Have a Brockley Market Christmas

Toby from Brockley Market writes:

The last full market of 2015 will be the 19th December - we will be open on the 24th Christmas eve (from 10 - 12) to pick up Christmas orders (Meat From The Butchery, fish/seafood from Veasey and Sons, turkeys geese & cockerels from Fosse Meadows - we will also have fresh bread from Astons, House of Sverre Smoked Salmon ,Brockley based Blackswoods Cheese, Perry Court Christmas Veg, wine from Le Grappin, Pork Pies from Hartland Pies, Charcuterie from Moons Green and a few others pitching up on the 24th to take care of final bit and bobs for festive meals.

Kent grown Christmas tree orders being taken from Saturday 28th November at the market.

Visit us at brockleymarket.com to be kept up to date of Brockley Market Christmas News - we will be closed on December 26th and January 2nd, we open again weekly from 9th January 2016.

The White Room closes

The White Room, the fashion and sewing studio in Crofton Park, is closing. The founder Nicky Cook plans to relocate to open a pattern cutting studio in new premises. Nicky writes:

"It's been 3 years since I opened the doors of The White Room to bring fashion, fun and creativity to our leafy corner of South East London. I have loved every minute of it! Now there are new plans afoot......with clients like ASOS and Top Shop using my patterns I have decided to take the plunge and open my Nicky Cook pattern cutting studio doors in a new premises this Spring.

"Although it is sad to say goodbye to our White Room studio, it is time to celebrate all that we have achieved over the past 3 years. I want to say a huge thanks to everyone for the support, encouragement and fun you have brought to me at The White Room."

The White Room was an exotic business in our midst and will be a loss. But if we must lose a local business, it's nice to see it go on to bigger and better things. It closes just before Christmas.

Wheelchair tennis, Ladywell

Penniless Cove - Tuesday

Penniless Cove are a Brockley-based band whose latest video was shot in Hilly Fields, Manor Avenue and The Broca. Check it out.

Boomerang plan to link Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf

Only yesterday, Brockley Central was idly Tweeting that copying Copenhagen's newest bridge and aerial bike lane would have been a good way to get the Rotherhithe-Canary Wharf foot bridge project back on track. Today, architects ReForm revealed a much better idea - a boomerang bridge, which could be raised for tall ships but which would allow pedestrians and cyclists to cross without having to ascend spiral staircases, as the original design proposed.
As we've said in the past, new river crossings in East London are vital for future growth on both sides of the river. As the Guardian notes, this one would provide a direct connection between "at least 3,300 new homes and places for 2,000 new jobs, [which] are fast rising out of the ground at Canada Water to the south, with 105,000 jobs at Canary Wharf (a figure that’s set to double by 2030)."

At the moment, getting from one side to the other is a difficult business and Rotherhithe remains a strange, beautiful isolated peninsula that's fascinating rather than fun. A bridge would mean life would finally find a way.

The Guardian adds:

"Having parted company with [transport campaigners] Sustrans, the bridge designers are now pressing ahead to launch their scheme and looking for private funds to make it happen. With an estimated construction cost of £88m – half the price of the garden bridge – and some of the world’s richest companies next door (the bridge will land right next to a site planned for JP Morgan’s new HQ), it’s not hard to imagine lycra-clad bankers queuing up to throw their money, and their logos, at the project."

New Spanish place will be local to Brockley

L'Oculto is the a new permanent home for Flavours of Spain, purveyor of fine Spanish foods at Brockley Market.

L'Oculto will occupy the venue where they recently hosted a series of hugely popular pop-up events during the summer - 57 Loampit Hill - which currently operates as a gallery and creative space.

More details soon, but Flavours of Spain have earned a reputation a high-quality bunch, so this should be good.

Brockley Barge earns Good Beer Guide entry

The weekend's article about the newly refurbished Crown Tavern triggered some discussion of the Brockley Barge, with some wishing that it could be more like the Tavern and less like a Wetherspoons.

Pubs and restaurants are in short supply in the area and are essentially strategic assets for the neighbourhood, so it's inevitable these kinds of discussions spring up from time to time. But while the resurrection of local pubs like The Talbot and The Honor Oak as relatively upmarket boozers is welcome, it's important to acknowledge that The Barge is a successful, busy pub with a diverse clientèle.

The Barge is actually that rarest of things: a community pub, used by students, families, young professionals and yes, some elderly alcoholics who treat it as a cheap form of sheltered accommodation.

Not only that, it has raised its game in recent years, improving the environment, discouraging some of the wrong-uns that have traditionally frequented it and expanding its offer.

The Barge has just celebrated its entry in the Good Beer Guide, which says of the place:

Caesar has been the general manager at the Brockley Barge since 2013, and he's been with JDW for almost 20 years and he knows a few things about running a pub. 

Caesar did explain though that it's the good work of all the staff that produces success, not least the pub's cellar champion Thomas. "Thomas and I work together on targets for improvement and are now selling more beers than ever."

The pub does seem different from say ten years ago, more customers for a start - locals, local Jamaicans, people on the way back home from the office, students, dating couples, friends of all ages, at two separate tables nearby French was being spoken, a few hipster beards were visible - all to the sound of people enjoying each others company it's what a pub should be.

They also look after their staff pretty well, according to my housemate who works behind the bar there.

My view is simple - where businesses are failing, closed or behaving criminally, then let's upgrade them to something that people want. Often that will mean "nice places to hang out" - the third spaces on our high street, which are so loathed by anti-gentrifiers but which are what paying customers actually want. Bars, restaurants, cafes, salons and more often than not, some fusion of all four. We should be unapologetic in calling for more of these things.

But when something works and keeps lots of people very happy, then let's turn our attention on the places that are struggling. If any pub needs to rethink its approach, it's the Wickham Arms, which limps on without investment or clear direction.

Meanwhile, let's celebrate The Brockley Barge for what it is, rather mourn what isn't.

Brockley Central Label Cloud