Deptford - like a big bear

Jon Favreau plays Deptford in 1996 classic Swingers

Deptford optimists claim that the place is up-and-coming – that its potential as a creative cluster to rival Hoxton and the influx of some much-needed public investment will eventually yield results. Deptford pessimists argue that they’ve heard that story for ten years and its time will never come.

They're both wrong. Deptford’s time is now.

Murals on every other wall. Galleries and workshops in every other industrial unit. Giant snails in every other market stall. Cafes in every other mode of public transport. Livelier than Blackheath, more varied than New Cross or Forest Hill and with more places to stop and spend time than Lewisham, Deptford rivals Greenwich and East Dulwich as a place to explore. If you don’t like it, it’s because you’re not trying.

Deptford High Street
One of many Deptford murals

The Deptford Art Map (now the South London Art Map) captured just how much Deptford now offers in terms of culture, while the Deptford X festival, institutions like Laban and the Albany and new arrivals like Utrophia all create new reasons to discover it. An undeniably scruffy place, it also has outstanding urban retreats in the form of the Deptford Project and the Big Red and recent improvements to Douglas Way have created a pedestrian-friendly ribbon through its middle.

The APT Gallery

The Crossfields Estate, which occupies a large chunk of Deptford’s heart, combines a strong community ethos with good use of greenery while the new build housing nearby is in the most part pretty handsome stuff. Schools like Tidemill and Ashmead have worked hard to earn good reputations.

Deptford’s transformation is not quite complete. A golden library and modernised railway station are taking shape in its centre while to the south east, new flats, a gallery and possibly a four star hotel are about a year from completion. The huge masterplan for Convoys Wharf now looks like it finally has funding in place and could eventually bring significant numbers of new jobs to the area.

Deptford's new library takes shape

When Brockley Central first moved to SE4, someone teased us that Brockley is basically upper Deptford. We’re happy with that.

10 ways Deptford will get your digits:

The Laban Centre
A world-class dance centre, winner of the Stirling Prize for architecture.

The Albany Theatre
Arts centre with an excellent range of productions and activities for kids throughout the year.

Deptford Market
A large food and clothes market that runs down the high street three days a week.

The Deptford Project
The converted railway carriage that doubles as a delicious café is the heart of an arts complex hunkered under brick arches.

The Big Red
Even without the novelty of being able to eat in a converted double decker, this pizza restaurant and bar, managed by a hyper-kinetic Spaniard, transforms a brutal spot in to a Balearic retreat offering wicked mojitos, tasty pizzas, white leather sofas and a flowery sun trap. Pop next door to the Bird’s Nest pub too.

Wellbeloved
The nearby Deptford Deli may have been forced out by flooding, but Wellbeloved butcher has been a local favourite for many.

Creekside centre
An environmental education centre that organises low-tide river walks.

The Royal Albert
One of the best pubs in the area. Nearby Dog and Bell also worth a visit.

Wavelengths
Not the world’s greatest leisure centre, but in a borough starved of swimming pools until the Lewisham and Forest Hill centres step up, this is an oasis.

Bearspace
Proving that there’s room on the high street for more than just bookies, Bearspace does some of the most interesting art programming in the area.

Visit the Deptford forum.

62 comments:

Monkeyboy said...

Welbeloved, supplied me rib eye, cut extra thick today. There are a couple of other butchers along the way. I'm going to buy some goat one day once I've worked out what to do with it.

The Codfather, got me some filets of sea bass. Check out the new fish mongers a couple of doors down. A rival to sopers?

Junk Market, one day I'll find a Picasso there. In the mean time it's fun to rummage.

Greasy spoons along side more trendy places.

Jerk chicken stalls, burger stalls, etc...

Bustling, smiling people going about there day. Saw a black lady explaining how to prepare this big snails to a bemused White elderly couple. Much chuckling.

Busy shops....successful shops.

Everything Lou dislikes in one place, reason enough to love it.

Mb said...

