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messageHorniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by dbboy June 22, 08:50PM

Please, please, please take the time to read the proposals and respond.

What has been proposed by the consultants employed by the Trustees which the Chief Executive is responsible for implementing, will radically change Hornimans Gardens as we currently know it If the plans are agreed.

YOU have UNTIL 22nd JULY 2019 to provide YOUR feedback.
You can read more about these plans online or via a display in the Museum -
[horniman.ac.uk]

It is VITALLY important that you give your feedback because if we don't the Gardens will be changed out of all recognition and I fear they will no longer be a place of peace, tranquillity and sanctuary between London Road, Westwood Park and Horniman Drive for both locals and visitors to the museum and Gardens.

The museum and Gardens say that they would love to hear your ideas at this initial stage of development –

Please share your comments on the Feedback Board the next time you are in the Museum or by emailing framework@horniman.ac.uk before Monday 22 July 2019.

Have your say, tell the museum and Gardens what your thoughts and views are, if you agree or disagree.

I fear the entire Gardens will turn into some sort of building site while the works are done and resemble a theme park, where it's all about making money. The Gardens were NEVER designed for this.

The fundemental changes are at:
[horniman.ac.uk]

1. New Garden Arrival Square
2. Spacious Reception with Improved Facilities
3. Reorganised and Reimagined Museum Spaces
4. Nature Zone and Kindercafé
5. Stepping Gardens
6. Horticultural Hub and Winter Garden



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit was june 22, 08:55pm by dbboy.

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by FredCasa June 22, 09:10PM

We’re members of the Horniman and know nothing about this. No mention of these plans in the last two newsletters. Are there other members reading this who are concerned about the lack of consultation?

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by Lynne June 22, 10:07PM

Just had a quick look and it certainly appears there'll be a lot of building work and a loss of garden space. The museum is already no-go area for adults and with the proposed Kinder area, the park will be a children's playground to match.

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by NewWave June 22, 11:09PM

this has been deliberately under publicised to my knowledge they should be leafletting local homes and making these proposals widely known.
It will ruin the gardens if this goes ahead!

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by worldwiser June 22, 11:27PM

First of all, the development plans were included in the last members newsletter. I know this because I'm a longstanding member myself and I read it with interest.

Second, as they point out themselves, the entire estate is Grade II or II* listed so their intentions will automatically receive massive scrutiny and oversight.

The museum has been there over 120 years and I agree wholeheartedly with the identified shortcomings of the current structure and layout. Whatever the original design and how the gardens may or may not have been intended to be used back then is close to irrelevant for the present day. That there may be extensive building work over a long period is never accepted as a reason to object in itself. What matters is the end result.

I personally think that, on first reading, some of the plans are very sympathetic and yet innovative and energising to an massively popular local attraction that needs to evolve and serve a wide demographic way beyond that of decades ago.

An institution of this kind must necessarily keep pace with the times and I congratulate them on their plans which I think the farsighted, groundbreaking founder would have endorsed without reservation.

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by AylwardS June 23, 08:40AM

@ dbboy Thanks for posting. I’ll check out the details.

As Worldwiser says they need to adapt to current times and it must be harder and harder to attract and keep people , especially children and although I avoid places when they’ll be busy with children if I can they do need to learn so there is a balance to be achieved, but at least there is the opportunity to review the plans and comment.

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by FredCasa June 23, 09:25AM

@ worldwiser: which newsletter was this? It’s not in the May edition.

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by Sue June 23, 12:18PM

I am also a member and this is the first I've heard of it sad smiley

Maybe I didn't properly read the newsletter sad smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was june 23, 12:19pm by Sue.

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by Penguin68 June 23, 12:43PM

In reading the report - and I've no reason to doubt the accuracy of the figures - the Horniman was most recently re-designed to meet the needs of 250k visitors and is handling now close to 1 million. Clearly this cannot continue long-term without unnecessary levels of location stress. The grass-roofed building is also close to or at the end of its design-life. Many of the comments in the report are not unreasonable - the 'front' entrance isn't well flagged for those who don't know it. I personally like the slightly fusty atmosphere of the natural History exhibits - but I recognise that these are outdated in terms of modern museum curation. The former 'pond' area is woefully under-utilised. Of course any work will cause disruption - at least short term - and I am sure some changes will make some people unhappy (I was sad when the little garden and stream was lost running up to the main building in the last re-furb) - but I do strongly advise against resisting change just because it is change - or resenting the truth that more people, drawn from a wider demographic, are using the Horniman. It was designed for the people of London to be used, and if the people, and their needs, change, so should the Horniman. It is now nothing like the museum my late mother - born 100 years ago - used to visit - she loved it in her day, my grown-up children loved a different it when they were young and I am sure my grandchildren will enjoy a new version. And they wouldn't have enjoyed (so much) the versions my mother, I and my children all enjoyed.

