A Sydenham traders association

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JMLF
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A Sydenham traders association

Post by JMLF »

I was in the Alex tonight speaking to one of the locals who does a lot of work towards improving Penge. He mentioned that the traders association (I believe Sydenham does not have one - as mentioned in another thread) leads so much of the improvement citing a few key examples.

1. Penge will become a BID (Business in Development) area and the traders association/local businesses have led the project which will hope to raise £130,000 a year to contribute to things such as the publicity/image of Penge, street cleaning, increased parking/access as well as a whole host of other improvements. Some of this money will be through businesses paying a slight levy on their current expenses to go towards the fund, others from other sources such as fines for littering/parking (which will more likely be caught by increased CCTV/police patrols as one of the names improvements wanted by the community) - see here for the report: http://pengese20.co.uk/wp-content/uploa ... D5_WEB.pdf

2. Penge will be having some murals done a la Lionel Stanhope - They are largely/completely to be paid for by business owner contributions.

3. There is a Penge Food Assembly, which although seperate from the traders association does work off the premise of working closely with local businesses to private the best for the community in terms of income for traders and opportunity/improvement/choices for locals.

I don’t have any knowledge or time to attempt to do something about this, especially with the mural project, however it appears that something like a traders association could hugely benefit the community by working towards some of the concerns/wants raised by the public and make larger successes of newer things that the community want (perhaps and example may be the monthly market?) or community based ongoing activities rather than the already embedded long-standing successful events eg: Sydenham Arts. If traders are at the “frontline” of the high street, what it offers and how it looks (to some respect), surely there should be a way for them all to work together and make decisions (with community in mind of course) regarding some of the ongoing things people would like to see from our high street, some of which appear to be repeated regularly (eg: Christmas lights, street litter, use of the “pocket park” spaces)

Thoughts?! Actions?!?!?!
stuart
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Re: A Sydenham traders association

Post by stuart »

There certainly was a Sydenham Traders Association. I dealt with them only two or three years ago. You could check out the current status with John (Woodfalls) or Geraldine (Kirkdale Bookshop). I did propose a way of relaunching it online several times but it never happened and their old website and forum was left to die for lack of love, not money.

HTH
Stuart
topofthehill
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Re: A Sydenham traders association

Post by topofthehill »

Forest Hill, too, has the thriving and very successful Forest Hill Traders Association as well a's the extremely well run Forest Hill Society.
Pally
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Re: A Sydenham traders association

Post by Pally »

This has come up before. What IS it that is apparently different about Sydenham?
leenewham
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Re: A Sydenham traders association

Post by leenewham »

It is important and is the single most important thing any high street can do to improve the high street.
They are much better when totally independent from the council, but have their support rather than their involvement. When cllrs get involved they tend to become a means of rallying support for a political brand. It should be separate from the Sydenham Society as well. They work best when they are totally independent and not like a different branch of the same groups with the same faces involved. I think that is partly why it's never taken off in Sydenham.

Penge's traders and the tourist board are impressive and a bit of a role model. They have many interested parties and lots of shops are involved. Different groups can co-exist, they don't have to be just one. I know Bromley has had some really good high street managers in the past.

As the high street is so long, it's probably difficult to get enough people together in Sydenham. Perhaps it should be broken down into different sections with individual groups working together on their specific section of the high street. Kirkdale High Street, Cobbs Corner to Mayow Road, Mayow to Kent House and Lower Sydenham (from Kent House Road down to Bell Green) seem like natural sections.
Tim Lund
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Re: A Sydenham traders association

Post by Tim Lund »

Pally
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Re: A Sydenham traders association

Post by Pally »

Yes a couple of conversations with a couple of Sydenham traders sort of back up the point about different groups impacting Lee!
JMLF
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Re: A Sydenham traders association

Post by JMLF »

(Disclaimer 1 - haven’t read the link by Mr Lund... yet!. Disclaimer 2 - I don’t know how any of the local trade associations/societies/councils work with regards to their respective areas but generally speaking have heard good stuff about Penge and Forest Hill with regards to trade associations)

Sydenham obviously has some draws for businesses hence the forthcoming yoga studio, greyhound, Nando’s, bottle cave (reportedly opening this week) however it is a bit of a head-scratcher why other elements of the high street have not been successful or more creative.
E.g.: I wonder whether a traders association would have better supported the monthly market or the recently planned pop-up and now cancelled market in the golden lion?

It doesn’t have to be the traders at the key of it but as mentioned in my original post and reiterated by Lee, I think a clear association/s would do wonders across many aspects.

Outside of traders, maybe the forum could support something much like “The Penge Tourist Board” does every year with voted awards resulting in nice colourful window sticker awards. I’m
not sure if the Crystal Palace sticker plaques resulted from locals/forum or council.

In regards to the food assembly pick up points (Penge and Forest Hill have them), if there is a want/need I’m sure those running those ones would share knowledge. Not sure if, again, it is lead by traders or by non-business locals. Either way, it benefits the pick-up point (whether it be a pub or shop), the local producers of the goods and the local people who don’t need to travel further afield to pick up specific goods.

