5-a-side players needed

Chris writes:

Last year's call for local 5-a-side footballers on Brockley Central met with huge success. However, due to the popularity of fatherhood we're falling low in numbers again.

Anybody out there interested in 60 minutes of 5-a-side football with a group of ageing has-beens should get in touch. We play on the pitches at Catford bridge, kicking off on Wednesdays at 19:30, the cost is £5.

Please email me if you'd like to play.

Wine of the times

Jeremy [voiceover]: Shit. Can't ask how much. Restaurant, you have to pretend you're infinitely wealthy for some reason. [He starts looking through the wine list]. OK, flicking, looking. If only I knew the name of any other wine. What's a wine? Is the one Hannibal Lecter drinks real or a joke?
- Peep Show

Lewisham Council launches its war on gentrification in Brockley

Morris Sendback

The Giffin Square Food Fair

Lewisham Council says: 

The Giffin Street Food Fair launches in Deptford on Saturday 5 October, beneath the 'his ‘n’ hers mural' next to the library.

On the first Saturday of every month shoppers can sample a mouth-watering array of street food and drink from local chefs, bakers and traders including: jerk chicken wraps and fish cakes from The Jerk and InnaPikkle, deli-style breads and pastries from Elvira’s Secret Pantry and freshly squeezed natural fruit juices and smoothies from That Natural Stuff.

Many of the street traders are graduates from the Council’s trainee market trader scheme and have gone on to launch successful food businesses.

Emanuela Mansi, founder of Pastificio Mansi, who will be trading at the food fair, said: “Over the past year I’ve traded at markets in Sydenham and Catford and the atmosphere has always been superb. I’m really looking forward to trading in Giffin Square – and I hope people will come down and help support all of the traders”.

In addition to hot food and drink, there’ll be music, entertainment and a seating area at the monthly event which runs from 10am–4pm on the first Saturday of the month.

The food fair, is one of a number of projects run by Lewisham Council, with funding from the Mayor of London’s Outer London Fund, to enhance Deptford Market for shoppers, businesses and residents.

The shuck of the new

From tomorrow, weekly Travelcards will no longer be available from Overground ticket offices. Instead, passengers will need to use Oyster. Thanks to Endwell Andy (who hates Oyster) for the reminder.

Brockley Social 3

Jayne writes:

We are three neighbours trying to get to know more people locally. We have already arranged two social events.

Tuesday 8th Oct we are meeting at The Talbot pub, 2 Tyrwhitt Road for their quiz night. We are going to get there at 7pm for a meal. You can join us at 7pm for food, or come nearer 8pm for drinks. The quiz starts around 8:30pm. There may be a maximum number for quiz teams so if there's quite a few of us we may need to split into two groups.

We'll have a pink umbrella on our table so you can find us. It will be folded up as I dont think the venue will appreciate us having it open!

Brockley has many nice places to eat and drink and we plan to arrange some more meetings in the future.

You can email jaynehelenhon@yahoo.co.uk or just turn up and join us.

Ladywell Ward Assembley, Oct 3rd

The Ladywell Ward Assembly will take place on October 3rd, 2013. As Chris Wheal says, this is:

A chance for residents to kick up a fuss about the village roadworks. Also the replacement lamppost contractor Skanska will be there to explain why holes have been left on the pavement for months on end all over the ward. There's a budget of £15,000 to spend too.

7-9pm at Prendergast Hilly Fields College new school building on Adelaide Avenue.

Win the chance to start Blackheath Fireworks on Saturday 2 November

After Greenwich Council realised it could free-ride on the Blackheath firework display and save its cash to splurge on regal backslapping, Lewisham Council sought innovative ways to fund the event. The Council writes:

For the first time, Lewisham Council is inviting residents to enter a prize draw with a first prize of ‘pressing the plunger’ to start Blackheath fireworks, the biggest free fireworks display in the capital.

For only £5 per entry, the lucky winner, along with five friends, will also receive a guided tour of the firing zone and an optimum viewing position within the firing zone. Fifteen runners up will be given five passes to the VIP viewing area which offers a spectacular view of the display right next to the firing zone.

As well as the display which starts at 8pm, there will be a funfair on Blackheath from 4pm and food and refreshments available from 5pm. Blackheath welcomes almost 100,000 visitors to its display - the biggest, free fireworks event in the capital.

L&Q Housing is one of Blackheath Fireworks main supporters this year whilst other local businesses are also being offered the opportunity to support the fireworks with a range of different sponsorship opportunities and premium viewing packages.

For details of the prize draw and how to enter, go to www.lewisham.gov.uk/startthefireworks

Entries close at 12 noon on Friday 28 October 2013.

So long, and enjoy all the fish

Hannah is leaving Brockley to go to live in Faversham. She's written a short farewell to Brockley on her blog, which does a great job in one post of capturing many of the things we've been trying to say about the place over the last seven years. Click here to read the article.

