What have the Romans ever done for us?

BrocSoc has had a bumpy ride on BC, so we were keen to find out more about the society's history and achievements. With this in mind, BrocSoc member Kate Hinze has put together some information to highlight its work. Here's what she has to say:


The Brockley Society is one of the longest running and most successful community groups in London. Started in 1974, the Society is responsible for Brockley being the fantastic place to live that it is today.

If it wasn’t for the Society, there would be no Lewisham Art House, the police station would be entirely closed down, the Channel Tunnel Rail Link would be undermining our homes and St Peter’s Church, there would be buildings on the grassy knoll (Brockley Common) by the station (which the Wildlife Trust has now covered in wild flowers) and there would be no annual Hilly Fields Fayre. In fact, there might not even be a Hilly Fields or Prendergast School without the Society – in 1991 BrocSoc ensured the extension of the conservation area to cover the park so it would be protected from development.

Everyone who lives in the conservation area is automatically a member of the Society. Over the years, BrocSoc has welcomed people from outside the area who just want to take part in the community or seek advice on how to protect their own areas. The Society doesn’t turn a blind eye to anything in this neighbourhood.

These days the Society is a well-established presence in the area, supporting local residents and the on-going development of Brockley. Most importantly, we have the ear of Lewisham Council and attend the fortnightly amenities panel meetings, reviewing plans for the area and ensuring that this wonderful area embraces the new while respecting the old.

BrocSoc is YOU! If you want to make a difference or see a change, take part!


What has Brockley Society done in the 34 years since it was founded to make Brockley a better place?

• We constantly work with the council on planning and conservation matters;

• In 1974 we started a Midsummer Fayre, intended as a ‘village fete’, because people said ‘nothing happens in Brockley’. The Fayre is still going strong, second only to Lewisham People’s Day, run by the council and costing lots of ratepayers’ money. Brockley Society runs the Fayre at no financial cost to anyone, because a lot of hard work is done by many people.

• We started a newsletter, delivered free to every house in the conservation area. It has won several prizes and continues, three times a year.

• We were the first in the borough to collect waste paper. So recycling started in Brockley!

• We ran our own tree pruning service;

• We researched local history and set up two exhibitions and several talks;

• We campaigned to stop the demolition of St Peter’s Hall and helped to raise funds to maintain it as a community centre. We refurbished the building and helped run the centre with new activities. Sadly, it was sold in 2002.

• We were the first to realise in 1989 the devastation that the Channel Tunnel Rail Link would cause Brockley and south-east London. We battled against it, telling the government that it should be routed through north Kent, under the river, through to Stratford and St Pancras (to link up with trains from the north.)
In the end, this is what they have done!

• We campaigned against the boarding-up and sale of Brockley County School on Hilly Fields. We got the building listed and asked that a group of artists should caretake it until a suitable future use was found. Prendergast School soon took an interest and is now a very successful school on its new site.

• We campaigned against the closure and sale of Deptford Library and spent three years negotiating its use as a visual arts centre. When the council finally agreed, the artists, now homeless when Prendergast took over the school on the hill, moved into the listed library building and re-named it Lewisham Arthouse.

• We helped to set up Hilly Fields User Group.

• We spent 30 years arguing against residential development in the mews that would benefit only developers, would be detrimental to the character of the conservation area and would add to loss of water resources. The council now agrees. A Bill is going through parliament trying to stop development of gardens, currently designated as brownfield sites and therefore fair game for the developers. We are ahead of the field!

• We got an Article 4 Direction made for the conservation area, which includes not concreting over front gardens. This will also help preserve water resources.

• We got the council to increase the conservation area to include Eastern Road, Coulgate Street and the area around Brockley Station in 1991 and Vicar's Hill and Brockley & Ladywell Cemetery in 2005.

• We set up the first Neighbourhood Watch in London with Brockley Police.

• We got the Breakspears Arms closed because of drugs and robberies.

• We helped to set up The Brockley Sector Working Party to liaise with the Police.

• We were the first police station front desk in London to be run by volunteers. We still keep the police station open, making Brockley a better, safer place to live.

• As a Millennium project, we planned, designed, organised grants and oversaw the creation of the stone circle and sundial on Hilly Fields.


Whatever your view of BrocSoc's activities, this is a history to be proud of. There are some real improvements on the list from which many of us have benefitted. The Society is an asset to the area and its continued existence is in all of our hands - so let's hope its future is as busy as its past.
You can contact the Society via its website.

148 comments:

Anonymous said...

I honestly didn't know there was a police station in brockley (though this could be seen as a plus point - i.e. I've never had the need to utilise it)

lb said...

Yes, yes, but this is all beside the point, really. I think Nick's original article hit the nail on the head - the Society still needs to decide whether it's going to focus on its remit of enforcing the conservation area guidelines and checking planning applications, or attempt to transform itself into a 'community' organisation.

The fact that BrocSoc's official response was, well, rather defensive and accusatory (quite apart from hideously misapplying that bit of Donne, one of the great meditations on death in the English language) didn't give me much confidence that they've thought about it in any constructive way.

The Cat Man said...

what's this got to do with Romans?

Anonymous said...

It's a reference to the long straight road that links Brockley with Crofton Park and beyond.

Anonymous said...

Nothing to do with Monty Python then?

Brockley Nick said...

They re-routed the CTRL eh? Sounds as though it's a miracle Brockley survived to the 1970s without being consumed by fire and pestillence.

fabhat said...

But we've had locusts (in the guise of harlequin ladybirds...) just a few more frogs, first born sons and blood to go.

Tressillian James said...

Interesting - and well donwe to Broc Soc for even giving a damn. Not sure I agree with LB that they should pin their colours to the wall - they are what they are. And I think its good that they are around - if you want a more community organisation, then form one.

Also interesting about St Peter's Hall. I noticed the new owners ripped down the Victorian boundary wall about 2 years ago - and have done nothing to reinstate it. Would like to know whether this could be enforced?

Bea said...

I think we are very lucky to have such an active and committed voluntary organization in Brockley and I truly applaud all they have achieved. Rather than criticising them I think we should be happy they have engaged with Brockley Central and hopefully they will incorporate some of the ideas left here. (Apparently the Breakspeare’s Arms was a truly awful place – I had no idea they were part of getting it closed down).

Paddyom said...

I do like the sound of the Hilly Fields fayre, its great for families.

I reckon the BrocSoc organizers should consider putting up some bunting and maybe some of those overhanging signs to add a bit of colour to the place and so people know the Fayre is going on. Preferably on Brockley Road!
A lot of people drive through Brockley on their way to work each day and if people know something nice like that is going on, they will come and bring the kids.

