Gulen's Restaurant opens tonight

Tonight, the Gulen's team tell us their bar reopens as a fully-licensed Turkish barbecue restaurant, open from midday to midnight. Menu below with plenty of cooking from the charcoal grill.

Everest Curry King

24 Loampit Hill
020 8691 2233

Time Out says:

At first sight, the Everest appears to be another neon blot on the charmless A20 corridor, but enlightened locals beg to differ. What this no-frills café and takeaway lacks in comfort, it makes up for in tasty Sri Lankan and South Indian grub, endorsed by a steady stream of local Asians.

If BCers have anything to add to that (or simply dispute the notion that the A20 corridor is charmless), please post your reviews in the comments below.

Deptford Wives

Myatt Christmas one and all

Prendergast primary school given planning permission

Prendergast Ladywell Fields College's proposed new primary school, has been given planning permission. Via the Ladywell forum, the school confirms:

Planning was approved for the building of a two form entry Primary School on the PLFC site and building will begin in January 2014. Two Reception classes totalling 60 spaces are due to start in September 2014, with the whole school due for completion by September 2015. 

There will be an opportunity to visit Prendergast Ladywell Fields College to meet the Head and Executive head teacher, and discuss the plans on Thursday 28 November from 6pm.

The Christmas Neighbourhood Concert

Louisa says: "In collaboration with St Hilda's Church we are putting together a monthly classical concert series at the undercroft of the church. The first one will have a Christmassy feel and everybody's welcome."

Lewisham Laughs with Labour

It's Red Wedge for the, um, Tenties(?). Cllr Foxcroft alerts us to the existence of Lewisham Laughs on December 3rd:

It will be a fantastic night of festive comedy with some top-notch comics coming to Lewisham. Organised by the local Labour Party, it will take place from 7:30pm – 11:00pm on Tuesday 3rd December in the St Mary’s Centre, Ladywell Road, SE13 7HU. Comics include:

Wil Hodgson has won best newcomer at the Edinburgh Festival and is a must-see for comedy fans. To sum up his act would be difficult, but it has involved wrestling, cider and care bears! 

Ava Vidal has appeared on 'Mock the Week' and 'Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow'. Mesmerising to watch and also very funny. 

Nabil Abdulrashid is an emerging talent who has already appeared at the Hammersmith Apollo. Politically conscious comedy that has seen him go viral on youtube. 

Alan Mitchell is a great mimic of famous figures – none of whom get off lightly. 

Guest speaker on the night is Sadiq Khan MP for Tooting and Shadow London Minister as well as Shadow Secretary of State for Justice. Tickets cost just £10 including your first drink. You can get yours here.

Kickstart Maddy's Fish Bar

Maddy's Fish Bar is the latest project from the team behind The London Particular in New Cross and Fishdog. They want to open a new fish and chip shop right next door to their cafe and are fundraising £20,000 on Kickstarter, with the promise of curry sauce. They explain:

Maddy’s fish bar will be located in New Cross, next door to The London Particular. Being an established café and a unique gem in the local community, The London Particular has managed to bring culinary change to New Cross. When the owners of the chip shop next door to The LP approached Becky to see if she wanted to take on their shop, Becky immediately thought of Maddy and her passion for fish and anything British, which led to the birth of Maddy's Fish Bar project.

Becky is the owner of The LP and a pioneer of local change in New Cross. The London Particular was recently awarded 5 stars in Timeout’s food guide. She will be a partner in the Fish Bar next door and will contribute with all her vast experience of local producers and add creative twists to the daily changing specials.

Madeline has worked in London’s top restaurants. Her training began at the young age of 15 working as a prep-chef assistant for Billingsgate Fish market’s weekend courses. This was the catalyst for her enrolling in Westminster Kingsway College’s acclaimed catering course. After graduating from WK she had a job waiting for her at Caprice Group where she had been doing work experience as part of her course. She started working at the group’s Scott’s fish restaurant in Mayfair spending nearly two years under Head Chef Dave Mccarthy. Seeking new challenges, she was recruited by Mark Hix for his then newly opened Hix of Soho. Climbing the ranks within the company, Maddy got involved in pioneering Hix’s streetfood concept, The Fishdog van.

