Brockley Market: Week 1 [UPDATED]

"George Lucas was once told there were no sounds in airless space. He didn't believe it. Today, George Lucas is a billionaire."

- Ambush Bug

Let us give you a word of advice: Always bet on Brock. The organisers of today's inaugural Brockley Market were hoping for a good start, with maybe 1,000 visitors giving it a try. After the first two hours they'd smashed that figure and queues [UPDATE: the final number of visitors was 2,100] had formed at almost every stall, catching the traders by surprise.


But it isn't a surprise really. The marketing had been exemplary, the list of traders recruited was superb and the choice of location was inspired. We said it would raise the bar for local markets and it did. Like The Orchard, Browns of Brockley and Brockley's Rock before it, Brockley Market proved that if you offer high-quality, the people of this area will reward you.

When the market's plans were revealed, the usual pessimists made some extraordinary claims: it was too remote, ugly, traffic-choked and crime-ridden to work. As the sun shone, the huge crowds, sold-out signs and groups and families chatting and hanging-out proved what nonsense those predictions were, as they were obviously going to be. It's not that Brockley Central is always right (we are, but that's not the point), it's that the doom-mongers are always so comically wrong.

It could do with some more hot food options, some of the stalls were a little pricey (although some were excellent value) but Brockley Market is a little bit of local genius. An underused car-park was transformed in to a new destination for SE4. The crowds will continue to come - more and more, from further and further afield. The stalls will multiply, the site will fill and we'll all wonder why it took so long for someone to think of this.





Click here for Hollowlegs' review.

92 comments:

Pete said...

I went with my family. It was great and I will be making regular trips. It is good having access to things like a fishmonger within easy walking distance of the house.

SE Thirteener said...

I went with my wife and we bought our fruit and veg supply for the week. Plus some tasty meat and fish. The fishmonger could have done with a better selection of cheaper fish - so we'll stick with FC Soper for now. On most other fronts though we'll definitely be coming back. Oh, and fruit and veg man encouraging tasting of his green leaves was a delight. Now just need to decide what to do with that sorrel and those courgette flowers...! Lovely to see Lewisham Way in a positive way, and hope this has a positive effect on the Loampit Vale end of the road.

andrew said...

Went to market. Good for area just what brockley needs.can only get larger.will be using market a lot.food and drinks very good on prices

Deptford dame said...

Looks very inviting, I didn't make it today but hope to get down there some time in the next few weeks. Well done to the organisers!

Monkeyboy said...

Had my first brockley market dinner, great. The prices are not deptford cheap but by no means outrageous compared to the quality end of supermarket offerings on the whole.

Ricky said...

I went with my wife and took a few photos:
flickr.com/photos/rickyandliz

We were very impressed indeed. The queues and sold out stalls spoke for themselves, but the quality of the produce was excellent all round.

Well done all involved.

Anonymous said...

I thought the 'gluten free'/'dairy free' stalls were a little dishonest.

Lizzie said...

Thanks for the link, Nick. I really enjoyed it; I hear there are plans for more stalls in the next couple of weeks. I agree, more hot food would be great, but I also hear there are plans for that too. Only going to get better, I think!

man in black said...

verdict on the gourmet meatballs – although i felt the pork/beef balance wasnt quite right (put less pork innit) i thought they were pretty good and happily ate the lot... as can be seen in your videooo!! lol

Anonymous said...

Had a fab time (followed by a pint at the Talbot) and even met some neighbours we didn't know while queueing for the delicious bacon butties. Well dome all.

john Power said...

another great addition to the area, some great stalls, i particularly liked the http://tellingthebees.org/ one, going to enjoy some of their bees' finest tomorrow morning.

looking forward to seeing it grow and develop, as said some more hot food stalls would be nice (Meatwagon please!), and i'd like to see some micro breweries represented (not sure if there's licensing issues there) but all in all a perfect start and so glad the weather was nice for it.

and oh dear thats me caught waffling on in that video.

meateater said...

Made a really delicious roast beef this evening with great topside joint from one of the butchers there (I know I should have waited til Sunday, but I couldn't!). One thing lacking was anyone selling drinks (other than coffee) like an apple juice stall or something... unless there was one but it sold out before we got there. Anyway, a great addition to Brockley.

Anonymous said...

will fizzle out in the new year . . .

Mb said...

