Sydenham Mural Planning [2018]



Yes, I think we should probably avoid “design by committee” and instead allow artists to fully put their stamp on this mural.

For example, I’d want Lionel to be able to put forward a vintage railway sign option (as per the other murals), as I think this is a very cool hallmark of South London.


Yes be great to see what Lionel comes up with. Having SE26 as part of the design would be key differentiator, none of the others he’s done so far have been able to achieve this in terms of lettering :+1:


Let’s all put the feelers out :),


There is some rich history in Sydenham from which ideas and images may emerge.

It is my recall that I read that prior to the Greyhound being built, there was the canal, a lock and a lock keeper’s cottage located on or near that site.

Any image proposed early in Forest Hill’s discussion by @thirstforwine was this -


Before you think I’ve gone all Steve Grindlay - I believe that in that era the barge would in fact be horse drawn.

And to caution readers, I do consider myself high status in the kingdom of philistine’s - I have no artistic taste whatsoever.


That did make me giggle!

Not really for further discussion as such at present but more to just clue and New viewers easily into what we are trying to do here…

This is current proposed location:

with the spec/design likely to be aimed at a large typography type piece of work labelled “Sydenham” or “SydEnham26”. Examples of Lionel Stanhope and Survival Techniques work who hopefully will both be submitting designs:



Since there are four segments to the wall maybe it could just be SE26?
I like Sydenham26 too though. I’m sure it’s going to look great. Thanks for organising JMLF.


Are there other locations around Sydenham? Down by Bell Green perhaps? or on Perry Rise/Catford Rise? or other places? Kirkdale? or coming from Penge?
just a thought that if the design chosen could be done simply, in maybe only 2 or 3 colours then it could be created in a stencil, and re-used in several locations.


Firstly, Hey Jon - When a design gets chosen (I think getting towards that first is important for the project as a whole to really crank up), Ill ask the artist if they do a stencil and whether it can be reused etc. I really like that idea, especially if it could mean a “iconic” (prob bit much to say that lol) piece of work be scattered at prominent points through Sydenham. Without being a pessimist or an artist, I’m not sure if a stencil is used how willing an artist would be to sell it or let other people use it (if that’s what you were thinking, to replicate it for “free” ourselves) compared to their professional skills. Also I’m not sure if having lots of the same design may in a way devalue or reduce the impact of the artist’s work? I literally have no idea but those were a few things that immediately popped into my head… I’m with you that more high quality art around the Sydenham area would be wonderful and hopefully as a base to start if this is successful around the station/high street area (give or take) it may provide more reason for artists to do things in the areas you mentioned almost like a path/tour of the area :wink: - artists appear to pick where they do things on a whole host of variables but visibility of their art is a big one so you can understand why it is more preferable to do a piece around a station/high street/main road or where others have done pieces as it may be seen as “worth doing” there. Not sure if that last bit quite made sense aloud but hopefully you get my drift!


Morning all,

I will write a detailed message later but as part of the plan I went round all possible sites of art owned by NR, not just the proposed site of the mural, and have essentially got permission for art to take place at all the locations. There are a number of provisos that need to take place (e.g: risk assessment or an artist can’t just turn up and do something even if NR have given permission and the artist has entire free reign to do what they please a rough mock-up or idea needs to be shown to Network Rail etc). So initial plan would be to crowdfund the commissioned piece and then later down the line getting between 5-8 high quality street artists to come on a set day to do the other spaces with their own stuff. These spots are;
The wall around the WC
The bridge
The run off wall from the bridge (next to acorn/opposite Pavillion)
The lowish wall to the right of the smaller northbound station entrance
*The wall at the end of Station approach may be council owned and not NR owned - they are checking that at the moment - in which case it would be council to give permission/make decisions etc

NR who own all the walls are very keen on this stuff at present and are very happy with the planned mural location on the approach which is totally signed off.

Will send a slightly more detailed message including some questions raised by forum members that I passed on.



Great work Jon.

Particularly on the permissions issue.

I am not sure that we have selected (or pre-selected) a list preferred artists, but it will be essential that candidates have working knowledge of NR’s processes regards Risk Assessment and Methodology Statements.


Great work Jon! Really pleased to see the progress you’re making on this :+1:


Many thanks again for the constant feedback and the general positiveness that is behind the project at present…
As promised, bit more of a lowdown on the meeting regarding some questions put forward and some extra Brucie bonus news!:

  1. There is no guarantee for things to happen to the wall, however the NR representative stated that due to the location/size/shape he would very much doubt it would be sold off for advertising or other (as previously asked). Another person stated that some places need repair/rebuilding, this does not appear the case for the station approach wall in the near future (I am unsure if this could be the case for the bridge or other locations - no idea, sorry! but should find out soonish)

  2. The following NR locations (all but one previously mentioned) have been given conditional permission - the entire wall around the WC, the bridge, run off from bridge (wall opposite pavilion) and the shortish wall to right side of smaller northbound station entrance. Conditions include having to give NR rough mock-ups of the art prior to the painting taken place, an arranged day/s so a one-off license can be created so artists don’t get arrested, risk assessments (basic) and for painters to have insurance/liability (if not, I’m not sure if NR have some sort of waiver).

