Sydenham Mural Planning [2018]

Thought Id ask what people think of the murals of catford, hither green and soon to be forest hill? I mentioned it on another thread but if you have a look on or I gatther you’ll see. (Or in fact google Lionel Stanhope Murals)

Bit of a two pronged question really - FH crowdraised £2,500 in 75 hours for the mural to be designed and put in place. Do people think something like this would be viable/achievable in Sydenham and if so who are the best people (?sydsoc or other) to maybe contact/look into it as I’m sure it’s useful to have knowledge of planning permission etc (which u know nothing about!)

I think it would look fantastic on the brickwork between the toilets and the minicab firm outside the station or on the upper corner part of the building above where the small signinage for all the shops to the station (bobs, outback, shapers etc) is. It would give a vibrant and lovely welcome to Sydenham!!

The third question I guess comes to mind is if this would cost £2000 or more, would people feel a crowdfunder of this value be more useful in other ways?!

Bit of an open one really but be nice to know what people think!


I agree JMLF…think would be a great idea for Sydenham. The more people on board the better. I spend a lot of time here with my partner. I would like to see the community to support this and other ideas. I would donate to this on crowdfund. Good to put it out there.


Have also put it on the Sydenham town forum which has a few responses of similar positivity so hopefully maybe get some ideas going in that direction!


Can you photograph where you mean ? Bit hard to visualise !

Might be less than 2000 if it was smaller.

This is Forest Hill’s upcoming new mural:


…and similar South London murals by @Lionel:



Perhaps a few of us should get together to discuss location and viability, engage with the artist and take it from there re funding.


Trying to straddle both old forum and this new one to make sure both are supported/message reaches as many as possible! Yes, there are already some ideas about a meeting or group to be lead by local traders to support things like this. It was said by another member that there is the Sydenham society and the Labour councillor as the two groups through which everything typically goes. I’m guessing not everything appeals to these groups and doesn’t happen or things may take a long time through these larger groups with red tape of funding/voting etc. So the suggestion of another group lead by those “in the floor” to support community projects and fundraise/crowdfund and make projects happen in a different, potentially quicker or more democratic way perhaps.

(That’s no offence to the two groups listed above that do some excellent work, it’s just the general feeling/view that I feel has appeared at various points on forums since I’ve lived in Sydenham when looking through between the lines)


Great idea JMLF Sorry to say i have left sydenham forum precisely because it is nothing but a talking shop. What has it ever achieved? I first mentioned these old-style railway signs as a suggestion on there two years ago. ditto i started a thread on murals after the ones at Catford appeared. Then some one else started another thread and so on…
All you will get is a load of opinions from a small band of usual suspects, a tedious and unrelated discussion about the rights and wrongs about Lewisham council then precisely nothing will happen. 6 months later you will see exactly the same idea posted by a new contributor and round and round they go again
. I also object to everything going through the Sydenham society because whilst i appreciate their efforts, with the best will in the world it does not appear to be representative or democratic and should not be treated as if it has any authority to make decisions for the people of Sydenham rather than just representing themselves. It is not a statutory body and also i think an unforseen consequence of its dominance in our town is that it inadvertently puts people off doing things of their own volitionmaybe because they see everything as being the responsibility of the Sydenham Society and that they don’t have to bother . I am not trying to criticise the SS ratehr observe some of its undesirable consequences that may be no fault of theirs…

I think the crowd funding is a superb idea and also speaking to the owner of the wall (s) in question.What more do you need? Everything in Sydenham takes forever and a day and we are always last in the queue-in my view precisely because we always go through the council and the SS. Go for it!


Right that’s decided then - I’m on it! I’m currently in the process of finding out who to contact/contacting network rail regarding the wall as a proposed mural area. As they have given support to other areas in the past, this I imagine would be the simplest (and in my humble opinion probably the best place to have a mural). At least it’s a starting point that can be canned if another location owned by someone else is felt better when we have a meet/get a group going.

Once I’ve got a little info going in the right direction I suggest (much like others have) to have a bit of a meeting/chat in a pub regarding thoughts on everything before starting to make decisions on what platform to use to crowdfund, location (if another is wanted), design, cost, size etc and how to promote.

I know very little about this sort of stuff but am pretty on it and excited by this and feel it could be something that could be done potentially easily/quick and make a nice little difference so very happy (amongst others I hope) to be involved!


Great stuff @JMLF. Let me know if you have any questions about the Forest Hill Mural. I liased with the artist and ran the crowdfunder and can advise on both.

A lot of the process was discussed in the “FH Mural” section of (opt in here to see this category).

If you’d like to run polls on but aren’t sure how, drop me a PM and I can advise.

