Hi Robert, thanks for your offer. I for one would like to see any images of Mill Gardens and the surrounding area that you care to share with the forum. (But don't ask me how you do that. I've got a bald patch from scratching my head!.)
My parents and I moved out of the area in 1957 when we had our home taken away from us by the LCC, as part of their grand improvement plan. As a child I was never tempted to explore the privacy of Mill Gardens. Now from reading books on Sydenham I realise just what I missed. The picture in 'Sydenham and Forest Hill Past' by John Coulter would appear to depict a scene of rustic idyll, so different from the likes of Bradford Road etc..
That's not to say that Mill Gardens totally escaped my attention. There was a bomb damaged building on the corner with Wells Park Road. This had a small extension out the back which possibly housed a kitchen and servery. By climbing onto the roof of this, it was possible to get in a window and drop down into the main hall. Inside was a scene of dereliction with brick, plaster, glass and roof tiles everywhere. If my memory serves me right it had a wooden floor with a good few of the floor boards missing; no doubt taken to patch up other bomb damaged properties. Then my mates and I would set to work having fun, smashing up anything that had been left undamaged by Mr Hitler.
As a child I had assumed that this building had before the war been a church. I now believe that it was some sort of hall, and I would love to know more about it's history and who it was used by.