A personal thought regarding certain matters/lack of progress in certain areas may be down to false of lack knowledge of those who may want to start to do something perhaps?! From a laypersons perspective and popping on the forums semi-regularly in the past I automatically assumed (terrible thing to do!) that everything pretty much had to go through the council or the Sydenham society. This appeared to be quite a lot of work/time/effort, in some cases reported to result in no outcome (I’m sure there are successful none Sydenham society/council led projects too but this is the personal appearance/feeling I had). As a result It wasn’t until recently when it was clear that things can be done without going through society/council channels did it make sense (time/effort/directness) to attempt a project. That’s not to say support and ideas from the society/council isn’t important as well as their own work but from an independent person it’s quite overaweing to have thought any ideas re:projects have to go through these two large established bodies.

Could be totally wrong but wonder if others may have felt/thought this way which may have prevented some ideas/projects etc.
leenewham
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Re: A Sydenham traders association

Post by leenewham »

The Mayow Park did great things despite being independent of the council and Sydenham Society and other parks.
Friends Of Home Park achieved a lot despite being independent of the council, Sydenham Society and other parks.
It's the same story with the Library and other local assets like Dacres wood.

There are in fact loads of local groups.

When they needed to collaborate, they did and it worked. No-one felt left out. They helped each other when they needed help.
I see no reason why the same can't be true of the high street. Break it down into more manageable chunks. The council actually likes supporting local groups like this. They give cllrs something to point to on an election leaflet while saying they supported this and that. It's a good thing.

Most shops don't really care about other parts of the high street (I'm talking generally here rather than specifically Sydenham and someone states an individual case where this isn't true). They care about their part of the high street.
leenewham
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Re: A Sydenham traders association

Post by leenewham »

JMLF wrote: Outside of traders, maybe the forum could support something much like “The Penge Tourist Board” does every year with voted awards resulting in nice colourful window sticker awards. I’m not sure if the Crystal Palace sticker plaques resulted from locals/forum or council.
The Blue Plaques are the brainwave of the Norwood Society. It's a brilliant idea (https://www.norwoodsociety.co.uk/blue-plaques.html) which was actually copied from Bloomsbury. The Norwood Society also funded it.

You can read more about it here: https://norwoodsociety.co.uk/pdf/review217.pdf

I think this would work well here (and Forest Hill) and we have a resident local historian on hand to help out. It's also a good way of engaging with shops and to start the ball rolling with a traders group.

Engaging with the new shops about a traders group would be the best port of call to start off, especially the owner of the Greyhound.
Tim Lund
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Re: A Sydenham traders association

Post by Tim Lund »

JMLF wrote:
It doesn’t have to be the traders at the key of it but as mentioned in my original post and reiterated by Lee, I think a clear association/s would do wonders across many aspects.
But it does - this is what traders told me explicitly all those years ago. Their problem, as they see it, is people who don't really know what it's like running a successful business trying to lead them, they know not where. Generally speaking the various efforts to help Sydenham's traders have been well meaning, but will have felt a bit patronising
leenewham
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Re: A Sydenham traders association

Post by leenewham »

I agree, it has to be a traders group mostly, if not totally, run by traders (I never said it should be otherwise, just to be clear).
Steveofsyd
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Re: A Sydenham traders association

Post by Steveofsyd »

Why is it that all our Estate Agents (We have more than anywhere else in such a small area) don’t get together and start the base for a Traders association. They’re all making money, and the better the area looks the better they will do. It’s about time they gave something back to the area that is providing their bread and butter.
A good start would be some decent Christmas decorations or lamppost flags
Doesn’t that make sense?
mosy
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Re: A Sydenham traders association

Post by mosy »

SteveofSyd, I'm not sure it it makes sense or not since estate agents are of course competing with one another. Independent separate businesses on the other hand just want to bring more (or at least enough) trade in, so more worth their while I'd have thought. Also, the number of estate agents tends to fall once prices start to level and/or the supply dries up so are maybe better for one-off donations than a continued income to rely on. It's the bread and butter idea of (maybe) little but many that's needed.

If an association were to take off, perhaps the idea of a Sydenham traders club card, i.e. discount card, could be on the agenda. It was mooted on here a while back. I wouldn't be keen on paying a £10 annual fee to a commercial enterprise that merely collected fees but presumably if run by an association it would be not-for-profit so the fees would be utilised somehow. The idea being to advertise the diversity of shops once potential customers are on the high street.
leenewham
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Re: A Sydenham traders association

Post by leenewham »

In many areas, estate agents are heavily involved in traders associations and the high street. But these tend to be local rather than large chains. The staff in the large chains are less likely to be local than the independent ones.

Property World, being local estate agents, certainly do heavily contribute locally and are to be commended in both Sydenham and Penge.
KEVD
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Re: A Sydenham traders association

Post by KEVD »

Would be good if this could get off the ground.
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