The Dulwich Society Journal for Spring 2015.
In recent weeks there have been a series of small triumphs for local democracy. Of course it took some time and considerable effort to achieve them. Probably Southwark Council can be mildly excused from assuming that Dulwich residents have little interest on anything beyond their front doors considering the minimal response to invitations to comment on other issues. However, when the full implications of various proposals did sink in, then Dulwich residents were swift to man barricades, form committees and get highly indignant.
There was of a slew of proposals in recent weeks as chairman Ian McInnes explains in his Comment Column, and it was when these came to the boil at the Dulwich Community Council meeting on Wednesday 27 January that there was a very large attendance of anxious, articulate and disgruntled people.
The chairman, Councillor Andy Simmons did well to keep a light but firm hand on what turned out to be a polite and calm meeting. Various delegations representing local residents, Safer Routes to Schools, Friends of Dulwich Park and others concisely stated their differing objections or support of the traffic schemes and cycle way routes being proposed. The Council’s traffic officer’s consultation was judged to be inadequate and many residents attending the meeting considered that the proposals for cycle ways were being railroaded through without the full details being released and the officer promised to go away and return with fresh proposals for a wider consultation in March.
The welcome news of the evening was the announcement concerning the Dulwich Hospital site, a topic which has turned up (and turned many off) regularly at Dulwich Community Council. It was in 2004 that the partial closure of the hospital was announced and later that year the demolition of about a third of the buildings took place. A group of activists, hoping to secure a new community hospital on the site, then formed, and numerous campaigns and feasibility studies followed on this concept. At the same time Kings College Hospital continued to run a number of clinical functions in the remaining old buildings and erected some temporary accommodation for others.
More recently, the case for using the site as a benefit for the local community rather than allowing it to be sold off and developed for private housing, was taken up by several local councillors. In 2013 NHS Southwark agreed plans for a new health centre in the south of the borough, serving Dulwich and the surrounding areas, with the preferred location being the Dulwich Hospital site.
An extensive consultation with local people and clinicians was carried out with a view of providing a base for a wide range of health services in the community, especially for people with long term conditions. Studies were conducted to determine how big the centre needed to be and how large an area would be required. Assessments of likely future activity and population changes were also considered. As a result of these and other studies, NHS Southwark has decided on a new build on the Dulwich Hospital site. It will invite architects to tender for the project in coming months. In the meantime, those services being provided in temporary accommodation on the proposed space (in the south-east corner of the cleared area between Melbourne Grove and Jarvis Road) will be housed in the existing main building.
It was also announced that there are on-going discussions between NHS Property Services (who own the site) and the Education Funding Agency about education facilities being located on the remainder of the site. If the outcome is the provision of a new secondary school this news will be gladly received as a further much needed local facility. As far as The Dulwich Society is concerned, it would welcome such a step and also see it as a means of retaining the attractive ‘chateau’ style main building and the Military Hospital WW1 Memorial, both of which would lend considerable architectural gravitas to a new school.
As reported previously, there are two potential bidders to run a secondary school on the site, Haberdasher Aske and the Charter School. They have submitted proposals to the Department of Education - and both were called to interview in February.
The early part of this year was taken up with consultation over council initiatives on traffic management, cycling and planning.
The year started positively with the Council responding rapidly to the large number of objections from local residents to the proposed banning of the right turn from Townley Road into East Dulwich Grove. The contentious scheme was withdrawn and council officers instructed to come up with an alternative solution.
On the draft Southwark cycling spine scheme, initial details showed a cycling route going through Dulwich Park – the Dulwich Park Friends were quick to point out the likely conflict between park users like joggers and dog walkers, and commuter cyclists. The park is also closed at night, and closes earlier in the winter – is the Council’s intention to keep it open and put street lights in?
The Council also appears keen to install a series of ‘Quietways’ - networks of bike routes for less confident cyclists using low-traffic back streets (the routes are apparently not just for current cyclists, but are for people who have always been put off cycling by the thought of sharing the road with high volumes of cars, vans, buses and lorries). Several local residential roads are included eg Turney Road & Eynella Road. You have to ask whether the officers coming up with these schemes have any idea of the amount of on-road parking in Dulwich, where are residents supposed to park if they cannot, or don’t want to park, on their front gardens?
