The Running Clan

Lee writes:

Fancy joining a Hilly Fields running club?

I am a keen runner living in Brockley and would like to see if there is interest in a local running club. I envisage our organised runs starting from Hilly Fields and ranging in distance and pace to suit the membership that we attract. There would be a particular focus on helping new runners to enjoy this wonderful sport.

If you are interested in finding out more, please email Lee Cash at leealexandercash@gmail.com with the subject line "Hilly Fields Running Club".

Crofton Park gripped by Malays

Arlo & Moe will have a new neighbour next week
Alan writes:

There is a new Malaysian deli opening in the previously empty unit beside Arlo & Moe.

I was having a look in through the front door today and a lady came out to speak to me. They are opening next week and will be serving Malaysian food to eat in, and selling spices and other ingredients.

Looks nice inside with brightly coloured decor, a deli counter, and a good space for eating in. Sounds like a really cool addition to the area.

A History of Brockely - Part 5: Canal Street

This is the fifth part of Darrell Spurgeon's history of Brockley (click on the History tag for the series).

The Croydon Canal

Just before reaching Shardeloes Road, note to the left The Ark, no 73a, designed by Mark Grainger 2004. This imaginative and nicely detailed house is in a style virtually unique in the area. The first floor balcony is suspended on steel columns, and there is abundant use of timber, particularly in the bold stairwell to the right.

Shardeloes Road. This is a long road, running from Lewisham Way south to Brockley Cross. The road was laid out in the late 1850s, but it is noticeable that the southernmost part of the road has not been built upon, as it is the site of a section of the Croydon Canal which had remained unused when the Croydon Railway opened in 1839.

The Croydon Canal ran from the Grand Surrey Canal at New Cross to Croydon from 1809 to 1836, when it was purchased by the London & Croydon Railway. The railway from London Bridge to Croydon via New Cross Gate opened in 1839. In practice the route followed by the railway diverged from the canal route considerably between New Cross Gate and Brockley Stations. There had been eight locks on the canal between the sites of these two stations.

Starting from the north, to the west, first is a gated mews, Chestnut Close, of c1992, with an unimaginative development called The Chestnuts. Then, extending as far as the junction with St Donatts Road, is a series of fine Italianate terraces and pairs of the late 1850s; the initial group, nos 2/44, are particularly good, with some distinctive features.

On the east side is, first, the entrance to Surrey House, 80 Lewisham Way, a substantial and attractive house of 1860, now a residential hall for Goldsmiths, University of London (see Raymont Hall, Wickham Road, below). Further on are two pairs of the late 1850s, but this side consists mainly of modern flats.

Between St Donatts Road and the junction with Vulcan Road to the east and Vesta Road to the west, both sides have late 19th century terraces as well as interwar terraces and flats. It is towards the end of this section that the road begins to follow the canal route.

Going south from the Vulcan Road / Vesta Road junction, apart from a few terraced houses at the beginning on the east side, there are, because of its alignment with the former canal route, no buildings at all.

But note on the retaining wall to the west The Shardeloes Road Poem, a lengthy inscription in elegant upper case letters by James Salisbury & Tom Young 2003, based on a poem by Margaret Reynolds, as follows:

LIVE WORK LOVE LAUGH. GATHER GREET STAY. TRADE TRAVEL BELIEVE BUILD. EAT DRINK & PLAY. SEE HEAR TASTE CATCH. SIT BREATHE SLEEP. LEARN CARE CREATE. SOW GROW & REAP.

Greater Brockley is...

Lewisham: As you head south, the internet begins to run out of ideas...
Inspired by Londonist's auto-complete guide to London, we've created the Google Search guide to Lewisham. The rules: Type each ward name followed by the word "is" and pick the first result that makes sense other than "is a ward in Lewisham". Articles with the phrase in the headline take priority.

It's quite damning how little has been said about some wards, other than to confirm their existence. You have to go quite far down the list before you find anything resembling an opinion or fact about some of them, but this isn't the most inaccurate guide to the area we've ever seen.

Lewisham house price rises

The BBC reports that over the year to December 2012, Lewisham experienced the sixth-fastest rise in house prices of the 33 London boroughs. The 11.9% rise occurred despite a 1.6% fall in the last quarter and was driven mainly by large increases in house prices, rather than modest increases in the price of flats.

There are so many house price indices, which tell so many conflicting stories, that it's tempting to discount all of them. However, it's been a while since we featured one, so here we are...

The table underlines a long-term London trend, which is the re-population of inner London by people on higher incomes after decades of decline until the 1980s. Looking down the table, there is a clear divide between the inner boroughs, which have mostly experienced large price rises, and the outer boroughs, where price rises have mostly been in the low single-digits. Ranking the boroughs by annual increases, the lowest-placed inner borough is Tower Hamlets at 22. Only two outer boroughs (Brent and Ealing) make the top ten.

After decades of flight to the suburbs and the home counties, the middle classes have rediscovered the advantages and pleasures of urbanity, while super-prime buyers in Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster and Camden have led urbanites with money to look at other inner London locations.

Lewisham is still among the cheapest boroughs in London (26th most expensive average price out of 33), but  nowhere in inner London will be cheap by the next decade.

With thanks to Monkeyboy.

War Child benefit gig at the Amersham

Live Artists writes:

Live Artists Concerts and Captain Backfire's Martin Holiday have joined forces to curate an evening of amazing music all in support of the fantastic charity War Child at the Amersham Arms on Thursday, April 11th. Here's more about the artists who will be performing:

Jay Brown
http://www.iamjaybrown.com
Jay Brown is a young songwriter from Northampton. Her music showcases her love of Rock, Soul, Ska, Reggae and Pop in her uniquely raw and vibrant style.

Captain Backfire
http://www.facebook.com/captainbackfiremusic
With hard rock guitars being a staple in his music, Backfire combines rave elements, pop hooks and r&b vocals to create this dirty pop sound. “I’m somewhere between Ellie Goulding and Enter Shikari with soul thrown in”

Craig Webb
http://www.facebook.com/Craigwebbpaintsweather

Becky Holloway
http://www.facebook.com/beckyhollowaymusic

So with these amazing artists, special guests still to be added and all the proceeds going to this amazing charity you can do something good and get that warm gooey feeling inside by buying the ticket and in return you get an amazing night of music....how ace is that!

Buy tickets here.

Hopscotch hiring

Nic from Hopscotch writes:

We are looking for a part time member of staff at Hopscotch café bar in Honor Oak Park. Ideally with experience of making coffee as well as being friendly and reliable! The position would suit a student looking for part time work or someone looking for 2-3 shifts a week. Please email nic@hopscotch-cafebar.com

Deptford and the Waitrose effect

Deptford's been given the Standard's Homes & Property treatment this evening, albeit with the focus on New Capital Quay, which lies on the Greenwich side of the water.

