March/April 2018 Newsletter

LPF Newsletter (for the “retired” and “about-to-retire”)
March—April 2018 Registered Charity No 1158175
write to us at: The Old Town Hall, Catford Road, SE6 4RU
telephone: 020 8690 7869
(or call in at St Mauritius House on Mondays)

Dear Reader,

Phew! What a time we have had! Since the last Newsletter we have been working extra hard to hold the Health Fair, and what a time you had – those who attended. I would like to thank those of you who came, participated, enjoyed, benefitted; those of you who worked hard on the day, including the exhibitors, but most importantly, those who did the preparatory work. By the latter I mean Tracey and Tamsin, especially Tracey who worked beyond midnight ensuring that we had hot home-made soup on a potentially cold day.

The new Projects Manager is settling in nicely and, along with “my colleague”, Tamsin, they are working in tandem to keep the workflow moving, and I can elucidate, there is a lot of work that goes on in that little office. Now, the work goes on. As I write this we are in the process of preparing for the next Forum (see back page). This promises to be both enlightening and enlivening—and a chance for us to express our views on the Age-Friendliness of cities in general and Lewisham in particular, so be sure to attend.

The year has rolled round again and Membership Day will be on Thursday 5th April in St Mauritius House, so be sure to come along and update, renew, or join by signing up. Still £10 for the year per member, or you can support us further with joint membership—£15 for two people at the same address. We are enclosing with this newsletter a flyer for Membership Day—do pass it on to a friend or neighbour and bring them along too.

If you have signed up recently (or a long time ago) to membership and did not get your “Welcome Pack” at the time—you are indeed welcome, even though we did not say so—and do just phone to office to ask for this to be sent. It includes a letter laying out the basis upon which we hold your data, and in that regard please do look at the DPR request on page three.

An aspect of our work where we do want to involve our members all around the Borough is raising awareness of the Forum at the regular Ward Assembly meetings. If you are intending to go to your local meeting anyway (and a new round is just starting up) do please let the office know and we will get some of our flyers, petitions and information to you—for sharing at that event. And we can also liaise with the Assembly Co-ordinator.

Duncan Peterkin is continuing his work on organising trips and visits for us. See page 2 for details and put your name down early for the April and May events which require booking. For May in particular places are limited by the number who can fit in the minibus.

Another date for your diary is Thursday 12 April—our now almost traditional Forum Hustings. Note the date, time (in the afternoon) and place, St Laurence
Centre, and do come along to interrogate candidates from all the parties standing in the upcoming mayoral and council elections on what they would for the Borough and why they expect our trust and votes.

On a different note, may I share with you a couple of events coming up which to which all are invited. First of all is a traditional Tea Dance, tickets £3 on the door, on Thursday 15 March from 2pm to 5pm in the Telegraph Hill Centre, SE14 5TY (on the 343 and 484 bus routes). Secondly, and FREE, is a school production of “Made in Dagenham” – the musical based on the film based on the story of women working at the Ford plant in Essex fighting for equal pay for equal work. Their dress rehearsal is on Wednesday 14 March at 7pm, in the Great Hall, St Dunstan’s College, Catford, SE6 4TY and they would love to have you as an audience.

In the previous Newsletter we asked you to let us have your stories from the past; we have not heard from anyone. These can be quite interesting, and our descendants can read and learn how we paved the way for them. The Forum will have them compiled so you can all have a copy.

Let’s see who will be first. I’ll personally pay your membership fee for the first person to submit, so you have one entire month in which to get your pen or iPad out. (I must say, a theme of this Newsletter seems to be matters historical—see History Notes on page 2.

Finally, you may be pleased to learn that we had a meeting with the Mayor in connection with the Saville. We had received formal notification that it is due to be sold and have now initiated the procedure to delay this sale for it to be reclaimed, if possible, for community use: by us or by others. So keep your fingers crossed.

Bridgit Sam-Bailey Chairman

Social Calendar

with Duncan Peterkin

Our March outing is stepping back in time to revisit our youth (remember Sindy, “the doll you love to dress” and Spacehoppers?) at the V&A offshoot, the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green.

This is set for Tuesday, 20 March and you can either make your own way there to gather at the entrance shortly before 11 o’clock, or, to travel in company, meet at the Lewisham DLR terminus at 10am to take the train up to Bank with a change to the Central line and then a couple of stops to Bethnal Green Underground.
But, please everyone, tell the office if you intend to come so that we can share mobile phone numbers.

Thursday 19 April we are closer to home—the Horniman Butterfly House and everyone making their own way there. As their website says “Get up close to hundreds of beautiful butterflies in our tropical garden. The specially- planted habitat is the perfect place to experience butterflies free-flying all around you and to discover amazing facts about the life-cycle and behaviour of these fascinating creatures.”
The cost will be set at £5.50 with a timed ticket for mid- morning (precise time to be confirmed when you sign up and pay). You therefore need to arrive early., but you can fill the odd half hour by visiting the free section of the museum and making (or renewing) your acquaintance with the world-famous overstuffed walrus.