A more positive consultation was the one on amending free parking in Dulwich Village to a one hour limit to improve accessibility for shoppers and stop commuter parking. Based on the beneficial impact to both shoppers and traders of the 30 min parking limit in Herne Hill, this plan should improve the availability of parking for short visits but may possibly push commuter parking onto surrounding roads.
The Council are also consulting on the new draft Southwark Plan. A serious lack of promotion (even local councillors were unaware of it) meant that the initial consultation meeting on 19 January was attended by only 8 people – hardly representative. We were told that a further, more detailed draft plan, will be consulted on in September and the aim is for the new development plan to come into effect in 2017. The initial consultation period runs to the 6 March and there is an interactive consultation map for interested parties to comment on proposed site allocations and even suggest any new sites – this will be operational till the early summer. See: www.southwark.gov.uk/newsouthwarkplan
The Dulwich Society was successful in bidding for forthcoming grants from Southwark Council under its Cleaner, Greener, Safer scheme. The most significant was the acceptance of the Society’s suggestion for the conversion of a building adjacent to Dulwich Library as a police base and contact point. At present the nearest police contact is Camberwell police station. The amount of the grant is £30,000.
Other grants proposed by the Society and agreed by Dulwich Community Council are:
New notice boards outside St Barnabas Parish Hall, Dulwich Village £800
Greening of verges in Dulwich Village £4100
Restrictor post in Hunts Slip Road £1900
New bench in Half Moon Lane £1500 (at the request of Abbeyfield)
Notice is hereby given that the 52nd Annual General Meeting of The Dulwich Society will be held at 8.00pm on Monday 27th April 2015 at St Barnabas Church Community Suite, Calton Avenue, SE21 7DG.
1. Minutes of the 51st Annual General Meeting held on 28th April 2014 to be approved.
2. Chairman’s Report
3. Secretary’s Report.
4. Treasurer’s Report and presentation of accounts for 2014.
5. Appointment of Honorary Auditor.
6. Reports from Sub-Committee Chairmen.
7. Elections for 2015-2016. President, Vice-Presidents, Officers, Executive Committee.
8. Any Other Business.
Note: Nominations for election as an Officer or Member of the Executive Committee must be submitted in writing to the Secretary by two members not later than fourteen days before 27th April 2015 and must be endorsed by the candidate in writing. (Rule 9).
Patrick Spencer Hon. Secretary
7 Pond Cottages SE21 7LE
Minutes of the Annual General Meeting 2014, the Chairman’s report and reports of the Sub-Committee Chairmen for 2014 may be seen on the Dulwich Society Website www.dulwichsociety.com A hard copy may be obtained by application to the Secretary. After the meeting there will be a showing of some of the original Gaumont ‘shorts’ which were filmed at their studios in Dulwich between 1900-10. Wine will also be served.
We still need more volunteer deliverers Please contact the chairman on
The Society is looking for a volunteer administrator who would be prepared to manage the running of Rosebery Lodge in Dulwich Park. It would take about an hour a week and mainly involve maintaining the diary (Dulwich & District U3A are the main users at present). If you are interested please contact the membership secretary on
Dulwich Gardens open for charity 2015
Enclosed with this Journal is a copy of our 2015 Dulwich Gardens open for charity booklet, with details of the magnificent local gardens that will be opening this year and that we hope you will take the chance to visit. Copies of the brochure are available in local garden centres and other outlets. Many thanks to Ann Rutherford and colleagues for producing it.
June coach visit to Great Dixter and Sissinghurst
In the brochure are details of our annual coach outing, which will be to Great Dixter and Sissinghurst on Tuesday 23rd June, together with an application form. All are welcome, and we would suggest early application to avoid disappointment.
Fergus Garrett’s talk on Great Dixter, “England’s most beautiful and exciting garden” (BBC4) in March is sold out.
Whether it was the large public turnout at the meeting to consider Southwark Council’s plan for improvements to the junction and pedestrian crossings at Townley Road/East Dulwich Grove, which included a No Right Turn for traffic travelling east on East Dulwich Grove, or the clever tray of ‘right-turn’ biscuits in traffic marking colours of white arrow on a blue ground, with the message – ‘It takes the biscuit’ but the afternoon was a significant success for the ‘Keep the right turn’ lobby -
Councillor Mark Williams, cabinet member for regeneration, planning and transport, said: “My thanks to everyone who contributed to the recent consultation which received a significant number of responses. In light of the considerable local concerns raised by residents the right turn from Townley Road into East Dulwich Grove will remain, and I have instructed council officers to work up alternative proposals to make the junction safer. Further details on the new scheme will be presented to the Dulwich Community Council meeting in March, with a formal decision to be taken soon afterwards. We are committed to further public consultation and engagement on any new options.”
