Pop Up Shop

Brockley Central wearies of waiting for the Tea Factory's slow striptease - we are ready for our new gallery and coffee shop now thank you. We grow frustrated at our inability to find out what, if anything is happening to the "west side cafe" or the final Harefield Road unit. The makeovers of The Talbot and Meze Mangal seem far, far away.

We also know that occasionally people come on to the site, by googling terms like "shops to let in se4" or "commercial estate agents in Brockley". So people out there are sniffing around the area.

This thread is a conceived as a local wishlist, operating on a collective cosmic ordering principle. If enough of us believe that box 21 contains £250,000, then it will be so. Let's give Brockley Central's passing entrepreneurs a helping hand.

So please nominate the kinds of businesses you'd like to see opening locally, being as specific as possible and giving examples, if possible.

For example, we've long made-known our desire for a tapas bar in Brockley, but specifically, we'd like something a bit like Meson Don Felipe in Waterloo.

136 comments:

Monkeyboy said...

Hope this dosn't turn into a gentrification debate!

I've said before, a decent butcher (although Wellbeloved in Deptford is good little place) and a fishmonger. Nothing too chi-chi and over priced just a shop run by people that know what they are doing and have a good range of basics and some posh stuff to impress the girlfriend

Brockley Nick said...

Don't mention the g word.

Headhunter said...

Gentrification.... Now there's a new topic....

I would've said a shop selling decent organic veg and other produce, but we've got that now...

Perhaps a really good local bike shop with full range of parts and accessories and perhaps a mechanics attached? Or perhaps that would affect the perceived macho, "Old Trafford"-ness of the area...

Anonymous said...

The lady in the Shop on the Hill" said she was going to be expanding into the extra unit on Harefield Rd.

Bea said...

Headhunter - there's a bike shop with a mechanics attached on Lewisham Way near MFI but on the other side of the railway bridge (i.e. the Brockley side). I know it's not in Brockley itself but it's not far if you cycle (or walk for that matter).

As to my wish list:

- another flower shop - very sad the old one closed down - but with more plants for the garden than cut flowers (aware there is one near Moonbow Jakes but would like one slightly closer to the station)

- (like Monkeyboy) I'd like a decent butchers with organic meat

- a bookshop (dream on)

Brockley Nick said...

If we get a big list together, I will send it to every small business forum and start-up network I can find!

Kate said...

What Bea said!!!

lb said...

A decent greengrocer that does properly ripened fruit and vegetables (i.e. from a wholesale market, rather than a shelf in a supermarket distribution node) at a reasonable price would still be good. I used to get this kind of stuff from Turkish supermarkets, as there aren't really any old-fashioned greengrocers any more, but all the small shops round Brockley seem to concentrate on the fags / crisps corner of the market. The delis are a bit expensive for everyday shopping.

Anonymous said...

I would love an organic butcher.....selling good meat...

Headhunter said...

Bea, yeah I know the bike shop on Lewisham Way, it'd be nice to have one on the doorstep and it was the only thing I culd think of off the top of my head!

ElijahBailey said...

Organic butchers are far too expensive. Much better one which is very keen on welfare and free range yet doesn't make 'organicness' compulsory sue to the premium that carries.

I would say butchers but when there is the William Rose in East Dulwich just a bus ride or short car journey away I don't think there is a need for a butchers actually in Brockley. Not just anyway.

I would like to see a decent grocers.

mg said...

I'd love a small garden centre (rather than a flower shop) – bags of compost and pots are a bit of a schlep on the bus.

And a proper grocer or farmers'/allotmenters coop type of place would be ace.

And a charity shop – could cheer up the old Marian bookstore site for cheap rent and a short lease? Save me carting my old stuff to Lewisham/Forest Hill and probably the nearest thing we'll get to a viable bookshop around here! Plus I love a good rummage.

I'll second the good tapas place suggestion. I went once to Tapastry on Honor Oak but it wasn't very nice.

But on the whole I find myself very well served by the local shops. As the kind of girl who favours vintage/second-hand I even do most of my clothes shopping locally, at Paraphernalia on Brockley Road, the place that seems to have no name other than 'Antiques' on Tanners Hill and Birds on Malpas Road on the occasions I have steeled myself for a hostile customer service experience.

patrick1971 said...

A bookshop would be great...sometimes WH Smith in Lewisham just doesn't cut it :-) Although at least there is Waterstone's in Greenwich.

Re bike shops - there is a very good bike shop, so I've heard, right next door to Wellbeloved butcher in Deptford.

Re butchers: isn't there a butcher on the parade of shops on Ewhurst Road?

Lady said...

wow i'd LOVE a garden centre
and for the toads mouth to put the kitchen in the damp room downstairs and fill the upstairs with fresh, clean seating
and a local running club
and a tradesmen directory

Anonymous said...

Birds is odd isn't it - it's a bit of a mess, so hard to actually find anything.

Anyway, I'd like:
Funky bar near Brockley Cross
Butchers and Fishmonger (both of which stay open until 7pm please)
1 or 2 quality restaurants.

In general I think anyone opening up a nice bar or restaurant near Brockley Cross would have a captive market (especially with the new developments nearby)...

Monkeyboy said...

Elijah... I know what you mean by 'organic' I'm a sceptical old soul, I do think it's a bit over used. There's only good meat and bad meat.

I just want a proper old school butcher. It's a wish list so I take your point but I can't be arsed to jump on a bus, I demand one on my door step now!!

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Hmm... interesting. I think a good book shop or art shop would be fitting, given all those students around.

It would fit in nicely to the 'arty' image that we have to a degree at present.

I also think it would be surely self-sustaining and profitable given the demographics in the area.

Headhunter said...

Fro bikes, in Deptford, this place is a complete gem apparently:

http://trustedplaces.com/review/uk/london/shop/1o62176/witcomb-cycles

Witcomb Cycles have been building bike frames there since 1949. they hand make them from lightweight Reynolds tubing. Is this the one next to Wellbeloved butchers perhaps, patrick1971?

Haven't actually been there yet but may have to take a look sometime. Whenever something falls off one of my bikes I usually take it back to my dad who loves fixing bikes up...

