Write what you know

Once upon a time it was a rare treat for a Brockley thing to register in anything resembling mainstream media. Even Time Out couldn't be bothered. Now, thanks to the collapse of traditional media models and the need to churn out user-generated lists of stuff, Brockley resisdents have been able to turn the tide.

So it is that Arlo & Moe finds itself in The Guardian's best coffee shop top 10 (well spotted Monkeyboy) and the MOT garage's Maya Angelou makes it onto Buzzfeed's list of literary graffiti (thanks Roger). Keep it up people. Greater Brockley's continued success demands total sensory domination.

All these diggers and all these holes in here, somebody's got no truck!

BCer Jim is angry. He writes*:

If you have been around Hilly Fields lately, if not you better watch it. There are about 100 ankle deep holes by some 18yo metal-detecting person. I fell in two thinking they were dogs digging to China.

Someone ran into the kid and asked him what he was doing digging up the entire field. He says he has a license from the council which we all know is rubbish. I attached a picture of potential ankle breaking holes!

*Email has been edited to remove expletives.

Ladywell restaurant plan submitted

An application to redevelop the old Snack Bar at 40 Ladywell Road has been submitted. The application is for:

The construction of rear extensions at basement and ground floor levels and external staircase to first floor level at the rear of 40 Ladywell Road SE13, together with the installation of new shop front, rear extraction flue, roof light to front roofslope and alterations to the rear elevation.

The unit, squeezed between Geddes and Le Delice, has been dormant for a while, but has Tardis-like qualities which mean that it has considerable potential. Brockley architects Gruff have drawn up the plans, which is a good sign that this will be done properly. The plan is to shift the kitchen into the basement, creating a dining space on the first floor, with access to a little terrace area at the back.

With thanks to Simon.

Harmony Sinfonia Concert Tonight

Saturday 28th June 2014, 7.30pm at St Peter's Church, Wickham Road, Brockley SE4 1LT.

Mendelssohn - Symphony no. 5 (Reformation)
Sibelius - Finlandia
Beethoven - Coriolan Overture
Bizet - selections from L'Arlesienne.

Tickets £9/£6, available on the door.

Homophobic crime rises, reported rape not recorded as crime

Two troubling sets of crime figures have been released in recent weeks.

Firstly, recorded homophobic crime has risen dramatically across London, with Lewisham producing a 115% rise in the last year, from 32 cases in 2013 to 69 cases in 2014. The figures come courtesy of ITV News.

Secondly, the News Shopper reports that one-fifth of reported rapes in Lewisham borough were not recorded by the police as crimes as part of a city-wide pattern. The article says:

Figures given to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) by the CPS have shown police categorised a significant number of rape allegations across London as ‘crime-related incidents’ or ‘no crimes’ – this means they were not investigated unless new evidence emerged. A spokesman for the Met Police said: "We voluntarily referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission who took the decision to return it to the Met to be looked at locally."

Summer Fair or Summer Fayre

Coming Soon: The Honor Oak

The team behind the reopening of The Honor Oak pub writes:

Get ready for a new British Gastro Pub designed to get The Honor Oak back to its former glory days as a popular community hub in South East London, frequented and admired by locals and people from wider afield.

After a £600,000 refurbishment we are reopening in August 2014.

Notable additions will be a Whisky Room with hundreds of different varieties; a specially commissioned and specific and labelled for The Honor Oak branded Brut Champagne at £6.95 per glass and £39.50 a bottle; over 30 fine wines and the All-Malt British Beer – The Governor, created by Marco Pierre White and JW Lees Brewery.

New owner Justin Wallace says:

“The main thrust will be on the local community and our local residents who, in the past, held The Honor Oak in great esteem as a huge focal point for their community. There will also be a big concentration on the “family’ and to that end our customers will be able to enjoy a large outdoor beer garden, a dining terrace, a soft play area for children – and mums will even be able to have breakfast or a coffee as our doors will be open from 10 a.m each morning."

There will also be an emphasis on local produce including craft ales and locally sourced ingredients for its gastro pub food, which will include homemade scotch eggs & pork scatching’s, ploughman’s lunch, a wide variety of grill steaks, homemade pies and an abundance of other traditional British dishes.

