Sydenham Mural Planning [2018]



Happy Monday everyone,

I have booked a meeting with the Network Rail contact on FEBRUARY 13th at 10 am (he doesn’t work evenings or weekends and I happen to have some time off that week so booked in the opportunity).

Obviously anyone who is free and want to look at potential sites/have input please join! (The railside wall as already thought by a few people has already been nixed as a location due to access/safety issues etc).

As this meeting is in the diary, think might be a good idea to have an initial meet up in the next week or two to start discussing how best to go through process of decision making and funding.

I’m thinking either midweek Tues 30th or Weds 31st in pub/cafe? Does that fit with anyone who is interested?

Unless anyone has an issue with it, I will start using the Sydenhamural twitter/gmail account to send out updates and get some more people in the know?!..

Please let me know if you have a strong preference for SEtwentysick or Sydenfam accounts instead.

I will give it until Friday before starting to use one unless people feel better to wait until meeting.

Lastly, although we will likely open it to other artists? Lionel has kindly asked for ideas for him to mock up an image - namely:
Any extras to the typical signage he has done - I know a greyhound has been put forward.

Please let me know more so can pass on!! :slight_smile:

Any feedback/input would be greatly appreciated.





I like Sydenhamural as the social media branding for this.

I’ll dig through my posts and messages on and create a topic listing local artists that you may wish to contact.

In your tweets and FB posts, it would help boost this forum’s growth if you could link toward our discussions here.

There are several features of this forum that may be useful to you including:

  • polls
  • @mentions which notify members
  • Verified members to avoid sock puppets
  • wiki-posts (posts that can be made editable by all established members)
  • rich previews of forum links on social media (the description and image within an post is automatically expanded on Facebook and Twitter when you link to post)

Let me know if I can help in any way. I’d also be up for attending the meeting if it’s at 7pm or later.

Do feel free to create other topics to discuss the specifics of this project. On, for example, we created a topic to keep tabs on possible sites for street art.



Fab work Jon! I would be up for coming to the pub / cafe to share ideas with you all. I think also speaking to the Brockley Street Art folks would be good too, they’ve done a great job over the last few years with a number of artists who have done some amazing murals in and around Brockley / Honor Oak Park.


Many thanks for all the info and support Chris!

Will put out a meeting in a few days when hopefully I’ve had a few replies but at present it’s looking like possibly Tuesday 30th 7pm onward in the dolphin(?).

I’ll start sydenhamural twitter/email/Facebook stuff up Friday onward unless feedback suggests other name/handle.



Perfect :+1: - it’s in my diary.


@JMLF and others - in a separate topic I’ve begun compiling a list of street artists who are active locally:


These are both wiki-topics, which established members are able to edit and improve. Do add your favourite local street artists and site ideas - cheers!


Hi Jon

Amazing work, thanks for organising it all. The bridge and approach to the station would be hugely improved by a mural and love the idea of the wall opposite the station if feasible.

More than happy to help or attend a meeting to offer support! A friend of mine who is an artist took part in the Dulwich event that resulted in a number of murals being done around East Dulwich and his is near the East Dulwich station so am happy to ask for his advice possibly about fund raising etc?


I think what helped the Forest Hill fundraiser reach its target so quickly was that it was v easy to get involved. The key points such as design, colour, rotation etc were all open to a quick vote on here. Appreciate need to have a meeting or two at the start to ensure works can be carried out etc however then each poll was managed with strict deadlines and limited choices. This meant decisions were made quickly. In the end all choices I made had the majority vote, hence felt like I couldn’t not donate. Guess a lot of people felt the same way and easily donated £10/20 each. Overall not everyone will like it 100% but better than nothing and didn’t come from their council budget etc…


I’ve just discovered this proposal and it sounds great. If you crowdfund I will share with my networks locally. I am free on Mon - Wed usually in daytime if any meeting ends up happening then let me know.


Many thanks all for the feedback, positive comments and interest!

We will see how it all pans out after next weeks meeting (Dolphin, 7pm Tuesday) and more feedback but I’m roughly hoping the rough timeline will be:
1 month to 6 weeks for submissions/decisions on submissions
2 months to 10 weeks til start of crowdfunder campaign.

That’s the hope anyways to give enough time for word to get around, time for people to vote/reply to questions and ins and outs to be worked out before the campaign is, fingers crossed, successful!


I’m planning on starting to add people to Twitter/Facebook/email people at some point from this evening onwards.

Not really an official vote as it can be changed later but to start off so I can get stuff moving which of the following do you prefer as the image for the accounts (or if none!, please suggest your own). If not an overwhelming response in one direction I’ll just pick one!

Cheers :slight_smile:

  1. image



  • Option 1
  • Option 2
  • Option 3

0 voters


Branding social media for a mural without prescribing the design of the mural, it’s actually a tough problem to have!

I’d go with 3 - I think it’s perfect!

Whatever you choose, bear in mind the design will have to work inside a circle (as per current Twitter and Facebook styling)


I’d love to be involved in this project and, coincidentally, have had discussions with Network Rail on behalf of both Sydenham Arts (who organise the Sydenham Artists Trail every year) and the Sydenham Society (of which I’m chair). There may well be funding from Network Rail for artwork to go on the retaining wall below the bridge - opposite the ticket hall as you enter the station. I’ll rustle up my contacts and share more asap; also hope to join you at the Dolphin next week.


