Goldsmiths opens Music Studios on New Cross Road

L-R: Producer Nigel Godrich, Head of the Goldsmiths Music Studios Mikko Gordon, Travis lead singer Fran Healy and Radiohead bassist Colin Greenwood at the launch
Last night, we attended the launch of the new Goldsmiths Music Studios, 286 New Cross Road, between Deptford Town Hall and the Hobgoblin.

A new facility, it is, "designed to be a creative space for research, performance and recording where musicians, both Goldsmiths students and members of the public, can make professional-level recordings using state-of-the-art equipment," according to the Goldsmiths team behind it.

The studio is designed to cement Goldsmiths' reputation in the music industry - alumnus James Blake won the 2013 Mercury Prize and recent graduate Katy B has just earned her first number one album, while historically Goldsmiths has been a springboard for successful musicians, producers and music industry figures, with alumni including Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon and Alex James (Blur), Brian Molko (Placebo), John Cale (Velvet Underground), Rob Da Bank, Kanya King (MOBO Awards founder) and Rob Stringer (Chairman of Sony Music Label Group).

As a new facility, available to the public, the studio is also a little piece in the puzzle for the high street, where Goldsmiths is seeking to bring buildings it owns back into use, having attracted criticism for leaving units empty.

Click here for details of the studio.

The Lewish Are Coming!

The Office Club, Peckham

In an ideal world, there'd be one of these in Brockley - perhaps at the old police station, above a new bar / restaurant, to expand the local daytime and night time economies. But until that time, this is an interesting new opportunity to share workspace nearby.

The logo doubles as a rude word search, to while away boring meetings
The Rooftop Film Club are setting up a new co-working space at the Bussey Building on Rye Lane, Peckham. It's described as "a creative and inspirational space designed for freelancers and small businesses to thrive in."

The Office Club are offering a free week trial. Following space is available for £10 per day with flexible, monthly rolling contracts, covering the use of a desk, super-fast broadband, access to a private meeting rooms, office amenities, social areas and kitchen. There is space for up to 50 people at any time.

Viewings from 5th March. Register your interest at

Myatt Garden Book Swap

Lucy writes:

Next Tuesday (4th March) Myatt Garden Primary School PTA is organising a Book Week book swap. The only problem is that people tend to donate books they have outgrown and so we don't have enough books for the older junior kids!

Do you have any books suitable for kids aged 8 - 12? If you do we would love to find them a new home so please drop them off at the school on Friday or by this coming Monday the 3rd March, 5pm at the latest.

Myatt Garden school entrance is on Rokeby Road, SE4 1DF

Brockley Police Station sold

Brockley Police Station is now sold and off the market. The handsome Howson Road property occupies a pretty big footprint and has sui generis use class, which means that whatever plans the buyers have in mind, they will need to be approved by the Council.

Just yards from Brockley Station, it would make a good location for offices, a restaurant or a bar, but odds are that the developers will be thinking in terms of flats...

Join The Hill Traders

Across the country, the Big Craft markets, use their monopolistic power to drive a ferociously hard bargain with struggling felt farmers and drive independent craft shops out of business. Where once, every high street would have two or three craft shops, today some areas are craft deserts, forcing the public to drive miles every week simply to stock up on craft essentials.

Well there is another way.

The Hill Trader in Telegraph Hill is very much the people's craft store and they are looking for crafty volunteers to join them. Jane explains:

More than 20 locals sell hand made items at The Hill Trader. For this fantastic opportunity most of us volunteer a few hours a fortnight on the till, which is a great way to meet other locals and pick up valuable skills. We are currently looking for new traders to join us who sell unique items and can volunteer. 

 If you’re interested you can find out more here or email with any questions and a description or images of what you make.

Cityscapes at the Sunday Art Salon

David from the Hilly Fields Sunday (sometimes Secret) Art Salon writes:

Come and see the newly refurbished Sunday Art Salon at our first ever Private View on Friday 28th February 6.30pm - 9pm for our first show of 2014, CITYSCAPES: Anthony Johnson and Martin Fidler.
Show continues on Sundays 2nd March- 23rd March 1pm - 5pm.

Some of you are familiar with Martin Fidler's work as he exhibited at the Salon's inagural show in December 2012. Now he is showing a series of powerful charcoal interpretations and ink drawings of London's familiar  landmark architecture.

Anthony Johnson is primarily a landscape painter who works in oils, watercolours and other water-based media, with a solid emphasis on drawing from life to provide his starting point. These large scale works are ambitious and experimental in technique utilising mixed media illustrating various cities around the world.

