NX Records

Tony Wilson: Most of all, I love Manchester. The crumbling warehouses, the railway arches, the cheap abundant drugs. That's what did it in the end. Not the money, not the music, not even the guns. That is my heroic flaw: my excess of civic pride. 
- 24 Hour Party People

Goldsmiths says:

Goldsmiths, University of London has partnered with leading electronic producer Matthew Herbert, founder of Accidental Records, to launch NX Records - a new independent label, run by and for artists and students.

An evening of eclectic live performances on Thursday 9 May at London's Southbank Centre will officially launch NX Records and PureGold - a six-week festival showcasing the wealth of musical talent from Goldsmiths.

Talking about the partnership, Matthew commented: "It feels really exciting to be partnering up with an institution, and in particular an educational institution rather than a bigger record company, or heaven forbid - a brand, to support new artists making music.

"Goldsmiths has a proud and impressive pedigree and I know the next generation there will be likely to produce broad and brilliant music. Instead of the tired major label model of throwing money at something and hoping it works, we will endeavour instead to give the many artists on the label the tools, skills, confidence and backing to be able to not only realise a meaningful version of their music, but to own the rights in it and to take an active role in how that music is made public.

"After all, who better to render a convincing re-imagining of the currently unstable music industry than those most likely to be inventing what it will sound like in the years to come."

Simon Deacon, Director of Popular Music at Goldsmiths, commented: "NX Records exists to showcase the talents, and hopefully launch the careers, of up and coming artists who have begun their creative journey at Goldsmiths. Initially it is intended as a platform for students from the popular music course."

Students on the Popular Music programme, who came up with the name NX to reflect the label and the College's home in New Cross, will also be involved with A&R, organisation and the running of the label alongside Matthew and Accidental.

NX Records has its official launch party on Thursday 9 May at the Queen Elizabeth Hall at London's Southbank Centre, as part of the launch for the PureGold Festival.

The launch evening will run across three stages: The Front Room (NX Records launch with live performances from featured acts & DJs), The Purcell Room (a combination of contemporary, classical & pop performances) and The Queen Elizabeth Hall (featuring audio & visual work from the Electronic Music Studios).

For the PureGold festival programme, click here. To find out more about the Department of Music, click here.

To download the NX Records mixtape, click here. To stream, click here.

Brock Party

Dave Chappelle: Attention, Huxtables, there is a block party down the street. Bring Yourselves. BRING YOURSELVES! And bring Rudy, Theo, and Denise.
- Block Party

Bored of Big Lunches, Nina wants to step it up a notch by trying to organise a Brockley block party. She writes:

I was enjoying the sun last weekend and the idea came in to my head to try and organise a community block party this summer.

Would it be something it's something people might be interested in attending? I was thinking something along the lines of a DJ, a couple organised, child-friendly games and one or two local food vendors. I was looking at the last weekend in June as a possible date. 

If this comes back as a terrible idea no worries, equally if people are interested in forming an organisational committee then please get in touch.

Lewisham Labour selects The Minister Six

The all-woman shortlist of Labour's prospective Parliamentary candidates for Lewisham Deptford has been announced. And since whoever Labour selects to replace Dame Joan Ruddock as their representative is pretty much guaranteed to get the seat, the competition to become the Anointed One matters.

The list of six includes Brockley Councillor Vicky Foxcroft, who has done a decent job since she was elected in 2010, Whitefoot's Councillor Janet Daby, Lambeth Councillor Florence Nosegbe, Southwark Councillor Catherine McDonald, Mendora Ogbogbo and Paula Hirst.

The candidate will be chosen on May 18th.

Ex-Ladywell resident Paula Hirst is a Director of Urban Development and Regeneration for accountancy firm Mazars and was previously the Head of Sustainable Development at the Olympic Delivery Authority, where she "helped deliver jobs, business opportunities, and the first new urban park in London for 100 years."

The Brockley Boxes

Brockley is pioneering the community adoption of the area's old red phone boxes. Phone box guardian Ali provides an update on one of Brockley's coolest projects:

Now that the sun's been shining, volunteers from the neighbourhood have taken the first step towards looking after the two BT phone boxes adopted for the community. They've both had a good sweep-out and a scrub of all the years of collected grime.

Now that they're more welcoming, we'd like suggestions from the community as to what they'd like to see inside the boxes. A lending library? Performances? Please send us your ideas of what you'd like to see in them, and what you might like to do. We're starting a schedule for the use of the boxes.

Please contact us via our Facebook page at this link. And LIKE us too for further updates.

Nat's Back

Nat's Bake and Juice, the Brockley Cross Caribbean takeaway, has reopened after a prolonged closure. The area's been less chaotic, but also a little less interesting since the shutters came down.

Greenspaces: St Paul's Churchyard

Sitting just off Deptford High Street, St Paul's church is an 18th century, Baroque masterpiece. The churchyard itself is a walled garden and a retreat from the throng of market day, with low Portland Stone walls that offer a good place to sunbathe.

The gardens look like an isometric video game, with pristine benches, gravestones, lampposts, flowerbeds and square hedges dotted around as if they've been generated at random - an island of twee in Deptford's sea of grit.

This has been added to the Greenspaces map - our guide to local parks and open spaces.

Two sales this weekend

Telegraph Hill Leaving Sale Today
Ian writes:

We're planning a move out of London and so we're selling off a lot of stuff including some good quality furniture, lots of books (paperback and hardback), good quality clothing and textiles, toys and games, household items etc. There's no set finishing time but we'd expect to stop around five-ish.

The sale is at 53 Jerningham Road from 11.30am this coming Saturday, April 27.

Myatt Garden Table Top Sale Tomorrow

The sale runs from 10am-1pm. Full details here.

Bike loan scheme to boost Lewisham cycling

Lewisham has launched a cycle loan scheme to make it easier for locals to take up cycling. They say: 

Anyone who lives, works or studies in Lewisham can borrow a bike for one month for £10 and use it for any/all your journeys. You are also given a helmet, high-viz vest and lock and at the end of the month, you can either buy the bike at a reduced cost or return it.

Full details here.

Yee-hah! Brockley Mini Marathon Glory

After Ladywell's success in the London Marathon, Lewisham Council reports:

A schoolboy from Brockley has won this year’s Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon held on Sunday 21 April in the ‘Under 15’ category.

Look upon his works, Yee mighty
Fifteen-year-old Alex Yee, from Brockley Road, was chosen to represent Lewisham at this year’s Mini London Marathon and covered the three miles in 15mins 14secs. He was presented with his trophy by Prince Harry, Patron of the London Marathon Charitable Trust.

In March, young people from Lewisham were invited to take part in trials at Ladywell Fields. Alex not only won his category trial but also beat runners in the ‘Under 17’ category as well; automatically securing his place in the Mini London Marathon.

Alex, who went to Stillness Primary School, is a keen triathlete and trains with Crystal Palace Triathletes and Kent Athletics Club at Ladywell Arena.

His talents don’t stop at running; he also represented Lewisham at the 2012 London Youth Games in cycling and the aquathlon where he won individual Gold. He was awarded the Mayor’s Special Award at the Lewisham Sports Awards in 2012.

Alex says: "I am pleased with my performance in the marathon and I am now looking forward to the triathlon season."

The Brockley Sofa

Kate Sibley wants your vote in a sofa competition for the Design Museum and Made.com. She writes:

I am co-director of Sibley Grove, a small local design studio hoping to move into one of the new business units in Martins Yard soon.

I am writing as we have been shortlisted in a sofa design competition for Made.com, where the voting is entirely decided by public votes as a result of pushing through social media etc. The winning design will be produced by Made.com and exhibited at the Design Museum.

The 'Jeremy Grove' aka The Brockley
I was hoping that you might post about us and encourage people to log into the Made.com site and vote for us, as this is such a good opportunity for us as a small business. I understand if that's not something you would do, but any support you could give would be very much appreciated!

In order to vote you need to go to this page: http://www.made.com/vote and vote for the design listed as 'Jeremy Grove' (a green sofa, with metal frame). I'm afraid you have to register with Made.com before you can vote, but it only takes a second. You then need to tick 'love it' and give us 5 stars!

The deadline is the end of the day tomorrow (Thursday).

Police the peace

Lewisham Police have responded to the findings of a report published this morning, which suggests the borough has been the least peaceful area of the country over the last decade.

Chief Superintendent Russell Nyman, Lewisham Borough Commander said:

The peace index shows that the UK has become a more peaceful place and the end of financial year crime figures covering 2012/13 for London which were released yesterday shows that there were over 45,000 fewer crimes recorded compared to last year.

Overall crime in Lewisham has fallen by 9.3% over the last year - that's 2,537 fewer crimes in the borough and we have seen decreases in offences in some key areas such as knife crime, robbery and violence against person compared to last year.

Knife enabled crime has fallen by 27.9%, robbery has fallen by 13.9% and violent crime has fallen by 8.0% in the last 12 months

Whilst we have seen crime fall in these key areas we are not complacent. We acknowledge that there is still a lot of work to do, especially knife crime and violence, which remains a priority for us over the forthcoming year. Serious youth violence and supporting the younger generation who may be, or are affiliated to a ‘gang culture’ way of life will wherever possible be supported through Trilogy Plus, a joint enterprise between Lewisham Police and the Lewisham Council.

As we go forward in this new financial year substantial organisational changes will be taking place but it is through working together as a team, working with our partners and continuing to deliver the very best services to the people of Lewisham that we will be able to continue to drive down crime. Our priorities for the new financial year are to reduce crime, detect crime and to provide a first class service to the public.

Lewisham: 'Least peaceful local authority'

Global think tank, the Institute for Economics and Peace, has released a report today, which finds that Lewisham is the 'least peaceful' part of the country.

The study defines peace as "the absence of violence or the absence of fear of violence" and is based on Home Office crime data (murders, violent crime, weapons crime and violent disorder) and police numbers from the last 10 years. Lewisham Central ward in particular was identified as an historic crime hotspot, which helped to secure the borough last place in the rankings (the bottom five are all London boroughs).

Overall, the fall in violent crime in the UK has led to the UK becoming a more peaceful place, according to the report.

Here's what the report says about our home:

In Lewisham the conception rate amongst under-18 year olds is 70.6, which is 1.8 times the national average of 39 births per 1,000.

Over 60% of households are deprived in housing, education, health and / or employment. Lewisham’s homicide rate is more than twice the national average at 2.5, with the 2011 period being the worst year for homicides over the last decade with 11 homicides recorded.

The homicide rate in Lewisham has fluctuated from year to year averaging seven homicides per year while the national trend has seen a sustained decline in both the number and rate of homicides. Weapons crime saw a large increase from 2003 to 2005 and has since declined although it still remains above the national average of 39 weapons crimes per 100,000 in 2012. It is important to note that the average over the last decade was more than double that of the national average.

Similarly, the violent crime rate has also followed the same pattern as weapons crime: a large increase from 2002 to 2005 and then a steady decline. Despite decreases in both weapons crime and violent crime over the recent years, the number of incidents still remains well above the national trends meaning that Lewisham receives the worst possible score of 5 for these indicators in the UKPI.

The public disorder rate rose to a staggering 1,126 incidents per 100,000 people peaking in 2009, which was more than three times the 10 year national average, before sharply declining through to 2012. Most of the crime in Lewisham occurred in the ward of Lewisham Central.

Full disclosure: BC's employers, Edelman, helped to launch the first Global Peace Index, produced by this organisation. And this is how they repay us!

With thanks to Richard and Nigel who drew it to our attention.

Longer opening hours for Brockley Market?

The Brockley Market team are thinking about applying for a license to stay open an hour longer each Saturday, running until 3pm. Founder Toby wants BCers views - should they do it? Answer him yeah or neah in the thread below please.

If they do apply for longer opening hours, we hope the Council will treat it as a formality, as it's of the best things to have happened to Brockley and the borough in recent years and has painlessly added to the number of stalls it hosts, since it began.

Volunteers needed for new Lewisham mental health service

Bromley Mind says:

Mental health charity, Bromley Mind, is pleased to announce the launch of a new service, Mind Peer Support in Lewisham.  This service will provide activities, connections, opportunities and skills for anyone with a mental health problem living in Lewisham and develop community led groups to meet local needs.

Mental health is a local health priority.  Lewisham has a higher rate of mental health problems than the London and England average.

Mind Peer Support in Lewisham is supported by the London Borough of Lewisham’s Communities that Care fund. The service currently provides a weekly reading and creative writing group every Tuesday from 2pm to 4pm at Lee Green Community Centre.   Mind Peer Support in Lewisham is seeking more volunteers to help launch more groups.

Ben Taylor, Chief Executive of Bromley Mind said “Peer Support is a great way to harness the energy, enthusiasm and talent of individuals. It is amazing to see what can be done when people come together to find the local solutions to local needs. We are continuously inspired by the dedication of our Peer Support Volunteers.  We welcome more people to join us so that together we can provide more opportunities for individuals to access mental health support in Lewisham."

Mind Peer Support in Lewisham provides full training and support to individuals to set up a mental health activity group of their choice in Lewisham. Training sessions will commence on 29th April, and in early June. For more information please contact Megan Jamison on 07850 639811 or megan.jamison@bromleymind.org.uk

Ladywell double in London Marathon

Richard Elliott writes:

Two male runners from Kent Athletics Club (based at the Ladywell Arena) came first and second in the mass participation section of the London Marathon yesterday.