Certainly what was suggested was an expensive sledgehammer to crack a nut. Was it ever an option, one wonders, if the supposed problem of the junction in East Dulwich Grove might be solved in the same way as Oxford Circus, which is surely a far busier and potentially more dangerous junction, by having an all-red traffic light phase? Surely it would be less disruptive, aesthetically more pleasing and cost less.
New at the Gallery
The Gallery’s major summer exhibition, 'Ravilious' (1 April – 31 August 2015), will be the first show to thoroughly examine Eric Ravilious’ output as watercolourist, a medium which he used to capture the atmosphere of peacetime and wartime England as well as to preserve the fleeting passage of time. Curated by James Russell, a leading expert and author on the artist, the exhibition will showcase around 100 watercolours allowing us to assess Ravilious’ achievement as an artist of supreme skill. Spanning his short but prolific career between 1925 and 1942, this exhibition, the first to focus on his watercolours, will reveal his artistic continuity and show how he integrated rather than abandoned his instincts and ideas when appointed as a war artist in 1940.
Spot the Fake!
Last month Dulwich Picture Gallery embarked on a quirky venture to stimulate a closer inspection of the Collection. A cheap, we are told, Chinese fake, of one of the pictures has been substituted for the original and visitors are invited to spot the difference. It has been commissioned at a cost of £120 by the conceptual artist Doug Fishbone, and will be put in the original painting’s frame. Winning answers will be entered into a draw to win one of five print-on-demand reproductions of chosen works in the Gallery’s collection. The answer will be revealed on 28th April when original and replica will hang side by side.
Ivy instead of Grass
Several years ago, the grass verges in the Village between the old Burial ground and the Crown & Greyhound were returfed with a grant from the CGS fund. Not all the plots beneath trees accepted the grass and a trial is being made to plant ivy instead.
New Neighbourhoods Fund
A single, new Neighbourhoods Fund worth £542,000 was launched in January, combining the Community Council Fund and the Cleaner Greener Safer Revenue fund into one simple application process. The Neighbourhoods Fund will allow community councils to make decisions locally on neighbourhood priorities and provide the means of getting good ideas off the ground. The Council is looking for applications which recognise the importance of local action by communities, in developing relationships, making neighbourhoods come to life, and increasing skills and abilities which mean communities can grow from strength to strength.
You can find out more about the fund by via this link http://www.southwark.gov.uk/neighbourhoodsfund where you can read the information sheet and guidance notes which will inform how the fund will work and what type of projects would be suitable for funding.
This fund will help communities to get ideas off the ground. If you are part of a Southwark community group, or you know someone who is, please let them know the good news!
Several roads in Dulwich have parking spaces dedicated to car clubs such as ‘Zipcar’. The Council tells us that this will mean reduced demand for kerbside parking as residents use these cars and sell off their own - but is this true? The Burbage Road and Turney Road Residents Associations asked their member whether they had changed their driving habits in response to the availability of these cars but received no response – that could mean that nobody uses them or just that people can’t be bothered to respond. However, if you do use them please let us know, and contact
Art Miles, walking in support of the Dulwich Picture Gallery on 22 March:
The Dulwich Picture Gallery is one of three gallery and museum charities trialling a new fundraising initiative to encourage local people to raise money support in support of their activities.
Called ‘Art Miles’, the event will take place on Sunday 22 March. It starts with a fun, cultural walk of approximately 3 miles through the parks and playing fields of Dulwich, with short stops to look at some of the notable historical buildings, trees and sites in the area. Returning to the Gallery at the end there will be an opportunity to enjoy some delicious food and fascinating displays of falcons, as well as free entry to the Gallery itself. To help raise additional funds, attendees are encouraged to come in fancy dress and ask their family and friends to sponsor them.
The registration fee is £20 for adults and up to four children (aged 16 and under) can walk for free when accompanied by a paying adult – there will also be an Art Miles bag for each attendee. To find out more, and to buy tickets online, visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/art-miles-2015-dulwich-picture-gallery-tickets-14749794031. You will be sent joining details via email as soon as you have registered and paid.