Fizzle out? Perhaps, I doubt it. What's your grand theory or are you just being provocative? There was a lot of fizzle left over that needed mopping up my more stalls selling more stuff.

Anonymous said...

It won't fizzle out as long as there are stalls selling what people need ie affordable good quality veg, meat, dairy, fish. So, as long as the call for more hot food stalls and/or specialty items is balanced by the stuff of the weekly shop we should be enjoying Brockley market for years to come. This is the first Sunday I haven't been to Blackheath farmer's market in ages...Columbia Road, here I come!

Brockley Fox said...

Location quite good, turn out good.

I Broccoli Brockley said...

The market was brilliant. I don't think George Lucas will be losing any sleep over your filming skills though Nick! ;)

Lady Well Enough said...

Well I hope it doesn't fizzle out before I get to have a look!

Even if you end up not buying, just attending something like this makes you feel a part of a larger community, just the way it should be.

Bobblekin said...

We spent £20 in total and for that got some meat, fish, veg, juice and flowers for the week.

The prices are high, but we will be using the market from now on and cutting back on the supermarket.Quality per £ is better.

More hot food and speciality stalls are fine as long as there is a core for the weekly staples as this is the crux of making teh market a long term success...

A tip for the fishmonger - please fillet out some of the cheaper fish.

Anonymous said...

Well done to the organisers. I'm sure it's success will continue with more stores joining. Some of the stalls were a tad expensive you wouldn't think there was a recession on and people tightening their belts. Other staff were reasonable priced. £5 quid for Brockley honey - proof will be in the eating. The Bacon sarnie stall were pushing their luck, at £4 it was more bread than bacon. Nice atmosphere, tables and benches - inspired idea and summer finally kick-started.

There seems to be lots of optimism in brockley/ and new cross with new stores opening. Anyone noticed the new store due to open on New Cross Road called the Allotment opposite The Venue, a deli, come fruit and veg shop. I never thought I'd see the day. Hopefully all those who supported the market will also support the shop.

And TK MAxx seems to be pulling in the punters despite those on this blog who call it a shop for chavs. I've never seen so many cars parked in front of Currys store. This can only be a brucie bonus for the local economy.

TRM said...

To all those who think things are expensive - they may be, they might not, but that is the whole point of a 'market'. Buy it if you think it's worth it. If you don't, keep your money. Either way, the stall owners will work it out.

The Market was truly fantastic and I will definitely be going back. Well done to the organisers.

sugarandvanilla said...

The turnout at yesterdays market was truly amazing. Our stall ran out of product 2 hours after opening, as we had worked off the predicted figure of 900-1000 attending. We should have realised there would be an overwhelming response though, knowing how supportive the Brockley community is. Oh well, next week we will be more prepared...

Mondee said...

Absolutely brilliant, can't wait for next week. One minor bone of contention: yes the Market is in SE4 and is therefore a Brockley Market. However, by my reckoning (and google maps), Lewisham station is closer to it than Brockley. However, on the publicity it says that the nearest stations are St Johns (of course) and Brockley, ignoring Lewisham altogether (but mentions Deptford Bridge and Elverson Rd DLR). I hope they are not trying to 'distance' themselves from Lewisham. I am officially in Lewisham, for example, and am closer to this market than many Brockleyites.

Mb said...

Well if you called it lewisham or deptford market they may get confused with the established markets already there. It's in the ward of brockley so not unreasonable. Anyway, that's all by the by, it was a roaring success. (the butcher needs to cheer up though!)

Sara said...

very jolly addition to the area's markets. lovely atmosphere. good veg selection (ditch the pre-bagged apples and spuds, though, please -- less plastic is one of the nice things about shopping at a market). nice to have organic options that come from nearby. bee guys very friendly & informative. bread stall having a laugh with its prices, though. coffee delicious despite 20 min queue. don't forget to keep buying from the lovely folks who do the markets at hilly fields/manor house/telegraph hill, too. they're local, super friendly and very, very good value -- esp the veg.

BrockleyKate said...

The butchers were nice to me! You need to charm them a bit more, Mb ;-)

Westsider said...

Postcode = Brockley
Ward = Brockley
Conservation area = Brockley
Local website = Brockley Central
Where it is = Brockley
Name of market = Brockley

They could've mentioned Lewisham Station I guess, but no big deal.

NAT said...