If they were running in the Elite Men's race they would have come 14th and 15th respectively. Bloomin' impressive stuff.

I train at Ladywell every Tuesday night with Kent. The top guys train in a different group to me. I don't know Paul (who won), but John (came second) trains at the track every week and I think lives locally.

The Hill Trader

Sarah from The Hill Trader writes:

The Hill Trader Community Shop is an exciting new pop up shop in the Hill Station Café, run by local people for local people.

As part of what we’re doing at the Hill Station, Kitto Rd, SE14 we have opened this shop as a pilot for 4 months, selling locally handmade things as well as bread and milk.

We are working with local people who are giving us some of their products to sell, and in return will volunteer at the shop for a session a week. This means we all get lovely things to buy and they get valuable retail experience without the financial risk of renting a stall or shop.

Our vision is to provide a space for people to both buy and sell locally produced goods, share skills and inspire others who want to create things to sell. We have aimed to be as inclusive as possible and are trialing a range of different items produced by people of all ages and backgrounds.

We’re excited about starting this new venture and we are keen to hear whether you agree a shop like this would be a great resource for our community. Please do also get in touch if you have something you would like to produce for the shop.

At the end of July if there is enough interest and support from both local customers and suppliers we will consider how best to continue this bold vision!

So wish us luck, come and support this initiative and let us know what you think.

Please feel free to talk to one of the volunteers running the shop, Stephen, Jacqui at the Hill Station Cafe counter or Sarah Bickers directly at sarah@thehillstation.org

Utrophia: Things to Come

Utrophia, the itinerant arts collective currently based in Deptford, is leaving its home on Deptford High Street, to make way for an Antic pub called The Jobcentre, which the Deptford Dame reports is currently going through the planning process. They write:

We're leaving the High Street at the end of April and packing up the Utrophia project as we've known it for the past ten and a half years to return as something a little different. Keep your eyes peeled for what happens next. 

There'll be a party of course, and prior to that we'll be in the space selling off a lot of good stuff on market days (Weds, Fri, Sat), so come down, say a fond farewell and pick up something wonderful, useful, or both. 

Utrophia's extension, "trading post" Extra Bones also has to make way.

With thanks to Sophie for the story.

Brockley Sainsbury's - work begins

Sainsbury's will occupy the unit being refurbished (right)
The Nisa next to the Broca Food Market on Mantle Road has closed.

Work has begun on the new Sainsbury's Local that will replace it. The new store will be larger than its predecessor and is due to open within weeks.

A History of Brockley - Part 7: The Original Brockley Road

This is the seventh part of Darrell Spurgeon's history of Brockley (click on the History tag for the series).

Upper Brockley Road

Upper Brockley Road, called Brockley Road until 1915, is a long road leading from Lewisham Way south to Brockley Cross. It is part of an old lane which led from Deptford Royal Naval Dockyard to Deptford Common, which was located near the present Brockley Cross, before continuing to Brockley Green.

Going from north to south:

The west side begins at Lewisham Way with The Parade, a group of shops of 1888, designed by John James Downes; a plaque reads ‘The Parade 1888 JJD’.

Then nos 2/24 are a fine group of small Italianate pairs c1850, with pediments on the ground floor windows and some good detailing (including wreaths). The group originally continued along the space now occupied by the rear of Myatt Gardens School, Rokeby Road.

Opposite, on the east side, is a small postwar office block, Rokeby House, on part of the site of the former Brockley Congregational Church, Lewisham Way, which was built 1854 and demolished in the 1960s. Next are three long and tightly packed terraces of tall houses, probably c1860, originally called St David’s Terrace – nos 1/11 and nos 13/23, with canted bay windows on the ground floor, and wreaths over the doorways; then nos 25/35, which are more Italianate in style with pedimented window-cases and no bay windows.

Further south, the west side of Upper Brockley Road formerly veered to the right towards Brockley Baptist Church (see below), but in the mid-1970s this part of the road was blocked to become part of the grounds of Myatt Gardens School.

The east side continues ahead to Ashby Road with nos 37/65, originally called Brockley Villas, a handsome and distinctive tall terrace, probably c1868, with nice round-headed windows on canted bays and balustraded balconies above; the terrace ends with no 67, originally called Brockley House, which is larger and has no bay windows. Opposite this group, Brockley Gardens, a suburban-looking terrace, was added in 1928.

At Ashby Road, Upper Brockley Road turns west before quickly resuming its route south, but a finger returns northwards along the old route past Brockley Baptist Church and the Rokeby Road junction before coming to an end at the grounds of Myatt Gardens School. In this short section are an Italianate group with excellent detailing - a detached house, a pair and a short terrace – as well as Brockley Baptist Church (see below), all of 1867 and originally part of Park Terrace (see below).

Now from Ashby Road southwards, first the west side:

No 76, the former Lord Wolseley pub, originally built c1870 as The Vulcan and renamed c1886, was converted to flats c2001. This is a very handsome building, with strong ground floor piers and fine Italianate windows on the upper floors.

There follows a series of Italianate terraces of the mid 1860s, completed by 1868; the terraces form a long group which is highly attractive overall, particularly when viewed together with the terraces opposite.

Now the east side:

The Wickham Arms, no 69, unlike the former Lord Wolseley opposite, remains a pub. It is a handsome building of 1862, with canted bays through both floors in the middle of the frontage (a notice to the side suggests a date of 1853, but this seems unlikely).

*Nos 71/93 were formerly a highly attractive terraced shopping parade, sometimes called The Forecourt, with steps up to a high pavement; they are Italianate, nos 71/83 built 1868-70 and nos 85/93 in the late 1870s. The parade was restored in 1979, but in recent years most shops have been converted to houses; three shops do still remain, but the change is a pity, as the shopping parade had the intimate atmosphere of an urban village.

There follows a series of seven Italianate terraces of the mid 1860s, completed by 1868. The first two terraces, comprising nos 95/111, originally called Ashby Terrace, are similar in scale to the former shopping parade. The next four terraces were originally called Clyde Terrace – the first two, comprising nos 113/127, are taller and grander, and the next two, comprising nos 129/143, are even grander, with end quoins. However, the final terrace, nos 145/157, leading to Geoffrey Road, is considerably less grand.

Brockley Baptist Church, 60 Upper Brockley Road, is a Victorian Gothic church of 1867, designed by Charles Gray Searle; an earlier Baptist church had been on the site, the New Cross Union Baptist Chapel of 1864. The detailing is chunky and elaborate, particularly in the porch and the three windows above; two great buttresses stick out through the gable. The interior (for access contact Pastor Glen on 020-8697 1256) has a low, false ceiling, inserted c1975; the upper floor, which is disused, has a magnificent and intricate wooden roof, a gallery all around, and the organ.

