Ska Travel Services, Brockley Cross

Ska Travel Services is the new business that has replaced the Nicki Fiander flower shop (priced out by their landlords) in Brockley Cross. It appears to be in the final stages of preparation prior to opening and there are clear signs of life behind the shutters - unlike many of the "businesses" in that area - so good luck to them.

The travel agency specialises in journeys to Africa, the Caribbean and the US and was formerly based in the Brockley Cross Business Centre, so its opening still represents a net gain of -1 for local busineses operating in SE4.

143 comments:

Brockley Jon said...

I first read the sign as Skat Ravel Services. I also assumed it was a minicabs firm.

Headhunter said...

Interesting! Is there really that much demand for exotic travel in Brockers?

Brockley Kate said...

Well done, landlords. Wonder if they're local? I seem to recall from one of nick's posts a long time ago that they're not.

brockley mutha said...

oh good - hope it does well.

I guess it would be largely aimed at the sizeable proportion of brockley residents for whom caribbean, africa and US wouldn't be exotic, it would be going back home to visit friends and family.

drakefell debaser said...

Mmm I wonder if they offer cheap flights to Zimbabwe, If i could save enough on the ticket in order to buy the high powered rifle needed for uncle bobs crimbo pressie it might be worth while.

I guess it depends if Ska have any Specials.

Anonymous said...

I think they do a one way plus snipers rifle deal.

Graeme said...

I guess it depends if Ska have any Specials.

Like it, like it!:-)

Headhunter said...

Badoom, tish!

patrick1971 said...

Has the Brockley Cross Business Centre closed? Walter Saunders Conveyancing, now in Crofton Park, used to be based there, and now we hear of another business moving from there to new premises.

drakefell debaser said...

I think they do a one way plus snipers rifle deal.

A 308 Winchester and a few bottles of Evian to combat the risk of cholera infection would be perfect.

On the subject of Brockley Cross Business Centre, I am not aware of any closure but maybe the businesses there are taking advantage of the available shop space to boost trade. Solicitors particularly will benefit from a high street presence.

Nice to see there are Specials fans around.

Monkeyboy said...

Is the dry cleaners reopening?? I've seen some activity in there...

The young chap who ran it before was a friendly sort, service was a bit erratic.

Hugh said...

I don't understand why travel agency shops still exist. What do they offer that the internet doesn't offer more quickly and cheaply?

Tamsin said...

A human to talk to and ask advice of...?
And they don't just sell package holidays. Way back pre-internet days I had a normal high street travel agent arrange me a three centre trip around America and he said he really enjoyed it - something to get his teeth into with a bespoke service rather than just an off-the-peg pre-packaged tour.
Now, alas, you are probably right and I would be cobbling the thing together myself with the internet. But it was nice arranging and discussing with him. (Thinking about it now, I should have sent them a post-card from Yellowstone Park, but I was possibly too young then to think of such courtesies.)

Hugh said...

You enjoy talking to travel agents and would ask their advice? We differ.

Tamsin said...

You don't have to take it. And not everyone is web savvy so there is still room for travel agents in Brockley and elsewhere - especially specialits.

JPM said...

I'm astonished that they have been allowed to use such ugly (closed)shutters. Ever other new shop in Brockley has to use grill shutters, which are easier on the eye.

nobbly brick said...

It's good to build up a negative vibe about a shop before it's even opened...

Anonymous said...

That's what we're here for!

Monkeyboy said...

looks like the other derelict shop is going to be a central heating/plumbers gaff. Not glam but could be handy.

osh said...

who's done that nobbly?

4x4 said...

Why do most of the shops in Brockley and Ladywell insist on having those ugly metal shutters anyway. They make the area look run down and they encourage grafitti. The shops that do not have shutters are not getting their windows smashed. If you want commercial premises to work then a good start is to remove the shutters-that's what has happened in other areas that have 'come up'.

Brockley Kate said...

This is exactly why I'd like to see the council put some funding into a shopfront improvement programme in Brockley. I can understand that the economics for each individual shopkeeper don't make sense, but collectively and with some kind of co-ordination and support, it is definitely possible and could make a real difference.

Unfortunately, because of the 'one off' and relatively small nature of the funding streams that seem to be available, it would require some political leadership to deliver, I think. And that's something which Brockley doesn't get - no offence to our councillors, who do a sterling job, but Mayor Steve frankly doesn't give a shit for their views, does he?

The Scat Man said...

That's a bit like saying that you could probably leave your door unlocked for the next year and not get burgled. And you'd be right - but I'm sure the metal shutters give them that little bit more piece of mind that lets you know that if a window is going to get smashed, at least it's not one of yours.

Hugh said...

Does anyone here think Brockley will really change in the next 20 years, or longer? London neighbourhoods take far longer to transform and it isn't a question of local council activity. It's a matter of whether salaried professionals move in in droves. If that doesn't happen, it's as you were.

as I've said before, this is why New Cross will never change.

Anonymous said...

At least even New Cross isn't Peckham. That place needs a strategic bomb dropping on it.

nobbly brick said...

I lived in Peckham for a few months a (good) while back. I found it to be a dynamic, multi-cultural place full of interest and with a local populace that straddled all classes and cultures. There was even an Oscar winner over the road from my temporary accommodation.

Hugh said...

Dynamic = police sirens through the night.

