Yes or Yes Cafe, Ladywell Road

Crazy name, crazy prices, crazy crepes.

Confirming Ladywell's status as the most up-and-coming part of this part of up-and-coming London, a new cafe has opened directly opposite Geddes. We've yet to try it, but we've heard word that its pancakes are nice and good value.

Please post your comments and reviews here.

Brockley MAX 2009 Preview

Opening night at Brockley MAX 2009, courtesy of Drakefell Debaser

On Thursday night, Brockley Jon ran in to Brockley MAX organiser Moira Tait, dutifully handing out leaflets at Ladywell Station - working her way through the pile of 20,000 she had printed. Last night, we picked her out of the crowd at the Opening Night concert, looking exhausted but happy. Looking forward to this year's festival, she said:

"In terms of the number of events being stage, this is the biggest MAX ever, even bigger than 2007. It's a perfect antidote to recession. Even though the area has lost some important venues this year, with the closure of Aquarium and Moonbow Jakes, others have stepped up and really embraced the festival, including Jam Circus, Tea Leaf Arts, the Wickham Arms and the Ladywell Tavern. It's so big, this will be the first year that I will struggle to see everything.

"The return to Hilly Fields was really important. The outdoor events take the festival to the people and create a real sense of a community coming together. John, who ran Moonbow Jakes, is staging three nights of music from a 'Marquee of Moonbow' next weekend. His venue's been greatly missed since it closed, so it's great to have him back. I'm really looking forward to the classical concert on Sunday night, which will feature some outstanding talent.

"Hilly Fields will also be the setting for Art in the Park workshops for children on Saturday, June 6th, 12-4pm. Kids will be able to try a range of activities from camera obscura to cheerleading and superhero modelling.

"Personally, I'm really looking forward to two Jam Circus events; the Eastern European Night and the Paraphernalia Workshop [we're sure that she meant to add the Brockley Central Music Night at the Ladywell Tavern, June 4th, but she was probably overwhelmed by the occasion]. It'll also be great to see the defaced Hendrix mural replaced by a new creation by Chris Getliffe. Brockley Central readers will be able to watch the theme they voted for come to life on the 3rd and 4th of June, between 11am and 7.30pm. We'll be taking time lapse photography of his work too.

"Because the fund-raising process started late this year, money has been very, very tight. So it's really important that people buy raffle tickets to help raise funds. But they don't have to do it out of the goodness of their hearts, there are some brilliant prizes that have been donated by the likes of Babur, the Sunflower Centre and Geddes.

"In fact, there are hundreds of people donating their time this year, as organisers and performers. Everyone has pulled together and I really want to thank them all, particularly Gill Fraser, who has organised the MAX with me. I hope the people of Brockley give the festival their full support - it could be the best one yet."

Brockley MAX opening night tonight

The Brockley MAX festival starts tonight, with an open air concert on Foxberry Road, opposite the Brockley Barge. The eclectic line-up sets the tone for what will be the most ambitious MAX ever and Brockley Central grabbed a few minutes with the event's organiser Richard Swan, to find out more:

"Opening Night will be really exciting this year, there's a real buzz about the festival and we have a wealth of talent playing from 4pm until about 10.30pm - the weather will be perfect for it. This year, we made a conscious effort to showcase Brockley artists and we even turned down acts from other parts of the capital. The line-up is 100% local.

"However many leaflets get handed out, there are always plenty of people who aren't aware of what's going on, so staging the event near the station is a great way of signalling the start of the MAX. It surprises a lot of commuters and we often find that they watch for a little bit as they get off the train, then come back later on. That usually makes peak time around 9pm, but I've designed the programme so that there are great acts throughout the night.

"For Brockley MAX regulars, there will be some familiar faces, like the Rock Choir (and plenty of other
Felix School of Rock graduates), but there are lots of MAX debuts as well, including the Fruitful Earth, This is Us and the Brockley Ukulele Group.

"I hope everyone reading Brockley Central today gets themselves down here."

- Check out the full Brockley MAX programme here and of course, get yourselves down to the Ladywell Tavern for the Brockley Central music night on Thursday, June 4th.

Manor Avenue Nursery Rejected

The highly controversial proposal to convert the United Services Club on Manor Avenue in to nursery was rejected by Lewisham Concil's planning committee last night.

