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Local history

Bell Green urban renewal plan

This proposal below outlines a community-led plan for Bell Green has been initiated by the Sydenham Society with Discourse Architecture. It has been registered with Lewisham Planning Department in response to their recent ‘Call for Sites’ for consideration in the development of the new Local Plan. The catalyst has been the proposal to demolish the gas holders, adjacent to the Livesey Hall and Perry Hill, and construct new retail and light industrial units at the west end of the site. This has highlighted the profound failure of development at Bell Green to provide a good environment for local people, and the urgent need for a fresh vision for the area.


Public Consultation / Revised Design Proposals at Our Lady & St Philip Neri School

Following meetings with the school governors and Lewisham Council, the proposed external design of the school has been further developed and improved. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark wish to invite the school’s neighbours and the public to view and comment on these designs at a meeting in the school hall from 5pm to 7.30pm on Thursday 31 January 2019. To be held at Our Lady and St Philip Neri Catholic Primary School, 208 Sydenham Road SE26 5SE. 0208 778 4386.

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Bell Green community-led master plan

The Sydenham Society has called for an immediate halt to demolition of the gas holders to enable proper community consultation, a review of options and completion of a masterplan for Bell Green.
Working with Discourse Architecture, we have embarked on the development of a community-led master plan for the wider Bell Green site. We believe that the gas holders, which are an important expression of our local industrial heritage, should be retained as part of this new vision.

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Our Lady & St Philip Neri school update

At the Sydenham Assembly on Wednesday June 13 a packed audience voted overwhelmingly to support the Sydenham Society’s call for a public meeting to be held within the next 10 days to discuss the outstanding issues to do with the planning permission. We’ve asked for representatives from the school, the diocese and the London Borough of Lewisham’s planning department to be present, to answer questions from local residents. We’ve also asked that, before the meeting, planners supply us with a list of the discrepancies between the approved plans and the structure that has been built. Our councillors are now pressing for the meeting to take place.

We are seeking firm reassurance that the new school hall (currently under construction) will be built according to planning consents. There should be no possibility that this building proceeds along the same lines as the one currently occupied.

As soon as we have a date, time and venue for the meeting we’ll publish the information here.

Sydenham Arts 2018

Sydenham Arts are proud to have played a significant part in the rise of arts and culture in SE26 over the last 10 years. This year our festival theme is Heroes & Heroines and we bring you another 10 day multi-arts programme with some great talent.

Opening the festival is Exploding Whale’s compelling theatre production Heroes; a story of friendship, growing up and loneliness. Set to Bowie’s The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders from Mars, the humdrum lives of Joe and Billie are changed forever after witnessing Bowie performing Starman for the first time on Top of the Pops. Determined to go to Bowie’s upcoming London gig, the friends leave home on what becomes a journey of self discovery, where the lines between hero worship and friendship become blurred. Written by Bebe Barry and Tony Barry, and directed by Max Harrison, this exciting piece of theatre (performed at Edinburgh Festival in 2017) hits Brighton Fringe, and then opens here at Upstairs at the Sydenham Centre on 27 June and runs for 5 nights.

(Edinburgh Living **** “If you are a fan of new writing or the music of David Bowie you will not be disappointed with Heroes.”)

There’s more – we are hugely excited to be joining forces with local comedy newcomers, The Poodle Club, who have been bringing some exceptional talent to audiences in their fabulous home on Sydenham Road. It really is London’s Happiest Little Comedy Club! For one night only they will bring us 6 comedy greats Upstairs at the Sydenham Centre; true elder statesman of British Comedy, Arthur Smith, joined
by Sydenham’s own Ben Norris and razor-sharp clawed David Mills, South London diva Arielle Souman and another local lad, Toussaint Douglas, and finally the loveable Irish comedian Gráinne Maguire.

Did someone mention films? We also have collaborations with TNG and Sydenham Film Club and will be screening Matilda, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Hop on over to Mayow Park for some live music on the bowling green with Perry Vale’s annual Lark in the Park, and the return of locals, Rosie & Ben Fox with their live band and family fun with Foxtots Bops. Plus we have our regular commitment of dance and music for our Plus 60s event with local dancer Amanda Botterill and guitarist Alex Hart. As well as all this, at St Bartholomew’s Church there are performances by Bristol City Poet 2018, Vanessa Kisuule and singer/songwriter, Jill Jackson, following in the footsteps of Boo Hewerdine and Kathryn Williams last year.

Don’t miss award-winning duo, Witt ‘n Camp’s musical theatre, comedy and cabaret show on our final night. Lastly, and never to be forgotten, we have the Artists Trail bringing you a multitude of visual arts over both weekends (see page 3 for further details). What’s not to love? Dive on in, book your time off and see you there!

Box Office opens on Friday 18 May 2018 @sydartsfest Rachel D’Cruze (Managing Director, Sydenham Arts)