Malpas Mews

And on the other side of Brockley Cross from Martins Yard, the site formerly known as the Ajax Flooring Company is now called Malpas Mews and is also supposed to be ready for occupation in spring 2012, although construction is yet to begin above ground.

Thanks to Monkeyboy for the photo.

Martin's Yard

The Brockley Central Interview: Martin Nash, MacDonald Egan 

MacDonald Egan are the company building Martin's Yard, the new live / work development on the site of the old scaffolding yard, off Endwell Street, Brockley Cross. Brockley Central believes this is the single most important development in Brockley since the East London Line so we spoke to Martin Nash, about the project, which is nearing completion:

An artist's impression of Martins Yard

“We’ve completed the piling and the work on the new road will begin in October. We’re aiming to start marketing the development in the first quarter of next year, with construction on track for completion in the first half of 2012.

“It’s one of our biggest-ever developments, an entrepreneurial community for over 200 people. Martins Yard will be a new street, with exits at both ends of the development and continued use of the exit on to Drakefell Road.

“The commercial space is designed for offices and studios, not retail. They are for people with their own small businesses who want to work locally but appreciate the fast access to the city that the East London Line and the train services will give them. The commercial units will range from 400 square feet to 2,000 square feet.

“There is nothing like this in Brockley at present and good design is key to changing market expectations. To attract small business owners, we wanted to build something with a wow factor and something that would create an enterprise community, where businesses can support one another – it can be a little lonely running your own business sometimes.

“The design will encourage a community feel – everyone will have their own front door, there are no internal corridors. It’s a modern take on traditional terraced housing communities. The designs draw on inspiration from beach huts, signal boxes and sky homes. The road will gently snake to create a more intimate space.

“We partnered with Galleons Housing Association to fund the project and that means there will be 12 affordable and shared ownership homes, designed for key workers. It also means that our commercial interest in the project is focused on the business owners.

“This isn’t a residentially-led development with some commercial space to keep the Council happy, quite the reverse. There is relatively little residential space and it’s designed to be an ‘all-day-long’  development, rather than a place that gets deserted during the working day.

“We knew the Council wanted to create high quality space that would attract businesses in to Brockley. That’s what we’re great at. We built Astra House in New Cross and a 50,000 square feet business centre in Islington.

“There will be some incubator units, which the Council will control, giving discounted rates to relatively new businesses with growth potential.

 “Although it’s not a retail or leisure development, it’s important that it feels welcoming and part of the community. The design should draw people in. We’re still working on ideas for how to make the best use of the gatehouse at the front of Martin's Yard.

“There will also be some improvements to the public realm. We’re working on plans to make it safer to cross Endwell Road.

“We haven’t begun to market it yet, but if anyone reading this is looking for a location for their business in Brockley, they should feel to email me.”

The Ravensbourne Arms celebrates Rocktober with new kitchen

The Ravensbourne Arms says:

Our kitchen will be open as of Tuesday the 4th October, which is just 5 days away!

Next week’s opening hours will remain the same, however, from Monday 10th October we will be opening from 12pm every day. Food will be available between 12pm and 3pm and then 5pm till 10pm (9pm on Saturdays). On Sundays we will be serving food from 12pm till 6pm. If you would like to reserve a table for any date please phone in on 0208 613 7070!

NHS card holders will be entitled to 20% off food from Monday to Friday between the hours of 12pm and 3pm.

In other news, we now show Sky Sports. Don’t worry though, we’re not a football pub! We have one medium sized LCD screen and will only have sound on for the very big games! We also now have a retro games table top machine in the pub, and a bar billiards table on the way! I’m also looking to get a darts board up ASAP. Basically, you’re not going to run out of things to do here!

October is full of events! So full in fact that we’ve renamed it Rocktober (we’re cool like that).

Click here for the full list of the Ravensbourne's events on the Ladywell Forum.

New plan for Brockley Cross revealed

Last weekend, at the Brockley Cross Action Group AGM, the Council provided the details of their new plans to redevelop the area around the junction.

The design refines their initial efforts, which disappointingly unambitious. The new plans are much better, including the following improvements:
  • There is a new zebra crossing, which should make crossing the junction much easier
  • Geoffrey Road gets a small central island to make it safer to cross - it should have an additional benefit of making that spot impossible to double park at, which is currently a problem
  • The parking bay on the south side has been replaced with some short term parking. The current set-up encourages dangerous double-parking. Whether this change will resolve that remains to be seen, but any attempt to do solve that problem has to be welcome
  • The parking well on the north side, which has been monopolised by D&M Vans, has gone. This will prevent this spot from feeling like a narrow corridor for pedestrians between a wall of vans. It may even persuade D&M to move somewhere where they have proper off-street parking permission and to set up in an office where they have planning permission to do so. Just as likely, however, is that they will look to other streets to store more of their vans, so we hope that traffic enforcement keeps that in mind
  • Shardeloes Road gets a new zebra crossing, while the dangerous zebra crossing on Brockley Road gets a new central island, which should reduce approach speeds and improve safety
The overall effect of these changes should mean that the area becomes a great deal more pedestrian friendly. Combined with the new planned development on the corner of Geoffrey Road and some tree planting, the area should be a nicer, less chaotic spot, discouraging the illegal parking chaos that it currently breeds.

The plans are not yet completely finalised and there will be a further opportunity to have your say in October.
Work on the pedestrian crossings will begin this autumn, while work  on the rest of the plans should start in February 2012.

Well done to the Council for responding to some of the initial feedback, we hope the plans to improve the parking situation remain in the final analysis.

Americanos in South East London

Brockley: Movies and heroes. Low riding chicanos. In the land of the free, you can be what you want to be. A magic kingdom, filled with Barbie dolls.

Local film maker Fred Rowson is asking for your help to track down Americana in this neck of the woods:

I'm currently shooting a music video for this band - - who are sort of American bluegrass, country, by way of suburban London. One of the major themes of the video is finding those odd pockets of American culture in suburban London, like the pink Cadillac in the scrap yard near New Cross Gate, or the LVPD patrol car I've often seen parked at the bottom of Gellatly Road.

I was wondering if you could do a little shout out on the blog to see what people come up with?

And thank you to everyone who contributed to THE END; the promo is still online, and you can watch it by clicking HERE.

Consultation launched for Shardeloes Road substance misuse treatment centre

Jack has sent us the details of a consultation being carried out in relation to a proposed new substance misuse treatment centre. The link to the site is at the end of the article and we have reproduced the Q&A they provide below.

The current service

Lewisham Council and NHS Lewisham jointly fund a drug and alcohol treatment service. The service is currently based at New Direction, 410 Lewisham High Street. This is backed up by a service for users in the south of the borough at Dartmouth Road, Forest Hill. Many service users will also get regular services - such as repeat prescriptions and needle exchange - through their local GP or pharmacist.

The service has had some real successes but we think we could achieve much more if our sites were better located - so that service users from the south and the north of the borough were better able to access them. In particular, we have many service users in Brockley, Deptford and New Cross that would benefit from a site more local to them.

