Another shop lost on Lewisham Way?

(quite when it was last used as a shop, however, we couldn't say!)

An application has been made to convert a shop at number 243 Lewisham Way into flats. The property sits two doors up from Meze Mangal, and next door to the much hyped and anticipated Turkish Bakery (although currently better known as 'the sea container').

The block is currently entirely boarded up with a makeshift car park to the front. It has been this way for as long as Brockley Central can care to remember - a sign suggests that it might have once been a cafe, but then perhaps that was nextdoor. Anyone care to inform us what it once was?

The application reads:

"The change of use, alteration and conversion of 243 Lewisham Way SE4, construction of an extension to the rear at first floor level and alterations to the front elevation, to provide 6, one bedroom and 1, two bedroom, self-contained flats."

Were the bakery in place, or at least looking anywhere near completion, one might argue that this empty shop would make a prime position for a coffee shop or *gasp* a Lewisham Way deli. However, lets not get carried away. One less eyesore on Lewisham Way, whether flats or not, is a small victory to getting the road in shape, and the plans seem sympathetic. Good or bad, you decide.

You can see the application here. If anyone has any further information, let us know.

76 comments:

tj said...

Looks like great news to me - I think the buildings on the other side of it have already been converted (the old bank and laundry buildings) so it ought to finish the row nicely. Perhaps also they will push for the sea container to be removed.

I've also heard that Lewsiham college - in that area - is also being sold. I'm very interested to see how they will develop the college and the car park (where we were campaigning for trees).

lb said...

243 was a restaurant, as far as I'm aware.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stop going on about coffee shops and bloody delis! There's far more to life (and I don't mean organic seed shops either).

What's a 'sea container' when its at home?

lb said...

I think they mean ISO containers, or shipping containers, as they're usually called. Sea Containers is a shipping company.

Headhunter said...

Shame to lose another public/retail space, but at least flats are better than dereliction. So although I feel the urge to object.... I won't.

Actually I think what we really need is another cafe or deli. Don't we agree?

Yes we have a French deli and SOTH, but I think we need a combined deli/cafe catering for vegetarian muslims and gay black people who only eat vegan organic. I think there would definitely be a market.

lb said...

Meze Mangal could certainly handle expansion, it's usually solidly booked up at weekends.

I'm not getting dragged into the cafe thing again. Not today, anyway...

Anonymous said...

What about the fruitarian disabled?

Headhunter said...

Cafe! Deli! Cafe! Deli...! Sorry, I'm bored....

fabhat said...

If you look over at the back of these shops from friendly street, you can see just how grand they once were. They look very similar in style to some of the Blackheath ones at the top of Belmont Hill. I always think how interesting it would be to have seen Lewisham Way when it was a desirable residential street...

Sue Luxton said...

I would be surprised if planning allowed this - they normally require at least one family-sized unit (ie 3 beds) in any conversion. Though it is near to Goldsmiths, don't know if that would sway things.

Vikki said...

Loss of a shop on Lewisham way reminds me to ask if anyone knows what happened to the tailors/alternations place on the little row of shops by London on Loampit Hill/Tyrwhitt Road corner?

I'd used this place a few times for alternations and then noticed a few (probably quite a few now...) weeks ago that it was empty.

Obviously the main problem with this little row of shops is the old derelict grocers right on the corner but with the chemist's having moved to the St John's medical centre and the tailors closed there are now three empty shops here.

Vikki said...

Apologies - "by London" crept in there in error....

lb said...

Apparently it's becoming a building supplies shop. Not the most exciting prospect, perhaps, but damn useful.

There is an old-fashioned tailor just down Loampit Hill towards Lewisham, by the way.

Brockley Jon said...

Haha, I knew the mere mention of a deli would get temperatures rising! I am coining a new phrase for BC - the "deli drop"!

Anonymous said...

A small amount of wee came out when I read headhunters post. Hard to tell if he's being normal, self-referential or just plain spoofed!

tj said...

urgh.

and anon at 14.43 I'm suprised you couldnt work out what I meant by a sea container - especially if you have been past Meze...

interesting point from Sue... but does the tea Facotry have a 3-bed unit? I'm not sure that it does...

Sue Luxton said...

