Paternity Flute

Two local events taking place today worth knowing about...

Firstly, Lewisham Dads is hosting a party today, starting at 12.30pm. Jane writes:

The fun day is taking place at Ashmead Primary School, SE8 4DX on Saturday from 12.30 - 4.00 and is totally free. No entry cost or charge for activities (unlike most school fairs/fayres), the only cost to families would be food (delicious BBQ and cake stall run by our PTA) and a raffle which has some great prizes including Millwall and Charlton signed kit, footballs etc and a selection of brand new kids bikes amongst other things. 

Other activities include bouncy castles, bow and arrow making workshops (!), Under 5s messy play room, cycling activities, Giant Scalextric and information stalls from Lewisham Libraries, Children's Services and the Pre-School Learning Alliance.

Secondly, Brockley orchestra Harmony Sinfonia is staging a concert this evening:

Tapas fundraiser for Party in the Park

The Other Art Club at The Talbot

Friend of BC, Sarah writes:

Every Wednesday the upstairs dining room at the Talbot transforms into The Other Art Club: a new life drawing class, taught by local artist Perienne Christian. Lured by the promise of free cava, I turned up for the launch night and had so much fun that I returned the following week.

Beginning with a series of short poses, the first half of the class is a warm up, designed to engage the parts of the brain that office jobs don't reach. Perienne suggests exercises and circulates unobtrusively, leaving you to do your own thing if you prefer. Half-time refreshments come in the form of home-baked biscuits and a nice cup of tea (or something stronger from the bar downstairs).

These are billed as life drawing classes with narrative - this really kicks in with the second half of the class. Last week's model took on a despairing pose based on a Titian masterpiece. As an absolute beginner, I was concentrating on giving her the right number of limbs, but I can see how the props would add an element of challenge for people with a bit more talent or experience. Perienne's on hand throughout and at the end of the session there's a chance to compare your efforts in a friendly, supportive atmosphere.

Venue: Upstairs at the Talbot
Time: Wednesdays 4-6pm and 7-9pm
Cost £14 in advance (first class half price)
Charcoal provided, paper available at cost price

Brockley Rise built on ancient Indian burial ground

For those who missed the excitement on Twitter earlier, a large hole opened up in the road in Brockley Rise this afternoon. Police are looking into it (with thanks to Dave "Mike" Lowry for the joke, as well as the picture).

Lewisham Way witness sought

Police at Lewisham are appealing for witnesses to a robbery that occurred on 18 June 2013 at approximately 22:00 hours outside the Albertines Public House in Lewisham Way, SE4.

A woman in her 40s was assaulted by two women who took a number of items from her including cash before making off.  Two women both 21 years have been arrested in connection with the incident and have been bailed pending further enquiries

Officers are particularly keen to speak with a customer who was inside the pub at the time and is believed to have witnessed the assault but is yet to make contact with police.

If you have any information on this incident please contact Brockley Safer Neighbourhoods Team on 0208 284 8558 or if you want to provide information anonymously you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Hands-on music session, June 29th

Because Brockley needs more Ukulele players... Corrie from Strings Club writes:

St Peters Church, Brockley - 11am - 1pm.

Join us for two hours of jam-packed musical activities, a mini-music concert plus a free taster session on an instrument of your choice - Simply choose from Ukulele, Guitar, Violin!!

'Meet The Strings Club' Concert
11am - 11.30am.
Performance by Strings Club tutors.
Including a yummy cake stall.

Free 'Hands On' Session - Choose from Ukulele, Guitar or Violin! - 12pm -1pm.
Our 'Hands On' session is designed to help your child decide which instrument is best for them to learn at our upcoming Brockley Strings Club courses.

Suitable for those aged 4-12 children - our 20 mins sessions, led by our Strings Club tutors (all CRB-checked) are not to be missed out on! Instruments provided!

Limited spaces available so please reserve a place today

The Brockley business cluster grows

Is Brockley building a proper small business cluster at last? Local architects Green Tea have picked up a RIBA prize nomination, live/work community Dragonfly Place (formerly Martin's Yard) is starting to attract business tenants and now Harefield Road tech startup Patchwork Present is hiring again. 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 and so we're looking for a new team member (initially offering a three month contract) to bring our site maintenance and development in house. You will be taking over from our external team of developers to manage the site day to day and working with our Tech Director to plan new feature development.

On top of general web knowledge, you will be experienced in Drupal 7, PHP, Javascript, HTML and CSS. You will also be in control of the web hosting and liaison with the hosting company so Linux and SSH experience is helpful.

In the future you may be setting up a development environment using Vagrant, Git and maybe even Chef or Puppet. Future development work will involve elements of Drupal 7 module and theme work and interfacing to external APIs.

On a day to day basis we currently use Podio for project management, feature requests and bug tracking. Other apps used are Google Analytics, MailChimp for newsletter campaigns and Mandrill for transactional emails. An artistic and creative eye is useful as you will be involved with any UX work.

