Friends of Ruskin Park have announced that, following public consultation in June and July, playground refurbishment works will begin on the 18th September and last for approximately 12 weeks. Lambeth Council will be responsible for these works.
Some small design changes have been made in response to feedback.
The Lambeth statement reads:
“The new playground will feature all new exciting and challenging play equipment, safety surfacing, interactive and imaginative play for all ages and abilities.
Following public consultation during June and July the design has been revised to:
include a replacement for the very popular trampoline
install additional benches (including some with backs)
incorporate more natural materials (including wooden benches
incorporate planting for shade around the perimeter
reuse equipment at other sites where possible.
We also received positive feedback on the proposals for the landscaping in front of the kiosk and eastern entrance. There will be a further update when these proposals have been finalised.
If you have any questions please contact project manager Rob Kelly .”
The excellent Brixton Buzz news site has a detailed report, based evidently on a press release from Lambeth, stating that the Council has decided to introduce 191 new dedicated parking bays for e-scooters and dockless bikes. The estimated cost is £97,150.
This amounts to an extension of the existing e-scooter trial, and seemingly echoes a similar scheme inaugurated earlier this year by Southwark Council.
The initiative is part of Lambeth’s Kerbside Strategy Implementation Plan approved by the Cabinet earlier this year, which has the goal of repurposing a quarter of the borough’s kerbside space for sustainable uses. [Snarky comment: In their little world, “sustainable” simply means not using fossil fuels, but clearly does not take into account the environmental, economic and indeed human impacts of extracting rare metals for lithium batteries, building heavy bikes in China, and shipping them over here in fossil-fuelled cargo ships.]
The proposed expansion aims to address concerns about e-scooters and dockless bikes cluttering footways: there has been some discussion about this on our street WhatsApp recently.
By introducing dedicated parking bays, Lambeth Council claims it will offer a more organised solution, reducing street clutter and making the environment more pedestrian-friendly.
Currently, 56 parking bays are operational as part of the trial in the borough. The proposed plan seeks to make the Experimental Traffic Management Orders supporting these trial schemes a permanent fixture in the borough.
The long list of proposed sites or such parking bays identifies, for the most part, new bays for e—scooters and dockers bikes, for which an ‘experimental traffic order’ will be made and eventually published.
Nearby sites for dockless bikes
Most of the streets listed – Lambeth is of course a very big borough – will be of little interest to us here, but some streets named are quite close:
Deepdene Road (just off Ferndene Road, near Ruskin Park)
Bicknell Road (quite close to the bottom end of Ruskin Park)
Lowden Road (just behind Fawnbrake Avenue, where Jessop School is based)
Railton Road (two sites)
Brantwood Road (two sites)
Rymer Street (near Herne Hill station)
Hurst Street (near Herne Hill station)
The Brixton Buzz report is worth a careful read. But to some of us, the ambition of corralling all dockless two-wheelers in specific licensed sites has a fundamental weakness. What has made the dockless bikes such a rapid success is the fact that riders can leave them anywhere their journey ends. And for that matter, using the clever app, can often pick up a new bike at random locations. (I have a friend who, after a festive evening in Soho, can easily find a Lime bike within three or four minutes and ride it home to Nunhead. Rather her than me, but she has survived so far. And much cheaper than and almost as fast as an Uber.)
If the rider or the company is to be penalised unless the bike is deposited in some “official” location, I’m not sure how this will work. For example under the Lambeth scheme just announced, the nearest official site would be either in Brantwood Road or one of the streets near Herne Hill station. Are London boroughs trying to make dockless bikes work in the same fashion as Santander bikes?
If I can find a similar statement of policy from Southwark Council, I will amplify this report accordingly. To date, Southwark has marked out two such sites on Half Moon Lane.
This post is now restored, having been temporarily suspended to respect local requests for confidentiality. The filming duly took place, and work on the film reportedly continues in other locations.
Well-informed local friends report that on Monday 3rd April there will be a film crew filming in Herne Hill for a feature film called “We Live in Time”. In the morning they will be filming in Brockwell Park, and then at midday their attention turns to Station Square. Some parking bays will be suspended (but not all), and during takes the public will be prevented from walking / driving around for 3 minutes at a time.
There will be extras waiting nearby, and the two main actors are British / Hollywood stars (see below). Crew trucks will be parking on Dulwich Road. Most of the action takes place in Llewelyn’s and Lulu’s, then over by the Herne Hill sign under the bridge (good job that the Herne Hill Forum had it repainted), then by the station in the evening.
Checking with film industry gossip, it seems that Academy Award nominees Florence Pugh and Andrew Garfield are in negotiations to star in this production, described as a “funny, deeply moving and immersive love story.” John Crowley will direct, with Nick Payne as scriptwriter: StudioCanal developed the script.
The professional artist printmakers who have been working at the Halfmoon Studio on the Bath Factory Estate, behind Norwood Road, have sadly decided to close down at the end of March. They are inviting people to visit and hunt for bargains in the final days before they leave.