The 3-bed thing usually applies to existing houses that are being converted, rather than somewhere like the Tea Factory, which wasn't residential before. Not sure what the case would be with a shop with flats above.

jon s said...

From a purely selfish perspective, I want all the shops to be filled with any type of commercial premises, even betting shops and pawn brokers!

Over time once the area scrubs up (5 - 10 years after the ELL is live) all the legacy shops will be replaced with new shops that fit what local demand has become, mostly I suspect the dreaded the combustible C word. However if the shop has become flats, it's a bit difficult to go back.

Btw, the tea factory has no 3 bed flats.

Headhunter said...

Phew! I've never made anyone wee themselves before...

Fabhat, I always find the thought that Lewisham Way was a very prestigious lpace to live very interesting. There are some very grand looking houses running all the way down to New Cross. I heard somewhere (possibly here?) that the gardens along the edge of the conservation area, the ones that the Broc Soc condemns as untidy (Deptford Memeorial Gardens?) were originally part of thee front gardens extending from the front of the big houses fronting onto Lewisham Way. At that time apparently, the narrow road that runs parallel to Lewisham way across the end of Manor Ave and UBR was not there. I'd also love to hear more about Pynes Department Store (now host to a bookies) which once extended as far as Alexandra Cottages apparently.

Anonymous said...

There you have it - fried chicken: it's what Londoners want

mintness said...

Tangentially, does anyone know what's happening with the development at 117 Lewisham Way (I think that's the number)? Signs recently went up outside pointing interested parties to www.gallionsha.co.uk, but there's no information on there as yet. As much as anything, I want to know how they got away with claiming that it would be in keeping with the other buildings on that stretch of the main road - and/or how it's ended up being such a bloody eyesore...

tj said...

I would think that the gardens and the small road were probably always there.

The gardens are now used as a memorial to the first world war fallen (I think), and I doubt if the house owners would have given up their front gardens. Moreover, the late Victorians weren't overly interested in a big front garden - just a driveway for their carriage to draw up (or a cab to drop them off). All the grand houses in Wickham road have a garden designed for a drive - or are quite near the road. The small road you are talking about would have acted like a private driveway.

Of course I don't actually know - but would like to consult a map to find out.

tj said...

a bit on St John's and Lewisham way development here

http://www.ideal-homes.org.uk/lewisham/main/st-johns-deptford-new-town-case-study.htm

tj said...

HH - the small road is there on this map from the 1890s

http://picasaweb.google.com/lewishamheritage/BrockleyAHistoryInPictures/photo#5101933894184746514

Headhunter said...

Actually TJ, you're right, there was always a road between the gardens and the large Victorian houses. Just had a look at Booth's Poverty Map -

http://tiny.cc/7rhJH

Tamsin said...

And what did Booth's researchers say about the road?

Bea said...

Lewisham Way was "Red: Middle Class. Well-to-do" (as is much of the conservation area).

Notable exceptions in "Yellow: Upper-Middle and Upper Classes. Wealthy" are the Lewisham Way end of Wickham Road and Breakspears Road (from Cranfield Road onwards).

Headhunter said...

If you look at the map, the whole of the conservation area and the large houses on Lewisham Way are occupied by the wealthy middle classes and there are sections of Wickham and I think Breakspears which are home to the very wealthiest classes - upper and upper middle classes.

Unfortunately the whole of the "dark side" was not built at this time, apart from Foxwell St which is labelled as poor

fabhat said...

The gardens might have been private - like the gated gardens squares in West London. Apparently the Wickham Rd yellow end were "carriage class" ie didn't rely on the trains to get them into work in the city, but had their own carriages to take them...

I like to think they had heated debates with the local penny farthing riders about the ethics of it, and the physical remains of their journeys...(sorry couldn't resist)

tj said...

and whether it was better to have a pie and mash shop or a Brewsters Emporium of Continental Delights

Tina said...

I'd love to have a deli or cafe (or indeed any type of commercial premises) on Lewisham Way.

Anonymous said...

The Headhunter of his day would have been appalled at the carriage-riders - or possibly pleased, as at least the output was organic (and fair-trade, though sadly not vegetarian).

Tamsin said...

Wickham Road would certainly have been "carriage class" - hence the mews.
Booth says of Brockley among other things "The gardens attached to the houses are 'one of the good things about Brockley'(Moss)" and "Prostitution gives little trouble, solicitation being mainly confined to the Lewisham Road. The women live and have their places of accommodation almost entirely in Deptford."

