An empty room above Herne Hill rail station is coming back to life as residents are asked to help decide its future.
The hidden gem on the first floor of the train station has spent years unloved and unused but was opened up last September when more than 300 school children helped break a world record for the largest number of people to contribute to a colour-by-numbers artwork.
More than 2,000 residents visited the space to help create the 40 metre long mural, and now a group of ‘Herne Hillians’ are hoping to keep the hall open as a new community centre.
The room, which doesn’t have lift and as a result hasn’t been snapped up by commercial renters, used to be the neo-gothic style station’s grand waiting room in the 1800s.
The Station Hall project group have secured short-term funding from the London Mayor to keep the Hall open, but now need to prove that it will make a real impact on the area in order to raise the money needed to keep it open – and have the backing of its owners, Network Rail.
So far, the team behind the project have put on ‘pay what you can’ yoga classes, an art, singing and creative writing session for people who home-school their kids and £10 Bridge classes, and businesses and generous residents have also made donations, books from Half Moon Lane’s Oxfam bookshop, and a piano from one generous local.
For more information and to share your ideas for Station Hall’s future, visit stationhallhernehill.org