Some basic things that Brockley Cross could do with...


I know this isn't the most spiritually uplifting list, but nonetheless, I think they're all things that would make a big difference to the area.

1. A Sainsbury's Local (or even, a Tesco Metro). Some people will be horrified by the idea, and say that it will reduce Brockley's unique character or threaten local shopkeepers, but I'd swap Costcutter for a proper supermarket chain, with fresh food and a big range of products any day of the week. I can't think of any small local retailers who'd be threatened either. Forest Hill seems like a good model for Brockley - the Sainsbury's is nicely integrated in to the high street and there are a range of small shops, bars and cafes scattered around it.

2. A cash machine that doesn't charge. Brockley isn't a northern sink estate, it's a residential area in Zone 2. We're not supposed to be the financially disenfranchised! A proper cash dispenser might even stimulate the local economy a bit - if you have to trudge up to Crofton Park to get cash out, it's hardly conducive to spending locally.

3. A nice, proper pub. The Whetherspoons fails on both counts and is a magnet for swaying, toothless alcoholics. Nice from a distance, just don't look too closely. The Wickham Arms has potential, but is about as warm and welcoming as the Slaughtered Lamb. Except on Thursdays, when there's live music. Actually, a good pub should be number one...

84 comments:

Sue Luxton said...

Hi Nick
Agree with you re cash machine, but definitely not re supermarket! I do think there's a need for some small shops to improve the range of food they sell though - more organic, fairtrade stuff, more fresh fruit and veg, more wholefoods. I suspect that some convenience stores are a bit over-reliant on not particularly good cash and carries and either need to stock up elsewhere or get their cash and carry to sell more things that local residents want to buy. Would help them compete with supermarkets.

Sue
(Ladywell Ward Councillor)

Brockley Nick said...

Thanks Sue, both for visiting the site and for your comments. I'd love it if there were loads of lovely shops serving up exotic delicacies from around the world. However, at the moment, I think Brockley Road's aspirations probably need to be a little more modest, given where it's starting from. And local supermarkets, which you can visit on foot, rather than having to drive to, do a job which I think a lot of people would appreciate. I don't think the local newsagents shopping further afield is the answer, personally...

Sue Luxton said...

Hi Nick
I think you've misunderstood me, I'm not suggesting shops buy from further afield, or sell 'exotic delicacies' - far from it - I'd like to see them sourcing more from within the region, eg fruit and veg from Kent, but to do that, they would need to go to a market to get the fruit and veg, not just visit the cash and carry to stock up on tins. They could also quite feasibly start selling a few more of the things local people want to buy and currently go to supermarkets for because local shops don't sell them, which could and should be available at their cash and carry, but currently aren't; such unexotic delicacies such as recycled toilet roll, and fairtrade tea/coffee/bananas etc.

With a few simple change, Costcutter etc could be more than a match for a TESCO Metro or Sainsbury Local. I think you're kidding yourself if you think a supermarket chain would do anything other than encourage more cars and put local traders out of business. http://www.tescopoly.org.uk/ and http://www.localworks.org/ have more info on this.

Brockley Nick said...

Thanks, I'm pretty familiar with the case against supermarkets, but fair point about local sourcing.

I wasn't talking about a megastore with a car park, I meant a direct replacement for Costcutter, which is depressingly and irredeemably shabby.

Anyhow, I count 8 different shops currently in various stages of development, in Brockley Cross, so maybe I was being a little bit pessimistic about the ability of local small businesses to raise their game. We shall see!

ElijahBailey said...

I was thinking the other day how nice it would be to replace the Costcutter with a Buy More Payless. They are usually pretty good and cheap.

Anna said...

Hi Nick, I really like this site and I hope lots of people use it and it grows and benefits the local area.

I agree with Sue Luxton, we don't need a supermarket. A friend of mine lives in North London where Tescos and M&Ss are taking over little costcutters and other similar stores, not only to the detriment of local businesses but actually to the detriment of the consumer. Tesco doesn't actually offer a wider range than our costcutter, its wine selection is appalling and if you want something a little out of the ordinary or un-Tesco branded (particularly if like me you're a vegan or have similar dietary foibles), forget it. Personally I love our costcutter, it has the best range of hummous, tofus, veggie burgers i have ever seen in one supermarket (massive Sainsos at New Cross included). For fresh fruit and veg I use abel & cole, but Tescos wouldn't change that. Fair enough, we do need a local greengrocer or market, but not a Tesco.

What I'd really like are reasons to invite my friends to Brockley, such as a proper bar, an art gallery, or an interesting shop or two for browsing.

Anonymous said...

In Nunhead, they have a Butchers/Fishmongers/Bakery/Grocers/Florists, plus nik nak shops literally next door to each other - it's fantastic, to go into a local shop where the staff know and care about what they're selling, as well as being helpful and friendly.

