Demolition work at Martin's Yard took reader Giovanni by surprise when he returned home to find that the removal of a wall gave him a perfect view of construction from his back garden. So he sent us some pictures, for your viewing pleasure. It seems to be motoring along at a fair lick.
Posted by Nick Barron on 30.6.11
Big Red is a new double decker bus-shaped pizza restaurant in Deptford that has already collected glowing reviews from the Deptford Dame and Crosswhatfields. It's housed within a bus parked next to the Bird's Nest Pub, Deptford Church Street.
A liberal is a conservative who has been arrested.
- The Bonfire of the Vanities
BC regular Lou Baker is well known for his sensitivity towards others' feelings and has posed this ethical question for us all:
Having had my home smoked out by a moron who decided to burn their crap on a day when everyone had their windows open, I'd like the chance to raise the case for banning this anti-social activity and name and shame the people who do it.
As it happens, BC has been wondering what the neighbourly etiquette is for bonfires, as we've spent hours uprooting bamboo and lopping branches and now have a lot of garden waste to deal with.
So, please help us - what are the terms under which it is OK to light bonfires?
UPDATE: In the comments, Ian has pointed out the Lewisham Council garden refuse collection service as an alternative. Ten bags for ten quid. Click here for details.
UPDATE: We've found an alternative to burning or bagging our waste - one that's sure to infuriate readers who think that "sustainably caught fish" are only eaten by ponces. An amazing Goldsmiths student is going to paint the bamboo and reuse it in an art installation with Homemade London.
I was on the 484 on the way back from Lewisham, at about 11.35am, and a Blue, (slightly electric in colour) Citroen (I think it was a Xsara) insisted on squeezing past the bus, and several parked cars on the road.
I was unable to get the number plate of the car, the bus was crowded and I was sitting on the wrong side. But I imagine the bus driver will have got it, as the car scratched his bus. His reg was 'YX11 AHG.'
I just wanted to let you know, in case any of the reader's cars on Harefield Road were damaged, and they wanted to follow it up with the insurers?
Posted by Nick Barron on 28.6.11
What will your opening hours be?
Are you primarily going to be a takeaway or a cafe?
Will you have any specialities? What will make you different?
You've seen the comments about the lack of an apostrophe on your sign ‘Brockleys Rock’, so we've got to ask, what is the name of the shop?
Why did you decide to open in Brockley?
How long did it take you to get the business off the ground?
Which other local businesses do you admire?
Fishy Business gets very good reviews from readers, why do you think there is room in the area for another fish and chip place?
Do you have a background in the restaurant industry? Why did you decide to open your own business?
Any other message to Brockley residents?
Oli has sent us a copy of a letter he got from Network Rail, announcing that a 25m communications mast is to be built at Nunhead Junction, where St Asaph Road meets Aspinall Road.
Yesterday, a ceremony was held to officially open the Arica Road Community Garden. The project was initiated by local people, funded by a £5,000 grant from Lewisham Homes and supported by the Bold Vision project. This video tells its story.
For a long time, BC has been arguing that the vast array of vans that plague Coulgate Street and the surrounding area are a big problem, not just for local pedestrians and shoppers, but for the local businesses that have helped to make Coulgate Street such an important part of our town centre.
Friend of BC Lep Recorn has sent us another example of great work by contractors in Brockley, after Conway excelled themselves with their slapdash and hugely delayed efforts at Brockley Station. He says:
This photo was taken at the NE corner of the junction of Coulgate St & Foxberry Road. (This is similar at the SE corner).
It is the new one way sign that has been installed when that part of Coulgate Street was made one way.
It shows the electrical connection (white) coming out of the counduit (orange) and going into the sign’s post. All of this should be underground, the connection between the conduit and the post sealed and then completely covered with tarmac.
Not only shoddy – but clearly dangerous.
We are now able to create dedicated sections of the South East Central forum for people with a specialist interest or passion that they want a home for, to reach people or organise.
Meanwhile, exasperated would-be residents of Jude Court, also on Mantle Road, are left kicking their heels waiting for a project that is now almost a year late.
Guys Hospital, one of South East London's most prominent buildings, is to receive a reclad according to SE1.
The brutalist concrete tower is a key feature of central London views from this area's various hill-top parks and sits in stark contrast to the rapidly growing form of its neighbour, the Shard.
The work, approved by Southwark Council last week, will involve cladding it with anodysed aluminium to improve the building's energy efficiency and prevent deterioration of the concrete.
Whether it will improve its aesthetics is hard to tell based on the accompanying render. Unlike some previous concepts, the cladding will do little to disguise its awkward form and the new lighting feature on top may make it look even more like it's been built by a toddler stacking bricks in the order they came out of the box. Still, it can't get any worse, so bring it on.
Lep Recorn has sent us this letter he received from London Overground, confirming that the annoying gate on Platform 2 of Brockley Station, with which thousands of travellers play a guessing game every night, will be replaced by ticket barriers.
18-22 Creekside, London, SE8 3DZ
Fri 17 June (6-9pm) and Sat 18 – Sun 19 June (11am – 6pm)
Any story about traffic calming measures in Brockley is sure to excite a long debate about the cars v bikes v people - seemingly the eternal struggle. So it's worth reflecting that car use in London is in long-term decline, having peaked about 15 years ago:
In the meantime, let me observe that as far as London is concerned, peak car use came and went at least fifteen years ago, when none of us noticed. Transport for London's most recent 'Travel in London' report records a steady decline in private transport's share of trips since at least 1993 (then 50%, 41% in 2008).
