The Dulwich Society Journal for Autumn 2017.
With recent celebrations of the 400th anniversary of Christ’s Chapel, the Burial Ground and the Dulwich Almshouse, to say nothing of Dulwich Picture Gallery’s ongoing 200th anniversary, the quater centenary of the foundation in 2019 of the school which would become today’s Dulwich College and Alleyn’s School has been overshadowed. That is not the fault of the schools themselves; Dulwich College for example, has presented a vigorous and successful programme of celebratory lectures by distinguished O.A.’s (Old Alleynians) to provide, as Hollywood might say, a prequel.
However, when the anniversary of 1619, the year Edward Alleyn received the Crown’s Letters Patent giving his foundation legal approval, finally arrives, matters are almost certainly not as the Founder would have wished. As it was originally constituted, the College of God’s Gift meant an almshouse for six poor men and six poor women and a school for twelve poor boys. As we move towards the celebratory year of 2019 we find that, while the numbers of almspeople in residence has risen by just two individuals to 14, the number of boys (and now girls) whose education is partially subsidized by the Dulwich Estate has risen from the original 12 to over 7,000.
How has such a state of affairs been reached? By the mid-nineteenth century the College of God’s Gift was offering a poor education to its twelve pupils despite its vast increase in wealth over three centuries and had become a self-serving institution of Trollopean dimensions. Following widespread criticism, the original foundation was dissolved by Parliament in 1855 and relaunched two years later. It was headed by a board of nineteen governors comprising some experts in the field of education including the Revd William Rogers who had impressed the Prince Consort when he served on the committee set up after the Great Exhibition to maintain its legacy.
Even this reform was inadequate to satisfy the competing demands on the Foundation’s wealth and between 1880-2 some seven or eight new draft schemes were published. William Rogers had been influential in the Charity Commission’s deliberations and his proposals to create new schools or support established schools in those London parishes which formed the original Foundation were accepted.
As readers will be no doubt be aware, the 1882 Act also established a separate board of governors (now called Trustees) to administer the Dulwich Estate in order to generate funds for the Foundation of which the educational side now had the lion’s share. Undoubtedly those schools were needed at the time, as of course they still are, but the huge imbalance caused to Edward Alleyn’s original aims has taken on almost grotesque proportions. In the past 20 years the educational side of the charity has shared capital sums of £54million and the latest annual apportionment has been £6million..
Today, the need for well-run care homes for the elderly has reached a critical stage, one could argue that this need is as great as that of providing schools was in the nineteenth century. It is time for the Dulwich Estate Trustees to carefully examine the present unfair distribution of income and for the eleemosynary branch of the Foundation to have a greater share of the Estate’s wealth and expand in this field. A debate on this topic is now timely and the Board of Trustees of the Dulwich Estate have a duty to address it.
July and August turned out to be the summer of roadworks. It started in early July with two water main bursts - on the South Circular, by West Dulwich Station, and Beckwith Road. Mid-July saw road works on the corner of Croxted and Park Hall Roads and the start of a Thames Water contract to replace old water mains in the southern part of College Road beyond the Tollgate – continuing through to October. At the end of July, the ‘Double Dutch’ roundabout scheme started at the top of Fountain Drive covering the junction between Crystal Place Parade and Sydenham Hill – this will go on until next February and have a major impact on traffic in the area.
And, at the time of writing, it seems very likely that work will be starting in early August on the alterations to the junction in Dulwich Village as part of the implementation of Quietway 7. They are ignoring the fact that the Lambeth section of the route will be going out again to public consultation and that TfL has been less than helpful in responding to the plans to redirect the foundation school coaches to relieve traffic congestion on Calton Avenue. Many residents who live near the junction suspect that the combination of reduced capacity at the junction and the continued running of the coaches down Calton Avenue will make traffic congestion in Dulwich much worse. One positive point is that they are likely to trial the junction first with a temporary cycle lane.
Another piece of good news is that TFL have started rethinking their removal of all the pedestrian guard rails along Dulwich Common and Thurlow Park Road, they have said that they will be putting some back outside the access to Belair Park. We can only hope they see sense elsewhere along the road.
More widely, Mayor Sadiq Khan is consulting on a new Transport Strategy for London covering the next 25 years. He has adopted what he calls a Healthy Streets Approach. The main features include policies to try and reduce motor traffic, more investment in public transport, particularly railways, and cleaning up London’s polluted air – by setting up an ultra-low emission zone extending southwards, possibly to the South Circular.
