Category Archives: Herne Hill


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.

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.

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 …!

Council Elections – Afterword

We’ll refrain from our own comment, but gladly point readers to the lively postscript filed by  Jason Cobb at Brixton Blog, who followed Friday’s count at the Oval.

He reserves a controversial paragraph for the complications of Herne Hill Ward.

You’ll need to excuse his sometimes spikey language.

Here it is.

That’s enough politics for now.

Lambeth Local Elections 2018 – Herne Hill Ward Results

People who follow such things will undoubtedly know the results of yesterday’s elections already. The campaigning  in Herne Hill was particularly lively, wasn’t it? And the results were unusually close.

For the record, here are the figures:



Becca Thackray Green 2365  –  elected
Jim Dickson Lab 2335  –  elected
Pauline George Lab 2246 –  elected


Jack Holborn Lab 2114
Nick Christian Green 2060
Matt Reynolds Green 2049
Nick Edwards HH Community 705
Claire Baker Con 308
Poppy Hasted LD 274
Rachel Lester LD 266
Dick Tooze Con 263
Anton Richards Con 228
Luke Sandford LD 171

Hanami in Herne Hill

Hanami is the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival.

As explained in Paul Wood’s excellent book “London’s Street Trees – A Field Guide To The Urban Forest”*, the Hanami festival takes place in Japan every spring, to celebrate both the arrival of the new season and the sensual and transient beauty of flowering cherry trees.

He goes on to say that London is graced with many fine cherry avenues, but that the most beautiful cherry tree street has to be Winterbrook Road in Herne Hill. “It is planted exclusively with the wonderful Japanese Yoshino variety. This exceptional planting scheme – a street uniformly planted with a single spectacular species – is a great role model for other London streets and down to the vision of one woman”.

Cherry trees on Winterbrook Road, April 2018

Mr Wood explains that this was Ms Robin Crookshank Hilton, a former local councillor, who was inspired by the cherry planting in Washington DC where she grew up. Washington is famed for its cherries, gifted by Tokyo after the Second World War. [In fact there are one or two other species on Winterbrook Road but as they are not in leaf when the cherry trees are in blossom, they do not in any way compete for attention.]

The Yoshino cherry is the most frequently planted species in Tokyo. If we get another sunny day in this miserable spring, it is worth trotting over to Winterbrook Road (or the neighbouring Stradella Road) to see our own local display before the wind blows it away like confetti.



*published in 2017 by Safe Haven Books