Deptford fishes. Thanks Codfather .com/h4s64dij

Mb said...

Sigh... That sea bass link again yfrog.com/h4s64dij

Gent Badger said...

Absolutely. Deptford is a fantastic place. It's thriving.
Try The Orient at the NX Rd end. It's not fancy gourmet Chinese, but it's a great old-fashioned family-run place to eat. They make fresh-pressed carrot juice, and the chili prawn starter is incredible.
There are too many things to say about Deptford.
I wouldn't care if it never changed. In fact, I'd feel sad if it did.

Anonymous said...

i still feel depressed whenever I go into deptford (I am a previous deptford resident). All of these things are going on inside galleries and shops and the improvement on the exterior is slowly improving but it still looks like a dirty unappealing place. I do love the deptford project though and I love the fact that many of the shops close at 7 or 8pm.

Anonymous said...

That mural is fantastic.

throses said...

Wavelengths swimming pool tick, coffee at the deptford project after a good swim tick, the new park walk to new x gate maaajor tick. The market has a bit if everything but its still fairly dirty and some of the characters hanging around there do make it unpleasant, I love it because I live here. I remember coming to visit once before I moved and thought it was a right dump. Still a long way to go for anyone not local to appreciate its beauty me thinks

Anonymous said...

I think there should be a clock tower in the middle of Giffin Square too.

Th eold GLC gave Thamesmead the old clock from Deptford Docks. With a bit of Lottery funding can't Deptford get it back and maybe a new one could be built for Thamesmead?

Also the farmers market in Deptford Park should be on Deptford High Street or Giffin Square on Sundays. That would bring more people in to appreciate the town. It is a town after all not just part of London.

Anonymous said...

I love Deptford. I've lived in New Cross for 6 years and Deptford for the last two years and I would like to stay but I am being priced out of the area.

This unfortunately is the aim of regeneration projects, to drive up real estate prices by attracting artists who come for the low rent studios and flats, this attracts galleries, cafe's, boutiques and eventually a wealthier, trendier population.

The suggestion that Deptford regeneration has been a long time coming is a misrepresentation: regeneration takes a long time and developers are very patient. You only need to cross Evelyn street and walk down Watergate street to Greenfell Mansions to see the results of Thatcher's vision for the Docklands. You will see expensive waterfront flats and a class of residents whom you hardly never encounter on the high street. It began with the London Docklands Development Corporation set up in 1981. This was met with resistance by the 54.000 residents who were in danger of being displaced (see the Docklands Community Poster Project 1981-1988 by a local steering committee led by artists Peter Dunn and Lorraine Leeson). After 30 years there have been so many changes and so many people have been displaced that the resistance has waned.

You mention the Deptford Project in a positive light and it is very quaint but the truth is that local minority groups feel excluded from places like this.

If we do not wish to see Deptford become a new Lordship Lane, a whites-only enclave within south London, we need to be more wary of the gentrification under way.

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon "the truth is that local minority groups feel excluded from places like this."

Why would people feel this way?

Anonymous said...

And why should gentrification be a white-only thing? It seems quite wrong to me to suggest that only white people want to improve their position/environment.

Or is it simply the "wrong sort" of gentrification? And that non-white gents want something different? And if so, in what sort of way?

Gent Badger said...

"the truth is that local minority groups feel excluded from places like this."

It's only local minorities who go in there! The arty white kids are the minority, Anonyme!

Mb said...

The whole of London is expensive, most of the areas around SE4 are the cheaper ones.

I grew up in muswell hill, can't afford to live there (nor would I actually) I bought in acton cos it was cheap and then moved to se4.

There is no conspiracy, what's the alternative? Keep an area rundown, jobless, poor transport links so that no one wants to live here?

Dave said...