Multi-cultural = dealers working 24/7.

Tamsin said...

It could well be the insurance companies that are insisting on those ghastly shutters. They don't give a toss about what an area looks like - consider their pressures for the decimation of pavement trees - but are keen to avoid paying out any claims.
So the problem needs to be dealt with at a really high-up political level and must be last but one on anyone's priority list.

Sian said...

The key reason for demand for small travel agents like the new Ska is payment options. If you use the internet to book travel, you have to have a credit card or bank account with a credit card facility. Many people in the UK don't have either, particularly foreigners who are either fairly new to living here and haven't built up a financial profile which would qualify for credit facilities, or who don't have a high enough or regular salary to get a credit card. Travel agencies accept cash and other forms of payment and thus are a necessity for people who need to pay in that way. Quite simple, really. The "talk to the friendly travel agent" is normally a side issue.

Tressilliana said...

The shutters are not attractive but they don't bother me. My dad was a shop manager and at least once every year he was called out in the middle of the night because somebody had smashed the plate glass window. He was the keyholder and had to wait till the police had finished and somebody had boarded the window up. I bet he'd have been delighted to have security shutters that prevented that nuisance.

The Cat Man said...

hmm.. ok, two points.

1. hugh, if I had said those comments it would of been deleted by now for citing 'racial hatred' or something else nick dreams up.

2. Sian, the banks have been very willing to give out bank accounts/credit facilities in the recent past thats why we are in this mess. The real reason why people prefer to deal in cash is that there is no audit trail, no taxes to pay and carte blanc to send all those lovely british pounds overseas, outwidth of the uk economy.

Sian said...

Cat Man, it's true that those who have been able to get credit have often been able to get lots of it in recent years. However Treasury figures show that the number of adults in households without access to a transactional bank account changed from 2.9m in 2005/06 to 3.0m in 2006/07. Treasury and Bank of England, as well as other peer-reviewed and quantifiable research shows that recent immigrants, the long-term unemployed, those with short-term residence contracts or those in social housing, as well as those who have no savings, are often financially excluded in ways such as having no access to a bank account. It is often impossible for such "unbanked" to get access to a credit card that can be used online (which was the key point I was making in resposne to the question as to why people would prefer to use a small travel agent rather than book online). This is an area I am currently researching for my PhD so my statement was based on solid academic research rather than an anecdotal or personal view. Do you have any reliable and publicly scrutinised data to back up your views?

Anonymous said...

Honestly don't encourage him. We all know his tortured logic is just masking a profound hatred of foreigners (especially them blacks allegedly 'going on holiday' while actually stealing our money and sleeping with our women so diluting our proud Aryan blood...blah, blah, blah....)

You work for one of the big accountancy firms, do they not help clients transfer money around while remaining (ahem) tax efficient? PwC helped me when I transfered money from Australia to the UK. Do you really think little enterprises like these are the biggest offenders? Rich business types in the city do it daily ( I would guess that they are lilly white too)

jpm said...

I think you all miss the point, which is not unusual. The council no longer allows 'closed' shutters.

Headhunter said...

A few things....

Hugh etc - Brockley already has changed, as has New Cross and Peckham. There are some very gentrified spots of Peckham if you know where to look. Enormous Victorian villas beautifully maintained on a par with parts of Highgate. Who knows whether Brockley will ever rival Islington or west London but I believe it can only get better.

Cat Man - It's very hard for non EU nationals to get credit cards or even bank accounts in the UK. A Japanese friend of mine had huge difficulties opening a bank account here back in 2000. He simply wanted somewhere to deposit several thousand pounds to live on, but UK banks would not take his money, let alone issue a credit or debit card. I tried to help, even tried to offer to "guarantee" him as I was (WAS - I left them following this) a long term client of Barclays but, at the end of the day, computer said no. He had no credit history here...

It's us "true blue" Brits which have consumed enormous wuantities of cheap credit, not "foreigners".

JPM - What are "closed" shutters and hat are the alternatives?

The Cat Man said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brockley Nick said...

Cat man, if you want to continue your debate, please write it on your blog and by all means link to it. As has been discussed, this blog is not here for incessant debates about immigration.

drakefell debaser said...

Shutters don't need to look ugly, Long Time Cafe for example have made theirs look really nice. The high st is a huge blank canvas in this respect.

The Cat Man said...

The Broca food market on Mantle Rd has amazingly nice shutters, theres a picture somewhere here on this blog...

betamatt said...

What Brockley's shops need is a visit from Eine:

http://poppytalk.blogspot.com/2006/01/eines-shopfront-shutter-graffiti_17.html

Headhunter said...

That grafitti is good, but I'm sure Brockley's fried chicken eaters would probably quickly add their own tags to it if it were done here

Anonymous said...

No need to tar all fried chicken eaters with the same brush - I love a KFC and don't cause vandalism. Thery're not analogous to the Mung-elite.

Hugh said...

Headhunter, we all know where the big houses are in Peckham. That doesn't make it gentrified or give it scope for further change. Even dumps like Forest Hill have a couple of nice streets.

nobbly brick said...

I'm surprised you know where all the big houses are in Peckham - it obviously means you have a comprehensive knowledge of the area, some of them are quite tricky to find (and not all big). The < estate agent speak > sought-after Choumerts < /estate agent speak > have been gentrified for some considerable time.