Anonymous said...

LOL - how little things change. I'm surprised he didn't mention anything about boiled chicken shops on the high street (and, indeed, the design of the signs outside the carriage ranks)

neanderthal d said...

The (former) tailors/alterations shop at the end of the row of shops on Loampit Hill/Tyrwhitt Road is going to revert to being KJ Building Supplies from what i can gather.

KJ Building supplies were there before they moved down the hill to their current location between the Tesco petrol station and the railway bridge around the turn of the millenium.

Richard Elliot said...

I could have this totally wrong, but isn't the conversion of business / retail premises into residential quite hard to get?

Wasn't the Meze Mangal expansion (into what is going to become the patisserie) rejected because it would remove a shop from the parade?

Headhunter said...

I thought that all the streets in the conservation area were "carriage class", that's why the mews were built along the backs of the houses. These would have allowed access to stables and storage for carriages, however I read somewhere that the mews stables were never built up due to the expansion of the railways, even the wealthiest classes realised that it was easier to commute by train than maintain and expensive carriage, horses, stable boys etc etc.

If the houses in the conservation area had been built a little earlier, I guess that the long gardens we have now would not have existed as there would have been stable blocks at the ends of them, a bit like houses in West London.

If they'd been built, these buildings would probably be marketed as "mews cottages" or something by Foxtons!

Talking about Penny Farthings and bicycles of that time, I don't think they were actually used for transport, they were more toys of the relatively wealthy who raced them and joined enthusiast clubs etc. In fact a lot of the cycling clubs such as Catford Cycling Club and the one I attend, Dulwich Paragon, have been around for over a hundred years. Catford CC apparently had branches in Paris, Nottingham, Cardiff and Bristol and one of the fastest tracks in Europe on Sportsbank Street. It was very successful and still exists today. Here's a history of Catford Cycling Club.

http://www.catfordcc.co.uk/Club%20history.html

Anonymous said...

An area developed during the horse and carriage Victorian age would have taken horsey matters very seriously.

Mews access with your stable manned by horse specialists (ostelers?), would have set you apart from the commoner class.

Also notice that houses get bigger and grander as you go uphill. Old photographs show the smelly reality of the age. Streets lined with manure. It was a serious problem and great heaps would have accumulated in places.

Just as Brockley Cross and New Cross Road are polluted with car exhaust fumes today, they would have been rank in those days. As for Deptford with its tanneries and slaughter houses would have been shrouded in a heady miasma.

Headhunter said...

There probably would have already been a fair amount of atmospheric pollution as well on lower ground from the rapidly industrialised economy with it's mills and factories, so the higher ground in Brockley would have been quite sought after.

Also a good thing nowadays, as the polar ice caps melt and water levels rise, at least in Brockley we shouldn't be affected if and when the Thames floods.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the pea soupers blanketing London with the outpourings of all those coal fires. Look around the chimneyscapes of Brockley and imagine them at full pelt.

People don't know they are born these days.

Anonymous said...

really interesting points about the mews, carriages and gardens etc.

re the flats development of the shop, I am undecided. it's clear that in a few years, this area will be screamingly expensive and the shops will change accordingly to (in my view) semi useless and overpriced pot pourri/scented pillow/nick nack style shops.

which indicates in favour of keeping as many shops as possible.

on the other hand, any development on a currently messy main road is good so I'm not sure.

you know what? it's a nice problem to have.

tj said...

Booth comments on the bracing and fresh air on Hilly Fields as being particulat pleasant - which is hardly suprising as early he talks about the unbearable smell of a candle factory in Deptford - his notebooks are really good reading. They are also good if you look up where you ancestors where living (if Londoners) 100 years ago - you can get a real slice of their life

lewisham wayward said...

tj - Lewisham college has talked about moving for years, tied in with Lewisham town centre plans. As far as I've heard, nothing concrete has ever been decided/announced -not sure what the site would be used for if the college relocated to the current bus station site. Don't think the site was originally large enough, but the college numbers have been going down.

Headhunter said...

