Winter Warmer Supper Club, November 8th

New venue No57 Loampit Hill is already getting interesting

The good people of Brockley

Rachel writes:

I don't know how else to do this, but I'd like to thank the three men who picked up my partner and cared for him while the ambulance arrived after he suffered a brain haemorrhage on Wickham Road on Monday. They also locked his bike up safely which I retrieved today.

I am incredibly grateful to them for their help. He is making good progress in intensive care. I ask for help because I wasn't there at the time and don't know who they were and therefore how to thank them! My partner's name is Jo and we live on Lewisham Way.

Mayor calls in Convoys Wharf

The Mayor of London has called-in the £1 billion plan to redevelop Convoys Wharf in Deptford after the developer Hutchison Whampoa lost patience with Lewisham Council over the protracted decision-making process. Building Design reports:

Hutchison Whampoa lost patience with the local authority, accusing it of making “unreasonable and unwarranted” demands and of pushing the scheme’s viability “to its limits”.

It wrote to the GLA in October, just a week after its executive director, Edmond Ho, sent a letter to the head of planning at Lewisham expressing his frustration.

“After more than five years, firstly with our previous masterplanners Aedas and then with Farrells, we simply cannot comprehend how you can now choose to prolong the decision process further,” Ho said. “We fail to see any justification for such a major strategic project suffering further unnecessary delay.”

This week Johnson, whose design advisers include Terry Farrell himself, agreed to take over as planning authority for the 3,500-home scheme which will see three towers built on the site of Henry VIII’s naval dockyard and Sayes Court, the home of 17th-century diarist and gardener John Evelyn.

He praised Lewisham’s recent record on housing but said: “In this particular case the planning history over the long term and particularly over the past year or so indicate that the breakdown in relationship between the council and the applicant is such that I am not satisfied that you will be able to reach a timely planning determination in respect of the current planning application for this important site.”

Opponents of the scheme are right to criticise its lack of respect for the site's history and the worryingly poor transport access to the site, but this saga has dragged on for an inordinate amount of time - meanwhile, lack of housing supply in London pushes prices higher and higher.

Day of the Dead Late, at the Horniman

Thursday 7 November, 6-9pm 
The Horniman’s next after-hours party for adults, Day of the Dead Late, is inspired by the annual Mexican festival. Follow a procession of fluorescent skeletons and Mexican musicians through the galleries, dance with a giant skeleton, experience a magical puppet performance with Theatre of Dolls, join in a Day of the Dead party with DJ Stylus in the Conservatory, discover fascinating skeleton facts, and enjoy short films. Food and bar open including Mexican street food and Day of the Dead cocktails.

Find out more about Day of the Dead Late at Tickets are £3. Over-18s only due to the nature of the events.

1,000 Sunflowers for New Cross

Tom Toal's comedy goal

Tom Toal has asked his fellow Brockley residents to support him in the public vote for this year's BBC Radio New Comedy Award. He's one of eight wild cards you can vote for now.

He starts badly, telling everyone he's from Bexleyheath, but it gets better.

Hunt's Lewisham A&E appeal thrown out

PA reports:

The Court of Appeal ruled today that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt did not have the power to implement cuts at Lewisham Hospital in south east London.

Three judges announced their decision on the second day of a hearing in London.

Supporters of the highly-regarded hospital cheered when Lord Dyson, the Master of the Rolls, sitting with Lord Justice Sullivan and Lord Justice Underhill, gave their decision in an appeal brought by the Government over a High Court judge's ruling in July.


Puss in Boots, December 5th-7th

Sanjit writes:

Our handsome hero wins the hand in marriage of a petulant Princess. But that’s not the only story in our production of Puss in Boots. There’s a lot else to thrill and bamboozle as unhinged shenanigans abound featuring preening Pusses, odious Ogres, Dames in distress, morose Monarchs, wily Wizards, flatulent Fairies and much more.

Our story was written by a local writer, is set in and around our part of South East London and draws a talented cast from the community. All proceeds of this rambunctious Panto go to good causes - Telegraph Hill Centre and Bold Vision.

Puss in Boots plays from 5 – 7 December, with two shows on Saturday 7 December at 3.30 and 7.30pm. Tickets are £12 / £6. There will be tea, cakes and a bar too, so come on down.


Heat treatment

Ewa is a massage therapist who's set up a new treatment centre in local salon Heat, (315 Brockley Road). She explains:

I offer a wide range of treatments such as Therapeutic Massage, Reflexology, Hot and Cold stones Massage, Indian Head Massage, Pregnancy Massage, Baby Massage, Hopi Ear Candling and a great and very beneficial Infrared Sauna. 

For more details, please visit

A sad farewell to El

It's a day of shocking, saddening losses. El, of El's Kitchen in Ladywell, is putting her deli up for sale. It's a wonderful business and El has been a tireless campaigner for Ladywell and a creative, award-winning entrepreneur. But it's time for her to move on, as she explains:

It is with great regret that we have to inform all our lovely customers that El’s Kitchen will be closing for good on Thursday 31st October. Unfortunately El is unable to carry on running the business and there is no succession plan in place. It’s been a really hard decision for us to make and we’ve given it an enormous amount of consideration, and, although we have looked into other options, none are viable given the circumstances.

We’ve spent a fantastic three years bringing you delicious food & drink in Ladywell and we couldn’t have done it without our wonderfully committed staff and tremendously loyal customers. We’ve really valued your business and greatly appreciated your support through the highs (Christmas trading & wine tastings!) and the lows (the bloody road works!).

It’s been an amazing experience being such a pivotal part of Ladywell and we’re very sad that El’s Kitchen will no longer be at the centre of the local community. We’d like to thank our customers and staff for coming with us on such an exciting journey, and we’re really hoping that someone can take over the reins and carry it on so that Ladywell gets to keep its deli.

El’s Kitchen is solvent and is not being liquidated. The lease and assets are for sale of this perfectly positioned property, which comes with an A3 restaurant licence, an on & off sales premises licence and a very friendly and accommodating landlord. Any interested parties should contact

Hilly Fields tree wreckage

Courtesy of Fred Pearce
Brockley is a Green Zone at the moment, with trees down all over SE4 as a result of this morning's storm. Fred sent us this photo of a fallen mature tree in Hilly Fields. Up to four Hilly Fields trees have been reported lost by BC readers today.

