Sunday, March 11, 2012

Agenda for the AGM

1 Election of officers
2 Thorpes street party – Sunday June 3rd
3 Local crime
4 Sydenham Road improvements
& Thorpes road calming
5 Sydenham Arts Festival:
Visual Arts Trail in the Thorpes
6 Any other business

Visual Arts Trail – open houses in the Thorpes

The highly successful Visual Arts Trail is once again part of this year’s Sydenham Arts Festival (1-15 July). If you are an artist and would like to take part, or if you would like to act as a ‘host’ to local artists as part of the trail, please get in touch with Bruce Harrison:; 077269 09808
or Pippa Stacey:; 020 8778 9160 for more details.

Thorpes Street Party

Earlsthorpe Road will be hosting a street party on June 3rd – and everyone who lives in the Thorpes is welcome! The idea is to use Earlsthorpe Road as a base for a day of entertainment and fun for all of the Thorpes. It’s a great way to meet your neighbours and help strengthen community spirit. As well as street barbecues there will be musical events, fancy dress and games for all the family.

Crime on the Thorpes

At the AGM we will be discussing the recent rise in burglary and street robbery in the neighbourhood. Although this remains a low-crime area we all need to take extra care and be on our guard. At the same time, the Metropolitan Police are considering closing Sydenham Police Station, home of three local Safer Neighbourhood Teams, and relocating them to Catford. The Thorpes Residents Association committee are very concerned about this possible closure and urge all residents to sign the online petition at:

Monday, January 24, 2011


Welcome to the latest online edition of the TRA newsletter. As you can see from the leading article, it appears that at last Lewisham Council are willing to address the issue of traffic in the estate. As the council is proposing to consult the residents before introducing a scheme, it is very important that if you have views on the subject, you share them. A discussion of traffic calming will be at the top of the agenda at the forthcoming AGM which is on Weds 9th Feb 2011, 8.00pm at the Golden Lion, Sydenham Road. I would urge as many of you as possible to attend.
Ian Davenport, TRA Chairman.

A 20mph Zone for the Thorpes?

On the 17 November, Lewisham’s Mayor & Cabinet confirmed a £70,000 road scheme for the Thorpes to be implemented in 2012-13. The idea would be to consult residents on a 20mph zone for the Thorpes and at the same time look at methods of dealing with the east-west “rat-run” that includes Bishopsthorpe Road. If approved the 20mph zone would be implemented and the speed of traffic monitored to gauge the success of the scheme.
The Thorpes Resident’s Association committee warmly welcome this initiative as they have long campaigned for schemes to reduce rat-running through the neighbourhood as well as methods of reducing the speed of traffic through the estate. Over the last 10 years residents have complained about the speed and trajectory of vehicles entering the neighbourhood – in particular drivers who, often without signalling, turn off Mayow Road into the Thorpes, cutting the corner at speed. Hopefully, a well designed road scheme can ensure that the neighbourhood is a great deal safer and more comfortable to live in.
The new road improvement scheme for Sydenham Road will involve a number of changes to the local road layout which will affect the Thorpes. For example, the junction of Queensthorpe Road and Sydenham Road will be closed to road vehicles and there will be two lanes running from Mayow Road into Sydenham Road rather than a single carriageway. The committee believe that we have to see how the new traffic flow adjusts to these changes before we design a scheme for the Thorpes.
A 20mph zone for the Thorpes is an exciting and welcome proposal. Please come along to the AGM and share your views on this vital issue.