The imminent arrival of Waitrose (admittedly a rare thing in South East London) has forced the paper urgently to reappraise its view of the area, which we've been saying for a long time is already one of the best things about this part of the city. Suggesting that Waitrose confers "retail respectability" on a place that boasts a great market and dozens of interesting independent shops and businesses is pretty irritating, but it's nice to see namechecks for the Deptford X, Bearspace Gallery, the Albany Theatre and the Deptford Dame, among others.

With Workspace and Cathedral Group planning major redevelopments of Deptford's core and further improvements to the high street due soon, expect many more of these sorts of articles to follow.

Brockley police station to close, but Lewisham officer numbers up as Brockley faces police shake-up

The new London-wide Police and Crime Plan has confirmed that Brockley Police Station will shut as part of a closure programme for 60 police desks across the capital.

Meanwhile, police numbers in the borough will rise by 2015,  although not by as much as originally indicated. The Mayor had originally claimed 54 new police positions would be created in Lewisham, but figures released today by the London Labour Party put the real number at 13.

Nonetheless, this represents a pretty good outcome for Lewisham. Money needs to be saved and closing a little-used and seldom-open station is one of the least painful ways of saving it. And while the increase in police numbers is smaller than originally promised, office numbers are nonetheless increasing. With Greenwich set to lose 16 officers by 2015 and 16 other London boroughs' numbers due to shrink, Lewisham has secured relatively good deal.

UPDATE: The Police and Crime Plan will also create Local Police Areas (LPA), which means Lewisham wards will lose their Safer Neighbourhood Teams, to be replaced by bigger area teams: North, Central and South. Brockley ward will be covered by the Local Police Area North. Cllr Johnson says on Twitter:

"I'm far more worried about dilution of Safer Neighbourhood Teams under these plans than the police station going... and having a dedicated Sergeant has meant we've been able to get a number of long-running problems dealt with."

Brockley's "Invisible House"

The architects behind a planned "invisible eco house" on the corner of Geoffrey Road and Manor Avenue have written about their design here. The Jak Studio team say:

Last year Kevin and Mac approached us to look into the possibility of realising their dream to build upon a small plot of land with derelict garages they jointed owned in leafy Brockley. The site historically occupied by a coach house for the grandiose homes of the local dock owners was certainly challenging. Positioned on a prominent corner within a conservation area and Flanked on either side by communal gardens full of mature trees the scheme required some lateral thinking! 

The scheme proposes a subterranean basement complete with sunken garden and contextual brickwork storey at street level house the bedrooms. At first floor a high reflective glass ‘mirror box’ camouflages the living accommodation and a roof terrace completes the scheme.

The scheme itself has been designed with Sustainability in mind from the outset, a ‘super insulated’ air tight structure will aspire to meet the principles of ‘passivhaus’, whereas a wood chip burner and photovoltiacs will seek to utilise renewable energy sources for heat and power.

Located opposite the nearly-finished Cedar Mews development, it offers a similarly sensitive approach to building modern, ambitious high-density housing in the middle of a conservation area, without resorting to pastiche. They hope to secure planning permission by the summer.

Rogue Brockley landlord fined for stuffing property

Lewisham Council reports (via Cllr Foxcroft):

An unlicensed landlord has been prosecuted by Lewisham Council for failing to comply with House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) regulations.

The prosecution was brought against Mustafa Kemal Mustafa who did not apply for an HMO licence on a property in Millmark Grove, Brockley.

An inspection of the property revealed at least ten people living at the address, sharing an unfinished kitchen, bathrooms and occupying rooms not deemed large enough for the number of occupants. Unrelated tenants were also found to be sharing rooms.

Mr Mustafa maintained that the property was being used as a hostel providing temporary emergency accommodation. Despite pleading not guilty, Mr Mustafa of Briar Lane, West Wickham was convicted at Bromley Magistrates’ Court on 26 February and fined £7,500 for contravening section 72(1) of the Housing Act 2004 (committing an offence for failing to licence a house in multiple occupation). He was also ordered to pay £925 costs.

Councillor Susan Wise, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, said: "This prosecution will serve as a warning to unscrupulous landlords who fail to ensure their properties conform to legal requirements. The Council will bring them to book to protect the health, safety and welfare of tenants living in private rented accommodation."

Private landlords can find out more about their legal responsibilities, licensing and HMO standards – visit www.lewisham.gov.uk and search for ’HMO’, or contact the Lewisham Council Environmental Health Team on 020 8314 6420.

A History of Brockley - Part 4: Evolution becomes revolution

This is the fourth part of Darrell Spurgeon's history of Brockley (click on the History tag for the series).

Brockley Rise

South of Crofton Park, Brockley Road ends and becomes Brockley Rise. The northernmost part of Brockley Rise remained largely rural, even though Brockley Farm had closed in 1870, until the opening of Honor Oak Park Station, on the road called Honor Oak Park, in 1886; even then, development was slow, and much of the area was not built over until the interwar period.

The southernmost part, leading down to the South Circular Road, is more interesting; here development had started in the 1850s, and the area to the east of Brockley Rise was very different from and much grander than the area to the west.

Dominant in the western area is St Saviour’s Church, originally built 1866 but now predominantly of 1952; its exterior may be depressing, but the interior is quite delightful. To its south from the early 1850s was a planned development called West Kent Park. This area now looks very different - few of the original buildings survive, and apart from the postwar Ewart Estate, the environment is not very pleasant.

The eastern area was laid out from 1853 by the Conservative Land Society on the slope leading up to Blythe Hill Fields, with its wonderful views. The area is centred on Brockley Hill Park, now a private woodland enclave between Duncombe Hill and Lowther Hill. The roads in the area still retain a number of mid to late 19th century houses. Brockley Park is of special interest, with some later attractions – from the Edwardian period St William of York Church, and from the postwar period the first of the Lewisham social self-build schemes, as well as the well planned Brockley Park Estate.

Brockley Rise ends at Stanstead Road, part of the South Circular Road, and here one is clearly in Forest Hill.

Charlotte Turner Overhaul

The Deptford Dame reports that Charlotte Turner Gardens, on the Greenwich / Deptford border, is to receive a makeover. She says:

The improvements are quite exciting - I particularly like the idea of planting an orchard and some cherry trees. More of this kind of thing please - perhaps Lewisham Homes should consider planting fruit trees in its many small public green spaces around Evelyn and Pepys? 

 The main features [include]: A central grassed area with timber-retained mounds at each end – suitable for ball games and all kinds of play activities. A tidied and more attractive area between Carrick Mews and Brig Mews, with better views of the park and easier to maintain and a row of cherry trees, running the entire west edge of the garden, bringing colour in the spring and fruit later in the year. 