Headhunter said...

Hugh - Neither does it mean that the whole of Peckham (or Forest Hill, or Brockley for that matter) are overrun with dealers with everything drowned out by police sirens. Do you seriously believe that Brockley has gone as far as it ever will? What's your basis for this?

20 years ago, Upper Street was like any other high street, now it's a thriving pot of independent shops, cafes and restaurants and parts like Canonbury have some lovely houses. At the same time, Islington has huge concentrations of social housing, but when people think of Islington they don't think of dealers and police sirens. Even though when I lived off Upper Street I heard far more sirens than I ever do in SE London. I think you're just pandering to "Daily Mail", superficial perceptions.

patrick1971 said...

"if I had said those comments it would of been deleted by now for citing 'racial hatred' or something else nick dreams up."

"Would HAVE been" (conditional past perfect, if my memory serves me correctly) and "inciting"; "citing" means something completely different. And "Nick" should have a capital letter, as it's a proper noun. For someone who claims to be so worried about English identity, you really can mangle our language.

And also, it's "carte BLANCHE", as "carte" is feminine. But I'll let you off that one, as it's a nasty foreign language.

Headhunter said...

Patrick - I wouldn't worry too much, I think Cat Man is grammatically a lost cause...

jpm said...

Headhunter, by 'closed' I mean the type that hides all the goods (and light) inside the shop.

In Kilburn, following regeneration funding, and strict planning rules, many shopkeepers' received funding to replace the old metal (closed) shutters for grills - and it improved the area enormously.

A lot of shops now leave their window lights on, advertising their wares, and this adds to increased security for the shop and for the community.

The closed shutters are presumably covered by planning at Lewisham, and are probably not allowed in their present form. KJ Bbuilders, which has now moved closer to Brockley at the top of Loampit Vale, was not allowed to have closed shutters.

Anonymous said...

Go Patrick!

The Cat Man said...

criky, patrick - you should become an auditor - the profession would love you!!!

Hugh said...

Headhunter, you can't point to Islington as proof that Brockley will change. The two are very different, and were 20 years ago.

As for whether I think Brockley will change, frankly I don't. This area of London has too high a proportion of low-income and council tenant inhabitants for real change ever to come. It will stay as a staging post, nevertheless, for young professionals and a smallish number of middle class families whose need for floor space prices them out of better known areas.

This isn't dissing Brockley - it's just stating what I think it obvious.

Headhunter said...

Certainly you're entitled to your view and I have no idea whether in 20 years Brockers will have moved on much, but I think it has the potential to do so.

I am not using Islington as proof, just as an example. Brockley and Islington are different but not that different. Granted Islington is closer to central London than Brockley but Islington also had and continues to have a huge proportion of low-income and council tenant inhabitants which hasn't held it back at all.

Islington has pockets of wealth and pockets of deprivation and there is surely potential for the same thing to occur in Brockley. the conservation area for example is similar to spots like Canonbury with its large Victorian housing stock.

Go back 20-30 years and these buildings in Islington were also the home to people living below the poverty line. Notting Hill was the same.

Anonymous said...

Personally I think Brockley is far more attractive than Islington (the Conservation area and green spaces anyway) and has huge potential for regeneration but an image problem.

I have lived in London all my 39 years (south west mainly) but before 2007 had never even heard of Brockley. Once I had visited I loved it and I moved here last year.

Once the ELL is up and running more people will become aware of Brockley's charms and with a direct line to Shoreditch and the city that will probably mean an influx of new residents.

In 10 years time this could easily be a new Notting Hill. Whether that's a good or bad thing is another matter!

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree. I have seen people get excited by Brockley during previous economic cycles.

It has some nice houses, but it remains, for the most part, a dormitory for city workers. A number of the larger houses are used for refuges, hostels and half way houses of one kind or another. And then there are the students.

These groups, rich or poor, represent a significant proportion of the Brockley population that are transitory. They stay a few years and then move on, making their home elsewhere. There is little to keep them. The level of social cohesion is limited, the area has few places where it comes together. Local facilities are few and lack lustre.

I suspect the reason is that the local economy does not benefit from a recognisable 'high street'. It has a few isolated parades of shops, most of which have been decimated by the large supermarkets that draw of large numbers of car owning residents to spend outside the area.

For entertainment, people go into central London or into Greenwich.

Brockley, just does not have the ingedients. Nor is there any development plan from the Lewisham council, which seems so concentrate on redesigning Lewisham town centre again and encouraging artists to set up shop in Deptford and maybe turn it into the Brick Lane of south London.

There have always been plenty of salaried professionals living in Brockley, but there are few places for them to spend their salary.

However...this might change. If all the business ant hills in the City start closing down. Then maybe new companies will employ more homeworkers. After all, it is quite possible to do most of what you can do in an office at home, these days.

If there was a major shift in the economy of the workplace like that, then Brockleys' fortunes might might change.

At the moment its future looks rather dull.

Agree/diagree?

Anonymous said...

If living in Brockley means I still have a bit more of a salary to spend somewhere else (where it would otherwise go on rent and keeping myself barely alive) - then viva Brockley. We're all Londoners, anyway, and if it means we get to live somewhere cheap that still looks nice then that really is a bonus and we shouldn't see a short train ride as an obstacle.

The Cat Man said...

Completely disagree.

