Join BCS (and calling all existing members!)

If you care about Bromley and its heritage and green spaces, please support us by joining the Society. Membership per household is only £10 per year. You can join or renew your membership either by visiting our membership portal. or by sending a cheque with a letter giving your full name, postal address, where possible your email address, and a contact telephone number to the Membership Secretary, 3 Hayes Road, Bromley BR2 9AF.

Joining will mean that you receive our regular newsletter emails, and help fund our efforts to save our historic town centre being dominated by tower blocks.

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The (not) Protected View from Queens Mead and S2 /Churchill Quarter Developments

high rises tower above the trees
Proposed buildings ruin the protected view from Queens Mead

The view of the town centre – or rather the trees – from Queens Mead and the railway line, is protected.

Two developments will ruin this view : the S2 application to put 16 storeys in place of the former Maplins neo-georgian shop [planning here] and Churchill Quarter [planning here]. Please write and object to these so we do not loose the lovely view our council is supposed to protect.

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Robert Dyas – a surprise Bromley resident

victorian gentleman with fine moustache
Robert Dyas

It has been good to welcome a branch of Robert Dyas now open in Bromley High Street and even more so since it has been discovered by staff at the Local Studies Library that Robert Dyas lived for the last 30 years of his life in Blyth Road, just off Beckenham Lane, in the Town Centre.    

Please object to the development, here at planning reference no : 19/04183 1, Blyth Road, Bromley BR1 3RS
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Write and Stop This Tower Block – we want our neo-Georgian shop to stay

lovely neo-georgian shop
66-70 High Street, lovely example of a Neo Georgian Shop

This 1932 neo-Georgian shop is one of only 2 buildings considered good enough to be worth saving in the proposed Master plan of the lower high street.

This proposal is much higher than the surrounding buildings (16 storeys compared with 2 or 4) , overbearing, and will stick out for miles around (being on the ridge top). 

This area already suffers from inadequate infrastructure – shortage of GPs, overcrowded stations – and these units would be better built on sites that are walking distance from one of the other 16 railway stations in the borough.  

S2 Developments have ignored the feedback from their public consultation and pushed ahead with their over-sized development. 

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Picturehouse is new home for rescued Art Deco Screens

coloured ray screen
Restored Art Deco screen, from Widmore Road co-op, at The PIcturehouse Cinema

“Look out in the new Picturehouse Cafe for the Art Deco screens from the former Co-op in Widmore Road.

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“Picture Perfect Day” our heritage walks, in the words of a lady on the street…

two people in costume in front of georgian building
Jane and Peter leading a guided Walk at the BIshops Palace


On Saturday 22nd June I lined up outside Boots in The Glades more out of curiosity than anything else, as a lifelong resident of the borough of Bromley I figured there wasn’t much I didn’t already know.

How wrong I was, and what an absolutely fantastic day I experienced, along with at least 25 or 30 other folk. Our two hosts for the morning tour entitled ‘Bromley Palace and Park’ were clad in Victorian suits and hats and provided entertaining and illuminating information about aspects of Bromley previously unknown to me, and I’m sure others were equally surprised and delighted.

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Write To Stop Sell-Off of more Public Heritage Open Space

The site is part of the Bishop of Rochester’s Palace Park which is the setting of 6 listed buildings

stone and flint mini tower with arched window
To Be LOST: the stone-and-flint folly from the Bishops Palace – made with fragments found in the Moat during restoration work in the 19th Century

Please write and object to this sale to :David Mark Bowen, Director of Corporate Services, LB Bromley, Stockwell Close, Bromley, BR1 3UH  or email it to : mark.bowen@bromley.gov.uk    Mark it Proposed sale of land at Bromley Civic Centre  and include your name address and postcode otherwise it will not be accepted.  Don’t be put off by this mad deadline !:  Copies to the Ward Councillors and BCS would be welcome.
CllrNicky.Dykes@bromley.gov.uk   William.Harmer@bromley.gov.uk   Michael.Rutherford@bromley.gov.uk
chair@bromleycivicsociety.org.uk

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Don’t Clutter Market Square

We like our Market Square with enough open space for our market – If you want to continue to have our market in Market Square, find a moment to object to this planning proposal 19_00241: https://searchapplications.bromley.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=PLEVE4BTJHM00

The Garden Shed style additions to Market Square
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Broom time – Heritage Event

The annual flowering of the shrub, from which Bromley takes its name, takes place on Martin’s Hill mid April to the end of May and we recommend all visitors and locals to witness this event of living history so fundamental to the heritage of Bromley Town.

Tony Banfield, Chair of Bromley Civic Society Heritage officer – The Friends of Bromley Town Parks
Yellow flowered bush on hillside, with war memorial obelisk behind.

