Block wars



Any Brockley resident knows that it doesn't matter where you live in Brockley, the important thing is to live here.

But we get asked fairly regularly by out of towners which is the best place to live in Brockley.

Now, we're always reluctant to answer that question, partly out of a desire to remain impartial and partly because we don't want to be held responsible if they move somewhere and get burgled the next day.

So we'd like to crowd source this question from you lot. There have been many debates scattered across the site, but we have never settled the matter, once and for all!

The choices are:

West Brockley - the delights of Nunhead are on your doorstep, the streets are quiet and you have the Broca Food Market. Plenty of family-sized houses.

North Brockley and St John's - New Cross, Deptford and a host of transport options are yours to choose from. Lewisham Way is your high street and Meze Mangal is great, if you're prepared to overlook the sea container parked outside.

Central Brockley - representing most of the conservation area - wide streets, grand houses and access to Hilly Fields and Brockley Station, Coulgate Street and of course the delights of Brockley Cross and Brockley Road.

Crofton Park - a great high street with a choice of Honor Oak or Brockley for the East London Line. A theatre, a ballroom and a library, as well as a bank. Low crime rates.

And of course, you can explain why Ladywell, Brockley Rise and Telegraph Hill are best if you like.

And to readers, curious about Brockley, we wish you our kind of success.

75 comments:

Pete said...

I've only lived in Ladywell so I can't really comment on some of the other areas.

Although I will say that I think that parts of the conservation area could be overrated on the grounds that they are actually quite a long way from the train station and some of the other shops and services.

We live under five minutes walk from the station at Ladywell which is really good. There are of course some things about Ladywell which aren't great though (lack of good food shops, derelict shops, being in zone 3).

I think perhaps parts of West Brockley could have some merit as "the best place to live". Close to the train station, quite affordable and actually closer to all the shops and services that everyone raves about than much of the conservation area.

Anonymous said...

I'll vote for west brockley/telegraph hill - where we are we fall outside both conservation areas so property prices are a bit cheaper but still great houses. A few mins walk to Brockley station with also the option of Nunhead close by for trains to Blackfriars/Farringdon/Kings Cross/Victoria and still in zone 2. A few mins walk from several bus routes. Close to the shops around the station and Brockley Road.

Downsides - well people can replace their nice sash windows with nasty upvc which they're doing a lot on our street at the moment, the streets are a bit tattier than the conservation area and fewer nice tree lined avenues

Si said...

Throw another couple of disks on the server! This one could run and run.

Brockley Nick said...

I'm trying to break Google.

But honestly, from now on I will just be able to point people who ask at this thread.

drakefell debaser said...

As has been mentioned, Westsiders are generally very close to Brockley Station and Nunhead and New Cross Gate Stations are close too. All the shops on Coulgate St, the High St behind are a few minutes walk away and Mid Brockley (Sids Plumbers etc) are 5 minutes further on from there.

Brockley Nature Reserve, Upper & Lower Telegraph Hill Parks, Nunhead Cemetary and Peckham Rye are great out door places and Nunhead has FC Soper and a butchers amongst other decent shops, cafes and restuarants.

Agree that our streets appear tatty in places but I think that will change as the area experiences more investment and TLC. This is already happening and I think the area will be very different in a few years time.

The Cat Man said...

Agreed - West Brockley is good value for housing and having lived there for the last 4 yrs ive witnessed every new comer to my street putting out window boxes, renovating their house. Its changed so much already - very desirable place to live (and quiet).

M said...

We're on the edge of SE4 - closer to Ladywell. 2 minutes to the station, same to Hilly Fields and close enough to Crofton Park and central Brockley to use both regularly.
Ladywell does have a lot going for it - the Tavern, Masons, Oscars, Geddes, the florists and dry cleaners. Plus trains into Waterloo and Charing Cross! Ladywell fields is great too.
As mentioned by Pete - a few too many empty shops and no decent food store are the downsides.

mintness said...

Not a homeowner or anywhere close to becoming one, but I've rented a couple of places at the north end of Brockley over the last few years been thoroughly happy here.

