The Telegraph Hill Festival 2012, 13th March - 1st April

The programme for the 2012 Telegraph Hill Festival is now available via the festival website. For those not familiar with the Festival, the organisers explain:

Now in its 18th year the festival brings together thousands of local residents to celebrate home- grown arts, creativity and engagement. One of the highlights each year is our Community Show which involves over 200 local children, young people and adults. The 2012 programme is the biggest and most varied ever with nearly 100 events packed into 2 weeks. 


The Festival bleeds into the Telegraph Hill Open Studios event, which runs on the weekend of March 31st and features 22 venues. Please use this thread to share your recommendations.

Mumma's Pizza

Is this is the most fiendishly devised hyperlocal marketing campaign of all time, or a piece of local fast food lore in danger of slipping out of the oral record?

Brockley-based music journalist Tim got in touch to ask if we'd ever heard of "Mumma's Pizza", after he received a postcard from a band called the Fair Ohs, urging him "If you like pizza, order yourself a Mumma's Pizza. I missed that when I moved from Brockley."

Is it still possible to get a Mumma's Pizza in Brockley? Was it ever? Inquiring minds need to know. You can see the mysterious postcard (and listen to the Fair Ohs) here. If it turns out that BC's resident Top Chef cheerleader has found a new way to plug their honest fare, we will be very impressed.

Brockley Communitybuilders

Brockley architect Ruari is looking for people interested in working with him to apply for funding to develop low energy design and refurbishment projects in the area. He's identified a possible source of funding - the Communitybuilders Fund - which says:

From 27 February to noon on 13 April 2012, organisations are welcome to apply for Communitybuilders Feasibility Grants. 

 Feasibility grants of half a million will be available for organisations looking to research and develop a sustainable and entrepreneurial idea that meets social needs of their local community. We are looking to award between 20 and 30 grants and up to 5 days business support to high quality applicants with a proven track record. 

Organisations can apply for a maximum of £25,000 and minimum of £10,000 in this round of funding. You can use the Communitybuilders Feasibility Grants for - Capital expenditure: Architects and other professional fees to produce detailed design and costings for building plans, and other one-off fees relating to building purchase or development. Revenue expenditure: Development of business plans, internal project management costs, increased staff capacity, training related to your enterprise idea and market research and product development.

There are plenty of properties in the area that could use an energy-efficient refit and plenty of social needs to be met. If you'd like to collaborate with Ruari, please get in touch with him via email.

Sapporo Ichiban ablaze

Sapporo Ichiban, the Japanese restaurant in Catford with many admirers among the BC faithful, caught fire today, according to the News Shopper, which reports there were no injuries.

Thanks to Gema on the Catford forum, for letting us know.

Brockley Central Drinks: The Drinkening

It's been a while, but after a nearly two year hiatus, Brockley Central Drinks are back!

We're organising a drink-up on Wednesday, March 14th. Brockleys Nick, Jon and Kate will be there, as will at least one single woman, who emailed us to ask if there was such a thing as a singles night in Brockley. From this tiny acorn, BC Drinks was reborn. You don't have to be single to drink with us, but it helps... Monkeyboy.

Brockley Central Drinks are as formless and chaotic as this blog, but without the trolling. There is no agenda (other than that Brockley is great), just lovely people, all in the same place, at the same time, with different drinks in their hands.

Drinks will start at 8pm. What we haven't yet decided is where they will be. That decision coming soon, but we wanted to put this date in your diaries. Hope to see you then.

The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering


Brockley Nick here. Shameless plug for one of my clients today. The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering is a new global £1 million prize, which will be awarded to the individual or team responsible for the most significant engineering achievement in the world. Nominations open today, via the website.

As I write, Professor Brian Cox and Dr Eleanor Stride are seducing the nation into pursuing a career in engineering from the BBC Breakfast sofa (we need to produce another 2 million of them to remain competitive) while Lord Browne is delivering a similar message on the Today Programme. You can read the BBC report here too.

It's a long shot that Brockley will produce the winner, but most of the BC readers we've encountered (the ones who don't work in marketing and the media) seem to be engineering consultants. You never know.

Brockley Special Branch: A Quantum of Solace

Larry: So, okay. So. So if that's that, then we can do this, right? Is that right? Isn't that right? And that's Schrodinger's paradox, right? Is the cat dead or is the cat not dead? Okay?
- A Serious Man

A year ago, a street tree appeared in the pavement on our walk to Brockley Station. It was exactly where a dot had been placed on a map during a Brockley Ward Assembly consultation about where trees ought to be planted. A few days later it disappeared and the hole in which it had once stood was filled up with tarmac. It was a quantum tree that flickered in and out of existence.

We subsequently discovered that the tree had been stolen and that a group from the Brockley Society was working with the Council's John Thompson to identify such gaps and replace the missing trees. Last week, a new tree was planted in the same spot: stronger, more lovely and hopefully less-nickable than before.

Thanks to the Council and to BrocSoc for fighting these little battles that make a big difference to the quality of daily life in the area.

BrocSoc is looking for local residents who want to volunteer to look after the trees in their formative years - watering them and reporting any damage or theft.

If there's a newly planted tree near your front door and you are interested in helping with this project, please get in touch with us here and we'll connect you.

Crofton Park train switch?

Friend of BC Patrick writes:

The South London Press reports that:

The number of direct trains to Victoria will be slashed from several South London stations from May onwards. Direct trains to Victoria from Clapham High Street, Denmark Hill and Peckham Rye will be cut to two trains per hour with no service after 7.30pm or on Sundays. 

The first cut will come in May when trains rerouted to Victoria while Blackfriars station is upgraded return to the redeveloped station. The Inner South London line, which runs between London Bridge and Victoria, via Peckham Rye, will be scrapped in December. This will leave just one direct route into Victoria from Peckham Rye, Denmark Hill, and Clapham High Street – Southeastern’s service to and from Dartford.

It suggests that the only service from Nunhead, Peckham Rye and Denmark Hill to Victoria after May will be the current Dartford service, so there won’t be any trains after 7.30pm on weekdays and none on Sundays.

This must logically mean that Crofton Park trains will go back to using Blackfriars from that date also, and not only on Saturdays, which they used to do, but also on Sundays as well, when historically they’ve always gone to Victoria on Sundays even before the Thameslink upgrade.

If anyone can confirm or correct Patrick's analysis, please let us know and we'll update this article.

Extra Bones at Utrophia, March 2nd-4th

Extra Bones presents Progress in Work #2 is a new exhibition at Utrophia, 120 Deptford High Street, running March 2nd-4th. Curator Andrew writes:

The show will take the shape of a sound and vision den/ installation, evolving organicaly throughout the three days, using materials, inspiration, and help, from exhibition visitors, and the high street. The creative proccess will be exposed at every stage, and left open to the effects of the setting it has been placed in.