Coming soon: The LP Bar

The London Particular is the the gift that keeps giving. When it arrived in New Cross, it helped raise the bar for food in the area. Then it helped nurture a foodie entrepreneurs who can be found at Brockley Market or opening new places in New Cross. Now, the team are launching a new bar for New Cross - The LP Bar.

The website reveals nothing at the moment and the Twitter feed offers only a glimpse of what looks like a bar being built and the suggestion that whatever they are up to, it will involve "LARGE blocks of dark chocolate". New Cross has had its share of phantom bar openings, but these guys are the real deal.

New Cross has somehow managed to shrug off the threat that a small new supermarket opening would destroy all independent business in the area to build a really strong cluster of places to eat and drink - as befits an area with fantastic transport connections, a Hollywood star as its patron saint and one of London's leading Universities at its heart. It's not Dalston, or even Peckham, yet - but it's starting to fulfil its potential.

More to come from New Cross later this week...

The Royal Standard

The Royal Standard
86 Tanners Hill

Since 2012, The Royal Standard has become hostel with a pub attached. Only guests of the hostel have access to the bar area.

If you've stayed there, please post your reviews here.

Degu station for sale

These lucky fellows get their own special dust
Anthea is looking for a new home for her degus. She writes:

2 male degus (small Chilean rodents) for sale. They come with their large cage + accessories (bowl, water bottle, metal wheel, wooden stumps, etc) and what supplies we have - degu pellets, hay, sawdust, degu dust, etc. 

They are friendly, social creatures. Looking for a new home with a loving family. £25 only. 

 Please call Anthea Boyd on 07769 653 082.

Oh yes, and the house prices

A group of Deptford residents is campaigning to have their homes reclassified by the Royal Mail as being in Greenwich, so they can earn a coveted SE10 postcode and profit from the Waitrose effect. A petition has been launched to move the SE10 boundary to Watergate Street, bringing it west from its current position at Deptford Creek.

The justification features some guff about postmen somehow not being able to find them because they get befuddled by the SE8 designation, before they cut to the chase:

"In addition to this, our property prices and held at artificially low levels due to this confusion."

This particular instance of postcode snobbery elicits no sympathy from BC. Firstly, anyone who's ever argued the toss over what and where Brockley actually is knows that the boundaries for postcodes, ward boundaries and taxi drivers' mental maps do not align. That's just life in the big city.

The idea that postal services can't cope with their own system sounds like a convenient myth, particularly as anyone who knows the area west of Deptford Creek would always consider it to be Deptford - the place is littered with Deptford place names and heritage.

And as for house prices, well if you bought your property any time in the last 100 years or so, you'll have got it at a discount on account of it not being considered part of Greenwich next door (although there are plenty of grotty streets with SE10 postcodes), so you've not lost out on anything. This is just opportunist gerrymandering by the petitioners.

Embrace SE8 - it is who you are.

With thanks to Melissa.

Ladywell tennis lessons

Starting tomorrow and running until early April, South East London Tennis will be running low-cost tennis lessons for children and adults at venues across Ladywell. Details below:

Tuesday 25th February to Tuesday 1st April

Ladywell Fields
Adult cardio 9.30 - 10.30am
Adult social 10.30 - 12pm

Ladywell Day Centre
Mini Tots 4 to 6 year olds 4 - 4.45pm
6 to 10 year olds 4.45 - 5.45pm

Saturday 1st March to Saturday 5th April

Ladywell Fields
10 - 11am Adult Cardio
11-12pm Adult Improver

Prendergast Hilly Fields College Sports Hall
1 - 2pm 6 to 10 year old beginners
2 - 3pm 6 to 10 year old experienced players

Brockley: A little town called Hope

Local film maker Luke Mordue has launched a Kickstarter for his Melancholia-meets-I Am Legend project, 'Sola'. It's intended to be an examination of depression in a post-Apocalyptic setting and asks "what if the last surviving human didn't want to live?"

Where better to pose these questions than in Brockley, which you can catch a brief glimpse of in his promo, here.

Scandi cheek

Lest we forget that Conway is not the only contractor who likes to do a half-arsed job for Lewisham, here's a gentle reminder about the large number of potholes generated by Skanska's installation of new streetlights, which no-one seems to be in any great hurry to address.

Conway remain king of Lewisham's roads

Homer: Ooh, look at me! I'm making people happy! I'm the Magical Man from Happy-Land, in a gumdrop house on Lollipop Lane... Oh, by the way: I was being sarcastic.

- The Simpsons, Flaming Moe's

In recognition of their consistently excellent work across the borough, delivering projects on time, on budget, to a high standard and with minimal disruption, Conway has been awarded a seven year contract with Lewisham Council, worth £3 million a year to maintain the borough's roads.

