The Ajax Flooring Company workshop off Malpas Road is being demolished. After years of false starts, the redevelopment plans have been approved, which will involve the row of houses on Malpas Road being extended and new units being built behind them, accessible via a driveway. The planning permission documentation describes the work as involving:
Kate Bush, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Tarka the Otter – when the history of Brockley is written, they will be mere footnotes compared to the legend of Dunwoody, the explorer who vanished from SE4 years ago, promising to return one June 4th. Adventurer, naturalist, gentleman. Dunwoody is all these things and more. He was the reason Brockley Central moved here and the reason we remain; ever-hopeful that one-day he will return.
You can now download and print an explorer’s diary from this website, which tells you more about Dunwoody and the profound impact he has had on Brockley’s history. The diary will help you find clues about Dunwoody’s exploits and also help you track an explosion in the local badger population, which some believe is related to his disappearance.
The search is actually an elaborate theatre production, created by local theatre artist Barra Collins and partner, Andy Franzkowiak who came together to form the LAStheatre Company. Having worked with leading companies such as Shunt, the Old Vic and Punch Drunk, they decided that they wanted to create their own production to celebrate the community spirit of Brockley.
The result is part treasure hunt, part festival and part local history tour, which retro-fits Dunwoody in to local history in the same way that Marvel did for the Sentry’s place in their universe.
The treasure hunt route stretches from Brockley Cross to the Brockley Jack, encompassing landmarks such as Brockley and Ladywell Cemetery and the Brockley Social Club and participating local businesses, from Sounds Around, Bohemia Hair, Degustation and Rosie to the Brockley Jack, Toads Mouth, Jam Circus and Tickle Me, where treasure hunters will be able to spot Dunwoody-branded products and menu items.
The search will end with a 3.30pm Parade from Adelaide Avenue to Hilly Fields, after which one young adventurer will be crowned Master Explorer 2011. On the day, characters from Dunwoody lore will appear around town and – we hope – Dunwoody may even return.
It will be an immersive experience. We wanted the story to be built around Brockley, to help people learn about their area and discover adventure in the familiar. We’ve tried to create something fun from the banality of everyday life.
The whole treasure hunt can be completed in a few hours at a leisurely pace. Ideally, families will do it over the course of the half-term week and come along to the final event on June 4th.
Click here for more details about the Brockley MAX programme.
Whether because of literary festivals, cinema campaigns or night bus services, Hither Green's been throwing up more than its fair share of stories since we launched South East Central, so we've given it its very own home on the forum.
Oh Icarus, fly not too near the sun, lest thy waxy wings should melt...
The Brockley MAX kicks-off today, with a concert outside the Brockley Barge, beginning at 4.20pm, with the final act on at 10pm. Line-up below:
4:40pm Rain On My Parade (FSOR)
5:10pm The Others (FSOR)
5:40pm The Strum Pets
6:00pm Montage Theatre Arts
6:05pm Brand Nu
6:20pm The Real Bad Habits
6:40pm Paper Fish
7:00pm The Flood Liners
7:40pm Ben & Ben
8:00pm Nunhead Choir
8:20pm Dune Lake
8:45pm Dr Joe Joe
9:10pm Cat Knight
9:30pm Scaredy Cats
10:00pm One Jah
Reader Andrew has put us - and the rest of you - to shame by taking matters in to his own hands and writing a review of the Ravensbourne Arms, an Antic pub on the Ladywell / Lewisham borders, which opened on Monday.
Brockley resident and Times journalist Laura Westcott has been raising money to pay for her friend Clara's electric wheelchair by spending a week confined to a wheelchair.
Posted by Nick Barron on 26.5.11
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.
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
The 10th annual Brockley MAX festival starts tomorrow, with the traditional opening night concert outside the Brockley Barge. This year's programme is dedicated to the memory of Gill Fraser, who worked tirelessly alongside organiser Moira Tait to stage previous festivals and who sadly passed away this year.
We asked Moira to tell us about this year's event.
How does this year’s festival compare to previous MAXes?
This is the biggest year yet with 67 events which is amazing considering Gill’s no longer with us. I feel is a testament to how much people love the festival and support it by holding events.
How many attendees are you expecting, across the festival programme?
Last year, we estimated over 4000 people came, but it is a difficult one to calculate as there are so many events to get round and do a quick head count. We do know that the website visits are double the number of last year so hopefully that’s a good indication of potential numbers.
What's different about the MAX this year? How is the festival evolving over time?