Where are you all getting access to Booth's notebooks? I've found his maps, but not actual comments. Let me know

tj said...

http://booth.lse.ac.uk/

follow all the links to get information - from Booth's notebooks to the police walk notebooks

Headhunter said...

Some of the comments in Booth's notebooks aer fascinating. One street Booth says that there is a house with a "suspicious number of broken windows", but the policeman with him basically says it's OK and probably just kids.

He says at the end that "long and lazy" is a good epithet for Lewisham and that it is quiet, respectable and rather commonplace with no redeeming vices.

On 1 of the walks in Lewisham with a PC he discovers a new occupation - he sees a man collecting "dog manure" from the street and gardens for use in dye manufacture!

However Lewisham seems to be considered separate from Brockley at that time. He says Brockley is very respectable but already declining!

Monkeyboy said...

Reading a book about 'body snatching' in the 19th century. Apparently the pub at 'bricklayers arms' (not too far away) was a well known meeting place for London snatchers. Also was not a particularly bad crime, often got away with a fine. Dead bodies were not considered anyones property - worth up to £12 to a medical school.

Ah the good old days...!

Tamsin said...

Local historian, Jess Steel, also re-printed the Booth notebooks for SE around here. (Before the days of universal internet.) The THS still have a handful of copies for sale. It wasn't Booth himself who walked around with the local bobbies but a small army of assistants (who included, I beleive, Beatrix Potter at one point).

Tamsin said...

We think we are good at re-cycling but we are nothing to the Victorians. There was a market for anything from dog-turds to rats - and a whole army of people made a living just picking over the muck-heaps for what might have some value (living always in hope of that diamond ring accidentally thrown out with the carrot peelings). Mayhew is fascinating on this.

Anonymous said...

Any old iron?

tyrwhitt michael said...

Back on thread I'm afraid....
The cafe sign next to 243 referred to the other side, the soon to be Turkish Bakery, which was previously a greasy spoon called the Mediterranean Cafe. I assume it was bought by Meze Mangal's owners with the idea of expansion.

As for 243 itself it has been boarded up for some time and I can't remember what it was - possibly an office use, travel agent, insurance broker type thing. I do recall the basement being a Turkish drinking club open at all hours.

BTW wrong thread possibly, but the Tressillian Traffic lights are I suspect not being removed but being upgraded to modern LED energy efficient types. The crossing is much older than the other two along that stretch and had original tungsten filament lamps.

Headhunter said...

Certainly the Victorians were much better at recycling. The disposable/throw away society we now live in is a product of the post WW2 period. 100 years or so ago, sorry to bring out a hackneyed expression, but things were without doubt "built to last", rather than having inbuilt obsolesence. If things broke down or clothes wore out, they were mended or repaired.

The ironic thing is that in the late 19th century people were already bemoaning the reduction in quality due to mechanisation and mass production. The reaction to this was the arts and crafts movement which attempted to revitalise cottage industries and hand made craftsmanship which was declining.

lb said...

I'm not quite sure I can believe that people are presenting the levels of deprivation and poverty that meant that individuals (usually children) were compelled to pick over rubbish dumps, the Thames foreshore, etc. for potentially resaleable materials as evidence that the Victorians were "good at recycling".

This was just an early version of "Smokey Mountain", I'm afraid. Equally 'fascinating', I suppose, from the comfort of your living rooms.

Bea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bea said...

And it was Victorian children who helped make bricks for the buildings many of us now live in (possibly even at Hilly Fields).

Watching Tony Robinson in “The worst jobs in history” and the episode on brick making, made me reflect on the human cost of construction of 19th C houses in Brockley. The Victorians may have been good at recycling but I’m glad we’ve made huge steps in our labour laws!

“Children working in the brickyards

During the 19th Century the cheapest labourers in the brickyards were children as young as eight years old. Their working days were long and hard, working twelve hours a day, six days a week. They worked outside in the wet and cold; and a child could spend all day in wet clothes. Many of these children often had respiratory infections such as bronchitis.

Children could do all sorts of jobs in a brickyard, including:

- Carrying clay to the adult brick makers.

- Carrying green wet bricks to the drying sheds and stacking them to dry.

- Putting dried green bricks into the kiln.

- Emptying the kilns when the bricks had been baked.

Many children had to run to keep up with the number of bricks made by the adult workers and they could cover as much as eight miles around the brickyards each day.