Friday will be a material gathering day, the construction will be planned, sound will be recorded, and drawings will be made. Saturday will see the drawings, now proccesed into screens, printed onto various surfaces, the recorded sounds will be effected and manipulated, and the den take it's full form. There will also be a late opening that evening until 10pm. On Sunday further conclusions and additions will be made and the project will draw to a close.

Jack Brown will be designing and constructing the frame for the den, Bernie Kerr will be composing a sound piece for the space, which will be played on various speakers and Hugh Barrell will be drawing and screenprinting in the space, onto materials which will be used for the den itself.

How to get a seat at Brockley Station

What are hyperlocal blogs for if not to document the arrival of new train platform shelters? The extended platforms at Brockley Station, built for ten carriage trains, are now so long, that they need to offer a second place to huddle, both north and south-bound.

The new ticket barriers on the east side are due to be completed next week but may require another week before they become operational.

The first One Tree Hill Festival, May 18th-27th

Organiser Ed writes:

St Augustine’s Church on one tree hill, Honor Oak Park is fast growing as an arts and community hub with a reputation for many professional concerts and performances.

We are very excited to announce the launch of the first ever One Tree Hill Festival! 18th – 27th May 2012. 10 days of music (classical, orchestral, West end/musical theatre, folk, jazz and choral) performance (Poetry, Children’s/ family show – following the very successful pantomime ‘Cinderella’ in January 2012), Spring craft fair…

The finalised programme will be published very soon! We hope this will become an annual event that will compliment the local summer arts festival scene as well as reflecting the creative community of Honor Oak Park. If you’ve been to St A’s recently and enjoyed an event there, you’ll love the One Tree Hill Festival! 

More info at www.augustineonetreehill.org.uk

Telegraph Hill: Stranger than fiction.

Charlie Kaufman: The script I'm starting, it's about flowers. Nobody's ever done a movie about flowers before. So, so there are no guidelines... 
Donald Kaufman: What about "Flowers for Algernon"? 
Charlie Kaufman: Well, that's not about flowers. And it's not a movie. 
Donald Kaufman: Ok, I'm sorry, I never saw it. 
- Adaptation

 
Whitbread Book Award-winning novelist John Lanchester has released a new novel, Capital, set on Pepys Road, a fictionalised version of the Telegraph Hill street, during the unfolding financial crisis of 2007/08:

"Having a house in Pepys Road was like being in a casino in which you were guaranteed to be a winner."

The Independent says:

All London life is not – and can't be – here. Capital's preface alerts us to the flight of the old working- and lower-middle class from its neighbourhood. Matya notes that she and Zbigniew count as "servant-class". The Kamals and Petunia aside, the novel takes as its focus a fragile elite attended by recent migrants. Most of the middling sort have departed from this imaginary Pepys Road. Perhaps you might find more of them left in south London's actual Pepys Road, just a little to the east on Telegraph Hill. 

The cast of characters seems to be drawn from a crude set of stereotypes, reminiscent of one of Brockley Central's less-enlightening debates. As well as a "Banksy-style" conceptualist, the Standard says:

Capital's large cast feel familiar. There's Roger Yount, a banker for "whom everything in life had come easily", a Polish builder called Zbigniew who is said to toil "twice as hard as a British worker" and Smitty, a Banksy-esque artist. Representing the "squeezed middle" are the Kamals, the family who run the corner shop. Twice, too, Lanchester goes over well-explored ground: the Kamals become embroiled in a terrorist plot while Roger waits for - and then is disappointed by - his bonus.

It also quotes an observation about our attitudes towards the internet that's about a decade too late ('the internet's amazing, but we just use it to look at porn'). In other words, there's enough material here to fuel discussions of "mungs", "honest fare", "gentrification", "yummy mummies" and "scroungers" for years to come.

The consensus among the reviews we read was that the quality of the writing helps it overcome these banalities and  makes it an entertaining plot-driven read. Click here for an extract.

Thanks to Monkeyboy and Howard for alerting us.

Brockley Station patched up

Another update from BXAG:

Dear Brockley Residents,

You may have seen that Conways, Lewisham Council's highways term contractor, returned to site yesterday (Wednesday 22 February) to start on the remedial works to the steps and paving outside Brockley Station. After 2 long years of writing to the Council to highlight all of the defects that were left behind by Conways the first time round, the Highways Department have finally got them back on site to sort out these outstanding problems. Over the next 2 weeks they will be dealing with the ponding problem outside the ticket office, the disintegrating mortar joints in the paving, relaying some step units & coping stones and replacing the black strips in the steps.

We will be watching Conways' performance on this simple job very closely to make sure they do a good job and keep their works clean and tidy, so that the repairs blend in with the existing paving. The quality of Conways' workmanship is under scrutiny and its vital they get this work right. They are being paid for this work, despite the fact they are actually making good their own defects from 2009.

Later this year they may be appointed to carry out the major public realm improvements around the Brockley Cross junction, so we want to be confident they can deliver a good quality project to the high standards of workmanship they highlight on their website. Let's see how they get on at Brockley Station first!

If you are unhappy with any of the works Conways are carrying out at the Station please take a photo and get in touch via the BXAG website. We will be giving the Council feedback during and after the works, so we want this work to be monitored closely.

The Hour at The Rivoli


Scenes from the second series of BBC Two period drama "The Hour" will be filmed at The Rivoli on February 29th. The series stars Dominic West (The Wire) and Romola Garai (Atonement).

Our TV consumption has been whittled down recently to little more than Take Me Out and New Girl, so we didn't see series one. But we obviously have to watch series two now.

Kudos to BC reader Nick for letting us know.

EDIT: Whoops, nearly missed an opportunity for FULL DISCLOSURE! The production company responsible, Kudos, was acquired by Shine, which was in turn acquired by News Corporation, which is a client of ours in our day job.

News flash

The area is currently experiencing a flashing crime wave. Incidents have been reported all over Brockley, Ladywell and Telegraph Hill. Now Angela writes:

I just wanted to make you aware that I was the receiver of a flasher this morning on Brockley Road, right near the Esso petrol station at about 6am. I was walking from my place up to Brockley Station. I know you have reported these incidents on the blog before and noticed there have been other incidents in the area from reading your blog. It has been reported to the police also.

Crofton Park, east of Java

Pratish has relocated in Brockley and now uses Crofton Park Station rather than Brockley Station to get to work. He seems otherwise very happy, but the caffeine imbalance between the two locations is getting to him - he wants to know where he can get a decent cup of coffee in CP.

Aside from Pat-a-cakes, are there any other places we can recommend?

