Friends of Streatham Common

Rookery Centenary

July 2012


In July 2013, the Rookery will be 100 years old. The Friends of Streatham Common, along with Lambeth Council and the Streatham Society, are planning various improvements in advance of the centenary and an event to mark it.

Plans and progress will be reported here. For a start, this special logo has been created.

August 2012

The projects we are working on for the Centenary are:

* A Management plan and Green flag status for the Rookery

* A   'carpet bedding' display for the centenary and new 'low maintenance' beds to be planted in the Autumn (planted by Capel Manor student/graduates)

* Capital Works Improvement to the Rookery

* A "Memories" project

* Having Gardener's Question Time in Streatham visiting the Rookery

* A leaflet for visitors to the Rookery covering history and horticultural information

* A Streatham Society plaque to be unveiled

* Streatham Society to publish a book on the history of the Rookery and Norwood Grove.

* A big opening event with a famous gardener and a local dignitary to attend

Progress since the last news letter

* Mock Green Flag inspection has taken place at the Rookery - despite the recent lack of maintenance it should still pass the Green Flag award (you should notice some improvements as we complained about the condition of the Rookery )

* Carpet bedding (floral displays) and new beds being designed

* Consideration being given to Heritage Lottery small granted bid in the Autumn

* Application made to do GQT using Crown Lane Primary school

* Leaflet prepared ready for getting quotes (great information on the plants and features)

* Funding for plaque agreed (joint SS and FOSC)

* Streatham Society book launched:  "Norwood Grove and The Rookery, Streatham Common - the History of Two Georgian Estates in South London" by Brian Bloice and Daphne Marchant.

Interesting facts

Did you know that In 1921, the Princess Royal chose a painting of the Rookery for her official Christmas card, that it was laid out as an old English garden with a White Garden which pre dates Sissinghurst by twenty years?

Did you know that they used to grow flowers from seed on site?

Did you know that the (well it is obvious is it not)  London County Council designed this as a country idyll in the city and that when it opened there was no opening ceremony?

Looking after Parks - then and now

One thing is clear people valued their parks 100 years ago and so did the public authorities. Great care that was put into designing the Rookery when it was taken over. We have as much if not more money around compared to 1913 ( albeit not always equally distributed) - so how come we cannot spend a bit more on parks - something is really not quite right is it?

Lambeth have made the excuse that cuts mean that parks are a bit of a luxury ( for example the Park Ranger service) - but what if you are ill or unemployed , or at home with the kids or retired - how short sighted not to see that decent funds for open spaces supports the social services and probably contributes to taking the pressure off them. This issue needs to be taken seriously in planning for the future even in difficult times as we have now.


Memories Project

There must be lots of people with happy memories of visits to the Rookery! The Friends of Streatham Common in partnership with the Streatham Society is looking for your memories, which we will collect for display at the centenary.We will over the next year be publishing them from time to time - watch this space. So please sharpen your pencils and think back, write down your memories and email them to