East London Line Extension to Open Late February

The East London Line extension from Dalston Junction to Highbury & Islington looks likely to open on February 28 – almost three months ahead of schedule.
The 2.1km extension to the northern end of the ELL will allow passengers to access the Victoria Line and North London Line at Highbury & Islington. Destinations such as King’s Cross/St Pancras can then be easily reached without having to travel through London Bridge or use the overcrowded Northern Line. And when the extension opens, even a Sunday afternoon walk on Hampstead Heath could be a real possibility for Sydenham dwellers!
The East London Line has enjoyed a huge surge in users since it opened. Passenger counts taken in October 2010 show that the number of journeys undertaken per weekday on the route had risen to 70,000, compared with 40,000 in the first full month of operation.
December’s new rail timetables also brought good news for local people with two additional evening rush trains from London Bridge and extra late night trains on both the East London Line and from London Bridge. The timetable to and from London Bridge is slowly returning to the one we enjoyed before the East London Line opened – apart, of course, from our direct services to and from Charing Cross.

Money Shop application refused!

Lewisham’s planning officers have refused permission to turn 59 Sydenham Road –  the former House of Curtains premises at the corner of Sydenham and Queensthorpe Roads – into a Money Shop. 
The application has been refused on the following grounds: “The proposed change of use to Financial and Professional Services (Use Class A2) would result in the loss of retail floorspace within a designated core shopping frontage, detracting from the range of retail services available within the defined district centre, which would have an adverse impact upon the vitality and viability of the area, contrary to Policy STC 4 Major and District Centres - Core Shopping Areas in the adopted Unitary Development Plan (July 2004).”
The Money Shop is a cheque cashing and payday loan company with 350 stores across the UK.

Mayow Park Update

At the recent AGM of the Friends of Mayow Park (FOMP) Bishopsthorpe Hilary Jarrett stepped down as Chair. I know that Hilary will remain an active member in her role as Treasurer and I would like to thank her for her tireless work. In November FOMP held their annual tree-dressing event, decorating an oak tree using only natural materials. Thank you to all who contributed on that cold day!
The Grow Mayow Community Garden and plant nursery is managed as an independent venture within the park by two dedicated volunteers, Suriya and Iris, and the site is leased from Lewisham Council. The project is proving to be a great attraction.
The long-awaited young people’s play space now looks as though it will go ahead after some uncertainty over funding. FOMP have requested that illustrations of the new designs prepared by Groundwork for the space should be made available for the Mayow Park noticeboard. All being well and weather permitting, work should start in the next few weeks, with Glendale undertaking the installation and Groundwork managing the project.
Many of you will know that Emma, our former blog mistress, has now moved to Devon. She provided regular updates and we are very grateful for the work she undertook. We have had to develop a new blog and email, although the original ones will be available for some time yet. The new blog is “a work in progress” and all offers to help improve the site will be considered. Visit us on or email us at
Alona Sheridan, Chair of FOMP.
020-8244 4259

Events at Mayow Park Community Garden

The community garden between the pavilion in Mayow Park and Mayow Road is running a number of events for adults and children who want to learn about gardening and nature:

Kids Nature Watch Club
Every 1st Sunday of the Month
Starts Sun 6th Feb 2011
Theme: make winter bird feeders 10am-12pm
Sessions cost £1 each
Kids ages 3-12
Parents and grandparents free.

Children’s Permaculture Club Every Last Sunday of the month
Starts Sunday 27th February
Time 11 -1pm
£3 per child/£2 concessions
children ages 8-12

Get Your Hands Dirty
Volunteer workdays 9-3pm
Tuesdays & Thursdays

For more information email:
or go to:

The Sydenham Mosaic Project – a work in progress!