I think what some of you are forgetting is that you need to have run-down areas in a society like Britain where the gap between rich and poor is so great. Where would the poorer people live? Gentrification largely takes place in inner city areas because there is a general move to centralisation after many years of decentralisation. You don't tend to see overspill estates becoming gentrified. What you then have is a domino effect whereby poorer people are continually pushed further from the city. There's nothing wrong with fancy cafés and delis etc. of the kind that have started to appear but enough is enough. Both The Codfathers and Wellbeloved are excellent long established places that don't feel the need to charge over the odds and plaster "locally sourced" and "artisan" bollocks everywhere.

Some really good places that weren't mentioned: Master Shipwright's Palace on Open House day. Panda Panda has excellent Banh Mi. Brookmill Park is excellent by the river. To be fair the galleries are all crap except the APT.

Brockley Nick said...

@Dave - I agree that there are lots of places missed off the list and thanks for adding.

I'd say you are falsely equating 'poor' with 'run down'. I don't see why we should ever accept that things have to be run down. There are far poorer parts of the world than Deptford, including in the UK, and many are much better maintained than the borough of Lewisham. Having a large number of poor people doesn't mean we have to accept dog poo, litter, fly-tipping, dangerous and anti-social parking, vandalism, etc, etc.

When the middle classes moved out of London in the 60s and 70s they were condemned for abandoning the inner cities and there were accusations of white flight. Now the middle classes are moving back in, they're being slated as neo-colonialists. I think it's a healthy process.

I agree that the less well off need to have places to live, but I think the best places are mixed communities. The way to avoid poor people being shunted out to the suburbs (not that that is necessarily such a bad fate - after all, it's been the fate of the middle classes for decades) is to achieve more density in our more central areas.

Thought for the day said...

Sadly Jairo the "hyper-kinetic" Spanish manager has now left Big Red. It's still a fab place though and I most definitely do heart Deptford...

Anonymous said...

" more density in our more central areas" will just increase the run-downed-ness in the long term. The middle classes families don't want to live in high density areas.

Where-ever high density has been tried in the past it has always resulted in ghettos and slums except in areas such as Canary Wharf where the high prces from the start have kept all but the richer people out.

Dave said...

"Having a large number of poor people doesn't mean we have to accept dog poo, litter, fly-tipping, dangerous and anti-social parking, vandalism, etc, etc."

Nick, I agree but these are anti-social issues and not gentrification issues.

I don't think the 'white flight' issue is pertinent to this discussion because gentrification is largely about a housing market that 'forces' people to move to deprived areas because of being unable to afford to live in a preferred area. As an area becomes more gentrified it ends up becoming 'upmarket' and it is therefore natural to expect these areas to become more desirable to wealthier people. The people moving into almost fully gentrified areas such as Notting Hill are therefore doing the same thing as the 'white flight' people did. You also forget that 'white flight' was an aspirational migration rather than economically forced.

The sustainable community is a myth because there is no way of determining whether a community is presently sustainable. It is something that needs to be determined over time and perhaps communities will change again. In London I think some gentrified areas are considered sustainable because there is a mixture of rich and poor but this is a result of social housing/DSS tenants mixing in with areas where there is a large amount of expensive private period housing. This may well be a thing of the past if the coalition government gets its way.

MalB said...

Surely you can have sustainable areas that are all-rich, all-poor, all-middle-income or anu mixture of these?

"Sustainable" to me is more about have a range of properties that are affordable to a particular community of people (rich, middle-income, poor or mixed) through the whole of their lives. This means catering for the students, singles, newly-married, families and elderly. What Lewisham's policy calls "whole-life".

I am not convinced that Lewisham's implementation of their policy properly caters for families, forcing those out into the suburbs to find the properties they want (in the case of those who can) and into sub-standard accommodation (in the case of those who can't.)

Sustainability and gentrification aren't the same thing and shouldn't really even overlap.

max said...

I am not convinced that Lewisham's implementation of their policy properly caters for families, forcing those out into the suburbs to find the properties they want (in the case of those who can) and into sub-standard accommodation (in the case of those who can't.)

