The Door to Hilly Fields

Louis: I am The Keymaster!
Dana Barrett: [possessed by Zuul] I am The Gatekeeper!
- Ghostbusters

We've sung the praises of Brockley MAX quite enough for one year, but before we finish, we just want to pay tribute to one of the 2010 festival's lasting legacies. The sculpture of a door ajar on top of a tree stump in Hilly Fields is a delight, continuing a fine Brockley tradition of playful public art, that kids and adults can enjoy.

We figured it was temporary but MAX organiser Moira says it's there to stay, so long as it doesn't get vandalised.

We hope people treat it well, it makes the perfect partner to Brockley's giant key.


mintness said...

Saturday saw my first stroll on Hilly Fields for a while, and the door was a pleasant diversion. Glad to hear it's staying. It's already got some biro scrawls on the back of it, though, unless that was part of the original art.

SamB said...

Ooh, that's me! I'm famous!

M said...

I noticed the other day that someone had clearly tried to pull it over as it was all skewiff but it now seems to have been put right.
I like it too.

Brockley Nick said...

Apparently it was vandalised a bit but fixed.

Brockley Dogging Society (Hilly Fields Chapter) said...

The dogger always knocks twice

Anonymous said...

It was mentioned on the Danny Baker Radio Show,at the time of the Brockley Max Festival.

Brockley Nick said...

Danny Baker lives in Blackheath, no?

Now Then said...

Yes D.B who grew up hereabouts is the only Radio London personage of whom it can be said with any certainty, that they've been South of the river.

He has been known to boost the locality a bit. He once mentioned that he had an album recorded in the Seventies called 'Live at the Montague Arms'.

DannyBakerFanClub said...

He also passed his driving test in a shop no longer there, down Lewisham Way opposite The Angel Pub, also no longer there.

Now Then said...

Ah, The Angel...dont get me started.

DannyBakerFanClub. said...

A proper Pub,not like Le Talbot.

Now Then said...

Both in their couldn't be diffrenter ways eminently proper pubs DBFC.

Love that door.

Anonymous said...

I have something I must share.
It's about that door.
A few nights ago I was walking up from The Orchard. Brockley was fast asleep. Hilly Fields was empty. I was certain I was alone.
Normally I would have trekked around the outside at that time of night, but something... I don't know.
As I approached I had a strange feeling, a presentement, that something was about to happen, some 'thing' that I can't quite explain - even now. Not in any logical way that is. Let's just call it a foreboding which defied all rational explanation. A bit like that dream you catch at first light that disappears into the mind's aether. That said, I wish I hadn't done what I did and I apologise to the reader for doing so.
But it was in the distance, seemingly hanging in the air, ajar.
The moon over south London was hidden behind a dark cloud and the wind was howling.
Hilly Fields seemed much darker than usual. Good... No witnesses.
I gingerly stepped up towards the door, raised my leg, and started to squeeze through.
I know... silly, isn't it? But I had been drinking you see, 'ociffer'. Like any thief in the night I was vouchsafing an alibi.
I grinned at what I'd just done. For one brief moment I had become installation art.
I stumbled, banged my head, and literally rolled through the other side of the door.
The howling of the wind as it swept through Hilly Fields was spooky. Unusually, or so it then seemed, the oily pitch black swallowed everything in its shadow. Save for the houses along Adelaide Road which were speckled by old gaslit lanterns..? I had never noticed those before. In fact, for once, I could see a mass of stars in the sky. Which was strange.
It was then that I realised something was not quite right. Something was different about the park and the houses around it. There were absolutely no cars on the roads or outside the houses. And at the top of the hill, just over to my right, was a bandstand. A bandstand? In Hilly Fields?
I was astonished. Where had it come from?
I made my way towards it a bit nonplussed.
Those busbodies at Brockley central had been obviously trying to gentrificate the area. But this did seem...
I walked up the steps as the moon appeared from behind the dark cloud. It was then that I saw it.
It was lying on the floor of the bandstand. A newspaper, unread, just lying there.
The writing seemed odd. It was tiny and the English seemed not of our times. It was, like Tamsin, very flowery. And there were no photos inside only drawings.
"22 January 1896" - the date made me do a double take. I held my breath as I looked at the headline. 'Catman loose in Hilly Fields'
I heard the howling once more. It wasn't the wind. And whatever it was it was much nearer in time this time.
What oh what had happened?
Somehow, as I crashed through that door, I had entered a point where time and space converge and ended up in the late 19th Century! The ajar door was not so trivial an item. It was really a time machine that had landed over Brockley and disrupted the Matrix. Now that was a worry.
I could hear Catman panting behind me...
I ran and ran and ran as fast as I could towards the door.
I managed to reach it just in time before he pounced. Thank God! I dived through the-door-that-was not-a-door but ajar and I rolled down through the other side and came to rest - with a thump - in Hilly Fields NOW. Oh the sirens and car alarms!
It was good to be back. 21st Century Brockley was such a welcome sight. Gentrification. Don't you just love it?
I made my way over Hilly Fields vowing never to step through that door again. Or mix my drinks at The Orchard. But the value of hindsight is a wonderful thing. I wish now that I had it with me that night.
And what of the door that was ajar I hear you ask. Unfortunately it's now jammed and so Yee Old Brockley has gone... FOREVER.

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Anonymous said...

Oops... sorry about that, Nick.

Now Then said...

I like the second one best.

Anonymous said...

Dodged a bullet there. Think you almost experienced a 'Catting'

Now Then said...

How many jars had you at the orchard?

For(Q)When is a door not a door?

Now then said...

(A) When it's a jar. (ajar)

Arf arf arf.

Anonymous said...

Is it Groundhog Day?

Anonymous said...

I could hear Catman panting behind me...

How awful.

Brockley Nick said...

A tale as beautiful as it is terrifying - even more evocative in its seventh telling than it was in its first.

It's because of issues like this that I started Brockley Central - disturbing and yet the "Mainstream Media" won't touch them. Are they simply afraid or is it something more sinister than that?

Mb said...

Everyone knows that Catman REALLY controls the media.

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