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Horniman Museum and Gardens
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Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #221
17-08-2009 02:54 PM

Michael, children enjoying themselves is not the same as worried parents. When I was young I could enjoy myself regardless of how concerned my parents might have been (sorry mum)!! If people are deciding not to attend because it's too busy, isnt that in itself a problem?

It's clear that this event is getting bigger and bigger each year, what numbers might we be talking about for 2010? How many might not bother because they couldnt park this year? Do the organisors have any idea? There could be safety concerns (busy road) if the event was extended into the Triangle. Is this really the answer?

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Posts: 27
Joined: Nov 2005
Post: #222
17-08-2009 02:54 PM

I wasn't impressed when I returned home on this Sundey to find Taymount Rise choc-a-block with cars (residents park partly on the pavement, visitors do not) reducing the road to a narrow single lane. Even worse I found I couldn't park my car in my garage as some charmer parked their car in the garage area. I was pleased I was blocked out, rather than blocked in. Blocked their car in, as I had nowhere else to park so the owner had to ask me to remove my car. The excuse was that as there was no "No Parking" sign, she thought it wouldn't be a problem. Well really! However she was so nice it was difficult to be really annoyed. The thing is with an event of this size, there really ought to be traffic wardens or marshalls controlling where cars park. Hopefully the organisers will learn something from this year's event and the situation will be better next year. Maybe they should lay on some extra buses from elsewhere where there is parking available - Savacentre perhaps.

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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #223
17-08-2009 03:23 PM

I understand that the Horniman have taken comments from (many) upset locals on board, and are looking into the situation and whether this site is indeed appropriate for a venue of this scale, if indeed it is increasing in popularity or this year was a fluke with almost twice the numbers attending. They have confirmed that everyone was taken by surprise by the turnout. I am sure the Cook Out organisers themselves would not want to see potential hindrances and aggravation caused to their punters by lack of parking and traffic jams as these help no one. There have already been complaints by attendees that the music was not loud enough this year so it is likely that a larger venue would be required in any case given that the Gardens are within a residential area and the Horniman is fairly constrained on that front.

The issue is therefore one of sustainability. Forest Hill cannot expand like the Tardis to accommodate a sudden rush of 20000 people in one afternoon and it is unfair to ask the locals to roll over and concede for this event and indeed any events of a similar scale. If the venue could be moved to a more suitable south London venue and somehow the Horniman could still maintain its links culturally then surely that will be a win-win situation for all concerned. And no I cant see how tinkering with marshals and promoting public transport would help as FH still isn't that well served by buses and trains and is hindered by its geography.

Michael, when you mention buses from Savacentre I do think that you forget that people still need to shop there and Sundays are favourite days for doing the weekly shop. Where are the shoppers going to park, and is Savacentre not going to mind if the car parks are full but not with shoppers? I did hear that the local Sainsburys in FH was also chocca with people not being able to park to shop but then its a Council car park so different but related issues apply. I can't comment on that as I wasn't there. Like the Sainsburys next to Selhurst Park, they would probably have to shut and lose trade during this event. So how would that help the economy and wellbeing of FH?

The Blackheath Fireworks event is a bit different; its been going for years and is mostly a family event. It is also a larger 'venue' with easy access to Blackheath, Lewisham and Greenwich, all of which are walkable from the event. Unlike the Cook Out, annual firework displays tend to be attended mainly by local people and no one venue provides anything more unique than any other so its probably not going to have to deal with huge crowds moving in from all parts of London.
The shops and restaurants in Blackheath do a roaring trade that evening as you would expect. In respect of the Cook Out I doubt given that all catering and entertainment requirements are met within the Gardens there is little need for anyone to step outside for a beer or a burger hence I still do not see any economic benefits to FH, only detriment.

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Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #224
17-08-2009 03:32 PM

Totally agree with Roz - Apart from Sunday being a day when most shops in Forest Hill are closed, the pubs and restaurants did not profit off the back of this event as far I could see. Most people went home, having already eaten in the park.

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Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #225
17-08-2009 04:00 PM

I can see it all now - it's 2010 and half of FH is closed off, there are hi-viz vested marshalls on every street corner, shuttle buses wait at all key transport interchanges and car parks.....

..... the heavens open, it's damp & miserable, a complete washout, the jerk BBQs are impossible to keep alight, three people and a bloke with a dog on a string turn out, and Horniman Gardens gets churned into a muddy morass and everyone wonders what the fuss was all about..... Rofl

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Posts: 60
Joined: Aug 2007
Post: #226
18-08-2009 09:43 AM

I think Mayow Park would be much better... and it would save me walking up the hill Smile

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Posts: 79
Joined: Dec 2003
Post: #227
18-08-2009 07:53 PM

It's worth noting that by August next year, the East London Line will be working.

This means much higher profile train services to Forest Hill, much better Sunday services, and more capacity generally.

There would be some merit in publicity for next year's event emphasising this new development. Though however much one bangs on about public transport, some will still use cars.

