The Deptford Project

Wise words
Never let it be said that Brockley Central is narrowly parochial in its outlook; as locals from neighbouring districts are already well aware, we claim the widest possible geographical area as our domain and, sorry Deptford, that means you too.

BC was therefore delighted to be invited to the opening of Deptford's jaw-achingly trendy new cafe-bar, the Deptford Project. Situated inside a real live train carriage (no joke - check out the website for video of it being installed on site), the DP on Deptford High Street is just the first step in an ambitious regeneration scheme ...


Outside

People!

Seating area

Kitchen


Deptford train station will soon be re-built and when that's complete, work will start to transform the original railway yard. The new public space will house a weekend creative industries market incorporating shops and galleries. It will be run by the people who set up Spitalfields Market and currently run Greenwich Market.

And that's not all: uber-architect Richard Rogers is going to design a new apartment block to be built at the back of the site. Those involved hope all this effort will 'form a new heart to Deptford High Street'.

Regeneration projects such as this are notoriously fragile and given the current property market climate nothing can be taken for granted. But the new venue is a lovely addition to our (wider) local area and we wish it and those involved in the rest of the scheme the best of luck. Oh, and thanks for the free beer!

Anyone feeling frustrated by the new ban on drinking on public transport should head down to Deptford High Street to satiate the urge ...


(Pics from the launch party by Brockley Jon).

43 comments:

Do dah said...

I think it's brilliant, I am so jealous. Trains seem to be the new cool venues.I had fleeting thoughts of a party on the new ELL train but that idea didn't catch fire.

Anonymous said...

It's all good. The more regeneration that is pumped into SE London the better. Richard Rogers involvement is also good. Anything positive like this that turn peoples heads towards our direction should benefit us all.

brockley mutha said...

saw this on the news yesterday - it's great.

do dah said...

It is really great, it really gives Deptford a unique destination spot. This story is worthy of the Evening Standard and maybe even the Nationals. It's so ambitious.

I have to say though it makes me a little sad that our own regeneration project the Brockley Common is having such a difficult time coming together...

Anonymous said...

When I see things like this it makes me think about the Brown Brothers site that sits alongside the track west of the station. It's crying out for something like this. Brockley has so much potential because there are still central locations that are currently an eyesore and that could be used for almost anything.

Bea said...

Wow - how cool is that! Love the video they have on their website. Will have to head down there this weekend to check it out.

Tom said...

the video on their website gave me a headache! rapidly zooming in on everything does not make a shot *cool*!

looks a fun project though - wish it all the best.

Bea said...

Tom – yes I agree from a technical point of view jiggly shots with a rapid zoom aren’t necessarily "cool" (very NYPD Blue – or more recently the Bourne Ultimatum) but what it does do is capture the sense of fun and excitement in getting the train into Deptford.

Paddyom said...

Awww, can Brockley have one too please? Wow good on the organizers of that for Deptford, it looks amazing! All the best with it.
P

Hugh said...

Who are those dreadful uberpseuds in the picture?

Particularly the man in a linen jacket and black t-shirt holding a bottle of beer and looking all intellectually concerned.

Apologies if that's Nick.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha On good form today Hugh.

Brockley Nick said...

@Hugh

I'm relieved to say it's not!!

Monkeyboy said...

Does look rather good, bet it'll get packed though.

Anyone who hasn't ventured down Deptford market ought to give it a try. Even if you don't buy anything it's a buzzy atmosphere. Watching old ladies haggle over HUGE PANTS is good for a laugh and I'm hoping to stumble across an overlooked Monet amongst the second hand hoovers and assorted detritus in the flea-market type end. Does actually sell some usefull stuff and there are even real greengrocers (remember them)that sell fruit 'n' veg to normal people at normal prices.

(Nice to see the opening crowd reflecting the local population by the way, sorry but couldn't help but notice)

The Cat Man said...

Monkeybo9y, what on earth is that supposed to mean? I dont think anyone was excluded from this.

Yes - lets get a similar thing at Brown Brothers!!!

Monkeyboy said...

apologies for throwing a scrap to the troll.

Does look good and will bimble (new fav word) along on Saturday and see if i can squeeze in.

Anonymous said...

Actually, monkeyboy, what does that mean?

brockley mutha said...

Monkeyboy means that's not your average Deptford crowd.

The Cat Man said...

He's saying it isnt ethinically diverse unlike Deptford.