Reader Reg writes:

At the Lewisham Town Hall Civic Centre the planned nursery at 60 Manor Avenue rejected.

Chair of committee, Councillor John Francsois Paschoud (Labour), fought long and hard for conditions to be set that would allow the nursery to go ahead. He wanted a nursery at Manor Avenue.He was challenged by Councillor Cathy Priddey (Lib Dem Party) and Councillor Sue Luxton (Green Party).

Priddey was not at all happy that relevant information was not forthcoming from developer Zoom Nurseries. Priddey also felt that the nursery would impact on neighbours, and that this she also could not allow.

Councillor John Paschoud repeatedly attempted to push the decision towards a resolution that would allow a nursery. It was pointed out by Councillor Cath Priddey that a nursery had recently been turned down at 42 Beadnell Road, Forest Hill, and that this may be relevant. Councillor Priddey was later joined in the challenge by Councillor Sue Luxton (Green Party) who pressed hard for answers on several issues, as she has done since the application. During the debate Luxton also expressed concerns about getting rid of a cycle track and felling a long-established tree.

Brockley Central Presents at The Ladywell Tavern, next Thursday 4th June

As already mooted by Brockley Nick last week, we'll be holding a Brockley Central drinks night with a difference next Thursday 4th June, as part of this year's Brockley MAX festival. We've also pulled a few strings and lined up some great bands, each unique, but sure to gel well with a common acoustic/folky/bluesy sound.

Brockley Central Presents, in no particular order:

Skinny Lister

Skinny ListerSkinny Lister make finger-picking good folk music, and are already the next big thing, having been featured on BBC6 Music. A side-project for two members of band The Alps, and some talented friends, the press blurb talks of folk dancing hand-in-hand in the English countryside - sounds like every weekend on Hilly Fields, so we reckon they'll be right at home. The line-up will be even skinnier than usual for our night, so that we can fit them into the Tavern.

Dune Lake

Dune LakeRegulars on the Lewisham circuit, Dune Lake make music with blues and country influences - "jazzy gorgeousness", as one blogger recently described them.

Louise & Irene

Louise & IreneSisters Louise & Irene play the good old deep south blues, complete with steel guitar.

Rob Marr

Rob MarrWe first came across Rob playing with his former band The Hands at the Brockley Max finale in 2005. We enjoyed it so much we thought we'd ask him along to our first Max night. His debut album has been proclaimed "simple, brilliant British pop", and he's played the Roundhouse. Now he comes to Brockley... er, Ladywell.

A tip-top line up, we hope you'll agree, and thanks to the artists and the venue, this is all yours for nothing. We aim to start things off about 8 o'clock. Come along, bring your mates, talk about Brockley and the various ups and downs of a community blog, or just forget about all that and enjoy some great music.

The Ladywell Tavern
80 Ladywell Road
SE13 7HS

The Tank Gallery at the Brockley MAX

The Tank Gallery will play a major role at this year's Brockley MAX festival. Here's the Tank programme.

29th May, 4pm onwards - The One I Love

Aoife van Linden Tol invites you to bring a photograph of the one you love or someone you love on the 29th May. She will explode a tiny heart or tiny kisses onto the photograph using gun powder. These will be displayed in the gallery in the evening. They will be kept for a few days for cataloguing and then returned to you. All you need to do is bring a photo with you to Tank Gallery and fill in a form. You can bring the photo on the day but it is advised to bring the photo in before 4pm on the 29th if possible.

3rd June 2009, 7pm - Film Box Screenings

'Bigfoot of Suburbia' (2006) Written and Directed by Fred Rowson. Starring Richard Proctor
'King of Deptford Creek' (2009) Written and Directed by Fred Rowson

5th June-21st June 2009 - Against The Wall (No. I)

Live painting – 5th, 6 & 7th June. Private View Thursday 11th June 6-10pm

Against The Wall is a live painting performance, which will feature regularly in the Tank Gallery programme. For the first of this series we have invited a local South London graffiti crew to transform the gallery during the last weekend of the Brockley Max festival. The public are welcome to watch on the 5th 6th ad 7th of June.

