Dulwich Society Anniversary

The Society’s 60th Anniversary will be marked with a drinks party at the James Caird Hall, Dulwich College, on Thursday 13 July, 6.30pm - 8.30pm.

Tickets £20 via Eventbrite or Green’s Art Stationer’s & Toy Shop, Dulwich Village.

Society Risk Management Policy

At its meeting on 13th March, the Executive Committee approved a Risk Management Policy, which involves assessing potential risks for the Society under various headings, (governance, operations, finance, health & safety, external factors, compliance) and identifying steps to mitigate or remove these risks. The Society will produce an annual Risk Register and conduct a Risk Assessment on all social events, walks and tours. The new Policy and the Risk Assessment Pro - forma can be found at https://www.dulwichsociety.com/policies

Any questions or comments can be directed to Heather Stubbs, Secretary at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

New Dulwich Estate Guidelines

The Dulwich Estate has published a new set of Guidelines specifically aimed at helping residents improve the energy efficiency of their homes. The advice includes suggestions on how to reduce energy usage, utilise alternative renewable energy resources and help water conservation. Alterations to the external appearance of a building still require a licence but there is also a list of works that can be done without. These include roof insulation, floor insulation, wall insulation (internal only), windows and front doors (if they are an exact match for the original design), electrical vehicle charging points and cycle storage at the side or rear of the house.

Kingswood House

After many years of closure, Kingswood House in Seeley Drive has reopened as Kingswood Arts, a new community arts centre and creative hub, designed to support the local community. There was a well - attended Gala Launch on 6th April, where members of the arts world and the local community were able to admire the beautifully restored house, which now provides an attractive venue for community and arts activities. A new café has opened on site, with Wifi and computers for free use. The family festival on the weekend on 8th/9th April gave local residents an opportunity to see the new - look Kingswood and hear about its history as well as future opportunities.

Jack Hartshorn, who is managing the project, would like to hear from anyone interested in getting involved as a collaborator, artist or volunteer. He can be contacted at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dulwich Library Sign

The Society has installed an information sign by the entrance to the East Dulwich Library giving a brief history of the building and providing the wording for the foundation stone which has now worn away. Funding came from the Council’s Cleaner Greener Safer (CGS) scheme.

Southwark Land Commission

Setting up a Land Commission, the second of its kind in the UK and the first in a London borough, was a commitment in the Council Delivery Plan for 2022 - 26. The aim is to bring together a panel of experts, community groups and major landowners, to consider how more of the borough’s land can be freed up for the public good. The first public meeting on 28th February was followed up by several more locally focused consultation events. Recommendations on a way forward should be published by the end of July.

Southwark 2030

Southwark 2030 is a council - led initiative to enable local people to share their ambitions and hopes to create a bright future for the borough. Working with local partners, community groups and businesses, the Council aims to generate a shared vision with an agreed plan to achieve it, the ‘Southwark 2030 plan’. Popular ideas at the local area meeting included improved cross - Dulwich public transport and accessibility at rail stations. Among other points were action on personal safety, litter, dockless ebikes, overhanging branches and pavements. Council - resident communication improvements were also mentioned as well as more support for the green transition, better community spaces, provision of youth centres and faster action on new homes.

Local Tennis Improvements 

Southwark have been seeking tenders to find new coaches for a range of community tennis programmes at each of its park sites. The new model will have one coaching organisation operating at each park tennis court. The aim is to deliver a variety of activities for all ages to encourage wider participation. Four contracts in the north of the borough have already been awarded - to the EA Tennis Group CIC, a national partner of the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA). Three other park sites Belair, Dulwich and Brunswick in Camberwell have yet to be decided on but it is hoped that new coaching provides will be in place by the summer. The Council have also been working on an application to the LTA for funding to deliver site improvements. If successful, this should mean new court surfaces at both Belair and Dulwich,

Society Southwark CGS Awards

At the Southwark South Area Multi - Ward Meeting on 14th March the Society was successful in obtaining CGS funding for additional planting on the Dulwich Village Roundabout and replacing plinths under the double benches in Dulwich Village. The Society also strongly supported a successful bid from COLAR (Court Lane Residents Association) for the restoration and planting of the historic flower beds at the lower end of Court Lane.