E London line could encourage Horniman to run more events, which, if they are manageable, could be a good thing. However, over-excitement about the potential of the line could also lead to more activity than the local community had bargained for.

I think this in one for the Forest Hill Society and Tewkesbury Lodge Association to raise both with the Council and the Museum Trustees.

It would also incidentally be worthwhile to look at a series of suitable activities to help celebrate the new service.

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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #228
18-08-2009 10:33 PM

I have a feeling that the FHS and TLRA would have opposing views on this one. Both would want to see the Horniman prosper and put on entertaining worthwhile events however I would imagine that the TLRA would be more concerned about keeping local residents happy and on board whilst FHS would have a greater focus on encouraging the economic development of Forest Hill. As a long standing local resident I benefit from the Horniman greatly but like a lot of local people (some more local than others!) I do not want to see it upscale events to the extent that it impacts negatively on quality of life. Sustainability is the key.

As far as I am concerned, there is still scope for ordinary people to raise issues with the Horniman directly and via councillors rather than channel everything through these two groups, useful and influential as they may be. Neither group can claim to represent every view and of course neither are elected. One is a large very local residents association and the other is an amenity society. The TLRA is uniquely constituted by being sited on the former TL estate; it is no different than any other local residential area other than its geography and history has enabled better organisation and influence.

As there are to be local discussions in the autumn about the Horniman's development I feel strongly that local people need to keep fully informed of the process and ask to participate fully. The Horniman have in the past been fairly good at casting their consultation net fairly - lets hope that hasn't changed.

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Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #229
19-08-2009 10:04 AM

E London line could encourage Horniman to run more events, which, if they are manageable, could be a good thing. However, over-excitement about the potential of the line could also lead to more activity than the local community had bargained for.

I hadnt even concidered this - and it just adds to my concern. It's not just about driving to the Hornimans and the number of cars - it's also about the shere numbers that Horniman Gardens can sustain. Scared

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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #230
19-08-2009 10:52 AM

However the Horniman haven't actually proposed getting over excited about the East London line so I think we need to keep things in perspective whilst still being watchful and getting the message across about balance as a pre emptive measure.

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Contrary Mary

Posts: 124
Joined: Oct 2008
Post: #231
19-08-2009 06:24 PM


That Michael ask the Horniman whether there is an "official capacity" for events in Horniman Gardens. And if not, why not, and will they please look at figuring one out?

Then at least everyone (including those who want to stage events there) would be clear about whether the events held there in the future risk overcrowding or not.

Traffic, as previously stated, is something I'll come back on once they've come back with solid comments.


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Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #232
19-08-2009 06:31 PM

Difficult for the organisors to know or control if it's not ticketed.

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Posts: 47
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #233
24-08-2009 08:03 AM

Gingernuts, an affirmation of your racism, you started moaning about parking, when they show that can be controlled by the East London Line you start moaning about the number of people generally, calling it 'unsustainable'.

Its only unsustainable if you dislike the attendees, which you obviously did because they aren't the kind of people you want to see in Forest Hill.

Ros, the parallels you are drawing with the Blackheath event are fatuous at best;

"The Blackheath Fireworks event is a bit different; its been going for years and is mostly a family event."

So far as I could tell, the Jerk Cookout is a family event and has been going on for years. Furthermore, it doesn't involve letting off explosives for a prolonged period of time, so it's probably more family friendly and appropriate for a residential area.

This nonsense about the Horniman being in a 'residential area' is totally misleading, all public parks are in residential areas, the only alternative would be to hold it in an industrial estate or a commercial zone, neither area being particularly conducive to families enjoying barbecued food.

"Unlike the Cook Out, annual firework displays tend to be attended mainly by local people and no one venue provides anything more unique than any other so its probably not going to have to deal with huge crowds moving in from all parts of London."

People from all over the South East go to the Blackheath fireworks display, it is massively attended and causes roadblock like traffic problems across that area, the traffic is marshalled but it still causes huge disruption, have you ever actually been? Why could they not employ the same traffic marshalling techniques for the JC, improve the transport provision and encourage people like you to leave the area for the day so you can pretend you live in East Dulwich?

You have to put up with disruption from time to time, I can assure you, having lived next to a major park in Brighton for some time it isn't that bad, just go with the flow and enjoy it and you wont hate on it so much. Otherwise go out for the day and it'll all be done by the time you return.

Alternatively, ruin it for everyone in Forest Hill, get it moved to Peckham Rye or somewhere you feel black people should go and the area can continue to slowly decline economically.

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Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #234
24-08-2009 11:13 AM

Revenedlionalblair, it seems that you WANT this to be a rascist issue. I think you are actually the first person to have used the word BLACK. You'd have to be potty not to realise that this is an event that appeals to the black community. You suggest that I have an issue with this, where have I ever said anything about the type of people coming to Forest Hill? What makes you think that my family did not orignate from the Caribbean? Youappear to assme that the complaining residents are not black and therefore racist - take a good look in the mirror. I have made it quite clear that my concern is around the numbers of people descending on a relatively small park, in an area that is ill suited to the increasing traffic levels and potential numbers attending. How dare you try to make this about race!! I find your assertions quite digraceful.

