NEWSLETTER No. 155    September 2002

'MADE IN LAMBETH' Looking at Local Industry
Will be held on Saturday 28th September 2002 at the Minet Library, 52 Knatchbull Road, LONDON SE5 9QY 10.0am to 5.0pm
The Vauxhall Society and other local Societies will be providing exhibitions, displays and publication stalls: there will be talks on local industries, and an 0pportunity to try the Archives' new computerized imaging system.

Vision for Vauxhall
The next meeting of the Vision for Vauxhall Forum will be held on Tuesday 24th September at Vauxhall St Peter's Heritage Centre, 310 Kennington Lane SE11 (entrance in Tyers Street) commencing at 7.0pm. The meeting will include discussion of the London Plan and updates on current pr0posals by developers in the Vauxhall area. All Vauxhall Society members and other local residents are welcome to attend.

Local History Group
At a recent meeting of the Society's Executive Committee it was agreed that a new Local History group should set up to encourage interest in and research into the long and fascinating history of Northern Lambeth and the many interesting people who have lived there. All Society members and anyone else interested in the history of the area are invited to attend the first meeting of the new group which will re held on Wednesday 16tla October, at 7.0pm, at Vauxhall St Peter's Heritage Centre, 310 Kennington Lane SE 11 (entrance in Tyers Street).

The London Plan
The Draft of Mayor Ken Livingstone's Plan for the future of London was published in June, and we are asked to submit comments by 30th September. There should be copies of the full Plan in your local library and a summary is available.

Predicted Growth: The main premise of the Plan is that the p0pulation of London will increase by around 700,000 by 2016 and that economic growth will create a total of 636,000 new jobs. Although the p0pulation of Greater London has risen over the last fifteen years, it is currently slightly less than it was thirty years ago, whilst the forecast for job creation appears to be based mainly on the highly volatile 'Financial Services' sector which has suffered severe setbacks over the last two years, and anyone who has watched the recent movements of the Stock Exchange indexes knows only too well that past results are no guarantee of future performance. The effect of mergers, globalisation, and new technology seem much more likely to reduce the number of jobs in the financial sector .

A 'World City": We are told that London must keep its place as a 'World City' -but whom will this benefit? Do we really need to encourage more air-travel, particularly as much of it passes through London merely as a stepping-stone to the continent, encouraged by airports wishing to profit from duty-free sales. For many London residents. tourism does little more than create more litter and noise and over-load our buses and tubes, whilst our streets are congested by coaches, ignoring parking controls whilst their passengers visit attractions on the other side of the river.

Polarization: The Plan speaks of reversing social polarization, but London is rapidly becoming a place enjoyable only by the young, the fit and the wealthy. Token preferences are given to those who are statutorily 'disabled' but many 'less-able' residents in the middle-income groups find that the centralization of health and social services and other amenities detract from their quality of life and make their daily round increasingly difficult. Whilst the Plan calls for more accessible services, Lambeth is expected to provide a disproportionate share of London's new housing and recent housing developments in the borough have mainly been achieved at the expense of schools, libraries and community facilities sold off by the Council.

Transport: The Mayor's plans for London' s transport network appear to disregard the need for orbital journeys - much of the congestion on public transport is due to the need for many journeys from suburb to suburb to be routed through the centre. The Plan calls for a 50% increase in the capacity of public transport, but it is doubtful if this can be achieved. The most urgent requirement is to reduce the need for travel -schools, shops, libraries and entertainment should be localized so that more of these facilities can be reached on foot. Public transport must be improved, with escalators and lifts providing direct access from street to tube platforms and more conveniently sited bus stops.

The Environment: Care for the environment is not just a matter of protecting 0pen spaces. Local authorities must be enabled to resist unsuitable developments and supported when they do - many bad developments are permitted because planning committees are reluctant to risk the financial burden of an appeal against refusal of planning consent. There are too many buildings designed as 'Landmark' structures, to glorify the architect rather than to provide convenient accommodation or amenities. Only recently the Government's Urban Affairs Sub-Committee has expressed the 0pinion that tall buildings are merely symbols of prestige and power which may blight their immediate surroundings and that London' s transport system cannot cope with the resultant concentration of passengers. Higher densities can be achieved without excessively tall buildings: there are excellent high-density developments at six to eight storeys, whilst reconsideration of the 'shed and car-park' form of development adopted by many supermarkets and industrial estates could do much to increase overall densities. Existing protected views over London should be safeguarded but alternative panoramic views from the high ground in South London -including Herne Hill, Sydenham Hill and Blackheath - where the angle of daylight is so much better, should also be preserved and, where necessary , restored.