So true, in fact Lewisham Council's school policy has always banked on the fact that a substantial number of families with children of school age want to move out to access better schools, and the fact that the recession has greatly reduced this flow because these families can't afford to move is blamed as one of reasons why they're in trouble with school numbers (increased fertility is the other reason for this of course).

Very intersting considerations on susteinability/gentrification/regeneration/speculation/social housing/mixed communitites...
a true maze of overlapping issues that influence each other and make it very hard to really pin down what is it that need doing to avoid the drawbacks of change like social exclusion and urban degradation.

Interesting point about the value of mixed communities for what regards income, but if we accept this aren't we surrendering to the end of social mobility?

shipwright's palace said...

lets just take tis debate back a little...........

http://dspace.udel.edu:8080/dspace/bitstream/handle/19716/2303/Deptford%20Houses%201650%20to%201800.pdf.txt?sequence=3

Brockley Nick said...

"The middle classes families don't want to live in high density areas. Where-ever high density has been tried in the past it has always resulted in ghettos and slums except in areas such as Canary Wharf where the high prces from the start have kept all but the richer people out."

Except this is not true at all. High density doesn't have to mean skyscrapers (although there are plenty of successful high rise residential developments). Which is more attractive to "middle class families": high-density Islington or low-density Charlton? High-density Chelsea or low-density Lewisham? High-density Paris or low-density Sunderland? High density means a mixture of things - filling in brownfield, renovating empty premises, building a little higher in some places and a lot higher very occasionally. But it also means greening public spaces, improving high streets and improving public transport and other infrastructure, so that living together becomes a pleasure.

@Dave

"I don't think the 'white flight' issue is pertinent to this discussion... You also forget that 'white flight' was an aspirational migration rather than economically forced."

Sorry, I obviously didn't make my point clearly enough. Of course white flight was a choice. My point is that it was a regrettable phenomenon, that is now being reversed. We should be happy about that, not insist that the deprivation and alienation that resulted should be retained. I accept that there are both costs and benefits, but in my view, the benefits far outstrip the negatives. My point about new housing is that building is the way to avoid it becoming a zero sum game. New housing means new people can move to an area, without displacing others.

Anonymous said...

"White flight" has been replaced with "Mung bung", where people who went to boarding schools fill areas that used to contain normal people and turn it into some sort of distorted hippy enclave (offensive to actual hippies). Saving the world they are, one Hessian bag at a time at least. And indeed, at most.

?? said...

someone needs to get their boiler looked at, think it's giving out dodgy fumes.

That last post made no sense whatsoever.

Deptford Pudding said...

Deptford has a wonderful pudding named after it.

Anonymous said...

Lewisham Council does NOT realise what an amazing asset Deptford High Street is? Otherwise they wouldn't have allowed it to be taken over by betting shops and wouldn't have allowed the change of use of the Deptford Arms.

Gentrification has good and bad points but it shouldn't be feared. It is better than ghettoisation. And anyway it may well be the wrong term to use as there is a majority working class population in Deptford (and that isn't likely to change), a few posh flats do not amount to gentrification. They will help a more diverse High Street to flourish though if it helps different shops/bars etc survive.

I can think of many ways Deptford can become a really vibrant area. Th council needs to change its attitude though.

James Wild

MalB said...

Nick - "but it also means greening public spaces, improving high streets and improving public transport and other infrastructure"

High density doesn't mean this at all.

What I think you are saying is that if this were to be done with high density development then high density development would be more palatable. However that is also true of low density development.

If high density was really preferred then there would never have been a flight to a suburbs.

Brockley Nick said...

@MalB - Yes, of course you're right, you don't have to do those things, I mean they are necessary if you want to do it successfully.

Anonymous said...

I like the positive post, but I don't think Deptford is anywhere near "making it" in the same sense that Hoxton/Shoreditch has, culturally speaking. There are a few galleries, yes, and a handful of restaurants/cafes, but it's a long way away from competing with the East End on either of those fronts. The complete absence of any bars (and only a couple of pubs) also prevents Deptford from having any nightlife, though that's arguably not what the locals would want the area to become.