Any artist can apply to take part in future Against The Wall exhibitions. Simply contact us or pop into the gallery for an application form and show us what you want to do.

Tank Gallery, The Ladywell Tavern, 80 Ladywell Rd, SE13 7HS

Misty Moon Craft and Art Fair, 13th June

12-5pm, June 13th
St Hilda's Hall,
Courtrai Road,
Crofton Park

Fair organiser Stuart writes:

The fair will have 29 stalls that include: jewellery, paintings, ceramics,mosiacs, cakes, choclate truffles, handmade cards, health and beauty care, bags and textiles, painted glassware and many more and because the face painter was so popular last time, she is coming back.

Entrance is free and refreshments are available.

We also have two authors this time selling and signing copies of their books. The first is Christopher Bowden author of "The Blue Book". The second is Barabara Kennedy author of "The King's Shilling".

We are also booking another fair for the 25th July, so please can anyone who wants to be involved call me on 07960 993737.

Local event round-up

'Fuel Poverty' Debate, 28th May
Heated debate guaranteed at St Andrew's Church, 7-9pm.


Mervyn Kohler - of Age Concern/Help the Aged
Ruth Bond - National Federation of Women's Institutes
Gemma Townsend - Conservative Prospective Paliamentary Candidate for Lewisham Deptford
Cllr Chris Maines - Lib Dem Leader on Lewisham Council
Cllr Darren Johnson AM - Green Parliamentary Candidate for Lewisham Deptford

The organisers state that there are 3,000 older people in Lewisham who struggle to pay fuel bills each year and that the issue will claim 800 lives ('excess winter deaths') over the next 10 years.

Brockley Assembly, 2nd JuneThe fourth Brockley Assembly meeting will be held at Lewisham College, 7 -9pm.

The meeting will update attendees about local projects and seek support for the nominated projects for the £50,000 Mayor’s fund for Brockley.

Registration will be from 6.45pm, please go to the main college reception entrance, on Lewisham Way.

Diabetes UK Fundraiser, 14th June

On Sunday 14th June, 3-5pm, Ladywell favourite Oscar's will serve afternoon tea delights to raise money for Diabetes UK.

£15/head (£5 from each sale to Diabetes UK). Owner Petra's homemade delights will feature sensible healthy options for everyone to enjoy.

Musical entertainment from Jed Dmochowski.

David Mitchell Picture Framing, Loampit Vale

28 Loampit Hill, London, SE13 7SW
Tel: 020 8469 0078

We recently had three pictures beautifully framed here. Thus it gets a Brockley Central thumbs-up.

The Honor Oak: The Cider House Rules

The Honor Oak's Annual Cider & Perry Festival is this weekend. They say:

Loads of great cider & perry's on offer so if you fancy joining us for a half pint or two of the appley stuff see you this bank holiday weekend - with DJ Loves beach party disco in the garden on Saturday afternoon.

Here's whats on offer...

Pale straw with a lime green tint; fresh crisp apple aroma; flavour is tart and sweet, very green; sweet and fruity to finish with a dry edge.

CAMRA National Cider and Perry Championships 2009 GOLD Winner 'lovely, drinkable perry with a true pear aroma that starts with a medium sweet taste and is followed by a dry finish.'

White cider not for the feint hearted!

Copper coloured and slightly sweet on the palate. Dry woody flavoured finish.
Heritage is a popular, refreshing drink that reflects Thatchers expertise in crafting fine cider.

The colour of this unique cider gives it a vibrant character all of its own for those who want an alternative refreshing drink with a touch of natural sparkle. Naturally fermented, Cheddar Valley is matured in oak vats to ensure the distinctive full flavour is retained.
Made from perry pears and fully matured in old oak vats to develop its strength and traditional character. Free from all artificial colouring, flavouring and sweetening it retains its natural pale colour.

Produced from specially selected top quality organic cider apples from a single year's crop.

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair

Growing up, we always envied those people who had a vocation. Our ambition was formless, plastic. But we're confident that at no time in our life has our dream involved being quoted in the South London Press about turds. Yet here we are. Something to put on our epitaph.

Just so we're clear, we didn't seek this out.

Blythe Hill Festival, June 27th 2009

Blythe Hill Fields is hosting a repeat of last year's successful summer festival.