Charles Gray Searle (1816-81) was an architect of the mid to late Victorian period who specialised in designing nonconformist churches, in both Italianate and Gothic styles. In London, in addition to this church, the practice of C G Searle & Son designed churches at West Greenwich, Islington, Dalston and Finsbury.

In the lane alongside is the former Sunday School, a nice small Gothic building of 1878, with a dramatic Gothic window overlooking Vulcan Terrace, from where there is also a view of the rear of the church, in a more restrained Gothic style than the front.

The Myatt Garden Table Top Sale, April 28th

BC owes its sledge and several tonnes of books and DVDs to last year's sale. Table tops still available for decluttering purposes. Please email if you want to book a table myattpta@googlemail.com

Sunflower bomb New Cross

We're calling it. We've had 12 solid months of the worst weather BC can remember. It is time for a change in fortunes. A glorious late spring and a scorching summer are going to happen. In preparation, New Cross sun worshipers are planning to sunflower-bomb New Cross High Street. Sarah from Grow Wild writes:

One thousand sunflowers and nectar rich flowers coming to your New Cross High Street and other unusual localities this summer! 

Help us create much needed forage sites for local bees by lending a hand at a planting day, growing some sunflowers at home, or assisting with site care or watering. Helping hands needed this Saturday 20th April from 1-3:30pm to prepare the ground for planting our sunflowers. 

Pick up a fork and join the crew on the corner of St James and New Cross Roads (Next to the Cowbins) 

All tools and equipment provided. See you there! There will also be a variety of related events throughout the summer so keep an eye out for activities happening soon! 

To find out more about how we’re transforming this urban landscape into an extraordinary bee-friendly environment see the Grow Wild website.

Crofton Park - An Evil Cradling

This is a city of the muses. For poets, painters and composers. This is the artists' enclave. This is Venice and Florence waiting to be explored, and I dream it still.
- Brian Keenan, Between Extremes 

Bryan & Keegan, an estate agent so new that its website isn't live yet, is coming to Crofton Park. Jonathan sent us this photo of their shiny new shop front.

BC understands that Estate Agents aren't universally welcomed to Brockley's high streets, but it's another unit filled, another business employing people locally and another sign that the local economy is buoyant. Its neighbours include a bakery and a ballroom, so homogeneity isn't a problem on this stretch.

UPDATE: Founder Jon Keegan explains:

We have taken over the site of Bells of Westminster Builders, which many of you know was run by Kevin Bryan. Bells have moved to the back of our office so the estate agency will also incorporate the building services. I appreciate not everyone will be thrilled by another estate agency but for my sins this industry is my passion! We hope to try and break down some of the barriers which can often exist between clients. We would welcome anyone to pop in and see us for a tea or a coffee. As well as raising our own profile i would be keen to hear of any community projects that we might be able to help/get involved in.

Night at the Horniman

Via the South East London forum:

The Horniman Garden Party featuring rAndom International
Thursday 16 May, 6-9pm
Horniman Museum and Gardens

Join us after-hours for an exclusive garden-themed evening of art, music, film and poetry.

rAndom International’s recent installation, Rain Room at the Barbican had visitors queuing for hours. Tonight, this world-famous artist collective will be weaving its magic at the Horniman with an art experience inspired by the gardens and our collections.
- Live Brazilian music
- Film screenings
- Alternative tours
- Poetry in the Garden
- Gin Garden
- Cafe and bar open

Check our website nearer the time for up-to-date information about rAndom International’s art experience. http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/events/event/museums-at-night-the-horniman-garden-party

Tickets: £3. We strongly recommend booking online in advance at http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/events/event/museums-at-night-the-horniman-garden-party

Suitable for over-18s only.

Ladywell Spring

Dae-su Oh: Even though I'm no more than a monster - don't I, too, have the right to live?
- Oldboy

Goldsmiths and Lewisham: Shared Histories

The Goldsmiths team write:

The intertwined histories of Goldsmiths, University of London and its local community in Lewisham are to be explored in a special exhibition of works of art and historical artefacts. 'Goldsmiths & Lewisham: Shared Histories' will run from 24 April - 3 May 2013 across four sites in New Cross and Deptford.

The collaborative exhibition, organised by the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, in partnership with the Goldsmiths Art Collections and the Lewisham Local History Society, offers an insight into the area as a centre of creative work over the past century. Each of the four sites - Goldsmiths' New Academic Building and 310 New Cross Road, New Cross Learning, and The Albany in Deptford - will be linked by interactive technology 'We Curate' that allows collective browsing of objects across all four installations.

- The New Pastoralists: A selection of etchings from the Goldsmiths Collection, inspired by the Romantic artist Samuel Palmer, produced by a group of printmakers based at the College in the 1920s. These artists enjoyed great success in that era in which etchings were in high demand, and some stayed on to teach at Goldsmiths for many years. Artists on display include: Edward Bouverie-Hoyton, Paul Drury, William Larkins, Graham Sutherland, and Robin Tanner. On display in the Weston Atrium, lower ground floor, New Academic Building; opening times 11am-6pm.

- Art, Education, Activism: Artefacts drawn from Goldsmiths' holdings of the Rachel McMillan College collection, emphasising the local work of Margaret and Rachel McMillan, activists at the turn of the century who were highly influential in state provision for the education of children, and Goldsmiths' inheritance of this legacy. This installation will also include a pop-up reading room, and additional works related to Goldsmiths' active history in the promotion of arts education. On display at 310 New Cross Road; opening times 11am-6pm.

 - Lewisham Life: Making & Using: A jointly-curated installation by the Lewisham Local History Society that draws from the Borough's history as a manufacturing centre, integrating objects that were made here into a thematic display based on daily life here, addressing the home, work, and leisure. On display at New Cross Learning, 283-285 New Cross Road; opening times Tues 10am-5pm, Wed-Thurs 10am-7pm, Sat 10am-5pm.

- Made in New Cross: A snapshot of the present with a theatrical installation of a selection of works acquired through the annual Warden's Art Purchase Prize made by Goldsmiths students that have studied and worked as cohabitants of the Lewisham community. On display at The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford; opening times Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 10am-3pm.

Brockley restaurants make Standard's cheap list

Tonight, two Brockley restaurants made the Evening Standard's list of the top nine affordable South London restaurants - a bias so strong, they had to hide it by pretending that Meze Mangal is in Lewisham. Here's what they say:

Meze Mangal
Well worth the journey south for those who live in other parts of London, this neighbourhood Turkish is busy even on a Monday night. The traditional menu focuses on the grill and pide (Turkish pizza) and you can't really go wrong with either.