Please email us your CV and a short paragraph about why you would like to work for Patchwork Present Salary is based on experience - up to £200 a day

Lewisham one of top boroughs for new homes

The Evening Standard reports that boroughs in central south and east London will accommodate the majority of new homes built in the capital in the next decade:

A building spree in six inner-city boroughs — Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Newham and Wandsworth — will account for almost 60 per cent of the 278,000 new homes planned for London during the next decade. 

Analysis [by estate agents Knight Frank] of the capital’s “development pipeline” reveals likely hotspots and provides valuable research for home buyers, and for investors hoping to buy the right property in the best investment area. And as the population growth in those six boroughs is predicted to be among the highest in London, demand for housing is set to generate prices rises in these areas.

Following the recent news that the Royal Docks will be regenerated as a centre for Chinese businesses in the capital, this is more evidence that London's centre of gravity is moving inexorably eastwards. The increase in housing brings with it its own challenges, but more homes mean more people, mean more life, energy, variety and employment in the area.

Roadworks cause Ladywell meltdown

Not long ago, we were sitting in a pile of our own hair at Geddes when El from El's Kitchen popped in to ask to borrow some water. It was the end of the day and she'd been unexpectedly cut off by the roadworks taking place outside her shop, which was not helpful for a catering business. A couple of months' later, the works are running reliably behind schedule and the situation is really starting to get on local businesses' nerves.

A letter to Mayor Bullock from Jason Slater (of Slater & King) on behalf of the disrupted businesses says:

Ladywell's local businesses have been strong supporters of the improvements now being made to the Ladywell Road and Algernon Road but as business owners, we are becoming increasingly frustrated with the council’s apparent lack of regard for the problems the street works are creating for us.

The redevelopment work is already more than a month behind schedule and will now not finish until the end of September at the earliest and several shops, already under pressure because of the economic downturn, are seeing further sharp reductions in takings because of the disruption caused by this work.

We have now been told that Ladywell Road will be closed to traffic for eight weeks from July 1st 2013 and this is likely to further increase the pressure on our businesses. So far there has been no attempt by council officers or elected officials to allay local business fears and frustrations, and to date, other than a printed update about the progress of and the delays to the works, there has been no information given as to the practical arrangements we can expect to be put in place (such as the collection of rubbish and how we will be able to receive vital deliveries) during the road closure which is due to begin in less than ten days' time.

We also want to know what support the council can offer us; local shops and businesses are the lifeblood of Lewisham's local high streets and need to be supported by the council, not neglected. We would urge council officers to meet local shop owners in Ladywell ahead of the road closure and listen to the concerns we have. We would also urge the council to give strong consideration to reducing the business rates that local businesses pay for a three-month period to help compensate owners for the serious impact the street works are having on our businesses.

In response, the Mayor has asked his officers to investigate the issues raised.

Ladywell dog puncher sought

The News Shopper reports:

The RSPCA are appealing for information after CCTV at Ladywell rail station appeared to show a man punching a dog and then throwing him against a wall.

Footage showed a man with his brown and white Staffordshire bull terrier on June 6 at around 2pm.

Full details here.

Pop-Up Screens decamps to Hither Green

Jareth: Sarah, beware. I have been generous up 'til now. I can be cruel.
Sarah: Generous? What have you done that's generous?
Jareth: *Everything*! Everything that you wanted I have done. You asked that the child be taken. I took him. You cowered before me, I was frightening. I have reordered time. I have turned the world upside down, and I have done it all for *you*! I am exhausted from living up to your expectations. Isn't that generous?
- Labyrinth

You people sicken us. A company sets up a pop-up cinema in Hilly Fields so that films and delicious popcorn can be enjoyed on your doorstep and you drive them away with your recklessness. Dave, from Pop-Up Screens writes:

Unfortunately we had to move from Hilly Fields this year as the number of non-paying viewers sitting outside our cordon multiplied over the course three nights from an amusing 4 on Friday, to an equally amusing 7 or 8 on Saturday and then to close to 100 on Sunday which was amazing. 

We didn’t so much mind the fact that they’re weren’t paying but they started to get naughty, interrupting the people that were paying. In the end it became a significant problem, so we're moving over to Manor House Gardens. 

Jaws, The Usual Suspects and Labyrinth will be the good people of Hither Green's reward (August 2-4). Details here.

St Stephen's Summer Fayre 2013

St Stephen's School, Albyn Road, SE8 4ED

Catford Broadway improvements begin

Lewisham Council reports:

Work has started on a major refurbishment of Catford Broadway – one of a number of projects being undertaken by Lewisham Council to help attract more shoppers and visitors to Catford town centre.

Between now and spring 2014, the Council’s contractors will be:

- laying brand new level paving to create a more accessible and pedestrian-friendly street which will also help to resolve current issues including drainage
- installing new lighting and seating
- working with a number of shopkeepers to improve the appearance and condition of their shopfronts
upgrading the alleyway between Catford Broadway and the Thomas Lane car park (in between no’s 15 and 17 Catford Broadway) to encourage more people to use both the car park and the alleyway.

This work will be carried out in phases, so Catford Broadway can remain open for business throughout. The market will also continue to operate as normal, although individual stalls will be temporarily relocated while their usual location is being worked on.

