Since the last issue of the Journal most shops, restaurants and pubs have re-opened and Dulwich has returned to some sense of normality. One unfortunate consequence of the increased use of local parks has been the growth in the amount of casual littering - litter is something over which the individual has control and it should not be left to others to clear up (both the Society and Dulwich Park Friends have organised volunteer clear-ups). The Society has also been pressing the Council to do something about the former S G Smith site in the centre of the Village - we hope that they will issue a Section 215 notice to force the developer to clean up the site and maintain the hoarding properly. It seems pretty clear that building work is not going to start soon and this prominent site is having a deleterious impact on the appearance of the Village - and it's disappointing that the Dulwich Estate appears unwilling to do anything.
The major recent change in the Dulwich area has been Southwark Council's introduction of measures to facilitate social distancing to directly mitigate the Covid-19 pandemic. The southern section of Melbourne Grove has been blocked off and the Calton Avenue/Court Lane junction in the Village has been closed to all vehicle traffic on the west/east axis. It would be an understatement to say that there are divergent views on the need for the junction closure but there is common ground on all sides that something needs to be done to reduce through traffic in Dulwich Village - the question is how. The current closures are a temporary response to an unprecedented situation and they should be seen as being flexible and, if necessary, reversible - the Council must respond positively to residents' experiences of the schemes in operation. The Society expects the full impact on the surrounding area to be properly evaluated and that these changes should not, at the end of the temporary trial period, de facto stay unaltered or unimproved as permanent changes without a full public consultation. Later in this Journal you will find letters both for and against the current interventions.
In line with previous Government advice, the Society's Annual General Meeting plans for April was postponed, and we are now planning to hold it via Zoom on 24th September. Details are elsewhere in the Journal. We have also started a series of monthly Zoom talks covering subjects of local interest. Last month's talk was on the 'Crown and Greyhound' and the upcoming one is on 'Remarkable trees of Dulwich' by the chair of the trees' subcommittee, David Beamish. Also follow our Twitter feeds for latest local news and information: @dulwichsociety @dulwichhistory @dulwichgarden