Foxberry Place


Adam says that this is simply how things work: First the parents take care of the children and then the children take care of the parents. He says historically, that's how it works. Whenever Adam gives me such obviously incorrect information, I just smile, slap him on the knee, and look out the window.

Why spoil his dreams? They're such wonderful dreams.


Brockley resident "Brockley Resident" has been dreaming big dreams. Thinking about what is and what could be, if only Council and developer worked together with shared vision. BR's idea is to create a new public square called Foxberry Place, adjacent to Coulgate Street. Here's the plan:

I have read in many posts that lobbying to pedestrianise Coulgate Street continues to take place.
It think this is a beautiful idea and potentially a step in the right direction. However I think this will not be sufficient to boost the other shops and does little in regards to the lack of quality office and commercial space. So why not lobbying the Council to pedestranise the end of Foxberry Road as well, next to the Barge?

With the help of an enlightened developer this part of the road could be transformed into a small square with shops, offices and apartments built where the garages are right now. A perfect setting for the Brockley Max Concert and in hot days bars and restaurants could put their tables outside. Two upper floors could be built to match the hight of the buildings in Coulgate Street so that well designed modern office space could be offered to the entrepreneurs of Brockley. I am aware this is an ambitious plan, almost an impossible dream for a place like Brockley.

However there are some incredible people and organisations in Brockley that may buy into the idea and one day deliver the miracle.

We love this kind of idea, because it marries ambition with respect for what is already great about Brockley and offers a coherent vision for how to make our world a little better.

It would certainly create a town centre that Brockley doesn't have and provide new high-quality retail space, which the area lacks.

What do you think? Beautiful dream or fascist plot to sanitize Brockley?

116 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great idea - but how do you get the MOT garage to sell up?

Ed said...

Lovely idea but where is the money?

westsider said...

The developer would offer enough money. The area's not short of places they could relocate to, if it was made worth their while.

Brockley Nick said...

@Ed - it would need to be privately funded. Property investment is ramping up again. Right next to a zone 2 tube station - we know there's lots of interest in developing around the station, with lots going on on the west side.

Anonymous said...

I applaud the vision, and would love to see it come to fruition, but I fear practicalities will get in the way. How do you get the MOT garage to shut down its well-regarded and conveniently located business?

Hugh said...

I must accept responsibility being the first to state that the MOT centre is what stands between Brockley and greatness.

Anonymous said...

Brockley, that pocket of insanity in south London where cars are a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

Very nice idea, perhaps difficult to implement but would love to see it happening.

Private developers please come forward. It looks like the MOT is renting and does not own the land.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant idea!

Though do find the garage v useful and the people v helpful for sorting out the car

TM said...

I have to agree with Ed.

Even an "enlightened developer" is unlikely to give up have of his site for no return. Such a gestutre would effect the bottom line to such an extent that the project would become untenable.

The only way this would come about would be if a quango like the LDA bought the site with public money, created the square and sold the remanider off for development at about half of the amount they bought it for.

Not likely.

Hugh - unsubstantiated twaddle. Your comments are bordering on becoming as bad as Catman's.

lb said...

Messy as the garage is, it's one of the few genuine businesses in the area that aren't simply retail, so no. There are already empty retail units in Brockley and it would be better to concentrate on filling these first.

A better and simpler idea is simply to stop people parking on Coulgate Street, with the exception of Speedicars who could be given a paved rank area where their old office was. This gets rid of the lines of parked cars without impeding the taxi service or moving it away from the station, where it's most useful.

Anonymous said...

Give me Catman any day.

Ed said...

@Nick - I agree that in the absence of a major double dip the zone 2 status will start to work wonders for Brockley.

It is surely a matter of time before a high street name joins us and I think that will be the game changer. Other high street names as well as independent businesses will see the collective security and take the plunge...

It is inevitable that an MOT centre will eventually be priced out when located yards from a zone 2 stop.

Pedestrianise the whole area between the highstreet and the station I say (with residents CPZ for my battered/new car).

Anonymous said...

Depends on which High Street Name opens up as to whether the Independent Businesses survive.

lb said...

"It is inevitable that an MOT centre will eventually be priced out when located yards from a zone 2 stop"

Not if it owns the land it's built on, it won't.

