Digital Brockley - there's no app for that

Boston Consultancy Group recently released a report, which showed that small and medium sized businesses in the UK that make heavy use of the internet to market and sell themselves grow much faster than those who don’t. The authors state:

In the U.K., sales at "high-web" companies increased six times as fast as revenues at firms with no internet presence. 23% of UK SMEs have no web presence. Additionally, 85% of high-web companies added jobs in the last three years, compared with only 51% of low-web or no-web companies.*

It’s perhaps not a hugely surprising conclusion, but it does show that Brockley businesses that don’t have a website or make use of free social networking tools are tying one hand behind their backs. It also underlines the value of digital placemaking projects like the South London Art Map or the Get Greenwich app (launched in time for the Olympics) in helping to increase footfall to high streets and town centres. Obviously, Brockley Central does its best to spread the word via a plethora of channels, but we haven’t embraced mobile yet.

With mobile internet access due to overtake PC-based access by 2015 (Morgan Stanley forecast), it's becoming increasingly important to design with mobile in mind. Is BC mobile friendly? Does Brockley need an app?

*BCG classifies companies as follows:

High-Web companies use a wide range of Internet tools to market, sell, and support customers, interact with suppliers, and empower employees; medium-Web businesses market or sell goods or services online; low-Web businesses have a website or a social networking site; no-Web businesses do not have a website.

Greenspaces: Borough of Deptford Memorial Gardens

The Memorial Gardens run along the south side of Lewisham Way from Breakspears to Upper Brockley Road and commemorates those who died in the First World War.
Together with the villas set back behind them they create a stunning entrance to the conservation area and help to create a sense of calm on a busy road.

Pimp Our Pavements

Pimp Your Pavement is a new initiative by the Guerrilla Gardener Richard Reynolds. Designed to encourage people to greenify their streets, it invites Londoners to submit their best examples of guerrilla gardening to a map of the capital.

We learned about the site when Richard - a sometime visitor to Brockley - tweeted about a bit of planting of ours he'd spotted. He's mapped it here, although technically, it's on Geoffrey Road, rather than Cranfield.

When this tree was planted, we passed by in the early evening with two packets of seeds and a bottle of water and spent precisely 45 seconds scooching the seeds in to the soil and watering them. A couple of months later, here they are. We plan to do a few more around Brockley Cross.

The cost of doing this was about two quid and we're delighted with the results - the sweet pea has grown a lot taller than we imagined and the small flowers (the name of which we have forgotten) smell great in the evening.

If you're into pavement pimping, please add your work to the site and / or email us your best examples and we will post them on BC.

Bi-curious Nelson as part of HATWALK [UPDATED]

Today, 20 statues across London have been given new head wear in an event called HATWALK, commissioned by the Mayor of London, in partnership with BT, Grazia magazine, the British Fashion Council and the London 2012 Festival.

In Trafalgar Square Admiral Lord Nelson and his neighbours have all been dressed, with Nelson getting a new Union Jack bicorn from Lock & Co, the oldest hatters in London, established in 1676, and famed for making his original.

Full details here http://www.molpresents.com/hatwalk and full disclosure: BC's part of the team helping promote this event, as part of our day job.

UPDATE: The Guardian has a brilliant gallery of the hats here. The Telegraph likewise, here.

Security alert in Lewisham disrupts transport [UPDATED]

Who says Lewisham hasn't secured a slice of Olympic action? The BBC confirms that DLR and mainline services are temporarily suspended at Lewisham Station due to a security alert after a suspect vehicle was found. Bus services are also disrupted and roads have been closed in central Lewisham.

UPDATE: It's all over folks, the roads and stations are reopened.

Walnut and Orange bakeaway [UPDATED]

Honor Oak bakers Walnut and Orange will be winning friends and influencing people by giving away free cakes in Hilly Fields today, from midday.

They will be set-up near the stone circle and promise that they will be so laden with cakes that you won't be able to miss them.

UPDATE: They've changed their minds and have gone to the Ladywell Tavern instead. Presumably still with cakes.

Goldsmiths seeks local Council members

Goldsmiths is currently inviting (external) individuals to apply to become members of the Council, which is its governing body: http://www.gold.ac.uk/council-members/recruitment/

Candidates should have a strong interest in education and in the range of creative, artistic and social fields which are a focus of Goldsmiths' work.

The College seeks a variety of qualities in its external Council members, including involvement in a profession or industry relevant to Goldsmiths graduates; business, financial, legal, fundraising or management expertise; as well as contributions to community life in South East London.

Council has also decided in principle that it should also include one or two members of the academic staff of other universities (or other University of London Colleges). The positions start on September 1st, 2013.

The deadline for applications is September 18th, 2012.

The London 2012 Opening Ceremony - Big Screens

Remember China? Before the Olympics the stadiums weren’t finished, there was apparently a three mile toxic cloud that had to be moved, there was criticism of China’s appalling human rights and working conditions. But then the Games began! And the opening ceremony started - with the crazy drummers and the globe walking and the calligraphy thing and the dancers in boxes! And everybody was like: “You know what? You know what? If forced labour got that done, God bless. Because you know why, those dancing boxes didn’t miss a fucking beat.
- Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

For a long time after London took the Olympic baton from Beijing with a toe-curling display of theatre school kids, dancing lollipop ladies and a Leona Lewis / Jimmy Page team-up we were dreading this day: The Olympic Opening Ceremony. We do not have a promising track record with this sort of stuff: The wobbly dragon at EURO 96 was a national embarrassment, the Millennial River of Fire managed to be less impressive than a set of indoor fireworks.

Then in January we heard Danny Boyle explain that our opening cermony would feature sheep and artificial meadow and we were reassured by his warm Lancastrian tones, and by his colleague who said that the thing to remember about opening ceremonies was that no-one ever wished them longer. Since then, we've heard from a few people involved with the show or who've been to the rehearsals and they promise it's going to be awesome to the max.

So now the question is where to watch it? There are two big outdoor screenings nearby.

Blackheath will host the Lewisham Big Screen, with a funfair, Spiegel tent and ready access to the Hare and Billet:

 

Meanwhile, the Brockley Market team have been poached to provide food for the Greenwich Summer Festival at the Royal Naval College, complete with Big Screen and "a dazzling Aerial Circus Show performed by Greenwich’s very own Hangar Arts Trust plus live music on the Bandstand." Brockley Market will be on as usual tomorrow.

What are you planning?

Greenspaces: Cornmill Gardens and River Mill Park

Cornmill Gardens and River Mill Park form a single green space in the heart of Lewisham, framed on all sides by high-rise buildings, from the rebuilt Sundermead Estate to the emerging towers of the Renaissance project on Loampit Vale.

