Committee members have again worked exceptionally hard this year to bring improvements and Community events to our locality. Committee meetings have now returned to mostly face-to-face in the Brookmill Pub and Zoom for those who can’t come in person.
St John’s Society (SJS) work with local groups continues (Florence Road Residents Group-FRRG, Friends of Friendly Gardens – FOFG, Friends of Brookmill Park -FOBP, The Deptford Railway Meadow, St John’s Church Organ Fund, Deptford Community Choir, BrocSoc). Funding has been applied for from various sources including Thames Water, Greening, London Borough Lewisham – (LBL), South-East London Community Energy-(SELCE) etc. This resulted in a concert in March ’23, ‘The Battle of Lewisham’. Due to its last success, another has been scheduled for March ’24. Murals were painted in Friendly Park, as part of the workshop, during the ‘Picnic in the Park’ held in June’23. Again, the result of the artistic talent of our local artist, Alma Tischlerwood. A Rain Garden, in Thornville St. Various planting days and planters acquired in Friendly Gardens and St John’s Garden. Taking part in the annual BrocSoc Front Garden Sale. We continue to liaise with local resident groups.
‘St John’s Litter Pickers’ continues to meet monthly, in the warmer months, to clear up our area. Sadly, the litter pickers we bought last year were stolen but happily a local resident, seeing the good work that has occurred, donated funding to replace these immediately.
The Planning Sub-committee has now expanded with the help of our new committee member, Anastasia, who has proved to be invaluable with her help and advice and our goal to seek consistency in approach from Lewisham Planning Department. We continue to liaise with LB Planning and hope to input to the area’s appraisal which is about to take place.
The Christmas Advent Window Trail in St John’s was again a success. 8 households took part and were well attended and enjoyed by all ages. There was a slight change in approach when three households, very close together (Lind St/Albyn Road) collaborated on one night. Much singing, drinking and eating took place during these events!
EV points that we were promised, at the initial consultation for CPZ, some years ago, are beginning to appear. We have asked for clearer signs and designated parking place for cars wanting to use this new facility. This is ongoing.
An informal group was recently formed (including Cllr Stephen Penfold), to look into renovating the ‘Ghost Sign’ on Tanner’s Hill bridge. Permission was sought and granted from NR, to renovate this. We hope to have more information about this, in the future.
Investigation into funding a historic maroon plaque, for the people who died in the 1857 and 1957 train crashes at St John’s Station is still ongoing. We have now liaised with Lewisham Council Historic Department.
SJS Greening Committee continues to go from strength to strength. Another series of four talks took place in The Brookmill Pub with a huge push for the Rain Garden (Thornville St).
We hope that 2024 will bring many more talks and ideas for the area. We continue to apply for funding and have been successful, for more trees in the area. With SJS encouragement, local residents have also been inspired to fund and look after their own street trees.
St John’s Station Steering Group Committee has stalled a little while we look for someone to take over the job of leading this. It was re-established in October 2021, with our local MP Vicky Foxcroft as Chair.
We are now part of the Lewisham Community Lottery so you can buy a lottery ticket to support the society.
A collaborative effort between SJS and St John’s Church to fund restoration of the historic organ has recently been successful, with National Lottery Heritage Fund providing the first tranche of money to kickstart the project. More information will be forthcoming in the near future.
The SJS Newsletter was not produced in 2024. It was decided that it was more productive to target our advertising through social media, our two noticeboards and some leafleting in local businesses/churches.
A drop off point for Christmas Trees was established – an idea instigated and followed up by Cllr Stephen Penfold and has now extended to Friendly Gardens.
St John’s Healthy Walks (an extension of Lewisham Healthy Walks) was trialled in December, finishing at Brookmill Pub. This was a success, and we hope that a more permanent, regular group will be established in 2024.
St John’s Church has kindly given us access to the historic archives that they hold. We hope to jointly produce some local literature in the future.
The website www.st-johns-soc.org is updated regularly. The Facebook page (576 likes and 650 followers), Instagram account (237 followers and 307 following) and Twitter account (253 following and 377 Followers), and Mailing list (about 300) are used extensively to promoting our events and news.
Again, a very busy year. We are extremely lucky to have a team of dedicated, unpaid volunteers on the Committee and the wonderful support of our local Brockley Ward Cllr Sian Eiles, Cllr Ayesha Lahai-Taylor and particularly Cllr Stephen Penfold and MP Vicky Foxcroft. We are passionate about trying to bring improvements to our area of St John’s to benefit all who live here.
I will be standing down as Chair at the 2024 SJS AGM. It has been a privilege to serve my community for the past 5 years and under an incredibly talented and friendly Committee. It is now time for a younger, fresher approach to continue this remarkable work. Please get in touch if you feel you could contribute to our group or indeed would like to join us on a more regular basis.
The St. John’s Society 2019 – 2024