Saturday, 20 December 2014

London Bridge Redevelopment

From 20 December to 4 January 2015 (16 days), There will be no SOUTHERN & THAMESLINK services to/from London Bridge, so people using London Bridge to connect with these services will have to travel by underground or bus instead.

Our SOUTHEASTERN services will stop at London Bridge except, from 22 to 24 December when morning peak (0754 to 0901) Charing Cross services will not stop there.
Note there are no services on Christmas Day and there is limited service on Boxing Day.

From 5 January 2015 to January 2018, no THAMESLINK services will call at London Bridge.

A new timetable begins on 12 January 2015 so it is worth consulting this or for details.

From 12 January 2015 to August 2016 SOUTHEASTERN services to Charing Cross will not stop at London Bridge. There are other changes, for example the Sunday service to/from Eltham is diverted to Victoria, and Victoria trains 
generally running much later in the evening during the week.

From 12 January 2015 for ever all services to/from New Cross, St Johns, Deptford, Greenwich, Maze Hill and Westcombe Park will divert to Cannon Street and never again go directly to Charing Cross.

Further information from

This information has been provided by The Eltham Society.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Progress Residents Association Annual General Meeting 2014

Minutes of the Progress Residents Association’s Annual General Meeting held at 2 p.m. on Saturday
6th December 2014 in The Progress Hall, Admiral Seymour Road

1. Chair’s Welcome
The Chair, Rita Billinghurst, welcomed everyone to the AGM and thanked them for coming. She announced thanks to Hyde Housing for its continuing support of the Association.  In addition she thanked the Coop, Conran Estates, David Evans, Gordon and St Thomas More Primary Schools, the Priory Players and John Webb and Mark Wall from SE9 Magazine all of whom had contributed to the preparation of our 2015 Centenary Celebrations.

2. Apologies 
Robert Ledgerwood, Pat Murr, Julie Townsend, Eltham West Safer Neighbourhood Police Team.

3. Minutes of the 2013 AGM
Copies were available at the meeting and the Minutes were approved.

4. Annual Reports
Annual Reports from the Treasurer, the Sub- Committees, including a Planning Report, and the Safer Neighbourhood Police Panels had been printed in the December Newsletter which had been distributed to every household on the Estate.

5. Resolutions
The Acting Secretary had received a communication, with due notice, prior to the AGM from a resident of Congreve Road.  The following resolution was therefore put forward and agreed “This meeting notes the belief of Shane Cassells, who resides in Congreve Road, that additional traffic is being routed along this and possibly other roads running parallel to Well Hall Road as a result of software utilised by the Waze app and therefore requests that a committee member of the Progress Residents Association reports his concern at the traffic meeting of the South Greenwich Forum to be held on 25th January 2015.  The Committee to inform all potentially affected residents of developments by email.”

A local Councillor, Wynn Davies, who was present at the AGM, stated that he had already looked into this matter and was advised by the relevant council officers that although the whole area was eventually to be a 20 mph zone, Arsenal Road and Congreve Road were not in the scheme until 2017 at the earliest.  The fact that these particular roads were being used as rat runs would not affect the decision.  He also mentioned that there were not enough reported incidents/accidents to make these roads a priority.  He had however asked Len Duvall, the GLA member, to take up the issue.  A brief discussion followed with the point being made that drivers were driving far too fast along these fairly narrow roads and also highlighting the absurdity of accidents having to take place before there was any action from the authorities.

Councillor Davies also urged Progress residents to respond to the consultation exercise currently being carried out by the Royal Borough regarding the extension of Controlled Parking Zones.  This message was endorsed by Committee Member Keith Billinghurst.  Draft plans will be exhibited at the Eltham Centre in Archery Road from Thursday 8th January to Saturday 10th January between 10 a.m and 8 p.m (4 p.m on Saturday).  The closing date for responses to the consultation to be received by the Royal Borough of Greenwich is 23rd January 2015. 

6. Election of Officers and Committee Members
The Chair pointed out that, in accordance with the Constitution, she was putting herself forward again as Chair having already served for 2 years in that position.  She was duly nominated, seconded and elected by those members present as were all those named below. 

