Pat Trembath has chaired the Sydenham Society for fourteen years and is now retiring.
1994 was a baptism of fire with the first Bell Green Inquiry. Pat and the Society wanted housing. The owners wanted a massive retail park. It was a titanic battle. The park is still to be built but if and when it does it will have a significant residential component.
Pat has lived in Sydenham most of her life. She was educated at Sydenham High (then a direct grant school). She returned in the 1960s and stayed.
Battling and campaigning have marked her style in defending Sydenham from the worst excesses of misplaced planning. But there is also the positive side. The cajoling of reluctant developers and retailers into ‘trying’ Sydenham. The support that helped Sydenham Music prosper and establish its International Music Festival.
Other success included improvement in planning guidelines and winning the campaign to get Conservation status covering the most sensitive parts of our town. This helped save the Greyhound from demolition and Pat will be active in helping to bring the building back into use.
Perhaps most notably Pat encouraged local architects and planners to come up with the concept of the Sydenham Gateway. This was built on the earlier success of campaigning for the East London Line extension to Sydenham and the subsequent defence of our London Bridge trains. This in no small way inspired Lewisham and TfL to press ahead with the Sydenham Road Regeneration Plan that is due to change the streetscape from Kirkdale to Mayow Road.
Pat is chair or committee member nearly everywhere. She helped the LDA get to grips with the problems and the people involved with Crystal Palace Park. A Sydenhamite planners and councillors sometimes fear but always respect.
Finally Pat was midwife to the birth of the Forest Hill Society modelled on the success of the 1,100 strong Sydenham Society. Taking over one society Pat now leaves two strong civic societies to make West Lewisham a better place to live, work and play.
Tim Lund succeeds Pat as the new chair of the Sydenham Society.
Tim came from Oxfordshire to Peckham bringing a bit of the countryside with him.
After reading Maths at Oxford Tim went into the City stockbroking – and a local allotment. His twin track career went to Credit Suisse and changing Southwark’s transport policies.
He was a prominent player in the early days of Transport 2000 south London activities. Harvey Sherlock of the CPRE was a heavy influence in the concept of how cities could be broken down into working and enjoyable communities.
A concept Tim explored and documented in the form of the Dulwich Community Website «www.dulwich.co.uk» one of the first in the country and one of the inspirations for our Sydenham Town Website. It also signalled a change of career for Tim as he developed the IT side of City business and adopted a more relaxed lifestyle.
Growing vegetables made Tim look south to Sydenham for a larger allotment and as his family grew they finally decamped to a larger home in Silverdale in 1999.
Success in the City doesn’t mean Ferraris and Porches. Quite the opposite – Tim doesn’t have a car. Well not his own but a Streetcar is his desire «www.streetcar.co.uk» and a bicycle.
Old habits die hard. Tim couldn’t resist building another website for the Kent House Leisure Gardens «www.klga.com» and has another in the pipeline.
His resolve not to return to community activism lasted a little longer. It ended with a chance visit to one of Chris Best’s Regeneration meetings.
That and his report of the first Sydenham Assembly «here» caused Tim to fall into the clutches of Sydenham Society’s Executive Committee Head Hunters.
From which there is no known escape …