I’m really pleased we have several spoken word and poetry events this year as the festival has been short on them the last couple of years. However, the events at the Toad’s Mouth café (two of which are poetry) have had to be cancelled due to a death in the family, so we are looking for new venues as we speak.
Do keep an eye out for updates on the website and our Facebook site. I’m also very pleased that we have 3 photography exhibitions this year by the Brockley Photographers Group and curated by Darrell Morris.
In terms of evolution, the festival changes as people’s interests change. Because we are always so short of funding we have to rely on performers to offer to hold events, rather than the organising team dictating what happens. This I see as positive (although more money would be wonderful) as it means Brockley Max really is a community festival.
Which new performers and artists should MAX regulars look out for?
That’s always a difficult one to answer as there are so many good performers and events!
I would urge everyone to come to the Opening Night by Brockley station as we have some great acts this year. Jazz at The Orchard on 30 May looks great, the poetry events, The Mike King choir at St Hildas Church, and for film we have a Q&A with Sybil Phoenix after a documentary about her life and work.
We also have some great regular acts who are always popular – Peter Searles is back after a few years break with his Through Peru (now free at the Orchard), Shedload of Love at the Wickham Arms, Mazaika’s Peter and the Wolf children’s show followed by an evening performance at St Hilda’s, and the regular Brockleywood Nights.
And of course on Sunday at Jam Circus we have a Tribute to Gill, my co-organiser, with torch songs performed by Richard Swan, Anita Maj, Sarah Blair, Celia Byrne and Dan Maitland.
Who is the mysterious Dunwoody mentioned in the programme?
Who is Dunwoody indeed! Children will have to find clues dotted around Brockley to discover who he/she is. Their first clue will be on the Brockley Max website soon. And I have heard rumours though that Dunwoody may be at the Art In The Park on 4 June.
Has the MAX budget been hit by Lewisham Council cuts this year?
Certainly the Lewisham Arts Service funding has been cut, and there’s been no call for applications so far this year, to which I would have applied. And generally there are fewer funding sources for the arts, which is why Brockley Max would not have happened this year without the support of the Brockley, Ladywell and Crofton Park Locality funds.
We’ve also have financial support from several of our venues and when the festival is so short of money, every little bit helps. I’m about £1000 down at the moment so please support the festival and buy raffle tickets! I’m also putting in applications for the Mayors Fund for next year’s festival, so make sure you come to the Local Assembly meetings later in the year and vote for us.
Why is there no Hilly Fields concert this year and what how will you replace its role as the climax of the festival?
The lack of a Hilly Fields concert is purely down to money. I’ve a third of the funding this year compared to last and an event such as last year costs in the region of £13000.
We will be holding the Art In The Park on 4 June from 12-5pm which we have done so for many years with children’s art workshops, dance and acoustic music , the Jam Circus bar, food stalls and an art market so there’s plenty to see and do. (And we still need volunteers!) I think having events at several venues for the closing night will give people a bigger choice and at the same time supporting our sponsors. And I’ll be trying to get round to all of them!
What are you most looking forward to this year?
In a bitter sweet way I’m looking forward most to Gill’s tribute night as a way of remembering an incredible woman who was my friend as well as my co-organiser. She loved Brockley Max, the arts and this community so it would be great to see as many people there as possible.
The vastly-improved-since-it-became-free Evening Standard reports that 12,000 young people in London risk losing their homes due to cuts in housing benefits, according to housing charity Crisis. Lewisham is in the top ten boroughs likely to be hit, with 650 people expected to be affected. The paper explains:
Official figures show that single people aged between 25 and 35 will lose as much as £116 per week.
Claimants will only be given enough to rent a room instead of a one-bedroom flat now, bringing them into line with the under-25s.
Gus: That's a bloody outrage, it is! I want to take this all the way to the Prime Minister. [they go down to a lake] Oi! Mr. Prime Minister! Andy!
Andy: [floating naked on an inner tube with a beer] Eh, mates! What's the good word?
- Bart vs Australia
The South London Press has the story, reporting:
John Hamilton, from the Lewisham People Before Profit Party, said on the rally: “We are asking David Cameron to ask him to step in and overrule the council’s decision.
These libraries are important facilities that are well used by people.
We are not giving up the fight to save them.”
The 2011 Lewisham Parks survey is now underway. You can complete the survey before June 17th by following this link.
More supermarket news. The Co-Operative has confirmed that they will be opening a new food store in West Brockley. After a post on the forum suggested that the Co-Op was planning something, the Co-Op press office has issued this statement: “We can confirm that we have exchanged contracts to open a new Co-operative Food store on St Norbert’s Road in Brockley. The move will create a mixture of approximately 20 full and part-time positions at the store. “We anticipate the store will open in the autumn of this year and we look forward to providing out customers with a pleasant and convenient shopping experience with excellent customer service.”
