Sydenham Common

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SYDENHAM COMMON - FOLLOW UP IDEAS

Visit the Local Studies Library on the 2nd floor of Lewisham Library, 199-201 Lewisham High Street [more info]. They will have lots of information about Sydenham, including maps and photographs. You can find details of their facilities and holdings on the website

View aerial photographs of the area on the Google website Neither cameras or aeroplanes had been invented in 1800 when the area was still countryside but you could draw what you think it would have looked like. Some old maps are available on a website.

Visit the website of the Sydenham Society. Perhaps you would like to join them? Read articles from their newsletter online.

A major factor in the development of Sydenham was the establishment of the Crystal Palace (1854-1936) nearby. Find out more about this by visiting the Crystal Palace Museum on Anerley Hill. Open weekends and Bank Holiday Mondays 11am – 4:30pm. website

Ask older people what they can recall of Sydenham. Remember you may find people who watched the Crystal Palace burning down (in 1936) but you won’t find anyone who saw it being built (in 1854)!

What happened when? Make a timeline using the events and dates mentioned on the walk. If you find out more you could add to it.

When would you have liked to live in Sydenham? Write about your imaginary life using real locations and maybe include actual events.

Make some small drawings of things that you see on the walk or take some photographs. Make a wallchart by placing the pictures around a map of the walk area and linking them to their location.

Find out more about the famous people associated with Sydenham. Can you find pictures of them? You could use these to make a wallchart.

If your house was built before 1901 find out who used to live there. Census returns were completed every 10 years from 1841. They are available on microfilm at Lewisham Local Studies Library. The 1881 census can be accessed on the Family Search website.
If your house was built after 1901 you could investigate somewhere on the route instead.

Using census information Imagine you are one of the residents of Halifax Street. Write your story or describe your day. You could do this in the form of a diary or letter.

Draw a table 10 across and 4 down. In the top row write in or illustrate the shops at 92 – 110 Kirkdale (110 is the Woodman pub). At the Local Studies Library have a look at street directories for 3 other years and complete the other rows. Note: before 1936 they were 31– 43 High Street with the Woodman at number 31. Have the shops changed much?

Produce a Sydenham Newsheet. Use one of the events described on the walk as your main story. Make up some other stories about things that could have happened around the same time. Add some advertisements for local businesses or services that would have been available.

Explore Sydenham Wells Park. In May you can see Rhododendrons in flower and the unusual Hankerchief Tree. webpage

There is a green walk of 5 miles (8km) between Crystal Palace and Nunhead Stations along the route of the High Level Railway (closed in the 1950s). The trail 'From the Nun's Head to the Screaming Alice' is illustrated with a map. Copies (small charge) should be available from Southwark Local Studies Library [more info]. Adults or older children may be interested to read ‘Retracing Canals to Croydon & Camberwell’.

 

london-footprints.co.uk 2009

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