Police place conditions on planned BNP march to Lewisham

A statement issued by the police today reads:

The MPS yesterday (30 May) imposed conditions upon a march and rally being planned by the BNP for Saturday 1 June.

Conditions have been imposed under Section 12 and 14 of the Public Order Act, 1986, that the BNP march and rally must take place between 1300 and 1600, between Old Palace Yard and the Cenotaph in Whitehall on 1 June.

The BNP applied to hold a march and rally on 1 June from Woolwich Barracks to the Lewisham Islamic Centre. The BNP's intention to hold this march and rally resulted in a number of groups indicating they wished to attend to hold counter protests.

The information and intelligence available to the MPS meant that it was necessary to impose the conditions to prevent the demonstration from resulting in serious disorder, serious damage to property, and/or serious disruption to the life of the community.

Commander Simon Letchford, MPS, said:

"The murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich last week shocked our city. The right to protest is a fundamental part of our society, however, such an evocative mix of views being expressed in communities still hurting from Lee's murder could have resulted in ugly scenes on our streets.

"Those communities have made it clear to us the impact that groups expressing extreme views has upon them. We have listened to those concerns following Lee Rigby's murder, and we will keep working with all our communities.

"We know that when groups with conflicting views come together it can create tension and disorder. What we have had to carefully consider is how to balance the right to protest with the negative impact on our communities and potential violence and disorder that may have resulted from these protests going ahead as they were suggested.

"If you want to protest on Saturday we ask that you do so peacefully, no matter what your view. We will work with you to enable that protest to go ahead. What we will also do is fulfill our duty to prevent crime and keep peace on our streets.

"The support we have received so far from Londoners has been outstanding, I would urge people to continue to show restraint and calm. We must continue to be a city that stands together."

The decision to apply Section 12 and 14 of the Public Order Act was taken based on current community tensions, the current intelligence picture about Saturday and recent marches and protests held by similar groups. As part of the MPS assessment of current community tensions the views of a range of local representatives have been sought. Taking all these factors into consideration the MPS has made an operational policing decision to take this approach, and believe it to be proportionate in these specific circumstances.

Attempts by the MPS to change the location of the protest via negotiation were unsuccessful.

Breach of the conditions is a criminal offence, and anyone breaching them may find themselves open to arrest.

The MPS Counter Terrorism Command is undertaking a complex and fast moving investigation into Lee Rigby's murder. Since the 22 May the MPS has been running an operation to provide extra reassurance patrols, and provide a response to any protests.

The Magic Theatre returns to the Rivoli for filthy swing

The Magic Theatre team write:

On Saturday 22nd June (8pm-1am), free-range dressing up at a shindig for a low-attitude mixed crowd of all romantic persuasions and gender identities returns to the magnificent Rivoli Ballroom. Featuring those ‘fine purveyors of filthy swing’, The Top Shelf Band, hosted by the King of Cabaret, Mr. Paul Martin and DJ Kobayashi with a soundtrack of happy-dancing retro tunes of distinction. Expect good fun,old-fashioned ballroom courtesy and old-fashioned bar prices too!

Dress Code: Dress UP!

Adv. £14 through Ticketweb and We Got Tickets, £16 on the door


Plural Rides - local group cycles this summer

Lewisham Council says:

The Sky Ride Local this Sunday, 2 June (from 2pm-5pm), and get on your bike. Leaving from outside Matalan in Lewisham, the ride, classed as a ‘steady level’ will take you to Surrey Quays using  a mix of quiet back roads and where possible, off-road cycling.

There will be a different ride every two weeks on a Sunday from June until October and all are free. Led by friendly British Cycling Ride leaders along pre-planned routes, the rides are classed as ‘easy’, ‘steady’ and ‘challenging’.

The ‘easy’ rides are ideal for those who are new to cycling or families who prefer to ride off-road. The routes may be along the Waterlink Way for example or through different parks and open areas. The ‘steady’ rides are longer and combine quieter routes with off-road where possible. The ‘challenging’ rides are as you would expect longer and more strenuous, usually encountering a hill or two and moving at a quicker pace.

For more details of this week’s ride, other rides throughout the summer and all cycle schemes in the borough,  go to www.lewisham.gov.uk/cycling

SE4 Photographs

Brockley-based photographer Jamie Brett has created a series about SE4. He writes:

I will continue to shoot this project on 6x6 film over the next year or so (there certainly needs to be an image of the Lions shopfront in there somewhere to strike the right balance). Three 1/5 Edition 30 x 30" prints are currently being exhibited in Hatfield, Hertfordshire representing the BA Photography course, and one of them will be exhibited in Printspace in Hoxton from the 20th June.

Link to the full series: http://www.jamiebrett.co.uk/index.php/project/se4/

Divine business event in Hilly Fields

Ben from business group the Hilly Fields Network writes:

We're hosting an evening at Pistachios in the Park on Wednesday 12 June. This is our first Hilly Fields Network event which is actually in Hilly Fields!

We'll be joined by Sophi Tranchell, MD of Divine Chocolate, a successful business founded on the twin principles of social responsibility and excellent chocolate.

You can find her chocolate in shops and supermarkets throughout the country, but she lives in Brockley. We're looking forward to hearing about yet another Brockley success story.

Here are the full details, we hope you'll join us. There will be some chocolate.

Curzon exploring cinema bid for Ladywell pool site

Eames:  You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.
- Inception

Sometime BC contributor Max Calo has been lobbying for a Lewisham cinema for years and his efforts have drawn the attention of independent cinema chain Curzon, who approached him about the Ladywell Leisure Centre site he campaigned to turn in to a cinema. With the centre due to shut within weeks, as the new Lewisham pool opens, Curzon has now entered into discussion with the Council. Eastlondonlines reports:

[Calo's] petition was spotted by Curzon Cinemas, who run six arthouse cinemas in the capital and another venue in Cheshire. Calò said Curzon then contacted Hither Green Hall with interest in redeveloping the site as a cinema, and the two parties then held a private meeting with members of Lewisham Council to discuss options.

Cllr Mike Harris also comments:

“If there was a cinema here people would… come out of the cinema, go to a bar, a pub, a restaurant and spend more money here. At the moment that money is being spent in other boroughs. Lewisham is concentrating on housing, but all those people then have nowhere to go in the borough. If there was a cinema here, it then helps the local business, because those local businesses will profit from the extra traffic that is being brought in.”

If the plans do go ahead, Lewisham Council will need to think bigger than just the cinema. At the moment, there is relatively little to tempt the art-house cinema goer to linger. The site is too small and poorly located to build something like Bermondsey Square, but some supporting bars and restaurants would need to be accommodated within the design. Max points out that it’s between two major centres (Lewisham and Catford), but that means that it’s in neither and bus connections between the two are no substitute for a nearby tube station.  But BC has never been a home for people who dream small, so this idea gets our full backing – it just needs the Council to go into this with their eyes open about the scale of commitment required to make this work.