Changing the subject, the Society has built up its funds in recent years through growth of its membership income, careful management of costs, and through receipt of a legacy. The executive committee is always on the lookout for projects that the Society can support that meet its objectives – to foster and safeguard the amenities of Dulwich in the interest of its residents and the wider community of which Dulwich is a part. Resources are not unlimited but if you have a project that you believe the society should consider supporting we would be pleased to hear from you at
Last but certainly not least, voting has opened for this year’s Southwark Blue Plaques scheme. There are seven nominations including former Dulwich resident, the late Sir James Black, a Nobel Prize winner for medicine, and head of the Sir James Black Laboratory in Half Moon Lane (now the Judith Kerr School). The deadline for voting is 15 September - to cast a vote, email
Party in the Pavilion :The Society held a very successful summer party in the Pavilion at Dulwich Picture Gallery in June. One hundred and fifty members who applied for tickets were able to enjoy the evening and to go on conducted walks in the Gallery grounds led by Ian McInnes who talked about the architecture of the Gallery and Daniel Greenwood who spoke about the surprisingly large number of different trees in the grounds.
On Monday 18th September, the eighty members who applied but were unable to get tickets (the event was limited to 150 attendees) will be entertained with a different programme in view of the fading light. Brian Green will give an illustrated talk in the Pavilion about Dulwich’s former farms, Ian McInnes will lead a further walk and there will be a barbershop singing group.
Crown & Greyhound: The pub finally re-opened in the middle of June and there was a well-attended opening party on Thursday evening, 29 June. The interior is much as people remember, though cleaner and brighter, and with new furniture. There were some initial negative comments about the kitchen but hopefully the food and service will improve as it settles down. The rear garden is very pleasant and the hotel section, run under the ‘Inn keepers’ Lodge’ brand, appears to be popular - it was full within a few days.
Scheme of Management Office: Eve Shepherd has now joined the SoM office to assist Nina Rees. She works mornings 5 days a week and will be in charge of registering and progressing building licence applications. The SoM has also changed its policy over non-contentious applications. If there are no objections, and the licence goes through under delegated powers, Estate Trustees will no longer have ten days to comment. They will have to respond within the initial 21-day consultation. This should mean that these applications are dealt with in 4-6 weeks rather than 6-8 weeks as at present.
Inappropriate Commercial development in Ryecotes Mead: Despite a large number of objections from the residents on the estate, and from the Society, the Estate appears to have agreed to allow one of the maisonettes to be used as a private gynaecological clinic. This will seriously impact on the limited parking on the estate and cause considerable inconvenience to residents. It also sets an unfortunate precedent in allowing a commercial development on a private estate. The Society had hoped that the Estate’s expressed desire to improve its relations with residents would have led to a different outcome.
Grove Tavern Design Charrette: Now that the Half Moon Hotel and the Crown and Greyhound are open, only one pub on the Dulwich Estate remains closed, the Grove Tavern - on the corner of Lordship Lane and Dulwich Common. It has been shut since 2012 following a fire. The tenant, Stonegate, has around 8 years left on its lease and is still paying rent, rumoured to be in the order of £100,000 per annum and it is now pretty clear that they have no intention of reopening it. The Dulwich Estate did have some discussions with Southwark Planners but they could not agree a way forward and, although the site is identified as a development site in the new draft Southwark Plan, the planners have also said that they want the old pub to remain - impasse! An application to designate the pub as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) was rejected and the site is vacant with the building gradually deteriorating – a real eyesore at one of the major entrances to Dulwich.
The Society has obtained some funding from Southwark Council to run a design charrette – a workshop where local residents and other interested parties can discuss different options for the site – should it remain as a pub or should it be redeveloped? Hopefully the event will be held in late September or early October, look out for more information in the eNewsletter or on the Society’s website.
We arranged an interesting coach trip in June to Oxford Botanical Gardens and to nearby Waterperry Gardens, a full day but equally one that was full of interest. We also visited the Inner Temple gardens in June, guided by the head gardener Andrea Brusendorf, and in July we visited the Royal College of Physicians’ Medicinal Garden, guided by Professor Dayan, a toxicologist. Our events are open to all Dulwich Society members.
If you would like to help with gardening – or indeed anything else – at Bell House, please make contact:
Many local gardeners are unaware of the Lambeth Horticultural Society, a long-established (1951) horticultural society with a wide membership (not just in Lambeth) and an active programme of shows, talks and coach trips. Its volunteers organise flower shows in the Spring and Summer and the Flower Section of the annual Lambeth Country Show in Brockwell Park, as well as running its own exceptional value garden shop in West Norwood. Membership costs just £7 a year and is open to all – for details see www.lambethhorticulturalsociety.org.uk
Meet David Roberts – chairman of the Planning and Architecture Committee
David has been chairman of the group since 2006 and since then he has attended most of the appraisals of applications for Dulwich house extensions and alterations in his capacity as representing the Dulwich Society, one of the appointed bodies in connexion with Dulwich’s Scheme of Management.
