Please feel free to post about any local workshop or office space you have to offer or are looking for. We're adding this to the list of hotlinks in the top right of the site.
- A local litter recycling campaign
- Developing and opening up the school's artificial pitch to the local community at weekends
- Introduce the City Safe Haven Campaign, together with the Mizen family and London Citizens
- Improve the school's road crossing
BC regular Patrick has alerted us to a new club night at Try Tapas, Honor Oak. We have precious few club nights in the area, so here are the details:
- Four-fifths of Londoners (83%) are satisfied with London as a city to live – the highest recorded level of satisfaction.
- Four-fifths (85%) are satisfied with their neighbourhood as a place to live
- Three quarters (76%) of Londoners feel safe when walking outside alone in their neighbourhood in the evening
- Satisfaction with the way their area is policed is at its highest level since 2004 with approaching two-thirds (63%) of Londoners saying they are very or fairly satisfied
- The proportion of Londoners very or fairly worried about crime has fallen from 59% in 2006 to 43% in 2010
- Fear of burglary is the main reason Londoners feel unsafe (42%)
- On transport, Londoners are most likely to think that roads in London need improving (42%) followed by buses (19%) and then the Underground (18%)
- 43% want to see a reduction in traffic congestion
- 70% of people feel very or fairly safe using local buses at night compared to just 56% in 2002
- 66% of Londoners agree that the Olympics will be good for the capital compared to 57% in 2009
Up the Line, the fantastic Armistice Day celebration organised for the first time last year, returns to Brockley this year:
On October 20th, the government will reveal its spending plans in the Comprehensive Spending Review. Crossrail's future had been in some doubt (although not on this blog) but the BBC now reports that all the stations and branches will be built.
Alluding to The Spirit Level, the Greens have called for a salary cap for senior Council staff in Lewisham, linked to the income of the most poorly paid Council employee.
An interview in the latest issue of Grazia magazine with Gibraltar-born fashion designer John Galliano reveals him to be a ex-Brockley boy. Whilst in London for 'work projects' he, or rather his driver, had some curious comments about the Brockley scene:
"My accent has become completely South London again. When I was a kid we moved to SE4. Yesterday we were in Brockley and my driver said, 'Oh it's not what it used to be... tea dances and stuff going on. Big gay influence.'"
Galliano later goes on to comment:
"I don't come back here as much as I'd like. But when I do bring the French team, they are so engergised by it"... "I took them out to eat in SE4 yesterday and they couldn't understand why everything came with curry sauce."
We wonder, where might John and his team have been in SE4 to think that everything comes with curry sauce?
Thanks to Brockley Sarah for the story. Proof that Grazia is worth the weekly outlay.
Ken Livingstone will be the official Labour candidate for London Mayor, having beaten Oona King for the nomination. His win sets up another face-off with Boris, who has also declared he will stand again.
Hitler was a Roman Catholic. He was baptized. He never renounced his baptism... I don't believe there are 5 or 6 million British Catholics. There may be 5 or 6 million who have been baptized but if the church wants to claim them as Catholics, then they have to claim Hitler as a Catholic.
- Richard Dawkins
If you claim Telegraph Hill for greater Brockley, as Brockley Central does, then you have to take the bad with the good. So it is great regret that we have to report that opponents of the skate park plans for Telegraph Hill have refused to accept the compromise solution that won the support of local people and are considering trying to take legal action against the plans.
The News Shopper reports:
Now a new group has formed to save the lower park and are threatening legal action to stop the build.
Valerie Hedges, of Kitto Road, New Cross, is against the skate park and says noise will be a problem. The 75-year-old added: “This is a very busy road and people coming out of the park are at their peril. We are going to get a lot of teenagers and I can see a bad accident happening.”
Brockley Central is pleasantly surprised that it can still walk into a restaurant and actually lower the average age of the clientele. Anyone (well anyone with their own teeth) wanting the same experience should get themselves down the appropriately named Old Bank a few doors down from Honor Oak Park station. If you're after culinary fireworks, though, you might want to eat before you go.
True to its presumably security-conscious roots, getting in to The Old Bank is no easy feat. Don't be fooled by the relatively welcoming glass door on the corner. The one next to the menu display. The one that turns out to be locked. Head instead for the mildly imposing unmarked door down the way. The one that looks like the service entrance. The one that takes you straight into the open kitchen and all its secrets. So far so odd.
Once inside you're treated to a dark but pleasant enough space. All deep red walls, hard surfaces and Italian muzak. Inoffensive, but a little bit tatty around the edges. Same goes for the decor.
