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What is missing in FH ?

Author Message
Raymond
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 16 January, 2003 - 05:33 am:   

What would you like to see in FH soon ? Ok, we all know you are glad that Sainsbury's will have more miles of shelves packed with thousands of products in the nearest future but it is obvious that this and/or any other chain or franchised business will not attract more peolpe to se23. After all you don t spend your week-ends or evenings in a supermarket , do you ?? People want to have nice places where to spend their free time. We have a fantastic museum, parks, a nice swimming pool and an adorable library. Residents at present have no choice but to spend their evenings in Central London or in nearby and more gentrified areas such as Dulwich, Balckheat and Crystal Palace. There is so much potential in Forest Hill and it is disappointing to see that it is not exploited. So, what would you choose :

1- book shop
2- music shop
3- clothes shop
3- coffe shop / brasserie
4- a few more small restaurants
5- a few trendy bars
6- other ( specify )
Sarah Cooper
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 16 January, 2003 - 11:26 am:   

I absolutely agree. I'd like small friendly bars, and pleasant pavement cafes as a change from the all-day breakfast places.

But what Forest Hill lacks most, in my opinion, is a bakers shop. There used to be one in London Road until a few years ago.
Rod
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 16 January, 2003 - 11:57 am:   

I would like to see a book & CD shop but realistically (due to my obscure choices in music)it would either have to have an incredibly good 'sourcing' service or be incredibly cheap.
Frankly, rather than nothing, I would put up with one of those franchised chains you see inMcArthur Glen outlet centres : the heavily discounted/end of line stores: Bookends for books and XS Music for CDs.
See under 'eating,drinking& music subject title elsewhere in the forum for my thoughts on these.
Michael
Joined N/A
Posted on Friday, 17 January, 2003 - 03:08 pm:   

There is a Bakers, in Perry Vale.
What I would really like to see is a high street with the range of shops in Catford or Hackney or even Sydenham.
Small shops are very nice but do not have the staying power of 'high street names'. If you want to get more people considering Forest Hill as a place to do shopping we need the likes of Dixons, M&S, Next, and Gap. Any one of these could force people to take seriously Forest Hill as a place for shopping and would encourage other retailers to come, reducing the number of empty shops.
meesh
Joined N/A
Posted on Friday, 17 January, 2003 - 05:32 pm:   

I would like to see more cafe, bar, resturants too, as above, but as i can see the mexican has been sold and looks in the stage of development of a kebab house. so if you are a small business how do you start getting the people in, in the first place, i love the fact forest hill feels like a village. but it can be a pretty empty village and a m&s would be nice too.
Cathy Seager
Joined N/A
Posted on Sunday, 19 January, 2003 - 10:46 am:   

I feel a better range of restaurants would benefit Forest Hill - at the moment we go out of the area to get a good choice. Considering that so many people use the station, it would be great if it could be refurbished as it is a focal point.
Jack
Joined N/A
Posted on Wednesday, 29 January, 2003 - 09:10 am:   

Being an energetic 27 year old professional who has recently bought in the area, I really miss being able to go out to a decent relaxed bar for a few drinks in the evening. There really is nowhere in Forest Hill where I would like to wind the day down after work. What forest Hill really needs is a few more dj bars that are not too flash but a cut above the traditional old pubs.
Bob
Joined N/A
Posted on Wednesday, 29 January, 2003 - 03:59 pm:   

Would the residents of Forest Hill support a greengrocer, baker or fishmongers if they came?
Jen
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 30 January, 2003 - 09:11 pm:   

I agree with Bob. While small specialist food shops can be charming, we're still going to end up in a queue at Sainsburys for the essentials.
Thanks to our local train operator we seem to spend more & more time waiting on the platform at FH and its in need of renovation.
Gillian
Joined N/A
Posted on Friday, 31 January, 2003 - 06:57 pm:   

I moved to FH from Clapham five years ago. As such, I seem to spend my social time (and money) outside of the area. Local people need to be encouraged to stay in the area so that small businesses are not always closing.

I think the area could manage a mix of large companies (e.g. M&S Foodhall or Woolworths - who lost out to Blockbusters!!) together with smaller ones (coffee houses, bars & bakery). Look at East Dulwich ... its thriving!
Cameron
Joined N/A
Posted on Sunday, 02 February, 2003 - 04:07 pm:   

Quite a few of the newer shops seem to offer 'gifts' rather than essential services and it is difficult to see how they survive.

Forest Hill really does need greengrocers, bakers, shoeshops, and fishmongers.
Frank
Joined N/A
Posted on Sunday, 02 February, 2003 - 08:49 pm:   

Yes, Forest Hill DID have two greengrocers, two bakers and one fishmonger and they closed down because we all went to Sainsburys. What makes anyone think it would be any different now? It wasn't that long ago.
John E Redfern
Joined N/A
Posted on Monday, 03 February, 2003 - 07:32 pm:   

We did have a Woolworths for many years. Its now called McDonalds!
Dale
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Posted on Tuesday, 04 February, 2003 - 09:57 am:   

I think we could use a really nice coffee shop with a reading area. And how about a Peacocks? Pizza Express? I heard that Cafe Rouge was going into a spot next to the Post Office on Dartmouth Road, and that they would use the space in front for a patio. Great idea - I just hope it happens. My only concern about these ideas for new shops is that while Forest Hill is a well-populated area, it seems to me that it's all professionals who just live their lives entirely in central London. Will they give their business to new ventures? But maybe with the right mix of shops we could change that....
Maria
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 13 February, 2003 - 12:34 pm:   

I would like small independent shops grocers, bakers etc but I don't think that they will be supported enough to stay. Shame really but it's just not practical. At least we have the fish man on a Thursday and the farmers market making an appearance.
New to the area
Joined N/A
Posted on Friday, 14 February, 2003 - 09:36 pm:   

Re: Maria's entry 13/2 Where does the 'fish man'pitch his business of a Thursday and where and when is the Farmers Mkt?
Frank
Joined N/A
Posted on Saturday, 15 February, 2003 - 11:49 am:   

