Thursday, 31 December 2015

A Year of Celebrations

Dear Resident
What a year it has been for us, celebrating 100 years of the estate, and thanks for being part of it.
The PRA had an extensive schedule of events, the highlights of which we recorded on our website
The year kicked off with us featuring in an exhibition in the Royal Academy of Arts entitled "100 Buildings, 100 Years: Views of British Architecture Since 1914"…/100-buildings-100-ye…
Quickly followed by an acknowledgment from HM The Queen…/the-queen-recognises…
Local Artist Lynn Bennet-Usher created the evocative painting "Write Home Soon" with the estate as a backdrop…/write-home-soon-arti…
Then Russell Bowes entertained a packed Progress Hall on his talk on Digging for Victory…/russell-bowes-progre…
And Jim Butress from BBC2's Big Allotment Challenge entertained residents with anecdotes from a lifetime in horticulture…/jim-buttress-progres…
BBC4 Radio 4 hosted a special broadcast of "Any Questions?" in Gordon School with Jonathan Dimbleby…/the-progress-estate-…
John Sandon (Antiques Roadshow), Patron of the events this year, hosted a special Antiques Roadshow style event in the Progress Hall…/john-sandon-hosts-sp…
Local theatre group The Priory Players, produced and performed a couple of shows with history/war as the theme as part of the extensive programme:…/priory-players-old-t……/the-priory-players-p…
Phew! The weather held out for our Summer Fete on Lovelace Green…/progress-estate-fete…
And recently found glass negatives depicting the estate and surrounding area were exhibited in St Mary's Hall in Eltham High Street…/progress-estate-cont…
Some of the pictures can be viewed in this short video
Then we were featured on the Greenwich Show - making a TV star of the estate!…/the-progress-estate-…
Keith Billinghurst lead a series of history walks detailing the historical significance of the Progress Estate…/progress-estate-hist…
Finally, Dorothy Powell, long time resident took part of a ceremonial tree planting in the grounds of the Progress Hall…/centenary-tree-plant…
Our extensive history section continues to grow - can you see your road/house?
We are always on the look out for old photos of houses and roads on the estate to add to our digital archive - if you have any, please email them through to and provide any detail to the name of road and date that you can. If you haven't got access to a digital image, we can scan them in for you.
All images will be credited.
Many of the videos can be seen on our YouTube
and, of course, our website
Wow, what a year it has been. Please join me in thanking the volunteers of the Progress Residents' Association for working tirelessly behind the scenes to run this series of events, it has been exhausting, but fun.
Here's to the next 100 years!
Happy New Year!

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Government Housing Scheme at Well Hall, Eltham, Kent

Some official documents detailing the plans for the estate have recently been unearthed.
Please click on the images to enlarge.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Panto Time - Old Mother Hubbard

By Paul Reakes

This years panto sees Old Mother Hubbard, her children Hughie and Polly, and their faithful dog Dandy, down on their luck and about to be thrown out of their cottage. However a good deed by the poverty stricken family to a fairy, disguised as an old woman leads them on an adventure with surprising results!

The Good Fairy grants Old Mother Hubbard a wish, which is to find long lost Uncle Oswald. Before they know it they are transported in the magic cupboard to the Wild West where they meet villains such as Matt Vinyl and the handsome and charming Tex Laramie.

January 2016 
Wednesday 20th

Thursday 21st 

Friday 22nd

Saturday 23rd (Matinée)

Saturday 23rd

£8.00 Adults
£7.00 Concessions

Progress Hall, Admiral Seymour Road, Eltham, London SE9 1SL
Buses: 286,132,161. Nearest BR: Eltham
Box office: 07502.450983.   Email:

Monday, 16 November 2015

December 2015 Newsletter

December 2015



on SATURDAY 12th DECEMBER 2015 at 2:30 p.m.


Refreshments, including mulled wine and mince pies, will be served afterwards.