Dulwich Festival 8th – 15th May
It's that time of year again. ...Dulwich Festival 2015 will soon be upon us and with a programme choc-full of astonishing art work, moving musical performances, literary luminaries, all the fun of the fair, a delicious food trail and much more! This year's Festival runs from 8th to 17th May 2015, and sees the return of the ever-popular Artists' Open House running over both weekends of the Festival (9-10th and 16th-17th May). Now in its 11th year, Artists Open House continues to attract a rich and varied assortment of art, including painting, photography, ceramics and much more - the perfect excuse to add to your art collection at home. When tummies start to rumble after pounding the pavements, the offerings from some of Dulwich's best loved food stores and restaurants as part of the Festival's Food Trail will come to the rescue, returning after it proved a hit with the foodies of Dulwich and beyond last year. A new addition this year will be the Love West Dulwich Fair on Saturday 16th May - a great excuse to discover this vibrant quarter of Dulwich.
The Queen's Six - a magnificent male a capella vocal group who are part of the permanent choir at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle - will be making their debut at the Festival at Christ's Chapel on Wednesday 13th May, held in association with the Friends of Dulwich Picture Gallery. The Queen's Six delight audiences with a repertoire spanning sacred and secular vocal music from the Middle Ages to the present outside of the Chapel. Don't miss their special performance in the
atmospheric surrounding of Christ’s Chapel
There is plenty of entertainment to keep the children equally enthralled this year, with the children's concert on Saturday 16th May in All Saint's Church drawing a proud crowd of mums and dads, (and grans and grandads) and the exciting arrival of children's theatre company Theatre Rites with their production 'Recycled Rubbish' on Saturday 9th May at St Barnabas parish hall. Described as 'children's theatre at its best' by local culture blogger A Little Bird, this production will inspire kids to think about the contents of the household bin bag in a whole new way.
Be sure to make time for the Festival's ever popular fairs - with the Goose Green Fair running on Sunday 10th May and the Festival Fair taking its place in Dulwich Park once more on Sunday 17th May. Stalls range from foodie delights, homemade
Trinkets to children’s face painting and donkey rides.
Take to the streets in our series of entertaining and informative walks which will cover the ever-popular topics of the area's history, trees, architecture and street art.
A one of a kind large scale performance, backed by Southwark Council, will take place on the streets of Dulwich during the first weekend of the Festival - watch out for further details in the coming months.
Follow Festival developments as they happen via our social media: www.dulwichfestival.co.uk /twitter.com/dulwichfestival / facebook.com/dulwichfestival
Ingrid Beazley was slightly apprehensive and defensive when I met her, as if her amazing street art project was about to come under attack again. Although she presents herself as an image of a somewhat fragile, middle-aged woman enjoying the delights of grand-motherhood she has a steely determination and zeal to discover new ways of looking at art. Just as well, as her recent project of Street Art in Dulwich or ‘Baroque the Street’ as it was originally labelled, brought her into contact with a host of sometimes alcohol or drug fuelled street artists, all passionate about their art. She also, one suspects, has had to deal with a fair amount negative comment about her project.
Ingrid Beazley is the daughter of a doctor with a practice in what was then Tanganyika, now Tanzania, East Africa. By the time she was 12, independence had been granted to this former British colony and she and her family moved to England and she started at her new school in Haslemere. Art was always her passion and after finishing school she studied History of Art at St Andrews and then gained a post-graduate degree in teaching at Queen Mary College, London.
She worked in numerous schools in the UK and Singapore and for the last eighteen years has been a volunteer teacher in the education department of Dulwich Picture Gallery where she has been a guide and lecturer, teaching children and adults about the Collection and the Gallery’s architecture. She created DiGit, a form of interactive interpretation using palm top computers which particularly appeal to younger visitors. She launched both the regular monthly film night in the Linbury Room and Dulwich OnView, the Gallery’s e-magazine.
She has a curiosity about the unusual in art and in 2012 this led her to attend a talk on street art by the street artist Stik in East London. Until then she had little or no knowledge about street art, to the extent that she had only heard, like most of us, of one street artist – Banksy. Stik’s talk seems to have been her epiphany and began what would become an obsession for the medium.