Fish man's pitch is next to WH Smith. He's only there till around lunchtime I think. For Market see "events" section.
New To The Area
Joined N/A
Posted on Saturday, 15 February, 2003 - 05:28 pm:   

Thanks Frank
Helen
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Posted on Wednesday, 26 February, 2003 - 10:07 am:   

I see Forest Hill as and up and coming area, we have all seen that the type of person that lives in Forest Hill has changed, however this is not reflected in the high street. Please someone get some Cafe culture, Delicatessen's, etc. We're crying out for it !!!! (maybe that was slightly dramatic)!
James
Joined N/A
Posted on Wednesday, 26 February, 2003 - 10:43 am:   

As someone who has considered investment in FH my self I have seen evidence of coffee shops for example, having been set-up (Note the one opposite Davids Road on London Road) and closed down. This does not engender confidence in me to do the same - or has FH changed so much since then? Can anyone tell me what the situation was here - when was it running and what did you think the problems were?
Conversely, someones got to do it, perhaps maybe then others will follow suit. Who's backing me on a new Cafe then - all in favour? Let me know your thoughts - I was thinking a Jazz Cafe - You Like!?
Rich
Joined N/A
Posted on Wednesday, 26 February, 2003 - 06:23 pm:   

I reckon the problem is the traffic - whilst a lot of other streets work even if they're busy, this is usually when they are straight, a decent width, houses backing on etc - think about how different Lordship Lane is in layout. In contrast we are a bottleneck on the South Circular, carved up by the railway...That said, Dartmouth Road has some potential but its a bit too strung out all along one side. I get the feeling we're missing an opportunity with the Sainsbury re-build to try and do something a bit better shop wise - eg small close of shops set back slightly from road might work.
Maria
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 27 February, 2003 - 02:31 pm:   

Re Jame's Message. I also would like to open a business in FH - a cutesy bookshop with big leather sofas and wooden floors and a little cafe in the corner(well, you can dream can't you!) but when you see all the new businesses opening and closing - Blue Mountain Cafe (note that the one in Dulwich is still up and running), the art shop that lasted about 6 months on Dartmouth Road, etc it really doesn't inspire confidence. I personally can't see that big a change in the FH inhabitants to take the risk.
Marnie
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 27 February, 2003 - 10:25 pm:   

Forest Hill needs a couple of decent restaurants or a proper pizza place (not a takeaway!),possibly something even more exotic such as a Japanese restaurant; a cafe (it's a shame The Blue Mountain closed); an independent bookshop, and specialised food shops eg grocers, fishmongers, etc. All these would lift the tone of the High Street and encourage more people to use it.
James
Joined N/A
Posted on Friday, 28 February, 2003 - 12:23 pm:   

Marnie,

Why do you think Blue Mountain Closed? was it not very busy - how was it as I never used it - I'm new to the area.

Thanks James
Rich
Joined N/A
Posted on Friday, 28 February, 2003 - 05:34 pm:   

Chap who owned the Blue Mountain blamed the intorduction of the Red Route. But he had rather picked the wrong spot as its a grotty and fume choked corner - reckon it would have fared better in that row next to the Capitol, or up Dartmouth rd
helio
Joined N/A
Posted on Sunday, 02 March, 2003 - 11:27 pm:   

a good martial arts centre
or a good cheap gym
this will benefit most, or at least convert the gym on davids road
Gail
Joined N/A
Posted on Tuesday, 04 March, 2003 - 10:48 am:   

I would like to know why it is that a lovely looking building like the one opposite Tilt on Dartmouth Rd. is standing empty. Apparently, or at least according to rumour it used to be a bank.
It looks as though it was. Could this place not be turned into a kind of Jazz Bar? I'm in complete agreement. Forest Hill needs a decent place for the better of its residents to hang out.
Mikkel
Joined N/A
Posted on Wednesday, 05 March, 2003 - 07:05 pm:   

James,

Moving from greenwich 1 year ago after having lived there for 4 years, I saw the area blossom due to proper coffe shops, pubs/cafes (and the DLR off course..). I believe like everyone else here that FH has the potential, and you have to look at how busy HOP is..people drive from FH just for one drink in a nice bar...NOw that is commitment. I for one would use a nice cafe/bar very frequently so you have got yourself one client already..
AL
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 06 March, 2003 - 11:27 am:   

Just noticed a new restaurant being built next to Abbey National - Latitude! Looks like it might be just what we've been waiting for. Fingers crossed.

Anyone know when it will be opening?
Mike Croft
Joined N/A
Posted on Friday, 07 March, 2003 - 04:11 pm:   

It is obvious from the majority of the above responses that there is a great demand for more quality and diversity in the shopping/eating/drinking establishments in FH.
I think one of the main drawbacks so far has been the geography of FH which is basically a large T junction. I heard recently of plans to shift the station a hundred or so metres up the line; thus leaving the station forecourt available for development of a Forest Hill piazza. This sounds like a good idea, any news on this?

Mike Croft
Cheryl
Joined N/A
Posted on Friday, 07 March, 2003 - 10:52 pm:   

What I really miss is a proper old-fashioned butchers. I used to live near Honor Oak Park and there's a great one there, complete with sawdust-covered floor.

Sainsburys is fine, and whilst I like the farmers' market, it isn't here often enough for me to get all my meat from there.
Derek
Joined N/A
Posted on Saturday, 08 March, 2003 - 01:25 pm:   

Cheryl,

There is a very good "traditional" butcher on the Woodvale Parade (Corner Langton Rise)adjacent to what used to be the Moore Park Hotel
Cheryl
Joined N/A
Posted on Sunday, 09 March, 2003 - 11:53 am:   

Thanks Derek. I haven't been up there, so I'll certainly walk up and have a look, but that still looks quite a way away. I wish there was one in the main parade of shops.
Larry
Joined N/A
Posted on Saturday, 15 March, 2003 - 06:06 pm:   

While everyone would like a grocers or butchers, I know that I would only use it if I had the time. It's more convenient to do all your shopping in one go and we'll all go to the new Sainsbury's. That said, there is an organic foodstore on Dartmouth road which does bread, pastries etc which I use (as I live very near).