About Brockley Central

Brockley Central attempts to cover all the most important news and stories affecting Brockley and its neighbouring areas. We also have a Facebook page and a Twitter feed. Our sister site is our forum for South East London, South East Central.

For the purposes of this exercise, Brockley shall be considered to include everything east of Nunhead, north of Honor Oak, west of Loampit Vale and south of Deptford and New Cross.

Brockley Central is run on a voluntary basis by Brockley Nick and Brockley Jon, two local residents. We are also grateful for the occasional contributions of Brockley Kate and Brockley Ben.

It is completely independent of any commercial or political interests - or any other kind of interests for that matter, since we sublimate our lives into the act of blogging. Brockley Nick does work for a PR agency (Edelman) in his day job and although this blog is completely unconnected to that work, occasionally articles will be in some-way related to an organisation that Edelman represents. On those occasions, we will mention that interest in the article, for the sake of complete transparency.

The team is not omniscient, we rely on people sending us stories and we love it when people contribute articles. So if you think we've missed an important issue or you have something you want to bring to people's attention, please get in touch via email or Twitter.

We don't force people to register to comment and we try to be as light touch in the way we moderate this site - we believe in freedom of expression, but we also ask you not to be horrible and to observe our code of conduct.

If you don't like the way we've moderated something you've written, please feel free to get in touch to discuss.

Community meeting to discuss SE23 police shooting

Chioma Dijeh from the Met Police writes:

On Sunday, a 25 year old man was shot by police in Elisnore Road, SE23. 

A community meeting will take place this Saturday (25.02.12). The purpose of the meeting is for local residents to discuss the incident with the police and to hear directly from them about their concerns. 

Senior Officers from Lewisham will be present to take questions The IPCC have also been invited. Residents will have the opportunity to ask questions about how the case is being handled. 

It will be held at Kilmorie Primary School, Kilmorie Road, London, Lewisham SE23 2SP and will start at 1pm Please can you inform your readers and listeners The details are on our Twitter feed @MPS Lewisham and will be on our website shortly.

MEAN girls

Gretchen: That is so fetch! 
Regina: Gretchen, stop trying to make fetch happen! It's not going to happen!
- Mean Girls

News Shopper reports the birth of a new networking group for called Brockley Women MEAN Business. It's for women who want to "think out of the box", in order to deliver end-to-end paradigms, orchestrate open source models and mesh sticky applications.

The launch event is on February 27th at the Brockley Social Club. Details of the group here.

As an alternative the Hilly Fields Lunch Club also provides networking opportunities for local entrepreneurs.

Brockley Common spring clean, February 26th

Brockley Cross Action Group writes:

The time has come for our first - and much needed - community gardening event of 2012! 

Come and join us for an afternoon of gardening on Brockley Common, between Brockley Station and Coulgate Street, on SUNDAY 26th FEBRUARY, 12.00 - 4.30pm.

Meet outside the Broca Cafe. We are planning to give the community gardening beds a good clear out and pruning to prepare the planting for Spring. We will also be venturing into the wildlife area for our once a year rubbish removal and cutting back of shrubs, before we hand it back to the birds that will be nesting there and all the other creatures that live there throughout the year. 

Please bring warm clothing and stout footwear. BXAG will provide tools, gloves and refreshments on the day. Hope to see you there!

Big Yellow - An Apology

That’s it, turn the music down! You can stop smoking your drugs, I’m making tea and toast for Sophie and I’m putting on Radio 4 – everything’s normal! I’m not really high on drugs, so you can stop talking your nonsense on my time.
- Mark, Peep Show

Big Yellow, pre-opening

A couple of weekends back we staggered out of a Myatt Garden School Disco hopped up on fizzy drinks and the adrenaline of being made to do a dad dance with 50 other parents. As we walked down Rokeby Road towards Lewisham Way, we were overcome by the beauty of Brockley’s new Big Yellow.

It glowed like ET’s spaceship – each of its illuminated doors hiding a mystery. It was an almost spiritual presence on otherwise dark streetscape.

In the past, Brockley Central argued against Big Yellow being given permission to develop that site – not because of its design – but because of its function. We said that it would be a large and impersonal feature on what we should be striving to turn in to a busy high street. We said it would encourage heavy car use at a spot where pedestrians should be. Looking at it that night and again the next day we think we were entirely wrong. It will add a little bit of life, as well as beauty.  It’s not designed as a drive-in, it looks like a walk-in. It could be a capsule hotel or a live-work office development. It brings utility and activity. It gives so much and asks so little.

Big Yellow – we’re sorry. Welcome.

BC headliner goes mainstream


Brockley band Skinny Lister, who kindly headlined Brockley Central's first-ever music night, have signed to indie label Sunday Best, who are also home to (among others) Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip, which makes them alright in our book.

This makes BC Myspace to Skinny Lister's Lily Allen. Which is worrying.

Congratulations to Skinny Lister, who say:

Our first single on Sunday Best Recordings will come out 9th April and it’s going to be… Plough & Orion / If The Gaff Don’t let Us Down. Check out the below release for all the details… Already officially crowned the hardest working band of 2011, Skinny Lister now set their sights on conquering hearts and minds with the release of their debut album Forge & Flagon in 2012.

Stop the Rot Campaign goes mainstream

Isobel Williams' campaign to persuade Goldsmiths to take responsibility for its portfolio of festering property in New Cross was featured on BBC Radio Four's You and Yours programme today.

Isobel kicked off the campaign with an article on Brockley Central that drew a quick response from Goldsmiths ,which acknowledged the problem and promised to give the issue greater focus. You and Yours interviewed Goldsmiths Registrar Hugh Jones, who admits they "took their eye off the ball" due to the large number of properties in their portfolio (70-80 buildings in the campus) and that the college hopes to sell the St Donnatt's Road residential property within the next month.

Jones says that Goldsmiths hopes to bring the properties on the high street back in to use 'soon' although it will take approximately £1.5 million of investment.

The feature starts at 16 mins 30 seconds and continues at 33 mins.

Streetviolence.org gives a voice to silent witnesses

Brockley Central's dad has been fending off the dying of the light by playing tennis and helping with the development and launch of a new site which aims to make it easier for witnesses of street crime to come forward. The campaign says:

Streetviolence.org is a new website, run by charity Witness Confident, to help cut violent crime. The site allows victims of street robberies and attacks to report to the police online, post witness appeals and warn their local community by pinpointing the crime on a Google map.

People who witnessed the incident and are able to help can then get in touch with the right police team at the click of a button. By guaranteeing a secure, private channel of communication between victims or witnesses and the police, the charity hopes Streetviolence.org will galvanise more people to help the police keep our communities safe.