More supermarket news. The Co-Operative has confirmed that they will be opening a new food store in West Brockley.
After a post on the forum suggested that the Co-Op was planning something, the Co-Op press office has issued this statement:
“We can confirm that we have exchanged contracts to open a new Co-operative Food store on St Norbert’s Road in Brockley. The move will create a mixture of approximately 20 full and part-time positions at the store.
“We anticipate the store will open in the autumn of this year and we look forward to providing out customers with a pleasant and convenient shopping experience with excellent customer service.”
Transpontine watches old Tina Turner videos so we don't have to. He's spotted that Private Dancer was filmed at the Rivoli:
The shop formerly known as Nightwatch has been given a complete makeover and is now yours for £10K per annum.
Sainsbury's has been granted planning permission to open a new high-street branch at 33-35 Lewisham Way, opposite Goldsmiths. The decision, which was passed with the casting vote of the Chair, has been met with some local oppposition, including Brockley ward Green Councillor, Darren Johnson, who said:
“Because it is opposite Goldsmiths College I expect they thing they will do well out of student trade. But they could be in for a shock – students may decide to boycott Sainsbury’s in favour of local businesses.”
South East London cyclists who use Blackfriars Bridge are being urged to support a campaign to secure a better deal for bikes in TfL's development plans for the important river crossing.
Website ibikelondon is organising a "flash ride" tomorrow to protest against revised plans, which the campaigners believe still fall short of providing a safe and convenient route for bikes:
Following a storm of protest over proposals by Transport for London to strip cycle lanes out of the northern junction of Blackfriars Bridge and to increase the road lanes from two to three for cars, TfL yesterday set out their new proposals for the bridge after they were sent back to the drawing board by cycling campaigners...
The new plans are better, but still pretty crap, and will just about help to manage the existing cyclist traffic flow, who will still be expected to battle for space at junctions with buses, taxis and HGVs... but where in these plans is provision for the future? Isn't Boris Johnson's London supposed to be becoming a cyclised city?
Click here for more details. Thanks to b. for letting us know.
SayingNo, the campaign group that aims to prevent Tidemill School in Deptford becoming an Academy, claims headmaster Mark Elms has resigned.
The South East Central forum, our sister site, now features a dedicated section for Catford. The site is now about a month old and hosts nearly 250 different conversations and it was time to make a few tweaks. After putting it to the vote, Catford came out as the area most deserving of its own section. We'll be adding a couple more areas in the coming weeks.
Officer Number 1.0: Don't quote me regulations! I co-chaired the committee that reviewed the recommendation to revise the colour of the book that regulation's in. We kept it grey.
Superman: Well, I hope this experience hasn't put any of you off flying. Statistically speaking, it's still the safest way to travel.
The Friends of Hilly Fields and the Lewisham Rivers and People Project present another guided walk to greet the dawn chorus in Hilly Fields.
Help the Brockley Commoners with another afternoon of gardening at Brockley Station, from 1pm.
On your right hand side, you'll notice a new banner ad for Jam Circus. This is to thank them for their support of this year's Brockley MAX and is Brockley Central's way of helping the cause. The Orchard is another important supporter so you'll be seeing their banner soon too.
Police are appealing for witnesses and information to a serious assault that occurred in Brockley. Officers attended and found a 16 year old boy at the location suffering from a stab wound to his chest, he was taken to a hospital in South London where he remains in a stable condition. Several youths were seen making off from the scene when police arrived and three male juveniles all aged 17 years were arrested by officers at the location and taken to a South London Police Station They have been bailed till a date in June pending further enquiries. Lewisham CID are investigating. If you have any information, please call Lewisham CID on 0208 284 8372 or call crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111
On 11th May shortly before 6pm police were called to a disturbance in Dundalk Road, SE4, involving 20+ youths.
Police are appealing for witnesses and information to a serious assault that occurred in Brockley.
Officers attended and found a 16 year old boy at the location suffering from a stab wound to his chest, he was taken to a hospital in South London where he remains in a stable condition.
Several youths were seen making off from the scene when police arrived and three male juveniles all aged 17 years were arrested by officers at the location and taken to a South London Police Station
They have been bailed till a date in June pending further enquiries. Lewisham CID are investigating.