Obviously you miss out on the proximity to "core" Brockley/Crofton Park - Hilly Fields and the stuff around Brockley station are near enough, but it's harder to justify the hike to Jam Circus or the Brockley Jack, say.

On the other hand, my social life (such as it is) largely happens in central London anyway, so being within 10 minutes' stroll of St. Johns, New Cross and Deptford Bridge stations is priceless - and the tons of buses ploughing along Lewisham Way might be noisy, but they're blooming useful for nipping down to central 'Ham to do the shopping.

Horses for courses, as always...

Anonymous said...

I thought windows had to be replaced with hard wood frames in the Conservation area.

Anonymous said...

Crofton Park no competitition. and BTW you forgot to mention the stn at the heart of crofton park...crofton park

Rachel said...

We live on Adelaide Avenue. Great location. Hilly Fields on our door step no houses behind us and 10-12 minutes walk to Brockley (London Bridge and ELL), Crofton Park (Farringdon, Kings Cross....) and Ladywell (Waterloo East and Charring Cross). We also have a great choice of pubs, Jam circus, The Orchard, Ladywell Tavern even The Talbot if you fancy a walk across hilly fields. Brockley mess for brunch. We have the best of all worlds within a short walk. The only place we miss out on is Brocca food market.

We're definitely not complaining!

Steve said...

Crofton park has it all (except a park) and you can go direct to kings cross in 22min from CP Train Station:)...

Marc said...

I live in Ladywell, and love the place. Agreed the quality of shops can be increased, especially the mini markets but don't forget we have the Tavern (Lewisham Pub award), Geddes, a friendly barber and a great fish & chip shop.
Its nice to be in walking distance of two nice open spaces (Hilly fields and Ladywell park). Lots of gentrification happening with home DIYs and the last year or two Ladywell is starting to be placed on the map through online communities, even with its own Christmas fair. Prices for homes have been very good value if you can get in, with hardly any visible estate agents signs within my immediate area.

Best of all, lots of very friendly neighbors who are happy to say hello and to give you a hand if your car malfunctions or if you need to borrow their van.

Anonymous said...

Another vote for West Brockley - technically it may be west but it feels central to me - 3 minute walk to Brockley station, coulgate street Broca and Browns. Nice sized 4 bed houses on quiet mostly tree-lined streets - plus in the last few weeks the mayors street tree programme has been doing loads of planting so in 5 years it'll look even nicer than it does already. Out of all of Brockley I'd say this area has changed the most in the last 3 years for the better and although it still has some way to go, the signs are looking positive.

Crofton Parker said...

Crofton Park, obviously. Butcher extraordinaire, plus baker up the road at Brock Rise, walking distance to Nunhead shops, handy Coop and Budgens, Mr Lawrence, friendly post office, own station plus 15min stroll to Ladywell for Charing X or Waterloo East, or shorter walk to Brockley for Zone 2. Zillions of buses. Walk around the corner to One Tree Hill or Nunhead Cemetery for wilderness ... ace. And Jam Circus and Brockley Jack with its theatre and a very nice golden retriever who lives next door. We win hands down, surely!

HSR said...

The Alphabet (Arabin/Braxfield/Comerford/Dalrymple...Howson/Whitbread).

You don't get the traffic down these roads like the rest of Brockley suffers from. Also majority of properties are houses and not split into flats.

Perfect :-)

foxberryroader said...

When we moved to Brockley, I remember somebody saying "The bit by the station is rough, but it's lovely up the hill". Felt a bit sad as we had bought close to the station. But living there has been great, and four or five years on, it feels quite transformed. The new cafes and shops on top of the existing ones are making 'central brockley' (?) a destination rather than just a transport hub. Plus, if you're looking to buy a house it's still about £150k cheaper than over the road in the conservation area! Couple of minutes to shops and station, ten minutes walk to Hilly Fields or Telegraph Hill. Having said that, all of Brockley is great so I don't feel too tribal about my particular patch!

Central Brockley fan said...

I've rented in Ladywell (very easy for walking to Lewisham and close to Hilly Fields but poor range of shops) and the heart of the conservation area (also poor access to "good" food shops).

Now I'm in "Central Brockley" where I'm a proud home owner just within the conservation area.

