Predictions for 2012

Before we get to what will happen in 2012, here's what we said would happen in 2011:

1. Construction work on a permanent cafe for Hilly Fields will get underway. The logic is compelling, there's an interested bidder and it will cost the Council nothing. 

The designs for the cafe, which will replace the toilet block at the top of Hilly Fields, were revealed at the recent winter fair and the building should be open in Spring 2012.

2. A new restaurant will open in Brockley. Or at least, a new place you can pay to sit and eat. 

More than one in fact. Mo Pho was not a surprise, Brockley's Rock was. Both are excellent and have enjoyed successful first years, suggesting there will be more to come in 2012.

3. A new local supermarket will open in the area, near Brockley Station, joining the likes of Tesco, Budgens, Costcutter and Co-Op. The world will continue to revolve on its axis. 

Nisa opened right next to Brockley Station and as if to prove the point that supermarkets are not necessarily business killers, both units opposite were taken up by London Print Shop shortly afterwards.

4. Martin's Yard construction will start. 

Construction began earlier in the year and is proceeding at a blistering pace, with work due to finish in the by the middle of next year.

5. Double or quits: Both empty units on Harefield Road will be full by the end of the year.

Phew! In the dying days of the year, an estate agent grabbed the last unit, moving next door to the architecture practice that arrived in the summer.

So five out of five. Again. The child-centric business we predicted for 2010 also arrived a year late, in the form of Tea Dance for Little People. In retrospect, however, our predictions were a little cautious, given the storming year Brockley had in 2011, and we completely failed to anticipate the most exciting story of the year - Brockley Market.

Now, here are our predictions for 2012, all based on the same fundamental driver we saw in 2011, which is the influx of new people, talent and energy in to the area:
  1. The Wickham Arms will finally find an owner with the resources and nous to make a success of this magnificent pub. Away from the area's main thoroughfares, it will have to find a unique recipe to become a destination in its own right.
  2. A developer will come forward with a plan for a significant piece of Brockley's centre. It will be as controversial at it is bold.
  3. Brockley Market will expand. It's already a fantastic local market that attracts people from nearby neighbourhoods but the the word of mouth it will continue to generate, married with an influx of new residents to Lewisham, will mean that it develops in to a destination for savvy south east Londoners.
  4. Two predictions in one: the obvious opportunities in the area will be seized. Masons will reopen under new owners while someone will do something with the corner unit on Cranfield Road.
  5. Aside from Masons' successor, the Hilly Fields Cafe and the Toads Mouth replacement, Brockley will get another place to eat. It will be the brainchild of one of the area's many foodie entrepreneurs, perhaps one who's cut their teeth at Brockley Market. It will be closer to #Meateasy than a formal restaurant.
So there we go. It sounds optimistic, given that the UK is teetering on the verge of recession, but we thought we going out on a limb for 2011 and proved to have underestimated Brockley's animal spirits.

What do you think?


Welcome to 2011 said...

Where would a new restaurant open though?

Westsider said...

I predict that something big will happen to the timber yard. Maybe we'll get a gym at last!

I'm intrigued by prediction number 2 btw

psst said...

I predict a lot more interesting stuff happening in New Cross. Maybe another bar or a club. A good one, mind!

Anonymous said...

Two of these sound more like an insiders knowledge than a prediction. Am I right?

Anonymous said...

"Nisa opened right next to Brockley Station and as if to prove the point that supermarkets are not necessarily business killers, both units opposite were taken up by London Print Shop shortly afterwards."

eerrr? What competition does a supermarket offer a print shop? Spin gone mad, calm down dear.

Anonymous said...

Insider knowledge/flights of fantasy.

terrencetrentderby said...

new bar somewhere on the high street opposite station, no guns, no knives and definitely no prams.

terrencetrentderby said...


take your fat ass to the goldsmiths gym but remember to not drop the soap

Anonymous said...

I like the Wickham the way it is.

Whatever happens to it, just please no more flats. I'm not sure my sanity can cope with news of more vacant spaces/pubs being turned into something fit for the Costa Del Sol.

Brockley Nick said...


"eerrr? What competition does a supermarket offer a print shop?"

Well precisely the point.

