Sydenham Hill Rail Station

What's in a name? Many of us who have lived in Dulwich for a long time have grown accustomed to the local anomaly of the naming of this station. But, for visitors it is misleading. The station isn't in Sydenham and is a long way, up a steep hill to Sydenham Hill. Quite often travellers get on a wrong train or alight at a wrong station.

Would it not be better named "South Dulwich"? That would place it more accurately. It would give us all four points of the compass, complementing the existing North, East and West Dulwich stations.

The Society proposes to ask the railway authorities to consider renaming the station. This would correct a misleading naming by a long-dead Victorian railway official.

Out of the Blue - A Celebration of Brockwell Park Lido 1937-2007

By Peter Bradley

This new book, published to coincide with the re-opening of the refurbished Lido tells the interesting story of the popularity of swimming and the long fight local enthusiasts have fought to persuade various public authorities to keep the Lido open.

Actually, swimming started at Brockwell Park long before the Lido was built in 1937, and Peter Bradley's book tells the story of these early days of the use made of the largest of the three lakes in the Park. This was used separately by males and females and by local schools, from virtually the opening of the Park up until it was declared in an insanitary condition in 1937 and was closed. The London County Council, which administered the Park was keen on the idea of swimming from the beginning and provided changing rooms around the lake and even allowed swimmers to ride their bicycles through the park on their way to swim in the lake. In addition to keeping swimming separate for the sexes, it was also strict on the type of swimming costume worn and it was not until the 1930's that what was known as the 'slip' was allowed.

In 1935, after years of campaigning by swimmers - the first proposals were delivered in 1923, the LCC announced a 3 year building programme and the new Lido was opened in July 1937. During World War 11, the Lido remained open as part of the LCC's policy of maintaining normality during wartime. Open all summer, it also opened party in winter and galas were held in 1942, 1943 and 1945, the 'Flying bombs' as the V1 rockets were called led to the cancellation of the 1944 gala.

With the amalgamation of the London boroughs and the demise of the LCC, Brockwell passed in 1971 to the control of Lambeth Council. In 1972 the beginning of a rundown of the Lido was noticeable with the removal of the high diving and spring boards. In 1984 it was closed for repairs and the discovery of asbestos leading to costs of £1/4 million. In 1990-93 Lambeth again closed the Lido and it was used for art displays and performances and also taken over by squatters.

In 1994 Lambeth Council offered the Lido on a seven year lease to two local enthusiasts, Paddy Castledine and Casey McGlue, and with a succession of hot summers the Lido became an established asset in South London. Lambeth Council began at last to show interest and ultimately appointed an operator - Fusion to run the refurbished and extended Lido.

Peter Bradley's book has been carefully researched and tells the fascinating story of this excellent local facility. It also contains many local users' reminiscences of the Lido and is profusely illustrated in colour. Price £6.99

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