Dulwich Rotary’s Shelter Boxes

The Rotary Club of Dulwich has been a participating in an initiative started by a Rotary club in Helston, Cornwall to supply shelter boxes to disaster areas throughout the world. The Dulwich club has supplied four such boxes and is on its way towards a fifth. Each box contains a 10 person tent and other essential equipment like thermal blankets, insulated ground sheets, a multi-fuel cooking stove, utensils, tools and water purification tablets designed to help an extended family survive for at least six months.

Boxes, which cost £490 each were supplied by the Rotary Club of Dulwich and were sent to victims of the tsunami in Sri Lanka and more recently to victims of the earthquake in China. The tent and shelter box was on display at the Dulwich Festival where the Rotary Club once again provided refreshment facilities.

The Dulwich Cage and Stocks

A local resident has traced origin of the inscription carved on the stone in the small garden next to the Village Bookshop in Calton Avenue. The stone was originally set into the wall of the small cage or lock-up which, together with the village stocks, stood nearby, It is the conflation of Proverbs 10:23 _ and Jeremiah 2:10._

It is a sport to a fool to do mischief
Thine own wickedness shall correct thee

  1. It is sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom. Proverbs 10:23
  2. Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backsliding shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts. Jeremiah 2:19

But exegesis apart, this unseemly torture of placing a miscreant in the stocks was only used for minor offences, hence most useful for squires, priests/vicars and Lords of the Manor, neatly combining (at best) much discomfort with merriment and mockery as a deterrent to the terrorism of:

  • Wood-stealers and drunkards
  • reluctant harvest bringers-in
  • inveterate swearers
  • child labourers on strike (5-14)
  • and rogues, vagabonds and Sunday gamblers
  • through:
  • pelting them with rubbish and filth
  • “ paddling and tickling”
  • eyeball laceration by hurled shells of rotten eggs
  • and the burning or bastinarding of bare feet.

This in-your-face village green retribution had lawfully prescribed enforcement for hours or days (precise allocations of humiliation and pain)……but otherwise not at all unlike extreme rendition.

Finger Posts

A few years ago Southwark Council allocated a substantial sum for Village improvements such as the removal of unnecessary signage and the restoration of its iconic fingerposts. Most of these have been damaged over the years, probably through high spirits rather than outright vandalism. Even the continued patience and skill of Patrick Spencer, the Society’s secretary, in repairing these has failed to keep up with the damage. Our picture taken in the 1930’s shows that swinging on the arm is not a new practice.

Dulwich Society member, Rosemary Dawson became concerned enough about their state that she put an application for a grant for their repair or replacement to the Dulwich Community Council under their ‘Greener, Cleaner, Safer’ programme for this year. Through her initiative, the Council has awarded the sum of £3500 towards this project. Whether they are repaired again, or replaced by metal signs which seem to survive better in such places as Windsor and Greenwich will be discussed by the Society.

Dulwich Village Safer Neighbourhoods Team

The team has been busy working on a crime prevention operation to reduce the number of thefts from motor vehicles in the Dulwich area since the beginning of the year. So far the team has been able to reduce the number of thefts by over 60%. This has been achieved by high visibility patrols in hot spot areas, leaflet drops, assistance from Neighbourhood Watch schemes and of course the local residents as well as good old fashioned policing and a bit of luck!

The team is keen to reassure residents that it is fully committed to preventing motor crime from occurring and to arrest and convict those responsible. However, you can help by locking car doors and windows; keeping valuables out of the vehicle (especially satellite navigation systems, car stereos, laptops and mobile phones) Do not leave anything of importance in the glove compartment and use ant-theft devices if you have them.

If you have any useful information about a car crime or any crime which has occurred you can contact Sgt Jeff Jenkinson and the Dulwich Village Safer Neighbourhood Team on 020 8721 2446 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 if you wish to remain anonymous.

Naval Cadet Unit Closes

The Naval Cadet unit – TS LONDON which had its own buildings and headquarters in Green Dale has closed citing a lack of leaders as a reason for closure. The unit has a long history, being founded by Lieut. Cole as a Boys’ Naval Brigade unit before the First World War. Cole had already founded a similar unit at St Katherine Church, Rotherhithe. The remaining members of TS London have been amalgamated with another Naval Cadet unit in Penge. The future of their site, which was seized by the Dulwich Estate following the failure of the unit to pay the rent due, is uncertain although it is likely to be acquired by James Allen’s Girls’ School for further extension. It is understood that the trustees of the unit were being pressed by the Estate as individuals and that they sought the assistance of the MOD in absolving themselves from this financial liability.

Dulwich Festival 2008

The Dulwich Festival team once again assembled an impressive variety of events for the festival which took place after our summer edition of the Newsletter had gone to press. Music once again formed a central part of programme with the highlights being the Dante Quartet and Choir concert at St Barnabas and the Scratch Choral event – Mozart’s Requiem at All Saints. Perhaps unfortunately, film replaced live drama in this year’s festival which was a pity. All the Dulwich Society walks – Moths and Bats, Dulwich Wood tree walk, Ian McInnes’s ‘On the Edge’ architectural walk and Brian Green’s World War ll walk were all very well attended.

Most of the events were blessed with good weather and the two fairs, the first at Goose Green and the second at Dulwich Park , topped and tailed the fun. A new event this year was the two-day Flower Festival held at Christ’s Chapel. With the theme “Bright and Beautiful”, it was a stunning display and was visited by over 600 people. Organised by Christ’s Chapel Flower Committee, flower arrangers from the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies came from as far afield as Orpington, Uxbridge and Fulham to present displays. Local groups were represented by Christ’s Chapel, St Barnabas, NADFAS, Bartleys, and several garden centres.

Once again the Artists’ Open House organised as part of the Festival by Rachel Gulyas was a huge success with over a hundred artists showing their work.

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