Plus it adds to the whole 'village fayre' image found in many towns around the country which I love so much. People dont use bunting enough any more...:)

Hugh said...

Could BrocSoc please do something about interest rates? Thanks.

Tressilliana said...

I agree with James and Bea. The BrocSoc is what it is. Why should it transform itself in any way? BCAG has been set up to do some of the things people seem to expect BrocSoc to do.

We've lived in SE4 since Jan 86 and I remember a good many of these things happening, especially the Channel Tunnel rail link public meeting - St Peter's was packed to the rafters. One of the options was to use the Crofton Park line, I think, which would have run along the back of the road where we were living at the time. Heady days!

The police station is in Foxberry Road, I think, and I'm not sure what function it has now that it only has a front desk for part of the week and no other police officers based there.

Paddy, it sounds as if you haven't been to the Fayre yet. Several days in advance an enormous banner gets put up at the north-west corner of the park. On the day, the amplification is such that you can almost hear it on Brockley Road and the crowds are enormous (unless it rains). Plus, the 484 often gets re-routed because there are so many cars all round Hilly Fields Crescent. So not much chance of missing that it's happening!

Agree bunting is good fun, though.

Tressilliana said...

Now I agree with Hugh, too, and would suggest that they then move on to world peace.

lb said...

Someone else on the Internet seems to think the Breakspears Arms was closed after a campaign by a "crusading nurse", so I dunno if the Society is correct in claiming colelctive credit for this.

They may have "engaged with Brockley Central" (not that I see their response as 'engaging', particularly), but I notice they didn't actually manage to print Brockley Central's web address when they ran Nick's piece (and response).

Pete said...

The high speed link that has just been finished was originally going to go through Brockley and Ladywell. I've no idea what role BrocSoc took in stopping this but when we bought our flat we received a map showing the route of the tunnel going under our house.

Anonymous said...

The Brockley Knits group knitted bunting for last year's B Max, presume it's still around somewhere and could be put up!

Anonymous said...

Whatever anyone says about them they're a damn sight better than the Ladywell Society who only exist to stand in the way of any form of progress in Ladywell.

Tressillian James said...

LB does it matter? I'd rather take Broc Soc's statement at face value then try and pic holes in it. Have you joined Broc Soc - or Broc X or any other of the local action groups? ...Sorry no scrub that last remark - because that wouldn't give you a right to be SO critical of other people's community efforts

Monkeyboy said...

God I can see we're going to have to build a 'peace wall' between the conservation area and Brockley X. It's like Beiruit on a bad day, with the Lawyers and the fried chicken munchers vying for supremacy. (I'm a Brockley X, your all a bunch of snobs with nice wooden windows)

Headhunter said...

Exactly! I have to say, all this attempting to pigeonhole Broc Soc or almost try to get them to announce some kind of business plan is ridiculous. They are a local volutary organisation run by a handful of people trying to do some good for the area. They're not a multinational corporation with slick communications and clearly outlined objectives documents!

I didn't make it to the Summer Fayre last year but I could hear it from Manor Avenue!

lb said...

[TJ] You'll note that when I first commented I was agreeing with the original Brockley Central post on the subject, notably the following:-

"However, it’s also clear that BrocSoc is at a crossroads. Brockley is changing and the BrocSoc needs to change too. At present, it lacks a long-term vision for the area – what kind of place do we want it to be? What initiatives can we organise to make things better? Defending the status quo is great up to a point, but it is also a wasted opportunity"

Frankly, their response to this was disappointing. Just saying "well, what are you doing then?" or boasting of past achievements isn't really very good, especially from something that claims to be a body representing the public. Do they actually have any long-term plans for the area? Do they have any overall concept for Brockley's development, beyond vetting minor planning issues? Their 'statement' told us nothing; I don't even have to pick holes in it.

lb said...

[Monkeyboy] Slightly better hummus in Beirut, though, by all accounts.

Anonymous said...

Lb just attend the meeting on 17 July.

Headhunter said...

Yes LB, their retort was slightly defensive, but quite a few of the responses here were basically attacks. I read their response as all encompassing, some of us are residents of Brockers cons area and if we have views we should join them not fight them to make change.

Anonymous said...

ahem 16th. Moan less, help more.

Sian said...

Since my last day in my old job was last Friday, and one of the reasons for leaving the Foreign Office to start a local businesss was to get involved locally, I think it's time I threw my hat into the BrocSoc ring. So I shall be volunteering to take on the Broc Soc newsletter distribution role (or somethng else if they prefer.) Anyone else want to join in....

Tressillian James said...

I put my name forward last time Nick had a thread about Broc Soc - I think about 4 of us did then. I have had some e-mail response asking what I would like to be involved in - and we are taking it from the next Brockley Society meeting. I would say if you have a yen to help out..turn up. 8-)

(did I just do a smiley face...)

Monkeyboy said...

@lb, Brian Keenan and John McCarthy wouldn't agree with you about the Hummus.

Sian said...

@tressillian james, thanks! see you at the meeting...

and I forgot to say that if I get my stall at the Hilly Fields fayre, I'll have balloons - almost as good as bunting (-;

The Cat Man said...

I'm really confused about this thread now. I'm going to play with my cats.

Headhunter said...

Yes I emailed Clare to tell her that it was me not the woman who lived at my flat 2 years ago who is now delivering the newsletter along part of Manor Ave and got a nice email back asking if I wouldn't mind stewarding at the Summer Fayre... So I will...

Anonymous said...

I will be serving fried chicken to all comers!

Do dah said...

The way the Brockley Society is being talked about by some in this thread, honestly, I don't think the council with paid staff get as much flak.

westsider said...

I don't think they're really getting flak, but they do have a statutory role in planning decisions so it's right that they get scrutinised by the local community, especially as we are all "automatically members" - well, the ones who live on the other side are...

Plus, the woman who runs it got a gong not so long ago, so it's not a thankless task...

Headhunter said...

I don't think they do have a statutory role in planning decisions. They're basically a pressure group in this respect as far as I can gather, they put pressure on the council to protect the cons area, but the council can completely ignore them if it wishes. As it has done to its peril (see headlines a couple of newsletters ago - the council got lambasted for a couple of decisions).

They do not need scrutinisation, they need help! Action from within.

Do dah said...

" a statutory role in planning decisions " oh really? well these are good points and they throw a different light on the situation. Because I had felt that the Brocsoc was an adjunct to the council and that they were just people like you me trying to do their best for the community in their free time, with no renumeration, but getting heat for things people felt they could be doing.

Tressilliana said...

I don't know if it's statutory - maybe custom and practice?

