A farmers market for Lewisham College? Have your say

At the suggestion of Cllr Vicky Foxcroft, the Service Group Manager for Lewisham Trading Standards & Markets, John Pye is asking for readers' views on a proposal to stage a regular market in Lewisham College car park. Please posts your comments in the thread below.

Mr Pye writes:

Lewisham Council has been approached by a local resident who wishes to organise a regular [monthly if not weekly] 'artisans' Saturday market in the car park of Lewisham College [Junction of Lewisham Way & Tresillian Road].

I am advised that the college have given permission in principle but I am awaiting written confirmation of this. This is assuming that they actually own the land and can give such permission. Car park entrance is on Tresillian Road.

The event will comprise up to 20 stalls each supplying food or craft goods made and grown by the sellers. It would in effect be a 'farmers type' market.

In order that I can respond promptly should formal application actually be made, I am already seeking some initial views of various relevant people, including Council officers, Councillors, the Brockley Society and the readers of Brockley Central.

The legal grounds for objection are quite limited and are restricted to one or more of the matters set out below:


(a) inadequate arrangements having been proposed for accommodating the vehicles of persons attending the occasional sale;

Organiser believes that customers will walk to the event so vehicle accommodation should not be too problematical. He envisages using the front half of the car park for stalls and the rear for any vehicles that need to be accommodated.
(b) inadequate arrangements having been proposed for controlling road congestion, litter or noise caused by the occasional sale;

Road congestion - see above but as location [ although not the entrances] is right on the main road I am seeking a view from Highways section and have also suggested that organiser seeks a view from the police
Litter - Organiser advises that sellers will clear up after them but he would consider applying for a trade waste agreement if required. There is the possibility that event waste might migrate onto the roads /pavements. Cleansing and waste colleagues are being consulted.
Noise - Organiser advises that he would prohibit amplified sound

73 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think it is a great idea. Whilst I love the Hilly Fields farmers market, something a little bigger with more variety would be lovely. Fully support it.

Anonymous said...

I believe they tried a boot sale there a few years ago that didnt work out.

Sue said...

It sounds like a nice idea, but perhaps a Sunday rather than a Saturday would be better, so it wouldn't be in direct competition with Hilly Fields market? It might also get some of the St Johns Church congregation after Sunday service!

ApplesAnd Pears said...

Well it would be a lot better than the Big Yellow Storage Facility that inexplicably was granted planing permission just down the road. How can a company actual revel in its eyesore status? And how councilors actually thing "You know, that'll improve the area".

So yes, lets have a farmers market

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great idea.. would be great to not have to go all the way to New Cross Sainsburys on a Saturday morning and although I don't mind a trip to Lewisham market the produce they sell does not seem to keep for long.

I would welcome a weekly Market in the area.

Anonymous said...

Given the proximity, the hilly fields traders may relish the opportunity to move and be part of a bigger, better market. Fully supported.

Foy said...

Bring it on! GREAT idea....

Anonymous said...

Why not, competition is good even for the mung £, or munga as I think we should call it.

Now and Then said...

Always wondered why the bootsale there failed, as it seemed busy, but yes farmers market, great idea.

Anonymous said...

That would be fantastic! I've often thought the car park is a sadly underused space when it is empty at weekends. It's far enough away from Hilly Fields to draw in a new crowd, from Deptford-way, as well as serving the Brockley folk well on weekends when there's no market at Hilly Fields. Really hope this happens!

Those in favour said...

Lovely idea - and if it is successful enough it would become a destination event in the area that people will travel to from further afield than just Brockley. As a Tressillian resident, I appreciate the ban on 'amplified sound'...!

Anonymous said...

I think it's a great idea. The car park just sits empty on weekends and there are a lot of people in the area, plus its proximity to St Johns would mean it got foot traffic going to the station. Regarding parking, anyone living on Tressillian Rd (as I do) knows that when the college is open that stretch of road is crazy so it couldn't be worse than that!

Anonymous said...

Will good, honest fare be sold?

Brockley Ben said...

Bring it on. Great idea.

Anonymous said...

Why not combine it with Hilly Fields market and have one great one rather than 2 mediocre ones.

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic idea!

Great for the community of Brockley, and neighbouring suburbs.

I support this idea whole heartedly and would thoroughly enjoy buying fresh seasonal produce from this market every Saturday.

ouch said...

Bloody hell - where did that lightning just strike?? Loudest thunder I've ever heard...

Tamsin said...

@ Anon. 15.57 - the Hilly Fields Market goes to other places on other Saturdays and it would be confusing to have them merged into it some weekends but not at others. And I'm of the same opinion as the other Anon at 14.53 - that the sites are far enough apart not to affect each other.