The fact he feels he needs to make a point about this, suggests that he feels they may of been discluded rather than simply choosing not to attend.

Monkeyboy said...

anyway..... you can buy cheap cashew nuts there too.

(I think you mean excluded)

The Cat Man said...

Monkeyboy, did you go today? was it any good?

Dis`clu´sion
n. 1. A shutting off; exclusion.

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by C. & G. Merriam Co.

Monkeyboy said...

Jesus he taught me something!

Tressillian James said...

The last time I was at Deptford Market I saw a large dead rat in the road. I'd gone as I heard Deptford was the new Hoxton. So I looked at the rat for a while, decided it wasn't an installation, and bimbled off.

Would really like to go down to the train bar though - but I think it's gonna get so crowded too. Whoever came up with the idea of getting one for Brockley...genius - but will they give us the yard, the train, and a refit?

Monkeyboy said...

James, you're SO picky! one dead, festering, rodent and you get all squeamish.

It is a bit rough round the edges, compare it to Dandelion Blue - opposite ends of the posh meter.

Anonymous said...

Deptford has always been pretty close to the bottom of the heap in the pecking order of London towns.

It needs regeneration, for sure. But there are many people who will undermine it. The bad families, criminals and political activists that claim to be or represent the interests of 'the community'. Local government corruption and general incompetence.

Hopefully the clubs and parties that will spring up in this new artistic quarter will be a distraction that will allow Brockley to quietly improve in peace.

...did that sound parochial?

Monkeyboy said...

It's that balance thing again...deptford market is basically OK. Fruit 'n' veg, God tapes (if your into that caper) vibrant, actually serves a purpose for those living around there. Wouldn't want it to go all twee, selling tourist tat like Greeenwich but I suspect it could tap into a market for some posher produce.

The Cat Man said...

It begs the question what do we actually mean when we use the term 'regeneration'?

Increase in Living Standards perhaps? How do we measure living standards? Who has the 'authority' to measure what constitutes an increase?

Monkeyboy said...

An academic discussion surely? As an area changes character so will it's shops/houses/demographics which in turn will change it's character. Not something you can easily manage, no one invented Hoxton (or perhaps they did?) it kind of happened.

I'm happy to sit back and see what happens. Not adverse to a bit of gentle social engineering - sensible planning decisions, don't want any more betting shops for example. But you we'll all decide what we want through buying stuff and living here.

Now I'm off to try this cafe...report to follow...

Amanda said...

So I've just been, I had the big breakfast, there was some issue so it was a very stripped down version of the blackboard written menu.

The Big Breakfast = scrambled eggs, bacon (2 rashers), a sausage, 2 slices of toast, tomato (you can have beans and mushrooms in addition).

The food
This came to 4.25, I thought the portion size was reasonable my husband thought a bit small.
The quality is patchy. The eggs were a little dry,
sausage was ok; not too much gristle small, bacon nondescript
Toast whilst delicious granary and nicely buttered was burnt at edges.
Tea was served with a teabag in the cup. The sugar comes in packets.
The service was fast, but the order was wrong, we both asked for no mushrooms and he asked for white bread but received brown.

Ambience
The staff are very sweet, the man and main waitress.
The clientele were akin to those that you saw in the picture, trendy, lefty, young family, there was a lady in a wheelchair. So good to see disabled access.
The seats aren't particularly comfortable, hollow metallic numbers.The carriage rocked from side to side as a couple of kids ran about.
Sitting outside on the deck on a sunny day is the better bet, as the carriage is quite tight with the tables.
There's magazines-like The guide to persuse.
The decor whilst eye catching enough looks like it's been put together on a tight budget with creativity filing the gaps.

The facilities
The loo is a shed, I didn't go in. A little girl who was there remarked "it's like what you get at big concerts", (I hope she wasn't referring to Glastonbury!)

Summary
Interesting experience, I'd go again on a sunny sunday, and early when it's relatively quiet. Some teething difficulties -they didn't have stuff in, (the lady with the children had to go off to the nearest newsagents to get her kids some juice). But the food prepared is a bit better than the Toad's mouth breakfast.

The Cat Man said...

Ah, but the TM2 is a stones throw away - cant beat that on a sunday!

Monkeyboy said...

Back from my lightning visit....

Had a Cappuccino (apparently you can be beaten to death for ordering one after 9:00am in Italy) and a muffin. Cappuccino OK, muffin fine. But nice atmos, polite staff. Could be a grower.