Hand of heart I think the conservation area is the prettiest place to live in Brockley with its amazing housing stock, beautiful tree lines roads and easy access to Hilly Fields. The cherry trees in spring are stunning.

In terms of convenience, "Central Brockley" has been the best place to live with easy access to a good range of food shops and restaurants as well as the train station (and soon to arrive ELL).

However, if I was given the opportunity to chose any place to live in SE4 it would have to be either one of the houses overlooking Hilly Fields or one on Manor Avenue (my favourite street).

Anonymous said...

Hilly fields is lovely but for me it's a bit too far from the station that I use every day. I chose west Brockley because it was near the station and relatively cheap. When I moved here 4 years ago it was a little barren and intimidating leaving the west side of the station at night but that's changed now. The derelict pub has gone, the huge derelict 'factory'? has been replaced by a (huge) modern block of flats (still under contruction). The broca food market has brought welcome life and fantastic food and new younger families have moved into the area. Now i live here I have a young family of my own and to say that that the Telegraph Hill parks (5 minutes walk) are excellent and the lower park is a real hub for young families to meet each other. There is a great nursery (oak Hill) and the area certainly feels like it's on the up. I'm very happy here.

Helen Neely said...

I just moved to Brockley last month ust across from Blackheath...since moving here I think the region is lovely.

There are no swanky shops though, but a few minutes walk to Lewisham way is all you need to get yourself a nice shop.

Great blog btw :)

drakefell debaser said...

Or as Jim Morrison put it:

The West is the best
Get here, we'll do the rest

Tamsin said...

Compared with the other eulogies here I have to say that Telegraph Hill has nothing going for it except the parks, superb views, the Centre where there are all sorts of day-time activities for young children and evening ones for adults in need of more exercise than just walking up and down the steep roads gives you. And the frenetic ten days of Festival in March

It is, though, in relatively easy reach of Nunhead, the shops around Hatcham - an area that is having a massive amount of investment still being poured into it and Brockley station with its surrounding specialist shops. Also wait until we get the Bold Vision cafe as a social hub.

Anonymous said...

I think it's great to big up our areas but lets face it - all of these places are within short reach of each other - it just shows me what a great place this area is to live.

@cased said...

Wow, what can I say - I tweeted @brockleycentral to find out the best places to live in Brockley .... sounds like its all good! :)

Hugh said...

How could it not be the conservation area?

Anonymous said...

The conservation area has some really nice properties but most of those are near the 1 mill mark and therefpore out of most people's reach. The rest of it is nice enough but not remarkable. Conservation status's get thrown over many parts of the UK and that alone isn't enough to make somewhere desirable.

Anonymous said...

My one bed flat in the conservation area was no where near the 1m mark!

It's true whole houses are hard to find and then expensive but it is still possible to get them in the C area for under a million.

Anonymous said...

Most families would prefer to not live in a flat if they had the choice and bizarrely an area that has special status to preserve it's (what? architectural integrity?)has been chopped up on the inside and turned into flats. The conservation area is a cosmetic facade - the houses look great from the outside but inside the houses look noting like the way they were intended - there are six families living in there. Compartive to other parts of Brockley the conservation area is flat land - great if you want to live in flat - not great if you want a house but can't afford 1 mill.

Anonymous said...

Most families would prefer to not live in a flat if they had the choice and bizarrely an area that has special status to preserve it's (what? architectural integrity?)has been chopped up on the inside and turned into flats. The conservation area is a cosmetic facade - the houses look great from the outside but inside the houses look noting like the way they were intended - there are six families living in there. Comparative to other parts of Brockley the conservation area is flat land - great if you want to live in flat - not great if you want a house but can't afford 1 mill.

Anonymous said...

Keep the windows wooden and no satellite dishes, but throw in a stud wall, rip out the reception room 2 and stick in a kitchenette. The Edwardians would be turning in their graves.

Brockley Nick said...