Number 82 Film Club, February 26th

Number82 Film Club is hosting a night at the Brockley Social Club (240 Brockley Road), screening Bronco Bullfrog and Local Life on Feb 26th, from 7.30pm - 11pm. They say:

Bronco Bullfrog is a tale of teenage love and alienantion, the film plays out against the cafes, bombsites and the new brutalist architecture and high rise flats in Stratford, East London. With a cast made up of young people from the streets, it offers a snapshot of late 1960's working class life.

Local Life  is a short film sponsored by the Brewers Society, it just points the camera at various people enjoying various pubs! The incredible thing about this film is the editing and sound effects, quite amazing.. its a form of public information film about the joy of pubs.

Tickets £3. Bingo at 8pm.

Voice of the Beecroft

The BC Twitter feed is not just a propaganda channel, it's taken on a second life as a place for Brockley Central readers to coalesce and help each other out with everything from advice to stuff.

Sal has gone one stage further (and more local) and launched a sharing community with Beecroft Road as its epicentre. She writes:

Beecoft Hive is a neighbourhood cooperative community for residents to trade skills and resources and build a bit of community spirit.

I first got the idea a few weeks back when I’d managed to bagsy a tumble dryer on Freecycle and was faced with the mission of picking it up from Hither Green. Neither my fiancé nor myself drive and none of our London-based friends with cars were available. It would have been incredibly useful if I could have just popped over to a neighbour and asked for a lift. The thing is, I don’t know a single one of my neighbours, even though we've lived in Brockley for four years! We ended up getting a cab.

When I was a child, we knew all of the residents of our street by name. We knew their kids names and when their birthdays were. If I needed sponsoring for something at school, my first port of call was always my neighbours. At Christmas we delivered cards and small gifts to the elderly residents. There were parties and BBQs in the summer and all the kids played together in the street.

We are all so much more connected to our friends and family via the Internet now but it’s been to the detriment of local life. When you can Skype your best friend in New York or get your groceries delivered at the touch of a button, why bother knowing the name of the person who lives opposite you? This reality makes me sad, so I decided to launch Beecroft Hive.

I think the main stumbling point that I’m facing is the fact that people trust each other a lot less now. Because we don’t start right out knowing everyone on our street, there’s always the fear that you’re putting yourself at risk, so the only way this project will succeed is if the neighbourhood takes a bit of a leap of faith, starts out slow and builds the network. Currently my focus is on Beecroft Road, Dalrymple Road, half of Howson Road, Merritt Road and the immediate stretch of Brockley Road. I plan to extend the catchment area if uptake is poor, but I’d be happy for anyone within SE4 to join in now.

I’ve drafted up a set of terms and conditions for the community, focusing on keeping everyone safe and happy as much as possible and I honestly believe that this is a resource that could benefit a lot of people and put an end to the isolation of living globally, rather than locally. It’s possible that I’m being idealistic, but the proof will be in the results, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

New mews approved for Tanners Hill

Planning permission has been granted to a new development at the top of Tanners Hill. The proposal is for:

"The construction of five 4 storey blocks and one 3 storey block, incorporating balconies/terraces comprising 9, one bedroom, 38, two bedroom and 11, 3 bedroom self-contained flats with associated access, 13 parking spaces, cycle parking, amenity space and landscaping."

The homes will be built in a mews formation by Notting Hill Housing, and looks like a high quality project.
With thanks to The New Cross.

Brockley Beers at Patchwork Present

Patchwork Present is hosting a freelancer drinks night, with beers provided by the Brockley Brewery. The Harefield Road start-up, which runs a group-gifting service, writes:

If you’re a Brockley freelancer who’d like to meet other home-workers in the area, or your a local person who likes beer and people, come along to our next Brockley Beers evening in collaboration with our friends at the Brockley Brewery. 

It’ll be from 7pm - 9pm on 27th of February at our shop at 7B Harefield Road. SE4 1LW. If you’d like to come email and we’ll make sure there’s a beer with your name on it.

Lewisham Live 2014

Photo by Benedict Johnson
LEAN writes:

With more than 2000 performers in 14 shows, across 9 venues in 3 weeks, Lewisham Live provides an opportunity for our young talent to flourish. Now in its fifth year, the festival has become an important event in the Lewisham calendar.

Lewisham Live gives children and young people the chance to perform music and dance in professional venues including The Albany in Deptford, Bonnie Bird Theatre at Trinity Laban and The Broadway Theatre in Catford.

For the first time Lewisham Live is training young comperes in association with Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre. This is a brilliant opportunity for budding presenters to work with voice coaches, MC’s and directors to compere Lewisham Live 2014.

