Redecorating Forest Hill Subway [2020]

I understand the thinking behind this idea but the underpass which is seen by some people each day does not look bad right now. However around the station/WH Smith area does need attention and is seen by many more people each day. I feel there could be more dramatic results in those areas.

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Improving the underpass is a separate issue to improving the area around the station, and perhaps a simpler issue too. Unless they are competing for funds (which hasn’t been suggested), doing one shouldn’t hold back the other - so ideally do both!

From our man in Network Rail:

I like the idea and I also think it would be nice if it could incorporate a homage to the women who sadly died, whose shrine in the passage keeps being removed (she was homeless and sorry, I can’t remember her name).

I think the shrine was already discussed at the time and it was decided to let family and friends place flowers etc but not to erect a permanent shrine.

I think a poll is in order!

  • Leave the subway as-is
  • Allow street artists free rein to redecorate
  • Allow street art but with community-approved conditions (design / colours / lightness?)
  • Don’t mind
  • Other (please comment)

0 voters

Regarding a memorial for Stefania

  • There should be a memorial for Stefania
  • No memorial for Stefania
  • Don’t mind
  • Other (please comment)

0 voters

Ah makes sense, just annoying how it all gets removed…

I don’t think a memorial should be up for a vote. Please remember that this is an underpass used by the whole FH community (not just people active on this forum) and everyone did not approve of the temporary shrine that was created or the longevity of it.


If you could get a representative sample of opinions from those who don’t use this forum that would be very interesting to see, as ideally we’d want to consider the views of both groups of people.

I wonder how and why their opinions might differ from those of forum users on this subject?

BTW I agree that a memorial to Stefania is inappropriate

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Without being certain, I believe there was a decision made to use monies from the crowdfunding towards a donation to the homeless charity which was in main contact with her. I also believe there was a decision to end, and clear out the flower tributes etc. at Christmas acknowledging these things are never meant to be permanent.


Their (neighbours and local friends and acquaintances) opinions are much on the same ground of what I, you and others have previously and most recently expressed on the related thread.
As that thread has been revised it is unreasonable to draw this thread off track with much more of the same.

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The subway feels safe as it is at night. I’d be against covering the white panels with graffiti which would make it darker.


I think the word “graffiti” has negative connotations for some people. What myself and others are suggesting is artwork possibly applied by vinyl. Some great examples are…
rotherhithe station

And shadwell station

I think Sarah Mcmenemy created the artwork for shadwell.


Only a straw poll with a small sample set, but so far only a lukewarm reception to the idea of redecorating the subway:

Shall we put the idea on ice?


I dunno that’s a lot more in favour for redecorating than was needed to change the colour of my passport… :speak_no_evil:

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The small sample set that it was “Allow street art/artists…” suggestions still garnered slightly more interest. I guess you can’t please everyone…

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If you ignore the ‘free rein’ option the rebased split is 48-52 :scream:.

But seriously, a vote like this should probably be ranked choice - I’ll bet you all those in favour of ‘free rein’ would have voted for ‘Street art’ if ‘free rein’ was not an option.

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I think there’s a big difference between TfL-sponsored artwork on busy platforms and street art in dingy underpasses.

The nature of our underpass space means one well-intentioned mural will attract the artless contributions of anyone with a half-decent marker pen or spray can from Halfords. From then on it’s the broken windows theory – allow the build-up of graffiti (which will follow street art) in an already grubby space and it’ll just snowball from there.

It’s sometimes used as a makeshift skate park as it is – coat the walls with paint and it’ll get worse. Keeping it light and dare I say clinical makes it feel slightly safer at night.


So there’s a clear majority (57%) in favour of some artwork.

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