The Sydenham Mosaic is an exciting piece of public art by the mosaicist Oliver Budd, designed to enhance the front of the Naborhood Centre (next to the post office in Sydenham Road). The project was conceived by Bishopsthorpe residents Valerie Kelly and Robert Side in 2009 and is supported by the Sydenham Assembly and many local residents.
By the end of the summer 2010 a design for the mosaic had been agreed. A series of spherical roundels will feature characters and scenes from Sydenham’s history – the image here shows the artist Pissaro, whose painting of Lawrie Park Avenue hangs in the National Gallery.
All that remains now is to continue with the fund-raising, and many neighbours have played a significant part in fund-raising activities. The Thorpes attic sale and Ritz tea in September was great fun and raised nearly £2,000. And for the second year running carol singing around the Thorpes took place during a blizzard! A gallant band of singers and collectors continued until they were not only soaked and frozen but their carol sheets were reduced to papier-mâché. However, thanks to the generosity of neighbours, £408.17 was raised.
Other fund-raising suggestions include the offer of dinner at 15 Bishopsthorpe Road. The first “15 Bishopsthorpe” dinner was held just before Christmas. The idea is to provide a three-course meal for a group of 10-12 people who bring their own wine. The first, a local reading group, celebrated Christmas and two 60th birthdays. It was a bit of a challenge as one diner was vegetarian, one was a coeliac and another had a dairy intolerance! However, the group reassured us that it was a great success and the Mosaic Project made £225. If any Thorpe residents are interested having a group dinner at 15 Bishopsthorpe do let us know. Meanwhile another resident has suggested a series of “Come dine with me” events for four couples, an idea we are now exploring.
We are also delighted to announce that two of the roundels have now been sponsored. The one of Pissarro is sponsored by John Fried of Woodfalls Opticians and that of Sir Ernest Shackleton (currently in production) by the Shackleton Society.
Valerie Kelly
020-8778 4775

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Poppy's Protest

Proposed Library Closure Sparks Protests

A proposal by Lewisham Council to shut Sydenham Library in Home Park next April, has been met with loud and noisy opposition by locals. Even local dogs are yelping in protest!

The library – one of five Lewisham libraries faced with closure – has over 66,000 visitors per week, despite the fact that it is open only four days per week. The library is used by four local primary schools and local community organisations plus mother and toddlers’ groups.

This Saturday’s meeting of the Sydenham Assembly – 11am, Grove Centre, Jews Walk – will discuss the closure plans.

For more details about the Save Sydenham Library Campaign contact Anthony Scully on 0750 8467 659 or email him at



Sir Steve Bullock
Mayor of Lewisham
Town Hall
London SE6 4RU
or email him at:

Monday, September 6, 2010

Thorpes Attic Sale

The Sydenham Mosaic Project is organising a Thorpes Attic Sale to refurbish the Naborhood/Sydenham Centre on Sunday 12th September from 15 &amp 52, Bishopsthorpe 2pm-5pm and from Silverdale Hall, Silverdale 2.30-5pm.

You are invited to ‘Find a Bargain’... Furniture, tables, chairs etc from various periods, Fine Edwardian Doors, Vintage and Designer label Clothes, Vintage linens, Antiques and bric a brac, recent books, new unwanted gifts, good toys.

Also ‘Anyone for Tea?’

Plants and a Thorpe ‘rustic’ tea from 52 Bishopsthorpe. Attic and ‘Ritz’ tea from 15, Bishpsthorpe and Attic and home-made cake sale from Silverdale hall.

An invitation to support our Town Centre (it is suggested that cheque books may be handy!).

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mosaic Workshop

Make your own small mosaic, free, next Friday and Saturday
Friday 26th February
Here for Good, 17 Sydenham Road:
1pm – 4.00pm

Saturday 27th February
Naborhood Centre, Sydenham Road:
10.30am – 3.30pm

Free Mosaic drop-in workshops next Friday and Saturday–make your own small mosaic -all materials provided. Workshops are run by Oliver Budd, the mosaicist who is working on designs for the mosaic to improve and decorate the front of the Nabourhood Centre. Oliver is now President of the British Society of Modern Mosaicists, and has many examples of his art installed in public places, including Otford, Bexley, and Westerham.