Hidden from the main road, it feels like a communal garden with a large central lawn, but is open on all sides and makes great use of the River Ravensbourne, which has been freed from its old concrete channel to create verdant riverbanks with wooden jetties, like a mini version of Ladywell Fields.

The park has collected a string of public space awards.

Silent Running in Deptford

Silent Running has for a long-time been BC's go-to source of quotes whenever we need to juzsh-up an  article about the environment. So we're delighted that it's coming to Deptford in a special screening. Paul explains:

The Vanishing Point in association with Scala Beyond presents an immersive screening of Silent Running (1972) in Deptford, London. 

Following an interactive screening of The Omen in an atmospheric church crypt (watch the footage here), The Vanishing Point are back with an immersive experience of eco-themed sci-fi classic Silent Running (1972) using the gallery spaces and rooftop of the Utrophia Gallery in Deptford, London on Saturday 15 September at 7.30pm.

This will be a fully interactive experience featuring the chance to meet and have photographs taken with the crew of The Valley Forge space freighter alongside musicians, immersive surprises, a blast-off bar and food stalls. Visitors are encouraged to bring a watering can and wear their finest tie-dye outfits in addition to cushions and blankets as they will be sitting on a rooftop during the launch of the ship.

This event is part of Scala Beyond- a six-week nationwide film season dedicated to all forms of cinema exhibition. Find out more at www.scalabeyond.com

Mark Kermode - why Silent Running is better than 2001.

Olympic Travel [UPDATED]

Westminster Bridge is virtually car-free, north-bound
Selena: It started as rioting. But right from the beginning you knew this was different. Because it was happening in small villages, market towns. And then it wasn't on the TV any more. It was in the street outside. It was coming in through your windows. 
- 28 Days Later

The Olympic Torch passes through Deptford and Lewisham tomorrow morning, starting at 7.21am at Creekside (click here for the full route). The Olympic traffic lanes over Blackheath will kick in on Wednesday 25th. The opening ceremony takes place on Friday, July 27th. At that point, all hell will break loose.

So far, London 2012 has actually been notable for the ways in which the apocalyptic predictions have failed to materialise. Here we are, less than a week from D-Day and the whole thing has been pretty painless for Londoners. But it's still all to play for.

The full version of the official travel guide www.GetAheadOfTheGames.com has gone live - providing day-by-day guides to how the events will affect London transport. They are also on Twitter @gaotg

In total, London will host 7% more visitors than average during the Games period, with the largest number of these coming from the USA (19% of total expected arrivals), then Germany (8%), Australia, Italy and Canada. Visitors from BRICS nations (Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa) will account for 9% of total arrivals.

Together, they are expected to contribute an extra 3m journeys a day to the public transport system, meaning that most of the day will feel like rush hour. London Bridge is due to be the nastiest snarl-up in the whole network.

Meanwhile, Londoners plan to stick around until after the Games, with 5% fewer departures expected during this period than the same time last year.

Please feel free to use this thread throughout the Games, to share travel advice.

Reader offer: Edinburgh Comedy Previews at the Brockley Jack

Darren from The Brockley Jack Theatre writes:

I'd like to offer a £5 ticket for BC readers when they quote 'Brockley Blog' on the door tonight and tomorrow

For tonight at 7.45pm
DOUBLE BILL
Chris McCausland. Nominated Best New Show at Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival, Chris examines his own attitude towards comedy and life, his natural aversion to box ticking and unleashes a hysterical no-holds barred attack on the unthinkable!  A must-see! (Sunday Times)
Liam Mullone returns with this taboo-bending romp through intolerance, racism, fascism, and the man from Defra who tried to confiscate his stuffed toys because they were 'full of alien species'. A cult in the making (Time Out )*****

And tomorrow at 7.45pm
DOUBLE BILL
Laurence Clark
Laurence Clark returns to the Jack following last year's sell-out show. Expect absurd logic, death-defying stunts and unusual varieties of crisps... just don't expect to come away ‘inspired'! Star of BBC1's We Won't Drop The Baby.
Inspired has been commissioned by the Unlimited programme, part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad
Erich McElroy
American Erich McElroy is more British than you. Not surprising really, he had to revise for it, swear an oath and learn all the verses of the national anthem. But is that enough? Come and share this hour of comedy about discovering what it takes to become British. Great gags (The Stage)

Wavelengths leisure pool to close for four months

The leisure pool at Wavelengths in Deptford is to close in September for refurbishment work and will reopen in January 2013. Staff confirmed that the rest of the building will remain open during this time.

Thanks to Nick and Adam on Twitter.

Forest Hill and Sydenham win Portas Pilot bid

Sydenham and Forest Hill have succeeded in their bid to win "Portas Pilot" funding to rejuvenate their high streets. They will be given £100,000 to deliver three projects designed to increase high street occupancy and footfall.

The Forest Hill Society describes the three schemes:

Jack & Jill
Two high street shops will be renovated for creative community engagement, exhibitions, showcasing local products, business workshops, ‘pop-up’ events and as a Town Team base

Shop Revolution
A high impact project with lasting sustainable benefits will renovate up to 12 vacant units, letting them to an eclectic mix of businesses and organisations, including successful Market Makers traders on a Pop Up or trial basis.

Market Makers
More than a market, this will build on the success of the Forest Hill Food Fair, to pilot markets on a rotational basis across the area, with the aim of finding long term tenants for our vacant units.

Congratulations to the team behind the slickly-produced bid. It will be fascinating to watch the projects develop - hopefully there will be many lessons to be learned from their experience.

The BBC reports that the full list of pilot areas includes:

Ashford; Berwick; Braintree; London Road in Brighton; Hatfield; Royal Leamington Spa; Lodge Lane in Liverpool; the Cut in the Waterloo area of central London; Forest Hill in south London; Chrisp Street, Watney Market, Roman Road in Tower Hamlets, east London; Loughborough; Lowestoft; Morecambe; Rotherham, and Tiverton. 

The funding for the three London areas is to be provided by the Greater London Authority, while the government will put up the remaining £1.2m.

I do anchor Deptford!

Simon, the creator of the iconic I Broccoli Brockley bags has created the I Anchor Deptford bag, for fans of the Lower Brockley region. Click here for more details.

Dream Lab, Telegraph Hill

The Ladywell Fields Summer Festival, August 19th


Justin writes:

The festival will be a great day of family fun in the park and a time for our community to come together and have a day relaxing and getting to meet each other in a fun and safe environment. There will be good food, games and crafts for the kids, health checks and advice, music and local talent on show. It is being organised by the Lewisham Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Visit their Facebook page

Live fast, die young

Living the Brockley dream comes at a terrible price, as this map of life expectancy in London by proximity to stations shows.