If you would like to help click here to email your details to the Blythe Hill Festival organisers.
Thanks to Jonathon for the tip-off.

The Talbot: Sold

The freehold on the Talbot pub on Tyrwhitt Road has been sold by Punch Taverns.

We don't know at this stage who the buyer is, but we know that it isn't the Honor Oak team that had such exciting plans for its future.

We're guardedly optimistic about this development (as we have been about nearly every twist in the Talbot's tale).

Until now - the biggest threat to the prospect of The Talbot being reborn seemed to be the idea that Punch would price potential buyers out of the market long enough that they could sell it on to property developers as the housing market recovered, winning planning permission for its conversion on the basis that it was no longer viable as a pub.

That this deal has gone through fairly quickly suggests that scenario won't play out and that the buyer has money to invest, to realise whatever plans they have for it.

We hope to find out more soon.

The Shard, London Bridge: Viewing Gallery revealed

The developers of the Shard - the 310m skyscraper at London Bridge Station - have released an image showing the triple-deck viewing gallery, which will be open to the public.

Piling work on the foundations of the tower is currently underway. The building will be complete by 2011. The project includes the rennovation of part of London Bridge Station and the creation of a new bus interchange.

Brockley's property market 'beginning to bloom'

Eagle-eyed BC reader Paul has pointed out that local estate agent KFH believes 'Brockley is beginning to bloom'. quotes KFH's Brockley sales manager Chris Early as saying: 'In certain price brackets, the housing market in Brockley has really taken off over the last four weeks. New and newly-reduced stock is at a premium and selling fast and the spring market is looking good.'

However Chris warns sellers not to get too over-excited - prices are still competitive: 'Vendors really should not get too carried away with the price that they think they can achieve for their property and concentrate more on trying to get buyers interested so they can choose the best buyer rather than the highest price.'

At risk of fuelling the perennial property prices controversy, dare we suggest this evidence of strong demand is good news for the area?

European elections: Lewisham's walk-on bit-part role

In all the hurly-burly of the forthcoming European elections, spare a thought for those who labour behind the scenes to get the votes in and counted - because Lewisham is set to play a fairly significant role.
In the back-room bureaucracy of the election of London's new European Parliament representatives on June 4th, the returning officer will be Barry Quirk - the chief executive of Lewisham Council.

He'll be responsible for supervising the count and announcing which eight candidates have been elected as MEPs through the proportional representation system.

Hilly Fields Midsummer Fayre, Saturday June 20th, 12-5pm

The date of the Fayre is now confirmed and the Brockley Society are holding an organising meeting on Tuesday, 8pm at the Brockley Social Club, 240 Brockley Road.

Clare from BrocSoc writes:

Anyone who wants to be involved is welcome at the meeting. We need help on the day in the following two areas:

a) Cakes - please make something and bring it direct to the tea stall (one of our most important money-makers)

b) A couple of hours' help with general stewarding, car marshalling, programme selling, litter picking-up, running the tea stall, clearing up and other general tasks

Brockley MAX programme announced

The 2009 Brockley MAX festival programme has been revealed.

Taking place between May 29th and June 7th, events will be staged at venues across Brockley - from the Lewisham Art House to the Honor Oak Pub - and spill out on to Hilly Fields for three days of the Marquee of Moonbow, "an extravaganza of live music, comedy, poetry, spoken word" and of course a licensed bar, brought to you by the team behind the sorely-missed Moonbow Jakes cafe.

Download the programme here, from the Brockley MAX website.

And of course, make sure you tear yourself away from the rolling coverage of the European elections on June 4th long enough to come to Brockley Central's gig night at the Ladywell Tavern.

Vounteers – The MAX still needs people to help out on the Opening Night on 29 May, and Saturday 6 June at Art In The Park – either to help set up, litter collecting, stewarding or help clear up – even if its just an hour. Help is also needed to deliver leaflets across Brockley. Please contact if you have some time to spare.

Station delivery

Shops and road delivery

Raffle tickets - These are now on sale at Jam Circus. There are more than 15 great prizes donated by local businesses. Tickets are £1 each and the draw will be at the Marquee of Moonbow on Hilly Fields at about 8pm. Please buy a ticket to support the festival.

