BrocSoc BiteBack

We recently received this article from Clare Cowen, editor of the Brockley Society newsletter, as an open reply to the recent article we wrote about BrocSoc:

Brockley Society welcomes the arrival of Brockley Central blog. It adds an important internet dimension to the Brockley community.

A lot of discussion followed the original posting about Brockley Society. Yes, Brockley Society is really the Brockley Conservation Area Society. All conservation areas - of 'special architectural interest' - have an associated amenity society to maintain vigilance over developments. But they have no obligation to carry out other activities, though BrocSoc does.

Unusually, Brockley Society's membership is everyone who lives in the Conservation Area and the newsletter is distributed to every house bynumerous volunteers who deliver in their street or block. We would likewider distribution, even outside the area, in various outlets. But here comes the crunch. Who will organise it? At the moment it's taken on by busy people already doing other things in BrocSoc (all voluntary). It requires about eight hours of time three times a year, with a few phone calls in between. Will someone volunteer to take on this interesting andnot very arduous challenge?

BrocSoc is good at cooperating with other community initiatives in thearea, such as Hilly Fields Park User Group, Francis Drake Bowling Club,Brockley Cross Action Group, Ladywell Society, Brockley Artists' Open Studios, Brockley Max, Friends of Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries, Lewisham Arthouse. We are proud of these and other local organisations. Brockley Central says BrocSoc 'could be doing so much more' and'would like to see BrocSoc focus on Brockley Road'. Fine. WHO in BrocSoc? The people who already spend hours checking the planning applications and attending meetings? The people who work so hard on the brilliant Midsummer Fayre? The people who deliver the newsletter or run other events within BrocSoc as volunteers?

When some teenagers wanted the weatherproof gym bars for their age groupat the top of Hilly Fields, BrocSoc helped them apply for funding. In 1999 local sculptor Polly Ionides came to BrocSoc with an ambitious proposal for a Stone Circle on Hilly Fields for the Millennium celebrations. With enthusiasm BrocSoc provided the organisational structure for this imaginative project.

What ideas would YOU like to carry out within or supported by BrocSoc? In the 17th century John Donne wrote: 'No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. . . therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.' Grotesquely to paraphrase: 'No man (or woman, or child) is an individual outside BrocSoc (if they live in the Conservation Area). Don't ask whatBrocSoc should be doing. BrocSoc is you.'

Please bring your grand ideas -- and your small ones -- and let BrocSoc assist you in achieving them.

The next events are:

  • Brockley Barbecue, Friday 4 July, 7.30pm, Stone Circle, Hilly Fields. Bring friends and family - meet others from the Brockley area. Somefood and refreshments provided - and bring your own to cook on BrocSoc's large barbecue. All welcome!

  • Brockley Society Open Meeting, Wednesday 16 July, 8pm. Baptist ChurchHall, 60 Upper Brockley Road, SE4 (entrance in Vulcan Terrace). Speaker from Stephen Lawrence Centre (to be confirmed). Bring your ideas forBrockley, meet neighbours, and find out more about Brockley Society.