Brockley Cross High Level Station could be reopened

The old entrance to Brockley Lane station - Photo by JE Connor
Already discussed on the Bakerloo thread, but worthy of its own, is the news that the mothballed High Level Station at Brockley, which used to serve passengers as Brockley Lane, may one day be brought back in to use as part of the 2050 London infrastructure vision document unveiled by the Mayor this week.

In the small print of one of the supporting documents is a list of stations that could be brought back into use as part of a new orbital rail route around the capital. Brockley is named as one of the stations that could be upgraded for £25 million to link it up to a loop, taking passengers east / west across London.

The line is currently used by freight trains and passing commuter services, but passengers have not been able to alight there since 1917. Brockley Cross Action Group have for years campaigned for the station to be brought back into use.

Deptford Twinkle

Deptford Twinkle is a new pop-up bar taking place at Twinkle Park on the Deptford riverside. Ali explains:

We will be serving a short menu of tasty cockails and Brockley beer. Salty popcorn on tap to snack on! There will be outdoor seating on the riverfront and a laid back atmosphere! Some indoor seating/space also available. The whole bar will be very home made and slightly shabby chic but with lots of south east charm and a welcoming feel!

Opening Dates:
- Fri 15th - Sun 17th August
- Fri 22nd - Sun 24th August

Opening at 5pm on Fridays and 2pm on Saturday and Sunday and open to 10.30pm. Happy hour will be 5pm-7pm on all days!

Bakerloo Line extension to New Cross and Lewisham proposed

Being always right about everything is a burden Brockley Central must bear. For years, we have been banging on about the fact that a southern extension of the Bakerloo Line should be a key priority for London and that the case is so strong that, despite being a relatively unfashionable project (compared with Crossrail 2, etc), its time would come.

Just to be extra-right, we predicted that the route would go down the Old Kent Road, rather than through Camberwell. And lo! Londonist reports:

Boris Johnson has been teasing an update about a possible southern extension to the Bakerloo Line for a couple of weeks now, and in the newly released London Infrastructure Plan 2050 we can see what Transport for London has in mind. The preferred route runs from the current terminus at Elephant and Castle down Old Kent Road and through New Cross and Lewisham, down to Catford and then on to Hayes and Beckenham Junction. Catford would get up to 27 trains per hour, Hayes up to 15 tph and Beckenham up to 6 tph.

The Guardian also reports that the 2050 strategy includes a vision for a new "Zone 3" orbital railway that would travel through the borough:

The concept for an additional fast orbital rail service linking boroughs in the inner suburbs – dubbed the R25 in City Hall – follows the rapid growth of London Overground, which has seen a boom in passenger numbers since being enhanced and integrated into the capital's transport system, helping regenerate areas and stations and decongest tube lines.

We understand that there's a lot of politics involved in any such announcement and Boris is good at floating ideas, not so good at delivering them, but it's coming and probably sooner than the sceptics think. Thanks to Stuart for the heads-up.

Unsure upon Avignon [UPDATED]

Ali writes:

"Here's a photo of pavement that was laid last week on Avignon Road!

"When contacted today about the complete disintegration of the pavers and the serious danger to the public, the response was 'not our problem, guv.'

"Conway's view is that they have done the job and signed it off, any complaints now go to The Highways Agency.

"Gotta love when a company takes pride in their work!"

- Earlier this year, Conway was awarded a seven year contract to maintain Lewisham's roads.

UPDATE: Conway has just provided this update - which is great news:

The Brockley Baking Club

Raquel writes:

I moved to Brockley 2 years ago and absolutely love living here. I really like the sense of community in the area and wanted to do more for it myself.

I would like to create a Baking Club, the idea being a small group of people, getting together, once a week, sharing tips and ideas and baking together. Would people be interested in that?

Baking club would be on saturday afternoons, starting beginning of September, contact me via my blog or email I guess depending on how many people show interest we will either do it at mine or find a kitchen we can rent.

Lewisham house prices still outpacing rest of the capital [UPDATED]

With the central London property market cooling and the overall London market flat in June, City AM reports that inner London boroughs continue to experience the fastest growing house prices in the capital, with Lewisham the 10th fastest-riser, behind Hackney, Haringey and Middlesbrough.

With thanks to Joe for the heads-up. 