Lewisham Council also confirms that "Ladywell & Brockley Cemetery is closed today because of fallen and unsafe trees."

Storm disrupts Brockley transport services

At least they're being realistic. National Rail Enquiries reports that due to this evening's anticipated storms, there will be no Overground services and possibly no Southeastern trains tomorrow morning before 9am. Southern is also expected to be operating a reduced timetable.

"After this, it is expected that a normal service will resume on all routes." Although of course, that normal service is likely to be playing catch-up for a long-time afterwards, as delayed commuters swamp the trains.

With thanks to Monkeyboy for the warning.

UPDATE (07.52): Southeastern are not currently able to run train services due to the risk of trees falling onto the railway lines, damage to equipment and localised flooding. Southeastern expect to run a reduced service later this morning, with many routes not starting until after 09:00.

UPDATE (08.13): John Higginson has tweeted this photo of a cherry tree, blown over in Manor Avenue.

UPDATE (08.18): The Old Kent Road is closed-off near Asda (reportedly due to wind blowing over a crane on a building site), which is bad news if you're trying to bus in.

UPDATE (09.25):

Pub Spy on The Talbot

The News Shopper's legendary Pub Spy has stumbled across The Talbot:

Its fatigued green paint job would camouflage it in a pleasant Brockley street if it weren’t for an eyesore patio, while the inside space is at first glance small, plain and dilapidated. But visiting this pub is like sifting through bric-a-brac at a jumble sale and finally unearthing a battered vintage whatnot to treasure...

As I reassessed The Talbot, I realised it is cool in a low-key, beaten up kind of way.

It comes across as no-frills but then serves non-standard lagers and I spied a disused specials board flogging dishes such as game terrine, steamed mussels and venison.

Pub music is always contentious, but if I say I heard two Smiths songs in the space of half an hour, it probably gives you an impression. The overheard bar chatter had a similar vibe – ‘literary canon’, how to define terrorism and class politics.

There was not one mention of Moyes In, Holloway Out, or Ibrahimovic’s screamers the night before – which on one hand I found refreshing and on the other disconcerting. This is a pub where it does not feel wrong to sit in a corner reading a book, so I did.

For the full review, click here.

Talk to Me

Talk to Me is a group that has taken it upon itself to encourage Londoners to talk to one another, which would at least neutralise northerners' main line of attack against that London (guess what: we have busy, interesting lives, we don't need to talk to one another on the tube). Anyway, this weekend, they plan to convert some New Cross bus stops into "talk stops". They say:

Talk Stop Challenge Time: 1-5pm 
Location: Bus stops on New Cross Road 

We'll be rebranding rebranding several bus stops in central New Cross into ‘talk stops' during Talk to me SE London week! Talk Stops will be created by Patricio Forrestor, SERFs, Emily Gardner, Nicky Donald, John Reed, Loraine Smith, Sylvia Dos Santos and Dani from Prangsta.

Visit the site for more details.

Makers Market

Christmas market 14th-15th December at No.57 (57 Loampit Hill, SE13 7SZ)

Charlie writes: Hello all you talented makers! Would you like to sell your handicrafts? We are going to hold a Christmas market at No.57, a new creative space on Loampit Hill, on 14th-15th December 2013 and have a few spaces still available if you would like to sell your handmade wares.

Let's see if the good folk of Brockley can do their Christmas shopping locally this year. If you're interested, we'd love to hear from you - 07599988004 or email for more details.

Ladywell Road reopens

The Brockley Boutique

Serena Gomez is starting a new project called The Brockley Boutique. She explains:

We're hoping it will offer local residents a way to buy, sell and swap clothes, as well as giving a platform to local designers and/or knitters who can't afford a pop-up shop.

As well as being a fun way for the community to interact, it is also partly driven by a desire to reduce our over-consumption of new clothes (and everything that this entails).

The idea is that people in the Brockley area can refresh and recycle their wardrobes by posting ads in the boutique, with all the clothes being affordable and within walking distance. The site is live at but we are waiting until we have 10 new listings before these become have a rummage through your wardrobes and get posting!

Lewisham happiness

I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'
- Kurt Vonnegut

Happy Thursday, Brockley. The Office for National Statistics has published its latest set of UK happiness index data, including the national survey scores (April 2012 - March 2013), broken down for each London borough.

Lewisham scores slightly below the inner London average for happiness, but above the average for 'life satisfaction' and 'worthwhile lives'.

Overall, however, Londoners fare badly compared with their simple provincial cousins, which just proves we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.

Babur wins another curry gong

We're very late with this news, partly because we've been busy, but partly because Babur winning a "best Indian restaurant" award is becoming routine. This time, it's won top honours in the Curry Capital of Britain Award 2013.

The News Shopper has the story on the Brockley Rise restaurant's triumph.

Crofton Park seeks 100 years of train upgrades

BCer William says this is a pivotal moment for Crofton Park transport and wants residents to join his campaigning group. He writes:

The Department for Transport is inviting tenders for the biggest rail franchise in Europe. This franchise will include provisions of trains from Crofton Park station. We are within sight of a world-class system but currently Crofton Park gets a terrible deal - amongst the worst in London, considerably worse than what was delivered in 1950s Britain and on par with Edwardian era provision. 

Our group is fighting for a fair deal in the new franchise specification, with the support of Lewisham Council, local MPs, local GLA members and TfL. More information on our website:

Brockley Social 4

Jayne writes:

We are three neighbours trying to get to know more people locally - tomorrow will be our fourth event.

Tuesday 22nd Oct we are meeting at The Talbot 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 and costs £2 per person. There is 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! I will also reserve a table under the name Jayne, so ask at the bar if you dont see the table.

The Lewisham Coffee Co?

Photo courtesy of Brockley Rog
OK, this has been bugging us for days now - and lots of you are wondering the same thing - what is "The Lewisham Coffee Co." and what is it doing with The Malt and Hops (formerly Albertines) pub on Lewisham Way?

