Future of Southwark Cemeteries

Southwark Council has an urgent need to review the burial provision in the borough as burial space is running out very fast. The Council is keen to hear the views of residents about the future of the borough’s cemetery service, to discuss the lack of burial space and share ideas about the options available to address it. There are currently eight options on which the Council is seeking the views from the public. You can take part in this borough-wide public consultation and submit your views online now by visiting http://www.southwark.gov.uk/info/200308/current/2231/the_future_of_southwarks_cemeteries/1

Herne Hill Velodrome

The surfacing of the track at the velodrome began at the end of July with funding secured by British Cycling. The velodrome was chosen as Southwark’s Olympic Legacy Project and a bid has been submitted for some legacy funding to improve the cycling facilities so that it can be usable all year round. Part of the proposal is for low-level, low-intensity, track-targeted lighting so that children, particularly, can continue their after school training sessions, as the autumn evenings draw on. It is understood that when funds allow, it is hoped to put an all weather multi-sports surface in the central grassed area of the circuit.
Training sessions resume on Saturday 3rd September from 9am. On Sunday 4th September women’s training sessions resume.

Dulwich Vegetable Garden

The Dulwich vegetable Garden, located behind Roseberry Lodge in Dulwich Park is looking splendid. Sponsored by ‘Dulwich Going Greener’ it had a difficult start; the site required a lot of volunteer labour to clear the dense undergrowth and there were hold-ups with planting. The Garden is now well established both as a garden and as an institution, with work sessions on Sundays and Wednesdays 10.30am-12.30pm. Participants share both the work and the produce. It is run as an organic, wildlife-friendly, disability-friendly garden and invites more volunteers.

Dulwich Riding School’s 50th Anniversary

This year the Dulwich Riding School celebrates its fiftieth anniversary. It was opened on what was then a waste site in 1961 by Jim Bellman, the father and grandfather of the current proprietors, Linda and Jaye. Starting with the original row of five stables, the riding school expanded, adding more stables, a ring and a much needed covered school. There was then, and still remains a dedicated team of staff and students. Today, it is an accredited centre which trains NVQ students to become qualified riding instructors.

It accepts total beginners and offers classes in novice dressage and some jumping seven days a week. Dulwich Riding School has returned to competition and a team of ten local children recently competed at Hickstead where one young rider won the ‘Most promising rider’ class and where one of the horses won ‘The horse the judges would like to take home’. The School has a total of 21 horses and a foal (named Beaux James in honour of Jim). The biggest horse is Tim, at 15 hands 2”, and the oldest is Gwen who is aged 28 years. Students from Dulwich College, Kingsdale, Alleyns, Oakfield and other local schools attend as part of their school curriculum.

Riding is also conducted in Dulwich Park, into which the School has its own access gate. Early morning rides, when the park is empty are the most satisfactory. Last year, one of the horses, a mare, five months pregnant, was attacked by a pit bull terrier in Dulwich Park. The horse trotted back to the riding school and required 47 stitches to its injuries. Happily, it has made a full recovery.

Price rises have been kept to a minimum and group tuition is £25 per hour, private riding with instructor in Dulwich Park (7.30am) £40, individual weekday instruction £35. Further information: telephone number 020 8693 2944 and the School’s website.

Kingswood House

The Friends of Kingswood House Open Day will take place on Sunday 18th September 1-4.30pm as part of Open House Weekend. During the proceedings, a Southwark Heritage blue plaque dedicated to John Lawson Johnson, the one time owner of Kingswood who transformed the original large Georgian mansion into its present pseudo-Scottish Baronial style in 1895, will be unveiled. Johnson was famous as the inventor of ‘Bovril’. A revised version of A History of Kingswood House by Patrick Darby has been reissued, priced £8, by Southwark Council, and will be on sale during the day.

New Christ’s Chapel Guide

Christ’s Chapel or as it is perhaps better known, the College Chapel, is almost 400 years old. It has been a witness of all the national disasters of civil war, plague, religious intolerance and more recently of religious apathy. It is the focus of all the Foundation schools’ end of term chapel services and the venue for Dulwich College’s robed Chapel Choir which holds some fifteen choral services each year. It also houses one of the nation’s most priceless musical instruments, an organ, built in 1760 by George England which was restored at a cost of £400,000 two years ago. The recitals given on this organ are a musical must. The story of the Chapel is documented in a new, fully illustrated colour guide by Brian Green.

Among the more unusual aspects of such a guide is a virtual blow by blow account of the wrangling between the various religious factions of seventeenth century England. The mystery surrounding the Chapel’s extraordinary decoration with numerous carved animals and mythological creatures is finally solved. The booklet would make a pleasing present to visitors or residents alike. Christ’s Chapel, Dulwich : A Guide is priced £5 and is available at the Chapel, Dulwich Picture Gallery Shop and local bookshops.