The average life expectancy of someone living near Brockley Station is 78, which is one better than those who live in New Cross and Lewisham, but pretty dismal compared to much of the rest of the capital. Not sure what, if anything, this map tells us really, except that the richer areas tend to live longer than poor ones.

Still, it's always good to contemplate our own mortality.

With thanks to Brockley Ben, whose life expectancy is directly related to his intake of pork.

Rehab centre asks for four more years

Earlier this month, we reported that a way forward had been found for the proposed drug treatment centre on Shardeloes Road that seemed to suit both supporters and skeptics. The planning committee ruled that the centre should be given a year to prove itself, after which time its licence to operate would be reviewed.

However, the South London Press now reports that the operators of the proposed centre - CRI - have appealed the decision, asking instead for five years:

CRI has now submitted an application to the council to extend the permission to five years and the opening hours until 8pm on Mondays to Fridays.

Rupert King, of the Brockley Cross Action Group said: “CRI have repeatedly claimed there will be no problems once the new treatment centre is open so why is the one-year permission now unacceptable to them?"...

Darren Johnson, Brockley ward councillor, said: “Although I support the drug and alcohol centre [the original decision] gives them a year to prove themselves to local residents that the centre can be a good neighbour.”

As King and Johnson both suggest, if CRI are confident of their original claims that the centre could be run in a residential area without creating any problems, then the one year trial should not cause them any concerns. The only uncertainty it creates for them is directly related to their own performance.

The one year trial should remain.

The Olympic torch visits Lewisham [UPDATED]




We went down to greet the (Brockley-born) Olympic Torch as it made its way past the Deptford Lounge early this morning.

The procession was like the Dance of Seven Veils - a succession of outriders got everyone excited that the torch must be just around the corner, long before the golden cornet made its appearance. First the cars. Then the bicycles. Then some motorbikes. Then some more cars. Then three massive sponsor trucks (Samsung's electric-blue version of Dead Reckoning beat Coke and Lloyds TSB for sheer spectacle). Then some more bikes.

Then came the torch-bearer herself. The News Shopper reports that she was:

Ceinwen Giles, aged 37, from Lewisham. Ceinwen was diagnosed with Stage 4B Non-Hodgkins in Lymphoma, a highly aggressive cancer, in early 2010, just four weeks after giving birth to her daughter. She battled through months of harsh chemotherapy while a hospital in-patient.

Prior to becoming ill she was a keen cross-country runner, and throughout her treatment has dreamt of getting back to her running best. She is now in remission.

Giles looked great and the sense of pride was palpable, not only from her, but from the crowd, which was pretty impressive for 7.30am.

Deptford looked great in the morning sun and the new public square in front of the library was completed in time for the event and played host to a local karate school, which used the occasion to recruit new young members.

News Shopper has photos from the whole tour, but if you want to send us your photos of the day, please email us and we'll post any good shots.

UPDATE: 
From Susan - Daniel Gee runs through Lewisham
From John, who stood on the right side of the street to get pictures
Also from John, who is just showing off now
John captures the battle bus
Chitro sent us this photo of Doreen Lawrence on Deptford Broadway

Lewisham's population rises 8% in a decade

Agent Smith: You hear that Mr. Anderson?... That is the sound of inevitability...
- The Matrix

The 2011 census results were released this week, with Lewisham recording an 8% population rise in a decade, taking the borough's head count from 254,300 to 275,900.

This growth was comparatively modest: boroughs like Tower Hamlets (26.4%), Newham (23.5%), Hackney (18.9%) and Greenwich (17.1%) grew at a much faster rate, obviously helped by major regeneration sites, like Greenwich Peninsula and the Isle of Dogs. On average, the capital grew by 12%. Kensington and Chelsea's population shrank, due to the number of homes that are owned by investors.

These figures contradict the arguments (sometimes made by commenters on these pages) that we don't need to build so many new homes in the borough or that Lewisham is building more than its fair share of new homes. The population is growing fast, but below average for the capital.

The good news is that London's growing density is breathing new life into once-desolate areas and creating the demand that will rejuvenate our high streets. Meanwhile, we all somehow manage to get along, with falling crime rates across the board.

Brockley: Drink it in, it always goes down smooth

Those going to the Pop-Up Screens events in Hilly Fields tonight or tomorrow: We pity you. For you will never know the sense of camaraderie that comes from sitting in a field with 200 other people wrapped in ponchos and huddling under umbrellas to take shelter from the rain.

Last night, we went to the first of the three outdoor cinema events in Hilly Fields - a screening of Anchorman on the crest of the hill below the new cafe. The steady rain turned it from a night of sprawling on picnic blankets into an occasion when it paid to come prepared: Chairs and umbrellas were currency. The organisers dished out the ponchos.

We hunkered down with haloumi burgers, beer and mind-blowingly good popcorn from the London Kettle Popcorn company and soon the sound of rain on our umbrella became one with the soundtrack.

Hopefully, Pop Up Screens will become a regular part of the Brockley summer season.

Harts Lane Studios - United

People Before Profit are to local politics what The Polyphonic Spree are to music: eclectic, barking, noisy, fun and of course, boast a similar number of members.

Fresh from their adventures turning council homes into squats and estate agents into cafes, they have collaborated with local artists to create an art gallery in a garage in New Cross Gate, called The Harts Lane Studios.


The Studios are staging a show called United this Sunday, July 22nd:

Curated by Paul Tecklenberg, Harts Lane Studios will showcase works by eight London based artists: Tisna Westerhof, Tommy Seaward, Melissa Alley, David Redfern, Susan Haire, Fiammetta Alley, Mikey Georgeson and Paul Tecklenberg. The day will also feature music by local performer Nigel of Bermondsey who will perform psycho-geographical songs and stories from Bermondsey, Wapping, Rotherhithe, Walworth and South London.

Visit the site for more.

Badgerbrook Breads

Lucky Day: Wherever there is injustice, you will find us. 
Ned Nederlander: Wherever there is suffering, we'll be there. 
Dusty Bottoms: Wherever liberty is threatened, you will find... 
All: The Three Amigos!
- The Three Amigos



Tacey is a Brockley baker - describing herself as a Bread Angel, stepping in where real bread is required - who works under the name of Badgerbrook Breads (Brockley being the olde Englishe name for Hovis)

She is also launching a series of one-day classes on how to make basic bread starting in September 2012 at the Ackroyd Centre in Forest Hill. Classes begin at 11am and finish at 3pm. £60 covers all materials, tuition and lunch.

Visit her website for details.

