New members will receive a copy of a local directory providing useful contact points for health, shopping and social action.
Local primary schools are Fairlawn School and Horniman School. Nearby State secondary schools are Sydenham Girls School, and Forest Hill Boys School.
Southern operates services to London Bridge from Forest Hill and Honor Oak Park stations. London Bridge is now on the Jubilee Line for fast connections to the West End, as well as the Northern Line. Journey time to London Bridge is about 14 minutes and there are 4 trains an hour for most of the day. Outside the peak hours there are also direct services to Victoria. Oyster cards can’t be used on the overground, but this may change.
Forest Hill is served by a number of useful bus routes including:
63 provides a simple connection to Kings Cross via Peckham and Elephant and Castle, taking around 50 minutes off peak. The 63 terminus is outside the Forest Hill tavern. The route is now split with the 363 running from Elephant and Castle to CrystalPalace.
176 runs via Waterloo to Oxford Circus. The night version ( N176 ) will get you home at any time!
185 runs to Victoria and in the opposite direction, to Lewisham.
312 runs from Peckham via Forest Hill Station to East and South Croydon.
P4 provides a connection to the Victoria Line at Brixton and in the opposite direction, to Lewisham.
P12 runs from Brockley Rise via Honor Oak Park Station to Peckham.
Most of these buses run along the South Circular past the Horniman Museum. The 363 runs along Wood Vale although the 63 terminates outside the Forest Hill Tavern in Forest Hill Road (near the end of Wood Vale). The P4 goes along Honor Oak Road. The P12 goes via Honor Oak Park and Forest Hill Road.
The 176 and 312 have recently been allocated priority status that should mean improved shelters and stopping areas. The 185 has been granted ‘premier status’ – improved buses, countdown systems at stops and bus lane enforcement action are promised.
The Horniman Museum (8699 1872) www.horniman.ac.uk
The Horniman Museum and Gardens is one of the focal points of Forest Hill. The museum is renowned for its collections of world-wide cultural artefacts, natural history, and musical instruments and has a reference library. A fairly recent addition is the Centre for Understanding the Environment (CUE) which looks out over the water garden.
The 16 acres of largely ornamental gardens have a number of features, including a small animal enclosure and a nature trail along the line of the former railway to Crystal Palace. Free band concerts, children’s shows, and other events are held during the summer, and there are popular horticultural demonstrations. The Museum runs courses in crafts, photography etc.
As well as Horniman Gardens we are fortunate in having a number of valuable open spaces on our doorstep.
One Tree Hill – just the other side of Honor Oak Park provides some excellent hilly woodland and tremendous views from the top.
Running alongside Brenchley Gardens is a very pleasant little park on the part of the former railway from Nunhead to Crystal Palace High Level Station. Also on this railway bed alongside Wood Vale near its junction with the South Circular is a nature trail run as part of Horniman Gardens. Cross the South Circular and continue through the Council Estate along the line of the railway and you are into Sydenham Woods – also a fantastic nature area.
For wider open spaces try Peckham Rye – flat enough to kick a football around, but also with some hidden corners of formal gardens and trees.
Lewisham Council www.lewisham.gov.uk
The Council has recently introduced direct dial numbers for all departments. The switchboard, 0208 314 6000, can direct you to any council service you may require.
Wheelie bins are emptied on Wednesdays. The grey one is for refuse and the green one for paper, glass, plastic and metal. Call the council for a free recycling bin if you don’t have one.
Our road representatives, and some other members, are Lewisham StreetLeaders and have special cards for reporting street defects (lighting, pavements, abandoned vehicles, blocked drains, litter, etc.), to the Council. However, if everyone calls the Council on their special Envirocall phone number, 0208 314 7171 to report such problems as soon as they are spotted, they are likely to get fixed sooner.