The proposal

We are proposing to establish a new treatment site in Shardeloes Road, Brockley. This new site would be the main service site for users in the north of the borough and, together with the Dartmouth Road site in the south, would mean service users from all over the borough would be able to travel easily to access the service. The New Direction site would become the main site for after-care, helping improve the overall service further by reducing the numbers of service users who relapse. We welcome your views on this proposal.

Why Shardeloes Road, Brockley?

As we want to cover a larger area of Lewisham to help more people access treatment, we aim to have a treatment service in the north of the borough. Most areas of the country have drug services based within local communities and Brockley has been identified as being in need of services to provide help and support to local people. The building is on the main road and has good public transport services. The railway station is close by, and bus services are frequent. It is therefore an ideal location, making the centre accessible to local residents. The building is appropriate for drug and alcohol treatment, as it offers space for the kinds of services and interventions required.

How can local people get involved and find out more?

We intend to provide high quality, effective services that improve the lives of both individuals and local communities. In order to ensure that our services meet the needs of the community, we continuously seek the views and opinions of local residents and people that use our services. New Direction staff will be organising opportunities for people to discuss the centres and their activities, which you are very welcome to attend. 

For details of drop-in sessions, venues, dates and times please go on to the Council's website at . We are also happy to come along to other local community events to tell you more about the consultation and give you the opportunity to share your views. You can contact the service via the local council: Jason Browne: Drug and Alcohol Action Team, 23 Mercia Grove, Lewisham, SE13 6BJ. Telephone: 020 8314 3263 E-mail: Website

But is it art? Gas explosion outside the Art House

Thanks to Ben, who sent us the link. We have no more information, but as you can see for yourselves, there was a protracted flatulent incident on Lewisham Way today.

Pat-a-cakes, Crofton Park

Pat-a-cakes is a new cake shop opening at 358 Brockley Road, in what used to be the old Gas Shop, opposite the Co-op next to Crofton Park Station. Owner Stacie Maile is aiming to open in the first week of  November and tells us about her plans:

"We are going to be selling cakes, cookies, brownies (all things sweet) as well as savoury snacks such as savoury muffins and scones, cream teas, coffees, teas and fresh juices. It will be vintage, kitsch, a bit mis-match, welcoming and friendly.  We have a section which we will be selling cake goods for all the baking enthusiasts, as I know there's not a shop in the area which sells things I generally need, and I know my friends have had the same problem.  On the walls we will be selling local art, so this will act as a gallery space for all the local creatives.

Stacie Maile, Founder of Pat-a-cakes

"I live near Hilly Fields and I love it, it's just perfect in every way as far as I'm concerned.  It's up and coming, there are lots of hidden gems and I love the people.  All-in-all, I think Pat-a-Cakes would do well here.

"I used to run a stall at Brick Lane market selling cupcakes and I have a website which I have been selling cakes from for weddings, parties and other events.  This has been up and running for approximately a year and a half.

"I started baking bits and bobs, then started to specialise in cupcakes, I made them for Brick Lane and they were so popular that I just continued with iy.  I have always wanted a shop and have been quite sure on the look I wanted so it kind of just went from there, then the shop became available and it was too good not to take.

"I'm hoping it will appeal to everyone from young trendy creative types, to yummy mummies meeting up for coffees, to the older ladies and gents meeting up for their mid morning catch up over a cream tea.

"I hope that everyone will pop in to Pat-a-Cakes for a cake or coffee at some point, it'll be a place to relax and we hope it has a really welcoming atmosphere once we're all finished.  Also, it'll be great for commuters travelling from Crofton Park Station looking to get a decent cup of coffee to take away on their travels.

"We've only started the refurb over the weekend but already have had loads of amazing feedback from people who live nearby so are sure that it is going to be a positive move."

Happy Tuesday - Happy Mondays return

Happy Mondays, the Amersham Arms comedy nights, are back and there's a quid off for people who say how much they like Brockley. Organiser Ed has sent us this list of upcoming headliners, with Holly Walsh the MC for all six shows:

3rd Oct
Tom Deacon
As seen on Rob Brydon Show and Dave’s One Night Stand and heard on Radio One

17th Oct
Nick Helm
Russell Howards Good News, Fosters Edinburgh Award Nominee 2011

31st Oct
Tony Law
As seen on "Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle" and "Russell Howards Good News"

14th Nov
Arthur Smith
As seen on "QI" and "Grumpy Old Men"

28th Nov

Isy Suttie
Dobby from "Peep Show"

12th Dec
Josie Long8 Out of 10 Cats, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Fosters Edinburgh Award Nominee 2011

Tickets are £6/£4 (NUS) in advance or £7/£5 (NUS) on the door. Available behind bar or at

£1 Discount on tickets for all shows; ilovebrockley offer ends 3rd October

Comerford Road, 1905

This postcard, depicting Comerford Road, Brockley in 1905 is currently on sale on Ebay. Thanks to Maradoll for the spot.

Refurbishment of Surrey Quays planned

The owners of the Surrey Quays shopping centre have released initial plans for a major expansion and refurbishment of the 23 year old building.

With both Westfield Stratford and Canary Wharf shopping district only a few stops away on the Jubilee Line, something drastic needs to be done if its decline is going to be arrested. With the wider regeneration of Canada Water now at an advanced stage, the opportunity is to create a local leisure destination, with an additional 15-20 shops and restaurants and improved landscaping. The landlords hope to complete the new centre by 2014.

You can see the plans in full here.

Centre Stage Theatre School, Telegraph Hill

Telegraph Hill theatre school Centre Stage is celebrating its 10 birthday at Haberdashers Askes with the start of the new term this month. Principal Andrea Rose says:

“We feel so lucky that we’ve had the support of the local community for so many years. We are one of the only theatre schools that remains accessible to those who would prefer to pay-as-they-go. Our shows and our community ethos are what have kept us going!”

“We’ll be celebrating 10 years of song, dance and drama with a performance called “On the Move” – and we hope to continue to inspire and allow young people in the area to express themselves through the performing arts.”

Brockley Market: Week 1 [UPDATED]

"George Lucas was once told there were no sounds in airless space. He didn't believe it. Today, George Lucas is a billionaire."

- Ambush Bug

Let us give you a word of advice: Always bet on Brock. The organisers of today's inaugural Brockley Market were hoping for a good start, with maybe 1,000 visitors giving it a try. After the first two hours they'd smashed that figure and queues [UPDATE: the final number of visitors was 2,100] had formed at almost every stall, catching the traders by surprise.

But it isn't a surprise really. The marketing had been exemplary, the list of traders recruited was superb and the choice of location was inspired. We said it would raise the bar for local markets and it did. Like The Orchard, Browns of Brockley and Brockley's Rock before it, Brockley Market proved that if you offer high-quality, the people of this area will reward you.