Abigail's chapati


To mark its 27th "baburthday" (geddit?), Babur has a new tasting menu. Drawing on iconic dishes from generations gone by, it features stylishly gussied up variations on such classics as prawn cocktail and coronation chicken. The main course (venison steak vindaloo) is a little harder to place in the pantheon of great British classics but is – like the other dishes – very good indeed: spicier than the rest but well balanced and pretty as a picture. And to cap it all: dhosas flambéed at the table à la crepe suzette.

The menu is £34.50 with an additional £14.95 for paired drinks – and is highly recommended. Full disclosure: as a regular diner and the first to try the new menu, your correspondent was lucky enough to have last night's meal comped – but he would have loved it anyway.

Ellis & Rose at the Amersham Arms

Brockley-based and Goldsmiths-educated double-act ELLIS & ROSE are returning to the home of their first ever gig - The Amersham Arms - for their Edinburgh preview.

The duo, who performed at this year's Brockley MAX, will be performing alongside Trevor Lock (as seen on TV with Stewart Lee) and special guest MC Matthew Kelly (not that one).

Sunday 22nd July 7pm at The Amersham Arms.

Tickets are £4 if you book online or £5 on the door.

Brockley and Ladywell Cemetery open day, July 22nd

The Friends of Brockley and Ladywell Cemetery are having a fifth anniversary 'Open Day' in Cemetery Chapel, this Sunday, July 22nd, from 11am-4.30pm.

There will be a photography exhibition in the Ladywell Chapel and guided walks, visiting the graves of sportsmen, poets, war veterans and local figures.

Edinburgh previews at the Brockley Jack

The Brockley Jack Theatre team writes:

From this Friday we are pleased to be hosting a variety of Edinburgh Festival previews, from one man shows to comedy double bills. Each event is on for one night only so catch them at The Jack before they take Edinburgh by storm!

Visit our website for full details and to book your tickets now.

In August we are pleased to present Bookends: Shakespeare's first and last plays performed in rep by critically acclaimed theatre company Perfect Shadow Mingled Yarn.

Before the comedies there were Two Gentlemen of Verona. After the tragedies there were Two Noble Kinsmen. Together two fairytales unfold, two different examinations of love: one light, one dark, one young, one old, one comic, one tragic. Together they explore how much love changes across Shakespeare's career – and how much it stays the same.

Mantle Road block construction begins

Construction work on a new five story apartment block has begun at Number 1 Mantle Road.

The site has was cleared when a pub called the Maypole was demolished in the last decade. Planning permission was secured for a development called the Glasshouse, which was then superseded by this design, which includes:

A commercial unit (Use Class A1) on the ground floor and 3 one bedroom, 4 two bedroom, 1 three bedroom self-contained flats and 1 three bedroom self-contained maisonette on the upper floors incorporating balconies/roof terraces, together with associated landscaping, the provision of bin stores, 14 bicycle spaces and 2 car parking spaces with access onto Reynard Close.

The builders had to wait until Jude Court was completed, so that they could get proper access to the site. With thanks to Matt on Twitter.

Police statement on UBR closures

In a statement issued this afternoon, concerning the forced closure of three businesses on Upper Brockley Road, the Met Police said:

Yesterday (17.07.12) a closure notice under Part 1A, Section 11A of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 was served in respect of three premises on Upper Brockley Road, SE4, namely The Honey Pot, Super Cuts and Gold Crest.

The notices were served by Brockley Safer Neighbourhoods Team who have been working closely with Lewisham Borough Crime Reduction Service.

There have been numerous complaints from the community about the levels of crime and the anti-social behaviour associated with these premises.

Acting on local intelligence Brockley Safer Neighbourhoods Team have been working hard to tackle these issues Today (18.07.12) officers attended Bromley Magistrates Court and made an application for a Closure Order for three months.

That hearing has now been adjourned until the 01.08.12 and the judge has ordered that the three premises are to remain closed until that hearing takes place The owners do have the right to appeal and now have 14 days to do so.

Police Sergeant Jon Biddle, Brockley Safer Neighbourhoods Team:

"We have acted following a deluge of complaints from the community over the high levels of anti social behaviour, in particular drug taking and dealing. The closure notice came about after collating many months worth of evidence. Whilst the prospect of closure for any business is a blow to the local economy, the law is there for a reason and we have acted following concerns raised."

New consultation on Southern train services

Want to know why the rest of London hates having to find their way to the South East by train? It's the mind-bending complexity of the services and franchises and the incessant tweaks to the system. And the infrequent services. And the regular breakdowns and delays. And the long interchanges with the Tube system.

The latest DfT consultation about future services offered by the Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern franchises is a case in point. Tube trains just follow nice, brightly-coloured lines. No fuss, no muss. Not so, the overland trains.

The consultation documents say:

A new franchise will bring together services currently operated by: First Capital Connect (FCC), including Wimbledon Loop services; Southern, including metro services, and some Southeastern services, including routes serving stations in Southwark.

The franchise will be operational from 2013 (FCC services) and be expanded to include all Southern services in 2015 (to coincide with the start of major works at London Bridge). Some Southeastern services will transfer in 2014 and others yet to be specified on completion of the Thameslink programme in 2018. 

The current consultation seeks views on how the new franchise should be specified i.e. what services and train frequencies should be delivered on which routes within the franchise area. 

The resulting specification will be used as part of the DfT’s procurement process to appoint a new operator, based on their ability to deliver the required services in an effective and efficient manner. Responses to the consultation must be returned to the DfT by the 23rd of August 2012. 

This issue is proving vexatious for various people on the South East London forum, who are worried about the implications for Nunhead and Crofton Park, among other destinations.

Please use this thread (or the forum) to highlight any issues you think should concern us.

The Crofton Park Community Carnival, July 21st

Jane writes:

There will be stalls, delicious food, children's entertainment with Tea Dance for Little People, Family Treasure trail linking to the library, Zumba and Line dancing taster sessions and lots more.

Come along with all the family. The weather even promises to shine!!

Three UBR businesses forced to close

Police have confirmed reports that notices of closure have been served on three businesses on Upper Brockley Road, including Supercuts (which recently lost its alcohol licence), The Honeypot and the neighbouring plumbing supplies shop.

This stretch of Upper Brockley Road has recently been targeted in police raids.

We will bring you further details in due course.

New Cross Learning: Big Summer book sale

Gill writes:

A big summer book sale will be held at New Cross Learning, the community-run learning space and library in New Cross Gate, South East London on Sunday 5 August.

The event will run from 2pm-5pm, with second-hand books at (almost) pre-war prices, with paperbacks from 20p and hardbacks from £1. There will also be tea, coffee and home-made cakes for sale. It’ll be a great opportunity to get some holiday reading and take a break from the Olympics. We have a superb stock of donated books for all tastes.

All of the proceeds will go towards keeping New Cross Learning, its library and other learning activities, open.

