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Around Dulwich: A Year in Review

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With every new year comes fresh opportunity.

For some, it is a chance to to evaluate where they are in their personal lives and think about where they would like to be.  For others, it is about health and fitness, or lack thereof.  Many will use this time to launch a new venture, or finally take up a long dreamed about hobby.

For most, the passing of a year is a chance for reflection.  Not to dwell, but to remember the good times and the bad.

With that in mind, here are a few of the highs and the lows from around Dulwich in 2013.

In the Community…

The biggest names in international street art created an outdoor gallery of large scale public murals inspired by works held by Dulwich Picture Gallery, England’s oldest public gallery, in association with the Dulwich Festival.

A host of exciting events took place for the 20th Dulwich Festival this year.  From art in all its forms to music of many kinds there was something for everyone.

The annual Dulwich Festival Fair on Goose Green was the biggest yet.  Over 100 stalls transformed Goose Green into a hub of activity and entertainment.

East Dulwich welcomed its First East Dulwich Real Ale & Cider Festival in association with the South East London Branch of CAMRA and newly-promoted Dulwich Hamlet Football Club, who find themselves in the heady heights of second place in the Ryman League Premier Division.  Let’s sing our hearts out for the Pink and Blue Army and see the boys promoted again come May!

Dulwich Cricket Club’s 1st XI fared less well and got relegated from the Surrey Championship Division One.  Let’s hope for a swift return!  The club as a whole continues to thrive, especially now that it is part of the Southwark Community Sports Trust that runs the sports fields on Turney Road.  The misfits of the 7th XI went winless, however, but carried the Dulwich flag on their 6th straight Whitsun and cider-packed tour to Somerset!

Just round the corner from Turney Road, residents of Herne Hill woke up on the morning of Aug. 7 to find themselves trapped in their homes after a water pipe dating back to 1925 burst.  The flood, which saw water levels up at a metre and a half, has caused misery for many of the local businesses.  The community pulled together and many of the local businesses are back up and running.  Unfortunately the Half Moon pub remains idle. Let’s hope we can soon get in there and raise a jar to one of south London’s most iconic pubs!

The spirit of the community post-flood was further evidenced at The Herne Hill Music Festival, which showcased a selection of live jazz, classical and lighter music for a full week at various local pubs and venues.  Live Love Local launched a loyalty card to encourage shoppers to shop local. 

Other examples of the community working together include the £70,000 raised to help Xavier, a little boy with cerebral palsy, so he could undergo surgery and have the chance to walk on his own.

After the theft of Hepworth’s Two Forms from Dulwich Park overnight in December 2011, some local artists – Heather Burrell, Kate Miller and Pat Rae – collaborated with Trevor Moore of Dulwich Park Friends to keep Hepworth and her work in the public eye.  These efforts  culminated in a unique event called ‘Homage to Hepworth’ at the Michael Croft Theatre at Alleyn’s School.

Our local police station closed! What’s going to emerge there in the future?

Local residents took to the streets, gardens and community spaces of East Dulwich for the fifth annual Big Lunch.

The Dulwich Society marked its fiftieth year by placing twelve plaques around Dulwich at the sites of significant civilian loss of life in World War ll.

The Africa Live Festival brought together the best selection of African themed arts and crafts, fashion, jewellery, handmade bespoke goods, holistic therapies and food, storytelling and live music.

Dolce Vita Catering was awarded five Taste Awards for their cakes, brownies and cupcakes.

In the Press…

Dulwich and its surroundings got several mentions as the country went housing market mad again.  Don’t we all remember how things turned out the last time house prices went through the roof?….And the time before that come to mention it!

East Dulwich’s very own high street, Lordship Lane, was featured in a piece in The Guardian on Saturday, to celebrate independent retailers.

Members of our very own East Dulwich WI feature in an article in RED magazine on How The WI Got Its Groove Back.  The piece profiled a younger, funkier and more techno savvy generation of women who are increasingly turning towards the WI to socialise and network, as well as to still enjoy some of the more traditional craft activities.

SE22 Magazine celebrated 100 issues in June.

Around Dulwich, the glossy online supplement to SE Magazines, officially launched.

On the high street…

It’s been another year of change on and off the strip.  Old faves have gone, new ones have hopefully pitched up.

2013 newcomers included restaurant and wine shop ToastED, the successor to Green and Blue.  Round the corner, the Flying Pig and Aneto cafe have set up shop on East Dulwich Road.

Belair House returned in November, with the new owners of what was Beauberry House reverting to the grand Georgian mansion’s previous name.  The aim of the new owners it to revive the building to reflect its heritage, charm and legacy.

The Herne is under new ownership – let’s hope the pub helps make up for some of the disappointment that has afflicted sister pub, the Half Moon in Herne Hill.   The Clock House and the Blue Mountain Cafe got a revamp while the Palmerston opened a fine dining room.   The Patch opened its “new” doors where once the Magdala or the Magnolia stood.

Duck Egg Café set up on North Cross Road hoping to gain from the popularity of the market.  And the Sea Cow celebrated 10 years on Lordship Lane.  No surprise it’s hit that milestone.

And if anyone fancies something sweet in whatever the weather, Oddono’s, the ice cream makers, added Dulwich to their list of shops.

It’s not all about food and drink around Dulwich!  Mabel, a vintage clothes store opened on Melbourne Grove, and Mary Portas opened her twelfth ‘Mary’s Living & Giving Shop’  in conjunction with Save the Children on Lordship Lane.

Further up the strip, Lush Designs, purveyors of  lampshades and china mugs, returned, with Marie Rodgers and Maria Livings renewing their long association with East Dulwich.  Davies & Vaughan provide a range of jewellery and a bespoke service on Upland Road.

Wigwam, a children’s clothes and toy shop opened up on the Rosendale Road parade of shops in West Dulwich.

In early December, the Christmas Cracker run by Southwark Council in partnership with the South Southwark Business Association, offered exclusive deals and sales from local businesses to shoppers for one day only.

And for those contemplating how to get back to work once the festivities are over, a cycle hub at Peckham Rye station has opened. Its intention is to support and encourage local passengers to get on their bike. 

Happy New Year!

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Contributors: Angela Burgess, Sarah Pylas, Pan Pylas