Brockley's heritage trail

There are many criticisms that can be levelled at Brockley Central, but one of the most warranted is that we are neophile. Partly, that's the institutional bias you'd expect of a "news" service, partly its our belief in progress. So it's good when we're reminded that some of the best things in Brockley have been here a long time.

One example came last week, when we enjoyed the fantastic hospitality of Mr Lawrence (established 1992) and asked ourselves why we didn't go more often. Another was a note we got from Mark, the Brockley scrabble league's chief architect, to say that he'd found an opponent via Brockley Central and had enjoyed some games at Zeki's cafe. If we'd been looking at him, we would have done so blankly. He explained:

Zeki's is on Brockley Road next to the outdoor grocers, opposite the 122 bus stop end of Adelaide Ave. Very nice Turkish couple (now getting on) have been there almost every day - serving Brockley - for 23 years.

I've been living locally since 1994 and my impression is that there may only be 4 businessmen on that stretch who have been going continuously since then (Zeki's Cafe, Sid's the plumbers, the Funeral Directors and the once-Kenyan Asian brothers at Turners the hardware store).

The managers of Amins the Pharmacy have changed n times and the cafe twice, as have, I presume, the corner bookies. Maybe the furnishing store are long-timers too. All the others are new or have changed names (like the supermarket) I think. Oak Estates would have counted if they hadn't have locked up over the recession.

Is this an opportunity for article?!!


Yes. It is. So what long-standing servants of the community would you like to recognise?

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

The corner bookies was indeed Homeview Video which closed a few years ago, my favourite Brockley lost institution... You really should've known that if you've lived here since 1994!

Osh said...

Surely City Noodles and Fishy Business deserve medals!

Monkeyboy said...

What about Paul's barbers on Malpas Rd. Super friendly although I'm not a regular. Hasn't managed to remove my ears so that's a recomendation of sorts.

Anonymous said...

Zeki's is indeed there - it's banner includes the words "Fried chicken!" surrounded by stars. Proper posh, like.

I can also recommend the 'Top Chef Cafe', slightly further towards the petrol station and on the opposite side. Best fryup around, bar none.

Now Then said...

I had better not mention the friendly staff of that same Portman bookmakers,....no ..Mersh Brothers in their semi rural hideaway yard off Algernon Rd. Wait for your turn on the M.O.T. ramp amidst peacefulness and birdsong.Patient and knowledgeable, sadly they're moving soon. Flats.

Headhunter said...

How long's Doorstep Bakery (or whatever it's called) been on Brockley Rd? I like wandering round there for a loaf of bread on weekend mornings...

Nylon Cube said...

Surely Sounds Around has been there since the beginning of time?

Anonymous said...

I know it's not strictly Brockley but it only misses by adew metres - Brookbank dry cleaners has been around for many years and Ibby is a lovely guy, always very helpful and community minded.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, 'a few'. Bloomin' iPhone.

b. said...

I must agree - Zeki's and Top Chef are quality on those hungover saturday mornings. (and sundays on occasion - but then it's only Top Chef that's open and a Zeki's bacon sandwhich is way better).

Went to Mr Lawrence for the first time the other night. Very good indeed, Mr Lawrence himself is a legend - I've met him in the store next door - but he shines behind a bar.

Matt-Z said...

Duke's night store has been there a long time. It even ran a minicab service for a while

Anonymous said...

Nylon Cube - Sounds Around transcends all time...in fact there are rumours it may be a portal to another galaxy altogether.

Robert said...

Turner's Hardware shop on Brockley Road, between St Margarets and Adelaide Avenue.

It's been there as long as I can remember (early seventies) and sells almost everything.

I had an urgent use for a substantial axe (-don't need to tell you why I needed it-) and having drawn a blank at Wickes, I asked in Turner's if they sold axes, and our man reached under the counter and placed an array of axes on the surface of varying sizes and sheen. He was very pleased with his stock indeed, and so was I.

I purchased a mid-range tool, which did the job very nicely.

Robert said...

David from Sounds Around used to have a record shop on Herefield Road before he moved into his current premises. I think that is where I purchased my first ever single ("Summer Dreams" from Grease) - though my dad would have to verify that!

He still sold vinyl records in the current shop about fifteen years ago. Don't know when he stopped. I remember picking up Prefab Sprout's "Swoon" and Pale Saint's "Comfort of Madness" there in the late eighties - two of the greatest records known to man and woman!

Tamsin said...

@ Anon 17.44 The combination of card index and computer records proves that it is an effective time/space warp generating the power that ensures galaxies the far side of dark matter continue to exist.
Effectively the place from which both the universe and anti-universe are ruled.

Arrggh said...

Damn you Robert. Have 'Summer Dreams' stuck in my head now.

Now Then said...

@aargh, you're lucky, I think I'm stuck with 'Little green Isaac' from Swoon, Robert thanks for that memory of Sounds Around. The line that goes well is from Swoon as well. 'Think of all the things that grew here, long before we moved here'

Anonymous said...

I thought that the technology that created the TARDIS was fictional until I visited Turner's hardware store.

Anonymous said...

Turners Hardware,Sounds Around and Sids are greatly appreciated.

They seem to carry a lot of very useful items that would normally involve traipsing around huge stores to find. They also know their stock and can usually dig something out to help you.

Sounds Around stock a very useful selection of blank CD and DVDs in all their various formats.

Maggies for giftware and cards is also very convenient.

Brockley could do with a few more shops like these, filling in the niches not covered by a weekly trip to a huge supermarket.

I seem to remember a time when there were butchers and bakers and other useful shops in Brockley. In the days before they were all put out of business by the huge superstores.

josh said...

Of course the Brockley Jack Theatre 17 years of fab productions and now cinema and scratch nights

jennynunn18 said...

Zeki's cafe is by far the best in Brockley. Am always in there for the best bacon sandwich around! The owner is fab, though can anyone remember his name, i always forget.

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