The Labyrinth of Osiris

Lo, Osiris has come as Orion, Lord of wine at the wag-feast.


Brockley Nick here:

Last night, I went to the memorial of Paul Sussman, a journalist and author and dear friend.

He had the kind of life that made you want to quit your job and do something more exciting instead, warmth that would make you seek him out at any party and a relationship which restored your faith in marriage. He died suddenly of an aneurysm, aged 45, leaving behind him an amazing wife and two great kids.

He had just finished his fourth novel - an archaeological thriller called The Labyrinth of Osiris, which is attracting excellent early reviews. It's out on July 19th and you can buy it here if you like.

Greenspaces: The Laban Centre


The Laban Centre, Creekside, SE8 3DZ

The Laban Centre's back garden consists of a series of irregular pyramids surrounding a small outdoor theatre, all wrapped in soft grass.


Lie back on the grassy steps as kids run between the valleys and trains trundle back and forth across the water that divides it from west Greenwich.

The New Gu

The Gulen's makeover is nearly complete and it will be reopening shortly as a cocktail bar. The latest refit was necessitated by the Council's planning guidelines, which officers have been trying to enforce here since 2011. Its exterior is already looking a lot better.

Stornoway: Zorbing

Either Brockley is home to an inordinate number of bands, or musicians have worked out that by filming their video in the area, they can secure coverage on a website that will catapult them to stardom.


Thanks to Robert for the spot.

Sydenham, Kirkdale and Forest Hill bid for Portas Pilot status

Lewisham Council is supporting a bid by community groups in Sydenham, Kirkdale and Forest Hill to secure funding from the Portas Pilot pot, intended to regenerate local high streets across the country. Following the review by Mary Portas, which explored how local high streets might be regenerated, £1.5m has been made available for 15 projects across the country and a further £300,000 has been committed by the Mayor of London to support three London projects.

Here's the bid video:

This bid includes plans to create two community hubs in high street shops renovated for exhibitions, business workshops and creative community engagement; the letting of 12 vacant units to a mix of businesses and organisations as part of a large scale ‘pop-up’ project; and the initiation of a series of subsidised pilot markets with incentives for local traders across Sydenham, Kirkdale and Forest Hill.

The successful bids will be selected at the end of this month.

Goldsmiths plans Big Society centre*

Goldsmiths is planning to establish a research centre that works with the voluntary and community sector.

It will be holding a community event on to discuss the feasibility of the project at the Albany Theatre, Deptford, on Thursday July 19th 2012 9.30am – 12.30pm. They say:

The idea for the centre has come out of the research we have been undertaking into the current concerns, issues and needs of the voluntary and community sector across South East London.

A key finding from the 70 plus community organisations contacted was the need for a research resource that supported the voluntary and community sector across South East London and beyond. To progress this idea further the aim of the event will be to bring together representatives from the voluntary and community sector in South East London and academic staff from Goldsmiths, to discuss this proposal further by sharing our ideas, for example, the aims and objectives of a research centre, and what support it might provide.

Suggestions from community organisations contacted have included:

- To provide research evidence to support funding applications
- To provide research training events
- To provide information and advice on undertaking research
- To help with evaluation and monitoring of services and contracts
- To help with community and user needs assessments
- To help with social impact assessments
- To provide low-cost, or no-cost research support by matching Goldsmiths student research projects to community organisations needs.

If you would like to attend, please email Maria Dumas, Research Administrator, (m.dumas@gold.ac.uk)

*Remember the Big Society? It's amazing how fast that toxic phrase has disappeared from public discourse.

Dog boarding and kennels in Brockley

Elisabeth has been in touch to ask for advice about where to stick her dog while she's away, so please use this thread to discuss local hotels for dogs.

250 new Council homes for Lewisham

Brockley Kate sends us this Lewisham Council release:

The Mayor of Lewisham, Sir Steve Bullock, has given the go-ahead for the building of 250 new council homes to be built in Lewisham - the first social housing to be built by the Council in the borough for 30 years.

He also made clear his intention that the Council continues to work with developers, housing providers and partners across the sector to maximise the opportunities for investment and new homes, and improve the quality of the current housing stock.

Instructing officers to carry out a detailed analysis of possible in-fill sites for the new housing at this week’s Mayor and Cabinet meeting, Sir Steve also approved recommendations for officers to start looking at a range of options in more depth, at how the Council’s housing stock is managed and run in the future.

Sir Steve said:

“I'm pleased that we have the prospect of being able to build 250 new council homes in the borough. We need to look creatively at how we provide more homes. We already have two fantastic new developments in the Renaissance development at Loampit Vale with L&Q, and the Central Park development with Family Mosaic – developments that offer well-designed, quality new homes both for private buyers and social housing tenants.

"We also need to look to the future and how we can provide adaptable and desirable housing for our older residents; homes that will stand the test of time and be fit-for-purpose in 10, 20, 30 years’ time."

Average house prices in Lewisham have gone up by 250 per cent in the past couple of years, while wages have increased only by 50 per cent. National statistics predict that the population in Lewisham could rise by a further 23,500 people by 2030.

Looking at how the Council’s housing stock is managed, and by whom, was also a recommendation. The Council’s management organisation, Lewisham Homes, was set up in 2007. Since then it has improved and services for residents and updated and improved more than 9,000 Council homes.

Along with the new building programme the Council will be embarking on a conversation with residents over the autumn about their priorities for housing and the options. Called “Housing Matters”, the programme will see officers talking to residents about two broad options that have been identified as possible ways forward in the running of council housing in the borough: one option is that the Council keeps ownership of council homes, either managed, as now, by Lewisham Homes, or directly by the Council. The other is to transfer ownership of council homes, either to an existing social housing provider (such as a housing association) or to a new mutual organisation in which residents and tenants would have a high degree of control and influence.

 It is envisaged that the Council will have a clearer picture at the end of the year from residents on how they would like to see their homes managed and run in the future.

Brockley Cross works on hold until after the Paralympics

Work to remodel Brockley Cross has ground to a temporary halt as a result of the hiatus on road projects in place during the Olympic period, Lewisham Council has confirmed.

The road in the centre of Brockley Cross remains to be raised, level with the pavement, to slow traffic and part of Geoffrey Road is due to become one-way, to stop drivers turning right straight on to a pedestrian crossing.

Work started way back in March and has been moving at a glacial pace and was supposed to have been completed before the start of the Games.

In related news, the Council reports that "apart from a few coping stones that need to be replaced, the [remedial]works at Brockley station are now complete."

Coming soon: Arlo & Moe

Arlo & Moe is a new coffee, cake & handmade food shop, currently taking shape at 360 Brockley Road, in Crofton Park.