Occupy Honor Oak

Super Hans: I've been down enough bloody City Boy chain pubs with their logos in the foam and disinfectant in the lager, air freshener in the mayo. Nah, I wanna run a place that makes a difference. 
Jeremy: Well, I'm sure we can sort that out somehow. Let's start by getting rid of this. 
Super Hans: That stays. That's the reason I fell in love with this place. 
Jeremy: You want a washing machine in the pub? 
Super Hans: It'll freak 'em out! What the fuck's a washing machine doing in a pub? Jesus, I need a drink. Yeah? And boom, they'll have to have one of our organic scrumpies.
- Peep Show

The sorry saga of the Honor Oak pub continues. Having allowed a much-loved pub to be run down and eventually to close, Punch Taverns now find themselves with squatters on their hands. Thanks to @sarcasticfringe for the photo:

The Broca Brunch Club

Welcome back to local banking

George, you can type this shit, but you sure as hell can't say it.
- Harrison Ford on the Star Wars script

Nearest local branch? Greenwich. Still, corporate Britain's not welcome around these parts anyway.

Brockley Social Club Centenary Open Day

Thanks to BrocSoc for the heads-up

Turn It Up 3

TURN IT UP - A fundraiser for Make a Difference Trust and Telegraph Hill Centre
Saturday 28th September at 7pm (Entrance £5/£4)
St Catherine's Church, Pepys Road, SE14

St Catherine's Church plays host to TURN IT UP 2013, a fundraiser for The Make A Difference Trust (http://www.madtrust.org.uk/the-hardship-fund.php) and Telegraph Hill Centre (http://thcentre.com) on Saturday 28th Sept from 7pm. Entrance is just £5 (£4 concessions).

A host of young performers from Brockley, New Cross, Nunhead and Telegraph Hill are collaborating to provide an evening of entertainment.   Rock, choirs, opera, jazz, folk ... an impressive musical medley and a showcase for local talent.   Performers live locally, or attend local schools and colleges and are bringing together their diverse talents in what promises to be an impressive show.    Families are very welcome, come one, come all.

This is the third such TURN IT UP event organised by the talented local composer and performer Fenella Lawrence.

With thanks to Sanjit.

Blue budgie rescued

Ilona writes:

We live on Tyrwhitt Road and rescued a blue budgie at the weekend. We'd like to trace its owners. If you're missing a blue budgie, please email me.

A victory Pho common sense

Mo Pho gets to keep its name. The cafe had been threatened with legal action by another restaurant chain called Pho, who claimed trademark infringement. But after a Twitter storm today, Pho has wisely called off its legal dogs and now says:

This is good.

Lewisham house prices rise with inner core

Via LondonLovesBusiness comes this interactive map of London, which shows how house prices have changed over the last three years, in each borough. No real surprises - but what it shows clearly is that the inner London boroughs are becoming increasingly expensive, both in absolute terms and relative to the outer suburbs, as the wealthy get displaced from central London by the super rich and move to the nicest spots further down the road.

It's a phenomenon discussed by Ben Rogers in The FT, who argues that we need to adapt by creating dense new urban centres beyond Zone 1:

We should raise our ambitions for areas beyond central London and create new places in the spirit of the West End. The Olympic Park, for which five new residential neighbourhoods are planned, presents a fantastic opportunity. It is well connected to central London and beautifully landscaped... 

We should be looking at intensifying the suburbs, which account for three-quarters of London’s footprint but fewer than half of its homes. Doubling the density of just 12 per cent of this footprint would meet London’s requirement for 400,000 new homes in the next 20 years.

As you can see from this map, population density in Brockley and Lewisham hardly changed at all between 2001-11 and remains comparatively low for inner London. The employment density map also confirms that South East London is a jobs desert. If we are to create 'new West Ends', the jobs will need to come too. Whether jobs are a cause or effect of greater density is an interesting question.

Sunken Master

Lucy writes:

I go to a really brilliant adult/teenager swimming lesson down at St Dunstan's school pool on Mondays at 8.15-9.15pm.

The coach is an ex Olympic guy and he's amazing. The class is quiet as they have changed venue and lost some swimmers. I just wanted to help them try and get more people as they are really lovely as well as being good!

If people like the sound of that, their website is www.tigersharkssc.co.uk for more information.

No Mo' Mo Pho

Coulgate Street Vietnamese café Mo Pho has fallen phoul of Big Pho. The Pho café chain seems to think they own the word Pho and have served Mo Pho notice that they think they are infringing their trademark. The Mo Pho team write:

It is with sadness that we would like to inform our customers that we will be reluctantly taking down our shop sign this week and trading as "mopho" instead of mo pho until we have establish a new name for ourselves. 

Please note, WE WILL BE OPEN for business as usual and welcome your continued support!!

Some background on our decision... we have been put on notice by Pho Holdings Ltd (Pho cafe) that they have registered and trade marked the word PHO, as they feel that the use of our name Mo Pho is confusingly similar to their trade mark, constituting an infringement and passing off. 

We feel this unfair as we ensured the look and feel of our brand was different to any established restaurants when designing our brand and logo. Our biggest surprise was that trademarking the word PHO was possible especially as it's our national dish which is used widely in our trade as a Vietnamese cafe/restaurant. 

As a small family business, taking on a successful chain such as Pho will be a big risk to us, therefore we opted to take down our signages until we are fully rebranded.

If you have any suggestions for our new name, please let us know!! You could see your name in lights and a free meal on us! 