There are lots of houses in the conservation area and plenty of people would rather live in a beautiful flat with big windows, high ceilings and a large shared garden than a small house with sole use of a small garden. Horses for courses. Rather than projecting your own views on to the rest of the population, please can you tell us what you like about your part of Brockley? Otherwise you just sound bitter. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Why does it have to be a small house?
If we're comparing parts of Brockley - I'm saying you can get high ceilings, original features, ceiling roses, large sash windows, 16ft reception rooms, 23ft kitchens, cellars, 4 bedrooms, a 35ft garden in Brockley - outside the conservation area for a considerably lower price. If i sound bitter then that's just how I sound - I can assure you that I'm not. I'm just trying to spread the knowledge. Not sure if people realise what's available on their doorstep.

Anonymous said...

I guess the point is whether you are a family (or not) and then what size your family is.

However, it is possible to buy a 3 bed conversion flat (plus large kitchen, lounge, study, utility room, bathroom and share of garden) for about £360,000 in the C area. But, right now, there aren’t many on the market.

OK your large Victorian house has been split into two (and there is the issue of noise from either upstairs or downstairs) but for that you get a large front garden, grand entrance, invariably a cherry tree outside the front door, airy gracious rooms and big original sash windows.

Believe me the rooms in the majority of the other houses outside the C area in Brockley are much, much smaller (and yes, I have looked at lots of houses here!).

This doesn’t mean there aren’t fantastic homes outside the C area but they are definitely concentrated in that patch of Brockley- which is why it is (in my opinion) special.

Brockley Nick said...

Great, so to answer the question of the thread - where are you talking about?

Brockley Nick said...

That last question was aimed at anon 11.17 - please give yourselves names too. It's dead easy. Click the "name/url" option and then choose a name.

Graham said...

What do I know but I see Brockley a little differently to the description in the blog.

You have North Brockley like Revelon, Arica etc. With nice 3/4 bed well priced properties thats links with Telegraph Hill.

The linear area around the shops.

East Brockley which is the conservation area. Which rocks but is pricey.

Then you have where we live in West Brockley, with Howson, Arabin, Braxfield etc. I think its ruddy ace there. Loads of three bed houses with period features, high ceilings and stuff.

South Brockley - basically Crofton Park, which I really like, espicially around the park. Good range of house sizes.

Basically all bits of Brockley are brill, but it depends on budget and location.

Anonymous said...

Far better, I feel, to live on the surrounds of Hilly Fields and use Ladywell to travel. No more Brockley grot!

Anonymous said...

Just to say Graham that your version of where West Brockley, North Brockley is, etc differs from the received wisdom on this site. West Brockley is Revelon, Finland road...

Anonymous said...

Nick - west brockley.

Anon - £360 for a flat in the C area? Quick google search found this...could be nice with some work.

http://www.kfh.co.uk/residential/houses-for-sale/london-brockley-se4-finland-road/2057184/

Bea (who was the Anon at 11:18) said...

Yes but ...

For £60,000 less and no work you can get this in the C area

http://www.findaproperty.com/displayprop.aspx?edid=00&salerent=0&pid=5919220

Steve said...

Give me the house any day...

Anonymous said...

Well, yeah that's right you can, but it almost exactly half the sq footage, if you think that's value then go for it.

Bea said...

OK - it is larger but £400,000 plus how much extra to get the house up to scratch with a new bathroom and kitchen?

Also looking at the photo the kitchen seems to be upstairs which makes me think the house was bedsits (which now would need to be ripped out and made good).

So in reality you may be looking at an extra £50,000 + on top of the asking price.

Anyway - the point I was making was not that there aren't some great homes outside the C area but that it is possible to buy a great home for under 1m.

Anonymous said...

Bea - I think it's worth looking beyond the internal decorating and concentrating on the footprint of the property. That's what your essentially buying, unless the property is so highly spec-ed (spelling?) that you wouldn't touch a thing (unlikely). For £340,000 you can buy a 3/4 bed house west side, larger than that flat, that has it's own front door, garden, cellar and you own the freehold on a nice quiet residential street. Obviously some flats are lovely but given the choice I'd go for a house every time.

Sam@JamCircus said...

I live on the westside, i can honestly say there is very little goin on here. But i guess thats why its nice, pretty quiet.
However next year I will be moving to crofton park, better bars, pubs and shops.
A great thing though that we have all these wonderful areas to choose from in one part of lewisham.

Anonymous said...