The Malt and Hops only stayed open very briefly following its rebrand. Now it's closed and some "temporary signage" has popped up with The Lewisham Coffee Co. written on it. If anyone knows what's going on, please share.

Foster Bobski

Hello Brockley! We are looking for a loving family with a garden to take care of our cat for the medium term. We are long term Brockley residents, but are taking a work related long term stint in Costa Rica. Unfortuately, our beloved Bobski cannot join us and we are looking to re-home him for the length of our stay. We are likely to return to London in the next 6-9 months. We are hoping to find  a family that, perhaps, is looking to get a cat and can look after Bobski as a "tryout period" while we are away.

Bobski is a wonderful cat. He is very easy going, and perfectly at ease in most environments. He is playful, loving, self sufficient and adventurous. If you have any mice he is the MAN! He caught over five mice in his first week with us. He is a Celia Hammond rescue cat and a true Brockley Gent. Please, Brockley! We implore you, look after our cat, the though of passing him on for good breaks our heart. We need a new home for him by mid November, although we are looking to finalise an arrangement ASAP. Please get in touch at

South East London gets second Crossrail station

South East London will get a second Crossrail Station. The plans for an Abbey Wood station were approved this week by Greenwich and Bexley Councils. The station will join one in Woolwich as one of only two Crossrail stations south of the river.

Click to enlarge the route

Rivoli Disco

Casanova Frankenstein: It must have been hard for you, Tony, the way times and styles have changed... hearing the people say that disco is dead...
- Mystery Men

Olaniyan elected Lewisham's Young Mayor

Emmanuel Olaniyan has been elected the 10th Young Mayor of Lewisham, achieving over 50 per cent more votes than the second place candidate. The 15-year-old Forest Hill School student won with 40 per cent of the vote and will have a £30,000 budget to play with during his one-year term.

Watch his manifesto here. More about the Young Mayor here.

The Catford Canteen

Lewisham Council writes:

This autumn an exciting new indoor dining experience will be opening its doors in the heart of Catford.

The weekly Catford Canteen will launch over two nights on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 October and will be hosted by underground dining specialists Basement Galley, who will bring a touch of their culinary mastery from their most successful east London project, The Underground Supper Club, to a revamped short term vacant unit in the Catford Centre. On its debut evening, diners will be able to enjoy a 5-course menu with dishes from soy-braised salmon to rich aubergine tagine.

The Catford Canteen builds on the success of the Catford Broadway Supper Club and is an ideal way to explore a range of gastro specialities prepared by different chefs every weekend and for new food businesses to showcase their talents. Diners can look forward to tucking in to an eclectic range of food including: Vietnamese (Sydenham’s Two Hungry Bees), Italian (Ladywell’s Pastificio Mansi), Barbadian (Catford’s Inapikkle) as well as Hither Green’s The Hungry Larder, the Hither Green Wine Club and the Brockley Brewery Company. Chefs from further afield will include Colonel Toms Louisiana Gumbo and Christabel’s Mad Hatters Brunch Party.

Director of Basement Galley, Alex Cooper, said: “We’re honoured to be launching this new and exciting venue. Most of what we do is in east London so it’s great to see things happening in this part of London. I also think it’s great that the Catford Canteen is a Council run initiative. Opening a restaurant is expensive so a pop-up restaurant with a fully fitted kitchen, furniture and business support is perfect for budding food entrepreneurs who want to test out their offer before committing to something more permanent.”

Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Regeneration Councillor Alan Smith, said: “Catford residents have told us they want a better range and quality of shops and to be able to socialise in the town centre. Now that we own the Catford Centre, we are able to try out new ventures and give businesses and the local community a sense of what their town centre could become. The Catford Canteen will allow us to embrace this opportunity by turning a short term vacant unit into something new, exciting and vibrant.”

The Catford Canteen is at 28 Winslade Way, Catford Centre, Catford SE6 4JU and advance booking can be made via

Brockley cat turns up in Scotland

Missing Brockley cat Pablo has been found 500 miles away in Scotland, STV reports.

Pablo, the nine-year-old silver tabby, strolled into a bank in Fife a year after he disappeared from his home in south London. The missing mog has left his owners baffled as to how he got there.
Brockley Pablo
The cat vanished from his home Brockley last October and owner Siobhan Campbell had given him up for dead. But he was found in Rosyth he activated the automatic door of a branch of TSB, and started snoozing on a chair. Staff handed him in to the Cats Protection League (CPL), and his microchip revealed he was 449 miles from home.

Full story here. Police are now dredging Loch Ness for all of Brockley's other missing cats.

Thanks to Brockley Jon for the tip off.

Myatt Garden Table Top Sale, November 10th

Peter James opens longer

From the 22nd of October, Ewhurst Road butcher Peter James will open five days a week (rather than three) and will have new opening hours:

Tuesday 9am to 6pm
Wednesday 9am to 6pm
Thursday 9am to 7pm
Friday 9am to 7pm
Saturday 8am to 6pm
Sunday and Monday closed

Jam Circus Reopens November 7th

With news so exciting that their fevered fingers couldn't type Brockley comes Antic with this Tweet:

Day of the Dead Silent Disco

Gill writes:

Friday 1 November 2013 is Mexican Day of the Dead. To celebrate the Hill Station Café will be transformed into a Fabulously Fluorescent, Luminously Lovely, Ultra Violet, Psychedelic Silent Disco. Don’t miss out! Strut your stuff at the only Mexican Day of the Dead Silent Disco in town!! Tickets £15.00 in advance from here.

Your ticket includes: Wireless headphones – tune in & turn on Competing DJ’s – wig out to your fave raves Free Deadly Cocktail – there’ll be blood on the dance floor! Entry into Special Day of the Dead raffle Prizes for best dressed Senor and Senorita. A top line-up of local DJ’s will keep your feet firmly on the dance floor with a selection of the best banging party tunes, decadent disco hits and old-skool hedonism.

It’s a fancy dress thing - the more skulls the merrier (but of course you don't have to). Proceeds go towards funding the New Cross & Deptford free film festival 2014.

