The Brockley Street Art Festival mapped

@littlejungleman has done a very good thing and mapped all the Brockley Street Art Festival works, so that you can do the street art tour. The event produced so much good work and created a new artistic spine for the area.

Bellydancing and dining at the Brockley Mess

The Brockley Mess, which used to get twitchy if a baby buggy wheel rolled over an imaginary line from the cafe area to the gallery area, has decided to let it all hang out, by hosting bellydancing nights, in partnership with local pop-up Turkish restaurateur Olly. They say:

An exciting collaboration with Olly’s Turkish and Ninoushka Bellydance promising to be a great evening that brings together dancing, music and food! So work up an appetite by wiggling and shimmying with Nina before sitting down to a Turkish meal!

The evening will consist of an introductory bellydance session, where you will learn a fun and easy dance to an upbeat piece of music which we will all dance together. No restrictions for age, gender or fitness level, we want you to all come and enjoy yourselves. The gents are more than welcome to join too.

The event is on August 1st. Tickets here.

The flat does not benefit from a toilet

Zoopla presents this studio flat on Brockley Road (the Brockley Barge, by the looks of things). £800 pcm. Toilets within easy reach. With thanks to Monkeyboy.

One of us, we accept you!

Time for a quick update about the BC social channels.

We don't know anyone who actively uses Google+ but the site publishes all our content in a much more attractive way than this site does and claims somehow to have generated more than 10.2m views of BC, so if you're one of those mysterious users, please follow us here.

We have Pinterest boards for articles about places in Brockley and the wider South East Central area - handy if you want to find something without having to wade through thousands of other articles. And Pinterest sure is pretty.

And then there are the two biggies: Our Twitter (approaching 8,000 followers) and Facebook (recently passed 3,000 followers) feeds. Please follow and share stuff you want BC to pass on to the wider community. There is nowhere better to reunite people with a lost set of keys.

Yee gods! Brockley runner selected for the Commonwealth Youth Games

Richard writes:

Brockley boy Alex Yee, who trains at the Ladywell Arena with Kent Athletics Club, has been selected to represent England at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the 3,000m.

The games are being held in Samoa in September and each country can only take 21 athletes so it is very impressive to be selected!

This week Alex also ran the 5,000m qualification time (with an incredible 14:09!) for the European Junior Championships being held in Sweden, but will have to wait until early July when UK Athletics announce the full squad to know if he has been selected.

The Blythe Hill Festival 2015

Lewisham crashes "the party at the top"

The ONS has just released its analysis of house price changes across the country during 2014. Prices across borough of Lewisham have risen 21%, one of the highest rates of increase in London and only two points off the highest rate of growth in the country (South Bucks, 23%).

Estate agents Stirling Ackroyd comments: “Waltham Forest and Lewisham have crashed the party at the top. With 22% annual property price growth from 2013-2014, Waltham Forest matches Kensington and Chelsea eye-to-eye, despite their disparate properties’ worth. At the same time, house prices in Lewisham have actually risen faster than those in Westminster, increasing by 21% over the same period compared to the latter’s 20%."

Brockley officially lost its designation as "a relatively affordable part of London" back in May.

With thanks to Brockley Kate.

Teenager stabbed on Eddystone Road reports:

A 14-year-old boy has been stabbed in the back in a street in south east London - the third knife attack on a child in the capital this week.

The boy is in hospital with non life-threatening injuries after the incident near the Royal British Legion club on Eddystone Road [Crofton Park], Brockley, at around 8pm.

Pink Stinks

Lionel Stanhope, the artist behind some of the best entries in the Brockley Street Art Festival, has his sights trained on an unlovely hoarding in Crofton Park. He writes:

You must have all walked or driven past this pink eyesore opposite the Brockley Jack, on Brockley Rise. I would like to get permission to repaint it and invite a few more Street Artists to do their thing on it. I am in touch with the Estate Agents but I would rather have a conversation with the land owner directly. I have asked a few local residents, Budgens, and in the pub but without much success. Can anyone help?