In the 3 years I have been here the following new shops/facilities have opened:

The Broca Cafe,
Dandelion Blue,
Degustation,
Ecosim,
The Broca Food Market,
The Shop on the Hill,
The Tea Leaf Arts Gallery.

These are mostly 'desirable' facilities. Even if Dandelion Blue closes there is most certainly an upwards trend around the station.

Additionally, the flower shop closing and the travel shop opening up - it was due to rent increases by the landlord.

Commercial property values are therefore increasing as well as residential.

The only way is up and you can see it already. People are reluctant to put their house on the market as prices have not decreased that much around the station and I have personally seen a large increase in well-dressed individuals living/using Brockley station since being here.

This trend will only continue. External property investment companies have penciled in Brockley for 'moderate' growth above and beyond the London average from 2010 onwards.

Hugh said...

Ain't dissin the hood, bros. Just keepin in real.

Hugh said...

Cat Man, your views on house prices are from Mars. People aren't selling because no one will buy above rock bottom prices. The crunch has hit.

echo said...

"Does anyone here think Brockley will really change in the next 20 years, or longer?"

No, can't say I'm too bothered either - just don't want it to change for the worse.

Brockley's never going to be an important spot on the map. Best you can hope for is that it'll be a reasonable sort of place with crime, vandalism, litter and general griminess kept under control.

Also, a recession is starting which could drag on for years, part of a big readjustment in the world economy. Most of the growth in trendy 'value-added' shops and cafes occurred during a consumer boom. That now belongs to another age.

Headhunter said...

Yes, Brockley does have an element of "dormitory workers", however so does Islington, Notting Hill etc.

In fact I'd be willing to gamble that Islington and Notting Hill have far more young, single City/advertising etc workers than Brockley has. In both these areas there are also a large percentage of workers over here from the US or Germany perhaps at the "London office" of their employer for 2 or 3 years before they head home. The population in these places is far more transient.

I would bet that there is far more social cohesion here than in either Islington or Notting Hill. In fact there are posters on this website who have lived in teh area for 20 years. In any case, social cohesion does not bring money or affluence, neither does it necessarily reject it. Do you think "social cohesion" ranks high on young City bankers' checklists when they choose to live in Notting Hill? I doubt it.

You are right that Brockley lacks a centre though and a cohesive destination of little shops and cafes etc which would attract money and gentrify the area (if that's what we are aiming for).

As for Lewisham council and its development plans. Do you think Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (for Notting Hill) had a development plan to turn those areas into what they are today? I doubt it. I think it was merely down to factors like closeness to work, and attractiveness of the areas which started the ball rolling in bringing in money and gentrifying. Brockley is 2 stops from London Bridge so v close to the City and also close to Canary Wharf. The large houses of the conservation area as well as the small, manageable sized houses outside are not exactly unattractive.

You say that if the City starts closing down, Brockley's star will rise. I believe exactly the opposite. If people work from home as you suggest, why should they choose to do it in Brockley? Why not from a leafy village in Kent? The City is the key to Brockley's gentrification (again, if that's the aim).

All in all the ingredients are defuinitely in place, however the cake may take 20 years to bake...

Tired of waiting said...

if Brockley is ever going to pull itself 'up' and be perceived as a more desireable place to live, it would have happened by now. We've just experienced one of the biggest booms ever, and areas with no better housing stock or links to the city eg. SE22 have changed beyond recognition and have absorbed the Islington and Clapham diaspora.

Many young pro's move here, thinking they've boldly discovered something that nobody has ever discovered before, and seeing themselves as trend-setters others will surely follow. This delusion lasts about 4 years in my experience, and then most move on. Few settle.

A lot of us were full of hope when the old Brakespears Arms got shut down hoping we were going to get a half decent boozer in the centre of things, only to find out that Brockley was considered only fit for Wetherspoons. Next came Moonbay Jokes, which again filled us with hope, and led a small upsurge of independent businesses. Now that's gone.

Talking to the EA's, the consensus is it'll take around 15 years to appear on the radar of the average Joe and be seen as comfortable and relatively desireable place to move to.

Sorry to be so bearish. I'm with Hugh.

The Cat Man said...

I think alot of you are not considering the 'relative' benefits and focusing on the 'general' downturn that we are presently experiencing.

My point is that Brockley will 'relatively' improve compared to other areas and the main reason driving this is 'structual change' in the immediate area. I.e. the ELL.

This is all factual, theres proof there already and its only going to improve more 'relative' to other areas.

Most investors know this.

@hugh, if house owners wanted to sell they would. Again my point 'relative' to other areas there appears to be less housing for sale around the station area.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Cartman.
The change has already started and the ELL will only lead to more. Brockley is a lovely but still relatively 'undiscovered' area - being on the tube and directly connected to the city and 'happening' Shoreditch will change that.

I know several people who live and work in the East End and are keeping a close eye on Brockley as a place to buy.

It may not become Notting Hill (thank God) but it's definitely on the up.

Anonymous said...

What "happens" in Shoreditch?

Monkeyboy said...

I'm beginning to hate 'this' punctuation.

Patrick, can you please issue some guidelines for 'correct' usage.

Tired o w said...

Brockley's been on the up for the last twenty years.., but I agree that the ELL can only speed things up.

Anonymous said...

Following Englands bucolic dream to a leafy haven in a village connected by broadband, has its downsides.