Something along those lines would be great for Brockley (if the farmers markets doesn't go ahead???)

lee newham said...

If small shops offered something people wanted they could be the match for Tesco.

If I had a high street and next door to one another there was a flower shop, a greengrocers selling local produce where people with local allopments could sell their wares, a fruitshop, a fishshop, a butchers, a hardware store and I got to know the people in there and the produce was really good (and it looked great and was a short walk away), I'd go there.

The supermarkets are there people people want them. A big problem with local shops is that they cant compete because in many respects they arent good enough. I hate saying that because often they can be.

You wont beat the supermarkets by moaning about them. You beat them, by offering something people want that they cant offer.

That's why communities like ours should work together more.

Linda said...

I absolutely don't want a Sainsbury's or Tesco's local at the Cross - there are plenty of big supermarkets within striking distance if that's what you want. And I really don't think Costcutter's is that bad. The markets at Deptford or Lewisham are great for cheap fresh produce.

I concur on the pub - although again, there are one or two local bars that are trying - like Moonbow Jake's and another one up that way (can't recall the name, offhand). Personally, I'm pleased that we're getting quirkier independents locally - like the new deli and the Broca by Brockley Station - and there's an organic shop up Harefield Road.

On the whole, I think Brockley Cross is coming up nicely - bugger inviting the big chains in ....

Anonymous said...

Why must something that's seen as 'independent' or 'organic' be inherantly good?

I echo the comments for a good, localised store chain that I can access at all hours and still get the deals of its bigger brothers.

zeus said...

Why don't all you middle class tosspots piss off out of Brockley and leave us alone. Nothing wrong with costcutters leave them alone too many ethnics behind the counter for you is there. Leave the Barge and Wickham Arms alone as well, suppose there are too many black people in the Barge for you is there and too many working class people in the Wickham for the like of you oiks, of course you won't get a warm welcome there you look down your snotty noses atthe rest of us. You are the sort who sit around sipping your fair trade coffee and eating your organic food and backslapping each other about how green you all are, and then the coke comes out, you support a trade that has destryed people and countries, and turned inner urban areas into war zones of young gangs killing each other over the control of crack cocaine go back to where you all come from and leave the rea citizens of Brockley in peace.

Anonymous said...

way to miss the point zeus.

And too many black people in the Barge? White enclave more like.

Anonymous said...

Hey Zeus,

"You are the sort who sit around sipping your fair trade coffee and eating your organic food and backslapping each other about how green you all are, and then the coke comes out"

...you've just described my perfect night in.

ElijahBailey said...

"White enclave more like."

Bollocks it is. It is a very mixed establishment and good one to.

It is good to have pub round here which is nice and cheap. Far too many pubs in the Brockley, New Cross area are the £2.50+ for a pint type places.

I think the barge gets unfairly shunned.

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Anonymous said...

I love the frisson of class tension you find in Brockley.

Every now and then someone proclaiming themselves to be working class throws a fit at fact that the area is changing.

We all work and we are all entitled to have different tastes. There is nothing wrong with that. Some people may not like change, but it is not all bad.

No-one can say that Brockley cannot be improved. Parts are quite grim. Some may not share the same taste, but if they are patient something might change that they actually like.

Bea said...

Zeus - love your thunderbolt of a rant - brightened up my afternoon.

Reminds me of my student days when being "right-on" was so cool!

Enlighten me - who are the "rea(l) citizens of Brockley"?

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Oh, havnt you seen the video bea? Its the 'brockley street rappers'. Theres a video on here somewhere... very entertaining!

Now, where did i put my latte...

Anonymous said...

I think it's important for everyone to remember their place. Working class people are generally better at plumbing and gardening and we all need those from time to time.

Tressillian James said...

As a member of the working classes, I better give up the current job and start tending to you weeds.. sorry, your weeds

Tressie Jim said...

Oh and I better change my name so I dont forget my roots....

What bollocks this all is - from Zeus' rant to Anonymous' attempt at humour.

Oh - we've fallen for the trolls again, haven't we

Anonymous said...

Thanks, my garden needs some attention - as a member of the WC brigade I assume you're 'on the sick' too, so if I pay you cash you won't have to declare it.

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Anonymous said...

The working classes are doing very nicely out of gentrification by offering all kinds of trade skills at massively inflated prices.

You see them in huddles chuckling over their brew swapping tales of pretentious customers and how to overcharge them outrageously for the simplest of home improvements.

Mr Loadsamoney, that 1980s characature, is very at home in the Brockley Barge.

Headhunter said...

Although the "working class" ability to charge the "gentrifying classes" exorbitant fees has been lessened somewhat by the influx of Eastern Europeans, however there are some real rip off merchants out there. Some of the ridiculous quotes I got for work on my last flat! They must've thought I was born the day before!

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I kind of agree with you Bea, the white middle class are really not looked after in the UK. Unfortunately, if you point this out then you are branded a racist for attacking an ethic minority or religious minority.

Its impossible to have a proper debate on here, too many trolls.

Anonymous said...

maybe that's because this is a website about Brockley - not discussions of ethnicity. Frankly to debate such things are a waste of time. Stick to talking about coffee shops and delis.

argiebargie said...

Why all the flack about the Barge remember what it was like before or guess you have recently carpetbagged into the area. I have not been in for awhile but there was a table 53 and a great group of people they were civil servants social workers teachers buiders etc loved a drink and a laugh not a snob or bigot amongst them perhaps you antis should emigrate to islington where you would be happiest.

Anonymous said...

It all depends on where you sit in the Brockley Barge. The company in the dining area is a good deal more civilised. Wetherspoons pubs are designed like that.

spincat said...

I go to the Brockley Barge

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

so do i, i think its ok in there. Everyone seems friendly enough

Anonymous said...

It kind of helps if you look sozzled and incapable or as if you are enjoying some respite with like minded souls after a stretch in one the more secure public institutions for protecting the public.

spincat said...

Thank you, dear anonymous, I never look sozzled or incapable, although I can drink many a man under the table.

Monkeyboy said...

can someone please explain what working class and middle class mean any more? this is a silly debate.

I wear a shirt and tie to work but am an engineer. My parents are cleaners but I've got a degree. I vote 'labour' but own shares. I'm a republican, but would vote for the queen if only I was given the chance. I'm a member of of a transport union but think Bob Crow needs a kicking.

what class am i?

Anonymous said...

You're working class. What people on here are debating isn't really working class - it's the Great British underclass - different from working class.

Anonymous said...

Spincat - that's fighting talk. And also sexist.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

yeah, i think classes do not really exist any more, which is a good thing.

I'm not allowed to join a union. I think im right in thinking that if I have any work issues im supposed to go to my institute, otherwise it would bring fellow members into disrepute (and hence the institute).

Anonymous said...

Classes don't exist? - you're joking aren't you?

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Not in the traditional sense - upper, middle and lower. No, i do not.

Anonymous said...

I think they're as strong now as they always have been. There may be a better range of definitions (in the same way eskimos have loads of ways to describe snow whereas we have about three) but just because there's a better way to describe them nowadays doesn't mean they've disappeared.

Anonymous said...

Of course class exists, who sweeps your streets collects your rubbish drives your busses and makes sure your sewage doesn't back up. The working classes of course.This class has always existed and always will exist They are the exploited classes. And Bob Crowe does need a good kicking, he is one of the old dinosaur trade unionists cloth cap us and them. Strikesto feed his own bloated ego.

Monkeybot said...

I've sobered up a bit now.

What was I banging on about?

Brockley Kate said...

well i reckon me and spincat should head down the barge and let the rest of you crack on with it ....

Monkeyboy said...

...you'll find me in the corner crying into my warm larger, flicking pork scratchings at the posh folk.

Anonymous said...

Posh folk? In the Barge? I don't think so.

Monkeyboy said...

ok....I'll flick them at the working class heroes

Anonymous said...

They'll probably hold their mouths open for you. Hungry little buggers...

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Tressillian James said...
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Anonymous said...

Class exists as long as you look up or look down on other people. Doesn't neccessarily have anything to do with money these days.

Monkey madness is quite right, its all mixed up these days. Only political types try to shoehorn people into those old categories.

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spincat said...

Quite funny that the 'ads powered by Google' that are currently running along this delightful debate are for loving and peaceful things like yoga retreats and organic food delivery.

Anonymous said...

Brockley Cross needs some real estate regeneration. Get yourselves over to londonpropertygossip.com and satisfy your cravings for property chatter.

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zeus said...

My thunderbolt worked. Stopped the pc brigade talking about delis and shops and trendy bars.

Anonymous said...

There you are! There is a job going...you sound just right for it given your talent for stirring.

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Anonymous said...

After reading all the comments my friend and I are going to visit the Barge for the first time. Slumming, visiting the lower depths. We are taking our own glasses and will drink only uncorked wine. The people I have seen coming and going look like deadbeats from a doss house and in need of fumigation. Should be fun fun fun.

Anonymous said...

Has Brockley Central ever run a review on Gulen Kebab?

Should be right up their street really - an ethnic selection of 'kooky' meats, organic (plenty of organs anyway), local...?

Anonymous said...

"Slumming visiting the lower depths"

If you see a Scottish deadbeat with a pony tail avoid like the plague can bore for Britain

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Kung Fu Hustle said...

instead of posting under Anonymous, why don't you put a name to your homophobic comments? or, even better, stop trolling around.

Anonymous said...

What does trolling mean? Heard a few people on here mention 'trolls' - what are they?

Anonymous said...

A troll is someone who posts controversial notes on internet discussion forums to bait other people. do not feed the trolls old kung fu got caught feeding the trolls he should no better the dope

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