Suggestions in the comments below please.

The tyranny of the continuous mind

Another day, another interactive data visualisation tool. Alastair sent us this tool, which uses data from Find Properly to show how house prices vary along the tube lines. Here's Brockley's place in the pecking order.
What's striking about the data on the southern end of the line is how steadily prices rise as you move towards Zone One, regardless of the merits of the different areas. That's as true of one-bed rental properties as it is of three-bed homes for sale.

Brockley happiness: Deeds not words

In the most scientific study since a PR agency produced a formula for the perfect cup of tea, a crack team of web designers mooched around 119 London postcodes for more than 700 hours to observe us all in our natural habitats and score us on the happiness we exhibited to compile a list of the jolliest places in the capital.

Brockley scores low on body language, but high in terms of our helpful acts. We pass the Batman test: It's what we do that defines us. We don't need to wear our happiness on our sleeve.

Our neighbours include some of London's happiest postcodes. In a South East London-dominated top 10, Honor Oak came 6th and Lewisham / Hither Green 8th. We're also bounded by some of the most miserable: Catford / Bellingham (109th) and Deptford (112th).

Play with the interactive map here. With thanks to James.

Alice's Adventures in Myatt Garden

The Mad Hatter: Would you like some wine?
Alice: Yes.
The Mad Hatter: We haven't any and you're too young.
- Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

House Every Weekend

Banging Ladywell. Via Joe.

Almost useful - the night tube

This is TfL's official map of the night tube service, starting in September. It skirts Greater Brockley, stopping at Canada Water.

This will become slightly more useful if the night buses connecting that station (currently the subject of a consultation exercise) with Bellingham get expanded. It will get a lot more useful when the East London Line starts running a night service to New Cross Gate from 2017.

The Shopping Dispute

News Shopper journalists are on a two day strike, in protest at plans to cut jobs and rationalise operations.

A younger, snarkier Brockley Nick might have asked how old ladies will cope without their regular diet of local people standing in front of something while frowning and pointing, but the Shopper has raised its game in recent years, embracing the social age and finding some young journalists who seem to care about the places they report on.

So, whatever the merits of the business case, cuts to an already bare-bones team of reporters represent bad news.

Music Geek Monthly

Alex writes:

I've started a new free event called Music Geek Monthly. It's like a book group - but for music. It's a completely free event at the Ladywell Gallery (part of the Ladywell Tavern) on the third Tuesday of every month.

Visit the Ladywell forum for more details.

Father of the Year: Shaun

Shaun wins Father's Day in Brockley this year. Nice try everyone else. Better luck next year. With thanks to Maria and Fintan.

Gordonbrock Summer Fair, June 27th

New live / work / play plan for New Cross Road

I am a member of Goldsmiths' governing Council and have been waiting for a long time to share this news.

I joined the Council ready to bend everyone's ear about the importance the local community attached to the issue of Goldsmiths' derelict shop fronts on New Cross Road - but they already knew and had been working on a plan more ambitious than I would have thought to lobby for. They also gave this project top priority in their wider campus master plan. They have been on the case - they understand that if the area flourishes, they will benefit too.

Separately, I attended a presentation by the GLA last week about the growth of flexible work spaces across the capital. Their experts praised the work of Goldsmith's partner for this project - Meanwhile Space. Work starts shortly. It's very exciting but it's not even the most exciting aspect of the master plan - I look forward to being able to share more news in due course. Here's what the Goldsmiths team have to say:

"New life will be brought to some of Goldsmiths’ most visible buildings under an innovative partnership between the university and a leading community interest company.

"We have teamed up with the pioneering firm Meanwhile Space CIC to establish a hub for creative start-ups at 302 to 312 New Cross Road.

"The regeneration scheme will see new affordable work, living, retail and communal spaces created in and above the current shop fronts – with initial structural building works to begin this month[JUNE]. A planning application is currently with Lewisham Council for approval of the scheme and the full renovation of the buildings.