From September onwards, once the first phase of the works is completed, parking will no longer be permitted on Catford Broadway in order to encourage more pedestrian use.

The Council has secured £1.5 million from the Mayor of London's Outer London Fund to carry out the refurbishment of Catford Broadway and various associated projects such as the new Catford Broadway Supper Club, Catford Broadway Market which takes place on the first Sunday of each month and the trainee market trader scheme which has helped over a dozen residents to set up their own businesses. The Council has contributed an additional £600,000 towards this scheme.

The Telegraph Hill Centre for hire

The recently refurbished Telegraph Hill Centre will drop its pants for cash. The THC, which receives no Council subsidy, is a brilliant flexible space (in an area that's a little short on venues for hire) and is now touting itself around for business. The options include:

The Parlour – for one-to-one therapy, massage or counselling sessions. From £10

The Craftroom – a medium large space with its own access and facilities. From £20

The Lounge – a large and flexible room suitable for groups of people or activities. This room is filled with natural dalylight and comfortably seats 30 people for a conference style presentation or board meeting, but can also accomodate a yoga or exercise class of up to 12 people with room to spare. From £25.

Narthex – the west end of St Catherine’s Church (though separate), this large space is ideal for staged performances, concerts, parties or AGMs and can accomodate 80 people seated at tables, 100 people seated in rows and up to 200 people circulating. From £30.

You can also hire the entire centre from £280.

For details, click here.

Brockley, brraap!

Brockley Station, photo courtesy of Louiseylane

Feed & Read at Bearspace

Jo writes:

My friend and I set up a pop-up about 6 months ago called Feed&Read. We do an event once a month selling cakes made from seasonal fruit and vegetables, organic tea and a book-swap-and-shop. We do it at Bearspace Gallery in Deptford and we're holding one this Sunday between 12 and 4.

We sell quality crafts made from salvaged and saved second-hand books, and run a book shop-and-swap of pre-read, pre-owned and pre-loved books recommended by unknown friends. Full details on Facebook.

The Hilly Fields memorial tree

The Friends of Hilly Fields are raising money to pay for a memorial tree for former park keeper Keith Seabrook and anyone visiting tomorrow's Midsummer Fayre is welcome to donate. Rachel writes:

We had a few people wanting to contribute to the flowers, but didn't take them up on the offer, and thought it would be a longer lasting legacy to Keith to plant a tree.  There are envelopes in the Hilly Fields cafe for anyone who would like to donate - you can hand it to a member of staff.  We intend to plant the tree in November.

The tree will be the first that we plant as part of a bigger tree planting strategy to ensure a lasting tree legacy in the park. We'll have the outline of the tree strategy on our stall at the Midsummer Fayre. We'll also have our regular Hilly Fields Quiz (not sure how obtuse it will be this year, as I've not seen the questions, should I be worried), prizes donated by our park cafe, thanks to Ruth and Fred or a Hilly Fields mug.

Pop Up Ice Cream

Deptford Project cafe derailed

The Deptford Project train carriage cafe is to be relocated - possibly out of Deptford altogether, if an appropriate location can't be found.

Crosswhatfields reports:

When building work finally commences in a couple of months' time on the delayed Cathedral/United House development next to Deptford station, one of Deptford's most recent and best loved landmarks, the café known to locals as "the train", will have to move. The café has been given notice to be off the site by 31st August.

The cafe has been an amazing success and forms a pair with the Big Red pizza bus on the other side of Deptford. It would be a travesty if it left town. The original plan, to stick it near the station, has been vetoed. The most promising spot, Crosswhatfields suggests, is next to The Albany theatre. One possibility is it gets shunted to Brighton, so that that quiet seaside town can benefit from a little sprinkle of Deptford stardust. Everyone wants to 'do a Bilbao'.

Like Boxpark, the train cafe only exists because the developers wanted the land to be used for something interesting in the period before redevelopment took place, so it's a little churlish to criticise Cathedral for displacing it now. But likewise, the wider Deptford Project development will owe at least part of its success to the "placemaking" role that the carriage has played in marketing Deptford to new audiences.

Cathedral and Lewisham Council should do everything they can to find it a happy home in SE8.

Chelwood Nursery Garden Party, June 30th

Wants vs Needs

Wanted 2 is a fundraiser for a PA for the Hill Station cafe in Telegraph Hill.

Last year, 'Wanted' raised around £400 but the organisers but the organisers are after a serious speakerboxxx, so they're doing another event to raise more money. Here are the details:

Wanted 2 starts at 7.30pm on Friday 21st June at Hill Station, there will be music, comedy, food (a BBQ), a raffle (with amazing prizes!) and a licensed bar.

Acts include: Eliza & Pearl (Folk harmonies) Open Road (Bluegrass and Country) Dino (Singer/Songwriter) Phil & Martin (Comedy/Sketches) Paul & Maggie (Jazz) Jon & Anna (Acoustic Pop) Pagoda Sun (Acoustic Folk Pop) The Pretty Boys (Winston, Lex and Ben - Eclectic and Surpising).

