Predictions for 2013

Our predictions for 2012 erred deliberately on the side of optimism, given that 2011 had been a very strong year for new arrivals. For the most part, our optimism was rewarded, although the ones we thought were our safest bets turned out to be misplaced. Here's the verdict:

1. The Wickham Arms will finally find an owner with the resources and nous to make a success of this magnificent pub. Away from the area's main thoroughfares, it will have to find a unique recipe to become a destination in its own right. 

Erm, no. The current management soldiers on. While it retains some charm and enormous potential, few would describe it as a destination pub.

2. A developer will come forward with a plan for a significant piece of Brockley's centre. It will be as controversial at it is bold. 

We give you 180 Brockley Road. This prediction was a bit of a cheat, since we'd seen the plans in advance. However, we've heard about lots of plans that failed to materialise, so it was a relief when these were revealed. They weren't as controversial as we expected (we thought the scale would scare more people), but there were enough grumbles about modern architecture to justify BC getting full marks for this prediction.

3. Brockley Market will expand. It's already a fantastic local market that attracts people from nearby neighbourhoods but the the word of mouth it will continue to generate, married with an influx of new residents to Lewisham, will mean that it develops in to a destination for savvy south east Londoners. 

The Market continues to reinvent itself, while its fame spreads and it spawns imitators in places like Forest Hill. However, it hasn't expanded in size, so we don't get any points.

4. Two predictions in one: the obvious opportunities in the area will be seized. Masons will reopen under new owners while someone will do something with the corner unit on Cranfield Road. 

Masons lies empty still but Gently Elephant took over the Cranfield Road site to become BC Newcomer of the Year. Half a point.

5. Aside from Masons' successor, the Hilly Fields Cafe and the Toads Mouth replacement, Brockley will get another place to eat. It will be the brainchild of one of the area's many foodie entrepreneurs, perhaps one who's cut their teeth at Brockley Market. It will be closer to #Meateasy than a formal restaurant.

From pizza revolutionaries to Canadian cuisine pop-ups, Brockley's status as a hotbed of food entrepreneurialism has grown this year. For a while we might have to rely on pop-ups to secure us half a point, but then Arlo & Moe came along (Villa Toscana too, but they're hardly Young Turks). One point.

So two and a half points out of five. Even Stevens, with the added bonus that another long-term prediction we've been making has finally materialised in a significant way. Two child-friendly businesses opened in 2012 (Gently Elephant and Pistachios in the Park) meaning that business is finally responding to the demographic shift taking place, to the relief of parents and non-parents alike. In the long-run, we are all fed.

What are our five predictions for 2013? There are some fundamental drivers that we talked about in our review of 2012, which we will extrapolate from:
  1. The last few years have seen an accelerated pace of change in Brockley, thanks to the new local spending power brought by the ELL. So we're doubling down on our predictions for The Wickham Arms and Brockley Market: New owners for the Wickham and more pitches for the Market by the end of the year  In the case of the Wickham, continued decline or redevelopment are both too depressing to contemplate as alternatives. Whatever happens, we predict that Brockley will get another new place to drink booze in 2013. The Gantry has provided more proof that we are a thirsty bunch.
  2. From the shops to the trains, Brockley is filling up. So we expect at least one of these three big mixed developments in Brockley's pipeline to begin construction - 180 Brockley Road, Mantle Road or St Cyprian's. We maintain it's likely that the Royal Mail will decide to sell off the Brockley Road Sorting Office, as it seeks to offload assets ahead of privatisation, and predict some formal news on that in 2013, though we should stress, this remains in the realm of speculation at the moment.
  3. In the short-term, being full-up makes it more likely that incumbents will be pushed out. Brockley's commercial landlords are not necessarily the sharpest bunch, but even they can't have missed the fact that Gently Elephant has turned a dormant site in to a (presumably) rent-paying business. Local landlords will look again at their local properties. We predict that at least one established business will be priced out of Brockley and replaced by something newer and shinier. 
  4. The last couple of years have thrown up developments we never saw coming - the market and the microbrewery. In an effort not to be outflanked like that again in 2013, we're choosing a wild card. A new hotel will be created or proposed in Brockley in 2013. 
  5. Hopefully, this one is less of a punt: Lewisham Hospital A&E will earn some sort of reprieve. It's too good and too important to piss away, no matter what the initial recommendations claimed. Having been a recent beneficiary of its services, perhaps this is just wishful thinking on our part, but we may be able to rely on Tory voters in Bromley, horrified by the prospect of more Lewisham residents hitting their A&E, as unlikely allies. We're less hopeful about any of the locally-funded public services under threat.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

A hotel? Good luck, Nick!

Anonymous said...

A Brothel is more likely.

Richard Elliot said...

Lots to get excited about in Brockley in 2013, there is a real momentum about the place now.

I'm looking forward to sampling some beer from the mirco brewery, taking a baking course at the expanding Coopers Bakehouse and hopefully finding a house in the area!

Brockley Nick said...

We already have a nice B&B in Hilly Fields. Not so much of a stretch.

