Sydenham Mural Planning [2018]



Many thanks for the pertinent and timely input JGD, particularly with regards to confirming/giving extra added value to the thought of the railside location being less feasible.

I would hope at tomorrow’s meeting, (which I expect to document to some degree and place on the forums) and further input from those voicing opinions that some further clarity with regards to location will take place.

Any single location unfortunately will “rob” the mural of visibility to all visitors regardless. If one was to take the side of the large building where property world is for example (ignoring NR based locations for a minute!) that would be a great spot for those entering Sydenham by car/bus/walking over the bridge, however almost the entirety of people travelling by train would not see it as either entrance would entirely miss that location unless you happen to live up very specific roads (Westwood hill / Lawrie park) and made an effort to turn around to look… The station side location can be viewed from the high street (as going over the bridge), as well as from all those using that side of the station via station approach and the small path - the side that anecdotally (I use the station to and from work daily) a larger proportion of people use. Although not seen by all, it appears one of the better/best options.

If it is thought to be feasible to commission two murals then I think this would solve that issue to some degree, however my gut feeling is that crowdfunding for 1 will be enough of a challenge/good to start with!

In emailing Lionel, he has mentioned the lack of a flat surface, however has merely said he will submit a design that will complement/work with this. As I am not an artist I have no idea if this could be seen as a nice challenge to work with for some artists or that it is difficult and not suitable etc.

The fixings on the wall will not need to be considered as the stretch of wall I’m speaking of stretches from the toilets to the first fixing (maybe a tube map?) though I doubt the entire stretch would be used as it’s quite big (re: money / people possibly wanting to still see the Victorian wall stylings which has been mentioned)

Unfortunately from my snooping around there doesn’t seem to be any feasible flat large surface to a size befitting of an impact (as recommended by Lionel) owned by NR. There is another NR location next to Acorn which is flat but is much smaller in size and has the location issue as mentioned above re: Hardly any train travellers being able to view it.

We will see what comes from the meeting tomorrow - I’ll be presenting all my findings including possible locations, opinions given from the forums and through personal means also and possibly from there we can buckle down on a single location following an online vote maybe and some more concrete examples re: raising money / timelines / use of social media.

Early days I know but feel if things are kept on top of in a positive way and everyone is kept informed (as much as possible!) and able to have a say, this could be something relatively straightforward to achieve (or not depending on if the goal is reached) in a relatively short amount of time!

Lastly, this may not be an opinion shared by others but I feel the point of the mural would be a community project for a community piece of art that people of Sydenham are pleased to have/look at and ideally for it to be as visible to as many people as possible. I don’t feel it’s necessarily a signpost so people know where they are. I imagine a lot of people driving through Sydenham would know they were going through Sydenham already or would be aware by the numerous road signs or seasonal signs (eg: Sydenham arts)?

Again, definitely something to be discussed as a collective for all views to see what people think/want :slight_smile:


One for @chrisbeach really - what does @Lionel’s offer for Forest Hill include ?

Is a mirrored mural on both sides of the bridge a la Catford included in the scope ?

To help @JMLF are two murals included in the offer ?


In Forest Hill, Lionel is painting a mural on one side of the bridge. Included: materials, labour and six months of fixing any graffiti tagging. As you mentioned, he’s been very helpful throughout the process, and dedicated a lot of time the project so far.


Perhaps then in the context of @chrisbeach’s clarification, @JMLF should consider expanding Sydenham’s scope to include two murals and adjust the funding proposal accordingly.

Catford has acquired four complementary murals that very effectively reflect its identity and significant elements of its history.

Not only creative but fun too !


Just a reminder tomorrow’s meeting at 7pm onward in the dolphin!
Let me know if possible if you are planning on attending as booked a table and can adjust if need more space.

Have 4 confirmed and 3 possibles which is more than I expected :slight_smile:

Many thanks again :slight_smile:


Team Catford had a good budget. No crowdfunding that I am aware of. Money came from different sources via local council (but not council money)


Look forward to meeting you all later on at The Dolphin!



Hi Jon

Would very much like to come along tonight to offer support and hopefully suggestions?! See you later.


See you there! Maybe upload a profile pic so we can recognise you?


Here you go! Complementary black and white!


Here’s my mug. Sort of proof I’m not a robot :wink:


On way! In traffic :-1:


Good to meet everyone last night.

Some excellent ideas emerging - and congrats to @JMLF for picking up the ball and running with it.

Trust some early ideas will evolve into a short-list of sites and some good proposals for the artwork.



We had 7 of us last night (with 2 people expected giving their apologies) where informal discussions and ideas took place regarding a number of elements to the mural, with the following taking precedent:

Location including all aspects around selection (e.g.: ease of permission and physical access, visibility, size, surface) - Sydenham Station Approach was viewed as the most viable option pending the meeting with National Rail on Feb 13th for their input on locations and permission/s to be officially granted (all being well).

The importance of a concise outline/spec for the artist including theme/concept (e.g.; “Sydenham” vs “SE26” plus aspects of nature/history - great north wood/canal/greyhound etc), info about the site (size, surface, location) and budget.

Social media and the different channels for word of mouth/letting people know of the project and have their say at key stages of ideas/voting i.e: online but also high street posters/flyers/local newspapers/leaflets

Fundraising which will be based online through a researched and felt best/easiest option (crowdfunder), however local events (if businesses are willing of course) with proceeds going to the mural could also be a great option

Many thanks all involved last night and watch this (brick) space!

Twitter - @sydenhamural
Email -
Facebook- Soon!


Great to meet you all last night. It’s all very exciting and looking forward to things progressing. Good luck with your meeting on Feb 13th Jon a massive pat on the back for actioning this and getting this out there.


Lovely to meet you all in person. @JMLF has done sterling work here.


Good to meet you all last night and hear everyone’s ideas. Re crowdfunding, we’re very happy to store any funds collected in our bank account - we’ve set aside an account for this which is separate from other Syd Soc accounts. I think a great start has been made to the project.


Many thanks Annabel. I think this could be really useful as a hold for any additional funding past the target if we choose this option (in which case some further thought would have to go to where any extra funds would go in the community). The alternative would be to cap the funds at the target and avoid further complexities.

Unless I misunderstood, I think monies are held by crowdfunder itself and “released” if you achieve your target. Chris mentioned that Lionel was happy to be the designated receiver of funds (hopefully this will be the same for any artist who may be chosen) but the issue was with where any extra funds that came in would be held/sent… £££FH£££!
Have I got the right @chrisbeach? Ps: thanks for the kind words!


Yes, in the case of our crowdfunder, the funds went directly to the artist.

We didn’t want to exceed the goal as this money would have to be accounted for (and there were no agreed or fully-planned stretch targets). unexpectedly continued accepting funds after the target was reached so I had to email and ask them to end it. Luckily the Forest Hill Society agreed to take on the excess funds, which will be sent as a donation from the artist to the society. These funds will also serve as a valuable contingency pot.

After we successfully hit our target, the money was released to the artist within a matter of days.

You can choose to run the crowdfunder in such a way that funds are released even if the target isn’t hit. I’d recommend taking the classic “all or nothing” approach though, as this creates a bigger incentive to donate.


Yes, I didn’t mention it but all or nothing is the only way I would want to go and hope/believe everyone else would understand/feel that way!

Cheers For clarifying Chris :+1: