The Wickham Arms, Upper Brockley Road

The Wickham Arms
69 Upper Brockley Road
SE4 1TF
Tel: 020 8692 8686





The Wickham Arms new Soul nights start tonight and to mark the occasion, we interviewed the Wickham team about their plans for the future. They involve music, wifi and hog roast. Enjoy.

How would you describe the Wickham Arms?

A rough diamond of a pub with lots of history and character. A friendly & jovial atmosphere awaits all customers; from builders to poets & students, you’ll find all sorts propping up the bar here.

What changes will you be making in the coming months?

We’ve already done up the ladies loos and the kitchen is in the process of being gutted in time for Summer. Many a BBQ & Hog Roast are on the cards – weather permitting. Hopefully we will have a good few months and be able to look at bigger upgrades in the Autumn like opening up the windows - i know a lot of patrons are keen to see that.Thanks to the help of my daughter we’re also starting to embrace the digital age, with the design of a new website underway. We even have a Facebook group now! We have such amazing live music here (Thurs, Sat & Sun) that it was imperative we found a platform to let people know what’s coming up.We’ll also be introducing free WIFI, teas & coffees & a new Wine List over the next few weeks in an attempt to broaden our reach.What mix of customers are you trying to achieve?Anyone who likes a good craic! We’re conscious that many local families, students & residents don’t even know we’re here, or that we offer such diverse live music nights. Hopefully with the advent of the new website and some more active promotion we can arouse people’s curiosity enough for them to come and check us out for themselves. Gone are the days of the dated Friday karaoke – instead we’ll be indulging in a bit of Northern Soul, Ska, Rare Groove, Disco, Motown and whatever else takes our fancy. In fact we’re launching our new night of ‘Brockley Soul’ this Friday 30th with a late license until 2am, so feel free to pop down if you’re in the area.

Do you think Brockley is changing and has that prompted these planned changes to the Wickham?

I do think that over the past few years more people seem to be investing in Brockley. I have noticed a refurbishment of both residential and commercial property, which is great for the community. The Wickham must change with the times too in order to encourage new customers. Times are tough in the pub game so we’re upping our game. We are conscious of not changing too much though, we will always be your local boozer as opposed to gastro pub!

Balancing the wishes of regulars with the need to attract new customers is always a tough challenge, how do you plan to get that right?

I’m sure that the regular customers would welcome new people to banter with, with open arms! There’s no pretences here, we simply enjoy good music, good company & good times (and the occasional late drink!)

In the summer, you fling the doors open, but the rest of the year, the windows make it hard for people to see inside, do you think that puts people off trying the pub out?

It has come to our attention that people may find this off putting, and that’s the last thing we want. As a result we are aiming to install clear glass, but as usual, such things prove quite costly so fingers crossed for a prosperous Summer.

How do you think the community and local business can work together to encourage more people to support their local pubs and bars?

Events like the Brockley Max festival, which we are heavily involved in, are great for bringing members of the community together. It’s a real highlight in our annual calendar. Community wise, we’re open to getting as involved as we can. The pub space and garden is always available to local groups should they wish to use it, and any aspiring artists/students are more than welcome to display their work in the pub. Talking of which we also offering students & teachers 10% off.

How important will music be to the life of the Wickham Arms?

It’s the heart and soul! It’s what we’re renowned for amongst our regulars – and with the help of a newly appointed promotions team, hopefully word will spread to a wider audience. Great bands, crossing a variety of genres, perform at the pub every week. The members of which are extremely modest. If we had our way we’d be shouting about their associations with the all time greats from the rooftops but you’ll have to come down and do some homework to find out exactly who i’m talking about.

Will you be taking part in this year's Brockley Max?

Of course! We love Brockley Max. It’s a great opportunity to showcase what we do best in terms of live entertainment, whilst engaging with members of the local community. Last year we everything from Morris dancers to bands jumping off furniture and attempting to crowd surf!

Are you a sport pub and what will you be doing for the World Cup this year?

We are a Sporty pub, and show anything people want to watch – mainly the horse racing and the football. If something’s on you want to see that hasn’t been advertised feel free to ask the barmaid to switch it on. We have a pool table too. We are very much looking forward to the World Cup. All games will be supported by a BBQ/Hog Roast where possible, along with drinks promotions etc. If the weather holds up we’ll endeavour to show it on the big screen in the garden.

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41 comments:

love detective said...

sounds alright

Brockley Nick said...

Genuine question LD, but where should a person go for a legendary night out in Catford?

Matt-Z said...

The Wickham is great, good luck to them with the expanded music line-up.

Are people really put off a pub if they can't see through the windows? Surely a quick peek through the door will tell you if it's a place you want to be or not?

NXG_Resident said...

Nice photos!!! Who's the photographer? I'm looking for a new SLR and need some advice.

love detective said...

need a bit more info than that nick - what type of person for instance?

Anonymous said...

Wickharm? Another title I don't get.

Brockley Nick said...

Not a witty pun, a cock-up, now remedied! Sorry all.

Brockley Nick said...

@LD - a prematurely middle-aged metrosexual

Tamsin said...

Yes, I was very impressed by the photos.

Slightly concerned about your plans to open up the windows - even for the best of reasons. The Rose of Lee, then Hobgoblin, then Wychwood and now Dirty Dives or something equally unpleasant and forgettable has large plate glass windows replacing the original architecture and looks really, really aweful.

More light, more access, more welcome, indeed. But please do it sensitively.

Anonymous said...

The guy who took the photo's will probably be up there tonight NXG.

Nice to sit and have a pint without somebody next to you eating steak and chips.

Anonymous said...

You can see more pics on the Wickham's web site.

Real Ale Fan said...

I like the Wickham but they need to try harder with their Bitter.

I am afraid to say the quality is just not consistent enough. It's mostly OK but now and then it can be awful.

Moira said...

The Wickham Arms has always been hugely supportive of Brockley Max and we have 7 events on this year and they have sponsored us as well.
BTW The full list of events should be on the website by 9 May, and programmes printed by next Friday. We are desperate for people to deliver to homes and shops so please sign up to a few streets at info@brockleymax.co.uk

Robert said...

Their should definitely be more competition for quiz night on Tuesdays at the Wickham. We are down to about four or so regular groups of trivia spods.

Anyone fancy putting a regular team together that might confidently take on the might of the Jolly Jellyfish and Friends Disunited?

My team, sadly, is no longer the power it used to be!

love detective said...

"a prematurely middle-aged metrosexual"

already there's a tension, the pull one way of middle age and to things like quiet, comfort, relaxing, 'traditional' and the pull in the opposite direction of metrosexual youthful vigour, hipness and cutting edgism which puts an undue strain on the weary middle aged mind and body - perhaps best to take the traditional route to resolve these contradictions by doing things 'ironically'

perhaps a trip to the excellent broadway studio theatre, nice little cosy intimate theatre that usually has something half decent on, although at the moment is crap - then i'd suggest a couple of drinks in each pub of the holy trinitity (catford ram, goose and london & rye) - if our middle aged metropolitan liberal can put up with mingling with the great unwashed they can marvel at the racial harmony on display in such places and recount tales of happy brown people at length to their exclusively white middle class middle aged middle sexualed circle of friends

our hero will probably be getting peckish by now, and if he's not tempted by the wide selection of outlets offering a range of sauted poultry products , perhaps a trip to Sapporo Ichiban the award winning sushi restraunt or the shambolic yet brilliant La Pizzeria Italiana, or a light meditaranian snack in Appetito cafe-bar whilst nodding their head approvingly to the old skool soul/funk dj's or live jazz whilst making use of their wifi to fire off a couple of ironic tweets about being in catford

It's getting late and despite middle age, the alcohol has given our man a second wind so he might consider a trip to the motown soul bar (i wouldn't advise it though) where he can toe-tap/chin scratch away till 3am, but probably the best bet would be to jump on their BMX and head north to the fox and for a very reasonable £5 admittance fee enjoy the aural pleasures of the usually excellent 3 live band lineup - technically not catford, but minutes away, and other than my local it's about the only place I go to locally these days

i'm glad i got paid to type all that

Monkeyboy said...

