Brockley: Icon needed

There has been too much talk of carbuncles lately. Time instead to talk about icons.

Since the Brockley Road MOT garage bit the dust, Brockley's most prominent landmark has been erased. The graffiti that wrapped its Coulgate Street walls featured in a thousand amateur rap videos, blogger articles, Time Out reviews and more. In lieu of many iconic spots, those walls were the face of Brockley.

The graffiti represented Brockley's recent past, not just because it was a nice visual near the station, but because it captured the shabby, home grown, amateurish quality of the area. The DIY spirit that shaped the area's culture. The triptych opposite the Barge also reflected the importance of the local Afro-Caribbean community - or at least, it represented what a white middle class person tends to celebrate about black culture - Maya Angelou, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley to the fore. Black culture with a hippy filter - nothing could have been more Brockley circa 2007. As time moved on and Jimi vanished, a hipster-friendly alternative took his place alongside Maya and Bob. These walls were an evolving reflection of the local populace.
Now we must ask: What represents Brockley in 2014?

What is the new icon we can all rally behind? What image should fill our Facebook banner and our Twitter avatar? We've always tended to go the lazy route - using images of Hilly Fields, because nobody could be uncheered with a tree. But Hilly Fields, for all its wondrousness, is a bit dull and from most angles looks like most other parks. The Rivoli is our most celebrated building, but mostly for its innards - our icon needs to be accessible always.

So suggestions please? Serious or flippant. The best idea will represent Brockley on our social channels and, maybe one day, on our redesigned homepage.

51 comments:

food? said...

We are a foodie place now, so something about that perhaps?

Monkeyboy said...

A badger rampant.

You can close the thread now.

Brockley Nick said...

Need specifics. A place to point a camera at. And instagram photos of a plate not allowed ;)

Gordon Ramsey said...

Top Chef. No contest.

Ben said...

Dragonfly Place? Modern, striking, and full of artists? (with the odd cake shop and high-tech company)

Moira Tait said...

Brockley Max in discussion with the Brockley Barge about doing some more murals so I'd appreciate some suggestions too!

Essael Bosch said...

I've always loved the wind-up key on the side of what _was_ the supremely wonderful Toad's Mouth (trying not to sound bitter about its demise).

Tim said...

A Muffin from Motherflipper. The greatest thing on earth

Essael Bosch said...

Or the graffiti-ed bench from outside of St Peters Church on Wickham Road...

getting in before someone else said...

Mung beans!!

Brockley Nick said...

Ah, that's a blast from the past.

Crepi said...

the bowling green

br0ca said...

A bugaboo pram...

brockley man said...

Chicken bones and empy chip boxes!

Brockley Jo said...

A skip....or a female jogger in her twenties? ;)

The other Brockley nick said...

Boring suggestion - the ELL roundel saying Brockley. That line has transformed this area

Brockley Nick said...

Brockley Market is not a farmers market and it's an unbelievable success and too big for Coulgate Street. So why are you criticising anyone?

AliAfro said...

Seconded.

Ice Cold said...

You could take the "Brockley is cooler than Shoreditch" photo from Jam Circus notice board but crop it to just say "Brockley is cooler"

AliAfro said...

We really do need some kind of Badger based landmark, graphic or badger graffiti somewhere in greater Brockley. Just as a prompt to explain to outsiders where our name comes from. Urban Badger.

Blog Idea said...

A blog about who is there and what they do would be great.

Vegetable Marketing Board said...

How about a simple floret of broccoli - Green, fresh, healthy and using incorrect spelling for that slightly urban feel - typical middle class aspirations, summed up in a vegetable.

The market used it for their fantastic marketing campaign and so can we.

Headhunter said...

Please no... I'm so tired of people asking "you live in Broccoli?" and then look at me with a smirk as though they've just thought of something incredibly original.... I don't want to encourage this....

Headhunter said...

The farmers market on Hilly Fields or Brockley Market? The farmer's market is a bit of a non event as far as I'm aware in fact I'm not sure if it still happens...

Anon said...

Why a badger, skunk would be more in keeping with the area?

anon said...

Hilly Fields is in Ladywell and the Rivoli is in Crofton Park, so nothing to do with Brockley

Go said...

How about a photo of a pile of dumped rubbish/furniture that someone has left for the council to clear up? Plenty of that about.

NAT said...

It does.

NAT said...

The wondrousness of HIlly Fields is best represented in some of the Evelyn Dunbar murals in Prendergast school. Just a thoughts....

Better Together said...

You are herby barred from Jam Circus, Mr Lawrence, LDN Beer dispensary etc, plus Ladywell Tavern. The Chandos might let you in if the football is on.

