Save the unique Visitor Centre at Beckenham Place Park

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Tamsin Bacchus started this petition to Mayor of Lewisham

A little bit of history is at risk of being lost forever – please help preserve it for our children and grand-children to enjoy.

Beckenham Place Park, on the borders of Lewisham and Bromley, is a large area of park and woodland centred on a Palladian-style Mansion now being given a new lease of life.  The Visitor Centre, run by Friends of Beckenham Place Park volunteers for decades, displays items found in the park and local donations, including remnants of the Mander-Mitchenson theatre collection.

To call in (open Sundays 12noon to 3.30pm) is to step back in time.  Items are displayed the old-fashioned way with hand-written labels, glass-topped wooden trays of geological finds and moths and vintage tools hung up on the walls.  Children can count tree-rings, pick up animal bones and gasp at a “tarantula” skin (a donation not local!).  There is a special “touchy feely” table, a far cry from the usual press-button-look-at-a-screen style of interaction.  For adults there are vintage maps and a select reference library on nature and local history, lavender for sale from the Sensory Garden and a chance to also handle the exhibits or peer through our microscope at vintage slides.  For the dogs there is a warm welcome and fresh water.

RJK Properties who lease the Mansion from the Council are requiring the Centre to close and vacate its small room in a corner of the building in a matter of weeks: present deadline middle of March 2020.  We fear that once the exhibits are hustled into inappropriate storage this will be the end with items being lost or damaged and no incentive on the part of the decision-makers to ever open up again. 

We therefore ask Lewisham’s Mayor and Cabinet to intervene as freeholder, to allow the Visitor Centre to stay in its present location indefinitely or until suitable alternative accommodation is made available.  Please sign and share as time is short.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!