Other notable additions will be multi-purpose function rooms, which will be used for a variety of different activities including: “City Speed Dating” nights; whisky tasting evenings; cheese and wine parties; quiz nights; private functions and lots more.

Silent Disco Tropical

Like Arcade Fire, The Sopranos and Pogs, silent discos are something we just don't get, but people seem to like. So here you go:

Silent Disco - Tropical (July 12th)

Summer's in full swing and we're dancing 'til the roof blows off at the Hill Station Café. Our turntable maestros bring you a fiery mix of Latin vibes, a fiesta full of funk and enough Brazilian beats to rival Rio!

So get your maracas out, brush up on your boogaloo and come shake your tail feathers at the Hill Station's very own World Cup Carnivale. Your ticket includes: Wireless headphones tune in & turn on Competing DJ's choose your fave tropical rhythms Free Fruity Cocktail on arrival Prizes for best dressed ¡Ay, caramba!

Click here for tickets (£12).

Bad Boys Too

A local resident who asked not to be named sent us this photo of Brockley Police Station, which was recently bought by developers seeking to turn it into housing. No plans have been approved, but it looks like the building is not being taken good care of. He writes:

Unfortunately the original gates and some of the walls with beautiful stonework were taken down earlier today. The roof and some of the wall of the end of the building have also been removed. The Council have been informed.

Bad Boys for the day

Lest we forget. Lewisham's not all night markets and pop-art. The Met writes:

Lewisham Police Station will be opening its doors to the public on Sunday 29 June as it holds an open day. This is the third time Lewisham Police Station has held an open day it will be a family event encouraging visitors to take a look behind the scenes of the largest police station in Europe.

The event will start at 10:00am and finish at 3pm.

Visitors will be able to cast their eyes over vintage police vehicles and original police artefacts that include old-fashioned handcuffs and historic police uniforms from the 1900s.

Brockley: The Wicked + The Divine

Kieron Gillen is one of comics' rising stars, writing acclaimed runs on Thor and the Uncanny X-Men. As we've mentioned before, he also lives in Brockley.

Back in April, as we were hyperventilating about the presence of Captain America in our midst, he revealed that he liked to root his work in places he's lived and that his upcoming series, The Wicked + The Divine, would feature a hero from Brockley.

Well now it's out, and you can see the streets of West Brockley immortalised to the left. In The Wicked + Divine, Gillen has created a world where gods move among us as modern idols - as rock stars and hyperlocal bloggers. A world, much like our own. Not only are the streets familiar, but one of the gods looks a lot like Florence Welch, who spent her early career wandering Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries.

You can download issues 1 + 2 here.

Misty Moon leaves the Ladywell Tavern

Misty Moon, the team behind the gallery at The Ladywell Tavern, have announced that they are moving on. On the Ladywell forum, founder Stuart writes:

It is with regret that Misty Moon Exhibitions & Events and The Misty Moon Gallery announce that we have parted company with the Ladywell Tavern. With effect from 22nd June 2014, we will no longer be occupying our space behind the pub, and are off to new walls, screens & pastures. 

We will continue to host Bloody Brilliant art shows and extraordinary films and events, with our new Central London friends, FlatPlanet, 39 Great Marlborough Street, W1F 7JG and at a new South East London gallery which will be announced later this week. 

If you aren’t already on our mailing list, please sign up using stuart@mistymoon.net to be kept up to date with when and where we are hanging our hat, pictures & projector.

For the full statement and details of their upcoming events, click here.

New solar energy co-op for Lewisham

An electricity micro-generation co-operative for Lewisham and Greenwich residents is being set-up. Camilla from South East London Community Energy writes:

SE Londoners are being given the opportunity to: increase the use of renewable energy, invest in the future and reduce energy poverty through a new initiative. 