When the market's plans were revealed, the usual pessimists made some extraordinary claims: it was too remote, ugly, traffic-choked and crime-ridden to work. As the sun shone, the huge crowds, sold-out signs and groups and families chatting and hanging-out proved what nonsense those predictions were, as they were obviously going to be. It's not that Brockley Central is always right (we are, but that's not the point), it's that the doom-mongers are always so comically wrong.

It could do with some more hot food options, some of the stalls were a little pricey (although some were excellent value) but Brockley Market is a little bit of local genius. An underused car-park was transformed in to a new destination for SE4. The crowds will continue to come - more and more, from further and further afield. The stalls will multiply, the site will fill and we'll all wonder why it took so long for someone to think of this.

Click here for Hollowlegs' review.

Brockley Market - you should have gone to the toilet before we left the house

Brockley Market's Toby wants to leave nothing to chance for tomorrow's big day. He offers the following advice if you're planning to visit it tomorrow:

No Cash Machine on site, cash machines in the area, stall holders will not take cards.

The post code for the college = SE4 1UT.

Limited car parking on site, so please use alternative transport methods where possible.

Bus Routes that stop outside the college are
21, 136, 321, 436

Bus Timetables

There are no toilet facilities in the college carpark at present.

Most stall holders will have plastic bags, but recommend you bring your own more sturdy bag for shopping.

Kevin Cruise, the Brockley Jack Theatre

In Brockley, life is beautiful. The girls are beautiful. Even the orchestra is beautiful!

New help for local businesses in Lewisham and Southwark

Lewisham and Southwark Councils have announced the launch of a new advice and support service for small businesses in the boroughs.

The new service is run by Greater London Enterprise and is a shared service for the two south London boroughs located at:

The Lewisham and Southwark Business Advisory Service
GLE one-London
10-12 Queen Elizabeth Street
London, SE1 2JN
Telephone: 0800 032 0946

Many services will be provided free of charge and the GLE is tasked with taking a proactive approach to helping local businesses through the current economic climate.Workshops, seminars and surgeries will be on offer in a range of business-development areas including marketing, cash flow management, procurement readiness and lease advocacy.

In Brockley there are signs of a growing enterprise culture and with new live / work units opening in Martins Yard next year, the creation of a new service is timely.

The move is another example of Lewisham Council seeking to share services to reduce costs, as it has already done with its website and street lighting. In this case, while the move means that small businesses will have to travel outside the borough to visit their offices, the benefits of pooled resources and expertise should outweigh the inconvenience. The quality of advice offered to start-ups in Lewisham has been criticised in the past by the Brockley business community.

Cllr Vicky Foxcroft says:

"Extra support for local business is vital in the current economic climate. We don't want our area to only have big corporations who are well placed to survive the economic crisis. 

"Most people in the area love the fact we have so many independent bars, restaurants and shops in the area. It is only right that the council provides them with extra support and advice." 

Top Chef Cafe, 319 Brockley Road

Please post your comments and reviews here.

El's Kitchen Autumn Wine Tasting, September 26th

Ladywell fooderie El's Kichen is hosting an autumn wine tasting on September 26th, starting at 7.30pm. Wine, food, expert tuition and some award-winning British cheese for £10.

Full details on the Ladywell Forum

The BXAG Annual Open Event, September 24th

Rupert writes:

On behalf of the BXAG I would like to invite everyone at Brockley Central to our Annual Open Event on Saturday 24th September at John Stainer School, Mantle Road, Brockley SE4, from 11.00 - 12.30.

We have decided to hold our annual forum on a Saturday this year to make it more accessible to those who find evening meetings difficult to attend. Families with children will be very welcome.

There will be a number of exhibitions at the Forum, including the Council's TfL-funded proposals for pedestrian improvements around the Brockley Cross junction, which thanks to community feedback, have improved greatly in comparison to the original and much criticised proposals they consulted on back in December last year.

There will be a BXAG exhibition, a review of our recent activities and a consultation session where we will ask attendees to tell us what their concerns and priorities are for improvements around Brockley Cross, Brockley Road and Brockley Station! This should be very helpful and will help inform the activities and campaigns that BXAG works on in the coming year.

New Cross protest against big brands

“The New Cross Federation” is a local campaign group that opposes the opening of a new Sainsbury’s Local in New Cross, opposite Goldsmiths. They will be protesting on Thursday 20th October, outside Sainsbury’s Head Office, 33 Holborn, London EC1N 2HT 12-2pm. They say:

If you are worried about the destruction of small shops and the takeover of our communities by corporations, then please come and join us, and please sign the petition at

All the usual full disclosure is necessary before we proceed: Our employer, Edelman, does a small amount of work for Sainsbury’s, helping with the developing their annual CSR report. So you can discount whatever we have to say on the matter if you like – as you can discount what we have to say about pretty much anything.

We asked one of the campaign organisers, Chris Boddington, who owns Cafe Crema in New Cross, about a couple of the key assumptions behind the campaign.

The first of these is that the New Cross retail economy is a zero-sum game. According to this logic, the revenue that this Sainsbury’s makes must be generated by reduced revenues for other local businesses. We don’t think that’s true – we think New Cross currently does a pretty poor job of catering to local people’s shopping needs and there is a lot more money to be made locally. Chris said:

At a meeting in August with New Cross Federation members (local traders and councillors) Sainsbury’s management stated that the reason for opening a small store (a ‘Local’) in addition to the large store already operating in SE14, is to pick up the ‘top-up’ trade – i.e. shoppers who do their weekly shop at the big store, but who may need to top-up with a few items mid-week. This is exactly the trade that small, independent shops rely upon for their living.

They conveniently ignore the fact that in any community there is a finite amount of money that residents need to spend on groceries each week. A new shop opening does not mean that business will be drummed up out of thin air.

At least 50% of the shoppers in New Cross are students at Goldsmiths College. The new store will be opposite the main entrance of the college. In addition to groceries, it will sell ready-to-eat takeaway food, which will take trade away from the two cafes immediately adjacent to it, as well as the many other independent cafes and takeaway counters in the area. It will also sell alcohol, taking trade from off-licences.

The second assumption is that this will cause displacement, with existing shops forced out of the area. But this is a unit that has been empty for years. By opening, it might encourage more people to shop locally and more shops to set up nearby to capitalise on the extra footfall. Chris said:

It is true that it's a shame to have a shop standing empty for years, but it doesn’t follow that it’s better to put it to any use whatsoever. Large corporations are willing to pay much more in rent than small traders or other organisations are able to, so landlords will jump at the chance to have them as tenants. Once this becomes the trend in any given area, why would any landlord settle for poorer tenants?

I’d rather see one empty shop than that kind of corporate Stalinism, and I’d rather see the money I spend going into the pockets of local people rather than being hoovered up by distant millionaire shareholders and corporate directors.

The campaigners believe that this is bad news for local business and that the people of New Cross don’t want chain stores. Today’s news of a planned opening of a new independent food store just down the road and the quiver of local excitement about New Cross’ new TK Maxx suggest that neither of these propositions is necessarily true. Time will tell.