There's no argument that there are not nice homes in the conservation area flats or otherwise - of course there are loads- this is simply a comparison about where to live and the pros and cons.

Brockley Nick said...

The argument over relative prices is irrelevant. People can make up their own minds about how much square footage they want and need and how much they're willing to pay for it and they can easily tot up the pros and cons of any given property and compare prices on estate agent websites.

The question is what have each of the areas got going for them?

Bea said...

Nick - the argument about relative house prices is relevant in that when thinking about the best place to live in Brockley does the rent / house price vs. space merit the asking price when other factors (such as good schools, convenient train stations, useful shops) are taken into consideration.

Which then begs the question, why are house prices in the C area relatively more expensive than elsewhere in Brockley?

I would say because the housing stock is better and the street-scape more attractive.

Others, of course, are free to disagree.

Jerry said...

I live on St Margarets Road - friendly people, lovely houses (well below £1m) and very little traffic. Hilly Fields close by, sub-10 minute walks to Brockley and Crofton Park, 15 minutes to Ladywell. Not such good shops as Brockley Cross and Crofton Park, but we do have the Brockley Mess, a very welcome addition.

Brockley Nick said...

Prices are absolutely relevant to the homebuyer, I'm just saying that it's very easy for a buyer (or renter) to get information about price and property spec.

You're absolutely right that the market has decided that the C-area is the nicest area, hence prices are higher. But the market is not always right and there are micro-markets for people who value different things. eg: Some people like quiet streets, others like streets with a bit of life. Some people like being close to a park, others like being close to a station. These kinds of judgements benefit from an insider's perspective.

The Royal Albert said...

I'm on Wickham, which is where I wanted to be - close enough to shops, station, Hilly Fields, Orchard and Talbot now open. Minutes from Deptford (& naturally the Royal Albert), still not far from Crofton Park. I'd say Manor Ave is almost perfect - all of that with nicer houses and a quiter road.

West Brockley on the streets close to Brockley Station is a great spot - good prices, near to everything but Hillyfields, but with Telegraph Hill nearby, plus everything Nunhead has. Just seems a bit joyless when I pass through.

One of the 1-bed houses on Coulgate Street is up for rent - they're gorgeous and in the heart of everything.

The bit between West Brockley, C-area and Crofton Park? said...

@ Graham and anon 11.27

So, if Arabin,Braxfield,Comerford,Whitbread,Howson Road etc are not C-Area and not West Brockley, what is this area called? It's not north enough to be Central Brockely, or south enough to be Crofton Park!

This area gets my vote..great houses, great location and no traffic because of no-through traffic barrier on Howson Road.

Brockley Nick said...

I think of them as central Brockley or maybe Crofton Park. West Brockley is surely anything west of the tracks, until you get to Nunhead, Telegraph Hill or Honor Oak.

I like lots of places here! said...

We live in the Conserv Area and very much enjoy the wide streets, long gardens and many trees that you find there.

I also like: Adelaid Road's little stretch with the garden in front of it, perpendicular to Brockley Road at the bottom of the hill. The key point is the stretch with the little garden in front which I think will be lvoely in a few years.

I also like the area containing the red brick houses - ST Marg's Road, Chalsey etc. It is very sweet and some of those houses are pretty big.


FoxberryRoad dweller - don't be dismayed. I saw an article on the ELL etc and saying that the roads aropund the station had far to go in terms of price. :-)

Nick,

Maybe a better qu is: other than where you live what are the best places? or...what are the best 3 roads.

Headhunter said...

Bit late to this discussion.

Have to say that what attracted me to Brockley in the 1st place was the potential to own a house for about £250k (at that time), however after looking at quite a few houses around Brockley and Crofton Park stations I was less interested. Most needed loads of work and had small overlooked gardens.

I would have probably carried on looking at houses but one estate agent made me look at our current flat on Manor Ave and I made an offer immediately. OK it was a flat but it had recently been done up, the street was wide with beautiful cherry trees all along it, the garden (albeit shared) is about 30-40 metres long and it and the gardens all round are full of enormous trees so that in the summer, looking out of the back windows, all you can see is green (the houses behind are hidden). This means I can stroll around our flat naked without risk.

