Starlight Express

Is Brockley in danger of losing some of its fabulousness?

One of the things we learned at last night's networking event is that the Brockley-Honor Oak-Forest Hill area is a traditional hotspot for acting talent, with venues like the Honor Oak, the Brockley Jack, Jam Circus, Mr Lawrence and The Orchard among the area's most popular haunts.

Obviously, the area's affordability has always been an important part of the draw, but so too has the direct connection to Charing Cross, with the midnight trains full to the brim with weary, hairsprayed performers from Wicked, Grease and all of the other delights of the West End.

Does the loss of the direct service threaten our hold over the acting community? We hope not.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, Brockley will still keep the Museum people, direct connection or no. In fact, once the early Victoria line train starts there might be more of us....

b. said...

with a rising star (currently starring in Sweet Charity on the West End - PLUG) having just moved in upstairs from us, my feeling is 'No'.

Tamsin said...

Sorry, but "yes". Having been actively engaged in the campaign last autumn, I was stopped by one lady when handing out leaflets who, as a actress, was furious about the cuts and told me that the cast and crew of "Phantom of the Opera" had put in their own petition.

And it is not only the professionals - the audience as well. Fine for those round Victoria but if you have been to a show in Shaftesbury Avenue or the Strand theatres what you want - and what you used to be fairly certain of - is a safe and direct surface train home - no faffing around on the underground or changing at London Bridge or Canada Water.

Now the tumult and the shouting of the election has died, and once the ELL has settled in a bit at the end of the month, we want help reactivating this campaign. I have noticed with wry irony that - surprise, surprise, the South Eastern services that shoved things across in the issue of the franchises giving rise to our cuts are not as profitable as the operating companies had hoped so they are cutting them back. No immediate prospect of ours being restored, of course, since (although wholly owned subsidiaries of the same multi-national) they are diffent companies.

Anonymous said...

LEWISHAM and LADYWELL. Need I say more? You're all acting as if there's no possible alternative way of getting to ch x without changing. Maybe the actors will all move to roads like brookbank and Algernon and shell instead and they can have the best of all worlds.

b. said...

agreed. I use the direct Ch-X to Ladywell link twice a week and then take the 10 minute walk home. It's miles easier than the chaotic change + wait at london bridge - especially when it's past 21:00 and the next train could be between 21:00 and anytime.

M said...

Yes, that's the answer Anon - simply move house!
Also a ten minute walk home might be fine for some but what about a lone woman late at night, or an elderly person?

b. said...

"Also a ten minute walk home might be fine for some" - you've been reading the Daily Mail havent you? Our neighbourhoods are safe. The most dangerous thing i've encountered on my walk from Ladywell to Crofton Park are a few 12 year old kids... oh, and some seriously dodgy looking kebabs. Better hope that elderly person doesnt get hungry.
And, more to the point, anyone starring in a west end production is probably fitter and stronger than any fictional 12 year old mugger.

name said...

Charing X was fab service.

Headhunter said...

Tamsin - I also noticed that, "surprise, surprise" the amazing express services from Kent into Kings X or wherever it was going, with spanking new trains and at the same time a third increase in fares, have seen little interest from passengers in Kent and have already been cut back, a matter of months after they were started up. So Brockley loses its Ch X service for some overhyped, overpriced train from Kent that it seems, no one even wanted.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Not a problem for us St John's users.

Could do with a bit better illumination outside the station entrance though.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that's right b - there's absolutely no danger at all for women alone at night in London.
Cretin.

M said...

@b
You've clearly missed the point.

Excusing cuts to public transport services by saying 'never mind - just walk another 10 minutes to a different station' isn't good enough and isn't as simple or safe for some as it clearly is for you.

My neighbour is in her 70's and regularly goes to the theatre in the west end - luckily for her we live very close to Ladywell station but if the situation was reversed and we lost our Charing X services there's no way she could walk back from Brockley station by herself at 11pm.
That's not Daily Mail paranoia territory - it's just being sensible.

Anonymous said...

There's definitely a number of people on here who claim to think nothing of yomping two miles to buy a carrot (and also to claim that this takes them less than 20 minutes) and who pour scorn on anyone who suggests that a walk of [insert number of your choice] minutes could be in any way inconvenient. It p*sses me off quite considerably.

Anonymous said...

The other half and I once 'made' Loampit Vale to Borough Market in under 70 minutes to buy some rather droopy Kos lettuce. Scarcely worth it in hindsight.

Anonymous said...

Yes, thanks anon, I agree. And if the poor little old lady can afford to go to the West End regularly she can probably stretch to a 5 min cab ride from Lewisham station. Maybe the fact that there are 2 other stations very close that go directly to ch x did contribute directly to the decision to cut the Brockley service. I appreciate that it's a bit irritating for people who used that service, but it's not as if there aren't other almost as convenient options.

Anonymous said...

Ah so we now have to spend money on cabs because the trains no longer go where they used to? You're all very obliging of the train companies wishes. What good, subservient customers you are.

b. said...

And so another 'discussion' begins.

b. said...

And ends for me. Enjoy.

Late nighter said...