A group of local people recently formed the SELCE co-op with the aim of: 

- Raising funds to buy solar panels from a 'community share issue': Anyone can buy a share: annual interest for shareholders will be approximately 5% and the share value will be returned after 20 years 
- The solar panels will then be installed on large south-facing roofs in Greenwich and Lewisham. We already have our first 'partner' - a school in Woolwich 
- Our 'partners' benefit from cheaper electricity bills and the co-op receives income from the government's feed-in tariff (guaranteed for 20 years) 
- Profit from this income is spent on initiatives to provide support to fuel-poor households in SE London by improving home insulation and energy efficiency. 
- And we're collectively reducing carbon emissions into the bargain

If you'd like to get involved, you can follow them on Twitter or go along to their fundraiser night at the Amersham Arms on June 29th.

Lewisham Model Market - Finger Lickin' Good

Brockley Jon here. We went along to the opening of Lewisham Model Market last night, where the sun was shining, the ribs smoking, and the spirit of Lewisham in full effect.

The night looked to be a runaway success, being packed by about 8, with crowds of hungry urbanites waiting patiently outside. Everything was calmly managed though, meaning that queues were fairly minimal - you could get to the bar, and there was just about still room to mill about between stalls or find a spot to picnic.

We took a few photos in the dark, but none of them did the place justice, so below is a snap from their Twitter feed to give you a flavour. The vibe is a sort of a festival/industrial/favela/wild-west hybrid - both exactly what we expected but also much cooler.

Let us know what you thought of last night, or tonight, in the comments below.

Now open: The Brockley Deli

The Brockley Deli is the most daring new opening since The Broca chanced its arm on Coulgate Street. An unlovely (though handy) mini-market has been completely transformed, and with it, Brockley Cross.
We've only had time to stick our head in and take this photos, so can't comment on the quality or range of food, but the place was buzzing already and they have pulled off what once seemed the impossible - bringing cafe culture to the pavements of Brockley Cross. It was only a couple of years ago that Brockley Cross was a crime, litter and traffic-clogged mess. A little investment in the pavements, some proper policing and a dollop of chutzpah from a local entrepreneur and the effect is stunning.

Please post your reviews here.

Adventure is out there!

Developers: Quick, stick this in your renderings!

A-boards, plan B

Lewisham Council has retreated from its hard-line position on Ladywell's businesses' right to roam local pavements. Tony writes:

Ladywell business owners submitted a petition with 500 signatures to the Mayor urging Lewisham council to rethink its heavy handed ban on local shops and cafes using the footpath outside their premises for A-boards, tables and planters. The ban, if you remember, was a result of turning the footpath into a public highway for cyclists and pedestrians - and A-boards and tables might pose a hazard.

The deputy mayor Cllr Alan Smith has now responded. He agrees the implementation of the shared surface pathway was "somewhat heavy handed" and has asked officers to "monitor usage of the cycle lane to ensure that cyclists, pedestrians and the neighbouring businesses needs are met." The officers should take a "pragmatic approach that should allow the businesses ... to use the space outside the shops whilst still allowing access for the paths users." he adds. Cllr Smith says that if changes need to be made in future the council "will ensure there is a full discussion with local businesses before any action is taken."

A little step forward. It was worth kicking up a fuss!

Leegate tries again

Back in 2012, developers St Modwen produced one of the most uninspiring visions South East London had ever seen - a plan to knock down Leegate shopping centre (which needs radical action to regenerate it) and replace it with a supermarket, to complement the one on the opposite side of the road (which is the least radical idea possible).

The plan would have brought a little taste of the Old Kent Road to this spot.

Having gone back to the drawing board, the developers plan to return on June 21/22 with a brand new vision, which sounds suspiciously similar to the last. They promise:

• The demolition of Leegate House and Cantilever House replacing them with new landmark buildings
• A major new foodstore with entrances from Burnt Ash Road and Eltham Road
• Enhancement of the public realm areas within and around the centre
• Around 250 new homes
• New shops and restaurants along Burnt Ash Road and Eltham Road

Following the exhibition, an application will be submitted in the autumn. If you're interested in attending, the full details are here, but please come back and tell us what you thought. Andrew writes:

"I'm a local to Lee so I'm keen for as many people as possible to get down there - one way or another, the more people who are involved in the process in some way the better. St Modwen's plans as they showed them before were rubbish, so while I'm hoping the new developments are a big improvement, the more eyes on them the better in case they aren't."