I always find the cheerfulness of the butcher in reverse ratio to the value of the meat MB. The man at Hilly fields keeps all his jokes to himself. The guys at Blackheath are very personable; Now that Peckham farmaers market man has a face as long as a wet Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

Tried some of the locally sourced farmers sausages down at Top Chef this morning. Tip top, bish bash bosh nosh.

Mondee said...

Yes, westsider, as I said, it's I'm Brockley. All I am saying is that on the publicity it says that the nearest stations are St Johns (true) and Brockley (not true). If someone acyualu came from elsewhere, it would probably be better to come to Lewisham instead of Brockley as there are more trains from more places.

Mb said...

Wellbeloved keeps my meat custom (that sounds wrong, too late now) proper deptford for 150years. Good honest etc, etc... The bloke at Brockley looked at me weird when I asked him about rib eye. Maybe it's my funny London ways.

Didn't buy any but tried a sausage sample (that too sounds wrong) from sausage pedlars. Very good, will be buying some of those.

I'm still slightly taken aback by how well it all worked, hope it wasn't just novelty value. Judging by the crowds there is more than enough custom.

As for hilly fields, well just a not half hearted. Can't be bothered to schlep up there for so little - sorry.

NAT said...

Yes it rocked didn't it. TBH since I heard the idea propsed I couldn't envisage any other outcome. Yes! Thats what that space might be.

I hope there are others taking heart already and looking about them.

Music venue anybody?

Anonymous said...

How was it known 2,100 people attended,was there somebody there with one of those counting gadgets.

Anonymous said...

There was someone there with lots of fingers.

Brockley Nick said...

"How was it known 2,100 people attended,was there somebody there with one of those counting gadgets."

Yes.

Anonymous said...

was there only one entrance to the market to enable the counting to be done methodically?

Welcome to 2011 said...

Yes! Next question?!

Henrietta said...

Only one entrance? What if there was a fire!!

Accessibility!!

D said...

I guess the only shame is that they couldn't have kicked it off earlier in the year to give it a chance to get some proper momentum to see them through the cold and rainy winter.

Anonymous said...

Lewisham Station to Lewisham College = .6 miles, 13 min on foot

Brockley Station to Lewisham College = .7 miles, 14 minutes on foot

New Cross Station to Lewisham College = .8 miles, 16 minutes on foot

All routes uphill. Come to your own conclusions.

Brockley Nick said...

Conclusion = Brockley is a very well connected area and this spot was well chosen in terms of its ease of accessibility.


Brockley Station route is not uphill, it is slightly downhill, but basically flat.

Anonymous said...

I walk from Brockley station to Wickham Road/Lewisham Way daily; it is uphill. Not as steep as the Lewisham station route, but it is uphill nonetheless. If you think it's downhill rather than uphill, you're either seriously undermining your own credibility OR you're taking some kind of winding route that is not the shortest distance between the two points.

Brockley Nick said...

Yes, I am seriously undermining my own credibility by suggesting it is slightly downhill.

Perhaps I am just remembering parts of the journey. Whether it's slightly up, down or flat, it's not comparable to the steep walk up from Lewisham, Deptford or New Cross.

In any case, I don't really care and I wish I hadn't waded in to this particularly silly debate, but what is your point please?

Anonymous said...

By posting the fractional difference in distance between Brockley and Lewisham stations from the market, my point is precisely that this is a ridiculous debate. But, hey, "come to your own conclusions." Touchy touchy, eh?

NAT said...

Anon the only conclusion to be drawn by an uphill aproach to the site from three different points of the compass would be that it was at the summit of a hill. Is this the conclusion you drew?

Perhaps there are other conclusios that follow from this?

(It's not actually on the summit of a hill)

Welcome to 2011 said...

@Anonymous - next time you want to point out a debate is ridiculous, why don't you just say that and eliminate any room for confusion.

What you have to understand is that there are a lot of chippy anons out there who come up with the most random bits of bollocks to moan about. You sounded like one of those. In this case you sounded like you were moaning that Lewisham was being whitewashed from history.

Glad to hear you're not.

Anonymous said...

@NAT see my point at 10:19. I guess it wasn't self-evident enough, or some on this blog simply can't be left to "come to their own conclusions."

Following your point, I suppose the other conclusion that can be draw besides this very well-situated site as being at the summit of a hill, is, rather, that it is a hilly area in general, which is another one of those seemingly self-evident points that somehow has missed you and BN.

NAT said...

Agree that it's quite hilly, well moderately hilly ....

Monkeyboy said...

