Thursday, 26 April 2007

Map of Forest Hill, London, SE23

More maps!

I've been updating some of my walks on the new My Maps feature (more of these soon), and I thought I would start with this one:

What, and Where is SE23?

Well, this is it, as far as I can determine. I think I may need to double check the Mayow Park bit as I thought at least part was SE23, but maybe not.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Devonshire Road Nature Reserve - update

Just posted a review of the Forest Hill Society walk around the Nature Reserve.

You can read the full details here.

You can see the photos here.

Technically these paths don't qualify as part of my quest, but the point of the walking is to explore the area and find interesting spots I might otherwise miss. This definitely qualifies.

I have joined as a Friend of the Devonshire Road Nature Reserve (FOTDRNS!) and volunteered to help, so I hope to go back soon. It might even give me a chance to access the equivalent reserve on the other side of the tracks (Gartmore Road Nature Reserve) that is otherwise locked for safety.

See you there?

Eliot Bank in Glorious Technicolor

Michael of the Forest Hill Society alerted me to the very welcome arrival of Google Maps new tool.

MyMaps rocks!

I have been eyeing this for some time, thinking it would be perfect for me, but it was technically too complex (KML anyone!?!?). Thankfully the techies at Google have done the hard work for me and created a very easy interface for creating the maps.

Take a look at the route map of the walk "Up Eliot Bank".

I will try to find the time to go back and map the others, but will certainly be using this from now on.

Thank you Google!

Monday, 23 April 2007

Let's all Zimbio

Well, the name isn't very catchy (Zimbio?), but the tool might be useful.

Lewisham_Kate has used this tool to create a local "wikizine" bringing together articles and content from local bloggers in Lewisham.

Check it out at:

If a few of us get actively involved (yes, another update each time you post!) it could be quite useful.

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Who's round is it anyway? (updated)

OK! I know. I owe Max and Andrew a drink. With all of us there I never got round to my round. Next event I promise to make it up to you - so maybe we can plan the next Lewisham Bloggers' gathering in Forest Hill?

Thanks to Andrew for pulling it all together and getting such an interesting crowd of people together. There are loads of things going on everywhere, and Lewisham is no exception. So why not expect a motley crew of bloggers covering a range of topics? The strange thing is how much we do have in common despite all the different lenses we use to review our lives through blogging.

So, you wanted some photos, and here they are. You can see the few I have salvaged. On the night I thought I might be putting various papparazi and even some fashion photographers out of a job with my skills as a photographer. Fortunately I have a day job to go back to, and they can continue to sleep well at night. Having said that, a few photos did come out (after much computer enhancement).

Thanks to all those I met for a wonderful evening. Just so I don't forget, I thought I would list the blogs of those who came to the event to remind me to add more links to them.

Andrew Brown ::photo::
[Someday I will treat you good]

Basswulf ::photo::
[Down in the Den]

Lewisham Girl ::photo::
[Lewisham Sucks & maybe Isn't Great for Everyone]

BONUS LINK: Kate - here is that site I mentioned with the kitten animations and the music: Rather Good, and an example of what I mentioned here: I want to take you to a ..., Independent Woman, (you have to watch both of these, but they loop, so feel free to click BACK!) Ninja Cats and check out the Morris Dancers link below.

Michael Abrahams ::photo::
[Forest Hill Society]

Bob ::photo::
[Bob from Brockley]

UPDATE: photo has been updated to protect the anonymous!! anyone interested in "disappearing" and entering the blogging witness protection scheme?

Andrew ::photo::
[The Ragged School Blog]

Max ::photo::
[Max's Stuff & Max's Ink]

Richard Sanderson ::photo:: - sorry none came out as they were too dark!!
[Baggage Reclaim]
BONUS LINK: Morris Dancing - just for you :)

Adam Tinworth ::photo::
[One man and his blog]

James Cleverly ::photo::
[James Cleverly]

Did I get everyone??

UPDATE: Sorry, forgot Tom Hamilton of Let's Be Sensible and I saw that two others who arrived but I didn't get a chance to meet you, Katy and publicansdecoy. Next time.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Walking Lewisham in Company

Although my own goal is to get to know Forest Hill better, and I have not yet completed that task, Andrew (K) Brown over at "some day I will treat you good" alerted me to the Lewisham Walking Festival

On the programme there are a few walks around Forest Hill, mainly involving the Horniman Museum and my new favourite the Devonshire Road Nature Reserve, but you may want to look at others (like the pub walk?).

Worth supporting if you want to get out and start walking too.

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Back to Nature in London

I will be rather busy next week with a course, so no time to write up my visit to the Devonshire Road Nature Reserve in detail for a while. However, I just wanted to say thanks to the Forest Hill Society for organising a wonderful visit, and to everyone who gave up their time there to host us so magnificently.