An architect by profession, he joined the Society at the time it was making preparations to raise the statue of Edward Alleyn and was interested in its aims and its role in the Scheme of Management which allowed the Society to comment on building applications. Another influence was the visit he had made several years earlier to see the timber–frame cottage in Sussex where he and his sister had grown up and was horrified to find all the surrounding trees chopped down, the grass paved over and a swimming pool installed, the perimeter of which was surrounded by unrendered concrete blocks. He was moved to help avoid such brutal actions in Dulwich.
A modernist, he is nevertheless interested in vernacular architecture with a preference for the use of brick.’ He has long experience in large and small-scale projects, sometimes with housing associations and has overseen refurbishment and conversions in Camden as well as major works for universities, medical facilities and fire-stations. He prefers social architecture and working to solve issues on a non-confrontational basis.
He is assisted in the appraisal of the 200 proposals usually received every year under the Scheme of Management, by other members of his committee. This includes a second architect, two experienced planners, a chartered builder and two laymen with local knowledge. The committee, which has no contact with the Dulwich Estate, meets monthly to consider applications and will give reasons for any objections or offer suggestions where a change might be made which would be better received. Generally speaking there are now far fewer cases where objections are raised. The committee will comment on basements, front garden landscaping and rear garden structures as well as external work and how well proposals fit in with the existing streetscape.
Dulwich College has begun work on upgrading the main Charles Barry Jnr buildings in time for the quater centenary of the foundation of the School in 2019, with work to all three of the main blocks. The scale and volume of the intricate architectural detailing that embellishes the facades may not always be fully appreciated from ground level but it is this that make the buildings historically important. Charles Barry Jnr, the architect, was one of the first Victorian architects to use terracotta on such a scale. He recognised its value for mass-producing ornament and fine masonry by casting from an original - combining new technology with traditional craftsmanship. The material offered a new approach to style and decoration, founded on historic precedent - one that suited the Victorian outlook. He wrote many papers on its benefits – the material was light and easy to transport, it was strong in compression, and, probably most importantly, it was cheaper than stone, particularly for the production of repeated decorative elements; and that its smooth, fired surface was more dirt resistant - an important consideration in the filthy urban environment at the time.
While it was at the forefront of Victorian technology, 150 years of exposure to the weather, intermittent maintenance, bomb damage, and the use of iron bars rather than stainless steel to connect sections together, meant that much of the terra cotta was in poor condition. The facades are being cleaned, using the latest conservation techniques to minimise damage and remove years of soiling – to reveal the original colour and finish. The majority of the repair work is concentrated at roof level on the Central Block and covers the brick and terracotta turrets, the finials, and the pierced terracotta balustrade that runs around the complete perimeter of the building.
The specification and scope of works was developed during a series of external inspections, a combination of ground and roof level visual surveys, and mobile vehicle platform access. Highly detailed elevation drawings indicating the extent and location of work to be carried out were made. Replacement terracotta is being manufactured following traditional techniques using examples taken from site used as models to form plaster moulds. Where this isn’t possible, clay models are hand crafted from detailed drawings and site profiles. Clay is hand pressed into the moulds and allowed to dry before placing in a kiln for firing at around 1000ºC.
The main contractor for the project is PAYE Ltd, a well know stone restoration company, and the terracotta is being supplied by Hathern Terra Cotta, the successor to the Hathern Station Brick & Terra Cotta Company, established in 1874 in Loughborough, Leicestershire – and now owned by the Michelmersh Brick Holdings Ltd. It’s good to see in this Brexit era that we still make some things at home!
Michael Goodman was aptly named, as the large number of mourners at his funeral could bear witness. He grew up in Stanmore and was educated at Aldenham School. He read Law at Cambridge and was called to the Bar in 1953, His chambers were in the Inner Temple and it was there that a young Jack Straw received Michael’s pupilage and became his firm friend. The former Foreign Secretary spoke movingly at the service.
Michael was appointed a Recorder and then a Circuit Judge on the western circuit where he served for fifteen years. Although most of his time was still spent in London, he also sat in courts in Exeter, Bristol and Dorchester. He much preferred civil law but he was also required to sit for two months a year on criminal cases which he avoided if he could.