With ages 5 to 25 performing everything from classical to hip hop, jazz to street, this festival has everything for young people and their families. “Our children and young people develop amazing creative skills in our schools and relish the chance to show them to a wider audience; Lewisham Live gives them that chance to shine.”

Click here for full details of the 2014 programme.

Brockley Rocks Chip Week

Booyah! Brockley Road chippy Brockley's Rock has won the London regional final of Chip Week 2014. Judges loved their crisp, fluffy output and their questionable use of apostrophes.

UPDATE: Brockley's Rock reacts:

National Chip Week is a celebration of the potato and its many forms. Over the past few weeks we asked the Brockley community to vote for us in the Chip Choice Awards. Well the votes are in and we are so proud to serve the best chips in London. So we would like to thank you all, everyone who took the time to vote for us on social media and in store. We couldn’t be happier! 

We would also like to thank Brockley Central, who introduced us to this great community we call home. It’s been a fantastic journey since we opened just two years ago. Serving fish and chips to our neighbours, providing gluten free options on Tuesdays, getting the most amazing feedback on Twitter and Facebook and now this! We really are very thankful, as we couldn’t have done it without all of you.

Zoom nurseries opening in Brockley

After being thwarted in the past, 0-5years nursery operator Zoom has finally found a site in Brockley - the former Welsh church on Lewisham Way. The nursery will open in September and is currently advertising places.

Safika, Upper Brockley Road

Safika Organic Health Centre
12A Upper Brockley Road

The Safika team writes:

We are an organic food store, specialising in all things organic, vegetarian, vegan and gluten free foods. We also sell vegetarian cakes, muffins, patties, bitters, tonics, roots and herbs such as Moringa and much more. We also run cooking workshops where you can learn how to make your very own Coconut Oil!

We are also launching our juicing bar and fruit & veg stall on Wednesday 26th February. So please come along and visit. Our opening times are from 10am – 8pm Monday to Saturday.

Le Drame

Katherine: La main, “de hand”; les doigts, “de fingres.” Je pense que je suis le bon écolier. J'ai gagné deux mots d'anglais vitement. Comment appelez-vous les ongles? 
Alice: Les ongles? Nous les appelons “de nails.” 
Katherine: “De nails.” Écoutez. Dites-moi si je parle bien: “de hand, de fingres, et de nails.” 
Alice: C'est bien dit, madame. Il est fort bon anglais. 
- Henry V

Speed Dating at the Hill Station, March 1st

Speed dating in Telegraph Hill accompanied by the worst film ever made and promoted via a "Keep Calm" poster may not sound like the best way to spend an evening, but based on friends' experience, half the population of Soulmates hails from these parts, so something is obviously required. Philippa writes:

Many people have requested an opportunity for single people to meet others in a similar situation so we are putting on a fun informal get together on Saturday 1st March 2014. Tickets are just £5.00 which includes your first drink from the licensed bar. There'll be a film in the background (Love Actually -what else !!) and some light-hearted activities to help start the conversations and meet new people of the opposite sex.

Click here for full details. Or here to download Tinder.

My floody Valentine

Lewisham's flood plains
Lewisham Council writes:

Lewisham Council is urging residents to find out if their area is at risk of flooding using the Environment Agency's flood map. The borough is not currently deemed to be at risk, but areas most likely to be affected are places like New Cross, Deptford, central Lewisham, and low-lying areas around the A21.

Visit the council's website to find out more.

Third Wave Entrepreneurs needed

For the last couple of years, a big problem for people aspiring to start a high street business in Brockley has been a lack of space. Most units were full, derelict or in limbo - occupied by dormant incumbent businesses.

But suddenly, there are options. Some spaces have been refurbished, while in other cases local businesses have decided to call it quits, freeing up the space. The list of opportunities in the area includes:

- The Broca Food Market - a prime site on the West Side, on the market now

- Degustation - a ready-made business with a long-term lease, for sale to new owners to take on and grow

- Birds Dress Agency - still on the market in Brockley Cross, as is the largest unit in The Tea Factory, a potential cafe next to Green Tea Architects.

- 61 Loampit Hill - a small handsome shop on the corner with Tyrwhitt Road that lies empty following its recent renovation. A new tenant could capitalise on its proximity to The Talbot, Brockley Market, Lewisham College and thousands of new flats down the hill in Lewisham

- El's Kitchen - a prime retail spot in Ladywell, where a popular deli stood until the owner chose to sell-up for health reasons.

- Smiles - a restaurant space in Brockley is a rare opportunity. However, it's on the market in a pretty sorry state - not a project for the faint-hearted.

