Heritage Trail Launch 2014

Press Release:

Discover the lost Grand Surrey Canal with trails, walks and exhibitions in Burgess Park – Saturday 7 June 2014

Guided walk on the history of Burgess Park with pop-up events along the way

2pm Addington Square and finishing at 4pm Glengall Wharf Garden

Open air exhibition, games, crafts and music

Lime Kiln, Wells Way – from 1pm to 5pm

Lost Grand Surrey Canal re-imagined with landscape exhibition

Glengall Wharf Garden 12pm to 4pm Plus tea and cake all afternoon

After over a year working with hundreds of local people, the Bridge to Nowhere project is almost finished. On 7 June we are holding a celebration event near the lime kiln, so please come along and join us for music, traditional games, crafts and of course lemonade. We will reveal a new permanent heritage trail and a fantastic installation in the Wells Way underpass.

The Friends of Burgess Park have completed the Bridge to Nowhere project exploring the history and unusual development of Burgess Park in Southwark with £51,000 of Heritage Lottery Funding. Led by volunteers from the local community, the project has enabled local people to find out more about how Burgess Park has been created out of the urban landscape over the last sixty years.

The new underpass installation reflects the canal and local industry; not only a celebration of the park, this project is largely the work of local schoolchildren and keen volunteers working with Art in the Park. The heritage trail has been written by local volunteers who have had support from the Southwark John Harvard Local History Library. Oral histories collected by young people from Reprezent Radio will be held by the Library and along with the talk by local historians Stephen Humphreys, John Beasley and Tim Charlesworth are available online.

Burgess Park was once homes, factories, shops and schools, and the park developed bit by bit following bomb damage in World War II. Over the last 60 years the park has been gradually developed and the most recent revitalisation of Burgess Park in 2012 remoulded the landscape and removed most of the remaining roads and street layout.

The launch event will include fun, games, trails and pop-up events plus an exhibition re-imagining the Grand Surrey Canal for the 21st century, running from the Thames through to Peckham, taking place at Glengall Wharf Garden, the end point for the led heritage walk.

Commenting on the project, Susan Crisp, Chair of the Friends of Burgess Park said: “With the Heritage Lottery Funding we have delved into the history of the park and held some fantastic events like the May fair, open air films and the Open House event to share the unique development of the park. The new heritage trail will be a great way for more people to learn about the park’s secret past. We have had fantastic support from local people and a big thank you for help from Southwark Council and many local organisations.”


Notes to editors

About Friends of Burgess Park

The Friends is a local community group of volunteers who work to protect, promote and enhance Burgess Park for the benefit of local residents.

The Burgess Park underpass canal installation will be launched on Saturday 7 June at 1pm followed by the heritage trail walk at 2pm rounded off with tea at Glengall Wharf Garden 4pm.

The heritage trail will be available in print in the park and online. The canal interpretation installation is in the Wells Way underpass, SE5. Oral history and heritage talks are available on line and search Friends of Burgess park on YouTube.

In May 2013 the Friends of Burgess Park were awarded £51,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to undertake the Bridge to Nowhere project about the history and development of the park. The project has been led by Theresa Dhaliwal Davies, freelance heritage consultant.

The project has worked with:

Art in the Park

Reprezent Radio

Burgess Park Adventure Playground

Gloucester Grove School

Michael Faraday School

Southwark Local History Library

First Place Nursery


May Fair 2013, attracted about 3000 people and many more followed the temporary heritage trail around the park which was up for one week

June 2013 Open Squares week-end Chumleigh Gardens recreated the temporary heritage display as an exhibition

Summer 2013 Oral history with Represent Radio interviewed xx people and xx recordings are lodged with the John Harvard local history library

July 2013 Stories about Burgess Park brought Michael Faraday and Gloucester Grove primary school pupils into the park to find out more about the parks history and supporting their written and oral storytelling

August 2013 Canalside craft workshops: knitting, embroidery, canal painting, (3 sessions) at Jowett Street Park

September 2013 Two Free Films attracted about 450 people showcasing films with a local link alongside clips from the past

September 2013 Passmore Edwards Library Open House event attracted about 400 people the event included the photographic exhibition “Picture Burgess Park” along with historical photographs and the history of the park

Autumn 2013 Canals and Industries workshops for Michael Faraday after school club with  children and Art in the Park, leading to the underpass installation

February 2014 Local historians Stephen Humphreys, John Beasley and Tim Charlesworth spoke about local history and the park development at a packed event (about 70 people) hosted by First Place Nursery

Spring 2014 volunteers researched and wrote about the history of the park covering a wide and eclectic topics about local life: cinemas, ice, lemonade; the material has been used to create the short printed trail, a series of plaques around the park and more detailed information on-line

May 2014 Guided history walk with Stephen Humphreys attended by 25 people

May 2014 Launch of the Family Photo Trail to encourage families to explore the listed buildings and park heritage at half-term craft event in Chumleigh Gardens

June 2014 Launch of the heritage trail and canal interpretation in the underpass inviting everyone who has been involved to join in the celebrations


About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported almost 35,000 projects with more than £5.3bn across the UK.  www.hlf.org.uk.

For further information, images and interviews, please contact
Susan Crisp, Chair, Friends of Burgess Park

friendsofburgesspark@gmail.com Telephone number 07743093444


Glengall Wharf Garden

Established for almost three years this garden grows fruit and vegetables with volunteers using permaculture principles. The garden will be open from 12 to 4pm serving tea/cakes.

Glengall Wharf Garden (64 Glengall Road, Peckham, SE15 6NF) 12pm to 4.00pm serving tea and cakes all day.

Contact: Sue Amos / Annino Salo burgessfoodproject@gmail.com


The Return of the Grand Surrey Canal exhibition – Annina Jenkins

The exhibition will be at Glengall Wharf Garden for the week of 7 June 2014

MA project to landscape design of the whole Grand Surrey Canal and Surrey Canal from Greenland Docks to Camberwell and Peckham

The Return of the Grand Surrey Canal is a green infrastructure project, re-instating a canal in South London that was built in the early 19th century and filled in by 1970. The canal history is important locally, but it has not been clearly visible in the landscape. The aim of the project is therefore to make the canal visible again and realise the benefits that canals have in other parts of London. The symbol of the canal is the Camberwell Beauty butterfly (Nymphalis antiopa), that is believed to have reached Britain by hibernating in timber that was being shipped from Scandinavia and transported along the canal in horse-drawn barges for building. The new canal will act as a focus for sustainable living, encouraging cycling, walking and boating, and will have a number of food-producing areas alongside it, as well as cafés and markets selling local food, and sustainable housing. The canal will be part of sustainable drainage systems using rainwater. Wildlife will benefit from several wetlands and meadows along the canal; children will thrive in new natural play areas.

1 June 2014

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