Myatt Garden Healthy Living Fair, May 18th

From 7pm to 8.30pm on Monday, Myatt Garden school will be hosting gardening and cooking classes ans serving a free healthy buffet.

Teachsport will be organising games in the playground for children during the evening.

Expenses scandal: How did our MP perform?

Brockley's local MP Joan Ruddock claimed £131,237 in expenses in 2007/08, according to this Google spreadsheet.

Ms Ruddock, the MP for Lewisham & Deptford, is 523rd out of 645 MPs listed - not too bad. Specifically, she did not claim any expenses for her family or spouse, and she didn't claim the second homes allowance (all of which is understandable as she lives in London).

Her main expenditure was on staffing (£89,000) and office costs (£23,000), plus £6,000 on stationery and postage and £1,100 on IT.

She used £8,900 of the communications allowance, and claimed £471 in travel costs (consisting of £71 in Europe and £400 mileage) and a £2,800 London living supplement.

Perhaps most pertinently, how did she compare to other London-based MPs? BC counts over 20 MPs in the greater London area who are below Ms Ruddock in the list, and around 15 above her. So she's about average, we'd say.

(If anyone from the Telegraph happens to be reading this and fancies giving us a preview of Ms Ruddock's claims in detail, do drop us an email ...)

The Wickham Arms - plans for the future

The management of the Wickham Arms have very courteously posted a detailed description of their plans to improve the pub on this thread about changes to their garden wall.

Running a successful pub in a quiet street in the midst of a recession which is contributing to the mass closure of pubs up and down the country is no easy task. It must be a tough balancing act to keep loyal customers happy while appealing to the wider community. The Wickham Arms has - in our view - pulled it off pretty well. It remains an authentic local boozer, with plenty of character and a dedicated clientele. But on many nights, when it hosts music and pub quizzes, the place is heaving, pulling in a broad cross-section of the local community. The staff have always provided a warm welcome and we've had some great nights there - including our first-ever Brockely Central drinks.

However, we've always felt there was room for improvement - some changes that could turn a good pub in to a great one and the Wickham Arms team has been working hard for two years to make improvements.

So we're delighted to learn that incremental changes are planned, which will broaden its appeal and make it a better asset for the community. Here's what they say:

Some time back we did lay down a series of plans for changing the pub, and which the authors of this site gave us the opportunity to present to you. Sadly, due to the unexpected financial crisis, we could not undertake such a costly conversion - one which many of you posting here no doubt would have loved to have seen. But, much as we would have wished to have carried out these 'improvements', some of our regular customers also had views that needed to be taken into consideration.

This, added with financial constraints, proved quite a challenge. In fact we set about finding unique ways to make the experience at the Wickham more enjoyable. (Yes, we do think of such concerns as your successful enjoyment is our success too.) However, we would like to assure you that the change was only undertaken in order to open up the garden area to families and other patrons who may wish to use it, and yet did not know of its existence as signage is often ignored.

Also, please be reassured, planning considerations are in hand to resolve this issue.

Beside the above, there are more changes to follow and we hope that you will agree that these will enhance the garden area and the pub itself.

These are:

1) the children's sandpit & playground area will be completed by Monday 18 May, weather permitting.
2) Play bark chipping will be laid down in certain areas.
3) New bedding plants will be laid and viewed from the roadside.
4) The smoking area will be decked with new plants to make this a happier outdoor experience for smokers.

These are the kind of small-scale improvements which should keep everyone happy.

TravelWatch slams Oyster delay

TravelWatch - the London transport user group - has expressed "fury" at the delays to the roll out of Oyster cards across London railway stations. Oyster was supposed to be operational in South East London stations by the end of this year, but the group now believes that it will be delayed until 2010.

Sharon Grant, Chair, London TravelWatch, said:

“We are dismayed that, yet again, the introduction of Oyster Pay As You Go is to be delayed on national rail services in London, meaning passengers will continue to have to use two separate methods of payment on transport in London. As well as being confusing for passengers, it is blatantly unfair on those who live outside the tube network who are not reaping the price benefits of the Oystercard. These delays have occurred time and again over the years.