Anonymous said...

Where's the B & B Nick? I've been asked re accommodation recently and this could be useful.

Brockley Nick said...

Click on classifieds at the top of the page - details on that page. Lots of useful things on that page.

Anonymous said...

I predict at least one more honest food establishment on the length of Brockley Road. We badly need it.

Tressilliana said...

The Broca opposite the station has a licensing application in its window at the moment seeking permission to serve alcohol in the evenings. That's new, isn't it?

Tamsin said...

Not only the A&E in Lewisham Hospital but also Maternity Services are likely to be down-graded. Just as worrying given the demographic changes in Brockley particularly (as noted by Nick) and also the rest of the borough. Only straightforward cases will be booked into the reduced facility. What happens if a straightforward case turns into a complex one partway through the process the draft report does not, I believe, particularly address.

Awareness raising posters available from the Ravensbourne Arms on New Year's Eve (and I hope afterwards) - if you have a visible window or a car or anywhere else to display it do take one. Also leaflets (out of date since they refer to the consultation process, but still summarising the facts as seen by the campaign group and giving the website, so people can go on-line, give their details and be kept informed of developments (whether the draft report is changed, how much of it the Secretary of State accepts) and future action (another big march/demonstration planned for Saturday 26th January).

Tamsin said...

"Where's the B & B Nick? I've been asked re accommodation recently and this could be useful."

There's a rather sumptuous sounding B&B on Pepys Road and Deborah, on < this > thread in SE Central, is I think willing to let her spare room on a B&B basis.


Aricana said...

If only 3 predictions came true i'd wish for 2,3 and 5.

Anonymous said...

A casino or stripclub would be nice.

Robert Sheppard said...

Easy prediction for 2013 - Ladywell's village streetscape will be completely revamped from the mini-roundabout to the bridge, starting in Feb/March, resulting (when completed) in a massive feeling of satisfaction to all, esp those who've been fighting the good fight these last 3+ years . . . .

Anonymous said...

@Robert - having looked at the plans for Ladywell, I don't think it's going to change much. Really unimaginative stuff, as usual.

NAT said...

Oh don't leave us in suspense Anon. Unfurl your vision.
I've seen the plans.
Congratulations to all involved.

Anonymous said...

Change in Brockley is so slow. 8 months to repaving the cross, and still not even close to completion.

The application for 180 BR and Mantle Road should have been discussed already... instead no date has been set yet.

Anonymous said...

I predict that a pub in Brockley will be turned into flats.

The Wickham Arms has development potential and it is difficult to see how it can remain in its current form.

However, it seems like this depends on the bigger plans of the property company that owns the site. So too, with the sorting office, police station and other sites.

Big sites in Brockley are in the hands of public or private corporations and it is a small element of their grand strategy. Sadly when these sites come to market, there seem to be few profitable uses for them except flats and supermarkets.

Hillyfields said...

(Nick, I hope this is OK to post, remove it if not) We (my husband and myself) own 2 self catering flats 'holiday lets' just near Hillyfields (Brockley side) which I rent professionally (ie, its how I make my living) on a 'holiday let' basis - my ad is in the Classifieds section of Brockely Central.

If you click on the link for Apartment 1 or 2 it takes you to my ads on a rental listing site and gives you fuller details. I rent from 2 nights upwards, up to 6 people (12 if both flats are rented). The price depends on number of people staying and low or peak season.

Both flats are fully and nicely furnished, each has a little private garden, fully equipped kitchen & 2 bedrooms, nice bathroom. We provide a lot of extras, DVDs, toys for kids, books, magazines, Playstation 2 plus games etc and there's lots of info - local maps and local recommendations for eateries /pubs etc (the top flat is our former home and we brought up our kids there), we still live nearby and we do the changeovers and cleaning ourselves, so it's all well maintained and looked after.

We love it there and we often stay there ourselves if we are going to London etc). I often rent to local people who have relatives or friends visiting. I've got 12 Tripadvisor reviews and 69 or so excellent testimonials on each flat. take a look at my ad and have a click. My contact details are on the ad.

Hillyfields said...

that might be mine.... see my ad in the classified section - although it's not a B&B, it's a self catering rental (ie you rent the whole flat for up to 6 people). And you save money by cooking your own food! Just like a holiday flat in Devon or Cornwall.. but it's in Brockley - mainly rented by London tourists but I often rent to local people...

an said...

Really hope the Wickham Arms doesn't go. The place has enormous potential.

trimb said...

The pavement widening/carriageway narrowing is going to make it harder for cyclists, not easier. A decent cycle path would have been better. The raised tables aren't sharp enough (Netherlands is a good example of best practice - much sharper angle to deter fast cornering). A zebra crossing would have made access to the station easier too.

monaliu01 said...

Such a nice post, We loved it a great deal!I am a china tour lover,You can learn more: China vacation packages | China city tours | China Travel Agency

Latest Tweets

Brockley Central Label Cloud

Click one of the labels below to see all posts on that subject. The bigger the label, the more posts there are!