Smoke-free Tabs take on beer-free icon

Ed writes:

The new owners of the old snooker hall on Lewisham High Street have been holding open days for the public all week. I went last night and it was really interesting - you get a hard hat tour of the building, complete with torch and leaky roof, and there's a display of what they hope to do to it. They say:

"The building dates from 1910 at the height of the Temperance Movement and was listed Grade ll in 2008 ... The new owner, the Tabernacle Church (The Tab), has served in Lewisham for well over 50 years ... The proposals on display are for the renovation of this derelict building with a view to breathing life back into it for it to serve as a church, community centre and conference centre [and cafe by the look of the plans]."

Loads of remodelling work will go on inside, but the outside will remain the same, but smarter. Our guide told us work will start "as soon as we have planning permission". She also said all the money needed ("millions") has been raised.

The next and last open day is this Saturday 18 Jan 12-5pm. The website, due to be live in a week or so I was told, is here:


heckmcbuff said...

Perfect for a new community centre which is a major requirement for the area.

Le Roi said...

Miss it so much. All went to shit after Ted died anyway, was like a crack den even after they opened the police station!

Anon said...

Re the Play Tower it's been undergoing refurbishment for sometime and will be turned into a community asset. A charitable trust has been set up...

"The Ladywell Tower Development Trust is a collaboration of four 2nd tier community organisations serving the local needs of London Borough of Lewisham. Its mission is to bring back into use a grade II listed building, the Ladywell Play Tower in the St Mary's conservation area, Ladywell, London SE13. The Trust envisages the Play Tower will become the centre for the voluntary and community sector for the whole of Lewisham, new headquarters for the four organisations, and a public facility that citizens of the Ladywell and Lewisham Central wards, and the borough as a whole would be proud to use."

Anon said...

As to Ladywell Baths, considering it was originally due to close in 2007 and the Mayor knew it was due to close in is amazing no options have been made public from the council. Approval for demolition has been given and may have already started.
Years ago it was hinted it would be replaced by a residential and retail project. With the planned re-routing of traffic down Longbridge Way it may have an impact on what replaces the baths. If I were the council I'd consider demolition the small block of flats and expand the development site.

g said...

I thought the Council were in discussion with Curzon cinemas about building a cinema on the site of the old Ladywell leisure centre back in May '13 but take it the Council couldn't manage to secure that. I think that would have transformed the area and the Council should have done everything in their power to secure it. Lewisham is now the only borough in London with no cinema.

That part of the borough is so grim this new building would definately lift the area. I just question the commitment of Council officers to actually make the area nicer for residents, I know money is tight but for example that railway bridge on the approach to lewisham centre is grim beyond words when you walk under it. Couldnt the Council find some of our money to paint over all the grafitti and sort the leaks out?

Anon said...

You are probably referring to this from East London Lines...

The railway bridge is maintained by Network Rail. At one time they frequently removed the graffiti but it kept reappearing, I guess Network Rail got fed up spending their money in an endless circle.

Maria said...

Anonymous is correct in that the Ladywell baths site seems almost certainly marked out by the council as a housing site. All the councillors I've recently asked about it have been consistent with that, one did mention to me a few weeks ago that the council is considering some retail underneath...(hopefully a cinema and not another chicken shop!)...what might be more blocks similar to those built on top of where the new Tesco is at this end of the high street.
However if my sources are correct (and they have been very reliable) the Play-tower ideas have actually come to a hault! The building works that Anonymous mentioned taking place in/on the building were not actually refurbishment work, but simply 'making the building safe' for further inspection and the architectural feasibility studies. The council seem to have paid to make it safe, but it is the 'Ladywell Tower development Trust' (LTDT) that has been set up to push forward and pay for the feasibility studies to see what can realistically happen with and in the building, but I hear that LTDT have had one of the partner organisations pull out (not sure which but think it might be VAL). So from what I hear not much is going on at all at present with the Play-Tower but definitely no refurbishment are taking place. The cynic (and conspiracy theorist) in me thinks the council want to keep it to sell (to make some quick cash!) so probably are not going to be rushing to help it become a community asset.

But it is another of these listed buildings in Lewisham that end up rotting because developers won't touch them and most of them are too far gone/dilapidated to really attract anyone to want to open retail inside. The old snooker/temperance hall mentioned by Ed is another of those listed buildings, I'm hoping the church who have bought it know what they are taking on, as sometimes silly conservation officers seem more passionate about fighting to keep these buildings untouched (play-tower), and the buildings end up falling apart. I hope the church is successful with doing something with that building as I'm personally not really fussed about the inside so long as the potential beauty on the high street outside is restored, been hearing a lot of good things about their plans think I'll go along tomorrow to have a look. Thanks for the info Ed.

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