Monday, 20 June 2016

Ladywell Baths namechecked in Guardian article

Our very own Ladywell Baths, subject of a recent petition, was namechecked in this article in Sunday's Guardian.
The article says - Also lined up in this poolside beauty contest is Ladywell Baths in Lewisham, south London.  Last year the badly neglected site appeared in the Victorian Society’s top 10 of England and Wales’s most endangered buildings.  Christopher Costelloe, director of the society, said then “What was once a hub of the community deserves better than lying empty, half obscured by trees.”
The public eagerly awaits news from the Council on the 'expression of interest' process which seeks to establish who might be interested in redevelopment of the site and what sorts of projects are being contemplated including, importantly, the element of community use/access involved in each.
Robert Sheppard

Friends of Ladywell Fields to meet this Weds 22 June - ALL WELCOME!

The Friends of Ladywell Fields (a.k.a. the Ladywell Fields User Group) writes:
"Please come along to our meeting at 7.30pm this Weds 22 June in the Gallery at the rear of the Ladywell Tavern.  Just get your drink at the bar (if you'd like one!) and walk on out the back and head into the Gallery.  We'll be upstairs.
"There's plenty to talk about this time - not least the Council's proposal to work in partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association to upgrade the tennis courts, with users being required to purchase a key fob to gain access.  Andy Thomas, the Council officer with responsibility for sports, will be present to provide more information and answer questions.
"This meeting is also a great opportunity to raise issues direct with Glendale, the Council's longtime parks contractors, with whom we in Ladywell Fields have historically had a very good relationship."
Robert Sheppard

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Council issues response to Ladywell Baths ('Playtower') petition

The Ladywell Baths - in their former glory
In an undated response on its Petitions webpage the Council has given the following, somewhat minimalist, response to the community petition that secured 914 signatures earlier this year.
We understand the importance of Ladywell Playtower (the former Victorian Baths on Ladywell Road) and the contribution it makes to the local area’s character and welcome the community interest in preserving this heritage asset.
The building has fallen into disrepair and requires significant investment, particularly after major setbacks such as the 2005 fire.
We have already taken steps to slow down the deterioration of the buildings.  With the support of English Heritage in 2012 we replaced the roof and made the building water tight.
But much more investment is needed before the building could be made useable again.
In the coming months the Council will invite prospective partners to assist with developing a vision and raising funds for the restoration of this Grade II listed local landmark.
Robert Sheppard

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Love Ladywell Fields? So share your issues and views with others!

The Friends of Ladywell Fields (a.k.a. LFUG) will meet at 7.30pm this Wednesday 23rd March in the art gallery behind the Ladywell Tavern.

Please come to talk about current issues with other people who appreciate this wonderful local park.

Robert Sheppard

Friday, 29 January 2016

Ladywell Old Baths/'Playtower' - update

The Ladywell Old Baths (or 'Playtower') featured heavily at the Ladywell Ward Assembly meeting on 27 January where a presentation was made by Ashton Bentley, one of the organisations proposing to restore and re-use the building.  The Company, which makes audio visual equipment, proposes to base its R&D and main offices in a fully-restored building.  They would also enable various leisure/cultural uses - including a cafe, rehearsal space and exhibition space as well as 30 hi-tech office 'pods' which would be installed in the main swimming pool hall.
The Company would also rebuild the old destroyed 'second class' pool hall (at the rear of the site adjacent to the Churchyard) and use this for their own offices.  Ashton Bentley are also interested in taking on the Coroner's Court building, although it is unclear whether the Council is willing to dispose of this building at the same time.  There was considerable support for the proposals from those present, though there was consensus too that the public should be able to see all the other proposals coming forward.
The officer responsible for the future of the site, Gavin Plaskitt, also spoke at the meeting.  He indicated that the Council had received a number of exciting proposals for the Old Baths from some very experienced organisations, of which Ashton Bentley's was just one, and the Council would be publishing an 'Expression of Interest' form in the next 4-6 weeks to kick-off the process of selecting a development partner.  He gave a clear assurance at the meeting that the local community would get a chance to see all the various proposals, potentially at a future local assembly meeting.
Tony Rich