Chair: Rita Billinghurst
Vice Chair: Robert Ledgerwood
Secretary: Margaret Oliver
Treasurer: Lisa Jonker
Committee Members: Keith Billinghurst; Jon Boulton; Rui Dias; Margaret Johnson; Pat Murr

7. Election of sub-committee members
Those members putting themselves forward to be sub-committee members were duly nominated, seconded and elected by the members present at the meeting.

The 2015 Group
Rita Billinghurst
Keith Billinghurst
Jill Holmans
Lisa Jonker
Avril Martin
Lynn Bennett-Usher

The Social Media Sub Committee
Rita Billinghurst
Keith Billinghurst
Rui Dias
James Garner

The Chair ended the formal part of the afternoon by pointing out to residents some of the successes of the Association during the past year, e.g. the repaving of a large section of Granby Road; the agreement of Hyde to replace and repair the fencing initially on the west side of Well Hall Road, hopefully followed by repairs on the east side of Well Hall Road; Hyde and their contractor Mears, under pressure from the Association, had agreed to apply for retrospective planning permission for all works they had carried out on the Estate for which they had neglected to obtain planning permission in the first place.

Members of the 2015 Sub-Committee who had won a Volunteers Award from St Mary’s Community Centre were congratulated. 

The Chair also said we were looking for volunteers to help with the planned 2015 events and we would be grateful if those willing could contact her.  She advised that we were using a company called Eventbrite to deal with ticketing of the 2015 events.

The formal meeting closed and the Chair announced the arrival of the choir from St Thomas More Catholic Primary School who were going to entertain us with a performance of Christmas songs and carols.  The children sang beautifully and were a credit to the School and its teachers and, of course, to their parents.  The children and their parents were then invited to join us in the Christmas Social event and a good time was had by all. 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The Priory Players Pantomime - Jack and the Beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk
By Bob Heather
Progress Hall
Admiral Seymour Road

21st – 24th January 2015

An hilarious pantomime retelling of the popular fairytale. When Granny Bean and her grandson Jack are threatened with eviction from their cottage by the dastardly Squire Harry Coe, they decide to sell their faithful old cow Daisy. But on the way to market Jack meets an old woman who offers to buy Daisy and give her a good home the only problem is she doesn't have any money only a bag of "magic" beans. 

When Jack returns home and shows his Granny what he has in return for Daisy she throws the beans into the garden followed by poor old Jack. When they awake in the morning the cottage is dwarfed by a massive beanstalk that goes up into the clouds. Where will it lead and what adventures await Jack as he climbs to the top of the beanstalk? 

January 2015      
Wednesday 21 6:30pm
Thursday 22         7:45pm
Friday 23               7:45pm
Saturday 24          7:45pm
Matinée performances
Saturday 24           2.30pm

£7.00 Adults
£6.00 Concessions

Box office: 07502 450983 or from

Progress Hall
Admiral Seymour Road
London SE9 1SL

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

St Thomas More Catholic Primary School Choir sings at the Progress Estate’s AGM

Press Release no: 2014/07
  07 December 2014

Rita Billinghurst
Residents attending the Estate’s Annual General Meeting at the Progress Hall on Saturday, 6th December were entertained with hymns and seasonal music sung by St Thomas More’s choir.

Our photographs show Rita Billinghurst, the Association’s Chair and Margaret Oliver, our Secretary, conducting the AGM’s formal proceedings and the choir being listened to, attentively, by those present.
St Thomas More's Choir
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

Monday, 1 December 2014

Proposed Extension of the Eltham and Town Centre Controlled Parking Zone

Progress Estate residents may remember that proposals to extend this Controlled Parking Zone were last made in late 2013.   At that time, there was support from people living in the following roads to be included in an extended Zone:

Well Hall Road between its junction with Admiral Seymour Road and the Coronet roundabout.
Admiral Seymour Road from its junction with Well Hall Road to the beginning of Prince Rupert Road.
Prince Rupert Road up to its junction with Congreve Road.

Royal Greenwich’s Strategic Transportation team have now published proposed revisions and extensions to the Zone that reflect this support.   Large-scale draft plans will be exhibited at the Eltham Centre, Archery Road SE9 1HA on the 8-10th January 2015 between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. on Saturday) and the Borough’s staff will be on hand to answer questions.   Our plan shows, in green, the area’s proposed extension insofar as it lies within the confines of the Progress Estate.  