The developers who plan to rebuild Lewisham Shopping Centre are also considering a cinema, albeit one devoted to blockbusters rather than indie film.

Five reasons to visit Brockley

Honorary BCer Andrea Mann was asked to plug Brockley on LateRooms. Here are her five reasons to visit:

1. Hilly Fields "the park’s stone circle was erected by druids. And by ‘druids’, I do of course mean: members of a local civic group."

2. The coffee shops "Love New York’s Greenwich Village coffee shop vibe? You’ll find fine independent cafés like Brockley Mess (which doubles as an art gallery), hip hangout Brown’s Of Brockley and Broca, whose 1980s’ movie-themed sandwich menu includes ‘Tuna Wolf’ and ‘Earth Girls Are Brie-zy’."

3. The bars and restaurants "Brockley has a small but perfectly formed number of eateries serving food that people would rave about – and pay far more for – were they in central London."

4. The venues "The Rivoli Ballroom, Brockley Jack Theatre and Hill Station.  Remember the age of glamour and fabulous fashion? And before the Eighties, remember the Fifties? They do at the Rivoli..."

5. Brockley food market "Whether you’re after cakes, coffee, charcuterie or Christmas trees (warning: the latter’s seasonal), it’s a wonderful place to mooch, munch and soak up the lovely local Brockley vibe."

For the full article, click here.

Content & Community Manager needed at Patchwork Present

Harefield Road start-up Patchwork Present is hiring. They say:

Patchwork Present is a group gift platform that lets friends come together to fund one gift that’s really wanted – piece by piece. Our site is launching soon so we’re looking for a content and community manager to join our team.

We’re a small team. Our studio is a shop in Brockley, South East London. Each member of the team is responsible for one aspect of the business. This role is everything social. You will be solely responsible for all social media platforms – from generating and planning creative content to implementing and documenting the response. On top of the usual Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest you will be responsible for providing brilliant blog posts about Patchwork Present and the things we’re interested in. Any expansion into guest bloggers will also be managed by you. You will be in control of developing our social media channels, growing the audience and building the community.

The full ad is available here.

Grow Wild 2: Grow Wilder

Armageddon vs Deep Impact. Dante's Peak vs Volcano. White House Down vs Olympus Has Fallen. Grow Wild New Cross vs Grow Wild UK.

Two gardening groups with the same name have very similar ideas about using flowers to green urban spaces, but very different levels of resources.

Grow Wild UK is offering to fund wild flower gardening projects of up to £100,000 (and more with fund matching). They say:

Grow Wild is an exciting four-year campaign to bring people together to sow UK native wild flowers.

We believe that we can transform where we live – bringing colour and surprise to our streets. By Growing Wild, we can turn our gardens and windowsills into wildlife-friendly wild flower patches.

Grow Wild is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and led by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew – and everyone is invited to join in.

You have until June 9th to apply for funding. Thanks to Isabella for the tip-off.

Meanwhile, Grow Wild New Cross is leading a relatively lo-fi project to flower bomb New Cross with 1,000 sunflowers. Their plans reach the critical point in June and they are asking for more volunteers. We've posted full details of their plans on the New Cross forum.

Lewisham markets: They're real and they're spectacular

Lewisham Council writes:

Lewisham, Deptford, Douglas Way and Catford markets will soon display the Real Deal brand – which tells consumers that market officials and traders have signed up to a code of practice to ‘self-police’ the markets and take action if they spot anything suspicious.

In signing up to the Real Deal campaign, the Council will benefit by working in partnership with other local authorities, safer neighbourhood teams, traders, industry groups, and copyright and trademark owners – all of which are united by a common commitment to tackle the problem of fakes.

The Real Deal national charter is designed to keep traders in counterfeit goods out of UK markets. For more information visit www.realdealmarkets.co.uk

Vegetable matter

Robin writes:

I was in Russell Square station today and noticed this striking TFL poster...

We've had a look for this project on the Volunteer Team website, but it seems no, you couldn't plant vegetables on Brockley Road: Either it's a hypoethetical example or it's extremely well hidden by their search engine. This is a good initiative, but it's a shame if someone inspired to volunteer locally can't work out how to do what's being advertised. There are, however, opportunities to volunteer with food charity FareShare, The Scouts or Brockley's Montage Theatre Arts.

If TfL and the Mayor of London are keen on vegetable growing on Brockley Road then there is a little corner of Brockley Road that could easily be turned in to a vegetable patch and flower garden. The disused entrance to the upper level of Brockley Station is currently fenced off and a little overgrown. Handing that spot over to the community and allowing people to install planters could created a nice little green space in place of one of Brockley’s ugliest spots.

£10m Peckham Complex to transform South East London art scene

Peckham has been threatening to be "the next" somethingorother for a while now - mostly, the next Dalston on account of its nightlife and arts scene. This analysis also confirms Brockley's status as the new Stoke Newington - nearby but more bourgeois.

Hoping to confirm Peckham's ascendancy and their own place at the heart of that story are Bold Tendencies, the phenomenally successful arts group led by Hannah Barry and Sven Mündner, who are to Peckham what Jay Jopling once was to Hoxton. Having created the Bold Tendencies summer sculpture show (topped off with Frank's Campari Bar) in Peckham's 10 storey car park, they now want to turn the building in to a permanent art complex.

The Standard reports:

Barry and the team plan a mixed-use reinvention of the building to incorporate the existing PeckhamPlex Cinema on the ground floor. “There will be light industrial spaces, studio spaces and we’re very keen on Kunsthalle-style [independent] galleries.”

Now that Peckham is a newly desirable location (thanks in part to the East London Overground extension) the fear is that a developer could make a multi-million pound offer to bulldoze it and build flats.

Hence the pre-emptive strike. Barry and Mündner are not against regeneration but would hate the site to be cannibalised. “With the arts centre, we can propose a model that is stronger than selling the car park and generate more rates and more cash in terms of jobs,” Barry says.

There are relatively few major tourist draws between Greenwich and Bermondsey, but Bold Tendencies has already attracted 500,000 visitors in its first six years. If these £10 million expansion plans succeed, then the challenge for areas like Deptford and Brockley, which offer plenty for art-lovers, will be to soak up some of the visitors drawn to this part of South East London.

- Click here to visit the Peckham forum

A History of Brockley - Part 9: Hilly Fields and Prendergast

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

Hilly Fields. This large grassed mound reaches a height of 175 ft, with quite steep sides, and provides fantastic panoramic views on all sides, though some views towards Central and East London are blocked by tall trees, particularly in the summer.

Hilly Fields was acquired as a public park by the London County Council in 1896, after a local campaign (in which the housing reformer Octavia Hill played an important role) to preserve it from future development; by this time the school which dominates it was already there. West Kent Grammar School was built on a high point in 1885; the school is now Prendergast Hilly Fields College.