The Allotment New Cross - coming soon

We don't know anything about this one, other than what someone has posted on the site, which is that the New Cross House team have this picture of a new shop opening next door to them. 

The window display says it will be called The Allotment and will sell fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, cheese, flowers and more.

More soon.

TK Maxx New Cross opens tomorrow [UPDATED]

When we first wrote about TK Maxx's plans to open in New Cross, Twitter's south east London synapses lit up like a Christmas Tree. We never realised that it excited such passions among so many. Well the big day arrives tomorrow and the new store, next to Curry's, will sell men's, women's and children's clothes, accessories, shoes and toys.

It opens at 9am tomorrow and they're offering a £10 gift card to the first 500 customers through the doors. It will be like the August riots all over again.

UPDATE: At 9.44am one of BC's Twitter-buddies reports all the gift cards are gone and the checkout queues are already 30 deep.

Brockley Market - Opening line-up revealed

The Brockley Market team have revealed the 17 stallholders who will feature on their opening day this Saturday.

They promised to raise the bar for local foodies and he has not let us down, as this saliva-inducing line-up of local heroes and exotic delicacies proves:

Dark Fluid Coffee – Serving award winning coffee and retail beans ground on site for home brewing – Schrödinger's cat Blend

Sugar and Vanilla Cakes - Breakfast treats: baby banana loaves; corn and raspberry's jam muffins; friands; zucchini and marmalade bread, cheddar and scallion scones. Cookies: choc chip and macadamia; melting moments; giant peanut butter; assorted shortbread shapes (vanilla, rosemary etc).·Cakes and tarts: little flour-less chocolate cakes; blackberry and cinnamon cake; carrot cake; hummingbird cake; chocolate and chestnut torte; lemon and pine nut tart; orange and almond cake (gluten free). Other: cheesecake brownie. 

Aston Bakers - A selection of breads and french pastries - Including Seeded Cob, London Rye, Malted Grain Cob, Pain au Levin, Cibatta, Sourdough Rye

Norbiton Cheese - Week 1 selection, Montgomery's Cheddar, Keens Cheddar, Sharpham Rustic, Garlic Yarg, Colston Bassett Stilton, Cropwell bishop, Tunworth, Barkham Blue, Lancashire Bombs, Brie De Meaux, Donge Manachego, Ticklemore Goats, Cornish Blue, Blue Monday, Gubbeen, Smoked Gubbeen, Poacher, Doddingtons

Hand Picked Shellfish Company - Fish caught on the Friday sold at the market on Saturday

Bank Farm - Seasonal Game, Kent Grown vegetables, Eggs

Independent Trotters - Rare Breed Pork Farmer - Bacon, Sausages and all things porky Marsh Farm - Beef, Lamb and Poultry - A wide selection of breeds and cuts (can order large joints etc in the week and pick them up at the market on Saturday)

Wild Country Organics - we specialise in producing a wide variety of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, aubergines, and salad leaf. We now have over 5 acres of glasshouses and grow organic salads and oriental vegetables year round and without heating, improving their flavour and making our protected crops the greenest available.

Perry Court Farm - Vegetables, Fruit, Apple Juice and Flowers - Perry Court Farm has been growing wonderful fruit and vegetables in a responsible and environmentally friendly way for three generations now. Traditional methods of farming have been passed down, and mixed with modern know-how on sustainable agricultural practises, to give a way of producing food that really works in the long run.

Box Chillies - Culinary Plants and fresh flowers - Chillies, Plants and a range of vegetable plants including cut and come again lettuces, sweetcorn, aubergines, asparagus, peas, beans and many more are available at shows and markets.

Browns of Brockley - Browns will be providing dairy products direct from the farmer/farm they use for the shop.

London Particular - Week one Sourdough Donuts with homemade fillings, then breakfast sandwiches the following week.

Red Herring Smoke House - We smoke free range and rare breed meats, and fish - in Hackney. Will also be serving there great bacon buttie with home made ketchup and brown sauce.

Honey from Brockley - Local Brockley Bee keepers Noa and Daniel will be selling there honey and will also be bringing some bees and also bee! on hand to answer any bee related questions.

The Bowler Meatballs – Gourmet Balls on the go, quality ingredients, free range meats. Mixed with love, balled by hand.

A G Brookman - Kent's first organic and bio-dynamic farm selling Vegetables, Salads.

Mike Hall - Brockley's artist laureate will sell some of his work

The Brockley Market will be held every Saturday in the Lewisham College car park, Lewisham Way, 10am-2pm.

Ice rink plan for Hilly Fields

The Ladywell Ward Assembly on Thursday will discuss plans to create an ice rink in Hilly Fields as part of a "Winter Design Festival" in November.

We've no idea how this would be commercially viable, but it's a cool idea and one we're looking forward to finding out more about it. BrocSoc report:

'Would you like to see an ice rink on HIlly Fields? If you live in the Ladywell ward, please come and vote for it:

Ladywell Assembly, Thursday 22 September, 7pm, St Andrews Church Hall, Brockley Road, SE4 2SA Several excellent community projects have applied for funding from the Ladywell Assembly fund.

Brockley Society is involved in the Winter Design Festival, including an ice rink (synthetic ice) for two days in November on Hilly Fields. If you live in Ladywell ward you are entitled to vote for what you would like to see funded in your area.'

With thanks to Tressilliana.

Hilly Fields Lunch Club - new business network

Jennifer writes:

The Hilly Fields Lunch Club is a club for freelancers, homeworkers, and small business owners around Hilly Fields. The club brings together local professionals for a regular monthly informal meet-up to

       • support local small businesses and freelancers
       • build a network of potential collaborators amongst locally based professionals
       • provide “water cooler moments” for people without a water cooler!

The Hilly Fields Lunch Club is friendly, informal and welcoming to anyone who wants to come along. We meet at a local venue to be announced each month on our blog. The few of us starting this are involved in IT and design so I would think it would be of interest to professional services, technology, design, copywriters, marketing but it would be great to attract a rich mix.

The inaugural meet-up of the club is on Friday 7th October, 12.30pm at The Ladywell Tavern, 80 Ladywell Rd, Ladywell, Lewisham, London, SE13 7HS.

If you can make it, leave a comment on the blog introducing yourself to the group.

Mind the gap - the Sound Tracks Festival

As the unofficial live music correspondent for Brockley Central, we felt it only right we try out London's first ever Overground-based music festival, Sound Tracks, which took place on Saturday night.

Picking up our wristbands at the Amersham Arms at about 7.30, we were met with a wall of sound that we can only imagine was Eighteen Nightmares of Lux. It was pure rock n roll but a bit much for our ageing ears at that time in the evening, so we took refuge in the main bar while we waited for the rest of our group to turn up.