On the subject of butchers, wasn't there a really good, local "chain" of butchers in Peckham area called Kennedy's or something which shut down recently? Seemed a shame...

lady - there is a very well known local running club called Kent AC which operates on Ladywell running track. They're a real pedigree among running clubs and very well known nationally, perhaps you're just looking for an informal bunch who jog round Hilly Fields every 2 weeks though?

Anonymous said...

There is a very good butchers called Peter Jones on Ewhurst Road (South Brockley). Much closer than East Dulwich and he sells free-range and some organic. He also sells fish that he's bought at Billingsgate and frozen on day of purchase. Veg also available. Well worth visiting Peter Jones for those of you who like to do as much of your shopping locally as possible (he is closed on Sunday to Tuesday though).

As for what new shops I'd like to see:
1) A bakery - Degustation and Dandelion Blue don't do a wide variety
2) A cheese shop - again Dandelion Blue doesn't stock all the cheeses I would like to buy
3) I'd also support a garden centre type place
4) Decent second hand bookshops

I guess part of the problem (which has been mentioned before) is the distance between potential shops - frmo Brockley Station all the way down to Brockley Rise there is pretty much everything I need. What I think is lacking is plenty of local people using all the shops because there is a large distance betwen them all.

patrick1971 said...

@headhunter - yes, Witcomb Cycles is the place I meant. Couldn't remember the name! That whole little parade, with Wellbeloved, the bike shop, the florist and the café is a real little gem in Deptford.

Kennedy's butchers is a famous south London chain. They used to be all over, but now only have a few branches. You can still see their old shopfronts at Camberwell Green and on Camberwell Church Street towards Peckham. There's a Kennedy's on Deptford High Street, but I don't use it as (a) they're much less friendly than Wellbeloved, and (b) they have up loads of interesting old pictures of Deptford, but caption them with things like "Back when Deptford was Deptford", i.e. when there were no blacks here. Also loads of "hilarious" postcards in the window making bad seaside jokes. Not really that great a place.

Ed said...

Flower shop

Design/present/furniture/card shop (like the one at Honor Oak or places and spaces in Clapham Old Town)

Bar/tapas bar near the station

Tesco/Sainsbury express or M&S food (unpopular I know)

Lap dancing club (so disappointed with Nick)

tyrwhitt michael said...

Both butchers mentioned are pretty good

Wellbeloved in Tanners Hill Deptford
and Peter James in Ewhurst Road Crofton Park

They are both within walking distance for me whilst William Rose in East Dulwich means getting the car out.

Elijah doesn't he do mainly expensive organic stuff?

The best bike shop in the area I am told is next to Wellbeloved in Tanners Hill and I believe is one of the few places in London where they will make you a bespoke machine.

It has a blog too!
http://www.witcombcycles.co.uk/blog/

As for fishmongers Soapers in Nunhead has been mentioned on the blog before but I would also recommend the Codfather in Deptford High Street.

In fact you can get nearly everything you want on Deptford High Street/Market but I must say I still miss Kennedy's for my sausages....

Anyway I would like a proper Bakers patissierie cakes the lot....

Maybe the Meze Mangal shop will meet my needs, until then Percy Ingle Deptford here I come!

Headhunter said...

Patrick 1971 - Apparently Kennedy's has closed down (at the end of 07) it operated as a small, local chain for 130 years! If you do a Google search a few things come up, including articles about how their sausages were 2nd to none and people used to travel from far and wide to get them, someone said they used to drive 50 miles and another wrote that although she had oved to Malaysia, she would stock up and take them back with her! Apparently some of their shops still had original interiors in place which are likely to get ripped out as the sites are turned into fried chicken joints and nail bars!

Are you sure the 1 in Deptford is the still open or the same company?

Headhunter said...

Witcomb Cycles even has a Wikipedia entry....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witcomb_Cycles

spincat said...

I can't believe that Kennedy's closed - my wish list was for it to stay open. All the branches have gone though I did see a sign about a Kennedy's coffee shop in Bromley. Not an alternative.

Agree with all those wanting bookshop, preferably with attached patisserie, and a garden centre.

Am very happy with my local SE4butcher, Peter James. Thoroughly recommend. Also the Nunhead fish shop great.

A good bakery would be very welcome. I usually get my bread from one of the Turkish shops shops in Lewisham (plus bake my own sometimes) but I'd love a bakery a bit nearer.

Anonymous said...

I was also thinking that a butcher and fishmongers was needed.A bakery or patisserie would be nice. Plus a cocktail bar/restaurant like loco locale in blackheath would be nice. People of all ages go there to either have a cocktail or a meal. would hand made food (also blackheath) be interested in opening a small branch?
Wouldn't mind M&S food.

patrick1971 said...

I'd no idea Kennedy's in Deptford had closed. I've not looked at it closely as I've walked past recently, though. I guess on Deptford High Street it would have faced a LOT of competition, not only from the five zillion halal butchers but from the revived Wellbeloved. Wellbeloved has really managed to get his publicity in order; he does all the food at the Amersham Arms and I think a couple of other boozers as well. No reason Kennedy's couldn't have done that, but they didn't.

A real shame about the interiors, which were spectacular...maybe we should suggest to Mr Wellbeloved that he move into the old Kennedy premises! That would be a perfect match.

patrick1971 said...

So, now that all those wanting a butcher in Brockley have been informed that there is one, and a very good one (Peter Jones), can we now have a heated debate about whether Crofton Park is really Brockley?

ElijahBailey said...

@tyrwhitt michael

Not really. There is the option to buy organic stuff but not on the basics like bacon, sausages, mince etc. so you can buy the basic without bankrupting yourself like what happens at an all organic butchers.

Monkeyboy said...

I have used one of the Halal butchers on Deptford high street when Wellbeloved was out of lamb shoulders. The one I tried did a fine job of boning and roling the joint so don't get frightened off.

But I like Wellbeloved 'cos he says hello and there are 'normal' people in the Q not just middle class ponce's like me!

Mind you for sausages and bacon your stuffed at a Halal butchers for obvious reasons!

Tressillian James said...