There is little to do. The local facilities are limited and you need a car or two to make up for the patchy or non-existent public transport. As a homeworker you can go stir crazy.

Areas like Brockley with its big houses and gardens are a good compromise - if it had more local facilities.

If this depression is dramatic as they say, the million languid city workers who daily brave the numbing tedium of the great tidal flow by rail and road to sit in offices, might see some changes in the way this city works.

Tumbleweeds rolling through the City, the lights permanently out at Canary Wharf. Celebrity chefs busking outside their cobwebbed premises. The tumult of trade ground to a dispirting halt.

Big business de-centralised, its workers spread across the urban area. Set free from the shackles of the commute and the pernicious politics of the office, their lives enriched and more balanced. Their work, home based or in a small workspace close by.
Vital, vibrant communities thriving in the London Boroughs.

Of course, many of those curmudgeonly transport workers would lose their jobs, but I daresay this could be offset by openings in the street cleaning department.

Brockley in twenty years? I have lived her that amount of time already and has not changed that much.

But then, these are interesting times. All bets are off.

Headhunter said...

"if Brockley is ever going to pull itself 'up' and be perceived as a more desireable place to live, it would have happened by now. We've just experienced one of the biggest booms ever..."

Yes but Brockley is not going to become Notting Hill overnight (thank god??). Notting Hill and Islington have become what they are now slowly and gradually not over the course of one quick Nu Lab led boom. If Brockley is to go anywhere it'll be a pretty slow process, a little here and a little there. It's not a foregone conclusion that if it hasn't happened by now it'll never happen. Why shouldn't it happen in 10-20 years?

Hoxton Finlay said...

'What "happens" in Shoreditch?'

Everything happens in Shoreditch - obviously you're not getting the invites!
;-)

Tired said...

Beautifully written 17:36. With me, it's a case of familiarity breeding contempt. Having seriously considered the move to the S Coast or deeper into Kent, and spending time kicking bricks, I invariably pick up on the parochial vibe of the dream destination and can't wait to get back here :-)

jpm said...

I chose Brockley for a number of reasons. Amongst those was the belief that here was an area that was extrememly close to central London, with a community vibe, with beautiful, relatively underpriced properties - and withing Zone 2.

Brockley, despite the financial hiccups, is on the 'up', and the forthcoming line will bring much interest this summer and beyond.

Property prices go up, and then go down, and then go up, and... watch this space.

Anonymous said...

Shoreditch is where students go to party in clubs and bars full of DJs, VJs and the purveyors of drugs that make you feel cool and want to hug strangers.

Shoreditch has seen many a massive debit land on a parental credit cards as self absorbed twenty somethings spend a year of living dangerously before they boomerang back to the homestead.

The ELL means you can take the tube there and, if you can stay awake, back on the first train the following morning. Thus solving the logistical nightmare that is a night out in Shoreditch.

Of course if New Cross becomes the Haight-Ashbury of London and Deptford becomes its East Village. Well, we may see the tide turning and North London types heading in this direction to lose a few brain cells of an evening.

This, apparently, is urban development and Lewisham Boroughs'
Cunning Plan to improve Deptford.

echo said...

Not sure I want loads of Shoreditch types moving here.

It could lead to an explosion in drug-dealing to meet their 'needs'.

Better to have affordable housing for key workers like police, firemen, NHS staff rather than hordes of meeja cokeheads and trustafarians.

Keep the undesirables out.

Monkeyboy said...

Is it just me or have we had this conversation before?

max said...

Yes, and the saddos from outer space that didn't have a life before having children and are now full of envy and resentment towards people enjoying themselves are back.

Beware Monkeyboy, you're a funny kind of guy too, they don't like those like you either. You've been warned.

echo said...

You can address me directly if you want Max, I've got a fairly thick skin.

Thicker than yours evidently.

max said...

Well, if you want to brag about your thickness then I'll just let you speak.

echo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
max said...

No, I won't explain that because that's your assumption. In fact all sorts of people do drugs only that you like to pick on the Shoreditch clubbing crowds, not any other.
Bankers are full of coke and doctors just help themselves in the cabinet. Apprentice plumbers insted do crack.
But those are not your business, you don't like those others, the undesirables.

echo said...

"Yes, and the saddos from outer space that didn't have a life before having children"

Now why associate joylessness with having kids? There's great joy in bringing up a family.

echo said...

Oh I'd happily pick on any coke 'user'. It's a rubbish drug for rubbish people.

John Moonbow said...

Before a BC civil war ensues, it may be appropriate to bring you back to the shutters issue. Many insurers will not insure a commercial property with a SE postcode without shutters, reducing choice and increasing premium. A broken window is often not the issue; it is etching of the glass, which you will find on most shop and bus windows in the area.

max said...

First, I didn't say that kids don't bring joy, I spoke of the period "before" having children because you and the anonymous you echoed sound just like two stiff chaps that never had fun that doesn't include kids as you lack any empathy for those that do.

I have a daughter myself and although she's lot of fun I almost haven't seen a gig or been at the cinema for three years now and can't wait to resume some degree of life beyond the fulfillment that parenthood gives. Anyway, since I had a full 15 years of adult life where I could enjoy myself without kids around I haven't got regrets really.

