Sixty years of service to the community is a record that the Dulwich Society can be proud of as it reaches its diamond anniversary. The evidence of its work is all around - street benches, the Edward Alleyn statue, the Red Post on Red Post Hill, WW2 memorial plaques, information signage at numerous sites, the annual Gardens Open for Charity booklet and many other publications, major donations to the work in Sydenham Hill and Dulwich Woods, help for the creation of Dulwich Upper Wood, tree planting, generous donations to a number of local schools to facilitate the provision of ‘green screens’ to reduce the effects of traffic pollution and numerous other projects. The Society was also instrumental in saving the Herne Hill veleodrome. Morem recently the society has installed a ‘listening post’ in the grounds of the Chapel and Old College and converted the listed GPO telephone box in Dulwich Village to house a defibrillator.
When the Society was established in 1963 one of its aims was to involve as many people as possible in its work. It did this through the formation of sub-committees. This plan has worked very well over the years and all of the sub-committees have been pro-active in achieving the Society’s object: To foster and safeguard the amenities of Dulwich.
The sub-committees welcome new members, especially those with some expertise in their areas of activity. The Journal, also, has welcomed contributions, both articles and photographs, on a wide range of topics. It is through these that this publication can provide such a wide variety of content.
For those who would like to offer less specialized help, the distribution of the Journal not only provides the volunteer with a spell of exercise but saves the Society a great deal of money in postage.
Of course, despite its many successes, the Society has also had its share of disappointments. High on the list must be the continuing appalling state of the Grove Tavern site. The Estate has recently stated that it expects to have full control of the property in the near future, no doubt because Stonegate PLC, which holds the lease, is faced with a £3.05 billion pound debt pile. This valuable and potentially attractive area has been blighted for far too long. It is to be hoped that Southwark Council will not require a new pub to feature in its consideration of a planning application, a restriction it had earlier imposed, and which is now appearing totally inappropriate.
Importantly for the Society, membership has been maintained when other local amenity societies have seen a fall in numbers. The Dulwich Society can therefore look forward to the future with much confidence.
To celebrate its 60th anniversary, the Society will be holding a Diamond Anniversary party at Dulwich College on Thursday 13th July. Full details of this event and how to apply for tickets will appear in the next ebulletin and the summer issue of the Journal. PLEASE SAVE THE DATE!.