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”.
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.
Our neighbour Louise at No 75 emailed a few close neighbours this morning, but (with her permission) I am posting this up here thinking that it may be of interest to others, particularly at the Kestrel/Gubyon end of Fawnbrake.
“I wanted to let you know that Lambeth have finally agreed to introduce a new drain gully outside of 75 to alleviate the problem we have of all the detritus from both sides of the street settling outside of number 75. I’ve had confirmation from Lambeth yesterday that this work will be done by the pavement guys when they reach our section of the street.
I just wanted you to be aware as the pavement guys are now moving towards our section, and it’s going to put a lot more pressure on parking.
I had a note from Lambeth on Wednesday waiving the PCN fine – I know that others have received the same, but I don’t think we’ll get that concession again.”
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.
Our neighbour David Williams recently went into battle about the numerous unfair parking fines that landed on neighbours bewildered by the unclear parking suspension notices scattered around the street to facilitate the current (and very welcome/overdue) pavement works. He finally received some good news via Cllr Jim Dickson and reports as follows:
Dear neighbours, apologies for the tedious flow of emails about parking; hopefully this will be the last!
Councillor Jim Dickson – with whom I’ve been in touch over the daft issuing of fines, on behalf of Fawnbrake residents – has received some good news, despite our initial challenges to Lambeth being turned down.
It’s self-explanatory, and he’s asked me to spread the word, so here it is:
Dear Cllr Dickson,
Further to my ME response yesterday I have continued to look into the suspensions and resulting PCNs on Fawnbrake Avenue, as I am aware a number of customers have been affected.
I can now confirm that any PCN cases which are still open will be cancelled.
This is because we accept that the multiple suspensions on the street may have caused confusion, coupled with the fact that the nature of the street furniture on Fawnbrake Avenue (to which we affixed the suspensions) means the information may have been inconsistently displayed.
We are currently investigating the feasibility of mobile posts to affix signs to, so that in the future information is more clearly displayed.
Performance and Development Officer
7th Floor, Blue Star House
Well done, David! But I guess we should continue to be vigilant, and prudent where we park. Lambeth may now improve the accuracy of their parking suspension notices as the work proceeds along the road.
News about Fawnbrake Avenue & neighbouring streets in Herne Hill, London