Just two minutes walk from Market Square along Church Road behind Primark, Bromley’s name- sake shrub burst into spectacular bloom on Martin’s Hill. The name ‘Bromley’ is from the Anglo Saxon ‘Bromleag’ or ‘Broomleigh’ literally meaning Broom meadow.

Just two minutes walk from Market Square along Church Road behind Primark, Bromley’s name- sake shrub burst into spectacular bloom on Martin’s Hill. The name ‘Bromley’ is from the Anglo Saxon ‘Bromleag’ or ‘Broomleigh’ literally meaning Broom meadow.

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Churchill Quarter Planning Application

The planning application for the “Churchill Quarter” development in Bromley town centre has now been submitted (planning reference: 18/02181).

The development, adjacent to library gardens, is a co-development with the Council providing the land and Countryside Properties responsible for building and operations.

Before and after images showing the effect of the development can be seen on the right.

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West Street No. 01 Former Electric Company – Heritage Buildings

Built in 1908 this building housed the offices of Bromley Electric Light Company. Behind was the coal-fired ‘power station’ whose tall chimney dominates old photos of the town centre. It was there for over 30 years.

The architectural style is ‘Queen Anne’ – ‘Streaky Bacon’.

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Bromley South Station

The railway station of Bromley South.

The original town rail station was at Shortlands.

Bromley South Station
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High Street No. 217, 1700s house and former bookshop – Heritage Buildings

The tattooist (No. 217), and the next door shop, occupy an 18th century house, worthy of mention as it was the premises of two Bromley notable historians and printers, each producing from this shop an invaluable histories of Bromley – Thomas Wilson in 1797 and John Dunkin in 1815.

The row of 5 windows is distinctive in old photos of the High Street.

The bookshop in this drawing from 1815
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High Street No. 232 – Heritage Building

This shop was the site of Morley’s Academy, which was on the upper floors, where the author HG Wells went to school, after he had graduated from the Dame school on south street. It was demolished in 1902 and replaced with the current building.

Shop with 3 storeys brick Arts and Crafts era above.
The building which replaced Morley’s Academy that the author HG Wells attended.
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High Street 189-191 Former Cottages

The Funeral Directors , News Agents and dry cleaners shop occupy two 18th century cottages, part of a terrace originally of five.

They are typical Kentish vernacular style with the characteristic double pitched roofs clad with Kentish clay peg tiles.

Typical Kentish vernacular style 1700s cottages
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Palace Park – 1732 Lead Cistern

drawing of lead cistern with decorations

This lead cistern says that it was installed by Bishop of Rochester, Joseph Wilcocks. He carried out renovations and improvements to the palace. Thanks to Bromley Borough Local History.

The whereabouts of the cistern is not now know, it was last on the land that the council has sold for housing development.

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High Street – Bromley Zoo Mural – Heritage Buildings

Bromley Zoo Mural was designed and painted by artist Bruce Williams in 2001 to lead shoppers from the Hill Car park via Naval Walk to the High Street. A panda and leopard lurk among the shrubbery and a variety of animals are presented in cunning trompe l’oeil (trick the eye) scenes.

Unfortunately most of it has been lost, but it is hoped to replace it, this time on boards that can be removed if the walls change again.

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High Street No. 232, former Grete House lodge

This is one of a pair of early 18th century lodges at the entrance to the driveway to the Grete House, a Tudor mansion and its lands occupying all of what is now Sainsburys store and car park.

The lodge to Grete House in the 1990s

In the nineteenth century the lodge was the premises of Daniel Grinstead, one of a long line of seedsmen connected with the Mill at Southend, Downham. DG was a considerable entrepreneur and land owner. As director of the Bromley Electric Light Company he built, in 1898, a huge electricity generating station behind here with a tall chimney which belched black smoke over Market Square for 40 odd years.

Currently it’s a tattooists.

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High Street No. 206 Diners Inn formerly George Weeks ironmongery

brick and stone shop with gable and balcony
Diners Inn, formerly George Week’s ironmongery

The Diner Inn occupies George Weeks’ 1890s extension to his original shop next door. Its grand Arts & Crafts, Dutch influenced architecture, displays both his personal success and civic pride. Note the name above the front gable and advertisement on the side wall all in enduring ceramic tiles. The shop replaced an old house important as having been the premises of the famous Bromley based surgeon, Dr James Scott. So respected was he that special stage coaches, known as the Scott Coaches, regularly plied for London the Bell Inn opposite for the convenience of his affluent patients.

Stone balustrade on a balcony with pillars and lettering above the window
Ceramic tiles above a fine balustrade
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