Early indications suggest the public are keen to help reduce street violence and will welcome this independent community service that allows them to contact the police 24/7 from the convenience of their home or workplace.

The site also aims to cut the fear street violence often causes as it will provide accurate information about the circumstances of the incident and those involved. For example, this means people can see if the attacker was a stranger or if the incident occurred at 4am or at 4pm, so helping them judge whether it raises any real concern for them or their family.

Witness Confident - which is funded by the Nuffield, Allen Lane and Wates Foundations - will operate the service across London free of charge for a year. Guy Dehn, director of Witness Confident, says:

“As a way of telling the police you can help, the site is a welcome alternative to hanging behind at the scene, standing around at a police station or waiting in line at a call centre. This matters as there’s little chance the police can make our streets safer if witnesses don’t come forward.”

Olympic travel in London

Monkeyboy sent us a link to Getaheadofthegames - a website dedicated to providing Olympics-focused travel information. The interactive map of London allows you to see the likely hotspot stations on a day-by-day basis, depending on what events are taking place at the Olympic venues.

Not surprisingly, London Bridge and Canada Water are both expected to be "exceptionally busy" during both morning and evening rush hours more often than not (10 and 9 days out of the two-week period respectively). Data for the Paralympic Games is not yet available.  The site also note that rail and tube services will run later than usual and that night services on the Jubilee will be more frequent. 

BXAG asks: what new businesses do you want for Brockley Road?

The Brockley Cross Action Group (BXAG) is carrying out a local consultation to try to assess the state of local demand for new shops and services in the area. This exercise is intended to influence the redevelopment of 180 Brockley Road, which will include significant new commercial space at ground level, helping to create a more coherent high street.

At present, the developers say that they are open to ideas about how the ground level should be configured (the units could be bigger or smaller, depending on what they think could work) and have expressed reservations about the idea of a supermarket being located at that site, as the frequent lorry deliveries required would lower the value of the residential properties above.

The BXAG have audited the stock of local businesses already located around Brockley Station, creating an interesting little list:

On Brockley Road: 1 cafe, 1 bookmakers, 1 pub, 1 launderette, 1 general store (Sounds Around), 1 gift shop, 1 supermarket, 1 Chinese takeway, 1 greasy spoon cafe, 1 void (was La Taverna), 1 kebab shop,  1 nightclub (Gulens), 1 nail bar, 1 Indian restaurant, 1 second-hand furniture store, 1 estate agent, 1 bakery (Doorstep), 1 second-hand machinery shop.
On Coulgate Street: 2 coffee shops,1 French Deli, 1 Jamaican takeway, 1 Vietnamese takeway and restaurant.
On Harefield Road: 1 bar / restaurant, 1 chip shop, 1 hairdressers, 1 estate agent
They plan to present the results to the developers and send them to local trade associations and commercial agents.

The "second hand furniture store" is currently being replaced by a "children's accessories" shop and we think it's an oversight not to include the shops in the parade on the west side of the tracks:

On Mantle Road: 1 hairdresser, 1 print service shop, 1 supermarket.

So please help them with their gap analysis. We've previously suggested that we think the following would have a decent chance at this location:

A florist
A grocer / fresh produce shop
A bakery (one that bakes its own bread, rather than sells white rolls out of a van - not that there's anything wrong with white rolls, but there is more to the world of bread than them)
Another gift shop (we anticipate that the new children's shop may double as a gift shop though)
A fishmonger
A butcher

But as we've said before, we think the businesses that have the biggest chance of success at this location would be restaurants and bars (and a beauty salon / treatment centre, for that matter), where local supply clearly does not match local demand. These businesses would also encourage the development of Brockley as a destination, supporting all the other retail in the area. It would be a bad mistake not to include some space for leisure as well as retail, in our view.

Please share your thoughts - we'll make sure they are passed on to BXAG.

Garden State of Emergency

Sally is a Wickham Road resident who's been locked in a planning battle over the redevelopment of neighbouring garden land since 2006. For over five years, she has been trying to convince the Council to enforce its own planning regulations, to prevent the land from being built on. Now, the issue is coming to a head again as the land is about to go up for auction:

The freeholder of the two properties is auctioning both the freeholds and the garden land. The land search provided by Lewisham council to the auctioneer made no mention of the recent planning history (although they manage to cover much older events) or of any decision to serve Notice. 

The garden land was described in the catalogue as having “development potential”. It’s already attracted a lot of interest from bullish developers who believe they can push through an application to build...

The garden land [is] up for sale and [was] originally misrepresented as having potential for development and with inadequate information for any prospective buyer to make an informed decision. All it would take is for the council to honour their intention to issue a Notice of Breach. That way the land is not of interest to anyone. Except us. And we are interested. Interested because we want to see justice done. To see a council stand up to a local developer who has flouted any number of planning conditions. To see all the reams of rules and regulations around urban development have some kind of meaning. We don’t want to build on the land but we might like to see our children play on it, to have it returned to the garden use which was the intention of that condition imposed 10 years ago. 

 Meanwhile there’s little we can do except wait and see what happens at auction next Tuesday, February 21st. We fear the most likely outcome is that it will change hands for a sum way beyond our means and remain a derelict overgrown plot, so near to us and yet so very far. 

It's a long story, but for the benefit of planning junkies everywhere, she has told it in great detail on her blog.

Brockley Station night time refurb

BC Twitterer Matt draws our attention to the fact that Brockley Station is being refurbished by TfL, starting on February 24th.

No, not step free or direct access on the west side - that would be too useful - but resurfacing of the platforms (which have just been lengthened to accommodate longer trains from London Bridge).

The work will last a month or so and will only take place at night - and then, only if they get permission to close the line at night to permit the work to take place. We're not sure what this last bit means - but we hope it doesn't mean we all have to be home before sundown for four weeks.

Rag rugs

To prove that other craft experiences are available, Mary has been in touch:

I will be running a couple of funky 'Rag Rug' workshops at Pat-a Cake Cafe, 358 Brockley Rd opposite Crofton Pk Station, on 28th February 11-1pm and 4-6pm (£30 per person)

This two hour workshop introduces you to the fascinating and satisfying craft of rag rugs, showing you a simple technique which you can use to make beautiful pieces which express your creativity as well as making something unique and useful.

The simplicity of the technique allows you to focus on the design, colour and fun aspects of your piece, and all sorts of materials can be used ranging from wool, lurex, velvet to plastic bags. In this workshop we will learn the skills to make a 'proddy' rug using mostly wool on a hessian backing. All tools and materials are provided, the inspiration and creativity are yours.