Sorry - being selfish and wanting my butchers in the vicinity of the station so i can stop off after work. Ditto Bakers and bookshop

Lady said...

thanks headhunter
not quite as rarely as every two weeks but yes something more informal - it would be nice to have a running buddy for those times i've not bothered going out once it's got dark on these mean streets

second the art shop
and the bar idea - how about a bar that sells its furniture/ a second hand furniture shop that serves drinks
and does anyone know what's happening to the cafe neu lease? i heard it was up for sale

tyrwhitt michael said...

Serve me right for buying bone in Sirloin then I suppose....

I must say I don't mind paying top dollar for top quality and it was good, shame it can only be an occassional treat.

I only recently realised they are one and the same butcher who I used to use when they were near the Oval/Vauxhall. I wonder what their reson for relocation was?

Not the dreaded G word again?

Pete said...

Doesn't Jam Circus perform as a cocktail bar/restaurant?

I would like there to be a good fish shop like the one in Nunhead.

Anonymous said...

@mg agree with you that the few local vintage shops are great. I heard about a pub in Crystal Palace where fridays to Sundays they have an on-site vintage shop and they call it 'sip and shop' so G&Ts whilst trying on vintage clothes sounds ideal to me! Parenphenelia want to take that idea on?

Headhunter said...

It's probably tough for a standard butcher to compete against the likes of Tesco and Sainsbury's for your usual bacon, chops, chicken wings etc.

That's probably why the butcher in Crofton Park has focused on the high end of the market/organic stuff. Most local shops like this are forced into that segment of the market, providing "top end" organic be it vegetables, meat, fish whatever.

The days of the average Joe local grocers and butchers are long gone.

Headhunter said...

lady - I've never actually been on a run with Kent AC, you could look them up, they may have a beginners running group... Not sure.

http://www.kentac.org.uk/ladies

Monkeyboy said...

Oh I don't know HH. Wellbeloved is really quiet standard, it's just that he'll cut you a steak to the size you want, it's not wrapped in sweaty plastic (mostly), he'll prepare it, give you the bones for stock and all that carry on. I'm sure he would be happy to stock or order more posh produce if asked.

Pop in while your getting your £300 Titanium break leavers polished at Whitcombe's

mljay said...

Just to mention - Peter Jones in Crofton Park (No 1 Ewhurst Road) is good. Not organic but free range etc. It is in Brockley!!! Not that far to go for local shopping.

My vote would be a Ping Pong style dim sum/ asian dumplings restaurant.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but 'Crofton Park' is definitely Crofton Park, not Brockley...

Brockley Nick said...

I can't believe we managemd to side step the gentrification debate but became ensnared in the old Crofton Park chestnut.

Anon - we've gone through this a million times, Crofton Park is part of Brockley. Fact!

Monkeyboy said...

I blame the lack of 'national identity'

jon s said...

In no particluar order

A zizzi clone,
A Leon clone,
A gaucho clone,
Some decent bars,
Some more art galleries,
Some more cafes with more sitting room and gastropub style food. (even a starbucks)

spincat said...

Crofton Park is more Brockley than Brockley. We were closer to the original manor, as in 'Brockley manor', you see - so far superior in fact.

Brockley Nick said...

Good!

Anonymous said...

That maybe true but after the arrival of the ELL Crofton Park will become the least desirable end of Brockley - i.e. the Crofton Park end 'not on the tube'- not the Brockley end 'on the tube'. It's inevitable no matter where the official boundaries are. Brockley is on the move and it's going to be centred around the station. Discuss..

mark said...

There was a secondhand bookshop on Brockley Cross where the hairdressers is now as recently as 2002. It was always empty, but full of wonderfully dusty old stock. There was also a charity shop around abouts there in recent memory.

There's Celia Hammond charity Shop on Lewisham way, although I haven't been past in the day for ages so I don't know if it's still open.

Shops are 'use 'em or lose 'em' propositions.

Cheers,

Mark

Tamsin said...

Of course Crofton Park is part of Brockley (so is Telegraph Hill according to Nick ;o) ).

On bakers - don't Doorstep to an adequate range of non-fancy bread? They are close to the station.

Kennedys have closed down all over. I regret not using them more all the years I worked in Bromley. People in our office were virtually in tears about it.

I vote for a charity shop - to unload and to buy from - and as someone said, the closest one can realistically get to an independent bookshop these Amazoning days. (There is actually a Waterstones tucked away in the nether reaches of Goldsmiths that is in theory open to the public if the public can ever find it.)

spincat said...

Really, it is of little consequence to me whether or not Crofton Park is seen as desirable or not.

Presumably the saner sorts who don't judge whether an area is desirable or not based on whether or not it is on a tube will continue on in Crofton Park.

One of reasons South East London is a good place to live is because people who think proxinity of tube is important have herded somewhere else. (This is fun)

Anonymous said...

It's important to me - I own my house and want to make a decent profit when I up sticks and bugger off the the country.

spincat said...

I rest my case

Anonymous said...

I think I get your point. It might be a sh1thole but it's YOUR sh1thole. You've no time for part-timers like me...

spincat said...

If you are just doing time here til you move to the country is fine - just find it really odd. But then you probably find me odd for liking south east London. Don't understand the shithole bit, sorry.

Anonymous said...

Spincat- I don't find it odd. I like SE London too. Do I want to stay here forever? No. It's not THAT nice. I want my kids to have a big garden to play in, decent schools, a safe, aesthetically pleasing environment and some fresh country air. I'm young still and feel comfortable here at the moment but long term I don't think either Brockley or Crofton park will fit that criteria - for me.
If I am honest with you I hope that in the next 8 to ten years Brockley does a Clapham - house prices rocket and I sell my house which I've slowly done up on the wrong side of tracks for a good price. Hopefully I'll be one of the people instrumental in making Brockley change, I'll buy my bread at dandelion blue, and my coffees at the cafes but one day I'll sell up, wish Brockley well and I'll be gone -

I wonder how many other Brockley Central people are going to do the same...

Anonymous said...

I would like to see good quality brothel established for the gentlemen of the area to unwind in the evening.

Not one of those vulgar lap dancing clubs, but something more in the French style with some tasteful burlesque entertainment.

Anonymous said...

