Bartley’s Florists, Dulwich Village

The proprietors of Bartley’s Florists and The Dulwich Estate have issued a joint statement stating that an agreement has been reached between them whereby the shop area will be enlarged by opening up that part of the interior of the premises and that the flat above will be made self-contained. The work is expected to be done between July-September 2015, during which the shop will close. The Estate is hoping to offer Bartley’s alternative accommodation for the sale of flowers during this closure.

Croquet enjoys revival

The popularity of croquet is increasing and the Dulwich Croquet Club which has two greens at its ground in Burbage Road reports that its membership has grown to over 70 members. It has retained its title as national club champions. New members are invited and social croquet sessions are held during the winter on Thursday mornings (10.30am) and Sunday mornings (10am).

Croquet is enjoying a new lease of life at Dulwich College and sixth formers have the privilege of playing on the lawn in front of the north block.

What’s in a Name?

Is it a requirement that to work for the London Wildlife Trust you require an appropriate name? It must be; the warden of LWT’s managed Sydenham Hill Wood is named Daniel Greenwood, the manager of LWT’s Centre for Wildlife Gardening in Marsden Road, East Dulwich is named Lorna Fox and the LWT’s officer for the River Effra Project is named Helen Spring.

Early start at Dulwich College

Anticipation of the 400th anniversary of the foundation of Alleyn’s College of God’s Gift by the Elizabethan actor Edward Alleyn in 1619, has got off to an early start at Dulwich College. A lecture programme covering the next four years has been put in place and opened last month. The series, named the G E Moore Lectures, after the Old Alleynian philosopher, will reflect aspects of the College’s life and history.

Local Libraries

Those Dulwich residents who live in Southwark are very lucky that the Council is still supportive of local libraries. The Dulwich Library has been recently refurbished, the library at Kingswood House remains open, and there will be a new facility in Grove Vale in the development under construction next to East Dulwich station.

Spare a thought then for residents in Croydon and Lambeth. The Carnegie Library in Herne Hill is in the process of becoming a ‘community hub’ facility to be run by a ‘Friends’ group - not a problem in itself if sufficient local residents are prepared to participate, but it is a large building and there is no guarantee that initial Council funding will be maintained - and can the Friends raise sufficient additional funds from leasing floor space or running a café to make up the shortfall?

Many Society members also use the library in Crystal Palace (historically run as a combined library by both boroughs), which the former administration in Croydon tried to close down despite objections from the local community. Luckily Lambeth remained in support and the Upper Norwood Library Trust has been set up to run the library in the future. Both Lambeth and Croydon (now with a Labour administration) have now agreed to provide some funding but, like the Carnegie Library, the trust will have to look for innovative ways of raising additional income. A well-attended public meeting on 13 October showed the level of local support for the trust and councillors from both Lambeth and Croydon confirmed their support - but pointed out that further cut backs in local authority funding were going to occur and there could be no certainty about future funding levels.

New Honour for Gillian

Gillian Wolfe CBE, Director of Learning and Public Affairs at Dulwich Picture Gallery, has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Canterbury Christ Church University in recognition of her outstanding achievements in arts education.

Gillian has been at Dulwich Picture Gallery since 1984 where she set-up the education programme that has become a national model of excellence with in-house and community programmes reaching out to diverse social and ethnic communities across London.

Professor Paul Camic, Research Director for the University’s Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology, introduced Gillian to the congregation in Canterbury Cathedral. He said: “Today I am honoured to be introducing a prize fighter for the arts. She has shown the importance of what arts can bring to people from different social backgrounds, ethnic groups, educational levels, ages and with different mental and physical capacities.

“Gillian has led the life of someone who believes the potential of the arts to impact positively on people’s lives. For over 30 years she has been relentless in her efforts to make the arts available to the widest cross section of society and has developed many nationally recognised radical programmes. We are delighted to award her today with an Honorary Doctorate from Canterbury Christ Church University.”