I think the Indian on Dartmouth Road is brilliant (why does nobody go??? I am always the only one in there).
Gail.
Joined N/A
Posted on Friday, 21 March, 2003 - 12:19 pm:   

I would very much like to run a 'Forest Hill debate'. I think this website is fab - it gives people concerned about the area a chance to air their views.

I am an officer for a central london based coalition of speakers clubs. Most of the meetings take place in a pub, once a month and the issues covered are generally national. I would like to bring the formula of the clubs - called The Society of Cogers, to a meeting discussing issues that are aired on this website. I would like some feedback on this. I would gladly organise a meeting - there are a ton of pubs in the area that would accommodate and it would give the residents that use this site the chance to meet each other. Your views would be greatly appreciated.gailforce12@talk21.com
Bruna
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Posted on Friday, 21 March, 2003 - 03:47 pm:   

Please let me know if you would like to see an art gallery in London Road. It would be nice to see works by local artists on display, perhaps in one of those unused spaces near Sainsbury that now lie abandoned. If there is interest from local people I may approach the council for some advice as how to proceed with the project.

Sorry to have diverted the forum towards a non-food related subject!

thanks Bruna
mj
Joined N/A
Posted on Friday, 21 March, 2003 - 03:52 pm:   

bruna, think that would be great... but the shops are to be an extension of sainsbury's...
Bruna
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Posted on Friday, 21 March, 2003 - 04:25 pm:   

Thanks mj! Do you know when works are due to start for the extension of Sainsbury?
My project is still in a foetal stage. Ideally I would like the council to provide a space and cover basic expenses and I am available to work for free until the project is well off the ground. I used to work in posh mayfair and have extensive experience in gallery management. It would be so nice to put local talents together and give them a chance to exhibit their work.I think my idea could be part of the regeneration of Forest Hill which everybody seems to welcome. I must say I have yet to contact the council to see if my project is feasible. I just wanted to check residents' views first.Let me have your thoughts
Brian K
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Posted on Monday, 24 March, 2003 - 01:09 am:   

The space opposite Tilt used to be a Midland Bank and was reputed to have been bought by a local as an art gallery for his wife. I watched through open doors as a stunning transformation was made on the interior and then...nothing happened.

I've been here since 1984 - back then we had greengrocers, bakeries, a butchers and a fishmongers, two delis, a record shop, two independent chemists, a tapas bar and a great Italian. The Capitol was a Mecca bingo hall but my friends remember when it was a cinema. That would be one of my dreams - a bit of lighting design would transform that space. The Dartmouth was the greatest pub ever, the Horniman had fantastic summer festivals and there was an air of creatvity and optimism about the area.

As for what I'd like - more niche shops like the temporary shop in the old funeral parlour would be cool. A deli would be good and PLEASE bring back Poochies and Abigaile's.
11
Joined N/A
Posted on Sunday, 30 March, 2003 - 09:56 am:   

i'm 11 years old and I know forest hill like the back of my hand.
perhaps we could ask for a mobile butcher, bakers and grocerers????
Bruna
Joined N/A
Posted on Monday, 31 March, 2003 - 04:37 pm:   

I am sorry to be so insistent in diverting the debate from food to art ( see my message of March 21). I believe that the butchers, bakers and grocerers will come very soon to Forest Hill so I would not worry too much about them. I think we should invest more in cultural/arts activities to make Forest Hill come to life. I still can't believe that what it used to be a cinema in the 30's is now a pub. I would call that regression!

There are quite a few artists in Forest Hill that although have a studio to work do not have a permanent space to exhibit. I saw the work of some of them and is stunning. But what good is to them if they can't show to the world what they are doing. They end up doing frustrating survival jobs that can only help kill their talent! An art gallery will provide them with a permanent space where to exhibit their work and will give them a chance to earn a living from the sale of their works.

Your views on the art gallery project are very important. Please let me have your thoughts. Artists' views are welcome too!
NB
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 03 April, 2003 - 01:35 pm:   

Did you know that there is a Complementary Health Clinic in Forest Hill? You didn't? I do not blame you! Unfortunately the location is not great. It's on the Stanstead Road next to Elachi Indian Restaurant. I just thought I should inform the community.
Carl
Joined N/A
Posted on Sunday, 06 April, 2003 - 02:27 pm:   

Just looked at this site and read all your comments and they confirm what I have been thinking for ages....Forest Hill needs a wine bar!
I have been in the wine trade for 20ish years, the last 9 at some of Oddbins best stores...I'd love to open a wine bar in the area, but would be worried that local people wouldn't support it. Location is difficult too...most shops are too small or are in the wrong position. That mysterious white building on Dartmouth Road or (dare I say it) the Barclays would be ideal.
Just a thought....what do you think?
Tina
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 10 April, 2003 - 12:12 pm:   

A shoe shop, please, with a really good selection of children's shoes. Brian K - so glad someone else thinks the old Bingo hall should have become a cinema. Why can Clapham do it and not us?
Bruna - I couldn't agree more. There is so much 'hidden' talent in FH. Artists and musicians and nowhere for them to make themselves visible. Why can't the studios in Havelock walk be open to the public more often? I took a stroll down there the other day and could hardly move due to all the parked cars. But what a wonderful space, the buildings and cobbled street, so much more could be made of it. Couldn't Havelock Walk be used for a weekend market for artists and artisans?
Rob
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Posted on Thursday, 10 April, 2003 - 01:59 pm:   

How about moving the monthly Farmers market to Havelock Walk, which would give local artists a platform to display their work?
Kevin
Joined N/A
Posted on Friday, 11 April, 2003 - 10:31 pm:   

Rob, You are brilliant!