Cheers! :+1:


I’ve set up the following email and twitter accounts for possible future use re: project/s

Won’t be using any until some form of decision regarding which one/s to use (if any! They were just the first three that popped into my head)

Hoping to receive the contact email for the Network Rail guy who signs off on things like this to see if they would in theory and if it’s viable etc.

Regardless of if we use any of the above emails/twitter, a network rail owned location or other, or if the whole thing flops (I’d like to think not) just think maybe good to hit the ground running and start something going!

Have a great weekend all.


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This is me - on my own, not as a voice of the Sydenham Society.

There is also a wall opposite Platform 2 which TfL or NR are forever painting out graffiti. Should this wall be considered as a possible option?

A decent mural might persuade the graffiti mongers to go elsewhere…


I think this is a great idea and the suggested location would be perfect. It would also add some continuity with our neighbours and if Sydenham and Forest Hill have one surely Kirkdale should have one too. Maybe this is a project for Sydenham Arts.

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Kirkdale have a lovely couple of small murals celebrating the “original high street” (or something to that effect - one is on the side of the piano shop opposite journey cafe and the other is on the side of the beauty studio opposite Tesco!

Pat - I also think that could be a great location but the pessimist in me fears people will keep graffitiing that stretch of wall regardless (silly pessimism!). I also think that speaking off the top of my head a mural outside the station may get more eyes on it? (Those coming to/from station I’d just outside plus those going past on the Main Street)
On the other forum someone has suggested on the bridge itself which is another option and would possibly miss out on a lot of people who generally keep to their sides of the station before/after work but on the flip side would get all the vehicles viewing it driving through.

Plenty to think and discuss I feel :slight_smile:

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Not sure about the likelihood of graffiti mongers spoiling street art. We have a number of street art installations around Sydenham as part of the 2013 Sydenham Arts Festival. Very few have been despoiled. Forest Hill and East Dulwich, likewise as local examples.

Also there was considerable street art at Brockley station for many years before TfL upgraded it. Very little tagging has taken place on such sites.


I think the mural idea is a great idea and happy to get involved in any way. Also (have put something up already before about this -apologises in advance!) but I still think it would be great to do something with the old Regency working men’s club on Spring Hill/Cobbs Corner, a mural would look fantastic against that wall too facing Sainsbury’s and where a Nando’s is opening(?)

Sorry kateP - other ideas have to come in here,

Another developer now owns the building and will have other plans.

Ideas and ownership and planning always have to be sorted to owner’s and local government’s satisfaction and needs the local borough’s agreement about what can be acceptable and will work within the development area - aware of constraints (in the middle of a Conservation Area) about what is being proposed.

They might love a mural there, anything would be better than how it looks now - ha!

Evening all,

I’ve been in touch with Lionel, the artist who has been doing the murals for areas of South East London, who kindly replied with some general information, questions and the direct contact at Network Rail who I have emailed and am awaiting a reply regarding information for permission of a mural on Network Rail owned walls/bridge (if that is what is decided).

I plan to take some photographs of the potential Network Rail locations raised so far to send to both Lionel and Network Rail to see what may be best/acceptable.

From some brief information from Lionel I think the bridge may be too small (?) as a preferred option perhaps. He recommended 30ft x 10ft as having the best impact in his opinion.

Lionel also requested what potential colours to mock up something to help with discussion and campaign.

Just something to vaguely think about as much like the FH mural, I feel opening the floor to other designers and designs (as well as colour schemes) should take place in an as fair way as possible.

I’ll post network rail and Lionel’s reply regarding the possible locations in the next week hopefully.

Maybe from there we could think about setting up a meeting for discussion and I will travel through the forum re: FH mural process and get a better idea of how we can be as fair as possible re: the people of Sydenham having a say in location, designer, design, colours and cost.

Do please just respond with thoughts/ideas and if you would like to lead or be involved directly with this as I didn’t intend to and have no experience in this stuff but thought I’d at least get the ball rolling and take the bull by the horns a bit!

Have a lovely weekend all,



Here are the three Network Rail (assumed) sites put forward by people in the first informal forum discussions (across both Sydenham town forum and forums).

Again, secondary to Network Rail having okayed previous projects in the South East, a piece of wall owned by them is likely easiest to get permission for hence this as a starting point.

The Bridge (which at its highest point isn’t too much more than 6ft and dependant on the artist/design may not be preferred or have as big a visual impact as other locations):

The wall between the toilets and station on station approach:

The wall opposite the southbound platform which extends past the photo (I’m not sure how easy it would be to access/extra cost as I assume and artist would need extra permissions and only do it outside of times trains are running?!)

Will feedback with info from Network Rail as it appears.

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