East London Line stimulates culture tourism for South East London

Jez: It's like Titanic. You're upstairs in your starched collar while I'm down below stairs, dancing a jig with the Poles and the Africans, having a better time than you could possibly imagine.
Mark: Just make sure you clean up in the changing room toilets. There's a big pool of rusty water by the urinals and it turns my stomach.
- Peep Show

A survey by the Culture Line coalition of culutral attractions linked by the East London Line has found that Londoners are twice as likely to cross the river north for culture as they are to head south.

The BBC reports:

About 80% of south Londoners cross the river at least once a month for cultural pursuits compared with just 41% of people from north London, the survey claims.

Visual arts Even with central London's cultural attractions excluded, 60% of people surveyed felt north London had more to offer in terms of culture. But the survey found that south Londoners may in fact have varied cultural tastes.

More than half of north Londoners rated eating out as one of their top three interests, followed by visual arts and popular music. While these interests also ranked highly for south Londoners, they were also more likely to enjoy the capital's performing arts, heritage, classical music and markets.

The headline figure isn't surprising, not least considering that north London is significantly bigger than south and home to most of central London. However, the survey also found that both north and south Londoners are more likely to cross the river to visit cultural attractions since the East London Line reopened, which is evidence of exactly what we have been arguing for two years - to stimulate cultural and economic growth in South East London, we need to build more cross-river links.

Thanks to Monkeyboy for the story.

46 comments:

love detective said...

But the survey found that south Londoners may in fact have varied cultural tastes

that is awful journalism

we're not quite sure and we can't be certain, but it does indeed look likely that contrary to previously held wisdom, not everyone in south london has exactly the same cultural tastes

qbf said...

Agreed, ld. I have no idea what it is supposed to mean.

Brockley Nick said...

I think the word "more" is missing. ie: we have more varied tastes than those in the north. They just want to go and dine on mince and slices of quince, whereas we make our own culture with any old bits of flotsam and jetsum that drift down the Thames.

We're poor, but we're happy.

anonymoose said...

Utter claptrap (the article, not you Nick). A meaningless generalisation.

PS that's 'jetsam'...and earlier today, 'renovate'. Sorry, my inner pedant insisted on taking over my keyboard.

Brockley Nick said...

Don't mind being corrected on spelling.

Headhunter said...

Lets widen this out a bit into a general discussion about north and south London. I'm partly assuming that most people who live in good ole Brockers are here because they couldn't afford to live in Islington, Notting Hill or Chelsea but having lived here does anyone still feel the need to move to north London?

Personally I used to live in Catford when I first moved to London, then I moved to Islington and felt like I had really arrived. On the doorstep of everything. I moved to Brockley for the opportunity to own a larger flat on a nice street with a big garden and now am perfectly happy here. I love that I live 6 miles from work, enough to build up a bit of a sweat on the bike ride in but not enough to burn me out. I used to walk to work in Islington but don't miss that now. I also appreciate the spaciousness of SE London. North feels much busiers and more tightly packed. As for culture, yes, there's more up north, but it ain't exactly a million miles away.

no place like home said...

I've lived in 4 places north of the river (including Holland Park and Fulham) and one place south (Brockley). Absolutely no comparison. Brockley every time. Clean, spacious, friendly, great transport connections.

Even if I could afford to buy a big house in an expensive part of north London, the transient population and unfriendly vibe of those places puts me right off. There is a stability and homeliness about Brockley that I really love. I'm lucky to have a great property in the Conservation area that I can't imagine ever wanting to leave.

As you say, you can experience 'culture' of whatever type north of the river and then get home pretty easily.

The one thing I'd really like to see more of is good restaurants within an easy (15 minute) walk of where I live.

no place like home said...

I've lived in 4 places north of the river (including Holland Park and Fulham) and one place south (Brockley). Absolutely no comparison. Brockley every time. Clean, spacious, friendly, great transport connections.

Even if I could afford to buy a big house in an expensive part of north London, the transient population and unfriendly vibe of those places puts me right off. There is a stability and homeliness about Brockley that I really love. I'm lucky to have a great property in the Conservation area that I can't imagine ever wanting to leave.

As you say, you can experience 'culture' of whatever type north of the river and then get home pretty easily.

The one thing I'd really like to see more of is good restaurants within an easy (15 minute) walk of where I live.

M said...

I wouldn't really want to live in any of those places to be honest. I've never really liked Islington. Surely Chelsea and Notting Hill are west London though?
North of the river, yes.

Monkeyboy said...

It is a bit of a marketing puff piece to promote the areas on the ELL and the museums listed in the article. It does however amply demonstrate that north londoners are essentially LOSERS!

Headhunter said...

I just listed those places as example of posh spots that many people seem to find desirable. Notting Hill etc are west London but still north of the river...

Has anyone in Brockley lived north of the river before? Would anyone go back?

Brockley Nick said...

"Has anyone in Brockley lived north of the river before?"

I would have thought so...

I lived in Finsbury Park. Certainly wouldn't go back there. But there are lots of nice places in north London of course.

M said...

I've always lived south so can't really compare. No plans to leave Brockley at the moment though.

Headhunter said...

no place like home - I have to say that when I lived on Upper Street in Islington with an enormous number of bars and restaurants on my doorstep I hardly ever used them. most of my friends lived elsewhere in London so we ended up mtg in other areas and if I was near home and hungry I just went home and cooked and I have to say I feel the same living in Brockley. I occasionally go out for a drink at The Talbot, Wickham or Orchard but I'm afraid I'm not one of our local businesses' biggest clients. I'd be happy to see more restaurants and bars opening nearby but not my number 1 requirement.

M said...

I go to a lot of gigs and really wish we had a decent venue nearby. They all seem to be in north/east London.
The Rivoli would be ideal. And now the ELL is up and running a lot easier for the northerners to get to too.

Anonymous said...

The o2, brixton academy and KoKo are pretty nearby.

M said...

The O2 I give you (although the mega gigs held there aren't usually my thing). The Academy is good but KoKo? That's in Camden. Not exactly local.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

I was brought up north of the river, just outside Harrogate.

love detective said...

"I go to a lot of gigs and really wish we had a decent venue nearby"

the fox in lewisham used to be excellent for live music, 3 bands on a friday/saturday night for a fiver - all reasonably decent as well - short walk home

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Live music two or three times a week at the Wickham and one or two times a week at the Ladywell.

There is live music at the Jolly Farmers on Friday but last time I went it was a bit like glorified Karaoke. Live events at the Honor Oak seen to have died a death.

There are other venues too numerous to go through in New Cross, Deptford and Greenwich and of course Blackheath Halls.

The IndigO2 is a nice sized venue but the performances there seen few and far between compared with the O2 itself.

THN said...

Having lived in Kensington, Putney, Acton, Blackheath, Brixton and Islington (so SW, W, SE and N London), I'm definitely happiest where I am now. I miss Islington's restaurants and Brixton's bars (or I would if I was still younger) but I much prefer the people down here. No place... is right, places like Islington have a large transient population, whereas people seem a lot more settled here and thus take more interest/care in their environment and community.

Headhunter said...

The Dirty South in Lewisham also used to do some decent live music. Bit of a scuzzy pub though.

M said...

Thanks LD and TM. Good tips all but mainly focussing on unsigned acts and pub bands. Plenty of gigs like that around I realise.
I was thinking more about mid-sized venues for your 'doing okay, signed and featured in the blogs and press but not at the Coldplay level' bands - somewhere like the Rivoli in fact!
Went to Blackheath Halls once before I lived in Brockley for a Twisted Folk night. That's a good venue but I don't see it mentioned much.

Anonymous said...

Koko is 8 miles or less from Brockley. If you don't think that's local I pity your sense of perspective and any children you may have.

diamond geezer said...

According to the full data in the main body of the Culture Line press release...
"48% of north Londoners visit the south of the capital for culture less than once a month and 7% never do this"

So I have no idea where the headline "Half of north Londoners never cross the river for work or play" came from. It's blatantly untrue, but blimey it's generated a lot of publicity.

In fact, according to the survey, 93% of North Londoners sometimes cross the river. Which is a completely different (and rather reassuring) story.

zigzag said...

Blimey, that's a bit of an overreaction, anon@18.53.

Within 8 miles you have the whole of Central London (and a lot else besides), so all you're saying is that every venue in Central London is nearby. Not very helpful and wouldn't be my definition of 'nearby'.

Anonymous said...

But isn't that the point, they are all nearby and as such were all very lucky?

Monkeyboy said...

8 miles from home south of the river at two in the morning when your drunk and tired may as well be the moon. In that context it's not especially local.

M said...

What a bizarre overreaction. You pity my children because I dont consider 8 miles local? I think you need to check your sense of perspective.

Proclaimer 1 said...

Its not local in any context MB - it's 8 miles away!

Anonymous said...

Just popping out for a pint of milk. Back in about an hour and a half, two hours...

Brockley Jon said...

Completely with you M, would love to see some bigger bands locally - ones who attract a fairly large crowd (so good atmos), and in a venue where they can show real form. The only truly local place I can think of that's big enough for that sort of thing is the Venue in NX, who I understand used to have some proper gigs in the past, but now focus on cheese. The Amersham so have some good bands - they had Hot Chip once I think. Also, the Hob in Forest Hill is a good venue, although not quite in the same league.