If you had been around town without kids you'd have seen that there are all sorts of people everywhere and they are up to all sorts of things too.
People need to go out and meet and socialize, all of them, even the young and trendy.
And how do they get a chance to have kids and start on the joys of parenthood themselves if they don't have places where they can meet and mate?

Some do drugs and many other don't, in fact I believe that most of them go clubbing to get laid. And as I already said I believe that people of all sorts do drugs and that picking on young and trendy is a generalization.

I can't think of one argument against a few more trendy twentysomthings in the local social mix and to finish, your proposition that the presence of clubs for trendy youths is an impediment to more housing for essential workers is a rather hazardous leap of logic that I'd love to see explained if you can.

Anonymous said...

Somehow I don't think many will stray beyond the pleasure dome that is New Cross and Deptford.

Brockley will remain the same: a place to snooze.

I like the idea of decorated shutters.

Some sort of design appropriate to each type of business. The design
committee responsible for urban regeneration should look into it. If Peckham can have its little Victorian brass lamps on every shop in regenerated areas then Lewisham needs its own signature.

Shutters decorated with Chickens, Paychecks, Gravestones, Slot machines....

The Cat Man said...

and syringes perhaps.....

Max, you half bang on about things like you have a right chip on your shoulder. I'm still amazed that you are convinced, and I quote 'the majority of newspapers in the UK are fascist'.

I think you need to get out more. At least get out of lewisham and experience the REAL way people live.

max said...

Thank you Cat Man, I take any amount of tripe from you as a compliment. Happy New Year mate.

The Cat Man said...

always happy to please a fellow brockley-ite - happy new year to you too!

max said...

But what I won't take is to be misquoted. You are not getting away with this one.
I just read your comment and thought "I didn't write that", so I went to check and in fact I didn't.

You Sir, in your usual sick fun mood had a dare with yourself to see if you could misquote me to myself and get away with it, just one of the countless times you freely create "facts" for this blog.

The full comment you misquoted from is here and the part you tried to misrepresent reads as follows:

"With the near fascist and borderline racist content of most mainstream British tabloids it's not uncommon to find regular people holding bigoted xenophobic opinions today in Britain."

A statement I stand by and that you prove in full.

The Cat Man said...

*yawn*

Headhunter said...

Oh dear, we've descended into insults again....

Going back to Shoreditch though, it has become a bit of destination. many of the clubs and bars that used to be in the West End have relocated due to high rent and unsympathetic attitudes from Westminster council. Some to areas like Vauxhall and others to Hoxton and Shoreditch.

Of course Brockley wasn't a million miles from Shoreditch before the ELL closed down - it was v easy to hop on a Tube from NC. I look forward to the new link to the clubs and bars over that way, as you say, linking the delights of Shoreditch with New Cross! Time Out mag was predicting that increasingly "cutting edge" clubs and bars would be found outside zone 1 and areas like Shoreditch, Hoxton or further north around Hackney are prime places - rents are cheaper and it's where the "kids" live.

Actually talking of Time Out, they interviewed someone - reader of the week or something - last issue. If memory serves, the woman lived in Honor Oak and mentioned the wonderful banoffee pie at Toads Mouth 2 as a great thing about the area. Slowly TO is becoming more aware of life beyond the Tube. Partly because they now have a writer who lives in Sydenham.

drakefell debaser said...

'Max, you half bang on about things like you have a right chip on your shoulder'

A hypocrite too, my my my.

The Cat Man said...

No, i-m honest - i do have a chip on my shoulder - discrimination towards white working class males!

max said...

Cat Man, did you really say "discrimination towards white working class males"

It's a hilarious pick and mix from those that stand for the "white straight male" and those that stand for the "white working class".

For Cat Man it's got to be white and working class and male. Women are not invited and being straight is not a prerequisite to be in this constituency either.

Cone on, start a party!

Anonymous said...

There's a great punk scene round Brockley / Lewisham / New Cross. That's worth living here for IMO

M said...

Headhunter, you're right of course about Shoreditch being a destination for bars etc and I'm certainly looking forward to hopping on that shiny new tube to get there quickly and easily.

However, I'm even more interested in attracting the people that currently work and live in Shoreditch and the surrounding area to Brockley. There are lots of arts and media companies around there and more moving in all the time. Despite the narrow-minded (and rather cliched) comments on here about 'cokeheads and trustafarians', these are staffed with young professionals earning fairly good incomes who'll presumably soon be wanting to settle down somewhere leafy and attractive but close to work.

Brockley is perfect for them - so how do we get them here?

Brockley Kate said...

I think it would be horrible if Brockley turned into Notting Hill or Islington!

I'm looking forward to the East London Line, but not in the hope that it will bring an influx of smug middle-class wankers. Simply because it will improve transport for people who already live in this area!

M said...

Kate, why do you assume they will be 'smug middle class wankers'?
Why does everything on this blog become about class - it's so dull.

Hugh said...

What M said. For 'middle class' read 'well remunerated'. Surprising how many right-on people are basically chippy about earning peanuts. Most of the BBC and broadsheet journalistic profession, for instance. And, it appears, quite a few Brockley inhabitants.

'Hey man, this is a creative neighbourhood. We don't want you pin-striped drones spoiling it.'

Actually, the neighbourhood was built for pin-striped drones.

Headhunter said...

I don't think we need to worry one way or the other, once the ELL/Overground is in place, people (whoever they are and of whatever class) who spend time in Hoxton or Shoreditch will "discover" Brockley

Anonymous said...