In any case, no developer is likely to speculatively build small retail units in the current climate, especially when it could profitably build housing instead - be careful what you wish for.

A better way forward is to ensure that current empty retail units are well promoted - and to protect the viable businesses already in Brockley (which, visually unfortunate as it is, includes the MOT centre). A mix of business types is preferable in the long term. Simple pedestrianisation, however, is a good idea - Coulgate Street is simply a car park at the moment, which not only looks bad but makes it unsafe for pedestrians leaving the station.

lb said...

"Depends on which High Street Name opens up"

Probably Cash Converters, given the current direction of the economy.

Anonymous said...

Coulgate Street "unsafe for pedestrians leaving the station"?!

In what way?

Poor diddums, they must be absolutely traumatised when they reach Brockley Road...

Anonymous said...

Just out of interest, which 'high street names' would people like to see appear in Brockley?

I can't think of any, and find the thought of Brockley's high street becoming homogenised and indistinguishable from any number of other high streets distinctly depressing.

Monkeyboy said...

I think we need to get over ourselves a little. "big" isn't automatically bad. Almost all the stores we currently have are independent, some are great, most are average, some are terrible. Don't want a generic high street but I won't be manning the baricades if pizza express moved in.

Tommo said...

Anon at 16.02

At the moment, Brockley has a small number of good independent shops and more which are not so good. The key is preserving the good ones which provide a service which cannot be replicated by the big chains.

If Costcutter was bought by a bigger name supermarket (even Co-op)it would be a massive improvement to that row of shops.

Blunderbuss said...

I'd rather burn Brockley to the ground than see a bloody Pizza Express open up. Ubiquitous and bloody awful...

The Cat Man said...

Here here!

Anonymous said...

Where? Where?

Hugh said...

TM, substantiated by my postings here. Watch, learn and dream about being me.

Tommo said...

Agree with Monkeyboy. I'd go so far as welcoming a chain such as Pizza Express.

A chain such as this would not provide a direct competition to existing businesses (there are no comparable independently owned restaurants locally) and would increase the number of people coming into the area which would have to improve the prospects of other businesses and the area generally.

Anonymous said...

Can you be specific? Which shops in that row would you like to get rid of?

The Costcutter isn't bad but maybe could be replaced by something equivalent to what they already have in Crofton Park - that would be minor tinkering and not at all the same thing as lots of high street stores moving in.

You could lose maybe two takeaway places - which are tiny in retail space terms, and maybe the strange off licence on the corner of Harefield Road (though the man in there is very friendly and I'd have a pang about that one) but what else? We need the Post Office and laundrette, and Magi and Sounds Around represent the very quintessence of Brockley. So what else goes?

Anonymous said...

Pizza Express is OK, a bit boring - and hopefully when La Lanterna reopens it will provide a decent pizza offering! What I'd really like is a sushi and noodle restaurant, but those places seem to rely on very high footfall.

Mmmm, salmon sashimi...making myself hungry now....

U said...

Hugh, Hugh, you are vulgarity personified. Do try for a little dignity.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea!! - I dont agree with Ib there are not lots of empty retail units - there are alot of takeaways shops and nightclubs that are simply closed in the day.
Foxberry square would be a great place for the local butcher, drycleaner, baker and nice eateries....

Mb said...

I wasn't advocating pizza express specifically just don't buy the assertion that one or two chain stores are the end of the world.

Mb said...

Candle stick maker?

Anonymous said...

We could get rid of the "Wine Bar" as it's mostly always closed - and when it is open it just creating trouble

Anonymous said...

We could get rid of the "Wine Bar" as it's mostly always closed - and when it is open it just creating trouble

Mb said...

Candle stick maker?

Anonymous said...

Sorry what's that wrong with the Costcutter? People are being really snooty about it. You probably won't be happy till there's a Tesco Superstore in Brockley...

Mb said...

I'm not sure if the snootyness is because it's a chain or because it't the wrong kind of chain. The most important thing is whether the business is good or bad or useful. The big budgens in cp is great AND a chain...fancy that!

Anonymous said...

