Louise Wood, Chair of the Dulwich Festival Trustees 

How long have you lived in the area?

23 years and counting! 

What brought you here?  

Friends who already lived here encouraged us to think about it as the ideal place to raise a family, and they were right. Our children cycled to school or went on the ‘walking bus’. What a great start to life they’ve had. 

What has changed most during that time?  

The public spaces have become even better with the Wildlife Trust’s work improving Dulwich Woods. The best bit? It’s all free. 

What do you most value about the street you live in? 

I honestly know most of my neighbours, thanks to our residents’ association.

Do you know your neighbours? 

We have the loveliest neighbours. like Len, who died recently and lived there for most of his 96 years – he used to wave and announce, I’m still alive Louise! as he did his daily 400-metre walk. My partner jokes that it always takes 15 minutes longer than planned to go anywhere as there’s always someone to chat to enroute Our social life takes shape that way; you couldn’t ask for more in one of the world’s major cities. 

What one thing would you change?  

I always get a good view of my road from the flight path on my way home from a trip– it’s a mixed blessing when you live there! 

What’s your favourite place for a night out?  

During the Dulwich Festival each May we have every type of fun; day and night, for 10 continuous days, right on our doorstep. What would be better? 

At other times, our back garden is filled with fairy lights: having friends round on a summer’s evening beats everything else. 

Coffee or tea? Where? 

When visiting Havelock Walk, an oasis of individual artists I pop into The Guava Kitchen, just on the corner, a delicious plant-based cafe.