'The woman who runs it' - presumably you mean Gillian Heywood. She doesn't run BrocSoc, she is the nominated person who deals with planning and local history issues. She got an MBE and I'm sure it's well deserved.

Latest issue of BrocSoc newsletter can be viewed here:

http://www.brockley.com/brocsoc/

I see that the Brockley Foxes have a review. There is also a lengthy article about this blog (replicates Nick's text above, I think).

I expect this means my consignment for delivery will be waiting on the doorstep when I get home.

Brockley Nick said...

@HH - they do have a statutory role for anything in the Conservation Area.

Just to be clear, are you saying we shouldn't be asking questions about their role and approach?

I couldn't disagree more. I think they do a good job in many respects and I totally agree that we should respect the fact that they give up their time to serve their community. However, even BrocSoc themselves agree that they need fresh ideas and people, so having this kind of debate is part of that process surely?

Their strength as a lobby group comes from their perceived community mandate. That mandate is strengthened by a public debate about what they should or shouldn't be doing on behalf of their members, not weakened.

If they aren't seen to be acting on behalf of their members then they have no credibility.

The Cat Man said...

Nick, thats a very good point.

The BrocSoc should even consider the fact that by opening up membership/diversfying their activities they will become less effective in what they do best - protecting the Con Area. By representing the 'enhanced' membership, they will become less focused on particular Con. issues.

I'm actually quite happy the way things are. I wouldn't want BrocSoc to do anything other than focusing on the Con. Area.

Set up another charity/trust for Brockers/Telegraph Hill as a whole, if there is a need identified.

I'm not bringing my cats to the Summer Fayre, I did last year and many people asked me If I had brought them there!!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Brockley Nick can't imagine that Brockley existed before he came along...

Tressilllian James said...

...but Nick, I think most of us believe they ARE acting on behalf of their members. That's what most of us are saying - we are very happy with the job they are doing, and their focus. It has our mandate. I'm quite happy someone is sifting through the planning apps and objecting.

Surely also an organisation has the ability to state what its remit is...perhaps a wider community organisation needs to be developed elsewhere - by those who want it?

It just seems a bit too easy to sit at the sidelines and tell the Society what is should or should not be doing, or criticising the 'constructiveness' of their thoughts or comments to us here at BC

Do dah said...

Nick is there some sort of friction between you (this blog) and the Brockley Society. I notice that there isn't a link for their website in the side bar and that there is for other brockley related internet resources. What is going on here?

Headhunter said...

Nick, OK I didn't realise they had a statutory role in decisions. But what does that mean? Is the council obliged to consult them on planning applications? I would be interested to know.

I'm sure they do need fresh ideas but some of the comments here perhaps come across as sniping from the sidelines. It seems they would like people to actually attend some of their meetings and physically get involved rather than toss ideas about over the internet, however I guess you're right in that they should take notice of ideas here as not everyone has time to attend meetings.

I suppose if their own website was kept more up to date, they would get more input from the community at large.

Andy, I don't think they can open up their membership any further! THey already say that anyone in the conservation area is automatically a member. That must mean they have thousands already!

Bring the cats!

The Cat Man said...

When is it again? Not this weekend, but the one after, right?

Brockley Nick said...

@TJ - good, if the vast majority is happy there is no problem then.

I don't want to change its remit - I think it would lose its focus if it became a broader-based organisation.

My only view about BrocSoc is that they should concern themselves more with Brockley Road, which is part of the C area. I'm happy to do my bit to help them address those issues and hope to go along to the next meeting to discusss.

As the original article I wrote states, the BrocSoc team are very happy to take on board new ideas, where possible. That's all great.

I just don't think any representative group should be put beyond scrutiny. Debate is healthy.

@Do Dah - not at all, the lack of a link is an oversight, largely due to the fact that the site was very infrequently updated, so when I was setting up the links, I didn't think to include it in the links. I hadn't noticed it was still not included and will put it right.

We have published three articles in recent weeks publicising their work and urging people to get involved, however!

This blog tries not to "do" friction, and the articles have all followed very friendly correspondence with BrocSoc.

Brockley Nick said...

@hh - yes, the Council are obliged to consult them on all planning issues in the C-area.

Lil said...

the Fayre is on midsummer eve, I think - 21 June

Do dah said...

Good, thank you for your reply Nick. :)

tyrwhitt michael said...

There is a link in this posting by Kate to the Broc Soc website, but not a regular one on the right.

If you follow the link you will find the site has been updated recently and has the latest newsletter which includes the article about Brockley Central as well as other web links in the area.

Time to reciprocate BC and have a Broc Soc permanent link.

Westsider said...

@TJ / HH - what comments do you take issue with? (serious question).

Most points seem reasonable to me.

I think their communications to we- the-people often sound a little "high handed" which runs the risk of getting people's backs up. They also make some rather grandiose claims about their achievements, which make it hard to sift fact from fiction in terms of what they've actually achieved.

Simple example - OK, they played a role, many years ago, in getting the Conservation Area extended to Coulgate Street. But when Speedicars came along and broke the conservation rules with their new signage, what did BrocSoc do about it? Answer: nothing. All the complaints to the Council have come from readers of this site.

So what's wrong with asking them to talk less about their glorious past and more about their exciting future?

Brockley Nick said...

@TM - yes, I said I would. This is the first time anyone's mentioned it. :)

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon 17.11 - I don't really understand what provoked that remark. This blog was set up to celebrate the work that has been going on the area, thanks to people much more locally active than me.

Monkeyboy said...

Off to the pub but before I go....

Not in the conservation area but is SE London a little better for the Broc Soc being around? I'd guess yes. Have us in the cheap seats been adversely, I'd guess not. So on balance a good thing - well done chaps.

Do dah said...

To Westsider, what I find odd with the comments/criticism is the tone. Look at your comment, it's as if you're referring to some shifty multinational company that's trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

I am on uncertain ground here admittedly, but isn't BrocSoc's role to review planning applications. I am uncertain as to whether Speedicars put one in for their sign.
If individuals here had forwarded a complaint to BrocSoc initially, I would imagine they'd do something about it in cooperation with the council. But to be expect them to be patrolling the 4000 households of their area and looking for breaches seems unreasonable to me.

Bea said...

Having had a quick browse through the online version of the BrocSoc newsletter it would appear they have taken on the future of Lewisham Way which is in a similar state to Brockley Road (although maybe even slightly worse!).

As they state, the article about them on Brockley Central caused much debate within BrocSoc itself and although their response comes across as (maybe justifiably) defensive I think the end result is positive as they have at least thought about what has been raised by commentators here. No doubt helping to improve the look of Brockley Road will be an issue they will take on board at the next meeting – especially as Nick plans on being there too and raising it. This is an issue I am in totally agreement with Nick on.

