Thursday, 6 November 2008

Do You Want to Walk Hither Green?

I've accomplished a lot of things this year, from recording one of my original jazz compositions to finishing a year of weekly self portraits to maintaining my habit of almost daily entries on my main blog.

However, I've failed in my ambition to do a lot of extra walking round Hither Green beyond what was previously my habit. Now, as we come towards the end of the year, I'm relocating up to Oxford to start a new job there and therefore, I think I won't get any further on this blog.

What I think I should have done is started by mapping out what I counted as Hither Green and marking out some routes that would see me covering most of it. I made a few desultory efforts but never found enough time to do it properly.

What I'm wondering now (apart from whether anyone wants to buy a spacious one-bedroom flat with beautiful garden in the area!) is if anyone else would like to take this project on? You can have the existing blog if you want and I'm guaranteed as a subscriber. I can live with my failure in this area but would love to see what someone else might be able to do with it.

Let me know via the comments if you are interested.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Walking Down to the Pub...

I haven't been doing much local walking recently, or at least not with blogging rather than simply getting to nearby destinations in mind.

However, tonight I will be walking down to The Station (the pub, not the place where you go for trains) to meet up with some of the other people who live in the area. The main agenda is just to meet up socially - community builds when you know people and you get to know people by spending time with them.

It was being organised on the local discussion forum but that seems to be having some problems today so I'm posting here, which may catch one or two people's attention. If so... see you in The Station from about 7:30pm.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Mountsfield Park

Mountsfield Park is a large area, adding "green lungs" to Hither Green. In recent years a lot of work has been done to ensure that the park is a living, thriving part of the local community, supported by the Friends of Mountsfield Park (who have an informative website with more background information).

I was at their meeting last night. It sounds like there is definite progress on the plan of getting a café and toilets in the park, with a good chance of it all being ready by the end of June (ready for the under-5's fun day on 26 June). There is also work being done on getting a farmers market running there.

I hope this all works as planned - drawing more people in and, as the park becomes a stronger hub of the community, becoming safer, less prone to antisocial elements and thus yet more popular as a destination. At the moment I would say that, on the whole, things are looking good for the park, which is an increasingly pleasant place to take a stroll.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Further Green

Verdant LaneHow big is Hither Green? I have still not decided on my own answer. However, although many people consider Brownhill Road to be a southern boundary I think my footleather will need to tread beyond that; otherwise, I will be missing such beacons as Hither Green Methodist Church and Hither Green Cemetery.

Last night I visited friends who live in one of the roads between Verdant Lane and took some pictures on my walk down - click on the image (looking at the crossroads where Brownhill Road, Verdant Lane, St Mildred's Road and Hither Green Lane meet from part way down Verdant Lane) to see the set.

One of the roads down there is Further Green Road. That suits my perspective - I live in Hither Green but I hope to find time to trek thither to Further Green from time to time.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Walking New Cross

Another walking blog to watch - and this one is local: Walking New Cross.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Let It Snow!

Mountsfield Park
It has been a while since I last posted. I planned that I would pick things up when it got lighter in the evenings.

That happened last week but something else has come up to kick start this blog - snow!

This morning, I woke up to find that Hither Green was blanketed in snow. I took a few pictures in my back garden and then, after church, took a stroll round Mountsfield Park, where people were out enjoying the novelty and making snowmen.

Pictures are available on my Flickr account although, now I have started again, I hope the weather clears up a bit so I can make more progress with the walking side of plans.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

New Cross

Just a quick post to show you that I'm still alive and to remind myself to add Transportine's Walking New Cross series to my list of walking links.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

While Waiting for More Walking...

I have actually done a second walk at the start of February but am still working on the photos. Hopefully I will get round to writing it up before I forget my thoughts on the walk although, as a worst case scenario, I suppose I could always walk it again.

Meanwhile, I have done some playing round with the layout. If you are reading this directly rather than via a service like Bloglines (my personal choice of online feed reader) you will see some new elements down the right hand side including a slideshow of the pictures I have published so far and a list of links to other neighbourhood walkers I have discovered (post a comment if you know a blog that you think should be there - yours or somebody elses).

Near the end of the column, you will also find subscription links in case you decide all this redecorating is too much and you would rather keep up via a feed reader after all!