More details here -

Some asked - Why a PA? The Festival PA is huge and heavy, is stored away at the furthest end of Telegraph Hill Centre and often in use (esp. during the Festival). Having a Hill Station PA will ensure a simple 'plus and play' option throughout the year, but especially at Festival time.

Statement on Ladywell Fields Cafe Plans

Last week, we reported that the owner of the cafe in Ladywell Fields has asked his customers to show their support for the business he runs, which is potentially threatened by plans to create a new cafe with bigger and better facilities, similar to those in Hilly Fields and Manor House Gardens.

It's his livelihood and it's quite right that he should be given a fair chance to bid to run the new franchise, but a new cafe should be built. The existing facility is little more than a tea hut, which doesn't offer the range or the space that other local park cafes manage. Bigger local park cafes have become community hubs - the focus for a range of local groups and activities. Ladywell Fields' cafe hasn't. There is a successful local model - it should be copied. If the incumbent feels that he can meet the brief, he should submit a bid.

This statement, issued in response to the issue, sets out the case for a new cafe:

Over the last few years many Park users have commented – in meetings, by email and on the Ladywell Fields Facebook page – about the café. Two clear themes emerged from these comments – first, that the current lessee (Glen) is very popular and very committed to the Park and secondly that the current café space is inadequate in a number of ways - in particular the lack of indoor seating, protected from the elements, which would make the café more appealing outside of the Spring/Summer period, and thus more viable.

The Park User Group responded to this by applying to the Ladywell Assembly last Autumn for a modest £1,250 to undertake a feasibility study to explore how, and at what cost, the building might be reconfigured to provide a better café facility. The Ladywell Assembly supported this bid and, following a tendering exercise, local architects Studio-ia were commissioned to undertake the study. The purpose of this exercise has never been to replace the current operator of the café, but rather to improve the facility to enable more people to benefit from it: the resulting additional footfall in the Park could also bring additional benefits such as improved safety.

How the cafe will look
Studio-ia began its work early this year and, having shown its early options drawings to the User Group and Council in April, undertook a widely-publicised consultation in the Park on 20 April. This consultation confirmed a clear aspiration amongst park users for a better café facility.
The final proposal, including helpful visualisations, was produced in early June and published on the Ladywell Fields Facebook page. This represents the way that, in an ideal world, the Council and Park users would like the café building improved. This will be used by the Council when it formally seeks ‘expressions of interest’ from all interested parties, including the current licence holder, by means of an advertisement in the local press. Bidders will be asked to outline what level of investment they are willing to make, in return for a long lease. It may be that not all those interested in operating the café will be able to invest all it might cost to achieve the full redevelopment scheme. As such the Council will be happy to hear from those who wish to submit an expression of interest that delivers enough of this scheme to bring about a significantly improved cafe facility. All bidders will need to demonstrate they have a costed plan and, importantly, have a clear understanding of the needs of Ladywell Fields park users.

Subject to the outcome of the bidding process (in which the User Group will remain involved) it is anticipated that building work will be undertaken from this Autumn so that the new café facility can open in Spring 2014. In the meantime the current licence, which would otherwise have been subject to a competitive tendering exercise, has been extended. 

Martin Hyde, LBL Green Space Regeneration Manager (
Tony Rich, Chair of the Park User Group (

New Cross Barclays to close

Reader James writes:

We've just had a letter from Barclays saying the New Cross Gate branch is closing on September 27 this year. Letter has no explanation as to why, just states that the nearest branch from now on will be Deptford. 

Here's hoping that: 1) They keep the cash machine as it's the only free one in the area (next closest is a hike up to Sainsbury's) 2) It doesn't turn into a bookies...

Local bank branches help attract footfall to an area, as well as serving a useful function, so this is a bit of a blow for New Cross. Hopefully, something interesting will replace it.

The Glass Mill, Loampit Vale

The Glass Mill swimming pool and leisure centre (41 Loampit Vale) opened last week. For many Brockley residents, it's now our closest major sports facility.
We've been too slack to go there to get photos, but Daniel and Sonia are better people than us and have sent us these ones. Please post your reviews of the Glass Mill here.

Beecroft Summer Fete 2013

The Hilly Fields Midsummer Fayre 2013

Traditionally, the Hilly Fields Fayre falls on the worst day of summer, but given the Bizarro weather we've been enjoying, perhaps this will be its finest year.

Net gain for Hilly Fields tennis

Patrick Bishop writes:

The Brockley Central Hilly Fields tennis net fundraiser generated an enormous amount of discussion, but it also generated a huge amount of generosity from Hilly Fields locals who read Brockley Central.

Together we successfully raised the money (nearly £300) for the nets which I bought last week.  Readers suggested I contact the council and parks contractor who were very supportive too – unsurprisingly, they thought it was great!   I handed over the nets to them earlier this week, and they put them up yesterday.  So we now have the newest, shiniest tennis nets in Britain. I believe they’ve also given the court a good tidy up too.

