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June, 2012:

QUIZ Answers and a little more info….

1. What is the name of the new café that has just opened in Hilly Fields Park?


….who have kindly donated the prize

2. Octavia Hill was the great 19th century reformer who was behind the preservation of Hilly Fields Park. What youth organisation did she help to form in 1889?

Army Cadet Force

“Never short on ideas or reformist zeal, in 1889 Octavia Hill formed the first independent Cadet Battalion in London, a concept which rapidly spread, becoming the Army Cadets. She felt strongly that the military context would socialise urban youths struggling for direction.” http://octaviahill.org/index.php

3. The amount needed to be raised to buy the fields which formed Hilly Fields Park in 1893 was:


A full list of donors was provided in the report by the Kyrle Society, and this included one William Morris.

4. Name THREE new major landmarks (built since 1995) that you can see from Hilly Fields.

We accepted: Shard, Millennium Dome, Gherkin, Canary Wharf is OK in part.

5. What insects have their own little houses provided for them at one of the Vicars Hill entrances to the Park?

Stag beetles


6. Where on Hilly Fields are the murals of the 1930s which are regarded as ‘some of the most important achievements of 20th Century mural painting’ (English Heritage List Description)?

Prendergast School

The artist was Evelyn Dunbar and you can find out more here: http://evelyn-dunbar.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/evelyn-dunbar-brockley-murals-1933-36.html

7. What is the smallest bird you can see in Hilly Fields?

goldcrest   (We also accepted wren)

 8. What was the name of the organisation which raised money needed to buy Hilly Fields Park in 1893, and which became part of the National Trust?

Kyrle Society

From “The Kyrle Society, Report for the Open Spaces Branch, 1893” Lewisham Local Studies Archives, SM1/9/10 (Motto of the Kyrle Society, founded 1877 ‘For Bringing Beauty Home to People’) “ Hilly Fields…..The land preserved is probably second in importance to no open space in the neighbourhood of London, being as the County Council long since reported the finest site for a park round London, and being moreover situated but a short distance from one of the most densely packed quarters of the Metropolis.” http://www.hilly.org.uk/history/

9. Which famous woman children’s author lived in Elswick St, off Loampit Vale, and visited and wrote about Hilly Fields? (Hint: she wrote books like ‘The Treasure Seekers’, ‘The Railway Children’)

E.E. Nesbitt  / Edith Nesbit

A contemporary of Octavia Hill, walked to Hilly Fields in Brockley near New Cross from her home in Elswick Road, Lewisham and referred to the area in “Wings and the Child”. ‘Once there were nightingales that sang in the gardens in Loampit Hill. Now it is all villas. Once the Hilly Fields were hill fields where the children played, and there were primroses.’ http://www.hilly.org.uk/history/

But our favourite answer was Rab C Nesbit

10. What was the name of the original school on Hilly Fields (now occupied by Prendergasts)?

West Kent Grammar, but Brockley County was accepted

11. What famous hill can you see from Hillyfields which used to be a haunt for highwaymen and is mentioned by Charles Dickens in the opening (not opening line!) to ‘A Tale of Two Cities’?

Shooters Hill

Chapter 2 “It was the Dover road that lay, on a Friday night late in November, before the first of the persons with whom this history has business. The Dover road lay, as to him, beyond the Dover mail, as it lumbered up Shooter’s Hill. He walked uphill in the mire by the side of the mail, as the rest of the passengers did; not because they had the least relish for walking exercise, under the circumstances, but because the hill, and the harness, and the mud, and the mail, were all so heavy that the horses had three times already come to a stop, beside once drawing the coach across the road, with the mutinous intent of taking it back to Blackheath. Reins and whip and coachman and guard, however, in combination, had read that article of war which forbad a purpose otherwise strongly in favour of the argument, that some brute animals are endued with Reason; and the team had capitulated and returned to their duty.”

12. Where did a V2 rocket cause widespread damage on 17/9/1944?

Adelaide Avenue corner of Eastern Road

“This was the first of 5 V2 rockets that struck SE4 causing grave loss of life. 14 people were killed and 29 seriously injured. 5 members of the same family died in the same house. The blast area can clearly be seen today indicated by the footprint of post-war re-development at this point” http://www.flyingbombsandrockets.com/V1_summary_se4.html


We had one winner and four runners up, so congratulations to all and enjoy your trip to the cafe. Thanks to Ruth and Fred at the cafe for sponsoring our prizes.

Midsummer Fayre

The ever popular Brockley Society Midsummer Fayre takes place this Saturday at Hilly Fields.

It starts at midday and finishes at 5pm….but early volunteers are welcome.

Last arrangements:  Volunteers, Cakes and Competitions!

1. VOLUNTEER: Can you volunteer for a slot on any of the following? Email what time and how long you can do to:  chair@brockleysociety.org.uk— or just turn up at the BrocSoc tent !

8am-12 noon
Setting up: We particularly need help here: layout of field, arena, bunting, flags, signs . . .  assembling the three 3x6m gazebos!

Car marshalling: Checking receipts, directing stallholders into position, arranging car park — teamwork . . .

12 noon-4.30pm
Tea stall —  help serve tea and cakes
BBQ — take orders and payments
Prize draw — ticket sales
Litter picking — need to keep this going all day
General help — on programme distribution, information stall, Animal Farm, trouble-shooting

Clear-up: clear the litter, break down the gazebos,  pack everything up . . .
2. CAKES – Please bake cakes for our ever-popular Tea and Cake stall! Bring them on the day.
3. COMPETITIONS: Bring your entries (Under 12’s and 12 & over) on the day.

I’m  afraid the flyer won’t insert…not sure what is going on there.

Just what we’ve all been waiting for…

In 2006 the Friends put together a management strategy for the park with long term aims. It is now looking very out of date with another proposal ticked off and we must confess it was at least effort to the Friends. Yes, thanks to Fred and Ruth, we finally have a café in the park….and a very fine café it is too.

If you want to see how to transform an ugly toilet block into a wonderful airy café, then make your way up the hill and don’t forget to enjoy their refreshments whilst you’re there.

It closes at 6pm and (I think) open from 8am…but I’ll double check that.

Time for another meeting…

Another meeting, but a change of venue. Thanks to Fred and Ruth for inviting us to have our meeting in their new cafe.
As usual, it is the second Tuesday of the month, so that’s this Tuesday 12th June.
It will start at 7.30 and should have finished by 9pm.