Rebranding Lower Sydenham

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Fruitbat
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Location: London

Rebranding Lower Sydenham

Post by Fruitbat »

After all this "Kirkdale Village" malarky, I've been a-thinking that a good way to improve the Lower Sydenham area would be to give it a new name.

Lets face it we Lower Sydenhamites have it tough. There is some green space in Home Park, and we're in close proximity to Giga-Sainsburys and a wide variety of chicken retailers. But overall the area is a little run down and backwaterish compared to the urban chic of the Upper Sydenham, Forest Hill, and aforementioned "village" locales.

Part of the problem is the name, which is too suggestive of a shabby, unaspirational, proletarian character.

So if Lower Sydenham was to be rebranded, as part of a local-based exercise in improving the area, what name would suit best? I've done some thinking and came up with these ideas:
  • SYDENHAM PARKWAY
    SYDENHAM GREEN
    SYDENHAM GROVE
    SYDENHAM VALE
    SYDENHAM MAGNA
    SYDENHAM BARN
    SYDENHAM WICK
    SYDENHAM GROVE
    SYDENHAM MALLOW
    SYDENHAM CROSS
    SYDENHAM DRIFT
    SYDENHAM DELL
Please post any thoughts below.

leenewham
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Re: Rebranding Lower Sydenham

Post by leenewham »

Interesting thought, although it's sort of been done to a degree with the town centre website. The only problem with this is that it splits it into two.

Library Quarter and Bell Green.

http://www.sydenhamtowncentre.com/

I know why they have done it as the retail park and Sainsbury's is somewhat detached from the other areas but perhaps it needs a bit more thought.

It's very difficult to get people to change what they call something. I applaud the efforts in Kirkdale, but I still call it Kirkdale rather than Kirkdale Village. One word is easier than 2 and people will simplify it. National Westminster Bank changed their name to Natwest because every one called it Natwest.

Lower Sydenham needs more than just a new name. The name may help to harness community, but it wont make any difference to peoples perception of the area unless it goes hand in hand with real change.

Unfortunately the recent developments in Bell Green have rather hampered that. One building looks like a large portacabin in drab green and another is in red breezeblocks that look unfinished, along with some rather naff sculptures.

Perhaps we should rebrand Bell Green 'Bellingham Green' and the area from Home Park to the Alfred pub 'East Sydenham'. Or go one step further and call it 'Upper Beckenham'.

Rachael
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Re: Rebranding Lower Sydenham

Post by Rachael »

As long as we don't call it Bell End...

... I'll get my coat.

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Robin Orton
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Re: Rebranding Lower Sydenham

Post by Robin Orton »

Old Sydenham (historically correct, I believe)
Sydenham All Saints
Sydenham Riverside
Sydenham on Pool
Sydenham in the Vale
Sydenham by the Green
Sydenham-juxta-Catford

leenewham
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Re: Rebranding Lower Sydenham

Post by leenewham »

Where does 'Old Sydenham' come from Robin? The oldest part is Upper Sydenham (green dragons anyone…).

Lower Sydenham geographically, includes Sydenham Station and the High Street. Another example of how things change due to perception and the terms people actually use.

Big Ben is a bell in the Westminster Clock Tower, yet 99.9% of people call the clock tower Big Ben.

Make the change first, then rename or rebrand it. Otherwise the same perceptions will stick to the new name. Name changes don't work unless they are accompanied by solutions to the problems that informed the perception in the first place.

Robin Orton
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Re: Rebranding Lower Sydenham

Post by Robin Orton »

leenewham wrote:Where does 'Old Sydenham' come from Robin? The oldest part is Upper Sydenham (green dragons anyone…).
My authority is John Coulter, Sydenham and Forest Hill Past (London, 1999), p. 7:
If Sydenham, as one place-name scholar has suggested, mean the drunkard's settlement, the modern inhabitants can take comfort from the fact that Sipa (the drunkard) would almost certainly have lived at what we now call Catford. For the history of Sydenham begins with Place House, which stood between the Pool River and Catford Hill [...] The first development of the district was as closely dependent upon the Pool as that of Lewisham was upon the Revensbourne.

michael
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Re: Rebranding Lower Sydenham

Post by michael »

I don't accept Lee's idea that only one word names work. Forest Hill, Notting Hill, Honor Oak, Canary Wharf all work.

I think rshdunlop has the right idea. You need to find a name so outrageous that people have to come and the rebranding gains international attention. Given how many places in the US have stolen names from England, I suggest we rename Lower Sydenham to Hawaii.

michael
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Re: Rebranding Lower Sydenham

Post by michael »

Possibly not outrageous enough but I'm trying to keep it clean.
Anyway, 'Pool Harbour' sounds nice. The council could even install a mooring post where the Adamsrill flows into the river Pool, for any passing shopping trolleys.

leenewham
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Re: Rebranding Lower Sydenham

Post by leenewham »

HI Michael,

I didn't say only one word names work, I said, (from a branding point of view), they are generally better, simpler, easier to remember etc.