I think this dialogue is healthy and seems to have injected a new lease of life into the Brock Soc newsletter. Constructive criticism is useful but as has been mentioned several times sniping from the side lines has a negative impact and is of little value.

Westsider said...

Well I'm happy to make clear that I don't think they're shady and I think they're good people doing a good job. I just think there's probably room for improvement. It sounds as if they agree with me on that one.

"patrolling the streets" - I don't expect them to do that, but Coulgate Street is pretty much our town centre now, it's right by the most-used station in the area. The signage has been an issue for over a month. You might reasonably expect one of them to notice it. This is, after all the group that claims to have been first to have spotted a huge range of issues - from CTRL to mews development.

Anyway, very happy to say:

Thanks BrocSoc, for all your hard work. I wish you an even brighter future.

Tressillian James said...

@Westsider - this was the comment that provoked my response

"Yes, yes, but this is all beside the point,... ...the Society still needs to decide whether it's going to focus on its remit of enforcing the conservation area guidelines and checking planning applications, or attempt to transform itself into a 'community' organisation.

The fact that BrocSoc's official response was, well, rather defensive and accusatory (quite apart from hideously misapplying that bit of Donne, one of the great meditations on death in the English language) didn't give me much confidence that they've thought about it in any constructive way"

I'm now off to the Brockley PFI Leaseholder's meeting...anyone else also notice the tripling in service charges under Brockley PFI??

Tressillian James said...

shame I'm gonna miss the final of The Aprrentice though...I'm hooked

Tamsin said...

Their only statutory role in the planning process is that any Conservation Area has when it is set up a body of local residents one of whom is appointed to be notified by the Local Authority of all planning applications within the boundaries of the Conservation Area. They can then comment as can others - the neighbours who have to receive written notification and any passer by seeing the publicly displayed notice.

In Lewisham, in addition, there is the Amenities Panel - representatives drawn from all the borough conservation areas - which meets fortnightly to consider all the applications for all the conservation areas - and gives its collective view on each to the planning officers who may, or may not taken them up in reporting to the Planning Committee.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any ideas what WE all could do about the Brockley Road?
I'm in agreement with the feeling that a nice Brockley road would do more for wider Brockley than any other single initiative. Is there anything Brockley Central users could do? I'm thinking something a little more long term than just a litter clearance (although it could do with it). Could it be something like we volunteer a Saturday to re-paint shop fronts? Perhaps Nick could run a poll about what everyone would like to see done and then we could come up with a way to fund it.

brockley mutha said...

@ broc soc - think you do a good/marvellous job. From my experience with lewisham council - I know it can't be easy.

lb said...

[TJ] Let me expand on my comments a little more. I don't really think anyone will agree with me, but what the hell, I'm going to say it anyway.

My issue with the Brockley Society, one that I think has a bearing on its ability to attract more volunteer support, is its focus and relevance in general. Take the newsletter before the last one, for example. A good deal of this was given over to an article acting like the world had ended because three planning applications have been approved after a protracted resistance from the Society. Now, I've looked at all these applications myself - I live in the Conservation Area, I have a lot of experience of building law, architecture and the built environment in general, so have an interest - and frankly, they seemed perfectly reasonable, both in terms of utility and aesthetics. If the Society is channeling much of its energies into fighting unwinnable battles against basically well-conceived development, then it's no wonder they haven't the time to look at Brockley Road. The same thread runs through their attempt to 'take on Lewisham Way', as someone put it. Sorry, but the article was hopeless - Lewisham Way could do with a little tidying up, but it's hardly the disaster area they made it out to be (it claimed the Memorial Gardens, which are usually full of flowering bedding plants, were 'sorely neglected', which isn't really true) and to simply claim that the arrival of Tesco has killed the area off strikes me as misunderstanding the issues involved. Again, this doesn't give me a great deal of confidence that they're directing their energies into the most relevant areas - and when this blog went some way towards suggesting this, the Society's response didn't give me much confidence either. You know, I'd volunteer to look at development issues for them myself, but after what I've seen I don't think they'd agree with my views on urban development and the built environment, so what would be the point?

This leads onto a related issue; what should the Society be putting its energies into. I agreed with the original article because it identified the important point that Brockley Road is the storefront of the area - the face it presents to the world - and therefore needs some serious attention. This is exactly why, in my opinion, the Society needs to look long and hard at what areas it should be focusing on, especially if it dissipates all its resources in dealing with minor planning issues in residential areas. As we've discussed elsewhere, Brockley needs commercial development if it's going to be anything more than a pleasant dormitory area for City workers. Perhaps it's time for another voluntary organisation to fill the gap, and if the Society has a fundamental perception itself as some kind of supplementary planning committee for the residential parts of the Conservation Area, that's what it should probably stick to, and leave all the other stuff to the Action Group or some other yet-to-be-created body.

Anonymous said...

LB - I would say that your comments make perfectly clear points - ones that I have loosely held for some time.
I think Brockley needs a 'Pan Brockley' organisation (not one just for the conservation area) that has a clear agenda, and specific aims. I also think that the Broc Soc focussing it's attentions to minor planning applications is misdirected (even if that's what they were first established for). The Brockley Road is a wider problem that needs dealing with and which also has a detrimental effect on people living in the conservation area - much more (IMO) than someone sticking in some plastic windows- (which are more energy efficient than wooden sash ones but that's a different point.)

LB is correct in saying that the Brockley Road is our 'shopfront', the first view that people have of our neighbourhood. Improving it would benefit everyone whether they live in the conservation area or not.
Lovely architecture and tradition is only worth so much to the experience of living somewhere, and while I agree it's important to preserve, it shouldn't be overstated to a degree where the real problems are being ignored.

The Cat Man said...

and what about west brockley? Is that going to be neglected like it has done historically from any 'pan brockley' area? Mantle road will have many commercial/retail outlets. Just look at the road, poor landscaping, inferior materials used for quick fixes, its a complete disagrace.

On a previous thread the BCAG already declared themselves a ''pan brockley ward' area, why do you need another one? If anything we need a 'pan telegraph hill ward' area as the BCAG tend to ignore west of the station.

Anonymous said...

The west side should join New Cross as far as I'm concerned.

Anonymous said...

Telegraph Hill thank you.

drakefell debaser said...

anon @ 10:59..join New Cross? Care to explain your reasoning behind such a childish comment?

Anonymous said...

If it really was pan Brockley then it would cover westside.

Anonymous said...

Cat man - you mentioned a while ago that the west side cafe would see physical changes to it's exterior by late May. Well it's nearly mid June and still no changes - do you have an explanation?

drakefell debaser said...

and the problem with the west part of Brockley is what?