I can see the point about cafes like the Deptford Project excluding minority groups. I like the train cafe personally, but I realise that these kinds of dining experiences are pitched at a certain type of clientele, invariably those with a comfortable income. For others the greasy spoon is, most importantly, cheaper, but also culturally, populated with folk that they are more likely to want to mix with.

It's why Weatherspoons pubs are so popular up and down the land. Some people don't need/want "arty" or "hip". They just want comfortable seats and cheap drinks.

I'd also argue that whilst a new station and library are positive developments, what the residents of Deptford most need are decent housing, education and jobs. Will any of this activity help in these practical matters?

Anonymous said...

If the changes increase people who are council tax payees but not people who need to draw on as many concil services then yes possibly. Lewisham will have more funds to provide the services?

patrick1971 said...

"For others the greasy spoon is, most importantly, cheaper, but also culturally, populated with folk that they are more likely to want to mix with."

One could make the same point about the Deptford Project. Surely it's good to have a mix of venues to appeal to all the people who live in Deptford? When I first moved there in 1999 there was NOWHERE to go that was "populated with folk that [I wanted] to mix with". Now there are. That's a good thing.

"what the residents of Deptford most need are decent housing, education and jobs"

It's one of the cheapest areas in central-ish London to buy or rent. There are some pretty awful estates but there are those everywhere.

Nick mentions in his article the improving schools. There is also Goldsmiths College up the road and Lewisham College right next to the DLR.

There is a big employment agency on Deptford Broadway which always seems to be advertising jobs. Additionally you are close to two railway stations, one DLR station, one Overground station and numerous bus routes, making the entire south east London, Dcoklands and central London areas available to you in your search for education and jobs.

What more would you like to see?

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon

"I'd also argue that whilst a new station and library are positive developments, what the residents of Deptford most need are decent housing, education and jobs. Will any of this activity help in these practical matters?"

Well a library (which is linked to Tidemill) should help access to education and training. I already mentioned there are some decent schools in the area and I have been told good things about Addey and Stanhope too. Housing and jobs - Convoys Wharf will provide both. A new railway station should make it more attractive to small businesses.

Yes, it's a bit short of bars / clubs, but there are some good pubs and the bright lights of New Cross are 5 mins walk away. There's also the Bunker Club, which I think is still going?

I'm not sure that Deptford is short of greasy spoons either. And I don't think the Deptford Project is expensive.

Anonymous said...

"One could make the same point about the Deptford Project. Surely it's good to have a mix of venues to appeal to all the people who live in Deptford? When I first moved there in 1999 there was NOWHERE to go that was "populated with folk that [I wanted] to mix with". Now there are. That's a good thing."

I was referring to an earlier poster saying that something like the Deptford Project excluded minority groups. For reasons I cited, I can see how. I wasn't arguing that mix is good, and I prefaced what I said by saying I liked the place.

"It's one of the cheapest areas in central-ish London to buy or rent. There are some pretty awful estates but there are those everywhere."

Cheap doesn't necessarily mean decent.

"Nick mentions in his article the improving schools. There is also Goldsmiths College up the road and Lewisham College right next to the DLR."

Great, but not always accessible to all (particularly not now there are £9k fees in place).

As for what I'd like to see - well, more than just an employment agency, that's for sure. Census data suggests Deptford has a lot of ethnic minorities, youth and a large percentage of lone parent households. So perhaps good quality language centres, youth programmes, practical skills-based training courses and the like....

I'm not saying I have all the answers. Just that Deptford as a community is not going to prosper solely on the basis of arty cafes and galleries. People on its estates have a wholly different need.

Brockley Nick said...

"I was referring to an earlier poster saying that something like the Deptford Project excluded minority groups. For reasons I cited, I can see how."

I think we need to be very careful how we use terms like "excluded".

Choosing not to go somewhere because you don't like the menu or the look of the people in there does not mean you're being excluded, which suggests active discrimination.