Mb said...

Can't really see a downside, unless someone wants to claim that opening it close to existing shops will damage them..... Which would be silly.

Anonymous said...

Not if you own one of the shops.

Brockley Nick said...

I think the point is: what shops?

There's nothing particularly near this site.

Im in.... said...

There is nowhere in the area to to buy fresh UK seasonal produce, I always go to greenwich on a Saturday to Drings Butchers then try and make it to Blackheath on a Sunday for the Farmers market up there. So to have a market where I could do most of my weekly shop on a Saturday and not have to visit a Tesco local.... well count me in. Good Location also.

Pawel said...

I think its a top idea, and that it won't affect the hilly fields guys. I'm desperate to see a space near Brockley that I know will be consistently open every weekend with decent produce and food. I too like Blackheath markets, but they are open for too short a time on a Sunday in my opinion, and to have something closer by would be a godsend. Please please please let this work, and if the organiser of this idea is listening to this post, PLEASE make sure you put in place a decent coffee stall too!

Aricana said...

What a great idea. I'd enjoy the crafts as much as the food. Would probably visit the Talbot more as well.

Guardianista said...

I think this is a great idea. I love buying overpriced 'locally' sourced organic food from artisans. Will they have a dedicated line-caught sea bass stall?

tracy said...

I think it would be a fantastic idea. I cycle to Blackheath at the weekends but would much rather stay in Brockley and support local enterprise. Also, I don't think the type of people who attend farmers' markets are the type to create excessive litter or noise either....

Ramble66 said...

A weekly farmers market would be amazing.

Anonymous said...

It sounds a great idea to me, especially as it seems the produce will be well sourced. Fantastic idea.

Anonymous said...

This is a bad location. Please rethink.

Anonymous said...

I think its an excellent location. I live 5 mins away.

Anonymous said...

Sounds good. I'm in!

Anonymous said...

I like the idea and always support local initiatives. Plus with no decent greengrocers or bakers in Brockley a weekly market selling this sort of produce is much needed. I'm not convinced by the location though. There's much more foot fall around the park at weekends so isn't Hilly Fields the better place for it? Plenty of off street parking around the park too. The bottom of Tressillian Road gets very congested in the week so would extend this problem to the weekends if the Market was sited here.

Anonymous said...

Less procrastination and unnecessary committee meetings for ideas such as this please which are clearly a no-brainer benefit for our community. Should be put in the calendar without delay.

Pawel said...

the comment above sums it all up, totally on point, it is a total no brainer and, if done with respect to local residents, will hopefully be of benefit to everyone in the surrounding area... I for one am gagging for some decent kale!

Anonymous said...

I'm all for the market idea! I go to Blackheath farmers market for my veg etc, it would be wonderful to walk down the road to our own local market instead! Maybe farmers market could join forces, really put Brockley on the map.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Sounds like a good idea if it can be made to fly.

I am afraid that I stopped going to Hilly Fields Market some months ago due to the lack of stalls, traders and choice of produce.

Any improvement recently?

fong said...

I live on Lewisham Way and I think it will be great. There are a couple of grocers/butchers between Costcutter and Tesco but have found their selection pretty poor and the food looks pretty old. Would be great to have something like this at the weekend.

Percy said...

This is a fantastic idea, I would be there every Saturday. I think the location is good, it's only 5 minutes walk from my house. I believe most customers would walk there, so we don't need to worry about traffic congestion. I really hope this goes ahead.

Tamsin said...

@Anon 21.28. Interested in why you think this is a bad location. Is it because it is close the the road - noise and traffic fumes? I would actually have thought it was a plus point - brings in more people to buy if it is publicly visible in this way from a bus route. Like the one near the Oval that I at least know about because I see it going past. More buyers will mean that the variety of stalls is kept up. I think the Hilly Fields/Manor Park/Telegraph Hill one struggles because despite the nice locations the purchasers are probably limited to people in the immediate locality - and so not quite enough to make it worthwhile for anyone other than the stalls selling basics.

And what would be a better one?

Insider said...

Great use of the space. I'm there.

mikey said...

Re weekday congestion at the bottom of Tressillian. As my scratched and dented car will testify, I live there and think that it should be a one way street from harefield down. Re the farmers market: cool. So long as my car isn't destroyed by angry drivers who can't/won't reverse and would rather have a beepy, shouty fight and then find out EXACTLY how wide their car is...some days I even think I'd rather residents permits...

Anonymous said...

Ive been told the reason the Boot Sale was stopped was the amount of rubbish that was left behind.