Anonymous said...

Drakefell - can't you read the sign- it says don't feed the Troll!

The Cat Man said...

I think the 'late May' comment was in reference to the supposedly wholefoods shop opening between revelon and arica roads, I havnt chased the landlord up recently but the numbers on the side of the building if you wanted to do some digging.

I'm currently trying to sort out the green triangles of grass on mantle road. The walls are derelict and so far Glendale havnt returned my calls. We have new flowerbeds there now, let's try and keep them.

manor ave said...

I for one am very grateful to the volunteers who give their time to the Brockley Society: those who review cons. area planning applications, and respond; and those who write, produce and distribute the newsletter. I have yet to attend a summer fayre, but i know i'll be impressed with it when i do.

I suspect that if they've neglected Brockley Road, its down to sheer people-hours. I'm very glad that they have concentrated on keeping the residential streets in the conservation area up to the standards that I enjoy, every day. If that were to deteriorate, there would be little point in trying to improve Brockley Road, for me: I live here because the residential streets are beautiful. If they weren't, I wouldn't have moved here.

Would I like to see improvements to Brockley road? of course. And I expect I will. As soon as i get off my backside and start doing something about it -- under the auspices of BrocSoc, BXAG, or on my own. I find it quite amazing that so many people on this thread have failed to appreciate the main point: if you want to see something happen, you do have to do it!

Anonymous said...

Your statement shows a remit beyond the conservation area covering a number of issues.

But if so, why this exclusivity?!?

Why is membership only open to people who live within the conservation area? Don’t you think people who live beyond it still have an interest in/knowledge of conservation/planning.

I’d recommend modernising by extending your membership to “Greater Brockley” (i.e. West Brockley and Crofton Park), then more member so the community will be willing/able to get involved for the benefit of all.

I repeat my question – “why this exclusivity?”

Step up to the plate. said...

BrocSoc, should keep doing what it has been doing. It's core is the Brockley Conservation Area.

Get that right and the rest will fall in place. A key reason why there is such a push to enhance Brockley Road is because people who've moved into the area attracted by the conservation area housing stock notice the disparity between the two areas.

Most people that live here can see that this area has bags of potential. It is a good place to live it could be a great place to live.

Brockley Road is going to change anyway I believe because of the force of the ELL, how it changes is something that the Brockley society can help shape. But this will take energy and effort, ie people.

But you can only truly be focused on one thing at a time and, BrocSoc needs to keep it's focus on the conservation area.
The upkeep of the conservation area is vital. People who join BrocSoc who don't live in the conservation area are less likely to agree on this point and BrocSoc's focus will sway, hence the need for exclusivity.

I believe the solution is a seperate organisation affiliated to the Brockley society in the same way as BXAG or the Hilly Fields User Group or maybe an expansion of BXAG.
That way the organisations talk to each other but don't distract from the goal.

I' ve seen on this blog people talking about think tanks, so people are talking about talking, its time for some doing. Get that think tank sorted and start discussing a strategy for Brockley.

Headhunter said...

I agree Manor Ave, selfishly or otherwise I love the fact that Broc Soc defends the residential streets of the conservation area, this is where I spend most of my time. Quite frankly the shops along Brockley Rd don't attract me much and although it would be lovely for them to be dressed up like Blackheath I suspect Broc Soc has no time to take on that mammoth task. They are a small organisation. How about the council actually doing something of their own back to sort out Brockley Rd? Cllr Heidi's comments about plans for the area didn't inspire much confidence - she was all lovely and rose tinted about cafes and local shops, but yet there does not seem to be any initiative from the council to actually get this moving. Although I welcome the removal of the bin farm.

Anon 11.30am - Broc Soc is an organisation set up to protect the conservation area. That is what they do. Why should they throw open their membership to all and sundry? They have a clear remit and the conservation area is it. If someone else wishes to set up an all encompassing Brockley operation (BXAG?) then so be it. Broc Soc = conservation area and nothing more as far as I can tell and they are clear about that. Perhaps they should change their name to "Brockley Conservation Area Society" to be completely black and white about it

Anonymous said...

But surely with the establishment of an Article IV Directive the conservation area is largely protected. That work has been done.

Why not throw open membership of the society to the remainder of Brockley? New members, ideas, committee members, community-minder individuals keen to contribute their skills…

The exclusivity strikes me as rather divisive.

Tressillian James said...

Manor Ave, Step up to the plate; HH - totally agree. The residential streets are important - and if Broc Soc weren't monitoring them, we would see the gradual errosion of the essence of the area. The Conservation area has kicked off the regeneration of the whole of Brockley. Yes, Brockley Road needs wortk - but LB abd the rest come along to the meeting and volunteer to take it on.

Anonymous said...

But Broc Soc doesn't = conservation area and nothing more. The original posting list what the group has campaigned for outside of the conservation area. This is to be applauded, but why can't the rest of Brockley join?

drakefell debaser said...

Step up to the plate makes a valid point as does headhunter. Broc Soc should continue to concentrate on the conservation area. For those in the North and West that fall outside of the con. area, BXAG would appear to be more appropriate to get involved with as their focus is closer to home i.e. Brockley Common and an alternative to the daft round about system by the old florists. Maybe BXAG can post an update on what they are currently upto and what they need help with?

Bea said...

Anon@12:40 - in fact everything on the list is located within or on the direct boundary of the Conservation area apart from maybe Brockley police station which is on Howson Road.

Headhunter said...

Anon 12.37 - you would think that conservation area status would make things cut and dried but it doesn't seem so. There are continually applications to wedge houses onto back gardens, build along the mews streets, add extensions etc etc and the council does not merely refuse these on application, they all have to be considered. I don't think that Broc Soc's work "is done" in the C area


Anon 12.40 - The Broc Soc may have impinged on things outside the cons area, but essentially their remit is just that - the conservation area. Why throw membership open to people with wider views on the whole area and a different remit to dilute their role if that is not what they want to do? It's like saying Starbucks has conquered the coffee world they now must throw their business open to the drinks world as a whole and buy pubs and soft drink manufacturers. Why should they if that's not in their game plan?

Re Brockley Rd. I wonder how Southwark Council encouraged the development of Lordship Lane? And do we even want development like this for Brockley Rd? I suspect that Southwark did little in influencing what businesses set up their, as gentrification spilled into E Dulwich from Dulwich Vill and areas to the west, my guess is that businesses on Lordship Lane built up organically in response to demand in the area. If and as Brockley gentrifies to the extent that E Dulwich has, I'm sure we'll see a reduction in fried chicken joints and an influx of organic butchers and Foxtons. In the meantime the council should at least enforce cons area rules on Brockley Rd without having to have Broc Soc peering over its shoulder the whole time.