Chelwood Auction of Promises, October 18th

The Chelwood Nursery School ‘Auction of Promises’ takes place on October 18th from 7:30pm at Beecroft Garden School. Tickets are on sale now from the Chelwood school office.

I think that you think that a certain borough is not all that it could be, when, in fact, it is all that it should be... And more!

Hyperlocal site Go Earlsfield has this graph, courtesy of think tank The Centre for Cities, which shows that Lewisham's population shrinks by day. It's from a report ('Inner London's Economy') that attempts to understand what happens to the populations of each borough in London's inner core on a daily basis, as commuters flood in and out. 

Inner London accounts for 40 per cent of Greater London’s population, but 56 per cent of private sector jobs. The daytime population of Inner London is 68 per cent higher than its resident population; most of the boroughs import workers daily, but Lewisham, Greenwich, Newham and Wandsworth experience (surprisingly) small net outflows each day:

There is also a wealth of maps, which essentially reinforce the point that Lewisham and Greenwich are home to very few jobs, although start-up growth offers some hope.

With thanks to Richard for the nod.


Kitchen54 is a pop-up diner appearing somewhere in New Cross on Thursday. They say it will be:

"Inspired by the classic favourites of The Americas and Caribbean, Kitchen54 takes the best bits and serves them to you. Real southern style BBQ, Creole Gumbos, Cornbread and our Grandma’s style doggie bags to take home."

Details and tickets available here.

310 NX Road

Peter Austin from Goldsmiths writes:

A pop-up record shop in the heart of New Cross will open on Saturday (19 October) in association with NX Records, a collaborative independent label from Matthew Herbert’s Accidental record label, and Goldsmiths, University of London.

Launched just six months ago as a platform for Goldsmiths students from the BMus in Popular Music, NX Records has already hosted live shows, produced an acclaimed introductory mix-tape and is now proud to announce the opening of the NX Records Pop Up Shop.

The first venture of its kind in New Cross, the shop will be open until Saturday 23 November, and will offer a unique record-buying experience in a lively, friendly atmosphere.

The most desirable new vinyl and CDs from a range of labels, limited edition releases from NX Records artists and friends unavailable elsewhere, and unique handcrafted releases and zines will also be on offer.

From mainstream to underground, the BMus in Popular Music at Goldsmiths embraces popular music in its many forms: rock, pop, folk, urban, jazz, experimental and commercial. It is also the programme that produced Mercury Prize 2011 nominee Katy B, and James Blake – also nominated for the Mercury Prize and a 2012 Ivor Novello award.

Honouring Goldsmiths' commitment to the local creative community and to a new generation of upcoming artists, the shop will also host talks, workshops and Q&A sessions from industry experts, and one-of-a-kind, intimate in-store performances from NX and other local artists including Holy Milk, Thefft, Buffalo Ink and Crewdson.

Goldsmiths recently announced it will be creating new recording studios at 286 New Cross Road for the use of its students from the Department of Music. Once completed, it is hoped the professional-level studios will be available for public hire.

For more information about the pop up shop visit

The Economist on East London Line

Last post based on an Economist article for a while, we promise, but a few people tipped us off about this one and it's relevant to London's "great inversion", as well as our daily commutes.

Last week, the magazine focused on the London Overground's impact on areas along its route and claims the TfL-run model is likely to be rolled-out to other services as a result of its success, with the South Eastern service among the most likely to be taken over:

Since it opened in 2010—with extensions in 2011 and 2012—the London Overground changed two things. First, the way that commuters get around the capital has shifted. In 2008, 33m passengers zipped up and down the service. Last year 120m did. Fully 64% of those who use the network are getting to and from work. This initially lightened heavily congested trains on the Southern service (another line running along the route) with 46% of new passengers swapping from other train services...
Second, areas that were once underdeveloped became more popular... In Peckham Rye, another stop on the service in the south-east, average values went up by 24%. In New Cross, also in the south-east, the average value of property sold increased by 12%. Many buyers are young professional families, says Abdallah Osman of Winkworth, another estate agent. By contrast, average property values in Highgate, a leafy suburb in north London fell by 8%, while those in Muswell Hill, also in the north, fell by 3%. As prices go up across London, younger families and rich professionals are pushed farther east... 

But the continuing success of the Overground will not come smoothly. TfL predicts that several parts of the line will be crammed with commuters by 2016... Squeezed buses and Tubes in the East End have not seen the decline of 6m passengers originally predicted. New passengers have simply taken the place of those who have swapped to the Overground.

For the full article, click here.

Books! Books! And additional books!

This poster contains more words than any of the books on sale

The Hilly Fields Green Fair

The most Brockley event ever

Brockley Foxes Wild in the City

John is a PHD student at University College London, studying the impact of hyperlocal communities like this one.

As part of his research, he'll be asking BC readers to be interviewed, but for the time being, he has another request - one which we're hoping as many of you as possible will be willing to help with.

Below is a series of maps of Tweets by Brockley Central's followers during the course of one week in May this year, selected at random. He's taken the geolocated tweets and mapped them to see where BCers travel, a bit like Channel 4's fox-tracking experiment earlier this year. A couple of things to point out here:

First, most Tweets are geolocated, so this only represents a small slice of the actual activity.

Second, there are plenty of people who follow BC, who are not regular BC readers - some are journalists, some are colleagues or friends, some are randoms, who follow BC out of idle curiosity.
Therefore, this is by no means a reliable guide to how BCers move around the city (and the world). However, the weight of the Tweets is interesting and suggests a few patterns.

First, most BCers seem to work in London Bridge and the West End, rather than East London and Canary Wharf. Despite the rise of the East London Line, we're mostly commuting north-west, rather than north or east.

Second, you can see lines of tweets tracing the route of the train lines to London Bridge and Victoria. Lots of the tweeting gets done during the the morning and evening journeys - possibly motivated by transport frustrations...

Third, and for us the most striking thing, is how little activity there is south or east of the BC catchment area. Very few of us seem to journey outwards - our time and attention is focused on London's inner core.