It’s a little incongruous for a cutesy, Innocentesque brand like Pho to act so aggressively and a little odd that they think their customers might confuse them with a café whose title is a play on “motherfucker”. It’s not who they are underneath, but what they do that defines them.

Boris "seriously looking at the Bakerloo extension"

Mayor Boris Johnson has confirmed that he is giving serious consideration to a Bakerloo Line extension through South East London. In today's #askboris Q&A, he responded to a question about tube provision in south London:

This is the second bit of positive noise Boris has made about the idea this year. And while we understand that these utterances need to be taken with a huge dollop of salt, we've argued for a while that although the Bakerloo line is nominally lower down the priority list than the likes of Crossrail 2, it's also a relatively cheap and easy way of expanding London's transport capacity, in a way that might become appealing to our opportunistic Mayor.

While mega-projects like Crossrail and Thameslink take decades, everyone has taken note of what the relatively cheap and easy ELL upgrade achieved. The Northern Line extension to Battersea is set to do something similar. A Mayor in search of a quick win could do worse than extend the Bakerloo through Southwark to Lewisham.

With thanks to Monkeyboy.

Art House Open

It will start like any other day.
The Lewisham Arthouse team writes:

We invite you to come and explore 30 artist studios over three floors of our beautiful Edwardian building, the former Deptford Library.

Friday 4 October 6 to 9pm
Saturday 5 October 12 to 6pm
Sunday 6 October 12 to 6pm
Don’t miss our special programme of exhibitions, events and site-specific works, during and preceding open studios weekend. On the ground floor, Arthouse artists will be demonstrating people power in the group exhibition POWERHOUSE. Back by popular demand is our Ping Pong Tournament with special cocktails to savour. In the gallery artist Rory Macbeth will be showing a site-specific work LOST PRAIRIE, and as a special treat he will be giving an artists talk. And last up, David Aylward and friends will be leading a parade through the streets of Deptford in tribute to our dearly departed anchor. You can catch the parade on route or at the Arthouse where things culminate in a striking crescendo.

Deputy Mayor backs call for urgent resolution of Ladywell chaos

Earlier this month, a group of Ladywell businesses demanded a quick resolution of the town centre roadworks, which are running behind schedule and damaging their trade. El, from El's Kitchen writes, following her meeting with the Deputy Mayor of Lewisham, the Head of Transport and Tom Connell from Conway, the contractor carrying out the work:

- Conway have a three year, rolling retainer contract with Lewisham Council to carry out new highways work and any maintenance required under a certain job value (approx £1m). They were awarded this job without needing to tender for it and there are no penalties for delays or poor quality work (they just have to re-do the work at their expense). The budget for the work was £700,000 and they have been paid approx £600,000 to date. They are paid in stages by the size of the area they complete so there is effectively no incentive at all for them to meet any timescale given to them.

- The Deputy Mayor expressed his concern with the level of mis-management and poor decision-making by Conway and had witnessed some of the lack of urgency for himself. It was ironic that he was 10 minutes late for the meeting, blaming traffic congestion in Catford due to the diversions away from Ladywell Road.

- The Deputy Mayor was shocked by the level of negative impact that the delays are having on local businesses and urged Conway to meet the new date for Ladywell Road to be re-opened of mid-October. 

- Conway promised to give us an on-site point of contact that any member of the public may speak to. This is Mick Malloney and he has now been introduced to the majority of business owners.

- Conway promised to give us a detailed program of site works with timelines that traders can share with their customers. The first of these was produced on Thursday last week and shows a daily schedule of where works are being carried out to the road and pavements for the next week. They will also post this somewhere on the site for the public to access. We hope Conway will continue to gives us a weekly update going forward.

Since our meeting, work appears to be progressing a quite a pace, with many more workers on site daily and activity continuing on Saturdays and Sundays, so this is a great result. The stretch of Ladywell Road from the junction with Algernon Road to Malyons Road has been re-opened for access to Malyons Road and many of the unsightly and confusing barriers have now been removed from this area. The workmen have also cleared away much of the rubbish and unnecessary materials from the site, making it much easier, safer and cleaner for pedestrians to circulate. 

However, low footfall is still an issue for all the shopkeepers in Ladywell and we urge you to come down and visit the shops while the construction work is being completed, as it would be very sad to see any of us go out of business due to continued, unsustainable losses.

The Brockley Brewery's 50,000 Pints Party at the Wickham Arms

Andy from the Brockley Brewery writes:

We are having a bit of a do tonight at the Wickham Arms, to celebrate the anticipated pulling of the 50,000th pint of Brockley ale.

We've been hard at it for 6 months desperately servicing the south-east thirst for craft ale, which seems unquenchable!

We're welcoming everyone along to support their local brewery and their local pub!


Katherine writes:

Yogatini is a local yoga practice dedicated to children and teenagers. Children's yoga is not just about a few poses and stretches! Yoga teaches us to look after our bodies and our minds. It can help your child relax, energise and reduce stress in a fun environment.

I'll be running the classes on Wednesdays from 10-11 for pre-school children (aged 2 1/2 - 4) and after school 3.30 - 4.15 (aged 5 - 9). If there's a lot of interest I can always add in additional classes. I'm hoping to run a class for teenagers too if there is interest. Classes are starting soon at Room 104, The Tea Factory, Endwell Road.