Maddy’s menu will be familiar and simple yet new and exciting. Through simple tweaks such as herb infused tempura batter and skin on chips re-invents the classic dish. Keeping the northern tradition of curry sauce is another exciting addition to Maddy’s sauces, which will all be made on site showing the condiments the respect it deserves.

Visit their Kickstarter page here.

Croydon Westfield shopping centre approved

Plans to create a new Westfield shopping centre in Croydon, replacing the rather tired Whitgift Centre, have been approved by Croydon Council. It means there will be a new shopping destination at the southern end of the East London Line, but Stratford's already within fairly easy (and cheaper) reach, meaning it's of dubious benefit for this neck of the woods, especially as it will add pressure to the Overground services.

The Croydon Guardian reports:

Westfield and Hammerson's £1bn redevelopment plans for the Whitgift Centre have been unanimously approved by the council's strategic planning committee. 

The scheme, which was first announced in January, has been earmarked as the catalyst for a massive economic boost to Croydon's economy. 

The redevelopment will see both the Whitgift Centre and Centrale replaced with 1.4 million sq ft of shops and leisure facilities, as well as between 400 and 600 new homes. 

Approval by the planning committee is subject to subsequent approval from Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

Cinetopia, December 13th

Cinetopia at The Hill Station, Kitto Road SE14
Friday 13 December, 7.30pm

Kin Flicks - families on film
In this month's mystery film a con man finds himself saddled with a young girl who may or may not be his daughter. As we follow their picaresque odyssey through the Kansas dustbowl of the Great Depression the two forge an unlikely partnership which is funny, poignant and in the end deeply touching. Cinetopia invite you to join us for the third in our Kinflicks series - an American classic with marvelous monochrome camerawork and a heartwarming cinematic period piece for the Christmas season.

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
- a fun quiz that's not just about film (points mean prizes).

Tickets from:
Contact us at

Lewisham Way plot sold

As the housing market heats up again, some of the area's last remaining residential development opportunities are beginning to show signs of life. Richard writes:

A building plot in the conservation area sold this week at auction (Lot 35) for £310,000. 

It is the 'land at the rear' of 170 Lewisham Way. Someone subdivided their garden a few years ago and sold it off. The site was given planning permission for a 3 bed house back in 2003

The land was sold again in 2005. No building on the site was ever undertaken and the previous permission has lapsed. 

The site had a lot of fly tipping on it until recently, but was cleared up prior to selling and is now a empty. I'd expect to see a planning application being submitted in the next few months. It could prove controversial as it may be considered a mews location.

Slater and Queen

Narrator: And so, Gary Coleman and the Simpsons argued long into the night, and then, as day broke, the spirit of the season entered their hearts. 
Lisa: Lets just agree that the commercialisation of Christmas is, at best, a mixed blessing. 
Coleman: Amen.
- The Simpsons, Grift of the Magi

Ladywell gift shop Slater and King has turned its window into a tribute to Narnia, complete with Aslan and the Snow Queen - thus winning the best local decoration award. And in the end, isn't beating the competition what Christmas is all about?

The Brockley Freelancer Christmas Party

In addition to the Mingle Bells party for local business owners, the Patchwork Present team are organising a party for local freelancers (the forgotten victims of the Christmas season). Olivia writes:

As there are only 3 of us in the studio we're opening our doors to Brockley freelancers who might not have a Christmas party to go to. 

We're planning and paying for it 'patchwork style'. Info here.

The Brockley Brewery Open Day

As Jam Circus becomes the latest to welcome the Brockley Brewery's beers to its taps, this is a chance to go inside the beer belly of the beast itself tomorrow.