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by Sue June 23, 07:00PM

I've read the proposals now.

They all make complete sense to me. I can't see how they will turn the site into a "theme park" ?

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by pk June 24, 09:41AM

worldwiser Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> First of all, the development plans were included
> in the last members newsletter. I know this
> because I'm a longstanding member myself and I
> read it with interest.
>
> Second, as they point out themselves, the entire
> estate is Grade II or II* listed so their
> intentions will automatically receive massive
> scrutiny and oversight.
>
> The museum has been there over 120 years and I
> agree wholeheartedly with the identified
> shortcomings of the current structure and layout.
> Whatever the original design and how the gardens
> may or may not have been intended to be used back
> then is close to irrelevant for the present day.
> That there may be extensive building work over a
> long period is never accepted as a reason to
> object in itself. What matters is the end result.
>
>
> I personally think that, on first reading, some of
> the plans are very sympathetic and yet innovative
> and energising to an massively popular local
> attraction that needs to evolve and serve a wide
> demographic way beyond that of decades ago.
>
> An institution of this kind must necessarily keep
> pace with the times and I congratulate them on
> their plans which I think the farsighted,
> groundbreaking founder would have endorsed without
> reservation.

that's a good, measured post

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by snathani June 24, 11:30AM

Looks like there are some excellent ideas in there, especially putting the ugly old boating pond to good use, which should also have the benefit of luring a lot of the local parents with little ones away from the museum. I like this line "demographic changes locally have contributed to a decrease in visitor diversity", which I assume is a polite way of saying the place is overrun with the mumsnet crowd...?

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by El Presidente June 25, 02:30PM

Great proposals from Horniman. Thanks for flagging dbboy. I will be expressing my support in the consultation and encouraging others to do so.

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by fishbiscuits June 25, 05:29PM

Lynne Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The museum is already no-go area for adults

Why is it a no-go area? Maybe it is if you are unable to tolerate children... but then surely the same goes for most museums, and parks too.

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by Sue June 25, 08:24PM

fishbiscuits Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lynne Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > The museum is already no-go area for adults
>
> Why is it a no-go area? Maybe it is if you are
> unable to tolerate children... but then surely the
> same goes for most museums, and parks too.


Yes, weird.

We go to the museum (and other museums) both with and without the grandchildren in tow. I've never found other people's kids interfered with my enjoyment of the Horniman. Quite the opposite usually, I like watching children's reactions to things.

I must admit however that I had no wish whatsoever to go to the Lego thing, and only went under sufferance, having no interest at all in giant Lego models, or indeed any Lego models (though the video of how they were built was quite interesting big grin )

The grandkids, however, were riveted. But I digress, which is not allowed. Sorry big grin

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by Lynne June 26, 11:50AM

Perhaps I'm unusually intolerant of screaming, banging on the glass in the aquarium and grabbing at the butterflies. But last time I went to look at the beautiful display of musical instrument and listen to the recordings, there were children running up and down, thumping on the musical tables and then a couple on mothers sat on the tables to eat their lunch. Meanwhile a friend in the butterfly house said the children were trying to catch the butterflies in their hands while the staff just stood and watched.
If they want to increase the diversity of visitors they might remember that not everyone has a child with them. Alternatively, drop the word Museum from the title and just be honest and call it Horniman Play Centre.

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by fishbiscuits June 26, 05:00PM

The museum is quite family-oriented, I wouldn't argue with that. That doesn't make it a "play centre" or a "no-go area", though. It just sounds like you're just not comfortable in that sort of environment.

I've been there quite a lot (both pre and post kids) and I would suggest that your accounts are either isolated incidents, or exaggerated.

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by Lynne June 26, 06:01PM

Does exaggerated mean made up? I can assure you they're not.

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by edanna June 26, 07:01PM

Lynne, they do some great adult-only evenings.

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by Blackthorn June 26, 08:00PM

Echoing what others have said here that the changes seem necessary and sensible upon reading them.

The Horniman and its gardens are a very special place to me but I’m not going to pretend its not in need of restoration.

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by ruffers June 27, 10:44PM

Looks good, times change and it can't stay as is.

My own personal favourite memory is the Jerk Cookout around 2009 question mark, the jerk aroma drifted all through the area, happy days..

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by dbboy June 27, 11:12PM

Seems that those that have posted so far are in favour of the changes.

When the Gardens change out of all recognition from the current place of peace, tranquillity and sanctuary between London Road, Westwood Park and Horniman Drive that they are, and are turned into a number of attractions don't come back and complain when this piece of greenery is altered forever.

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by pk June 28, 11:10AM

dbboy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> When the Gardens change out of all recognition
> from the current place of peace, tranquillity and
> sanctuary

which of the changes proposed do you think would have this effect?

or is it just increased visitor numbers?

