Category Archives: Herne Hill

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

Urban Forest – Walk to enjoy cherry blossom on Sunday


This event has been postponed: see Twitter announcement below.


It’s not on Fawnbrake, but still worth signalling, as Herne Hill is actually quite famous for its Japanese Yoshino cherry tree blossoms  –  now coming into bloom along Winterbrook Road, we hope.

Paul Wood, author of the excellent ‘London Street Trees‘ (Guardian Nature Books  of 2017) is leading a walk on Sunday morning to entice us to Explore the Urban Forest in Herne Hill.

Sunday 25 March 10.30am-12.30pm Start: Herne Hill rail station, London SE24 0JW.

Details and tickets here.

Herne Hill Magazine- new issue just out

Look out for the spring issue of Herne Hill magazine, hot off the press and shortly to be stocked by Herne Hill Books. It’s published by the excellent Herne Hill Society.

It’s a great issue with a rich variety of content, including a review of the current exhibition of David Milne at the Dulwich Picture Gallery; a well-argued article on What Is the Value of a Park by one of the residents leading the campaign against large-scale music festivals in Brockwell Park; a touching excerpt from a recently discovered personal memoir about growing up in Herne Hill in 1914 – 1918; and plenty of news and updates about developments in Herne Hill, including (see the cover) some old-school ploughing in Ruskin Park..

Seek it out now, or better still – pay the absurdly modest annual subscription to join the Herne Hill Society online and get four issues per year delivered through your letterbox.