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Horniman Licence Application
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Posts: 55
Joined: May 2008
Post: #1
09-03-2012 02:36 PM

The Horniman's application to serve alcohol to up to 14,999 people. What's that all about then?

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Posts: 147
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #2
09-03-2012 02:43 PM

Hurrah, I'll finally be able to have my dream local wedding - just us and 14,997 of our closest friends. Laugh

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Contrary Mary

Posts: 124
Joined: Oct 2008
Post: #3
09-03-2012 03:36 PM

The return of the Jerk Chicken Cookout? Rofl

(I bet that the fees for licenses for various numbers of people are banded, and the next band up starts at 15,000...)

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Posts: 371
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #4
09-03-2012 03:41 PM

Whilst I am unsure why such a frivolous subject has been raised on a Forum where normally only grave matters are discussed and indeed discussed without having to declare why you are not a member of TLERA, where does one apply to get one’s name on the list for this free booze offering.

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Posts: 97
Joined: Jul 2011
Post: #5
21-03-2012 11:58 AM

has anybody objected to the sale of alcohol in the park/gardens?
The Horniman Gardens are part of Fores Hill and the Cafe' has become the new Meeting place, the one to be seen.
So what does everybody, the local authorities think of the application?

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Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #6
22-03-2012 07:50 PM

I have no issue with the sale of booze at the cafe, but what is concerning is the request for a licence to hold events of up to 14,999 people to 23.30 on any day! Seems like a lot of people for what is essentially a small garden, with no parking, in a residential area.

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Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #7
22-03-2012 08:57 PM

For those who remember it, the Jerk Cook Out event in 2009 in Horniman Gardens caused havoc locally. There was o lot of correspondence on this site at the time.
There were estimated to be up to 20,000 people at the event and it was a nightmare for those of us living nearby. The roads across the whole district were gridlocked and parking across the area was chaotic. The noise and crowds disrupted families living in a wide radius of the Gardens. Due to inadequate lavatory facilities, people were urinating in the front gardens of the houses around the site.
The ony saving grace was that the event finished at about 8pm. Alcohol was not on sale in the Gardens that day

The Museum has now applied for a change to their current licence so that they can sell alcohol from 10 am to 11.30 pm, and run events for up to 15,000 people. You can imagine how those of us who live close to the Gardens feel about this! Many of us will be sending in objections to this application. If any members of this forum also wish to object, the closing date is 29 March. Letters have to be sent to: Licensing Services, London Borough of Lewisham, 2nd Floor, Lawrence House, SE6 4RU.

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james wilcox

Posts: 30
Joined: Dec 2008
Post: #8
22-03-2012 10:28 PM

As a Forest Hill resident who lives close to the Horniman, I will be supporting their application.

Forest Hill can be a tad dusty and the plans the Horniman has in place will inject some much needed life and vivacity in to the area.

A few gridlocked roads and the inability to park ones car a few times a year is hardly cause for concern. I should have thought that the Horniman was one of Forest Hill's finest assets and the more it's exploited for the economic and cultural good of the area the better.

Urinating in the streets is another matter of course, and this should be quite easily remedied by the provision of adequate facilities.

I do wish people would be a little more welcoming to plans that add a modicum of excitement to what would otherwise be a sleepy and unremarkable corner of South East London.

In the spirit of democracy, I would also urge members of this forum to write to Lewisham Council supporting the application if they're minded to do so.

This post was last modified: 22-03-2012 10:29 PM by james wilcox.

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Posts: 627
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #9
23-03-2012 10:18 AM

Well said James.

This would presumably allow the Horniman to make a great deal more money out of the events they put on (e.g. fairs & wedding receptions). Considering how vital this museum is to the area as a cultural hub, I think that this is surely worth a little local inconvenience when an event is on.

My understanding is that their finances have been hit hard by the economic situation. Any ideas they have to increase their income without required extra expense from the visitors should be applauded.

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Posts: 162
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #10
23-03-2012 10:24 AM

So long as its not the Jerk Cook-out thing.. I dont mind! From what I have heard it brought quite a lot of trouble to Forest Hill when it was on. Happy with other kinds of festivals etc..the more footfall along London Road the better..

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Posts: 147
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #11
23-03-2012 10:35 AM

Is there somewhere to see this application online, and find out more on what the Horniman have planned if they get the licence?

Its all very well speculating about what might be planned, but would be good to know some facts. (and please, nobody mention the "thin end of the wedge" - oh, I just did....)