I Love you!
Chris
Joined N/A
Posted on Saturday, 12 April, 2003 - 01:11 pm:   

I would like to see, a butchers, bakers, fishmongers, wine bar, and bistro..... then i might buy a property in the area
John
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Posted on Saturday, 12 April, 2003 - 07:34 pm:   

Chris, you missed out the candlestick-maker!
Mr Monkey
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Posted on Monday, 14 April, 2003 - 05:56 pm:   

If you wait 'til we have all that, Chris, then you'll pay twice the price! This sort of thing comes AFTER the people moving in who'll use them.
adrian
Joined N/A
Posted on Wednesday, 16 April, 2003 - 11:54 pm:   

The main problem is the lack of focus and centre of gravity in FH town centre, compounded by the red-routed south circular, with nowhere to park except behing Sainsbury's.

As a result places like Honor Oak Rd (still SE23 BTW)with easier parking, cleaner air and less traffic are improving faster, and rapidly finding their own focus with niche shops and restaurants.
BT
Joined N/A
Posted on Sunday, 20 April, 2003 - 08:20 am:   

To the person who would like to turn Barclays into a wine bar. The only reason Barclays is still there is because the residents and traders of Forest Hill campaigned to stop it being closed down some years ago shortly after the Midland Bank closed.If it had closed there would not have been a bank closer than Sydenham. The lack of a Bank in the area would have been the death knoll for many local businesses. and the considerable effort put in by the existing businesses and local residents, and the involvement of our local MP at the time, succeeded in pursuading Barlays to keep the Bank open albeit as a satellite of the Lewisham Branch. This demonstrated that a local Bank was far more important to local people than a wine bar! So hands off Barlays WE NEED IT!!
Alex
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Posted on Tuesday, 22 April, 2003 - 03:36 pm:   

Hello People! Nice to see everyone taking an interest in our town, it's definitely time to get some more stuff going on! Does anyone know of any live music happening in the local FH pubs? I've lived here a couple of years now and havent got to see much - are there any regular band nights or gigs? I know the Hob is doing a few gigs now but what about a bit of jazz or some duos, maybe even somewhere to go have a dance, DJs etc.
Tara
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Posted on Wednesday, 23 April, 2003 - 02:02 pm:   

There's so much missing from Forest Hill it's almost tragic. It used to have many of the things we seem to all want - deli, bakers, coffee shop. FH is a fanastic place with bags of character and an interesting mix of people. We need variety and choice, not just big names and empty properties asking to be covered in Graffiti. Can anyone tell me why all of the shops are shut down on the section of the south circular which starts as Devonshire Road? None seem to be up for sale or let - so why are they empty - including what used to be a great cafe?
Kevin
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Posted on Thursday, 24 April, 2003 - 12:19 pm:   

What this area needs is a half decent cinema. I work in Forest Hill but live in Bromley. Bromley and Beckenham both have Odeons, but if you want to see art house movie you've got to go to Brixton or go into town.
mj
Joined N/A
Posted on Friday, 25 April, 2003 - 04:41 pm:   

couldn't agree with you more kevin, its such a shame the capitol is not one!! it would be perfect as a kind of clapham picture house. and if you see all the shops and cafe bars around the one in clapham you can see how much a cinema would benefit the area. the south east is sorely missing a good independent cinema.
Kevin
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Posted on Monday, 28 April, 2003 - 12:24 am:   

The Capitol was a cinima. No one went to watch the movies so it was turned int a bingo hall. People stopped going there so they turned it into a pub.

You never know, if we didn't go to the capitol, maybe someone will come up with the idea of turning it into a Cinima again!

Also, are you aware that Lewisham is the only Londo Borough with no picture House!
The Other Kevin
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Posted on Monday, 28 April, 2003 - 09:07 am:   

That is criminal! Although the planned fourteen screen multiplex at Crystal Palace was complete overkill, it'd be a great site for a cinema like the Ritzy. Does anybody know what's happening to that cinema that's just closed down in Catford?
adrian
Joined N/A
Posted on Monday, 28 April, 2003 - 09:16 pm:   

in answer to Tara:

The south circular and its red route with no convenient parking and pedestrian-unfriendly nature is the reason those retail units are all boarded up. People simply can't be bothered to struggle to get to those places, so the businesses suffer.
Sharon
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Posted on Wednesday, 30 April, 2003 - 01:00 pm:   

In answer to Adrian and Tara - I have been saying for ages that it is such a shame about those disused premises just opposite Devonshire Road, it looks like the Mirror Mirror building even had exercise classes going on - it must be such a big property, I would definitely use it if it was still up and running. ps: anyone know of a gym that has a creche facility in the Forest Hill area?
Helen
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Posted on Tuesday, 13 May, 2003 - 03:51 pm:   

I posted a comment on this site 2-3months ago about the lack of Cafe/Bars in Forest Hill. As a result of that I want to conduct some market reasearch into what people would want from a Coffee Shop etc. I was'nt around when Blue Mountain closed, however I can see why it did...bad location etc, however I would be grateful if you could tell what you are looking for in Cafe, What type of enviornment, would you like hand made sandwiches to be produced on site, Where would it be located ?
thanks...look forward to what you have to say!.
Rich
Joined N/A
Posted on Wednesday, 14 May, 2003 - 09:46 am:   

Somewhere a bit more upmarket from the existing collection would be good for me. A proper "coffee house" with good sandwiches, perhaps even sort of lightish lunch type meals?

Need to get the right location though.

I have a really good one in mind as an example; it is even licensed in a low-key, French-cafe-type-way so you can have a glass of wine or bottle of beer with your food if you wish. Can't quite decide between somewhere a bit more foody with tables, and somewhere with e.g. nice leather sofas to sit in...
Also new here...
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 15 May, 2003 - 05:52 pm:   

I went to the farmers market last Saturday and it could do to be in a more 'markety' place at the moment its like it has been stuck in a car park and no-one cares. Other than that I think it was fabulous!
tw
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Posted on Sunday, 18 May, 2003 - 05:44 pm:   

Hallo, Ive recently moved back to Forest Hill after living here as a child. On the subject of the Capitol - I remember it as a cinema. I too would love for it to change back. As far as I can work out there isnt one cinema in Lewisham.

