Society Talks programme goes online

As we all experience new technologies during this unprecedented time and since it has not been possible for any “live” meetings to take place, the Dulwich Society has decided to set up a programme of lectures via Zoom during the Autumn. By the time you read this, the first lecture will have been given but we are planning a further series of lectures up to December. The forward programme is:

September 10th David Beamish: “The Remarkable Trees of Dulwich”

October 8th Brian Green: What a Dulwich diary tells us about London's Georgian theatre

November 12th Rachel Reynolds: “The planting scheme for Dulwich College's 400th Anniversary Garden “

December 10th (provisional) Wildlife

The meetings will start at 8.00pm with a talk lasting 30- 40 minutes to be followed by a time for questions. Details of the sign-in will be circulated in the eNewsletter published at the end of the previous month (if you do not receive the eNewsletter please provide your email address to the membership secretary at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). In addition, the sign in details will be on the Dulwich Society website.

Repaving at St Barnabas Parish Hall

By the time that you read this, the paving in front of St Barnabas Parish Hall should have been relaid. The Parish Hall hosts a wide range of activities throughout the week, and the area in front of it is well used by people waiting to use the Hall or to pick up their children from there or Dulwich Village schools - it's a calm oasis set back from the busy road running through the Village.

The project involved levelling the paving and replacing concrete pavers with York stone, so that all the paving is now in York stone to complement the Grade II listed Parish Hall. Financial support for the project came from a Southwark Council Cleaner Greener Safer grant, from the Dulwich Society and from a group of local residents whose contribution was matched by Barclays in the Community.

Travel and Environment Chair retires

Alastair Hanton has stood down as chair of the Society's Travel and Environment Group after 30 years. He has been a very active member since the late 1960s, working on its early campaign over the introduction of the Scheme of Management, and was at different times, both treasurer and secretary, but he is best known as a tireless campaigner for the improvement of pedestrian facilities and cycling infrastructure in the local area. He was a leading member of the local committee that secured implementation of the Herne Hill Station Square project (which led to the setting up of the Herne Hill Sunday market). He lobbied successfully over many years for the improved frequency of local train services and enhancements to our local stations. He secured upgrades to North Dulwich Station and made sure that the pedestrian footpath to West Dulwich station from Park Hall Road was retained. He campaigned for over 20 years for the extension of the No. 42 bus route to Sainsbury's in East Dulwich and was active in promoting the 20mph speed limits by the installation of road humps. He was also a keen advocate of the installation of electric charging points for electric cars.

In the wider context he was a trustee for the London Cycling Campaign for many years and in 2004 he founded Southwark Living Streets. This led to him being heavily involved in the initial attempts to create a pan-London umbrella group which culminated in London Living Streets being established in 2016.

Perhaps his main achievement, though, has been his success in encouraging local children to walk and cycle to school. He was active in the Safe Routes to School group and was instrumental in the provision of additional pedestrian crossings in Dulwich Village, Half Moon Lane and Burbage Road, and the installation of designated cycle lanes. To many younger environmental campaigners, he has been a much-appreciated mentor - he has shared ideas and showed by example what could be done. We wish him well in his "retirement".

Travel and Environment Subcommittee changes:

Following Alastair Hanton's retirement, Pamela Monblat the secretary has also stepped down after 15 years' service. She has made a major contribution to the efficient running of the subcommittee and we are very grateful to her. Three other long-standing members have also retired, Isaac Marks, Jeremy Nicholson and Rosemary Dawson and we are also very appreciative of their contributions.

Three new members have joined the committee including a new secretary, Katy Savage. The new subcommittee chair, who will be put forward at the next AGM, is Harry Winter. Harry is a tax barrister and has lived in Dulwich for 25 years going to school locally. He is currently vice chair of the Herne Hill Forum and is a keen proponent of air quality, safe and healthy travel, and environmental issues generally.