Brockley Cross works to start in March

The improvement works planned for Brockley Cross are due to start in early March, the Council confirmed today. A spokesperson said:

"We had hoped improvement works at Brockley Cross would start at the beginning of February. Unfortunately, there has been a slight delay in lining up all the necessary elements in order that work can begin. We hope to be in a position to start work in early March."

This scheme should be a really positive step forward for this part of Brockley and in the grand scheme of things a couple of weeks here or there is no matter, the key issue will be whether the work is of high quality. We live in hope.

Caddystack to give away

Project Dirt has a bumper hoard of "7 litre food composting caddies" (aka sturdy buckets with lids on) to give away and BCer David has kindly offered to go and collect one for you (although you'll need to email him quickly because he's going this afternoon). You'll also need to collect them from it in Crofon Park.

Hurry, hurry, hurry!

ELL2 link to Clapham Junction completed

The Mayor of London has today hammered a golden spike in to the Transmetropolitan Railroad - the East London Line extension from Surrey Quays to Clapham Junction.

The Mayor called the Overground one of the UK's most popular and reliable railways and "tightened a clip fixing the last rail in place on a 1.3km section of new railway linking London Overground to existing track leading to Clapham Junction." 

There is no confirmed opening date for the new service, but the latest deadline they've set themselves is the end of 2012.

Safe cycling study at Goldsmiths

Goldsmiths student Lee Qing writes:

I am currently doing an academic project on safer cycling specifically in Lewisham. We hope to interview some local residents who cycle around Lewisham. I'd like to ask people some simple questions: Do they feel safe cycling in the area? Have they had any bad experiences? What do they believe the Council should do to improve cycling in this area? And what can local people contribute?

If anybody would be happy to share their views, I can be contacted at my college email: co101ll@gold.ac.uk.

Ladywell travellers site abandoned

The Ladywell Village Improvement Group reports:

In the last half hour Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham, has accepted officer recommendations and decided not to pursue plans for a traveller site at Church Grove, Ladywell. This will come as a huge relief to Church Grove residents and to many other local people who felt this was simply not a suitable site.

Domino's pizza base in HOP rejected again

Lewisham Council has had its decision to reject an application by Domino's Pizza to convert the Old Bank in to  a takeaway joint has been upheld by the planning inspector. The fact that it would turn the high street in to a parking bay for scooters was a key concern.

Two women arrested after man killed at Loampit Hill brothel

The Evening Standard reports that a man has been killed at a brothel located above a row of shops on Loampit Hill. Police were called to the address in the early hours of this morning and the two women present at the address at the time were arrested on suspicion of murder. The Standard says:

One witness said the flat was run as a brothel and a number of eastern European women were said to live or work at the address. The witness said the murder was a "row over money". A CCTV camera had been installed outside the premises which allowed people inside to see who was coming in. 

 Scotland Yard said it believed it knew the identity of the victim but was trying to trace his family. Anyone with information should call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

BC Twitter followers reported that a large stretch of Loampit Hill was cordoned off this morning.

Dance Hall Revival in New Cross

Jon writes:

I run a monthly dance hall revival night at The Amersham Arms, New Cross called 'Let Me Off Downtown!'. It's a essentially a live music night featuring my band King Candy & The Sugar Push  There's a swing dance class from from Balham/Brixton based dance organisation Swingland and then the rest of the night is live swing music from the 30s & 40s.

It's only the second night this coming Sunday 19th and hopefully after the success of the first it'll become a regular fixture in the diaries of all the retro music and dance fans around New Cross and Brockley.

We're trying to cultivate an old dance hall culture akin to that of the Harlem Lindyhop (swing dance) scene in New York from the 1930s/40s. You don't have to dance to enjoy yourself at our night - a lot of people come specifically to do that but there's plenty of music and showmanship to savour too!!

It's really a great night - quality musicianship, thrilling dancers, a real 'scene' as it were... At the moment the vast majority of the social dances on the Lindy hop circuit are in North London, it's interesting to see this night bring them all down to the south! All the band members are based around Brockley, Greenwich and Crystal.Palace.

Brockley Poker marathon


Brockley Poker is hosting an all-night poker game on Saturday and Sunday (18th + 19th Feb). Adrian explains:

The game is Texas hold’em, the most commonly played variant of poker, in this particular event players can buy into the game and cash out of the game as they wish and so with a steady stream of willing players the game can run for as long as people want to play. This is where you come in, I have a pool of regular players who want to play but I will need locals to join in if the game stands any chance of running through both days. I’m therefore hoping that if you were to get my message out that there may be a few people out there willing to join in.

The game will be as follows, players will be able to buy in for between £10 - £50, totally up to them how much they wish is wager. The blinds (forced bet per round) are 25/25pence. This is relatively low stakes so that the game is more about fun rather than money. The venue is my flat, near Brockley Station.

 The event will not all be about poker, I’m going to cook up some food (failing that get in some take away), and it would be nice to meet and socialise with some more local folk. If any of your readership are interested in getting involved they should call/text me directly on 07912 120825, message me on Twitter www.twitter.com/BrockleyPoker or visit the SECentral forums where I’ve put the details for the game.

Children's shop for Brockley Road?

BC reader Kevin reports that, according to people who have been clearing and renovating the shop on the corner of Cranfield and Brockley Road, the former junk shop is to become a "children's accessory store". This tallies with what other readers have told us, although we can't confirm it at this stage.

Kevin adds: "I would have stopped to get more details but there was an horrendous stench coming from the shop." The fact that this shop is being rescued from a similar fate to La Lanterna is cause for celebration.

None more local

Vanessa: He has a five year plan. 
Sonny: What is it? "Don't die"?
- Big Daddy

We're indebted to Transpontine, who points out that today is Brockley Central's fifth anniversary. Our first article, about plans for Brockley Common, was written on Valentine's Day 2007, suggesting the longevity of our marriage is more of a miracle than the ongoing existence of this site.

Transpontine writes:

As a near neighbour I certainly didn't used to have such a sense of it being a distinct place - I am afraid I used to consider it just as that bit on the way to Hilly Fields. Or say 'you know, where Moonbow Jakes is'. Now it is spoken of as if Brockley was a third sibling of the great SE London twin cities of New Cross and Deptford (and Moonbow Jakes has been replaced by Brockley Mess).

If we had an ambition for this site when we started it, that sums it up pretty neatly. We were once fuelled by a burning sense of injustice that Brockley's wonderfulness was so little understood by the wider world and those who lived here. Now Channel 4 dedicates programmes to househunters scrambling to be close to the Brockley buzz. So what has replaced our inferiority complex as a motivating force? Probably a belief in the power of networks - the desire for Brockley to become the best-connected part of London and for a thousand ideas, projects, groups and enterprises to evolve from our primordial soup. Thus, we have BC Facebook, Twitter and the South East London Forum. But not Foursquare though, that was a waste of time.