This mapping exercise was just a warm-up for John. He'd like to run it again, with as much geolocated data as possible. So please would BCers enable geolocation on Twitter for the next week, so he can build as accurate a picture as possible. The data will be anonymised in his write-up, with usernames and content stripped before they are plotted.

The Greenwich Comedy Festival 2013

This year's Greenwich Comedy Festival, switched from summer to autumn, will include venues across the borough, including the Greenwich Picturehouse and Woolwich's Big Screen.

Greenwich Theatre will host Richard Herring, Aisling Bea, Pete Firman, David O'Doherty and Alexie Sayle. The Sunday Special night at Up The Creek Comedy Club will turn into an 'all dayer’ event on Sunday 3rd with comedians including Seann Walsh, Mark Watson and Holly Walsh. COMEDY 4 KIDS will stage 'comedy without the rude bits' at Greenwich Theatre and The Tramshed in Woolwich.

The Monster Comedy Shed will be rocking up in Greenwich Market and legendary grump Arthur Smith will be embarking on a humorous tour of some of Greenwich's most iconic sights in his much anticipated ‘Alternative Greenwich Tour’.

The Telegraph Hill Christmas Market, 23rd November

Ladywell Fields User Group AGM

The LFUG annual jamboree is on Tuesday 15 October, 7.30pm in The Council Chamber at Catford Town Hall.

There will be presentations about the Catford Stadium redevelopment plans and the Secret Gardens project. The User Group also has two elected positions - Chair & Treasurer and Secretary. Tony Rich has served as Chair, and Robert Sheppard as Secretary for c.5 years. Both are happy to ‘give way’ to new blood if anyone’s interested - and can explain what each role entails.

For more information, please email All nominations should be submitted, by email to this address, by Friday 11 October.

Myatt Garden the movie

Beecroft did it, now sister primary school Myatt Garden has made a film, to bring their ethos to life. Here you go:

Cllr Johnson to step down in 2014

Brockley Councillor Darren Johnson this morning announced that he will not seek re-election next year. The London Assembly Chair says:

It’s been a real honour representing Brockley Ward for the Green Party on Lewisham Council since 2002. However, I’ve made the decision to step down and not seek re-election when my current term ends next May. I’ve enjoyed it immensely and worked with some wonderful local residents over the years on a whole range of issues. Twelve years is a long time, though, and I do want to find a bit more time to for some of my other passions in life, such as seeing live music. 

I’ll be enthusiastically supporting our new Green Party candidates for the ward when our team is in place and will be working hard for continued Green success in Brockley Ward in the local elections next May.

Darren has been a truly excellent servant of Brockley over the last decade and his departure is a big loss. It also marks the end of an era for Green Party politics in the area.

The half-term children's theatre pub crawl

Helen writes:

Waggly Tales Theatre Company is performing our original show, The Magic Tea Kettle, at family-friendly pubs in southeast London this autumn half term (Thursday 31 October – Saturday 2 November) and as part of the Lewisham Fringe Festival on Sunday 3rd November. The show, which had a sell-out run in June this year, is for kids aged two to seven - and babies come free.

The Magic Tea Kettle, inspired by a Japanese folktale, is packed with music, mayhem, magic and oodles of laughs. When cheeky Prince Arnold is turned gloomy and dull by a Moody Fairy, his best friend Sophie the Witch has to break the spell. Luckily for hr, help is at hand from a rather smelly but very magical Badger Tea Kettle. Waggly Tales also offers post-show workshops with the cast and director.

The Magic Tea Kettle show dates:
Thursday 31 October: The Ivy House, Nunhead, 11.30am and 2pm
Friday 1 November: The Herne Tavern, East Dulwich, 11.30am and 2pm
Saturday 2 November: The Old Nun’s Head, Nunhead, 11.30am and 2pm
Sunday 3 November: The London Theatre, New Cross, 11am

Tickets: £5-10 Book online via

The Horrifying Halloween Quiz

Claire writes:

On Thursday 31st October, my friend Paul and I will be hosting a pub quiz upstairs at The Talbot pub in aid of my sister's charity Social Arts for Education. As long-time pub quiz fans, Paul and I plan to put on something really special, with horror-themed rounds, spooky atmospherics and the option to dress up if you fancy it. We're encouraging people to form teams of 6. Space will be limited so it's best to email me on to reserve a table.

A little info on SAFE: Social Arts for Education is an alternative educational provision that supports the study of home-schooled children who cannot cope in school. The students range in age from 10 to 13, but they are able to teach children from the age of 8 up to 16.

My sister Annabel, a single mother of two kids, struggled to get a statement of special education needs for her son, who has been diagnosed with ASD from quite a young age. This meant he could not obtain a place at a special education school in the Bexley borough. However, being 'different' to other kids, he was bullied quite badly at his mainstream school. Annabel began home-schooling him, then also took on another young girl who was facing similar problems. Last year, having been contacted by many parents, she took on premises in Eltham, where her provision has blossomed into a centre where kids can learn confidence and social skills, and be tutored in a range of subjects.

SAFE is a much needed facility (particularly given council cuts of funds for statements), but it needs all the help it can financially. If the quiz goes well, I'd love to be able to find a regular venue for it.

Jam Circus plans November comeback

At last!

Blackfriars cluster approved

After Shoreditch and London Bridge comes another new office cluster directly connected to Brockley. Construction Enquirer reports that the Carlyle Group has had its plans for 9 buildings next to the southern exit of Blackfriars Station, comprising "494 homes, 450,000 sq ft of offices, 25,000 sq ft of retail and 18,500 sq ft of cultural space plus a ‘cultural pavilion’" approved.

The development will replace two of the ugliest buildings ever conceived - Ludgate House and this beast, which has blighted South Bank walks for decades.

