Dear all,
first, the good news – yesterday evening Bellingham Assembly voted us £450 to pay for Jimmy’s music for the under fives to remain free to participants.  We owe them a big thank you We hope that Sydenham Assembly may do the same, so we can fund him till July 2014. Sydenham Assembly is on Saturday 30th November, at 11am, at The Sydenham Catholic club, Watlington Grove, SE26 5RR. Please try to be there to vote for us.

Next, we are having a book and plant fair, this coming Saturday, the 16th November, from 10am till 4.  If you’d like to donate plants, please bring them, and ideally come and buy some more.   We will be sorting books, with the aid of tea and cakes, on Friday  15th  between 11 and 5, so if you could turn up and help for a short while between these times, it would be grand. We will be using the staff entrance so ring the bell there.

We have a visit from a South African author, Nomanono iIsaacs, who will talk about her book “Escaping apartheid: a letter to my mother” on Thursday November 21st from 7pm-8.30pm. Refreshments provided. Please think of coming.
Finally we have a meeting of the Friends of Sydenham Library on Tuesday the  26th of November.  If you have any items you would like to see on the agenda, please send thm to me by Monday 25th November,

A brief history of Sydenham Library and its surroundings

Sydenham Library

 A talk by Steve Grindlay

Thursday 16th May 6.30 for 7pm

At Sydenham Community Library, 210 Sydenham Road, SE26 5SE tel:020-8778-1753 (next to Home Park)

Buses 194, 202, 356 and 450 pass the library

Please join us from 6.30 for refreshments, to talk about your memories of Sydenham and the library, and to hear about our local history research plans. The talk will be followed by a chat and memory sharing which will finish at 8.30pm.



Warning:  there are a number of requests for help in this newsletter!! It is also a bit longer than usual.

Information from the Friends Meeting

  • The project on the history of the library and Sydenham has a completion date of 28th September.  Kornelia has arranged for Steve Grindlay, a local historian, to be available in May.  Sydenham Community Radio have been asked to help with training volunteers in interviewing techniques and Darren would like a recorded show to be produced on memories of Sydenham. We will need volunteers to help with the project including interviewing people on their memories of Sydenham – not necessarily on the radio! Please let Sue or Ilse know if you would like to help
  • The upstairs area will be decorated at some point and Darren is discussing possibilities with Lewisham Homes. They want to hold a Job Club in the library and may decorate in return for the use of the space
  • Anita from London Re-use Ltd. talked about their work and how they can work with the library to help promote both our service and London Re-use. They have provided funding for a lot of the work that has been done including the retail unit and cafe.  They will be providing furniture for library use and for people to buy, as well as working with a design company Petit Miracles to produce some unique pieces for the library. Their website is and if you would like to know more about their projects Darren, Ilse, Sue and Chrissie have further information
  • The cafe will be open during the same hours as the library. It will be staffed by people following NVQ Barista and Customer Service training and there are a lot of people interested. A decision has to made about providing food and it will have to be bought in from local businesses.  Darren is happy for drinks to be taken to computers although people using their own laptops do so at their own risk. Volunteers can train as baristas if they wish – another string to your bow!
  • The library is due to re-open on 29th April. This will be a normal opening day and a celebration is planned for May 31st when Eco Computers took over the lease. The Mayor of Lewisham, Councillors, Heads of Libraries and other important people have been invited. Steve Grindlay will give a talk and refreshments will be provided. Times have to be confirmed but help will be needed on the day and for setting up the library. If you think you can help please let Ilse know
  • There is a possibility that we will use the IT space for the Film Club that is currently held at the Golden Lion pub.  If you would like to help or need further details then let Sue know and she will pass it on to Darren
  • The Friends of Home Park and the Friends of Sydenham Community Library, along with other community groups, have been successful in getting a grant of £37,500 from the Mayor of London’s Pocket Parks Programme to create a new literary piazza in Home Park. Lewisham Council will match the funding.   This will be created in the area next to Sydenham Community Library and the entrance to Home Park. It will be developed into a usable and attractive community space with connections to the library and cultural activities
  • The Library is part of the Artists Trail in the Sydenham Arts Festival running between Saturday 29 June 2013 and Sunday 14 July 2013 and we will be holding events and exhibitions during normal opening hours. These include an art exhibition by local artists, an exhibition of children’s art, a Rangoli workshop resulting in a Rangoli painting, workshops for families using collages as a stimulus, to produce a piece of writing, painting, drawing or collage,  and the Carducci Quartet.  Dates and times to follow but help will be required!

In addition the library will be open on Sunday 30th June between 1pm and 6pm which is the Family Fun Day in the park. The exhibitions will be available as will the story/collage workshops and the Carducci Quartet. Needless to say help is needed – please let Sue or Ilse know if you are available at any point on the 30th


General Library Information

The Easter event (seems a long time ago) was a success despite it being freezing cold and snowing. We had a good response from families and children and made around £75. Thank you to everyone who helped on the day and prior to the event and a special thank you to Barry and Annabel who kept everything under control during the Easter Egg Hunt.