Raffle with seasonal prizes – tickets on the door
Christmas Goods stalls

The Social will be preceeded by the Association’s Annual General Meeting at 2:00 p.m.:

1) Minutes of the 2014 AGM
2) Annual reports (included in this Newsletter)
3) Resolutions submitted to the Secretary
4) Continuance of affiliations
5) Election of Officers and committee members
6) Election of sub-committee members:
a. The Social  Group
b. The Social Media Group

Matters Residents want to be considered at the AGM are called Resolutions.   These include nominations for people to serve as Committee members, which must be seconded by a Resident who is present at the meeting.   Resolutions will be passed if a majority of Residents present vote in favour.   

Resolutions must be in writing and be received no later than 7 days before the AGM.   They should be sent to the Secretary, Margaret Oliver, ideally by email to by 5th December, 2015.   Those without access to email should telephone her on 020 8856 5280 to be told the address to which they should write.   Letters must be received by her by the same date so please allow time for postage.    Please include your name and address in your email or letter.

Dear All
I hope you are well.
Our Centenary Year is drawing to a close.   Our Summer Fete on 25th July was well received and many of the stall holders expressed a wish to return next year!   Those who attended September’s Art and Photography Exhibition particularly enjoyed the old photographs of our Estate. 
We have raised our profile during 2015 and formed working relationships with other organisations which will continue to add depth to our community for the benefit of us all.  
Throughout the year, we have been noting our Estate’s well-maintained and colourful front gardens.   In October, local retired Royal Gardener and Big Allotment judge Jim Buttress decided upon the winners.   He will be at our Christmas Social to present prizes to the owners of these gardens and will also announce the winners of the “Good Neighbour” competition we have been running.  
I look forward to seeing you at December’s Christmas Social (see above) during which we will be unveiling our Centenary Plaque.

Rita Billinghurst
tel: 07947 043479


Since its formation at the AGM held in December, 2012, the members of the 2015 Group have worked really hard as the success of our centenary celebrations has demonstrated. As Chair I am extremely grateful to them all.

The Residents Association will propose at the December, 2015 AGM that the sub-committee be reconstituted as the Social Sub-committee.   This sub-committee’s prime objective will be to advance the Association’s second constitutional aim which is to promote and encourage a sense of community amongst Residents.   If you would like to be involved please let me or our Secretary know.

Rita Billinghurst
tel: 07947 043479


The creation of our website, an active email address list and the option for people to ‘like’ us on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter have been significant achievements in the development of the Association since they were launched in the Summer of 2013.   

As at the end of September 2015, we had 143 pages of information on our website.   The most popular are those dealing with Planning permission, the Cinema development in Eltham High Street, the "Any Questions?" video and our Centenary Events guide.   The site had been visited by over 39,500 people to date.

A number of the page views were from other countries:

USA          6,082
Germany     624
Ukraine       607
France        605
Russia        500
NL              100

Our Twitter followers number 438, to whom we have issued 453 Tweets.

We are ‘liked’ by 286 people on Facebook and each post has reached an average of 520 users.

During 2015 we created our own YouTube channel (search for “Progress Estate”) – with six videos therein.  We are averaging around 100 views per video. The videos also appear on our website.

Three hundred and eighty-seven Residents subscribe to our email newsletter.  About a half open each mail which is at least twice the number for most lists where the average is less than a quarter.

Anyone may email us at   Messages will be forwarded to the person best able to deal with each query and (s)he will reply directly to you.

Email, Facebook and Twitter are the only forms of communication that enable us to communicate pressing matters to Residents.   These range from local events we believe might be of interest, to bogus fund-raisers and door-to-door callers who have been reported as being active on our Estate.

To join one of these communication  streams, please visit   Then, scroll down the right-hand side of the page to the subheadings under ‘Connect’.

