Herne Hill Velodrome
The new pavilion was granted planning consent in June but work appears to be on hold pending the final resolution of the lease extension and funding. The design featured in the architecture section of this year’s Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and was illustrated with a collage of small prints showing the history of the Velodrome from the 1890s though to the present day. The architect is the international practice Hopkins Architects (formerly Michael Hopkins and Partners). Established by Michael and Pattie Hopkins in 1976 the practice designed the impressive velodrome for the 2012 London Olympics. The scheme consists of two main sections, the pavilion and the cycle store. The pavilion is slightly smaller than the existing grandstand. It has two floors, with changing rooms, offices and toilets etc at ground level while the club room, a meeting room and a kitchen are on the first. The wall between the club room and the back of the small raked seating area is fully glazed with sliding doors. The building has a brick clad base with timber cladding to the upper level. The roof will be metal and is supported on timber ‘glulam beams’. A nice touch is that the old cast iron columns from the current grand stand will be reused on the front. The adjacent cycle store retains the existing containers but they are laid out in a more formal manner around a central open space which is roofed with a tensile fabric cover supported on steel masts. The new buildings occupy less space than the existing ones, an essential feature for development on Metropolitan Open Land, and have been set out to improve the general appearance of the site. The single access off Burbage Road, between Nos 102 and 104, remains. The current proposal is less an architectural statement than the original larger scheme but, needs must, and the simple plan and section, more economical construction techniques, and the use of timber and brick, mean the current proposal is more affordable. It will be a positive enhancement both to the velodrome and to Dulwich and Herne Hill. Those of us who remember the dark days of the late 1990s and early 2000s when it seems that cycling would no longer carry on should be very happy.
Southwark Local History Library
There is total confusion within the Southwark Council regarding the future of its well-regarded local history and archives centre located at the John Harvard Library in Borough High Street. Although the public’s thirst for studying archive material has never been greater, thanks to programmes such as ‘Who do you think you are?’, much of the research is carried out at home through various websites.
However, Southwark has such a rich and high profile history and a vast body of material for study that it is essential the service is maintained. Part of the problem is as a result of the fire at the Cuming Museum where a good deal of material was stored. There is currently no date when this material will be available again. Historians are therefore frustrated by this impasse. Meanwhile, the staff of the library has been drastically reduced and the Dulwich Society, together with neighbouring societies have protested about the situation. Added to this confusion is the news from the South London Gallery that it is to have a local history section. What is not clear is how large an area it will cover or how comprehensive the collection will be.
St Peter’s Dulwich Common
It has taken around ten years but we are pleased to report that the wall, railings and gateposts of St Peter’s Church, Dulwich Common have been restored to their original 19th century glory. That is two achievements for the Dulwich Society, and in particular its architecture planning group under its chairman, David Roberts. The other success, the restored Concrete House is directly opposite. The next goal will be the restoration of the listed church hall which is in a structurally unsound state and has been barbarously altered in past years. The memorial to The Great War’s, Dulwich Volunteer Battalion has also been restored. Let us hope that the projected redevelopment of the nearby Grove Tavern site will also be ascetically treated.
Sydenham & Dulwich Theatre Club
The club invites new members to join them for visits to West End theatres. Transport is arranged by coach for evening performances, usually leaving Kirkdale at 6.15 and Dulwich Picture Gallery at 6.25. The coach collects members from the theatre after the performance and returns to these locations. The group rate for tickets is well below the standard price but of course the cost of the coach has to be added. A wide variety of shows is offered, usually about 10 per year, ranging from serious drama to musicals. Members chose the ones they wish to see. If you are interested please contact one of the following - Roy Savage 0208 291 0264 or Roger Pawley 0208 693 5660
Dulwich Helpline Re-named
At the October AGM of Dulwich Helpline and Southwark Churches Care the title of the former two separate charities was changed to Link Age Southwark. Founded 20 years ago the charity has over 300 dedicated volunteers serving 500 older members. It receives 41% of its running costs from Southwark Council/NHS Southwark, 33% from grant income and the remainder from donations and community fundraising events. It asks for help from the community in befriending an older person, helping at groups by providing refreshments or running activities, driving, gardening, odd jobs and fundraising. More information at
Carols for St Christopher’s
A multi-faith Carol Service with readings by celebrity readers, the Dulwich Chamber Choir and the JAGS Madrigal Choir will; take place on 14 December 2015 at 7.00pm at St Barnabas Church.. Wine and mince pies will be served after the service. There will be a Retiring Collection in aid of St Christopher’s Hospice
The Elms Climb
In our last issue we published an account of the Elms Care Home in Barry Road. In September volunteers raised £2500 towards the proposed new Dementia Garden by competing in a sponsored climb of the O2 Arena ( Millennium Dome).