This trend is compounded by the fact that fewer young people are learning to drive, put off by high insurance premiums and declining cultural cache attached to having your own car:
Indeed, it seems fewer young people nowadays harbour the ambition to drive. Between 1992 and 2007, the proportion of 17-to-20-year-olds holding a driving licence fell from 48 per cent to 38 per cent and that of 21-to-29-year-olds from 75 per cent to 66 per cent.
London's population has been growing since the 1980s (reversing a long-term decline). The same is true across the country. Denser cities make public transport, cycling and walking relatively more efficient and attractive:
In the UK there's a huge degree of urbanisation. Eighty percent of the populace (50 million people) are classified as urban-dwelling and urbanisation is forecast to grow at 0.7 percent – 350,000 people – a year to 2015.
And all those road-safety measures that people say don't work seem to be having some effect:
The proportion of cars exceeding the speed limit on residential roads has fallen sharply in the past decade, down from almost three quarters in 1996 to only half in 2006.
Which is helping to improve road safety and save lives:
The new TfL figures reveal how deaths and serious injuries on London's roads have dropped by a staggering 57 per cent over the last decade.
Last year, the first time since records began in the 1970s, the number of fatalities fell below 150 to 126, which represents a 32 per cent reduction compared with 2009, and a 49 per cent reduction since the mid-to-late 1990s.
What's more, figures recently published by the Department for Transport (DfT) show that London is considerably below the national average in terms of fatalities at 24 per million people, compared to a UK average of 38 per million.
And that is creating a virtuous circle. As roads improve for cyclists, more people try it. The more cyclists on the road, the more safe they become:
Cycling gets safer the more cyclists there are. That's the finding of a new report by the CTC, the UK's national cyclists' organisation... CTC also highlighted a major change in London, which has seen a 91 percent increase in cycling since 2000 and a 33 percent fall in cycle casualties (going on absolute numbers) since 1994-98.
But there is more work needed if we are to reap the health benefits as well as cut congestion. Investment in cycling is often half-hearted:
So, say, if you make London a really hostile environment to cycle in then people won’t cycle in it. If you design stupid cycle paths, some of which — I could show you photographs — are shorter than the length of a bicycle; if you put bicycle paths right next to a set of parked cars, so that if you cycled in it then every time somebody opened a door you would just die, but if you cycle outside it then all the cars get really indignant and beep their horns because they think that you should be in the little green cycle path then, if you do all of that then people will cycle less and people will be less healthy in your capital.
So there we go, as London is growing, car use is falling. More of us are using public transport and cycling is increasing. As a result, roads are getting safer for everyone, with other benefits in terms of cutting emissions and improving public health.
But these benefits are the result of two decades of enlightened policy in the face of stiff resistance from a driving lobby that resists any attempts to curb cars' excesses, however much the evidence supports the action and benefits them in terms of reduced congestion.
Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham, said: "These are exciting times for sport and leisure in Lewisham. London 2012 is around the corner and we are near completion of several major leisure developments in the borough, so we have big expectations from our new leisure provider.
"The key aims of our sports’ strategy for the borough are to encourage Lewisham people to be more active and to create better sport and leisure facilities. This new partnership with Fusion Lifestyle will go a long way to accomplishing this."
In addition to Ladywell Arena, the Bridge, Wavelengths and Ladywell leisure centres that are covered by the current contract, Fusion lifestyle will also take on Loampit Vale Leisure Centre and Forest Hill Pools, once they are opened.
The relocation of Wavelengths Library to the Deptford Lounge is due to take place this autumn. Fusion Lifestyle will finance the sports equipment needed to convert the new vacant space into an additional sports area within the leisure centre.
Fusion will also manage other local community facilities including a third party lettings system to maximise community use of school facilities.
Tim Mills, Business Development Director of Fusion, said: "Improving leisure and cultural opportunities is a key priority for Lewisham Council and the team at Fusion is looking forward to delivering exciting developments over the next few years. As a registered charity, we are committed to providing the local community with high quality services at a price people are willing and able to pay".
Cllr Darren Johnson has notified us of a review of the license held by Supercuts on Upper Brockley Road:
Following long running problems with anti-social behaviour in the area, the local police have made an application for a formal review of the license for the Supercuts off-license. The license will be reviewed by the Council’s Licensing Committee. They have the power to revoke or amend a license if they believe the licensing objectives are being undermined.
If you wish to comment on this license you must submit your comments in writing or by email to the council before 23rd June. Comments should be sent to:
Laurence House, 5th Floor Laurence House, 1 Catford Road, Catford SE6 4RU
Tel: 020 8314 6400
Any comments you make must only be in relation to one or more of the Licensing Objectives. These are
- Prevention of Crime and Disorder
- Public Safety
- Prevention of Public Nuisance
- Protection of Children from Harm
Your comments will be seen by the Committee before they make a decision. Please note that if you do submit a comment your name and address will not be made public.
Posted by Nick Barron on 14.6.11
The Council has introduced speed bumps on Brockley Road next to the remodeled junction with Coulgate Street. Combined with the road narrowing and new layout it will hopefully lead to a safer stretch of street.
This will be a good life. Good enough.
Posted by Nick Barron on 11.6.11
Forsythe: In this dream I found myself making love to a strange man. Only I'm having trouble you see, because he's old... and dying... and he smells bad, and I find him repulsive. But then he tells me that everything is erotic, that everything is sexual. You know what I mean? He tells me that even old flesh is erotic flesh. That disease is the love of two alien kinds of creatures for each other.
Posted by Nick Barron on 10.6.11