The volunteers who run this nature reserve in conjunction with Lewisham Council are doing a great job and it is a place everyone in Forest Hill should take pride in, if not actively support. Little plots of "real" nature (as opposed to the manicured gardens and busy parks, that have their place, but are more about entertainment than nature) are an oasis from our every day stresses. We need to fight to keep the ones that still exist (I sound like a convert, don't I?)

More on this in future, of this I am sure. However, a quick note for those interested:

The reserve is open to the public on the last Sunday afternoon of every month and there is a children’s club on the first Sunday morning of each month. The wildlife garden and visitor’s centre is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays (term time only). We also run a number of events during the year, including an annual Open Day.

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Devonshire Road Nature Reserve

One of my "must visit" places will be ticked off the list tomorrow (Sunday 15th April) when I plan to go along to the Forest Hill Society's guided walk of this nature reserve (walk starts at 14:00).

I don't know much about the place yet, but I'm sure I shall be posting more about it very soon.

Click here for the map.

More information on the visit from the FHS here.

If you want to come along it is free and sounds like it will be the perfect weather for it (25°C).

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Update: Up Eliot Bank

Just updated my previous post on my walk Up Eliot Bank with a comment by Mayor Steve [about half way through]

Should we start a campaign to help other orphan roads out there?

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

What is this building? updated

Can anyone tell me what this building is or does?

I was walking to Mayow Park this weekend (lovely place that is in the sun) and I finally had a few extra moments to check out the building.

It is on Mayow Road, just between the school and the park and just in front of the tower blocks.

It has large bay doors that seem to be able to accommodate large trucks, but no other real windows or other features. I thought it was a hall, but considering the lack of access, I now doubt it.

Anyone out there know?

Here is a link to the satellite image

Update: thanks to Courtney Hamilton for this information in the comments (and for correcting my spelling of Mayow):

"The building is used by the council to store machinery for Mayow Park next door.

They have a couple of those motorised lawnmowers, cages for cut grass, and lots of other machines you need to keep a park like Mayow in tip-top order."

Monday, 2 April 2007

Up Eliot Bank

The longer I leave it between posts, the further behind I fall with posting about these walks. I currently have 5 to write up and now that the weather is improving I imagine I will be getting out even more.

On the 12th of March I organised a work meeting at the Horniman Cafe. It seemed like it was to be a good day, so when my colleague asked me where we should meet, I instantly thought about getting away from the house and into some green space.

I left the house a little early (on purpose) and decided to walk to the Horniman, but take a sudden and last minute diversion up Eliot Bank. This hill has been intriguing me for some time. There is something about these residential streets that makes you feel like you are trespassing without an invitation, when in fact they are still public highways.

I headed up the steep hill opposite Honor Oak Road and the museum to find out what lay at the top. The area is called "Forest Estate" and the buildings at this level are all 60's/70's apartment blocks. They must have a pretty good view although I am not sure of the longevity of anything built at that time.

Once you reach the top there is a central green with tall buildings facing North, and smaller family terraced housing around the other sides. This is a nicely secluded spot, and certainly was quiet compared to the traffic on the road below.

Just off this green is a side road called Knapdale Close that skirts behind the impressive Forest Grove building (accesible from Taymount Rise - see my separate walk) and down to the back of the Shackleton Close Estate (whose buildings, see here on the left, I now learn, are designed in a 'Streamline Moderne' Art Deco style).

Following the main road from the green you pass an attractive building called Phoenix House which I believe is a health clinic of some sort (nice building to house it in) to one of the worst maintained roads I have seen in London. I guess this is one way to ensure that this does not become a 'rat-run' to Crystal Palace for daily commuters.

[Edit 12/04/2007: A member called Mayor Steve left me this message concerning this road:

"Sorry to be pedantic but as I understand it this is not on Lewisham's priority list because it isn't a Lewisham road! Its an unadopted road which is the responsibility of the residents living there.

Mayor Steve"

I have no idea or evidence that this was THE Mayor Steve we all know, but sure sounds like I annoyed someone at the Council]

The road emerges on the roundabout at the top of Sydenham Hill, so I am skirting with the borders of SE23 here, and as my colleague will eventually wonder where I am, I decide to head back down the hill - all 12% (+ tilt) of it.

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. However, it has a reputation as an old 'plague' burial ground. I believe that this is without substance, but this is a question I need to get "my mate Steve" to confirm for me.

After my meeting at the museum, I used the opportunity to sneak up the roads around Surrey Mount. There are some houses here, between the museum and the Tesco garage on the corner of Honor Oak Road, that back onto the museum. Nothing much to report (I had hoped to find Frederick Horniman's House, but I gather that was demolished) but my quest is to walk ALL SE23 streets in 2007, so must do my best.

I did not have the time to climb up inside the buildings on Eliot Bank as I would have liked, but I have been told the view is great. This was another walk that opened my eyes to parts of Forest Hill that were totally new to me and connected the dots with other walks on other routes. All in all, a short walk, but a good one.

[Edit 8 April: If all works as planned, this link should take you to a map of the route courtesy of Google Maps]