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Bits and pieces from the archive

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.”

From Report of the Joint Committee appointed to secure the Preservation of the Hilly Fields, Lewisham as a Public Park” Lewisham Local Studies Archives 352.944 BRO


“The Hilly Fields, Lewisham, as finally preserved to the public…is situate on rising ground on the edge of the densely populated neighbourhood of Deptford, and was pronounced by a Committee of the London County Council, which considered the matter some years ago, to constitute the most eligible site for a park in the neighbourhood of London”
From Borough of Lewisham, Minutes of Proceedings of the Council

(1906-1907) 20th November 1907, p,20 minute 13:
notes a letter from the LCC “with reference to this Council’s letter of the 7th instant, and stating that all practicable steps had been taken to prevent disturbances at public meetings held on Sundays at Hilly Fields, and that the Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis had also been communicated with in order that he might render such assistance as might be necessary”

Band performances
On12th October 1910 Councillor Jerrard moved that band performance at Hilly Fields be moved to start and end one month later in the year. The issue dragged on…

On 15th January 1913 Councillor Wm Jerrard and Councillor J. Baldon moved:

“That representations be made to the London County Council with a view of fixing the period of band performances in the open spaces of the Borough (where such performances take place) one month later in the year than at present, so that the period may be three months from 9th June to 9th September, instead of from 9th May to 9th August as at present. That the suggestion be communicated to the Deptford Borough Council the residents if that Borough being interested so far as Hilly Fields are concerned”

On 7th May 1913 the Council noted the reply from the LCC

“stating that as the proposal involves the lighting of the bandstand and it would be practically impossible to maintain order at the several places after dark, the Council regret that they did not see their way to make the alteration suggested.”

Anti-social behaviour?

7th May 1913

“The Committee have received a letter (21st April) addressed to the Mayor from the Hon. Sec. of St. Bartholomew’s C of E Men’s Society, forwarding a copy of a memorial signed by members of the Lewisham Federation drawing attention to the misuse in the evenings of the Hilly Fields and other open spaces as a real source of danger to boys and girls and asking him to use his influence in having these open spaces better lighted and better controlled. The Hilly Fields is an open space under the control and management of the London County Council”.

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