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by snathani June 28, 04:36PM

You may have a point, dbboy. Sadly with funding declining, seems like the museum is deciding it has to try and "monetise" its outdoor spaces. (Same happening in our parks, with all the music festivals...)

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by Amy A July 03, 12:17PM

'When the Gardens change out of all recognition from the current place of peace, tranquillity and sanctuary between London Road, Westwood Park and Horniman Drive that they are, and are turned into a number of attractions don't come back and complain when this piece of greenery is altered forever.'

I've looked at the plans and cannot see what you think is going to happen. The old boating pond is already used for football games and as a result that area is already full of kids and not the most peaceful part of the park. I don't see any problem giving the people who already use it some extra facilities.

Other than that, the garden by the conservatory is a bit of an odd space at the moment and I can't see that putting a path down that hillside is going to ruin anything currently wonderful. Nor can I see how enlarging an existing toilet block, giving the public access to the existing greenhouse area or planting some plants that flower in winter is going to destroy peace and tranquility. If anything having a kinder cafe as well as a normal cafe for grown ups is going to increase the peace and tranquility for those curmudgeons who wish the kids would shut up.

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by Angelina July 03, 01:57PM

My parents came up to London for a birthday treat recently - my dad rarely come up so it was a huge deal.

They went to Kew gardens and said it was completely overrun with noisy school children. She said parts of it were unbearable due to poor behaviour and lack of adult control - with the odd tantrum thrown in for good measure.

They cut their visit short which is a real pity.

Now, they are not anti-children, but it's important to remember these places mean different things to different people.

Perhaps if there are known hours when groups of children visit it would be more manageable. Or if children were actually managed.

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by first mate July 03, 02:19PM

I wish posters would stop falling back on easy insults like 'nimby' and 'curmudgeon' in order to justify a point. Whenever perceptions about noise impact differ from the views they hold and by extension think everyone else should also hold, there is a tendency to start to attack the poster for daring to express an opposite or different view. As Angelina points out, her parents are not anti children and just because they found noise levels at Kew intolerable does not make them curmudgeons either (a nasty and unecessary comment). It is a fact that hearing changes with age and this may have some bearing on lowered tolerance to certain sounds. All of these parks are shared spaces for the use of all, we should remember that.

As it happens, I do not have a problem with the Horniman plans, they seem okay to me, but I am sympathetic to concerns about noise and feel those concerns should be expressed without posters feeling they will be shot down in flames for so doing.

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by wulfhound July 03, 05:41PM

Kew has been over-marketed and is, nowadays, often overcrowded as a result. It's a huge site but the problem isn't really kids per se, it's just too many people full stop.

There are lots of nice parks which are almost deserted or at least have plenty of space, but people would rather go somewhere that the activities are obvious - even if you have to queue for half an hour and pay an arm and a leg to get in. I'd bet that in any day at Kew there are more people from Tooting, Wimbledon, Streatham, Mitcham etc. than on any of those suburbs' respective Commons.

(As to Dulwich's common.. it's mostly a golf course. You won't have a problem with crowds there but what a grossly wasteful use of inner London land. Nothing against golf, but go play it in Suffolk or Scotland or somewhere. And then we wonder why the parks are crowded).

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by Applespider July 03, 10:58PM

The old boating pool has goal posts in it but I've rarely seen very many kids in it. The new kinder cafe and adventure playground is in the corner with lots of residential properties around it which are suddenly going to become a lot noisier. There's already an adventure playground in the Horniman Triangle.

If they want to redevelop it to something other than an old concrete pool, it would be lovely to make it something designed to be quieter. A well-being & mindfulness garden perhaps that's designed for people to slow down and take time out? The rest of the site could potentially become so manic that a quiet space might be very welcome for visitors.

messageRe: Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens
Posted by dbboy July 03, 11:56PM

I wonder if those properties/households who are going to be in close proximity to the new Kinder cafe are aware of the intentions of the Gardens of the changes that are being planned and the impact it will have on their family life?

Do planning regulations apply to the Gardens or can they do as they please and build what ever they like in the grounds of the Gardens. How sightly or unsightly will the two proposed walkways from the terrace where the bandstand is to the nature walk over the dog field and former boating lake to the nature trail?

Bet you didn't know that The Gardens have taken back control of the nature walk and it no longer is the responsibility of Lewisham Council (Lewisham have legally handed ownership back to the Hornimans).

Who will be responsible for the night walk path which runs from London Road to Westwood Park in parallel to the nature walk?

Will, do the Hornimans intend to open the entire length of the nature walk from London Road to the gates on Langton Rise behind all the odd numbered houses on that part of Westwood Park? Security issue me thinks???

The proposed changes open up a whole can of questions which I think the Hornimans need to provide answers to?

Please take the time to respond both positively and negatively, depending on your point of view to the proposals put forward by the Hornimans. The 22nd July, the cut off date for responses to be received is fast approaching, make your views known.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit was july 03, 11:57pm by dbboy.

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