The Gantry
Well-loved by locals, this French bistro in Brockley is run by a lovely lady from Brittany called Patrice. Slightly at the higher end of our cheap eats spectrum, The Gantry's all-day menu still doesn't cost a bomb if you choose wisely.

With thanks to Richard.

A History of Brockley - Part 6: Vulcans and Polygonal Porches

This is the sixth part of Darrell Spurgeon's history of Brockley (click on the History tag for the series).

North West Brockley

Vesta Road leads from Shardeloes Road west over the railway cutting up to the Telegraph Hill area. The very wide railway bridge is a modern iron girder bridge with an iron parapet, though brick sections between pillars of an earlier parapet have been retained at either end. The bridge gives wonderful and dramatic views of the four tracks of the Croydon Railway (opened 1839) in deep cutting with steep wooded slopes, going north to New Cross Gate Station and south to Brockley Station.

Beyond the bridge, on the north side, is Brockley Nature Reserve, occupying part of the wooded slopes overlooking the railway cutting. It is run by London Wildlife Trust, but is not often open to the public. Vesta Road continues up to Telegraph Hill, with houses of the late 1880s.

The road was developed from 1878, and consists of short terraces, on the west side with fanciful capitals in the doorways and on the east side retaining Italianate features. At the beginning on the west side, note Crossway Court, three terraced blocks of flats of 1968, in a pleasing plain modernist style with nice balconies. Crossways Academy occupies the site of the former Brockley Central School, which opened here in 1928 and closed in 2003.

Vulcan Road runs east from Shardeloes Road to Upper Brockley Road, crossing Malpas Road. There are no houses between Shardeloes Road and Malpas Road, but the section between Malpas Road and Upper Brockley Road is of interest. At the eastern end, on the south side, is a terrace of six small cottages of the 1860s. Just to the west of this terrace, Nursery Close leads to Milliners Court, an extensive and attractive development c1994. The major part of this is approached through a great gabled arch remaining from the garden centre which was formerly on the site; a small stream, now hidden in a culvert, runs through the site.

Opposite, Vulcan Terrace is a close to the north, mainly with postwar flats, but there are two cottages similar to those in Vulcan Road; also, the rear façade of Brockley Baptist Church (see below) and its former Sunday School (note the Gothic window) overlook the close.

Malpas Road is a long road, running from Lewisham Way south to Brockley Cross. The road starts from the north with long low terraces of Italianate cottages of the late 1850s on both sides, mostly with fine bracketed ground floor window-cases. Near the northern end, on the east side, Luxmore Street leads into Luxmore Gardens, a pleasant linear park laid out in 1958 on the site of a former cluster of late 19th century houses and a nursery.

Rokeby Road is a short road linking Lewisham Way with Upper Brockley Road; it has a number of interesting houses, including some of the early 1850s. The buildings are numbered consecutively, on the west side from north to south, and on the east side from south to north. The west side begins with the east range of the former Deptford Library, now the ArtHouse, Lewisham Way, a grand baroque building of 1914 designed by Sir Alfred Brumwell Thomas; two engaged Ionic columns and two Ionic pilasters are at either end of a long brick range with recessed windows.

Then you come to nos 1/35, a long terrace of Italianate cottages c1850. At the end no 36 is a larger stuccoed house of 1853, and this is linked to *no 37, a highly attractive stuccoed house, also of 1853, which is recessed and has a fine loggia with ornamental cast iron railings. Next are nos 38/39 and 41/42, which are gabled classical pairs of 1853. Return northwards on the east side. First is Myatt Gardens School, a well-designed long and low school of 1974. Beyond, nos 68/69 are a pair c1870, no 70 is an attractive detached house of 1853, linked to no 71, a later extension, and no 73 is a detached house of 1866, also with a later extension; all these are basically classical in style.

Then you come to nos 74/83, a bizarre terrace of 1934 - the houses are roughcast, with polygonal porches projecting forward, each containing two entrances, one at ground level and one at the upper level at the head of a flight of steps.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Ham

The Milliner's Sale

Nicky, from Crofton Park clothes shop The White Room, writes:

On Thursday, April 25th at 7pm, we are hosting a 'Hat Chat' and book signing with local Milliner & journalist, Mary Jane Baxter.  The event will be an 'evening social' where people can book their place to come and join us for a glass of wine and listen to MJ discuss her work as a Vintage style, couture hat maker.

Mary Jane's hat workshops currently sell out at the Victoria & Albert Museum and Liberty's store in Regent Street and she regularly features in magazines such as Homes & Antiques.

We will be passing round and trying on MJ's hats and will also be able to buy signed copies of her new book 'The Modern Girls Guide to Hat Making'. We are charging just £5 for this event as we hope people will come along and enjoy the informal, fun atmosphere we promote.

Following this event we will be running a one day Hat Making course with Mary Jane on Sunday 19th May when people will be able to make their own 'Downton Abbey' style Cloche Hat to fit.

The BC Map Updated

The Brockley Central map has been updated.

Reflecting both the speed of change that has taken place in the area and the sloppiness with which we run this site, a lot of changes and additions have been necessary including, in no particular order:

The Old Haberdasher, Le Delice, The Gantry, The Dog and Bell, Misty Moon Gallery, Gently Elephant, The Albany, Chinwag, the London Theatre, New Cross House, Malaysian Deli, Bird of Paradise, Arlo and Moe, Slater and King, Cash Tech, London Print Shop, Nisa, The White Room, Pistachios, El's Kitchen, Brockley Bikes, Big Red Pizza, Nandi Nandi, The Ravenbourne Arms, The New Cross Inn and The Allotment.

It's not a definitive guide, just stuff that we think is good and noteworthy. If you're on Pinterest, we also use that to keep track of interesting venues in Brockley and the wider South East Central area.

Ban on homophobic Deptford Green teacher upheld

A Seventh-Day Adventist who refused to apologise for telling a classroom of his students that homosexuality is disgusting has been banned from teaching. What would Jesus do? According to this guy, he'd embark on a sub-Littlejohn rant about political correctness.

The BBC reports:

A classroom ban on a Christian school teacher who condemned the "homosexual lifestyle" in front of pupils has been upheld in the High Court.

A judge rejected an appeal by Deptford Green School science teacher Robert Haye against his indefinite ban.

Mr Haye told a Year 11 class of students aged 15-16 the way homosexual people lived was "disgusting" and a sin, according to the Bible...

Mr Justice King rejected his appeal at London's High Court, saying the ban was justified because Mr Haye had shown lack of insight when he made his "inappropriate" comments and was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct. Mr Haye can apply to return to the classroom after two years.