This is one of the sorriest parks on the greenspaces map, so the investment is very welcome news.

Hill Top Chef needed

Telegraph Hill's Community Café is looking for a chef. They say:

We are urgently seeking to appoint an experienced Chef to work up to 5 shifts a week preparing daily specials, short orders (including breakfasts) and be responsible for planning and delivering the menu for each week. This position would be for an initial 3 months to cover the absence of our current chef. Payment will be calculated on an hourly basis (above London living wage minimum).

Pole Wax

Ben Brown sends us this picture and writes:

I saw these saw rare and beautiful waxwings on Arklow Rd Deptford yesterday.

The cold weather further north has brought them to Deptford, South London. I was amazed to see them on a bush eating berries just 40m from my house. I cycled back and grabbed my camera and they were still there thankfully when I returned.

Turn Brockley's phone boxes into something amazing

Mel writes:

Under British Telecoms Adopt a Kiosk scheme two listed telephone boxes in Brockley (on the corners of Lewisham Way and Wickham Rd and Lewisham Way and Breakspears Rd.) have been saved and are now free to be used by us all. This is only the start as there are more that could be rescued.

These are the first, and only, boxes in London to now be owned by the community. But what would you like them to be used for?

A library, toy exchange, WiFi hub, seedling greenhouse, herb box or art space? Or all of the above, free to be booked by everyone via an online diary?

Come to the first meeting of the Brockley Box Collective on 27 March 2013 at 7pm at The Tea Factory, Room 104, Endwell Road. With thanks to Green Tea Architects.

A History of Brockley - Part 3: Artifice and artistry

Tommy Johnson: I had to be up at that there crossroads last midnight, to sell my soul to the devil. 
Ulysses Everett McGill: Well, ain't it a small world, spiritually speaking. Pete and Delmar just been baptized and saved. I guess I'm the only one that remains unaffiliated.
- O Brother, Where Art Thou?

This is the third part of Darrell Spurgeon's history of Brockley (click on the History tag for the series), in which we learn that the Crofton Park name is of no import, historically speaking:

Brockley Cross and Crofton Park

The Croydon Railway was opened in 1839, in part using the bed of the disused Croydon Canal; from New Cross Gate Station southwards, once past the Goldsmiths College complex, it runs along or near the western boundary of Brockley. Apart from the interwar Honor Oak Estate and a small area to its north extending up to Endwell Road, Brockley lies to the east of the railway line.

Upper Brockley comes to an end at Brockley Cross, a complicated but important road junction, where six key roads meet. The area is in the course of substantial change with new build and regeneration.

Brockley Cross is also near the rail junction of the Croydon Line and the Nunhead Loop Line, originally with two railway stations. Only one, Brockley Station, which opened in 1871, now survives; it now not only serves the main line from London Bridge to Croydon, but also the new London Overground service from Dalston Junction. Brockley Lane Station opened in 1872, but closed when the Greenwich Park Line closed in 1917; part of the line was brought back into use from 1929 as the Nunhead Loop Line, though the station did not re-open.

Coulgate Street, by Brockley Station, has some surviving cottages which once faced the canal, before the railway arrived. In the 1860s, before the railway stations opened, the Breakspeare Arms (now The Brockley Barge) had appeared in Brockley Road, and groups of Italianate houses in Cranfield Road and Foxberry Road. Further south in Brockley Road was Brockley Cemetery, which opened as Deptford Cemetery in 1858 and merged with Lewisham (now Ladywell) Cemetery to the east in 1965.

Otherwise, the area from Brockley Cross southwards developed from the 1870s, and in due course a series of minor shopping parades appeared. By the early 1890s the development of Brockley Road had reached the line of the present Catford Loop Line, where Crofton Park Station opened in 1892. This was not far from the historical centre of Brockley at Brockley Green, and the development which followed the new railway line overwhelmed what remained of this once picturesque rural oasis; with the demolition of Brockley Hall in 1932 and the consequent development of its grounds, the transformation into suburbia was complete.

The name Crofton Park has no historical significance, it was probably taken by the railway company from the name of an estate to the east which was due to start development. It became a minor shopping centre, though there are several buildings of special interest – Crofton Park Library, the Rivoli Ballroom, The Brockley Jack (the original pub long predated the railway), and St Hilda’s Church.

From the late 1890s, a large area around Brockley Grove to the east of Crofton Park began to be developed. First, south of the railway line, came the Crofton Park Estate, extending from Crofton Park Road to Ladywell Fields. This was followed quickly by the closure of Bridge House Farm, and the development of the Bridge House Estate, on either side of (though mainly to the south of) Brockley Grove. Further on from here, one is clearly in Ladywell.

Ladydrome: An Evening with Richard Kiel

The Misty Moon Gallery is ploughing an admirably eccentric furrow, staging everything from fright nights with bevvies of scream queens to alien Easter eggs-hibitions and doing for Ladywell what Alex Cox did for Sunday nights. The newest event in our local Den of Geek is a night with Richard Kiel, Jaws from James Bond.

Via the Ladywell and Lewisham forum

The Hornets


Brockley Beer

Brockley beer at The Orchard
The Brockley Brewing Company launch party took place last night and pubs across the area are now serving its beers. The early reaction is positive.

On Twitter, @alitopcat says: Enjoyed a couple @The_Orchard_ Good body and decent strength yet still light & sparkley on the tongue, a refreshing brew.

On BC, NAT hiccups: "The golden and pale ales are excellent, and I have a slight prefernce for the honesty of the pale, kind of good to be at the start of something as well. It felt historic at the Talbot tonight in some sort of minor beer key."

Help find missing man

ThisislocalLondon reports: Police in Lewisham are appealing for help in tracing a man missing from Brockley.

Barry Clarke, aged 34, was last seen on march 21 at 9.15am hours at Spalding House, Turnham Road. He is white, 6ft 1ins tall, of stocky build with brown shaven balding hair and was last seen wearing a black woollen hat, blue jumper, black tracksuit bottoms and brown boots.

Anyone with information should contact Lewisham Police on 020 8284 8313, the police non-emergency line on 101 or Missing People on 116 000.

Telegraph Hill Festival 2013 - Final Weekend

This is the last weekend of the Telegraph Hill Festival.

Tonight, at the Hill Station, Cinetopia will host a movie- the pub quiz and add a touch of mystery, tomorrow a range of activities throughout the day includes a wobbly chair repair workshop at the Telegraph Hill Center and on Sunday the action moves to the lower park - local production company Trinity Music London and recording studio Unit 137 say:

"We will be bringing the Unit 137 Sound System to the Hill with some authentic sound system vibrations. Expect live PAs, big bass, and a tasty rum-BQ, rum cocktails and great Creole food from the grill."

