls' School finally opened in 1867, two years after the Infants' School and next door to it. It had the same architect and it was designed in a style sympathetic with its neighbour with which it was connected by a cloister. In 1878 its name was changed once again, to James Allen's Girls' School in a clear attempt to impress the Charity Commissioners who were at the time considering a number of schemes for the Alleyn charity and were under pressure to extend to girls the benefits of endowments originally enjoyed solely by boys. JAGS campaign was successful and the present JAGS buildings opened in East Dulwich Grove in 1886 and the school became part of the Alleyn Foundation.
By this time Dulwich Girls School/JAGS roll had increased to 141 girls and although it was only classed as an elementary school with an anticipated leaving age at 12, many girls were remaining at the school to age15-16 and in a few cases until 17! Fifty-seven girls transferred to the 'new' JAGS in East Dulwich Grove and in order that the remaining 84 girls should not be dispersed, the school building in the Village was immediately hired (later purchased) by the School Board for London to be named Dulwich Hamlet School (Girls).
Dulwich Hamlet School (Boys)
So if you are still with me dear reader, you may ask the question - "what about the boys?" You will recall that the Dulwich Local Charities had opened a National Boys School in the old Free School building in 1860 with a roll of 50. So popular was this new school that places had to be reserved for children of the Hamlet of Dulwich following an influx of boys from the neighbouring parish of St. Stephen's. Does this begin to have a familiar ring? In 1871, the Dulwich Boys' School was offered the Grammar School premises which had become vacant, by the College Governors, due to the opening of Charles Barry Jnr.'s grandiose Italianate Dulwich College and the Lower School's (later called Alleyn's School) subsequent move into the rooms vacated by them in the Old College building (now occupied by the Dulwich Estate offices). The Dulwich Local Charities Committee, anticipating there would be changes created by the 1870 Education Act declined this offer.
With its limited curriculum numbers dwindled at the Boys' School and the JAGS governors surrendered the lease of the old Free School building they had occupied since 1741, in 1882. The boys' school limped along for another year or so until its pupils were absorbed into Dulwich Hamlet School (Boys) which opened in 1884 with a roll of 40 but with a projected roll of 240. By 1887 the boys were able to enter what is today known as the Turney building, the girls occupied their own new building with the original JAGS building becoming a Housewifery Centre for the girls. The corrugated iron huts which initially housed the fledgling boys' school while building took place were later used by the LCC for teaching boys woodwork and other technical subjects as well as by the school for evening classes for pupils who left school at 14 to return for technical instruction or classes for the Civil service examinations.
Dulwich Hamlet Girls and Boys amalgamate
Up until World War ll, the leaving age for boys and girls was 14, although bright pupils might gain scholarships at 11 to proceed to a grammar school. On return from evacuation and following the passing of the 1944 Education Act, Dulwich Hamlet Boys and Girls Schools were amalgamated into one school and the leaving age reduced to 11 in order for all children to proceed to secondary education. The boys and girls were taught in separate classes in years 5 & 6 but in 1947 pressure for places at the school meant a register of 57 boys and girls in each of these classes!
Brian Green is the author of 'To Read and Sew - James Allen's Girls' School 1741-1991' and was Deputy Chairman of the Governors of Dulwich Village Infants School from 1978-90.
'Dulwich Park has never had its history written before which surprised me'. So begins the Foreword to a recently published book called Dulwich Park - a park for the people forever. I agree with the author, Liz Johnson, who has written a fascinating account of the history and machinations behind the establishment of a park in the middle of Dulwich.
July 1890 may have seen the opening of the park by Lord Rosebery (standing on a cane-bottomed chair) but the first mention of the idea was put forward as early as 1872 by Francis Peek, a rich tea merchant and Victorian philanthropist who lived in Crescent Wood Road. Amazingly, he and his friends pushed through the idea against the wishes of the Estates Governors who had no wish to see their holdings eroded. The chicanery that went on for the 18 years before the park opened makes fascinating reading.
Liz Johnson sets the scene with descriptions of Dulwich and some of its residents and the land where the park now stands all with excellent illustrations. Very few pages in the book do not have illustrations and the layout is most attractive. There are line drawings and old photographs and inside the front and back covers are maps of the area between 1876 and 1906. She describes the battle for the park; how it was designed and how it was been used. The final chapter covers the park as we know it now and the planned restoration. The book is a most enjoyable read, giving present residents of Dulwich a revealing glimpse at their predecessors.
Dulwich Park - a park for the people forever is available at local bookshops price £7.50
Monday 12th Dulwich Subscription Concerts Dulwich College Old Library at 7.30-m. The Hundwandler Octet and Chums - Mozart's Gran Partita. Followed by Champagne Launch Party. Tickets - telephone 020 8761 6659 £15 (concs £10) or £60 (concs £48) for complete series of six concerts.