Socket & See, Harts Lane Studios

‘SOCKET & SEE’ A Concept Installation by Clive Burton, 20 June 2014, 6-8 pm

For this site specific installation in Harts Lane Studios (New Cross), Clive Burton takes the original, now defunct, many times painted over, electrical plug socket, found on the far right hand side wall of the Studios, to create a mould for multiple casts to be embedded in the remaining walls of the space.

Click here for the full details.

La Farce Francaise Supperclub

Join the thrill on the hill
For badinage sur la plage
BYO, so you know.

A supperclub inspired by 1940s French farce is coming to Telegraph Hill on July 12th. The team says:

A French inspired meal, combined with entertaining Cabaret - ‘Sur la Plage’ – a fun journey to the time of the French Resistance. (Think ‘Allo, Allo’ with more cheeky banter [sic] and music.)

You will enjoy a welcome canapé and complimentary drink on arrival, a 4-course 'cuisine française' inspired meal and top class entertainment throughout.

It's £33 minimum - full details here.

The Honor Oak returns

Since its closure last year, The Honor Oak - once arguably the best pub in the Greater Brockley area - has sat hunched on Brockley Rise, a sad hulk, smashed by squatters. Now, its revival is underway and the reopening is due in the next couple of months.

With thanks to Brockley Jon for the heads-up.

Desk-share in Brockley Cross

Local company Coelrind has some office space in the Brockley Cross Business Centre, which they'd like to share. Since desk-sharing is a topic that gets brought up a lot on BC, we thought we'd share the details of their ad. They say

We have 4 Desks (and storage units) to rent in our open plan office. The office has a good internet connection and a kitchen area. We also have a large meeting room within the office (12 foot by 25 foot) that could host 3-4 of our tables. We are open to renting this area as a whole - it would be private and secure. 

Ideally we would like to rent to a startup and/or freelancers who could work with us. We develop and host web portals on behalf of companies. Ideally we'd like to share with graphic designers, web-designers or other like-minded techies.

Click here for the full details.

Free Cakes for Kids

Lizi Stansfield writes:

Free Cakes for Kids provide birthday cakes for local children who wouldn't otherwise get them. Please spread the word - we are new, so looking for referrals and bakers of Lewisham!

Please like our Facebook page. We'd love to be involved in any community events, for raising awareness or providing cakes. If you would like to find out more or to refer a family please contact Lewishamcakesforkids@yahoo.co.uk

The 38th Annual Midsummer Fayre, June 21st

Deptford arch plan gets underway

The Deptford Dame has found these images of the new retail units that planned for the arches beside Deptford Station. She doesn't like them much - we do.

Planning permission has not yet been secured, but as the Dame reports, some initial work has started.

Lewisham's science of sexy

This is obvious bullshit, but nonetheless...

If you want to have sex in London on a Wednesday lunchtime, then Lewisham is the best place for you. So sayeth social dating app Twoo, who've used big data to find the big daters. They say:

Twoo, a global social network for meeting new people, available as a website and an app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone, today releases data that identifies the best locations and times in London and Paris for people to ‘get lucky’ with interactive heatmaps, available at twoo.com/getlucky.

Twoo has also identified the areas in London that are the most active for meeting new people over lunch, in between work or visiting art galleries: 

Monday Holloway 
Tuesday Marylebone High Street 
Wednesday Lewisham 
Thursday Embankment 
Friday Leicester Square 
Saturday Knightsbridge 
Sunday Hammersmith

The 2014 World Cup

The World Cup starts tonight with Brazil v Croatia at 9pm. What follows will be an orgy of late night football and one of the most competitive tournaments in the modern era.

Many of Greater Brockley's leading venues are stepping up to the challenge. Some are studiously avoiding the whole thing. Here's a run-down of some of the best options. We'll add others as they are suggested.

The Orchard

Will be showing all the games except for the 11pm kick-offs. Nice sofas to watch a game from if you can bag one.

The Royal Albert

The team have bought themselves a nice posh telly specially for the occasion and will be showing "almost all World Cup games" being shown - with a goal scorer sweepstake for each game.