"Spin gone mad, calm down dear."

I'm not bothered about defending supermarkets, I just get frustrated to see so much time and energy wasted fighting the wrong battles, based on denial of reality.

Anyway, your predictions please.


"flights of fantasy."

By definition, that's what a predictions game is, well done. I'm happy to hold myself to account for my flights of fantasy at the end of each year. 2011 was a 5/5 year.

Your predictions please.

@Anon1745 - not really any particular insider knowledge, just extrapolation of current trends. For example, I know some serious people sniffed around the Wickham in 2011. Now the pub has a caretaker manager, it seems a matter of time. And I would assume / hope that the person who does take it over, will know what they are doing, because it's a big pub and a tricky site and because Brockley is now on the radar for people who know what they are doing.

Richard Elliot said...

One day the sea container will go. Just sad you didn't feel optimistic enough to predict it for 2012!

Brockley Nick said...

I will go as far as to predict that it will not move ;)

Anonymous said...

"I'm not bothered about defending supermarkets, I just get frustrated to see so much time and energy wasted fighting the wrong battles, based on denial of reality."

But you do defend them! And my reality is different to yours.
Predictions: more of the same but worse, financial woes increase, interest rates rise, house prices tumble. In a fatuous piece of trivial comment The Standard says Brockley is an up and coming area to watch

Anonymous said...

Oops Nick, your crystal ball didn't predict Joan Ruddock being made a Dame!

Tamsin said...

Nick defends them without being bothered about it... ;o)

But hopefully both the Broca and Quick Stop have a loyal enough clientele to survive and Nisa will build up its own client base for whom the Broca was not their thing and Quick Stop not on their way home and so continue to lighten and brighten that dark stretch of road.

For Joan Ruddock - congratulations - but do people think it is compensation for the impending constituency shake up.

Badger said...


1) nick is finally unmasked as uber lizard master.

2) rehab centre sells unusual chocolate brownies at its inaugural jumble sale

3) anon turns out to be one person who really is called Anon, über lizzard apologises

4) interest rates stay the same (obviously)

5) supermarkets collapse as people shun the low prices and convenience.

6) inflation skyrockets as peoples shopping bills rise

7) über Lizzard had the idea of opening a big shop selling a range of groceries. Shoppers pick there own produce from the shelves, the items are then tallied up and paid for at a bank of tills. It's like a market, but a really super one. People start to use it rather than the brilliant but time consuming and expensive specialist markets.

7)Lizzard becomes rich, picks up a knighthood, buys SE4 and throws a fence around it

8) anon weeps but is vindicated

9) Joan ruddock becomes a Dane.

(I stand by 1-8, number 9 is just me being silly)

Anonymous said...

"7) über Lizzard had the idea of opening a big shop selling a range of groceries. Shoppers pick there own produce from the shelves, the items are then tallied up and paid for at a bank of tills. It's like a market, but a really super one. People start to use it rather than the brilliant but time consuming and expensive specialist markets"

Insider knowledge badger? You've actually described what the supermarkets have done in town centres across the land, emptied them, then moved back in hoovering up the empty units.

Watch out for the cull you TB carrying furry scourge.

Sir Badger said...

Sigh.... Well perhaps it's what happened but supermarkes didn't "do it" to anyone. They offered something which free agents, the shoppers, took up in there millions. Are you saying that the 9/10 people who are happy to use supermarkets are stupid? In a similar way, Brockley Market, Deptford Market and your local corner shop offer an alternative - successfully. Shops survive because of the shoppers. Framing the argument as some kind of sinister strategy to fool us poor proles is patronising.

If there were no supermarket within 10 miles of SE4 it would have a serious affect on many families. Yes supermarkets have a strategy but consumers are not idiots.

Lou Baker said...

2012 predictions

1) Local green party activist Darren Darren invents sandals made of cordrouy - combining his two loves.

2) Sainsbury's announce plans to open 5 new local stores on the stretch of the A2 between New Cross Gate Station and Goldsmiths to 'mop up passing trade.'

3) Lewisham Mayor Lord Sir Steve Ballcock proclaims Forest Hill an independent state and announces it will
adopt the Euro as its currency.

