In reply to the article concerning Sydenham Hill Station in the last issue, Michael Palmer writes;
I agree with the Editor of the Villagers' Notebook that the station's name is confusing, and despite the historic and artistic connections, ought to be changed. However, the points of the compass are also an anomaly, with North Dulwich north of West Dulwich and East Dulwich north of North Dulwich and the proposed 'South Dulwich' fractionally east of East Dulwich.
My suggestions would be 'Dulwich Woods' with other possibilities being 'Dulwich Tollgate' or perhaps 'Alleyn Park'.
From Michael Goodman & The Revd. Bernhard Schunemann, Vicar of South Dulwich
As everyone knows, Dulwich Village stands in the middle of an area containing four railways station. Three have names indicating where they are, namely North Dulwich, East Dulwich and West Dulwich. But when it comes to the area of Dulwich south of the Tollgate, we have instead a station named Sydenham Hill. It is not at the top of a hill but near the bottom, in the edge of what has been known for centuries as Dulwich Woods. Would it not be a good idea and consistent if this outpost to the south was more clearly identified with Dulwich and called South Dulwich? Indeed one wonders why it was not called that in the first place but that was probably due to some strand of local history.
In addition it is interesting to note that the name of the church standing beside the station x St Stephen's, South Dulwich x has gone by this title since it was built in 1868, some five years after the railway line was extended from Herne Hill to pass through the tunnel under the new Crystal Palace and emerge in Penge on its way to Chatham and Dover. Now the station could become part of the Dulwich ring to which it belongs.
It also appears that with the departure of Eurostar from our line, that there will be four stopping trains per hour at Sydenham Hill (as it still is) and at West Dulwich, which would make a change of name even more timely x better late than never!
Roy Thomas of Forest Hill writes:
At its best an urban landscape can be as uplifting as a favourable stretch of countryside or coastline. That's why anti-social behaviour responsible for graffiti, dumped rubbish and scratched windows on public transport can be so dispiriting. However, sometime even the municipal and commercial sectors can be just as culpable of such eyesores.
My example concerns the 'For Sale' and 'To Let' boards that Estate Agents erect outside properties as one part of their advertising armoury to attract customers for their clients.
On the South Circular Road, in Lordship Lane outside a brand new development of Flats a permanent dozen or so Estate Agents boards jockey for position on the front perimeter railings. No doubt all these boards can be justified legally and commercially but they do absolutely nothing for these buildings and the immediate environment for for the poor people who have to look at them every day. As far as London is concerned this is not an isolated example by any means and I would guess there are similar instances all over the country.
Is it not about time that the Association of Estate Agents took a long hard look at some of the practices of its members and the negative effect they are having on some of our neighbourhoods. Surely a more imaginative balance ought to be struck between acceptable methods of advertising and a more aesthetically pleasing urban landscape.
John Howes of Peckarmans Wood writes:
The popularity of the restaurants and pub in Dulwich Village, together with the lack of parking spaces, impose problems on local residents who have to put up with other people's cars outside their homes. This is particularly severe in roads such as Pickwick Road and Aysgarth Road where few houses have garages or their own parking spaces, and their own and visitors' vehicles are parked on both sides for most of the day. Neither road is wide enough for two vehicles to pass, so that inevitably one driver is forced to reverse.
As an occasional transgressor of the peace of the Village, may I suggest that at least these two roads, and possibly others that face the same problem, are made one-way, saving the patience of residents and visitors alike.