It is hard to conceive the amount of child labour used in the production of the bricks for buildings constructed in the 19th century. Evidence, however, can be found on a closer look at some bricks as small fingerprints may sometimes be seen. This tells us that young children handled the green bricks.”

http://www.coam.org.uk/For_schools/Download/Victorian%20Britain/Traditional%20brick%20making.pdf

The Cat Man said...

Just guessing here, but I thought John Stainer school used to be a work house for the poor in victorian times? I wonder if that was where they made the bricks for the C Area?

Headhunter said...

I always though that Victorian matchmakers (as in the burning kind, not someone who finds you a date for the night) had one of the worst jobs out there.

Matchmakers had to dip little bits of wood into white phosphorus which has highly toxic vapours.

Many of them ended up with "phossy jaw" which started as a toothache then developed into a weeping, foul smelling abcess. The chemical caused deposition of phophorus in the bone of the jaw and the bone itself would gradually die and rot away getting smellier and more and more painful. Apparently the bone would also glow green in the dark.

The only option for the patient was removal of the jaw bone, or death by subsequent organ failure and brain damage which white phosphorus also caused.

There was a big match factory out in the east end somewhere - I think it was Bryant and May?

God, I'm glad I work in an office.

lb said...

On the right thread this time: The 1879 map of the area shows large brick fields where the bottom (i.e. Pear Tree House) end of Wickham Road is now.

There were others, and a big clay pit, kilns, tramways, etc exactly where Fossil Road and Shell Road are now.

Tamsin said...

Your're right, of course, lb - but the built-in obsolesence of Western culture sickens me - where it is cheaper to buy a new printer made in the Far East (and under possibly doubtful factory conditions) than get the old one repaired.
But in some ways that is inevitable where manufacture can be almost totally mechanised and repair has to be craftsmanship (and now, in the First World, paid at least a minimum wage). It jusst still feels so wasteful ...

The Cat Man said...

i miss the times when industry was local, people respected the quality of goods and the craftmanship of the people who made them.

There is alot of bad things about globalisation, mass production is one of them.

Anonymous said...

Mass production was around long before our concept of 'globalisation'.

And as always things are a little more complex. Mass production is also a means of making increadibly complex pieces of kit affordable. Do we only want handmade bikes made of aluminum smelted in home made kilns? The cost would be silly. Also mass production does not mean low quality, you can choose to build in as much quality as you like. In fact mass production can only work with good quality control to ensure interchangability of parts. I expect incubators are mass produced as are kidney dialysis machines as are aircraft. All reliable (well OK, the one yesterday was a bit dodgy but you get my drift) Whitworth standardised screw threads so that you could specify and buy all your fastners in bulk rather than a crafts men making all their screws themselves to their own design - hopeless.

Monkeyboy said...

HH, have you read that book 'Phosphorous' sounds like you have. It's all about...erm...Phosphorus. Sounds dull but it darn interesting.

By the way it's a bit of myth about old building being built to last. The ones that are still here are the ones that we're obviously built to last, the others may have fallen down! I'm not being glib, the first Building Control regs came out in the 15th/16th Century to enforce standards, I think it was Pepys who used to write about being woke up by the sound of buildings falling down because of sub-standard workmanship. Intersting eh? I agree though, some of the 'new builds' I saw before buying my Victorian terrace looked flimsy - can't see them being here in 100 years time.

Headhunter said...

Tamsin - that was me talking about "inbuilt obsolesence". It's a shame that the skills needed to make exquisitely crafted furniture for example have been lost forever.

I saw an article on the net a while back about some firm in Surrey or Kent or something which seemed to be producing furniture to the same quality as that produced by craftsmen in the 17th and 18th centuries. Then it was discovered that they had basically been using bits of broken furniture from that era to make up new pieces and passing them off as beautifully crafted modern reproduction pieces

Headhunter said...

Haven't read the book "Phosphorus", just heard about the matchmakers from some documentary on TV I think.

I don't necessarily think that it's true that the only old buildings left standing are those that were built to last. Just about all of the Victorian homes in London were not "built to last", they were thrown up very quickly to meet an increasing demand for accommodation as the UK economy industrialised an people moved to the cities from the country.