For full details, click here.

Help find missing girl

ITV News reports:

Police in Lewisham are appealing for help to find a teenage girl who has been missing since Tuesday. 18 year-old Tracey Ikeme was seen by staff at Haberdashers' Aske's School in Brockley but then failed to return to her home in Lewisham.

She has never gone missing before and her disappearance is regarded as out of character.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Lewisham Missing Person's Unit on 0208 284 8455, the police non-emergency line on 101 or Missing People on 116 000.

With thanks to Claire for the link.

Mandem On The Wall

Mandem On The Wall is an online comedy series filmed (partly) in Brockley. The boys, sitting on a Vulcan Road wall in this clip, feature in new E4 series Youngers. With thanks to Han.

Peckham Brainwrap

Brainwrap Comedy is a night of short comedy films at the Bussey Building in Peckham. The next one is tomorrow (Wednesday) from 8pm and they take place approximately every two months. Founder Adam explains:

We like to separate the night into different sections: starters, main courses and desserts. Starters are usually experiments or films with a special something. Main courses is made up of more established work, and for desserts we have a raffle and sometimes a Q&A with an actor or director or comedian who's been involved in the night.

For more details visit http://brainwrapcomedy.com/

The ELL: Buttoned-Up

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the London Underground, Penguin has released a collection of novels, each one inspired by one of the 12 tube lines, of which the East London Line is of course one, as this literary treasure now confirms beyond doubt.

The East London Line-inspired novel is Buttoned-Up, an examination of style (natch), of which Penguin says:

London is a centre of cutting-edge fashion - in Buttoned-Up, the creators of 'the best fashion mag out there', Fantastic Man, tell the story of London style through the history of the button-down shirt. 

Encompassing music, street style, fashion, portraits, day and night locations, the visual context of east London where clothes factories and workshops used to be, night shots where bars and clubs used to be (or still are), an examination of collar shapes and archive images from fashion and music.

Benoval, Brockley Cross

Benoval is a new clothes shop in Brockley Cross. Please post your reviews here.

Boris: Bakerloo line extension's time has come

The Standard reports:

Boris Johnson today raised hopes of extending the Bakerloo line further into south-east London by describing it as a £2 billion project whose “time has come”. 

The Mayor confirmed his wish to take the line from Elephant and Castle to Camberwell and Peckham and probably overground to Bromley after pressure from Labour-run Southwark council. 

Precise routes have yet to be confirmed and it could take more than a decade to secure funding. [Southwark Council leader] Mr John, who was told by the Mayor that “it’s a deal” when he lobbied him at a property conference in Cannes, said it was important to get the scheme included in Transport for London’s masterplan for 2020. TfL is working with Southwark and Lewisham to examine the potential for the extension “unlocking” other developments. 

Mr Johnson said: “It is the new extension of the Northern line that is making possible the development of Battersea. We can do the same for south-east London.”

There are several possible routes that have been touted, including one that would stop at Brockley Station, as this image posted on South East Central illustrates:

Other possible routes could take the line through Honor Oak or New Cross (to see more discussion about possible routes on the Nunhead forum, click here).

A Bakerloo Line extension is low-hanging fruit for the Mayor and this is a welcome change of rhetoric. Relatively cheap and easy to deliver (by the standards of mass-transit projects), serving an area of enormous economic potential, extending a line that stops short at Elephant & Castle and is therefore unbalanced in terms of passenger volumes. The Bakerloo would fill the gap between Crossrails 1 and 2 and address one of the biggest holes on the London transport map. It will happen.

Green Deal for Lewisham business

Hannah Barrett-Duckett writes:

I work for a local company called SE2, who are working in partnership with Lewisham Council to deliver a free briefing session and masterclass on the Green Deal for SMEs in Lewisham.

The Green Deal is the Coalition Government's initiative to improve the energy efficiency of homes and businesses, based on a new financing mechanism that uses energy savings to cover the up-front cost of works to properties. The Green Deal is intended to change the way energy efficiency improvements are funded and provide a much needed boost for the sector. The supply chain is establishing itself now and there are a wide range of businesses that see the Green Deal as a big opportunity.

Lewisham Council are very keen to help small local companies benefit from the opportunities available through the Green Deal we're running an event on Thursday 28th March at Lewisham town hall, to give local companies free advice.

For details of the event, click here.

Miracle on Brockley Cross


Four roads converged in a yellow hood
The Brockley Cross makeover is complete. It took a year, a few corners have been cut compared with the original plans and there is still some construction debris lying around (as per the Conway MO), but the overall effect is nonetheless transformative. It's worth remembering just how terrible this spot used to be.

Where vans used to be parked illegally and dangerously all over the place, we now have broad pavement and young trees.

The redesign to reduce the number of parking spots and the closure of Nat's has stopped Brockley Cross being a hang-out for drug-dealers, so that this has been the first year in the history of BC when there has not been a single serious violent crime at this location.

People used to sit in their cars and chuck their fast food packaging (and often their food) out of their windows on to the street. The reduction in parking and improvements in refuse management mean that this spot no longer overflows with rubbish every day.

Brockley Cross used to look like a six lane motorway with near-misses at the junction an hourly occurrence and prangs a weekly feature. The redesign has calmed the traffic and our walk to work through Brockley Cross no-longer rings to the sound of angry car-horn-exchanges between drivers.

Pedestrians, who used to be an afterthought at this location, no longer have to negotiate all this chaos. The raised road surface, dropped curbs and new crossings make it a much safer place to walk.

Brockley Cross is still not a thing of beauty - and may never be - but it is no longer a place of crime, filth, chaos and noise. And that has made all the difference.

Two new Lewisham pocket parks created

A press release from the Mayor of London's office says:

From fruit and veg patches to water features, work is beginning on the first of the Mayor’s 100 ‘pocket parks’ – transforming underused urban spaces into mini oases across the capital in a £2m scheme.

‘Pocket Parks’, which are around the size of a tennis court, are set to reinvent some of London’s forgotten nooks and crannies and make the capital an even better place to live and work.

In Lewisham, thanks to £67,000 from the Mayor, new planting, trails, seating and lighting, will create two ‘pocket parks’. Blackheath Elliot Pits will feature sensory equipment, a Trim Trail adventure, and a play space to educate children about the pits’ ecological importance. Sydenham Literary Piazza will be a space to sit, read and reflect and link Sydenham road with Home Park, encouraging cycling and improving safety.

All 100 ‘pocket parks’ are due to be delivered by March 2015. A further funding round for community based projects will open in May.

This is also part of the Mayor’s Team London programme which is seeking to build a volunteering legacy following the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by encouraging Londoners to do something great for their city.