St Barnabas Church Choir Italian Tour

A party of 59 members from St Barnabas, including 46 members of its choir, with ages ranging from 8-71 gave four concerts in Umbria, Italy in August. Two years ago a similar tour was such a success, it was decided to repeat it and Riccardo Bonci, the assistant organist and native of Terni in Umbria, where the choir will be based, assisted with the organisation.

Concerts were given at Terni Cathedral, the Basilica of the Temple of Consolation in Todi, the 12th century church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Spello and at Foligno Cathedral. Interspersed with the rehearsals and concerts was a full programme of sight-seeing, swimming and relaxation.

Voluntary Care Centre

The Voluntary Care Centre (VCC) is a charity based in Forest Hill that was set up in 1969. It runs The Voluntary Driving Scheme which provides regular or one-off journeys to people who are no longer able to use public transport. Most of our clients are elderly and isolated and over the last 10 years we have taken hundred of people to hospital and doctors’ appointments, and social clubs.

Yet none of this would have been possible without our team of VOLUNTEER DRIVERS, who volunteer their time and vehicles. If you have your own car and are free during the day, then why not become a volunteer driver? Training and expenses are given and in return for your time, you will get to meet some really nice people and enjoy a sense of satisfaction from helping someone.

To get involved call Stephen 020 8291 6336 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Two Southwark charities plan collaboration for the benefit of older people. Dulwich Helpline and Southwark Churches Care, two charities working with older people in Southwark, have announced their intention to work in collaboration from the same location in Dulwich Community Hospital. Both charities have been in existence since the early 1990s and have extensive experience of providing support for older people.

The idea has been under discussion since late 2010. The Trustees decided that the two charities, both of whom use volunteers to work with isolated older people in adjoining areas in Southwark, could save money and increase the scope of what they offer by working much more closely together and sharing back office costs.
The Trustees believe that the opportunities for creating viable and sustainable befriending and support services will be greatly enhanced by working together rather than separately. By collaborating, the two charities will have access to a combined volunteer force of 360 volunteers offering assistance to over 630 service users.

Ted Salmon, Chairman of Dulwich Helpline and Adrian Greenwood, Chairman of Southwark Churches Care said ’’ We warmly welcome this initiative to work together more closely and have every hope that the partnership will benefit the older people who use our services now or might do so in the future’’.

Dulwich Helpline was launched in 1993. Its mission is to improve the quality of life and help to prevent physical and mental deterioration of isolated older people in south Southwark by running volunteer projects designed to combat loneliness, provide emotional and practical support and enable older people to continue to live in their own homes.

Southwark Churches Care was set up in 1994 by the Southwark Ecumenical Borough Deans, in response to concerns of the new Community Care Act, recognising that the legislation enabling older people to remain in their own homes could also inadvertently lead to their social isolation. SCC's one-to-one befriending scheme engages members of the local churches of all denominations in the Borough, as well as volunteers from the wider community, in contributing their time and skills to the needs of vulnerable and potentially lonely older people living in their neighbourhoods,

Both charities offer older people opportunities for social interaction and support including one-to-one befriending and social groups. This has a positive impact on feelings of wellbeing, facilitates independent living and reduces reliance on statutory services. At a time when the statutory services are under increasing pressure to provide services only for the most needy, this is an important initiative which will offer services to more elderly and isolated people by using staff and volunteers more effectively.

Barbara Scott, Dulwich Helpline 020 8299 2623
Marcia Green, Southwark Churches Care 020 725 6381

Autumn Fund Raising Events for Dulwich Helpline

On Sunday 11th September at 6 p.m. in the Holst Hall, James Allen’s Girls’ School, East Dulwich Grove, the James Allen Community Orchestra (JACO) will be giving a concert in aid of local charity Dulwich Helpline. The programme will consist of Elgar’s Cello Concerto (Soloist: Paul Brunner) and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. There is now a well-established partnership between the two organisations and this will be the orchestra’s ninth concert in respect of this. Tickets priced at £7 (concessions - £5) can be obtained by sending a stamped-addressed envelope and cheque (payable to “JAGS”) to “Music Department, JAGS, East Dulwich Grove, London SE22 8TE”.
JACO is a vibrant high-calibre orchestra made up of local professional and non-professional musicians. They currently perform twice-yearly, and they always play major works from the orchestral repertoire.

On Sunday 27th November Brian Green will give an illustrated talk entitled Three Spies and an Invention - a different account of wartime Dulwich which tells of an amazing series of coincidences which occurred in Dulwich during the Second World War. The talk will be in the Linbury Room, Dulwich Picture Gallery at 3pm Tickets £7 and £5 (concessions) will be available from Dulwich Helpline telephone 020 8299 2623.

Dulwich Helpline has recently introduced a Friends Scheme and if you’d like to become a “Friend of Dulwich Helpline”, please contact them for a Friends form on 020 8299 2623. You will receive their quarterly Newsletter and will be kept up-to-date on their various events.
Contact details: 020 8299 2623; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; www.dulwich-helpline.org.uk