When building work finally commences in a couple of months' time on the delayed Cathedral/United House development next to Deptford station, one of Deptford's most recent and best loved landmarks, the café known to locals as "the train", will have to move. The café has been given notice to be off the site by 31st August.
The cafe has been an amazing success and forms a pair with the Big Red pizza bus on the other side of Deptford. It would be a travesty if it left town. The original plan, to stick it near the station, has been vetoed. The most promising spot, Crosswhatfields suggests, is next to The Albany theatre. One possibility is it gets shunted to Brighton, so that that quiet seaside town can benefit from a little sprinkle of Deptford stardust. Everyone wants to 'do a Bilbao'.
Like Boxpark, the train cafe only exists because the developers wanted the land to be used for something interesting in the period before redevelopment took place, so it's a little churlish to criticise Cathedral for displacing it now. But likewise, the wider Deptford Project development will owe at least part of its success to the "placemaking" role that the carriage has played in marketing Deptford to new audiences.
Cathedral and Lewisham Council should do everything they can to find it a happy home in SE8.