|Posted on Wednesday, 14 July, 2004 - 07:52 pm: |
I was wondering if residents had any views on the closure or immenent closure of the following long establised businesses Designer Drapes,Foret Des Amis,Futon Plus and Steven Harris.I would be interested in the comments of the former Town Centre Manager or the new one
|Posted on Wednesday, 14 July, 2004 - 09:47 pm: |
Hmm - odd that you completely neglect to include any hint of a source to confirm your statement. Why not come back with something to back it up if you want people to take you seriously.
|Posted on Thursday, 15 July, 2004 - 07:07 am: |
I can back up DCW on Steven Harris and Designer Draper. Not sure about the other 2 but have always wondered why there was a major demand for futons in SE 23
|Posted on Thursday, 15 July, 2004 - 08:09 am: |
I noticed the Designer Draper shop was being worked on - is it really closing?
|Posted on Thursday, 15 July, 2004 - 09:39 am: |
Designer Drapes has moved to Penge. Not sure what - if anything - will replace it.
|Posted on Thursday, 15 July, 2004 - 01:18 pm: |
Isn't Futon Plus the shop owned by June Olney- Chair of Forest Hill Traders? If so this is a great shame, as she will be a loss to the local community if this goes and she is no longer involved as a result.
|Posted on Thursday, 15 July, 2004 - 01:58 pm: |
Still, Forest Hill might gain a shop which is actually useful instead.
|Posted on Thursday, 15 July, 2004 - 03:41 pm: |
You are correct Designer Drapes moved to Penge, they must be going down market
|Posted on Thursday, 15 July, 2004 - 04:56 pm: |
Well, futons are useful if you like sleeping uncomfortably.
|Posted on Thursday, 15 July, 2004 - 11:48 pm: |
yes well, with a clientele like you miserable spiteful bunch, who would want to hang around here anyway. ' gain a shop which is actually useful instead' indeed! Yes, I'm sure another empty shop here would be extremely useful......
|Posted on Friday, 16 July, 2004 - 09:55 am: |
Yes, it probably would be more useful. Sleep well.
|Posted on Friday, 16 July, 2004 - 02:42 pm: |
it will be a great shame if foret des amis closes down.. but i walk past it every night and particularly this year there is never any customers in there.. i try to go there as much as possible myself.. the people are great.. the food is great... people complain about there not being enough quality places in forest hill and then neglect the ones that are there... shame on you all
|Posted on Friday, 16 July, 2004 - 03:15 pm: |
I agree with mj. Foret des Amis is a fantastic place and one that we should all support. It would be a real pity if it closed. For those who haven't been - go!
|Posted on Friday, 16 July, 2004 - 03:57 pm: |
Absolutely agree re Foret des Amis - it is one of the best places in FH and when I read above that it may be closing, I felt a real pang of guilt about not going as often as I could. I have noticed that it always seems to be empty as you walk past and that in itself is a slight deterrent to going in - I certainly know that when I moved to the area first I didn't go in because there was rarely anyone in there - until I was told by a local that the place is enormous and has space upstairs, downstairs and at the back. It really is a gem in the area. If the rumour is true, it will be sorely missed.
|Posted on Friday, 16 July, 2004 - 05:01 pm: |
This is not a rumour the final day is Sunday 18th July so get down there and show your support better late than never.
|Posted on Friday, 16 July, 2004 - 10:45 pm: |
This situation is dire- we need an emergency meeting of the Forest Hill Steering Group to address what this means for our local community.
I would still like to know what our Town Centre managers are doing about this as whatever, it is not having any effect.
|Posted on Friday, 16 July, 2004 - 11:09 pm: |
I'm very sad to hear about Foret Des Amis.
The upstairs room is beautiful and I've taken friends there many times.
It is such a loss for FH. I think Foret probably felt the impact of Latitude and let's face it it's not in a prime position either.
I'm upset about this and wish there was something we could all do.
|Posted on Saturday, 17 July, 2004 - 05:15 pm: |
I have just posted a message under the separate Foret des Amis heading but just wanted to endorse the above comments. I agree with Bosco re not going there enough to support it and I feel bad about that now too! My lunch today was excellent and I was really sorry to hear that they are closing.