La Laterna would make a killing if they took a corner of the restaurant and turned it into a chilled bar with a big screen for the footy. Somewhere nice and relaxing to go for an Italian lager after a hard day at the desk. Get rid of the lengthy menu and put some simple Italian scran on that the chef cant mess up. I would be there all the time.

Anonymous said...

crofton park is brockley! telegraph hill is New Cross. Don't steal the best and only nice area New Cross has. Having said that people in telegraph hill say telegraph hill is a place in its own right.

Am I the only lazy person around? I am not interested in going to nunhead, east dulwich, deptford etc for shopping! I work long hours and don't want to spend my whole saturday shopping. I get most of my shopping by internet so you get my drift.

anyway the more that is available in brockley the better. with all the empty shops on brockley road and the sites in brockley cross brockley/crofton has the potential to be a little self-contained village. Then everyone would want to live here.

Useful shops: fishmonger, baker, butcher, cheese shop, wine shop, cake shop, book shop.

The food at Jam circus isn't very good quality or tasty.

Anonymous said...

the food in meson don filipe is fantastic. the atmosphere is great

Tamsin said...

@ anonymous who is marking time until he up-sticks and moves out to the country. I was brought up in the country - on the scarp slope of the Cotswolds where you could look across Gloucester to the Malverns and Wales (hence my affinity for Telegraph Hill with similarly spectacular views) - but would have doubts about moving out of London for the sake of my children.

Less so now than a decade or so ago, but you are usually surrounded by pesticides and mono-culture. A big garden is great, but that is all you have unless you cycle around deadly narrow lanes or mum takes you to where you want to go in the car. In villages buses come once or twice a day and we've seen the deadly boredom of small provincial towns with nothing for the teenagers to do but drink.

Here my children/teenagers have kick-boxing and scottish dancing within walking distance, the Crystal Palace sports centre for summer holiday activities a short train-ride away, archery in East Ham and horse-riding in Mottingham only half an hour by car or an hour by public transport. (What I do is say they go there themselves but give them a lift back - or vice versa). There is no reason for them to say they are bored or if they are they can walk to Sounds Around to hire a DVD. We have a small town garden but it is big enough for a tree-house and this afternoon we baked bread in the ashes of an illicit bonfire. They have also had really great water-fights there (forget water-pistols, you can now get water SMGs) and if they want more space, play equipement or tennis there is the park two blocks away.

I am betraying my rural roots but have to say that the countryside can be a dead-end trap for young families (think of Nick in the Archers, stuck in the house with three small children). My anger at house prices rises and the irresponsible mortgage lending that in part fuelled it is that it makes a family house anywehre an unreachable goal for many young couples.

Tamsin said...

You also would not be debating what you want in the way of local shops in the country. You would be just damm lucky if a general store selling instant coffee, sliced bread and plastic wrapped bacon had survived the competition from the edge of town supermarkets.

Anonymous said...

Tamsin - I take your point. But I too was brought up in the country - on the coast actually and my childhood was spent playing on the beach or in the local woods.

I would say that everything positive you mention about where you live in your post was available to me as a child living in the sticks- I went to tae kwon do, we could have baked bread in the garden (we never did mind) and we had plenty of water fights, etc. I know what you mean about a country life can be a dead end trap but having a dead end life is as much about the people than the place - and for every dead end life in the country I can show you ten in London. In an area where we have to give children digital cameras to report litter or ask the council to plant some trees for us just to green the area up a bit, I think there are problems. Lets face it -we should never even be in a situation where we're begging the council to plant some bloody trees. I told my mother this last time I went back and she looked at me like I was crazy, she said somewhat sarcastically - "don't they have trees in London?"

This all sounds like I don't like Brockley but I do. I think it has a lot going for it and believe that it will improve a lot. But I didn't really choose to live here from a huge list of possible places. I moved here because it was still affordable to me, and I've recently had children and that focusses the mind more than anything. I've started to look at the quality of life they'll get in London compared to the quality of life I had as a child, and they really don't compare.

I agree that life in the country can be just as desperate as the city and moving to the country won't solve all your problems- but in a game of top trumps I think the country card wins every time.

Richard Elliot said...

I'm another vote for a Butchers.

Having a passion for all things cookery I think a good cookshop would be good.

Anonymous said...

ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
If I could have my cake and eat it, i'd have a butchers, grocers, fishmongers,decent supermarket(i know)and couple of restaurants

Tamsin said...

A city district has more than ten times the population. We reckon 4 - 5,000 households in Telegraph Hill - the village we moved to near Cirencester when we left the view over the Severn Valley had less than 500. The neighbouring village where my father was also vicar was a bit larger with a council estate - also drink dependency, depression and incest -
one part time shop and not even a pub until he went to the head office in Birmingham and bullied the commercial enterprise that farmed the land around into building an Institute and shop. "Vicar Prays for Pub" - great headlines in the local press!

Things are better now in many ways - there is more money washing around for such enterprises - but also worse. Clergy look after five or six churchs as a norm, rather than my father's two, local transport is privatised and deteriorating, village shops are closing, and a higher proportion of the housing is owned by weekenders - local families having been priced out. (Again, look at the Archers.)

Sorry to be so negative and you are absolutely right that dead-end-ness is a state of mind. Just be careful about spoiling your childhood idyll by trying to recapture it for your own children.

On the other hand, if your planned move would take you back within reach of your mother that is an object in itself. Children need grandparents. My parents died/became totally infirm when my children were only 2 and 5 - very much to be regretted.

Also the coast is a strong temptation (despite the pleasures of mud-larking on the Thames). I have cousins who farm in Cornwall in reach of good surfing beaches....

spincat said...

I sometimes thinking abut 'moving to the countryside' but then I - partly - grew up in the Welsh countryside and I guess that is why I live in the city, much as I love going back there for a bit.

I always remember an older woman I knew who moved to Devon on her retirement - to a huge beautiful house in a wonderful, remote village where she'd lived as a child. She told me she'd wake up each morning and think "I wish I could walk into Catofrd today." I have a feeling that would be me!

Headhunter said...