Brockley Kate said...

Headhunter - some interesting questions there. I think a lot of it comes down to the attitude of the landlord. Landlords in East Dulwich have retained business renters for the longterm, enabling them to build up reputations and attract other businesses, creating a virtuous circle.

The impression I've got of Brockley's commercial landlords is not a positive one so far. For example the experience of the Brockley Cross florist, which Nick wrote about a while ago.

I'm not sure how far it is possible to take action on this, but the council would certainly be best placed to intervene and try and create a greater sense of long-term strategic thinking from our local landlords. Changes to business rates for empty properties, which are coming in this year, may go some way towards helping, too.

spincat said...

I think the businesses in Lordship Lane grew up slowly without any kind of council involvement (it has been a sort of second home for me cos a good friend lived there for years and years. An interesting street for a long time (I've known it since the 70s) as it had, until very recently, a good mixture of bars, restaurants, shops and local businesses. It has tipped towards slightly twee overpriced shops - more interesting places closing with the local rent increases, but is still an attractive place to shop.

PS: am really angry that BrocSoc does not make Royal Mail deliver early in the morning, hasn't got its own speed camera, hasn't even thought to have its own parliamentary lobbyist, doesn't have a publicly accessible carbon footprint, hasn't revived smoking in the manor, does not have the word Crofton Park in its title ....

lb said...

[Manor Avenue] Actually, I'd long ago come to the conclusion that one element of all this was contributing something myself - I'm just not certain as to where to direct my energies.

I'd be happy to 'step up to the plate' if I thought I was joining an organisation that was a) relevant, b) open to changes within the area, and c) was going to devote as much energy to developing an overall plan for the whole of Brockley as it was to looking at planning applications for a limited part. Unfortunately, the Brockley Society hasn't made things clear for me in any of these areas. It's also made it quite clear that in terms of its main 'remit', planning applications, it takes a far more conservative line that I think necessary.

As it is I don't know whether I'd be better off joining the Brockley Society, the Brockley Cross Action Group, or trying to help get some sort of completely new 'think tank' going, as people have suggested on here - preferably something which actually looks at the economic development of the area rather than just considering the physical aspects of the built environment. But that's what I'm trying to establish in this discussion - what the boundaries of the existing organisations are. There's no point starting anything new if it just ends up getting entangled with an existing body to the detriment of both, is there?

Brockley Nick said...

I think a "Brockley Debate" involving a range of groups with an interest in the greater Brockley area and involving Lewisham Council officers and Councillors would be a great idea.

Maybe an annual event? The purpose could be to agree priorities for the whole area, establish which groups are best-placed to help in which ways and what they should be lobbying the Council (and other sources of funding) for. It could also help to identify new ways in which groups could work together and promote opportunities to volunteer to members of the public.

People like LB would gain a much clearer understanding of what each group is like and where his time and energy is best focused.

Anonymous said...

I'd be well up for a mass-debate

Brockley Kate said...

Isn't that what the recent event at Lewisham College (the community forum doo-dah) was supposed to achieve?

The Cat Man said...

I agree LB. This has been one of my concerns for a long time now. We have the BCAG who wants to now focus on the whole of the brockley ward', the Broc Soc who may/may not expand outside the C-area (if they do, at the detriment of the expanded remit of the BCAG) and the historical proof that diversifying activities results in poorer results. (The BCAG did not even reply to the council regarding the 'battleship grey' block or the site of the new apartment block behind platform 2 despite notices being sent).

The historical proof is that the BCAG has neglected mantle road, (I hope they are more actively involved in the scaffolding site). Don't let the same thing happen to Broc Soc.

On a seperate note, given that the BCAG has changed its focus there must be a need for a telegraph hill action group. Has anyone else thought about this?

Brockley Nick said...

Sort of, but they have been divided up by wards and they are a listening exercise for the Council. I think that's great, and as I didn't go to the first one, I'd be interested to hear from anyone who was there whether they would do the same job, but I was thinking more of a debate-led event with the agenda set by different community groups, rather than the Council.

eg: BXAG initiate a debate about the future of Brockley Cross, involving TfL and Lewisham Council.

Or The Telegraph Hill Society present their plans for a new community centre and invite input from attendees.

We could involve local businesses, media and others.

ie: people present their ideas and people respond, rather than a general discussion about what people think about the area.

The BXAG event was pretty close to what I'm of, with presentations about the fun run, MAX, etc. But it could cover a wider area and every relevant group would be invited to participate.

Anyway, maybe it's not necessary, just thinking out loud really.

Tamsin said...

Yes, next Tuesday, the Telegraph Hill Ward Assembly could be quite interesting. The ward falls naturally into three very distinct communities with their own groups and structures - Honor Oak, Telegraph Hill (Drakefell and northwards) and the Wild Goose/Somerville estate with the Kender triangle. St Asaph, and the roads running south - Revelon, Arica and Dundalk - are in a sort of enclave of their own, not in the Telegraph Hill Conservation area (although in St. Catherine's Parish) but not part of the Honor Oak community either.

The Cat Man said...

Tamsin,

I'm very impressed with your local knowledge. Why is it called the Kender triangle and do you know if there has been any attempt to set up a kender community body?

I'm looking forward to the TH Assembley.

Anonymous said...

Kender Road Sherlock.

The Cat Man said...

Ah ok.

I think the enclave of housing west of brockley station (revelon, arica, finland etc) should get some sort of area name. I prefer being called Telegraph Hill rather than West Brockley.

Anonymous said...

Depends how far up the road you are. Not sure you can really call yourself telegraph hill if you're the south end of Revelon.

The Cat Man said...

lol. Whys that? Should be ok for me tbh

Anonymous said...

Well look at the map. You can't stretch the boundaries that far. I'm sure you're in the T Hill ward, but that doesn't mean you live in or on T Hill. If you disagree then just look at your house price - if you live on Revelon Road your house is worth about half as much as it would be on T Hill.

The Cat Man said...

Ok, but surely there must be something abit more original than 'west brockley'?

Anonymous said...

I'm also West Brockley but I don't mind it - that is, after all, where I live.

Tamsin said...

Thanks, Catman, it's pounding the streets with leaflets that does it - and putting posters up on trees.
But I think I agree with the others - micro-geography is against you if you try to call yourself Telegraph Hill because the railway line is a disproportionately huge mental barrier in most people's perception - and crucially that of the estate agents. You are, however, welcome to everything Telegraph Hill has to offer - and we can try to make sure you still get the Hilly Telegraph newsletter. (This last time the distributor was being very intelligent and noticed the front page feature of the TH Assembly in Revelon Road and thought he ought to distribute to the surrounding streets.) .