- Albertine's is an even rarer beast, a bone fide pub. It needs significant investment and has been on the market for a long time, but until recently, pitched as a going concern. However, its recent closure means that any incoming landlord would enjoy a clean break with its past.

- And finally, Network Rail is at last renovating its derelict unit on Brockey Road, creating a new space next to the station.

To fill these spaces, we need a new generation of entrepreneurs to give Brockley a shot - a Third Wave.

Obviously, Brockley's timeline divides neatly into two periods with 2007 the pivotal year: Before Brockley Central (BBC) and Anno Bloggerati (AB) thereafter. The First Wave of Brockley businesses therefore, were all those which came before Brockley Central's birth - from Mr Lawrence, Le Querce and Jam Circus to The Barge, Fishy Business, Cinnamon and Sounds Around. The Second Wave began with Degustation and The Broca cafe - the first new businesses that we got to get excited about. The Third Wave starts now, with the departure of Degustation and the arrival of Sodo Pizza in Honor Oak.

The First Wave consisted mostly of businesses that opened in the just because Brockely was there. The Second Wave was characterised by businesses that opened with a stronger sense of possibility about what Brockley could be - The Orchard, The Gantry, El's, Arlo & Moe, Gently Elephant, Geddes and Brockley Market - all sought to raise the bar for the area.

The Third Wave looks like it might be very different again. Sodo is a first: An established restaurant that's built a fanbase elsewhere in London but looked this way to expand - an indicator of the area's growing profile. The imminent opening of a traditional barber station in Midtown suggests that hipsters will also play an important role in the Third Wave. Whoever else comes, they will be met by previously untapped demand.

Chill Pill, Feb 20th

Chill Pill Thursday 20 February 2014, 7.30pm (doors). Tickets £7, £5 (concs) 
Chill Pill: The Big One Thursday 24 April 2014, 7.30pm (doors) 'til late Tickets £9, £6 (concs) 

Because South London's second-coolest poetry night is for losers. The Albany Theatre team write:

South London's coolest poetry night is coming to the Albany. The combined linguistic talents of Mr Gee, host of Radio 4's Bespoken Word and Rhyme and Reason, Canterbury Word Slam Champ Raymond Antrobus, youngest ever UK Poetry Slam Champion Deanna Rodger, first ever Brent Poet Laureate Simon Mole, and Hammer & Tongue National Slam Champion 2012 Adam Kammerling.

How do communities work?

John, of Brockley Central Twitter data fame, writes:

I’m looking for people who live and work in or around SE4, SE8 and SE14 to take part in a study about the ways people communicate with each other to get to know and be involved in their local area.

All it takes is an informal chat and a few questions lasting around 25 minutes, in a café or public space that’s convenient and comfortable for you. I’ll even provide the coffee!

If you’d be interested in taking part please drop me an email at

All the information given would be treated in the strictest confidence according to the Data Protection Act
and referred to anonymously in the final report.

So, doors open at Sodo {UPDATED]

Sodo, the sour-dough pizza joint that's taken over the Old Bank in Honor Oak Park, opens tonight, from around 5pm. Customers can turn up without a reservation, although they have no idea how many people will come through their doors on the first night, so booking might be advisable.

UPDATE: The first reviews are in on Twitter. And they are good!

Damon Albarn plays the Rivoli

The Guardian reports that

Damon Albarn will perform two shows in London this spring, confirming dates at both the Rivoli Ballroom [April 30th] and The Great Hall at Queen Mary University of London.

 To mark the release of his first solo album Everyday Robots, the Blur frontman will debut tracks from the new record with a band including guitarist Seye, drummer Pauli The PSM, bassist Jeff Wootton and Mike Smith on keys, at the two intimate venues: the first being a 700 capacity ballroom and the second a 780 capacity hall.

The golden wishbone

Jessica writes:

I live on Drakefell Road and unfortunately I lost a very sentimental necklace charm on my travels this morning. It may have fallen on the train, on my walk to Brockley station or on the train itself. Got the train at 8.22am.  The charm is a gold wishbone. Somehow I haven't lost the chain but just the charm itself.

If someone found it, please email me.


Thanks to Tash, who sent us this photo of a Brockley Road hoarding, announcing the imminent arrival of RR's Traditional Barber Station. "Book Shops" be-damned, this is the kind of innovation we need on the high street.

Given the number and variety of beards available locally, these guys know their market.

Hopefully more news on this soon.

The Pass Menagerie

Ashby Mews has been turned into a secret graffiti gallery. Garages and lock-ups have been re-cast as foxes, cats and badgers (natch). Here are a couple. More on our Instagram feed.

With thanks to Woodenfingers.

