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Very sad farewell to the Honor Oak Gallery
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Posts: 358
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #1
13-09-2013 08:14 PM

Just wanted to say how very sad I am to hear that the Honor Oak Gallery is closing.

It has been one of few businesses in the parade that have always put a smile on my face when I walked past or popped in to have a browse, and I've bought some lovely pictures there - the owner and his team are always so friendly, welcoming and such a great source of information on the exhibited artists and their work!

I know John Broad already said a while ago that he will retire, but it would have been so nice to see the gallery and framing business being taken over by someone else and for it to remain that type of business, but apparently, that is now falling through despite there being an interested party. It actually makes me angry - are HOP landlords all just holding out until William Hill/Betfred pays them twice the rent?

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Posts: 358
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #2
17-09-2013 09:06 AM

Actually, what makes me even more sad to see is that apparently nobody else will miss a gallery and framing business that has been in existence for over 20 years, whilst we all stand and clap for the arrival of yet another of chain branch. Hooray. Soon, we won't need to travel anywhere any more, because every single high street and town centre will just look exactly the same. Marvellous prospect.

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Posts: 215
Joined: May 2009
Post: #3
17-09-2013 09:58 AM

I'm an art lover, like looking around galleries, and have a few original paintings and prints on my walls at home. I went in this gallery twice, once to have a look around and was not given a warm welcome, the other to go in and ask for advice on mounting and to see if they had any mounting card I could buy, the man was extremely unhelpful and dismissive of anything I was asking, advice or otherwise, I never went back.

Forgive me if I'm not shedding a tear. I will not miss it.

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Posts: 19
Joined: Sep 2011
Post: #4
17-09-2013 11:22 AM

Iím replying to both Tinkerbell and Cheeky.

I was extremely sad when I heard that John Broad in the HOP Gallery was retiring but I knew that the day would come at some stage. In June when the news broke, I gathered up the last items I had for framing, and was somewhat relieved at that point to be told that there was a chance of someone taking on the lease when it runs out at the end of Sep. A new member of staff was even being trained to continue the mounting/framing side of the business. Unfortunately, I now discover that the Landlord has decided not to go ahead with the new tenants who had fully intended to keep the business on as a Gallery and picture framers. I have no idea what the Landlord plans for the Gallery space but dread to think.

I look around my home and see more than 25 prints, pictures and photographs all beautifully hanging and each one tells the story of the time and patience spent by John guiding me to choose the right mounts and frames. Each and every one an enjoyable experience for me as I left the Gallery confident of the right choice which John had a knack of making you feel that it was you who had made the choice when in actual fact it was him!

Cheeky - I'm staggered to read that you had that unfortunate experience with John Ė everyone I know, without exception, who has used his services over the years have always been complimentary of the time, patience and great advice he has given. As a testament to this, he has been inundated with work since the news broke in June that the Gallery was likely to close.

Tinkerbell - Iím not going to comment on your posting other than to say, I too, am extremely sad that the Gallery is closing and I am dealing with this in my own way. I have offered my support and any practical help to John he needs to clear the Gallery Ė cleaning, dismantling, scrubbing floors, anything I can to repay him for his kindness to me over the past 15 years Iíve lived on HOP. So please donít think that people donít care just because we donít post on the Forum. I rarely post on the Forum but felt compelled to when I read Cheekyís comments.

A sad day for HOP losing both John Broad and the Gallery but I wish him all the very best for his retirement and a huge thank you for his friendship, advice and all the wonderful work I take pleasure from looking at every day.

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Posts: 358
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #5
17-09-2013 11:27 AM

PJT - thanks for the warm words, I'm sure a lot of those who like and frequent the gallery don't necessarily post on this forum.

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Posts: 215
Joined: May 2009
Post: #6
17-09-2013 11:30 AM

Very strange, maybe my face did not fit

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Posts: 24
Joined: Feb 2010
Post: #7
17-09-2013 04:52 PM

I would like to say that I am also very sad, we have bought a number of paintings/etchings and had items framed and really love having the gallery on the high street. We had hoped to get another item framed before closing but didn't get in there in time.

I'd also like to add that this forum does tend to be quite quiet, I don't know why that is, perhaps some people feel uncomfortable responding to posts but you are definitely not alone in your thoughts about the gallery.

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Posts: 39
Joined: Sep 2010
Post: #8
17-09-2013 08:21 PM

It is a real shame. I have a number of pictures that have been famed incredibly well by John, including a tricky charcoal one that kept shedding that he did an excellent job with. I wish him all of the best in retirement.

