From the blog of well-known local funeral director Barry Albin-Dyer:

I have personally also had some difficult news as I have been diagnosed with a tumour in the brain. Initially the news was not good but it improved greatly yesterday when the surgeon gave me hope after telling me that he will operate and remove as much as possible and anything that is left will be treated accordingly. So I will be out of action now for a while as I am going into hospital to have the operation next Tuesday (9th), but with God’s help and your best wishes which I am so grateful for, I will as ‘The Terminator’ says ‘return’ after some recuperation.

In the meantime the business will be in the very capable hands of my two sons Simon and Jonathan and my wonderful staff who are lovingly supporting me at this very difficult time. Huge thanks to the staff and especially to my sons and to Jackie who have as ever been by my side.


A meeting of the Albion Street Steering Group took place on Wednesday 5 June.
The ASSG is a group consisting of local representatives that was created by Southwark Council in April 2011 with a remit to influence the development of Albion Street in a way that reflects the needs and aspirations of the local community.
Any queries should be directed to the secretary to the group at [email protected].

Boris Johnson

Southwark Council is to spend £15,000 to investigate the possibility of extending the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme beyond its current coverage area in the north-west of the borough.

The council has allocated £10,000 to identify cycle hire docking station sites beyond the current scheme area in Southwark.

At present, there is only one docking station east of Tower Bridge Road.

The council says that this work will investigate possible extension options towards Burgess Park and along the river. The findings of the study will be used to cost and plan future scheme expansion.

The recently approved redevelopment of the Biscuit Factory in Bermondsey includes provision for a docking station as part of the planning permission.

The council will also spend £5,000 on a collaborative study with a leading academic to investigate cycle hire usage patterns and identify barriers to usage. This information will also be used to put together a case for extending the cycle hire scheme.

Rotherhithe New Road

Plans for a 19-storey tower in Rotherhithe New Road have been turned down by Southwark Council’s planning committee.

The scheme included 158 homes, new accommodation for the Southwark Free School and a sixth form centre for the City of London Academy.

Officers had recommended that the scheme be refused on the basis that it would leal to the loss of industrial and warehousing land in a designated area.

Planners also warned that the scheme “represents an overdevelopment of the site” and criticised the 19-storey tower for its “inappropriately large scale, architectural expression and the form, massing and design of the building”.

The level of affordable housing in the scheme had also been a point of contention, with just 10 of the 158 homes designated as affordable.

That the developers SCCD pressed ahead with the application despite the clear steer from planning officers suggests that they are hoping that Mayor of London Boris Johnson will ‘take over’ the case from the council – or that the application will go to appeal and a planning inspector will decide.

Southwark Council has voiced its strong opposition to proposals to use Chambers Wharf for the Thames Tideway Tunnel superseder. The council has set out its objections in its first formal response to the Planning Inspectorate on the impacts of the proposal.

“We strongly believe that Chambers Wharf is the wrong site for such a disruptive, major piece of construction like the Thames Tideway Tunnel,” said Cllr Peter John, Labour leader of the council.

“The proposed location is in the heart of a heavily residential area and very close to three of the borough’s schools. The round-the-clock noise, vibrations and traffic pollution caused by the construction work will blight the lives of these residents and children for years not to mention create significant safety concerns, making living and learning around Chambers Wharf an absolute nightmare.

“Any consultation by Thames Water has been ineffective and flawed at best, and at worst dismissive of the council’s genuine concerns. There has been a lack of information available on how the route of the tunnel and the affected sites have been chosen along with a lack of real opportunity for those affected by the proposals to influence site selection. Furthermore, Thames Water has failed to respond to our concerns about the potential impact of this project on our residents.

“In our opinion, there are better alternative solutions for the construction of the tunnel that would have significantly less impact than the proposals at Chambers Wharf. We will continue to oppose plans until we have achieved the best possible outcome for our residents.”

In a response on behalf of the Southwark Liberal Democrat council group, Riverside councillor Anood Al-Samerai said: “The impact of the proposals on our residents would be enormous – with six years of work, including 90 lorry movements a day and round the clock noise for the first three years, it would be impossible for them to carry on with their lives as normal.”

Councillor Eliza Mann added in her own response: “There are 150 residential properties in very close proximity to the proposed site, mainly on the nearby Dickens Estate which is home to 800 residents, all of which would be very badly affected by the plans.”