The shop was formerly occupied by George's barbershop and according to the photo the new occupants have posted on the Brockley forum, the building is still an empty shell, but they plan to open soon and it will be exciting to see what they come up with.

Coulgate Street block approved

The Council has approved plans for a new apartment block, with a street-level office space, to be built at 16 Coulgate Street.

The site is the former home of Speedicars, which was demolished and recently served as an access route for the Brockley Station platform extension project. The application is for:

The construction of a part single/part four/part five storey building at 16 Coulgate Street SE4, incorporating balconies and roof terrace, comprising a mini cab office/retail/commercial unit (Use Classes A1/A2), 4 one bedroom, 3 two bedroom and 2 three bedroom, self-contained flats, together with the provision of a bicycle store.

The supporting documents include a letter of intent from Speedicars, indicating that they plan to return to that site, occupying the office once it is built. The designs are a little blah, but it makes sense to fill this site in.

Standard: East London Line benefits "most apparent" in Brockley

The Evening Standard's Homes and Property section is pimping Brockley and Telegraph Hill again. In a feature this week, devoted to telling people priced out of more central London locations where to look next, Brockley and Telegraph Hill get several name checks with the paper referencing research which argues that:

There is a knock-on lower down the market too, with second-time buyers selling flats to purchase houses in up-and-coming areas such as Brockley.

It goes on:

Telegraph Hill, on the Brockley / New Cross border is a Victorian conservation area with two refurbished parks, a church, community centre, café and a highly-rated secondary school… there are amazing views of London. Local estate agents’ claims that the area is undervalued ring true. Will appeal to City workers.

Brockley is the south London district where the benefits brought by the extension of the East London Line are the most apparent. Offers room for families.

180 Brockley Road plans submitted

The application to redevelop 180 Brockley Road (the area of land currently occupied by the MOT garage directly behind Coulgate Street) have been submitted, following a consultation earlier this year. The massing has been refined (and improved in our view) and new visuals produced, but even more importantly, we now have some detail about how the street level space will be used. The application is for:

The demolition of the existing buildings on the site of 180 Brockley Road SE4 and the construction of a part two/ part three/ part four storey block , comprising 482 sq m commercial floor space (Use Classes A1 (Shops), A2 (Financial and Professional), A3 (Restaurants and Cafes) & B1 (Business), 3 studio flats, 11 one bedroom, 9 two bedroom and 2 three bedroom self-contained flats, together with refuse and cycle storage, associated highway and public realm works.

The plans include a number of options for the layout of the street level and it is heartening to see that provision has been made for restaurant and cafe space, alongside the shops. Providing a mix of the two will give this development - and this part of Brockley - the best chance of attracting a thriving collection of businesses. There was the risk that we could have ended up with one big unit, suitable for nothing other than another supermarket, within a stone's throw of Nisa and Costcutter. Not that there is anything wrong with a supermarket, but it would have denied us the opportunity to create a more diverse centre.

The Design and Access statement also includes confirmation that the part-pedestrianisation of Coulgate Street could form part of the wider community benefits. They say:

Although not part of the planning application for the site of 180 Brockley Road we have included indicative proposals for the re-organisation and landscaping of Coulgate Street, between Brockley Road and Foxberry Road. 
These proposals were discussed and elaborated with Lewisham’s Transport, Planning and Conservation Department and BXAG and include: 

• Level and shared surfaced street environment for pedestrian and vehicular use with pedestrian priority 
• Enlargement of dedicated pedestrian pavement area in front of station parade to allow cafes, restaurant and shops to spill out onto the street 
• Tree lined street environment as part of soft landscaping strategy 
• One-way vehicular traffic with entry from the north from Brockley Road and exit to the south onto Foxberry Road and further east back onto Brockley Road; 
• Reduced on street car parking spaces on one side only, limited short-term parking for customers of the local commercial premises, drop-off and pick-up point for the station and car parking spaces for the local mini-cab company Speedicars.

Two local community gardening projects you can get involved with

Anne-Marie has been in touch about two brilliant local gardening projects:

I'm writing on behalf of two new community gardens local to Brockley, one in Breakspears Mews and the other is at Telegraph Hill Centre on Kitto Road.

Both spaces are right at the beginning of setting up their new community gardens and are appealing to local residents to join them for a couple of hours over the summer.

Breakspears Mews

Carol Hooper is the project manager setting up the Breakspears Mews garden, off Ashby Road. 

She has helped master mind the removal of tonnes of illegally dumped material from the Mews. To celebrate the new garden, Jane is hosting an Olympics themed event on Saturday 14 July. There will be a bouncy castle and tug of war and other competitive events.

Breakspears Mews is about to be transformed! The immediate vicinity has been blighted for years by dumped rubbish, abandoned cars and hundreds of dumped tyres.

The Breakspears Mews Community Gardens Association is now working to transform it into a community garden for all to enjoy. Already scores of people have joined in the clean up.

Once cleared plans include food growing and fruit trees. Get in at the start of a new project!

The Association are hosting an Olympics-themed Open Day at the Mews for all the family on Saturday 14 July.

Kitto Road

This soon-to-be-community garden is based at the busy Telegraph Hill Centre. The Centre has big plans to transform ‘The Cage’ into ‘A Garden!’

A successful plant swap was help back in March and now the don'tre is inviting local volunteers to help turn an unloved piece of land into a beautiful and hopefully productive space for community use and enjoyment. 

So if you dont have gardening space of your own or have a few hours free this summer, why not go along and help create something beautiful? Jane Hartley is the project manager, to find out more please call her on 020 7639 0214

Uncovered Archive: Unlock the secrets of New Cross' past


Maj. Eaton: We have top men working on it now. 
Indiana: Who? 
Maj. Eaton: Top... men.
- Raiders of the Lost Ark

Lucia writes:

Uncovered Archive is a special event on Wednesday 18th July at New Cross Learning, 285-5 New Cross Road, London, looking at the secrets of New Cross Road and of the archives deep in the old library building's basement.

It will be a fun, magical evening, that promises to take you back in time.

It's organised by artists from Goldsmiths University with the Open Society Youth Initiative, Telegraph Hill Society and the Lewisham Local History Society.. The event is from 7.30-9.30pm and admission is free. 

www.newcrosslearning.org

Strange things are afoot at the Circle K

Quick high street update.

Gulen's is getting another makeover (following last year's black-out), but remaining a bar. Meanwhile, BC Twitterers report signs of life at the Old Bank restaurant in Honor Oak, leading to speculation that it may be reopening soon. 

We hope to bring you more on both soon.