The Number 82 Film Club, at Number 240

River bend of watch - Deptford Dockyard on 2014 World Monuments Watch list

Leading heritage NGO, the World Monuments Fund [full disclosure: An Edelman client] has today announced the 2014 World Monuments Watch - its list of 67 heritage sites in 41 countries, which it deems "at risk." One of them, is Deptford Dockyard and Sayes Court Gardens, which have been targeted for redevelopment as Convoys Wharf. The WMF says:

Deptford Dockyard and Sayes Court Gardens, London
In 1513 Henry VIII founded the Royal naval Dockyard at Deptford, and the King’s Yard became the foremost Royal dockyard of the Tudor period. Hundreds of warships and trading vessels were built here, including ships for exploration, science and empire. The Mary Rose was launched from Deptford in 1517, and the dockyard remained a naval powerhouse for another 350 years. The site also includes John Evelyn’s seventeenth-century garden at Sayes Court, one of the most famous and revolutionary gardens of its time.

The majority of the area has been concreted over in past decades, but recent excavations have revealed the dockyard’s extensive maritime heritage. Many large structures survive intact below (and in some cases above) ground level. However, the current low-level designation of the site remains unchanged despite this wealth of new archaeological data, and Deptford’s status as a heritage asset remains disproportionate with the survival of the fabric.

2013 is Deptford’s 500th anniversary, and today the site awaits residential redevelopment. Yet Deptford’s most imminent threat comes from the failure of existing proposals to fully acknowledge and respect the heritage assets that the site has to offer. Incorporating the extensive archaeology and combining this with unique public spaces has the potential to strengthen Deptford’s local identity whilst securing this lost piece of the Thames jigsaw. It would also improve awareness of the little-known existence and overlooked history of the dockyard and gardens on a national stage.

Dr Jonathan Foyle, Chief Executive of World Monuments Fund Britain says, “Every two years, the World Monuments Watch reminds us the world around us changes faster than ever before. Change is inevitable, but it needs to be carefully managed so that we carry the best of the past into the future, and minimise the destruction of our record as a species. So we invite everyone to join us in supporting the champions of special places that need a helping hand to stay useful and beautiful.” 

The Watch list is designed to help raise awareness and encourage action through legislation, public-private partnerships and fund-raising. Battersea Power Station is also listed. For the full project map, click here.

Lewisham consults on Council Tax

Lewisham Council says:

The Council is now consulting on its Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2014/15, and also the additional support available to help certain vulnerable people to pay for their Council Tax.

In April 2013 the Government abolished the Council Tax Benefit scheme which helped those people with no or low income to pay their Council Tax. In its place the Council introduced its own local Council Tax Reduction Scheme.

The Government reduced the funding Lewisham Council gets for Council Tax Reduction by £3.2m and the Council had to make some difficult decisions about how to continue to support those people most in need.

The effect of passing on the cut during the current 2013/14 financial year has meant all working age residents having to pay an average of £2.71 extra Council Tax each week. If the scheme remains unchanged in 2014/15 as the Council proposes, it is likely that this amount will not change.

Before details of next year's scheme can be confirmed, the Council is consulting on its proposal to continue to pass on the government cut in grant to those of working age and continue to protect pensioners.

The Council welcomes the views of Lewisham residents and is conducting a short online survey at

Consultation opened on 3 October and closes at midnight on Sunday 3 November 2013.

Autumn Ice Cream at the Broca Food Market

The first ice cream extravaganza of the Mantle Road-era Broca Food Market will be on October 20th. Glacée-guru Joan says the ice cream will be made "mostly with locally sourced and foraged fruits including wild elderberries, blackberries and rosehips, crabapples and garden pears and apples."

Gospel to Garage - Black History Month

The New Cross People's Library is celebrating Black History Month with two new exhibitions at New Cross Learning, 283-285 New Cross Road (opening hours - Tuesday, 10am-5pm,  Weds 10am-7pm, Thurs 10am-7pm, Sat, 10am-5pm). They say:

The Black Panther Newspaper 3-28 October 2013 - This small exhibition contains rare and original Black Panther Newspapers from 1969-71. Supervised readings are available upon request but you will need to wear gloves!

Gospel to Garage 3-28 October 2013 - A new artwork by N. Kidd and Rosanna Mary Thompson, specially commissioned by NXL. This huge work takes a retrospective look at the importance and influence of black music in the Western world in the 20th century – as well as our entire exhibition space!

The Telegraph Hill Playclub

The THP Playclub, a great local institution, will rely on volunteers to keep it open after funding cuts put its future in doubt. Please get involved.

The Ladywell Discount Day - Saturday, 12th October

El of El's Kitchen in Ladywell writes:

The Ladywell traders have come together to help drive footfall back to our shopping parade by holding Ladywell Discount Day on Saturday 12th October. There will be special offers, great discounts and bargains galore in anticipation of Ladywell Road being re-opened. Come and support your local businesses and bag yourselves a bargain – look out for the red posters at participating stores!

Many thanks to BC readers who responded when they heard about the plight of the Ladywell traders – we really appreciate the show of support you have given us.

The Great Inversion

Last month, we posted a map showing how house prices have changed in London the last three years, with Lewisham among an inner core of London boroughs which rose while outer boroughs stagnated. It's one expression of a phenomenon that US demographer Alan Ehrenhalt calls 'The Great Inversion'.

“The late 20th century,” he writes, “was the age of poor inner cities and wealthy suburbs; the 21st century is emerging as an age of affluent inner neighborhoods and immigrants settling on the outside.”

The Economist used the book's title to describe what's happening to London, as illustrated by this map from Savills, which shows the socio-economic changes that have taken place in London between the 2001 and 2011 censuses. Areas in red have moved "upmarket", areas in blue have done the reverse. There are actually two great inversions going on here. Firstly, inner London is rapidly catching up with the outer suburbs in terms of wealth and status. Secondly, London is flipping on its axis, as job creation (see map below) in places like Shoreditch, London Bridge and Canary Wharf fuels the ascendancy of East London:
The Economist explains:

The places that have gone downmarket are in Metroland—the 1920s and 1930s railway suburbs stretching west of Acton and Willesden or around Ilford. These are the middle-class suburbs where commuters move when they have children. But of late, house prices in those parts of suburban London have stagnated, even as inner-London ones have soared ahead. In recent years, the outflow of people to the Home Counties has not been matched by the inflow from inner-London, and so population increases have been sustained by immigration and births...