Costcutter is fine, if a little scruffy at times. Co-op seems to being 'supermarket' levels of niceness to a small area without having to be too worthy (see cluster of shops near and around Coulgate Street for the worst offenders)

The Cat Man said...

waitrose darling

Anonymous said...

The cat wants wait rose but rejects pizza express. Both serve the same demographic. Care to explain?

Name said...

The Brockley Barge already seems to be warming to the regen. theme. They've cordoned off that bit of cobbled pavement by the traffic lights and placed some seating and tables out. The cordons are some smart looking black banners with the word "Brockley Barge" in white lettering, in a nice sans serif font. It's rather chic.

Nux said...

I think this sounds like a wonderful idea. The one thing Brockley really lacks is a central hub for shops and businesses, somewhere to actually go - as the high streets are so broken up and the shops so scattered. It seems wholly implausible for all the reasons everyone else has mentioned but wow! What a great idea!

The Cat Man said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hello...there is an Italian restaurant about to re-open...I think they might be soon out of business if a pizza chain suddenly plonked their homogenous selves on our doorstep...

costclubber said...

When the Tesco metro opened on lewisham way I went there to get some ingredients for dinner. They did not have a single thing on my list. I walked back to Costcutter on Brockley Rd and they had every single thing. I haven't made that mistake since ...

Anonymous said...

Crofton Park has two shops with a decent selection of fresh meat and fish, and fruite and vegetables. Costcutter is OK on the latter, but not so good on the fish and meat. Budgens and co-op also do better selections of dips, tapas, stuff like that (frivolous but desirable). Costcutter is fine, but not in the same league.

Anonymous said...

Ever eaten in the old restaurant?

barryls said...

Dear Lewisham Council...

More fast food joints, dodgy appliance stores, hairdressers/money launderers and bookmakers please.

That's what we urban regeneration is all about isn't it?(sic).

Thanking you in advance.

Tamsin said...

I think it is the Costcutter - certainly one of those supermarkets - that have the best packaged ham I've ever tasted. We don't want a Tesco express or multi-chain anything. I also find it rather engaging that one of them has an in memoriam picture of the former owner. Not something you would ever have with Tesco.

Anonymous said...

Amen

Anonymous said...

I have been looking for an office to relocate my business to Brockley but could not find one. I think a location near the station would be perfect and would allow for a more diversified business mix. It will also create a centre for the area. Queen’s Park is an example of an area that managed the change very well and is now hosting a number of IT and Media businesses along side commercial shops.

The days of the MOT are numbered anyway. It occupies only half of the area; the rest is really parking for second hand cars and van rental. Whoever owns the land (the MOT does not own it) will sell it to a developer sooner or later. What comes next may be a concern if left it to the imagination of developers. The value of the land is proportionate to what one can build on it, so the Council plays a big part in influencing the future of such a strategic area.

Anonymous said...

I'd just like to say that I LOVE the MOT garage- really professional, courteous and prompt people who don't try to bump up the faults list at MOT-time. If they did re-locate, I hope it's to somewhere very nearby.
It would certainly be good to pedestrianise Coulgate St. Foxberry Place is a little too near the main road and the Brockley Barge for my liking.
ps Queen's Park is REVOLTING now- I regularly stay there. SO up its own a*£e. I don't really want to pay £2 for a croissant or have a kids shop selling £200 cashmere baby-gro's. Maybe that's just me...

neanderthal d said...

Hugh @ 16:34 7/7/2010 said "Watch, learn and dream about being me"

I Wanna Be Like Hugh (Velocipede Boy Inna Jungle Book Mix)



"Now I'm the king of the sneerers
Oh, the Brockley VIP
I've reached the top and had a strop
And dissed what's botherin' me
I wanna be a man, mancub
And pedal right into town
And be just like the other men
I'm tired of being unsound


Oh, oobee doo
I wanna be like Hugh
I wanna walk like Hugh
Talk like Hugh, too
You'll see it's true
An ape like he
Can learn to be human too


Gee, peddlin' Hughie
You're doin' real good

Now here's your part of the deal, cuz
Lay the secret on me of a flat tyre

But I don't know how to fix a tyre


Now don't try to kid me, mancub
I made a deal with Hugh
What I desire, a pumped up tyre
To make my dream come true
Give me the secret, mancub
C'mon clue me what to do
Give me blogs to scour and pedal power
So I can be like Hugh


Hugh!
I wanna be like Hugh
I wanna talk like Hugh
Walk like Hugh, too
Hugh'll see it's true
Someone like me
Can learn to feel
Hugh's buns of steel
Hugh's balls like peas
Like someone like Hugh
His brain's a pea
Like someone like he."