The foundations of the big houses in the conservation area for example are very shallow, the guy who lives in the basement of my building said that he saw the raw shell of the building when the builders were converting it to flats in 1997. They had stripped it right back also taking out the floor of the basment and below it was just soil, no obvious foundation blocks. I lived in a house in Catford which was the same, just below a hatch in the dining room floor was just soil.

Also if you read those Booth Poverty Map notes, on one of is tours of Lewisham he remarks at the shoddiness of "modern" building and particularly points out Wildfell Road in Catford as being of very poor quality and likely to be a "slum of the future", however all these buildings, which the Victorians assumed would be demolished in a matter of decades and replaced, are still standing.

Same goes for some of the buildings thrown up post WW2, they were put up in a hurry to house people whose homes had been bombed or new families after squaddies returned. Many of those are still standing long after it was assumed they would have been replaced.

I wonder how long our current new builds will last. Perhaps they will last longer than expected, however modern construction is certainly of a lower quality. Even in my own flat, some of the internal walls feel thin and flimsy and it probably wouldn't take much effort to punch through them.

Monkeyboy said...

My house sits on clay - all a bit worrying. Been there a hundread years so hoping it'll last a few more.

Monkeyboy said...

HH.. add it to your reading list


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shocking-History-Phosphorus-Biography-Element/dp/0330390058

Headhunter said...

Cheers MB - looks interesting in a Trivial Pursuit/pub quiz knowledge kinda way! I love trivia...

All of London is based on clay soil as far as I know and I don't think this causes problems unless we get very hot spells and it dries out a lot. When it dries considerably I have heard, it shrinks, making buildings more susceptible to subsidence. We should be alright at the moment with the bloody rain we're getting!

The Cat Man said...

Yeah, most of South London is based on Clay. If you live in North London then you also have hills to deal with (re. subsidence).

This is my first house and when I was re-decorating I saw a massive crack which really scared me to death! (obviously not literally). But it turned out ok.

I have learnt to accept things like this now. The good thing about subsidence on brick houses is that the house will still stay up as the bricks are solid. Not sure if its the same re. wooden framed houses.

Tamsin said...

Even some of the Cathedrals fell down - Carlisle and Durham are not according to the original concepts. (On cathedrals, my Dad and the Dean of Gloucester were taking a careful view of its fabric in the context of a major fundraising campaign and saw what looked like a crack running tens of feet long in the Lady Chapel - gasp! horror! £100s of thousands (this was in the 1960s). Then it swayed in the breeze - it was a dusty spider-web!)
Victorian doors, now stripped back so carefully are pretty shoddy too. The pine is full of knots and in places so thin the light shines through. It was meant to be covered in a good thick layer of concealing paint. On the other hand they were were crafted on site to specifically fit the openings, inequalities and non-right-angles and all - why you often can't get modern doors to fit.

Headhunter said...

I don't think it's just south London which is clay, the whole of London is clay. I remember talking to a surveyor in Islington back in the hot summer of 04 or 05 I think. He said that the weather was causing a fair amount of new problems up there.

I never understand why people strip Victorian doors back to bare wood! They were never meant to be that way, especially the front doors, but it seems to be more and more popular.

Anonymous said...

A massive crack eh Catman? ;-)

tj said...

Anon - why don't you just come out of the closet? - Catman is, and good on him - and doesn't need yr homphobic innuendos

Anonymous said...

Went to Meze Mangal last night for the first time ever. Very enjoyable and great food. I will return.

The Cat Man said...

He was just having a joke, good on him!

I would love to reply - humourously - but I have a filthy mind and I know it would end up deleted :o)

Why is everything italics?

tj said...

ok - I suppose I'm over sensitive and shouldn't fight others battles - as long as you find reference to your sexuality in that way ok.

BTW does anyone know what the restaurant is further along Lewisham way, past Tescos, on the corner. It has a little (orange) canopy above a corner entrance? Seems strange....

fabhat said...

Local History gubbins:
Have been having a dekko at the 1881 census online and have found some of the carriage class occupations - a master wine merchant (with a lot of teen/twenties sons whose only occupation is wine merchants sons) a ship broker, doctor etc. But quite suprised at the lack of minions - most places only have a cook and a housemaid so far (and this is for the big house of wickham rd) although I have found a 14 year old errand boy. Beats the brickfields I suppose...

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