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First ever model railway show to come to Dulwich

On Saturday 26th May, the first ever Model Railway Show will come to Dulwich and there will be a actual mainline railway bridge within the grounds of James Allen’s Girls School!

The event is being held from 10am – 4.30pm and people are invited to make tracks to the model railway. Up to 20 model railway layouts, along with a number of trade stands, will be on show in a variety of scales from tiny z gauge to o gauge.

The exhibition is being supported by clubs and modellers from around London, Kent, Essex, Herts with layouts including:

  • Springfield Street Yard, an American switching yard set in a town somewhere south west of Chicago Illinois.
  • Midsummer End, a 1940s steam railway with model aircraft flying above.
  • St Mellion, is a small village situated in East Cornwall – a little west of the River Tamar.
  • Ville A La Campagne, a quiet French country town.

There is something about model railways that retains a fascination for those of all ages from five to ninety and probably beyond.

Despite the attractions of other hi-tech past times, many people always find times to enjoy model trains in action and their will be plenty for visitors to see.

The exhibition will be an opportunity for people to enjoy nostalgia in miniature for others to learn about a new potential past time or simply appreciate the care taken to create a model railway.

The organisers are extremely grateful to all the exhibitors who are taking part in the event, some whom are travelling long distances to attend.

There is a small admission to the event.

James Allen’s Girls School, 144 East Dulwich Grove, London, SE22 8TE

Dulwich Festival Artists’ Open House

This year’s Dulwich Festival Artists’ Open House will take place over the weekends of 12-13 and 19-20 May, 11-6pm. Over 250 South London-based artists will open their homes and studios, giving the public an opportunity to view their work and talk to the makers about their creative processes.

This year’s artists will represent a huge range of styles and disciplines, ranging from painting, photography and illustration to ceramics, jewellery, textiles and model dioramas, many in the intimate setting of their own homes and studios.

The Festival’s Artists’ Open House is also an opportunity to discover a diverse range of hidden creative communities within your own local neighbourhood; from industrial warehouses in Peckham, to grand manor houses in Dulwich.

Tucked away behind the busy thoroughfare of Forest Hill, Havelock Mews is a charming cobbled street with a delightfully incongruous mix of buildings. Wander through the studios, chat with the artists and designers; relax in the sunshine as you take in a live music set or sample some street food.

Or why not head over to Copeland Park and the iconic Bussey Building in Peckham and visit one of the vibrant community’s latest offerings; the Kiln Rooms Clay Store is a showcase for dozens of up-and-coming ceramic artists and designers.

And for yet another completely different experience, the restored Georgian mansion, Bell House, in Dulwich village, will be using its elegant walls as a gallery space.

Full details of this year’s displaying artists can be found in the official Dulwich Festival Artists’ Open House 2018 booklet and on the Dulwich Festival website where you can download a copy of the booklet.

The Dulwich Festival’s celebration of Street Art continues with a new commission for the London Wildlife Trust’s beautiful gardens at 28 Marsden Road, Peckham SE15 4EE. Acclaimed street artist ATM will be painting live during the first weekend of the Festival. Take a stroll over to the gardens on 12th & 13th May where, weather-permitting, ATM will be creating a site-specific mural for the entrance. The wildlife gardens are home to a variety of interesting species and Sunday 13th will see a range of children-friendly wildlife activities led by the LWT team.

The full extent of the amazing Street Art to be found throughout Dulwich can be explored by joining one of the Street Art Walks led by Amanda Greatorex at 2pm on either Saturday 12th or Sunday 13th May.

Full details of the all fairs, music, talks, walks and performances in this year’s Dulwich Festival can be found at,uk

Homemade lemon table decorations

Freshen your Lunch or dinner table this May with these unique Lemon table decorations. They can be used as place settings, or grouped as a centrepiece.

You will need

  • A bag of lemons
  • Flowers, I used Orange Roses, Alstroemaria, and a selection from the garden.
  • Secateurs and a sharp kitchen knife
  • Craft tags

Step1 – cut off the bottom of your lemon, so it sits flat. Then cut the top of, about ¼ so you have a nice little flower holder

Step 2 – cut your rose leaving about 3-4 inches of stem, and place in the middle of the lemon. Hold the stalk firmly when pushing into the lemon so as not to break it.