Thursday 15th Friends of Dulwich Picture Gallery. 7.30pm for 8pm Meet the Authors: Ned Sherrin. An evening around his autobiography. Tickets £10 (includes a glass of wine) available at the Gallery or from The Bookshop, Dulwich Village.
Saturday/Sunday 17-18th Dulwich Picture Gallery - Open House Weekend. Architectural tours of the Gallery on both days at 3pm. Sunday 2pm Architecural Walk in Dulwich Village. Led by local historian Brian Green. A one hour walk including a Jacobean cemetery and an Edwardian gin palace. Meet outside the Gallery café. Suitable for wheelchairs. Free
Sunday 25th Dulwich Picture Gallery Exhibitions - Graham Sutherland/ Antony Gormley ends.
Friday 30th 8pm London Festival of Chamber Music 11th Season - Concert Mozart, Schumann, Debussy St. Faith's Church, Red Post Hill. Tickets available at the door £12, concs £9, under 26, disabled, unemployed £4
Friends of Dulwich Picture Gallery Concert Malcolm Martineau & Friends. Robert Murray, tenor, singing Schubert's song cycle, Die Schone Mullerin. 8pm in the Gallery. Tickets £18 (includes glass of wine) from the Friends desk in the Gallery.
Saturday 1st Friends of the Horniman - Art Exhibition 2005. 10am-5.00pm at the Victorian Conservatory, The Horniman Museum and Gardens.
Tuesday 4th Dulwich Society Garden Group visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Price, including coach from Dulwich £20. (Reservations required - telephone Ina Pulleine 8670 5477 after 11.00am)
Thursday 6th Friends of Dulwich Picture Gallery - "I must go down to the sea again" - Poetry of the Sea from Horatio Nelson to Ellen Macarthur Linbury Room at 7.30pm. Tickets £8 (includes glass of wine)
Friday 7th 8pm London Festival of Chamber Music - Concert : Boccherini, Dvorak, Milhaud, Fauvre. St. Faith's Church, Red Post Hill. Ticket prices as above.
Friends of the Dulwich Picture Gallery present A Gourmet Dinner. A sit-down dinner with Perigord as its theme. 7pm in the Gallery. Tickets £40 (includes a glass of wine). From the Friends desk in the Gallery.
Saturday 8th The Dulwich Society Edward Alleyn Statue unveiling by The Rt.Hon. Tessa Jowell, MP, Secretary of State for Culture. 11am on the lawn of The Old College Dulwich Village. All members cordially invited.
Wednesday 12th October-22nd January Dulwich Picture Gallery Exhibition - Beatrix Potter: Artist and Illustrator. £7 adults. £6 seniors, £3 concessions, children free.
Thursday 13th 12.30 - 1.30pm Dulwich Picture Gallery Lunchtime Lecture Series - Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature Dr. Linda Lear. Linbury Room, donation.
8pm Dulwich Decorative & Fine Arts Society Lecture - Fitness for Purpose Art & Design on the London Underground - Geoffrey Toms. James Allen's Girls' School Sixth Form Lecture Hall
Friday 14th 8pm London Festival of Chamber Music - Concert : Mozart, Chausson, Ravel, Brahms, Poulenc, Brahms. St. Faith's Church, Red Post Hill. Tickets as above.
Wednesday/Thursday/Friday/Saturday 19th - 22nd The Dulwich Players present The Jew of Malta by Christopher Marlowe, 8pm at The Edward Alleyn Theatre, Dulwich College. Tickets £6 from The Art Stationers, Dulwich Village
Friday 21st 8pm London Festival of Chamber Music - Concert : D'Indy, Ravel, Brahms. St. Faith's Church, Red Post Hill. Tickets as above.
Monday 31st Dulwich Subscription Concerts at 7.30pm at Dulwich College Old Library. Sarah Leonard, soprano; with Stephen Gutman, piano. Mozart, Schubert, Poulenc. Tickets - telephone 020 8671 6659
Wednesday 9th Friends of the Dulwich Picture Gallery at 7.30pm Concert - Stephen Kovacevich Celebrity Piano Recital in the Gallery. Programme includes Beethoven's Sonata in A, Op 101 ,Mozart's Sonata in E Flat K282.Schubert's Sonata in B Flat D960. Tickets £25 (includes glass of wine) from the Friends desk in the Gallery.
Thursday 10th 12.30-1.30pm Dulwich Picture Gallery Lunchtime Lecture Series -Remembering the Fallen: War Memorials in Britain - Hilary Rosser. Linbury Room, donation.