The Talbot

Showing the games and promises even to have the sound on!

The Ladywell Tavern

Promises to show as much World Cup football as humanly possible and that there will be happy hour specials during every England game.

The Ravenbsourne Arms

Will be screening games and kicks-off the World Cup with a night of Samba and BBQ tonight.

The Albany

The Deptford theatre is screening nine World Cup group games in their cafe, with beer and food by Flippin Cow burgers.

The Wickham Arms

Has a late licence to show games in May [sic].

The Hill Station

Telegraph Hill's community hub is hosting an opening night party tonight, plus showing any games featuring England or Brazil. 


In Honor Oak, they'll be showing all the games, and have a late license for Saturday's England match.

Jam Circus

The Crofton Park bar, which has already courted controversy by hosting soft-play mornings for toddlers, has vowed it will remain a "World Cup-free zone" although it will substitute dancing for football, with a range of music nights during the tournament.

The 22nd Brockley Open Studios

Bridge Invasion by Michael Woolley (Breakspears Road)
Brockley Open Studios is the finest way to spend a summer weekend and it returns for its 22nd iteration, July 5-7, 2014. It's a slightly smaller roster than usual, but 36 artists will open up their homes and studios to the public, every afternoon for three days.

Click here for the full details.

The Live Lounge

Lounge at the Arthouse - Brockley's latest pop-up venue - began its six-week run this week and tomorrow will play host to Mana Greek (providing the food) and Rabbit, X-Amount and Charles Hayward + Mirei Yazawa (providing the live music and performance).

Full details of the upcoming events here.

East London Line expansion update

London Reconnections has an interesting report on progress to expand capacity on the East London Line by converting the trains from four carriages to five.

The plan is to do the expansion work at the New Cross Gate depot, enabling them to convert them at a rate of one train every two days. With that "aggressive" timescale, they hope to have converted every train on the line by the end of 2015. The first five-carriage trains are due to run on the East London Line at the end of this year. The platform at Canada Water is being extended to cope with the longer trains.

With thanks to Richard.

Crash, Bang, Waller, What a Summer Fair

Coming soon: The Brockley Deli

Work is under way to turn the old Brockley Cross Supermarket into The Brockley Deli. It's an ambitious project that could help to improve a part of Brockley that has struggled in spite of its central location. Founder and local resident Zoltan writes:

We will be opening a bit later this month and we will offer a combination of locally sourced / London products alongside selected European fare, including fine wines and spirits, cheeses, charcuterie, award-winning pies, selected vegetarian and vegan products and ready meals and ice creams for nights in. 

We will also provide high quality coffee from Allpress in Shoreditch for take-away or relaxing on the premises, to be enjoyed with a range of cakes and patisseries, such as our flour free (gluten free) amaretto, almond and dark chocolate cake. Our suppliers include local breweries and small distilleries. Mostly, we aim to sell things that you just can't buy anywhere else around here!

You can follow the progress of the shop on their Facebook group here.

Everything in its right place

Click to enlarge
Once upon a time, Deptford (the original Greater Brockley) had parity with Chelsea and St John's Wood in the mental map of London. These 19th Century maps, via Reddit, show London as the postal service viewed it (left) and London as an attempt to regulate taxi fares demarcated the city (right).

What they show is how different London looks if you treat The City of London as the natural centre of the capital. Over the course of the 20th century, London's centre of gravity shifted towards the West End. This century, the pendulum has begun to swing back east, pulled by the rise of Canary Wharf and the development of Shoreditch, Hoxton, Borough and Bermondsey as centres of business, culture and nightlife. As Stratford, the Royal Docks and Greenwich Peninsula take shape and Canary Wharf doubles in size again, our mental maps will begin to look like these once more.

"London as it is" is a flexible concept.

The Job Centre Opens Tonight

Antic's latest bar, The Job Centre, opens in Deptford this evening.

The team promise "a spacious bar, lounging and dining area on street level and creative events space and private hire room on the upper floor, allowing it to cater for all it’s community needs [not sure that's all the people of Deptford need,  but still...]."