I'd say it was moderate to flatish from Malpas road, from lewisham DLR it's a bit hilly, from deptford broadway only a bit hilly.

I need a lie down now

Tamsin said...

The definitive answer to the question is on this really fun website.

NAT said...

Excellent piece of kit Tamsin. I notice that its on about the same level as Brockley station according to it.

Anonymous said...

minus the uphill stretch.

Anonymous said...

You know you're experiencing first world problems when people are debating which station out of a number within a 1 mile radius would be the best one to use.

Such sheltered lives, swaddled by living within the M25.

Dan said...

very good turnout. Admittedly placed food order for delivery on Sunday not knowing what to expect. Will hold back on veg in future!

1 question: How will the gazebos cope in winter weather.

1 'complaint': The only butter was sold on the coffee stall which meant a fairly long queue for it.

i'm sure that's a minor teething problem which will be ironed out in due course.

well done

Lactose lover said...

Pursuant to Dan's comment, I paid for my milk in the honesty bowl, but a dedicated dairy still would be a good thing some time down the road.

Mulled wine or hot cider should aid with any winter-related discomfort...

NAT said...

@Anon 11.51, 'minus the uphill stretch' if you must, but that leaves you having to 'plus' the downhill stretch.

Mb said...

Lactose lovers? There are specialist web sites for that, at least that's what Hugh tells me.

Anonymous said...

The BDS has a creamery. Come first thing for full-fat, later in the day for semis. Skimmed is available just before last orders.

Dark Fluid said...

Thanks to everyone for the turnout and sticking with the coffee queue, as well as the compliments on here.
I am truly sorry for the wait you had to endure. In all of our trader chats we never forecast such a turn out and we had a couple of small hiccups with grinders and electric set up at the start which meant we got on a back foot from the off. We were a new team (thanks to Ross) using a new machine and new set up in a new location, I had 29 minutes sleep on Friday getting the last bits ready! Signage needs some work as it was not our intention for people to queue for the dairy, they were kind of separate stalls but that was not clear.

Apologies and thanks- will be ready this weekend.

Lawrence

Anonymous said...

20 minutes for a cup of coffee.
No thanks.

Hugh said...

What does the new market mean for house prices?

Jimmy said...

This looks fantastic! Will be checking the next one out for sure.

Charlie said...

@Hugh, It's fantastic news, it'an amenity that adds to the desirabilty of the area. I think rents will go up too about 5% or so!

Anonymous said...

Excellent addition to the local shopping scene. In terms of value a mixed bag though, the fruit and veg stall by the cheese stall offered great value, but many of the stalls were taking the p*ss, even for a demographic of neurotic airheaded foodies. Once the novelty wears off, I wonder if people will want to pay £7.00 for six sausages, week after week after week. I'm guessing not. And why was everything fishy and cheesey £20 a kilo? I enjoyed visiting the market and will do so again, but I also enjoyed going to Tesco later in the day and getting the same quality for a half and sometimes a third of the price.

Roflcopter said...

@Charlie

Because there's an overpriced market in the area you think rents will go up 5%! Ha ha, do you work at Foxton's or something?

Headhunter said...

Rents are already on the way up across London. People are unwilling to commit to buying at the moment perhaps because of job uncertainty, lack of funds or fear that house prices will crash at some point, so they're all renting. Most of my friends own these days, but the ones that rent have been hit with rent rises in the past few months as demand outstrips supply even more than before...

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 26 September 2011 16:17

I have a pack of 6 handmade sausages bought at the market on Saturday and they are £3.60. So not sure where you got £7 from?

I thought the prices were actually very competitive for the type of food on offer there was a real mix.

Lou Baker said...

Congrats to the inspired entrepreneurs behind this.

Didn't whinging bureaucrats try to thwart the plan?

max said...

Lou, if you click on the first link in the article you can read the interview to the organizer where he says:

"Lewisham Council has been very supportive from the early stages. Apparently, I was the first person ever to contact their market team to ask how to set up a new one, so they were really keen to provide me with advice and guidance."

Mb said...

No, but plenty of whinging types on here seem to think there is no demand for this kind of thing in an area they see as a dump.

Well done all and well done for the college for letting it happen, a good opportunity for students to get involved and a few quid in the coffers for them.

Everyones a winner.

Mb said...

Fish was pricy ( but seemed super fresh) but difficult to gauge cheese price...! Cheddar can range from pennies to pounds depending on the quality.