Monkeyboy said...

to be honest it is confusing http://deserter.co.uk/2014/09/looking-for-brockley/

Broccola said...

You have misunderstood. I am blaming the council for not making Coulgate St pedestrian. I have been to the market and it is great, I never said it wasn't a success, I love it very much...I just said it is in a terrible location. Also it is not that big, it could easily be relocated along Coulgate st and the last bit of Foxberry st if the council had an healthier visionary approach to the area....it would be awesome and would also help the high street and his businesses in many ways ....

Brockley Nick said...

I employ the "show, don't tell" principle.

Brockley Nick said...

"Coulgate Street should be pedestrianised" Agree totally. This site has been arguing for that for years and it looks likely to happen as part of this very construction project.


"Brockley Market should be at Coulgate Street" Disagree totally. It has something special which makes it very successful. Who is to say whether it would have been such a success had it grown up somewhere else? The car park is actually a rather lovely spot, gives it room to expand, minimises disruption and brings a bit of life to a quiet stretch of road.


Coulgate Street would have been cramped, residents and businesses would have complained about disruption and it would have been subject to all kinds of restrictions, which would most likely have made it less successful.


It's not like the area around Brockley Station needs a market to generate footfall. Passenger numbers have shot up, the units are full and the businesses are thriving. In the Gantry, the Orchard, Browns, et al, we have plenty of "destination" businesses which attract visitors.


And remember, this wasn't a Council initiative, it was a bit of entrepreneurial initiative from a local resident, who's made it a success. Have you asked him whether he'd rather relocate to Coulgate Street?

anon said...

I do not partake of alcoholic beverages so would not enter these establishments anyway - except to pass on the good message that the Lord is willing to extend to all imbibers.

Monkeyboy said...

The double roundabout

notsohipster said...

How bout this? ;-)

http://www.redbubble.com/people/timscrivello/works/10240663-hipster-broccoli?p=t-shirt

Broccola said...

I am so happy to find out it looks likely to happen (Coulgate Street pedestrianised) I didn't know, last time I read about it the council opposed the idea.
With regards to the market I am very happy to agree to disagree. I wasn't however talking about the Gantry, the Orchard, Browns, etc...they certainly don't need additional help, I am talking about the fact that despite the success of these places we still have a pretty rundown high street which could do with a bit more attention, investment, regeneration. I am not saying the market is not working and I am not criticizing its organizers in any way, hats off to them for such an amazing accomplishment and success but the fact that it is located at the very end of Brockley perimeter, closer to Lewisham st (and St Johns) than Brockley's in my opinion is not helping Brockley in the same way it would have done if it was closer to Brockley station.
More than once I invited people who don't live in Brockley to the market and 8 times out of 10 they travel to Lewisham instead...I really can't see this as a positive thing for Brockley I am sorry.

Tressilly said...

An image of a skinny, tattooed chav with robber-dog being given a beat-down by a bearded hipster with bugaboo. The hipster slightly has the upper hand. Backdrop of Brockley Mess and betting shop

Martin said...

Great idea! As long as the piece chosen can stand on its own, is quality in its own right. Nothing worse than these dreadful 'reflection of area' type pieces. Always a bit naff

Martin said...

Coulgate Street Sunday market perhaps?

maisie_moo said...

The view along the "mid-town" strip of shops (that includes the Brockley Mess, Starbuck Upholstery and the florist's), with St Andrews Church in the background, gives a good flavour of the area - there's a hint of Victorian charm still visible amongst the bookies and money shops, and you get the combined whiff of fried chicken and up-market fish and chips...

Anon said...

The tiny farmers market that takes place once a month in Hilly Fields would be a better option for Coulgate street.

Kriss said...

"The triptych opposite the Barge also reflected the importance of the local Afro-Caribbean community"


I always thought that 'Afro' was a hairstyle.

smallest said...

something to do with our local beer?

Cultural Guru said...

The Jack Studio Theatre is our best assett developing our local culture as well as bringing 1000's of people to to SE4

51st Comment said...

hmm, looking at the comments it makes me realise that Brockley doesn't have anything truly iconic. the "it's nice here" bench is cute and a good suggestion but tbh that bench could be anywhere. probably the best thing to use is the trompe l'oeil key as lots of people see it on their way in and out of brockley, whether its going down brockley road or passing from the station. I didnt know about the badger thing but i'm guessing the relevance would be lost on 99% of other people too.

Emx said...

How about a picture of the phone box library on Lewisham way?

Monkeyboy said...

Ian Wright giving Kate Bush a piggy back.

M Music said...

Brockley market

Bobby said...

I second this, a funky emblem incorporating the two roundabouts and maybe add a Dragonfly in there too to reflect previous suggestions plus other little things if possibe.

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