Contact me on 0771 262 3222, info@yogatini.co.uk or visit www.yogatini.co.uk for information

Actors Reading Writers 3

Brockley Park Cars and ACE relocate

Brockley Park Cars are departing their old home at 180 Brockley Road and relocating to Blackfen. The move will allow the mixed-use redevelopment of the site. In a valedictory post here, they say:

A big thank you to all our customers for your loyalty over the years if you wish to continue using us we can offer a free collection and delivery service we are keeping our existing phone number 0208 691 7666.

ACE Vans, who also operated from the site, have opened a new office at The Tea Factory.

Samfest - Sunday

St Peter's - Keep your heads ringing

The St Peter's bells are back - and so is the clock tower open day. Dave writes:

After years of silence, St. Peter's hand-wound Victorian clock, built by Smiths of Clarkenwell, who also created the clock of the Houses of Parliament, chimes again!

Whilst the clock was silent there have been many requests by the local community to hear the bells - hoping to give Brockley a village-feel. Now they are sounding again there have been mixed reviews, but St. Peter's is committed to working with the community, celebrating and looking after its heritage. Residents will be comforted to know that the chimes will only sound between 9am and 9pm. If there are any queries then we would love to hear from people! Please email the Church office on office@stpetersbrockley.org.uk.

Or, why not come to St. Peter's Open day, Saturday 28th September, where you can climb the historic clock tower for yourself! You can have a guided tour through all the mechanisms and the different rooms that make up the clock tower by the engineer who has been working to repair it. Finally, you can climb to the very top of the Tower that overlooks London where you will find spectacular 360° views - great for photographers! There will also be lots going on including car washing, tours of the stain glass windows and refreshments.

Time: 10am - 5pm
Location: St. Peter's Church, Wickham Road
Website: www.stpetersbrockley.org.uk

Fake piano maker needed

Darren from the Brockley Jack Theatre writes:

I am producing the Off West End premiere of the musical Love Story at the Brockley Jack Theatre this Autumn with my own company. We would like to design a unit that when assembled looks like a grand piano, but that can be easily dismantled and its pieces used to create all of the scenic locations in the show.

We are looking for something similar to the photograph, but that is made out of five free-standing moveable pieces. One piece would house the keyboard, pedal, power supply and potentially be attached to a piano stool. Two pieces would be rectangular, so they could be separated out to become a dining table or placed together for a bed, and two pieces would create the curved portion of the grand and be used as smaller café tables or desks. We are looking for someone to work with the director to design and build the unit.

Maybe a local carpenter, furniture maker or design student. Please contact me darren@languagelaidbare.co.uk if you are able to help and for more details.

Brockley is the new Nashville

Brockley singer / songwriter Blue Rose Code has just been picked by Radio 2's Whispering Bob Harris to go to Nashville to perform in a new music showcase for the BBC.

He'll be blogging about it for the BBC here and you can follow him on Twitter here.

Ladywell the thin blue line in London flood defence project

The Independent reports that engineering firms have been invited to develop plans to defend London from future floods, including upgrading the the Thames Barrier.

Britain's biggest engineers have been asked to develop plans to protect London and £200bn-worth of property from flooding until the end of the century. Launched at an industry event at the Thames Barrier today, the project is said to be the country's biggest ever flood management contract. The winning engineering team will work on the first 10 years of what is known as Thames Estuary 2100. 

Chris Wheal (who kindly sent us the link) points out that Ladywell Fields might be part of any solution:

Ladywell Fields is used to store water to help keep the Thames lower. I have photos of it full, normal and empty on Flickr. They close a sluice gate to the Thames and store the water upstream until the tide goes out and then let it out. That was one of the main reasons for digging the river back into Ladywell Fields.

All that glitters in Deptford

The Convoy's Wharf regeneration site
Saturday 21st September, 6- 9pm
Master Shipwright's House, SE8 3JF

Beth writes:

Join us for a conversation about the role of art and creativity in urban regeneration, with guest speakers Neville Gabie and Katy Beinart & Barby Asante. Discussing projects that have taken a critical and grassroots approach to changing spaces in London, we examine how urban redevelopment schemes commodify creativity and how artists are using or challenging these opportunities.

All the glitters... is the final conversation in a series of events by artist Rebecca Beinart. The Bureau of Urban Wilds culminates with events on the 28th and 29th September as part of Deptford X.

Jam Circus returns for Croftfest

Jam Circus owners Antic have confirmed that the Crofton Park bar has hit the comeback trail after being out of the game for nearly a year due to fire. They will reopen for one day only during upcoming Croftfest. Yesterday, they tweeted:

When asked if this heralds its full-time return, they added:

London Bridge emerges as a media hub

London Bridge - Brockley's most important direct connection - is emerging as one of London's leading media industry hubs. City AM reports:

Booming demand from the media industry is set to double take-up of office space along London’s Southbank this year, according to new research from estate agent Knight Frank. 