The Brockley Brewing Company Launch Night

The Brockley Brewing Company - Brockley's first microbrewery - has its launch party this Friday at The Talbot on Tyrwhitt Road, from 7pm.

They've also announced the list of pubs that will stock their beers:

  • The Talbot, Tyrwhitt Road, SE4 1QG - Pale & Golden Ale 
  • The Orchard, Harefield Road SE4 1LW - Pale Ale 
  • The Ladywell Tavern, Ladywell Road SE13 7HS - Golden Ale 
  • The Ravensbourne, Lewisham SE13 6NR - Pale & Golden Ale 
  • The Blythe Hill Tavern, Stanstead Rd, SE23 1JB - Pale Ale 
  • The Catford Bridge Tavern, SE6 4RE Pale & Golden Ale 
  • The Hare & Billet, Blackheath, SE3 0QJ - Pale & Golden Ale 
  • The Station, Hither Green, SE13 5NB - Pale & Golden Ale 
  • The Lord Northbrook, Lee, SE12 8PU - Golden Ale 
  • The East Dulwich Tavern, SE22 8EW - Pale & Golden Ale 
  • Franklins, East Dulwich, SE22 8HX - Pale & Golden Ale 
  • The Grape & Grain Crystal Palace, SE19 2AA Pale & Golden Ale 

Sounds Around tribute

The door of Sounds Around remains shut, following the sad death of its proprietor Dave. Reader JPM sent us this photo of the floral tributes left outside the shop, to coincide with his funeral, which we wanted to share.

Site update: Comments

Our comments system, Disqus, has decided to upgrade itself. There are three primary changes.

The first is that below the comments, it suggests other relevant BC articles you might like to read and shows the most-liked comment in response.

The second is that there is now a 'community' tab which allows you to find the most-talked about articles on Brockley Central. It also shows a list of the most prolific (registered) commenters on BC, which is grimly fascinating.

Thirdly, there are a few new ways to keep track of the conversation. You can follow your favourite commenters or read what they've said in the past and you can click on the 'reactions' button to see who has been tweeting about an article. Finally, you can now vote down comments you dislike, as well as vote up the ones you like.

We now have nearly 200 registered commenters, who don't have to mess around with typing in a name and email address every time they post. Please join us.

Sunday Art Salon Returns

Christopher Clack, On Off
Sunday 17th March 11am-5pm 
Hilly Fields Studio, 12 Montague Avenue

Four contemporary London artists will be showcased at the spring show:  Martin Grover, Christopher Clack, Emily Toscano-Heighton and  Malcolm Brebner.

FAN Bags of Brockley will be launching their new bespoke collection of designer retro vintage chic handbags, Wild Brockley will serve afternoon tea. and a sumptious selection of homemade cakes, scones and homemade jams and there will be a unique collection of vintage art and furniture.

Late Knights plan for Mr Lawrence

Late Knights is the Penge-based microbrewer that is planning to take over Mr Lawrence's old shop space, which has recently secured permission to be converted in to a bar.

Talking to Craft Beer London, who helped to connect the brewer with Mr Lawrence, Late Knights founder Steve Keegan has discussed his plans for the brewery and the bar. The article says:

“I’ve been working in pubs since I was 14,” he says. “I’ve dabbled in homebrewing in the past, I felt I understood it. [When I left Fuller’s] I thought it was time for me to do something for myself – to take a risk.”

[The story] also involves Graham Lawrence and his much-missed off-license, which until the end of January was one of the best places in the capital to buy beer. Beer-lovers disappointed by the closure of Mr Lawrence (you can still buy beer and wine online), though, will be placated by the plans Steve has for the place: license-issues allowing, it will be a brewery tap for Late Knights, and more besides.

“We’d have the full Late Knights range and a selection of other London micros,” he says. “Eight, perhaps 10 hand pumps. On keg we’ll have other American-style beers; we want to do a large bottled selection – 100 bottles and 100 whiskies. The bottles we will also sell as off-sales, so what you could get from Mr Lawrence you’ll be able to get from the bar. I’ve got the experience [of running pubs], I have the level of knowledge that we’ll need.”

Brockley leaseholders win overcharging legal fight

Steven Mills writes:

After four years of legal proceedings, leaseholders of ex-Lewisham Council properties in Brockley which are managed by the PFI consortium Regenter B3 have won their case that they were overcharged for renovation work carried out in 2007-09.

The decision comes after an appeal brought forward by Lewisham Council against an original Tribunal decision that the 38.6% fees should be halved, an appeal which cost Lewisham around £300,000 in legal fees despite we leaseholders representing ourselves.

While Lewisham won on some of the points, we did manage to show that the PFI overcharged the amount of profit it should make. More crucially Lewisham's attempt to hide-behind the PFI contract and its confidentiality clauses was closed down by the Tribunal's order for it to be released. This showed that the PFI had some leaseholders over prescribed limits.

This result builds on the other case we took to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal in 2011 which agreed that the work carried out by the PFI – particularly by Higgins Construction – was substandard, overpriced, and in some cases unnecessary. Higgins Construction is now no longer part of the PFI - thankfully.

Lewisham has this week confirmed that it is in the process of re-issuing final bills to all leaseholders in Brockley, though they have not been able to say how they will reimburse people who have since sold their properties and moved on. Not all leaseholders will be entitled to a rebate because of the way that bills were capped.

We leaseholders are very pleased to have this process concluded – we did not have legal support or the resources that Lewisham seemed to be prepared to throw at the case. We hope also that Lewisham Council learns lessons from this case and makes sure that any future renovations carried out by the new PFI contractors, Rydon, are up to scratch.

If any leaseholders managed by Regenter B3 want some help and advice, they should look at our blog or contact us at brockleyleaseholders@gmail.com

Ashmead table top sale

Ashmead School's PTA is hosting a table top sale tomorrow, Saturday 16th March from 12 noon to 3pm.

Lunch is available and everyone is welcome. The address is Ashmead Road, Deptford SE8.

£1 entrance per adult.

Gulen's Bar and Grill - coming soon

Gulen's Bar is being reinvented as Gulen's Bar and Grill. A sign on the front door promises it will be reopening on April 1st.

They didn't get the recipe right last time around and struggled to pull the punters in. Hopefully they'll have better luck this time. We hesitate to suggest that naming your cocktail bar after the neighbouring kebab shop may have been part of the problem, but the Gulen's brand heritage seems more suited to a grill joint.

Murder investigation following Upper Brockley Road incident

Lewisham Police have confirmed that detectives from the Homicide and Serious Crime Command are investigating a suspected homicide following an incident at a residential address on Upper Brockley Road on Tuesday night.

Two people have been arrested and are currently in custody

There are no more details at this stage.