The Cat Man said...

ah i see! Well i must thank you for pursuading the distributor to contining in my area. It really was a welcome surprise. Theres some nice streets arond here, kind of worrying they generally get forgotten about - maybe we should call it the Bermuda triangle of Brockley!

I also need to thank you for putting notices up on the trees near the shops at the end of revelon. As a result of seeing them every day, I have been to a few events on TH now.

brockley mutha said...

@ cat man - what about re-naming your area Brockley Hill

The Cat Man said...

I was thinking about this last night. What about St Catherines?

Tamsin mentioned that we are in the St Catherines Parish part of Tel. Hill. There are some pretty streets around here.

Brockley Hill sounds good, but we're not on a hill.

manor ave said...

Brockley Vale?

Headhunter said...

Brockley Mutha - there's already a Brockley Hill in North London. They were going to extend the Northern Line up there in the 1930s. See Wiki:

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

Anonymous said...

I just find this latest discussion rather pretentious. Is the name for practical purposes?

Headhunter said...

Hilly Fields Fayre gets a mention in Michael Hodge's column in Time Out Mag. He lives in Sydenham and he's done a whole coumn about the joys of South London

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with pretentious?

Headhunter said...

Exactly. Who cares about pretentiousness. It's just a chat about possible names for an area of Brockers

Tamsin said...

It's not pretentious to try to find a label for a distinctive collection of streets - in a tri-angle between two railway lines and floating in a sort of limbo between two other distinct areas that have names (Honor Oak and Telegraph Hill) and their own strong senses of community.
The newsletter drop off was the delivery man's own initiative but I am happy to take the credit for the posters on the trees opposite John Stainer - although there is a whole issue about that now. Technically fly-posting and can incur a fine of £75 per offence!

Anonymous said...

It's only a matter of time until the area outside the station around Coulgate street gets referred to as Brockley Village.

Headhunter said...

I've already heard the term Brockley Village banded about. I think it came with Foxtons arrival in East Dulwich

brockley mutha said...

@ anon 9.24 I think you'll find this discussion is a little tongue in cheek.

Nevertheless - as Tamsin says why should naming an area be seen as pretentious? It is curious that that part of Brockley is nameless - when just about every other part of this area has a name.

Back to names - Cat man - what about Brockley Heights.

Brockley Nick said...

Brockley Village? I think it would have to be Brockley Hamlet.

Anonymous said...

West Brockley has a name doesn't it? West Brockley. Or if you prefer, the Darkside

Anonymous said...

You lot carry on, there's nothing wrong with pretension, Hyacinth Bucket could attest to that.

And well done to Andy, for once again derailing a thread.

brockley mutha said...

@ HH - Are you serious. Foxtons in East Dulwich have renamed us Brockley Village. Ah estate agents - endlessly predictable.

I notice that for estate agent marketing purposes the streets in West Brockley are often annexed into one or other of the conservation areas.

Tom said...

Odious Foxtons have two estate agent boards on the 3/4 million house they are trying to sell in Upper Brockley Road.

One is a normal sales board, the other advertises a bl*ody school fair in Camberwell.

Am sure they feel it makes them look all community-minded.

To me it just looks cynical and just adds more clutter to the street.

brockley mutha said...

In reply to some of the earlier threads - I am also firmly of the belief that the brockley society should continue to focus its efforts on the conservation area. I can't see that Brockley as a whole would be better served by taking a small organisation of volunteers and insisting they focus their attention on the wider brockley. At the same time I too am mystified by the focus on Lewisham way and - the memorial gardens. The memorial gardens have always seemed to be well maintained - you may not wish to join the special brew drinkers and students who are their main users, but they are perfectly pleasant to look at.

Where I think there is an issue is that Brockley Society - even though is says all conservation area dwellers are members - doesn't seem to proactively consult. It seems to be saying - you can only have an impact, or a voice if you attend the meetings and are prepared to take on an active role. There is so much truth in that. We all know that there are people who simply cannot take on an active role - age, sickness, committments, disability etc - how can they then get their voice heard.

brockley mutha said...

Sorry - stupid typo in earlier post - which is meant to say - 'There is 'only' so much truth in the statement 'If you want to make a difference or see a change, take part!' Because there must be conservation area people who simply can't take part.

Anonymous said...

West Brockley sits between both T Hill conservation area and Brockley Conservation area but for Foxtons to include it in either is just a plain lie. Why bother? - has conservation status ever swung it for anyone on here. Certainly not me. It just seem like a pain in the arse to me. I might want a loft conversion, a kitchen extension or UPVC windows and frankly there is enough red tape to cut through already.

Headhunter said...

Tom - I've noticed those Foxtons boards up announcing everything from craft fairs to school fetes. We shouldn't be cynical if they're trying to integrate themselves into the community, but I'm confused. Are the houses with the fair/fete signs for sale or just the host of random advertising?

Tom said...

HH - it's within the boundary of the big ole over-priced house they are trying to flog.

I'm not being mean-minded, just telling a fact: the residents of UBR gain nothing from knowing about a school fair in Camberwell, but Foxtons must believe it makes them look community-minded.

This pair of signs, likely to remain there for months, if not years, sit opposite the Wates's Biggest Sign In The World, which despite lacking planning permission, has been there for close to two years.

BTW, you weren't at the Jerusalem Tavern last night were you?

Headhunter said...

Tom - Yes I suppose you're right. Perhaps someone should rope Foxtons in for publicity for BMAX or the Summer Fayre etc etc and inflict that on the good denizens of E Dulwich and Camberwell!

No that wasn't me at the Jerusalem Tav but funnily enough I will be out in Clerkenwell tonight.

Talking of being mistaken for someone, I've just come back from Amsterdam, went over there with some friends and they kept thinking other people were me when we were in busy places. Also I got mistaken for a Dutch person several times, was told I looked Dutch. I think I've found my 2nd nationality...

Anon 10:37 - Cons area status helped me choose Manor Ave. I like the fact that the character of teh area is protected from insensitive development and builders looking to make a quick buck by building on their gardens or bolting nasty extensions and loft conversions onto period homes, just so they can get a few more bucks out of a future sale.

The Cat Man said...

Considering the proximity to Brockley station, it may well deserved to be called Brockley Village. Although it really isn't that villagey.

Tamsin, I was wondering about that. I have a solution, I'm happy to pay for a community board somewhere near there, but I have no idea how much it would cost or whether or not it owuld be allowed on council owned public pathways. Got any suggestions?