I don't want an influx of smug people to the area who think they are doing us a favour just be being here.

The people are what makes an area and from my perception Brockley is doing alright, we have good people here, as evidenced by the various community groups; proactive people doing things for others. They may not be rich but they care about their area.

Slowly but surely our community is building through events and local activism. That community feeling is what makes an area desirable as much as property.

Hugh said...

'Smug people who think they are doing us a favour...'

Oh do put a sock in it. Economic class war is so last year.

Anyway, being smug is ace.

Anonymous said...

Economic class war is so last year.

So is being smug. Get with it!

Hugh said...

I think you'll find being smug is the new black.

Brockley Kate said...

There's a difference between being middle class and being a smug middle-class wanker.
There aren't many of the latter in Brockley at the moment, but other areas of London are sadly blighted with them.

Hugh said...

How many dull working-class wankers are there in Brockley?

Brockley Kate said...

I have met 1 in the time I've lived here.

How many have you met, Hugh?

Anonymous said...

But most of BCs readership comes accross as smug middle class wankers. I mean - getting excited over delis?

M said...

I'm not really interested in what class the new arrivals are (or how 'smug' - whatever that means), just in creative, interesting people and how we get them to move to Brockley.
If they come the restaurants, bars and shops will follow and make this an even better, more vibrant place to live.

This blog is a great start but what other measures can be taken?
We perhaps need a feature in Time Out or *prepares for onslaught of obvious mungbean gags* The Guardian.

Wild Bill said...

You can normally find a couple of dull working-class wankers in the Barge of an evening if you look out for them.

Headhunter said...

"But most of BCs readership comes accross as smug middle class wankers. I mean - getting excited over delis?"

Many of the people who post here actually seem to get excited about labelling themselves and Brockley as fiercely working class. WHat a load of old ****

Anonymous said...

That's the sweet part about this area, we get excited over delis as opposed to being blasé about them.

What some don't realise that many of those oh so desirable creative people are already here. They run or involved in Open Studios, the Max, Tea Leaf Arts? In my building there's two people that work for a national newspaper, thing is they are very busy.

M said...

I didn't say there weren't already creative people in Brockley - of course there are. I was trying to start a discussion about what I see as Brockley's low recognition factor and how we attract more people to move here and regenerate the area and how the ELL will help with that.

Anonymous said...

Looks like rumours of the death of 'class war' have been greatly exaggerated
Class war alive and kicking

lb said...

"even better, more vibrant place to live"

Why does Brockley 'need' this? It's quiet, pleasant, leafy, and there are plenty of nice enough people living here already, from a variety of backgrounds. If I want things to 'do' of an evening I'll go to New Cross, or Shoreditch, for that matter.

Sometimes I have to suspect that the eagerness of some individuals for the area to 'regenerate', or for new residents to move in, might just reflect their desire for the value of their house to go up, rather than any real interest on what will happen to the place as a whole. I mean,come on: what does it matter if your neighbour's an artist, a bus driver, or an actuary for that matter, as long as they say hello from time to time?

As I've said before, if anyone's really interested in seeing the area become anything other than a dormitory, they should listen to Jon S, who has made sensible statements on the importance of getting certain kinds of business (not delis, either) to relocate to Brockley. This isn't necessarily going to make the area any more 'creative' or 'vibrant', though, just more commercially active and better-developed.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. People should speak to their neighbours more before worrying about what they do for a living. In any case, their jobs shouldn't make much difference to you.

Brockley Kate said...

Yeah, agree with LB.

Anyone got any good ideas for economically regenerating Brockley?

The Cat Man said...

Actually, and I know how sad this may sound, but I find it rather exciting to see the dynamics in motion and how an area changes from an economic perspective.

And certainly, it is happening whether we like it or not!

Further down the road there are also obvious drawbacks. I for one am quite worried about the increase in noise pollution from greater traffic, people, ipods etc... when brockley takes off more.

At the moment, my street is completely quiet past 10pm. how long that will last is anyones guess!

Hugh said...

And while we're on the subject, what does 'creative' mean?

Most 'creative' people seem to work in account mangement when you ask them, having studied marketing at Hull. I find City types far more rounded and interesting, notwithstanding that they don't wear skinny jeans half way down their arses to the office, at 35 years of age.

Brockley Nick said...

@M - re: telling Brockley's story to the wider world, watch this space...

Anonymous said...

Nick can you clarify what your motivation is for doing all this?

Brockley Nick said...

Anon, what do you mean?

Anonymous said...

promoting Brockley

Brockley Nick said...

You just answered your own question.

I have written plenty of times on here about the motivation for running the site, but the main one is that I thought something like BC should exist - to get the community talking and sharing news about the local area. There's lots happening but there was nothing online. In terms of promoting Brockley to the wider world, building an online presence was the central challenge in my view. As a result, journalists regularly lift stories and use the site for research. Anyway, as I say, there will hopefully be a very interesting development on this front in the next week or so...

Anonymous said...

Why do you feel Brockley needs promoting?

Brockley Nick said...

Why are you on this website?

Anonymous said...

Personally? Looking for dogging sites in South London

Anonymous said...

I am procrastinating from what I should be doing.

Why does Brockley need promoting and to whom?

M said...