Telegram Gallery

'Napoli' - Alberta Bamonte
Telegram is a new virtual gallery, devoted to the work of South London artists. Run by New Cross-based Maria Howard, it formally launches this Thursday and will showcase local artists online.

Four new jobs at start-up Breakfast and After School Club

The CCC Breakfast and After School Club is hiring. The team says:

We are looking for a new team of creative, fun and dynamic staff members to be part of a new creative Breakfast and After-school club, supporting the local children to flourish.

We will be open Monday – Friday 7.30-9.00 for Breakfast Club and 3.15pm-6.30pm for After School Club, Holiday Clubs are planned for Summer 2015.

We are looking for one full-time manager, two qualified Play Workers and one Trainee to cover each six hour session, five days a week (we are happy to split the play sessions should you require part-time work either breakfast or after school club.)

The qualified candidates must be educated to Level 2 Diploma in Playwork (NVQ) or equivalent and the Trainee will gain fantastic ‘on the job’ training and as well as the opportunity to be formally qualified. In return we offer great rates of pay – £8.80 p/h (qualified) £6.31 p/h (trainee) and great opportunities to develop creatively. Manager’s salary on application.

Please contact for an Application form. CVs will not be accepted. No agencies please.

The Brockley Cross Cushion

"Lady In The Well" spotted this collection by Thorody - a design team, which includes Goldsmiths alum Vicky Putler. They've produced these cushion cover designs called Brockley Cross, as befits their "love of early modernism infused with a hint of South East London."

Soon, we'll all be able to write books about how we lived for a year using only SE4-inspired products, from Brockley boots to Lewisham Way wallpaper.

All Along the Watchtower

Professor Farnsworth: The university is bringing me on disciplinary charges.
Leela: Whatever you did, professor, I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation.
Professor Farnsworth: Yes, but they won't listen! Everybody's always in favour of saving Hitler's brain. But when you put it in the body of a great white shark - uuuh, suddenly you've gone too far.
- Futurama

Ever wonder what happens if you sign up for a Goldsmiths experiment? The beautiful maniacs strap your baby's head into an infernal contraption and fire bubbles at him, all in the name of science. On this occasion, our nephew's "reaching" behaviour was being studied - but where does it stop?!

Marlowe 450th anniversary: Screening of Jarman's EDWARD II

The Deptford Film Club write:

To celebrate the 450th anniversary of the playwright Christopher Marlowe’s birth, the film adaptation of his classic play 'Edward II' will be screened inside St Nicholas' Church in Deptford, south London, where Marlowe was buried following his murder in 1593.

When King Edward II takes a male lover, Piers Gaveston, both his wife (Tilda Swinton) and palace officials are enraged – and plot his downfall. Adapted by the radical British filmmaker Derek Jarman, the film contrasts the lavish 16th century text and setting with modern imagery of gay activists, riot police, yuppies and an unforgettable cameo from Annie Lennox.

When: 8pm-10pm, Friday 28 February 2014
Where: St Nicholas Church, Deptford Green, Deptford SE8 3DQ
Tickets: £7.00 + booking fee. or £10 on the door

More details on the Deptford Forum.

Vinyl, Tanners Hill

4 Tanners Hill, SE8 4PJ
T: 07930421113

Vinyl is a new record shop-cafe-gallery hybrid in Deptford. They say:

"Jenny and Ron bring you a new space to to invade, with Jerome Hill in the record shop VINYL...Gallery, Record Shop and Coffee Bar is Deptford's latest micro venue serving coffee smoothies cakes and paninis with a licensed bar."

DJs play in the bar until closing time at weekends.

The Crofton Park and Honor Oak Neighbourhood Forum

BCer Robert points out that Crofton Park ward is also trying to launch a Neighbourhood Forum. As the application for the Crofton Park and Honor Oak Neighbourhood Forum states, it will copy the ward boundaries.

Lewisham Council is now consulting the community about the idea. Like Civilisation, the first player to plant their flag on this area gets sole claim on the territory, with no other group entitled to create a Neighbourhood Plan.

There's not a lot in the application to react to. It's all sensible stuff and the stated aims are the usual communal platitudes: "to promote the social, economic and environmental well-being of the area... to work with members of the local community in assessing the priority of needs, and to work together to address these needs... to encourage the goodwill and involvement of the wider community, etc and so on."

Still, if you're interested in getting involved, there are details here.

Start the New Cross Neighbourhood Plan

Florence Road: The group wants more of this sort of thing please
Two New Cross residents are hoping to build a local coalition of locals, to establish a Neighbourhood Forum and Neighbourhood Plan, to influence Lewisham planning policy and create pilot projects, including a social enterprise and a Community Land Trust.

