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Driscoll House, New Kent Road

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Tuesday 27 September 2005 11.59am
I was working with someone the other day who said that she thought dealing with these kinds of docs is just like learning a foreign language from scratch !

Once you know how it's put together, where the important bits go and what some of the key words mean, you can pretty much understand it - but getting to that stage takes a whole lot of pain and effort. I agree it's pretty difficult for the man or woman on the street to pick up (but then it was drafted in Europe - TFIC).
Wednesday 28 September 2005 11.30am
hi all,
been ill for a few days and completely missed out on this meeting and its potential repercussions - i live about 200 yards away from Driscoll house and hadn't heard anything at all about the proposed re-development. Did anyone go last night? and could you pass on the goss about this proposal?
Wednesday 28 September 2005 11.47am
Well I was not a meeting as such, more a showcase for their design of the proposed development...I thought it would two opposing sides etc., proves how naive I am!

The charming young man showed sketches of the new building, told me about the Elephant Regeneration scheme ( I felt like screaming we are not the Elephant).
He explained that the close proximity to the existing John Maurice close...' would not matter as only the bathrooms faced them, and they were frosted, ' .....I love dark bathrooms, just the thing to wake you up in the morning!

The view from New Kent Road of the building to be is hideous, the lower floors are brick and basic, then on top stuck on like a lego brick pile is an odd assortment of metal coloured squares, with a balcony on each corner no doubt so residents can admire the constant stream of traffic thundering past the building..

The side view reminds me of steps of a pyramid, going back towards John Maurice, I think they have plans also for the bit of the park also , even though the man said they had will probably be incorporated into the scheme.

I asked about car parking...where would residents park I asked? The reply was unbelievable.....'Car owners will not be allowed, there are no car parking facilities!'
all that will happen is people will move in and acquire a car.

I asked why they could not convert the building, like they did for Hartley, his reply was logical. The Hartley was a factory and the space was easier to work with than Driscoll House would be.

There was a Feedback Form to complete...

One of the questions were ...' Would you welcome improvements to the park in front of Driscoll House?...bang goes our little park...

When I left for work this morning I looked fondly at the old red brick building, and tried to envisage the .eyesore that would replace it...Is it too late for English Heritage to help?

Unbelievably Mr Driscoll is still alive, he is in his nineties and still in charge! How wonderful, and to be fair I can understand his wish to retire. His daughter lives in the adjacent house in the terrace, so she won't complain about the development.

Did any one else go? sorry this is a bit waffly!..:-)

Wednesday 28 September 2005 11.59am
Oh I forgot a bit . The Ujima Housing association will not have complete say over the residents...It will not be purely an ethnic development as Southwark Council will have some of the properties to allocate them.

There is supposed to be a mix of owner occupiers, tenants, shared ownership.
Wednesday 28 September 2005 4.40pm
I can see parking being a real issue for local people given their attitude-how will they know who owns a car and isn't it discrimination not to sell to someone as they own a car-what about disabled people does this mean they will not be able to move in!

it would be a shame to loose such a landmark as this- did they say what the next stage would be?
Wednesday 28 September 2005 4.49pm
The answer I got from the young man implied within 6months I think it will be done and dusted..I want to know DeeDee do the council publicly announce their plans - not on the website, but via press? At times like this I wish I was clever and informed!
Wednesday 28 September 2005 10.13pm
I've just been to a thing about the Spa Road development at he One Stop Shop on Spa Road. The bottom line is Southwark have been told to build some huge number of new "units" by Mr Prescot, no matter what.

This means that council flats on Neckinger and surrounding environs are to be bulldozed for 6 story developments with a few shared ownership (ie:stuck with ever rising rents and unable to afford to staircase out) properties as part of the "affordable" housing criteria while huge amounts of public housing stock are lost. Are your taxes going down now we are losing this resource for our old age and for which we have all paid so much?

Fight, fight! Yes to sensible redevelopment and NO to ramshackle hideous yuppie flats with a few "affordable" houses tacked on as a sop.

I didn't see your post until today the 28th, but I hope some of you made it to the meeting and tried to stop them demolishing Driscoll House. It could be converted to perfectly good homes.
Thursday 29 September 2005 10.31am
I have just gone onto the website and found that the charming young man was the M.D. of Oracle Homes.....
Wednesday 5 October 2005 1.22pm
Jan - I'd always assumed that the building was a former YWCA! (It looks very like the old YWCA in Great Russell Street with a facade designed by Edwin Lutyens.) I stand corrected.

From some Googling, it appears that the Ada Lewis Trust had several such hostels - one in Holloway was called the "Ada Lewis Hostel for Business Girls" which sounds a lot more upmarket.

From my quick researches, the Trust seem to have merged into Southern Housing Group at some point in history. There are still a couple of women's hostels called in Ada Lewis House, (one in Islington and one in Hammersmith). Their records appear to be in the London Metroplitan Archives.

I'm not clear whether the London hostels were related to:

The Association of the Mission Homes for English and American Women in Paris, later known (from 1924) as the British and American Ada Leigh Homes and Hostels in Paris, were set up by Miss Ada Leigh (Mrs Travers Lewis) in 1876. The aims of the Association were to provide homes, free of charge, for women and children of, and connected with, the United Kingdom and its colonies, and the United States of America. The first hostel was at 77 Avenue Wagram, Paris, with others later being provided at Bineau Avenue and Washington House, Rue de Milan. The Association also built an Anglican church called Christchurch at Neuilly-sur-Seine, and actively promoted Anglicanism. .

Edited 2 times. Last edit at 5 October 2005 1.28pm by Lang Rabbie.
Wednesday 5 October 2005 1.24pm
And does this mean that Terry Driscoll has retired?

"Proprietor and Manager T. DRISCOLL
Freeman of the City of London

Honorary (Life) Vice President,
Southwark Chamber of Commerce

Honorary (Life) Member;
Normandy Veterans Association of Leicester

Civic Award by Southwark Council

Member of the Chambers of Commerce
of London, Southwark and London

Hon Fellow Southbank University

Great Minds 21st Century Medal

The 2000 Millennium Gold Medal of Honor and Certificate bestowed by the Biographical Institute of America on Terence J. Driscoll as one of the 500 most distinguished men of the 2nd Millennium"

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