All posts by letterbox

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?


There have been some outbreaks of car-related crime in the area in recent weeks.




Here on Fawnbrake Avenue last weekend, an attempt was made overnight to steal a pedal bike that had been dismantled and was being stored in a hatchback.  The attempt failed but some other items were stolen.

Down in Poets’ Corner off Dulwich Road, several car break-ins and attempted thefts have occurred. One suspect (a woman) has been arrested; another suspect is being sought.

And across on Ardbeg Road in North Dulwich, in the past 3 months, people have reported that 6 different cars have been targeted – 4 break-ins (broken window, petty theft) and two cars stolen, most recently this month.

Relay thefts

Both stolen cars were modern Land Rovers supposedly with all of the modern anti-theft technology. The issue is that professional thieves have found a way to hack these new keys. And almost all modern cars are vulnerable.

So called ‘relay’ thefts happen via a £100 relay device, which allows people to come along in the early hours, open a car and drive off as if it were their own.

This involves one person standing outside your front door, and using a radio device to activate (and get a response from) your car keys inside the house. Then a second person stands near your car, and ‘relays’ the signal from your key which is still safely tucked away in a drawer somewhere, tricking the car into thinking you are there with that key. Some cars (key-less opening) just open up. For others, the thieves smash a small window, open the door from the inside and start the car as if they were inside with your key.  Most car brands are vulnerable including Mercedes, BMW, Land Rover, Volvo, VW, Audi etc.

Car owners with modern keys may be vulnerable to this theft. Many experts recommend buying  a ‘faraday’ pouch off Ebay or Amazon and keeping your car key in it at night. This shields the key from radio signals.

The old-fashioned Krooklock systems are probably worth looking at too.


Our friends in the Herne Hill Welcomes Refugees project (HHWR), who are working energetically  to welcome a Syrian refugee family into our community, are organising a

Community Fundraising Evening

next Saturday 7th July

7 – 9:30pm.

at St. Paul’s Church Hall, next to the church on Herne Hill Road.


Tickets are just £10 at the door, to include a glass of wine and Syrian snack, and there are fantastic raffle prizes donated by generous local businesses.


For catering purposes, please send them a RSVP  to: . Ignore the deadline in the invitation, there are still some tickets available.

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.

Local Author in conversation

On Wednesday 13th June at 7.45pm, local Herne Hill resident and internationally published author Louise Candlish will be reading from one of this year’s critically acclaimed new crime thrillers, Our House, with Q&As and a signing.

Kicking off a brief series of bookish events at Park’s Edge Bar & Kitchen, the modern British eatery on the edge of Brockwell Park, the event will be Louise’s first appearance on home turf to talk about her new bestseller.

Our House is set in a suburban landscape that appears to be not dissimilar from the leafy enclaves of Dulwich, Herne Hill, West Norwood and others.

For further information, contact the restaurant: Tel: 020 8671 0306 or email the venue.

“The Honourable Member for Norwood” – talk by Helen Hayes, MP

“The Honourable Member for Norwood” is the subject of a talk by Helen Hayes, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, on Saturday 9 June, at 7:45pm at the Baptist Church, Half Moon Lane.

Helen Hayes, our Member of Parliament, will be giving the 2018 Thomas Lynn Bristowe Memorial Lecture. She will speak about being an MP for this constituency in the early 21st century, contrasted with Thomas Bristowe’s experience as the very first MP for the 19th century Norwood Division.

Helen Hayes MP

The Thomas Lynn Bristowe Memorial Lectures commemorate the vital role of Thomas Bristowe in establishing Brockwell Park as the important public asset that we know and cherish today. In the 1880s, the huge Blades Blackburn estate at Herne Hill was put up for sale for housing. Local MP Thomas Bristowe led a campaign to buy it as a public park, and even guaranteed the money needed to secure its purchase. In 1891 his campaign was successful; Brockwell Park was created. But tragically he died during the opening ceremony at Brockwell Hall on 6 June 1892, aged just 59.

Organised jointly by the Herne Hill Society and Brockwell Park Community Partners, the talk is on Saturday 9 June at 7:45pm at the Baptist Church, Half Moon Lane. There is no charge and no ticket is needed.

Flower Power  –  Threat to demolish the Flower Lady snuffed out

Hundreds of Herne Hill residents were very concerned to learn of Network Rail’s plan to demolish the Flower Lady shop and to replace it with an electricity sub-station to service the refurbished shops (see our earlier post on 19 May below).

But, thanks to a swiftly-organised and very well-supported campaign, Network Rail have had second thoughts. It remains to be seen where the sub-station will be built.

The Flower Lady Elaine

Elaine  is naturally delighted at the outcome, and we have given Network Rail a little pat on the back for listening to the community (by contrast with some other bodies, closer to home, who have brushed aside community concerns over the Carnegie and the Brockwell Park music festival).

However, as the Herne Hill Society are pointing out in their latest newsletter, this issue has highlighted the desirability of seeking protection for Station Square by designating it as a Conservation Area, which is what the Herne Hill Society and the Herne Hill Forum are now pushing for.

The Head of Conservation at Lambeth has received a formal Members’ request via Cllr Becca Thackray to expedite an extension to Brockwell Park Conservation Area to include Station Square.

For more details of this new campaign, see the Herne Hill Society’s blog.

Garden Waste non-collection

If, like us, you were irritated that your garden waste bags weren’t collected on Friday, and left disconsolate on the pavement, it may be that  –  again, like us  –  you’ve omitted to renew your annual subscription.

Garden waste bags – jilted.

Did they tell us that the subscription was expiring? Of course not. Are we surprised at that? No.

Anyway, you can renew by phone, or on the website.

If your neighbours have had the same experience,  it might be kind to tell them.

If, on the other hand,  you remembered to renew, feel free to celebrate your efficiency!

The Flower Lady and the Herne Hill community versus Network Rail

In her comment below our earlier post, Louise asks what we can do.

Well, there is now a petition on the go, instigated by the Herne Hill Forum, so we should all consider signing it. It can be found here. And we can invite our friends and neighbours to sign it too.

Our local Councillors are involved and seeking meetings with Network Rail.

Readers may also want to see the news article on Brixton Buzz.


Flower or Power ?

Possibly not all neighbours have heard the very surprising news that Network Rail are proposing to repossess and demolish The Flower Lady’s flower shop next to the station to make way for an electricity substation – having, at this late stage, discovered that they need such a thing to provide power for the renovated shops in Station Square!

Elaine’s Flower Shop today

They told us on Friday that they were going to have to serve notice on Elaine, and have made suggestions about her moving to one of the new units when they become available.

There are numerous issues here. It may be enough to say at this stage that the news has caused great anger across the community. Our newly-elected councillors are already on the case, and the Herne Hill Society has issued a  vigourous statement which can be seen on the Society’s blog here.

In response, Network Rail have come back with the following statement:

“We are currently looking carefully at suggestions made at a meeting with our tenant last week, as well as reviewing other options that were previously considered.

We are doing this as quickly as possible in order to be in a position to update our tenant.

We are committed to delivering the refurbished units at Railton Road as soon as possible and will continue to update local politicians as well as the Herne Hill Forum and Herne Hill Society.

La lutte continue …!