A path into Hilly Fields from the south end of Tyrwhitt Road passes on the left the Francis Drake Bowls Club, founded 1906. The club-house was rebuilt in 1947 after war damage. Note the magnificent and exotic gate, with swirling leaves around human silhouettes, and showing the words ‘Francis Drake Bowls Club 1906’; it was crafted by Heather Burrell 2008. The pathway continues with views west over Hilly Fields, past an enclosed but accessible garden, to Vicars Hill.

Near the top, to the east of the school, are the Hilly Fields Stones, a millennium stone circle and sundial created by The Brockley Society (project manager Polly Ionides) in 2000. The monument comprises 12 great granite boulders from Mount Struie, near Scotsburn (to the north of Inverness), which form an ellipse around a flat centre of Caithness flagstone, quarried at Watten, near Wick (in the far north-east of Scotland). The central flagstone is carved with the Roman numerals MM and a cross aligned with the cardinal compass points. Two tall standing stones, called St Norbert’s Gate, formed by cutting one Caithness flagstone down the middle, lead into the stone circle from the east. The granite is over 400 million years old, and the flagstone over 350 million years old. The stone circle is also a sundial, with the viewer’s shadow acting as a gnomon.

Prendergast Hilly Fields College, formerly called Prendergast School, occupies a high point almost in the centre of and dominating Hilly Fields. It is part of the Leathersellers Federation of Schools (see also Crofton Park, Prendergast Ladywell Fields College).

The school was built as West Kent Grammar School in 1885. The building was acquired by the London County Council in 1907 to become Brockley County School. Large and prominent extensions were built on the site in 1914 and 1921; an annexe to the south on Adelaide Avenue was added in the 1960s. Brockley County School closed in 1983, and the buildings became Hilly Fields Sixth Form Centre. The site was taken over in 1995 by Prendergast School, moving here from Catford, and in the next few years there were further extensions to the annexe on Adelaide Avenue.

Prendergast School (originally known as Lewisham Grammar School for Girls) was founded in 1890 at Rushey Green, Catford, under the will of Dr Joseph Prendergast, who had been Headmaster of Colfe’s Grammar School (for Boys), Lewisham. The original site for Colfe’s had been provided in 1634 by the Leathersellers, a City of London livery company; the Leathersellers provided the original site for Prendergast School in 1890, and funded its move to this location in 1995. The school became known as Lewisham Prendergast School in 1927, Prendergast School in 1951, and Prendergast Hilly Fields College in 2008. See also Crofton Park, Prendergast Ladywell Fields College.

The original building on the hill, built to the design of Charles Evans in 1885, faces north, and remains the most attractive part of the complex. It is an asymmetrical red brick building in Queen Anne style with Jacobean overtones. The grand entrance projects to the right, classical and pedimented with a balustraded top to the storey above; to its left is a distinctive group of stepped staircase windows. At either end are projecting gabled bays, and on the roof is an octagonal wooden bell turret.

Extensions to the south of 1914 and 1921 are larger and more dominant, in similar red brick and sympathetic, though rather more formal. But note the assembly hall to the east, added to the original building in 1914, with its great traceried east window; its interior is fascinating.

The interior is of special interest because of the murals and stained glass in the Assembly Hall. If you have a special interest in viewing these, contact the College by post or phone on 020-8690 3710 to request an appointment.

A staircase of 1914 leads from the entrance hall down to the Assembly Hall. Its interior has a hammerbeam roof and a gallery at the west end; it contains a remarkable series of murals of 1933-36, largely based on Aesop’s fables, as well as fine stained glass of 1890.

The murals are in large panels, raised six feet above the floor, three on the north wall and two on the south wall, and there are more murals on and under the gallery. The artists were students of William Rothenstein at the Royal College of Art, and the style picturesque, idealised and romantic, much influenced by Stanley Spencer. The panels on the north wall are: Fortune and the Boy at the Well by Cyril Mahoney, Joy and Sorrow by Cyril Mahoney, and The Country Girl and the Milk Pail by Evelyn Dunbar. The panels on the south wall are: The Bird Catcher and the Skylark by Mildred Eldridge, and The King and two Shepherds by Violet Martin. Along the front of the gallery is a long mural Hilly Fields by Evelyn Dunbar, featuring Hilly Fields with the school in the centre, allegorical figures at either end (one holding a plan of the school and the other a plan of Hilly Fields), and two panels above with schoolboys in rugby kit and school uniform. Under the gallery, the lunettes and spandrels are covered in murals by Evelyn Dunbar, and the ceiling in murals by Cyril Mahoney, the central one including trompe l'oeil plasterwork and roundels of bonneted figures.

Also in the hall are four tall illuminated stained glass panels of 1890 brought from the old Prendergast School at Catford - on the north wall male allegorical figures representing Art and Science, and on the south wall female allegorical figures representing Music and Dancing.

The school is accessed from Adelaide Avenue at the southern edge of Hilly Fields by Eastern Road. Going up the hill, at the boundary of the school site, are two low green gates incorporating street scenes and foliage, designed by pupils from the school and crafted by Heather Burrell c2006. Beyond, and on a sloping site to the right, is Hilly Fields Wood, a small nature reserve, normally open to the public.

RumBQ and Street Party

Sanjit writes:

If you're on or around Telegraph Hill this weekend, then do come along to Telegraph Hill Lower Park and celebrate in the warm and sunny weather we're promised for Sunday.   In the spirit of loving London - and our little part of it especially - there will be a family friendly event with drinks, food, bands, DJs and a soundsystem to cheer the Bank Holiday along.   The event starts at 1pm and ends at 5pm.

If you're on Facebook you can get more details here.

This event was originally due to have taken place durring Telegraph Hill Festival.   Regrettably, due to bad weather the event was postponed so takes place this Sunday.

The event has been licenced by Lewisham Council and takes place under the aegis of Telegraph Hill Festival.   It is a family friendly event - all are welcome - please come along.

Hoop dreams for Brockley bikes

Coming soon to Lewisham's streets
Cyclehoop is a design firm that specialises in creating cycling infrastructure for cities and they are looking for locations in Brockley to install secure bike parking for people who can't squeeze a bike down their hallway. They explain:

Lewisham is the latest London Borough to adopt the bike locker scheme; a service providing secure residential bike parking for a small annual fee. 

Working with the London Borough of Lewisham we are currently in the stage of selecting the locations to install the bike lockers. It is in our interest to place the lockers in the locations of the greatest demand so if you are interested in having a bike locker near you, please complete the form.

So, bearing in mind you need a decent chunk of pavement to fit these things on or to lose a parking spot on a street, what bits of Brockley could benefit? Outside the sorting office or on the vast pavement flats of Brockley Cross would seem obvious candidates - Crofton Park, opposite the Brockley Jack too.

With thanks to Sean.

Festival in the Forest, June 30th

Jacob writes: Festival in the Forest is a family friendly mix of music, food and drink with an eclectic blend of Folk, Country, Rock and Irish acts with space to dance or roam or picnic as the mood takes you. Advance tickets available through wegottickets.com.

