Parallel lives at the Brockley Barge



This dreamily narrated film of the morning's first customers at the Brockley Barge captures beautifully what we've been trying to put in to words for some time. Brockley during the working day is a very different world from one in the evenings and weekends, when the commuter crowds return to the streets...

34 comments:

dan said...

Wasn't it a Sunday morning though? The guy in the kitchen says his day is sh;t as he is working 8 - 8 on a Sunday.

Brockley Nick said...

Ahh, you may be right! Well spotted, I guess the sentiment still stands though - this is what Brockley often feels like on a weekday morning.

Anonymous said...

It also shows where you can get a quick breakfast when Toad's is packed to the gills

Anonymous said...

I hope he got those customers to sign consent forms... Crapola of the highest order.

Monkeyboy said...

What we need now is Augustine with a head cam so he can film the Brockley bourgeois getting their early morning cheese fix at Degustation.

Anonymous said...

I think that is absolutely brilliant. I havn't set foot in the Brockley Barge since the day I moved into this area 3 years ago. With characters like those working behind the bar I might just have to pop in for a few pints.

Anonymous said...

It's the character known as ' Big Balls' that worries me...

Anonymous said...

This film only really works as part of a trilogy. The second film in the series, "The Brockley Barge - When It's Quite Busy" is better, but still not as good as the third and final installment, "The Brockley Barge - When it's Very Busy", a tour-de-force of Sarf East LANDON, cinema.

JPM said...

Secret footage of urinals to come...

I wonder when they're going to show the footage they shoot in the male loos.

Stopping off to spend a twentypence once I had the strange feeling that someone was watching me. Had I grown even more paranoid? With John Thomas in hand I looked up and saw it... a camera on the right hand side of the urinals pointing down from the ceiling. It was trained o the urinals. Curious, or what? Youtube or Youpee?

ElijahBailey said...

Anyone else had 'Spoons vouchers through their door?

Brilliant idea.

I like the Barge. Comes in handy from time to time.

Ralph said...

I presume the name dervies from when the railway was once the Croydon Canal?

Kake said...

I might be wrong, but I'm fairly sure that near the end (around 8 minutes 45 seconds) the narrator picks up a sugar packet from the floor and puts it on the saucer of the coffee cup he's just about to serve a customer...

Anonymous said...

Columbian coffee, sounds like a fairtrade.

Kate said...

Haven´t yet watched the film but I harbour a sneaking fondness for the Barge - Elijah B and I can occasionally be found in there around midnight on a weekday, furtively revelling in the sheer affordability of it all (and paying with coppers).
I am hoping to persuade Nick to let me write a eulogy to the Barge at some point, explaining its attractions in more detail, but I fear he´d veto it ...

Monkeyboy said...

Actually Kate has a point. I used to go to a weatherspoons establishment in Acton when I was a impoverished (or tight?) graduate. Pissed on a tenner before joining the Q for the Redback Tavern

This is a review of pub in question The Red Lion and Pinapple - twined with the barge I like to think.

"This place is hilarious! A good advert for going teetotal unless you want to drink with 50 year old down and outs who look 75. Stay in there for long and you're guaranteed to have a punch up with a bloke called Archie who will then profess to be your best pal and drink with you for the rest of the night before fighting you again as you try and leave.

Not many places in London where you can get such cheap booze though which may explain why old soaks amble in like zombies from Dawn of the Dead."

fond memories.....

Anonymous said...

Aye Weatherspoons is the only place where is actually feasible to have a sesh with pints and chasers.

spincat said...

Ralph, it was built after the time of the canal, which was sold to the railway in the late 1830s (there only was a cal there for about 25 years I think) - the pub was built in 1860s. It hasn't always been called Brockley Barge, was called the Breakspeares.
Weatherspoons have a lot of local history information/displays around the pub walls, so have named it for that old connection, I guess.

I like the Brockley Barge - I was Ms High'n'Mighty about Weatherspoons until I fell on hard times and had to buy my cocktails by the Weatherspoons jug.

Anonymous said...

Wetherspoons customer base seems to be a sad collection of penurous alchofrolics with social problems.

Richard Elliot said...

@ Anon at 17:40 - I agree that the character known as "Big Balls" is very worrying.

My favourite Brockley YouTube video is Dancing on my roof. Not a cultural statement, but a bit of fun none the less.

Anonymous said...

Brockley Barge reminds me if I of Hogarths Gin Alley when it is in full swing. A painting which reflects the epidemic of alcoholism caused by cheap booze. Some things don't change.

Anonymous said...

A painting that reflects intense snobbery you mean.

As do some of the comments on this thread.

Anonymous said...

Ralph -When Wetherspoons took over the pub, they held a competition locally to suggest a name and the Brockley Barge won.
Moira

Anonymous said...

I suppose you could regard prejudice against the sort of characters that contribute towards an intimidating atmosphere as snobbery. But having witnessed them insult the staff and behave in a threatening manner to other customers, that snobbery seems more like self preservation.

Some of the customers, I am sure, would prefer it to exclude others who object to their drunkeness, drug dealing and criminality. Remember what it was like when the Brockley Barge was the Breakspears Arms and a centre for drug dealing? Those same characters go in there and it is to Wetherspoons credit that they manage to ensure the place does not slide downhill. It happens all too easily.

Anonymous said...

Neither of the the two comments I was referring was referencing that sort of person.

The Hogarth's comment for me seemed to capture the simple fact that the problem that most people have with the Weatherspoons is too working class for most people's liking.

Like the car lots.

Or Speedi cars.

It is nice for area to have a mix of things and it is disappointing that so many people on this blog view Brockley as a place in need of social cleansing.

JPM said...

I think I was the first to mention social cleansing in relation to gentrification, but I find your suggestion absurd when applied to car lots'.

Is it just one social class that drives a car? Obviously not...

People dislike them because they do not add to the fabric of a community visually. They are boring, bland, cultural metal deserts. Move them on.

Anonymous said...

nothing to do with the working class....

I don't think you could imbue the rascals who frequent the Barge as working class. They are either above that or some way below.

Working Class is such a wonderfully obsolete term. It died out long ago. We have either a broad middle class or else people who use their wits to make a living. Often work does not enter into the equation.

South London seems to have a people who refuse to accept that the world has changed. There is no great heroic ideal to be had with the dodgy geezers that frequent the Barge, much as you would wish that it were not so.

Tamsin said...

I had difficulties playing this when it was first posted - kept stopping after a second or so. But just now watched it all through a couple of times. Yes, Nick, you are spot on with the "dreamy" narration - it's memserising.

spincat said...

I love the way he keeps saying "Brockley Barge in the morning" . Makes place seem exotic.

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Anonymous said...

Sweet and sour chicken please.

Headhunter said...

I think our Japanese chats have attracted Chinese trolls!

Anonymous said...

You are all so full of crap on this website. Trying to make our Brockley is some kind of Bohemian society. It's not. It's full of nut jobs and idiots who think that because they have a couble of crap cafés that sells muffins at £3 a pop it somehow will make the value of their house increase. Why don't you go and move to Blackheath and read the Guardian there? Oh yes, sorry you can't afford that, that's why you live in the Brox with me.

Brockley Nick said...

Way to pick a fight with people from two years ago!

All the people you're moaning about are probably living in Blackheath by now ;)

Mb said...

I look forward to the reply, circa 2013.

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