Croftmas comes early

24-hour weekend Jubilee Line is coming

LondonLovesBusiness reports:

For the first time ever, Tubes on the Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria Lines will run round the clock [at weekends]. The project will begin in 2015 and is expected to create 200 jobs.

Mike Brown, managing director of London Underground, said: “Rebuilt stations, new trains and signalling systems mean we are now running some of the most frequent metro services anywhere in Europe. To meet the challenge of London’s growing population and development, we must continue to invest and deliver even more efficiently in future.

As well as being fairly useful for Brockley residents, it does mean a 24 hour London Overground service might become a reality too.

Two Angry Men* - Part 2: Brockley Police Station

Knight Frank have listed the former Brockley Police Station for sale, noting that it's a sui generis use class, which means that any developer that buys it will have to justify whatever use they propose to put it to. Most likely, someone will try to turn it into flats, although, as we've argued before, this is a rare opportunity to do something different in Brockley and it would be lovely if Lewisham Council encouraged a developer to include office or leisure uses within the quarter-acre site.

Yv Greav has gone one-further and launched a petition, arguing that it should not be sold at all. She writes:

Brockley Police Station is being sold on. This classical building once a place of the community is in danger of passing onto transient property developers. We need to save this building and preserve it for the local community. 

There are lots of pubs, betting shops, fast food restaurants in Brockley, but nothing no large centre for the whole community to take care of their health. We urgently need a gym. There are lots of new big properties being built in the area such as in front, behind and beside the station. 

Brockley will look very different in 5 and 10 years time, however this all appears quite individually focused nothing is opening up to support the health of the community. 

*We've belatedly realised that Yv is a woman, which renders today's Two Angry Men theme farcical. Sorry.

Two Angry Men - Part 1: Brockley Station

Today's first angry man is Chris, who writes:

Please can you run a story about how the people at Brockley Station now both close the barriers and lock the gate from 9pm at Brockley station east side, so everyone, (disabled, luggaged, pushchaired, or bicycled) has to go up the stairs (ironically past the leaflets entitled ‘making rail accessible’). 

It may stop fare-jumpers who go through the gate, but it would not be necessary if they kept someone on the barriers. The long-suffering staff hate it and encourage people to complain – but that is not enough; so over to you. 

Chris is right, it's annoying. Though of course, public services are under pressure to find savings, so not paying people to stand by a gate may be one of the more palatable measures. What say you, Brockley?

The Hilly Fields Network Mingle Bells

El writes:

Run your own small business, freelance or work from home in the Ladywell/Brockley area? Come and join us for the Hilly Fields Network Christmas Lunch on Friday 13 December, 12 – 2pm at The Gantry, 188 Brockley Road.


- Mingle bells – networking with a festive twist
- Secret santa – sharing inspiration and skills to help your business prosper
- Festive feast – a sumptuous two/three course Christmas menu at The Gantry

Christmas menu
Choice of two courses £24, or three courses £29 (price includes a glass of prosecco with your meal and an espresso or Americano coffee to finish)

RSVP at:

The Hilly Fields Network is a club for freelancers, people working from home, and small business owners around Hilly Fields.

The club brings together local professionals for a regular monthly informal meet-up to support local small businesses and freelancers and build a network of potential collaborators amongst locally-based professionals. To find out about our network go to

Mantle Road bridge 5 - Lorries 0

The Mantle Road bridge has snared another unwary lorry driver. Thanks to Pat for the photo.

The Broca Brunch Club

Duende Supperclub, November 30th

Chef José Botella is hosting a 7-course LondonMed tasting menu at the Telegraph Hill Centre on November 30th. Tickets are £35 per person, which includes a welcome aperitivo and canapés on arrival. A vegetarian tasting menu also available.

To reserve places, please book online Tickets will not be available on the door, advance booking is essential.