As for coffee shops, book shops - please can we have one or the other or one combined. I personally think that we could do with a coffee shop/baguette sandwiches place. It would get the custom of the mothers desperate to get out the house and for a decent capuccino/ to meet some other mums during the day and also would also catch the weekend trade. My belief is that FH is gradually changing but the layout and one sidedness (shop wise) of London Rd and Darmouth Rd is partly to blame.

Anyway, here's hoping that whoever said pizza express might be coming to town, is right. Like everyone else I'd really like to go out locally. A couple of weeks ago there were two girls standing outside the station with questionnaires about what people would like to see in FH. I filled in the form. Did anybody else? I hope so.

Oh well, better stop ranting on. Hope to see you all in a coffeeshop soon!
Bob
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Posted on Monday, 19 May, 2003 - 09:47 am:   

Not sure where you heard those rumours about Pizza Express, but if it's true then I think it'd be perfect for Forest Hill. As you say, it'll catch both the day, weekday evening and weekend crowds. But where on earth would they set up?
Also, any ideas on what the retail outlet will be as part of the new Sainsbury's development? If it hasn't been proposed yet then I think this site should tell them what we'd like.
Sharon Leonard
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Posted on Monday, 19 May, 2003 - 01:36 pm:   

Regarding the old nat.west bank on Dartmouth road,my neighbour owns it,it is ready to go as a gallery.He did buy it for his wife ,a very talented lady but would like someone to go into business with her.I think it would make a great wine bar/gallery.Maybe have exhibitions ect,it has great areas for displaying work.
Dominic
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Posted on Thursday, 24 July, 2003 - 06:12 pm:   

After reading the site with interest over the past few months I thought I would add my piece. Great site btw.
FH does need a few more 'nice' bars or pubs, but as for restaurants it has some great ones. I enjoy returning from the city to relax in one of them and have some very good food - at reasonable prices.

A few pubs would be good (or just some tidying up of those there) but really do you want it to be Clapham? I prefer not and hence why I chose FH instead, the price difference is just a bonus for living somewhere greener and more relaxing. I think FH and HO are part of the undiscovered corners of London.
PW
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Posted on Sunday, 27 July, 2003 - 04:58 pm:   

Having just came back to my apartment in Forest Hill, after 9mths, Forest Hill is getting better. From my point of view it would be great to see a Cafe Nero/Starbucks type coffee shop, M&S Foodstore and a Pizza Express. Always end up going to Dulwich Village for my Pizza!!!!! A cinema would also be good to have near by. We dont have any close to FH, end up going to Bromley which isn't that great.

A few more trendy bars would be good also.
lindie
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Posted on Sunday, 27 July, 2003 - 11:19 pm:   

there was a cinema, it shut through lack of interest. leicester square is closer than bromley
Mr Monkey
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Posted on Monday, 28 July, 2003 - 10:21 am:   

No, it isn't. It is also about twice the price. Surrey Quays...? Ritzy in Brixton...?
Andrew
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Posted on Sunday, 17 August, 2003 - 12:49 pm:   

Hello I'm new to the area (moved from North of England 2 weeks ago) and love it here already! Take your point about lack of anywhere decent to go for a quiet drink though. People seem a bit to keen on chains - I think it would be nice if Forest Hill high street didn't look the same as every other high street in England.
Brian
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Posted on Tuesday, 19 August, 2003 - 07:34 am:   

I like the traditional pubs , as long as they serve well kept traditional beers. With regard to shops I have lived in the area for a long time and agree we have had most of these shops in the past and I supported many of them.
It would be great if a bakers and greengrocers especially returned.
Black John
Joined N/A
Posted on Wednesday, 03 September, 2003 - 02:15 pm:   

Performed survey recently at stations in area and general consensus was that FH needs a trendy eating / drinking place. Small restaurants are ok but people seem to want the walk in / out coffee or drinks place with light bites. Have plans, but finding it difficult to land right premises / license etc. People in this area tend to want "everything" but not on their doorsteps, and are willing to grumble about it constantly whilst on the train to Central London.
Rich
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Posted on Thursday, 04 September, 2003 - 10:17 am:   

Advantage of FH is that the town centre is a bit of a funny layout, so there are quite a few commercial units that are not on anybody's doorstep.
Raymond
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Posted on Wednesday, 05 November, 2003 - 08:29 pm:   

It is funny to see that my first message back on 16th January provoked all these reactions. Really it is a cheap way of carrying a market research. Unfortunately I don t have the money at the moment to open a nice coffee shop cum indipendent bookstore ( with sofas and small bistro tables included) that most of you will want. Anyway I am sorry to read that many of you would love to see FH become exactly the bad replica of many London boroughs high streets. If I wanted to go and throw away £5 for a sandwich and a coffee in a sterile place on a regular basis I would have moved to Blackheat or something like that. I d rather live withouth soggy and dear panini and caffe lattes and poor quality pizzas and have a great museum, many parks, small and privately owned restautrants ( no chains and franchises, thanks) and lots of beautiful green spaces in a multi-cultural society. All this FH offers already so open your eyes. What about having the Horniman organise jazz concerts once a week with a late night closure ( bar and coffee shop included of course !). This would bring more funds to the museum and make many of us happy !? I really hope FH will maintain its identity and will not become just another trendy and upmarket place where only a pre-fabricated social class can afford to go out to wine bars and coffee shops !
marg
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Posted on Saturday, 08 November, 2003 - 05:28 pm:   

Great idea, lets have more jazz in Forest Hill. I agree with you about Horniman organising jazz concerts. What do other people think!!! Our own Ronnie Scotts in FH - brilliant!!

