It was gratifying to see the amount of TV and press coverage given to the Herne Hill Velodrome following Bradley Wiggins’ victory in the Tour de France. Hopefully this will make the Velodrome Trust’s fund-raising a bit easier and ensure something can soon be done about the provision of proper changing and storage facilities and the replacement of the old grandstand.
On another optimistic note, work has now started on the Concrete House in Lordship Lane, and there has also been good progress on the project to reconstruct the St Peter’s Church wall and railings opposite. This is an area of Dulwich that needs improvement and it seems it is going to happen.
Not so good news was the Dulwich Festival’s adverse impact on traffic in the village on Sunday 20th May. This is the second year in a row that the centre of the Village has been closed to traffic for the Festival’s final day and many local residents will agree that it should be the last. The confusion and congestion caused by the number of visitors parking on both sides of College Road was definitely a step too far. By the early afternoon it was taking up to half an hour to travel from Dulwich Common to the Picture Gallery, mainly caused by the P4 buses’ difficulties in negotiating their way between the traffic islands and the badly parked cars.
The same thing happened in Gallery Road during Carter’s Steam Fair a couple of weeks later, but no blame to the buses here, it was just bad parking - and there were reports of some serious road rage.
But this is not a new problem, it has happened before on summer afternoons when there are large numbers of visitors to the Park and the Picture Gallery. Southwark Council has been told about it repeatedly, but we are ignored. Their response is that there are no complaints from TFL (don’t they monitor bus timings?) and therefore there isn’t problem.
The wooded lane that connects College Road and Gallery Road, to the south of College Gardens and the Old College Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, appears to be un-named. Although shown as ‘Grove Walk’ on the Dulwich Estate Map, many Edwardian postcards confirm that its historic name in the early part of the last century was ‘Lovers Walk’ and, after a long negotiation with the Estate, the Society has received permission to go back to calling it by the old name.
On Saturday, 22nd September, the Society will hold a short ceremony to dedicate two new ‘Lovers walk’ signs, one each in College Road and Gallery Road. We will start at the College Road end and hope to be joined by a pair of ‘lovers’, dressed in costume to match the figures in the postcards.
All members are welcome to attend at 11AM.
Basements and flooding
Members will remember previous articles both on the retrospective digging of basements and potential flooding. At the last Dulwich Community Council planning meeting it came to light that the Council’s planners were unaware of any history of flooding in Dulwich even though the Council’s environment department had prepared specific flood alleviation plans, and had officers going around the area telling residents about them. Councillors were somewhat surprised at the lack of co-ordination and the two departments were told very firmly to make sure that they worked together in the future.