I like Latitude but its quite different and surely the 2 should have been able to co-exist?
So strange that, as another writer commented on the site, all you hear everywhere is that FH is coming up and so difficult to buy into, yet the commercial side of it is a total disaster. So much potential and seemingly so little action.
|Posted on Sunday, 18 July, 2004 - 07:05 pm: |
The area behind the station is neglected and run down. If you had a choice of strolling to Latitude with its modern decor or walking under the railway bridge along a dingy street with half empty shops to reach Foret, well it doesn't exactly create the right ambience for a special evening out. Let's be honest about it. Foret was a great place but it suffered because of its location. A vicious circle I know because unless businesses start to take off in those areas then how will they ever be regenerated?
Reasonable business rates might help for a start.
|Posted on Monday, 19 July, 2004 - 11:22 am: |
I've lived in the area for 5 years, and am very interested in opening a small independent bookshop in Forest Hill - it's long been a dream of mine, and I'm sure we've the market to sustain it, as long as people can be persuaded to think locally.
The problems which are highlighted on these forums, and the cautionary tales of businesses closing, are ones I've been worried about - and of course the tricky geography of Dartmouth/London roads doesn't help.
What I would love to hear is that the Council or the Town Management Committee would consider encouraging small independent businesses to set up by offering an inital period of low rent, for example. This initiative works well in many other areas, and I wonder if anyone using this board knows of any such initiatives - or am I being way too hopeful?
Thanks - would love to hear your comments.
|Posted on Monday, 19 July, 2004 - 12:16 pm: |
I for one would welcome an independent bookshop in Se 23, the one in Kirkdale in Sydenham is a fine example.
|Posted on Monday, 19 July, 2004 - 12:20 pm: |
AP, as a collector of modern first editions you can guarantee my support for your new venture if you manage to get it off the ground.
With reference to the closure of businesses within the Forest Hill area, it is always a shame when local businesses fail. However we can only be expected to support them if they offer a good service.
From my point of view I will gladly pay good money for a good meal.
There is a place for a few good bistros in F/H, and hopefully a bookshop to.
|Posted on Tuesday, 20 July, 2004 - 12:45 pm: |
Forest Hill is an area that has nad still suffer with lack of sufficient good shops to incorage residents to actively use the high st on regular basis, as a result going to the high st is often a second thought, until we have a sufficient number of shops thatr attract the comunity, we will always have this situation and more Foret des Amis incidents will accour. (the new Sainsbury would help a great deal)
A few years ago, when Docklands were a redeveloping area, the council would offer a rates free period to incourage businesses to populate the area.....may be we need something like this, the council, does not encourage business and ht erates do not reflect the lack of trade that is experienced in Forest hill.
|Nolan The Hamster|
|Posted on Tuesday, 20 July, 2004 - 12:51 pm: |
That sounds like a great idea. Although the south circular is still much to blame I fear. Who wants to drink coffee and read the sunday papers when you've got, what sometimes sounds/looks like, a motorway next to you?
|Posted on Wednesday, 21 July, 2004 - 03:09 pm: |
sounds like a great idea but please can it be open later in the evenings... so i could call in after work?? if not all evenings, just one or two.
|Posted on Friday, 23 July, 2004 - 10:54 am: |
Please open some new shops, a deli, coffee shop would be great just look at East Dulwich.
|Posted on Friday, 23 July, 2004 - 07:23 pm: |
I have been a customer of Futon Plus for many years and I am very sorry that they are closing. June I understand runs the Forest Hill Traders Association, I do hope that she will continue with this, as just one of the many things the Association does is organise Forest Hill day, which has been appreciated by many local residents over the years.
|Posted on Saturday, 24 July, 2004 - 04:19 pm: |
The last thing Forest Hill needs is more restaurants/takeaways, there are too many of them already as far as i am concerned. We need more shops that are going to bring people back to shop in Forest Hill instead of having to go to places like bromley and croydon.we need more clothes shop, shoe shops etc. It is a great shame that Futon Plus is having to close, not only did they sell futons, but a variety of many gifts. Somewhere LOCAL!!! to shop for presents for different occassions.
|Posted on Sunday, 25 July, 2004 - 11:01 am: |
"Hilltop General", "Brian" and "Q"'s comments earlier in the month strike me as a little odd.