Miss Adelaide said...

Wow. Can that be the Brockley National Anthem?

lb said...

"Coulgate Street "unsafe for pedestrians leaving the station"?!

In what way?"

Well, the fact they have to thread through closely parked cars, reversing cars, etc etc. Lots of accidents happen in this kind of environment - I know, I've seen 'em. Better to sweep the cars away.

All this talk of which shops people would like to get rid of makes me feel a bit queasy. Brockley is Brockley, and the retail businesses that survive there are a reflection of what its residents (in their infinite diversity) want. There's already plenty of room for more.

Where the hell are all these "nightclubs" of which you speak?

Ed said...

Ever since I first visited the area in 2006/7 I have always thought the Barge would make a great Pizza Express (there was a time when they were almost all located in interesting old premises, not in shopping centres).

The Barge serves only part of the community; I went in once to watch the cricket and sat with a few of the older gents with Caribbean roots but left after I was nearly drawn into a brawl with some of the younger thugs who are often found there.

Shame – The Barge dominates our 'village' centre but really isn't very welcoming despite the table and two chairs masquerading as cafe culture. The pavement with the bus stop is nearly impassable at busy times.

Sorry, bit grumpy today.

Anonymous said...

The barge is a bit ropey but generally harmless. Pubs often attract knobs, it's a pub thing.

Anonymous said...

The barge is a bit ropey but generally harmless. Pubs often attract knobs, it's a pub thing.

Name said...

If you don't like the Barge, it's but a short walk to the The Orchard, for a clientele that you may feel more comfortable amongst.

Anonymous said...

Nice one, Neanderthal d.

Anonymous said...

Ed why don't you move to area with a Pizza Express? Obviously Brockley is so ghastly, for you.

Now Then said...

Yes Name, fine, The Orchard, but no old Carribean gents to mull the cricket over with, so that the great democratic pub tradition gets diluted as we all get 'streamed' by age and income group. Bit of a shame, but from the 'public space' point of view, a Pizza express would be worse.

Very droll N.D.

Ed said...

@Anonymous 11:48 - What is obvious is that you have not read or understood my comments.

Lady said...

I really really like the costcutter. Ok so it's not presented in a Waitrose clinical style but the range is way better than you get at a Tesco metro anywhere. Costcutter should be the last thing to go. Ok we need better fresh veggies but actually a short trip over the bridge to the Broca sorts that one out. Would be lovely to have a lovely bakery or a lovely deli counter type place to supplement the costcutter offering. But definitely don't want watered down flavoured hummous pots from a tesco type place. Budgens no better than costcutter, IMO.

Once a week I'm in East Dulwich, lordship lane, and apart from the naff high street shops (clothes for mummy etc.) it seems like they've got the balance pretty right - independent shops serving up pretty much anything you want - carpets, cheese, books, beauty services, wine, etc etc - I also like the fact there are some normal looking shops amongst the posh ones - just a shame about the whopping cafe nero etc at the end - don't know if there's a good coffee bar along the stretch to rival it mind you. Perhaps Ed is right - presence of high street names gives others confidence to come in?

in Brockley i'd like a great little furniture shop actually, a la Denny and Dazzle - and other non foodie offerings - gives a reason for visitors to mooch more than just coffee/lunch etc.

Monkeyboy said...

Wish I never mentioned pizza express now. What about a Nando's? Chicken based cuisine where guardianistas, mail readers and disaffected youth can congregate.

You see? There's always a third way.

once again people wish for what they have said...

Would be lovely to have a lovely bakery or a lovely deli counter type place to supplement the costcutter offering.

There is a bakery further up towards the magic rounabout, next to Pavilion Estates. Broca does great bread as does Degustation and Browns.

Lovely Deli - Degustation is pretty good for your cheese, Broca for your hams and chorizo etc etc ..

Anonymous said...