Great to see that so many people chose to support the project and give generously.  Someone also got in touch to suggest that we explore whether the council might be able to offer some kind of matched funding for these sorts of projects, which would definitely be interesting.  There were also a number of suggestions about tournaments and ladders etc., all of which we should look in to, if it’s not already been done!

Brockley Sainsbury's opens July 15th

Sainsbury's is opening its delayed Local branch on July 15th, according to this ad spotted by BCer Michael. 

It's evidently hoping to crack the Brockley market by selling a wide range of fresh fruit and vegetables (the Broca has an interesting but sporadic range, Nisa has a narrow range and Costcutter's quality is patchy).

It's a bold gambit that might just work.

Young carers needed for documentary

Sanjit writes:

Carers Lewisham have been approached by a film maker who would like to document five 16 year olds from South London for the duration of the long summer holiday (June-Sept).

The film-maker is aware that young carers' spare time is often limited and feels it is important to document that with the responsibility of being a carer - freedom, personal choice and leisure time have very different implications for young carers.

The filming will require a maximum investment of one day a week for eight to ten weeks.

The film-maker will be working independently, so the film crew will be small and there are no fixed filming agenda. Personal stories guided by the young people are at the heart of this project.

If you're interested in taking part, please call Philip at Carers Lewisham on 0208 699 8686.

Carers Lewisham -

Hobgoblin for sale

Favourite of students and Shia LaBeouf, the Hobgoblin pub in New Cross is up for sale. Costar reports:

Eleven further sites from the Pubs ‘n’ Bars estate are being brought to market by specialist property adviser Christie + Co on behalf of administrator Grant Thornton.

Simon Chaplin, director of Christie + Co, said: “As with the first tranche of Pubs ‘n’ Bars sites we took to market earlier this year, these pubs are in excellent locations and feature some high profile sites in London, where undoubted trading potential.

The Hobgoblin is on the list, with the leasehold available for a bargain £175,000. With thanks to James.

New Manwood Road housing planned

The planned terrace
More planned infill of brown field sites in the area. An application has been submitted to replace a Crofton Park garage with new housing, which in principle is a good swap. 
The site currently occupied by garages
The application proposes:

The demolition of the existing garages at Garage site 82A Manwood Road to the rear of 66-96 Manwood Road SE4 to provide 1 part two/part three storey block and 1 two storey block comprising 2 two bedroom and 5 three bedroom houses with communal garden area, together with the provision of 8 car parking spaces and the installation of automatic security entrance gates to the front of the site.

With thanks to a BCer who asked not to be named but thinks they are too pokey.

Twitter - The Stage Spectacular

The Albany, Deptford
14th - 21st June - On-line Interactive Rehearsals
21st June - 7pm Performance

Ampersand Media presents Storylines, a scratch production at The Albany in Deptford.

Storylines is a different way of creating a theatre piece. Inspired by news stories running on the very first day of rehearsals members of the public will form and shape the devising process using social media. They can tweet ideas, character suggestions, plot points, and images. All these will go directly to the rehearsal room. They will truly be making theatre from their armchairs.

We'd like audiences to help be the first to try out this new form of making theatre. If they can get down to see the show they have helped create that is wonderful, but even if they can't they can join in from their computer, smart phone or tablet. By following @ampersandmedia the audience will be able to know what is happening in the rehearsal room, help make decisions, and add in their own ideas that the actors, director and video artist can try out.

There is no pre-planned story. The production is completely improvised and devised from scratch. Whatever the audience puts in will be added into the mix. We really only start with the newspaper stories of the first day of rehearsal.

The performance on the 21st will be a finished piece of theatre. Those who have interacted with the rehearsal process will recognise the elements they suggested, but those who haven't been able to join in will be able to enjoy it as a show in its own right.

The rehearsal room is also completely open for audience members to come in and put in their suggestions in person. Storylines is part of Ampersand’s ongoing strand of work that creates accessible and interactive theatre using contemporary news stories.

Headlines will be directed by Ampersand’s Artistic Director Mark Stevenson. Mark has previously directed Fringe First winning shows for Theatre Babel, as well as previous Ampersand shows, and Supermarket Shakespeare for Teatro Vivo.


Room at the Arthouse

Amanda Francis writes:

There are three studio vacancies currently available at the Arthouse.

Two studios are available to let from 1 July (studios 1 and 2) and the other studio is available from 1 August (studio 3). Studio one is a shared studio space on the first floor and is a sublet for 6 months. Studio 2 is a partitioned space on the ground floor with window and step free access. Studio 3 is a basement studio with natural light and access to the yard. If you are interested in taking up any of these studios and becoming a member of Lewisham Arthouse please go to our website for more information and details of how to apply:

This is a photo of the sublet - it isn't a great representation as its a lovely space with lots of natural light. It is also one half of a self-contained studio - with its own sink even.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 19 June 2013.

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed shortly afterwards and will have a chance to look at the studio. Owing to the large number of applications we are unable to organise viewings prior to the interview.


Greatness is where we stand

Three bits of Brockley greatness to share.

First, Transpontine reports that Brockley composer Naresh Sohal will have a piece of work commissioned by the BBC called The Cosmic Dance performed at the 2013 Proms.