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Posts: 97
Joined: Jul 2011
Post: #12
23-03-2012 11:46 AM

It is not the licence of selling alcohol which is worrying, but the fact many people go over the top drinking in front of their children. Then they have to drive!!!
It is still a place where families take their kids to see the museum and the gardens, not a festival site like glastonbury. There are alrady so many pubs nearby serving alcohol!
I liked the idea they had last year of the open cinema. Perhaps something like that (you pay towards it), would nice and give the opportunity to make more money.

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Posts: 95
Joined: Jan 2004
Post: #13
23-03-2012 11:54 AM

The Jerk Cook-Out was a bit of red herring (does that metaphor work?) in that the event was unticketed and had more reach and was more popular than expected or planned.

The vast majority of visitors to the Horniman travel by public transport - it would be a sensible precaution that the events stress the public transport options and limited parking.

I have no problem with the Horniman doing this - as noted above it's good for businesses in the area, and probably essential to the continued wellbeing of the museum, given the withdrawal of central gov cash for its operations.

As recent events have shown - its sometimes good to write with your support to a planning application - because otherwise the objectors claim that no-one wants the development.

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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #14
23-03-2012 07:05 PM

Id like to look into this a bit more before responding either way. I dont think for one minute anyones thinking of an event for 15000 people so would like to clarify that for a start and to find out what precisely is being planned.

PS James, i hadnt realised we were dusty and unexciting and unremarkable. Speak for yourself.

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Posts: 47
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #15
24-03-2012 10:01 AM

well said James ! cant wait to have a lovely chilled glass of wine up there !

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Posts: 47
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #16
25-03-2012 09:17 AM

The jerk cookout 2007-2009 was great, Roz didn't like it though. I'm sure the myths about that day will live on through the NCT groups.

I support James comments, is there some way to vote such that we can neutralise the hysterical reaction this is certain to generate from the keep Forest Hill off the map crew?

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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #17
25-03-2012 10:13 AM

I dont think I was the only one who didnt like the event in 2009.

There were many complaints including an acknowledgement by the police and the Horniman CEO that the whole thing got out of hand and caused traffic tailbacks and chaos that presented a risk to the emergency services getting through the area. If you want to check that, ask for the police report on the event. It may have been a one off however there were plenty of signs the previous year of increasing popularity and also the extent of radio and media promotion before the 2009 event should have indicated that this was going to have high attendance. So I dont think its true that the Horniman was caught on the hop- there were plenty of clues and they just failed to manage it.

Do you think its hysterical, RevLB, to be concerned when people take a leak in your front garden, dump their trash over your wall on the way home, or swear at you when you refuse to let them park in or across your drive? I was pregnant at that time and trying to rest at home having been told I had a high risk pregnancy with a potentially adverse outcome, and to have people knocking constantly at my door and some swearing abuse at me wasnt wonderful. But clearly RevLB, you think its acceptable and you think its outrageous that someone could complain about it. And for your information I actually attended the event in the previous two years and had a great time. And met Levi Roots and bought a signed copy of his book. So get your facts straight.

BTW, I'm not a member of the NCT and havent been for years so not sure what point you are trying to make there. Perhaps you ought to leave your misogyny at home.

But I do have sympathy for the Horniman trying to raise money but think its odd that they chose a recession in which to carry out major works which seem to have exacerbated this need for funding support. And I dont think they should be able to do this without a considered impact assessment on the local area which is a reasonable requirement of any business venture. They need to work in partnership with the local community to establish a reasonable level of activity. But I expect they know that already.

There are already rules about drinking in parks public spaces and I believe that the Horniman still qualifies as such so I would imagine they are not talking about a free for all booze up in the gardens.

As long as sense goes into the pot, I'm sure sense will come out the other end.

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Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #18
25-03-2012 10:40 AM

Roz, as someone who has worked in the subsidised cultural sector, I can tell you that the decision about when to carry out capital improvements is a complicated one. It depends on when the funding bodies and sponsors release grants for capital improvements. It is not one the Horniman would have taken alone. And many publicly funded organisations chose a recession to do capital improvements as they can often negotiate better terms with building contractors and suppliers.

I would suspect that the licence application is about increasing revenue for day-to-day running. That is where the real cuts have fallen.

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Posts: 3,244
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #19
27-03-2012 03:02 PM

I thought it might be helpful to get a bit more information about what is planned from the Director of the Horniman. Her response can be found on

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Posts: 147
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #20
27-03-2012 03:35 PM

Thanks Michael. A really useful summary and what I was hoping to find out. All sounds pretty reasonable and in line with what the Horniman present already to me.

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