4) Max finally wears out his Speedos and opts for a mankini instead.

5) North Korea launches an unprovoked - but welcome - attack on Catford.

6) There is chaos on our railways when Monkeyboy and his colleagues run short of hob nobs, curtailing their tea break.

7) South Eastern run a train on time.

8) Boris rebrands the Overground the 'Overrated' on account of the fact that no one sensible would ever want to use it.

9) Honor Oak becomes a branch of Dominos (yes all of Honor Oak).

10. Ghastly mix up at next year's production
of Aladdin in Catford sees pantomime dame Joan Ruddock cast as Widow Twanky.

11. Goldsmiths' in house magazine The Pinko
'outs' a student who once voted Conservative. The university 'investigates the outrageous claim.''

12. Not content with a skateboard park SPAG announce plans to turn the whole of Telegraph Hill Lower Park into
a 'dry snowboard park' with the aim of it hosting the 2019 World Championships. The heron is shot and stuffed.

13. A teenager arrested in Brockley is found not to be carrying a knife.

14. Lewisham Council announces plans to make Brockley Cross junction easier to navigate - they want to replace the double roundabout with a maze.

15. After plans for a restaurant at Hilly Fields fall through Crofton Park based social/artist entrepreneur Fleur Smith announces plans to host a week long teddy bear's picnic on the same sport.

16. A cafe opens in Brockley which does not have an art studio attached.

17. After businesses collapses Deptford's Come The Revolution cafe is forced to pull an ad campaign featuring the slogan "we're revolting you could be too."

18. At its annual conference, Lewisham's People Before Profit Party has an idea so good that the heads of its members literally explode with excitement.

19. To help raise money Brockley Central makes its own
'calendar girls' style calendar featuring regular posters naked. Loutober - as it becomes known - is a major hit with the ladies. Max gets February - the shortest month.

20. Lou makes a major positive contribution to this site, annoys no-one and becomes beloved by all - even the outrageous Pinkos and Greenie enviro weeds, who all dramatically realise they're wrong.

Happy 2012. Love life. Love London. Love the Olympics. Love Brockley Central. Love Lou.

Mb said...


1) in the spirit of "we're all in it together" Monkeyboy and his colleagues down grade to sainsburys own choc chip biscuits.

2) Dame Joan calls the fire brigade to break into her office, turns out the unopened mail had blocked the door.

3) the ELL continues to thrill and delight its many passengers.

4) cynical market traders slowly up the price of their delicious cheese and veg.

5) sainsburys and tesco pull out of lewisham causing local food inflation to rocket. Proving that having your cake and eating it is in fact not possible.

6) people continue to realise that SE London and SE4 in particular is in fact not too hard to get too (see 3 above)

7) brockley gets a little bit better

8) a cafe opens in brockley with a gallery.

9) Lou's cat checks itself into Celia Hammond citing "irreconcilable differences"

TheOracle said...

Meze Mangal will expand into the shop next door, and that sea container will go.

Anonymous said...

2012 will see 1 in 1 out at Brockley Cross. D&M vans have departed as of yesterday, moving their business to Sydenham. The retail unit at no.9 will be taken up by a new tenant from early January.

Anonymous said...

For that post, I for one love Lou.

Anonymous said...

@Lou Baker

No. 5 is the funniest remark I've seen on here for a long time, if not ever. On No. 11, the only Conservative poster I saw at the General Election was on some Goldsmiths student accommodation--perhaps it was ironic...or the caretaker...

Ed cpz (no caps) said...

Knighthood for Nick. I owe you a pint btw.

Anonymous said...

i hope that the rehab centre opens at brockley cross and is a success and that travellers are allowed to dwell at the end of church grove - thereby showing that residents in the area can be inclusive and accepting of others whose views and lifestyles differ from their own.

NAT said...

Damn, forgot to leave out some porridge for the trolls...

Anonymous said...

Hilarious postings.
Badger - I for one got the joke... And it was a good one.

Lou, stop being negative about the gingger line. Otherwise v funny.

All, especially Nick and family, a happy and work filled 2012.

Anonymous said...

I beleive North Korea would choose Brockley over Catford.

Anonymous said...

