Dulwich Society Party

The Society’s ‘un-birthday’ party was a great success with a large attendance. The enjoyable evening opened with a reception accompanied by Charles Cary-Elwes performing some great jazz at the piano. Later in the evening the audience enjoyed the solo guitar of Cameron May. A résumé of the Society’s recent activities was given by the chairman Ian McInnes, who was also responsible for the exhibition depicting the history of Dulwich’s (once open) pubs. The new book on local pubs’ history which Ian co-authored was on sale. The evening closed with a splendid concert by the a capella group The Hasty Nymphs who had performed at this year’s Dulwich Festival. In attendance during the evening, and expertly serving wine and canapés, were the three granddaughters of Alastair Hanton.

Alastair Hanton wins Lifetime Achievement Award

A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Alastair by Andrew Gilligan, the former Mayor of London’s Cycling Commissioner, at the end of a conference on transforming London streets. The particular achievements recognised by the Award were, first, identification of a potential cycling route along a disused railway alignment at the back of Millwall’s New Den, and then persistent advocacy for it over twenty years. This now provides a safe off-road link between central London and the south eastern suburbs. It has resulted in a large increase in cycle commuting in this corridor. Secondly, he pressed for safer Heavy Goods Vehicles. HGVs in urban streets kill disproportionate numbers of cyclists and pedestrians. Safety requires that drivers have a direct view of the road around them, not dependent on indirect vision from an array of mirrors and sensors. The Mayor of London recently announced his intention to ban the most dangerous HGVs from London’s streets from 2020.

Alastair continues to promote transport safety and is chairman of the Dulwich Society’s Traffic and Transport committee. He is currently promoting safety concerns surrounding the site of the demolition of the SG Smith workshop in Dulwich Village for house-building where the proximity of schools is an issue, by insisting Direct Vision lorries be used for this project.

More Local History on the Dulwich Society website

This year several new sources of local history information have been added to the Dulwich Society website. Some are there already including Who was Who in Dulwich, The Gazetteer of Dulwich Roads and Place-names and The World War I interactive map produced with the Herne Hill Society. Now it is also possible to search the Society’s Newsletters from 1974 to 2003 to see discussion of issues such as traffic in Dulwich Village, lighting in Court Lane as well as an account of a day trip in 1827 to the ‘rustic spot’ that was Dulwich (Winter 1997). The complete King’s College Hospital Ward Name Directory which has featured in instalments in recent journals can be consulted (without the illustrations). Finally extensive notes on the history and graves of the Old Dulwich Burial Ground are now available online. These provided the basis for the free leaflet (available from The Art Stationers, Dulwich Village) and on the information board on the railings. As much information as could readily be traced on the individuals buried there has been entered, but it is hoped that those who know of any more about this or any other subject on the website will contact the local history sub-committee. The website is very easy to update and many people in Dulwich and elsewhere have given us useful information in the past, some of which has led to articles in the journal.

Bernard Nurse

Basements and Hoardings

Those of you who walk or drive through the Village will have wondered what is happening behind the London Basement Company’s hoarding in front of No 111 Dulwich Village (it has been in place for over two years) - the Society has repeatedly pressed the Estate to find out, but no luck so far. There is another site right next door at look No 113 (but at least work appears to be actively progressing), and the work at No 5 College Road, where the rear wall and most of the floor structure has been removed and replaced - has provided the interested observer unusual views of the sky behind through the front windows.

If you thought it must all end soon and the Village aspect will revert to its normal appearance, you are in for a disappointment. Current applications to build substantial rear extensions and basements at No 57 Dulwich Village (the pleasant Georgian house next to the Burial Ground), No 1 College Road (the old house with the blue plaque for James Allen’s Girls’ School on the front) and No 19 College Road, (just south of the Dulwich Picture Gallery), will mean that yet more hoardings will be visible. And this is all before work starts on the former S G Smith workshop site in the centre of the Village! At least the Crown and Greyhound will be finished soon.

Crown & Greyhound

The projected opening date remains officially as the week beginning 16th January but it may be up to a month later as the completion of the roof on the new hotel building at the rear seems to take longer than expected.

Society contribution to new native hedges in Dulwich Park

The Society has agreed to match the Dulwich Park Friends’ contribution towards the replacement of the cherry laurel hedges in Dulwich Park with native species. The total cost of the work is just over £3000. The Society is also in the process of ordering tree species labels to go on every important tree in the area.

Electric cars come to Dulwich

Eight planning applications have been submitted to Southwark Council to install a total of 24 electric car charging points in the Dulwich area. Leaving aside the fact that the applicant, French owned BluePoint London (who won the tender to operate the electrical charging network in London in 2014) failed to obtain the Dulwich Estate’s consent for the private roads, this will mean a loss of car parking for residents - you are only allowed to use the parking spaces if you are charging your car. If an electric car parks in the bay, but doesn’t charge, or an ordinary car parks in it, they will receive a penalty ticket.

Many residents are concerned over the lack of consultation and the apparently random placing of the new points. Councillors have been involved and are seeking further clarification and discussion before any decisions are made.

The proposed locations are

  • Woodwarde Road - 16/AP/3942 (3 No)
  • Eastlands Crescent - 16/AP/3905 (3 No)
  • Pickwick Road - 16/AP/3933 (3 No)
  • Townley Road - 16/AP/3933 (3 No)
  • Crescent Wood Road at Sydenham Hill - 16/AP/3903 (3 No)
  • Hunts Slip Road - 16/AP/3913 (3 No)
  • College Road at Grange Lane - 16/AP/3901 (3 No)
  • College Road outside Breakspeare - 16/AP/3000 (3 No)

S G Smith housing development

On 20 October local MP Helen Hayes chaired a meeting between McCullogh Homes, Village Ward Councillors, and local Resident Association representatives to discuss the development of the former S G Smith workshop site. The RAs were looking for reassurances that the building work will be well managed and cause minimum disruption to the area - and respond particularly to the safety of school children who go to the schools nearby. it was agreed to set up a small contact group (of local RA street reps) to monitor and direct queries, concerns and complaints. Work is due to start on site in the summer of 2017, with a contract period of 18 to 24 months.

Dulwich Community Hospital site

Planning consent for the new Charter School East Dulwich and the adjacent Health Hub was granted on 11 October. The school opened on a temporary site in September in Camberwell and expects to move to the new school in 2019. The Health Hub should open at the same time.
New Dulwich Park Café: Southwark Council have awarded the café concession contract to Colicci ECSI Ltd. They are a family run business that currently operates in eight other parks in London including Roehampton Gate (Richmond Park) and Kensington Gardens (Italian Garden Cafe).