But he said he thought his teaching career in the UK was over because he was not prepared to give up his religious beliefs - and the right to express them - in order to teach again.

Now unemployed and facing a £4,200 legal costs bill, he said: "I will not recant my beliefs. God comes first.

"Christians are now being persecuted in this country for believing in the Bible. That cannot be. We have a right to believe and express what we believe, but people are now afraid of being punished for not being politically correct."

With thanks to Fintan for the story.

Djeptford Unanchored

Photo via Lewisham Council, who list it as one of the borough's most important pieces of public art
Once, it would have been as unthinkable as the removal of the Catford Cat, but The Deptford Anchor is gone. It has made way for a new-look Deptford High Street - its fate uncertain. The landmark, which doubled as a bench for Anchor Tennent's Extra-drinkers, has been removed and taken in to storage, without any decision about where it will end up.

Deptford's soul is adrift. The anchor must return!

The Crossfields blog has a moving tribute.

Soundtracks lineup announced

Soundtracks, the music festival that uses the East London Line to link venues in East and South East London, has announced its lineup for this year.

The event, which includes live music from 40 different bands and artists playing on the trains themselves, will include gigs from The Wave Pictures, Woodpecker Wooliams and Tawiah (above).

Full details here.

The Station Agent: Hill cafe needs new management

The Bold Vision team write:

Bold Vision, a community development charity in SE14, is looking for a new operator to take over running the vibrant Hill Station Community Cafe on Telegraph Hill. This is an exciting opportunity to build on the existing success of the venture, and to develop a catering business that serves the needs of the community and fulfills Bold Vision’s social mission. The contract will be for a 3 year period and will start in August 2013.

The closing date for proposals is 3 May 2013. Proposals should contain a full description of experience, the proposed service offering, a financial proposal and statement of how Bold Vision’s values would be enhanced.

Download the Hill Station tender 2013 Document

Brockley's Twat-cloak

Last night, Aussie comedian Sarah Bennetto live-tweeted a discussion between a nice woman and a massive twat, who was trying to entice her to sleep with him again, after he cheated on her. The nice woman told the man that she was moving to Brockley and the twat responded that Brockley "doesn't exist." It was at this point, Bennetto snapped.

The conversation unfolds like Brett Easton Ellis dialogue. Read the full, grisly account here. If Brockley manages to attract bookish women who are good in bed, while simultaneously hiding its allure from men in bad jackets and who claim to be Johnny Depp's body double, then we are clearly doing something right.

Lewisham Gateway construction could begin this summer

Revised plans for the major mixed-use housing development 'Lewisham Gateway' have been submitted, with the developers hoping to start working on two tall buildings this summer, if permission is granted.

Towers A1 and A2 are located at the north west corner of the Lewisham Gateway site, nearest Lewisham Station. Developers Taylor Wimpey and Mace submitted the plans in February Lewisham Gateway and aim to "provide a total of 193 residential units (comprising 18 studio units, 97 one-bedroom units, 74 two-bedroom units and 4 three-bedroom units) and 518 sqm (GEA) of retail/restaurant/cafe floorspace (Use Class A1 and/or A3)), as well as open space (including ‘Confluence Place’), public realm and related works.”

The much-delayed project will replace the roundabout near the station and divert vehicles around a new system, which is expected to slow traffic through the centre of Lewisham.
The new traffic system. The buildings will sit in the top-left corner.
As construction work at Loampit Vale draws to a close, Lewisham Gateway and Thurston Road represent the next phase in the area's development.

Kate Tempest: Voice of gritty Brockley

Kate Tempest is a Brockley performance poet, who recently won a Ted Hughes prize for spoken story. Transpontine and Eastlondonlines have already celebrated her rise and we've been meaning to showcase this Brockley talent for some time, but now the Guardian has forced our hand, by putting her on its front page today.

The article discusses how fundamental the "performance" element of performance poetry is to the form and we'd say that in this example, Brand New Ancients (starring the Deptford Anchor), the poetry definitely works best when the music kicks in:

Tempest's marketing team have been trying hard to do a Lily Allen on her by showering her in Brockley grit and the journalist notes:

[Child of] an impoverished London borough... Tempest grew up in Brockley ("what I've always loved about south-east London is that it's a bit shit and it's never going to be anything other than a bit shit").

One day, we will live in a society where the middle classes will be able to name-check the Wu-Tang Clan without fear of being labelled mockneys.

With thanks to Sanjit.

Austerity measures to cut Lewisham incomes by £600 per head

The FT has published an interactive map, which shows how welfare cuts will hit local spending power in local areas across the country:

But as the government considers further deep welfare cuts in the June spending round, the FT's research underlines the potential risks to economic regeneration and private sector business prospects in poorer areas where the local population faces the loss of a large slice of purchasing power. 

The findings of the FT's investigation – the first to examine the local economic and business consequences of the reforms – suggest any impact will be most acute in areas outside Tory strongholds.

In Lewisham (not a Tory stronghold), it says the average person of person of working age will lose £600 per year and notes that in the borough "36.1% of neighbourhoods are among the poorest 20% in Britain. The average for local authorities in Great Britain is 15.1%."

The cumulative fall in local spending power is £121 million, which will hurt local shops and businesses. The biggest loss will be through the 1% uprating in benefits (below inflation) representing a £109 cut (compared with a national average of £81), followed by housing benefit (£105 compared with a national average of £37).

Click here to see the map.

Narnians Awake!

Dawn Chorus 2013

Tom from the Hilly Fields Bird Champion project writes:

This years dawn chorus walk will take place on Thursday April 11 starting at 6am. This is an hour later than usual (by public demand), but should still be close to dawn as the clocks went forward last weekend. We will meet outside the cafe on Hilly Fields, walk around the park and then go on to Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries which together are listed as a Grade 1 Site of Borough Importance for nature conservation purposes.

Birds we can expect to hear on Hilly Fields include Blackbird, Robin, Wren and probably one of the Dunnocks which have been vocalising frequently in the last few weeks. In addition, we should hear Magpies chattering, Crows crowing, Blue Tits/Long-tailed Tits tseeping and, almost certainly, that 'Johnny Two Note' - the Great Tit. If we're lucky, we may hear a Mistle Thrush singing (seen but not heard so far this year) or a Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming its bill against a tree trunk.

Full details here.

Panther on the loose in New Cross

The Sun reports that a wild panther has been spotted in New Cross, adding that the sighting comes "eight years after a man was mauled by a 6ft-long panther-like cat in nearby Sydenham."

A source told The Sun: “She was terrified. She described it as a huge, black wild cat with large fangs and a long tail. “The woman was very respectable, not drunk or imagining things, so the call was taken seriously.” 