Penge surley?

Anonymous said...

Brockley Central will continue to promote cosy shops offering cosy products and cosy lifestyles to those who only seem to exist in a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jools Oliver fantasy.

Anonymous said...

Bitter narrowminded anons will rule the world i.e. Brockley.

A Non said...

or promote local bussiness risking their shirts to open a new bussiness. Cheer up old bean.

Anonymous said...

That's fine, but places like Top Chef never get a fair shout on here

Anonymous said...


A Non said...

...yes. the blog doesnt review every single bar, cafe and new bussiness. So?

It's reviewd Co-op, Nisa, and Shauns. Or are they to Jasmie Oliver for your good honest tastes?

In other words, there is no issue, conspiracy or other cunning plan.

Brockley Nick said...

Here's how it works: this is primarily a news site, so new businesses get written about most. Because they are news. Established businesses, like the rivoli or jam circus get written about a lot too, because they host a lot of events, which are also news. Businesses like the orchard or brockley market even go to the trouble of sending me news, which I often report. Once or twice, businesses have asked for a bit of a plug and I've worked with them to find something newsworthy to report. "Top Chef still serving egg and chips" is not much of a story.

Then there are the businesses I might mention in passing, because I think they are particularly good. Top Chef is not usually among those, though anon more than makes up for that by banging on about them incessantly.

Jonah's tinfoil helmet said...

Well you say that but wait until Edelman get the lucrative Top Chef PR contract. Then this place will be all 'full monty' this and 'fried slice' that...
You wait and see!

DR said...

Lou Baker will reveal himself to be Charlie Brooker's right-wing evil twin.

TM said...

I used Mus's Cafe at Brockley Cross for coffee and a bacon roll last Friday whilst waiting for my car to go through its MOT at Brockley Park Cars.

Cafe fare was under £3 and perfectly acceptable at that time in the morning and the car passed.

So I am all in favour of supporting local businesses.

fed up of sock puppets said...

Spot the Monkeyboy/Mb dupe, new year same old tactics.

Mb said...

Well done, have a prize.

Anonymous said...

"Then there are the businesses I might mention in passing, because I think they are particularly good. Top Chef is not usually among those"

That's the bit I don't get - by your own admission, you haven't had anything from there.

Brockley Nick said...

Correct. So I have no opinion about them. Others are free to rhapsodise about them, and they do.

NAT said...

Except for the sausages.

Some intrepid citizen journalist needs to get down there as a matter of urgency.

I, myself, might even get hungry again this week, (and TM has given the other Caff the thumbs up).

drakefell debaser said...

Surely with that the amount of zeal for a greasy spoon, the anonymous owns Top Chef?

I tried the 'Jam Circus' breakfast over the weekend and found it a tad disappointing. The Full Toad still ranks top IMO, but it’s a bit too expensive.

Of course none of these come close to the drakefell debaser 4-4-2 breakfast sarnie.

Fed up of sock puppetry said...

Monkeyboy your online behaviour is creepy.

Fed up of fed up said...


Anonymous said...

"Monkeyboy your online behaviour is creepy."
Whereas stalking him in the comments section is not creepy at all apparently.

Christine said...

Hesitant as I am to wade into the great supermarket debate, I'm a bit puzzled that you mention the fact that a print shop opened opposite Nisa (which as has been pointed out is unsurprising since they're not in direct competition) but didn't mention the fact that Clarkey's closed, citing direct competition from Nisa explicitly as a reason (

You can obviously make a case either way and I'm not saying the new Nisa is evil by any stretch - just a little disappointed at the apparent selective memory, as I usually find Brockley Central very fair-minded.

Brockley Nick said...

@Christine - fair question. I'd say two things - firstly, Clarkey's shut before Nisa even opened. He didn't wait to see what the effect on business would have been, because he was offered another job, so took it. From what I can see, Nisa offers very little that would have been direct competition. The extra footfall would probably have helped. We will never know now.

But the broader point is that one unit closed while two opened - a net increase. I would never suggest that supermarkets don't represent tough competition for other supermarket-type businesses - of course they do - my point is that these small high street supermarkets attract people and these people represent an opportunity for other types of business.

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