The Save Your Riverside campaign is holding a public meeting at City Hall this Thursday


Time and Talents has been asked by the Bermondsey and Rotherhithe Community Council to investigate the interest in setting up a civic society or urban parish council for Rotherhithe.

For the purpose of this activity  Rotherhithe is defined according to the historic boundaries of St Mary’s parish, bounded by Southwark Park Road in the west, the river to the north and east and South Dock in the south.

A civic society is a community-based organisation made up of a diverse group of active local citizens and organisations who share a sense of pride and local community spirit and who wish to contribute to improving their locality. There are already several such civic societies in Southwark such as the Walworth SocietyThe Camberwell SocietyThe Peckham Society and The Dulwich Society.

An urban parish council is a more formal arrangement with elected representatives and decision-making powers.

Fill in the online survey to give your views.

Time & Talents is hosting an open meeting on Thursday 30 May to discuss  the results of the survey and to work out the next steps. Please let Alyson know if you would like to attend.

Southwark Civic Awards 2013

The Rotherhithe and Bermondsey Choral Society was awarded the Liberty of the Old Metropolitan Borough of Bermondsey at the Southwark Civic Awards held at St George’s Cathedral on Saturday.

The award was collected by Sue Heath-Downey and Prem Goyal.

Pearly King of Camberwell and Bermondsey Jimmy Jukes received the same honour.

Bede House Association was presented with a lifetime achievement award.

Barry Noon, a local architect who has been involved in both the Brunel Museum and the Canada Water Campaign, also received a lifetime achievement award.

Wild food and wild cocktails await you at the new season of Midnight Apothecary at the Brunel Museum in Rotherhithe.  Wild gourmet chefs The Foragers (of Dead Dolls Club fame, Dalston) have teamed up with pop-up roof garden cocktail bar Midnight Apothecary. Every Saturday night (5.30pm-10.30pm) join them round the firepit for cocktails, infusions and food.

Optional guided descents of Brunel’s underground Grand Entrance Hall on Saturday nights too (£5).  Every Sunday afternoon 12.30pm-5pm they will both be serving their wild cocktails and wild food too for Gourmand Sundays at the museum.  Free entry, cash bar.

Frank WalkerA man from Rotherhithe was jailed on Monday for the rape of a 17-year-old girl.

24-year-old Frank Walker of Shipwright Road was sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court to 36 months imprisonment.

On Saturday 28 July last year the victim attended a party at friend’s house in Acorn Walk which Walker also attended. A number of people attended the party and the pair were not known to each other.

The victim had gone to sleep in a bedroom and woke up to find Walker raping her. Following her ordeal she managed to escape the room, alerted her friends and reported the incident to police.

The victim was forensically examined at the Haven and DNA samples were taken.

Following enquiries Walker was arrested by police on 29 July and subsequently charged.

Initially Walker tried to maintain his innocence; however on 19 March this year he changed his plea to guilty.

Detective Inspector Faye Churchyard said: “Walker took advantage of the victim and tried to spin a web of lies to mask his guilt, but those lies did not stand up to the evidence available and he has rightly pleaded guilty to rape.

“He will spend a lengthy time in prison for what he did to the victim.

“I also hope this will encourage others who have been victims of a sexual crime to report what has happened to them.”



The long-awaited Connect2 bridge across Rotherhithe New Road next to South Bermondsey Station was opened on Friday afternoon by Cllr Peter John, Labour leader of Southwark Council.

The ceremony was delayed after Cllr John and council colleagues were stuck on a train at London Bridge Station for nearly an hour.

Originally proposed in the mid-1990s, the project received National Lottery funding in a public vote in 2007 as part of the Sustrans Connect2 initiative.

The project suffered a series of bureaucratic hold-ups which led the late Barry Mason to campaign and cajole to ensure the scheme went ahead.

“It’s been a long wait, but I’m really pleased to see this bridge finally up and running,” said South Bermondsey Lib Dem councillor Graham Neale.

“Locals have told me they are pleased that the walk to the station will now be just a few minutes and may even increase the value of their homes.

“However there are some security fears that come with easy access to Stubbs Drive which must be addressed by the council.”

The new structure replaces a disused railway bridge which had been built to link the old goods depot at Bricklayers Arms with the main line.