If you have any information, please call Lewisham CID on 0208 284 8372 or call crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111
Posted by Nick Barron on 13.5.11
853 blog has done an admirable job of highlighting Southeastern's relatively unsung plans to cut train services to Deptford and a host of other SE London stations during the Olympics. Under their proposals, Deptford will only be served by two trains per hour, rather than the usual six, which ought to render the station practically unusable, due to overcrowding.
A serious incident occurred this evening on the west side of Brockley Station, leading the police to cordon off parts of Dundalk Road.
Coulgate Street cafe Browns of Brockley, has applied for a license to serve alcohol until 11pm, Monday to Sunday and provide regulated entertainment, in particular, film screenings and live music.
Saturday 14th May 10am & 11.30 am
These fun and interactive sessions will teach children about nature through games, movement and music, art and craft activities and stories. Each child taking part will also get a free Nature Bug gift.
Places must be pre-booked so contact us or visit our website for more info and come along and get The Nature Bug. Contact Vicky:
TfL has today announced the completion of a £325m project to expand the capacity of the DLR across the network, by converting all of the stations and track for use by three car trains. The new trains began running between Beckton and Tower Gateway yesterday, while the Lewisham upgrade was completed last year. The release states:
The Docklands Light Railway’s (DLR) three-car upgrade was completed on time and within budget with the launch of three-car trains on the Tower Gateway to Beckton route.
The £325m upgrade also includes longer platforms, improved track and signalling, £13m of improvements to Tower Gateway station and an entire new station at South Quay. Fifty-five new carriages costing £100m (£80m from TfL and £20m from the Olympic Delivery Authority) were also commissioned.
In related news, the Thameslink upgrade of London Bridge passed a key milestone last week, with the installation of a huge new bridge across Borough High Street. London Reconnections has the pictures.
- Goldsmiths theatre student Nikki is seeking four neighbours to take part in a performance in June.
- The Telegraph Hill Society will relaunch, following some soul searching about its role and future.
- There's a poetry event in the Cooper Locke Gallery, Hither Green, later this month.
- And have we found Lewisham's best Chinese restaurant?
This weekend, 60 Manor Avenue will host two separate pop-up events: The Manor Avenue Micro Festival and Squattastic Five.
The first of what may become a flurry of pre-opening functions took place last night at the revamped New Cross House, the pub formerly known as Goldmiths Tavern. A smattering of local and/or food and drink bloggers were invited along for a sneak preview (ahead of tonight's official launch party and first night proper on Monday) and Brockley Central bagged a couple of tickets.
Brockley Central was a not regular at the Tavern, to be honest: a few peeks through the grimy windows on the way to #Meateasy hardly counts (especially as by its second visit the pub was already closed). But by all accounts it was a bit of a dive.
Others, then, will be better placed to judge the true scale of of the transformation, but by any measure what the team from Capital Pubs has achieved is impressive. This is now a Big Pub. The picture above is taken from the front door and really only hints at its pleasant sprawl. To the left are more seats (and the few original tiles on which the clever custom-made wallpaper used elsewhere is based) and beyond the curtains is a further large seating area complete with more booths, an open(ish) kitchen, a pizza oven and some drop-down screens for major sports events (terrestrial only - this is not to be a sports pub). And as if that wasn't enough there's a gussied up outside area and the old shell of a barn out back has been transformed into what amounts to an entire extra pub, albeit one with open walls (the smokers are already sizing it up). It's impressive stuff. There's a few more pics here.
Hard to judge ambience on the strength of a preview night but the staff seem pleasant and enthusiastic. We spoke to the manager, who felt that the area was crying out for a good quality pub offering decent food and drink in a modern stylish environment. If he's right (and he did acknowledge that the Royal Albert was in a similar vein) then on the evidence of last night The New Cross House ticks all the right boxes.
There's a good range of interesting beers on tap (both keg and ale) including some from Meantime. Only house wine was on offer last night (from a pump but none the worse for that) but there seemed to be plenty of choice. And - a particular plus in my book - there were at least four different gins to choose from.
Food: we tried good pizzas, fried chicken (no bones!), homemade unleavened bread with a spicy dhal, deep-fried halloumi with a cauliflower dip, chilli nachos... All good. The rest of the menu is a melange of dishes that seem specifically designed to go with booze: hot dogs, burgers, pies and pizzas all feature heavily. And - perhaps in in a nod to the local student market - there's a veggie version for pretty much every item. So don't necessarily go for a three-course meal but do go out for a drink in confidence that you'll be able to have some good quality grub alongside.
On the earliest of first impressions, then, The New Cross House is a great new addition to the area and means Brockley Central will no longer be disappointed when the next ELL train terminates at New Cross or there's a 20-minute wait for a Brockley train at London Bridge.