Thanks for the reply Annabel.

Firstly, it’s great you’d like to contribute, hopefully as an individual rather than a representative of the society as the feedback across both forums appears to be largely in favour of keeping the project separate from existing organisations.

In a similar respect the current idea is for the mural to be fully crowdfunded without funding from any organisations. Again to ensure streamlined straightforwardness without barriers to funding, unexpected bureaucracy, waiting around for things that may never happen etc!

The location I’m looking at, which I hope people will agree with, is on the approach at street level opposite shapers.

Having spoken to my Network Rail contact, possibly someone you have already worked with, he has essentially okayed that location (I am meeting him in person in a few weeks) but has stated the railside location is a lot more difficult to gain permissions for/red tape as access and health and safety mean it can only be accessed during an extended period (2-3 days for an artist I’m guessing) when no trains are running.

However! Saying that I’ve been told that previously permission and funding were actually okayed for that location but due to a number of factors nothing then occurred (which obviously can be the case when a number of different organisations are involved re: decisions) which lead to work, time and effort put in unfortunately amounting to nothing.
I’m trying to avoid as much of this as possible whilst also including as many local opinions as possible! Doubt I’ll be successful in it all!

The only other location queried to date by forum dwellers which is Network Rail owned (and thus easier to gain permission) was the bridge but again, I’ve been told on previous approaches there have been pushbacks that it would distract drivers. Additionally from one artist I have been in contact with, he feels a larger surface area (the bridge is only 6ft tall at most) would have a better impact.

Hopefully you can understand my initial position on the above Annabel and am very happy for things to change should a large majority feel another way. At present I’ve had only positive feedback really (thanks Sydenham!) with a fair few messages echoing my sentiments above of keeping it a separate entity from
anything existing and just getting on with seeing whether this will work/happen!!

Kind regards,

Jonathan :slight_smile:


Dear All, I’ve added a little poll onto the images for ease of picking! Please do vote if possible!

Like I said, only a small thing to have some image of sorts on the social media bits when I start sending/contacting people etc!
Can easily be voted on/changed in future if any concerns!


Across both forums there was almost a clean sweep for image 3 (9 votes out of 10) which will be used for twitter/Facebook etc.

Any future polls will hopefully be placed with the help of admin as an actual poll in a separate stand alone thread. Discussion will take place but I also imagine future polls will be given plenty of time for less frequent visitors to have access to a vote (i.e.: 1 week or longer).

Hoping to get the “social media” stuff started up a bit this weekend.

Many thanks for those that voted and have contributed to the conversation to date.

Have a lovely weekend all.


Looks good Jon:

I didn’t realise it was you when I saw the name (Syd Enham), until I saw the twitter handle (@sydenhamural). Perhaps a worth using SydenhaMural for both?


I was already thinking that as I haven’t really used twitter much so getting to grips with it (I promise I’m not a 95 year old who’ll pop off before the project is through!)

Already changed the name to SydenhaMural. Obviously if everyone can follow/retweet etc that would be grand :slight_smile:


Twitter is up and running! SydenhaMural @sydenhamural!

Please follow, retweet and all that jargon as much as you can :slightly_smiling_face:


The idea of a Sydenham mural has many merits and it is good to see that Sydenham is at long last catching up on the benefits seen by both Catford and Forest Hill.

Choice of location and obtaining the owner’s permissions is crucial. @Lionel and his contacts at Network Rail (NR) have made immense contribution to timely progress both on Catford and Forest Hill projects. Not least that he has working knowledge of the safety case issues for which Network Rail will require conformance whilst working on their property

On safety matters alone the addition/inclusion of the retaining wall adjacent to the track opposite the down platform introduces a substantive and significant risk to good progress in the project if that location were to be selected.

ANY work conducted at this location will be deemed by NR to be “on or near the track”

This would require a safety case to be developed with methodology statements included that would define how and when the work would be carried out and by whom - and the artists/workers would have to be trained in trackside working and a possessions and isolations regime would have to be negotiated with NR. Protection measures would also have to be in place. In almost all foreseeable circumstances this would require work be executed whilst trains are not running on the up-line with the available windows for work being of very short duration.

All of these elements will add overheads of time and costs which could be estimated to ramp up costs beyond the £2.5 k quoted for Forest Hill. And not by a margin but by a factor or multiple of several times that “core” cost.

These overheads of course do not apply to those locations where the work is not on or near the track such as the bridge.

All-in-all it would be prudent to eliminate the retaining wall from the potential locations list on this basis of the impact of importation of unnecessary risk to the project .

The on-station site also has limited merits form a presentational point of view.

It will only be visible to the customers of the two Operating Companies who use the station and I would suggest those commuters already know where they are.

The selection of that site would rob the mural of one of its most substantial benefits - its ability by its prominence and visibility to promote Sydenham to ALL travellers through the area - inclusive of foot and vehicular traffic.

This wall has other issues - it does not present a canvas on a single plane and - from up-to-date pictures - there are many pieces of equipment fixed to the wall and these by no means should be assumed to be redundant.
These observations are borne of experience and are made to highlight a very important factor in the site selection - and I will refrain from comment on the selection of the artwork