There's a detailed article here, setting out their manifesto, but the group's primary aims are to improve the public realm, boost the local economy and "ensure" provision of "truly affordable" housing in perpetuity in the area (perhaps through a Community Land Trust), particularly aimed at people who have been evicted from social housing or cannot afford affordable or private rents in the area. They also want to improve the retail offer (music, book shops and galleries, natch) in New Cross.

In the last few years, New Cross has done a pretty good job sorting out its own problems organically, refurbishing local pubs to make them commercially viable, opening new shops, cafes and venues like The Allotment, Sainsbury's, The London Theatre, Number 178, Birdies, The Particular and Chinwag and making marginal improvements to the public realm, such as Goldsmiths' recent makeover. The big problem is of course the road system, and there's little any Neighbourhood Plan can do about that. But the more people get involved and make a difference, the better and a coherent vision for the area would be welcome.

The first meeting is on March 6th.

£5,000 funding available for community projects

Lewisham Homes, the organisation responsible for running and maintaining council housing and estates in the borough, writes:

Got an idea that will improve the community, environment or safety in your area? Apply for a grant of up to £5,000 from the Lewisham Homes Community Fund 2014.

Last year, the Community Fund helped kick-start 16 local projects, ranging from street dance lessons in Sydenham, a business enterprise course for young people, improving the Heston Nature Garden, sporting activities for 8-14 year olds in Deptford to a family and neighbour activity weekend for residents on the Kender Estate.

What you need to know

Your project must benefit Lewisham Homes’ residents, and meet one of the following criteria of:
• Improving the community
• Improving the local environment
• Improving safety in the area

Who can apply?

You can be a Lewisham Homes resident, a group of residents, or a community group or social enterprise, but your project MUST be for, and benefit, Lewisham Homes residents. Your project can be a one-off piece of work, or last for weeks or even a couple of months.

Key dates

• 3 March: Community Fund launches
• 14 April: Closing date for applications

Successful applicants will be notified in early May.

How to apply

If you have a fantastic idea for a community project then book your place now for a one-to-one support or training session on how to apply for funding. Email  or call Joy Burnett on 020 8613 7662.

Investor wanted for Ladywell Fields cafe

The Ladywell Village Improvement Group reports that the search is on for someone to run the new cafe planned for Ladywell Fields. They say:

Glendale is finally seeking 'expressions of interest' from persons interested in investing in, and taking on a 6 year lease to run, the café in Ladywell Fields. Glendale is seeking responses by 19 February 2014.

Click here for the full details.

Vote Jack 2014

Darren from the Brockley Jack Theatre writes:

Last year, thanks to the help of BC readers, we won The Off West End award for Most Welcoming Theatre in South East London.

Voting is now open again for the Awards and if you enjoyed an evening at the Jack you can vote for us in the following categories: Most Welcoming Theatre; Best Theatre Bar; Best Theatre Foodie Experience.

Simply click subscribe at the bottom of this page and when you receive an email, choose ‘The Jack Studio Theatre’ for South East London. With your help we could be bringing these awards to SE4! Voting closes Feb 14th

Degustation for sale

Devastation! Coulgate Street's brilliant French deli Degustation is up for sale. Owner Augustin writes:

My endeavours have taken me abroad and although I am very attached to Degustation, which I set up in 2007 and have grown over the years with the help of Lila and Laurence, I have realised that I cannot continue to run it from afar. It's not fair on the customers and not fair on the team! 

I have just renewed the lease on 12 Coulgate Street for 5 years and I would like to sell it on as a going concern. I am available on this email for any questions or enquiry. Since I started the business in 2007 its growth has been steady and it still has a lot of potential for development despite being more than sound. It is time I let go and give someone else the opportunity to bring some fresh and new to Degustation. 

In the mean time, it is business as usual!

Though it's sad news, it's good to see a local high street business be offered for sale, rather than clung on to by someone without the time, resources or focus it needs.

Degustation was one of the very first good new high street businesses that opened in the Brockley Central era. At the time it opened, it seemed improbable that an area like this might attract a shop like it - today, it is one of a handful of good local delis, catering for proven local demand.

A Tale of Two Sausages, 7pm, Thursday 20th February

Unfortunately for the talk, Simone can't say "sausages", she can only say "squashages"
At Number 57, local graphic artist Simone Lia explores themes of what it is to be human through a cast of characters that include bunnies, carrots, sausages and chickens. This talk is free but please book via the website so that we can monitor numbers:

Mellow kitty

Simon, from St Asaph's Road, has found a kitten. He says:

A small tabby cat/kitten has turned up in our back garden and appears to have no home. She is very affectionate and looks well cared for. We have trawled round all the local roads asking people if they have lost a cat but to no avail. We suspect she may have been abandoned. We would keep her but we already have a cat who is very territorial.