Planning to return to the AA later (we never did), and keen to try out the party train, we headed to the station at about 8.30 to make the journey to Cafe Oto in Dalston. The platform was silent, but various hi-viz vested folk were lurking so we knew we were in the right place. Once on the train we located the Sound Tracks posters and watched Toodar belt out a number of acoustic and Casio-accompanied tracks all the way to Dalston. Despite some mild heckling from a Millwall fan (at least, we think that's what he shouted?), the reaction was brilliant, with people coming down the train to watch and record it on their phone.

Toodar playing the priority seats

We'd never been to Cafe Oto. A wide frontage spills out onto a quiet side street by the station, surrounded by red brick warehouses and bikes chained to anything screwed down, this place is Hackney meets Amsterdam.

Although bands had been announced at each venue, set times hadn't been published online, so it was pot luck. We turned up to Elen Tamara on stage, who was great, and keen to see some more of the same we decided to hang around for the next group. It was a long wait, made longer as we knew we had precious little time to try to get to all the venues. Finally Shabaka & The Sons of Kemet came on, and pushed our musical boundaries with screaming saxophones, wobbly tuba-driven basslines and two drummers battling for supremacy.

Our friends were keen to catch Fantastic Mr. Fox at Concrete (on at 11.30, as relayed to us by some mates already at the venue). We were happy to tick off all of the stops, so, at about 10.45 and mid-saxophone solo, we made the move, hoping to be entertained on the way down. At Dalston Junction we boarded a train bound for New Cross, but it was eerily quiet - where was the party? There was no band or even revellers to be seen. At least it's only a 5 minute journey down to the 'Ditch.

We'll fess up now, Concrete isn't our favourite Shoreditch venue. It's a soulless box underneath Pizza East, minimally furnished, lacking identity and a coherent music policy, meaning that its normally either hosting a private function or full of Shoreditch tourists who weren't sure where else to go. Tonight was no different - a random mixture of curious Pizza East diners, and East End wide boys, this is where we hit upon one of the Sound Tracks problems. The venues are still open to Joe Public, so you don't always get that 'united by a wristband' feeling like other festivals. How was Fantastic Mr Fox? Well, we gave it until last train time (12.15), by which point there was no sign of him. Should have stayed in Dalston.

And here lies a logistical nightmare that even the East London Line can't solve - the distance between the venues (especially from New X to Shoreditch) meant that changing 'stages' was a big decision, especially if you're trying to rally a large group of people with beer in their hands. With the festival only lasting for a few hours that evening, there wasn't really time to go back should you decide you'd made a bad move. We couldn't help but wonder if we might have better spent our night choosing our own venues, and simply making the most of the live music on the ELL trains. A day-long festival would have given more scope for moving up and down the line, exploring the venues, or a wider distribution of artists at different venues might have made it easier to hop up and down the line.

We don't mean to sound negative. Brockley Central knows exactly how difficult it is to organise a live music event, let alone a festival, so we can appreciate these teething problems, and we also appreciate the obvious time and effort that the organisers put into it. The branding was slick, the all important 'feel' was generally spot on, and most of all this was a massive success in terms of concept, so bravo to the organisers and TFL for actually making it happen. This was a positive start to what we hope will become a larger annual event, that might well spread to some other stops along the line - next stop, Brockley?

Do you smell what the Rock is cooking?

Wyclef: Yo Rock I sold like seventeen million records
The Rock: It doesn't matter how many records you've sold!
Wyclef: Alright I'm with you, yo check it out, you wanna go get diamond rings?
The Rock: It doesn't matter if the Rock wants to go get diamond rings or not!
- It doesn't matter, Wyclef Jean

Brockley's Rock, the new fish and chip restaurant on Brockley Road, has found a way to appeal to all of Brockley's tribes.

We were in there on Friday night and as we sat and worked our way through two enormous fishcakes (they eventually gave us a doggy bag for the second) we were struck by the fact that of all of Brockley's cafes, the Rock appeals to the widest cross-section of the community. Black and white, young and old, gay and straight, families and singletons, achingly cool and painfully uncool. All of Brockley life passed through their doors in the space of about half an hour.

Perhaps it's because fish and chips are still the great British leveler, but Brockley's Rock shows that the presence of brushed aluminium and a commitment to quality don't have to be elitist.

The Quick and the Dead

John Herod: This is my town! If you live to see the dawn, it's because I allow it. I'm in charge of everything! I decide who lives or who dies! 
- The Quick and the Dead

Southwark Council is conducting an "urgent" consultation on the future of its burial grounds as "burial space is running out very fast." Honor Oak Recreation Ground is the particular focus of the consultation. Currently used for community sport, it may be turned in to another cemetery, which would be a travesty

The options being considered are:

A)    Re-use of common graves
B)    Re-use of private graves
C)    Use of burial chambers.
D)    Find a burial site outside of Southwark
E)    Share a cemetery elsewhere or buy graves from private owner
F)    Work with other local authorities to source land for a new cemetery
G)    Use all or some of Honor Oak Park Recreation Ground
H)    Stop burying people in Southwark

Any of the other options would be better than G and with these options available it's astonishing that digging up precious green space is even being considered. Have your say here.

The South East London Dads Group

“Then they set out along the blacktop in the gunmetal light, shuffling through the ash, each the other's world entire.” 
- The Road

Ben writes:

The South East London Dads Group is three years old and has over 100 members.

We’re mostly based in Lewisham and Greenwich boroughs with a few others to the west and further south. We have a homedads stay and play every Tuesday 09:30 – 11:30 at Hatcham Oak Children’s Centre on Wallbutton Road, Telegraph Hill, where the kids can play and the dads can chat and have a cup of tea. We run two other stay and plays on other days in Charlton and Lee. We also meet regularly on other days in parks or cafés or each others’ homes. Dads can check the website, join the email list or Facebook, Twitter and South East Central:

We’re happy to chat about anything and share experiences, or just have a laugh. Sometimes dads looking after their kids can feel isolated in a world of mums and miss the social aspect of the work environment – we can help! We also run free courses on first aid, cooking for kids, parenting skills and others. And we have a drinks evening every couple of months or so.

Obviously, most dads work full time and there are other groups which run on weekends – wherever we get information of these we’ll post about them on our site and through emails. We’ve chosen to focus on homedads, but once we have more working dad volunteers we will be able to offer more weekend things as well.

Domino's Pizza plans Bank heist

Sam Bell: GERTY, am I a clone?
GERTY: Are you hungry? 

Domino's, the pizza chain that grabbed headlines by planning to open on the moon, is trying to top that by opening in Honor Oak.

The company has lodged an application with Lewisham Council to convert the Old Bank from a restaurant to a takeaway. There's nothing wrong with Domino's - they fill a hole - but it would be a shame to lose a local restaurant space, especially one with real potential.

Crofton Park "Tesco" meeting with Lewisham Council

Annabelle writes:

Just thought locals might like to know that there is a meeting being held with Lewisham Council planners next week about the new building application for the corner of Brockley Road and Sevenoaks Rd in Crofton Park, opposite the Brockley Jack.