In a thread about the disadvantages of Forest Hill's shops closing, people who advocate the closure of shops selling things they do not find "useful" seems a bit out of place.
Perhaps these individuals failed to consider that people other than themselves may find a variety of stores selling a variety of things not only useful - but helpful in making Forest Hill a place where people want to shop.
Perhaps these individuals will find ANOTHER take-away, ANOTHER estate agent, ANOTHER newsagent/convenience store useful?
|Posted on Sunday, 25 July, 2004 - 12:23 pm: |
The fundamental problem is that for a pedestrian shopper F'Hill is an incredibly hostile environment to be in, the traffic crossings are very biased to the convenience of traffic on the south circular, alcoholics and junkies abound,not to mention hordes of young thugs atttracted by the MacDonalds "restaurant", and there's nowhere easy to park, except the awful Sainsbury's Car park that necessitates going through the store to reach the high st, and they even have the gall to charge too.
|Posted on Sunday, 25 July, 2004 - 10:27 pm: |
Parthian - I notice you have put a right miserable comment about FH on every thread!
What gives? It's not that bad. You should have gone to the Horniman gardens on Saturday, it was glorious.
Sure the town centre isn't pretty, but its going to improve pretty rapidly once Sainsbury's gets going.
|Posted on Monday, 26 July, 2004 - 07:53 am: |
Yes . Les I agree
There are negatives but no more than most other places.
By the way I believe the council own the car park.
If you live in SE 23 surely unless you are handicapped the town centre is in walking distance
|Posted on Sunday, 08 August, 2004 - 07:14 pm: |
AP, yes a small indipendendent bookstore would be fantastic..just two things : a coffe shop inside ( no starbuck or similar though, let keep it indipendent) ane a few evenings a week ( week-end included) closing time should be flexible. In this way you would cater for a wider market, make a little bit more money on the cofee shop and keep us commuter very happy with althernative ways of spending their evenings and money. At present we all have to travel to Charing cross to browse and buy books
|Posted on Tuesday, 10 August, 2004 - 07:55 pm: |
I would love an independent bookstore with a coffee shop - a smaller version of Ottakars would be perfect.
As for the comments by Pathian - you must live in a very different Forest Hill to the rest of us. If you are so unhappy one wonders why you stay. An alternative approach would be to become involved in improving the area rather than just complaining!
|Posted on Tuesday, 10 August, 2004 - 10:06 pm: |
Why is it that if anyone dares to raise valid concerns about the stagnation of Forest Hill everyone turns on that person?
There are serious points that need to be addressed in this town - and one way of showing you care about your area is drawing attention to the bad things to make them better.
I've lived here for nearly 4 years and Dartmouth Road is in a worse state than it was back then. I want to know why. I want to know what Lewisham Council is doing about it - because right now there is little evidence of success in halting the closure of local businesses.
I'd like to know what's being done about unreasonably high business rates, and why we are being asked to show gratitude to Sainsburys for 'sticking with' Forest Hill as if they've hung in there out of the kindness of their corporate hearts at great sacrifice to themselves.
There's nothing negative about raising awareness and demanding answers to problems that still blight Forest Hill.
Yes we have the Horniman Gardens, but when are we going to see improvement in the whole area?