At some point entropy will kick in. Not for Brockley, which is an open system, but one day someone will come along and invent a bigger and shinier local service. Until then, let the dance of the anons play on.

We'd like to take this opportunity to dedicate Brockley Central to our lovely wife, who, as she takes up yoga and inches towards profitability, must wonder what we offer her. Let's hope she's impressed by 3,428 Twitter followers.

Frost giants

Brockley's bubble master is back, proving that he can make bubbles in all sorts of weather. A lovely video shot in Hilly Fields, brought to our attention by Yahoo News Canada, where the news agenda is as vast and empty as the landscape.


House Party

Lewisham political party-cum-cafe proprietors People Before Profit have launched a campaign to prevent the Council from selling off a number of houses across the borough. They have occupied five houses, including one on Friendly Street in Deptford.

The campaigners say that the homes should not be sold in the first place given the housing shortage in the borough and / or that they are being sold below proper market rates. LPBP's Ray Woolford, an estate agent, claims that if the Council spent some money to do them up, they would generate a significant return on their investment. Here's the video they've made to present their case:

Thanks to Max for the link.

Good burger

On Saturday, we got to try a Motherflipper burger at Brockley Market. While watching them work was a little stressful as they struggled to cope with the variety of options customers were asking for (while mustard / no mustard, cheese / no cheese is not exactly the Enigma code, it makes for a fairly complex assembly process), the burgers themselves were excellent: Great chuck steak, lots of seasoning and heavy on the cheese and salad.

On Sunday, we had lunch at the Old Haberdasher and polished off the burger our son couldn't finish. It was OK: nothing to blog home about but plenty of flavour and a generous size.

So we can say with some confidence that Brockley does good burger - but which is the best? BC Tweeter Claire absolutely has to know. Comments please.

Like water for Broc-a-lot?

Parts of Brockley and Telegraph Hill have been experiencing water supply problems this weekend. We thought the issues had been resolved yesterday but on South East Central, Lep Recorn reports Chalsey and Breakspears Road are both having problems, with Thames Water promising a 6 hour response time. Please use this thread or the forum to share updates.

Work at Silicon Double Roundabout

Nubix is a a growing IT services company based in the Brockley Cross Business Centre. After four years in Brockley, it's relocated to a larger home and is hiring. Right now, they need someone who fits the job description below, but they tell us that they are going to be looking for some permanent skilled IT staff in the near future too:

Part time book-keeper needed, ideally CIMA qualified (or part qualified) to work for a company in Brockley providing IT services to businesses. Must be self-reliant, good on Quick Books and willing to be office based, although we can be flexible on hours. Might suit someone with school age children.  Contact Simon Hedger s.hedger@nubix.co.uk or 08000 436500.

Dig This, New Cross

Dig This is a (relatively) new garden centre in New Cross, selling plants and shrubs and providing a fruit and vegetable box service for local residents. Run by a Hungarian horticulturalist, who farms in Welling, founder Mihaly is the proud guardian of 50 types of tomato and has plans to set-up a community garden and gardening club soon.

The New Cross centre, next to the Hobgoblin pub, doubles as an exhibition space for artists.

Gaza Halal Meat Centre, Lewisham Way


Brockley photographer Joel Knight has provided this review (and shot) of the Gaza Halal Food Centre, 173 Lewisham Way:

Never judge a book by its cover; The Halal Meat Centre on Lewisham Way is really well stocked and managed little Brockley Gem - if you enjoy cooking middle eastern/north african/spanish/moro food then this is the place for you - Well priced dried beans and lentils, olive oils, stuffed vine leaves, the best and freshest pitta breads, date filled cookies (better than fig rolls I enjoyed as a kid), tahini etc etc etc. Most importantly, the Butcher and shop attendant are both really helpful, knowledgeable and friendly.

Stop the Rot campaign: Goldsmiths responds

Hugh Jones, the Registrar and Secretary at Goldsmiths, has responded to the debate prompted by Isobel Williams' article on Brockley Central. He says:

We try to be good neighbours but it looks like we haven’t been so in relation to 38 and 80 St Donnatts. I am sorry. We’re looking seriously at options for the two properties. We’re a public body so need to take into account long-term and short-term needs of the College. 

If we do think that selling the properties is the best option, we’ll need to seek the approval of our Finance and Resources Committee. This is made up of independent members of our governing body. 

As and when we make decisions – and this is a live issue for us as well as those of you who have posted – we’ll do our best to let you know. 

In the meantime, if you have any questions, problems or queries about the properties, please get in touch with us by emailing community@gold.ac.uk and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

It's very encouraging to see this level of engagement with the issue from Goldsmiths, which ought to gain from the regeneration of New Cross, and we will follow the matter closely in the coming months.

Officers advise Bullock against Ladywell traveller site

As reported by the Ladywell Village Improvement Group and This is Local London, Council officers have recommended that Lewisham abandons its plans to locate a traveller site at Church Grove in Ladywell. It seems likely that the Council will accept the recommendation that:

Based on the outcome of the consultation and an independent Technical Report on Access, the proposals for redevelopment of the Church Grove site to meet the current accommodation needs of the gypsy and traveller community in the borough be discontinued and a new site search begun.

The proposal had been met by fierce local opposition. See here and here.

Speed-dating Valentine's Party for Brockley's under-8s

Tea Dance 4 Little People is hosting an unusual children's event to celebrate Valentine's Day. We took our kids to one of their Halloween parties and were really impressed with the energy they put in to the event, which was as much a piece of theatre as a party. This Valentine's theme is likely to create debate...

Cafe plan for Crofton Park

Eagle Eye Perry has spotted an application to convert the former home of George the barber on Brockley Road in Crofton Park into a cafe. The paperwork is for:

The alteration and change of use of the ground floor of 340 Brockley Road SE4, from retail (Use Class A1) to cafe (Use Class A3), together with the installation of an awning to the front elevation, an external ventilation flue and new gate for access to bins at the rear.

Great to see more action in Crofton Park and we look forward to bringing you more news about the plans in the near future.

Shardeloes rehab centre application

Substance abuse rehabilitation charity CRI  has applied to convert the Old Bank Building at the Brockley Cross end of Shardeloes Road into a rehab centre.

The application is for a facility which will offer counselling, clinical prescribing, needle exchange and aftercare.

The proposal, which has been heavily trailed, is opposed by the Brockley Cross Action Group and welcomed by Brockley's Cllr Johnson.

In Brockley Central's view, this is a poor location for the centre, failing on two of the criteria which it sets itself: The Council want to relocate from Lewisham to make it more accessible to patients from Brockley, Deptford and New Cross, but which this site lacks any nearby public transport links with Deptford. The Council wants such facilities to be located in commercial areas, but this is primarily residential.