The developers have knocked down the old building in the past week without planning permission having being granted for the latest proposed development [although planning permission already exists for an earlier proposal], so lot of people already seeing red - as it was a 1930s block very in keeping with the area.

Workers on site say a Tesco is being built on the ground floor, under three more storeys of flats. The planning reference is DC/11/77384. 

Anyway, what the council calls an "informal meeting" to allow planners to "assess the areas of concern before the application is considered" is being held on Tuesday September 20 at 6pm at St Hilda's Church, Brockley Rd (corner of Courtrai Rd).

You can vote on whether you would like to see or use a Tesco in Crofton Park here.

Harefield Mews development goes on sale

Jimmy Dell: Good people, bad people, they generally look like what they are.
- The Spanish Prisoner

A while back, we wrote about the newly built block of flats on the corner of Harefield Mews and Cranfield Road, just behind Brockley Road. As these things occasionally do, the debate that followed descended into a rather angry exchange, suggesting anyone who didn't think this was going to be a mental health unit was a fool or worse, hiding some sort of secret bias.

Anyway,  the flats are now on sale with KFH and described as being "built to a very high standard of specification and ready for immediate occupation. The apartments in Harefield Mews are in a good sought after location within a short walk of Brockley train station and local shops. The apartments come with a luxury kitchen with integrated appliances fitted and wood flooring supplied. The ground floor apartments have the added bonus of good sized private enclosed gardens."

Brutal yes, rental maybe, mental no.

The Menhir Crack'd

The Hilly Fields Stone Circle, built to celebrate the turn of the Millennium, has been damaged by fire. The Friends of Hilly Fields explain:

A very large fire on top of the flat stones in the centre of the circle occurred. The heat caused the stones to crack. Over time the cracks are becoming larger and smaller parts will dislodge.

They are currently seeking quotes to repair or replace the damage.

"Doggy Ice Cream Challenge Antonello immigrant for love"

BC-ite Monkeyboy has, somehow, spotted this article about the Brockley Rise restaurant Le Querce, which appears in a Sardinian newspaper. Reading it using Google translate leaves a little to be desired but the article is about why the team moved to London and what their experiences have been since they got here.

Is cheese ice cream really the secret of their success? Click here to find out.

Wild hops

Here's a Brockley grow-your-own initiative that even the biggest Clarkson fan couldn't take issue with. Here's a clutch of wild hops growing next to The Talbot.

With thanks to Richard.

Brockley man launches London Mayoral bid

No, calm down, we know what you're thinking, you're right, Brockley Central would make an excellent Mayor, but our paymasters at Tesco, the Department for Transport, Monsanto and NAMBLA wouldn't hear of it. We're too valuable to them as an instrument of mind control in SE4. 

So instead, another local resident has put himself forward. Peter Lee, a 72 year old police volunteer who's served at Brockley police station, has entered the fray. He shares our love of opinionated blasphemy, telling the News Shopper:

“By Christ, I’ll be known because I’ll speak out...  What the hell does Boris know about the police? I’ve got 10 years experience at a police station.”

Here's his website and manifesto.

We will follow his progress with interest.

Deptford & Greenwich

The Boundary Commission for England, the independent body established to review the size and shape of MPs' constituencies, has recommended that Lewisham's electoral map be redrawn. As predicted, it proposes abolishing Lewisham East and Lewisham Deptford and lumping Brockley, Ladywell, Deptford, New Cross, Blackheath and chunks of Greenwich together in a new constituency,' Deptford & Greenwich', which shall henceforth be known as Greater Brockley:

The purpose of the review is to reduce the bias that has crept in to the electoral map over time and to reduce the number of MPs. Simon James, Secretary to the BCE says:

“Now that we have published our initial proposals we welcome people’s participation until the consultation closes on 5 December 2011. People can contribute via our website, they can write in or email us, or come and present their views at a public hearing in one of 36 venues around the country between 11 October and 18 November this year.”

The BCE website ( provides full information about the review and sets out how people can get involved and register.

Brockley Station - the shocking truth

Design for London - the Mayor's design advisers - have carried out a heritage audit of the East London Line's stations as part of the preparation for the modernisation programme due to take place at stations along the line over the next three years.

The report concluded that... Brockley Station has "little of heritage value except for the footbridge linking the two platforms, which is of some interest. There is therefore significant scope for new station facilities to improve passenger amenities."

So while the prefab hut didn't seduce them, they do compliment the recent landscaping and reveal some interesting details about the station's history:

Brockley Station was opened in 1871 - hitherto there were no intermediate stations between New Cross Gate and Forest Hill as the line passed through farmland with little settlement.

In the 1850s and 1860s the area to the east of the railway grew rapidly as large family houses were built on broad tree lined streets. In 1872 the rival London, Chatham & Dover Railway opened a station called Brockley Lane immediately to the east of the overbridge which crossed over the platforms of Brockley Station.

This was served by Victoria to Greenwich Park services until the station closed in 1917.

There was a substantial two  storey gabled station building on the west (up) side fronting Mantle Road and another single storey red-brick building on the down platform, both with generous canopies.

The existing station building is a prefabricated 1960s structure on the east side which replaced the 1871 station. The system-built CLASP (Consortium of Local Authorities Special Projects) structure is of a type widely used by the public sector in this decade especially for schools, hospitals and railways. It is a two storey flat roofed utilitarian structure composed of concrete panels. 

The lack of architectural merit in what remains should mean an uncomplicated modernisation programme (hinted at by the signs up currently, saying that work has begun to lengthen the platforms to accommodate longer trains - has anyone seen any evidence of this work?) over the next few years.

You can download the report here, including some great pictures of the station and its verdict on other stops along the line. Thanks to Barry for sending it to us.

The Brockley Central Interview: Take Flight Theatre School

Take Flight is a new theatre school, launching this Wednesday, September 14th. Run by Stevie and Ahmet, two experienced West End performers, it will operate from St Hilda's Church, Crofton Park.

Stevie and Ahmet, Take Flight Theatre School

When BC was at primary school, we would have been pretty pleased with ourselves if we'd recited two lines accurately in the school play and got off stage without our trousers falling down. We recently saw our son's primary school performance of We Will Rock You, an insanely ambitious two-hour production, where 10 year olds were asked to perform Freddy Mercury solos, complex dance routines and harder still, make the audience laugh with page after page of Ben Elton dialogue. Unbelievably, they pulled it off. X Factor cops a lot of flack for breeding a generation that wants instant fame without putting in the hard work - in fact, it's encouraged kids to raise their game. Still reeling from that production, we asked Stevie and Ahmet about the new school:

"We're both from Honor Oak and we've noticed how many more young children there are than when we moved here six years ago. We both have a background in musical theatre and we looked around and felt there was room for at theatre school like this.

"We believe we offer the true West End experience. All our teachers will be active with in current productions and will offer the latest techniques being implemented within musical theatre. The children will also be excited and inspired to meet and be taught by current stars of stage and TV. As well as this, we are promoting and encouraging children to be creative, confident and active.