You will also be able to see sketches of some of Oliver's preliminary ideas for the mosaic, and to contribute some of your own.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Oystercard PAYG comes to Sydenham

The introduction of Oyster PAYG at local stations is great news. But it's not all gone according to plan. The Thorpes Blog asked TfL about some of the problems local travellers have encountered in dealing with the new card systems – and here are their answers:

1. Oyster PAYG was introduced without the necessary machinery to issue and update cards at stations. Why has this happened?
TfL does not manage the majority of National Rail stations in London and therefore the retailing of Oyster is a matter for the individual Train Operating Companies (TOCs). In the case of the Forest Hill and Sydenham stations (which were taken over by London Overground Rail Operations Ltd [LOROL] in September last year), passengers can add credit and purchase day and monthly Travelcards (the latter only if the card is registered) from the Ticket Vending Machines. It will also be available over the next couple of months from the ticket offices, however the ticket office machines have had to be upgraded to retail Oyster and there has been a delay in securing the necessary upgrade.

2. Oyster PAYG depends on customers 'touching in' and 'touching out' at the beginning and end of journeys. But insufficient card readers have been installed at stations to allow efficient 'out of hours' processing of tickets in this way. Take our two local stations as examples: at Forest Hill and Sydenham stations, once the main ticket office has closed in the evening there are no readers on the 'night gate' close to the main station entrance. Are passengers arriving at these stations in the late evening seriously expected to go to the opposite platform to 'touch out'? Why was no thought given to the matter of extra readers when Oyster introduction was planned?
Overall the introduction of Oyster pay as you go has gone very well but with such a major expansion there have been a few local teething problems. TfL has rectified the problem at Forest Hill and Sydenham station where gatelines (with Oyster validators) had been shutting down at 21:00 each evening as station staff closed the ticket hall and handed over to security staff for the remainder of evening service. The booking hall will now be kept open until the end of service each night enabling passengers to touch out on the yellow Oyster readers and complete their journeys. Local customers at these stations who have been affected and overcharged should contact the TfL Oyster customer service help desk on 0845 330 9876  to have their claims looked into. To be charged the correct Oyster fare for their journey passengers must remember to touch in and out on the yellow Oyster readers at the start and end of each journey.

3. Oystercard PAYG has been introduced with no basic information for passengers at stations. Why is this, have you got plans to roll out some information?
Each station was provided with over 2500 leaflets and 3 posters. The posters announced the arrival of Oyster on National Rail and the leaflets provide full information on how to use Oyster pay as you go. Due to the snow there was a delay in getting these posters to the stations, so they arrived on the night of 7th Jan 2010 and were put up either that night or the following day. An additional poster about the Oyster capability of the Ticket Vending Machines which also announced the arrival of Oyster on National Rail was put up on the night of 31st Dec 2009.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sydenham Road Improvement Scheme

A £4.7m scheme to improve Sydenham Road will be underway by August. Lewisham’s Mayor and Cabinet committee gave the go-ahead to the scheme on Wednesday evening (20 January), so now it’s down to the tendering and construction phases, starting with improvements to Station Approach. And the good news is that the eastern end of the high street – from Mayow Road to Kent House Road - is also included in the revamp. The scheme will work as follows:

Cobb’s Corner to Mayow Road

  • £3.6m scheme to improve the core section of the high street. 
  • This includes £310,000 to improve Sydenham Station Approach. 
  • At the recent public exhibition 957 people completed comment cards. In response to the question – Do you support the proposals overall? – 89% answered yes; 6% No; 5% don’t know and 1% gave no answer.

Mayow Road to Kent House Road
A £1.1m scheme to improve the 'lower' section of the high street.
  • 20 January 2010 – Both schemes to be approved by Lewisham Mayor and Cabinet.
  • March 2010 – List of tenderers agreed
  • May 2010 – Tenders issued
  • July 2010 – Tender evaluation results reported to Mayor and Cabinet
  • August 2010 – Work commences
  • November 2010 to Mid January 2011 – Minimal disruption works (side streets Station Approach etc)
  • August 2011 – Works completed Cobb’s Corner to Mayow Road
  • August 2011 to August 2012 – Works completed Mayow Road to Kent House Road

ELL to open on 23rd May!

