Brockley more beautiful

The first weekend of the Brockley Street Art festival has already produced some amazing results. All pictures via the Street Art Twitter and Instagram feeds.

A photo posted by @brockleystreetartfestival on
A photo posted by @brockleystreetartfestival on

Acoustic Corner at the Brockley Deli

Phoebe writes:

Acoustic Corner @ Brockley Deli Live is a new monthly music night, with original music from local artists and beyond. With coffee, beer and candle light, there is no better way to bring in the weekend. Let's fill up the deli! Starts Friday 5th June - 8pm. Thanks very much!

The Brockley Max and Street Art opening weekend

Mira Off Licence, Brockley Road. Already looking better. Pic courtesy of Lionel Stanhope.
Brockley Max and the Brockley Street Art Festival 2015 have both begun, with the traditional opnening night Max gig outside the Barge now under-way and artworks already beginning to take shape across our shop fronts.

The Max will be fun, as ever, while the Street Art will leave a glorious, technicolour legacy. It's going to be great.

For the full Max programme, click here. For the Street Art site, click here.

Prendergast withdraws Academy bid

Meredith Eddy, one of the people campaigning to prevent local schools from becoming Academies, provides an update following the protests triggered by Prendergast governors' decision to apply for Academy status. She writes:

"The Chair of Governors has withdrawn the application for Prendergast Hilly Fields because of a legal challenge to the process. The whole project has not been helped by the fact that the normal process is complicated by the different types of school involved."

Schools Week reports:

"The Government has been forced to stop the academy conversion of a school after opposition from a single staff member. It will now rewrite government regulations to close the loophole that halted the process.

"In March, The Department for Education (DfE) issued academy orders for three schools in Lewisham, following applications by the Leathersellers’ Federation which runs the schools. But Schools Week can exclusively reveal that the order for one of the schools – Prendergast School – has been rescinded after a parent challenged its legality.

"Regulations for federation schools applying to be academies state that a staff governor must vote in favour of conversion before it can go ahead."

Meredith comments:

"I think successive goverments have made things far too complicated and central government has failed to demonstrate any discernible benefits to switching - especially since Prendergast Hilly Fields has been consistently a top performing school.

"Further, while the Governors and the Executive Head have spent much time and resource on this project, they have done little to promote sharing across the Federation in other areas - that could benefit all the children - e.g. Music and Drama - where the expertise of one school (Music at Hilly Fields) could share in the facilities of another (a purpose built theatre at Ladywell)."

The Crofton Park Library Garden Party, May 31st

Design a Lewisham business hub

Lewisham Council writes:

We’ve had a really good response from local entrepreneurs and small businesses interested in our planned Enterprise hubs.

Studio Tilt are now hosting a co-design workshop on Wed 10 June 5-8pm in the Old Town Hall, Catford, to get a better insight into what space, services and facilities are needed amongst people that are interested in renting a space in one of the hubs.  Here's the link to book a free place.

Jones of Brockley - the secret history

Mystery Man: We've met before, haven't we?
- Lost Highway

A photo posted by Jones of Brockley (@jonesofbrockley) on
One of the many benefits of new local shops with savvy owners who don't just try to bolt a sheet of plastic over the top of old signage, is that their renovations help to uncover our high streets' pasts. This shot, from new deli Jones of Brockley (coming soon to Crofton Park) reveals the evil that lurks below the surface.

Eurilla Forest School, Hilly Fields

Dutch: He came to get the body. He's killing us one at a time.
Billy: Like a hunter.
Dutch: He's using the trees.
- Predator

Eurilla Forest School is a group that operates from Hilly Fields, meeting up for some gabbing in the woods - aiming to help connect kids with the natural world.

They are hosting "let's try it and see" parent and child sessions for the next three Thursdays. Activities will include map making and wildlife discovery.

The sessions run from 10am-12 on Thursdays. The cost is £5/ family. The group meets outside the cafe at 10am.

Thursday 28 May - Ages 3-7
Thursday 4 June - Ages 3-4
Thursday 11 June - Ages 3-4
Email if you’d like to know more.

Markers maketh mural

More goodies this weekend as part of the Brockley Max / Brockley Street Art festivals.

In A Heartbeat

So much going on as part of the Brockley Max / Brockley Street Art festivals this year, including an open studio event at Brockley Artist Village, Dragonfly Place. As part of this, on May 30th, photographer Ester Keate is offering you the chance to have your portrait taken in 60 seconds, to raise money for the British Heart Foundation. She says:

Portraits will be taken in exchange for on the day donations to the BHF. Digital files will be sent after the shoot.