It attributes this change to three big shifts:

1. Jobs are becoming more focused in central London "at the expense of out-of-town office parks, which look increasingly dilapidated." [Lewisham's lack of job creation is not a unique phenomenon].

2. People are marrying and having kids later, meaning that city-centre lifestyles suit them better for longer. "Today’s 20-somethings are more likely to be university educated and less likely to drive, which makes offices that can be reached quickly by bike, bus or train far more desirable."

3. Structural changes, including falling crime, less pollution and better schools are encouraging families to stay put too, while "gentrification proves self-reinforcing, as new restaurants, bars and other businesses open to serve—and employ—gentrifiers."

So while Lewisham once braced itself for an influx of urban poor, priced out of central London, it seems likely that those people will move further out and our borough might face a very different kind of housing policy choice. The Economist concludes:

In some places, borough councils may be tempted to leverage high property prices to generate cash to redevelop their more run-down parts—turning over their social housing stock to private developers. 
That however smacks just a little of social cleansing. At the moment, complaints about gentrification in London tends to be limited to carping about the silliness of hipster bars, or the cost of a burger in Brixton village*. But... the politics of gentrification in London could eventually become quite tetchy.

*See all arguments about gentrification on Brockley Central ever.

LOOM large at the Amersham, October 12th

New Cross' answer to Og Mandino, Tom Vause writes:

Where were you on 10:30pm on Friday 1st February 2013??? I’ll tell you where I was, in a packed room of gig goers watching the most exciting live band I've seen in a long time with one of the most charismatic and energetic front men in recent memory tear apart the Amersham Arms with a brilliant and frantic set that left everyone watching in awe of their raw power and thirsty for more.

 Since that unforgettable night LOOM have gone from strength to strength, blowing away audiences all over the country and even playing Hyde Park with the Rolling Stones. And now they are coming back south of the river, to the depths of South East London, to the Amersham Arms. If you were there the first time you know what they can do, if you weren’t there now is the chance to catch them in this awesome venue.

Full details here and tickets here.

Poor place suffers from poverty-related health problems

The 2013 health profile of Lewisham is out! It's not pretty.

We're winning on hip fractures (in your face, Eastbourne) and healthy eating (by virtue of the fact that Lewisham is not in the north of England) but not much else:

  • Deprivation is higher than average and about 17,900 children live in poverty
  • Life expectancy for both men and women is lower than the England average. Life expectancy is 6.8 years lower for men and 4.6 years lower for women in the most deprived areas of Lewisham than in the least deprived areas
  • Over the last 10 years, all cause mortality rates have fallen. The early death rate from heart disease and stroke has fallen and is worse than the England average
  • In Year 6, 25.0% of children are classified as obese, worse than the average for England. Levels of teenage England average
  • Levels of alcohol related hospital admissions and teenage pregnancy and GCSE attainment are worse than the stays among those under 18, breast feeding and smoking in pregnancy are better than the England average 
  • The estimated level of adult 'healthy eating' is better than the England average
  • Rates of sexually transmitted infections and smoking related deaths are worse than the England average
  • The rate of hip fractures is better than the England average
  • Priorities in Lewisham include lifestyle and behaviour change, tackling obesity, alcohol and smoking
With thanks to Robert.

The Broca Food Market's big move

Erin from the Broca writes:

We are moving the Broca Food Market over to Brockley Cross, to the shop currently occupied by Birds Dress Agency on Malpas Road.

We're aiming to be in and open by middle of December. The Birds ladies are having a sale now and will be leaving on November 22nd. 

The Mantle Road property is being advertised to let but will be run as a community space to hire for pop ups, workshops, classes, children parties, art shows and son on, from the end of October until the new tenant is approved. 

For the time between between Broca Food Market closing and reopening in the new space, we will be selling our bread, eggs and bits of the organic veg in the Broca cafe. Phew!! All change! 

And just in case anyone was wondering, the plan was in place even before the Sainsbury's opened, so no-one need worry about mung beans being chased out of the area by the supermarkets.

The move is great news for Brockley Cross, which is overdue some new businesses, although it's a pity to lose Birds, rather than fill one of the vacant units.

Fork, Cork and Talk

Via the New Cross forum comes the news that to celebrate their newly-refurbished function room, The Telegraph at the Earl of Derby (is there a more cumbersome pub name?) is launching a new dining event.

Kin Flicks – families on film

The Cinetopia team says:

Cinetopia brings you a third season of fabulously fun film events at the Hill Station Café, Telegraph Hill.
Join us for six culturally diverse films themed around the universal attachments of kinship.

Whether its nuclear, multi-generational, dual heritage, extended or dysfunctional - families have long been a powerful inspiration and rich source material for cinematic drama.

An evening with Cinetopia includes a mystery feature film (you won’t know what it is ‘til its started), a two course delicious dinner from the wonderful Hill Station team and a fun film quiz (points mean prizes).

Starting on Friday 18 October events run every month until March 2014, starting with our first event...

Friday 18 October 2013 The Hill Station Café. Kitto Road SE14

The new Cinetopia season kicks off with an exquisitely painful, bittersweet black comedy showing the break up of a marriage, its effects on the children and how we grow up absorbing what is useful about our parents and forgiving what is not. Doors open 7.30pm. Quiz 8.00. Mystery feature film 8.45 

Tickets are now on sale at . and include film, quiz and a two course dinner. There is a fully licensed bar. Guests may want to bring a cushion. Book early to avoid disappointment.

For further information contact 
If you like Cinetopia please say so on facebook at

The Hope and Honor

The Honor Oak pub-squatters' legalese appears not to have stopped their eviction and there are plans afoot to get the pub back up and running. On the Honor Oak forum, Matt writes:

I am local to Forest Hill and used to love The Honor Oak. It was run into the ground by its previous owners and Punch Taverns have struggled to find a replacement. Hence the eyesore of a boarded up, once great pub. 

Alongside the Forest Hill Society we are pulling together a plan to create a co-operative pub takeover of the Honor Oak. The road is long, but the first step is completed - we are applying for an Asset of Community Value with Lewisham Council, effectively allowing us to block any sale. 