Food offered will include Slow Roasted Pulled Pork, BBQ and Vegetarian dishes and homemade cakes and pastries and the bar will be offering a range of beers including our sponsor’s ‘Rolls’ Portuguese imported craft beer, wine, a range of soft drinks, tea and coffee. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed.

Parking is free in nearby streets and the Nature Reserve is easily reached from either Honor Oak Park or Forest Hill Station (approx 7 minutes Walk from either). The festival area is outdoors, with marquee cover in the event of rain.

Musings of Chancel

On the Brockley forum, JCambridge has raised an issue which we'd never heard about before and deserves wider attention:

We are currently buying a property in Brockley and have been informed by our Solicitor it is in an area that potentially be subject to Chancel Repair Liability. This is where a local church can force you to pay for repairs, however you have to pay full a full search to find out what church it relates to and whether you are indeed liable. 

Has anyone paid for a search and what was the findings? It usually relates to Medieval Churches and having researched I suspect it could relate to the Premonstratensian Abbey in Brockley that was once on the site of the current St Peters church. 

Hoppin' on the Hill

Thomas writes: Everyone is invited to a Swing Dance Party with Hoppin' on the Hill, Thursday 30th May at The Hill Station, Kitto Road, SE14.

Frankie Manning's (The 'Ambassador of Lindy Hop') 99th Birthday Special! LIVE music from The Teenage Men, playing Swing, Jive, R&B, and more. Plus local DJs The Telegraph Hill Mob.

Lindy Hop lesson 7.30pm Dancing til late from 8.30pm £8 / £5 party only.

Opening Knight

Roy: Someday. That's a dangerous word. It's really just a code for 'never'. 
- Knight and Day

After the closure of Mr Lawrence's shop and the fire at Jam Circus, the Crofton Park fight-back starts here. Pop-up brewmasters Late Knights have confirmed that they plan to open a bar on the site of Mr Lawrence's former off licence by the end of July.

If you want to know what lies in store, visit Beer Rebellion, their other bar in Gipsy Hill, just opposite the station, which they say the new place will emulate.

Beecroft Garden School

Beecroft Garden primary school on Brockley Road has been rebuilt and rebooted and results have improved. This film helps to tell the story.

Brockley Councillor Foxcroft selected as our next MP*

Cllr Vicky Foxcroft has been chosen from a list of six women to replace Dame Joan Ruddock as Labour's next Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Lewisham Deptford, and thus our next MP.

Ruddock was not the most visible MP, so it will be nice to have a Brockley resident in the role after the next election.

UPDATE: *Please note, this headline is intended to be a damning satirical indictment of the effect that the combination of the FFP electoral system and party political tribalism has on local politics. It does not mean that BC is happy about the fact that the result is a certainty.

Little Nan's Big Day Out

Little Nan's Bar in Deptford is venturing out during the day. Tearing herself away from Countdown, Nan says:

I am launching my monthly Lunchtime Afternoon Tea Party and Tabletop Sale on Sunday 26th May. Tabletop Sale is Free Entry to visitors (get in touch to sell!) - selling family heirlooms, vintage bric a brac, fashions, art works and more! 

We're serving the Hendricks Gin Lunchtime Tea for £18, which includes an English Afternoon High Tea (Nan Style), Unlimited Tea and a Free Hendricks Gin Cocktail. All the savoury & sweet treats are either home made from Little Nan's vintage recipes or from local bakers and treat makers. The quality of the food will be excellent and so will the Big Portions! Nan can't have you wasting away! Full details here.

Image rights

Yesterday, we threw off the shackles of Blackberry and finally got a smart phone that can do stuff.

This means today, we celebrate our new Brockley Central Instagram account with a couple of shots from Brockley Road including this one of Gently Elephant's first birthday present to itself, a new awning and one of Patchwork Presents' NHS campaign window on Harefield Road. It's a bit blurry, but we will get better...

Please join us on Instagram.

Brockley Sainsbury's delayed

The new Sainsbury's Local on Mantle Road, which was originally due to have opened by now, will not open until the summer.

A BCer with some inside knowledge of the project who asked not to be named says: "The store opening date has been pushed back to a likely date in July as a result of building work delays."

Raise a tennis packet for Hilly Fields

Patrick Bishop writes:

I’m a Hilly fields local, and work for JustGiving, who you have probably heard of – we’re an online fundraising platform.

I’m also a keen tennis player and regularly use the great free courts that we have on Hilly Fields.  Anyone who plays on them, but if so, you’ll know that whilst the courts are great, the nets themselves are terrible and are completely broken and holey:

Unfortunately, the council haven’t got round to replacing the nets in years, so I’m looking to see whether as a community we can raise just over £200 to buy and install three new tennis nets!!  I’ve just set up a project page on JustGiving to do this and I’d be very grateful for any help.


It’s worth saying that JustGiving Projects is a new tool that we’re launching  to help people raise money for local community projects that they really care about (rather than just charities, which is our bread and butter).  Given that the tennis court nets were something that I really wanted to get fixed myself, I thought I would set up a page myself and give it a go.

It’s worth pointing out that people just pledge to support a project, so unless the project gets fully funded, then you don’t donate anything!

Gaggle Cave at the Royal Albert

Sarah writes:

I'm part of the band/all female alternative choir Gaggle and, 30th May - 21st June, we are launching a pop-up concept shop/project space/hang out in the Royal Albert pub's new gallery project space InSitu which is next to the pub on New Cross Cross Road.

We're calling it the GAGGLE CAVE and we will be putting on talks, performances and artists in residence along with selling products and holding dozens of workshops that we hope will empower and enthuse people - from 'Sound Engineering for Girls' to 'Feminist Choirs for Boys'. We'll also be teaching other skills from drumming to welding! The aim is to be as affordable and accessible as possible and we hope it's going to be an exciting few weeks. We really want lots of people who live in the area to sign up to take part.

You can find out most info here: http://www.gaggle.tv if you click on workshops. The Opening hours are Mon – Fri: Midday - 8pm and Sat & Sun: Midday to 11pm.

Brockley: The Lovers' Guide

The Guardian's Blind Date column sends two people on a date and interviews them about the experience: In this case Jim and Leonie, two spunky 26 year olds searching for love in the big city. And Brockley played a key role in their courtship:

What did you talk about? 

Her upcoming trip to India, my previous trip to India, festivals, hip-hop, our love of Brockley…

Would you meet again? 

We share a lot of interests, so I'm sure we'll bump into each other.

Maybe Brockley is more of a second date conversation topic.

Classical Indian music night in Telegraph Hill

Brockley Station goes step-free

London Overground have confirmed that the building work to relocate the cafe on the northbound platform of Brockley Station will be followed by the installation of step-free access.

Builders are currently on site and LO says: "Once the retail unit on the northbound platform has been re-positioned, work on the lift installation can begin."