It now seems virtually certain that the West Croydon/Crystal Palace leg of the line will launch on the 23rd May with the New Cross to Dalston section opening from the 4th April.
On the 18th January, the construction team on the ELL handed the line over to TfL. Now it’s down to TfL to complete the work of training staff, testing trains and making sure signalling systems work.
Travel times northwards to Canada water from Sydenham are as follows:

00:00:00 Canada Water
00:02:00 Surrey Quays
00:05:00 New Cross Gate
00:08:00 Brockley
00:11:00 Honor Oak Park
00:14:00 Forest Hill
00:16:30 Sydenham

Here is an update on what’s happening on our local

railway system:

• TfL has taken over local stations with a commitment to staff stations from 'first to last train'.
• At the end of 2010 no more direct trains to Charing Cross. 
• Oyster PAYG introduced 2nd January 2010. 
• May 23 2010 – major change to services: 
  – ELL commences (8tph from Dalston to Crystal P/
     West Croydon).
  – Off-peak and evening services to and from
     London Bridge reduced to 4 per hour
  – Loop line to Victoria starts early.
  – 6 tph to West Croydon
  – 6 tph service to East Croydon with interchange at

     Norwood Junction.
• By end 2010, all platforms along line extended to carry 10/12 carriage trains.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


As the new Chairman of the Thorpes Residents Association, welcome to the latest edition of the TRA newsletter in its new online form. We're hoping that we can get Thorpes news and events to you much more regularly and more conveniently in this digital form. So please sign up to the mailing list by sending your e-mail address to so that we can notify you of new posts.     
Of course, if anyone would still like a printed version of featured news we would be happy to drop a copy through the door. Please let me know at my address on the foot of page two of the printed newsletter.
The TRA is based on the Thorpes Conservation area, and so following its extension I would like to welcome the residents of Earlsthorpe & Queensthorpe Mews to the membership.
Ian Davenport

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sydenham Road Improvements

A recent visitor to this area remarked to me recently, 'You know, Sydenham’s quite nice, when you get away from the high street.'
Now we have a chance to renew our high street and make criticism like this a thing of the past. The recent exhibition at 59 Sydenham Road is for a revamped town centre with £3m to be spent on renewing Sydenham Road and a further £330,000 on Sydenham Station Approach.

The consultation period will come to an end in January when Lewisham’s Mayor & Cabinet decide whether to push ahead with the scheme. If the go-ahead is confirmed, then we should expect work to commence in the summer of 2010.
If the project is confirmed, then we could have a high street that we (and our visitors) are proud of. Let’s hope so.

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The Sydenham Mosaic Project

Thorpes’ residents Valerie Kelly and Robert Side have a vision for Sydenham – one in which the Naborhood Centre, next to the post office, is refurbished and embellished with a mural representing scenes from Sydenham life. In June, at the Sydenham Assembly, Valerie gave a presentation about the project and made a successful pitch for £10,000 from the Mayor’s Fund. Now an anonymous donor has generously offered to match this figure with a further £10,000. The chosen artist, Oliver Budd, is a second generation mosaic artist whose father had studios in the area. Oliver has just been elected President of the British Association of Modern Mosaicists and his work is nationally and internationally known. His brief has been to celebrate the history and achievements of Sydenham while acknowledging its diversity. To create the artwork will cost £50,000; to prepare the front of the building will cost £2,000.
In November an organisation called “The Sydenham Mosaic Project” was formed to oversee the consultation and funding process.
More information will be available at the Thorpes Residents AGM and in the Sydenham Society Newsletter.
Please feel free to ‘phone Valerie on 020 8778 4775 if you would like to discuss the project further, or find out more about it.
Annabel McLaren

Local Rail Services – It’s Good News & Bad News!

For years, this part of south London has struggled to ensure that its rail services are on par with the rest of the capital. At long last we are within grasp of achieving this goal – but there’s bad news as well as good.