Also our place is on the raised ground floor with very large rooms and high ceilings - larger and higher rooms than any of the houses I saw. Because the ground floor is "raised" (ie there are steps up to the main front door), the rooms are very light, even on a grey day, whereas ground floors of teh Victorian houses I looked at were quite dingy with relatively small windows.

When I made the offer I was a bit nervous as it was literally the 1st C area flat I had seen, but it was love at 1st sight and I've been happy there ever since.

Anonymous said...

It's not always important to live in the areas you want to visit. I like going out in Shoreditch but am happy not living there. West Brockley might have nothing much actually going on within it's tight boundaries, but it's close enough to the places in Brockley where things are happening that doesn't make any difference. West brockley is just about perfect for me.

The Oracle said...

The Sea Container hides a dark secret: it is only there to hold the wood for the wood burning stove, and drinks. It will never be moved. Unless..?

Anonymous said...

I sold my flat on T Hill 3 yrs ago and moved into a Westside house and love it. 5mins to Brockly Station and 10 to Nunhead. 15mins walk to Jam Circus and 5 mins to the obligatory NYE on the Hill. Really nice and quiet on the weekend. the only downfall is the dogsh1t, one repeat offender bags it and dumps it at the base of trees! Why??

lll said...

The conservation area is lovely. I remember the first spring here. I was just blown away by the beauty of the place, the cherry blossom trees, that arched the wide streets.

oryx said...

Have to say I love the southern bit of Brockley bordering on Forest Hill.

Near where we live you have the best restaurants and bars compared to anywhere I've lived in London - Le Querce, Babur, Jam Circus, Mr Lawrence, the Brockley Jack and others.

There is good access to transport (though I loathe London Bridge!) and green space (Blythe Hill fields, Hilly Fields) and the area is cheap compared to many areas of inner London. I reckon if you play your cards right you can get a nice house and garden for c.£250k around Crofton Park station.

I moved here from the Battersea/Clapham borders (don't mean to sound like an estate agent!) and find the quality of life better here.

lll said...

It would have to be a house in need of a lot of work for that price. Houses around there were above £250k 5 yrs ago when I was looking and it was a small 2 up, 2 down, terraced place.

oryx said...

This is an example, but you see properties round the Sevenoaks Road area for c. £250k every so often.

They may be in need of work or may just not fit that Victorian/Edwardian aesthetic that so many people look for.

http://www.findaproperty.com/displayprop.aspx?edid=00&salerent=0&pid=5787722

David said...

Has to be TH

Two excellent parks, great views, generally nice neighbourly atmosphere, lovely and green, tree lined streets, big houses (mind, not as big as the some of the Brockley C area monsters but who wants or can afford one of those) with big 30 to 50m long back yards, if you're in the C Area you get the same benefits that you would in the Brockley C Area in terms of people not being able to rip out sash windows etc, 10 mins walk to "Central Brockley" for the developing businesses there, 10mins walk to Sainsbury's and the (very slowly) improving NXG shops. All only 10 mins walk from NXG station (6 mins to London Bridge, 5 mins to Canada Water for the Jubilee), Brockley Station, and Nunhead Station (15 mins from Victoria) and 13 mins walk from Queens Rd Peckham (Phase 2 ELL).

All good.

There's something about Brockley said...

Yes the CA is expensive and you do need money to live here. Those Victorian mansions cost a lot to maintain even if you own only a 1/4. Plus the much loved trees cost money to prune, every few years and they drop leaves, blossoms, fruit, squirrel poo.

So if you are looking to maximise your budget, or looking to make huge capital gains, the CA is not your best bet. And as mentioned there are many nice areas in and Brockley all with their unique charms.

Anonymous said...

I bought a three bed house last year two street aways from Hilly Fields for £190,000. Yes, it needs £70k work on it, but £260k for a three bed, two bath with extension has to be the bargain of the year.

pol said...

In order to redress the balance, I thought I might list some of the bad points. Some affect parts of Brockley worse than others.

The Victorian houses have often been butchered inside by cheap conversions: beautiful plaster ceiling ripped down, the staircases boxed in, the huge reception rooms divided into two or three small rooms. Some very odd plumbing. The houses are not sound proofed, so domestic peace can be ruined by the noise of your dysfunctional neighbours.

