Two new bus routes are being proposed for Dulwich. The No 42 that at present terminates near St Faith's Hall, Sunray Avenue, will have its route extended to Herne Hill. This would benefit those residents of Half Moon Lane who might like a direct connection with Kings College Hospital. This extension of routing is subject to consultation with residents along the proposed route. However the Half Moon Lane extension could possibly result in some of that route being designated as a bus lane In view of the proximity of the No 68 service from Herne Hill past Kings College Hospital residents will have to balance the extra convenience with the disadvantages of noise, pollution and possibly loss of parking space.
The finger-posts which are so much a feature of the Dulwich streetscape are to be restored by Southwark Council. Additional strengthening will hopefully give them a longer life than has recently been the case. Thanks to the persistence of The Dulwich Society's secretary, Patrick Spencer, site meetings have been held with Council officials and action is promised. At the time of going to press, another overdue responsibility, the replacement of the chain-links and posts along the Village, has begun. Let us hope that by the time this issue appears, this long delayed task will have been completed.
In the last issue of the Newsletter we announced the arrival of P.C. Shaun Mulcathy as Community Officer for the Village area. He has recently been joined by P.C. Alastair Gellatly who has been appointed the Community Officer for North Dulwich and parts of Herne Hill. His beat's boundaries are; west of Sunray Avenue, Herne Hill, and parts of Croxted Road and Burbage Road. Areas like the North Dulwich Triangle, Half Moon Lane and roads adjoining are in Alastair's 'patch'. However, he and Shaun work closely together, covering each other's leave periods and overlapping their respective areas.
Alastair is a local man, having grown up in the Norwood area. He now lives in West Wickham. He is married with two daughters aged 10 and 12. His interests include music and gardening and mastering the intricacies of the digital camera. He would welcome meeting any residents with concern over crime and can be contacted on tel. 020 8284 7364.
Earlier this year we commented upon the success that local bee-keepers were having with their hives in various parts of Dulwich. This success has been carried further and Dulwich Honey is being sold at Panino D'Oro Delicatessen in the Village. Apiarist, Stephen Furst of Dulwich Village is the supplier and he is donating the proceeds to charity. An ideal Christmas present?
In the last issue of the Newsletter we highlighted the role, played by John Beasley of the Peckham Society in successfully organising opposition to the development of neglected playing fields leased by Dulwich Hamlet FC in Green Dale into a Homebase site. As a consequence John has been expelled from the club's Supporters' Trust. He commented, "I am not upset by the expulsion but it saddens me that there are fans that are blinkered. I joined the Trust as a tangible way to show support for Dulwich Hamlet Football Club."
From time to time, the Society receives enquiries on historical matters connected with Dulwich. Usually, the Local History Committee can supply the answers. This time however, the wider membership is invited to participate! For good measure, three enquiries have been received. We should be delighted if any reader can answer these queries. Solutions to the Editor please.
Terry Humphrey from Wandsworth writes to say that he has seen two wooden bowls, said to be 400 years old, in an antique shop. They were presented by S.W.Fells Esq., to the Grove (Dulwich) Bowling Club on 4 May 1927. According to the inscription, they were found on the site of Christ' Hospital School, Newgate Street, in the City of London.
Christ's Hospital School moved to Horsham in 1902 and an extension to the General Post Office was built on the site between 1905 and 1911, so the wooden bowls were probably found some twenty years before being given to the club. Any information on Mr Fells or The Grove Bowling Club will be gratefully received and passed to Terry Humphrey.
Tom Ruffles, who grew up in Court Lane, now lives in Cambridge. Tom has been awarded a British Academy grant to research the life of film pioneer George Albert Smith. Smith became well known in the 1890's, after he moved to Brighton, but Tom is interested in tracing the connections between his film work and his earlier involvement with the Society for Psychical Research. In 1886 Smith was living at 2 Elms Road (later renamed Gilkes Place and renumbered). He may only have lived at that address briefly because in 1891/2 he was living at 2 Howlettes Road, having spent several years in Kent in between. He worked as a stage hypnotist and magic lantern projectionist and in July 1903 he made a film in Dulwich titled '52 Dancers dressed as Playing Cards'. Smith also filmed regularly at the Crystal Palace.
Tom Ruffles is keen to find out more about Smith's time in Dulwich and if he got involved in local activities.
The Rev. John Key, who retired as Minister of Dulwich Grove in three years ago and is the author of The Dulwich Grove Story - Part Two is fascinated by the unusual design of the cross on the spire of his former church. He says that he has never seen such a design of this cross before and asks if anyone can identify the style.