I overheard the (I presume owner?) say that the 'market' will be ready in a couple of weeks (or was it months?) and they we're trying to use the time to get organised and slick. She said it was expected to be rammed so recognised that it needs to be a bit slicker service wise, good to know that they are working on that aspect. She also said (I'm such a nosey bastard) that it only cost £12k to get the carriage transported from kent and installed including the railings - bargain! It's a fine idea and works well against the backdrop of the slightly mad market.

Good luck to 'em.

Tamsin said...

I remember hearing Joan Ruddock once saying that when she first told people she was standing for Lewisham Deptford one reaction was - "Eugh, Deptford! There will be rats running around in the street!"

There is a rather posh restaurant somewhere up near the Potteries that is an old Pullman dining car parked in a field. It is a fun idea - but space an absolute premium.

lb said...

Strangely enough I had exactly the same sentiment as Hugh, about exactly the same person, when I first saw the post.

I kind of like the idea of the market, but there are already so many "creative industries" markets in London (e.g. Greenwich, which is just down the road) I can't really think what gap in the market it'll fill. It's a good idea in principle, it's just, well, more of the same. I mean, just how many handcrafted leather bags, knitted South American finger puppets, and photographs of that Banksy with the two policemen kissing do people actually need to buy?

I do have to say I never thought I'd ever hear the phrase "sense of fun and excitement in getting the train into Deptford".

patrick1971 said...

Went there for lunch on Friday. Nice venue, especially sitting outdoors in the sun. As others have said, it's certainly unearthed Deptford's embryonic yummy mummy community...

Service was friendly and willing and although not quite glacial, not far off it. They really need to get this part of the operation smoothed out. The coffee machine was apparently on the blink although we did get our cappucinos in the end!

In summary, a nice place and I hope it does well.

Hugh said...

We need to call in the Brockley Foxes.

lb said...

"The cup of tea was good, toast was quite good". Yes, I can see it now.

Monkeyboy said...

will the foxes sort out the rats?

brockley mutha said...

Went to Deptford High Street this afternoon - not to patronise Deptford's newest attraction sadly (although I drove past it), but to go to the sewing machine shop further down the high street. It's excellent - mends, and sells new machines. Highly recommend it for those occasions when you're consumed with the need to sew, but your machine has died on you.

En route to drove past wavelengths pool, library etc - I'm not sure if it's open again, but from what I can see it's had some serious refurbishment, which means that it's awesome cockroach population should have marched on - hopefully not into Deptford's cool new eaterie.

Brockley Jon said...

Amanda, Monkeyboy, Patrick - thanks for the reviews!

Re. the loo, not sure if any of you tried it, but it is an experience! Who needs Graceland! ;) I'm not saying any more - you have to see it.

@Lb, re. the market, I know what you mean, but I do think there is a need for a proper creative market. I feel Greenwich has gone too commercial of late, and hopefully this new market will fill the gap. It should be full of stallholders from local places like Cockpit Arts, where the goods are all kitsch-cool and hand-made, unlike some of the traders at the Greenwich weekend market, who simply sell imported or mass-produced goods.

lauraxpeace said...

All these people here saying that Deptford 'needs' regeneration - do any of them live in Deptford? The other day I attended the very well-attended Creekside Charette and the consensus was very much that Deptford isn't broken and doesn't need fixing. We certainly have no use for another boring Richard Rogers building (which, by the way will be 100% luxury flats - not even the legal minimum percent affordable) or any more Canary Wharf yuppies who use South London as a barracks (see the developments by Deptford Bridge).

shb said...

And it's made Vogue's hot list as best cafe!

Bea said...

Yes saw that this morning too in the Metro - No. 36 I think. It was in a list which included amongst others M&S Percy Pigs sweets, designer tights and a fish smoker!

Anonymous said...

woo hoo, the deptford project is on the Vogue's don't miss list!

must say that this place is great.The toilet is really funky. The food is quite expensive and not as yummy as it looks (sorry)

Eddie Willson said...

Amen to lauraxpeace's comment. The Rogers building's been threatened for 3 years now. The development will dwarf the estate at the back of the station, where I've lived for 22 years. As per the orignial plans it'd cut sunlight to some parts of our estate by 51%! You can read a report here http://www2.lewisham.gov.uk/lbl/councilmeetings/committees_post0502/strategicplanning/documents/sep2005/spc_080905_octavious_st.pdf . A rising tide doesn't lift all boats.

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