Second, Londonist interviews Brockley theatre director Jeremy Herrin, whose production of The Tempest has just opened at The Globe. He also offers up his South East London recommendations, including Meze Mangal, the Broca, The Hill Station and Felix School of Rock.

Third, East London Lines reports that Brockley Market pie-man Luke Hartland has conquered another part of the South Bank with his pop-up, Luke's Cafe.

The Brockley Open Studios weekend - July 6-8

Satvinda Bahra, Manor Avenue
The fantastic Brockley Open Studios weekend returns for the 21st year. Artists open up their homes and studios from July 6th until July 8th.

This year there will be 42 local artists showcasing their work.  If you haven't been before - go. If you have, then you don't need to be told.

Ladywell Fields cafe plan threatens red velvet cake revolution

Sara says plans to develop a cafe in Ladywell Fields similar to the Hilly Fields model may threaten the incumbent cafe. She writes:

The lovely Glen, from the cafe in Ladywell Fields says that it looks like he could be ousted. He has a petition to protect his business, which folks can sign at the cafe. Replacing Glen's cafe with something more generic would be a great shame.

He's a really nice guy, his wife's cakes are very tasty and creative, and his prices are very reasonable. OK, so he's more chips and lollies than hummus and soy latte, but his coffee is great and his cakes are home-made. Most importantly, he is a friendly, reliable independent trader, who keeps his prices low, despite the tough times.

Please can I ask BCers who support Glen to sign the petition on their next visit to the cafe.

Twinkle Park - Sounds in the Park today

Grateful to the Deptford Dame, who alerted us to this star in our firmament:

‘Sounds in the Park’ is presented by Twinkle Park Trust and Friends in partnership with Parksfest 2013, a series of free events organised by Friends of Greenwich Parks and supported by the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

This Summer Festival will take place in the beautiful surroundings of Twinkle Park, close to the River Thames. This charming ecological garden with a large pond is the serene habitat of wildlife, and is surrounded by colourful shrubs and tall trees. It is a magical place of relaxation and beauty.

It will be the eighth annual summer event organised by members of the Trust, and volunteers and is a free event open to the general public. This lovely setting will provide an open air stage for the Paul Zec Jazz Quintet; reggae by DJ Patrick Gardener; Heart of Soul Steel Pans; Arty Party - mask making; Pond Dipping (a children’s activity), Pimms O’Clock café and refreshments.

In addition the Festival will host displays by the Twinkle Park Trust and Build The Lenox project; Utrophia, Community Garden, the Solar Smoothie and Portrait Stall.

Sounds in the Park
Sunday 9 June, 1-6pm
Twinkle Park, Deptford
Bring a picnic and a rug!

The Gantry's First Birthday Party

It's The Gantry's first birthday party tonight. John writes:

The owners, Tom, Ali, Kate and Jamie will be arriving at 7pm. Come down and wish them happy birthday with some cocktails and food specials, cake and cards - served by two of Brockley's hottest barmen, to keep you entertained!

John Stainer expansion plans submitted

West Brockley's John Stainer primary school, the happiest place on earth, has submitted plans to expand the magic kingdom from one to two forms of entry. The plans include:

A new build extension which compliments and respects the historic fabric of the original building, providing a further 7 class bases and ancillary spaces, together with the replacement of the main hall, kitchen and associated spaces to meet the increase in pupil and staff numbers. 

It will provide functional school accommodation within the new build extension which is to be linked into the existing main school block which has been improved with minimal internal remodelling and the creation of a new main school entrance/reception lobby.

The new extension directly links with all levels of the school and combined with a reorganisation of existing internal classrooms provides integrated learning spaces. The extension is designed to sit compactly on the site and take up as little external space as possible to maximise the available areas for external play on this constrained site. 

The new nursery building will replace the temporary classroom blocks and be linked to an existing outbuilding which houses the after school club. The layout has been designed to include shared core facilities for both the after school club and nursery as these will generally operate at different times with the ability to securely lock off one use from another if required.

Pop-up dining in Hilly Fields

Pop-up dining experience of the day is brought to you by Ali, who writes:

On Saturday 15th June the Deptford Diners (a group of SE4 and SE8 cooks and foodies) are hosting a pop-up supper in the gorgeous surroundings of the Hilly Fields Café (Pistachios in the Park). The three-course set menu includes a welcome glass of prosecco, home-made bread, salad and coffee:

- Goat’s cheese soufflé with beetroot & walnut salad
- Salt Cod with Cyprus potatoes, vine tomatoes, olives, peppers and garlic (vegetarian version available)
- Rhubarb & custard tart, crème fraiche, ginger nut crumb

Enjoy wine with your dinner at £12 a bottle – choose from a Vivacious Vinho Verdi or a Perfect Pinot Noir – cash on the night only please. Tickets are £30 and on sale in advance from the café and are selling fast! Places are limited so don’t miss out!

Go Hither

Kate writes:

Come Hither is an all-day charity event of arts, crafts, theatre and music giving residents a taste of Brazil will take place at St Swithun’s Hall in Hither Green on Saturday, June 22.