The Jam Circus restoration

330-332 Brockley Road, SE4 2BT 
020 8692 3320

Local blogger Kaja Emilie Berg has interviewed the manager of Jam Circus about her plans to restore the reopened pub's place at the heart of the community. She writes:

Fire broke out in the popular Brockley pub last year, due to electrical wiring problems. The pub’s manager, Rose Hanison (28), says it was a big job getting the place back in shape.

“We would have opened it a lot sooner, but we had a lot of different bits and pieces to do. The fire was so extensive and it took us a very long time to clean and get everything set up again,” she explains.

The pub’s got a warm feel to it and hints of vintage style with furniture from different time periods and authentic details, such as old board games and lamps.

“We haven’t actually changed that much in the style and look. The wallpaper and furniture is a bit different. But the general feeling of the pub is the same as before,” Hanison says.
Hanison says the fact that the pub is loved among locals was a motivation for reopening. “Jam Circus has always been known as a community based pub. The support on Facebook and Twitter since we reopened has been humbling.”

Jam Circus are planning to bring back the evenings and events from before the fire. The popular Pub Quiz as well as Cabaret nights where comedians, poets, writers and so on will be able to perform in an informal space, is on the agenda.

“The plans are to eventually expand a third more on the size and have a function room and a dining room at the back. This might happen in January,” Hanison reveals.

Hanison would also like the space to be used by locals if anyone needs a room for workshops.

“One of my dreams for the pub is to make it a creative space for the area. I’m open for people in the community to come to me and tell me what they want to do with the space, and if it works for us we are very happy to get it going.”

The pub also just had a brand new coffee machine fitted, for those in need of a relaxing atmosphere during the day.

“We’ll be a café and lunch area during the day time, a pub and a restaurant at night time and during the weekends we’ll give you a good party time.”

You can read Kaja's blog here.

Mountsfield Park goes edible in major makeover

Lewisham Council writes:

Mountsfield Park in Catford is the latest park in Lewisham to be awarded funding from the Mayor of London’s ‘Pocket Parks’ initiative and will shortly undergo a major programme to transform the upper area of the park.

Lewisham Council, working alongside the Friends of Mountsfield Park, has been awarded £35,000 from the Greater London Assembly to help create a new community garden on the site of the former bowls green.

The community garden will include the creation of a number of distinct individual gardens, raised beds made with new oak railway sleepers where people and groups can plant, tend and harvest their own produce, fruit tree cordons with edible hedgerows and potentially an outside kitchen with large seating area - which will be used as an outdoor classroom or performance space.

The 13.4 hectare park, which was first opened in 1905, is also set to benefit from £450,000 funding from the Rushey Green Renewal Fund and will provide a new café with indoor seating, an outdoor gym, new fitness equipment, an improved children’s play area and better landscaping. The Council has also earmarked £35,000 of this funding to match fund the ‘Pockets Park’ funding for the community garden.

Council officers are currently working with landscape architects from Building Design Partnership (BDP) to draw up designs for the upper park and it is hoped works to the community garden will start in the New Year with works to the wider project beginning later in 2014.

Cabinet Member for Customer Services, Councillor Susan Wise, said: “Mountsfield Park is one of Lewisham’s flagship parks and attracts nearly half a million visitors every year. We are delighted to be a recipient of ‘Pocket Park’ funding which will help us create a much-wanted community garden."

57 varieties of art kick off next week

I am looking at you. Michael Brown, 2013
Number 57, 57 Loampit Hill, SE13 7SZ

Brockley's latest art space, Number 57, opens for its first exhibition next week.

Michael Brown's solo show runs at Number 57 from 22 November until 1 December. They are open on Saturdays and Sundays and they open 10am-6pm on Fridays, or by appointment at other times. On Friday 29th, they also open 6-9pm to coincide with SLAM Fridays, when they'll also be serving Brockley pale ale and wines from Borough Wine.

Late Knights for 2014

Late Knights is the South East London brewing company planning to take over the retail space vacated by Mr Lawrence and turn it into a bar, has been given the go-ahead by Lewisham Council, who always seem reluctant to acknowledge the fact that we need more (good) restaurant / bar space on Brockley Road.