Founding Father

He knew only that his child was his warrant. He said: If he is not the word of God God never spoke. 
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Oliver writes:

As a father with two kids, who works all week long in the city, with a loving wife who could do with a break, I think it would be nice if Brockley fathers in the same boat could meet up on Saturday or Sunday morning and enjoy spring mornings. We could arrange visits to places like the Horniman, Hilly Fields or Dulwich.

If people are interested, I'll suggest a meeting point.

Ark in the Park

Save Our Playclub is a group working to keep the Telegraph Hill park play centre open after its funding was cut. They have a year to find a solution and they are currently trying to get local people involved.

To this end, they'll be taking part in this year's Telegraph Hill Festival, staging an event called Art in the Park. They've also launched a survey, to understand whether a future of volunteering, member fees and venue hire is viable. Click here to complete it.

Sgt Jon Biddle: Twitter Cop

Brockley's Safer Neighbourhoods Sergeant is taking part in a pilot project to use Twitter to connect wilth local residents. The police say:

Called @MPSBrockleySgt, PS Jon Biddle will keep local residents informed of his whereabouts and that of his team, update the community with news, safety advice and preventative measures, promote police surgeries and events, re-Tweet any useful information from relevant and local sources and generally use the medium of Twitter to engage with his local residents in his ward.

PS Jon Biddle, said: "I am always looking at new ways of engaging with the community I serve and I think it is important that we explore different communication methods available to speak to the public . I have only been using Twitter for a couple of weeks but already I have been able to use it to send out crime statistics and prevention advice, it allows me to communicate with different members of the community my team serve."

The police have been using Twitter at a borough level for some time, but this service provides a fascinating extra layer of detail, even if it does occasionally lapse in to Dixon of Dock Green entreaties to lock all your doors and windows. It would be easy to become unhealthily obsessed with the number of burglaries and car thefts they deal with, but Biddle is also good at tweeting to tell us that no crimes have been committed.

For example, Biddle's latest tweet at the time of writing:

Just received the reported overnight Crime Stats for #brockley no burglaries, robberies or car crime. Triple excellent!!! #Together

Brockley Cross: Time to say goodnight

Via Cllr Darren Johnson comes this letter from the Council officer responsible for the Brockley Cross nightworks currently taking place. Lewisham's answer to Andrea Bocelli says the worst is over for sleep deprived residents:

Resurfacing of the Brockley Cross junction and the subsequent lining works will enable us to open up the new zebra crossing and at long last complete the scheme.

I am very sorry to hear of the disturbance that these works have caused you over the last couple of nights.  Night time working is, unfortunately, unavoidable in many cases where busy, suburban roads and junctions require resurfacing.  The reason for this is that the alternative option of carrying out the work during the day would result in far-reaching traffic delays and disruption to local services, including bus routes.

The arrangement that we have agreed with our contractor F.M. Conway Ltd is that the noisiest tasks (breaking out and clearing off the existing materials) must be completed before 11pm.  After that, the less noisy material laying/rolling can continue until 5am.  In practice, the night time operations are usually completed by 3am.

The noisiest operations of breaking out and removing the existing materials were completed on Sunday and Monday nights.  The rest of the work (laying the wearing course) should be completely finished over the next 2 nights (Tues and Wed).

I apologise for the nuisance and disturbance that you have had to endure over the last couple of nights and trust that the noise levels will not be as high tonight or tomorrow night.

Yours sincerely,
John Bishop
Senior Engineer, Lewisham Engineering team

So now won't you give him a hug?

Eat Meet Supperclub, March 2013

The Eat Meet Supperclub team returns

Brockley pop-up Eat Meet Supperclub is back after a two year hiatus. Founder Julie writes:

Foolishly, I moved to Muswell Hill before moving back to the delights of Brockley, so we're now back  and excited to be offering the great and the good of the 'hood some suppery fun. (We do also offer singles events and brunches every so often, email to be put on the mailing list for news of those).

We've got a new date in the diary, Saturday March 23rd, 7pm. A £25 donation includes four courses, all based on a theme... this month's to be announced.

If people would like to book, simply email eatmeetsupperclub@gmail.com and to keep it fair we'll put your name in a hat. The lucky ones will be contacted soon to let them know they're booked in.

Heathrow night flight trial will end in March

Cllr Darren Johnson writes:

I am writing to update you on the issue of early morning flights over Brockley following the public meeting on aircraft noise in New Cross on Friday. I attended this along with a number of local residents and we heard from representatives of both Heathrow Airport and HACAN, the campaign group on aircraft noise.

Heathrow have confirmed that the so-called “Respite Trial” that has inconvenienced so many local; residents in recent months WILL come to an end on 31st March. The original thinking behind the trial was to give respite from noise to certain communities on alternate weeks. However, the Heathrow representative confirmed it had caused particular problems for areas like Brockley and Greenwich which have been getting disturbed from all 16 of Heathrow’s early morning flights between 4.30am and 6am throughout the trial, without any respite.

On behalf of residents, should any future “Respite Trials” be held, I sought assurances from Heathrow on the following:

- Firstly, that proper modelling be undertaken beforehand so Heathrow and Air Traffic Control have a clear indication of the likely impact on different communities,  and there aren’t “unintended consequences” as there have been for the people of Brockley and Greenwich

- Secondly, that there should be proper engagement with local community groups, residents and elected representatives in the areas likely to be affected prior to any trail being adopted.

I am pleased to say in that the Heathrow representative assured me that both of these points would be taken on board should there be any future trials. I would also like to reiterate my complete opposition to night flights and my support for HACAN’s goal of a complete ban on flights before 6am. In the meantime the early morning flight patterns will revert to the way they were at the end of this month so Brockley residents should be experiencing far less disruption from 31 March.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any further queries.

Bright Lights at the Amersham Arms

Tom says:

A friend and I have just started promoting monthly music nights at the Amersham Arms. I have lived in New Cross for two years now and want to bring as much quality music into the area as possible as it seems most artists/bands tend to stay east at the moment and the venue is as good if not better than any out East.

We recently had Loom play (who played the NME awards gig with Fidlar and have been touted by many blogs as being one of the most exciting bands around), we also had electro experimental bands Deafkid and Old Man Diode play in our full room gigs that we are aiming to run on the 1st Friday of the month as well as our monthly acoustic night called Bright Lights which we run on the 2nd Wednesday of the month.

We have a gig on Wednesday and this is the link to our Facebook page.

Dragon Ballz

Big Earl: Alright guys, I'm not gonna lie to you. This is gonna get weird... Two dragons.

- Starsky & Hutch
Bloody hell, now they're having a go at the dragon fanciers. Is no Telegraph Hill community safe from criticism?

With thanks to Julie.

Defacing the Yankee dollar

Graffiti artists have painted this outside the new housing development on Jerningham Road, Telegraph Hill.