"Shows like I'd Do Anything, Glee, High School Musical, X Factor and So You Think You Can Dance have really encouraged a whole new generation of kids to give it a try.

"Believe it or not, Brockley is the best place in London to find actors, singers, dancers and musicians in the musical theatre industry. In fact the train line from London Bridge down to Brockley and onwards is often referred to as the “West End Express”. You’ll always bump into a performer on there! We will never have a shortage of teachers and already have a list of people interested.

"Lee Mead is one of our supporters. Stevie worked with him when she was covering the part of Elphaba, the green witch in Wicked. As well as being a collegue and friend, he is very keen to support Brockley, given his connection with the area.

"We plan to do an end of year summer show where parents and friends will be invited to come and witness what the children have achieved! And yes we do plan to talk to the Brockley Jack. It’s such a great venue with a great reputation. To link with them would be fabulous!"

Take Flight begins taster sessions on Wednesday - you can find all the details on their website.

The Lewisham Literary Festival this weekend

A quick reminder that the Lewisham Literary Festival is in full swing this weekend, with lots of great events planned today and for the rest of the week. Sunday's highlights include a young poets event for kids, readings by authors Joe Dunthorne and Lee Rourke and a celebration of crime fiction. 

Crofton Park, Deptford, Ladywell, Nunhead and St Johns Station Ticket offices threatened with closure

As reported by the Ladywell Village Improvement Group and Transpontine, a number of railway station ticket offices in the area have been long-listed for closure in a review by the Department for Transport. The list includes Crofton Park, Deptford, Ladywell, Nunhead, St Johns but none of the stations along the route of the East London Line, nor transport hub Lewisham.

In BC's view, ticket offices at less-used stations are a nice to have, rather than a must have, and if £1 billion can be saved by the closure of these (and the other offices threatened) then that is a powerful argument, given how many of the transactions they were created to handle can now be managed electronically. Yes, there are times when it's nice to ask a human being a question and not everyone has a smart phone to handle route planning, but at a time when cuts are being introduced in many areas, this seems like one of the more painless ones on offer.

We don't really buy the "public safety" argument in favour of their preservation. The scariest times to be on a station are precisely the times when ticket offices are already closed and the presence of other passengers is more important than the presence of someone behind a desk. Good lighting is the best solution, so perhaps the money saved could be reinvested in lighting the exits at stations like St Johns.

No decision has yet been taken by the Government on this issue.

The Brockley Central Interview: Toby Allen, Brockley Market

Brockley’s new weekly market starts on September 24th in the Lewisham College car park, Lewisham Way, from 10am-2pm. Ahead of the opening, we spoke to the guy behind it, Brockley resident Toby Allen, about his plans:

“When we open, there will be a total of 19 food stalls, selling a range of meat, fish, fruit and vegetables, hot food and drinks. The plan is that visitors should be able to buy the majority of their weekly food shop or enjoy some brunch.

“The experience will be quite different to the farmers markets already serving the area in Hilly Fields and Telegraph Hill. For one thing, it’s not a farmers market – if you want that label, you have to meet certain criteria in terms of local sourcing. I think that can be quite restrictive – our focus is on quality first, locality second. Ironically, it also means more local people can trade. For example, our coffee seller will be local.

“I definitely want the market to sell as much local produce as possible and I’m keen to involve as many other local businesses as possible. I’m talking to several at the moment, and I’ll be able to share with you the final list of stallholders shortly.

“I researched a lot of other markets before I secured the site and the markets I saw in Stoke Newington and Tonbridge are the models I want most closely to emulate.

 “Long-term, the market has the potential to double in size. The site has the space and I believe the demand could be there. It’s easy to reach from Lewisham, New Cross and Deptford and within a mile radius there are 32,000 residents, who have a relatively limited choice of fresh food available locally.  There are a handful of good shops, but I think there’s room for more, especially since the closure of the Shop on the Hill.

“I’m also interesting in broadening the range of stalls. There are a lot of artists and crafts people in the area and it would be good to sell some of their work at the market.

“I know some people would have liked to see a market in Coulgate Street, but there are lots of practical reasons why that site wouldn’t have been appropriate and this site gives us a lot more room to grow. It’s a short walk from Brockley Station, very close to St Johns and very well served by buses.  While there will be some parking, I’d urge people to come on foot or by bike, to minimise the impact on the local area.

"Getting this off the ground has taken time, there are a lot of hurdles to clear and organisations who need to give their support, including the fire brigade, the police and TfL. Lewisham Council has been very supportive from the early stages. Apparently, I was the first person ever to contact their market team to ask how to set up a new one, so they were really keen to provide me with advice and guidance.

"The College too has been very engaged since I approached them in April. A number of their business course students will be involved in the marketing and promotion, giving them some practical experience with a start-up.

"My message to the people of Brockley? Please come down and see it for yourself. Give us your feedback and let us know what else you’d like to see in the future. This is just the beginning."

Facebook Page: Brockley Market
Twitter: @brockleymarket

Lewisham Arthouse Open Studios

Lewisham Arthouse
Annual Open Studios                                                           
Friday 30th September 6-9pm
Sat 1st & Sun 2nd October 12-6pm

Cara Barry, Richard Buckle, Barry Cunningham, Ali Day, Mary Louise Evans, Val Fox, Amanda Francis, Pascal  Furminieux, Anita Gwynn, Charles Hayward, Pat Hextall, Terence Humphrey, Janet Hyde, Julia Mcneal, Nina Necak, Janine Nelson, Mark Nelson, Stephen Palmer, Rosey Prince, Ben Parry, Toby Rye, Joyce Saunders-Diop, Fiona Smithers, Heather Steed, Irene Stewart, Shirley Stewart, Derval Tubridy, Alexandra Valy, Benjamin Varney, Sara Willett, Alma Tishler Wood and Peter Wright.

Have a peek around 30 artists/makers studios and explore 3 floors of beautiful Edwardian building.

On the first floor Sara Willett will immerse you in an opulent halucigenic fantasy inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s Ligeia. In the bowels of the building Charles Hayward’s projects an archive of sound recordings collected during the midnight hour these ‘silences’ refill an empty space with traces, ghosts. In our gallery artists Zoë Walker and Neil Bromwich present ‘Dancing Borders’ a film work documenting a live event using dance, marching and pollination to transform the psychology of the much besieged border town of Berwick –Upon-Tweed. The film is accompanied by ‘Siege Weapons of Love’; a series of inflatable sculptures, which transform symbols of war into Flower Power.

Back to school: New pencil case, lunchbox, Project Mayhem

Derek Frost: Because, the world is hell. But we have a chance to start over in the rubble. But first there has to be a rubble. You're a teacher, you know that. You understand. 
- Source Code 

The Evening Standard reports that Goldsmiths lecturer Des Freedman, currently promoting the release of a new book, which he has edited, is urging students to 'keep fighting' against University reform.