NAT said...

Lou has an exclusive!

NAT said...

I'll stick with the codfather in Deptford for the finnys but this was great for just about everything else.

Olga Polposhov (37) said...

In a very real sense I think its "downhill" to Lewisham!:)) (although I do love "T.K. Maxx")

Mondee said...

I'm more worried about the fact that Lewisham Council has a Market Team.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure they're very eager to look busy in these days of austerity! :-)

NAT said...

@ Mondee, would you prefer the markets to be self regulating?

Anonymous said...

I think he's suggesting that Trading Standards or some other department could handle it rather than having an entirely new part of the organisation.

Rye Shopper said...

Brockley Market was not, on the whole, expensive. 6 sausages for £4, free range (far fresher than supermarkets) £1(!) plants for a few quid each, Kent apple juice £2 litre (I think) and the best was 3 bags of pears (about 20) for £3!

Bacon sarnie for £4 was a tad much, but good quality and for he/she saying 'more bread than bacon' - doorstep bread and 2 very thick slices of bacon is better value than £2.50 for 2 thin slices and thin Hovis at a cafĂ©.

I got there too late for the dairy, but prices looked good and there was local butter.

And all this not far from home, where you can meet the producers,chat with friends and taste the produce.

I will try to get staples there in the future, plus a few treats from the butcher, fishmonger, game merchant & cheese stall. Not sure who asked for rib eye because the butcher I met offered me some.

All in all a real success and a friendly place, I imagine numbers will drop through autumn and as the novelty wears off, but it seems the organisers have done a good enough job to secure its long term future. More hot food will go down a treat and I think it will come into its own the weeks before Christmas.

Well done!

monkeyboy said...

I doubt the market team are there only for people who want to set up a market and sit around the rest of the time. It will be one of their duties no doubt. Could be wrong but lets not go with the lazy stereotype.

mb said...

...and the bloke selling sausages. He was giving taster samples, he ought to buy some rolls and flog hot dogs for a couple of quid.

That's free advice, I charge £500 a day normally.

NAT said...

As Council tax payers, I suppose we could organise the allocation of pitches, supervise the market inspectors (oh, not them either? ok), collect the rents, inspect trading licences and insurance and co-ordinate waste removal over the seven days that Lewisham Market runs and the three days of Deptford.

In this way we could keep more of our, and our hard working families, hard earned income.

NAT said...

Or is it possible (whisper it) that the market team is largely self financing through the collection of stall rents?

Stand easy volunteers.

Anonymous said...

How is it an inspired location?

Scrumpy Jack said...

Would be good if they could get a hot spiced cider stall for the winter months.

mintness said...

How is it an inspired location?

Because it looks like nowt and has largely been used for nowt, yet it turned out to be owt.

Anonymous said...

How did the market go this Saturday? Was is still busy?

Brockley Nick said...

Didn't get a chance to go this week, but by the looks of Twitter it was still busy.

Brockley Market said...

We had over 1,700 come and visit the market week two which was great considering the how hot it was, thanks for support.

We would please like you comments and suggestions, we have now had our second new weekly market and would like to hear what you think about produce on offer?, freshness? prices of produce?, what else you would like to see at the market? and any stories of the produce you have cooked and how was it etc...

Anonymous said...

That's great. Thanks and keep it up!

Ian on the Hill said...

I managed to get there right at the very end yesterday and I have to say, despite my initial misgivings, a very good market it was too. Good merchandise at reasonable price.

Well done, chaps.

Alex said...

Went to the market for the first time this weekend. I love the friendly atmosphere and the choice offered (it remembers me French markets in small towns).

I was pleased to have the choice between cheap non-organic fruits/vegs and more expensive organic ones...both were very good. Bought some fish and scallops as well, that tasted really good. Bread and eggs were very fresh and tasty too. Flowers were really nice (and doesn't look like "Tesco flowers" but "real" flowers as my friends said!...). Will try the meat next time!
The location is perfect for me as I live in New Cross (less than 10min walk). I used to cycle to Blackheath market every Sunday before, so this market is a great addition for I and my girl friend who've banned supermarkets.
It seems loads of family came here with kids, and enjoyed fresh food/drinks on little wood tables...this is a very good idea!

I'll be happy to buy some crafts or other Christmas decorations in the future too.

To conclude, change nothing! I'm sure this market will gather more and more people while keeping its family/local mood intact...

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