New Speed Limits on South Circular

TfL has identified Dulwich Common and Thurlow Park Road as two local roads under their control which will have their speed limits reduced from 30 to 20mph, most likely from September. An online ‘engagement’ began in March but it is pretty clear that the plans will go ahead - as part of the Mayor’s ‘Vision Zero Action Plan’ see:

https://haveyoursay.tfl.gov.uk/lowering - speed - limits.

Cox’s Walk Footbridge

Following agreement over how to proceed with the repair works to the historic footbridge in Sydenham Hill Woods and retain the oak trees directly adjacent to it, work has now started. The temporary access ramp was installed in March before the bird nesting season. The main works will commence in September.

Charter School East Dulwich

The main part of the school has been operational for some time, and the last sections of the old hospital were demolished a year ago. The school’s website has been updated recently and confirms that the remainder of the project has been split into three parts - site landscaping, the modular classrooms to house the additional teaching spaces needed for the academic year 2023 and the renovation of the Dulwich Hospital building plus the building of a new hall, library and drama/arts studio. The landscaping project is underway and completion is expected late summer. The modular classrooms will be built during the summer while the final phase of the work should start later this year.

Local History Talks Online

Following the talk on gentrification in East Dulwich, ‘Statutory housing action in the 1970s and its legacy’ in April and ‘The Hotel at Spy Corner’ in May, the online talks have taken their summer break, returning in October.

Dulwich Society AGM

The AGM was held at the Crown and Greyhound on 24th April. There were 50 attendees including two local ward councillors, Andy Simmons and Margy Newens (Richard Leeming sent apologies). The President, Dr Kenneth Wolfe, opened the meeting and, after the members accepted the previous AGM and SGM minutes, the Chair gave a resume of the Society’s activities in 2022. He particularly thanked Brian Green for his hard work on the Society’s Journal over 20 years and presented him with an honorary life membership to the applause of the meeting.

The Chair announced that draft new Rules are now on the Constitution and Accounts section of the website and members are encouraged to comment - the consultation period ends on 23 October 2023. There has been a small increase in membership to 1174 households and there is now a facility on the website to join or renew online using direct debit. The Society’s Twitter account usage was up almost 20% and the addition of 200 pages to the website has attracted more traffic to it. The annual report is available on the website and gives more details of the various subcommittee activities. Highlights included work on digitising the historic Court Rolls (with Dulwich College), a response to the Council’s consultation on the expansion of the local notable buildings list, detailed comments on 200 Scheme of Management applications, the installation of the defibrillator in the old red telephone box in the Village, and grants for various improvements in Dulwich Park and Sydenham Hill Woods.

The accounts were approved and the president re - elected, together with the list of honorary officers and sub - committee chairs. There were queries on the block voting system used for chairs of the subcommittees but the Chair confirmed that the Society had used this method in recent years and will review it as part of the consultation on new Society Rules.

Following the closure of the formal part of the meeting there was an opportunity for questions from members and the first of these was about the Society’s approach to the future development of the Grove Tavern site. The meeting’s view was that the Dulwich Estate should have been more proactive in dealing with a site that remained a major eyesore. The chair and councillor Andy Simmons assured members that it appeared that some progress, albeit very slow, was being made on outline plans for the site’s redevelopment.

There was a query about the provision of lift access to local stations and concerns were expressed over the operation of the Calton Avenue/Dulwich Village junction. There was a follow up question on LTNs regarding the increase in traffic in West Dulwich and East Dulwich Grove and, in answer to another question, the chair explained the perceived discrepancy between the Society’s neutrality on the matter of the Village LTN and the remit of the Travel and Environment subcommittee.

There was then a question about the Dulwich Estate’s green strategy and, while the new guidelines were welcome, there was a feeling that they did not go far enough and that the Estate should be leading by example - there were also calls for a public meeting with the Estate. The chair responded that the Society continued to raise green issues with the Estate when they met and Andy Simmons added that that a potential public meeting had been discussed.

There was also a query on the lack of progress on installing a pedestrian crossing at the Dulwich Common/Lordship Lane junction. Andy Simmons said that a scheme was ready to go but was on hold pending finalisation of the location of some of the support equipment.