Places names, already in existence, are difficult to change. They work because they are indelible in peoples minds. It would be daft to change Forest Hill to 'Forest'.

Robin Orton
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Re: Rebranding Lower Sydenham

Post by Robin Orton »

I assumed, like the OP, that everyone would want to keep the historic name 'Sydenham' in the title, even if that meant using more than one word. (Cf East Dulwich, Dulwich Village, etc.)
.
Off topic slightly, I'd like that to apply to upper Sydenham too. So personally (as I've said elsewhere, I think) I don't like 'Kirkdale' or 'Kirkdale Village' as the name of an area or centre. The twee pseudo-Scotch 'Kirkdale' is in any case such a jarringly inappropriate name for a London street. I'd prefer 'Upper Sydenham' (or Sydenham-on-the Hill? Sydenham Heights? Sydenham Common? Sydenham-by-the-Wells? Sydenham St Philip's? Sydenham by Dulwich?)

maestro
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Re: Rebranding Lower Sydenham

Post by maestro »

rshdunlop wrote:As long as we don't call it Bell End...

... I'll get my coat.

[ Post made via Mobile Device ] Image
Is that because you'd prefer a place name that's unique?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_End

gerispringer
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Re: Rebranding Lower Sydenham

Post by gerispringer »

How about Sydenham Bottom?

Fruitbat
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Re: Rebranding Lower Sydenham

Post by Fruitbat »

I enjoyed some of these suggestions, although "Sydenham-juxta-Catford"? the intention was to *raise* the tone of the neighbourhood ;)

I confess I had no idea about the "Library Quarter" thing. Sounds a little NYC or Parisian for my liking. Perhaps Sydenham Libris would work better.

jac_h
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Joined: 24 Apr 2012 20:22

Re: Rebranding Lower Sydenham

Post by jac_h »

I'm with the Hawaii idea. I vote for Sydenham-juxta-Malibu

Great Bustard
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Re: Rebranding Lower Sydenham

Post by Great Bustard »

Hmmm...didnt think you could polish a turd

leenewham
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Re: Rebranding Lower Sydenham

Post by leenewham »

This thread highlights that Sydenham has a massive image problem. Especially as most of these comments come from people that actually live here. Imagine what the people who don't live here think!

Rebranding lower Sydenham wont change that perception unless the causes of it are dealt with.

Robin Orton
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Re: Rebranding Lower Sydenham

Post by Robin Orton »

leenewham wrote:This thread highlights that Sydenham has a massive image problem. Especially as most of these comments come from people that actually live here. Imagine what the people who don't live here think!
I suspect one problem is that 'Sydenham' strikes non-Sydenhamers as an inherently comic name, because the first syllable sounds like 'Sid', possibly the most uncool Christian name there is (at the moment, anyway - no doubt it will come back into fashion eventually). Cf. the old British Gas (was it?) 'tell Sid' campaign. Sidcup has the same problem - Harold Pinter famously used it for comic effect in 'The Caretaker' (Sidcup was the place where the tramp Davies had to go to retrieve his papers).

Perhaps we should go back to 'Cippenham.'

Annie
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Re: Rebranding Lower Sydenham

Post by Annie »

Before I lived in Sydenham,I used to travel through to my work in Dulwich Village,It used to feel like I was travelling through the countryside,I was so impressed, it was nothing like I was used to,I dont think the name Sydenham is wrong-I personally like it, but I think the reputation it now has is the problem-deal with that -then the rest will follow.

Eagle
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Re: Rebranding Lower Sydenham

Post by Eagle »

Annie
Good to hear from you. I agree that regretably Sydenham not what it was. West Lewisham used to be a Conservative seat for most of the 50's and 60's . Little chance of that happening now. Mr
Dowd has job for life , like Kim Jil Un.

Basically most of Sydenham a nice place , but it does have an image problem.

You only have to look at the number of pawn shops , money shops, cheap shops , chicken shops and the terrible nail parlours.

Decent shops would be nice .

norfsarf
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Joined: 20 Apr 2012 07:29
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Re: Rebranding Lower Sydenham

Post by norfsarf »

Robin Orton wrote: I suspect one problem is that 'Sydenham' strikes non-Sydenhamers as an inherently comic name, because the first syllable sounds like 'Sid', possibly the most uncool Christian name there is (at the moment, anyway - no doubt it will come back into fashion eventually).
It's funny, I don't have that reaction to "Sydenham" as a name at all. If anything it reminds me of "sylvan" ie foresty, which is very fitting. And yes, the sister of one of my closest friends has a baby called Sid :D

It would be interesting to know what the fabled Bakerloo tube stop at that end was going to be called (if those plans had even got as far as naming a route).

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