8pm Dulwich Decorative & Fine Arts Society Lecture - Mantegna & the Renaissance - Paula Nuttall. James Allen's Girls' School Sixth Form Lecture Hall 8pm.
Thursday 17th Friends of Dulwich Picture Gallery 7.45pm-Fashion Show in the Gallery Tickets £10. Friends desk.
Thursday 24th 12.30-1.30pm Dulwich Picture Gallery Lunchtime Lecture Series Beatrix Potter:Artist, Storyteller and Countrywoman -Judy Taylor Hough. Linbury Room, donation.
7.45pm Dulwich Society Local History Evening - Victorian & Edwardian Dulwich Illustrated - Special Showing -The Bill de Baerdemaecker Collection of unique photographs with a commentary by Brian Green. The Old Library, Dulwich College. 7.45pm
No sooner had Ian Dejardin become the Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery than the Gallery was voted Britain's favourite visitor attraction. On accepting the award, Ian said, "There's something magical about Dulwich Picture Gallery - it's a top-drawer gallery and we get visitors from all over the world - but it has the great advantage of being seen by the people of South London as their own particular gallery. It offers everything a world-class gallery should offer, but also a great sense of community for local people. There's always something going on - exhibitions, concerts, children's events, art classes - and this reflects in our very active Friends' group. I am sure that they and all our devoted local supporters must be responsible for this wonderful vote of confidence."
Ian Dejardin has inherited a Gallery that has a great following, a wonderful collection of seventeenth and eighteenth century painting in a building which has been copied by gallery-designers ever since. The Gallery used to quote the Sunday Telegraph, which described it as 'the most beautiful small art gallery in the world.' But that little word 'small' bothers Ian Dejardin - "Dulwich isn't small, it's the perfect size. Other galleries are too big!" He also wants to bring the Gallery's own amazing collection of pictures back to the centre of its activities. The Gallery is now so well known and well visited for its exhibitions people almost forget the quality of the collection - the three Rembrandts, seven Poussins, eleven Rubenses. But since they are always there - unless they have gone on loan or to be conserved - they are taken for granted. Ian believes that a modern diverse multi-cultural audience needs new approaches to the interpretation of many of the old masters in the Gallery. You can't take for granted that all visitors understand classical mythology or recognise stories from the Bible or understand the Italian Baroque. The artists represented in the collection were the Jackson Pollocks or Damien Hirsts of their day - he believes that the Gallery should be interpreting them for a modern visitor in just the same way.
Soon there will be information about the history of the Gallery and the paintings on handy paddleboards strategically placed round the Gallery to provide much-needed context. Meanwhile the Gallery is looking into better signage and what is now called wayfinding. This will mean improved sign posts from the railway stations and other approaches, and better information within and around the Gallery. And this is not just about finding your way - signs also signal importance and 'buzz'.
Exhibitions remain crucial for attracting visitors - they will be fascinating, challenging and scholarly and aimed at as broad a market as possible. Luckily the competitive thrust of having to produce blockbusters that drives the destination galleries in central London actually works in Dulwich's favour. It leaves an enormous field of unexplored, under-valued and neglected areas of art history. A blockbuster in Dulwich would be a grain of sand for the National Gallery or the Tate, but there is a large untapped specialist audience for many of the artists who would never be considered for those venues. He is interested in developing series of related exhibitions like the ones Dulwich already does - 20th century British titans like John Piper, Henry Moore and - now - Graham Sutherland, illustrators, Dutch Old Masters - and in view of next year's Winslow Homer exhibition (the first one man show of the iconic American artist Winslow Homer to be held in a museum in this country) Ian would like to expand that to a small series of American-themed shows. And the Murillo show in 2000 could be followed up by a series of Spanish seventeenth century artists.
He is keen that more of the collection should be shown and is contemplating a nineteenth century hang - that is, pictures floor to ceiling. It would certainly alleviate the Gallery's storage problems and old friends that have been hidden away would be seen again. It is also testimony to the Gallery's great success in conserving its 'reserve' collection that he can contemplate such a hang. Then there's the garden.. He would love to see more use of it for sculpture. And maybe the area surrounded by Rick Mather's glass and bronze cloister of 2000 could be developed so as to provide more of a contemplative place for visitors to sit. What other London gallery has a garden like the one at Dulwich?