Called ‘Come Hither’, the event consists of an art and crafts fair from 2pm until 6pm at the hall in St Swithun’s Road and includes a mask making workshop for children aged three years and over. Delicious cakes, refreshments and a special taste of Brazil will be available and entrance is free.

In the evening, from 8pm until 10.30pm, there will be special performances from Foreign Affairs Theatre Company and music by the Bob Constant and the Goodbye Horses and much more. Tickets are £5.

The event will raise money for the Charlotte Miller Art Project, a UK-based charity working with NGOs in Latin America to bring the arts to disadvantaged children and young people.

Organiser Sara Santos says: “In October, I will be travelling to Brazil as a volunteer arts educator to work with street children in Eldorado favela outside the city of Sao Paulo. I am raising money to fund my expenses for the six month placement.

“Come and enjoy a little taste of Brazil in the heart of Lewisham and help raise money for a fantastic cause!”
For more information, go to

New Lewisham apprenticeship places available now

There are more than 70 new places to apply for on Lewisham’s apprenticeship programme.

The new apprenticeship roles cover areas such as finance, plumbing, care/social work, coaching, IT, admin, youth work, carpentry, catering, animal welfare, and many others. Employers include Lewisham Council, Lewisham Homes, Lakehouse, MITIE Property Services and Phoenix Housing.

The apprenticeships are a mixture of on and off the job training. Since the programme was established in 2009, more than 200 apprentices have been employed within the Council, its supply chain and partner organisations.

The apprenticeships last for up to two years and apprentices will be supported by a tutor and an experienced manager. Once the apprentices have completed their traineeship, they’ll be in a strong position to move into a permanent job.

To apply, candidates need to be a Lewisham resident, aged between 16 and 24, have English and Maths GCSE level A*-C or equivalent ability, and have full UK residency entitlement.

The closing date for applications is midnight on Wednesday 19 June 2013. Prospective candidates can find out more at

First Fridays at The Orchard

Ed from The Orchard writes:

First Fridays are a new regular event. They're relaxed nights with a local dj playing chilled tunes, taking place every first Friday of the month, 10pm til 2am.

It sees The Orchard become a true bar, as the kitchen closes at the normal time of 10pm, allowing the drinkers plenty of space to relax and enjoy the music and atmosphere. We'll be serving all the usual good beers, spirits and wine and also our new full cocktail list which includes the 'Mister Valentine Sour', 'Brockley Tea Party' and 'The Orchard'- all created in house especially for First Fridays.

Its a great night and seems to be fast becoming a regular fixture on lots of our locals monthly calendar.

Stabbing incident under investigation

BC had reports that a man was stabbed near the Brockley Barge on Friday night. Lewisham police confirm:

We can confirm police were called to Brockley Road on 1 June 2013 by the LAS at approximately 00:47 hours following a report that a man had been assaulted at that location. 

The man was taken to a South London hospital and his injuries were not life threatening. He was later discharged from hospital. Lewisham CID are investigating.

Brockley Supper Club, June 15th

Pop-up restaurateurs Sophie and Julie write:

Another EatMeet TREAT is on the cards - we are hosting a supper club at 7pm on Saturday 15th June at the lovely Julie's lovely house in Brockley.

Suggested donation - a meagre £25 for a welcoming cocktail and three course feast. If your taste buds are up for another food extravaganza please drop me an email - I will be doing the draw for the places on Thursday pm.

Goldsmiths to restore New Cross landmark

 Goldsmiths announces:

The iconic Richard Hoggart Building on Lewisham Way is the focus of a major restoration project by Goldsmiths, University of London.

The building, which dates back more than 160 years and is named after a former head of the College, is the main building on Goldsmiths’ 16 acre campus in New Cross and the first port of call for visitors, staff and students.

How the RHB will look after its makeover
An historic view of the building
A six month programme of work will restore the period features of the façade and landscape the forecourt into a social area with outdoor seating, improved access and a space that can be used for outdoor performances and events. The entrance lobby and reception of the building will also be widened.

A key objective of the work is to transform the forecourt and entrance into an open and inviting space for the whole of the Goldsmiths community to enjoy.

Warden of Goldsmiths, Patrick Loughrey commented:
“Over the next few months, you will see a great deal of activity as we work on improving the campus for students and, just as importantly, the local community. This will be Goldsmiths’ biggest renewal in 50 years and will, we hope, play a part in re-shaping the architectural landscape of New Cross.”

He added: “We are proud to be in New Cross and keen to reach out to the community in inspiring and exciting ways. I warmly invite local residents to one of our many events on campus. Each week brings and engaging array of free lectures, performances, exhibitions and more. Our next open day takes place on 15 June – a chance for you to explore our campus, meet our academics and staff and find out more about our courses.”

Former Goldsmiths student Mary Quant is heading up an appeal to the Goldsmiths community of friends and former students to raise funds for the project.