MARG
Dan
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Posted on Monday, 10 November, 2003 - 04:35 pm:   

Introduce a few nice bars. Needs a sports centre or tennis club.
NW3 was so nice...
Joined N/A
Posted on Tuesday, 18 November, 2003 - 04:51 pm:   

Crazy place. Went to 6 pubs in FH one night last week, only one of them mainly populated by humans and pretty ok except for the colonial (her word) barmaid who called time at the bar before calling last orders. Shocker. I wouldn't be back but I live here.
Oly
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Posted on Tuesday, 18 November, 2003 - 06:04 pm:   

A bit overdramatic, I`m sure NW3 will have you back if you can`t find any humans in FH.........
SE3 next...
Joined N/A
Posted on Wednesday, 19 November, 2003 - 11:00 am:   

Just expressing an opinion mate. I'm off to Blackheath next month, I'll give that I try before I write off SE London...
The Other Brian
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Posted on Wednesday, 07 January, 2004 - 09:57 pm:   

Guess what? Just found out that Boots is closing down in three weeks. Just as we worry about what else we'd like, we lose another necessary service.....and still no sign of the promised regeneration of Sainsbury's! Ho hum!!!
a very ticked off Caroline
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Posted on Wednesday, 07 January, 2004 - 10:17 pm:   

So where are we supposed to go now for a pharmacy? I haven't a clue where the nearest one is.
Can't the Councillors do something about this? This is supposed to be a regeneration hot spot, with so much money going on Town Centre managers-yet the place continues to fall around our ears- what on earth are they all doing for us and Forest Hill? We were on Relocation Relocation Relocation this evening- shots of the station and the launderette on the corner- the place looked the complete dump that it has become.
Elizabeth
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Posted on Wednesday, 07 January, 2004 - 11:28 pm:   

Whats missing in Forest Hill is a coherent, practical economic regeneration strategy that looks at why we are rapidly losing essential shops and business (lets face it) and why East Dulwich, Peckham, Nunhead, Brockley are going up in the world in comparison. They cannot have any greater advantage of population, income,etc than Forest Hill, and the same market forces apply more or less-so one would assume that the South Circular and the road layout were critical factors here. I certainly go to East Dulwich for a potter around some very interesting shops, and detest walking up Dartmouth Road- as someone said earlier, it is too long and too one sided to enjoy the experience. We need to get someone in to seriously turn this area around economically and from an urban design perspective.
m
Joined N/A
Posted on Friday, 09 January, 2004 - 10:16 am:   

The reasons shops close down is because the residents of forest hill don't support them!... It is very sad that boots is closing. Yes i have read and heard all about regeneration in forest hill and have yet to see anything... property hotspot... mmm also heared this.. but prices are beginning to go down in the area... sainsburys are still awaiting final approval to go ahead with extension... station is ugly... east london line extension probably another 8 years!.... at the end of the day the buck falls on lewisham council and basically labour..... one can only hope and see if we are to have more false promises!
Johnnyb7
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Posted on Friday, 09 January, 2004 - 10:03 pm:   

Ooooooooooooh I can't resist an optimist
raymond
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Posted on Tuesday, 13 January, 2004 - 01:54 am:   

I am back and so terribly depressed after having quickly read your messages....a north londoner looking for "trendy bars and pubs", a lady talking about promenading in East Dulwich among lovely shops and people ( come on, a couple of pretending to be boutiques selling candles at three times the price of those ones in Ikea but at about the same quality, a very expensice Deli, and overrated cheesmonger and a scruffy pub !! that is East Dulwich), then we have someone who pragamatically analyses the problems affecting the area development so well but then...it is too tempting isnt it ? WE ALL HAVE TO MOAN, IT IS ENDEMIC !! Forest Hill needs to improve but it is already a gorgeous place, made of a mixed comunity ( with regards to race, sex and age), with a few nice pubs and restaurants, a few cheap and traditional english-cafes, a fantasic museum and gardens, and artist quarter and so much more. Yes, you are all right, it could be improved but if you moved down here to be surrounded by trendy but scruffy looking young professionals wearing a mixture of vintage and designer clothing, having coffes in french style cafes and lunches in gastro-pubs, move to Notting Hill or for a cheaper version head for Brighton. This is the place for real people, not a socially prefabricated environment. It does not matter if my house value does not increase of 20% in the next twelve months, property speculation was not my objective when I decided to move here. I like living in a place where we are still free and far from the "up-and-coming" label. By the way, Boots will be replaced by another pharmacy shop so don t despair, it is not a tragedy quite yet !!!!!
BT
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Posted on Tuesday, 13 January, 2004 - 09:35 am:   

Its nice to know that there is someone else in Forest Hill who's life isn't one long round of visiting pubs and restaurants.Lets face it most of us come home from work and fall asleep in front of the telly most nights!I'm sure we don't need any more eating places.Has anyone counted the number of restaurants and takeaways in Forest Hill, there are loads. Some of them may not be the poshest around and after all when most of us want to go out for a special occasion we tend to go somewhere other than our local area and always have done. Rather than whining about what we have lets make more use of them and then perhaps with more support they will be able to improve rather than just surviving.
m
Joined N/A
Posted on Wednesday, 14 January, 2004 - 05:06 pm:   

this is a discussion forum and if i want to moan i blooming well will. and if your happy to have 20 vacant shops in forest hill then good for you... but hey you dont ask you dont get!.... tsk
BT
Joined N/A
Posted on Friday, 16 January, 2004 - 09:50 am:   

I've lived in Forest Hill for over 30 years and have seen the shops come and go .The main reason for most of them closing has been the huge hikes in rents by the landlords.I have known several people who have just not been able to pay rent rises of 3 or 4 times for lease renewals. And lets face it some people who open shops just haven't done their homework and open up shops selling the same products as shops that have not succeeded with similar products.
elizabeth
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Posted on Saturday, 17 January, 2004 - 08:27 am:   

Agreed- but why is the situation worse in Forest Hill than it is say,even in Sydenham, East Dulwich, etc... I've heard people blame the savacentre, but East Dulwich also has the relatively new Champion Hill store and it is thriving. I'd be happy to spend money locally if there was something decent to spend it on rather than bulk- buy batteries and plastic storage crates. Oh, and by the way, we have 7 hairdressers in the immediate area- we must all be a well coiffured lot!
Hannah
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Posted on Thursday, 22 January, 2004 - 11:02 pm:   