And looking ahead to May—on Tuesday 15th we will be setting out by LCT minibus to Polhill. The pre-Christmas shopping was fun—but to see (and smell) the Garden Centre in all its glory we really need to be there in the early summer. The cost will be £8 to cover the minibus hire (possibly reduced if we can swap to a slightly larger one than currently booked and all places are taken) and booking and pre-payment essential.

Living History Notes

A lot happening around history and various aspects of our heritage at this time. Events and meetings and ways you can get involved—hence these somewhat random “Living History Notes”, some of which are campaign related, most of which we hope will be of interest to at least some of you.

It is the 100 year anniversary of women getting the vote and there is an afternoon of talk and discussion, illustrated with film clips and photos “What Working Class Women Did in the Fight for the Right to Vote” in New Cross Learning, (283-285 New Cross Road next to Iceland, near New Cross Gate Station) starting at 2pm on Sunday 11 March. In the same venue a couple of weeks later at 2pm on 25 March there is a free screening of Ken Loach’s film “Bread and Roses” based on the struggle of migrant workers in LA to organise and fight for their rights in the 1990s (history to some).

Covering a theme further back in time but geographically closer is a showing of “Archibald CameronCorbett:theManandtheHouses”. Alocally made documentary on the man behind the Corbett estates in South East London at the turn of the 20th Century. Hugely popular on its first showing, so there is another opportunity to see it on Saturday 10 March at 7pm in St. Andrew’s Church Hall, Ardgowan Road entrance, SE6 1XD. It will also be screened as part of the Lewisham Local History Society series of monthly talks on Friday 29 June at 7.45pm (when the evenings are lighter!) in the Methodist Church Hall, Albion Way, Lewisham, SE13 6BT.

Also do consider coming along to the Lewisham Local History Society’s AGM also in Albion way with a 7.30 start on Friday 6 April. Non members are welcome and the speaker will be Sir Steve Bullock on some of the highs and lows of his years as Mayor of Lewisham and the interesting history of the two mayoral chains.

If you have been listening to “Home Front” on Radio 4, you might also be interested in a book launch (also in Albion Way at 7.30) on Friday 18 May of “Dear Old Blighty” – Mike Brown (who is an excellent speaker and writer) exploring what WW1 was like for those at home.

The Chairman in her letter asks for your stories, so do get them in, and soon! And also consider the various social reminiscence groups around the Borough.

  • In Downham Library every first Thursday 10am to 12.
  • The Forest Hill Library on the first working Monday of
    each month at 10.30.
  • In the Corbett Library, Torridon Road, on the second
    Tuesdays 11 to 12.30, and also each Friday “We are
    Catford South Reminiscence Project”, also 11am.

These are all lovely, sociable groups to go along to—and just listen if you like, no obligation to contribute.

Finally, if you indulge in Facebook and have memories to share or are simply interested in old photographs, you might want to check out the public group Catford and Lewisham—way back when. Thea dministrator posts wonderful pictures every week that spark of some lively memories and exchanges.

Lewisham Pensioners Forum Hustings

St Laurence Centre, 37 Bromley Road,
Catford. 2pm to 5pm.

All are invited to come to this event being held in the Jubilee Hall, St. Laurence Centre—limited parking but on loads of bus routes.

This will be an opportunity to ask questions of representatives of the varies parties which are fielding candidates in the upcoming elections for the Council and Lewisham’s Mayor.

Although we take questions from the floor we’re also encouraging our members to submit their burning issues in advance, so send your question to the office or call in to St Mauritius House one Monday.

We still want to hear your views on Membership & Campaigning.

A questionnaire/survey on these two key factors for the LPF was sent out with a previous newsletter and, although the date of the Prize Draw referred to has passed, you can still send them in. We will be having a further draw at the March Forum meeting. If you’d like another copy, or can give some to your friends and neighbours, do come and collect one any Mondays at St. Mauritius House or the Riverdale Table. Or it’s online at

Age UK London are also in asking about your priorities in a survey—closing on 15 March so get your views in quick! This can be done on-line or we will have hard copies at St Mauritius House on Monday 12 March for you to fill in on the spot—we will then post them off to Age UK first class.

And two consultation events being conducted by Lewisham Council in the Civic Suite.

The first one is on Friday 16 March.2pm to 4pm on Air Quality. Aimed at anyone who lives or works in Lewisham and who wants to make our air cleaner.
It is better if you can register via their Eventbrite page (search “Lewisham”, “Air Quality” and “Eventbrite”) or if you cannot do that just give your details to the office and we will let the organisers know.

Secondly there is a key meeting on Lewisham’s Heritage—Lewisham Planning Community Forum at 6.30 on Thursday 22 March. It will introduce the draft London Plan, the Local Plan update and invite discussion on a new Heritage Strategy and an update to Lewisham’s Character Study.