The panther, recognisable by its formidable scent, will represent a threat to any London Gentlemen who cross its path - 60% of the time, it will attack you every time.

If you see the panther, you are advised not to try to have sex with it.

Via Transpontine on the New Cross forum.

Empty properties in Brockley

At a time of rising rents in Brockley, it's exasperating to learn that local homes are being left empty. A BCer who wishes to remain anonymous writes:

We have had for several years now an empty flat in our building (a Victorian conversion with few flats). We're worried about lots of issues - loss of heat, the risk of someone breaking in and problems with condition of the building have all been concerns for us and the other  people that live in the for a long time.

We are in touch with the council and they are helping us trying to get the issue sorted. Fortunately the council is being really helpful and supporting us on trying to get the flat occupied. We are not pushing the owners to sell it, but wouldn't it be nice for all of us if they could rent it out? They get a lovely income and we get neighbours!

Anyway I am just wondering if this is an issue that is present elsewhere, or if it is just us being unlucky. Have people seen many empty properties in the area and has anyone been through the same experience with a landlord and the council?

I would love to hear from people in the area, whether this is a one off or something that concerns us all?

Brockley Society Open Meeting, April 10th

Brockley Social Club, 240 Brockley Road, 8pm

Robert Park, from BrocSoc, writes:

It should be an interesting evening. We have invited Nicholas Taylor, architectural historian and former chair of Lewisham Planning Committee, along to talk about "The Conservation of Communities", and perhaps his recollections of planning in Lewisham and Brockley when he served as the councillor responsible for planning for the borough in the seventies and eighties.

Some people might remember Nicholas from the recent documentary on Deptford High Street - The Secret History of Our Streets. He was the chap who was pounced on by the program makers, and inadvertently became the villain of the piece. I spoke to him at length about it after the airing, and he convinced me that he had been unfairly represented. So we invited him to speak to us at our annual open meeting - so we might hear his real views about planning in the city, and how it can support communities.

Gently Elephant wins Best New Business Award

The GE team with the Mayor. Photo copyright Toby Allen.
Congratulations to the Gently Elephant team, who have won the 2013 Lewisham Business Award for Best New Business. The Brockley Road children's shoes and gifts retailers, who opened in May 2012, were presented with their certificate by Mayor Bullock this afternoon.

The shop has added to the vitality of our high street and now attracts regular customers from as far afield as Bromley, East Dulwich and Greenwich, helping to increase local footfall for the benefit of other businesses.

The award will go in their trophy cabinet, together with the 2012 Brockley Central Best Newcomer Award.

Free gardening courses in Telegraph Hill

Anniek writes:

Common Growth has teamed up with Grow Wild to offer a further series of permaculture workshops at the  garden on Sandbourne Road (Telegraph Hill, SE4 2NS) this year. The workshops will cover a variety of topics, and some will be specifically aimed at kids, so there’s something for everyone.

If you would like to attend any of the courses, or like more information, then please text Rich on 07901 360321 or email commongrowthuk@gmail.com giving the name of attendees and a contact telephone number.

Sat 13 April 10.30 - 12.30 Get sowing and growing!
~ Propagation by sowing seed, conditions required
~ Benefits and problems with growing in greenhouse/ indoors as opposed to direct sowing
~ Hardening off before planting outside
~ Practical activity: seed sowing in pots, trays and modules, pricking out and potting on

Sat 20 April 10.30 - 12.30 Growing fruit in containers
~ How to grow fruit in containers
~ Things to consider such as site, root stock, container size
~ Pollinators, pruning and maintenance.
~ Practical activity: planting of canes and trees.

Sat 11 May 10.30 - 12.30 Pond planting
~ Wildlife gardening
~ Benefits of habitat creation for the garden, vegetable growing and community
~ Planting in the pond and around its margins

Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. All courses are free, but we suggest a £3 voluntary donation to help cover the costs of materials.

Also, don’t forget that the garden is open on Sunday afternoons from 2.00pm to 5.00pm, where you’ll often be rewarded for a spot of garden work with a bowl of fresh warm soup!

Le Delice, Ladywell Road [UPDATED]

French enough for you? Photo courtesy of Richard Elliot.
New Ladywell "boulangerie, patisserie, cafe" Le Delice opens today, outside Ladywell Station. Jenny sent us the picture below and says: "Yum pastries (free samples) friendly staff and all hot drinks FREE today."

The Malaysian Deli

Crofton Park's new Malaysian Deli (338 Brockley Road) is run by Amy Mustafa and two colleagues and is more cafe than shop, with generous amounts of seating and a selection of beef, chicken, fish and vegetarian dishes, with a choice of rendang, peanut, spicy sambal or mild percik sauces and served with rice and salad or in a wrap.

Forest Hill - View of the top

Forest Hill gets the Guardian's 'Let's Move To' treatment today, described as a gloomy, cheap alternative to Brockley or Peckham, which benefits from the Horniman and the views from the top.

Many here have fallen: Brockley, Peckham, Crystal Palace. But Forest Hill is hanging on by its nails... The South Circular flows incessantly, and there are quite a few boy-racer routes for those seeking to escape it. The centre, consequently, feels a bit placeless. It can have a gloomy feel, as it's on the north-east side of Sydenham Hill.

It's a harsh assessment, which neglects to mention a fantastic new swimming pool, some lovely streets and a good variety of shops and pubs, but they're not wrong about the impact of the South Circular.

With thanks to Monkeyboy for the tip off.

Zippos Circus

Those blurry blue lights are four motorbikes riding at high speed around a small  globe, 10 feet away from the audience
Zippos is like non-league football or amateur boxing: Surprisingly entertaining, easy to park and featuring performers whose need to double as half-time ice cream sellers belies their extraordinary talent - making their displays all the more humbling.

Its star attractions include a genial Ukrainian strongman, a Cuban acrobat troop and four motorcylists who squeeze in to a metal sphere, 20 feet in diameter, and race upside down. Even the clowns made us laugh.

Note: At one point, a succession of men refused to let the clowns drag them in to the ring to serve as comic stooges. We are pleased to report that this pattern was broken by a dad we recognised from Myatt Garden, who stepped up and showed great comic timing of his own - Brockley always delivers.

Zippos is performing on Blackheath until Tuesday, April 9th. Recommended.

Eat Drink Woman Woman

In BC's experience, it's only when you're married and it's too late that you realise there are binders full of  single women doing nice grown-up things like going to pop-up restaurants together, which would never occur to single men to do. 

Julie, of Eat Meet Supperclub highlights the problem - their singles event is short of men:

We have a man-drought for our singles brunch supper club on April 13th. Where are all the single men of Brockley? Surely not all in the betting shops?  Any chance you could help us hunt down some single eligible males to join the (many, lovely) women already in the hat? 