“Passengers at railway stations around the capital are walking past covered up, unused Oyster machines every day, and have been for months. The lack of an integrated system and any joined-up thinking is ridiculous in a modern city like London. Another delay is simply unacceptable, and it is time for the Department for Transport to hold the transport providers to account.”

Given how many delays the Oyster roll-out has experienced, we have another reason to look forward to the arrival of the East London Line next year, which represents an immovable deadline for Oyster in Brockley, even if other parts of the capital experience yet more problems.

Brockley Central Presents at The Ladywell Tavern, June 4th 2009

As part of this year's Brockley MAX festival, Brockley Central is organising a night of live music at The Ladywell Tavern on Thursday, June 4th.

The full details will be coming soon, but Brockley Jon has managed to line up some great acts, some local, some not-so-local but all with a bluesy influence.

We're hoping that as many of you as possible will make it along, so we wanted to give you plenty of advanced notice. Think of it as a Brockley Central Drinks night... to the MAX!

Tank Gallery, Ladywell

The Tank Gallery is attached to the recently-rejuvenated Ladywell Tavern. It's a small space but it's already being put to good use by the artist who runs it, Aoife van Linden Tol, whose exhibition "A Stitch in Time" runs until May 29th. Its bunker-like qualities make it the perfect space to show her explosives-inspired work.

Aoife explains how the Gallery got started:

The Landlord has wanted to use the space as a gallery for some time now. I heard about it through a friend and we met up and decided to go for it. He really wants the pub to be more than just a boozer.

There are so many artists in the area and the space itself being perfect for a gallery. So it made perfect sense to go for that idea really. The space had been used as storage for years and we turned it around in two and a half weeks!

The aim is to serve the local community putting on high quality. contemporary shows of local, as well as international artists of various stages in their careers. I think it will work particularly well as a platform for unknown or up and coming artists.

We also want it to be quite dynamic. So we want to have parties, kids projects, art classes, poetry, performance art and get the local colleges and universities involved. I am talking to someone about life drawing classes in the upstairs room, so hopefully that will start up soon.

I am very open for people to get involved if they have good ideas that would work in the space.

We normally close at 6pm but will do late openings if there is stuff happening at the pub. In which case we can stay open till 9 or 10pm.

Brockley Cross Action Group Monthly Meetings

The Brockley Cross Action Group are now holding meetings on the second Wednesday of every month.

The meetings all take place at Tea Leaf Arts gallery, in the Tea Factory, Brockley Cross, from 7.30pm - 9.30pm. The next one is this Wednesday.

They are designed to be an open forum to encourage debate and action around the needs of the local community, with a particular (but not exclusive) focus on Brockley Cross and its surroundings.

The BXAG is a leading voice in Brockley's development and its projects have ranged from new flowerbeds to the redevelopment of Brockley Common, which is currently underway at Brockley Station.

The BXAG is currently campaigning for the part-pedestrianisation of Coulgate Street.

They encourage all Brockley Central readers to come along and get involved.

Alcove Queens

Local fitted furniture maker Melanie Woods has launched a new venture called Alcove Queens, providing DIY training in your own home.

She explains:

"It's a great way for people to help beat the credit crunch and learn some basic diy skills so they can do some odd jobs around the house. The idea is people can book a one-to-one or small group booking. We come to their house and do a 2-3 hour lesson tailored to what they want - putting up shelves, wall fixings, how to use a drill, cordless, hand saw and so on."

Time Out has already profiled the business but Brockley Central is happy to help spread the word. If anyone wants to use this thread to organise a group of people to take part in a session, feel free.


We've been sent this photo of the work the Wickham Arms have done to their back garden. It's not immediately obvious why they've removed a large chunk of the wall but the local resident who sent it was concerned that opening up the back garden like this damages the character of the street.

If anyone knows what the plan is, please let us know.

Brockley selected for Mayoral tree funding

Deptford blogger Caroline points out that New Cross, Deptford and Brockley are among the 40 London neighbourhoods prioritised in the Mayor's plan to add 10,000 trees to London's streets.

The release explains:

The Mayor also wants to encourage the 500,000 people living in these priority areas who would like trees outside their house, to register their interest online at This information will then be passed on to borough councils who, as a requirement for street tree funding applications, will be asked where practicable to plant their allocation of trees in areas where residents most want them. It is expected that 100-400 street trees will be planted in chosen locations across every priority area, so by registering online, residents will increase the chances of their streets getting some welcome greenery.