@lb I'm not going anywhere for a while so I'm not much bothered about my house price rising and I know all my neighbours perfectly well so quite happy there too thanks.

However I would like a nice pub to drink in, another couple of restaurants and a few more interesting shops so bring on the ELL and the new residents/businesses it will hopefully bring with it.

@Nick. Sounds exciting - looking forward to that. Be careful though - sounds like some people around here don't like change! ;-)

Anonymous said...

There's change and there's improvement, some people don't seem to be appreciate the difference ;)!

Brockley Nick said...

Why don't you procrastinate by reading what I have written in articles many times before? ;)

I enjoy doing the site. People enjoy using it.

Anonymous said...

Why do you feel Brockley needs promoting and to whom? It's a simple and logical question given the amount of work this site and promotion entails.
What do you want Brockley to become? You have appear to have quite firm about tall buildings, the rest of us I'm sure would like to know where you are going with this?

I am not getting at you I'm just curious.

Brockley Nick said...

It's a simple question and I have attempted to answer it already?

I wanted to promote Brockley primarily to the people who live in it, to make them aware of what the area already offers and secondarily to people who don't live in Brockley, because like many of the people who live in Brockley I am immensely proud of where I live.

If your question is whether I am being paid, the answer is no. If it is whether I have any vested interests? Only as much as any resident in the area.

As to what I want for the area, that is the subject of many of the articles on here - if you read them, you will get a goodish sense of it. I want nicer, more active main streets, better parks and facilities for kids, pubs that are pleasant places to go for a pint and maybe even something to eat, community events which people support, shops that are open and which sell things that a wide range of people might like, a cash machine near Brockley station, Costcutter to copy Budgens' revamp, etc.

But of course, it's not just about what I want, it's what you want too, which is why this blog is so committed to encouraging debate.

I hate knee-jerk overreactions, lazy stereotypes and entrenched viewpoints that dominate much debate here and in all walks of life. The hyteria over tall buildins is just one of my many bugbears.

Anonymous said...

Ok thank you.

Wild Bill said...

Anonymous, Brockley Nick is obviously some kind of machiavellian like evil genius.

1. Moves into low end area

2. Spends years running a blog about the area that encourages local residents to discuss local issues / interests

3. ????

4. $$ Profit $$

He's probably done this countless times in countless low end areas with countless blogs. Thank god someone has finally cottoned onto to his tricks and exposed him for the unscrupulous shyster he really is.

Anonymous said...

Don't be stupid.

Anonymous said...

Sites like this are a good thing.

They encourage people to take an interest in their local area. Maybe take part in community activities, meet other people in the neighbourhood. If anyone is going to spend a few years living in this area, it is a good idea to get to know it.

Though some of the discussions seem rather trite and there are the usual windbags with their hobby horses; this is a good example of a community website and it has a lot of potential.

It records questions, opinions, debates and discussions at a level where anyone can say almost what they want about what is going on in the area.

The fortunes of areas like Brockley are hostage to the whims of government policy, landlords, business and the greater economy.

The more people discuss, gossip and know what is going on, the more empowered they feel. The more likely they will be to take action to improve the area or just know what services exist, what new shops have opened or closed.

In areas of London such as Brockley, there can be high levels of social isolation. There are few places where people come together.

This site, with its local stories, is like a parish magazine with dynamic letters column built in. A nice example of the use of the Internet for publishing.

I quite like the parochialism and the chatter about shops. It tends to discourage the types who just want to rave about the great issues of the day. There are plenty of other websites for that sort of thing.

However, I imagine it takes up a lot of someones time and, if it is to be anything more than a hobby, that time will have to be paid for at some point, if it is to have a long term future.

How do you make a living out of a parish blog? Where does it lead?

I expect we will see, soon enough.

Brockley Nick said...

You can't make enough money to live on with a blog like this. We could carry local sponsorship but a) it would take a lot of work to cast around for sponsors b) many local businesses are either not aware of the site or not happy about anything with a whiff of criticism about them c) it would cannibalise advertising for existing outlets such as BrocSoc newsletter, d) it would not make much money anyway and e) it would cause me no end of grief from people accusing me of being a sell-out etc. Which is not to say that BC would never carry sponsorship under any circumstances just that money is not the motivator. And anyone with google ads will tell you how little they generate.

If, on the other hand, this site plays a small part in helping projects like the Talbot refurb get off the ground or keeping some of the local shops in business, then it will all be worth it in terms of quality of life...

Hugh said...

Ah yes, the Talbot refurb.

Brockley Kate said...

... and that's why BC works best as several people each chipping in, rather than one person trying to make a living out of it.

[This post was brought to you by BC's 'If you like it so much, why don't you write something for us about it?' committee, otherwise known as the 'We are always open to assistance' grouping]
/hint

Anonymous said...

Just think Kate - when we get a forum, people will be able to write their own news, start their own threads etc etc. - I'd imagine that would stimulate it a lot more than asking (which, by the way, you have been very polite and encouraging about!)

The Cat Man said...

Yes.... I can only treasure the prospect.. :o)

Bea said...

Please don't change this site to a forum!!!! It'll get firewalled by the office which means I'll no longer be able to enjoy the daily debates / cat fights from my desk during a dull moment at work.

Monkeyboy said...

My Addiction Therapist will welcome the restriction of my ability to rant incoherently during work hours.

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