"The Job Centre’s interior is an eclectic mix of vintage décor and quirky design features inspired by its function as a place that once served the unemployed. It’s friendly charm and diverse weekly live music and events program makes the Job Centre the perfect destination for a market pit-stop coffee, or an after-work cocktail with friends."

London Bridge service faces August shutdown

London Bridge station will be closed to Brockley trains for nine days in August. TfL writes:

From Saturday 23 until Sunday 31 August there will be engineering work at London Bridge National Rail station. This is while Network Rail rebuild the station as part of the Thameslink Programme to increase capacity and improve connections. The Tube station will not be affected. 

London Overground, Southern and First Capital Connect customers will be affected by service changes during this nine day period. An enhanced London Overground service will operate between Crystal Palace and Canada Water during the morning and evening peaks to meet increased demand. 

Weekday services between Brockley and Canada Water are expected to be busier than usual for this time of year, especially in the morning peak. For more information about the Thameslink Programme, please click here.

Inside Little Nan's Club

We've had a few questions about Little Nan's Club - the new, weekends-only cocktail pop-up at The Talbot (2 Tyrwhitt Road). So here's what it looks like inside (nice) and please post your reviews below.

A mess near trains down by Arica

Arica Road resident Suzy grows restless. She says:

"This is the view on a weekly basis outside the new flats that have just gone up beside Brockley Station on Meadow Drive, off St Norbert's Road. It is really poor and pretty disgusting! I want the Council to take action and it would be good to raise some support via this site, to show that it's a persistent problem."

UPDATE: In response to the tweets about this subject, Lewisham Council responded:

The OnBlackheath Beach, from June 20th

To coincide with the arrival of music festival, OnBlackheath, the Blackheath Conservatoire will be turned into a beach from June 20th. They say:

"The seaside is coming to Blackheath this summer as the grounds of the Grade II Listed Conservatoire will be transformed into an urban sandy beach with a pop up café, street food, beach huts, live music, Punch and Judy, family art and music workshops and lots more!

"Sponsored by partnership OnBlackheath Festival and John Lewis – the British, Victorian inspired installation opens 20th June, National Flip Flop Day, so come prepared and enjoy the 120 square metre stretch, designed for playing, lazing, listening and learning.

"It’s bound to be a weekend hotspot and popular with all ages during the holidays. A full schedule of daily children’s activities will be on offer as well as the OnBlackheath Beach playing host to regular live acoustic evening sessions. The Friday ‘Family Food Night’ and the ‘Chill out Sunday Brunch’ will be events the whole family can enjoy together and as the great British summer can be fairly unpredictable, don’t fret, they have also prepared for rain!"

Woman on a Cycle

Lewisham Council writes:

Every Wednesday morning throughout the summer, women from all over Lewisham are being invited to join a free guided cycle ride from Croydon to Ladywell. The rides have been designed for women by the British Breeze Cycle Network, keen to encourage more women to get on their bikes.

The ride is led by a volunteer Breeze champion, trained to ensure the ride is a fun, social occasion for everyone. She is also on hand to help build the confidence of any of the less experienced riders. Rides are taken at a speed that suits everyone and usually end at a café so everyone can have a drink and a chat.

Full details of rides in and around Lewisham - including tomorrow's women-only ride - can be found at www.lewisham.gov.uk/cycling

The Lewisham High Line

90% of all marketing brainstorms go like this: "Buzzfeed... mummy bloggers... infographic... pop-up... 'what if we do something a bit like the High Line in New York - you know, that green railway track in the sky? Ooh yes, I love that. Let's do one of those.'"

99.9% of the time, those dreams die on the flip chart, before ever they see the light of day. But not in Lewisham - this is the borough where dreams take flight.

We know this is the second rather mundane photo of the #ModelMarket project that we've run articles about in recent days, but when someone plans to build 'Lewisham's answer to the High Line', well that makes them modern day versions of Octavia Hill.

The Ice Cream Pop Up returns

The Broca Food Market's ice cream pop-up will, for one day only, be serving elderflower sorbet, hibiscus and lime sorbet, rose geranium sorbet, chockley Brockley ice cream, salted caramel ice cream, and blackberry and elderflower ice cream.