The Conservation area is overun by cars because the council prefers to collect the rates from big supermarkets rather than small shops. So the local shops that do exist teeter on the edgy of viability. Most people prefer to have a little car as their own person shopping cart.

Brockley is a dormitory suburb. Most of the residents care little for the locality itself, they just want to somewhere to sleep. It has a huge population of workaholic commuters who tend to socialise in town. Furthermore the number of places to go out locally is quite limited. For the population, there are relatively few bars and restaurants to choose from.

Brockley has no social focus, there is no High street such as you find in other areas (eg. Lordship Lane, East Dulwich.) Instead it has a handful of shopping parades dominated by takeaways, betting shops, off licenses and estate agents.

Brockley is home to a significant number of hostels specialising various social problems: bail hostels, womens refuges, hostels for drug addiction and alcoholism. Sometime the residents take their problems onto the streets and their neighbours. Occasionally there outbreaks of crime from feral youth, con-artists, drugs, the disturbed and the just plain bad.

Brockley is transient. Many people stay only a few years until the marry or have kids. They get frustrated by the confines of flats and they lust after a big garden and a kitchen. If they cant afford it here then ,often as not, they head further out into Kent. This constant churn does not create a great build a great deal of social cohesion.

Brockley is divided by rail lines and major roads which limit the compass of a residents perspective. Hence the East-West split. Who would venture to the West side, except to get to Nunhead and some of the few remaining traditional shops?

The bigger roads, like Brockley Road are dangerous. Serious accidents and fatalities are not unusual. Brockley road is a commuter route and some of the side streets are used as short cuts and rat runs. There is a parking problem in the streets around Brockley Station and Ladywell caused by commuters from outside parking up for the day and changing to public transport.

All in all a fairly typical part of inner London.

Anonymous said...

Pol, have you met lou?

There's something about Brockley said...

Pol's contribution is fair. I think we all acknowledge that Brockley is not perfect but compared to other parts of London and for the price of property for all the positives it has huge amount going for it.

I think all of the negatives are actually a plus in some respects it keeps us striving to improve things and not become too pretentious or complacent.

Monkeyboy said...

Most people feel this... there are loads of those... too many of these.... blah, blah, blah. I've lived here 8 years now and all over London. It simply does not ring true. It could have been written by Dan Brown - take a few facts and weave an exagerated caricature of something.

Tamsin said...

There is one big monster house for sale in Telegraph Hill. Mentioned it on Suggest a Topic about a week back, one of the big ones not on the normal pattern at the bottom of Jerningham Road, interest through Roy Brooks. Needs a heck of a lot of work, but basically undamaged inside.

I think - by the number of people with children - there are more people putting down roots rather than being simply dinky transients in both Brockley proper and TH than a few years back. And there are great community building efforts of the March and June Festivals, Hillaballoo, the Farmers Markets and the Broc. Soc. Summer Fayre,

Glass half-Empty Today said...

"I also like: Adelaid Road's little stretch with the garden in front of it, perpendicular to Brockley Road at the bottom of the hill. The key point is the stretch with the little garden in front which I think will be lvoely in a few years."

Yeah. Just what I thought when I moved into that square fifteen years ago! All of the remaining large-roomed family houses/flats have been unsympathetically carved up recently, and what used to be a nice, relatively friendly little community of o/o's has become a stop-off for transient renters with no apparent regard for their neighbours, or in keeping the place attractive.

I'm afraid I have to echo pol's view about Brockley. It's permanently 'on the up'.

Anonymous said...

Pol, you make some fair points - lack of focus in particular, and the dangerous roads (one particular black spot, anyway).

However, although it's in part a dormitory town, plenty of the commuters care a lot about the area, and many have chosen to settle here long-term. I'd say that it has a relatively small transient population compared to many other parts of London (which are the only meaningful frame of reference).

Anonymous said...

Brockley Road cordoned off by police about an hour ago. Heard it was a big drugs bust.

Anonymous said...

It was the Brockley Peoples Front sending the tanks intothe breakaway province of crofton park - the dogs.

Tamsin said...

Have a look at the new thread - Nick is annexing Ladywell...

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