  3. The wall at the end of station approach currently looks like it is owned by the council not NR. NR are kindly looking into it to ensure that is the case - if it does fall under NR permission (as with 2.) is granted. If not, as it seems, it is for the council and their processes to go through for permission/art to be displayed.

I think all other questions from the forum I’ve been able to answer half decently (?!) and will look into the question of wall cleaning and if the mural gets tagged/damaged after any artist warranty runs out whether NR are able to clean as they own the wall or the responsibility of us as we paid for/“own” the mural?!

Brucie Bonuses!:

  1. The NR representative has put in a request for the railside wall graffiti to be cleaned/covered.
  2. Another local who has taken an interest/supported the mural project kindly asked to look into doing some sort of green/nature project with the narrow piece of “woodland” which is between the peak hill gardens houses and the northbound platform and potentially the small pieces of banking on the southbound platform. As a result the NR representative has put in a request to clear the rubbish on the woodland strip of land and is looking into permissions around this type of project which may end up involving local community members and potentially local schools, clubs or elder people groups. Very early days and not my project (tho I hope to be involved), but thought be nice to give some Brucie bonuses and again continue to be as transparent as possible with every step of the process including yesterday’s meeting!

Have a lovely week all and should have the Facebook page (which will be very basic and direct people to the forums) in the next few days.

Have a great week!


Awesome work guys! Let me know if you need help with the following: logistics, ladders, space to store paint, connecting with artists and getting potential paint sponsors etc.

Just want to point out one thing: the graffiti to be covered trackside and then getting it painted by street artists. Graff guys who paint tracksides are very territorial and will take their spots back more likely. They won’t care if the new work was commissioned and funding went into it. They are already risking their lives and likely to get prison sentences if being caught. I have seen this happening all over the world. This is not unique to London.

It would be also a great idea to make a smaller or medium surface a rotating wall and have it painted like every 2 months. This way people will keep on coming back to the area to meet the artist and take pictures of the new works.

I would also propose that from the Crowdfunding we also put some money aside to run graffiti workshops for local children. I can set this up as I’m organising graffiti workshops.

I’m on in case you need to contact me as I rarely check the forum.

Nice one :slight_smile:


P.s.: professional mural artists who use scaffolding and lifts do hold liability insurance as every street art festival they paint would require this.

Woodland / Greenland project: totally doable. Local artist Louis Masai paints endangered species. He would fit into this plan perfectly.


With the “bonuses” this keeps on giving. At Freinds of Mayow Park we have done quite a lot to log local wildlife including bats, woodpeckers redwings etc so there are lots of local sources of inspiration for the “woodland” idea. It would be great if the seeds of this idea spreads more widely in Sydenham.
If the wall at the bottom of station approach does belong ot the council iwould suggest avoiding it as a site for the mural if possible, as nothing is likely to put a spanner in the works anymore than that.


All amazing news Jon. Look forward to next meeting. Happy to assist with handing out flyers. Be good to get the word out to the masses in SE26, handing out at the station peak hours is key to getting more people on board to follow @sydenhamural and this thread and in turn to boost the crowdfunding effort.

On the subject of the space next to Northbound platform. The Crofton Park Railway Garden is a great example of this. Im sure a separate thread needs to be set up to whomever is willing to steer this.


JMLF… is this the wall you are considering (among others…) opposite the Pavillion pub?


That wall could really do with something, if artwork was going to have maximum impact, it’s that one. John Freed may know who the freeholder is.


I’ll try and take photos of all the NR permissioned locations today if can to make it easier for people to visualise! The wall opposite the pavilion is a smooth piece of wall that runs off the bridge on the side of Acorn almost directly opposite the pavilion.

That particular big wall/side of building would be an absolute corker. Things that would possibly make that difficult/take a longer time (not to say it couldn’t be done!):

  • finding permission for granting
  • finding permission and granting for any other properties that an artist/team would have to go through to get to that wall (eg: climbing on the roof of the doctors surgery or accessing through others property round the other side)
  • risk assessment/health and safety stuff (as NR provide for their locations, I haven’t got the foggiest how this works or even if it needs to - maybe it doesn’t as private rather than company owned?!)
  • accessibility (some surfaces require cleaning/prepping before the art and if that’s the case I think - but am entirely unsure to be honest - volunteers would do this) and possible increased costs (eg: cherry picker / ladders rental).

Again, I’m not entirely sure all of the above would need to happen/be considered but from looking into possible quick successful art sites as much as I can see those points above unfortunately are things that require thought/time etc!

Ps: anyone please let me know if that doesn’t seem right/negative!!



Your list looks very comprehensvive.

The wall would be a good win.


From the Google view it can be seen there is some separation from the track.

However NR may have to be consulted once more - this time on the basis of work requiring scaffolding or cherry pickers being carried out in proximity to the railway.

With a little luck the constraints that I identified with regards to the wall opposite the down platform on the station will possibly not apply. But NR could be the determinant body here (owner’s consent apart)

Happy to discuss more detail if required.

PS: using Google’s ruler the wall seems to be approx 10 metres from the track - might be just enough to avoid NR consent - but it would be prudent to discuss the issue with them.