I concur with Tamsin re a move to the countryside. Although, as I have mentioned before, I was born and raised in Luton, I was in fact a stone's throw from the open countryside of the Chilterns as we lived right on the edge of town. Not that this compares to the open rural living of the Cotswolds, nor was I near the coast, but believe it or not, just outside Luton there are some very pretty little villages and little lanes.

Much as I enjoyed spending time in the country, walking, biking around etc, I always find London dwellers desperation for a rose tinted existence in the countryside quite bemusing! Colleagues at work sometimes fantasise about country living, they seem to assume that everyone in the country has a ruddy glow, does their shopping at a local farmer's shop and says hello to the Vicar's wife a they stroll down to the village post office on a sunny morn.

There's far more to do in London, it's easier to get around, you can meet such a variety of interesting people and generally facilities are good.

The beauty of living in Brockers is that we're a stone's throw from central London, yet I can ride my bike out into Kent, take a quick spin along the lans, through the open fields in the morning and be back for lunch. Also, despite all the whingeing (from myself mostly!) Brockley is pretty green with the big gardens in the conservation area and remaining street trees

spincat said...

And I can confirm that the rumours are true about people who move to the countryside and complain about cocks crowing and cows patting. In the land of my fathers I mentioned earlier, the farm next door to had a herd of dairy cattle and once the townsfolk started buying pretty places round about they soon started complaining about cow shit. They made such a nuisance of themselves that eventually the farm gave up the herd (other things were a factor in that decision, of course, but the endless complaints from newcomers was the final straw).

.... I do have to say that story sort of reminds me of people who complain about garages and wood merchants and sorting offices when they arrive in Brockley, these businesses being the local area equivalent of cows ...

Anonymous said...

Drink, depressing and 'incest' can happen anywhere - sadly.

Everyone is different, my heart, long term, is on the North Norfolk Coast, others maybe Brockers. It's not just a random place to me - I know it well. It is wonderful and if you have kids I can recommend a weekend trip to Holkham beach. Google it and get some images.

I don't think I'll never utter the phrase -" I wish I could walk into Catford" though.

Tamsin said...

Hmm, to each his own. I prefer my coast a bit rockier (makes for much more interesting sandcastles, using the natural defensive outcrops) but then my childhood holidays were Cornwall and Pembrokeshire. It the rural scenery you know as a child that twangs the heart-strings.

In this respect I do sometimes feel that my children are missing out. Rather like Aquila in "The Lantern Bearers" when he contrasting his son's rootless existence to his own childhood and that of his wife - that for Minnow there would be no Downland Farm or Apple Orchard.

I likewise deplore incomers who move to the countryside only to complain - I recall my mother being totally scathing of people who the moment they moved into our village then started demanding streetlights. Unfortunately I think they got their way playing the safety line (as if streetlights did not create even better shadows to hide in). Yet more light pollution to add to the overspill from Swindon on the horizon.

A nice point about the garage and sub-post office etc. being the urban equivalent of barnyard smells. You are so right. Unless you want a totally bubble existence in a gated community in Dulwich there has to be a bit of nitty-gritty everywhere.

arsenalchris said...

I would like a decent Turkish shop like th on in Catford and Lewisham. They serve great fresh bread, have a range of excellent fruit and vegetable and serve great olives. They are also very reasonable.

A fishmonger would be good as would a second hand bookshop.

A tapas bar would also be a nice addition however there is an excellent one in Dulwich called Barcelona.

Anonymous said...

I'd love a KFC.

Tamsin said...

Well there is "Bertie Rooster" further down Brockle Rise!

Anonymous said...

Not quite the same I'm afraid :(

Anonymous said...

a decent restaurant that can compete with other parts of London for quality and service (Chez take note!) a second hand bookshop would be great and I would def use a Simply Food or Sano's local (the current trek to Tesco on Lewisham way is a bit much) although the co-op by Crofton Park isnt bad (and due to be tarted up which is good news) the other numerous corner type shops are all a rubbish and dont offer a wide enough range- or any half decent fresh produce

Anonymous said...

Does the Tesco on Lewisham Way have parking nearby?

sue said...

Just been into Mr Lawerence, good range wine and drinks , good service , nice atmosphere.....14 other punters (Sat nite... not full enough? )
I'd like local people to support local business .....and when they are well supported others will stick their necks out and set up shop....
The ones that already have don't seem to be getting enough business, they are always empty when I passby or go in.
If they don't stock the cheese you want or the bread you like ask to speak to the owner and just request it ...it isn't Sainsbury, they will most probably listen....
I'm saying all this cause I used to own a place in Fulham b4 it was as it is today ...
I had to close down thru lack of steady business and rapidly increasing rents and business rates and when I did the locals were all shocked ...they liked the idea of us being there but didn't support us as much as they could have....

Brockley Nick said...

Sue, which ones don't you think are well supported? All the good ones seem pretty well supported. Eg: jam circus, moonbow, dandelion blue, broca, meze mangal...

Kate said...

Agree with you Sue, I know that however often I support local businesses, I always worry that it isn't enough. What looks like 'ticking over' can all too often be financially 'only just head above water', and it's hard for a local business to publicise that until it's too late ...

With regard to the debate about country living, my heart's in the Newlands Valley in Cumbria. But Brockley's an adequate day-to-day substitute for now ...!

Anonymous said...

The countryside is an urban myth.

Martin said...

A German bakery and butcher with a wide variety of bread and good meats/sausages.

Anonymous said...

I'd like:

a decent cafe on Lewisham way,
the greengrocers on tywritt road to become a deli / florists,
more nice drinking establishments,
a butchers would be lovely,
a nice retro / vintage shop (lewisham way)
BUT most of all if the existing businesses cleaned up their act it wouldn't be so bad.
I'm thinking of all the gross, ugly shops on lewisham way who make it an eyesore. Why not get some nice plants / new classy signage rather than making the area look like the arse-end of south east london! Lewisham council should help with grants and not let all the chicken shops take over the world! brockley station area has done it. More shops on the hill please!!!!
Bring on The Talbot refurb.

Anonymous said...

I'd like the council to enforce the conservation area - so the shops on Brockley Road can only have traditional wooden signage. Even the money shop would look better. Then that would really compliment the new trees that are probably going there.