Nearly 700,000 square feet (sq ft) of office space has been acquired on the Southbank in 2013 so far. Major leasing deals this year include News Corp, which owns Dow Jones, Harper Collins and News UK (full disclosure, a client of Edelman), and broadcaster Al Jazeera (full disclosure: also a client), which rents premises in The Shard. A further 439,000 sq ft of deals are in advanced negotiations, meaning that full-year take-up should exceed 1.1m sq ft. 

With IPC and others up the road at the Blue Fin building and several media and marketing firms based in More London and Bermondsey Square, London Bridge is vying with Victoria, Kings Cross and Tottenham Court Road / Soho as the city's leading media cluster. Which is handy for the 50% of BC readers who work in the sector.

Earlier this week, Building also reported that:

Engineer WSP has been drafted in by the Shard developer Sellar to work with architect Renzo Piano on designs for two further, smaller towers in the London Bridge Quarter. The towers will house flats and be built on the site of Fielden House, by the Shard and the Place, which currently houses ground floor bars with offices above, including a Sellar office. 

Souper September in Honor Oak

Imelda from Hills and Parks (49 Honor Oak Park) writes:

We are donating the proceeds of our sales of homemade soup this Wednesday (18th) and next Wednesday (25th) to our Souper September appeal. Tomorrow’s soup is sweetcorn chowder with cheesy scones.

Souper September is Broadway’s first ever month-long fundraising appeal and it is asking people to make a small change at lunch to ensure a big difference to the lives of thousands of homeless people.

Brockley Market's 2nd Birthday Party

Toby from Brockley Market writes:

Its our second Birthday this Saturday - hope you can join us all. We will be having live music and special treats....

Some of the Street food vendors will be doing some one off specials and Flavours of Spain will be carving a whole leg of Ibérico ham, Ruby Violet ice cream will be making a couple of celebration flavours and of course there will be cake!

We will be having a special guest spot from Street food favourites 'Yum Bun' & 'The Bowler' as well as 'Luardos' joining us for there Autumn and Winter stint along with market regulars 'Spit & Roast' 'Mike & Ollie' 'Mother Flipper' 'Feishmob' 'Tongue & Cheek' 'Good & Proper Tea' 'Hix Fish Dogs'.

As well as fresh seasonal produce and weekend treats from 'Astons Bakery' 'The Butchury' 'Cinamon Tree Bakery' Coocoo Box Chilies' 'Dark Fluid Coffee' 'Foss Meadows' 'Flavours Of Spain' 'Veasey & Sons Fishmongers' 'Hartland Pies' 'Hook & Sons Dairy' 'Jacobs Ladder' 'Kooky Bakes' 'Mr Lawrence Wine Merchants' 'Hatch Park Game' 'Little Greenwich Smokery' 'Miss Stoneham's Preserves' 'Moons Green Charcuterie' 'Norbiton Cheese' 'Olive Branch' 'Perry Court Organic Farm' 'Ruby Violet Ice-cream' 'The Honest Carrot' 'Pasta Grazia' 'Vadasz Deli' 'Wild Country Organics'.

Saturday 21st September:  10am - 2.00pm.

The South London semi-circle

Another calligrapher has attempted to make the point that South London does have public transport - this time, with the aid of a semi-circular map. Map-maker Max Roberts tells Londonist:

In terms of user-friendliness, the railways of south London are probably among the worst in the world, up there with the Paris RER and much worse than the New York Subway... But why should the Underground get all the circles? I’ve had my sights on south London for a while now, and after four attempts have finally got something that works reasonably well. 

The inherent complexity of the system is reflected in the final design, a good map can’t fix a bad network. In fact, this is only one of two designs where I had to refer to a track plan in order to be sure that I was getting it right (New York was the other).

THC levels up

Sanjit writes:

Telegraph Hill Centre plays host to a Table Top Sale on Saturday 21st September from 1-4 pm.

In recent months Telegraph Hill Centre, an independent, self-funding community centre, has undergone a refurbishment, and work continues to develop new areas within the building. Come on down bag a bargain, quaff some coffee, cake and biscuits and have fun.

There are lots of nearly new and high quality goods, vintage pieces and one-offs at prices to gladden a weak wallet. Along with cake, a cafe and craft sessions, there will be lots to see and do.

Tea at the Opera, St Saviour's Church

Greenspaces: Dulwich Park

Dulwich Park is as immaculate and serene as neighbouring Dulwich Village.

The park's flat fields and circular layout make it perfect for football, running and cycling (banana bikes, trikes and bicycles are available for hire, although fairly pricey), while the lake, cafe and very large playground attract families in droves.

A recent addition to the park is the outdoor gym. Whereas the Hilly Fields version stands rusting on the brow of the park's most prominent slope like the Angel of the North, Dulwich's 13 new machines are dotted around its outer loop like bits of garden furniture.

Visit the Greenspaces map for a guide to parks in the area.

Self Evident app to cut crime

BC Senior assuages his early-retirement-baby-boomer guilt by doing voluntary work for various good causes, the latest of which is a charity called Witness Confident, which aims to make reporting crime easier.

This week, the charity launched an app called Self Evident (full disclosure: BC provided a very small amount of help with the launch), which allows people to report crime quickly and reliably via their smartphone - including tagging the report with the date, time, location and even photos of the incident.