Anonymous said...

Too right Mikey. Still it can be entertaining as a pedestrian when you stray across one of the frequent mexician stand offs that occur.

Anonymous said...

As long as it's better than that embarrassing sack of crap at Hilly Fields, I'll be delighted!

Tamsin said...

Unecessarily unpleasant, surely... What is so wrong with the Hilly Fields/Manor House/Telegraph Hill lot. (Apart from the fact that there are not very many of them because not enough purchasers turn up, and the prices are Farmers Market/Artisan rather than Deptford Market absolute bargain - neither of which warrants such extreme criticism.)

Tamsin said...

The other anon. also hasn't come back saying why it is such a bad location and where a better one would be...

Anonymous said...

Unpleasantness and lack of response to legitimate criticism tends to be the leitmotif of so many anon comments, don't you find. (My own moment of meta reflexivity excepted, obviously.)

Another Anon said...

So long as they serve up some good honest pseudo philosophy I'm up for it.

Hilly fields is a little sparse, you can find better stuff at Welbeloved/Peter James, els kitchen and Degustation.

A decent farmers market with a few more stalls would be great. A site like that may attract custom and the stalls would follow. Worth a try, won't cost much?

Anonymous said...

Being able to walk to a decent farmer's market would be great. I currently use the blackheath one as it is better stocked than hilly fields. However, I live at the bottom end of Tressillian and like mikey have the dents and scratches on my car from week day parking and stand offs. If the road can be made one way and the parking controlled as part of the permission it would be appreciated as I'm sure people would still drive.

Lou Baker said...

You've got to love this area.

People whine on ad naseum about the disgraceful cuts, then push for a farmers market to fill the void.

I'm with anon who questioned the need.

The Telegraph Hill Farmers Market is a waste of space - unless you like paying well over the odds for substandard products.

We tried it a first - but found the bread to be inferior to what we can get at Ayres in Nunhead BUT twice as expensive. The cheese stall was the best one there - but there is a limit to how much goat's cheese you could ever need and the other 3 stalls are all exceptionally forgettable. So much so that I've forgotten about them.

Really, you'd be better off jumping in your 4x4 and driving to Sainsburys.

Brockley Nick said...

Sorry Lou, what is the link / contradiction between cuts and a farmers market? That seems like a complete non-sequitur to me.

Mb said...

Sounds like something that could help traders survive at minimal effort. All the risk is with the traders, all we need to provide is the space which is going spare. If the custom is not there it will fizzle out. Supporting entrepreneurs etc, etc... What's not to like? At best it will will have no impact, I doubt it will have any negatives. Unless a surfeit of goats cheese makes you angry, which would be weird.

Brockley Nick said...

@Mb - as you well know, there are lots of BCers who get VERY ANGRY about precisely that issue.

Tamsin said...

I find the game stall memorable - although they are only there half the year. Cottage pie made with minced venison really is delicious.

Cob-nuts in season from the Fruit and Veg. man are also excellent - fresh, moist with crunch, not really like nuts at all. And his stall was where I first came across those extraordinary green cauliflower type things whose name I have forgotten but which look like 3-d fractals.

So agreed it's pricey, but it would be a great pity if it folded - and goats cheese once a month is about right.

Also useful to have an information stand out there for targetted marketing of local events - quite a few people pass by on the Saturday morning.

What will be happening with the one in the Telegraph Hill Park is a regular craft fair on the same Saturday in the Centre - another factor to make it worth a trip over to this north west corner.

Lou Baker said...

@tamsin

No one is arguing for it to fold. But the reason it's not well attended is because it is very over priced, the choice is very small and many of the products aren't great.

I tried supporting the baker - but, frankly, at those prices the very least I expect is nice tasting fresh bread. I've never got that - I always get that from Ayres in Nunhead. I don't mind some goats cheese - but what about other cheeses? The farmers market could be a huge success in the sandal enclave of Telegraph Hill - it's actually a victim of its own mediocrity and lack of ambition.

@nick

In these financially stretched times I find it baffling that councillors and council officials are wasting their time worrying over whether 6 stalls in an empty car park at weekends would offend or attract the pretentious middle classes. The councillor would be best off trying to attract Aldi or Lidl to the area - so the poor have somewhere to shop. Less goats cheese, more Dairylea Dippers.

Lou Baker said...

@tamsin

No one is arguing for it to fold. But the reason it's not well attended is because it is very over priced, the choice is very small and many of the products aren't great.