Kids, stay off the skitching

Noel Edmonds: What is Cake? Well, it has an active ingredient which is a dangerous psychoactive compound known as dimesmeric andersonphosphate. It stimulates the part of the brain called Shatner's Bassoon. And that's the bit of the brain that deals with time perception. So, a second feels like a month. Well, it almost sounds like fun...unless you're the Prague schoolboy who walked out into the street straight in front of a tram. He thought he'd got a month to cross the street. 
- Brass Eye 

The issue of 'skitching' has been raised on Telegraph Hill ward and the Safer Neighbourhoods Team will be holding two events on: 

- Wednesday 25th July at Telegraph Hill Lower Park - A fun day for skateboarders from
- Wednesday 25th July at Queens Road, Somerville Adventure Playground from 12-5pm - free security bike marking for BMXers

These events will promote safe and responsible riding, in and around the parks to reduce issues of anti social behaviour and complaints from the local residents.

Yippee Ki Yay, Mo Pho!

It's Mo Pho's first birthday this month and, like Brockley's Rock, they're celebrating.

From July 23r-28th, the Coulgate Street Vietnamese restaurant and takeaway will be offering a cupcake to the first 20 customers through the door each day. 

Congratulations to another thriving local business.

Out is in for Generation Y

The FT reports a study by Deloitte, which show that British 18-34 year-olds go out twice as much as 35-54s, eating and drinking out 32 times a month, up from 25 times a month a year ago. Across the UK whole population, the figure has risen by 13% year-on-year.

It's further evidence that providing experiences is replacing retail as the main function of the high street, something which planners need to adapt to. It also suggests there is still room for a few more places to go out in Brockley.

New mural for Brockley Station

A new mosaic has appeared at Brockley Station, covering a bit of previously-exposed concrete and complementing the cherry blossom design on the other side of the wall. Another incremental bit of loveliness.

Major Shoreditch scheme to be submitted later this year

After the Shard's completion and Westfield's Croydon plans were reveealed, The Standard reports that another destination directly linked to Brockley is to be redeveloped.

The paper says that a planning application will be made by Hammerson this year for the Shoreditch Goodsyard, which has been vacant for over 40 years. The site surrounds the Shoreditch ELL station, which was built as a concrete box in anticipation that it would be covered by buildings in due course. The plans have been hotly anticipated for some time: 

Permission has been granted for a 50-storey residential tower across Shoreditch High Street at the Principal Place development. Ballymore will build the flats. The plans show “an opportunity for taller buildings” as well as “mid-rise” towers along the High Street frontage. So the detailed planning application is likely to contain three or four fairly tall towers. 

This might sound a bit dense but an open space the size of Trafalgar Square is promised outside the station: the outline plans also show a very large park covering a quarter of the site. But don’t pack your picnic baskets yet: after lying derelict for decades it will likely be another decade before the site is good enough to eat off. 

The site is currently part-occupied by Boxpark.

Brockley Rise newsagent immortalised

Brockley Rise newsagent Fosters has been celebrated in a dedicated book of photography by local designer Son' Emirali.

As featured in It's Nice That. With thanks to Peter, who sent us the link. A good newsagent is a joy forever, so it's good to see one so beautifully immortalised.

Lewisham scraps homes sell-off

In response to a question from Cllr Johnson, Lewisham Council officers have confirmed that a planned sell-off of Council-owned homes in the borough has been cancelled. Here's the Q&A:

Question

Could you update me on any change in approach regarding the disposal of Lewisham Homes properties, since my question to the 29th February Council meeting and the answer I received then?

Answer

It remains the Council’s policy not to dispose of any land or property without considering all the possible options for retention. Our response in February of this year highlighted a small number of properties that were being considered for sale. These were identified by an independent survey that concluded it was not economically viable to retain them due to the high cost of the repairs required to bring them up to Decent Homes standards and the lack of appropriate funding to support these works.

However, with the changes in April 2012 to the housing finance framework, new funding opportunities were made available. In addition, other changes coming from the housing and welfare reforms will have a substantial impact on housing needs and supply and the downturn in the economy is making home ownership more difficult for local residents. Hence a report was presented to Mayor & Cabinet on the 30th May 2012 to reconsider the earlier decision to sell these properties in the light of these changes.

The decision was made by the Mayor & Cabinet to retain these properties. Work is underway to look at how we can maximise the opportunities both for housing for local residents in housing need waiting to move but also to investigate opportunities to link with local training and employment schemes to bring these properties back into use.

Westfield unveils £1bn Croydon plan

The Times reports that Westfield - developers of giant malls in White City and Stratford - has released details of its plans to create a third mall in Croydon:

Under the proposal Westfield would create 1.5 million sq ft of shopping space, a multi-screen cinema, a bowling area and a number of bars and restaurants. It wants to create a new streetscape in Croydon...

It said its new scheme could be built within two to three years and it is hoping to attract John Lewis as an anchor tenant. 

However, Hammerson, the UK’s third largest property company, also has plans to redevelop the Whitgift Centre. The specialist retail property developer will unveil its own detailed proposals later this month and wants to create a holistic scheme that links a new scheme at the Whitgift with its Centrale Shopping Centre next door.

Whatever plan proceeds, it seems certain that the Croydon will become the southern counterweight to Brent Cross in the same way East London's Stratford has to West London's White City. With excellent links from this borough to Croydon, it will make it even harder for Lewisham town centre to regenerate through retail.

St Johns Nearly New Sale

Cynthia writes:

The St John's Baby and Toddler Group, a playgroup run entirely by volunteers twice a week at St John's Church on Lewisham Way, is holding a nearly new sale on Thursday 12 July between 9.30am and 11am. As well as the Sale there will be a play area with toys and play equipment to keep the children entertained and a cafe with tea, coffee and cake for sale to keep the parents refreshed!

Anyone wishing to sell can purchase a pack of seller tickets, price up their items and bring them along to St John's Hall where they will be displayed together with other items for sale.

For full information and details of how to get hold of tickets, please email: saintjohnsplaygroup@yahoo.co.uk Parents can drop off the items the day before at the Wednesday playgroup session.

St Stephen's School Fayre, July 7th

Polly writes: 

St Stephen's CE School (Albyn Road) is having its Summer Fayre this Saturday, 7 July, from 1pm to 4pm. Everyone is welcome - there will be plenty of attractions (bouncy castle, under 5s play area, games for all ages, face painting and cupcake decorating to name a few) and a great choice of food and treats to eat. What's more, this year the fayre will be opened by actor Ben Willbond, of 'Horrible Histories' fame, so come early if your children (or you!) are fans of the show.

Goldsmiths takes action to Stop the Rot

Earlier this year, BC served as a platform for the launch of Stop the Rot, a campaign designed to persuade Goldsmiths to deal with its portfolio of decaying New Cross properties, which were having a deleterious effect on the neighbourhood. In response, Goldsmiths promised to look into what could be done.

