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Horniman Triangle Play Park
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scipio


Posts: 49
Joined: May 2005
Post: #1
03-06-2008 04:41 PM

Is there any news on how Lewisham Council and Glendales plan to spend the ?40,000 National Lottery grant awarded in October 2007?

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Ooperlooper


Posts: 104
Joined: Jun 2006
Post: #2
07-06-2008 06:53 PM

I emailed Cllr Feakes about this recently. He said he had been chasing the Council for some time about the monies and will provide an update in their eFocus email newsletter (I think you can subscribe by emailing forest.hill@lwplibdems.org.uk) or thier next hard copy newsletter, depending on when they hear any news.

In his email he also mentions that he has been talking to the Horniman Museum & Gardens about their possible involvement in using the Triangle with a view to some benfits in terms of activities and also access/parking problems. He also mentioned that there is some consideration of there being some sort of food/drinks outlet.

I'd certainly not want to see the Triangle turned into a giant car park for the museum.

'Activities' sounds intriguing and I'll be interested to find out what kind of activities these might be.

As for a food/drink outlet, I know there are nice, seemingly successful cafes in Dulwich Park and Peckham Rye Park, but I suspect the Triangle is far too small to support any kind of outlet unless the museum closed its cafe, and I'd rather the cafe be kept inside the museum and the Triangle monies be focussed on improving the Triangle as a play park for kids.

I do have a new idea though. How about creating a 'splash area' similar to the one in Sydenham Wells Park. In that park there are a couple of fountain-like devices that kids (and adults) can run through and get wet, and these are obviously very popular and lots of fun. As I understand it, the concrete circle in the Triangle used to be a paddling pool (presumably closed down due to risk of drowning). There's an article in the latest Southwark Life magazine mentioning how such a splash zone is going to be constructed in Peckham Rye Park next summer to replace an old paddling pool. The changes are going to cost ?125k. That's obviously a lot more than the ?40k but I see no reason why some of the ?1m from the DCSF fund should not also be allocated to the Triangle, as it's such a high profile and popular spot, being just opposite the museum.

First and foremost though, I'd much rather see some simple improvements delivered rapidly (by next summer, ideally) rather than there being several years of indecision and inactivity. Perhaps a phased approach can be taken, delivering improvements over a number of years, if necessary.

Does anyone else have any ideas of views on the use of this money?

Original posting about the ?40k for doing up the Triangle:
http://www.se23.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=78

Recent thread about ?1m of DCSF funding to be spent on transformation and creation of 20-25 play areas in Lewisham:
http://www.se23.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=825

Discussion of dogs in the Horniman Gardens and Triangle:
http://www.se23.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=741

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scipio


Posts: 49
Joined: May 2005
Post: #3
17-06-2008 04:12 PM

Thank you for the update & links. Be good to discover more about the Council's plans for spending the Lottery grant. This site was one of the first adventure plagrounds created in London. I do hope the definition of an adventure playground i.e. "a place where children teach adults how to play" is respected.

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nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #4
17-06-2008 04:41 PM

I think your idea is great, ooperlooper.

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scipio


Posts: 49
Joined: May 2005
Post: #5
19-06-2008 01:40 PM

For a town of our size, Forest Hill is short of safe places for children to explore and play in. This small open green space is a little gem. Yes, our town hosts the Horniman Museum in 16 acres of grounds but Horniman's current management appears much more focused on horticultural excellence than outdoor space for children's play.
Since LB Lewisham took on its management, our Play Park has received little care or investment but some neglect can be benign.
Our borough obtained ?40K Lottery funding in 2007 for renovation but their plans for spending on the Play Park are not public. Why the secrecy? We have 2 green spaces in Forest Hill managed by LB Lewisham: the other one Is the small area beside our Swimming Pool which is already under threat of disappearance. Is this to be the fate of the Triangle? I am shocked by some of the views expressed in the linked threads posted by Operlooper, especially the suggestions for our Play Park becoming a vehicle parking area for the Horniman Museum's visitors & a dogs' lavatory. How very sad.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #6
19-06-2008 02:48 PM

Scipio
Yes a doggie toilet would be most inconvenient . Also I agree re car park surely Horniman's is a place most people could get to by walking or public transport. Are not we trying to discourage car use.
I agree kiddies could do with a playground. I wonder if they would play so happily if they knew they were ontop of a plague pit.

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scipio


Posts: 49
Joined: May 2005
Post: #7
19-06-2008 04:49 PM

Oh Brian, please not that old chestnut about the plague pit. This is not the site of mass burials of bodies brought out of London in 1665; that story is fictitious. Forest Hill's Play Park is a SAFE PLACE for children to play.

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gingernuts


Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #8
19-06-2008 05:07 PM

Is the 'Triangle' the land opposite the Hornimans Gardens in London Road? Where there was a paddling pool, coffee shop and sand pit years ago (are they still there?)

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #9
19-06-2008 06:29 PM

Hi scipio
You are probably correct but how about 1349 , the Black Death.
I think anyway the bodies ( if indeed there are any ) have been well decayed.

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Ooperlooper


Posts: 104
Joined: Jun 2006
Post: #10
19-06-2008 11:11 PM

Yes, it's the triangular patch of land over over the road from the Horniman Gardens.