Annual General Meeting
The 33rd Annual General Meeting of the Vauxhall Society was held on Thursday 13th June at Vauxhall St Peters heritage Centre. Following approval of the Annual Report and adoption of Accounts, the following officers and members of the Executive Committee were elected:
Chairman: Beryl Saunders
Secretary: Barbara Nicolson
Treasurer: Jim Nicolson
Committee members:

Morley College Course
Brian Bloice will again be conducting a course in local history at Morley College. Entitled 'Discovering London's Local History', the course will commence on Wednesday 18th September, 2.0-4.0pm and at the same time each week. The first term, of 12 weeks, will look at the lost villages of South London. including Wandsworth, Battersea, Putney and Richmond All lectures will 1:x: illustrated with slides and no previous knowledge of local history is required. The full course is for three years but students may join the course at any time, and future terms will cover the villages of Bloomsbury, Hampstead and High gate as well as including lectures on shops and shopping, William Morris, and architects and buildings.
Courses are held at Morley College, 61 Westminster Bridge Road SE1. Fee for the first 12-week term is �53 (concessions �18) and students can enrol at any session.

Walk First
Members of Walk First, Lambeth's group for pedestrians, are currently in discussion with Lambeth Council about plans for improving the condition of pavements and footpaths. Membership of the group is free, and the next meeting will be held on Monday 14th October at 10 Templar Street SE5, commencing at 7.0pm.

Emile Zola Exhibition
The Norwood Society are holding an International Exhibition in conjunction with the Emile Zola Society at the Phoenix Centre, Westow Hill, Upper Norwood SE19 on Saturday 9th November. 0pening time will be from 10.0am to 5.0pm and admission will1be �3 for adults or �2 for children, and the unwaged, with reduced rates for families.
The Exhibition is to commemorate Emile Zola, who died in 1902, and his visits to England in 1893 and 1898/9. He stayed at or visited numerous places including much of the cities of London and Westminster as well as Kensington. Norwood, Greenwich, Sydenham. Wimbledon. Hatfield, Windsor, Taplow, Walton-on-Thames, Weybridge, Byfleet, Cobham and Chertsey .The exhibition will aim to give an impression of the places he visited as they were 100 years ago.

Dates for your Diary
A selection of some of the meetings and events arranged by organisations and groups in and around Vauxhall: non- members are always welcome and admission is generally free unless otherwise stated:
Sat 21 & Sun 22
LONDON 0PEN HOUSE WEEKEND buildings all over London 0pen their doors to the public. Guidebook from local libraries.

THE VISION FOR VAUXHALL FORUM meets at Vauxhall St Peter's, Heritage Centre, 310 Kennington Lane SE11 7.0pm.


Sat 28
LAMBETH ARCHIVES 0PEN DAY: exhibitions, talks and information from local societies: at the Minet Library , Knatchbull Road SE5. 10.0am-5.0pm.

Sun 29
WALK ROUND BRIXTON TOWN CENTRE with Alan Piper. Meet outside the Tate Library, Brixton Oval. 2.30pm.

Thu 3
LOCAL HISTORY FOCUS: some highlights of Brixton and the South Bank. The Brixton Society, at the Vida Walsh Centre, 2b Saltoun Road SW2. 7.30pm.

Tue 8

Wed 9
MEETINQ OF THE VAUXHALL SOCIETY'S EXECU11VE COMMITTEE 7.0pm (for details of venue and agenda, please write to the secretary)

Mon 14
WALK FIRST IN LAMBETH: the local group for pedestrians meets at 10 Templar Street SE5: 7.0pm

Wed 16
VAUXHALL SOCIETY's LOCAL HISTORY GROUP meets at Vauxhall St Peter's Heritage Centre, 310 Kennington Lane SE11: 7.0pm.

Thu 17
BRAIN OF LAMBETH: Finals of the 29dt year of Lambeth's general know- ledge quiz, conducted by John Moore. The Lambethans' Society, at Lambeth Town Hall.7.30pm.

Tue 22

VISION FOR VAUXHALL FORUM meets at Vauxhall St Peter's Heritage Centre, 310 Kennington Lane SE11: 7.0pm.

Sat 9
EMIL ZOLA EXHIBITION: The Norwood Society, at the Phoenix Centre, Westow Street SEI9:10.0am- 5.0pm. Admission �3.

Tue 12

Published by THE VAUXHALL SOCIETY: for further information, please apply to the Secretary, Mrs B.Nicolson, 20 Albert Square, LONDON SW8 1BS