Is anyone else fed up of the conservation ruiles not being enforced?

headhunter said...

I don't think the council enforces conservation rules as well as it perhaps used to. The last Broc Soc mag headline was something about the council completely ignoring the Broc Soc regarding some application for the construction of a 3 storey apartment extension on the side of one of the Victorian houses along Tressillian up near HF. They also granted someone the right to conrete over a whole front garden on Wickham or something to create parking.

It also sounds like they are trying to railroad this new tree thing through - acc to Nick they let the Broc Soc know on the 1st April and made the decision to chop them down on the 2nd!

And what's with all the satellite dishes bolted to the front of houses? Their booklet re rules of the conservation area expressly forbids this, yet some houses have Jodrell Bank sized jobs on the front, either that or they have 3 or 4 on 1 house - 1 for each flat! The council never does anything about this

Anonymous said...

A gym with a swimming pool, a local theatre, a good gastro pub, a movie theatre, a charity shop, a 2nd hand book shop, more shops and places to hang out locally. Is there a shoe repair shop nearby? Thanks

Anonymous said...

Okay, so it's not a shop - but how about a gym with a creche. Or better still a soft play centre attached like the one in Bellingham. Brockley is full of parents and toddlers looking for places to go to in walking distance where little ones can let off steam indoors while parents can get a coffee and not worry about kids disturbing other people.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

How about a cat gym with icle cat treadmills and weights.

bg said...

A gym with a proper-sized pool, and maybe some badminton/squash courts; and a second hand book shop... - PLEASE!!!!

max said...

A proper sized pool with a gym and badminton and squash courts and kids's playground.

This is not what Lewisham Council plans to build in Loampit Vale, it will be an undersized pool and no squash or badminton at all, or even any sports hall, just two exercise rooms fitness suites.

The gym is supposed to have 100 station but with thousands of new flats about to be built above or just next door and Lewisham station in front you can be sure it will be well crowded.

This is the only opportunity for decades to have a very good sports and leisure centre built in Lewisham but thanks to the very low ambitions of the Mayor we may burn it.

Now, I remember that some months ago Brockley Nick threatened us to post here his interview with the Head of Planning at Lewisham Council about this development.

I'm still curious to hear about it.

Headhunter said...

Lewisham certainly seems to lack much in the way of sports facilities, at least it does anywhere near Brockley, Lewisham centre, New Cross etc.

There's Ladywell pool, but weren't they threatening to demolish that a while ago?

I go to The Arches in Greenwich if I want to go to the gym at the weekend. It's pretty good but it's a fair way from Brockley unless you bike or run it there.

This all seems a bit strange to me, I thought the government was keen to fund leisure facilities in "deprived" areas to combat obesity which is often far worse in boroughs like Lewisham than in, say, Chelsea. Look at Peckham Pulse for example.

Brockley Nick said...

@HH - Deptford pool is actually being refurbished and expanded, not demolished.

But I agree about the lack of facilities in Brockley / New Cross.

max said...

The addition to Wavelenghts replaces the old Laurie Grove Pool closed many years ago with the promise of a replacement that didn't materialize in other way than the current paddling pool, much fun for kids but no use to swimmers.

The result is that that area has a 11% achievement record in KS2 target of children being able to swim for 25 mt unaided - this is nationally 83%, Lewisham-wide it's 36%.

This means that that area has a measurable lack of swimming facilities that is gigantic and a 6 lanes 25 mt pool will be full in no time, especially as quite a lot of housing is going up there.

The big missed opportunity in the making is anyway the poor criteria for the leisure centre part of the Loampit Vale development.

Nick, what about that interview with the Head of Planning?

Anonymous said...

You really aren't a glass half-full kind of guy, are you max

Headhunter said...

I think the Deptford Pool is separate from the one in Ladywell that they were threatening to demolish a year or so ago. I think the threat has now gone?

max said...

Should I?

max said...

Ladywell Pool will stay open until the replacement at Loampit Vale opens, that's why it is important that that replacement is built to the needs of the area, not less.

Tamsin said...

The gym facilities at Goldsmiths are open to the public.

(Should we also ask them to reopen the Laurie Road baths!?)

SAM said...

Hey, all - I'm new to the site but my brain is popping at reading your posts! I've lived in Tyrwhitt Road on and off for 7 years and am just getting to the point where I want to jack in the commute and work locally. So I love all the ideas for new shops etc. I've just launched a local (franchise-based) website aimed at advertising local business (living local being the best way to reduce impact on the planet, improve happiness levels and be healthy, wealthy and wise) - it's just starting up but I'd be interested in any feedback - see www.locallife.co.uk/lewisham - it's free for non-profits to advertise and businesses get great rates. My longterm goal is to get all of Lewisham onto it, then use the profits to set up a microfinance foundation to help local people set up their own business... what do you think - am I crazy or do you think that there's a place for Locallife and support for microbusiness (I mean helping a cleaner set up on her own rather than work for a company, or help a budding chef get started, or basically anyone who has a good idea but no capital to get off the ground - the small stuff that banks aren't interested in....) All and any comments welcome!

Monkeyboy said...

@sam...sounds too good to be true to a terrible old cynic like me.

Nick, the man needs interviewing!

Anonymous said...

The Goldsmiths gym appears to be state of the art:

http://www.clubpulse.gold.ac.uk/

Sam said...

@Monkeyboy,

firstly, I'm a woman not a man!

And secondly, yes, you are a cynic, aren't you! But I knew that someone would be so that's no great surprise!

I currently work for the foreign office - where I've been for 15 years - but I originally joined there to get into international development. Anyway, as these things happen, I got sent off to China for 7 years and ended up doing an Open Uni degree in development, where I came across the idea of microfinance and Prof Yunnus in Bangladesh who pioneered it. I went from being a life-long leftie cynic who thought that money was the root of all evil to believing that it wasn't money per se that was the problem, but the way financial institutions have complete power over who gets to borrow money in an affordable way. Ever since then (1997) I've been fascinated by what microfinance can do to empower people. I recently realised that there are loads of people living in South London who could be their own (very successful) boss if only they had the money or the collateral for a loan, but they don't. At the same time, I want to get out of commuting, live and work locally, and (if my ovaries aren't too old) have a family. So I'm going to take a leap of faith, and see if I can make an income from selling advertising space on my website (which has already been incredibly successful elsewhere in the country and has just launched in NZ and the US - remember it's a franchise and I just have the lEwisham bit! starting small, aiming big...) Once I know I can keep the roof over my head, I'm aiming at a foundation that will foster people who want to start up on their own. THe idea will be that I can offer either a loan or act as a guarantor for a bank loan (And I'm already talking to a local bank who are interested in finding ways to lend to more people than current strict criteria allow) and provide a range of mentors who will be able to help people develop the skills you need for being your own boss.