Plenty of buses from outside Ladywell or Lewisham stations to many bits of Brockley, which are another option. Must say I find the 25min walk from the upper corner of Ladywell Rd, near that pet shop on Lewisham Way, where my after-work nightbus drops me off, to Brockley very safe. Lone woman at 2am but I feel much safer than on the walk down Brockley Rd from Broc station after the late trains.

Southern said...

Jolly sporting of you all to just bend over and take it like this. We were planning to reinstate the Charing Cross link but now we see so many of you are perfectly happy to walk or get a bus down to Ladywell or Lewisham we thought "Actually, sod 'em". Back to counting our profits now. Cheerio.

b. said...

*wades back in* - no one that used the direct charing x connection is happy that it's gone and we're all behind reinstating it etc. This discussion was not about that, but rather whether or not those cuts will result in people that work in the west end moving elsewhere / not moving into SE4 - our point being that they still have viable, although, not ideal, alternative modes of transport.
jeez.

b. said...

"Anonymous said...

Yes, that's right b - there's absolutely no danger at all for women alone at night in London.
Cretin."

Re-read my comment please. I never generalised about London, I was pointing out that it's safe to walk from Ladywell to Crofton park for a woman. I know some of us on these threads like to think our little haven is London, but it's not; it's a nicer, safer, cheaper version.
Although your last point stands.. I am most certainly a Cretin.

Christ's sake said...

Just go to ladywell you bunch of stubborn bellends.

b. said...

hahahahahaha

Tamsin said...

Brockley Central covers a wide area and, sorry, Ladywell is upwards of half an hour's walk from where I live. New Cross is nearer - a twenty minute walk - but really rather unpleasant late at night.

It also doesn't alter the fact that the privately owned train companies in search (fruitless as it turned out) of extra profits have ridden roughshod over inner London residents.

Anonymous said...

Is a bell-end stubborn? Persistent maybe...

Al said...

"...viable, although, not ideal, alternative modes of transport."

Just what you want to hear when looking for somewhere to live.

"Can I get a train to work from there?"
"Well, no but there's another station fairly nearby where you can."
"Oh right. I'll just move there then."

jerry leadbetter said...

I totally agree that it's a pain to lose the direct service, but for those of us who are only occasional travellers on that route, some of the pain could be taken away by checking the connections in advance (I'm telling myself this as much as anyone else). I've looked at the current timetable, taking tonight as an example. There are 18 trains between 10pm and 11pm from Charing Cross to London Bridge. 8 of those trains give you a 4-6 minute connection time at London Bridge onto a Brockley train. Total journey time including changeover is 22 minutes - so not TOO much faffing about. Far more of an issue for those for whom it is their daily commute, of course.

I'm in no way defending the train companies and would love to see the service reinstated - and I'll gladly support any campaign to do so.

John said...

I understand the concern regarding the loss of a direct Charing X service but not quite clear why anyone would be bothered about the loss of actors in the area. What do they bring that people of other occupations don't?

John said...

I understand the concern regarding the loss of a direct Charing X service but not quite clear why anyone would be bothered about the loss of actors in the area. What do they bring that people of other occupations don't?

Brockley Nick said...

@John - Fabulousness.

Tamsin said...

also high profile PR when one wants it - a name to give prizes in a children's poetry competition - and their talents for free in our Festivals.

Brockley Nick said...

The serious answer is that I am interested in all of Brockley's subcommunities and this was an interesting phenomenon which I wasn't previously aware of and wanted to share.

If anyone has any insights in to the area's accountancy community, please do let me know. Actually, we discuss these fellows quite often in terms of train access to LB and CW...

b. said...

Don't forget us Media/Advertising whores.
We're people too.

Anonymous said...

Were bankers and lawyers deliberately omitted?

Brockley Nick said...

Some of my best friends are bankers and lawyers. And I resent them for it enormously.

chartered accountant said...

I'm an accountant - but pretty fabulous too....

Artists and actors bring colour and vibrancy to the area, and as most of them are not (yet) famous they aren't holed up behind security fences and darkened glass.

Accountants, teachers, lawyers, nurses, shop assistants - they all bring colour too, of course, though perhaps more subtle shades.

Monkeyboy said...

Those pints won't pull themselves you know.

Anonymous said...

To be honest I didn't even know there ever was a direct service from brockley to ch x so I'm not feeling the loss. Was it only at weekends?

Marvin said...

Actors. Don't talk to me about actors. Just spent the day on set with a bunch of the self-important face-pullers trying to make a name for themselves. They don't improve a whole bunch even when they've made it either, in my experience. And living next door to an opera singer with their constant wailing can drive a person insane after a very short while too. Oh, but they bring such colour and vibrancy to an area. My arse.

A reluctant ;) to show I'm not being entirely serious.

Tamsin said...

@anon Weekends when you are more likely to be travelling with children and buggies or elderly relatives and late in the evening when it's a lovely bonus not to have to change and so, if you travel to NXG, almost halving your journey time.

Used to be one (or was it two) trains an hour through the day as well but they went when franchises came in. Lovely retrograde step - almost back to the days of different companies operating the different stations at London Bridge.

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