Stik by name as well as by nature draws stickmen on vacant walls and shutters around Shoreditch. Initially giving the appearance of immature Dick Bruna illustrations, Stik’s work is infinitely subtle – he says “Beauty is in movement. That’s what it’s about. Beauty is about the way that someone moves their body. You can tell by someone’s walk if they’re angry, whether they’re happy or if they’ve just eaten. You can tell a lot about someone just by the way they’re moving their back or their eyes. There doesn’t need to be a great deal of detail there.”
Ingrid was so impressed by Stik’s work that she persuaded Southwark Council to allow Stik to put some of his figures on small buildings in Dulwich Park. One or two neighbours in Court Lane shared Ingrid’s enthusiasm and the artist’s work appears on the walls of several houses there. The idea then came to her to extend this idea of street art and she devised a concept in which leading street artists would be invited to consider the paintings in the Dulwich collection and re-interpret them on walls around Dulwich (and beyond) as part of the 2013 Dulwich Festival.
But how do you find such elusive artists? Her point of contact was Richard Howard Griffin who was establishing a gallery for a group of contemporary artists who were outside the established traditional institutions. It was he who had the contacts and with his and Remi Rough’s help Ingrid was able to reach leading international street artists. The next stage was to persuade them to participate in a street art project for the Dulwich Festival. A group project is usually an anathema to such go- it- alone individuals but Ingrid’s enthusiasm must have rubbed off and with very few exceptions almost twenty artists came aboard.
The artists, who include two women, were glad to have such good public spaces to showcase their work and worked for free, Ingrid largely provided their materials, scaffolding and cherry-picker hoists. Some of this outlay she has since been able to to recoup from her very popular public tours of the project.
To organise one invariably temperamental artist and find a vacant wall would be a formidable task in itself. To manage a large and disparate group of artists and muster enough wall space, all in a limited time and on a not unlimited budget hardly bears thought. Yet this is where Ingrid’s steeling determination came in. Cold calls to owners of prospective walls sometimes produced results; a sympathetic pub manager responsible for three premises around Dulwich presented three huge spaces, Southwark Council Art & Leisure Department became enthusiastic and located 3 walls for the project.
The one fly in the ointment was that Dulwich Picture Gallery declined to endorse the project, although it was willing for its pictures to be associated with it and allowed photographs of some of its works for the accompanying book. Some of the artists visited the gallery to select a picture, some viewed the collection’s website and one or two ignored the association altogether and very much did their own thing. One of these was Conor Harrington, the Irish born former graffiti artist who has found international fame and whose studio work can fetch tens of thousands of pounds. One or two more backed out of the project.
Perhaps, not surprisingly, a number of artists all settled on Poussin’s ‘Triumph of David’ as their theme. Ingrid was disappointed that no one considered Rubens’ ‘Venus, Mars and Cupid’ as a possible subject. The works on Dulwich’s walls are not labelled and explained. Some of the artists categorically declined to have their works labelled for fear of graffiti and tagging. Ingrid’s view is that the pictures should speak for themselves. On the other hand this detracts from the original premise of identifying with the works Dulwich Picture Gallery and bringing the public, now that their interest might be aroused, to the Gallery. The map of the Dulwich Street Art project enclosed with this issue of the Journal may resolve this dilemma.
For Ingrid the project has been worthwhile if it introduces more people to understand street art and street artists than they did before. She is inundated with requests by local schools to tour the pictures and these hugely successful expeditions conclude with a visit to the Gallery to see the original works. Rather than have requests from members of the public to paint out any of the pictures, she has had three further offers of walls for future murals. Students at Kings College London are creating a mobile phone app which uses GPS positioning and will bring up the mural which will then morph into the original painting which inspired it.
So what is the public’s reaction to the Street Art Project? Southwark Council have received no complaints. The three pubs with murals on their walls (The Paxton, The Patch and The Victoria Inn) claim interest from customers and her adult street tours are a sell-out. So the Journal conducted its own poll. It asked if the reaction to the idea of the murals was generally favourable or unfavourable, whether or not it was realised that there was a connection between (most) of the murals and a work in Dulwich Picture Gallery, and lastly whether they would have preferred the initiative not to have gone ahead in the first place. The result was an overwhelming endorsement of Ingrid’s concept of street art, even if individual murals were not always liked. There was originally little or no idea that the murals had a connection with Dulwich Picture Gallery, but most asked have now discovered that there is. The vast majority are pleased the Dulwich Street Art Project took place.
As for Ingrid; she is envisioning using empty railway containers as fresh ground for street art and is looking for sites to place them.