"Well, the fact they have to thread through closely parked cars, reversing cars, etc etc. Lots of accidents happen in this kind of environment - I know, I've seen 'em. Better to sweep the cars away."

Wow, this place sounds like an absolute nightmare. I really wonder how you cope - you must have amazing resolve. Parked cars and reversing cars you say? Horrors worse than Vietnam.

Anonymous said...

Well if we believe the press (...pause for laughter) and Brockley is trying to become the Hampstead of the South, then it's inevitable that some chain places like Pizza Express will be needed.
People like familiarity, so the second you show them something they know and like, they'll start moving here and bringing their money with them.

Anonymous said...

"The Barge serves only part of the community;"

Hogwash! you unenlightened pizza express lover

Brockley Nick said...

Agreed. The Barge is cheap and big and serves a greater part of the community than probably any other local business.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

The Barge? Even I have even in there.

But then I am a bearded bitter drinker and Weatherspoons do know how to keep a good pint, unlike some pubs I could mention.

Nice ditty ND. Couldn't sleep?

qbf said...

The Barge is a bit grungy but basically fine. Cheap and cheerful food, reasonably priced drinks and easily the most diverse clientele of any Brockley establishment.

I gather it used to be the location of choice for drug dealing and other criminal activities, and I dare say a bit of that still goes on, but I've never felt intimidated in there.

mintness said...

Always been happy with the Barge really - it serves its purpose when that's the purpose you're after. Ditto the Tesco Express on Lewisham Way. I know Small Business is inherently and morally "better" than Big Business, but when you've spent several years living out of reach of a bunch of decent local shops - in densely populated urban London, for heaven's sake, not the kind of godforsaken provincial hole where I grew up and which still managed to support an affordable local butcher's and grocer's - you have every right to be happy when [i]anyone[/i] shows a bit of belief and buys into the local community, whether that's Evil Big Business or the mung brigade. All power to both of them and everyone beyond, frankly.

Monkeyboy said...

When I was a young impoverished grad in my first job unused to use the whetherspoons in acton. Equally shabby but a cheap drink before heading to somewhere else. Plenty of room in brockers for it. Not a dissimilar argument for a mix of decent chain stores and more specialist retailers, I don't see what the drama is about to be honest. I shop in deptford Market, welboved and degustation but would be lost without a sainaburys down the road.

Mb said...

....and a reliable keyboard on my iphone

TM said...

Same here.

Even I have been in there.........

kurious said...

Mention them TM. Go on. Dare ya!

Lady said...

@once again people wish for what they have said...
Been into that bakery near Pavilion a few times but never came out with anything - only ever seem to have pies left. True had forgotten bread offering at broca. As for a deli, personally i mean one that does more than meat and dairy, some fresh antipasto/greek/italian/mezze type bits would be good. Degustation offers more animal parts than I need.
Happy enough with my veg box delivery company for now, I guess you can have it all on your doorstep.

Best pub i've tried locally is the one in Deptford/New Cross, the Royal Albert I think it's called? Get to sit down AND hear your friends talk.

Ed said...

@ anon 13:40 - Unless every single person in whatever you define as the community goes or has been to the Barge then I am right in saying that it serves only part of the community. As it is located at the heart of Brockley Cross, where I live, I would prefer that part to include me, selfish I know. However having nearly been dragged into a fight on my only visit and having seen police gathered outside on a regular basis, including armed response units, I have concluded that we could do better; I am mildly surprised at the level of contention.

As for calling me unenlightened how can you tell and more pertinently what do you even mean? I am tempted to join the fray but know better.

Monkeyboy said...

All a bit academic. It's busy, owned by a successful chain. It ain't going nowhere unless it chooses. Rather than get stressed about it be glad that there are now a range of alternatives and I would suggest there may be room for more as the ell effect kicks in. A larger degustation would work for me.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Ed I understand why you were wound up by anon@11.48, but criticising an establishment for "only serving part of the community" becomes a bit meaningless if the standard against which you are measuring it requires every single member of said community to have been in there! We could get rid of them all on that basis.

I don't deny that the clientele can be less than salubrious, and there are always a few sad cases drinking their lives away in there, but there's always been a wide cross-section of the community when I've been in there, and I've had extended family visiting who found it a great place to take their kids for lunch, and others who appreciated the selection of good beer at decent prices. I wouldn't rave about the place but I think you've been unlucky with your one bad experience in there.

lb said...