With thanks to Monkeyboy for the tip off.

Ladywell Tavern reborn

After Jam Circus, Smiles, Meze Mangal and the Honor Oak, the Ladywell Tavern completes a month of comebacks. The Ladywell Village Improvement Group reports that:

The licensee-to-be of the Ladywell Tavern yesterday confirmed his intention that the pub will re-open on either 13 or 14 December, probably with live music and certainly with a party atmosphere. 

Looking Up in New Cross

The people behind the 1,000 Sunflowers project in New Cross are back with a new art project and trying to raise funding via Kickstarter. If BCers can fund a pizza oven, they can raise money for public art. Here are the details.

With thanks to Ophelia.

The Honor Oak to reopen with £350,000 facelift

East London Lines reports that Punch Taverns, owner of the Honor Oak pub, is committed to investing £350,000 to refurbish it:

A statement from Punch Taverns said: “With the Honor Oak currently being closed for trade, we are aware that there may be some concern regarding the future of the pub. We can re-assure the community that we see the pub very much part of the long term future of Punch Taverns and we are planning a £350,000 investment and refurbishment beginning in January with a gala reopening in mid March.”

The pub had been subject to a campaign by the Forest Hill Society to turn it into a community-run pub, but while that's a model that can work (as the Ivy House in Nunhead has shown), the scale of this investment is a very encouraging sign that an important local pub is going to be given the love it deserves.

Given that less than two months ago, the Honor Oak was being squatted, this is a quick change in its fortunes.

Brockley cyclist survives after crowd lifts car off her

Brockley resident Claire Pepper survived being hit by a car in Spitalfields after 10 people rallied round to lift the VW Golf off her, almost as though the spirit of Brockley was flowing through their veins. The Standard has the full story.

She says: “The last thing I remember is cycling from work in Kingsland Road. I woke up at about 2am this morning but I have no recollection of what happened. If I had not been wearing my helmet I would have died."

We wish Claire a speedy recovery. It's also good to know that there are nice Londoners everywhere.

And here's a link to her photography portfolio, which seems like the least we can do.

Get involved with the Old Tidemill School and Garden

Naomi writes:

Old Tidemill School, Frankham Street, SE8 4RN

Come and discover Deptford’s hidden gem, the Old Tidemill School and Wildlife Garden.Old Tidemill School will come alive with a hive of activity, every Saturday throughout Autumn/Winter, come design and make with us D.i.W.O style, have fun and get involved.

On Saturday 16th November, ITV will be filming at Tidemill as part of the Peoples Millions – come to the school to show your support! Join in with forest school and tree house art lab activities, enjoy card games, refreshments and cooking on the fire and much more!

Assembly is a group of artists and designers working with local residents, running projects that are creative and engaging, using the school as a test lab for experiments and ideas. Assembly were recently awarded a Pocket Park grant to transform the garden into an accessible and unique wild space in the heart of Deptford.

So, if you’re a maker, a baker, a doer or shaker or simply want to talk and be involved in your local community then pop down. We’re looking for eager volunteers like us - so get in touch! All activities are free and led by volunteers. Children accompanied by parents.

Lewisham and Forest Hill pools to open earlier

The Glassmill pool in Lewisham is a joy. Eight-lanes, flooded with natural light, clean, underfloor-heated changing rooms and a short walk from the northern end of Brockley.

However, if you're an adult with a 9-5 job, who can swim, then getting in there can be tricky, given the number of competing demands for the main pool.

Last Saturday morning, BC was witness to an explosion of anger among swimmers who'd got up early to grab a swim, only for the lifeguards to start roping off the pool half an hour ahead of its conversion for swim school. So this is a very welcome attempt to keep more people happy. Lewisham Council says:

For a trial period of six months from November 2013 to May 2014, Glass Mill Leisure Centre and Forest Hill Pools will open from 6am, Monday to Friday. Residents who use the leisure centres regularly have been keen to see extended opening hours and Lewisham Council is hopeful that the number of people using the pool and gym in the early mornings will mean the early opening becomes permanent. 