The rising costs of rent, services and energy have made it uneconomic to keep going in their present premises. They aren’t the first, and won’t be the last to walk away from the arches, which for generations have provided unglamorous but functional and affordable accommodation for small businesses which often operate on narrow margins. A recent visit showed several repossession notices from landlords The Arch Company ( a joint venture between Telereal Trillium and Blackstone Property Partners), who bought the UK’s huge estate of railway arches from Network Rail in 2019.
Before working in the railway arches here, and even before that in an old bakery in West Dulwich, they had rented premises behind some shops on Half Moon Lane, hence the name of the business. Their studio houses the classic instruments of printmaking, chiefly the massively heavy etching presses.
One of the printmakers, Karen Keogh, is able to move to other premises in South London.
Susie Perring will continue to operate from Artichoke Print Workshop in Loughborough Junction, and she can always be contacted via her website,
by email and by phone on 07817 762 780.
But the other artist, Sonia Rollo, is retiring from the business.
Susie and Sonia are holding a closing down sale in their studio with many bargains on offer.
Sale at the end of March
The studio will open for this sale on Monday 20 March to Sunday 26 March with many prints and etching ephemera at knockdown prices – a good opportunity to acquire some professional art for our walls. The Studio will be open from 11:30 am– 4:30 pm on those days.
To reach their Studio, you enter the Bath Factory Estate through the main gate on Norwood Road alongside the supermarket/Post Office, then head through the arch under the first railway line and walk about 100 yards to Arch 143.
Do not be dismayed by the squalid appearance of the estate: enjoy this new world!
Herne Hill’s travel options into and around London are improving this weekend, with the joining up of the Elizabeth Line (formerly known as Crossrail), which we can of course access via Thameslink trains to Farringdon (except when Thameslink’s all too frequent weekend maintenance works rule this out, as on this Sunday).
This latest improvement means that from tomorrow, the lines from Reading, Heathrow, and Shenfield will connect with the central tunnels of the Elizabeth line – opening up new direct journeys across London, without having to change at Paddington.
In addition, customers will be able to use the Elizabeth Line seven days a week: Sunday services through central London will also start from tomorrow, Sunday 6 November.
Train frequency has improved too: between Paddington and Whitechapel, it goes from 12 trains per hour to up to 22 trains per hour in peak times and 16 trains per hour during off-peak. The final timetable, which will see 24 trains per hour during the peak between Paddington and Whitechapel, is on track to be in place by May 2023.
And there’s a new convenient interchange. Bond Street’s Elizabeth line station, which opened on 24 October, connects with the London Underground Bond Street station, accessing the Jubilee and Central lines. The new station is step-free from street to train with two lifts, further enhancing accessibility on the Elizabeth line and across the TfL network.
Caution: There are some future planned engineering works when sections of the Elizabeth line will be closed: Saturday 12 November – no service between Shenfield and Liverpool Street / Whitechapel Saturday 19 November and Sunday 20 November – no service between Shenfield and Liverpool Street / Whitechapel, or between Hayes & Harlington and Heathrow
It appears that the much-heralded work to replace the railway tracks in the Penge Tunnel, which closed our rail link to Victoria last week, has been completed enough to allow the reopening of the line.
But there are some restrictions in place until Sunday 7 August. Passengers are advised to check before they travel – updated timetable information for Monday 1 August is available in journey planners.
This is all because there is still some work in the tunnel to be completed by Network Rail, which means that their trains will run at a reduced speed through Penge tunnel from Monday 1 to Sunday 7 August.
Accordingly, the Shortlands and Bromley South/Victoria stopping service via Herne Hill will have only two trains per hour to London Victoria in peak times this week.
The 1935 art deco style house at 10 Dorchester Drive in Herne Hill has just been granted Grade II listing by Historic England (@HistoricEngland) , following representations by the Herne Hill Society (@HerneHillSoc), the Twentieth Century Society (@C20Society) and Lambeth Council.
The house by Leslie H Kemp and Frederick E Tasker (1935-36) is based on the architects’ winning design for the Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition in 1934. It is one of only two versions known to have been built in England, both of which are now listed.
Responding urgently to news of the house’s possible demolition by the new owner in February (he had already started to demolish the boundary wall!), a Building Protection Notice (BPN) was issued by Lambeth Council in response to pressure from the Herne Hill Society, independent experts, and @C20Society. A BPN protects unlisted buildings of special architectural or historic interest, but only temporarily, pending a formal legal decision by Historic England – which has been announced today.
A leading design historian @DeborahSuggRyan has commented: : “This is… the best example I have ever come across of this combination of International Style and Moderne that British builders experimented with in the mid 1930s… [It] has a remarkably intact original exterior and interior…”
The Artists’ Open House project, a major element of the annual Dulwich Festival every May, goes from strength to strength. The full programme now has nearly 100 pages! And the area covered reaches from Peckham Rye down to Crystal Palace and from Loughborough Junction across to the fringes of Forest Hill and Sydenham.
This year, we have an open house here on Fawnbrake at number 73 where Alan and Jorge are opening their house to show Jorge’s landscape, portrait and abstract paintings. There is more information about his work on his website www.sanchezart.co.uk
Here, as across the festival, the artists open their houses for visitors on 14–15 May and 21-22 May, normally between 11 am and 6 pm
The website for the whole of this year’s Artists’ Open House programme can be found here.