I bet LD's girlfriend has got him moisturising.

Anonymous said...

You will be alright when they get Wifi Robert.

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of teams dropped out of the Quiz because the Questions were getting too obscure.

Anonymous said...

The London & Rye is ok for knocked off stuff.

Robert said...

You have to take the rough with the smooth with the questions - as a different punter compiles the quiz each week.

They say that variety is the spice of life !!! It would be fair to say that it is not always the easiest quiz in the world.

Friends Disunited scribe who only came second this week despite one of our team doing it aka TM said...

Anon @ 15.14

The questions are set by the questionmasters who are themselves all volunteers from the teams.

If anyone thinks they are too obscure all they have to do is set a quiz themselves.

But please no one based entirely on Big Brother - it has happened believe me.

PS Do I win a prize for the longest name this week?

Friends disunited scibe aka TM said...

Anon

The questions are set by the questionmasters who are themselves all volunteers from the teams.

If anyone thinks they are too obscure all they have to do is set a quiz themselves.

But please no one based entirely on Big Brother - it has happened believe me.

Anonymous said...

That must have been a long night for anyone not a fan of reality shows and ropey ale.

Headhunter said...

I don't think the frosted windows in the Wickham are original are they? I wouldn't have through the Victorians would have gone for bathroom style frosted glass, they would have been more likely to put etched/cut glass windows in. Get rid of the "bathroom" windows as soon as possible! I like the double doors that now open up at the front of the building, before the upgrades I think the only way in was through the side door.

Some of those photos must have been taken with a VERY wide angle lens!

Headhunter said...

That was a remarkably positive 1st comment by Love Detective!

Westsider said...

This is very cool of the wickham - well done guys!

love detective said...

"I bet LD's girlfriend has got him moisturising"

i'm usually pretty moist as it is to be fair

love detective said...

"That was a remarkably positive 1st comment by Love Detective!"

credit where it's due - they seem to be trying to strike the right balance, good luck to them

TAmsin said...

Not saying don't change the windows - just asking that it be done carefully...

Anonymous said...

Not very often you see a 'silk cut' ashtray these days. Good advertising though!

Anonymous said...

Not very often you see a Ash Tray full stop.

Nylon said...

Love the Wickham, though the Jukebox and pool table are both too expensive! Looking forard to being able to get food!

Anonymous said...

Most pool and jukeboxes are about the same price,Its better to have a choice rather than listening to the same cd's night after night.

Nylon said...

True dat. Great selection on the Wickham Juke Box actually -indie ska and reggae, not sure why I'm moaning!!

REG said...

I could not find this pub's late night licence?

Anonymous said...

The Wickham Arms is fine. I prefered it when it had 3 ales on sale though.

If this pub ever needs inspiration they should look at the Royal Albert.

But it is fine as it is. Pool Room could do with bit of decorating though.

Guest said...

The wickham seems less interested in selling beer now this was a local pub and did good business always has have used it for well over twenty years. But the advent of the coffee machine and cleaning it up will make it less appealing to me,if the return of Brockley brewery golden best bitter and the sale of pale ale from the bottle I could won back again.

Anon said...

@Nick is that how you see yourself ;)

Anon said...

@Nick... apologies your thread didn't sort by default, to the latest comments thus my reply was clearly 4yrs too late. Maybe you could switch off the ability to comment on a thread after period of time.

Anon said...

lol ;) much the same then, with a dash of growing old disdainfully.... sorry... speck checker... disgracefully.

Monkeyboy said...

hes like Dr Who, continually regenerating. lets hope he avoids the Peter Davison years.

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