The main pool and gym will be available for general use and the café will open from 6.30am, giving the centre users time for breakfast before they begin the rest of their day. With the two leisure centres so close to the main transport hubs of Lewisham Station and Forest Hill Station, the early opening will be ideal for early bird commuters. 

Full details of opening times at all Lewisham leisure centres can be found at

Ladywell Christmas Market, December 14th

El writes:

There will be a Christmas Market in Ladywell on Saturday 14th December.

Lewisham Council has finally given the go-ahead for Ladywell Christmas Market to be held on the new, widened pavement! With their support we can now get cracking with the planning and organisation for the market and bring some glitter, glamour and festive cheer to Ladywell this Christmas.

As usual, we are looking for volunteers to help with the logistics and marshalling on the day, but most of all we need to fill the stalls PDQ! If you are a creative crafter, brilliant baker or a fabulous food producer and would like to sell your wares at the Ladywell Christmas Market please get in touch ASAP.

Email or pop into Slater & King this week to bag your spot – we need to give Lewisham Council a list of confirmed stall-holders by 18th November latest.

Meze Mangal planning November reopening

Meze Mangal's expansion is taking longer than they originally anticipated, and we regularly get asked when the grand opening is due, but they now report that they "hope to resume our services back to normal end of November 2013." With thanks to Gill for the news.

Frycentennial celebration at Brockley's Rock

To celebrate 100 years of the National Federation of Fish Friers Brockley's Rock is joining 100 fish and chip shops across the UK to provide 100 of their customers with portions for 100 pence.

On Monday 11th November be part of NFFF Centenary Chip in for Charity supporting the Fishermen's Mission and their families around the UK.

Smiles hits comeback trail

We've heard this before, but it sounds as though after Jam Circus, Smiles could be the next local institution to reopen. Cydney writes:

I walked past Smiles Thai restaurant the other day and the owner was inside! I asked when Smiles would be opening again and he said SOON!!! 

Either end of this year or early next year! Thought a few people would be really pleased to know that so you might want to mention it!

Ladywell company wins green business award

Ladywell business Re-wrapped beat 500 competitors to win a Green Apple Environment Award for Britain’s greenest companies, councils and communities.

Re-wrapped - established by Tracy Umney and Annie Cullen in 2011 - produces gift wrapping printed on 100% recycled paper and vegetable based inks.

Re-wrapped is currently seeking money to expand by raising money at

Le Querce - top secret foodie haunt

Le Querce - the local restaurant that's so understated, it's practically a speakeasy - has been listed in The Times today as one of the top 20 secret foodie restaurants. They say:

Some of the finest Italian food in the UK is to be found in a slightly outwardly shabby high-street restaurant on Brockley Rise in southeast London. The view of the MOT centre opposite might not be the best but the atmosphere is buzzy, warm and friendly. The pasta is home-made by the chef and owner, Antonello Serra, who has cooked at Michelin-starred restaurants in Sardinia and Bayswater in West London. 

The menu is divided in the traditional Italian way — antipasti, pasta, primi, secondi, dessert. The pizzas are thin, crispy and with basic toppings — “speck and rocket”, blue cheese or simply salami; the secondi courses are similarly simple — lamb cutlets on a vegetable bed, for example, or the pasta: Bufala ricotta ravioli with butter and sage. The pudding is home-made ice cream in exciting flavours — chilli chocolate, or banana with cardamom and ginger. This place really is a diamond in the rough.

With thanks to Nuno.

Jam Circus reopens tonight

It's been a long-time coming, but excellent and badly-missed Crofton Park bar Jam Circus reopens tonight, more than a year after it closed due to fire. The team has confirmed that the doors open tonight at 7pm!