So, am I too good to be true. Well, if I fail, yes, if not, then I am absolutely for real. And I'd love to be interviewed because I'm trying to learn what people would really need to get some freedom!

Right, off to wave my hammer and sickle...

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Sam, will you go and do my day job for me? that would give me loads of freedom... :o)

Sam said...

only if you pay me loads of money so I can spread the freedom around!

D-B in CL said...

sam, great, & I'll have your day-job when its free :)

That does sound like a great initiative, & all power to you. A couple of questions:

-- do you know what the credit union in new cross gate is all about? I'd have thought that it might have somethign to do with providing banking facilities to poeple without many means?

-- does your site allow for user comments? I've gotten some great leads on local services/ tradesmen from this site, but almost because its not that kind of site. IE, it isn't based on advertising but word-of-mouth / stroke-of-keyboard, which I trust because the site hasn't been noticed and infiltrated by people writing favorable reviews of themselves, posing as service users. Otherwise your site sounds a lot like the yellow pages?

Just wondering.

Sam said...

@D-B in CL - phew! I was starting to think that this site was just for taking the mick....

I'm just starting to research local support facilities myself. The New Cross credit union is a community-based "small bank" - you join as a member and pay in your savings. Once you have a good financial record you can take small loans at really competitive, sustainable rates so you can support your family without getting bitten by loan sharks. But it doesn't have the ability to lend larger loans for stting up in business.

My website. As I said, it's a franchise so I didn't design it myself. At the moment it doesn't have a comments page. I'm talking to the website designers to see if we can get one because I think that's fundamental to providing reliable local info. You're right in comparing it to Yellow Pages in a way - it is a directory for organisations. The difference is that it is specific to a local area and so if you search on the Lewisham page you will only get results for Lewisham. And the even better bit is that we can provide at cost web-building for non-profits to help them get on the web... and once I can start the Foundation I can use my site to give advertising to our start-ups. It's going to take me time to get there, but I'm hopeful that this will help bring new businesses as well as some financial freedom for lots of people in this area who might otherwise be stuck on the minimum wage. So all comments welcome!

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Sounds like a breathe of fresh air - good luck to you Sam!

Sam said...

Thanks for your encouraging comments.. feels quite daunting at times!!!

Now, does anyone know a good local printers I can offer some business?

Bea said...

Wow Sam all kudos to you! Setting up a business is a real toughie even more so now in the current economic climate (and especially so after the security of a guaranteed income with the FCO). Hope you have a second income in case all goes pear shaped. I really admire people who are willing to take this kind of risk for the better good.

My sister and her husband struggled to set up a website design business (nothing as noble as your ambitions) and although it never went bust (in fact it is still ticking over) they never earned enough income to live on. My sister became pregnant and combining an expanding family and working from home became far too stressful. Her husband got a permanent job again and does some private web design stuff on the side. Two kids and 4 years of childcare later my sister has returned to consultancy.

Good luck in your venture!

Sam said...

bea, I'll admit it, I'm terrified at the enormity of it all. But I can't get the fact out of my head there's something I'm really passionate about (local shops for local people) and breaking the poverty cycle of people who have an idea but no one will back them because they don't own a property/have a savings account etc. And I'd quite like to feel that what I do has some real impact rather than is just a comfortable way of life. And I thought that the nearer you got to 40 the less idealistic you were supposed to be!

Anonymous said...

Goldsmiths Gym is indeed state of the art and quite reasonably priced.

Sadly the changing rooms are not. The showers are communal and are the
standard of a previous generation.

Apparently they did not have enough budget to cover that part of the refurbishment.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone recommend a good builder who can put up new fences please?

H

Headhunter said...

I just got a load of quotes to replace the back fence in our garden. I just phoned a load of fencing bods from the Yellow Pages, got 4 quotes and have plumped for a company called Browns Fencing who are based in Bromley.

They weren't the cheapest but seemed professional and to know what they were doing, but they haven't done the job yet so we shall see, I'm just in the process of getting them round.

Another firm which seemed very good (they guarantee the fencing materials for 25 years!) were Costello Fencing, but they were twice the price of everyone else. However if quality is not to be compromised, go for them...

Anonymous said...

Thanks HH, I know this might be difficult to answer but do you know what kind of ball park figure am I looking at for a 40ft garden (one side). £500, 1 grand, 2 grand?

Headhunter said...

3 of our quotes were between £1000 and £1400 and Costello quoted £2600. This is for about 15 metres (about 45 feet) of featherboard fencing 6 foot 6 high, with a gate in the middle large enough to admit a car. Also to clear some rubbish with some kind of mechanical digger thing.

Anonymous said...

HH. Thanks, that's good to know. This is exactly what Brockley Central is good for.
Cheers
H

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Funny you should mention fencing - I need to replace one side of mine (it partly blew down recently).

I have no idea about fencing - i heard that concrete uprights are supposed to be more cost effective and stay up longer, but they look nasty......

...What type of wood fencing is better? The vertical or horizontal plank'ed ones?

Headhunter said...

Concrete may last longer but I am told that modern wood fencing is "pressure treated" (whatever that means) which means firms can offer very long guarantees even on wood. In any case, if you get concrete posts they may last longer but the rest of the fence is still wood, so it's still prone to rot etc. This is for close/feather board (vertical slatted) fencing supported by 3 rails and morticed into the posts. Welcome to the wonderful world of fencing...

Tressillian James said...