Michael was not a particularly assiduous church member in his younger days, that is until he became involved in the William Temple Foundation, an Anglican organisation which encourages debate on religion in public life. It was usual for its younger graduate members to get involved in youth work, running clubs and games. Not particularly keen on sport in his youth, although he would later play tennis at Hurlingham, Michael felt he was not cut out to be a youth leader but instead found his niche in structural roles and was invited by the Foundation to join one of its commissions.
This would later lead to Michael being attracted by Ecclesiastical law. He joined study groups on church management, parson’s freehold rights and church faculties and enjoyed the intellectual processes to resolve problems raised in parishes when eager young vicars sought to remove pews or screens, often donated as memorials, to provide space for pop groups. A particularly interesting and notable case he dealt with was at the ancient and picturesque church of All Saints, Tudeley, Kent, where, following the earlier installation of a new East Window designed by Marc Chagall in 1967 as a memorial to the drowned daughter of a Jewish father and Anglican mother, the church’s eleven remaining windows were also proposed to be designed by Chagall. Not only was it unusual for all of a church’s windows to be fitted with stained glass but there were also objections to the concept by some parishioners. Michael found for the proposers of the scheme which took fifteen years to complete and Tudeley has since become a place of pilgrimage to see its famous windows.
He was editor of the Ecclesiastical Law Society Journal from its birth in 1987 until 2002. He held the chancellorships of Guildford (1968-2002), Lincoln (1970-1998) and Rochester (1971-2005). He was Vicar General of the Province of Canterbury from 1977-1983 and Chairman of the Ecclesiastical Judges Association from 1987 to 1997.
For relaxation he enjoyed singing and was president in turn of the Madrigal Society and Festival Choir of St Paul’s, Knightsbridge, a member of the Dulwich Choral Society (which dedicated its recent concert to Michael’s memory) and the St Stephen’s choir in which he sang until shortly before his death. He was also often involved in producing fund-raising concerts for his church, driven, as a former vicar once described it, with “relentless enthusiasm” ! He served the local community well, as chairman of the governors of James Allen’s Girls’ School and as a Vice-President of the Dulwich Society from 1988. He was a member of the Society’s committee formed to raise the statue of Edward Alleyn, by Louise Simson, in the grounds of the Old College in 2005. In that year he also compiled a history of St Stephen’s Church. He took up croquet with his usual enthusiasm when he retired in 1999, becoming secretary of the Dulwich Croquet Club. Genuinely friendly, clubbable and jolly, these qualities and his sharp intellect made him the ideal dinner companion.
Ted Salmon was born in Sevenoaks, in 1932, the youngest of 3 brothers. At age 13 he began boarding at Bishop’s Stortford College under the care of inspirational house masters, providing a deep polymath education that he treasured throughout his life. After National Service, including a short stint on the Suez Canal, he went up to Lincoln College, Oxford in 1952 reading law, however he decided not to join the legal profession and instead joined BP in 1955 in what would now be called the Human Resources department.
He developed a love for music and drama at Bishop’s Stortford, and continued that passion by joining the Philharmonia Chorus soon after its founding in the 50s. He continued to support and participate in music and drama throughout his life, including thoroughly enjoying appearing in the Passion Plays, produced by Trish Cowley and staged around Dulwich.
Ted enjoyed a varied and successful career with BP that took him to Israel, to Germany (where his wife, Jenny, joined him after they got married in 1966), and then as General Manager of BP Greece from 1974 – 1979. His final appointment before he retired in 1989 was as global Head of Human Resources for the BP Group. After leaving BP, he began a new career as a volunteer. He first spent 7 years leading the human resources activity for the Prince’s Youth Business Trust, one of the charities sponsored by Prince Charles, and an organization that was very creative in providing both financial and - as importantly - mentoring support to disadvantaged young entrepreneurs who were being ignored by mainstream financial sponsors.
Ted co-founded the Dulwich Helpline in 1993, inspired by a talk at St Barnabas, where he was a church warden, on the loneliness and neglect of the aged in our community. Ted and colleagues gradually built up the Helpline, now Southwark Linkage, into an organization which today has 420 volunteers helping over 600 people. He was a tireless advocate for the importance of social responsibility in Church life. He launched and ran for many years the Advent Appeal for the Homeless, and raised money for the Children’s Society through countless activities, including the ever-popular Children’s Society Annual Quiz night.
He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2003, and in later years became steadily more limited in his mobility, yet to the very end of his life Ted was still actively engaged in providing support to various projects and initiatives. He was particularly pleased at recent news that he had successfully persuaded Dulwich College to make Southwark Linkage charity of the year and was hopeful that the connection would inspire Old Alleynians in the community to become volunteers.