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.