The menu is unapologetically standard Italian. Nothing wrong with that. A long list of starters features such perennials as melon and Parma ham, bruschetta and whitebait. Mains include fegato, pork belly and a good range of pasta options that ensures veggies are well catered for.
Olives were good and salty, bread dense and a little dry (no butter or oil proffered). Calamari were accurately, almost greaselessly, fried: a good sign, although given the lack of crowds (just two other tables occupied, mainly by folks who will probably be attending tonight's silver surfer event) it's hard to believe they didn't come out of the freezer. Bruschetta came bedecked with a hearty volume of decent tomatoes but was let down by overenthusiastic quantities of raw garlic.
Mains included a special of commendably seasonal pheasant with savoy cabbage and a "red wine jus". Half a bird came ready-jointed and sitting on top of a pile of cabbage that was weirdly far hotter than the rest of the dish. The sauce turned out not to be the intense liquor suggested by the description but a starchy gravy that infused the dish with a not completely pleasant mild sweetness. The bird itself was patchy: the breast overcooked to dryness, the leg dense, meaty, moist and satisfying. Just a shame the rest of the dish couldn't match it.
Gnocchi (hard to tell if they were made in-house) came in a soupy, strangely orange, tomato and goats cheese sauce. Not unpleasant but not brilliant either: a smaller volume of a more confident sauce would have worked far better.
Other bits and pieces... The staff were friendly but not always fully engaged: over enthusiastic when topping up glasses but neglecting to inform us of missing menu items. The wine list is short and good value: we had a decent Gavi di Gavi for £22.50. Happy to report the obligatory huge pepper mill was very much in attendance. Espressos were not good.
Overall, there was nothing particularly wrong with The Old Bank but when you begin to engage in inevitable comparisons with Le Querce, the other "standard" Italian in the neighbourhood, the cracks really begin to appear. On paper, apart from Le Querce's pizzas, the two places are offering a very similar experience; the reality is very different. Le Querce isn't perfect (specials often seemed to be accompanied by whatever random veg the chef has found at the back of the fridge, and frankly Brockley Central gets enough of that at home) but it exhibits levels of enthusiasm, warmth, passion for ingredients, freshness, home-made ice cream and free limoncello that are all sadly lacking at The Old Bank.
In short, "not unpleasant but not brilliant either" is a fair summary of The Old Bank. A standard Italian dishing up a standard Italian menu really has nowhere to hide. Except perhaps behind an anonymous white door in Honor Oak Park.
We are taking part in this annual initiative by Age UK, breaking down the confidence barriers that some of the elderly face when looking at the modern technology with an event in Central Lewisham on Friday 24th September.
“The completion of the first phase of the Historic Building Conservation Scheme is an important step towards realising this vision."
The six rejuvenated buildings (64 - 68 Whitechapel High Street) have seen new shop fronts, repairs to the brickwork and pointing, new windows and the reinstatement of lost architectural features and details. Taking six months to complete, the conservation works cost approximately £460,000.
Polly is searching for talented musiciansm to join Brockley's resident orchestra. She writes:
I'm wondering whether you could plug a local orchestra on Brockley Central to help our recruitment drive for more string players!
It is called Harmony Sinfonia, which rehearses on a Wednesday evening (7.30 - 9.45pm) in the main hall at Prendergast School. It was formed nearly a year ago and this term's rehearsals started last Wednesday. The woodwind section is full but they are still in need of a trumpet player, some French horns and, in particular, string players. The standard is generally high but, having said that, I went along on Wednesday having not played my violin for longer than I dared to admit and was warmly welcomed. Anybody who plays regularly or who is looking to get back into playing after a period of silence should come along to a rehearsal or two - they don't have to commit straight away so they might as well give it a go!
The next concert is on 20 November and the programme is Strauss's Four Last Songs, Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherezade Symphonic Suite and the world premiere of a piece by a local composer called Andrew Bungay.
The BBC reports that 14 people had to be rescued after a fire broke out in Pitman House on Tanners Hill.
'The Jammie Dodgers', 'The Opium Addicted China Men', 'Can't Dodge This' - none were ready for the hurricane! Click here to read about their heroics.
One Tree Hill is a beautiful scrap of woodland a stone's throw from Honor Oak Station. Inspired by the account on the Original Sonic Truth blog, we walked around it this morning for the first time.
60 Manor Avenue, the former United Services Club is up for sale as a development opportunity, having secured planning permission to convert it to residential use.