M said...

At the risk of repeating myself I really think the Rivoli is underused as far as gigs are concerned. Bush Hall in Shepherds Bush is a similar venue in terms of style and hosts regular gigs. Perhaps the owners of the Rivoli have been approached and just aren't interested but maybe it needs a promoter to take an interest. You did well with the Ladywell Tavern gigs Jon - how about a move to the big league? ;-)

Lou Baker said...

You don't get decent bands playing here because Brockley
is still quite hard to get to.

The gigs would come if we had a direct train to central London - which is something all those other zone 2 venues everyone mentions have.

Tressilliana said...

[beats head against wall for a few moments]

What a pity we only have direct trains to London Bridge, Blackfriars, St Pancras, Cannon Street, Victoria and a short walk from Liverpool Street, with innumerable connections to the underground and several buses going to the west end, including night buses.

I've just come back from Scotland. In my parents' neck of the woods you have to wait three hours between buses and there are no trains. Now that's an area with transport problems - by no stretch of the imagination does Brockley fall into that category.

drakefell debaser said...

Lou, your theory doesn't wash.

Both The White Stripes and Florence & The Machine have had sell out concerts at the Rivoli. Clearly not too many were put off by that arduous 10 minute overland train ride from Blackfriars to Crofton Park Station.

And individual preference aside, before you retort that they are not quality, I think you will find that it is the suitability of the venue that has far more sway in attracting a musician that were it is located or if you can get to it from Charing Cross directly.

Alexandra Palace is a good example of this, miles away from the precious centre, yet very popular.

Anonymous said...

"Both The White Stripes and Florence & The Machine have had sell out concerts at the Rivoli. Clearly not too many were put off by that arduous 10 minute overland train ride from Blackfriars to Crofton Park Station."

They were both one off promotional events, i think both were free.

Lou Baker said...

Tressiliana can beat her head against a brick wall if she likes.

But it's a fact our transport links are crap.

For a start the trains to Blackfriars and St Pancras only go on weekdays and only until early evening. Great if there's a big gig on a Tuesday afternoon but not brilliant for Friday or Saturday nights. Oh and the last London train on that line goes well before midnight too.

There are no trains to Cannon St and the trains which go 'near Liverpool Street' are a ten minute walk away from it.

That leaves us 4 trains an hour to London Bridge - not central London - and just two an hour to Victoria. Oh and there's a big gap in the Victoria services in the early evening.

So yes, Tressiliana, compared with rural Scotland our links are good. Compared with most of zone 2 London - including Greenwich, Brixton, Shepherds Bush, Camden etc - which are usually on at least 1 tube line, with services every few minutes to and from central London until the early hours - they are crap.

And this is why no one comes to south London - because getting here is such a faff.

Monkeyboy said...

Grenwich is not on a tube line, unless you include north greenwich which is a tedious bus ride away - Greenwich in name only

Anonymous said...

Greenwich was on the DLR (connections a mung gob away in Lewisham) last tine I looked. Of course you know that, don't you.

Monkeyboy said...

"including Greenwich, Brixton, Shepherds Bush, Camden etc - which are usually on at least 1 tube line,"

See above... Greenwich is not on a tube line. I know it's on a dlr line.

Do pay attention

Brockley Nick said...

I don't think Brockley's lack of gigs has anything directly to do with transport. It's the venues. There aren't any.

The Rivoli's owners don't like doing many gigs, I understand. They worry about the wear and tear.

Otherwise, there's nothing of scale and few pubs around to make it more of a night out for gig-goers.

By contrast, New Cross, which has essentially the same transport connections as Brockley, has two major venues for gigs: the Amersham and The Venue. You may not like the bands the Venue books, but it packs them in, clearly undeterred by the fact that they're in SE London.

Brockley Nick said...

Further thought: the Barge is just about big enough to be converted in to a decent-sized music venue. If it was regularly hosting up-and-coming acts, do you think transport would be any deterrent to them selling 300 or so tickets a night? It's right next to direct connections from London bridge and East London and is one simple change on the Jubilee Line away. Not to mention a decent local catchment area.

Mezzer said...

I don't think transport has anything to do with it either - I also agree that we have very good links anyway. Think of Brixton Academy though - one of the largest venues in town and not a great range of transport options....

Monkeyboy said...

I just wanted to say "do pay attention" to someone like wot Hugh does. Drives 'em nuts

M said...

Interesting idea about the Barge. Its a good size and better placed than the Rivoli in many ways. Does it have a function room upstairs or could one be created? That could work well - pub downstairs, gigs up. Like the Luminaire in Kilburn, for example.

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