The BHF provides funding for ground-breaking research into the causes of and cures for heart disease, as well as providing lifesaving first aid training and raising awareness of heart health in general.

Book a slot here.

Time Out wants you to speak your brains about Brockley

Like a GenY version of The Guardian's Let's Move To, Time Out is working its way around the London postcodes, compiling user-generated area guides. Now it's Brockley's turn. They write:

"We'd love to hear your recommendations, so let us know your favourite things in the area (and what makes them so good!) in our comments section."

We had a slew of these sorts of requests a few years ago, when Brockley started to lose its "hidden gem" status and achieve up-and-comingness.

Back at the turn of the decade, the story was all about The Rivoli, Hilly Fields, The Broca, various jerk emporia, Jam Circus and this new place called The Orchard, which offered proof of life. Today, all of those things are still among the best things about Brockley, but new stars have joined the firmament.

So come on BCers - once more unto the breach. Tell Time Out what's what. There's nothing that becomes an area as a lack of modest stillness and humility.

The Brockley Brewery Beer Festival, May 29th - June 6th

12pm – 7pm daily (free entry) at The Ladywell Tavern

The Ladywell Tavern has teamed up with Brockley Brewery and other local brewers to host a belting beer festival to run throughout Brockley Max. The Ladywell Tavern will be showcasing local live music acts representing a variety of styles and promise an eclectic mix of quality beers to match. You’ll even be able to sup on Brockley Brewery‘s limited edition Street Art Festival Beer.

The Brockley Street Art Festival 2015

Participating artist Tim Ralson's work in Deptford
The Brockley Street Art Festival takes place between May 29th and June 5th, coinciding with the Brockley Max arts festival. Venues and flat surfaces across Brockley and Honor Oak will be taking part and you can find out who's painting walls and shutters near you on the festival map here.

Brockley Street Art Festival events

As part of the festival, the organisers are hosting a range of events and activities, almost all of which are free. Full details available here. Highlights include:

  • Saturday 30th May - Food Memories
Family event for kids 8+ at the log circle next to Hilly Fields Cafe. Come along and share food memories and favourite recipes of loved ones to inspire unique mural to be painted from 6th June on the rear wall of Hilly Fields cafe.

  • Saturday 30th May - Merging Inks 
Collaborative Live Art Jam The Brockley Mess will be opening its doors (and it's bar!) for an evening of live art led by local artist Roxanne Williams. Merging Inks challenges artists to generate ideas rapidly while merging the style of other creatives to a live DJ set.
  • Thursday 4th June - Wall Lords
This talk at 7pm at The Hill Station takes you on a journey into the London Graffiti scene of the 1980s and 1990s with The Artful Dodger (A.Dee), one of the first Aerosol Writers to emerge from the UK.

Brockley Brewery's Special Edition Street Art Summer Ale

Available from next Friday, Brockley Brewery have produced some special edition bottles of their Summer Ale. Some of the proceeds from the sale of these bottles will be going back into the festival fund, to enable them to pay participating artists and cover their materials and equipment.

New nursery for New Cross

Karen writes:

A former council (I understand) nursery that closed several years ago is being reopened next month by London Early Years Foundation Nurseries
on Amersham Vale in New Cross. It sits behind the Sure Start centre. It's a crying shame that it stood empty for so long (but all the toys were still there!).

I went there this morning and it looks good - a fantastic huge and bright baby room - plus plenty of outdoor space, not to mention the more than handy proximity to New Cross station. Plus, LEYF is a not for profit organisation so the rates are very reasonable. They already run another one in New Cross called the Play Room which is quite popular.

The Delight House Cafe, Lewisham Way

The Delight House Cafe has just opened on Lewisham Way, next to the Tesco Metro.

The d├ęcor is attempting modern, but the offer is decidedly 80s old-school - buns, iced eclairs, ice cream and coffee.

The options are a little thin at this early stage but as a place for a bit of tea and cake with friendly staff, it's great.

BC refuses to write the word KIDZ

For Everyman, A Religion

For Each A Road - In this case, New Cross Road, where the Jehovah's Witnesses are refurbishing Kingdom Hall
Juiced workers. Joy withheld.
Jesus wept. Judgement waits.