Here’s the good news:

  • Transport for London (TfL) is already running the stations between New Cross Gate and West Croydon. This means that all local stations, including Sydenham, are now staffed throughout the day “from first to last train” meaning a far safer and more secure environment for passengers. 
  • TfL plan a complete refurbishment of Sydenham station including new indicator boards, increased CCTV and new tannoy system. 
  • Lewisham council are currently consulting on a £320,000 renovation of Sydenham Station Approach which will greatly improve access to the station. 
  • On January 2 2010, Oystercard PAYG will be introduced on all London suburban train lines. 
  • Before the end of 2010, all platforms along the line will be lengthened so that 10 carriage (rather than 8 carriage) trains to and from London Bridge can be accommodated. 
  • In May 2010, the long-anticipated East London Line will start, giving us 8 trains per hour in each direction between Dalston Junction in the north and West Croydon and Crystal Palace in the south. 
  • In 2015, our line will become part of the Thameslink service, so that four trains per hour which currently terminate at London Bridge will instead continue through north London giving direct trains from Sydenham to key destinations such as Blackfriars, Farringdon and St Pancras International (for the Eurostar). 
And here’s the Bad News
  • In mid December, direct services to and from Charing Cross will be axed – all trains will start and terminate at London Bridge. 
  • From May 2010, off-peak and evening services to and from London Bridge will be cut by one third – from 6 trains per hour to 4 trains per hour. 
These cuts rob us of the excellent rail services this area deserves. Sign the petition against the cuts at:

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Earlsthorpe Mews 'Live In It' Campaign

The “Live In It” campaign has been set up by residents from Earlsthorpe Mews who are concerned with the appalling state of Sydenham Mews (the name for both Queensthorpe & Earlsthorpe Mews), the alleyway that runs parallel to Sydenham Road behind the shops. “Mews” is a rather grand name for what is an unlit, largely unpaved, rubbish-strewn alley. The root cause of all the problems associated with the mews is that it is unregistered land (the Land Registry has no details of ownership) and the council refuses to “adopt” it. Therefore the alley is left to its fate and has become a sanctuary for fly-tippers, drug-takers, drunks, burglars and vermin. As Sydenham Mews is within the Thorpes CA, and with the proposed enhancements to the High Street, the “Live In It” campaign hopes that all stakeholders (residents of Earlsthorpe & Queensthorpe Roads and residents and traders of Sydenham Mews) will get involved in our campaign. Please visit: for further information.

What’s going on in Mayow Park?

The last year has been a period of change for Mayow Park, with more change to come in 2010! Work has now started on the preparation of the site for the new clubhouse for the Mayow Park Bowls Club, to the east of the bowling green. Planning permission was given in July, after objections from the Friends of Mayow Park (FOMP) and the Sydenham Society were withdrawn. It was felt that the relocation of the bowls club would enable Envirowork to achieve their plan for cricket in the park, key to which is the refurbishment of the Pavilion.
In early summer we learned that Envirowork had received support from the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for funding to restore the cricket square, to be followed by work on the Pavilion. The project will be in three stages. Stage 1, beginning in spring 2010, will be the restoration of a square of 12 pitches to meet ECB minimum standards. Stage 2 will be the temporary renovation of the existing Pavilion plus the construction of a shelter on the boundary edge for storage.
Stage 3 will be the refurbishment and extension of the Pavilion to provide improved changing facilities and showers.
In August we heard that £75,000 had been obtained from the Playbuilder Fund for an area for 10-14 year olds. The funds will become available in April 2010.
In November Groundwork were commissioned to produce a Masterplan for the park. This is now out for consultation and can be viewed at Sydenham Library or downloaded from the Groundwork website at: The deadline for responses is January 29th 2010.
FOMP is pleased to learn that Envirowork has received permission to expand its activities on the old depot site. They will now be able to erect the ‘Seaside Garden’ originally built for the 2008 Chelsea Flower Show.
Finally, those with access to the internet can keep up-to-date with events in the park by going to and logging onto the Mayow Park blog, compiled by Emma Tarling.
Hilary Jarrett, Chair, FOMP.