Now, Cllr Johnson has received this answer from Council officers about Goldsmiths' progress:

Officers from the Council's Economic Development and Programme Management teams have continued to have discussions with the University to explore how the shops on 302-314 New Cross Road could be bought back into use. Goldsmith's expect to begin the refurbishment of at least two of the shops in 2012.

Council officers will continue to work with the college to explore opportunities to secure funding for the refurbishment of all of the five shops. The two empty properties on St Donnat’s Road (numbers 38 and 80) have been sold for residential use, subject to contract.

A coordinated effort between the public and politicians leading to swift and decisive action. This is a moment to savour.

Folk Me Hard at the Amersham Arms

Maria writes:

I live in Brockley and work for a music promotion company that puts on gigs at the Amersham Arms in New Cross. Our regular night is called Folk Me Hard and it goes on every other Monday or Wednesday and mainly features folk/roots/blues bands. 

Our goal is to provide affordable live music from some of the best up-and-coming acts in London and at the same time harvest local talent: that's why we always try and book a mixture of bands from all areas of the city and a number of musicians from the South East. 

The next gig is Wednesday, 11th July, featuring Slow Wolf, DU Bellows and Last of the Barstools.

Details here.

Cllr Brooks calls for action against Skitching

This is an open letter from Cllr Duwayne Brooks about an issue that was recently highlighted on BC, albeit without giving it such a catchy label:

Dear Cabinet Member for Youth

I am writing to express my concern about the growing problem of “skitching” in parts of Lewisham. As you may be aware from my colleague, Cllr Phillip Peake’s question at the last full Council meeting, “Skitching” is the act of hitching onto a moving vehicle such as a bike, car or bus whilst on roller skates or using a skateboard and is proving a particular problem on some bus routes in Lewisham.

I am pleased that the Council has now said in response to Cllr Peake’s question that it will be looking into different ways of raising awareness of the dangers of ‘skitching’ amongst young people in Lewisham. However, I would urge you to ensure that any programme is launched before the summer holidays.

I am concerned that some young people in Lewisham that I have spoken with were not aware that skitching breaks the law and I know through my conversations with the local police and youth workers that this is a very real source of concern locally.

I am also particularly anxious to ensure that young people are made fully aware of the dangers of skateboarding and roller skating in moving traffic more generally particularly with the schools about to break up for the summer holidays.

Skitching is extremely dangerous and I am concerned that this growing trend will lead to serious accidents if not addressed as a priority. I am of course happy to help and assist in any way I can.

Half Cousin Live at the Old Nun's Head

Mat writes:

I run a small record label with a friend called 'Spillage Fete Records'.

We release small limited runs of Vinyl and Cds by various artists including ourselves.

As well as this, we also occasionally put on gigs to launch albums. Previously we have hosted our gigs in central or East London, but both myself and other Matt are from Brockley and Nunhead, and want to create a more homespun atmosphere to the label and any gigs.

We are hosting a launch gig for an artist called 'Half Cousin' this Friday night at the Old Nuns head in Nunhead. Here's the flyer.

465 folds

Cafe 465, the cafe that opened in May, replacing the ill-fated Come the Revolution, has closed. The unit is back on the market. One of the founders, Nicola, confirms:

We started on a shoestring and unfortunately didn't get enough custom to survive. But many thanks to everyone who did support us.

The particular spot they occupy on the high street is not very promising as a location for a cafe and punters may not have realised that the place had changed hands, especially as the People Before Profit estate agency still lives next door.

However, it´s a shame they didn´t give themselves a little more time to make a success of the place. It´s extremely unusual for any business to break even, let alone turn a profit in six weeks - most businesses take more than a year to become a success. They also seemed to give themselves a couple of major handicaps by limiting the opening hours to 10am-4pm and not embracing the marketing power of the internet more fully.

Good luck to the team in whatever they do next.

The Shard show

Brockley residents will be able to watch the laser show, emanating from the top of the Shard, during its official opening ceremony tonight, starting at 10.15pm.

Variously described by the foaming commentariat as a spike through London's hearta slash across its face and a metaphor for everything that's rotten about somethingorother, the Shard looks like a stunning crystalline giant from Telegraph Hill and a shimmering little church spire from Hilly Fields. For a building that is supposedly unavoidable for anyone in London, its impact on our views is remarkably modest.
The Shard at sunset from Hilly Fields (the little pointy thing above the tree in the middle)

The Shard is also at the heart of regeneration around London Bridge, eventually plonking thousands more jobs directly on top of Brockley's most important transport hub (although the office space is still substantially unlet at the moment).

Blythe Hill Festival, July 7th

Brockley's Rock celebrates with cake and chips

It looks like we picked the wrong week to quit carbohydrates. Kyri from Brockley Road fish and chip cafe Brockley's Rock writes:

Today is the one year anniversary of Brockley's Rock, our first birthday. To celebrate we're doing some special giveaways for the whole day.

Firstly, we'll be giving away a free portion of regular chips with every fish. On top of this, as it only seems right to have cake for a birthday, we will also be giving away a delicious free cupcake from Pat-a-Cakes in a choice of chocolate, vanilla or cinnamon to everyone who eats in the restaurant tomorrow, and for every fish sold on the takeaway, including kid's cod. So that's free chips and free cake for every takeaway fish! We'll also be serving a new menu today.

I'd also like to say a huge thank you to Brockley Central and to all our customers who have supported us over the last year. We've been really welcomed into the Brockley community and it's been an enjoyable first year. We're looking forward to many more!

Pub Spy on Jam Circus

Editor: This is a joke, right? I mean this is the stupidest thing I've ever read!
Homer: What's wrong with it?
Editor: You keep using words like "Pasghetti" and "Momatoes" You make numerous threatening references to the UN and at the end you repeat the words "Screw Flanders" over and over again.
Homer: Oh, it's so hard to get to 500 words.
- The Simpsons, Guess Who's Coming to Criticise Dinner?

The News Shopper Pub Spy has turned his libidinous gaze on Jam Circus and found the place and its clientele to his liking. Highlights include:

For beer lovers, there is an exciting variety of bottled nectar on offer including Floisgaarden Fruit in different flavours (£3.70), Peroni (£3.10) and Purity Ubu/Purity Mad Goose England Ale (£3.50).

The cocktail list is even more lovely with wonderfully named weekly specials.

Mouth-watering food made from scratch with, where possible, local ingredients is described so incredibly on the menu I was devastated we’d already eaten dinner...

But my favourite of the night was an elderly gentleman’s white shirt decorated with cacti, guitars, red musical notes and song lyrics. This coupled with his John Lennon style round glasses, cheered my evening up no end. They really know how to light up a room in Brockley.

Read the full review here.

Brockley Central Label Cloud