As this map shows, streets in north and west Brockley are eligible.

There is no news on when the Mayor' special fund for digicams will open.

New Brockley mural vote

A few weeks ago, one of the murals near Brockley station was destroyed. The mural depicted Jimi Hendrix and was part of a set of three panels celebrating "Heroes and Heroines". So the third panel has become Brockley's fourth plinth.

As part of the Brockley MAX festival, local artist Chris Getliffe has offered to create a new design on 3rd and 4th June and Brockley Max would like your help in deciding what appears there. Here are the themes he's asked you to choose between:

- Kindness Of Strangers
- Old Friends
- New loves
- A Truly Significant Thing
- Journeys
- What doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger

There is a new poll in the right-hand column that you register your vote on and we'd welcome your thoughts and comments here.

Thanks to Chris and to the organisers of the MAX for offering to restore this part of Brockley's character.

Brockley magic wears off for embattled PM

Able was I ere I saw Adelaide

When even a visit to Brockley cannot revive your political fortunes, you know the game is up.

Last summer, faced with a growing economic crisis, reeling from disastrous political misjudgements and fighting to contain growing revolt in the Labour Party, Gordon Brown came to Brockley to begin his fight back.

And since that worked so well, the Prime Minister tried the same trick again today, visiting Prendergast School to launch a new education policy, aimed at giving parents greater control over the future of their children's schools.

The decision to visit a school in Lewisham, only a few hundred metres from where parents have been staging a high-profile protest against the closure of Lewisham Bridge School provided further evidence that the Party machine is not what it was.

The Standard reports:

One protester leapt in front of the Prime Minister's motorcade and had to be bundled out of the way by police as Mr Brown's car sped past.

A group of about 15 parents brandishing placards and shouting gathered outside Prendergast School in Lewisham to greet the Prime Minister.

They are unhappy at plans for a merger with Lewisham Bridge Primary School to create a new institution for 835 children aged from three to 16.

Thanks to Tressilliana.

The Standard Repents

The London Evening Standard's new owner and editor are washing their hands of the paper's recent editorial past by launching an ad campaign which apologises to Londoners for "losing touch", "being negative", "taking you for granted", "being complacent", "being predictable".

They could also have chucked in "denigrating the city we serve by pandering to the prejudices of home county commuters" but their list isn't a bad start.

The paper was recently sold by Associated Newspapers and the ads represent a significant statement of intent, underlined by the fact that've given Ken Livingstone a column this week.

We hope that their repentance extends as far as South East London and we can look forward to some consideration of the issues that matter most to those in this part of the city.

In a similar vein we'd like to say sorry to Max Calo for this piece we wrote a couple of years back. Although we still believe that a new pool in central Lewisham is preferable, the headline was needlessly provocative and we should have given more credit to the original campaign and have more consideration to the idea that Ladywell Pool should be kept, regardless of whether a new one materialises.

It's a post that we occasionally recall with a shudder, so it feels good to unburden ourselves. We stand by every other word we've ever uttered, of course.

Brockley MAX update

The next meeting of Brockley MAX is 8pm, May 6th at Jam Circus.

The deadline for events to be included in the festival programme has now passed, but you can still apply to hold an event as part of the MAX by clicking here to complete the form.

The Brockley MAX is also looking for volunteers to help with leaflet delivery. You can sign up to volunteer for shop delivery here or to hand out leaflets at Brockley Station here.

The MAX still needs volunteers for the Opening Night, Children’s Day and Hilly Fields event. Can you be a steward for a few hours? Help pick up litter? They also need a first aider on the evening of Friday 5th and Sunday 7th in the afternoon.

Brockley Central is hoping to organise a live music night as part of the festival. We hope that some of you will be able to join us. We'll keep you posted on that one.

Swine Flu outbreak forces closure of Alleyn's School, Dulwich

Six pupils of Alleyn's School in Dulwich have been diagnosed with H1N1 virus, leading the school to be closed for at least seven days. The BBC reports that all 1,200 pupils and staff are receiving Tamiflu. According to BBC News, the symptoms the affected pupils are experiencing are relatively mild.