I tried supporting the baker - but, frankly, at those prices the very least I expect is nice tasting fresh bread. I've never got that - I always get that from Ayres in Nunhead. I don't mind some goats cheese - but what about other cheeses? The farmers market could be a huge success in the sandal enclave of Telegraph Hill - it's actually a victim of its own mediocrity and lack of ambition.

@nick

In these financially stretched times I find it baffling that councillors and council officials are wasting their time worrying over whether 6 stalls in an empty car park at weekends would offend or attract the pretentious middle classes. The councillor would be best off trying to attract Aldi or Lidl to the area - so the poor have somewhere to shop. Less goats cheese, more Dairylea Dippers.

Mb said...

In these financially stretched times i would have thought that one of national and local governments prorities should be to enable small business to thrive. Prising money from middle class wallets is what we need to stimulate the economy. One of the central planks of the governments recovery programme is to encourage consume spending rather than sit on it. Small producers who are struggling would love a market if it could only be tapped. More "middle" class shops means more middle class people wpuld be encouraged to stick around, which means less burden on stretched benefit budgets, mixed comunities rather than ghettos of rich and poor. Just because we live in one of the poorest areas in London it does not mean we should not aspire to making it a little more interesting and pleasant to live in.

If it fails, well we have the empty space back.

More cheese, less whinge.

BDS said...

Less whinge, more minge

Tamsin said...

@ Lou. Agreed. And the promotion leaves much to be desired. If he knows new stalls are coming along to give it a try - like the one that turned up a couple of times last year selling expensive but extremely good cup-cakes - Chris should do something about letting the neighbourhood know. Otherwise the new stalls turn up and there are the usual people doing their usual shopping - not even aware of the extra stuff that's going to be on offer - and, not surprisingly, the new stalls don't do well enough to bother to come back.

A downward spiral - or a least a fairly low level holding position - going round and round on the same circle.

Anonymous said...

I think there is a groundswell of public desire to 're-connect' with food, and a Farmers' Market is an excellent way of doing that.

Ladywell Borders said...

Bring it on! I welcome with open arms any farmer's markets in the area!

Hungry said...

I walked past this site at the weekend and in my opinion it is perfect for a farmers market. I found myself wishing it was open already. I do hope it starts soon.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure people were "connected" with overpriced fare in the first place... its conspicuous consumerism for the dinner set.

Happy Shopper said...

Re: Anon 14.36

Whats so 'Conspicuous consumption' about wanting to go and buy reasonably priced seasonal produce from local producers, if you buy food that is in season it is not expensive. I for one would love to be able to walk down to the proposed site and to be able to do most of my weekly shop.

You stick to your Tesco Battery Farmed chicken and your Turkey Twizzlers and your microwave dinners... no one is forcing you to go to a farmers market.

Tressilliana said...

I don't eat turkey twizzlers, battery chicken or microwave dinners but I have found on my increasingly rare forays to the HF farmers' market that it is very expensive indeed. No way could we afford to buy a week's worth of food up there for a household of four. I agree with Lou on this one, for once.

Anonymous said...

Great idea, would be good to have more options in the area, definitely support, hope it pans out.

Think Positive said...

I can't believe any locals would be against this. The car park just sits empty at the weekend, surely the farmers market deserves a chance. We should be encouraging anything which can enhance our environment in Lewisham and I think a farmers market in this location would do just that. If we don't support this sort of thing how can we object to Big Yellow? I think we should let the farmers give it a go, they will soon find out whether it's too expensive for local residents or not as the case may be. I probably wouldn't do my whole weekly shop there but a few treats and some nice fresh produce would be very welcome here.

Sydney said...

I would love to see this happen. Imagine if it became as successful as the Blackheath Market, which is heaving? What a great draw for the area. I also love the location, as it is convenient for people from Brockley, Deptford, New Cross and Lewisham. I travel far and wide for locally sourced high quality produce and foods, so it would be great to have it in the neighbourhood. And it's another great way for the community to get together. Love it.

Anonymous said...

They better get someone to clear up the rubbish after, or it will be stopped like the boot sale was.

Anonymous said...

Sydney wrote: "I travel far and wide for locally sourced high quality produce and foods"

Surely missing the point then..? ;-)

Madhur said...

Hi- this is a fantastic idea!
If I would like to have a food stall (Home made India food for take away) whom should I contact? Or how should I go about this?
Madhur

Brockley Nick said...

Hi Madhur, if you revisit the site later on today, there will be an update about the market and contacts.

Hugh said...

Is 10am-2pm a bit short or is the idea to extend to a full day's business if the new market takes off?

It'd be great if they had some music, like the steel band that plays in Lewisham on weekend market days.

Bangin' yeh.

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