A Bold Vision for Telegraph Hill

Bold Vision Benefit Night
January 29th, 7.30pm onwards
St Catherine's Church

Bold Vision is the name of a project being led by residents in Telegraph Hill to create a new multi-purpose venue underneath the former Cafe Orange.

The group aim to create a new social enterprise, transforming a dark garage space in to a cafe, which will host live performances and other events.

To raise funds and awareness about the project, the group is staging a benefit night, supported by a range of local performers, including Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals and appearances by folk singer/songwriter Kat Drake, blues band Little Devils, accordion and violin duo Mazaika, comic interventions by Phil Nice, readings and drama and much more, including a bar.

Tickets are available from the Telegraph Hill Centre and on the door. The concert is free to under-18s, and tickets for adults have a suggested price of £5+.


Anonymous said...

Great news. A cafe in that spot is greatly needed and in my opinion the park is the best for miles. So that will really be the icing on the cake.

Anonymous said...

Great news. A cafe in that spot is greatly needed and in my opinion the park is the best for miles. So that will really be the icing on the cake.

Anonymous said...

Great news. A cafe in that spot is greatly needed and in my opinion the park is the best for miles. So that will really be the icing on the cake.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, glitch...

Brockley Nick said...

I just thought you were really, really, really excited :)

Anonymous said...

Me too.

Tamsin said...

Worth getting really, really, really excited about. Just been trying to squeeze the biogs. of those performing onto a single sheet of A4 that will still be legible and they've got some really great people lined up - including Mazaika - who were so good at the event on Hilly Fields last summer, Andrew Barclay (principal percussionist at the London Philharmonic) and Andrew Ball.

First half designed to be child friendly, with, among other things, Carnival of the Animals.

Tamsin said...

Sorry - Nick has said all that...

Moira said...

This sounds great. Mazaika went down a storm at Brockley Max last year.

Lou Baker said...

As a TH resident I have to say a cafe would be most welcome.

However, seeing there was a cafe there before - and that it closed down - you'd have to wonder what's different this time.

Certainly turning it in to some pseudo hippy hang out for pilates groups and basket weaving classes is not the way to make it a success. It is what we will probably get though.

What's really needed is a proper entrepreneur to
knock down the rubbish that's there and build a swanky restaurant with views over London.

But there are too many ultra-lefties in Telegraph Hill for this to ever happen.

They couldn't contemplate someone making a profit when the Drakefell Road over 60's knitting class has nowhere to meet.

Tamsin said...

Part of what's different is that the Cafe that was there before opened about four hours a day and not at weekends as it was primarily a training project for which Carr Gomm (the mental health charity) had funding. It closed when the current funding ran out and they did not manage to replace it. Where this will be different is that it will open the usual long hours that you expect a cafe to do, and it does have the pavement space at ground level to open out and be visible, rather than being shut behind those ex-library walls with tiny windows.

However, given how isolated it is - the only transport links within five minutes walk being the 484 and 345 buses - no entrepreneur wanting to set up a swanky restaurant drawing clientele from a wide area would get the financial backing to do so, despite the views over London - contrary to the evidence of last year banks are not that stupid. But with seed-corn local funding something along those lines is the long-term aim - Patricio (of Artmongers) does at least think big. Whether one would like the aesthetics of the final result is a diffent matter.

When the space has been made usable (it is the ex-car park underneath that is being developed, not the former Cafe Orange) tenders will be invited from experienced restauranteurs to operate the cafe business - for a profit for themselves and to generate a surplus rent to be ploughed into the further development - possible roof garden, viewing platform, up-stairs eatery - and the Centre as a whole.

The different pilates groups are already three evenings a week in the Telegraph Hill Centre and don't need the space - except hopefully they will stop off at the cafe when it is up and running to boost its profits and replace the burnt up calories. The under 40s knitting club already meet alternate Tuesdays in the Telegraph in Dennetts Road - and could probably not be persuaded to abandon the draught beer. The over 60s make hats on Monday afternoons which they sell through an East End market outlet or wear themselves on trips to Ascot. (Actually, that group is opening out now to all ages now that it is self sufficient and not bound by the conditions of the original funding.)

Anonymous said...

Lou, you really dislike pretty much every attempt to make life a little better don't you? And those over sixties - wankers.

Anonymous said...

An American friend of mine used to say of certain people that they could suck all the fun out of a parade.

Now what brought that to mind, I wonder?

Brockley Nick said...

@Lou - is there an entrepreneur clamouring to turn the garage into a restaurant? Has anyone in TH tried to prevent someone doing it?

If not, your point seems irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

That area around TH is a real gem.

Devine Brown said...

Depending on the size of the parade that's a lot of sucking...

Lou Baker said...

@ nick

My point is not irrelevant at all.

A properly run cafe would definitely improve the area - though I personally think a restaurant would be better.

But the problem with Bold Vision is the 'properly run' bit. I had the brochure through my door and, without meaning to be rude, two things it is not are bold or visionary.

I'm sure a quick poll of small businesses in Brockley would demonstrate that the successful ones are not run by committee.

I wish Bold Vision success, I really do. I'll even go to support it in the unlikely event that it ever opens. Under a pseudonym of course. But you see phrases like social enterprise partnership and you realise it's almost certainly doomed to fail from the start.

Get a proper business person in with some wonga to spare and all they need to know is how to sell an all day breakfast at a profit - job done. It doesn't have to be any more complicated than that.

And yes, you would have business people clambering to redevelop that site if it weren't for the Telegraph Hill Society. It objects to all planning applications in the area and would make any such redevelopment attempt more hassle than it's worth.

Tamsin said...

No - almost any re-development of that blocky building would be an "enhancement" and, given the context of the late victorian development that gave the area its conservation status this 1970 municipal library is not worth "preserving" - to use the terminology from the UDP. The only basis on which the Telegraph Hill Society could object to anything is general poor quality (irrespective of subjective aesthetics) and light pollution. It is noticably not objecting to the current planning in for the cafe/restaurant development of the undercroft.

The kitchen is planned to allow for catering, so maybe cafe is a mis-nomer - come along on Friday and ask.

No "proper business person with wonga to spare" came forward to buy the library, even in the headier days of a decade or so back when it came up for sale. And no-one has come forward in the last two years when the church and Centre have been putting out repeated calls for alternatives in prudent anticipation of Carr Gomm not renewing the lease of Cafe Orange.

If you look at the various statements, the running of the cafe will be delegated to a restauranteur, as stated in my earlier post, so it will not be "run by committee" - BV is just set up to generate the capital needed to do the necessary works and fitting out.

Prudent people have doubts - thinking they have under-estimated the costs, but at least they are trying and putting a lot of time and energy into it.

You can sell "all day breakfasts" when you are on a local high street or near a transport outlet. Very unlikely to get that sort of clientele in the isolated position we are thinking of.

Anonymous said...

Well Lou Baker, its been a while since you placed your views on this blog. Have you been into the Hill Station If you have, what do you think? You expressed the view that it was unlikely to open but it has. Very interested in what you have to say.

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