Similar in principle to the Love Lewisham app (developed by Lewisham Council to make reporting graffiti and flytipping easier and improve clean-up response rates) it's an initiative which should address two big problems:

Firstly, 1,000 crimes go unreported every day because the public think the process of reporting crime is too much hassle.

Secondly, it delivers the report to the police in a format that’s quick and easy for the police to deal with: the police are overwhelmed with the volume of reported crime with 500,000 calls to the police on the 101 service going unanswered each year.

It's a simple, free, smart way to reduce crime and police paperwork - hopefully everyone will support it.

You can download the app for IOS and Android here.

Lewisham and Greenwich create new NHS Trust

A new Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust will be formed on 1 October 2013. The Trust will be responsible for Lewisham Hospital and community services in Lewisham, and for Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Greenwich.

Lewisham Healthcare says:

Services are not changing following the merger, and patient appointments are unaffected. Lewisham Healthcare and Queen Elizabeth Hospital serve similar communities, and have much in common in terms of what we do. As a larger organisation, the Trust will be better placed to meet the challenges of the future. Our focus will be on learning from best practice in Lewisham and Greenwich to improve NHS services for local people.

Following the merger Lewisham Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital will continue to provide the same services. We will also continue to run community services in Lewisham, and to provide some services at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup. If you receive treatment at Lewisham Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital or Queen Mary’s Hospital, it will not be affected by the organisational change.

All services at Lewisham Hospital – including for maternity and emergency care – are running as normal. In July 2013, Government plans to downgrade Lewisham’s emergency and maternity services in two to three years’ time were overturned by the High Court, following a legal challenge by Lewisham Council and the Save Lewisham Hospital campaign. The Department of Health is appealing this decision, and you will be able to find out more on this website as it happens. The judicial review and appeal do not affect the formation of the new Trust, as there is clear distinction between service change and organisational change.

With thanks to Joe for the news.

Le fabuleux destination

"It helps me remember... I need to remember... Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can't take it, and my heart is just going to cave in."
- Ricky Fitts, American Beauty

BC may not be the world's prettiest website, but exploring our Pinterest boards is like taking a guided tour of Brockley with Amelie. On them, you will discover all the most photogenic aspects of this area and the wider South East Central universe.
Visit them here.

Deptford X: Sept 27th - Oct 6th

The Deptford X 2013 Programme is now live
The Deptford X contemporary arts festival returns this month, with 35 Fringe events, Open Studios and gallery shows.

Highlights this year include "Art Makes Powerful People" by Bob & Roberta Smith, "366 Days Of Kindness" by Bernadette Russell and a Cream Tea Cocktail Afternoon.

The full programme is now available.

Ladywell roadworks delays putting local businesses at risk

El, from Ladywell deli El's Kitchen writes in response to the severe delays to roadworks currently affecting Ladywell town centre:

Myself and a small group of business owners in Ladywell are having a meeting with the Deputy Major (Cllr Allan Smith) and Ian Ransom (Head of Transport) tomorrow (Friday). We will be representing all businesses in Ladywell that have been directly or indirectly affected by the delays to the project.

In principle we are all in favour of the improvements to the streetscape improvements as the benefits it will bring to pedestrians, cyclists, car drivers who wish to park, as well as to the businesses, are great.

However, in the original document that was issued publically in March, the date for re-opening Ladywell Road was set at 7 June. Since then we have had no official communication about when that might be until this latest communication which states the road will re-open mid-October. Many of us cannot see how it will be possible for the contractors to meet this new deadline as they have still not finished the highway works on section 2, which has been closed for the best part of three months, and they have only just started digging up section 3.

The delays to this project are now starting to bite into many businesses budgets with some having already laid off staff to try and keep costs down while trying to ride out the loss of trade as long as they can. Footfall was down 16% in August and remains so for the beginning of September (I have been counting and documenting this, comparing it to the same time last year).

We are now taking legal advice and will determine,based on the outcome of the meeting tomorrow, if we have a claim against Lewisham Council for loss of business due to the delays. In order to make a claim we need to be in possession of the original schedule or works and the current schedule of works completed to date and the service level agreement with the contractor (Conway) detailing the penalty clauses. We can then make a claim against the Council for any money that has been and will be recovered by the Council from Conway as it should be used to compensate those who have lost out as a result of the delays (the local businesses, not the Council), as per the penalty clauses in the contract.

If the works continue past the end of October and the footfall remains as low as it is now it will be very difficult for many of the business to continue trading and those that rely on Christmas trade to survive the rest of the year will be teetering on the edge by January.

As business owners we all want to see a positive outcome from the works having taken place: the loss of trade being more than compensated for by increased footfall in Ladywell, on-street parking to enable passing motorists to stop and use the shops, a brighter and lighter landscape with more trees and benches that draws people in to the area and makes them want to stay here.

In the meantime we implore local people to continue to use Ladywell, visit the shops and spend the money you used to spend here. We understand that it is very noisy, dusty and dirty and highly inconvenient without public transport or parking (we have live with it day in, day out!), but without continued loyalty from our customers and a bit of risk-taking from potential customers in the wider area, the aims and objectives of the improvements to the streetscape to improve the economic viability of the retail area will have been in vain.
Many thanks for the loyalty you have shown us thus far.