In a letter to former students, she wrote: “For many of us, Goldsmiths was a coming of age. We learnt of beauty, encountered people from worlds outside our own. We were challenged intellectually and creatively, we experienced the indulgence and pleasure of youth, we grew up, we fell in love. I am still in love with Goldsmiths, and that is why, today, I commend to you this very special appeal to renew the heart of Goldsmiths, by restoring the entrance and forecourt garden of our beautiful and historic building.”

Goldsmiths has also started work to convert 286 New Cross Road into a professional recording studio, enabling students to graduate with a portfolio of recordings and it is hoped the studio will also be available for community hire. Former students at Goldsmiths include Blur, Dire Straits and the Velvet Underground and artists such as Mercury Prize nominees Katy B, and James Blake.

The external frontage will be refurbished, but changes to appearance will be minimal, to maintain the character of the street and be in keeping with the conservation area. A single storey extension will be added to the south of the building to create more space. To see more of the exciting plans, go to:

Full disclosure: I will become a member of the Council for Goldsmiths in September 2013. Back in July 2012 I was asked to promote the application process for the Council and decided to apply myself. I was lucky enough to be selected. For obvious reasons therefore, I will avoid making further comment on these plans, other than to say that Goldsmiths’ potential to enhance New Cross and wider area was one of the main reasons that I wanted to get involved.

Brockley architects shortlisted for RIBA Awards 2013

Congratulations to Tea Factory-based practice Green Tea Architects, who have been shortlisted for a RIBA Award for their work on Parish Centre in Broadstairs. The building is one of 14 competing in the South East category, with the winner chosen on June 12th - you can view the full list here.

£20m Lewisham pool and leisure centre opens June 10th

Lewisham Council says:

On  Monday 10 June, Glass Mill – Lewisham’s flagship new leisure centre – will open to the public.

The £20m centre, located on Loampit Vale, has been designed by leisure specialists LA Architects and will be operated by registered charity Fusion Lifestyle on behalf of Lewisham Council. The contractor for Glass Mill is Pellikaan, with additional works by Barratt Homes who are developing the adjacent ‘Renaissance’ scheme.

Glass Mill has superb environmental credentials and will offer a range of the most up-to-date facilities and equipment. As well as a regional competition standard 8-lane swimming pool with seating for 300 spectators, there will be a 20m training pool, a 100-station gym, a climbing wall, a creche and two studios offering a programme of classes.

Users of the leisure centre will also be able to pamper themselves in a health suite with treatment rooms and sauna, steam and ‘ice’ rooms.

Great thought has gone into changing areas with separate male and female changing as well as specific areas for families and people with disabilities. The centre is fully accessible and includes moveable floors in both pools, changing cubicles with wheelchair access and signage suitable for the visually impaired.

A key feature of the building is the stunning display of over 1,800 coloured tiles, designed by artist Phil Coy, that form the façade and carry through into a rainbow of light in the various parts of the centre. Glass Mill’s exterior also includes a lighting display that changes in line with the surrounding soundscape.

A full menu of delicious food and refreshing drinks will be on offer throughout the day at the Rhubarb and Custard Café. Items served up by Rhubarb and Custard’s resident chef and dedicated staff will include gourmet burgers, healthy salads, coffee and homemade cakes, and a children’s menu. This local firm – a former recipient of a Mayor Of Lewisham Business Award – already has a committed following in its local neighbourhood of Lee and also operates the café at Wavelengths Leisure Centre in Deptford.

Mayor of Lewisham, Sir Steve Bullock, took a dip in the new swimming pool and said: “I am delighted to mark the open of this outstanding new leisure centre. Glass Mill is the culmination of over a decade of leisure investment in the borough.

“There is now a real opportunity for local people to take part in affordable leisure in all areas around the borough. That is what we have always been aiming for. ”

Fusion Lifestyle Chief Executive, Pete Kay said of the opening: "We are extremely impressed with the high standard of facilities now on offer at Glass Mill Leisure Centre and are proud and excited to begin the management of this fantastic centre.

“We believe that the opening of Glass Mill will make a real difference to the local community by providing first-rate sport, swimming and fitness facilities at an affordable price, and Fusion Lifestyle are committed to continuous development of our programmes and activities in order to offer new opportunities for everyone in Lewisham.”

Alastair Baird, Managing Director of Barratt London said: “We have great pleasure in delivering a landmark building for Lewisham as part of the wider Renaissance development.”

Glass Mill’s opening hours will be 6.30am-10pm on weekdays and 7am-6pm on weekends and Bank Holidays. Rhubarb and Custard Café, located in Glass Mill’s foyer, will operate the same hours. For enquiries about membership options, or the full range of facilities and classes on offer, call Glass Mill on 020 8463 9600.

The Dancing Plague of 1518

A performance piece by Nicholas McArthur and Robert Molloy Vaughan An event curated by Franco La Russa and Annie Jael Kwan Event night: Tuesday 4th June 8pm - 11pm (Admission free) For the closing party of the exhibition Grace Before Meat by Espira, we are pleased to present a live performance work by artists Nicholas McArthur and Robert Molloy Vaughan.

This apocalyptic celebration starts at 8pm at cueB Gallery with a special music set inspired by the event, created by the artists. Come join us.