As you know the re-opening of the library has been delayed until 29th April. Reg and his team have been working very hard but there was a lot more to do than was originally anticipated, they have also painted the whole library. The cafe and the library look really good and removing the tarpaulin has created a lot more light. As mentioned above there will be an official opening event on May 31st. Some people have been in during the closure and have been sorting out the IT space. Thanks to John, David and Matthew for all their hard work in moving the boxes of Amazon books , to Tony for keeping an eye on the IT developments, Ilse  for measuring and planning and Christine for keeping everything running.

 The pop up library in Jill has been popular especially on a Thursday morning with Stages UK.  Ilse and Sue have been there on a Thursday and also on a couple of Saturdays. It has been an interesting experiment and has raised the profile of the library ‘up the road’.

 The English group is taking part in the Six Book Challenge and are keeping a diary of their reading. We may have to adapt the programme slightly because of the long closure but they will continue to work towards their certificate and celebration.

There are some events coming up which you might like to note.

National Bookstart Week is w/b Monday 24th June and we will be doing something for the under fives that week involving Fairy Tales and the Bookstart Bear

There will be an event on 28th September to celebrate the library’s birthday and possibly something cake based on 24th, the actual birthday

• Young people will also be with us on 28th September doing useful things in the park and the library as part of the Youth Challenge scheme

• The Sydenham Community Radio boot sale is held on the second Sunday of each month 10am-12pm in Girton Road car park. The library has a stall and it is a good way of publicising what we if you would like to help……..

• The next Perry Vale Assembly is Thursday 11th July, time and place TBC. It would be helpful if someone could attend to ensure a library presence. The meetings are held quarterly. Please let Ilse know if you would like to attend

• Sunday June 30th is Family Fun Day in Home Park and the library will be open. The Fun Day attracts a lot of people and last year the events in the library were a great success



Exciting improvements at Sydenham Community Library

Until 15th April 2013, Sydenham Community Library will be closed, while our new cafe is installed, and some redecoration takes place. We’ll miss all our library users. Books can be returned though the dropbox to the right of the door, or to other Lewisham libraries. We have ”small Popup Library” in “Jill”, the SEE3 shop at 27 Sydenham Road. The shop is open Wednesday to Saturday 10-6, and Sunday 11-4. Library volunteers will be there at times on Thursdays and Saturdays. You can browse and borrow books, thanks to the helpful volunteers at the shop. On Thursday 11th April, 10:15 – 11am, “Stages UK” will host songs and stories for small children.
The new improved Sydenham Community Library will reopen on Monday April 15th.


We have some great news (we said it was coming).
Home Park to receive funding for new piazza
A consortium of community groups in Sydenham has been granted funds from the Greater London Authority to create a new literary piazza in Home Park.

The literary piazza will see the currently under-used area next to Sydenham Community Library and the entrance to Home Park redeveloped into a welcoming, attractive and usable public space. The consortium includes; the Friends of Home Park, the Friends of Sydenham Community LibraryBeep Studio Ltd, Rich RegenerationEco Computer SystemsSydenham SocietyGlass House Community Led DesignSEE3 Town Team and Lewisham Council.

They were successful in obtaining a grant of £37,500 from the Mayor of London’s Pocket Parks Programme which gives grants to communities to improve streets, squares, parks, and canal and riverside spaces. Lewisham Council will match fund the grant, meaning the project will now have a total of £75,000.

The funding will be used to cut back overgrown shrubs and install new plants and new seating for people to sit and relax. Old pathways will be rebuilt and a new cycle path will be created. Sydenham Community Library will be able to use the piazza as an ‘outdoor classroom’ for educational and cultural activities and the proposed Sydenham Community Library café will expand into the piazza so that food and drink can also be enjoyed outside. The group also hopes that the new and improved piazza will attract the interest of farmers’ and other specialist markets and encourage more people to shop locally.

Councillor Susan Wise, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, said: “Lewisham Council does not underestimate the importance of investing in our borough’s public spaces, as doing so makes our neighbourhoods safer and more attractive to use. We have longstanding plans to improve Home Park, and this funding gives us the opportunity to upgrade a vital green space earlier than previously planned for our Bellingham and Sydenham residents.”

Anthony Scully, Chair of the Friends of Home Park said: “We’ve worked hard over the last few years to turn around the perception of Home Park with the support of local residents, library users and our partners. We’re very pleased about this funding and we are confident that this will enable us to really open up the space and make the entrance to the park and library much more attractive and accessible for everyone to enjoy.”
Lots is happening in Home Park and the library. It’s a very exciting time.