It would help me post some flyers about setting up a Neigh. Watch area too. (and not to mention th number of 'missing cats' posters I seem to see.

The Cat Man said...

HH, the building regs are quite strict anyway. All houses have a 'building line' which are not allowed to be developed over (unless you qualify for an exemption, like embassys do).

I cannot extend into my backgarden for example, past a single story 2.5 metres in length extension. My garden is approx 12 metres long (thats just a guess).

fabhat said...

maybe you shoudl stick with the darkside - it's obviously inspired topshop:

http://tinyurl.com/5vo8hv

Anonymous said...

HH, interesting what you say about the character of the conservation area. I think the character of some parts of the conservation could do with a makeover. It might be tradition but some of it is fairly tatty. To me it's 'flat' land. Unless you're lucky enough to have on of the big houses I think the rest of it flatters to deceive.

I assume the T factory isn't in the C area? Thank goodness because it now looks great and is a huge improvement. Old and traditional aren't always a good thing.

Headhunter said...

Anon - Yes, certainly some parts of the c area could do with a brush up, a lick of paint etc, but what they don't need is nasty, cheap extensions, concreted front gardens for parking and insensitive loft conmversions. Tradition and character does not equal tattiness, just as progress does not equal a badly made extension and a loft conversion.

And yes, it may be "flat land", but so what? Some of the nicest parts of London are dominated by flat accommodation and indeed internationally, inhabitants of most of the worlds dominant cities live in flats/apartments. It's a British disease to regard flats as low level accommodation

The Cat Man said...

British disease?eh? I prefer my own garden to chilling in a park anytime. Not to say public parks are bad, there not. Sometimes they can be noisy places.

@hh, I fell off my bike yesterday. Got grazes everywhere :0(

Anonymous said...

To anyone that reads Andy's blog the above comment is laughable.

Anonymous said...

Extensions don't have to cheap and nasty but I take your point about the British disease, I'm a sufferer.

drakefell debaser said...

The statement on gardens or the falling off the bike? Having a flat does not necessarily mean you don’t have a garden, I suspect the vast majority of converted houses in and around the con area have gardens out the back which residents have access to. New builds and larger blocks may have this problem but just like Andy I enjoy sitting in my garden too, even though my flat is on the top floor. It’s amazing really.

Anonymous said...

Having a garden in London does not equate peace and quiet. As poor old Andy found out.

If you have a garden or access to a garden in zone 2 count yourself very lucky, because this is not surburbia and we trade private space for fast access into town.

Concerned of Brockley said...

Although I have access to a garden shared I admit, I find sitting there rather boring.

I'd much rather have a bimble round Brockley.

I also found Luxmore Gardens last Sunday but was rather intimidated by the large group of Youths with the mandatory pit bull style dog dealing drugs near the entrance from Rokeby Road.

I hope it doesn't become the next Mountsfield Park - see this week's Mercury

Bea said...

Large chunks of the C area may be converted into flats, however, many of those flats have large gracious rooms with tall ceilings, elegant sash windows and other interesting Victorian detailing. This is just one of the many reasons why people want to live there. This desire is reflected in the fact that the price of a three bedroom flat in the C area is the same as a three bedroom house outside it.

And far from being an architecturally boring area – it also has some interesting modern in-fills e.g. Harefield Mews. The C area is not set in aspic but the rules governing development do mean that an extra level of red tape (and maybe even a higher standard) is required when considering new developments.

Headhunter said...

No extensions don't have to be cheap, but that's what's good about the c area, extension plans come under extra scrutinisation to prevent anyone creating some nasty eyesore.

Andy - Fell off you bike? Hope it doesn't put you off. What happened? Riding drunk again?

Brockley Nick said...

There's no restriction on a small kitchen extension (for example) in the conservation area. There's a permitted size, below which planning permission is not required.

Headhunter said...

Andy - British disease, most people outside the UK do not regard living in a flat as necessarily any worse than living in a house. I think flats have a bad rep in the UK following those disastrous 1960s concrete developments which replaced whole communities after bomb damage of the WW2.

I live in a flat and have access to a (shared) 40 metre long garden. It's shared but actually barely anyone esle uses it.... It's lovely out there, very quiet and leafy

Headhunter said...

Andy - British disease, most people outside the UK do not regard living in a flat as necessarily any worse than living in a house. I think flats have a bad rep in the UK following those disastrous 1960s concrete developments which replaced whole communities after bomb damage of the WW2.

I live in a flat and have access to a (shared) 40 metre long garden. It's shared but actually barely anyone esle uses it.... It's lovely out there, very quiet and leafy

The Cat Man said...

ah ok, didn't realize that. My experience of living in west hampstead was that only the bottom flat got the garden.

I don't see anything wrong with living in a flat, sometimes it can be better. Hard to extend though...

The new modern apartment blocks generally havnt been built to last unfortunately. Let's see where we are in 25 years.

HH, the bike accident was embarrassing. My own stupid fault - hand missed the handlebar and came off skidding down the road. ( I was in a rush to take Winky to the vets). I have a poorly arm now, badly grazed :0( 4 people on bermundsey st rushed over to help though, including a drunk man who said I was a rather 'pleasant' young man. Like I say, he was drunk!

Headhunter said...

You could probably say the same about modern houses (that they are not well made), not just apartment blocks.

Nice to know that people helped you. I got knocked off by a pedestrian the other week, usual story, she blindly walked out into the middle of the road without looking. Anyway I got back on and cycled to the lights and some bloke in a flash Range Rover offered to pull over and bathe and wipe my wounds with antisceptic! It's not true that people in London don't care....

The Cat Man said...

range rover? Bah.

Anonymous said...

What about "Brockley Crack" for the westside, Andy? It conjures up local business and the geographical situation

Headhunter said...

I still prefer the Dark Side...

The Cat Man said...

Lol. I quite like the Darkside tbh! I can honestly say 'I came from the Darkside..' has quite a nice ring to it :o)

Amanda said...

I like the Brockley Society and I'm glad it exists, but and I think I have said this before...it could do with a name change, to reflect more accurately what it does, "The Brockley Conservation Area Society". But then that does sound very limited and limiting... I don't know, it's needs to be thrashed out.

I have lived here a for a few years now, I see the newsletters and I want to help with things but there is something about the structure or perhaps the way things are organised that which prevents me from doing so.
For instance I can't do certain evenings which often coincide on days the meetings were on.

I do think it needs to improve it's communication, as an organisation and that's something that new recruits should be put to work on.

Tamsin said...

The Telegraph Hill Society dropped the "Conservation" from its name a few years back now (although it is still on the mugs we sell). I think it would probably be a retrograde step to adopt it - as you say, limiting in scope even though more accurate in geography.

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