The Camberwell Society

Society for those living, working or interested in Camberwell

The Camberwell Society monitors developments proposed for all forms of transport serving the area and campaigns for improvements. The Society places official responses to consultations on all transport subjects where there is clear benefit for all members. The Society reserves its position where members’ interests are divided.

The blog below is intended to alert members to changes that are planned or proposed.

Welcome for new entrance and upgrades at Denmark Hill

Jonathan Hunt on the opening of our greatly improved railway station

Much-needed improvements to Denmark Hill rail station, where rush-hour queues once kept Camberwell commuters waiting for up to 10 minutes to reach a platform, were opened on 2 September. Punctual patients for King's and the Maudsley also benefit from ending access delays.

An impressive welcoming, multi-coloured entrance hall is the first thing to hit travellers as they enter the new entrance (and exit) from Windsor Walk and increasing numbers have been using it. Those who have a little time to spare can admire sculptures specially crafted by Godfried Donkor a well-known local artist.

They may also become aware of a notable ecological first. This is the first station in Europe to use photovoltaic ‘film’ fitted to the new roof to produce more power than the new building consumes, allowing energy to be put back into the electricity grid.

Camberwell Society worthies -- instrumental in persuading government to cough up the £7.5. million cost -- joined rail industry and ministry suits for the ceremony (although the most colourful clothing was on chair Nick Mair). He said, "collaborative working with the project team has created a unique welcome reflecting Camberwell’s history and culture.”

CamSoc also worked with Camberwell Arts and SE5 Forum to produce a new public artwork which reflect Camberwell's unique, vibrant identity by the internationally celebrated British Ghanaian artist Godfried Donkor, using traditional adinkra symbolism of Ghana; a poem by Una Marson, the first black woman programme maker at the BBC and former Camberwell resident; and walls tiled with the ‘Camberwell Brick’, in a palette of colours drawn from local greenery, architecture, water and the sky.

Young actress Daniella Arthur Kennedy from Theatre Peckham read a poem by Una Marson.

A platform for speeches was offered to Kings and the Maudsley charities, Network Rail and railway contractors. Rail minister "call me Chris" Heaton-Harris said the “upgrade transforms a Victorian station into a modern experience for passengers -- cutting crowding, improving access, and introducing new space for cyclists and artwork and the first ‘carbon positive’ upgrade -- demonstrating our ambition to ensure our rail network is greener for passengers and better for our environment."

After he cut a large ribbon by the open barriers, local resident Sandi Togsvig said “This is the only cut by a Minister that I have ever been able to agree with”

Finally, Tony Coleman, the Society's in-house transport guru, who has been involved in the whole project since its inception, says: "I am delighted to see the new entrance finally open and to see passengers stopping to take in the artwork and entrance hall designs.

"Thanks to Network Rail for the level of local engagement and openness to incorporating ideas. And to GTR, INVVU and Bam Nuttall for their inputs and support throughout.

"A special thanks to Godfried Donkor and his team who delivered the sculptures that are so eye catching. If you want to read more about them there is a plaque with details on the back wall at the bottom of the ramp way.”

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