Guys - there is a very much cheaper way - I just replaced some fencing in my back garden. I order the fencing, gate, posts, nails and instant concrete from a guy in Catford (if anyone is interested I'll look up his details). He delivered them to the house for free and the cost was really reasonable. I then got two local Brockley guy's on an hourly rate (£20 an hour)to dig the holes, put in the posts and concrete, and affix the fences. Saved a packet, used local people, and oh yeah, I provided tea.

Headhunter said...

Yeah I thought about doing it myself but I just haven't got the time so I've got the pros coming to sort it out

Anonymous said...

Back to the shop ideas - how about a cobblers near Brockley station - perfect for a small space and handy to drop shoes in before work and collect after.

Monkeyboy said...

I know what you mean HH. I bought my ramshackle Victorian terrace with a view to a DIY blitz, after all I AM an Engineer. But frankly I can't be arsed so have engaged various sullen local builders and installers with varying success.

Wish I was rich.

Sam said...

I was in the Blackheath butchers on Saturday and asked them if they ever thought about expanding and opening a shop in Brockley. They said they had lots of Brockley customers (they keep meat for you to collect if you ring up in advance), but that there was no way they could expand as it's so hard to find properly trained staff. These days no one seems to want to train to be a proper butcher, and everyone who applies for their current vacancy has just worked in a supermarket so can't actually joint meat at all. They were quite despondant about the butcher's trade surviving if new people don't start learning soon. Quite sad, and goes a long way towards explaining why small long-standing butchers close when the owner retires/dies.

patrick1971 said...

But aren't the Blackheath butchers then part of the problem that they're decrying? Why won't they train someone up themselves? If "everyone who applies for their current vacancy has worked in a supermarket", maybe it's showing them that there ARE people who want to become proper butchers, and who need training to do it!

Brockley Nick said...

@Patrick. Agreed. There was an interesting feature on Radio 4 yesterday about the boom in demand for training in how to prepare fish, for fishmongers and amateurs alike. One social enterprise in Billingsgate is training 6,000 people a year. There is a demand for these skills and shoppers are more interested in well-prepared food.

Headhunter said...

Looks like butchers and fishmongers might be the new plumbers. Wasn't there a mad craze a while back for people to train as plumbers in the assumption that the huge dearth of skilled plumbers in London meant that they were going to be millionaires by the end of the year....

Monkeyboy said...

By the way I bought a luverly T-bone steak from Wellbeloved on Saturday.

Had it with new potatoes, roast cherry tomatoes and asparagus. I may live in the scummy bit of Brockley but I eat like a conservation area resident.

Also got one of his homemade pies. I'm having that tonight - review to follow.....

Monkeyboy said...

By the way I bought a luverly T-bone steak from Wellbeloved on Saturday.

Had it with new potatoes, roast cherry tomatoes and asparagus. I may live in the scummy bit of Brockley but I eat like a conservation area resident.

Also got one of his homemade pies. I'm having that tonight - review to follow.....

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I must abmit, i'm not very good at preparing food at home. Could be quite interesting to get some proper training on how to prepare meats etc.

btw, is there any remaining fall out from the BSE crisis? Originally butchers couldn't sell the meat attached to certain types of bones.

Sam said...

@Patrick1971 - the Blackheath butchers said that they can't take on someone who isn't properly trained as "a fully trained butcher" at a trained butcher's wage because they don't have enough staff to work and train at the same time, and no one wants to work as an apprentice (lower wages, long hours). They are desperate for someone young to join them to train up but no one is answering their adverts. They aren't part of the problem, they are very keen to stay in business without losing their expertise.

Monkeyboy said...

The pie was great.....

patrick1971 said...

I see what you mean, Sam, but at the same time I think someone has to bite the bullet somewhere. If no one's applying for the apprenticeship roles, that means the wage is too low: simple supply and demand. Supermarkets aren't going to train butchers, as their meat is all pre-cut, so if the Blackheath butcher's really want to train up apprentices, they need to make the conditions practical to do so. If the apprenticeship wage is less than working in a supermarket, it must be pretty dismal.

Sam said...

Have to admit I didn't ask what the wage actually was... but I doubt that the butcher is stupid enough to pay so little that he has no staff at all! I suspect he has done a business plan or two in his time. His point was simple - teenagers used to get jobs in places like butchers to get spending money... now they get money from parents so aren't interested in getting to work at 6 to cut up meat for an unskilled wage. I think the man may have a point..... as all too often, the responsibility for the fall of the empire lies with the parental generation....

Sam said...

oh - and I forgot to add that the reason he needs a trained butcher now rather than just someone to train is because one of their butchers retires this year. Apparently it takes years to become a trained carver of meat! So their need is desperate, and thus they have no staff to spare to start up in Brockley.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I think a way forward could be to open up 'branded' butchers. I.e. 'farm outlets' whereby the meet is linked directly to a farm or group of farms.

Consumers do not want any old butcher (they are still tons in Brixton - nasty looking ones). But a home grown, direct from the farm, maybe organically reered alternative would be very suitable to cater for a niche market.

The high prices that consumers would be willing to pay for such a shop would make it profitable.

Headhunter said...

I suppose if this small butcher in Blackheath raised the salary it pays young apprentices, it would have to raise the prices it charges its customers which may further drive said customers into the arms of Tesco and Sainsbury's.

Bit of a catch 22. Unless customers are willing to bite the bullet and pay higher prices, or unless youngsters out there are equally willing to bite the bullet and start apprenticeships on low wages rather than go to college and study "meejia" before they try to get jobs in the music industry, the butcher is stuck...

We've already seen the prices at SOTH, Degustation and Dandelion Blue dubbed "eye watering" by someon this blog, that's why I said before that indepenent butchers, grocers etc are likely to try to tap the top end of the market and we're unlikely to see a "bog standard" family butcher or grocer in Brockers...

billiecat said...

I am delighted to hear that Meze Mangal are opening a bakery next to their shop on Lewisham Way, but it won't be very handy for those who live at the Brockley Road end of Brockley. A nice Turkish grocery selling bread, veggies other mediterranean goodies at a reasonable price somewhere near Brockley Station would be heaven.

Headhunter said...

I think that's been discussed here before and it's been on the cards for quite a few months, but not much progress yet. Like the Talbot it's one of those coming attractions

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