In the Dulwich Society Newsletter last year, the late David Hollis wisely alerted members to the fact that Channel Tunnel trains would stop going through West Dulwich and Sydenham Hill on their way to St Pancras instead of Waterloo, thus freeing line capacity, but Orpington trains to and from Victoria would continue to stop only twice an hour at these stations.
After an ensuing exchange of emails between Isaac Marks of the Dulwich Society's Transport & Traffic Committee and Brett Nurse, Customer Services Advisor Southeastern Railway, the latter eventually responded by stating that "We have recognised some flaws in the specification and are planning to operate four trains an hour calling at all stations between London Victoria and Beckenham Junction. Therefore West Dulwich and Lower Sydenham will benefit from a Metro frequency."
Dare we anticipate the frequency will actually improve, if the Customer Service Advisor is confusing Lower Sydenham with Sydenham Hill? No doubt the residents of Lower Sydenham (who are on the London Bridge line) will be elated with this news, but what about the residents of Sydenham Hill? They might take comfort from the fact that the timetable www.nationalrail.co.uk operational from 10 December 2007 does indeed suggest the service to London Victoria will rise to 4 an hour at certain times of the day, though recently clerks in the West Dulwich ticket office seemed to have received no notice of this improvement I train frequency.
If the Southeastern Railway is confused over the names of its various stations -Sydenham Hill, Sydenham, Lower Sydenham, Crystal Palace, Upper Sydenham (now closed), what about their poor passengers - no wonder the residents of South Dulwich want a name change for Sydenham Hill Station (see Letters page)
Following a recent meeting of the advisory committee of the Scheme of Management when the Dulwich Estate said it would consider any application for a cash point at the bank, the Society has pursued the matter with Barclays.
The standard answer to the question frequently asked of the bank staff by customers as to why there is no hole in the wall there, is that it is a listed building and the Estate has refused to allow one to be installed. This is clearly not the case and siting one in the porch at the top of the steps of the bank might prove to be the solution. David Roberts, chairman of the Dulwich Society's Planning Committee says that he has contacted the manager at the main branch in Lordship Lane who has passed this on to the Regional Director - since then he has heard nothing.
The long-running saga of repairs to the garden wall of Lyndenhurst continues. The Dulwich Society has made an application for Listed Building Consent for the unstable and demolished sections of the boundary wall to be taken down and rebuilt in accordance with the details set out in a consultative civil and structural engineers' report commissioned by the Planning Department of Southwark Council and carried out by Hurst Peirce and Malcolm LLP.
Permission for taking the wall down and rebuilding is required before the exisiting owners, Hausman Hughes Ltd., Southwark Council, or others would be legally able to carry out this work. The usual timescale for processing a planning application is eight weeks. The rebuilding of the wall can then be enforced under section 215 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990.
The charming little toll-booth in College Road was designed by Dulwich Society member Don Adie in 1995 to comply with Health & Safety requirements which found the original method of toll collection from the manually opened gate, placed the collector in danger from passing traffic, the elements and violent robbery.
In the plans for the new toll-booth Don had made provision for a weather vane to be fixed to the roof. The weather vane was designed and made by the boys at Dulwich College under the supervision of Terry Kent, the Design and Technology master. Apparently the weather vane was never fixed because the then Secretary and General Manager of the Dulwich Estate was nervous about it being stolen! It was pointed out to him that if it was not included, it would have been as if it had been stolen! Nevertheless the official remained adamant and the Tollgate has ever since been without its crowning glory.
Last year, consideration was given by the Dulwich Society to its erection but it could not be found. It has now come to light. Apparently Terry Kent has cared for it all these years and it followed him into his retirement. It is being refurbished and subject to the agreement of the Trustees of the Dulwich Estate, will be erected at last, complete with a lightning conductor.
Police Constable Shaun Mulcahy has been a most popular Community Police Officer since his posting to Dulwich Village in 2003. During that time the police presence in Dulwich has been considerably enlarged and Shaun was part of a team of three police officers and three Police Community Supports Officers. Now, with 26 years service in the Metropolitan Police and nearing retirement, he has been offered the position of Court Officer at Tower Bridge Magistrates Court. At his farewell party given by his fellow officers, the Dulwich Society presented him with an inscribed copy of Brian Green's Dulwich: a History as a memento and thank you for his service to the Dulwich community.
No, not the disfiguring kind to be found (happily in diminishing occurrence) in Dulwich, but the title given to the evening of readings of literature about Dulwich, arranged by the Local History Group with the help of Dr Jan Piggott, Emeritus Archivist of Dulwich College and the Dulwich Players, in the Old Library, Dulwich College in November. In addition to the 'usual suspects' of Ruskin, Wodehouse and Dickens, were added readings of the works of Samuel Palmer, Henry James and the inimitable 1960's advertisements of the estate agent Roy Brooks.
The success of the Dulwich Society depends on the willingness of its members to share the tasks of helping to run it. Each issue of this Newsletter is delivered by such volunteers. There are two vacancies for Area Distributors in Zone C - largely the Court Lane area (130 copies ) and in Zone F - the Alleyn Park and the West Dulwich area (135 copies ). An Area Distributor collects the bulk delivery from Margaret McConnell and distributes these to the several Street Distributors in the Zone. There are also vacancies for Street Distributors in some of these roads. None of these tasks are onerous; indeed you might enjoy the four times a year stroll around Dulwich! If you think you might be able to help the Society in this way please telephone Margaret on 020 8693 4423.