Rail strike threatens train services [Strike cancelled]

UPDATE: The strike's off after the union got a pay deal

Just in time for the bank holiday, TfL says:

Network Rail unions have called 48 hours of country-wide industrial action on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 May. If the strike goes ahead, it will affect Southern rail services on Monday, Tuesday and into Wednesday morning.

No Transport for London or London Underground staff will be on strike and so the vast majority of our services will run as normal. However, as some of these rely on Network Rail signals and power supply, if the industrial action goes ahead, no services will run on the London Overground except between Dalston Junction and New Cross/New Cross Gate which will operate from 08:00 and 13:00 on Monday and 08:00 and 17:00 on Tuesday.

For more information visit 

Parents' P2P plea - free up more primary places

On the back of the last article about Lewisham Council's search for more space to build homes, BC was reminded of Parents 4 Primary Places, a campaign by Lewisham parents who want more primary school places. They say:

An impassioned plea to all parents with children starting school September 2015.

Creating more local primary places requires long term investment and planning and there is no quick fix. There is however something that you can do to help parents like us currently stuck in the system.

Create movement in the waiting lists!

Did you know that if you have been offered a school lower down your list you are held in a waiting list for every school you have listed above? For a whole year!

For some of you the school you have been allocated may be the one you are happy with and have no intention of accepting a different allocation should it come up. Each unwanted place that is held whether in a school or in a waiting list stops the wheels from turning just that little bit more and could mean the difference between a place in a local school or 3 miles away for our children.

The more spaces freed on a waiting list moves our children a step nearer to our preferred school. And quickly. So we are making a very polite request to any parent/carer who is on a waiting list for a school they absolutely and completely know they do not want, to contact Lewisham Admissions on 020 8314 8282 and relinquish that place.

That may only be a handful of you, but it could make all the difference to our children. Thanks, from all of us.

Click here to learn more about the campaign.

Lewisham launches land search

Lewisham Council has launched a search for land in the borough suitable for redevelopment to help the borough meets its new homes target. They say:

We have issued a call for sites to be included in the Lewisham 2015 Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA).

The purpose of this study is to update the database of sites available to meet the borough’s housing targets until 2033,  and to provide evidence for the Lewisham Local Plan (currently in preparation) of the land available to meet those targets.

The study will assess sites throughout the borough for their potential to help address the borough’s housing needs. These will include sites proposed in response to this call for sites.

All nominated sites over 0.25 hectares will be considered as part of the study, and will be assessed for housing suitability, using strategic and site information through the London Housing Capacity Study System.

Your nominated sites should be received by the Lewisham Planning Service by 30 June 2015. Click here for more information.

If Lewisham is like the majority of London boroughs, those sites will tend to lie along its boundaries.

Decathlon becomes modern pentathlon

The Decathlon store in Surrey Quays is much-loved by Brockley Central readers. With the site being redeveloped, the shop's fate is probably of far more interest to you than any other aspect of the massive regeneration. So, we're happy to bring you this report from BCer Fintan:

"Half of Decathlon Surrey Quays has been demolished and what used to be there has been squashed into a remodelled remaining half. complete with mezzanine floor to accommodate some of the more exotic sports."

"Talking to the staff they said bof, but they were French. Others said that the store would be moving back into the building that will be built on the cleared site and then this half would be demolished and rebuilt. So we will not have to schlep over to Croydon for sporting odds and sodds even an on an interim basis."

The Theory of Everything, May 21st

The Hither Green Festival is currently under way and the organisers have invited BCers to join their evening screening of The Theory Of Everything on Thursday, May 21st.

The Hither Green Community Association (HGCA) is a proactive community resource for people who live and work in Hither Green and the surrounding area.

The association promotes local identity, communication, activity, responsibility, business and supports a small number of community projects.

The committee is made up of local volunteers and receives financial support from local residents, the local authority and a number of other charitable groups.

Tickets are being sold on at £7 each.

Coming soon: London Velo

One of the best things about London's biking boom (somewhere on the list below improved public health, better air quality and lower traffic congestion) is the return of independent bike shops to our high streets. 
The area's already attracted Curve, Ladywell Village Cycles, Vaidas and the life-saving Brockley Bikes. Now comes London Velo, joining Curve on Deptford High Street, combining beer, burgers and bikes - and have linked up with Big Red to offer pizzas too.

They're taking over an abandoned hair salon next to the Tesco and giving it a comprehensive makeover.

Click here to find out more.

New Cross charity needs board members

Ben Farber, Chair of the New Cross Gate Trust - a social regeneration charity working to improve the New Cross Gate area - writes:

We're currently looking to fill a couple of vacancies on our board and I hope Brockley Central readers might be interested.

In particular we are seeking a new Chair (I am being relocated out of London for work in October), ideally with prior experience of leading teams and chairing meetings and a commitment to principles of good governance.

We are also looking for a resident board member (must reside in New Cross, Brockely or Telegraph Hill wards) and 'community representative' who has strong links to other community organisations in New Cross.

Applicants with a background in or experience of operational management, commissioning services, community development, PR, housing, finance and the environment would be particularly welcome.

Full details on the vacancies and application process can be found on our website.

For anyone wishing to discuss the roles in more detail, Jenny Couper is ready and waiting to speak on 07968 278315 or via

Deadline for applications is 10:00am June 8th.

The Plant Fairs Roadshow, May 30th

Tennis Open Day at Ladywell Fields

South East London Tennis is running free tennis sessions this weekend. Chris writes:

The open tennis day takes place this Sunday 17th May 10am - 1pm and is part of the nationally advertised Great British Tennis Weekend.

You can book your free session online at and the following sessions are available:

  • mini tennis for children
  • family play
  • Adult cardio tennis (fitness)
  • Adult tennis express for beginners
  • There will be our regular Beat the coach event with a few prizes

Also the first 75 people to turn up and register will be given a voucher to spend at the 10,000 Hands Cafe.

We recently won the Lewisham Business Awards 2015 for social enterprise and we're meeting the Mayor this week to collect our award.

Brockley: Then & Now, July 19th

Ox: Everything is different, but the same... things are more moderner than before... bigger, and yet smaller... it's computers... San Dimas High School football rules!!
- Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

Shaun writes:

We found a remarkable photograph in the Brockley Society archives: a massive group portrait of the men, women and children who gathered on Hilly Fields, Brockley, in August 1918 after a procession commemorating the start of the First World War.

Inspired by this photograph we plan to take a new one, inviting anyone who lives in or feels any connection with Brockley. The community response has already been enthusiastic and we expect thousands to participate.

For this contemporary portrait of the people of Brockley we have commissioned the photographer and Graduate Affiliate, Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, Simon Terrill, widely recognised for his work on 'Crowd Theory' and other large-scale community gatherings. Recent art projects include Bow Cross in East London and Balfron Project in Poplar.

A limited edition of large photos will be available afterwards, as well as affordable prints for the public to buy as a record of the day.

Please see for more info.

Ladywell pomade brand wins Hair award

Ulysses Everett McGill: Well, I don't want Fop, goddamn it! I'm a Dapper Dan man!
Pomade Vendor: Watch your language, young feller, this is a public market. Now if you want Dapper Dan, I can order it for you, have it in a couple of weeks.
Ulysses Everett McGill: Well, ain't this place a geographical oddity. Two weeks from everywhere!
- O Brother, Where Art Thou

Plucky Ladywell start-up Closed On Monday has taken on the might of the big hair companies and won. Co-founder James Adkin explains:

"We launched a gentleman's grooming range around six months ago from our home in Ladywell. We've just won our first award from "Hair Magazine" for one of our products, beating some pretty big brands along the way."

Following the recent arrivals of Blue Tit and KR's Barber Station, who joined established players like Geddes in the area, Greater Brockley is rapidly establishing itself as a centre of hair excellence. Congratulations to the team.

The Royal Albert Beer, Meat, Cider and a little bit of Cheese Festival

The festival runs over four days from May 21st and the team promises more than 20 exotic types of beer, mead and cider while the BBQ cooks home-made sausages. Details here.

Lord Ha' Mercy

Plans to replace industrial facilities on Mercy Terrace in Ladywell with a hefty new student accommodation block have been released. A planning application has been submitted for:

The new block
"Demolition of the existing building and the construction of a mixed use development comprising approx. 250sqm of office floorspace (Use Class B1) and 97 student rooms and ancillary accommodation together with disabled parking and landscaping."
The site, lurking beneath Ladywell Road
Swapping warehouse space for accommodation is the right move and the block looks OK to us, but others will have stronger views, no-doubt!

VE Day in Rokeby Road

Karen writes: "In light of the VE celebrations this weekend I thought I'd forward this picture we got recently from the Lewisham Library archives. It is a picture of the children of Rokeby Road celebrating on VE day."

Taco Sunday at The Broca

Residents seek to block Luxmore Gardens homes

Local residents have launched a campaign to stop developers building on land adjoining Luxmore Gardens, off Malpas Road. They object to the residential development on the basis that it will loom too large over the park and that construction work will prove disruptive.

An application has been lodged for:

"The construction of 3 three storey, three bedroom terrace houses on land to the rear of 10 Malpas Road fronting Luxmore Gardens, together with a single storey two-bedroom dwelling house to the rear of the site and associated landscaping."

Objector Noura says:

"Objections are being raised by the many in the local community to this proposal, citing a number of foreseeable health and safety issues concerned with the accessibility of the site to the street- the only access point after building was complete would be an extremely narrow corridor to the side of 10 Malpas Rd. raising questions as to the handling of refuse, post and most importantly possible access for services in case of an emergency.

"Additionally, there are concerns about the heights of the surrounding buildings, the appropriateness of the design for the area and the issue of sufficient drainage. Moreover, the approval of these plans would remove a green space that Blockley can't afford to lose. There are concerns also about the building's overlook aspect as well.

"Safety and convenience are a concern within the Gardens as well, as building materials will be stored in gardens themselves during construction, compromising access between Luxmore St and Rokeby Rd. and posing a potential safety risk to the young children and dogs that frequent the park as well as bringing up the issue of the prolonged use of public land to complete a private building project."

LibDem vote collapses as Labour wins Lewisham Deptford

Vicky Foxcroft is our new MP. The Labour candidate increased her party's share of the vote from 53.7% in 2010 to 60.3% in 2015.

The LibDem vote fell from 23.4% and second-place last time to a tiny 5.3%, putting the party in fourth place behind the Conservatives (14.9%, a slight increase since 2010) and the Green Party (12.5%, approximately double their share of the vote they won last time).

UKIP became the area's pre-eminent purple party, collecting 4.2%, putting them in fifth place, ahead of People Before Profit who collected 666 votes (1.4%).

Overall, turnout increased from 61.5% to 65%.

Congratulations to Vicky Foxcroft MP. For the full results, click here.

Lewisham McDeez

We've been sent this as an antitode to the seemingly unstoppable growth of #Newisham - the hipster-led reimagining of Lewisham town centre, which has given birth to #ModelMarket and, um, that's all so far.

However, we're not convinced this video is the opposite of that. Arch re-appropriation of pop-cultural icons is the essence of hipster culture and what is McDonald's if not the people's street food?

Happy Mondays this summer

From one bunch of jokers to another... Happy Mondays returns to the Amersham Arms for their Edinburgh preview season with another stellar list of headliners:

18th May - Mike Wozniak (Star of C4's 'Man Down')
1st June - Sara Pascoe
15th June - James Acaster
29th June - Bridget Christie
13th July - Ed Byrne
20th July - Reginald D Hunter
27th July - Marcus Brigstocke

More details and tickets at: The nights are usually sell-outs, so we recommend you book early.

General Election 2015 - the Lewisham Deptford candidates

On the eve of the general election, here is the list of candidates for the Lewisham Deptford constituency. Pro-tip: If you want to know what the corresponding candidates in neighbouring constituencies are all about, simply swap their names in to the list below.

This election, the unifying theme is housing. Proposed solutions differ, but everyone is promising the same thing - more affordable homes. Here are the ten to choose from - how will you be voting?

Bim Afolami, Conservative Party

Standing on local job creation (a red-herring when we are on the doorstep of Europe's best jobs market), enterprise and the prospect of a Bakerloo Line extension. Plus housing, natch.

Philip Badger, Democratic Reform Party

Badger wants better local democracy. See here for his campaign article.

Michael Bukola, Liberal Democrats

Full marks for a campaign platform that stands out from a samey crowd. While everyone else focuses on health and housing, Bukola has added reform of stop and search powers and drug laws to the mix and stands on his party's record in government (albeit mostly in terms of how they've held back the worst excesses of the Tories).

John Coughlin, Green Party

Brockley councillor and lone-opposition to Labour in Lewisham Council. Like the rest of his party, he's regrettably relegated environmental stuff to the lower reaches of his list of pledges and instead focuses on the living wage, rent controls and the nationalisation of utilities and the railways.

Massimo Dimambro, UK Independence Party

UKIP tanked in the local and European elections, so they're back with a candidate with a foreign-sounding name and a benign list of priorities that doesn't mention Europe or immigration once. He's even put the need for a cinema in Lewisham top of his wish list - what kind of monster could disagree with him?

Chris Flood, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

An experienced local politician, formerly with the Socialist Party, Chris is standing on anti-austerity platform and vehemently opposes local schools becoming Academies. Read about his priorities in this interview with Bob From Brockley.

Vicky Foxcroft, Labour Party

The red-hot favourite to be our next MP. To Vicky's credit, she's not taking it for granted (unlike her predecessor). Housing is what she's always been passionate about while health and childcare feature prominently in her stuff. Hopefully, as an elected MP, she'll venture more ideas and opinions than she has to date. For now, she plays a very straight bat.

David Neil Thomas Harvey, Independent

A single-issue candidate who wants a "none of the above" to appear on ballot papers.

Malcom Martin, Christian People's Alliance

CPA's list of pledges includes unspecific commitments to social justice and very specific commitments on social issues like abortion and marriage.

Helen Mercer, Lewisham People Before Profit

As ever, LPBP have picked a potent mix of issues to focus on (housing, the NHS and privatisation) and are able to field an experienced local campaigner.

Suppose they gave a festival and no-one came

This is why Brockley Central has a pathological fear of hosting parties.

The bizarre Deptford Heritage Festival-cum-pre-election-stunt turned out to be as entertaining as one of the organiser's interminable political videos. The "festival" was put on by Ray Woolford of local political party People Before Profit and "took place" over the May Day weekend.

Like our very own version of one of those muddy fields pretending to be a winter wonderland that make the news each year, few people turned up to the £25-a-ticket event and there were even fewer things for them to do.

The News Shopper has had some fun curating the tweets from those piteous few who did go. This is our favourite:

People Before Profit, whose banners were one of the few things to see during the festival, may be shameless bandwagon jumpers, but their stunts often help to highlight important issues. To merk local people in this way, however, is a curious form of politics.

Brockley's 11-feet-wide house sells for half a million quid

Game over. This house, nicely designed to make efficient use of available space but nonetheless tiny (84 square metres) and wedged in an existing terrace, on a main road, next to a supermarket - has sold for a mere £490,000.

In the context of the current London market, the price is profoundly unsurprising. But it is the final proof, if further proof were needed, that Brockley is officially no longer a relatively affordable part of London.

Coogan targets values voters in Brockley

Last night, Steve Coogan starred in a brilliantly effective party political broadcast on behalf of the Labour Party, asserting his values and asking those who shared them to vote Labour. During the day, he hit the campaign trail with his ally from the phone-hacking campaign, Tom Watson MP, passing through Brockley and addressing passers by on Coulgate Street.

In a safe seat like this, we get relatively little campaign action, so this was a rare moment. The call to vote based on values is a noble one, but we're not sure if values are quite the defining issue that this ad suggests. When you're talking about broad tent parties, pinning down a coherent and distinctive set of values is as tricky as defining "Britishness" and having the right goals and motives is one thing - having the right ideas to achieve them is another matter. Here's the ad, we'll do a round-up of all the Lewisham Deptford candidates tomorrow:

Junior Parkrun at Hilly Fields - launches May 10th

Local blogger and runner Neil Gordon-Orr has written about the launch of a new regular Parkrun event just for kids. He says:

Parkrun has grown to be a massive phenomenon. In the UK alone there are now 320 free, timed 5k runs taking place every Saturday morning, with up to 68,000 taking part each weekend. Many children and young people take part, but there is a limit to children's participation in the 5k events.

This is where Junior parkrun comes in - over the last couple of years, parkrun has been developing a series of events specifically for children and young people aged 4 to 14. The runs are for 2k and have a higher concentration of volunteers, with every child visible at all times to at least two volunteers.

I volunteered this morning at a test run for the launch next week of Hilly Fields junior Parkrun. The idea was for a group of children to try out the course and for the marshals to test the systems. It all went fine which means that the first Hilly Fields junior Parkrun proper will take place next Sunday 10th May at 9:30 am, and every Sunday thereafter.

All welcome and no charge, though you should register as a one off before starting - full details here.

The Brockley Deli at the Conservatoire

More evidence that this area is a foodie centre of excellence: Brockley is exporting its deli expertise to Blackheath with the opening of The Brockley Deli at the Conservatoire in Blackheath. Ahead of yesterday's launch, founder Zoltan explained:

"The Brockley Deli at the Conservatoire' is now open for business! We are really pleased to be working in conjunction with the Blackheath Conservatoire to provide excellent coffee, food and goods to the people of Blackheath and those studying at the Conservatoire.

"We are excited that we have the opportunity to serve a much greater range of food as we'll be operating out of our own kitchen there."

Food Assembly named Best British Food Initiative by BBC

Congratulations to the team behind The Ladywell Food Assembly, which has just won the BBC Food and Farming Award for Best Initiative in British Food 2015. The Food Programme explains:

"The Food Assembly is a social enterprise that enables direct trade between local food producers and customers through an online market. After buying online, customers pick up their food from a pop-up market where they get to meet local producers, as well as their neighbours. It not only meets needs of producers (who receive 83.3% of every sale compared with 10-15% with supermarkets), but also growing demand for local food."

Forest Mews wins property gong

The winners of the "Oscars of the London property market" have been announced. No, not the Stirling Prize. Not The Sunday Times, AJ or Evening Standard awards either. The RICS Awards 2015!

Anyway, it's a reputable prize and a Forest Hill development collected residential building of the year 2015 at the ceremony last night.

Forest Mews (off Rockbourne Mews) is a beauty, comprising three homes and studios set around a central courtyard and designed by Jessica and Robert Barker. The other winners included Heathrow Terminal 2 and the British Museum's new exhibition centre.
The judges said: "A brownfield site set behind Victorian houses and a parade of shops has been redeveloped into a small communal mews. A private drive leads to a triangular area that previously contained a converted lock-up, derelict store and textile print studio.

"The site was landlocked and overlooked by a patchwork of properties. Each of the three new houses is provided with a workspace, creating a live-work community within the mews, and the buildings are set around a shared central courtyard. The carefully considered design enables light into the houses and maintains privacy, while a sensitive approach was required to manage no less than 32 Party Wall Awards and to achieve a contextual solution."

Badger badgers badgers

Phil Badger is the Parliamentary candidate for Lewisham Deptford, standing on behalf of the Democratic Reform party. Campaign team member Robert wrote this article explaining why he's on team Badger, and since Brock is of course the olde-Englishe word for badger, we're happy to provide a platform for him to share his thoughts. Here you go:

When Phil listened to Marie, he was sad to hear a story that he has heard many times before – one of injustice. Marie suffered abuse at the hands of her husband, who she rightly feared to leave. Having found the bravery to do so, Marie is now homeless, jobless, and opportunity-less. Being of South African origin, she has been denied a visa to stay, but is also of such poor health that she cannot be deported.

Like cutting foreign aid and expecting it not to increase immigration, does it not contradict common sense to deny people like Marie a voice? 

In 2003, a BBC documentary reported two Brockley families living side by side, but separated by an insurmountable gap in wealth and opportunities. Then, Debbie Brett opined to be treated as an individual, and not simply a statistic. Whether they come from polls like IPSOS MORI, official GLA reports, data gathered by local charities and businesses, or even from journalists, the statistics were well known then, and are well known now.

Phillip Badger is campaigning for meaningful relationships, built upon the principle of an inclusive democracy. An inclusive democracy means acting on local demands for affordable housing, food, justice, and the ability to participate not just in politics, but in the workplace too. But more than that, it means reaching out to people and groups throughout the constituency, and ensuring that no-one gets left behind.

Phil is practical in his pursuit of these goals, and it is why a vote for Phil counts for more than it would with anyone else. In an ultra safe seat such as Lewisham Deptford, the winning candidate is already chosen. But especially when that candidate has never stood for election before, your vote has a huge ability to influence. 

To those ends, Phil’s core campaign goals in Lewisham Deptford are to affect:

1. Increased local consultation
2. A shift in the focus of relationships, from MP-Westminster to MP-constituent
3. Introduction of permanent online democratic initiatives
4. Commitments to end injustices such as homelessness and food poverty

These goals are strongly voiced by people up and down the constituency. Moreover, our campaign has good chances of seeing them achieved.

If you don’t agree with us, then use your vote to support someone else. But if you do agree with us that these campaign goals will improve the quality of life, then voting for us will send a strong message of support to whoever wins the election. Most of all, please do not waste your vote. Thanks for reading!