You are asked to confirm attendance by Monday 19 March and the number given is 020 8314 5252 or email

Good news on the Campaign against cuts to CAMHS

(Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services)

Earlier in the year these essential preventative services were under threat of budget cuts. Workers from CAMHS, parents and the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign (who keep a watching brief on healthcare provision in South East London) made the case against these cuts, gave out 10,000 leaflets and got huge support with 14,000 petition signatures—thank you all who signed! There was also excellent support from Labour Party wards, many councillors, the Green Party and Women’s Equality Party, plus good coverage in the local press.

And the Mayor, Cabinet and Council had the courtesy to listen to these cogent arguments and the courage to reverse their earlier decision. So—as the placards in a most unusual demonstration outside the Civic Suite at the end of last month said—a big thank you!

It’s acknowledged that this money will have to be found by other reductions, but it has to be the right decision to maintain CAMHS, anything else would just pile up grief for hundreds of affected families and cost more public money in the future.
For more information see the on-line Guardian article on 27 February and the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign website

Data Protection Regulations 2017

These new regulations are due to come into force in May this year. Since the Forum simply uses your address (and e-mail address) to provide the service that you pay for in your membership—sending newsletters and interim e-mails—is is likely that further action on your part and ours is not in fact required. However, as a precaution and since it is not yet fully understood how the Regulations will be interpreted, it would be good to get from all our members a positive “opt-in”—that you are willing for the Forum to hold and use your contact details.

We began collecting your initialled consent last year as memberships were renewed and will continue to do so.

However, for those of you who pay by standing order please either write to the office to give this consent, stop by at a meeting or Membership Day to initial our list, or else respond to our e-mail on the matter when it is sent out later in the month.

Be assured that data and contact details are not and never will be shared with a third party.

Dates for your diary

Friday 9 March: Forum Table in the Riverdale Centre, Lewisham—come along to say “hello” and pick up latest survey, flyers, petitions etc. 10.30 to 12noon

Saturday 10 March: “Archibald Cameron Corbett: The Man and the Houses” 7pm (see page 2)

Wednesday 14 March: Made in Dagenham (free showing at St Dunstan’s College, Catford—see page 1)

Thursday 15 March: PosAC meeting 11am to 1pm in the Civic Suite, SE6 4RU on the better management of waste and recycling in Lewisham.

Telegraph Hill Festival Tea Dance 2pm-5pm (see page 1)

Friday 16 March: Lewisham Air Quality Conference 2pm-4pm Civic Suite (booking required)

Tuesday 20 March: LPF visit: Museum of Childhood (p.2)

Thursday 22 March: Lewisham Planning Community Forum (see page 3)

Friday 23 March: Riverdale Table (see above)

Thursday 5 April: Membership Day! Come along to renew your membership for 2018/9, bring a friend to join with you, and have some tea and cake on us! 10am-4pm in St. Mauritius House

Thursday 12 April: LPF Hustings, 2pm -5pm, Jubilee Hall, St. Laurence Centre, 37 Bromley Road, Catford, SE6 2TS (see page 3)

Fridays 13 and 27 April: Riverdale Table (see above) Thursday 19 April: LPF outing to the Horniman Museum
Butterfly House (see page 2)

Thursday 3 May: Mayoral and Council Elections—make sure all in your household are registered to vote!

Fridays 11 and 25 May: Riverdale Table (see above)

Tuesday 15 May: LPF outing to Polhill (see page 2)

Wednesday 30 May: Forum Meeting (details to follow)

Saturday 7 July: Lewisham People’s Day

Every Monday we’re in St. Mauritius House Lewisham Park, SE13 6QX with activities (knitting. games and puzzles) the Friendship Quilt, morning and afternoon and our Digital Drop-in 1pm to 3pm. You are also very welcome to call by between 10.30am and 2.30pm to sign up and/or pay for trips, to just say “hello”, or to raise anything with us.
Plus we are now a part of Lewisham Healthy Walks. Call by at 12noon for a short guided stroll around the ever-changing Lewisham Park.

How to find St. Mauritius House

Easy access from all bus routes going between Catford and Lewisham., near the Hospital. Get off at the “Lewisham Park” stop just north of the Hospital—then about 100m up Lewisham Park on the left there is a building with distinctive horizontal striped brickwork.

Forum March Meeting

10am (meeting starts 10.30) Wednesday 21 March
Civic Suite, Catford, SE6 4RU

Age-Friendly Cities and how plans for developments in the Borough can be made to
measure up to this ideal.

We will be hearing from the team that carried out the “Age-Friendly Cities” Survey over the summer and Team Catford on the massive changes to make improvements here. Also We Made That who are working up schemes for the New Cross and New Cross Gate area.

There will also be time to visit the LPF information tables—for you to sign up to outings and renew your membership— before the meeting closes at 1pm.