El @ Els Kitchen, on behalf of the businesses in Ladywell.

Brockley is the new Chelsea

Brockley now has its own boot.

Jigsaw is selling the Brockley Nubuck Ankle Boot, named after SE4 by a Brockley-loving employee, rather than because they are fashioned from badger-hide.

Like the place that inspired it, the boot is:

"Timeless and versatile [and] effortlessly cool."

Jigsaw also claims that it works best with a pair of skinny jeans, which can be no coincidence.

Thanks to Fabhat for the tip-off.

Chelwood nursery places available now

Chelwood Nursery, on St Norbert Road wants you to know that they have places available to start this month. The are providing 15 hours free early learning for 3 and 4 year-olds.

See their site for more details.

Armed robbery on St Asaph Road

Police are calling for witnesses after a four-year-old girl was held at gunpoint by a gang of armed robbers who threatened to pull the trigger in front of her grandmother at a house in St Asaph Road. The Standard reports: 

Rosemary Campbell, 47, was looking after her granddaughter at her Lewisham home when up to five balaclava-clad men stormed in with guns and knives in a “terrifying” broad daylight break-in. The raid, in which the home was ransacked while the gang searched the first-floor flat and demanded cash, happened just after 3pm on Monday. 

Detective Inspector Ian Cameron described the raid as a “terrifying attack”, adding: “I’m convinced that someone in the local area has seen or heard something that could assist us with our investigation.”

Witnesses should call the incident room on 020 8284 8337 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Deptford Does Disco

Little Nan's Cocktail Bar in Deptford is at it again, with another music night. They say:

From the people who brought you 'Dip It', 'Rar! at the Albany' and 'That Weekend You'll Never Get Back Where You Did A Bad Thing' comes Deptford Does...

A series of one-off monthly nights celebrating various genres, places, and people, which always aims to bring the party. First up is Deptford Does... Disco

We saw a bandwagon and we jumped on it! With the genre having something of a resurgence this year thanks to a certain robot-friendly Gallic duo, we thought it as good a time as any to enjoy all things D.I.S.C.O. Come on down and party like twas NYC 1978 at Studio 54, minus the queueing and expensive drinks, with a few surprises thrown in for good measure.

Click here for full details.

Friday the Thirteenth at Lewisham Arthouse

An evening of music, film and movement Friday 13 September 2013, doors 7.45pm start 8.15pm - Entry £5/£3

Viv Corringham, electric voice, Nick Doyne-Ditmas, electric double bass, Charles Hayward, drums and keyboards. Watch.

Jo Thomas will unfold her elegant and mysterious soundworlds. Watch.

Gone House, Ghost House (film plus live soundtrack by RABBIT with butoh interventions/actions by Bridget Scott). Watch.

Lewisham swishing event, September 27th

Cedar Mews

The Cedar Mews apartments on Geoffrey Road are finally complete and ready for appraisal. The development extends behind these tall maisonettes with a single-floor building, in which neighbours face each other. 

The architecture is in stark contrast to Malpas Mews, another recent development, at the other end of Geoffrey Road. So what do you think of this design and which do you prefer for Brockley - modern or pastiche?

Croftfest is coming!

Jon Keegan writes:

Croftfest is being organised by local shops and businesses in Crofton Park including Pat a Cakes, Mr Lawrence, Bryan & Keegan Estate Agents., The White Room, The Co-Op, Paraphernalia, Arlo & Mo, the Malaysian Deli, the library and more.

The 2013 Brockley Front Garden Sale

The first ever Brockley Front Garden sale is tomorrow, 11am-4pm.

More than 50 houses are taking part. You can see the full list of gardens on the BrocSoc website and look out for bunting and balloons indicating participating houses (or children's birthday parties you might want to crash).

Ladywell roadworks expected to drag on until Christmas

The BC style-guide frowns upon the use of newspaper-favourite words like "farce" and "fiasco", but in this case, we're happy to make an exception. The Ladywell town centre roadwork delays are reaching farcical proportions. Local resident Tony writes:

Ladywell businesses have written to Lewisham Mayor Sir Steve Bullock calling for an urgent meeting to discuss further delays to the completion of the street improvement works in the neighbourhood. Local business people, frustrated by the seemingly endless delays to the works that started in May, are worried that some businesses could go under because the disruption is causing a dramatic reduction in footfall.

Local businesses wrote to the Mayor in June when the the project first hit snags and was delayed. They were told the work would be completed by end- September. They are now being told it will be October, with workers on site saying it will be Christmas before the works are finished.

Shopowners say there is no sense of urgency in the work being carried out by the contractors Conway. Construction is progressing at a snails pace and activity is intermittent.

The businesses have called for an meeting with the Mayor to explain the serious impact the street works are now having on local businesses and to urge him to do all in his power to ensure Conway steps up the pace of the building work.

Brockley Social 2

Jayne is organising another Brockley Social meet-up. She says:

We are three neighbours trying to get to know more people locally.  A few weeks ago we organised a drinks night in the Talbot pub and 6 people joined us.

This Saturday 7th Sept we are meeting at 1:30pm in Pistachios cafe in Hillyfields for lunch, or coffee and cake, and maybe a stroll round the park after. We'll have a pink umbrella on our table so you can find us.