Requirement is: ability to eat food. Ability to be mildly sociable. 30-40ish (though we're not strict). Male. It's not a horrid forced fun 18-30 holiday esque singles thing... it's incredibly informal and relaxed. No tortuous party games. Oh, and there will be complimentary booze to loosen the mood. Email eatmeetsupperclub@gmail.com

Brockley developer needed

Silicon Double Roundabout is taking shape. BCer Ben alerts us to a job his tech company Oneis is creating in Brockley:

We’re looking for a senior developer to join our team. Based in Brockley. Salary in the region of £60k Full-time position, work from home welcomed This is an interesting and challenging role for a generalist developer with expertise in building web applications. We primarily use Ruby, JavaScript and Java.

Full details here.

Malaysian Deli, 338 Brockley Road

Crofton Park's new Malaysian deli is now open and has a name - Malaysian Deli. Here's a photo (courtesy of David), which shows you what it's like when it's shut.

Police appeal for help with stabbing case

Lewisham Police say:

Officers from Lewisham CID are appealing for witnesses and information following a stabbing in Coulgate Street, SE4.

Police were called by staff at Brockley Railway Station at approx. 18:10hrs on Tuesday 2 April to reports of a man stabbed following a disturbance outside the station in Coulgate Street, SE4. Local officers, British Transport Police and the London Ambulance Service attended.

It is believed an altercation took place between the victim and a group of males that resulted in him receiving a stab wound to his chest. The suspects are believed to have then made off along Coulgate Street towards Brockley Road.

The victim, a 23-year-old man was taken by ambulance to a south London hospital where he remains in a stable condition. There have been no arrests and enquires continue.

Anyone with information is asked to call Lewisham CID on 020 8284 8339 or to remain anonymous Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Ladywell village works begin

Yesterday, work began on the Ladywell high street improvement scheme. As a result, there will be some disruption in the area. Lewisham Council explains:

  • From 2 April, for a period of at least three weeks, it will be necessary to close Algernon Road to traffic between Gillian St and Ladywell Road, thus allowing the contractor to reconstruct the existing carriageway, install new drainage and construct the new paving for the footway, parking bays and junction works
  • Southern Gas Network will then need to lower their service valves in the mouth of the junction of Ladywell Road and Railway Terrace
  • The intention is to then commence work to reduce the road level in Ladywell Road, between the railway bridge and up to the Pelican crossing, from 15 April. This will be carried out with temporary traffic light control whilst Algernon Road is closed
  • Having completed the work to the carriageway in Algernon Road and Ladywell Road up to the Pelican crossing, the carriageway in Algernon Road will reopen. This will allow for Ladywell Road to be closed between the Pelican crossing and the westbound bus stop from 20 May, to commence the reconstruction of Ladywell Road to the new levels
  • On completion of this section of Ladywell Road, we expect to commence the final reconstruction of Ladywell Road (from the westbound bus stop to Adelaide Avenue) from 29 May. This is expected to last until 7 June
  • Whilst the western section of Ladywell Road carriageway is being reconstructed, work will be carried out to the footways of the section of Ladywell Road carriageway previously completed to minimise disruption to pedestrians
  • The expected completion date of the major work is on or around 24 August
  • During the closure of Algernon Road, the 484 bus will be rerouted along Ladywell Road, into Adelaide Avenue, Montague Avenue, Hilly fields Crescent, Cliffview Road onto Vicars Hill where it will be back on route
With thanks to Robert from the Ladywell Village Improvement Group.

Serious incident outside Brockley Station

Police attend the scene. Photo courtesy of Karen.
The air ambulance landed in the football cage in St Norbert Road. Photo courtesy of Alison.
The western exit to Brockley Station, parts of Coulgate Street and Mantle Road have been closed by police this evening, following a serious incident outside John Stainer Primary School. Emergency services are at the scene and an air ambulance landed at St Norbert Road to provide assistance.

Multiple BCers report that the incident was a stabbing. One BCer, Lucia, reports that the stabbing took place on the east side of the station and collapsed on Mantle Road. We will update the article as the facts emerge.

The New Cross and Deptford Free Film Festival 2013

The full programme for the 2013 Festival (April 26th - May 5th) is now live. The festival makes great use of the wide range of local venues available and will bring local streets to life with house windows acting as pop-up cinema screens for animation, moving images and self made short films.

The main event will be a homecoming screening for Bond-in-New Cross epic 'Skyfall' in Fordham Park and there are also some crowd-pleasing classics being shown, including Cinema Paradiso (at the London Theatre) and ET (Telegraph Hill Lower Park).

At the more esoteric end of the spectrum, there is some interesting stuff like Made in Lewisham: 100 Years of Cinema and Local Shorts at Goldsmiths, as well as some heavily political programming, courtesy of the Sandford Housing Co-Op, who've dug through their DVD collection to screen environmental agitprop classics like The Power of Community and Land Awakening.

Click here for the full-programme.

Sids Social

Sids, the Brockley Road bathroom supplies shop, has shown you don't have to spend a lot of time or money on social media engagement to spark online conversation about your brand. You can just stick a picture of Sid James on a bath and put that bath above your front door and someone in Singapore will spot a Tweet by @shitlondon about it and RT this to a hyperlocal blog in your area and soon the whole world is talking about you.

Anyway, Sids is a good shop. More of this sort of thing in Brockley please.

With thanks to b. who tweeted us about this.

APRIL FOOL: Run This Town - Jay-Z buys the Rivoli Ballroom

UPDATE: As Jay-Z's lawyers would probably want us to clarify before they wake up, this was our April Fools. He's got 99 problems, but getting Armand de Brignac stains out of velvet walls ain't one. As Nic said on Twitter: A to the prizzel, F to the fizzle.

Not that he needs an excuse to visit South East London, but now we have an explanation for why Jay-Z was hanging out in Forest Hill last year. The rapper and businessman has added a majority stake in  the Rivoli Ballroom to his $450 million empire, for an undisclosed sum, after a protracted negotiation.

Jay-Z already owns a nightclub chain (40/40 Club) and a New York gastropub (The Spotted Pig) and BC understands that he intends to leave the iconic Brockley venue unchanged, having fallen in love with it during a 2008 fashion shoot, according to his 2010 autobiography Decoded.

Although the current management team has been asked to stay on and all of the regular events will be allowed to continue, the deal will mean that the Rivoli becomes a regular host venue for new UK artists signed to Roc Nation, the label Jay-Z co-founded. In the short-term though, BC understands that the only change we'll see is an upgrade to the venue's selection of cognacs.

Details are emerging as we write, so we'll update the article this afternoon. With thanks to Crofton Park Decoder for the tip-off.

UPDATE: Reaction on Twitter has been immediate and overwhelmingly positive: