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Greenwood Talks are organised by Green Street Green Village Society - the first one was on 17 April 2014 and the plan is to have 3-4 events each year. The admission cost is £2, including refreshments after each talk. Telephone: 01689 850 668 for tickets.
NEXT ONE: TBA
26 February 2015 - 'The Darwin Family'
We welcomed Barbara Stevens, our guest speaker at the Greenwood Community Centre. Barbara is a very well-known and respected speaker in our area. She has been a resident of Downe for 48 years and this time she spoke about Charles Darwin and other Downe dwellers. She gave us a potted history about Charles Darwin, his wife Emma (nee Wedgwood) and ten children, which is well documented, and suggested a visit to Down House was always worthwhile.
Her talk was very informative, interspersed with her infectious laughter and her knowledge about various locations in Downe Village and who lived in the various properties was of particular interest.
This was the third in a series of talks which I have recently arranged for the Village Society. It was a successful evening with nearly 60 people attending. I’m hoping to arrange more talks in the future – so watch this space……………
Alan Garelick - Events Manager, Greenwood Community Centre
22 March 2014
The Village Society now has a Social Calendar sub-committee, to organise a range of presentations to be held at The Greenwood Centre every 2-3 months. The first of these talks, 'Discovering Roman Bromley', will take place on Thursday 17 April at 8pm - you can indicate your intention to attend on Facebook.
Dr Brian Philp is Director of ‘The Kent Archaeological Rescue Unit’ (KARU) and has been excavating Roman sites in Bromley and Kent for over five decades. He has lived in the Bromley area since childhood and moved to Green Street Green in 2012. He will be imparting his vast knowledge on Roman Bromley.
Refreshments will be provided and tickets are £2, available from Alan Garelick - telephone: 01689 850 668.
If you have ideas for future events, or have contacts who would be able to give an interesting presentation, please post information below or email us.
17 April 2014 - 'Discovering Roman Bromley'
By 8pm there was standing room only at the Greenwood Community Centre, for the first 'Greenwood Talks' event, 'Discovering Roman Bromley'. Dr Brian Philp MBE spoke authoratively to a rapt audience about his historical excavations over the last five decades.
He began with an explanation of the development of the Kent area since the ice age. There was a focus on Roman Britain, followed by the deterioration of our civilisation when the Anglo-Saxons settled here. Medieval Britain lost the advantages of Roman engineering and education which were not really matched until industrialisation in the 19th and 20th century.
There have been many interesting archaeological discoveries in our local area over the last fifty years and Dr Philp was able to tell the stories of many of them, from his first-hand experience. He was instrumental in saving the Crofton Roman Villa from obliteration by the building of a car park. A commercial option would have cost £200,000 but Dr Philp and his team excavated the site and covered it under a metal-framed building for a mere £79,999!
Another local area of great interest is in Keston, where the discovery of a Roman mausoleum in the grounds of a house owned by Bromley Council led to further discoveries of a Roman villa, a large timber building for storage, a smaller barn and an Anglo-Saxon dwelling. The discovery of a Roman bathhouse in Poverest Road led to excavations revealing an Anglo-Saxon burial ground close by.
Dr Philp passed round an impressive flint tool over 100,000 years old, palm-sized but quite heavy and clearly manufactured by an ancient tribesman, despite years buried and smoothed by water. He also showed his first find, a large piece of Roman pottery which he discovered on a dig whilst still a schoolboy at Bromley Grammar School for Boys (in Hayes Lane and now a comprehensive). Finishing his talk, a series of slides showed the various sites during the excavations and the hour seemed over in the blink of an eye.
Links to further information about local discoveries and places of interest to visit are listed below:
Crofton Roman Villa
Keston Roman Tombs
Keston Roman Villa
Poverest Roman Bathhouse
LBB - Poverest Bathhouse
Kent Guided Tours by Dr Philp
Council for Kent Archaeology
Orpington & District Archaeological Society
The Greenwood Centre is currently being refurbished. The outside has been painted. The colour was intended to be a pastel/light greeny-yellow but the outcome appears rather brighter! Does it glow at night?
The heating system has been replaced with a gas fan heater which is wall mounted, providing extra space at the back of the hall, from where the old radiators have been removed. Work is continuing... See photos below (click on images to enlarge):
Following a very positive meeting this afternoon with Councillor Keith Onslow and Paul Nevard (Bromley Highways Officer), the Chair, Bob Trott, and Centre Manager, Eddie Sims, the Society is looking forward to an acceptable solution to this situation. Discussions indicate that the Council are considering moving the crossing a little further down towards Waitrose, between the public conveniences and the hall but the effect on the frontage parking on the opposite side of the road, needs to be taken into account.