If Royal Greenwich’s plans proceed, only permit holders will be permitted to park in the above roads from Monday to Friday between 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., save for the service road outside the Well Hall Road shops.   Here, parking for up to 30 minutes will be free.   Thereafter, Pay and Display charges will apply.

The proposed annual charge for Resident parking permits is £57 per vehicle.   Visitor Permits, subject to maximum of 100 per year, will be available in books of 10 at £7.   Details are to follow on free Carer’s Permits for people needing home help.   Blue Badge holders will not require permits.

The problem this proposal attempts to address is that of commuter parking.   In deciding its response to a consultation held in 2011, which proposed an extension of the Zone into all Estate roads south of Rochester Way, the Residents Association came to the conclusion that it was not in the interests of our Estate as a whole that it be extended.   This was because the problem would potentially simply move to a different set of roads, including the southern end of all those north of Rochester Way.

The closing date for responses to this consultation to be received by Royal Greenwich is 23rd January, 2015; everyone is invited to make their views known.   The Residents Association will decide upon its response (if any) in due course and take into account all comments made to it by those living on the Estate.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Progress Residents Association’s 2015 Group Receives St.Mary’s Volunteering Award

Press Release no: 2014/06  
  19 November 2014

The Association’s 2015 Group, having developed plans for the events that will be mounted in 2015 to celebrate the Estate’s centenary, is now concentrating on their delivery.   Their hard work, time and efforts have been recognised by St. Mary's (Eltham) Community Complex Association who have presented them with their 2013/14 Volunteering Award.

The Association’s Chief Executive, Patrick O’Sullivan, said ‘St Mary’s introduced these awards in recognition of the fantastic work Volunteers are doing with our Affiliated Groups.   We believe that volunteering is both valued and necessary in our society and there is a forever growing need for volunteers.  We want to raise the profile of volunteering and make sure it is talked about as much as possible to facilitate and encourage opportunity’s for the future’.

Our photographs show Lynn Bennett Usher receiving the Award from Patrick O’Sullivan on behalf of the 2015 Group and (from left to right) Lynn with fellow Group members Jill Holmans, Avril Martin and Lisa Jonker savouring the moment at a subsequent committee meeting.

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

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Guidance for the installation of roof lights on the Progress Estate

The latest edition of the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s Planning Guidelines for the Progress Estate was published in October 1998 (‘Planning Guidelines’) and has been replicated in the Resident Association’s leaflet The Progress Estate: When do I need planning permission?    

Periodic changes in the number of applications to install roof lights is probably cyclical; as house prices rise, and supply falls, many people would rather turn their loft spaces into living accommodation than sell up and move to larger properties.

One of the governing documents for the granting of planning permission on the Progress Estate is the Progress Estate Character Appraisal, adopted in December, 2007:

Para 7: In architectural and historic terms, the Progress Estate houses are a successful sophisticated exercise in the picturesque tradition of garden suburb town planning.   There was a conscious attempt to emulate the organic growth of the traditional English village …Factors which contribute to this architectural effect include ...roof forms … 
Para 14: … The damaging effect on roofscape of … roof lights: The estate was designed and built entirely on two floors – ground and first floor - and its roofscape is an important visual characteristic. …

Planning permission is not required for the installation of roof lights on rear roof slopes.   All other works to roofs on houses in the Progress Estate, including the installation of roof lights on the front and flank roof slopes along with dormer windows and the replacement of roof tiles, will require planning permission.   The installation of roof lights on front and flank walls that are clearly visible from the public highway (including foot paths) are unlikely to be approved.   The open character of the estate means that cases will be decided on their individual merits.

People considering undertaking alterations/works to the roofs of properties in the Progress Estate Conservation Area are strongly advised to contact Royal Greenwich’s Planning Department to discuss their requirements before committing themselves to any expenditure.

Neither the Progress Residents Association nor its committee members, jointly or severally, can be held responsible for this note or if the Royal Borough publishes revised Guidance.   The Planning Department is split into teams.   

To find a team’s telephone number, go to then scroll down to Telephone enquiries, enter the name of your road and click on the button marked ‘search’. 

Any Resident is free to contact the Residents Association at who will provide further assistance where possible.