Brockley journalist charged in corrupt payments investigation

This is Local London reports:

A Brockley journalist for The Sun has been charged with conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office over alleged inappropriate payments.

The tabloid's Whitehall editor Clodagh Hartley, aged 38, and Jonathan Hall, from HMRC, are both facing charges, along with Mr Hall's partner Marta Bukarewicz, who is not a public official.

It is alleged that between March 30 2008 and July 15 2011 The Sun newspaper paid £17,475 to Hall, mostly via Bukarewicz, in exchange for the unauthorised disclosure of information.

The information that was allegedly provided included details relating to the 2010 Budget and the coalition's deficit reduction plans. They are facing charges brought as part of Operation Elveden, Scotland Yard's investigation into alleged corrupt payments to public officials by journalists.

Opera Gold in New Cross

Event: Britten's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'
Date & Time: 6-7 June 2013, 19:00 - 22:00
Venue: Great Hall, Richard Hoggart Building (New Cross Gate/New Cross Overground)
Price:  £10 full / £5 concessions
Contact: Imogen Burman (i.burman@gold.ac.uk / 020 7919 7645)

Goldsmiths says:

OperaGold is proud to present Benjamin Britten's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', produced and directed by internationally feted soprano Nan Christie (Opera Scotland) and conducted by Tim Hooper. The performance will be staged with a full orchestra, handmade costumes, and a cast comprised of current students and alumni from the Department of Music at Goldsmiths and special guests.

Britten's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' was first performed at the reopening of the refurbished Jubilee Hall in Aldeburgh in June 1960. With little time to prepare a libretto, Britten chose to adapt it with Peter Pears Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, though as he admitted at the time, he had always admired the original play and was excited by the various levels of action between the different groups of characters.

The opera is completely faithful to the spirit of the original and must be counted as one of the most successful operatic adaptations of a Shakespeare play.

Forming part of PureGold – Goldsmiths’ annual six week music festival - OperaGold stages a major opera in June every year, with rehearsals starting the previous October.

All performances are staged in their original language and aim to make opera more accessible to staff, students and the local community.

Previous productions include Blow's Venus and Adonis (2004); Purcell's Dido and Aeneas (2005); Mozart's Die Zauberflöte (2006); Bizet's Carmen (2007); Britten's Peter Grimes (2008); Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro (2009); Verdi's Rigoletto (2010); Puccini's La Bohème (2011) and Verdi's La Traviata (2012).

To view the full PureGold programme, visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/puregold/

Jubilee Tree for Hilly Fields

George: It never ends, this present stuff! Engagement present! Then they get married, you gonna have to get them something for that! Then the baby, there's another present. Then the baby starts getting their presents. I don't even like Drake.
- Seinfeld

Time for another Jubilee bauble. BrocSoc writes:

22 May - gather from 12.45pm at the cafe on Hilly Fields, where we will be planting the Jubilee Tree donated by the Tree Council at Hilly Fields. Meet at the café from 12.45pm.

Students from Prendergast school will come out at 1.15pm for the ceremony.  Several people from the Brockley 50+ Club, which meets at Brockley Social Club, will share some memories of the Coronation with us and then they and the students  will plant the tree.

This is a prestigious occasion for Brockley as there will be only 60 trees throughout the country to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. A digital record of all 60 plantings will be presented to Her Majesty in June. The tree itself will have a smart plaque which will be readable from smartphones.

Please do join us -- Brockley Society tree officers, Friends of Hilly Fields, Seniors, and Prendergast School students -- for this special occasion.

Jobs at new New Cross cafe

BCer Fabhat let's us know of a job opportunity at a new social enterprise cafe in New Cross. Here are the details:

Anybody know people who would be interested in being a Chef (£15k a year for 32.5 hours) or a Cafe Assistant (£6.50 per hour for 20-25 hours per week, but will probably be more as the cafe develops) for a Social Enterprise Cafe in New Cross? Direct them to the Social Enterprise Manager (Luke Hamilton) via luke@toucanemployment.org

A History of Brockley - Part 8: Wickham Road

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

Wickham Road is the widest and most imposing of the four grand north/south roads of Upper Brockley. Here are some of the grandest houses, as well as St Peter’s Church.

The road was laid down c1850, earlier than the other grand roads. By 1860 the west side of the road had been developed in Italianate style as far as Ashby Road, and the houses opposite followed in similar style a few years later. By 1871 development had reached the railway bridge, and some Gothic influences had begun to appear. Further south, development continued in the late 1870s; many houses became more Gothic, though some retained an Italianate style. The road had become fully developed by 1881.

Wickham Gardens is a highly attractive close around a green, probably c1880. The houses, which are smaller pairs mostly linked at the rear, have been preserved to the north and to the west, whereas postwar flats have replaced the east (fronting Wickham Road) and south sides. The window pattern of the older houses is generally unusual, many houses having double height squared bay windows, and there are many extraordinary decorative features.

From Ashby Road to the railway bridge, occupying a site once part of the old Manor Farm, there is a series of large detached houses, including Chester House, no 25, of 1872, which has a tower with a pyramidal top, and shows a distinct Gothic influence. Sympathetic extension to the south of 1906.

The Red House, no 53, is unusual in this road, as it is in red brick and in Arts & Crafts style. The house was designed by Alexander Kersey in 1879, and has a fine timber porch, a large gable to the right, and a tall chimney at the rear. From 1967 to 2007 it was called Farnham House, and was a residence for students at Goldsmiths, University of London, see below.

Raymont Hall, a residence for Goldsmiths, University of London, occupies the remainder of the space between Harefield Road and Glensdale Road. Named after Thomas Raymont, Warden of Goldsmiths 1915-27, it comprises three large houses.

No 55, called The Manse, was acquired by Goldsmiths in 1964, and is a Gothic house with a positive pointed archway, c1878. No 57, called Edgcumbe, was acquired in 1919, and is a much grander house, also c1878, with unusual decoration around the doorcase, in a rounded pediment above an upper floor window, and on the gate piers. The largest building of the group, nos 59/61, on the corner of Glensdale Road, is a rebuild of 1961, to a design by Fielder & Tatnall, of a late 1870s pair.

Goldsmiths, University of London, was originally founded in 1891 as the Goldsmiths Company's Technical & Recreative Institute in a building, formerly the Royal Naval School, at the western end of Lewisham Way, and was incorporated into London University in 1904. It was later known as Goldsmiths College, and from 2007 Goldsmiths, University of London. It now occupies a great complex of buildings at the junction of Lewisham Way and New Cross Road.

Goldsmiths has for many years had a strong presence in Brockley. In addition to Raymont Hall and Surrey House (at the junction of Shardeloes Road and Lewisham Way, see above), Goldsmiths had until recently other residences at 53 Wickham Road and 4 Tressillian Crescent, as well as faculty buildings in St Donatts Road.

On the southern corner of Glensdale Road is Jasmin House, connected by walkways to Syringa House. These blocks of flats of the 1950s are discreet and have elegant Crittall windows, and are certainly more sympathetic than other such blocks in the road.

