The PTB is very excited about the Penge Heritage Trail development so we asked Chris O’Shaughnessy, its Project Co-ordinator, to explain what it is about.
“The Penge Heritage Trail is a Penge Town Centre Team supported project which has been in the planning stages for the past fifteen months. You may have noticed occasional mentions on the Penge Tourist Board and Penge Heritage Trail Facebook pages and as the appeal for crowd-funding will soon go live on the Spacehive site this is an appropriate time to give an overview on the project.
Spacehive, founded by Chris Gourlay in 2012, is ‘a funding platform for projects that make local places better’. It works with councils, companies and grant-makers and has created a funding platform for over 200 successful projects.
Funding and creating a Penge Heritage Trail will enhance the standing of Penge in the public eye and bring it into line with Heritage Trail projects for Bromley North and for Beckenham Town Centre. We are fortunate that the project has been supported from the outset by Bromley Council.
Penge has a rich cultural history which needs to be known and celebrated. There are signs of this in the architecture, the narrative stories of famous residents, in the various community projects and celebrations, and in the many beautiful parks. The Heritage Trail will be an educational and informative raising-of-awareness of these aspects, not only for Penge residents but also for visitors and the public at large. It will create further interest in Penge, promoting it as a place to live and guard against misinformation. It will be a permanent source of inspiration and reference.
There are THREE strands to the Penge Heritage Trail:
1. A Penge Heritage Trail website with detailed, researched information on at least twenty five heritage sites in Penge. If you thought there were only three or four such as the Watermen’s Almshouses, the King William IV cottages and the Alexandra Estate, you will be surprised. Don’t forget the Crystal Palace Park dinosaurs are also in Penge and there is a rich heritage story there. The website will also carry interviews and oral histories from Penge residents.
2. A Penge Heritage Trail open-out pamphlet with map and detailed illustrated guide to each heritage site. This will be available free in hard copy from various Penge outlets including the library. The pamphlet will also be down-loadable from the website. This means that you will be able to follow the Heritage Trail in your own time or, indeed, join one of the guided tours which will take place during the Penge Festival and on Penge Days.
3. Penge Heritage Trail pavement plaques along and around Penge High Street, fitted in place when the current paving is completed. Cast in bronze, these will be similar to those on the Bromley North Heritage Trail and those seen in and around central London. A blue plaque will be installed on the former police station. The pavement plaques will be funded and installed by the London Borough of Bromley. I would like to thank Virgil Rappa and Martin Pinnell of the London Borough of Bromley for their continued support of this venture.
However, while the plaques will be funded by the London Borough of Bromley, we will have to fund the website and the pamphlet.
This is why there will be a crowd-funding initiative for this on the Spacehive website which is shepherding the online appeal. A link to the crowd-funding site will be given soon.
We need to raise £8,348.49 to cover the costs of the design and the maintenance of the website, the design of the twelve plaques, the use of photographs and art-work, and the design and two printings of the pamphlet (6000 copies). Both website and pamphlet will have contributions from local artists and photographers. Indeed, the website and pamphlet will be designed by local experts. E.g. Satnaam Khera for the website; Dominic Richards for the plaque design and the pamphlet. I will be providing the text for both.
I am asking that as many people as possible contribute something, from a minimum of £5.00 upwards, towards these costs. Any donation large or small will help. Local businesses have already pledged about £2000 towards the project. I intend to list and thank all contributors on a separate website page. Those contributing £100 or more will be listed as Main Sponsors; those contributing £500 or more will be listed as Principal Sponsors. In this way I hope Penge will have a degree of ownership of the project. I should point out that I am not asking for payment of any kind for my work on this project.
The journey towards the Penge Heritage Trail has been long and complicated but we are nearly there. The actual Heritage Trail will be far more negotiable! The crowd-funding appeal will have links to the Penge Tourist Board website, its Facebook page, the Penge Heritage Trail Facebook page and other related online sites.
You can pledge via here: https://www.spacehive.com/penge-heritage-trail
If pledging online is too daunting, you may send a cheque, payable to ‘Penge Town Centre Team’, to ‘Penge Heritage Trail’ c/o Kirvan Bond Solicitors at 107 High Street, London SE20 7DT. Your contribution will be transferred to the online appeal.
It’s an exciting project which can only do tremendous good for Penge and I hope you will support it. Thank you.”
You can follow progress on the Heritage Trail Facebook page here