Grim Fandango

One of our bicycles is missing. Brockley Bikes write:

Earlier in the year we had the embarrassment of losing one of our courtesy bikes. Thankfully, after emailing our customer base, we were able to recover it. This is a much sadder day!! Someone has stolen our shop bike, The Orange Fandango.

It has been our company mascot for nearly a decade and is the reason everything we have is orange. We truly believe her to be one of Brockley’s Icons!! I am personally very upset about this event and feel the only way my faith in humanity can be restored is if we can get her returned to her rightful place.

We are offering a reward of between £50—£100 (depending on condition) for the safe return of our beloved Orange Fandango. It was stolen on the 6th November during the day from outside a house on Arica Road. We have had a couple of search parties out, but we have been unable to locate her.


Strictly Rivoli

Chris writes:

In the next of the National Trust's London Lates, the Rivoli Ballroom in South London will play host to an immersive film experience inspired by Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom, presented by the London Project and Hacked Off Films.

For one night only you can live your ballroom dream.  A flamenco guitarist and a dance coach will get you in the mood before ‘Scott’ dances past recalling Strictly Ballroom’s much loved Paso Doble scenes. This is a unique opportunity to waltz beneath the chandeliers, Chinese lanterns and glitter balls in the plush red velvet interiors of the Rivoli.

Hacked Off Films and the London Project will also be presenting a full screening of Strictly Ballroom. Dance yourself silly at the Strictly Ballroom disco with recognisable tracks from the film and more classic dance numbers. There are many more surprises in store on the night at this Strictly Ballroom extravaganza.

Tickets are available from £26 (£20 for students)

Free parking this Christmas for Small Business Saturday

Lewisham Council writes:

Lewisham Council is to offer free car parking on three Saturdays in the run up to Christmas.

Shoppers will be able to park for free all day in all council-run car parks in Blackheath, Catford, Deptford, Forest Hill, Lewisham and Sydenham on Saturday 7, 14 and 21 December.

The start of the free parking offer falls on 7 December – the traditional start of the Christmas shopping rush – and also the UK’s first ‘Small Business Saturday’ which is a national campaign to encourage shoppers to ‘shop local’ and use local, independent shops.

Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham, said: “Town centres are at the heart of our local communities and independent businesses play a huge role in making our town centres the vibrant and prosperous areas they are to work in and to shop.

“We are pleased to take part in Small Business Saturday by waiving parking charges in Council car parks during this period and I hope everyone will take this opportunity to do their Christmas shopping locally and help support local businesses.”

The free car parking offer only applies to car parks that are managed by Lewisham Council and does not include on-street parking, Lewisham Shopping Centre (which is privately owned) or Blackheath Station car park which is now owned by Network Rail.

For a list of all participating car parks visit

Freetime at The Ivy House

Hatty writes:

We are putting on a Dino Collective night at the Ivy House on Friday 22nd November called Freetime. We will be playing real authentic vinyl which is even older than we are, alongside digital files on spangly modern devices.

Joining us in our musical endeavours are Lisa Louder and DJ Kamakiri, which means that none of us will know quite what to expect musically. But it should be fun. Full details on the attached flyer. We'll basically be there from 8 till late playing good music and you don't have to pay to get in. There is even sound proofing, which is music to our ears!

Brockley's BottleBazaar

Brockley's berthed another boozy startup business. This one is called BottleBazaar (it's Moonpig meets Berry Brothers) and it's founded by two local women, Caroline and India, who explain:

A million miles away from tacky fonts and tasteless tipples, BottleBazaar is about quality wine and fantastic labels that can be personalised to say whatever you want. 

The BottleBazaar team have worked with talented artists and illustrators to ensure the design library has plenty of diversity and style. Labels designs range from images of Walter White to London scenes in a collage style. As the business grows the plan is to work with more and more artists to continually offer customers something new.

