The Flower Lady says plans to move her have been halted

Elaine Partleton and her florists Flower Lady next to Herne Hill station
Elaine Partleton and her florists The Flower Lady next to Herne Hill station

A cherished Railton Road business and its historic building were saved yesterday after pressure from the community against proposals to turn it into an electricity substation.

Elaine Partleton, owner of The Flower Lady shop, told the Blog that the plans had been halted after a petition started on Monday received more than 1,700 signatures.

The Flower Lady in “Station Square” faced a big rent increase and being forced to move from its vital spot next to Herne Hill Station.

Elaine, 64, said: “I’m just so happy to be here. I haven’t got around to telling everyone yet.

“I’ve had so much support.

“1,700 petition signatures in one week – that sounds pretty good to me

“We’ve really put them under pressure.”

She said that Lambeth council is considering turning “Station Square” into a conservation area, meaning planning permission would be required to do anything to the building in the future.

Additionally, Elaine believes that the Herne Hill Society will try to get the building listed. “It would have been tragic if they pulled it down,” she said.

Network Rail had told her that it planned to move The Flower Lady from the Victorian coalhouse it now occupies, demolish it and build a five-metre square sub-station – right next to one already on station premises.


“I just want to stay here, be happy and continue what we’re doing”.

She said pressure from the community and Lambeth council’s support led to the breakthrough, singling out the Herne Hill Society and local Green councillor Becca Thackray for their help.

“I’m just hoping that Network Rail haven’t jeopardised somebody else’s business to build their substation,” Elaine said.

She moved into her current premises in April 2008, when its barbershop owners came into money and asked Elaine to sell her flowers from there.

She started selling flowers outside the Half Moon pub 11 years ago before its owners, the Dulwich Estate, told her to stop.

Moving between various sites both inside and outside the station, she settled at the historic building that has now housed The Flower Lady for more than 10 years.

With the shop busy and their stay secured, she has three plans:

“I just want to stay here, be happy and continue what we’re doing”.

The Blog approached Network Rail for comment, but none had been received at the time of publication.