Great turnout for Archibald Corbett Society’s first open meeting

The Archibald Corbett Society held its first open meeting on Monday 9 June. There was an excellent turn out, with standing room only at the Catford Assemblies of God Church on Glenfarg Rd.

The meeting began with an introduction from Peter Ranken, who founded the Archibald Corbett Society. Peter explained the aims of the Corbett Society – to celebrate and preserve the legacy of Archibald Corbett and the history of the estate; to regenerate and develop the estate through community ownership; and for Lewisham Council to recognise the Corbett Estate as an ‘area of special local character’.

Peter then talked about the objectives of the Corbett Society, which include setting up the neighbourhood planning forum; ensuring S106 housing development contributions are distributed for the direct benefit of residents; and working in partnership with Community Teachsport to develop the Healthy Lifestyles centre at Abbotshall Road, including a community garden.

Peter highlighted a few of the achievements to date, including getting funding from Catford South assembly to get the Corbett Society up and running; the appointment of the Corbett Residents Association, the Wellmeadow Rd Residents and Tenants Association and the Hither Green Community Association as associate members; the £3000 start up funding which has been awarded through Locality’s Our Place project to create a health awareness campaign for the Afro/Caribbean community in Lewisham; and the £5000 through the Mayor of London’s Community Pocket Parks fund to create a community garden at Abbotshall Road Playing Fields. There is also a chance that the Corbett Society will be awarded a substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to explore the legacy of Archibald Corbett and the heritage of the Corbett Estate.

Peter’s introduction was followed by a presentation from Barbara Gray on the planned Corbett Neighbourhood Forum, which will allow Corbett Estate residents to have a say on future planning issues affecting the Estate. Residents are being encouraged to fill out our short survey on the plans. Barbara read out some of the extracts from survey responses, which illustrated how engaged the community is and how much Corbett residents enjoy living in an area where people take pride in where they live. Find out more about the Corbett Estate neighbourhood forum and plan.

Local film-maker Ben Honeybone and local photographer Tom Broadbent then gave an entertaining introduction to launch the photo competition Corbett Portraits, including a demonstration of their video of Tom sharing some top tips on taking photos of people.

Find out more about Corbett Portraits and how to enter.

Finally, Jo Hunneybell, a project manager from Lewisham Council, gave a presentation on the Lewisham Gateway project. A key element of this project will be the removal of Lewisham roundabout, which is intended to make the centre of Lewisham – particularly when accessing it from the station – much more accessible for people on foot or travelling by bike. The first phase of the project will involve the development of 196 units at ‘Confluence Place’, which is where the Quaggy and Ravensbourne rivers meet. Jo emphasised the aim to get more people walking, cycling and using public transport, and said that people who buy a flat in the development will get a bike with the flat, and somewhere to keep it.

Thanks to everyone who came along, and please do let us know if you’d like to be more involved with any of the projects the Corbett Society is working on.