The area has a fine tradition of political graffiti, but this is just a dick move.

The excellent quality of brushwork is no compensation for the fact that this has nothing to say, except to point at some 'rich people', daub a scarlet letter on them and tell them we don't like their sort around here. Which is ironic in Telegraph Hill.

There is an argument to be had about the impact that gated communities have on an area. If they'd painted a rope ladder over the top of the wall or a tunnel to the other side, through which woodland creatures were scampering - well, they would still have vandalised a wall, but at least they'd have had a point. Although then it would be necessary to point out that the wall is not the work of rich newbies, but there on the insistence of  rich incumbents, who wanted the old wall restored.

Who is the real sick man in this so-called society? Is it the business man, in his suit and tie, who builds a wall around his home, or the man who paints others in to a corner?

Brockley Cross late night roadworks for the next four nights

In case you were wondering why you couldn't drive through Brockley Cross last night (or sleep, if you live nearby), the answer is that the final stage of roadworks in the Brockley Cross redevelopment project is taking place at night.

The late-night work will continue between the hours of 8pm and 5am until Thursday.

Smiles will be back

Confirmed: Smiles Thai Cafe IS reopening. We'd been fearful that it might never happen, but we spotted one of the team on the street and he told us that it will be back, though not for about a month.

The Easter Magic Theatre


Via the Brockley forum, Darren says:

8pm - 1am, Saturday 23rd March, £14 in advance or £16 on the night.

The Rivoli Ballroom hosts another fun filled costume ball night. The Rivoli Ballroom is one of the most beautiful venues in London, if not the UK.

The ballroom inspires you to make a grand entrance and to let down your hair and escape from reality and lose yourself back in time.

With the Fabulous Lounge Swingers playing live and DJ Kobayashi playing some happy retro tunes this all makes for a night of letting loose on the dance floor.

There is no God: The Walpole gets knocked down

I am not a pessimist but an indifferentist - that is, I don't make the mistake of thinking that the cosmos gives a damn one way or the the other about the especial wants and ultimate welfare of mosquitoes, rats, lice, dogs, men, horses, pterodactyls, trees, fungi, dodos, or other forms of biological energy.
- HP Lovecraft

Demolition of The Walpole pub in New Cross, to make way for the construction of a new hotel (pictured below), has begun. The replacement looks like it should be a decent addition to the area, but why a handsome old building has to go, while the orange travesty next door remains, is something only Cthulu can explain.

Khufu, can you hear me?!

Mentuhotep III, Rameses XI, Qa'a, Jean Michel Jarre, Seamus Heaney, Nadine Coyle, Martin McGuinness... your boys took one hell of a beating, etc, etc.

The Horniman Museum has won the public vote to secure the next work by installation artists rAndom, collecting 1,615 vote in an online poll. The collective strength of South East London's hyperlocal communities overwhelmed the supporters of rival prospective hosts: UCL's Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, the Royal Victoria Docks and Void Derry.

As a result, we'll be getting "an installation with music and storytelling inspired by the museum garden spaces and natural history collections." Well done Team South East. If anyone has any other suggestions for votes we can rig, please let us know.

Que? The Winged Serpent

William writes:

Any other sightings of a huge heron/crane-like bird in Brockley? I just saw the most enormous bird by my neighbour's pond. This is the only photo i managed to get before it flew away.

Are these guys regular visitors to Brockley?

New London Cycling Vision Unveiled

The Mayor of London announced his new Vision for Cycling in London today. His office says:

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, will create a “Crossrail for the bike” as part of his plans for a nearly £1 billion investment in London cycling. 

The route will run for more than 15 miles, very substantially segregated, from the western suburbs, through the heart of London, to Canary Wharf and Barking. It will use new Dutch-style segregated cycle tracks along, among other places, the Victoria Embankment and the Westway flyover. 

It is believed to be the longest substantially-segregated cycle route of any city in Europe. The Mayor said: “The Westway, the ultimate symbol of how the urban motorway tore up our cities, will become the ultimate symbol of how we are claiming central London for the bike.” 

The Mayor today announced that the main cross-London physical legacy of the 2012 Olympic Games will be a proper network of cycle routes across the city. As in the public transport system, London’s "bike Crossrail" will lie at the heart of a new bike "Tube network." 

Other elements in the “Mayor’s Vision for Cycling” include:

- more Dutch-style fully-segregated lanes
- more “semi-segregation” on other streets, with bikes better separated from other vehicles
- a new network of “Quietways” – direct, continuous, fully-signposted routes on peaceful side streets, running far into the suburbs, and aimed at people put off by cycling in traffic
- substantial improvements to both existing and proposed Superhighways, including some reroutings
- a new “Central London Grid” of bike routes in the City and West End, using segregation, quiet streets, and two-way cycling on one-way traffic streets, to join all the other routes together.

These measures would constitute meaningful change for London's cyclists (and prospective cyclists) and have won praise from some commentators.

The "Crossrail for the bike" scheme is basically what everyone expected in the first place, when the Mayor started talking about "superhighways". Properly segregated for much of the route, it should offer a genuinely new cycling experience in London. Like the real Crossrail, it doesn't do a great deal for South London, but it's great to see real investment being made in cycling infrastructure.

The segregated track on Victoria Embankment sounds like a sneaky way to resurrect the pedestrianisation plan that Boris killed when he came in to power.  Maybe it was his way of doing a U-turn without anyone noticing or maybe TfL knew he'd forget he used to be against the idea. Either way, it's great to see it return in this guise.

The plan also notes that:

We will take a case-by-case approach to the use of 20mph limits on the TLRN and we will reduce
the speed limit to 20mph at several locations on the TLRN where cycle improvements are
planned. For example, in Camberwell and New Cross Gate on our proposed Cycle Superhighway
5, and around Waterloo.

Blythe Hill Fields Festival 2013

Leo Stevens, Secretary of the Friends of Blythe Hill Fields writes:

We are going to hold this year's festival on Saturday 6 July and we're looking for people interested in having a stall at the event.

We are happy to consider all requests for arts and crafts, toiletries, hot or cold food (subject to the stall holder having public liability insurance and an up to date food hygiene certificate) or anything else apart from bric a brac.

There are only around 40 odd pitches and they normally fill up fairly quickly but people can contact this email address for an application form: secretary@blythehillfields.org.uk

People's Day 2013 - Get Involved

Lewisham Council is looking for people to get involved with this year's People's Day, which makes its return after a year's leave of absence to let the Olympics have its turn in the spotlight. They say:

South east London's most popular free festival is back – ready to entertain, amuse, inform and amaze. Over 25,000 visitors, hundreds of community stalls and organisations, craft stalls from around the globe, performances from outstanding local talent and great entertainment throughout the day. You can be a part of People's Day 2013.