Undeterred by the failure of its campaign to secure an ELL station at Surrey Canal, Lewisham Council has commissioned a report in to the options available for extending the Bakerloo line further in to South East London.
Greenwich.co.uk has confirmed that Greenwich Council has cut its support for the Blackheath bonfire night firework display, which previously it had joint-funded with Lewisham Council.
The Evening Standard has predicted that London councils will face combined cuts of £2 billion from their central government funding over the next three years, with Lewisham expected to lose £60 million of central funding between now and 2014.
Lewisham is currently consulting over how to cut its budget by £60 million, a figure that has been the target since before the election. The Standard says that across the capital, Councils could shed as many as 30,000 jobs as core services are cut.
The results of the Government's comprehensive spending review are announced on October 20th, at which point we'll know the nature and scale of central government spending cuts.
It's Open House weekend this weekend and local venues including Lewisham Art House, de Monchaux Studio in Manor Avenue and Crossways Academy will be opening their doors to people who'd like to poke around.
We have a French woman staying with us at the moment, who's noted what also strikes us about Brockley - that there are a lot of French speakers around.
Posted by Nick Barron on 16.9.10
You have four hours to acquire this lovely 1900s postcard of Comerford Road currently on sale on eBay for a bargain £3.95. It's very nice, but we can surely all agree that it would be vastly improved by photoshopping a dozen transit vans on to the kerbside.
- ‘Familiar strangers’ like postmen and dustmen appear to be under-utilised community resources; in our case study more people recognise and find value in their postman than theirlocal councillor
- People who are relatively isolated are not making use of the connections they have
- Our geographic sense of what is central to a communityis highly misleading, and often conflicts with measures of network centrality.
- Community hubs, including pubs and sports clubs, are an important aspect of community resilience and empowerment.
- People who value neighbourliness are more likely to have large social networks.
There are no more barriers to cross. All I have in common with the uncontrollable and the insane, the vicious and the evil, all the mayhem I have caused and my utter indifference toward it I have now surpassed. My pain is constant and sharp and I do not hope for a better world for anyone, in fact I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape, but even after admitting this there is no catharsis, my punishment continues to elude me and I gain no deeper knowledge of myself; no new knowledge can be extracted from my telling. This confession has meant nothing.
We've had our first "action" shots taken of Homemade London and we're happy to say that the model in polka dots is a Brockley native, giving us another opportunity to tell you how great it is - but don't take our word for it, see what Visit London had to say about the sewing workshop they tried.
Posted by Nick Barron on 13.9.10
From a new playground and orchard to the London Bubble tour, a new cricket square and a proposed cafe to a new orchard, Hilly Fields has been the focal point for many of the most interesting projects in Brockley over the last year.
Posted by Nick Barron on 10.9.10
All change on Endwell Road: Lithu's Chicken & Pizza, having been displaying a tantalising 'under new management' sign for the past couple of weeks, now appears to be the latest outpost of the Morley empire. With the addition of ribs and burgers, it also has effectively doubled its menu. Fantastic.
Jam Circus' experimental comedy nights are turning in to a semi-regular fixture. Organiser David explains what tomorrow night holds in store:
As our son contributed a few tiles to the Brockley Common "treasure cross mosaic" during Saturday's party on Brockley Common, we learned a few things about the station's future, which we share with you now:
"Hammer blow" is a term that only ever gets written, never said, but this is a hammer blow for the prospects of a station at Surrey Canal on the new East London Line extension to Clapham Junction. And without a new station, the regeneration plans for the land around Millwall's stadium would be much harder to pull off.
Regeneration and Renewal reports that:
The Department for Transport has ruled out providing a £7 million contribution towards the costs of building a new London Overground station in south London considered key to a proposed 2,000 home development around Millwall's New Den football ground.
This is the funding that Boris forgot to ask about in his meeting with the DfT.
The Brockley Society writes:
Robert Sheppard, Secretary, Ladywell Fields User Group has provided this update on the project to redevelop Ladywell Fields:
Work on the the Parklands project, which will bring about major improvements to the middle and southern parts of Ladywell Fields (from the end of Malyons Road right down to Catford), started in July. The project, funded by LDA/Thames Gateway will involve river renaturalisation, landscaping works and extensive tree planting and will provide new riverside features, play facilities, an event space, some new pathways and bridges, tennis court refurbishment and better signage.
At the same time - though not part of the Parklands project - construction of the new adventure playground continues. The facility should be fully up-and-running by the Autumn.
For photos of the latest progress, as at August BH Weekend, check out our Facebook page.