Despite these reservations and the evasive consultation process, we're of the view that this new centre won't bring narcopocalypse to Brockley. Life will go on. It probably will cause some problems (to pretend otherwise is an insult to people with genuine concerns), but probably not that many (to suggest it will radically change the area is an overstatement). It might even persuade the police and the Council to take the problem of drug dealing at this location more seriously.

The Romance of the Rail

BC's West Coast representation, Maradoll, spotted this 1930s Southern Railway ticket to Brockley on eBay. Starting bid is a bargain 2.99. Roughly the price that an actual ticket to Brockley would cost.

Doggie do gooders needed in Brockley

Sally writes:

We are a registered national charity whose brilliant volunteers give up part of their free time offering dog walking and other support to elderly and terminally ill pet owners, unfortunately we don’t have many volunteers in the Lewisham area so any help you are able to give the Trust in support of our efforts would be very gratefully accepted.

We have two lovely but very strong German Shepherd dogs in the Brockley area whose owner is unable to walk them. We desperately need some additional volunteers in this area of London, even if you can offer an hour a week to help these lovely dogs it would improve their quality of life plus it will give their owner peace of mind. If anyone can help call Sally on 01736 758 707 or via email volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk Please also check out our website for more details www.cinnamon.org.uk

Lewisham pushes Ladywell Fields College primary plan

The Mayor of Lewisham has given approval to consult on proposals with to add junior school places in 2013 by extending provision at Prendergast Ladywell Fields College, Crofton Park, so that it becomes an all-age school offering two forms of entry in the primary phase.

This is part of Lewisham's strategy to accommodate a bulge in pupil numbers, which is putting severe pressure on school places. A mini baby boom occurred in the borough and if Lewisham was relying on the traditional exodus of parents to other parts of the country or to private schools, neither has materialised.

The Economist [client] reports that this problem is not unique to Lewisham. Boroughs across the capital are experiencing similar anguish over school places and cafe territorialism:

London imports the young and exports the old, the theory goes—or went... But a startling demographic change has drastically slowed the conveyor belt...

London contributed fully 37% of England’s natural population increase between 2009 and 2010. Many parents are now staying put, thanks to a sticky mortgage market that makes it hard for buyers to get a loan and a sticky labour market that makes it hard for anyone to be sure of a job... Net outflows to the rest of Britain are half what they were in 2005... 
Primary schools have been the first to cry havoc... By 2015-16 greater London will need around 70,000 more school places, London Councils says. 

Welcome Transpontine and Gema to the New Cross and Deptford forums

The Sphinx: We are number one. All others are number two, or lower.
- Mystery Men

We're pleased to welcome two new moderators to South East Central. Legendary local blogger Transpontine will lord it over the New Cross forum, while SEC's most industrious member Gema will take charge of the Deptford forum.

Together with SE Steve (Nunhead and Peckham), Catford Grrl (Catford) and Pratish (The Bike Lane) they are always five. Acting as one. Dedicated. Inseperable. Invincible.

Panda Panda, Deptford Broadway


8 Deptford Broadway
London SE8 4PA
T: 020 8616 6922
M: 074 2517 2980

Please post your reviews of the Oriental sandwich bar here.

Lewisham Council asks BC readers about the future of business waste

Nigel Tyrell, Head of Environment for Lewisham Council, would like your feedback on possible changes to the way in which the Council charges business for waste disposal. It matters not only to local business owners, but to all of us, because the Council is now in a position to profit from waste recycling, as well as because an effective business waste management strategy means less dumping and fewer scenes like this.

Nigel says:

Our new recycling contract means that we now can get an income for the waste we deliver, rather than having to pay for disposal or recycling. This would seem to be a great opportunity to change the way we deal with trade waste. 


Our income for the recyclables would cover the labour and transport costs, and could even generate a small surplus to support some hard-pressed services, such as street cleansing. 


We think that this could also be a good way to support local businesses during these tougher times. We'd like to make it really worthwhile for businesses to recycle. We're aiming to provide a very simple, 'budget airline' kind of offer to businesses:


We'll collect all your recycling, free of charge perhaps with a minimum residual waste bin charge 
Businesses to provide the bags or bins for this service, or tie-up bundles of cardboard rather than having to hire our bins or buy our bags 


We'd re-model a version of LoveLewisham (apps and site) to allow businesses to order collections, and allow our refuse workers to report tonnages disposed and close jobs, etc. 


The new site would make it clear exactly what kind of waste we'd collect for free, if would also show a live total of tonnes recycled, and perhaps the value directed to front-line services. As for timescales, I'd like to make a start as soon as possible. 


We're thinking about using this approach in Deptford to start with, but that would mainly aimed at improving the street scene and helping to relieve the operational pressure on our cleansing service. My team are currently looking at the financial implications and the deliverability of the collection service. 


We need to make a judgement about what income we're likely to lose from collecting regular waste as people shift to our free recycling service. 


Should we go down the route of offering this service to new customers only? 
Should we start with schools and charities, or pilot it in a given area (maybe Brockley?). 


I'd like to jump straight in, once I'm happy it won't leave our finances worse-off. 


It would be really helpful to be able to take a sounding from Brockley Central, and businesses that might be interested in this service.

Our own experience of owning a small business in the borough of Westminster is that they do not mess around. Waste management charges are high and enforcement draconian. The cost of a few bin bags a week is not insignificant for small businesses, struggling to get by. So a scheme that cuts costs should improve Lewisham's competitiveness as a place to run a business and ensure that fewer cowboys opt out of the system and try to dump their waste.

Please let Nigel know what you think? And is Brockley a good place to trial the new scheme?

Snow and Brock

Clark: I dunno what the hell's in there, but it's weird and pissed off, whatever it is.
- The Thing

It's snow day in Brockley. If you want to share your best snow photos, please email them to us here. But if you do go out with the express purpose of taking pictures for BC, we accept no responsibility if you fall prey to these creatures, captured by Tiffany:


Faye has provided evidence that the army has been called in to deal with the outbreak:
Updated: Three lovely shots from Caro and a goblin from Jo:



Michael pulls a snow bunny:
Snow dunce, by Jo:

The Talbot up for sale

The Talbot pub on Tyrwhitt Road is up for sale.

The current owners bought one of London's most dilapidated pubs and turned it in to a nice little local that does fairly brisk trade. However, they were not previously publicans by profession so the sale doesn't come as a huge surprise. Whoever buys it will have a good business on their hands, but one with room to attract more local customers, especially as just down the hill in Lewisham, hundreds of new homes are nearing completion at Loampit Vale.

The pub's been available for a few months and is being marketed by Davis Coffer Lyons now.