If it was prohibitively expensive or snooty or actively hostile towards some types of customers, you could say it excluded. But that is not the case here.

Anyone can go there and have a cup of tea and enjoy themselves and be served by friendly people. No one is excluded.

I choose not to go to Gulen's because sadly my kebab days are mostly behind me. I have not been excluded by them.

FH said...

Lewisham College isn't exactly charging £9K fees, and is definitely accessible.

If the government hadn't pulled the rug out from the college they'd have even built a shiny new campus in Deptford.

Personally I'm not too worried about SEL gentrification: there's always going to be people who will never venture south of the river or to anywhere that's not a tube map.

Gentrify or die said...

Deptford is an absolute sh*thole. They need to close that horrible market and make it more like Borough market. Demolish half of the slums and turn them into luxury flats to make it anywhere near decent, add in a Strada and a Pizza Express and then you'll have somewhere that might be worth living in.

Brockley Nick said...

Good trolling

max said...

A Strada and a Pizza Express make life worth living?

Talk of ambition!

kolp said...

Deptford is great, I like the place very much. With regards to it being described as "a sh*thole", well if that Thames water sewer bore pipe gets built, that description will be a little closer to the truth.

wah gwan said...

I think it's incredibly naive to thing that a lot of people don't actively discriminate when it comes to choosing where to hang out and socialise. As much as we'd like to think it doesn't happen class and race do come into it.

Do working class black people feel like The Deptford Project is a place where they'd enjoy hanging out? Would the a lot of white middle classes enjoy being in a traditional Caribbean cafe? Probably not on both sides.

This is one of the problems of gentrification. That because the middle classes can suddenly end up swamping an area, then lots of places change into cupcake cafes and upmarket florists etc. This is what makes people feel pushed out of an area.

what's wrong with a scruffy neighbourhood? Much more charming than identikit scrubbed up areas. Half the best cities in the world are crumbling this only adds to their character.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with Pizza Express and Strada? Wish they'd come to Brockley.

Mb said...

Yes.... Mixed vibrant area. A choice of places to go, from trendy to not so trendy. Who's arguing with that? the best places in London are like that.

As for pizza express and Strada. Nothing "wrong" with them but hardly gonna set your world on fire. Aim low I suppose, you'll never be disappointed.

Having said of all the above, the idea that you can dictate how an area moves is false. The type of people who live here, the type of places people want to visit and the type of places there are, feed of each other.

Mb said...

...anyway, chains like pizza express et al follow. They are rarely in the vanguard of an areas development. They follow trends, not set them.

kolp said...

"the idea that you can dictate how an area moves is false."

Prove or provide some evidence that your statement above is true?

Brockley Nick said...

@Wah - I agree that social tribes cluster together in different types of place, but that it not the same thing as saying that a place actively excludes anyone - which is a very serious charge.

Also, social groupings are a little more complex than simple division by class, race, income, etc as the endless debates about tribes on BC prove.

Brockley Nick said...

Also, let's remember that the Deptford Project didn't push anything out. It took a poorly used scrap of land and made something good out of it. More of that please.

Mb said...

Well who or what organisation forced hoxton to become what it is today? Who apor what organisatiobpn made deptford what it is now or how it was ten years ago? I'm not aware that deptford has a passport control and check points? I moved here for variety of reasons, I chose it. I choose where I shop. Forums like this are all very interesting but areas evolve, they always have, they always will. What's your alternative stategy kolp? We should not only stop tesco but also stop places like the detptford project and independent gallerys?

No, I have no proof. It's an opinion based on living in London for 43 years.

kolp said...

Thanks for the reply, I asked a question because you made a categorical statement, and I was curious as to how you came to that view, because I think of the gerrymandering of Shirley Porter, the councils that offer tenants money to move out of London.

As for things I think we should stop, that sewer hole next to St Christophers should not be located where it has been proposed by Thames Water, I don't care about the science, it's about aesthetics because that is all that matters!

Mb said...