If you are already receiving communications from us in one of these ways, perhaps you would be kind enough to check that your friends and neighbours do so as well.    There are about 1,350 homes on our Estate so we estimate there up to 1,000 homes who do not yet receive our electronic communications in one form or another.   Those without computers at home could sign up at Eltham Library.  

James Garner

TREASURER’S REPORT October 2014 – September 2015

The funds received by the Association in the last year have been from five sources; grants, sponsorship, a contribution from the BBC, a prize from St Mary's Community Association and fund raising activities.

The Hyde Group   We received one grant in the year from Hyde South East Housing for £290 plus £100 funding towards the AGM held in December 2014.   Of the funds received during 2013/14, £175 was carried forward so total funding of £565 was recognised for the current 12 months. 

David Evans Property Services   David Evans played a huge part in our 2015 celebrations including the treasure hunt at our Summer Fete on Lovelace Green.   They also provided £250 sponsorship for September’s Art and Photography Show. 

BBC Radio 4   The BBC contributed £100 towards the expense of hosting "Any Questions?"  in March 2015.

St. Mary’s (Eltham) Community Complex.  St. Mary’s  awarded a prize of £25 to the 2015 Group for their work and achievements on the centenary celebrations.
The remaining funds were raised at our events:

Raffles and donations raised £317 (£251 in 2014). 
Sales of memorabilia generated income of £1,356 (£595 in 2014).
Ticket sales for events made £719.
Other miscellaneous sales totalled £326.

Total income for the 12 months was £3,658 (£1,851 in 2013/14).

The main outgoings have been: 
the hiring of halls and rooms at £1,120.
Fees, insurance and affiliation costs of £564.
expenses associated with writing a book to mark our centenary £549.
expenses associated with the good neighbour and questionnaire project £290.
stationery at £193.
raffle prizes £137.
other miscellaneous items purchased for the 2015 centenary celebrations such as refreshments and a microphone £470.

Total expenditure for the year was £3,323 (£1,409 in 2013/14).

Income exceeded expenditure by £335 (£443 in 2013/14).
At year end the Association’s assets were £2,107.   These were represented by cash or cash equivalents.

At year end the Association had liabilities of £1,260, including deferred income of £230.

Copies of the Association’s accounts will be available at the AGM.   Any Resident who would like a copy beforehand should write to the email address below stating their home address and postcode.

A huge thank you is due to all the volunteers and to the community who continue to show their support through attendance at our events.

Lisa Jonker


Non-financial sponsors are those who have provided us with goods and services whose value is not reflected in our accounts.

Donors of raffle prizes   We are very grateful to all those individuals who have donated raffle prizes during the year.

Conran Estates    Conran Estates has printed all our publicity material during 2015 which has undoubtedly saved us a great deal of money.   They have also contributed to the manufacture of our centenary plaque that will be unveiled during this year’s Christmas Social.

The Hyde Group   As well as the direct financial support noted in the Treasurer’s Report, Hyde South East has continued to print our quarterly Newsletters, for which we are extremely grateful.


Planning applications

Sixty planning applications were decided in the 12 months to the end of September 2015, a decrease of 9 on the previous 12 months.

The Association has four options in deciding how to respond to any particular application:

We can support it.
We can object to it.
We can comment.
We can do nothing.

Our sole concern is whether or not, when judged by reference to the relevant planning and conservation guidelines, the proposed works will have a neutral or positive effect on our Estate.   We support those that do and object to those that do not.      

We comment if we are in basic support of an application but would like Royal Greenwich’s planners to ensure a particular aspect is made a condition of approval.   For example, the proposed works might involve the demolition of a traditional wall or fence but the plans do not make it clear that the replacement will replicate the one being removed.  No cases fell into this category for the 2014/15 period.

We do nothing if an   application is for works that will not be visible from the Public Highway.   These are commonly for the removal of trees in back gardens that are not visible from any public highway or for the construction of rear, single storey extensions behind mid-terrace houses.

The table shows how we exercised these options for the 60 applications that were completed in the 12 months to 30th September 2015.  