Thanks to Deb for the link.

Goldsmiths giving "serious and urgent" consideration to Stop the Rot agenda

Last week, Isobel Williams, a New Cross resident, posted a guest blog on Brockley Central, to launch a campaign to persuade Goldsmiths to take responsibility for its rotting portfolio of local property.

In response, Brian Lymbery, an independent member of Goldsmiths Council, the governing body of the College, and a resident of St Donnatts Road, has told us:

Over two years ago the Council approved a strategic master plan for the college estate with the emphasis on the main campus and on improving facilities for students.

The Estates Department has been working to implement this plan as resources allow. One point in the plan was a recognition of the need to take action over unused properties, such as the houses in St Donatts Road, which are outside the main campus.

We had a Council meeting on Tuesday night and I spoke to the Warden about Isobel Williams’ blog and the many comments that followed. I understand that the college is giving serious and urgent consideration to the disposal of unused properties which are isolated from the main campus.

I think that this is the right thing to do and it would bring benefits not only to local communities but to the college as well. I think the future for the terrace of buildings between the New Cross House and the Town Hall is more problematic.

They are part of the main campus but the problem boils down to the fire regulations requirements and an acute lack of money in these uncertain times for universities. Incidentally I applied to join Goldsmiths Council, unpaid, in response to a press advertisement some three years ago.

Minutes of Council meetings are publicly available on the College website (on the main menu click about us/official/committees or http://www.gold.ac.uk/committees/minutes).

Forest Hill's Canvas & Cream to launch with pop-up cinema

Canvas & Cream, the new Forest Hill cafe-cum-gallery (which will also cater for all your Shamanic healing needs), has its opening weekend on the 17th-19th of February and will be showing a film called Garbage Warrior in partnership with south east London pop-up cinema thelittlegreenscreen.

Director Oliver Hodge will present his film - which won the audience award at the Vancouver International Film Festival - about eco-architect Michael Reynolds and his dream of changing the world with off-grid self-sufficient housing.

Canvas & Cream is hosting a pre-film dinner in their restaurant at 6:00pm with a set menu of two courses. The event is £30.00 (including the film). Tickets can be purchased from their website,

The rest of the opening weekend programme, can be seen here.

Brockley Cross latest

We've had a few enquiries about the status of the Brockley Cross redevelopment project, which is due to start this month.

Lewisham Council's contractors were on site recently, investigating drainage in the area, in preparation for work to begin in earnest. When we spoke to the workmen at that time they said they expected work to begin shortly, as planned.

We'll update the site when we have a confirmed start-date.

U Gosi closes

U Gosi, the Polish goods store on Ewhurst Road, Crofton Park, has closed and is back on the market. The shop, which opened in 2010, was located in a tough spot, a long way from significant footfall, in an area that isn't particularly known for the size of its Polish community.

Good luck to the former owners, whatever they opt to do next. Thanks to Notesofanidealist, who posted the news on the Brockley forum.

Introducing the Greenwich Forum

The final piece of the South East Central puzzle* has fallen in to place today, with the creation of the Greenwich forum.


This weekend, Greenwich will celebrate becoming a Royal Borough for the Diamond Jubilee with firework displays in Woolwich on Friday night, Eltham on Saturday night and Greenwich town centre on Sunday night.

Crosswhatfields also notes:

On the Sunday there will be free entertainment and children's art workshops in and around Greenwich Market and the Maritime Museum from 10am – 5.30pm, and the document confirming the borough's royal status will be on show at the Discover Greenwich visitor centre.

The formalities take place on February 3rd and Greenwich Council has already got itself a new coat of arms, started changing street signs and jumped the gun by rechristening its Twitter feed Royal_Greenwich.

Coupled with its role this summer as an Olympic host borough, Greenwich's stock has rarely been higher.

As a republican son of Greenwich, Brockley Central cannot help feeling conflicted. It's wonderful that Greenwich - and by extension, South East London - is getting this sort of recognition, it's just a shame it's accompanied by such forelock-tugging, property-price speculating naffness.

South East Central's own tribute to Greenwich will no-doubt retain the property-speculation bit, but hopefully encourage broader exploration of a place which is arguably South East London's most important centre for culture, tourism, heritage, education and commerce.

Right now, the centre of Greenwich is one big construction site, as projects to restore the Cutty Sark, repave Cutty Sark Gardens and rebuild Greenwich Pier race to meet the Olympic deadline. On the peninsula, glacial progress by developers doesn't stop it being a fascinating live study of community building and urban design.  And, despite Inc's best efforts, it still boasts some of the area's best pubs.

Greenwich is beautiful, squalid, industrial and sedate in almost equal measure - and that's before you've begun to explore the varied delights of Charlton, Woolwich, Thamesmead, Plumstead, Eltham and many other names to conjure with.

But South East Central's Greenwich forum is devoted to the bit of Greenwich closest to Brockley, from Blackheath Hill to Westcombe Park. The closest bit to Brockley also happens to be the best bit. That's probably just a coincidence.

*Alright, there might be one more piece of the puzzle at a later date.

The Safer Lewisham Partnership Crime Survey

Mr. Burns: Well, if it's a crime to love one's country, then I'm guilty. And if it's a crime to steal a trillion dollars from our government and hand it over to communist Cuba, then I'm guilty of that too. And if it's a crime to bribe a jury, then so help me, I'll soon be guilty of that! 
- The Simpsons

Lewisham Council says:

The Safer Lewisham Partnership has launched a consultation and wants local people to give their views and experiences of crime and anti-social behaviour in Lewisham.

The results of the Lewisham Crime Survey will be used by the partnership, which includes Lewisham Council, the police, probation and fire services, health, and voluntary groups, to set its annual priorities. The survey will only take a few minutes to complete and is open until 22 February.

www.lewisham.gov.uk/consultation

Mike + Ollie's pop-up restaurant - dinner time

Last week, Brockley Central prediction number 2 for 2012 did come to pass.

Yesterday, Brockley Market pointed out to us that prediction number 5 had come true without us noticing:

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.

Mike + Ollie is a Brockley food business that trades at Brockley and Deptford Markets. They are also launching a pop-up restaurant, promising to "cook a beautiful dinner with a musician once a fortnight for 15-20 people in intimate surrounds. The location will vary from time to time but will be within the Deptford/New Cross/Brockley area."

They're now taking bookings for their first evening, so register with their website to get details.

To be honest, since they first announced their plans in October last year, we're not sure this counts as a prediction. It's also not quite what we had in mind. However, it's one of a growing number of pop-up restaurants operating in the area, testament both to the quality of culinary entrepreneurs living locally and the latent demand for local restaurant options. It's this combination which led us to make the prediction in the first place.

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