St Peter’s Church, Wickham Road. A very large, imposing and distinctive stone Gothic church designed by Frederick Marrable. Work commenced in 1867, and the church was consecrated in 1870; a temporary church had been on the site from 1866. Its location is on part of the grounds of the Premonstratensian Abbey, which moved to Bayham in 1207 (see Introduction; Beverley Court, Breakspears Road).

The west frontage is dominated by the three gabled doorways and the tower looming above; the tower owes its grandeur largely to the castellated octagon added by Sir Arthur Blomfield in 1891. Above the doorways is a course of small blind Gothic arches stretching right across the front. At the base of the tower is a triplet of lancet windows, and this is flanked by triangular windows of geometric tracery (ie with circles and foiled circles) above the side doorways. The detail of the frontage is compelling, and worthy of close study.

Frederick Marrable (1818-72) was the first superintending architect to the Metropolitan Board of Works, from 1856 to 1861, and designed their head office (demolished) in Carlton House Terrace. He planned Garrick Street, in Covent Garden, and designed the Garrick Club.  This church at Brockley is his finest surviving work.

Sir Arthur Blomfield (1829-99) was a leading architect of the Victorian Gothic revival. He designed the Royal College of Music, and Selwyn College, Cambridge. He built, restored and extended numerous churches; many were in London, including St John’s Eltham, which he designed. His most notable church work was the rebuilding of the nave and south transept of Southwark Cathedral.

The interior is imposing too. The nave is very wide with great Gothic arches covering the aisles as well; it is of light red brick, with bright red brick dressings over the arches. The chancel is vaulted, of polychrome brick, with a fine pattern of mosaics and tiles in the apsidal east end. There are two Gothic pulpits, and a fine marble font at the west end. The gallery at the west end has fine wooden carving in front and three Gothic arches behind.

There is a profusion of stained glass, added, mostly by Clayton & Bell, in the 1880s, and not part of the architect's concept. This originally made the interior seem rather gloomy; however, in 2006 its appearance was transformed by remodelling and redecoration to the design of Roger Molyneux Architects, including new seating and lighting (note the strange Gothicky lights), and solar panels in the roof. The Vicarage to the north is of 1958.

Freshly Packed / Always Check the Label

Annie writes:

Something Human, in partnership with Brockspace, are pleased to present a series of live performance works entitled FRESHLY PACKED / ALWAYS CHECK THE LABEL. This line-up of work will take place across the summer of 2013 and aims to bring new, experimental work and build new audiences for live performance work in Brockley, southeast London and beyond.

These original live performance works explore themes surrounding notions of the biological, corporeal, flesh, food, sustenance and mortality. What is flesh? Should we eat it? What happens to flesh when it is transformed?

To kick things off, we are excited to welcome artist, Anya Liftig, from Brooklyn, NYC, who will perform her work, Consider the Lobster at Deptford Market, 11 May 2013, 11.30am.

In this performance, Liftig obtains a fresh lobster from Codfathers and elongates the act of cooking the lobster for dinner. Taking her cue from David Foster Wallace’s noted essay of the same title, the artist silently communicates with the lobster before revealing a cooking pot and begins to cook it for dinner.

This performance is made possible with thanks to the Deptford Community Cookbook.

Then over 11-13 May, look out for interventions from Liftig at the galleries and museums in London, for her series, All the Animals in the British Museum!

Please check www.something-human.org for more information regarding how to sign up for Freshly Packed’s live performance showcase and to find out about other activities over the summer.

I'll eat the high road

From Saturday 18 May Forest Hill and Honor Oak will be transformed into an urban orchard for three weeks.

The event is called the Edible High Road; shops and businesses are hosting fruit trees to celebrate urban orchards: 50 Forest Hill and Honor Oak businesses are hosting 70+ trees including The Horniman Museum, Sainsbury's, Canvas and Cream, Stag and Bow, Hills and Parkes and Le Querce - plus every pub in Forest Hill!

The Big Launch: Matthew Wilson - Channel Four's 'Landscape Man' and Gardener's Question Time panelist will be cutting our ribbon at 2pm on Saturday 18 May on Forest Hill Station.

Brockley Nature Reserve open this weekend

Steve Cleall, volunteer at the reserve writes:

The Nature Reserve will be open this Saturday from 10.30am until 3pm.  Come on down and have a wander around!

I am sorry to report that sometime in the last week or so a group of people (and I use that term loosely) took it upon themselves to broke into the tool shed and clean it out.  They took everything!  All the tools, gloves, BBQ, Kettle, Tea, Coffee, Squash, tables, chairs and the Biscuits!

But I will be there this Saturday from 10.30am until 3pm with the front gates open...

Unmarked police car smash on Wickham Road

Last night, a car travelling along Wickham Road crashed in to another car turning from Geoffrey Road, causing two people to be taken to hospital and the road to be temporarily closed last night. Wickham Road suffers from boy racers, who make that mini-roundabout particularly hairy. On this occasion, one of the cars was being driven by the police.

ThisislocalLondon reports:

Two ambulances and a single responder were called out to the crash at 7.49am last night (May 8) at the junction with Wickham Road and Geoffrey Road.

A 25-year-old female member of the public who was driving the car needed to be cut out of her vehicle by the Fire Brigade and was treated for hip and back pain by paramedics. The police officer, believed to be aged 47, was treated for neck and back pain.

Lewisham police said their vehicle had been on routine patrol at the time of the accident.

El's Spring Wine Tasting

El, of El's Kitchen, writes:

We've got just a couple of spaces left at our Spring wine tasting this coming Monday. Come and make new friends while tasting the delights of the world's vineyards at El's Kitchen. We'll be tasting six new wines, including some interesting grape varieties you may not have tried before.

Tickets are £10 per person and you get a voucher for 10% off your order of 6 mixed bottles or 20% off 12! Please email us, call us or pop into the shop to reserve your place. We’ll be slurping and spitting on Monday 13th May from 7.30pm. Chin, chin!

Pat-a-cakes garden

Brockley's high street businesses are a little short of nice places to sit in the sunshine, but Crofton Park's Pat-a-cakes has just opened this lovely new garden. Photo courtesy of Molewife.

Paleo and interesting

Ceri writes:

On Sunday 12th May 2013 from 2-4pm I am delighted to be hosting London’s first pop up Paleo afternoon tea in Cafe Crema, New Cross, South East London.

Through my first pop-up event I will demonstrate how tasty, fun and good for you Paleo treats can be. As part of the event I will also be spilling the beans about the ingredients you will be eating why I choose to use them in my recipes.