Brockley has many nice places to eat and drink and we plan to arrange some more meetings in the future.

You can email jaynehelenhon@yahoo.co.uk or just turn up and join us.

Pret a LeSoCo

Two LeSoCo (formerly Lewisham College incorporating Southwark College and not to be confused with Lesotho) fashion students will be on show at London Fashion Week on 17th September.

Work by 18 year old Nhung Le Thi Hong and Gloria Iyare will be showcased at Freemasons’ Hall in Covent Garden. The students are competing in the 2013 FAD Junior Awards Final.

Gloria Iyare
Nhung Le Thi Hong
Nhung and Gloria are both doing Fashion Foundation Diplomas at LeSoCo. As with all the finalists, their designs have been inspired by their urban city surrounds. The winner will get a top design placement with project sponsors George at Asda.

The Awards are part of an outreach project organised by London based charity FAD (Fashion Awareness Direct). They conclude weeks of ‘Fashion Futures’ workshops, which involved a total of 100 young people from across 19 inner-city London boroughs.  Run between January and March this year, the south London workshops were held at LeSoCo, as they have been for each of the nine years of this FAD programme. LeSoCo’s own expert fashion lecturers led many of the workshops.

From the 100 participants, 20 finalists were selected by an industry panel to take part in an intensive FAD summer school. LeSoCo’s students worked with professionals at the University of East London to make up their calico designs into final fabrics.

Brockley booze crew

Following swiftly after Patchwork Present is another local digital startup business, EeBria.com. Technically, it's based in the further-flung parts of New Cross, but its founder is local and it's about booze, so... David explains:

EeBria.com is a new way to buy alcohol online – buying direct from the best small independent producers in the country, from craft breweries to artisan distilleries and English wines. When you order you are buying direct from the producer, and they ship direct to you, with a personal touch. 

We currently only sell bottles (hence the absence of the Brockley Brewery!) but have got some fantastic producers including Kernel Brewery and Brew By Numbers in Bermondsey and the hottest new brewery at the moment Siren Craft Brew. Spirits include Sacred Spirits, the City of London Distillery and Strathleven Distillers. 

The list will continue to grow, with five more expected in the next week. We also hope to be recruiting in October and would love a local resident with a love of craft drinks to join us – I’ll get in touch again at that time.

Lewisham Deptford selection process clean

Back in July, Unite's manipulation of the Labour Party's parliamentary selection process looked like it would become a much bigger political storm than eventually materialised and when Lewisham Deptford candidate Vicky Foxcroft got dragged into the story, we predicted it would be an issue which dragged on. However, we were wrong. East London Lines reports:

A Met Police investigation into the selection of a Unite official as the Labour candidate for the Lewisham Deptford seat in the 2015 election has found no evidence of malpractice.

Vicky Foxcroft was chosen by Labour in May as the replacement for veteran MP Joan Ruddock who is retiring at the end of this Parliamentary term. She is currently a councillor for Brockley.

The selection of Foxcroft, a Unite representative for high street bank workers, was referred to the police by the Conservative party following revelations of Unite’s influence on the selection process for the Falkirk seat.

The Telegraph Hill Panto Auditions

Sanjit writes:

It's Panto time again on Telegraph Hill. We've been hard at it, polishing puns, winkling in innuendo, and generally working up a lather and we think we've finally got it just right. Now it's the turn of lots of lovely people to make it come alive, so we are holding auditions:

Telegraph Hill Centre – Craftroom, Thursday 12th September, 2013, 7.30pm

We are looking for a good mix of people and ages. You don’t need experience. Most past players hadn’t been on stage before. The point of the Panto is to have fun. We will rehearse for the next two months before putting on four shows in early December which will be fast, fun and funny.

Please spread the word far and wide - this year, the Panto is a fundraiser for Telegraph Hill Centre and Bold Vision.

The Brockley Voices choir

Happy Mondays returns

Happy Mondays comedy nights return to the Amersham Arms in New Cross with a sell-out Stewart Lee gig next week. Tickets are stupidly good value and the pub is a great comedy venue. Organiser Jon says:

We have lots of good comedians coming up. Headliners include:

9th September - Stewart Lee (SOLD OUT)
23rd September - Rob Beckett
7th October - Robin Ince
21st October - Susan Calman
11th November - Arthur Smith
25th November - Pappys
9th December - Lucy Porter and Marcel Lucont 

All gigs are MC'd by Brockley resident Holly Walsh! Tickets are still just £5. Full listings at www.happymondayscomedy.co.uk

The Lewisham Hospital Victory Dance

On the Brockley forum, Tamsin writes: 

The Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign are facing more legal costs - the Secretary of State is appealing Mr Justice Silber's decision in favour of the Campaign and Council - so the "Victory Dance" is also a fundraiser.

Ticket prices reduced from the earlier flyers that have gone round and about. £20 still gratefully accepted as a "donation rate", but there's also standard at £10 and concessions are now £5.

Tickets available online - http://www.savelewishamhospital.com/victory-event-rivoli/ but they can also be bought in person at Brockley Market on Saturday 7th September, New Cross Learning and, of course, at the Celebration in Ladywell Fields after the Parade on 14th September.