Ok, the sewer. Thames water should be challenged to demonstrate that they have got the right site and possibly loom to desire it, But aesthetics are not "all" that matters. I'd say that discharging raw shit into the river at deptford once a week, tonight as well probably, is something we should look to stop doing. Is scientifically and aesthetically bad that we should have to look at turds and toilet paper floating down the Thames. Me and the otters are not keen.

As for dictating how an area develops, I guess you can influence it. Stoping the additional betting shop being a good and positive example but london has always changed, it's o e of the things that makes it interesting.

Anonymous said...

ok...how about a few ideas on how to make Deptford really special?

Here's niumber 1.

A Vietnamese food and culture festival...with stalls along the High Street, vietnamese dancers and music on Giffin Square.

JW

NAT said...

Sounds good.

The Deptford lounge will be a great addition, when it opens in a few weeks.

Giffin square will take on a whole new character.

I can report that the library/info centre is taking shape and looks interesting inside.

patrick1971 said...

@wah gwan:

"Do working class black people feel like The Deptford Project is a place where they'd enjoy hanging out? Would the a lot of white middle classes enjoy being in a traditional Caribbean cafe? Probably not on both sides."

Indeed. I'm not a huge fan of the Flower of Kent for just this reason. But I'm not on here moaning about being "excluded" from the Flower of Kent. I'm choosing to go to places in the local area I do enjoy. The local area caters for all sorts of people. That's a good thing.

"This is one of the problems of gentrification. That because the middle classes can suddenly end up swamping an area, then lots of places change into cupcake cafes and upmarket florists etc. This is what makes people feel pushed out of an area."

One could make the point that this is exactly what happened in places like Southall, Peckham, New Cross, Tottenham etc. in the 1950s and 1960s. A lot of new people came into an area and changed its character completely, leaving many people feeling "pushed out" and leaving for the suburbs. However, in this case, the people who left were castigated as evil racists, yet in the scenario you raise (that I quoted above), those who allegedly feel "pushed out" are lauded. Why might that be?

Anonymous said...

A vietnamese festival - why not

There are many festivals and carnivals around london - South American / Irish / Notting Hill,

Most seem to be in parks probably because it's logistically easier.

Brockley Nick said...

Out of interest, why Vietnamese? Is there a large Vietnamese population locally? It's a nice idea, but Hoxton might be a more natural fit, given the big concentration of Vietnamese restaurants there.

mk said...

There are a growing number of Vietnamese restaurants though aren't there? And a friend of mine seems to think the ones in Deptford are actually better than those in Hoxton...

Brockley Nick said...

OK, good enough ;) Mo Pho could get in on the act too.

Danja said...

There is a big Vietnamese community in Deptford.

Anonymous said...

ok...how about a few ideas on how to make Deptford really special?


Decent department store? We haven;t had a good shopping experience since Chiesman's closed down in Lewisham. There is no real department store in the whole of the borough of Lewisham, so that would make Deptford really special. Unfortunately I don't think it will happen. Deptford High Street is so far gone it will take decades to turn it around, although people are trying hard.

NAT said...

@anon 14;29 Erm, havn't department stores closed all across the country,

Could we not take comfort in that the totality of Deptfords retail experience, ie market and high street, represents much of what a department store could offer, only cheaper, and with an element of the unexpected?

mk said...

"ok...how about a few ideas on how to make Deptford really special?"

I really like it how it is at the moment, but if there's one thing I lament (as I do with the entirety of NX/Brockley/Deptford), it's a decent bar or two.

Not a pub, but a space with a decent sound system and tunes. The local population is creatively and musically minded to make that a decent proposition I think.

mk said...

Uh, three "decents". Language bad. Early it is. Coffee need.

Anonymous said...

After the Vietnam War a lot of the Vietnamese Boat People were allowed to settle in the UK after persecution by the Communists. For those unaware of local history, Vietnamese is the second most common language in the borough of Lewisham.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnamese_people_in_the_United_Kingdom

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