Update: Joe's also sent us this link, from the Standard, which claims that Lewisham house prices are not only rising faster than most of London, they are also second only to Hackney in the degree to which they are sold for more than the asking price, suggesting that price rises will continue to outstrip the London average for a while:

Other boroughs where average selling prices exceed average asking prices include Bexley, by £1,137; Greenwich (£1,196); Hounslow (£973); Kensington and Chelsea (£2,570); Lewisham (£7,346); Tower Hamlets (£4,797), and Wandsworth (£3,421).

Bogs signal balloons have gone up at 180 Brockley Road

BCer Monkeyboy has spotted portaloos on site at 180 Brockley Road, the former MOT garage, which has been targeted for redevelopment.

Bits and pieces of the building have been removed in recent weeks and the site has been vacated, so it looks as though work, which was due to start last year, has begun. The most recent application (refused), which made minor changes to the plans approved last year, was for:

The demolition of the existing buildings on the site of 180 Brockley Road SE4 and the construction of a part two/ part three/ part four storey block, comprising 454.5m2 commercial floor space (Use Classes A1 (Shops), A2 (Financial and Professional), A3 (Restaurants and Cafes), B1 (Business), 3 studio flats, 11 one bedroom, 9 two bedroom and 2 three bedroom self-contained flats, together with refuse and cycle storage, associated highway and public realm works.

The development changed hands recently and is now being led by Peveril Securities (which is part of Bowmer & Kirkland) and Boultbee. This is a critical piece of the Brockley landscape and could be great news or a massive setback, if it goes wrong.

Goldsmiths gallery design chosen

Design website Dezeen has lots of new images of the winning design for Goldsmiths' planned new art gallery. The winning architecture practice, Assemble, was chosen from a shortlist of six by a panel of judges including Antony Gormley and David Chipperfield.

The project will convert the old tanks at the Laurie Grove bathhouse into display space. The gallery is a key element of the University's emerging masterplan, which will transform its campus and the wider New Cross landscape.
A substantial part of the funding for the project, which was announced in 2011, will come from the auction of works of art by Goldsmiths alumni. The gallery is slated for completion in 2016. Thanks to Anna Dent for the link.

The NOx on all your houses

Inspired by the news that Oxford Street has the highest levels of NOx (a major air pollutant) of any street in the world (where the numbers are accurately measured and reported), local blog Green in SE13, has investigated Lewisham's record on NOx. It notes:

Well, according to “Air quality in Lewisham: A Guide for Public Health Professionals", produced by the Mayor’s office in 2012, there are a number of areas of concern. The report highlights a few areas of the borough which are a particular problem:

- New Cross Road 
- Loampit Vale 
- Brockley Cross
- Catford Gyratory

...Of particular concern is that both Catford and New Cross NO2 levels averaged 51 mg/m3 compared to a legal limit of 40.

Obviously, these are places where road traffic gets snarled (congestion, rather than traffic, is the real killer) and one of these, at least, is about to get worse, during the redevelopment of Lewisham town centre.

Click here for the article and list of links.

A Rox for all your houses

BCer Neil feels blessed by the nearby presence of Rox Burger (82 Lee High Road) and is anxious that as many people as possible pack their colons with its wares, so that it can flourish. He writes:

Went to Rox Burgers last night and it was effing brilliant. For a start, they ask you how you want it done - what joy! Got a cheeseburger, medium rare, loads of cheese - smothered in it. Burger was nice and juicy, crisp, fresh salad, brioche bun (as they all insist on doing now). And the chips were sensational.

First bite was messy but once it got that out of its system no mess, the perfect hand food. No booze license yet but that’s fine as for me burgers and chips are one of the few things that make coca cola the way to go.

I urge you to visit. Probably the best I've had since #meateasy went to join the hoorays. It was all I could do not to embrace the fellow that cooked it. They're on twitter and facebook and will be delivering soon apparently. Bet it's at least as good as anything the ridiculous model market is dishing up and these don’t charge you to get in.

Catford Bridge access issues

More train anguish. Paul has been in touch with Lewisham Council and writes:

I walk to Catford Bridge station every morning via Ladywell Fields and Adenmore Road.

Recently, two high fences had appeared blocking all pedestrian access to the station from Ladywell Fields. Now pedestrians have to walk via the South Circular to get to the station, a considerable detour.