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Posts: 187
Joined: May 2010
Post: #9
18-09-2013 08:16 AM

I will definitely miss this lovely little shop. Excellent job with the framing we had done and we purchased several of his pictures too.

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Posts: 272
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #10
18-09-2013 09:49 AM

Such a shame -a lovely little shop. My concern is that with the change in planning laws the landlord may look to eventually turn it into residential. One way of stopping this is via honor oak park being a conservation area. John told me the landlord is looking for about £14k for the unit but the back of the unit might be developed into a flat, so would be a small unit rental wise.

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Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #11
18-09-2013 11:06 AM

It is a pity, we have had some framing done there and had hoped to put more business its way yet.

Tersie, I think you are absolutely right. Residential will take over unless something is put in place like a Conservation Area. I can see a problem here - residential creeps in at the rear which leaves an area that is too small for most commercial purposes at the "market rate", this then strengthens argument for complete conversion to residential. There are some parallels here to what has happened at the Old White Wood shop, though in that case at least the commercial use is retained for the time being - shopping space has been lost though.

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Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #12
18-09-2013 11:50 PM

He once framed a picture for me. He put a crease in it and said nothing. I paid a hundred pounds, but I never went back, neither to complain, nor to frame another picture. I look at that crease every day which only shows when the light shines from above.

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Posts: 358
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #13
19-09-2013 08:49 AM

SAF - if a customer is not happy with a product or service because of a fault, they take it back, or complain there and then. In most cases, and I'm sure this would include the gallery, the provider of the service will be happy to rectify the problem. But hey, I'm glad you waited with your second post since 2007 until there was something really deep and meaningful to contribute.

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Posts: 19
Joined: Sep 2011
Post: #14
19-09-2013 03:38 PM

SAF Ė sorry to hear of your experience with the HOP Gallery, but I agree with Tinkerbell, why did you not take it back and at least discuss it with John? John is an absolute gentleman and Iím sure he would have found a way to rectify what you believe was an error on his part.

I find it so difficult to believe though, as this so differs from my own experience of the past 15 years of using the Gallery. One of the items I took in for framing was an A5 Tour Flier of my lifelong favourite US Rock band, which in my excitement at managing to get my hands on the flier (backstage!), I stuffed into my handbag. Needless to say when I got home it was well and truly crumpled.
Somehow John worked his magic and I was astounded when I collected it Ė you would need to examine it under a microscope to find any evidence of even the slightest crease Ė and believe me it was seriously creased, horizontally and vertically, after lying in my handbag being bashed about for a couple of hours!

There are 4 items in my collection which I had framed before coming to live in HOP Ė I had John reframe them for me as his standard and care of work far exceeded the workmanship of the obscenely expensive company I had used in the City! John took the same care with that A5 flier as he did with the many other large pictures and prints I've had framed by him over the years.

Such a shame you didnít take it back as Iím certain something could have been done especially as it continues to niggle you.

The departure of John Broad and his lovely Honor Oak Park Gallery is an immense loss to all of us in HOP and those of us in particular who live on the Street.

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Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2013
Post: #15
19-09-2013 11:23 PM

I have only been in the framing shop once where I was welcomed by John and spoke to him for a long time about the parade and his retirement. I found him to be an extremely gentle and kind man and I wish him all the best.

I wonder whether we can get in touch with the family who own the building in Streatham and see what the plans are?

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Nick M

Posts: 35
Joined: Sep 2012
Post: #16
20-09-2013 09:18 AM

It's a great shame he's closing. I went in there too recently and he was kind and talkative and reflective on his time in HOP. Alas he did not think he would have time to do my print before retiring so I ultimately went elsewhere.

I also don't understand why people don't take things back if there is something wrong with them, the English have a very weird attitude about service culture.

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Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2012
Post: #17
24-09-2013 11:54 AM

I'd like to do a story for South London Press on this - I gather that there has been concern about people wanting to take on empty units in Honor Oak but finding rents too high. I gather also someone wanted to take on the framing shop but landlord not keen - is this true? I had a call from someone today who is concerned at empty shops in the parade.
Kate Gould 020 8835 9709

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Posts: 358
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #18
25-09-2013 09:30 AM

It's probably best if you go to the gallery and have a chat with the owner yourself on that story while it's still open, as its due to close at the end of the month. He did mention that someone wanted to take it on and continue the gallery, and that they were surprised when the landlord then no longer wanted to go ahead with that.

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Posts: 22
Joined: Aug 2010
Post: #19
11-12-2013 05:55 PM

Now that the Old Bank appears sorted, does anyone know if there is a new tenant planned for this site? A decent bakery would be good!

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