I have to say I've never seen any trouble in the Barge and have found it friendly and low-key enough. And yes, it is cheap. No doubt your mileage may vary.

lb said...

By the way, Mr Lawrence beats anything in East Dulwich into a cocked hat.

Ed said...

As ever the market will largely dictate what happens. Perhaps I am a snob but I would rather have a gastropub (in the Jam Circus mould) than a Weatherspoons (where I used to rough it as a student in Angel). Each to their own; I'll respect your views to the extent you respect mine?

Anonymous said...

Just go to the Orchard!

Anonymous said...

Next station Brockley. Alight her for Foxberry Place

Tamsin said...

One advantage of a Wetherspoons - as well as knowing approximately what to expect in the way of food and drink, you will not have someone else's choice of music imposed on you. As a matter of policy their pubs are somewhere you can hear yourself think and speak.

Lady said...

"Alight her"
reminds me of recent thread on Ladywell

Ed said...

I've changed my mind. Foxberry Place public space would be awful, like Leicester Square with living statues and buskers...

Anonymous said...

For the best local food shopping pop down the road to Nunhead: independent butchers, fishmonger, bakers and fruit and veg. Nothing trendy or worthy about them either...

Anonymous said...

For the best local food shopping pop down the road to Nunhead: independent butchers, fishmonger, bakers and fruit and veg. And even a 'fake Tesco!'.

Now Then said...

Crikey Ed, I was following your train of reason there about wetherspoons up to a point, but now that you've started on street entertainers....

Have a lie down man.

Anonymous said...

A row of shops the same height as the buildings on Coulgate Street? In other words the residents of Coulgate Street would have the light entering their homes blocked out... No thanks.

Anonymous said...

Fishmungers

Anonymous said...

A nice large tesco or waitrose to replace the MOT

Anonymous said...

FishmUngers - hilarious Anon

Yes a large decent national store to replace that frightful car place would be good. It is a big enough site certainly, probably cheap and there is massive demand.

Anonymous said...

My fellow anons, what a desperate lack of ambition...If you want to live in high street anywheresville, there are plenty of alternatives.

Tressilliana said...

I feel very sorry for the MOT business, which so many here are so keen to see banished somewhere else. Is there another suitable site? This is apparently a successful, useful business with a number of employees, which has been there for years and years. What on earth gives any of you the right to say it should be shut down to make way for something more aesthetically appealing?

Now Then said...

And thats more aesthetically pleasing, like a Tesco!

Brockley Nick said...

@Tressilliana - what gives people the right? Freedom of speech? It's only a hypothetical. I agree with you that the MOT business is a good and reputable business, but the point remains that Brockley will struggle to build a proper town centre with a massive great garage right in the middle.

It's legitimate to discuss how the town centre could be remodelled, just as it's legitimate to discuss a possible route for the Bakerloo line extension, which could involve the displacement of homes and businesses.

Ultimately, of course no-one has the right to move anyone, but they have the right to discuss ideas.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Tressilliana on this one.

The MOT business has been here for as long as I can remember and whether folks like it or not, it is at the heart of the area. Literally. It is successful and serves the community.

If that's inconvenient on an aesthetic level, too bad.

Monkeyboy said...

It not the garage so much, which a great one by the way. It's the prominent car lot that sticks out. Don't think Nick is advocating it being forced out, expect it provides well paid, skilled local jobs which should not be taken for granted at the mo.

Now Then said...

Yes M.B. but theres an intolerant assumption in some quarters, as seen here that anything that they dont use, or use often: 'that frightful car place', Deptford market, Wetherspoons, can and should be closed down or altered to suit their needs, regardless of any broader community benefit.

I also appreciate that piece of land may be Brockleys best shot at the Town Centre it needs, just find the idea of that centre consisting of a supermarket kind of dismal.

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon 17.55 - Yes, fair point, but just because you disagree, it doesn't make the debate or Brockley Resident's original idea invalid.

Besides, the garage may have been there a long time, but a large chunk of that site is now taken up by a van hire company that's only been there a few weeks (although good luck to them, at least they have the professionalism to hire a forecourt, unlike D&M).