Subsequently (a number of years ago) the Council moved the pedestrian crossing from its former location, south of Worlds End Lane, to the present one and there has seemingly been no problem until now. The Council's contention that the dropped kerbs cannot be used for vehicle access will also impact on the properties opposite the Greenwood Centre that own the land between the buildings and the pavement, as this is also used for customer parking. In the recent past council officers have discussed the grass area in front of the Greenwood Centre, which gets churned up by cars entering the parking area, without any suggestion of illegality.
The Village Association has existed since 1952, owning the Village Hall - including access to the small parking area. The Association eventually 'handed over' the public footpath area to the Council - some time in the 60s, we believe. Of course the Council do not want the expense of moving the pedestrian crossing - but that is what they will need to do. It seems incredible that responsible council officers agreed the resiting of the pedestrian crossing to its present position without considering the legality of using an existing vehicular access to properties
A Freedom of Information request is being submitted to Bromley Council, to discover exactly when the pedestrian crossing was relocated to outside the Greenwood Centre and what considerations were taken into account in the site assessment. However, if this was carried out prior to 1965, it would have been under the Orpington Urban District Council, which may cause some consternation for Bromley officers, and the information may no longer be available.
(If anyone has information regarding this issue - such as when the pedestrian crossing was moved, please add a comment.)
To find out more visit the website: http://www.greenwoodcameraclub.org.uk or call David Bacon on 01689 861398.
17 May 2013
At the AGM, of the 60 people attending, 34 voted in favour of replacing the oak tree with a magnolia or similar type of tree. Only 5 voted against. The committee will discuss how to take this forward in order to put up a request to the council. Cllr Julian Grainger suggested setting up a working group to prepare some options for wider consultation. Another suggestion was to encourage people to fill in a questionnaire at the Harris HospisCare Fete on 8 June. (Complete minutes of the AGM are posted on the website here.)
23 April 2013
UPDATE: The oak tree has now been cut down, leaving a stump. The cutters told an enquiring neighbour that the stump would be taken out
and a new tree planted. The question is whether the best solution is to plant another. It could be difficult since the ground will be full of old roots. To leave the land clear would make it easier to maintain and could eventually lead to a decent piece of grass there. The old tree was a source of autumn leaves and bird droppings so a nuisance to the society.
A decorative tree, such as a mountain ash, would be a source of berry mess. Any tree planted, unless a sizeable one and planted in the autumn, would be prone to vandalism and death through lack of water! However perhaps a birch or similar would be suitable if it is council policy to replace.
What do other residents think? Any other bright suggestions?
14 January 2013
The trees outside the centre have been inspected and the tree specialist at Bromley Council reports as follows:
"2 officers have carried out inspections on the large Horse Chestnut within the last 3 months and have concluded that no works are required at this stage. We will however continue to monitor the tree on an annual basis along with all of our Horse Chestnut street
"With reference to the Oak tree I can fully understand why the Society has highlighted its concerns. I have conducted a Resistograph test to the base of the tree which appears sound from the results at present. However, the fruiting bodies on the main stem proved too high up for me to test, therefore I have ordered a climbing inspection to test the infected area. In addition I have ordered that the tree be thinned in order to reduce some minor weight in the crown in lieu of the results. It may be that we do need to remove the tree in the near future."
"Picture the scene,” says Tim Buick, founder and local resident, “a local running club creates a pin board at the lamp post, which serves as their meeting point. Alan wants to do a 10-mile run, Dave wants advice on a niggling knee injury and Karen wants to know if anyone is going to the half marathon at the weekend. They all add comments and soon get their advice, running partners and a lift, from various other members reading their posts. After their run, they check the pin board and join the pub trip suggested by Peter, 10 minutes ago, as the pub has just offered a 2-for-1 offer on real ale.”
Jo said: “Great to see an Orpington tech start-up knit the Green Street Green community together like this - I congratulate Tim for coming up with such an ingenious idea and urge local businesses to help build up this exciting new online marketplace.”
New social media on the block, StreetPin, provides a community-focused way of meeting those around you. Its interactive pin boards connect people through a common environment, atmosphere or venue, rather than existing contacts. Think of a hybrid between Facebook, Foursquare and eBay, with its own spin to engage local community activity. They aim to bring this simple concept to a global audience – the mantra being ‘connecting the world, one community at a time’.
Users discover communities of interest on their doorstep or on the other side of the world. They can join a community for a minute or a lifetime, if there’s no pin board there – they simply create a free one, direct from their handset.
Posts are made by members of the Society to stimulate interest and raise local concerns
See Orpington Community for discussion of issues across a wider area
Click on map to see the Green Street Green area: