Brockley: Project Eyesore

Like Swamp Thing, Brockley Central sometimes wonders whether we are human at all, or a manifestation of the collective consciousness of all life in SE4. That feeling was reinforced last night as we sat down to write this piece about finding Brockley's biggest eyesores and an email from Brockley Cross Action Group member Stuart popped in to our inbox:

"I've been reflecting on the state of our 'public realm' in Brockley," it began. "For six years, the BXAG has grappled with the question of how to get resources and political priority to improve the environment in bold, imaginative and lasting ways. How to put people, pedestrians, shoppers, prams, cyclists and children ahead of cars and tarmac. It's been a real struggle with some noticeable changes, but nothing on the scale that is needed. Real change needs mass action.

"I’ve been wondering if your website could develop some sort of ‘Shame and Praise’ section. Somewhere people could put their digital images of things they think need improving, fixing, changing or praising."

Now, as it happens, Brockley Jon has already been busy with his camera, documenting some of the worst offences in the area and we would like readers of Brockley Central to help us find other examples, so we can put them to Lewisham Council (who we know are regular readers of the site anyway). If we get lots of examples, we may even have a vote, to see which we think is Brockley's biggest affront to civilisation.

An alternative Brockzilla, this project aims to capture Brockley's monstrous aspects at their most gruesome. Sort of like "Love Lewisham", only for big stuff.

There are two rules:

1. The photos must be of the public realm - no sending in pictures of people's stoneclad houses or messy front gardens please.

2. The photos must be of semi-permanent stuff, like bent railings and derelict land. Flytipping and tagging is nasty, but that's what Love Lewisham is for already.

We ask for your nominations to be sent to the usual address: nick.barron@gmail.com (unfortunately, we don't have any digicams to help you with your mission, but we hope you can improvise). We will feature the most heartbreaking photos over the next month.

So, here is Jon's reportage.

Meze Mangal's Container, Lewisham Way


This container-come-skip lies like a shipwreck outside an ex-café that seems to be an everlasting building site on Lewisham Way. It is unfortunately bang nextdoor to Meze Mangal, actually encroaching on their restaurant front. What are your first thoughts when you turn up for your Turkish food? "Ooh, nice skip"!

The piled up bin bags seen in the photo only add to the pleasantness that pedestrians and road users alike can appreciate every time they go past.

Washed up on Lewisham Way

Eternal Jerk, Mantle Road


Was it ever open? Is it a joke? Is it an art installation? [Brockley Nick says: We politely disagree with Jon on this one - how could anyone not love a place called Eternal Jerk?]

Is it a shop, is it a shed?

Recycling Farm by the Post Office, Brockley Road


This bin does little to enhance the already pretty nasty post office. Alfresco diners at both Toadsmouth and Ecosium get to enjoy the sight of it, if not the smell, and the wheelie bins seem to move around on their own, as if they roam the streets, creating dark corners and conveniant places to stow rotten sofas. [Brockley Nick says: the management of commercial waste is a huge problem for Brockley and for many other parts of the borough. It's a subject that we will be dedicating some space to, very soon].

Doing good for the environment but bringing down the neighbourhood

23 comments:

Andy Pandy Pudding & Pie said...

Long Live Eternal Jerk!!!!!!



..not

patrick1971 said...

The whole area around the railway station is pretty scruffy and could do with a bit of beautification, IMHO, from Geoffrey Road down to Wickham Road.

Brockley Sarah said...

Love the fact there are chairs provided, so you can sit and admire the view! ;0)

Brockley Sarah said...

(re. the recycling bins shot!)

Anonymous said...

Eternal Jerk is basically a shed but with a facade of brick and a door. It cannot be a business. I live west side and walk to the station every day - I have never once seen it open.
If you want it knocked down - lean on it.

Kate said...

I wish this had been available before Xmas, when there was an almost-entire chicken carcass sitting merrily in the middle of the pavement in Cranfield Road.
It was, frankly, disgusting.
It's just a shame it didn't manage to justify its existence by providing a meagre amount of merriment for BC readers.

Anonymous said...

Free range?

Anonymous said...

Re: the skip outside Meze Mangal. That's what's known as a 'New Cross Extension'. Someone's living in that shop that's their new kitchen.

Richard Elliot said...

Please not another vote. We know how divisive the last one was........

Dan said...

Eternal Jerk does actually open from time to time and was open on Saturday 5th Jan. The leanto next to the bridge houses an oil drum bbq which was smoking away and there were a couple of people in the shop itself. I have yet to sample their produce but it maybe that it is the west side's answer to ecosium / longtime / toad's mouth etc. Nick sometime ago you were asking for reasons to cross the bridge to the dark side, well this may be it. BC review to follow??

brockly mutha said...

Eternal Jerk was once open quite regularly, but I suspect it was under different management. 7-8 years ago when i was a working mutha - I'd see it open on my way back from work. It served food and beer and customers could sit on the terrace (beneath the railway line).

Anonymous said...

sounds horrible...

Monkeyboy said...

Oh I don't know? The 3,000 pigeons seem to like it.

Actually the 'quail' they serve may not be all it seems.....

tyrwhitt michael said...

I like the way the container next to Meze Mangal prevents rainwater draining away and provides a moat to be negotiated even for just a takeaway.....

Surely this must put customers off, what price a drawbridge or a modern day Sir Walter Raleigh?

Nina said...

It's not really the recycling bank's fault that the area around the post office is so unattractive. In fact the colourful facade of the bins may actually improve it. Perhaps what's needed are some guerilla gardners?

Brockley Jon said...

True, true, but we need some soil for them to garden in first!

creepylesbo said...

Waste management certainly is a problem when people keep stealing my wheelie bins! I've lost 3 this year from them just mysteriously disappearing! AND they all had the house number and road name clearly marked on them, so they didn't just shift by accident - they literally disappeared without trace. Grr. Of course I'd LOVE to build a special wheelie bin area that thieves can't get into but I'm in the conservation zone and would not be allowed. What's the solution? Lock them to railings? What if you don't have railings?

Anonymous said...

does anyone know when work on the Brockley common project will begin? I thought it was supposed to be completed by March, but nothing seems to be happening so far??

leenewham said...

Get artmongers to do with the recycling bins what they did with the ones in New Cross (or similar). It was a good solution, they looked better, they got used more.

This is a great subject and one that really highlights real issues that are easily solved with some simple ideas and some action from the council.

Anonymous said...

The T Factory has to be a real eye sore, it seems that many modern English achitects have severe psychological problems which they want to inflict on communities through their ugly monstrosities

chap said...

1) It's better than the disused warehouse it was before
2) would you prefer a fake french chateau, footballers wives style? or perhaps some nice dull Barrat houses?
3)Don't worry, it's not finished.

The Brockley Telegraph said...

ETERNAL JERK HAS GONE!!!

Finally, the good people at the railway companies have taken down Eternal Jerk!!!!

Impressive stuff!

max said...

But, if it's gone, who wrote that.

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