Category Archives: Our Street

CHRISTMAS ON FAWNBRAKE – A NEIGHBOURLY TRADITION

This evening our neighbour Rachel has told us about a tradition she and her family began 4 years ago. She wondered if more of you wanted to know about it, so we’re very happy to share it with you.

As Rachel puts it “At midday on 25th, we all step outside, coats on, drink in hand (coffee, champagne, or whatever one happens to be enjoying at that moment), and have an impromptu drinks party on the pavement.

We congregate around number 33. It was just a few of us at the start but is gradually expanding. People bring extended family, dogs, children. We stay about half an hour and then all go home.”

 A great idea, and beautifully simple. So if you live on Fawnbrake and can sneak away from the cooking schedule for a while at midday on Christmas morning, you’d be very welcome to join Rachel and her neighbours for pavement drinks.

Remembering Herne Hill 1914 – 18: Public Meeting, 12 December

The Herne Hill Society is hosting an important event on the evening of Wednesday 12 December to update residents on the progress of the Remembering Herne Hill 1914–18 Project, and introducing the newly published memoirs – Grace’s Story – of a young Herne Hill lady who lived through that war and in the difficult years that followed.

Please note that the venue for this event will be the Herne Hill Baptist Church in Half Moon Lane, which is the large red brick building only five minutes’ walk from the station, just a little way beyond The Half Moon pub. No tickets are required. Timings are 7:45 – 9:15pm

Meanwhile the memorial website (see earlier post below) is live. Volunteer researchers have unearthed and filed information about over 370 casualties on the database, with hundreds more still to add. The Society has also created two online maps to indicate where our First World War casualties lived, and also where they are buried or remembered today.

Fawnbrake casualties: Lieutenant Reginald Dell

Reginald Dell is one of at least four Fawnbrake Avenue residents – more may be discovered as the research continues – who were killed during World War I. His military records cite his address as 90 Fawnbrake Avenue.

Reginald Dell was born in Wells, Somerset in 1887. But at some subsequent point he became a resident of Herne Hill. He married Hilda Fox in Wells in early 1918. Tragically, however, he was killed in May of the same year.

Hilda remained at this address for the next 9 years, when she moved to Deepdene Road.

Reginald fought in what was known as the Spring Offensive of 1918. The 20th Battalion of the Machine Gun Corps was formed in March 1918 and fought at the Battle of St. Quentin and suffered heavy casualties at the Battle of Rosieres. In April the troops were withdrawn while they waited for new drafts. However, by this time, Reginald had clearly suffered fatal wounds and died on 5 May. He is buried in the cemetery of Avesnes-sur-Helpe  with the inscription “Here is some corner of a foreign field that is forever England”.

[Extract from the World War I records being assembled by the Remembering Herne Hill 1914 – 1918 Project]

Avesnes-sur-Helpe Cemetery

Remembering Herne Hill 1914-18 : Fawnbrake Avenue residents

The outstanding Herne Hill memorial website  was formally made publicly available just this weekend.

It is a volunteer-led project telling the story of those from Herne Hill who served and died in the First World War, as well as other residents who suffered.

There is no traditional memorial to all Herne Hill’s World War I dead.

The database, which currently contains about 350 records (though more names are emerging all the time), has been compiled and edited by the Herne Hill Society with help from the students of the Charter School, North Dulwich, and other local people.

The 100th anniversary of the Armistice was commemorated at a short, well-attended and moving Armistice 2018 ceremony at Herne Hill Station on Sunday morning. Our local Councillors were present.

Colin Wight (HHS), Cllr Becca Thackray, Cllr Jim Dickson, David Statham (MD, SE Trains) 

This project is Heritage Lottery funded, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players.

The website can be searched in many ways, including by name and by actual street. This has revealed at least five soldiers from our own street who were killed.

Fawnbrake residents killed in World War I

Lieutenant Reginald Dell

90 Fawnbrake Avenue

http://memorial.hernehillsociety.org.uk/memorial/article.php?full_name=Lieutenant%20Reginald%20Dell&id=218

Rifleman Herbert Walter Irons

107 Fawnbrake Avenue

http://memorial.hernehillsociety.org.uk/memorial/article.php?full_name=Rifleman%20Herbert%20Walter%20Irons&id=318

Driver Harry Leonard Cruse

114 Fawnbrake Avenue

http://memorial.hernehillsociety.org.uk/memorial/article.php?full_name=Driver%20Harry%20Leonard%20Cruse&id=385

Lieutenant Fred Philip Hirst

6 Fawnbrake Avenue

http://memorial.hernehillsociety.org.uk/article.php?full_name=Lieutenant%20Fred%20Philip%20Hirst&id=390

Private Thomas Evans

129 Fawnbrake Avenue

Another name, just researched and not yet  entered on the dataset, is Private Thomas Evans.

Thomas Evans was 30 years old when he was called up on 10 December 1915, showing his occupation as Architect’s Assistant. The second son and youngest child of Thomas (a King’s Messenger) and Ellen Augusta Evans, he and his older brother and two older sisters were all born in the village of Cark-in-Cartmel near Morecambe Bay in Lancashire. [1911 Census] He married  Eleanor Barber at St Leonard’s, Streatham, on 27 May 1916 and was listed as living at his parents’ house, 129 Fawnbrake Avenue, Herne Hill. With his battalion he was posted to France, but was killed in action on 16 September 1916  –  one of many thousands killed in the heavy fighting during the Battles of the Somme in Summer/Autumn 1916.

His grave lies in the Warlencourt British Cemetery, near Bapaume in Northern France (Pas de Calais).

More names may emerge as research continues, of course.

Accommodation needed

A neighbouring family already well established on Fawnbrake Avenue are looking for more spacious accommodation: they’re at present in a ground floor flat.

They definitely want to stay in the area, ideally in Fawnbrake Avenue itself if possible. And who can blame them?

They are chain free and ready to go any time.

They would be very grateful to hear from anyone who is contemplating selling in the near future, or from anyone who hears of any properties becoming, or about to become, available.

If anyone can help, please comment in the ‘Reply’ box below and we will pass on the details.

FAWNBRAKE PARTY TIME

Congratulations to the organisers of Fawnbrake’s first street party, held yesterday afternoon!

Fawnbrake’s Street Party [photo by Pete]
It was declared to be a great success by everyone who attended, and stands a good chance of being repeated in 2019.

On top of that, a collection for the Herne Hill Welcomes Refugees project (Twitter:  @HHWR_  ) raised an amazing £250.

And thanks to Pete for the photograph.

Nearly Party Time for Fawnbrake

Our street party is approaching, thanks to the exertions of some efficient and imaginative neighbours.

It’s on Sunday 22 July.

 

We all want some rain, but not that afternoon, please!

Note that car-owners are asked to park elsewhere for the day of the party, as the section of Fawnbrake between Poplar Walk and Brantwood Road will be officially closed to traffic and supposedly devoid of cars.

So no deliveries that day, OK?

Beware Gutter Snipes

The Herne Hill Safer Neighbourhood Police team report that gutter cleaners have been canvassing the area – indeed, some have been leafletting here in Fawnbrake Avenue.

They offer to clean the gutters, then miraculously discover serious problems in the guttering, or roofing (even removing tiles to create a problem which they can then demonstrate).

It is better to use recognised roofing firms to check out any suspected problems in gutters.