Please email Simon if you are her owner.

The Yard Peckham

No sooner has The Guardian (taking a break from its war on pornography) declared CrossFit the death rattle of Late Western Capitalism(TM) than a CrossFit centre opens in Peckham.

Given BCers vocal demands for local gyms, we thought this one might be of interest - it's called The Yard Peckham and founder Zade says:

"We're opening The Yard Peckham, a functional fitness gym in a warehouse unit in Copeland park next to the Bussey building. The whole project has come about as we weren't a fan of conventional gyms and after we had finished playing rugby at Goldsmiths we needed something to keep us busy. So we started working out in a car park in Deptford and it has kind of spiralled from there.

We are currently in the process of becoming a CrossFit affiliate, once we have been approved we'll be running as CrossFit Peckham. We are looking to focus on becoming part of the community, we want to be able to offer classes and apprenticeships to kids in the local area. We've noticed there are a lot of bored kids knocking about in Brockley and Peckham, who might need an outlet.

The Yard opens this month. You can follow them on Facebook here.

Eleven Monkeys

Deptford High Street - Reverend Casy

This weekend, we wandered around Deptford High Street - and this video captures the experience nicely. The amazing market has spawned a street food offer and the Yam Yam festival was in full effect between The Albany Theatre and Deptford Library. A band played, the crowd was good natured, we scared our daughter with fish heads. Life was good.

The documentary which tried to suggest Deptford's soul had been hollowed out by planners, gentrifiers and immigration seems more myopic than ever.

With thanks to the Deptford Dame for spotting this video.

Haberdashers primary expansion secured

Haberdashers Askes school has secured permission to redevelop the Hatcham College site to create a two form entry primary "free" school with a capacity of 420 pupils. The proposal requires:

"The demolition of three single storey buildings and the two storey Caretakers House and the construction of a part single, part two storey building for a new primary school at the site, including Photovoltaic panels on the roof; canopies to the southern elevation; associated landscaping and removal of trees at Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham College, Pepys Road SE14."

Primary schools in the area are rushing to create more places to cope with growing demand as the local population rises and fewer young families choose to leave the area as their kids reach primary age.

With thanks to the New Cross forum.

School rules

Lewisham Council is consulting on how school places in the borough should be allocated - always a hideous question.

Specifically, they want to know whether from 2015/16, the children of school staff should be given priority (to help attract good teachers) and whether the way of calculating the distance from your front door to school should be calculated from a single central point in the school, rather than from various gates.

CPZs - lowering the democratic bar for grey goo

"I earned capital in this campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style. When you win, there is ... a feeling that the people have spoken and embraced your point of view, and that's what I intend to tell Congress, that I made it clear what I intend to do as the president; now let's work."
- George W Bush

Every time we're forced to revisit the subject of Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs) we're more convinced that they should only ever be introduced as a last resort, because they produce more unpleasant side effects than Substance D. But Lewisham Council's 2013 Parking Policy Review recommends measures to make it easier for them to impose them on local communities:

1. Reduce the vote in favour required in local consultations from 55% to 50%. Given that a turnout of only 10% is enough for the vote to be considered valid, this means that only 5% need be in favour of a CPZ for it to be imposed on everyone.

2. Streets that vote against the CPZ may nonetheless have one imposed on them if it is necessary for the effective implementation of the scheme.

While the second recommendation seems eminently sensible (in a "democracy just doesn't work" sort of way), the first recommendation is completely unjustifiable - the voting threshold ought to be raised, not lowered. Before unleashing the T-Rex of CPZs into a chaotic system like Lewisham's streets, the Council should have to be able to demonstrate a significant majority supports the idea.

It's an open secret that Lewisham oversteps the law, using CPZ income to pay for other local transport services and takes this income-generating potential into consideration when evaluating future CPZ projects. The review notes that:

Proportionally, on-street parking income funded approximately 50% of the Council’s spend on highways maintenance and improvements in 2011/12, although it can be seen from the above that income from Pay and Display and Permits mostly cover the cost of managing and enforcing parking services...

Whilst it is recognized that new CPZs will generate additional income, the financing of the costs of implementation, and abortive costs on those schemes that do not proceed, will need to be considered as a part of the council’s overall financial strategy.

At a time when Council funding is being severely squeezed, introducing new CPZs or whacking the prices up on existing ones are tempting strategies. Car owners tend to be better off and those who own their homes tend to benefit from appreciating house prices by way of compensation. But every time a new CPZ is introduced, it causes all sorts of unforeseen problems.