The event is being held in aid of the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund (MKMRF).   In June 2012 I lost my mother to Mesothelioma, a lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure. MKMRF exists to fund much needed research into the terminal disease. My Mum passionately raised money for them throughout her illness and I’d like to continue to do in her memory.  After venue hire all money will go directly to charity. I will be funding the cost of the ingredients myself

The BC Universe: Crisis on Earth-Prime

Our Twitter followers passed 5,000 yesterday, so it's time for another update on the BC Universe:

Cumulative daily reach across all channels is just over 12,000, with our Brockley Central and South East Central Twitter feeds accounting for 58% of that. Brockley Central traffic jumped by about 20% in the New Year, but the conversation now splits three ways, with increasing numbers choosing to comment on stories on Twitter and Facebook, as well as on the site. 

Based on our Facebook followers, the age profile of the BC community has broadened a little, with a slight uplift in both younger (18-24) and older (45-64) members of both genders. Women continue to be the dominant BC sex:
South East Central continues to experience comparatively modest growth, but, encouragingly, it's taken on a real life on its own, with over 14,000 messages now posted and a significant community of Twitter followers.

The Deptford Food Court

The Greenwich Co-Operative Development Agency is launching a new street food court in Deptford on May 18th as an accompaniment to the regular market. It sounds sufficiently different to other local options, including Brockley Market, to be a genuinely interesting new local option.

Extra capacity on the East London Line as TfL orders 57 new carriages

TfL has ordered 57 new London Overground carriages, which will enable it to expand capacity on the East London Line by the end of next year, sooner than previously expected.

The order means that trains will be lengthened by an extra carriage, increasing capacity by 25%. The East London Line (the busiest stretch of the service) will be the first to get the upgrade.

In other Brockley Station news, a few BCers have asked us about the building work currently taking place on the northbound platform. Unfortunately, this does not signal the start of step-free access, they're just relocating the cafe.

Catford Dogs Homes get go ahead

The Mayor of London's office announces:

More than a thousand jobs and 500 new homes will be created in Lewisham through the redevelopment of the former Catford Greyhound Stadium, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson announced today.

The £117m redevelopment will bring 589 new homes to the 4.7 hectare site in the heart of Lewisham under a deal reached between the Mayor and developer Barratt London [the developers of "Renaissance Lewisham" and a client of BC's employers]. When finished, this will include 113 affordable rent properties which will be managed by Gallions Housing Association, 60 shared ownership properties and 416 properties for private ownership.

The publicly owned stadium has been released by the Mayor as part of his drive to unlock development on public sector owned land in order to increase housing supply for hard working Londoners and boost jobs and growth. It is amongst the first tranche of sites released by the Greater London Authority since it became one of the capital’s largest public land owners last year.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “London’s unbeatable allure means unprecedented demand for housing, and making public land available for development has a big part to play in meeting this. The transformation of Catford Dogs, which for the last decade has been left empty and unused, will not only bring hundreds of new homes to the heart of London, but will feed into the wider regeneration of Catford Town Centre making it an even better place to live and injecting a healthy new dose of jobs and growth into one of the capital’s key opportunity areas.”

The former dog track sits between two key transport hubs, Catford Bridge and Catford railway station, and when complete will also boast 508 sq m of retail space, 298 sq m of community space as well as landscaped links through the site to Ladywell Fields and Catford Town Centre. Work is expected to begin by early 2014 and the project is expected to be complete by 2017.

Alastair Baird, Barratt London Regional Managing Director, added: “'We are delighted to be working with the Mayor on this exciting project.  This is the fifth site we have secured in the capital in the last six months, bringing a total of 1,800 new homes to London.  The site at Catford will add to our already significant presence in the Borough of Lewisham, with our redevelopment of the town centre – Renaissance – which will provide a total of 788 new homes together with a new leisure centre due to open shortly.”

The transformation of Catford Stadium, which has been unused for the last ten years and sits within one of London’s key opportunity areas  and will provide  a major catalyst for future regeneration potential in Catford Town Centre. Lewisham Council have outlined a number of redevelopment opportunities including the redevelopment of Catford Shopping Centre and plans to work with TfL to improve the transport network in the town centre.

Deputy Mayor of Lewisham and Cabinet Member for Regeneration Cllr Alan Smith says: “It is very good news for Catford that this site is finally to be developed. The additional homes and jobs will be very welcome in this part of Lewisham, and the development will sit well alongside our own plans for the rebuilding and improvement of Catford Town Centre.”

Barratt London is among the 25 developers announced last week to sit on the Mayor’s brand new land procurement group, the London Development Panel, which has been set up to accelerate the delivery of housing in London by making it faster, easier and cheaper for public land owners to bring forward land for development.

The former Catford Greyhound Stadium site was transferred to the GLA from the HCA as part of the devolution of power to the Mayor under the Localism Act 2011. The land was acquired by English Partnerships, a predecessor body of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), in March 2004 from Network Rail and the National Greyhound Association.

Build your Ladywell dream house

Muriel Blandings: I refuse to endanger the lives of my children in a house with less than four bathrooms. 
Jim Blandings: For 1,300 dollars they can live in a house with three bathrooms and ROUGH IT.
- Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House

Ladywell's Church Grove, which was once earmarked to become a Traveller site has now been allocated for use by people who want to build their own homes. Lewisham Council says:

As part of the first ever National Self Build Week (4-12 May 2013), Lewisham Council is offering residents a rare opportunity to build their own home.

The Council is re-introducing its self-build scheme as a further step towards meeting the growing demand for social housing in the borough and to provide new skills for unemployed local people.

A site has been identified off Church Grove in Ladywell and should provide up to 16 new homes by 2016.

The initiative will be supported by the National Self Build Association and run in partnership with an experienced house builder.

The scheme has been designed for people on Lewisham’s housing waiting list who want to develop their skills in house building trades such as electrical, carpentry, plumbing and bricklaying – and who also want to build their own home.

In addition to gaining a new home, residents will acquire new skills to help them access future employment opportunities.

Councillor Susan Wise, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, said: “Everyone recognises that London has a real shortage of housing but Lewisham Council is exploring a whole range of ways to support the needs of local residents.

“We were the first in the country to experiment with self-build projects, so we know we can make this work. Self-build is part of a package of measures we’re taking and this will provide not only much needed homes but skills to give local people the opportunity for future employment.”

The Council already has a successful scheme in Honor Oak Park which completed in the 1980s. It was the first project of its kind in the UK and gave rise to similar projects around the country.

Applicants need to be a Lewisham resident and be on the Lewisham housing waiting list. For more information and to register your interest email housing.matters@lewisham.gov.uk or call 020 8314 9163.

Common Growth workshops for May

Loads of you got in touch with community gardening project Common Growth last time we ran a feature about them, so here are the latest initiatives which you're invited to join. Anniek writes:

Now Spring’s finally here, things have been moving apace in the Common Growth Community Garden. The greenhouse is full of seedlings and a row of various fruit trees and bushes is now proudly lined up against the back wall. Both are thanks to the last two workshops where people learned and shared tips about growing. 