One fence was broach-able while the other was not, in the absence of a rope ladder or battering ram. Could a pedestrian access corridor not be kept open, running parallel to the Ravensbourne on Adenmore Road?

The Catford Green contractors onsite said that the two fences would be in place for five weeks and that signage had previously been up to indicate this, which neither I nor a fellow commuter had seen.

I am pleased that hopefully-affordable housing is being built in the local area, but hope that a way might be found to allow pedestrian access to Catford Bridge station during the works.

Brockley train service to be disrupted next month

This will be fun. TfL issues this advice for people travelling from Brockley station:

From Saturday 23 until Sunday 31 August, services at London Bridge mainline rail station will be affected while engineering work is carried out by Network Rail. This is part of the Thameslink Programme to increase capacity and improve connections. London Bridge Tube station will not be affected.

If you normally use Brockley station, please note the following for this 9 day period:

• London Overground weekday services between Sydenham and Canada Water are expected to be busier than usual for the time of year, with crowding and queuing on platforms, especially during the morning and evening peaks. This is as a result of National Rail customers using this route while their services are not running
• An enhanced London Overground service will operate between Crystal Palace and Canada Water during the morning and evening peaks to help meet increased demand

The hipster revolution will be televised

Brockley's traditional barber station has made a film

The Handmaid's Flail

Global Street Art 2015

The Global Street Art festival, which festoons walls across a neighbourhood with brilliant art is working with Londonist to find a new home, so they are putting a shout out to communities across London to find the best bid. Londonist says:

If you think a street art festival would do your neighbourhood good, and you know local groups who are prepared to help, then email with your nomination and a summary of why you think your community could benefit in 50-100 words. 

Deadline for receipt of nominations is 5pm on Friday 1 August. The best, most feasible nominations will be shortlisted and the public will decide who gets it. Then everyone’s invited!

Could Brockley do a Qatar? Is #Newisham the new Rio? Will street art do for Deptford what European Capital of Culture status is doing for Riga? We've got lots of crappy walls in need of a legacy effect - bring graffiti home!

Boris persuaded to fixing deathtrap Deptford Junction

Deptford Broadway is a pretty disastrous bit of road layout, so anything that can be done to make it easier to navigate would be a huge step forward. This encouraging bit of news is from the office of Darren Johnson at the London Assembly:

Responding to lobbying by Darren Johnson AM, the Mayor of London has committed himself to address the concerns over pedestrian safety at Deptford Broadway.

Darren asked the Mayor to have an “investigation into how a pedestrian stage can be accommodated at this junction, and ensure works are completed as soon as possible.” The Mayor said that he was:

“…pleased to report that a preliminary design is in discussion which could potentially achieve this. This proposal will be finalised and modelled in detail before it is shared with stakeholders later this year, and TfL will be happy to share this with you.”

Darren commented:

“I look forward to seeing the detail of the plans to make Deptford Junction a safer place to cross. This sounds like welcome news on a hazardous road crossing which has been a nightmare for so many years. This junction feels dangerous and is dangerous. It has acted as a barrier which has divided one side of the community from the other. However, this junction needs a major over haul not minor tweeks.”

Greenspaces: Camberwell New Cemetery

At the end of St Norbert Road lies the neatly turned out Camberwell New Cemetery.

Created as an overflow for Camberwell Old Cemetery in 1927 its inexorable growth was temporarily halted when campaigners successfully staved off an attempt to expand it into neighbouring Honor Oak Rec.

Added to the Greenspaces map.

How well do you know Greater Brockley?

The ONS has produced a quiz designed to test how well you know your neighbourhood, based on key metrics about the people who surround you. Taking the test is a chastening experience.

We managed 50% accuracy for Brockley Ward, having let ourselves down by wildly misestimating how many of us are a) Christian and b) have a degree. We won't spoil the surprise if you plan on taking the test yourself, but let us say that one result was encouraging...

Sadly, none of the questions asks "how many people are "real Brockley" as opposed to "new faux Brockley".

Wrenches, Trenches, and Stenches

Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd August, 11am-4pm
Ladywell Chapel, Ladywell Cemetery, Ladywell Road

This public art exhibition commemorates the start of the First World War. Women war artists were commissioned in the First World War, but had few opportunities to venture beyond
the domestic, social, and industrial operations on the home front.

This public art exhibition has commissioned seven women artists to give their unique perspective on the First World War from life on the front line, as well as on the home front. Each artist has produced 3 artworks: commemorating the start of the war in 1914; the middle of the war in 1916; and the end of the war on Armistice Day in 1918.

- Nicky Scott-Francis looks at the landscape of war based on research at the Imperial War Museum - particularly the fear of a gas attack.
- Jolanta Jagiello based on research from the Musei della Grande Guerra Open Air Museum in South Tyrol examines how deliberately setting off avalanches saw thousands of soldiers serving in the Alpine Front killed.
- Elisabeta Chojak-Mysko’s artworks focus on the heat of battle so that we should not forget.
- Sara Scott tells the personal story of her grandfather’s munitions factory and its contribution to the war effort.
- Louise Kosinska traces the love story between her grandfather in Belgium and her grandmother serving as Red Cross Nurse.
- Monica Wheeler highlights how families were divided by the war, serving on all sides.
- Jill Rock concentrates on her German family roots, interned in Britain for their own safety.

Greenspaces: Sayes Court Park

Much better maintained than it once was, Sayes Court Park in Deptford (Grove Street) is a tiny remainder from Sayes Court Garden, the 17th century garden created by the diarist John Evelyn that once stretched over 100 acres.

Small and dotted with trees which cast pools of shadow over most of the park on sunny days, it's best enjoyed as a nice green detour or a place to sit and read.

Added to the Greenspaces Map.

Crofton Park and Honor Oak become a neighbourhood area

Lewisham Council reports:

Crofton Park and Honor Oak Park has been designated a neighbourhood area with its own neighbourhood forum. It is the first neighbourhood area to be designated in the borough. This means that, through the forum, local people can now prepare a neighbourhood plan that will set out how they want their area to develop.

Once agreed, the plan will become a legal document that must be considered when decisions are made on planning applications. Neighbourhood plans can contain a wide variety of policies relating to building and development, from the types of extensions people can build on their homes to the delivery of commercial development.

Membership of the forum will be open to anyone who lives or works in the neighbourhood area. For more information contact Cllr Pauline Morrison by email or on 020 8244 5315. The designation was approved by the Mayor of Lewisham at a meeting of Mayor and Cabinet on Wednesday 16 July 2014.

Greenspaces: Friendly Gardens

Perhaps the most mistreated of the Brockley parks, Friendly Gardens is a pleasant slope of grass running parallel with Friendly Street and Lucas Street. A little too small and vertiginous for many people to spend much time in and often blighted by litter, it is a pretty spot which nonetheless sometimes has a touch of Kes about it.

Added to the Greenspaces Map.

Student accommodation plan for Mercy Terrace

10-14 Mercy Terrace (a light industrial unit tucked under the bridge in Ladywell), is to be redeveloped and the architects commissioned to design its replacement are inviting people's views on their proposals. Ladywell Village Improvement Group reports:

Goldcrest Architects proposals includes flexible office space for small and medium businesses on the ground floor with high quality student accommodation above, contributing to a wider mix of accommodation that is compatible with and will support local businesses in the existing shopping parade. The drop in session will be held on Wednesday 23rd July from 2pm to 8pm at the St. Mary’s Centre, Ladywell Road, SE13 7UW.

The Brookmill Park User Group

Toby writes:

Some local residents are keen to meet up and start a community group for Brookmill Park and would love you to join us!

The first meeting will be at 6pm on Wednesday 27th August 2014 with a representative from Glendale Grounds Management who maintain the park. We're meeting at the Park Keeper’s hut next to the bird pond on Brookmill Road.

Similar groups have been highly successful in other local parks and have helped forge together fantastic local links. Among other things, we want to discuss:

How could the park be better used?
How should the park be best maintained?
Could we have an annual park festival/fair or any other events?

It would be fantastic to see as many people there as possible so we can get the show started!

If you have any questions, or if you cannot make the meeting but wish to be involved, do email Toby Swan (local resident) at or Chris Thompson from Glendale at


Merlin: The days of our kind are numbered. The one God comes to drive out the many gods. The spirits of wood and stream grow silent. It's the way of things. Yes... it's a time for men, and their ways.
- Excalibur

BCer Rik has been photographing the Excalibur Estate and wants to share his pictures with you. Here's one. You can see the rest here. He says:

Deep in amongst the quiet back streets of Catford lies a unique 12 acre site of post-war history. The Excalibur estate, constructed in 1946 by German and Italian prisoners of war consists of 187 single-story prefab houses built as temporary accommodation to alleviate the housing shortage caused by the London blitz of the Second World War. Despite the intentions for the estate as a short term solution, Excalibur survived well beyond its forecasted ten year life span. 

Now facing demolition by Lewisham Council, the community of Excalibur is stronger than ever, and is once more summoning up the Blitz spirit and standing firm.

Brock the mic right

Harry writes:

Calling all Brocklytes! We are very excited to announce the arrival of our brand spanking new Open Mic Night at Jam Circus, July 23rd from 7pm! We love musicians, poets, comedians, cabaret, burlesque, artists... anyone with a fire in their belly who's willing to truly (b)rock the mic.

So if you know any Winehouses or Wildes of SE, do nudge them our way. We'll provide the stage (and drinks) and you provide the talent. Simple as that. To sign up, drop Harry an email on and he'll be happy to slot you in... Cheeky.

Free IT training in Brockley

Roger Massey is offering free local training to people who want to build their confidence when using the internet. He says:

BT has revealed the social benefits of getting online are worth more than £1,000 a year to someone using the internet for the first time, resulting from a combination of benefits ranging from financial savings and improved employment opportunities to reduced feelings of isolation and improved confidence. 

The benefits of being online could be as high as £3,568 when also considering professional people’s ability to work remotely and their access to higher wages from using IT skills at work. 

I train people in how to have the confidence to use technology – computers, the internet, phones, and smart televisions. This is free service, but you will need to book.  Please call Roger on 07944 343906 to see how I can help you, your friends, or relatives.

The Deptford Cinema

Deptford Cinema is a new, not-for-profit, volunteer run cinema focusing on art and experimental film. It will be opening a 50 seat cinema in the Autumn and is looking for volunteers and ideas to make it great. Click here for their website.

Everyone who's always complaining that Lewisham is the only London borough without a cinema can now help put the matter right.

The New Cross Business Survey

The local team working to develop a Neighbourhood Plan for New Cross are carrying out a survey of local residents, visitors and businesses  to get their views on what the plan should include. They are looking for volunteers who will help them canvass local companies' opinions.

More details of the plan - and how to volunteer - here.

Albertine's stables and function room targeted for residential conversion

Developers have lodged planning applications to convert the old stables at the back of the pub formerly known as Albertine's (237 Lewisham Way) into new homes, and to convert the first-floor function room into residential use.

Although the proposed new homes look OK, the stables (which you can see here) would be a bit of a loss. Most worryingly though is that the cumulative effect of these changes would be to make it harder than ever to bring this building back into use as a functioning pub. The loss of the large function room, in particular, is concerning and would constitute the loss of the sort of amenity which is in short supply in the area.

We understand that BrocSoc is likely to object to the application to convert the first floor for residential use.

Lewisham braced for tailbacks as Gateway construction begins in earnest

Indicative massing of the buildings and road layout that will replace the roundabout
Major delays are expected on Lewisham's roads today as work begins on the remodelling of Lewisham town centre's layout, which will result in the replacement of the roundabout with a new road system, to allow for the development of the massive Lewisham Gateway development.

Lewisham Gateway is a long-delayed scheme that will create new housing, retail and leisure space in the heart of Lewisham. Construction work began earlier this year, when the site next to the station was dug up. Now, the temporary grass hummocks the Council created in lieu of any construction work have gone too and the road layout is next to bite the dust. This is Local London reports:

"The work - being carried out over 20 months - involves removing the roundabout where the A20 and A21 meet and re-configuring Loampit Vale, Station Road, Lewisham Road, Lewisham High Street and Molesworth Street."

The work will create  new pedestrian connections between the station and the shopping centre and free up land for development. The roundabout has had a deleterious effect on Lewisham for decades, but the disruption caused by the roadworks will be significant, and it is likely to lead to longer car journey times through Lewisham over the long-term.

The developers of Lewisham Gateway are hosting two public consultation days this week - here are the details if you want to attend:

Friday 18 July 2:30pm to 7pm Leemore Centre 29-39 Clarendon Rise Lewisham
Saturday 19 July 10:30am to 3pm Centre Square Lewisham Shopping Centre Lewisham High Street

Broken Tree

Mindless vandals: Take 'terrencetrentderby', take 'kettle', but please for the love of god, leave the trees alone. With thanks to Fintan for this shot of self-defeating destruction in Hilly Fields.

The Crofton Park Library Food Project

Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries Open Day, July 13th

The Friends of Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries celebrate their 7th anniversary with a open day on Sunday, 11am - 4.30pm.

Events will include guided walks of the cemetery, a photographic exhibition of monuments and wildlife and skull identification...

Black Smock Down by the River

Tonight, The Black Smock Band are playing at a party to celebrate the end of the 2014 3 Rivers Clean Up events- a three week long Festival of Rivers in South London, including The Quaggy, The Ravensbourne and The Pool.

The party, which is a free public event, will take place at Ladywell Fields (north, by the cafe) and runs from 6.00-9.00 pm. Black Smock are performing at around 7.00.

3 Rivers Clean Up (3RCU) is organised by Thames 21 alongside a number of local volunteer organisations from the boroughs of Lewisham, Greenwich and Bromley.

For more information about 3RCU click here.

Brockley Brew, live and uncensored

When BC launched, we never dreamed we'd one-day be doing stories about a collaboration between two local microbreweries to create a one-off event at one of our many excellent local bars. London Beer City reports:

August 12th, 7pm-11pm. 389 Brockley Road

A pair of South-east London breweries - Late Knights and Brockley - will be collaborating on a beer at the London Beer Dispensary in, you guessed it, Brockley. A porter is promised - apt, since no other style is so associated with London - and questions from the assembled hordes are encouraged. It should be lots of fun.

Number One Mantle Road nears completion

Number One Mantle Road is nearing completion. It will create create nine new apartments and ground-level retail space.

If filled, the retail space will create a bit of a bridge between Bohemia Hair at one end of Mantle Road and the Broca Food Market at the other.

It's 'in keeping' with the other stuff that's been thrown up on Brockley Station's west side, in that it's a bit clunky. That's what everyone always says they want: stuff that's 'in keeping' as though that is an inherent virtue.

It's also less bad than a) the hole in the ground that's been occupying that site for years b) the initial proposal and c) most of the other stuff that's been built next to the station recently. It's still not very good though.

With one more major development due to go up on the west side of the station, let's hope that raises the standard.

Artist networking at Number 57

Mag-Net-Working is an event for visual artists in South East and East London, taking place at Number 57 Loampit Hill on July 17th, 6.30pm-9pm. The organisers say:

Number 57 gallery will transform into a social hub for artists to meet, discuss their current practice, and develop new ideas for collaboration. During the evening, there will be presentations from artists including Mariya Ustymenko, Madaleine Trigg, Cara Flynn, Katarzyna Perlak, Ipek Koprulu, Sarah-Mace Dennis and Gemma Riggs.

To book your free place, click here.

The Job Centre - Creating work for the outraged

The Job Centre pub on Deptford High Street, has earned itself an article on The Guardian's Comment is Free (the left-wing version of the Daily Mail sidebar of shame) today.

The article by Jane Elliott criticises the decision by owners Antic to name the pub after the building's old function, accusing them of insensitivity at a time of austerity and in an area of deprivation - with irony no defence. Elliott calls it "unemployment packaged as fun decor for those with disposable cash."

While BC wouldn't have gone down the route Antic chose, we're not quite sure what the philosophical difference is between naming a pub after a job centre (a place designed to help those in need) and naming a private club after a hospital (a place designed to help those arguably in even greater need).

In the course of the article, the author - herself a newcomer and suffering a little from gentrifier's burden - manages to chuck in a couple of clich├ęd untruths about the impact of change on the area. First she writes:

"Older residents see the more affordable stores on which they depend displaced by pricier establishments."

That is not a picture of Deptford High Street that anyone would recognise. In addition to the dozens of shops that have served the local community with varied, low-cost produce for years, there are many more pound shops and a thriving market, catering for the frugal. The bar, like many other new arrivals, has displaced nothing other than an empty shell.

Elliott also describes Deptford as a victim of:

"A perfect storm of gentrification and austerity currently dismantling low-income neighbourhoods."

But while individuals may have been hard hit by recession and reform, the same cannot be said of the neighbourhood. Not only is the private sector healthy but Deptford is uncommonly well-served by public investment - a refurbished swimming pool and leisure centre, a brand new library and community centre and a handsome new public square sit side-by-side, right in its heart, while the markets ensure that Deptford is the busiest, buzziest part of Lewisham at weekends.

Like The Secret History of Our Streets, this article begins with a valid thesis and then veers off into negative caricature in order to make the narrative fit their political agenda. It does no-one any favours - not least the people of Deptford, who deserve to have their home celebrated in the media for a change.

Happy Nails

J.P. Prewitt: I'm a hand model, mama. A finger jockey. We think differently than the face and body boys... we're a different breed.
- Zoolander

These nails were treated by Happy Nails (177 Brockley Road). It's £25 for a gel manicure, which is apparently good. Thought it was about time they got a shout out.

Albertines clear up underway

Clear-up work has begun at Albertine's, the pub which burned down just as it was being done-up. The roof is gone and the damage was extensive, so this place is unlikely to join the Greater Brockley boozer revival any time soon.

Vote Stillness

Stillness Infant School (Brockley Rise) has been shortlisted for the HS Scarecrow competition at the Hampton Court Flower Show for the third year running. Dianne writes:

"This is a huge achievement as the competition is open to schools across southeast England, and they are one of only two London
schools chosen. I believe, though don't know the exact number, hundreds of schools enter. There were 23 shortlisted for the finals and Stillness is the only "inner city" contender. Stillness Infants has very little green space but they've still done a great job getting kids involved in gardening and eco-awareness.

"This year's theme was World War I and the children's scarecrow was made from recyclable waste. The winner will be chosen by the public so if any BCers are heading to the show, please vote Stillness (number 4)!"

The Unacceptable Face of Newisham

Just opposite Model Market is Riverdale House, formerly a Citigroup office block. Having been converted into 137 apartments, it's now being marketed around the world via this video. Every line of the script - delivered by a 'The Price is Right' voiceover artist - is funny.

With thanks to Joe for spotting it.


Once upon a time, not so long ago, BC hardly went out and still managed to run out of things to do locally after a few goes. Now, there is so much stuff happening in the area, we've got a backlog to work through. On Saturday, we finally tried Street Feast at Model Market in Lewisham, which Brockley Jon has already captured accurately here.

On an overcast evening, before anyone with a decent social life has even thought about heading out of the house, the place was packed - the ambition of the project seemingly rewarded instantly. That makes this article (below) - which the Street Feast team asked us to write for their own purposes a while back - even more timely. It's our reflection on Lewisham's prospects. Some of it might be familiar to BC readers, but it's 600 words, so we're damned if we're not using it:

To grow up in this area is to grow up knowing Lewisham town is a little bit rubbish and always will be.

It’s the place that traded its Chiesmans department store for Europe’s largest police station and a place where the millennium came and went without Lewisham 2000 – the Council’s grand regeneration plan – materialising.

Lewisham’s role has been the easily-accessible bit in the middle, between the glamour of Blackheath, the artistry of Deptford and the fine residential streets of Hither Green, Brockley and Ladywell. Despite being one of the best-connected places in South East London, Lewisham remained impervious to the hipster invasion that swept down the East London Line through New Cross to Sydenham.

But something has changed. And it’s taken outsiders, with fresh eyes, to notice. Lewisham town isn’t just the nondescript place that gets in the way of more interesting things, it’s the gleaming capital of a borough the size of Newcastle – one that’s home to lush green spaces, first-class institutions, thriving communities, rapidly-improving schools and a growing number of residents with the means and desire to spend locally.

The borough is benefiting from a general resurgence in the popularity of in inner-city living, bringing with it new people, energy, ambition and spending power. People born and bred without a South East London chip on their shoulder and thrilled to be living so close to the centre of the greatest city in the world.

In the last decade or two, Lewisham has got younger (it’s now about 6-8 years younger than the national average), and richer (a recent study by the LSE found that between 2001 and 2011, the poverty rate in much of Lewisham fell by up to 9%). House prices have risen faster than the eye-watering London average, but it remains among the most affordable parts of inner London, which is why, between the last two censuses, it experienced a 30% rise in the number of residents who work in the media or culture sectors.

Lewisham has absorbed an influx of yuppies and hipsters without losing any of its power to think and act as a community: Unloved patches of land have been converted to community gardens, the summer season heaves with little festivals and when Lewisham Hospital’s A&E department was threatened, people power (and legal right) protected it.

With all of this going for it, it’s no wonder that every time someone takes a chance on our borough, it surprises on the up-side: New restaurants, markets and bars become over-night successes, new flats fly off the shelves and the new East London Line trains filled-up so fast that TfL is now scrambling to add extra carriages.

Now, finally, people are taking a chance on Lewisham town centre itself. The transformation is underway. First came Cornmill Gardens, which freed some of Lewisham’s riverside from its concrete banks and created the first bit of green space in the area where families outnumber street drinkers. Then came Lewisham Renaissance project, which itself produced the best new swimming pool in London not to host an Olympic Games. New homes and shops are flying up on Thurston Road, a new hotel is being built next to the station and even the Lewisham Gateway master plan has begun to break ground.

Enter Street Feast – building on something that has always been great about Lewisham – its market tradition.

For years, Lewisham Market has done a great job of meeting Lewisham’s shopping needs. The new #ModelMarket will serve our wants. And we want Rum Shacks, Slushy Bars and SmokeStaks. We might not actually know what they are yet, but they sound good and most of all, we want to take back the night – to sit on a grassy roof as the sun goes down over our new Babylon.

Then, we just need someone to do something about Catford…

Number82 film club, July 16th

number82 is a locally-based organisation that exists to support creative entrepreneurs and communities and every now and then it throws a film night at the Brockley Social Club (240 Brockley Road). The next film club night is 16th July, from 7.30pm until 11pm. Bingo at 8.15pm / Films from 8.45pm. £3 entry fee. This time around, the films are:

- Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001, Directed by Stacy Peralta)
Using a mix of film of the Zephyr skateboard team shot in the 1970's by Craig Stecyk and more recent interviews, this documentary tells the story of a radical group of teenage surfer/skateboarders and their influence on the history of skateboarding culture.

- Uncommon Ideals (Directed by Chris Mclean)
Stories from the North Sea. From the fjords to lochs. From brown to blue. Surfing's sepia dipped North Sea tales foretold... Uncommon Ideals is part of a larger project called the Chronicles of Doggerland, a fascinating series of film work to document North Sea surfing. This short film is an exhilirating example of the sport in all it's extreme beauty and drama.

Brockley Max 2014 on film

If you've not been to a Brockley MAX event, this is what they're like, for next time.

Pop-up kitchen at the Brockley Brewery

A good, honest pop-up if ever there was one

Lounge Lovers

A recent dinner at Lounge
Amanda writes:

This is the penultimate week of our pop-up cafe Lounge @ The Arthouse. We haven't taken our foot of the pedal just yet:

Today, July 3rd, from 7pm onwards, we have Taste of Tapas a pop-up dining experience for as little as £22 For info and bookings please click here.

Friday 4th of July brings Independents Day, a rare opportunity to see a selection for films from the London Film Makers Co-op, curated by David Leister 7pm onwards.

Saturday 5th July is Kidatopia: Mystery film and quiz for kids 2-4pm

To find out more about this and next week's events programme visit our website.

Beecroft Fair, July 4th

The Gordonbrock Summer Fair, July 5th

133 Pepys Road

The new, double-fronted design
Mark Dyson writes:

Enclosure is the architecture practice for the proposed remodelling of Lydart House at 133 Pepys Road [an enormous Victorian villa in Telegraph Hill] and we will be presenting the scheme at Haberdasher’s Aske’s (Pepys Road Site) Dining Hall next Saturday morning (5th July) at 10.30am.

The current building
We have installed display boards in the lobby window at the Telegraph Hill Centre and the Hill Station so that people can familiarise themselves with the proposals before the presentation.

The effect of the work will be to convert it from a building providing six apartments (some one bed and some two bed) into one providing two family townhouses, a two bedroom flat on the lower ground floor and two three bedroom apartments to the east and west sides of the upper floors. The villa occupies a significant site within the Telegraph Hill Conservation Area and while the area is notable for the fine standard of its late Victorian buildings and urban layout, the house itself is an awkward design which sits uncomfortably on its prominent location. We hope properly to address that challenge.

I will be attending on behalf of Enclosure Architects (and as the architect of the scheme), as will Mr Marcus Everard, the owner of the building. The presentation will be moderated by Malcolm Bacchus of the Telegraph Hill Society and we are hoping that a representative of Lewisham Planning Department will also attend. I hope interested residents will join us.