Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Local history

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)

Our Lady & St Philip Neri School re-build

Sydenham Society will present a motion to the Sydenham Assembly at the meeting tonight, 7pm – 9pm, Wednesday 13 June at Sydenham Centre, 44a Sydenham Road, London SE26 5QX.

The Sydenham Assembly calls for a public meeting to be held well before the start of the school summer holiday to discuss the rebuilding of the school.

The building has not been constructed in accordance with the planning permission granted in 2016, yet it has been occupied by children and staff. It should be re-built strictly in line with the original planning permission even if this means substantial reconstruction.

The public meeting should be held in accordance with the Statement of Community Involvement (as set out in the Lewisham Development Framework) and all stakeholders (local residents, the school, councillors, the developers and relevant officers from Lewisham Council) should be present.

The Greyhound ready for summer

Our beloved pub The Greyhound continues to blossom under the management of Monty and his team, with the arrival of the outdoor seating and planters all ready for the summer.

The pub has enjoyed spectacular success since it opened, filling to capacity on several weekends. If you’ve yet to visit the pub, make sure you phone ahead and try it out this Bank Holiday. 

Congratulations to team there who have made all the local campaigning to get the pub rebuilt well worthwhile.

The Greyhound opening 23rd February

After an extensive refurbishment, it’s nearly time to welcome you to The Greyhound, and the good news is we’re all invited!

Friday 23rd February they are opening the doors to our community here in Sydenham and excited to get the pub filled with friends and future friends.

To find out more about The Greyhound, what they do and to sign up for opening offers head to their website

For those that don’t know the history of The Greyhound… The first mention of The Greyhound pub on this site was 1720, and it was rebuilt in 1873, demolished between 2007 and 2013 by developers with little interest in the history of Sydenham and the pub’s importance to Sydenham. After over 10 years of campaigning for the rebuilding of The Greyhound this will be a momentous event for all of us to remember and future generations to celebrate! It’s been a long haul that’s for sure.  Another chapter of Sydenham’s history is just beginning.


Bell Green Gasholders saved for now!

After a planning committee meeting that lasted two hours at Lewisham town hall, there was a unanimous vote to refuse planning consent for the construction of an Aldi supermarket, restaurant, coffee shop and storage facility for Southern Gas on the following grounds:

The proposed development would result in the loss of green space to the east of the Livesey Hall [the former bowling green] and would harm the setting of this Grade II listed building.

The additional traffic attracted by the development would have a detrimental impact on the Bell Green gyratory system and surrounding streets.

The provision of the additional retail floor space within the retail park would exceed the maximum limit of 16,110sq m as set out in the 2011 Core Strategy, thereby harming the character and viability of adjacent shopping centres.

The application failed to demonstrate that traffic and vehicle movements associated with the proposal would not increase levels of air pollution and would therefore have an unacceptable impact upon air quality within the area.

There is no mention of saving the gasholders in these conditions. However, we’ve got a ‘stay of execution’ for the time being and will continue to press for alternative uses, including the insertion of residential units into these wrought iron structures. Architects who specialise in sustainable development have advised us that flats in the form of pods, made from modern, sustainable materials could be suspended from the gasholders, removing the need for traditional foundations. We will also emphasise the need for green space at this location – echoing the reasons for refusal of the retail application.

A big thank you to everyone involved in the campaign, in particular Councillor Alan Hall @cllralanhall

Tour of The Greyhound

The Sydenham Society had a tour of The Greyhound with the new owners and have tweeted a few photos.
The fit out is going well although, as with most builds, there are a few unexpected surprises which may impact a launch date. They’re keen to launch ASAP though, hopefully December as planned.
Their vision for the pub is excellent and they are investing in a quality fit out and already secured some good staff. Recruitment will commence shortly, providing 20 or so jobs which is great news for our area.
Full details of what’s coming will be in the next Sydenham Society newsletter but to give you headlines, it will be an open plan pub in an eclectic sympathetic style, serving quality food, will be dog and family friendly and upstairs will be two function / private dining areas.
The owners are extremely excited about opening and very grateful to everybody who has helped the pub get rebuilt. It’s been a long time coming and they’re impressed by our persistence and keenness!!
Watch out for more details on the next newsletter and Twitter…

The Greyhound – internal refurbishment begins!

Work began this week on the internal refurbishment of our beloved historic pub The Greyhound in Sydenham. After too many years of neglect, the pub will soon be brought back to it’s former glory serving our local community.

Assuming no delays with utilities, the owner calculates that the work will take around 11/12 weeks so it will be open in time for a Christmas drinks!

This marks another great chapter for Sydenham Society and everyone who has worked so hard over the years to get this illegally demolished pub rebuilt. Thank you to everyone who has supported our campaign over the years.

We will provide more news in the next edition of our printed newsletter, so please make sure your subscription is renewed so receive all the latest updates first!