The article does its best to make him in to the student body's answer to Abu Hamza, but actually his quotes are pretty modest. He doesn't like the changes to the funding model and he wants to encourage action against it, but Tyler Durden he ain't:

Mr Freedman said the student movement was "reawakening" after a long summer holiday and added: "If it means more sit-ins and marches to make sure this issue is back on the front pages then that has to be done."

With thanks to Fintan.

The Mercury Music Prize - An Apology

Bill Cosby: Oh, oh: you see, the kids, they listen to the rap music which gives them the brain damage. With their hippin’, and the hoppin’, and the bippin’, and the boppin’, so they don’t know what the jazz…is all about!
- The Simpsons

We recently reported that this area could claim two nominees for the 2011 Mercury Music Prize - Katy B and James Blake. In fact, there were three.

Jazz musician Gwilym Simcock is a Brockley resident and was also on the twelve-strong shortlist, meaning that Brockley and New Cross are responsible for one quarter of all the best music in the UK.

Apologies to Gwilym for the oversight, which we only discovered when we got a text message from a local parent, asking us to vote for him at this year's MOBO Awards, for which he has also been shortlisted in the Jazz category. The site is pretty infuriating to use, but please take a couple of minutes to vote for him.

El's Kitchen comes second in national deli playoffs

Congratulations to El's Kitchen, which came runner-up overall in the Deli of the Year award, having won the London heat.

El is interviewed in today's Times, which says:

Eleanor Thomson did because she longed for a local deli that she could shop at herself and thought her neighbours would too. Each evening during her years as a City high-flyer, Thomson would alight from her commuter train at Ladywell in southeast London, survey the familiar row of high street shops and sigh. “It was such a food desert,” she says, “I’d lived here for 20 years and kept expecting someone to see the obvious and open a really good deli. Eventually I got bored waiting and decided I’d have to do it myself.”

El is not resting on her laurels and is continuing to expand the range on offer at El's, but congratulations to the team for how far they've already come.

It's the economy, stupid

Goldsmiths academic Tom Henri has written an article in the Guardian today about the recent Lewisham riots, entitled: "Behind the Lewisham riots: It was all about money."

Here's an excerpt:

"My initial plan was to talk to young people about their motivation for involvement in the disturbances. What came out of the discussions was a rather nuanced discussion about the tactics they employed to avoid the police while looting. When it came to talking about their motivations for this, they were clear – "it was all about money", as one young man succinctly expressed it."

As he suggests, this insight doesn't really provide an answer to the question of the underlying causal factors, but opportunism, rather than anger appears to be the catalyst, something we speculated about here.

Crofton Park harvest festival, October 1st

The Brockley Community Church is organising a harvest festival. They say:

Come and join our modern, urban harvest festival, celebrating the fruits of our 'Seeds Project' running since the spring.

4-7pm Saturday 1 October, Crofton Park Baptist Church hall.

There will be food and dancing, as well as displays of skills and talents learnt over the last months.
For more information visit

Super Cuts appeals

Super Cuts, the Upper Brockley Road off license that had its license withdrawn earlier this year, has appealed the decision. The News Shopper reports that the decision to withdraw it followed CCTV footage being shown of an:

Illegal street party which culminated in around 600 revellers fleeing in panic as a gun was fired. The Met police argued the off licence had helped organise the party and had caused problems for residents over many years.

The appeal will be heard in mid-November.

Live music at the Hill Station, September 10th

Singer songwriter Kat Drake seems to have won a few fans on Brockley Central and will be performing live at the Hill Station, Telegraph Hill, this Saturday.

Brockley's super-fast broadband roll-out speeded up

Brockley will get BT Infinity super-fast broadband access by the end of this year, according to the BT website.

BT has brought forward the date for the upgrade of the Deptford exchange to December 31st 2011. The exchange serves most of this area and the timetable for its upgrade had slipped to September 2012. Hopefully, the fact that new year is only a few months away means that December 31st is the final date.

Thanks to Mike for letting us know.

Kids yoga in Brockley

Koryn writes:

Yoga Smiles is running a free taster class for kids yoga at Tea Dance for Little People this Thursday at 16.30. It's for children 3-8 years old. The classes are lots of fun as we do yoga postures by going on a journey to some exotic location (perhaps Africa or under the sea) we also learn about breathing and calming the mind with yoga games, have guided relaxation and even a delightful foot massage to finish. For more information people can contact me via email at: or phone: 0798 544 5950

Meze Mangal Eray and Koray

Oh Meze Mangal, we can't stay mad at you about the sea container / blot on the landscape, when you make music videos of such pure joy. This is the best Brockley thing since Buttery Biscuit Base:

The only pity is their Lady Gaga tribute stopped short of creating two matching Meze meat suits.

Thanks to Alingtron for letting us know.

Cataclysm at the Ravensbourne Arms

The Ravensbourne Arms will host a mini-festival called Cataclysm this Saturday. Organiser Jason explains:

The genesis was back in May when I organised a fundraiser for the Red Cross Japan Tsunami appeal at the Bethnal Green Working Men's club, and it went so well that lots of people said they would like to do something again. Then one random night trying our new local, the Ravensbourne Arms, we got chatting to Ali the landlord and decided to do a kind of mini festival.

We have comedy from Dan March, Fliss Russell, Jane Deane, and probably more will be added by Saturday. Circus and burlesque performances. Also music from Jimmy Bongos, Enderby's Room, Minarcshe, Tini Houdini and a live band karaoke set from The Sweet Funkin' Association.

It's all kicking off around 2pm. There's a BBQ in the beer garden and entry is free.

Catford Central meets South East Central

Following the success of the Peckham forum, which has rapidly become one of the busiest on South East Central, we're delighted to welcome a new moderator to the Catford forum. Catford Grrl already runs hyperlocal site Catford Central, covering mews and events in Catford, Downham, Rushey Green, Hither Green and surrounding areas and she'll be helping to ensure that the forum covers the most important issues in Catford.

In its few short months, the forum has attracted nearly 600 members and generated over 3,000 posts. After initially being Brockley-biased, it's grown to provide a much broader picture of life in South East London, but with dedicated sections for each neighbourhood, so you can focus on matters on your own doorstep, if that's what you want to do.

We're particularly happy that the forum is linking up other hyperlocal blogs in the area, since South East London is uniquely blessed with high quality local websites and the forum has been enriched by contributions from the likes of 853, Deptford Dame and Transpontine.

Sky News: Stashed guns found in Brockley

On Friday night, we received Twitter alerts that a large team of police, including forensic officers, were inspecting bins in St Peter's Court, Wickham Road and had discovered some guns.

Sky News was following the operation and reports that it follows a tip-off from a local resident, which Sky received directly and passed to the police. Thirty officers from the Met and Cheshire police (who are providing overflow support) were involved in the search and found five guns including a revolver, two antique pistols and two flare guns. It's suggested the guns had been stored by gang members "in anticipation of further riots."

One 18 year old man was arrested on "suspicion of possession of firearms," after someone was seen throwing what looked like gun cartridges out of a window.

You can see the full report here.

Brockley Central Label Cloud