Parking is a rather large problem as well - it's not that easy to find the way in or out of the one behind Sainsburys for any passers by - no signs.
Emma
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Posted on Wednesday, 04 February, 2004 - 02:51 pm:   

Does anyone know why the farmers market stopped? One of the stallers said it was very well supported by the local people, so what happened?
And it certainly did wonders to promote a sense of community among FH residents going out to the market.
Paoula
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Posted on Thursday, 12 February, 2004 - 12:30 pm:   

Forest hill is set to get a new art/ coffee shop, the owners are in talks about planning consent, it will also be a baker.
Peter
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Posted on Thursday, 12 February, 2004 - 03:40 pm:   

FH does need better cafes and bars. Books / CD's - we have WH Smiths, but that never seems to excite. I think a Woolworths would be the best addition as it would actually open up the choice of things to buy. Lots of small shops are never going to revolutionise FH.
Ernie
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Posted on Thursday, 12 February, 2004 - 03:41 pm:   

Dear Paoula

Where in Forest Hill?
rich261
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Posted on Sunday, 15 February, 2004 - 07:43 pm:   

one thing i think is missing in forest hill is a decent bakery
marianne
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Posted on Monday, 16 February, 2004 - 02:09 pm:   

There is a very nice bakery in Dartmouth Road, just past the Bricklayers Pub.
Ernie
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Posted on Monday, 16 February, 2004 - 03:50 pm:   

People are missing in Forest Hill
rich261
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Posted on Thursday, 04 March, 2004 - 06:51 pm:   

thanks marianne but where exactly.....is it that one near the bricklayers arms
Cllr David Whiting
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Posted on Thursday, 04 March, 2004 - 11:54 pm:   

The bakers is on the parade of shops beyond Century Motors, on the lefthand side, proceeding towards Kirkdale from Forest Hill.

They do traditional English loaves and buns and so on.
Megan
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Posted on Friday, 05 March, 2004 - 01:14 pm:   

I am looking into opening a bar on Dartmouth Road just waiting to find out who owns the property. I would like it to be a bar/restaurant with a nice area to sit and have coffees etc. I feel Forest Hill needs something like this as the only decent bars around are in Honor Oak. What do you think?
Oly
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Posted on Friday, 05 March, 2004 - 03:38 pm:   

Megan, we have about 6 Bars/Pubs in Forest Hill within 5min walking distance from each other do you really think we need more? please....
Roger
Joined N/A
Posted on Friday, 05 March, 2004 - 03:52 pm:   

More lively bars please!!
The fact there's six smoky old pubs there doesn't mean we wouldn't welcome something new, have a look in Honor oak and you'll see what I mean. I bet Oly doesn't frequent such places...
raymond
Joined N/A
Posted on Sunday, 07 March, 2004 - 12:32 am:   

Yes, it would be really nice to have an indipendent coffee-shop/bar/restaurant on dartmouth road, affordable prices, a nice local atmosphere, maybe some events now and again ( music, readings, interests groups, etc..)...please Megan, I am sure it will be very successfull, we have enough of having to go to the city centre, greenwich or dulwich and the few very good places around here are just not enough. It is simple, have you noticed how many people leave the train from london bridge here at FH compared to all the previous stops ? There is a full potential here and now.
Les
Joined N/A
Posted on Sunday, 07 March, 2004 - 01:20 am:   

Megan,

You get my vote. I live about halfway between Honor Oak and FH; at the moment HO provides a couple of nice options for bar/restos that FH can't match.

Good luck...
Lisa
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Posted on Sunday, 07 March, 2004 - 10:07 am:   

We need to make forest Hill more like Northcote Road,SW11 which has great local trendy bars, not old smokey pubs. It also has nice coffee shops. On Saturday nights we don't want to be getting cabs to either Clapham or East Dulwich. It will also push house prices up as people like to live in Trendy areas!! I live in Dartmouth Road and would love to have a trendy bar in the area to walk to. Megan has my vote!
Megan
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Posted on Monday, 08 March, 2004 - 11:06 am:   

I live in Honor Oak and have done for 2 years and Oly I have to disagree wih you, there are 6 pubs in Forest Hill and they are not particularly nice. Thanks for you feed back guys I will definately be pushing for this.

Thx everyone
Oly
Joined N/A
Posted on Monday, 08 March, 2004 - 01:16 pm:   

I think itís a bit unfair to say that all the Bars/Pubs in Forest Hill are old and smoky. All of them are trying to do something for the area and improve the town. Give these guys some credit they do need our support as residents. I donít have anything against new places, nice new trendy barsÖ but Forest Hill is a small town and what I like most is going in any of the Bars/Pubs mentioned above as a women and I can get a nice coffee, cappuccino, glass of wine or whatever drink, with a nice smile and itís not overpriced and Megan, I lived in Forest Hill for the last 6 years and I have seen the change all this Pubs/Bars have made.
Ernie
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Posted on Monday, 08 March, 2004 - 05:13 pm:   

Well Done Oly
Chloe
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Posted on Monday, 08 March, 2004 - 05:23 pm:   

Megan

Where in Dartmouth Road are you looking to open your bar
Megan
Joined N/A
Posted on Wednesday, 10 March, 2004 - 11:58 am:   

Near the post office. Still waiting answer re: planning etc.

