The Brockley Brood

As we reported a couple of weeks ago, Jam Circus has introduced new children's workshops to their daytime schedule. For a long time, Brockley Central has been interested in the infantalisation of the area, both as a phenomenon in its own right and the way in which businesses in the area are responding.

Like Katy Perry on Sesame Street, the presence of children in supposedly adult Brockley haunts has proved highly controversial. But Jam Circus is demonstrating that activities for kids and grown-up venues can be as comfortable bed-fellows as Bert and Ernie.

So, we asked Polly from Jam Circus how they hope to get the balance right. Here's what she told us:

Does it seem to you like there are more and more young families moving in to the area?

Having only moved to the area recently myself, it's tricky to say. However i've been talking to a lot of parents recently and they tend to have moved here within the last couple of years from other parts of London, specifically on the basis that it's a great place to raise a family. I really strongly agree with this and with some good schools, fantastic options for after school activities and so many groups for parents and children to get involved with it's certainly becoming a better place to raise kids. There is even a group purely for parents with newly born twins. It's great!

Where did the idea for these workshops come from?

Mainly due to the increasing amount of parents and toddlers coming in during the day. Jam Circus have always had board games, books and toys for the kids but I wanted to offer something more and after talking to a couple of the regular mums, they were so excited with the idea of having something for the kids to do whilst they had lunch that I couldn't refuse! It's my first time organising events for children and Jam Circus is known for it's great night time parties but we are all really excited about making the daytimes just as important. It's so SO important to keep the Brockley and Honor Oak community feeling welcome at Jam at all times of the day and I think that the parents would agree that it's a great place to come to in the daytime with the kids, and in the evenings for dinner and a few cocktails, or a dance at the weekend.

Do you think we'll see more local businesses trying to cater for children and young families over the next couple of years?

I'd hope so. I think it's certainly the daytime target market in this area whether you like it or not! Whilst I can understand that some businesses might have concerns about kids running around, we have the right space for them and my team here are all fantastic with children and love to get involved. Parents like to have somewhere warm and welcoming to enjoy some time away from home both with and without their children and we are trying really hard to ensure that Jam Circus is top of their list of places to go.


Anonymous said...

Agree that Jam Circus is a lovely place to go with babies and children. one major request though - would it be possible to put a ramp in so we can get through the door without having to heft our buggies? Would make a big difference!

Polly said...

Hello Anon,
We do have a ramp just inside the front door - it's the big silver thing propped up against the wall! We are more than happy for you to use it and to help putting it out for you if needed. Just let one of the bar staff know and we'll come to the rescue.

Many thanks,

Nux said...

Jam Circus are superb in the way they cater for babies and young children. There is a big difference between somewhere that tolerates children and somewhere that actively encourages them to visit. The interesting thing is that it never feels 'full of screaming kids' even when there are loads and loads of kids there! Maybe it's because they are so well catered for with books, toys and food that the atmosphere is never stressful.

I missed the first craft day but understand it was brilliant - I think it's a great idea and look forward to coming along to another one. Well done JC for catering so well to your various markets!

aero-static said...

Just playing Devil's advocate: how appropriate is it to be hosting kid's activity workshops in a pub?

Anonymous said...


It's not like they are offering the kids alcohol instead of milk on the kids menu! JC have created a lovely atmosphere over the last few years and are just cashing in on the lucrative parents and babies market, and quite sensibly so!

Anonymous said...

Have you ever been to Jam Circus, aero-static? I doubt that you'd be asking this if you'd experienced it in the daytime...not sure what your concept of 'a pub' is, nor whether Jam Circus even counts as one (cafe/restaurant/bar????)

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