Viven_PiercyIn the July issue of SE21, local resident and business owner Vivien Piercy had the last word.  See what she had to say:

My name is Vivien Piercy. This is the 20th year I have been running a family law firm of solicitors in West Dulwich where I work from home with my partner, Mark Piercy.

How long have you lived in the area and what has changed most during that time?

When we were looking for more space for our growing family, nearby parks and a friendly neighbourhood, we found this in West Dulwich where to our surprise we have remained ever since. 30 years ago the area was a leafy family suburb and a touch dull. Unwelcoming pubs, unenterprising restaurants, and certainly no takers for hot pod yoga, clothes shops, a Sicilian deli or food stalls.  Things have begun to change in West Dulwich.

What do you value most about the street you live in? Do you know your neighbours?

Carson Road is more a community than a street, where neighbours look out for one another, open their doors to each other and spend hours and hours planning small festivities that bring people together.

Do you belong to any groups?

I joined the choir of All Saints Church West Dulwich when our children joined the junior choir. We have been hugely blessed to have as our directors of music the notable counter-tenor Tim Penrose, who has been followed by the wonderful soprano Ruth Holton . In turn they introduced us to sacred music spanning 5 centuries including the music of such composers as Byrd, Tallis, Gibbons and Purcell as well as wonderful settings of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis. Not something you would normally expect to stumble upon in a parish choir.

What’s your favourite place for a night out?

Good film at the East Dulwich Picture House followed by a pizza at bustling, welcoming Franco Manca.

Where’s your favourite place to walk?

Brockwell Park for views over London and a slice of London life – Nordic walkers, tai chi exercisers, basketball players, park runners, Lido swimmers, community gardeners, dogs walking their owners, picnickers celebrating the end of their day. And after stopping at the café, visit the ponds to see the herons, cormorants, coots and moorhens and the annual nesting of swans. Then check out the new meadow and as you walk through the park notice the enormous variety of trees in Brockwell –  if only someone would label them!

My favourite shop in West Dulwich

The best shop is without doubt Dulwich Books which must be one of the most enterprising bookshops around. Wonderful selection of children’s books, and very knowledgeable staff who are so efficient that they will get a book for you faster than Amazon.

The book I am reading at the moment

The book I am reading at the moment is Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year for a fascinating contrast and some perspective on our miserable present pandemic and a welcome change from daily news bulletins.

This article first appeared in the July issue of SE21.