50th Anniversary: The Dulwich Society was founded in 1963 and next year is its fiftieth anniversary.

The Society will be holding a number of events throughout the year, the principal one being the installation of commemorative plaques to civilians killed in and around Dulwich as a result of air-raids in World War II.  There will also be a special exhibition outlining the Society’s impact on the more recent history of Dulwich, from the 1960s to the present day. It will detail the major changes that Dulwich has undergone in the last 50 years, and the Society’s contribution to maintaining Dulwich’s character and amenity. It will show the schemes it successfully opposed in Dulwich and Sydenham Woods, it will remind members of contentious projects such as the proposed road tunnel under Dulwich Park and the impact of Eurostar on local residents.  The exhibiton will also include pictures and artefacts from Dulwich’s 1000 years pageant held in 1967 and a showing of the film made of the celebrations..

The Dulwich Society 50th Anniversary Exhibition will be held in the Wodehouse Library at Dulwich College and will opened on 26th January with a celebratory anniversary party – more information will be available in the December issue of the Journal.

During 2013 the Society will be publishing an ‘architectural map’ to accompany the tree map that it published five years ago. Other events proposed include a series of Sunday afternoon talks on local history at Dulwich Picture Gallery during February and March, a show of old films of Dulwich and, perhaps, the opening of the Dulwich Archive in Rosebery Lodge, Dulwich Park.

The Unveiling of WW2 Commemorative Plaques

As reported a year ago, the Dulwich Society plans to commemorate those sites in and around Dulwich where there were significant civilian deaths during World War Two.  Twelve sites have been identified and each will have an engraved stainless steel plaque as a marker.  The plaques will bear the names, ages and date of each fatality and whether it was as a result of an air-raid, a V1 Flying Bomb or V2 rocket attack.

The unveilings are spread roughly throughout the year and are set at dates nearest to those of the incidents themselves.  Dr Kenneth Wolfe, The Dulwich Society’s vice-chairman has kindly agreed to conduct a short ceremony at each unveiling.  Where considerable loss of life occurred, surviving relatives will be invited to read out from the list of names.

The ceremonies will commence at Court Lane on Sunday 6 January 2013 at 12noon  where 7 people were killed by a V2 rocket on 6 January 1945, followed on Saturday 12 January  2013 at 12 noon by the commemoration of those killed in two air-raids in the area of Melbourne Grove, Lytcott Grove, Lytcott Gardens and Playfield Crescent.  The first was on 16th September 1940 when 9 died and the second on 17th January 1943 when 11 died. Details of succeeding unveilings, which commence from April will be published several months in advance in the Journal.  A full account of the incidents being marked in January 2013 will appear in the winter edition of the Journal and will be reprinted from contemporary newspaper reports.

The Executive Committee would like the Membership to make known these commemorations, in order that as many surviving relatives as possible might be present.  If any member would like to assist personally, either in stewarding, handling enquiries or in circulating information about the unveilings, such assistance would be welcomed.  Please email the Editor (greenbriane@aol.com) with any offers of help.

The full list of dates for the unveilings in 2013 is as follows:

  • Court Lane SE21: 7 killed on 6 January 1945.  Installation 6 January 2013
  • Melbourne Grove, Lytcott Grove, Playfield Crescent SE22: 20 killed in 2 incidents – 16 September 1940 & 17 January 1943.    Installation  12 January 2013
  • Burbage Road SE21: 8 killed in 2 incidents – 17 April 1941 & 22 June 1944.  Installation : 13 April 2013.
  • Rosendale Road & Lovelace Road SE21: 6 killed in 2 incidents – 23 June & 1 August 1944. Installation: 23 June 2013
  • Woodvale SE23: 14 killed on 6 July 1944.     Installation 6 July 2013
  • Park Hall Road SE21: 3 killed on 4 July 1944. Installation 7 July 2013
  • Lordship Lane SE22:  23 killed on 5 August 1944.   Installation 4 August 2013.
  • Albrighton Road, Wheatland House shelter SE22: 29 killed on 9 September 1940.  Installation: 8 September 2013
  • Quorn Road, Goldwell House SE22: 6 killed on 15 September 1940.  Installation: 15 September 2013
  • Woodwarde Road SE22:  3 killed on 24 September 1940.     Installation date: 22 September 2013
  • Dovercourt Road SE22:   4 killed on 19 October 1940.   Installation 19 October 2013.
  • Friern Road & Etherow Street SE 22: 24 killed on 1 November 1944.  Installation: 2 November 2013

The Queen’s Birthday Honours List - 16 June 2012

We congratulate one of our Vice-Presidents, Marion Gibbs, Headmistress of James Allen’s Girls’ School and Co-Director Southwark Schools Learning Partnership, on being made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to Education. 

Southwark Civic Award for Stella Benwell
A well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award was made in the summer by Southwark Council to Stella Benwell in recognition of her long service as a member of the Dulwich Society’s Trees and Wildlife groups, and not least for her many campaigns to secure Dulwich Woods as an open space for the public. The press cutting below (Streatham Guardian 11 May 1989) records one of those battles – this time over the Dulwich & Sydenham Golf Club’s application to the Dulwich Estate to enclose a 500 yard section of Dulwich Wood into the golf course.

Events this Autumn arranged by The Dulwich Society

Talk by Nicholas Reed, author of ‘My Father, The Man Who Never Was’ – the story of Ronnie Reed, Dulwich Society member and MI5 officer and handler of the spy and double-agent Eddie Chapman during WW2.  A fascinating first hand account of this extraordinary man by his son.
Sunday 4th November at the Francis Peek Centre, Dulwich Park at 2.30pm.  Dulwich Society members free, visitors £5, concessions £3. (tickets available on the door)

Trees Group Autumn Colour Visit to Audley End

Thursday October 18th – Departing by coach from Dulwich Picture Gallery at 8.30am.   A Tree Group visit to Audley End, described by Country Life as one of the six most idyllic places in Britain.  Before lunch there will be a Tour conducted by the Head Gardener of the many interesting trees, and a tour of the magnificent Jacobean house in the afternoon.  Cost (including admission £30 or £20 for English Heritage members).  See page 37  for booking form.