Click to enlarge

Robert Ledgerwood


During the 12 months to the end of August 2015 (the data is published approximately 5 weeks after the end of each month) 34 houses changed hands, 10 less than in the preceding 12 months.   We have delivered Welcome letters to them all.  

In April, 2015, we set up a system with Hyde to welcome new residents to their houses.   Welcome letters have been delivered to the 9 families who have moved in since then.  

Keith Billinghurst
07962 877389


These Panels are a forum where community representatives meet with the local police teams to exchange information and ideas relating to crime in their areas.  

The Residents Association is regularly represented at both the Safer Neighbourhood Panels responsible for our Estate (Eltham North and Eltham West; the police operate within Royal Greenwich Ward boundaries).   We are able to report any problems we have seen or heard about and receive monthly reports back. These are emailed to all on our email list. 

Meetings always include a report on the activities of each Police Team.  Individual cases are not discussed but Panels are taken through the most recent crime statistics for each Ward.   Any patterns discerned are highlighted and attention drawn to any increased criminal activity or potential problem areas.  Panels are advised of any staffing problems that may affect Team performance and are also informed of any local or Borough-wide initiatives.   For some time a major bone of contention has been the issue of abstraction, under which Police officers are frequently taken away from their Neighbourhood duties. This is quite contrary to the original concept of Safer Neighbourhood Policing.  

An important function of the Panel is to decide the issues on which each Team should focus, based on their local knowledge and Police advice.   On our Estate, the current emphasis of both Teams is burglary, motor vehicle crime (theft from vehicles and of number plates) and general anti-social behaviour.   As Eltham High Street is in the North Team’s area, they also prioritise shop lifting.    The focus for local police activity is reviewed regularly and can be changed or additions made.

The Residents Association believes it is important to work with the local police teams to alert them to our concerns and to cooperate with them in making Eltham a safe and secure environment in which to live.

For further information, please write to or telephone 07947 043479

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Your Great War Stories

Greenwich Women 1915-1918

Do you have any local stories, letters, photographs or artifacts from the First World War?

We are collecting stories about women during the First World War 1915-1918. In particular we are interested in hearing stories about women Munitions Workers at the Royal Arsenal and King Nurses, British Red Cross and Voluntary Aid Detachments and women & families who lived in the hostels and on the Progress Estate, Eltham.

Let us know:
Carolyn Ayers
Greenwich Heritage Centre, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich. 
020 8854 2452.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Centenary Tree Planting Ceremony

To celebrate the 100 years of the Progress Estate, long time resident Dorothy Powell took part in a ceremonial tree planting in the grounds of the Progress Hall in Admiral Seymour Road.

There have been 5 generations of the Powell/Garner family living on the estate, with the family being one of the first to move here, in 1915 (Whinyates Road).  Some of the surviving members of the family and other well-wishers joined Dorothy for the occasion. 

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Halloween Fun for Under-11s on the Progress Estate, Eltham

PRESS RELEASE no: 2015/11    
10th October 2015


Monster music, creepy creations, fantastic face painting, apple bobbing and more…

As our centenary year starts to draw to a close, the Progress Residents Association is pleased to announce its Halloween happening for children.  It is being held under the banner of the Eltham Arts Winter Festival. 

4:00pm – 6:00 p.m.
Progress Hall, Admiral Seymour Road  SE9 1SL

£5 per child, payable on the door.
Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Note for Editors:

Originally named the Well Hall Estate, The Progress Estate was built in 1915 to provide housing for the many additional workers the Woolwich Arsenal needed to manufacture the armaments required by the services during the First World War.   Conservation Area status was granted in 1975, in recognition of its unique architectural character.

For additional information, please contact:
Keith Billinghurst

Progress Residents Association committee member

56 Arsenal Road


London  SE9 1JY

tel: 020 8856 5593 or 07962 877389


Twitter:             @ProgressEstate