Oly I understand the point you are making, I agree Forest Hill has a lot to offer but it has taken a long time to get there. From my research people tend to go out of the area for a night out and I think it would be nice if they didn't have too. I'm not trying to take the regulars away from the places you mention just offer something a little different from a Pub!
Rob
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Posted on Wednesday, 10 March, 2004 - 01:46 pm:   

Megan

I just wanted to wish you good luck with your venture. I've just bought a flat in Forest Hill and really think that the area needs more in the way of decent bars and restaurants. I really hope it works out for you.
Oly
Joined N/A
Posted on Wednesday, 10 March, 2004 - 01:51 pm:   

Good Luck Megan, I am not trying to be negative in regards to your idea of opening a Coffee House, Bar and I am sure you have done your home work as well. What really upsets me is the attitude of some people in regards to Forest Hill being changed to this trendy place like Dulwich, Clapham and so on. What they donít understand is that all the businesses in Forest Hill (this includes the old smoky pubs and bars, the new trendy restaurants/bars all the shops as well) need the support of the residents to be able to transform FH in this trendy place and also to accommodate every body from young professionals to pensioners.
megan
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Posted on Wednesday, 10 March, 2004 - 02:29 pm:   

Oly I totally agree I always support my local restaurant and bars and I hope others will follow suit. Thanks for your comments.
Joey
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Posted on Saturday, 13 March, 2004 - 01:06 pm:   

A coffee bar that is child-friendly in the day would be a bonus. Would that be at all possible, Megan?
Caitlin
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Posted on Saturday, 13 March, 2004 - 05:43 pm:   

A coffee house would be great. But even better if it had an area where people could go to escape noisy and badly behaved kids, or should I say the parents who refuse to control them.
At present the only decent cafe is unbearable at the weekend.
Too many parents there seem to think it's ok to let their children run around as if it's a playground, making no attempt to stop them running into the legs of people carrying trays of hot drinks. A bit of consideration for others - and some commonsense wouldn't go amiss.
Cathy
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Posted on Tuesday, 16 March, 2004 - 01:55 am:   

It's all about balance isn't it? I think the area would really benefit from a few interesting bars and a nice cafe/patisserie or whatever. But it would be a shame if it turned into another Stoke Newington, with it's fake Bohemian silliness and overpriced cafes.
Forest Hill is down-to-earth and you get a genuine mix of people living here, not just young media professionals. So I have no desire for it to become a clone of Church Street or Northcote Road.
Cathy
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Posted on Sunday, 28 March, 2004 - 10:05 pm:   

Hi all,
I notice that building work has begun on the vacant unit next to the post-office.
Megan, I'm assuming you got the go-ahead for your bar?
Great to see something happening anyway.
Annie
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Posted on Tuesday, 06 April, 2004 - 12:33 pm:   

I would love it if a nice coffee shop opened up in Forest Hill...somewhere with an outside area where you can sit and watch the world go by. A nice deli would also go down a treat. As it stands I do not spend much of my leisure time in FH and I would like that to change! FH has so much potential and with a few new businesses people would be encouraged to do their shopping locally rather than heading off to other areas.

By any chance, does anybody know when work is starting on the new and improved Sainsbury's?
Bertold Breznev
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Posted on Saturday, 10 April, 2004 - 12:39 am:   

I Moved here 4yrs ago from Brixton & to be quite honest still miss the "social" aspects of the place. Live in H.O.P. & think the local pub dodgy!!! & local bar/restaurants contrived / trying too hard. Love it for all else. What I need as a club muso/producer is somewhere laid back & safe, unpretentious & Mellow to take all my freinds & associates (straight, gay, M/F, white, black, asian, whatever)drinking without any provincial minded discrimination - Currently not an option around these parts yet...

Bring this area into the 21st century sooner rather than embarrassingly later....
Hils
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Posted on Saturday, 10 April, 2004 - 07:06 pm:   

I agree with your sentiments Bertold. It would be good if we had such a place or two!
rich jnr
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Posted on Saturday, 10 April, 2004 - 07:32 pm:   

sorry to change the subject but was is that building next to the post office in FH going to be again?
Cathy
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Posted on Tuesday, 13 April, 2004 - 11:12 pm:   

Bertold, Forest Hill may have room for improvement but I think it's a bit harsh to accuse it of "provincial minded discrimination". Where's the evidence for this? I see it as a relatively friendly area which is showing signs of change. It's also nice to see people of ALL ages on the streets, not just twenty-something media professionals.
Hils
Joined N/A
Posted on Wednesday, 14 April, 2004 - 08:07 pm:   

Cathy
Be abused by provincial minded people and then see if you still say the same. It is the very small minority - but if it happens it does taint the view of a place. I do think Forest Hill is friendly and consists of a very mixed population, but there are still the bigots in our friendly community.
Brian
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Posted on Thursday, 15 April, 2004 - 08:02 am:   

Cathy and Co
I agree with you. Why is it that certain people think that there should be separate pubs for diferent ethnic persons and diferent sexual persuasions.
Cannot we all drink and eat together.
Cathy
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 15 April, 2004 - 11:30 pm:   

I have been abused in the past in places that some of you might consider trendy and diverse.
Sorry, but you get small-mindedness everywhere not just suburbia.
I have friends of all persuasions, backgrounds, ages and most of them have felt less threatened here than in other so called cooler parts of town.
I used to live near Brixton and I feel happier walking round here at night as a lone female than around Coldharbour Lane for instance, although I don't doubt for a minute Brixton's many cafes and restaurants provide the mellow atmosphere that people here would like to see in Forest Hill.
You get good and bad everywhere.
Cathy
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 15 April, 2004 - 11:31 pm:   

I should have added that my message was in reply to Hil's comments.
Hannah
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Posted on Wednesday, 13 October, 2004 - 01:30 pm:   

Now they have discontinued yoga at the Forest Hill Leisure centre, anyone know of classes in the area in the mornings, preferably, or evenings? Would be nice not to have to motor on down to Sydenham or Dulwich....
erms
Joined N/A
Posted on Wednesday, 13 October, 2004 - 01:41 pm:   

I think yoga classes are held at the Quaker Meeting House on Sunderland Road, or at least I assume as much by the groups of people in tracksuits carrying mats that I see going in and out of there every so often
Zoe
Joined N/A
Posted on Wednesday, 13 October, 2004 - 02:34 pm:   

According to pages 20 and 21 of the October/November edition of Lewisham Life, there are three more possible yoga classes in SE23 to investigate: Ilengar Yoga at Friends Meeting House, 34 Sunderland Road - Tel: 8659 3749, Yoga at Ackroyd Community Centre, Akroyd Road - Tel: 8694 9520, and Chaithanya Yoga School, 23 Parbury Road - Tel: 8699 6980. Please post how you get on!


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