Step 3 – work around the centre rose with your assorted flowers and foliage – to make a miniature posy.

Step 4 – write your guests names on the craft tags, and tie to the stem of the rose.

Step 5 – place on your table, make sure you use a plate or saucer so as not to stain you cloth or table with lemon juice.

This article first appeared in the May 2018 issue of SE22 magazine.

Bell House – May events

Never Have to Ask Twice

10th May, 7-9pm 

Does it drive you mad when your children don’t listen to you? This parenting talk will cover why children don’t listen, and what parents can do to encourage children to listen to and follow instructions. Don’t miss this three stage approach for maximising cooperation.

Tickets – £10 (free and subsidised places available)

Come and Ring

26th May

Your chance to enjoy the art of handbell tune ringing – learn about the instruments and how to play them, as part of a team. All equipment provided, and no previous experience necessary! All ages welcome, 10 years and up.

Tickets – on a donation basis

Sourdough Baking

26th May

Bell House is excited to be working with Christopher, from Christopher’s Bakery on Half Moon Lane, to offer a sourdough course. A hands-on introduction to the art of baking sourdough bread – with the promise of new baking skills, and a delicious loaf to take home at the end!

Purls of Wisdom

Fridays from 18th May – 22nd June (except 1st June), 11am-12.30pm

Knitting feeds the mind, body and soul. This 5 week knitting course will introduce techniques which can create a patchwork of squares- building to large pieces such as scarves, cushion covers or blankets. Come and learn in a relaxing environment, and have something wonderful to take home at the end.

Tickets: £55 (free and subsidised places available)

Artist’s Open House

12th-13th and 19th-20th May

Benjamin and Pip Rice are having an exhibition of photographs and basketry as part of the Dulwich Festival. Benjamin is showing four projects, including his incredible Dry Stone Walls and beautiful Wild Cherry. Pip will be showcasing her traditional and experimental baskets, using materials gathered from foraging – including some materials from Bell House Gardens.

All tickets will be available via Eventbrite or you can find out details via



New music centre set to honour Ralph Vaughan Williams

A new music venue in East Dulwich will be named after the celebrated composer who taught music in the area in the early twentieth century.

Officially opening in September, the new Community Music Centre at James Allen’s Girls’ School (JAGS) will provide the school and local community with complete facilities for music of all genres from orchestral and choral through to contemporary bands and soloists. The vast Vaughan Williams Auditorium will be the centre piece with capacity to seat audiences of 500 people and providing state of the art, professional lighting and sound equipment. There will also be ample space for performers to rehearse ahead of their shows with 15 practice rooms.

Hugh Cobbe, Director of the Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust which was set up by the composer’s widow Ursula to promote his work, said:

“Ralph Vaughan Williams once said that music enables people to see past facts to the very essence of things in a way which science cannot do. He would have been delighted that the new Community Music Centre at James Allen’s Girl’s School was to bear his name.

“So much of his music was intended for the wider community and the Trust, set up under his widow’s will, very much has that in mind in its operations. We wish the new Vaughan Williams Auditorium every success.”

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 – 1958) is one of Britain’s most popular composers whose works are still widely performed today. His piece “The Lark Ascending” has regularly topped polls of the country’s most popular pieces of classical music.

He came to JAGS as director of music in 1904 and later introduced his friend Gustav Holst to the school. Holst went on to teach music there for over 15 years and the hall in the main school building is named after him.

Headmistress of JAGS, Sally-Anne Huang said:

“We can’t wait to open the doors to the new music centre and share it with our neighbours. This is not just about JAGS, it will also be here for other local schools, musicians and community groups.

“It is such a privilege to be able to commemorate Ralph Vaughan Williams in this way. Having the Vaughan Williams Auditorium alongside the Holst Hall will be a fitting tribute reflecting the exceptional musical heritage laid down by these great names and continued here at JAGS into the twenty first century.”