@Now Then - yes, quite agree. We already have Costcutter, Co-Op, Budgens and Tesco nearby, why would you want another Tesco? as for Waitrose, well they're lovely, but so are Degustation, Browns and the Broca. I'd much rather have a few more independent shops than one more supermarket.

Nux said...

I have been waiting for a valid opportunity to sing the praises of Budgens and this seems like as good a time as any given the Costcutter/Tesco debate.

Budgens is amazing. They stock such an incredibly wide range of things - the place is like a Tardis. They have all the basics, obviously, but among the more unusual stuff that I have been surprised to see there - fresh herbs like mint and tarragon, juniper berries and star anise (big range of Barts spices), tahini, capers, organic baby food, baking parchment, tommy tippee products like bowls, bibs and beakers, hoegaarden, nice ales, buckets and spades, Covent Garden soups, gorganzola, great tiffin, ecover washing liquid, free range chicken, footballs... it goes on and on. I made a gingerbread house at Christmas and was able to get every single thing I needed from there. It is particularly brilliant because Jay says that if you really want something they can get it in for you - the new range of Ella's organic baby food is a case in point as my friend kept asking them for something along those lines. They do organic fruit and veg too, albeit in a rather haphazard selection. I always thought that Budgens was a bit downmarket and crappy, not as good as supermarket stuff, especially the own brand things - I was totally utterly wrong. The staff are amazingly friendly too and it feels like a lovely local shop where they know who you are.

Budgens rocks. Fact.

Anonymous said...

I believe you still need an MOT by law dont you.

M said...

I believe other MOT garages are available.

Agree about Budgens. Great stock and very friendly staff. I just wish there was one in Ladywell.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

@tresilliana

the MOT has been there 7 years, at least the current one. Things change in every place and I think they would rather sell and move to a better location rather than wait untill their business is affected by the wrong location.

Brockley is changing whether you want it or not, there is a new overground line and new bars/shops that seem to be always full versus old empty take aways.

Whether the MOT is going to go is not uncertain, the issue is what will replace it.

There are MOTs and car wash a bit everywhere in the area. This one is in such a strategic position...

Brockley Resident said...

Wow! I am so glad to see that so many people have participated to this post.

Thank you very much Nick for your support to the idea.

It is beautiful to see such a lively debate, it means that we all care, one way or another, about what happens in Brockley.

Considering the high interest in the topic I wonder whether it is possible to turn this into a community project.

The MOT does not have to go all together if the community wants to keep it, it could just reverse its entrance to coulgate street where the murals are at the moment next to speedy cars (although reduced in size). I am sure we can find a better space for the murals.

This way Foxberry Place could still exist and host what ever the community thinks is useful: fishmongers, bars/restaurants, bakery, offices, sculptures....

One effect of the current MOT/Van parking is that the area becomes deserted and quite unpleasent after its closure. A center of Brockley would drive people to live the local streets a bit more and local businesses to thrive. A place were people can meet.

Nick do you think your blog could launch a Foxberry Place "design competition" amongst local artists and architects to propose ideas for a new center of Brockley? Maybe solutions that take into account the history and artistic side of Brockley.

I find that artists often provide unexpected and cunning answers to problems.

Each solution could be commented by locals on your blog, and suggestions taken on board by the designers.

No cash prize I am afraid (unless we all decide to tax ourselves), but who knows, one day a project may be built if the community gets together behind it.

lb said...

Unless you count the excellent Martin Rowson, Brockley's only place in the history of the arts is as the birthplace of the well-known right-wing otter fanatic Henry Williamson, isn't it?

There you go - sculpture of otter, bit of water running down a block of slate, instant municipal fountain thing.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

In today's Estate Gazette:

"Waitrose has announced plans to open 300 convenience stores in the next 10 years.
It will target former pubs and petrol stations, among other properties, to convert."

Can't think of anything suitable in Brockley..........;-)

number 7 said...

...can't think of any area less likely to flash up on Waitrose's radar screen either !

Anonymous said...

Imagine the mung beans you could buy in there.

Anonymous said...

interesting... but isn't it irresponsible to have this right outside the DSPD hostel (Douglass House Project)?

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