In 1993 Valerie Thorncroft founded Dulwich Festival, joined by Alison Loyd and Marguerite Weedy. Run entirely by volunteers, it focused on community events, free entertainment for all ages, local artistes, poetry, music and public art.
How long have you lived in the area?
We both lived in this area over 50 years
What has changed most during that time?
The social mix – 30 years ago East Dulwich was quite a deprived area and there wer no cafes in the Village.
What do you most value about the area/ street you live in?
Marguerite – I value the Edwardian houses, the tree lined road and the proximity to the Village.
Alison – I value how green it is with so many trees and parks; villagey atmosphere and easy access to central London.
What’s the one thing you couldn’t do without?
M- I couldn’t do without books and am grateful that we still hae a bookshop in Dulwich Village.
A- Local buses.
Do you know your neighbours?
M- My neighbours were most helpful during lockdown.
A- Me too
Do you belong to any groups?
M- I co-ordinate the neighbourhood watch group for my road and have done since the 1980s. I also belong to the Safer Neighbourhood Panel.
A- I belong to U3A, a political ideas group and Modern Architecture Group.
Describe your perfect weekend
A- Weekend in Sydney with my daughter’s family, swimming, walking on Curl Curl beach, evening BBQ with friends.
Where are you likely to be found on Saturday?
A- North Cross Road market off Lordship Lane.
What is your favourite place to eat?
M – A Greek restaurant in Camberwell.
Coffee or tea? Where
M- I like the coffee shops in Dulwich particularly Romeo Jones and Au Ciel.
What’s your favourite place to go for a drink?
M- Nowadays I tend not to go to pubs often but the Crown & Greyhound is very welcoming.
A- My garden on a summer evening.
Where’s your favourite place to walk?
M- I enjoy walking in Dulwich Woods and five days a week I regularly walk in Dulwich Park.
A- Belair, Dulwich Woods or along the South Bank when I want to relax – I’m still trying to learn how.
My secret ambition?
M- To be more successful in growing vegetables
A- To cook like Ottolenghi