Ian Dejardin didn't set out to become a museum professional. He was studying classics when he discovered 'fine art' was a subject he could study - before that he had assumed it was just a hobby. As a treat in his second year he took 'Fine Art 1' as a subsidiary subject, and found, to his astonishment, that much of what he was hearing was already familiar to him. Indeed, he won essay prizes over the heads of those for whom it was their main subject. So he switched to art history and got a First. But a Phd that he embarked on proved to be a false start: he gave it up and returned to Edinburgh where his sister asked him to help with a small business designing and making knitwear. His own designs started selling and, setting up on his own, he decided that as he'd somehow started a cottage industry, he should have a cottage. He found one in the Lake District and there he made and designed his knitwear. A move to Manchester seven years later brought to his attention the diploma in art gallery and museum studies offered by Manchester University at that time. He went for it, was accepted and so finally embarked on his career path. His first job was curatorial assistant to English Heritage. Within a year he had moved to the Royal Academy where he looked after their permanent collection. Back to English Heritage as their curator of paintings in the London Historic Houses, he moved swiftly up the ranks ending up as head of the historic team for the London region. Then in 1997, the job of curator at Dulwich came up. Dulwich offered the kind of focus on a single glorious collection that he wanted; and besides, the Gallery was poised at that moment for its exciting refurbishment project - he got the job, beginning work in January 1998.
Ian grew up in Edinburgh, with a clever older sister; Susan (the knitter) who also got a first class honours degree and eventually became a lawyer. He modelled himself very much on her, teaching himself to play the piano in emulation, and then tagging along with her when she went skating at the local ice-rink. He now thinks he must have been a severe trial to her - especially since he went on to steal her thunder by becoming a little ice skating champ. He remembers coming to London aged seven, already a veteran competitor, to compete in a national competition at Wembley Arena. The BBC asked him to skate his programme one extra time, for the evening news. He did so very happily - ever the showman - but when it came to the final performance he was tired, fell and only came in third. He still nurses a grudge against the BBC. Nevertheless, Ian is still to be found skating on Thursday evenings at Streatham Ice Rink, where he trained for the championships when he was a boy. He's having lessons to brush up those old skills. And has becoming Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery made any difference to his life style? No, he still lives in Brixton and bicycles to work.
Born in Brighton, Percy Horton attended the School of Art there from 1912-1916. During the First Word War he became a conscientious objector and was sentenced to two years hard labour in Carlton Prison, Edinburgh, from 1916-18. After the war, he took up his studies again at the Central School of Art 1918-20 and the Royal College of Art 1922-24. In 1925 he was appointed art master at Bishop's Stortford College and also began giving classes at the Working Men's College in London.
As a member of the AIA (Allied International Artists) during the 1930's he believed that artists should be socially committed and he painted a series of portraits of the unemployed during the Depression. He taught at the RCA between 1930 and 1949. During the Second World War the college was evacuated to Ambleside and he produced a series of paintings of the Lake District and its people. At the request of the War Artists Advisory Committee he drew portraits and painted scenes in war factories and this collection is now in the Imperial War Museum. In 1949 Horton was elected Ruskin Master of Drawing at Oxford University and remained in this post until his retirement in 1964.
His favourite areas for his paintings were the South Downs around Firle and the farmsteads of Provence. His style was restrained and traditional; in 1973 came this quote - "the landscapes of his maturity are carefully composed and closely observed, the artist's strong sense of form and pictorial structure making them serious works which require time to assimilate and appreciate. As a figure draughtsman, he was outstanding and his portrait drawings and paintings are the work of a sensitive artist of intense concentration, intellectual power and human understanding."
Percy Horton painted many scenes of Dulwich and this painting shows the corner of Dulwich Common and College Road looking north from the Mill Pond. It was a scene he would have passed almost daily as he and his wife, Lydia lived at 11 Pond Cottages for many years. His neighbours were fellow artists James and Margaret Fitton who lived at 10 Pond Cottages. After the Hortons left the two cottages were amalgamated and the Fittons took over the entire property. Horton may have lived elsewhere in Dulwich because inscribed on a label on the reverse of the picture is: Percy Horton, 5 Dulwich Village. One of Horton's pupils at the RCA was the Canadian-born artist, R.B. Kitaj, who also lived in Dulwich, in the 1960's, in Burbage Road.
Horton exhibited in numerous group shows, including the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Arts Council travelling exhibitions, Royal Society of British Artists, New English Art Club, Ashmolean Museum and the Brighton Art Gallery. A memorial retrospective was held at the Mall Galleries in 1971. His work may be seen in the permanent collections of the Tate, National Portrait Gallery, Arts Council, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge., and a number of city art galleries.
The Tullie House Museum, Carlisle purchased a painting entitled Dulwich Trees in 1935 which will be included in their forthcoming exhibition 'Art for Carlisle:100 years of British Art' which opens in September.
The picture illustrated (Corner of Dulwich Common, oil on canvas 52x34cm) is on sale for £1200 at www.jhwfineart.com