OWR exhibition displays

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There were 30 panels displayed in the 7 sections listed below. The exhibition, arranged by Peckham Vision, was about the town centre – about the historic buildings in Peckham High Street and Rye Lane, about the station and the Old Waiting Room restoration work, and about the social and economic town centre issues which need to be tackled to make full use of Peckham’s potential.

Peckham town centre: an integrated approach

Peckham town centre, as a commercial area today, has a variety of characters and issues. There are three main shopping areas with distinct characteristics: the north of the centre, central Rye Lane around the rail station, and south of the station area to Peckham Rye. Rye Lane running north to south through them is a long narrow linear shopping street, with a poor pedestrian experience. Over several decades the Council has tried a variety of ways to improve the urban environment and attract a wide variety of good quality retail, but no attempt has succeeded. There have also been several unsuccessful attempts to encourage the businesses to work together as a town centre management team.

Over the last decade residents, most affected near the town centre, initiated projects and campaigns to improve the area around the station, and collaborated with the small creative enterprises there. Peckham Vision grew out of this work, and then led the community efforts for a more integrated approach to transform the central Rye Lane area. This resulted in £11m being allocated in 2012 by the Council and the London Mayor / GLA to transform by 2015/2016 the area in front of and behind Peckham Rye station.

Peckham Vision's displays outline this work; describe the growing role of the cultural creative enterprises in the local economy, and some challenges posed to that by the regeneration plans now being developed by the Council and Network Rail; explain the importance of the local rail services and how they need to be protected and improved for the sake of the local economy; and describe the community aspirations for restoring and developing the Old Waiting Room into a community managed focal point in the transformed station area as the gateway to the transformed town centre.

Enlargements and downloads: Please click on the images below to enlarge them, and to download. Click here link for a pdf containing a copy of all the displays in this section.

Peckham town centre’s historic buildings

Peckham town centre’s historic buildings offer an exceptionally promising aid to illustrate London's evolution from rural village in the 1600s, to modern cosmopolitan inner urban city. This is a key reason for English Heritage’s positive report on the historic heritage which led to the Council designating the town centre as a Conservation Area in October 2011, see Conservation Area appraisal report. The oldest building is no 62 Peckham High St built in the 17th century. There are good examples of buildings from several different social, economic and architectural eras in each century since then. Now they are all protected and the emphasis is to encourage their restoration and good maintenance and to use their presence and the Conservation Area to raise the quality of new developments and the maintenance and repair of all the other buildings in the town centre. The exhibition displays show pictures of some of the key historic buildings and give some of their history.

Enlargements and downloads: Please click on the images below to enlarge them, and to download.Click here link for a pdf containing a copy of all the displays in this section.

Peckham Rye station history & restoration

Peckham Rye station began operating in 1865. The building was Grade 2 listed in early 2008 by English Heritage after years of campaigning by the Peckham Society. Parts of the original building remain – the front, the two front towers, the ticket hall and the Old Waiting Room above the ticket hall. In the 1930s the rest of the station at the back was dismantled and the current access stairs and passages to the platforms were created. Peckham Vision, with the Peckham Society and the Rye Lane and Station Action Group (RLSAG) and with support from the Council, have been working together on a step by step process to restore the station; see the illustrated summary in this section. The exhibition displays give some historic information about the station, show pictures of the partial restoration of the Old Waiting Room, and the plans for restoration work in the front two towers to be completed in 2013.

Enlargements and downloads: Please click on the images below to enlarge them, and to download. Click here link for a pdf containing a copy of all the displays in this section.

Peckham Rye station: some ideas for future work

The station was built with an open square in front. The original building remains but the square in front was filled in with commercial buildings in the 1930s. The Council agreed in 2008 to adopt a policy to have the buildings in the square removed, and the square reopened as an open space in this central part of the town centre. Now, this is to be achieved by 2016. In November 2011 it was announced that the London Mayor, through the GLA, and with Southwark Council, will provide sufficient funds to restore the station square over the next few years. The plans include a new station square in front with new access through the station to the rear where the arches would be converted into commercial units to integrate that area into the town centre space. The Council is now developing detailed plans with Network Rail, the property owner, on what is feasible. These plans will be put to the public for consultation in 2013. In the meantime, local architect Benedict O’Looney, who has led the restoration work so far in support of the Peckham Society and Peckham Vision, has produced some suggestions for the new square and also for the access through the station to the rear coupled with the provision of lifts. These initial ideas were displayed in the exhibition to begin local public discussion of the different ways in which the new square and the links to the rear of the station, and improved access, could be achieved.

Enlargements and downloads: Please click on the images below to enlarge them, and to download. Click here link for a pdf containing a copy of all the displays in this section.

Peckham & Nunhead Area Action Plan (PNAAP)

The Council consulted on the final stage of the development of the Peckham & Nunhead Area Action Plan (PNAAP) 13th September to 4th December 2012. These Southwark Council displays give a brief account of the PNAAP and how the two major historic restoration projects - the station square & rear project (GLA/Council funded), and the selected historic buildings restoration grant scheme (HLF funded Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI)) - will support the new Area Action Plan policies.

Enlargements and downloads: Please click on the images below to enlarge them, and to download. Click here link for a pdf containing a copy of all the displays in this section.

Station platform improvements

Southern Rail has the lease from Network Rail to run the station as a rail station. Network Rail runs the parts of the buildings which are let out for other purposes. Network Rail gave Peckham Vision a temporary license to use the Old Waiting Room, and Southern Rail agreed we could arrange for the public to come through their station and ticket barriers to the exhibition. This is why visitors who were not travelling by train were escorted by Peckham Vision volunteers from the ticket barriers to the Old Waiting Room, and escorted out. Southern Rail's displays reported on the programme for changes on all 4 platforms planned for implementation from October to December 2012, to prepare for more rail users with the coming of the new East London Line in December 2012.

Enlargements and downloads: Please click on the images below to enlarge them, and for download. Click here link for a pdf containing a copy of all the displays in this section.

The Exhibition

The exhibition was the culmination of years of work on the part of some residents and some community groups. Some of the information on that work, and some of the milestones, are summarised on the display panel on Community Initiatives. A number of longstanding volunteers and new volunteers came together to plan the exhibition and bring it together, and a number of people volunteered to be a part of the team during the exhibition. And other individuals and organisations also contributed to the success of the whole event. These are all detailed in the poster of thanks. It illustrates the wide ranging local support there is for this work.

NOTE: This exhibition was inevitably not accessible to people who cannot use stairs. We want to express our apologies for that and commiserations. However, as a result of all the work to bring the Old Waiting Room to public attention by restoring it and enabling some ad hoc events to take place there, it has helped to raise the profile of the need to install lifts at the station. So though this exhibition was inaccessible, as a result of the past years of community work raising the profile of the Old Waiting Room and the historic station’s role in the town centre, the station is now being considered in detail for inclusion in the national Access for All programme which would provide full accessibility. The plan is for this to be part of the overall restoration work to a similar time schedule, and so we hope there will be a fully accessible station by 2016 when all the station restoration work is planned to be complete, and maybe before then. We hope that anyone not able to get to the exhibition either because of the lack of access or for other reasons will find the information we have posted on the website some compensation.

Enlargements and downloads: Please click on the images below to enlarge them, and for download. Click here link for a pdf containing a copy of all the displays in this section.