We'd love to galvanise local support from all of those with an SE postal code so if you'd like to get involved and hear about the journey we are going on, please could you join up to our mailing list at the following address:

Celebwatch - Ed Sheeran

We normally avoid celebwatches these days, but since Ed Sheeran had the decency to pose for a photo here, everything has changed - we can add him to the Brockley hall of fame.

The London Theatre Autumn Season

The London Theatre team writes:

Lots happening at The London Theatre in New Cross over next few weeks

Tomorrow - FREE EVENT! come at meet your local neighbours from New Cross, Deptford, Brockley and Lewisham as the local MEET up group has their monthlt social at our venue. All welcome.

This Sunday - FREE COMEDY NIGHT! this isn't a standard comedy club, instead you will see a mix of stand up, musical comedy acts and sketch groups. Starts 8pm

Next Week and beyond...
- GASLIGHT by Patrick Hamilton

Also 26th Oct to 10th NOV THE LEWISHAM FRINGE FESTIVAL over 30 plays, solo shows, children shows, music and dance each lasting no more then a hour!

BEER LOVERS! We have just taken a shipment of Meantime Draft Yakima Red which we are serving double chilled!

Playwriting classes at the Brockley Jack

The Brockley Jack team writes:

Ever wanted to write a successful vehicle for yourself or an actor to play but didn't know where to start? This workshop gives you the tools to create and find the essence of your stage persona, alongside exploring different approaches of how best to tell your story on stage. (14 participants max)

Writing for One This is a practical workshop for the writer to gain experience and confidence in standing up in front of an audience. It will be led by the Brockley Jack's literary manager and playwright, David Bottomley, who developed and performed his own one man show, Message In A Bottle at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2012.

The Jack Writers’ Workshop consists of seven two-hour workshop sessions. The course takes place over four months to allow time for writers to continue developing and rewriting material in between sessions. At the end of the course you should aim to realise a polished ten minute piece for performance.

The course will culminate with a selection of the strongest pieces being performed in front of a ticketed audience at the Jack Studio in early Spring 2014. The cost of the full workshop is £95 which is payable in advance.

Please send an email to with your name, contact details and short writing CV, if applicable, to receive details of how to make payment for the course. Workshops take place on various Monday evenings at 7.30pm-9.30pm at the Brockley Jack Studio Theatre. This workshop is open to writers of all experiences.

The Goldsmiths Prize 2013

Goldsmiths has announced the shortlist for the first ever Goldsmiths Prize for innovative fiction. The six finalists for the £10,000 annual award are:

Jim Crace, for Harvest
Lars Iyer, for Exodus
Eimear McBride, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing
David Peace, for Red or Dead
Ali Smith, for Artful
Philip Terry, for Tapestry

Developed in partnership with the New Statesman, the award helps to throw a spotlight on the Goldsmiths' Writers Centre. Goldsmiths explains:

There are many prizes with a brief to reward the ‘best’ fiction, but while that implies openness to excellent novels of all kinds, the books that win prizes tend, for all their merits, to be unsurprising and conventional. Launching in the tercentenary year of the births of Laurence Sterne and Denis Diderot, the Goldsmiths Prize will go to a novel that shares something of the exuberant inventiveness and restlessness with conventions manifest in Tristram Shandy and Jacques the Fatalist.

The modern equivalents of Sterne and Diderot are often labelled ‘experimental,’ with the implication that their fiction is an eccentric deviation from the novel’s natural concerns, structures and idioms. A long view of the novel’s history, however, suggests that it is the most flexible and varied of genres, and the Goldsmiths Prize will encourage and reward writers who make best use of its many resources and possibilities.

The winner will be announced on November 13th and awarded at a ceremony to be held at Goldsmiths.

[Full disclosure: I am a member of Council for Goldsmiths].

Yam Yam!

We’re in the midst of an ongoing project here at the Albany around food – chickens that have taken up residence in the garden and allotments have sprung up. As part of this we’re about to launch Yam Yam!, a six week festival of performances, workshops and arts activities all revolving around food.

A food fight, a celebration of the history of fried chicken, foraging workshops, poetry a la carte and a theatre show where the audience cooks and eats a meal together: Yam Yam! draws inspiration from the eclectic community around the Albany, with a West African seasoning – and a distinctly Deptford flavour.

Highlights of the programme include Only Wolves and Lions (Fri 1st & Sat 2nd Nov, 7pm), an intimate theatre piece for just 25 audience members, in which participants are invited to bring an ingredient and work together to cook up a feast. The meal preparation forms part of a three hour performance exploring community, isolation and the meaning of the word crisis, and comes from Leo Kay, the artist behind critically acclaimed show It’s Like He’s Knocking.

The Groundnut, a South London based creative partnership producing digital and physical content about what we eat, will celebrate one of Britain’s best loved, much misunderstood food stuffs: fried chicken, in The Groundnut Workshop (Wed 16th, Wed 30th Oct & Wed 13th Nov). Exploring its history and how it became so prevalent on UK high streets, the trio will reinstate fried chicken to its rightful place as king of snacks, as well as serving up some delicious samples.

The event is kicking off this Sunday from 11am with a massive day of free events for all the family including a petting zoo, food workshops, a culinary tour of Deptford, a BBQ, music, poetry and performance. More details can be found here.

Baby Jumble, November 16th

Jenny writes:

Baby Jumble is organised by two new mums – Jenny and Faye – who are well aware of how the costs associated with having a baby can mount up, so we have decided to tackle the problem head on by launching a series of nearly new baby sales, north and south of the river.

This is an opportunity for parents to earn a bit of extra cash, clear some space at home and feel good about the fact that their little ones pre-loved items are going to a good home, while those looking to kit themselves out with baby essentials will be able to buy good quality items for less.

Our first SE London sale will be taking place at Haberdasher Aske's Hatcham College in Telegraph Hill on Saturday 16th November. Tables are purchased for a fixed price of £25 (early bird tables £20), which means that sellers get to keep 100% of their takings on the day.

Entrance to the sale is £2 per family, with 25% going to a local charity. As well as being able to pick up some lovely nearly new items, there will also be tea, coffee, cake, face painting and other activities. More information can be found at