India and Caroline are also offering a Totally Bespoke service, where you chose an artist to produce a unique piece of artwork for your label. You can get a portrait done, a picture of a place – whatever you like. One of the selected artists for this service, Gemma, is also a local girl, living in Camberwell. Prices start from £12.50 including a smart gift box. Depending on your budget, you can pick a bottle from the bronze, silver or gold categories and the website has all the detail you need to help you make a great choice. Each and every wine is carefully selected from fantastic suppliers across the world, so you’re sure to be giving a gift that tastes great with a label that really says something.

Click here to visit the site.

Greenwich Peninsula deal paves way for delivery of 10,000 new homes

Developer Quintain has sold its minority stake in the Greenwich Peninsula regeneration scheme to its joint-venture partner Knight Dragon in a deal which will ensure the delivery of approximately 10,000 new homes on the 147 acre site.

Commenting on the deal, Sammy Lee, Director of Knight Dragon said:

“Greenwich Peninsula represents a unique opportunity to deliver one of the largest regeneration schemes in Europe and Knight Dragon is fully committed to delivering this landmark development for London, creating thousands of new jobs, new homes and a community where people will want to live.” “Our joint venture with Quintain has achieved a great deal over the past 16 months. We are now looking forward to building on the momentum which has been created.”

Full disclosure: Knight Dragon is a client of mine.

The 484 and 172 among London's busiest buses

The London Assembly transport committee has identified two Brockley bus routes (the 484 and 172) as being among the top 10 most crowded routes in the capital, according to a passenger survey. In a report issued last month, the committee examined how the system will be able to cope with continued passenger growth - 4% growth in the last ten years, with 7% growth predicted in the next 10):
The committee calls for the Mayor to publish a new strategy to show how London will respond to growing demand and makes a number of recommendations of its own, although they mainly amount to "run a good bus service". You can read the report here. The results of the survey should mean that the 484 and 172 (and South East London bus routes in general) receive particular attention.

With thanks to Laura.

The Secret Art Salon

After ten months of successful exhibitions “Sunday Art Salon” is re-launching this Sunday weekly as “Secret Art Salon”. It remains Brockley’s best kept secret due to its location and has a growing following of genuinely curious art lovers who, largely by word of mouth, are starting to discover this hidden art market on their doorstep for themselves.

The House Style is a mixture of figurative and abstract contemporary painting with a changing roster of artists from across London and beyond, as well as an eclectic gallery of original vintage paintings and collectables.
This Sunday we are delighted to introduce a very special selection of beautifully designed silver jewellery by architect and designer maker, Susan Wainwright, as well as the paintings of Charlotte Kessler, Charlie Hodder’s work in oil and acrylic and Consuelo's illustrative art using mixed media. Our resident crooner, Graham Cole will also be singing songs from the Great American Songbook from 3.30pm.

Brockley Art House is open Sundays 1pm -5pm. Go to for further details.

Brockley Social 5 - Fireworks night

Jayne, Helen and Hon write:

We are three neighbours trying to get to know more people locally.  We have already arranged four social events and had a good mix of attendees.

This Saturday 2nd November we are going to the free fireworks display at Blackheath.  We are meeting at The Talbot pub, 2 Tyrwhitt Road at 6:30pm for a quick drink.  We will leave around 7pm to walk to Blackheath.  We'll have a pink umbrella on our table in the pub so you can find us. You can email  or just turn up and join us.

Permit to travel

Residents living in a CPZ who are fed up with ordering permits online or over the phone can now enjoy the convenience of buying them in person from Lewisham Library. The Council explains:

Although parking permits for those living in a CPZ (controlled parking zone) are now purchased online or by telephone, residents can now buy visitor parking permits in cash from Lewisham Library.

In addition, to avoid some mobile phone users being charged at higher rates, the parking service has changed its number from an 0845 number to 020 8787 5397. When residents do not know the details of their visitor’s vehicle, scratch cards are also available for purchase. Residents will also continue to be able to purchase visitor parking permits online, by telephone using their credit card, or by post using a cheque or postal order.

You're welcome, Lewisham!