Moving this event to a bigger location will actually IMPROVE the day, give people more space to park, music can be turned up, more stalls selling food etc. Even better for the environment where public transport links can be improved. It will also help ease some of the concerns of the local residents. How does this spoil things for Forest Hill people? Oh sorry you might have to get a bus to somewhere like Crystal Palace! Where's the racism in that? Agreed I first though of Peckham (having been brought up in Peckham I'm used to all sorts of family events being held in the park there - but Crystal Palace is an equally fine venue. No one is saying the Cook Out shouldnt happen.

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Cellar Door

Posts: 356
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #235
24-08-2009 12:28 PM

I'm not quite getting the "reverendlionelblair" thingy going on here (and some other threads). I think it's some local reference that I'm not getting as non-British. I've asked some folks at work but they don't know Reverend Lionel Blair in a popular culture context. Maybe I've asked the wrong people. I've Googled "Reverend Lionel Blair" and get some vague references to Oasis B-sides and Chris Moyles and Mark & Lard.

But I can't discern the reference and tie it in to our "reverendlionelblair" and these kinda troll postings. (Thanks Michael for reminding me about Trolls on the internet on the SE23 vs SE22 thread. I'd forgotten about them.) "reverendlionelblair" appears to be some kind of sockpuppet.

I feel on the outside around these postings because they just don't seem quite right. Am I missing something?

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Posts: 138
Joined: Jan 2007
Post: #236
24-08-2009 12:42 PM

Sock Puppets can be tracked down, and it should be noted that the internet and web forums are not immune to the Liable laws

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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #237
24-08-2009 12:43 PM

Heres where I think we are on this now and heres the decision to be made as I see it.

Option 1.
Keep the Cook-Out, and similarly large events at the Horniman as it means Forest Hillers can walk there and back.
Instill lots of strict parking and traffic controls for everyone attending , adding to already considerable local and south circ congestion common on Sundays, thereby incurring additional costs for the organisers and potentially having to charge punters for the tickets to keep up their profit margins.
Practically insist that attendees leave all cars at home and travel by public transport which is likely as not not to be working due to engineering works, ELL or not. Even if the ELL is up and running, who's to say attendees will find this convenient, unless they all live around Highbury and Islington. Even so, there are likely to be huge gaps between services on Sundays making people late for the event or not able to get in at all even after all that travelling.
Have dozens of marshals watching for litter louts and local police watching for trouble, again to be paid for out of organisers' running costs. Naturally all very conducive for encouraging a relaxed friendly and successful family event.
Forbid people from taking takeouts outside of the park boundaries (more marshals).
Restrict the bands's speaker output so , again, not everyone can hear or enjoy the music, as reported on many websites discussing the event and which one of the main criticisms voiced by those who attended.

Or ....
Option 2.
Move it to a larger location suited better to such events, such as Crystal Palace Park, still sponsored and supported by the Horniman Museum in partnership with the CP Park but without the hassle of clearing up after the party.
Enable people to come by car if they want (after all its more comfortable, and doubtless cheaper if travelling in a group) as the road links are better and there is ample scope for free parking within the CP grounds however as bus and train links are much better than FH, people may automatically choose the public transport option.
Allow for more better spaced stalls as more space, and even more stalls.
Allow for more discreet, less 'in your face' marshalling and policing , both of which are more likely than not to kick off trouble.
Allow for more relaxation areas where people can sit and eat without being trampled on.
Provide a creche/added kids facilities so that both parents and kids (of all ages, not just bouncy castle age) can fully enjoy the event in comfort.
As in a larger setting allow for a larger music stage , better billing of more famous acts, and improved sound system.
All the above retaining the event in south London, a short bus ride away from Forest Hill , giving the event more kudos and stature rather than having to be crammed in to what is a relatively poky albeit stunning location in Forest Hill.

Exactly which option do you think would be conducive to the growth and success of the event in future years and which the majority of the attendees and the organisers would favour? And which sort of event would you prefer to attend?

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Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #238
24-08-2009 12:54 PM

Cellar door - an interesting concept. It certainly got my blood boiling. Perhaps we should all just ignore the Reverendlionalblair in future. I'm getting quite fed up with stating the same thing over and over, anyway. I think Roz had made the point perfectly well too.

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Posts: 190
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #239
24-08-2009 01:04 PM

Roz's 'options' are interesting in the balance (or lack of) of positive and negative subsidiary comments in most of the points.

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Cellar Door

Posts: 356
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #240
24-08-2009 01:09 PM

Hi gingernuts, I've had The Reverend on my list of "things that make you go hmm" for a while now.

I have an awful feeling that some of our dear Forum fellow users may think this on-line identity is an actual Reverend. The Reverend's earlier posting (#233) should help clear up any confusion. I hope.

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