Performers

Applications are open for performers. Apply by Wednesday 3 April.

Local businesses 

Take a stall, pitch or fully covered marquee and reach thousands of potential customers. Apply by Friday 3 May.

Craft stalls 

If you want to take a craft stall, prices start at £65 Apply by Monday 8 April 2013.

Food stalls

If you want to take a stall selling food and beverages,apply by Monday 25 March 2013. 

Voluntary and community organisations 

Voluntary, community, faith and not-for-profit organisations can take a pitch or stall to raise funds and awareness. Prices start at £40. Apply by Friday 19 April.

Volunteer at People's Day

Get involved, be one of our volunteer stewards.

Email the events team for more information about any of these opportunities.

A Europhile night out in Brockley - Book now to avoid a Tobin tax

Leave your bendy cucumbers at home this weekend, Brockley orchestra Harmony Sinfonia is staging a "pro-European night out." They say:

This Saturday, March 9th at St Peter's Church, Wickham Rd, SE4, Brockley's very own symphony orchestra, Harmony Sinfonia, will be taking a trip around three major European cities.

 We'll perform a programme of music which includes Bizet's lovely suite 'Roma', Vaughan Williams' epic London Symphony and George Gershwin's amazing American in Paris, which features added saxophones, a lot of percussion and four tuned taxi horns!

The concert kicks off at 7.30pm. Tickets are available on the door, or in advance via our website – www.harmonysinfonia.co.uk

The Catford Plan

Lewisham Council has launched a public consultation about the future of Catford. If any part of the borough needs re-imagining, it's Catford, which could make a vital and interesting contribution to life in the borough, but mostly doesn't.

The Council is updating its planning strategy for Catford Town Centre. The Catford Plan will guide where and how development should take place for the period to 2026, reflecting community and Council expectations, and once agreed and adopted it will be used to assess and determine relevant planning applications. 

The Council is now consulting on a ‘further options’ document for the Catford Plan, which details the emerging vision, plans and policies for Catford’s future. The purpose of this consultation stage is to ensure that anyone who is interested, particularly the local business and resident communities and affected land owners, has the opportunity to comment on what options should be taken forward, and any alternative option being considered. 

All are open for comment and you are invited to suggest other options if you feel there is another way. The Council wants to hear from local people and believes that local knowledge and opinions result in a better plan.

The Council's specific recommendations include:

  • The Catford Centre and Milford Towers to be redeveloped as mixed-use properties with a supermarket anchor tenant
  • Minor realignment of the South Circular to create a contraflow for buses
  • The Civic Centre to become another mixed use development with a range of "civic" uses
  • A new residential development (with some green) to replace Laurence House
  • More new retail on Plassey Island commercial partk
  • Housing at the Greyhound Stadium
  • Residential to replace Wickes and Halfords
In other words, the whole town centre is up for grabs. Which is as it should be. But on first inspection, the ideas advanced in the Council's preferred options aren't hugely exciting. The primary aim is to create a better shopping environment, while building more and better-quality homes. Fine, but we are in the midst of a huge consolidation in retail. The biggest and best shopping centres continue to attract big brands. The well-kept local high-streets will attract independent retail and leisure. Catford runs the risk that it will be neither grand and well-connected enough to compete with the likes of Westfield Croydon, nor interesting and charming enough to attract independent businesses. 


In BC's view, Catford needs less retail space and more and better-quality green space, housing and amenities for young families, to build on the area's traditional residential strengths. Some will call that a vision for a "dormitory" area, but there's nothing wrong with trying to build nice places to live, especially when such places command such a premium in London.

Lewisham Power Station

Planners and developers are doing their best to inject some life in to the town centre with the creative use of lighting.

Joining the illuminated rail bridge and the new swimming pool's light display is this stylised generator, which illuminates your journey past the new Loampit Vale substation.

It's a fun piece of work, which masks something that would otherwise suck the life out of the ground level.

Usual disclaimer applies. Barratt, the developer, is a client of BN's employer...

Help Horniman rain supreme

The Horniman Museum is one of three London institutions in the running to host the next installation by rAndom, the team behind the hugely successful Rain Room at the Barbican, with the winning venue chosen by a public vote. The artists explain:

rAndom create artworks exploring behaviour and interaction, using light and movement. Stuart Wood, Florian Ortkrass and Hannes Koch, use fragments of Artificial Intelligence to encourage relationships between the converging worlds of animate and inanimate. 

The installation at the Horniman would feature music and storytelling inspired by the museum garden spaces and natural history collections. 

BCer Michael is trying to get out the vote on behalf of the Horniman. He writes:

Last week saw Horniman's share of the vote go from 15% to 30% in this competition, with the help of Sydenham, East Dulwich, Se23.com, and South East Central Forums. It would be great to enlist the support of Brockley Central. Just a couple more percentage points by Tuesday will push us from 3rd place to 1st place, and I think Brockley Central readers could make a big difference to the numbers. 

Please vote here.

Disco is LIFE!

Disco tribute night Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet returns tonight in Hither Green.

Founder Nikki, recently made a persuasive case on Radio 4 for the genre and the rejuvenating properties of disco dancing, so if you want some of what she's having, the details are available on the Hither Green forum.

The Voodoo Ball, March 9th


Brockley's Rock: Gluten Free Tuesdays

Last month, Brockley's Rock (Brockley Road) used Twitter to ask Brockley if the world was ready for Coeliac friendly fish and chips. The response was a resounding yes. So Tuesday March 5th will be the first night of a great experiment - say Gluten Tag to Gluten Free Tuesdays.

The Gantry (and the Orchard) in PR Week

Homer: Yes son, I'm the best mono-thingy guy there ever was.
- Marge vs the Monorail

Recently, Brockley Central did what we never normally get to do in the course of our day-job and took a journalist to lunch. The man from PR Week was very nice and wanted to know about Edelman and what we were up to. Somehow, by the end of the lunch, we had managed to give him no stories about Edelman, but persuaded him to let us plug The Gantry in their back page restaurant review. This was on the somewhat flimsy premise that, despite the fact that there are no PR agencies, or even clients, in Brockley, a large and growing chunk of the  area's population seems to work in the sector (as foretold in BCs passim).

And because we're the best PR-thingy guy there ever was, we managed to sneak a quick plug in for The Orchard too.

Breakspears Mews Community Garden Project: Soup and Enthusiasm needed


Clare Cowen from BrocSoc writes:

We are getting a stage nearer to creating Breakspears Mews Community Garden! The rubbish will finally be cleared next week -- so we need serious help on Saturday and Sunday 9 and 10 March from "builders" and DIY enthusiasts with hard landscaping and filling the raised beds with soil.

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