We deserve good local facilities and I'm not going to be attacked for discussing it on here.
|Posted on Wednesday, 11 August, 2004 - 08:54 am: |
CR - there is nothing wrong with discussing the negativities in Forest Hill and demanding that answers be provided - that's not what people get "attacked" for posting. as far as I rememeber the point with Parthian was that on the day he/she posted the message above he/she also posted on pretty much every other thread with exaggeratedly negative comments about crime levels, businesses etc in Forest Hill - I think people were merely trying to say that he/she was blowing things entirely out of perspective - the way he described FH you could almost have been forgiven for thinking he was describing Beirut on a bad day.
|Posted on Wednesday, 11 August, 2004 - 12:04 pm: |
CR - As Bosco says I've no problem with rational concerns about FH and the state of the town centre, etc. There's plenty to work on, and I agree that the local authority and, to some extent, Sainsbury's need a rocket.
What I object to is the alarmist stuff about "alcoholics and junkies abound, not to mention hordes of young thugs". FH isn't in the Cotswolds, but neither is it on the wrong side of the tracks in Los Angeles! Keep it real.
|Posted on Wednesday, 11 August, 2004 - 09:04 pm: |
AP - An independent bookshop would be great. Self and family would most definitely use it, particularly if it also stocked second-hand/out of print books.
What we need in Forest Hill is more new businesses, preferably not all chains, and variety to cater to the variety of people and tastes in the area.
Personally, I would love to see a proper greengrocers and a baker - or is that just all too much in the last century?!
|Posted on Wednesday, 11 August, 2004 - 11:21 pm: |
greengrocers and baker- no, not last century, just last decade- they've all been and gone, - no-one shopped there so they gave up.
18 years ago, Forest Hill had two fantastic delis, 3 bakeries, a butcher,a greengrocer, an electrical bits and pieces shop- but now we just have estate agents and charity shops.
|Posted on Thursday, 12 August, 2004 - 09:25 am: |
Sorry to be pedantic R, but last decade IS last century!!
I do think there is room for those kinds of businesses in FH - East Dulwich has a fantastic deli that seems to do very well. I think the key is to offer something that the supermarkets don't. Perhaps part of the reason some of the businesses you mention closed was because there was not sufficient business to sustain 2 delis and 3 bakeries, but surely 1 deli and 1 bakery is sustainable. As for a butchers - there is an absolutely brilliant butchers/deli in Clapham that has queues out the door and round the corner every Saturday morning. The market is there, it just needs to be tapped into.
Sadly, I also think that part of the problem is that FH doesn't seem to have a definable "centre". If that issue were addressed, it might go some way to improving the situation.
|Posted on Thursday, 12 August, 2004 - 09:44 am: |
Bosco - your points about the lack of centre and untapped markets are both well made.
The regeneration strategy highlighted this issue two years ago, which is mow part of Lewisham's long-term view to move the station in line with the bottom of London Road.
|Posted on Thursday, 12 August, 2004 - 11:07 am: |
Incidently, there is a very good butcher on Wood Vale.
My problem is that I can only get to it during its opening hours on Saturday mornings, but I can vouch for its beef, pork and lamb.
As above, the queue is often out of the door, but it's worth the wait. Don't be put off by the rather run down parade of shops. The PO office was closed earlier this year - not happy.
|Posted on Thursday, 12 August, 2004 - 12:14 pm: |
I think you've hit the nail on the head Les - we do have these places in FH but they're scattered all over the place so half the population doesn't know these shops exist!
|Posted on Thursday, 12 August, 2004 - 10:04 pm: |
I thought the station was already at the bottom of London Road.
|Posted on Thursday, 12 August, 2004 - 10:58 pm: |
There is only one small charity shop in Forest Hill and it does not harm anybody. As per the East Dulwich deli it has extortionate prices, Chelsea style, really. However something like the new panini bar in Crystal Palace would be perfect...a deli counter for those who can afford to buy there and a coffee shop with comfortable chairs a lovely drink and snack menu, very healthy. They open early in the morning whilst normally only greasy cafes tend to do that in these areas. It has a little pretentious air but in Italy it would be just another normal coffee place. I think it is called LA Bruschetta or something similar. Try it ! Anybody who wants to open something similar here ? I would be your best client !!
|Posted on Thursday, 19 August, 2004 - 08:17 pm: |
We shouldn't be completely downbeat about changes or people moving. Perhaps, they've sold the business to some one else and a new era of shops will open in Forest Hill ?