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Walking Berkeley

I notice that I've been spotted by Jen of Walking Berkeley, a relatively long-established neighbourhood walking blog from California. Hi Jen!

Friday, 25 January 2008

Local Community Meetings

Hither Green Community Association is a group of residents working together to develop a Community Association to try and build relationships and improve communication about planning, environment, etc in order to bring about long-term improvements to the area of Hither Green. Their next open meeting is on Wednesday 30 January at Hither Green Primary School, Beacon Road from 7pm to 8.30pm. This will give an opportunity to hear latest updates from the Town Centre management team, the local Police, plans for planting of trees, etc and also to get your ideas for what you would like to help achieve over the next 1-5 years.

Unfortunately I will not be able to attend that one but am encouraging my friends and neighbours to go along and hope to stay abreast of progress. I may however be able to make some or all of the Friends of Mountsfield Park meeting which is taking place at Hither Green Baptist Church on Monday evening at 7pm.

Progress with groups like these can be slow but I know, from the minutes of the previous FoMP meeting, that it does come; both are playing a part in developing Hither Green as a community rather than just a place to sleep.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

I'm Not the Only One

Not only is there Rob's Walking the Streets of Forest Hill, which was my direct inspiration for this blog, but other people are doing the same thing in different parts of the world. This morning I got a comment from another Rob, who is Walking Dunfermline and who also has a list of other people who are blogging walks round local neighbourhoods.

Monday, 14 January 2008

Lewisham Pubs

Following Friday's post I noted new article on Brockley Central today that suggests Hither Green is not the only area of Lewisham Borough to be seeing a decrease in the number of pubs.

Friday, 11 January 2008

The Corbett Estate

Rob asked for another Lewisham bloggers meet up to help him find some fresh inspiration and Andrew has got underway with organising one - 7 March, somewhere in Deptford, with discussion on Andrew's blog or the Facebook group.

Meanwhile, I have been thinking about this project. The chances of having one of these get-togethers over here is slim because Hither Green is somewhat lacking in the pub department. Part of that is due to restrictive deeds of the Corbett Estate, which is noted on the Find a Property website:
The eastern half of SE6 is all about the Corbett Estate. The street plan leaps out from the A-Z for its rigid grid pattern, a rare feature in south-east London. The streets and the houses may look far too uniform to our eyes but this is a popular estate of high-quality housing.

The estate was the dream scheme of Scottish MP Archibald Corbett, who had the notion of providing "a modern Hygeia" for hard-working and respectable families.

The area would be littered with places of worship but not a single inn or tavern, and the 300 acres he purchased for the plan in 1896 are now full of north-of-the-border place names.

Corbett even negotiated cut-price railway tickets for the estate residents for Hither Green station and after over 3,000 houses were built he shifted his attention to creating the Eltham Park Estate to the east in 1910.

Corbett's solid houses range from three to six bedrooms in size, many of the larger ones long since split into flats. These conversions have not impinged on the style of the area and the district remains uncannily quiet considering how far you are into London.

Front and back gardens are the order of the day. In the same architectural style the smaller Forster Estate immediately to the south joined Corbett just before the First World War.

Archibald would no doubt be pleased to find that his restrictions stayed in place and that the current trend seems to be for the pubs situated round the borders of his patch seem to be closing down and getting turned into flats instead. The only active pub I can think of that remains is The Station on Staplehurst Road.

If I want to organise a Walking Hither Green pub crawl it will have to be combined with beating the bounds and traversing boundaries of the district!

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Map For the First Walk

This should give you a map of the first walk - a gentle stroll of just over half a mile.

View Larger Map

Meridian South

Hither Green Clock Tower - 1

I did my first walk yesterday morning, with my wife and a friend from church. This was round the Meridian South estate, a recent development on the site of the former Hither Green Hospital. It was a quiet and still morning although there were a few people up and about; I was surprised by how many stopped to chat.

We walked from the clock tower out onto Woodlands Street then back into the estate via Hospital Way, passing the clock tower again before coming out on Stainton Road. In the next few days I hope to figure out how to include a route map from Google. For today, though, I just wanted to report that the walk was done and, as you can see from the shot of the clock tower above, that I turned up (just) on time.

Click on the image to see the other pictures I took.