The next workshops is next Saturday the 11th of May from 10.30-12.30, Gardening Workshop in New Cross: Weeds and their uses

Also coming up on Wednesday the 29th of May is a children's event called "Amazing and helpful bugs", which is a fun workshop for children of all ages! This workshop is on Wednesday during the school holidays, from 10.30-12.00, and will involve fun learning activities, games and singing.

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

Jam Circus not reopening any time soon

Anthony from Antic provides the following disappointing update on the fate of Jam Circus, which closed after a fire, late last year:

I’m afraid we are still waiting for the two insurance companies involved, the freeholders and the leaseholders, to decide who is paying for what following the fire. The freeholders are not willing for us to take up occupation until this is agreed, hence the delay. We are trying to get a resolution either way so that we can get on with reopening Jam. I was down there this week and it all looks rather sad… I would hope to have some further news in a month.

Brockley needs Jam Circus back in a hurry.

New kitchen at The Amersham Arms

Gareth from The Amersham writes:

We are proud to announce that the Amersham Arms Kitchen has undergone something of a switch-around and is now running under new management. The big man in charge (Mr P) really knows his stuff – but we won't brag about all that he has done. We know that you will not be disappointed if you come and give us a try.

Everything we CAN make on site IS made on site, and what we can’t make on site comes from our good friends and trusted local sources.

The star players of our new menu are our bold, grizzly burgers – all at £8.50 including fries, they are not shy…they are really going to fill that hole in your face. We're also serving up hot dogs, BBQ and snacks like hummus and flat bread. 

Write Now 4 at the Brockley Jack

Darren from the Brockley Jack Theatre writes:

Our new writing festival Write Now 4 kicks off this weekend with seven short plays based on the theme of Legacy.

Winners: Melanie Pennant, Vinay Patel and Martin McNamara
Then over the next three weeks we will be presenting staged readings, Q&A sessions and a full production of a new play by Lewisham writer Melanie Pennant, plus our writing workshops for all to try.

We are also excited to be able to offer free tickets for 16-25 year olds for selected performances, as part of our on going aim to promote and encourage young people to visit us at The Jack.

Click here for our online brochure.

Free tickets for 16-25 year olds for The Magic Hour by Martin McNamara and No Rhyme by Melanie Pennant. Requests are subject to availability and must be made to producer@brockleyjack.co.uk

Faircharm Workspace approved

The proposed redevelopment of Faircharm trading estate in Deptford as the Faircharm Creative Quarter was approved by Lewisham Council on May 2nd.

The plans submitted by developers Workspace will open up the site and lead to an increase in employment, but workshop space will be lost, forcing some of the incumbents to relocate, meaning some high quality small businesses will be lost to the area.

148 new homes will also be built as part of the redevelopment.

Secret Greater Brockley in Time Out

Brockley is dominating the media dojo today. The article we wrote for Time Out as part of their Secret London series went live on their site today.

The brief was to pick five "secret" places in London and since Brockley is a "hidden gem", we could technically have shoved the whole of SE4 in. Instead, we picked: The New Cross House's backyard wendy house, The Laban Centre's teletubby garden, Ladywell Fields' water features, the Gantry's downstairs and because Brockley Nick gotta eat, we also mentioned the lovely Homemade London.

We hope you like our choices (and to get maximum value for money for Greater Brockley, we namedropped a load of other places, including The Orchard, The Amersham Arms and The Royal Albert, which we didn't think counted as "secret" but are nonetheless good.

The full article's here. It would be good to know what other "secret" spots we could have mentioned?

The "Hidden Gem" returns!

The Times' "London Villages" area guide has alighted on Brockley today with the Broca, Browns, The Orchard, The Rivoli, The Brockley Jack, The Brockley Brewing Company and The Gantry among those getting name-checks. They say of us:

Tucked away in a green and open part of southeast London, Brockley has undergone incredible change over the past decade. More and more young people have moved into the area, attracted by cheap property prices and excellent transport connections. The area’s locals swear by its quirky cafés and strong sense of community — at more affordable rates than similar areas north of the river. Add in the good schools and top-notch restaurants and you get one of London’s true hidden gems.

Click here for the full article (paywall).

Do the Brockley Squeeze

The Guardian is collecting examples of lamentable London cycle provision. Today's entry is called the Brockley Squeeze and stars a pathetic scrap of cycle lane on Mantle Road:

Less than zero use
Never mind the building works creating a bottle-neck, these sorts of lanes are worse than useless. No cyclist would bother with it and no pedestrian would be careful when straying across it. It's just an excuse to put a line on a map at TfL.

Brockley Beaver shortage reaches crisis point

Last year, BC mentioned the Crofton Park Beavers' leader recruitment drive as the group was running at full capacity. We're sad to report that the situation has now reached a "critical point". Adam explains:

Our Beaver colony is currently at a critical point. As things stand, we do not have a uniformed Beaver Leader in our group. We are currently just getting by with the assistance of district leaders, however these leaders are tied to other projects and will not be around in the very near future. We need more volunteers to become leaders at 3rd Crofton Park, and we need them fast.

We urgently require a leadership team to run our Beaver Colony. This can be a team of two who can commit every week or it can be a team of five, six, seven who rotate depending on availability. Without new  volunteers, we will have to close the Beavers colony in the near future.

If you are interested, or know someone who is interested, please come get in touch, via email (longhurst_uk@hotmail.com) or give me a call on 07543 596260

Drakefell Road now Ends well

Drakefell Debasement
Toddlers and skateboarders will have a wider turning circle at the bottom of Telegraph Hill as another bit of road is clawed back for pedestrians. Builders are putting the finishing touches to a nice new bit of pavement-widening on the corner of Drakefell and Endwell Roads.

The Honor Oak closes

The Honor Oak pub (1 St German's Road, SE23) has shut and will reopen under new management. An announcement on the former management's Facebook page says:

It is with a heavy heart that I must let you know that The Honor Oak is no more. The doors are closed the tears are flowing. 

When faced with such a difficult operating environment, couple with a distinct lack of support from Punch Taverns, we have had to throw the towel in, not least for our own sanity. Thank you to everybody who has supported us, played music, sung, danced, quizzed us or helped us plug holes in this disastrous building. We will miss you all and hope very much that the corporate management group moving in will be sensitive to the needs of the community.

The pub doesn't benefit from a lot of local footfall so has to work hard to attract customers. Unfortunately, the latest team to run the place seemed to struggle and standards fell at what has traditionally been one of the area's best boozers. Let's hope it reopens soon.

With thanks to BarCar.

Brockley Big Lunches 2013

The deadline to apply to host a Big Lunch party on your street is May 10th. Brockley normally manages at least half a dozen street parties and Lewisham Council is encouraging more entries. They say:

There’s another national Big Lunch this year on Sunday 2 June. Anyone wanting to make an application this year, needs to have done it by 10 May. Would be great to have some Brockley Big Lunches. More details here

Forest Bill

Greater Brockley's artist-in-residence Mike Hall has created another of his illustrated maps - this time, Forest Hill and Honor Oak, which he's selling on Etsy.