What must have been the paddling pool is still there, but it's no longer used. The buildings that must have housed the coffee shop are still there as semi-boarded up pigeon toilets.

I don't think there's a sand pit there any more. There are a few farily decrepit swings and climbing frames and a large square patch filled with mulch.

It's a pretty sorry sight at the moment.

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scipio


Posts: 49
Joined: May 2005
Post: #11
23-06-2008 11:31 AM

Please look at "Walking the Streets of Forest Hill - Up Eliot Bank" of which the following is a short extract: - The route down is down Sydenham Hill, then down Sydenham Rise. The triangle that this creates with London Road currently has a lovely little playground much loved by my daughter. See http://se23streets.blogspot.com/2007/up-...bank.html.

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Johnc


Posts: 138
Joined: Jan 2007
Post: #12
23-06-2008 12:06 PM

Noticed this on the BBC London site. There may be some cash available if enough support is forthcoming

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7468149.stm

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billham


Posts: 115
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #13
23-06-2008 12:44 PM

I think that the link is slightly wrong. Try this

Up Eliot Bank

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foxe


Posts: 53
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #14
23-06-2008 09:42 PM

Why don't we suggest they build several blocks of high density housing (like they're proposing on the swimming pool site) and then we can get the developers to build the best playground in London on the 4sq ft we've got left! Seriously the splash area is a great idea. southwark have managed to do loads to Peckham Rye whilst our 'triangle' looks like tired and forlorn wasteground.

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Perryman


Posts: 809
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #15
24-06-2008 01:22 AM

My kids love the triangle playground too, but surely they are being bathed in particulates from the South circular just a few meters away? It just can't be healthy, so I try to avoid it.

Can't an area in Horniman gardens itself be found for a water/adventure/normal playground? Perhaps at the bottom where the old pond/concrete bowl is?

In return, Hornimans could move the African garden onto the triangle, which would thrive on the thick soup of CO2. Plus there are all those legendary black death infested corpses that would provide a rich supply of nutrients.

On a separate note you wonder to what extent 'the legend' has protected the triangle from development.

Perhaps the council should be told of those Victorian labourers who died of an unidentified illness when digging out the foundations of forest hill pools/Louise House. Something about buboes...

And I know for sure there is a big crate of plague buried just under the pedestrian island on Perry Vale.

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stevegrindlay


Posts: 104
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #16
24-06-2008 08:00 PM

Can't resist the opportunity for a bit of history...

During and immediately after the war the triangle was a smallholding, with chickens and geese. There was a cottage at the top, near the Sydenham Rise/Sydenham Hill corner.

The Dulwich Estates Governors are the freeholders of the triangle and after WWII they leased it to the LCC as an extension of Horniman Gardens. In 1954 the LCC created "a children's play area with sandpit and paddling pond".

The LCC (who at the time also managed the Horniman Museum and Gardens) designed the triangle with particular attention to the needs of children. The paddling pool and the sand-pit (near the site of the cottage) were built, and the spoil from these was used to create a series of banks and pits that children could climb over and hide behind. These banks are still apparent. The refreshment kiosk and lavatories were also build at this time, and there was a notice at the entrance banning adults unless they were accompanied by a child.
?
On the abolition of the GLC responsibility for the park passed to Lewisham Council, but the Estates Governors remain the freeholders. This fact alone, I imagine, makes it highly unlikely that there will be a change of use.

And there is not one shred of evidence to support the suggestion that it was once a plague pit.


For a random selection of items on local history visit my blog at:
http://sydenhamforesthillhistory.blogspot.com/
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scipio


Posts: 49
Joined: May 2005
Post: #17
25-06-2008 12:00 PM

Interesting post, Steve. Thank you. The Dulwich Estates Trustees' ownership of the freehold interest may explain why this site became one of the first adventure play areas in London. Did Lady Allen of Hurtwood, early advocate of these facilities for children, become involved in the development of this old meadow through an introduction by one of the Trustees?

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Applespider


Posts: 283
Joined: Feb 2006
Post: #18
26-06-2008 10:28 AM

It does appear to be grossly underused currently - while the hedges screen it from the traffic, I don't think they encourage people in particularly.

I'd love to see them build a water park there - perhaps along the lines of the 'living rooms' ones they had on the South Bank last year where the water jets randomly projected and people got wet or not dependig on how good their timing was at moving through it.

Or they we could let them knock down the pool entirely and build a lido there... Wink

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stevegrindlay


Posts: 104
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #19
26-06-2008 06:03 PM

scipio Wrote:
Did Lady Allen of Hurtwood, early advocate of these facilities for children, become involved in the development of this old meadow through an introduction by one of the Trustees?

An interesting idea, scipio, and I'm afraid I have no idea. However, it is highly likely that an organisation like the LCC would be influenced by her ideas.

I read somewhere that, although completed in 1954, the creation of the park was begun as part of the coronation celebrations.


For a random selection of items on local history visit my blog at:
http://sydenhamforesthillhistory.blogspot.com/
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gingernuts


Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #20
26-06-2008 06:07 PM

Dont forget how much dosh is available for the regeneration. Do you dont get much for ?40k!

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