"The ground-breaking scheme will combine the four types of space in one location, providing a unique opportunity for innovative enterprise concepts to choose a combination of spaces to propel their idea.

"It is also a move which makes Goldsmiths one of the first universities in the country to enter into such a partnership.

"Capturing the vibrancy of New Cross, the project will be aimed at start-up businesses, Goldsmith’s alumni and stakeholders from across the local community.

"Patrick Loughrey, Goldsmiths Warden, said: “Goldsmiths is deeply rooted in New Cross, a vibrant area, already known for its creative spirit. We’re very excited to launch our New Cross Road project with Meanwhile Space and offer a new destination for creativity, innovation and enterprise to flourish.”

"Costumiers Prangsta will remain open while receiving structural improvements before
the renovation begins. Independently of this scheme, a new café is set to open in the space recently vacated by Café Crema.

"Work on the project is to begin later this month after Meanwhile Space signed an agreement to lease from Goldsmiths to operate the enterprise incubation scheme once the renovation works are complete. The renovations are due to be completed in the New Year.

"Funding for the renovation comes from an award of up to £430,000 to Meanwhile Space by the Department for Communities and Local Government – a figure matched by Goldsmiths.

"To help further explain the plans Meanwhile Space is hosting an exhibition at 310 New Cross Road, from 16 – 19 June 2015. The exhibition will be open 12-5pm daily with a late closing of 7pm on Thursday 18 June. All are welcome to drop in to find out more and inform the future of this project.

"Project Designers Ecos Maclean, Designers will be holding an informal co-design session for all interested parties from 12-4pm on 16 June. Come along for a chance to have direct input into the design process."

Lewisham primary school availability among worst in the country

The shortage of local primary school places has been thrown in to sharp relief again. The FT has published a DfE league table of London boroughs where pupils do not get their first choice of primary schools. Lewisham is ranked third-worst on this metric and fourth-worst for pupils who don't get any preferred primary school place.

Lewisham's performance is twice as bad as the national average and the DfE reports that the situation in Lewisham deteriorated in the last year, with our borough suffering the 8th-fastest rate of decline among the worst performers. Overall, London is the worst part of the country in terms of preferred primary school places.

Lewisham Council needs to get a grip.

Thanks to Edgar for the tip-off.

Convivial parking zones

Local artist Kim Noble has re-written local parking restrictions to make them better. More here. Thanks to Fintan for the heads-up.

Little Explorers in Frendsbury Gardens

Little Explorers is a group that meets regularly at Frendsbury Gardens in west Brockley. The next event is June 19th, from 10am-11.30am. They explain:

Each week our under 5s play group explore the outdoors through a variety of activities that encourage an interest in nature. Some of the things we might get up to include:

• Beastly bug hunts
• Gardening
• Painting with pine cones and sticks
• Making mud pies

At our session the children will get a chance to make something to take home, join us on an exploratory walk, and enjoy a story and a fruit snack.

Click here for more information about the group.

Brockley Voices - An Oral History

Tim from BrocSoc writes:

Brockley Voices is a new oral history project by the Brockley Society, which seeks to capture and share the stories and reminiscences of people living in or connected to Brockley. Several volunteers came forward following a piece in the November 2014 Newsletter which expressed a desire to preserve the memories of older Brockley residents before they are lost forever.  Following several meetings, a core group of volunteers with a range of recording, interviewing and archiving skills has distilled a number of potential options into a coherent idea.

Our aim is to record the thoughts, feelings and memories of anyone who lives in or is connected to SE4, capturing for posterity a snapshot of Brockley in the early 21st Century.  By broadening out from the initial idea of ‘reminiscence’, we hope to make the project accessible and relevant to anyone who feels they have something to say about Brockley.

We are currently looking at how to structure and conduct the interviews, and thinking about subjects or topics we most want to find out about.  Some conversations will be long, in-depth, and subject-specific; others may be shorter and more random: ‘vox-pops’ captured at public events, for example.

We have a short list of people who we hope to speak to initially, but are looking for suggestions and volunteers.  If you would like to participate, or know of someone who might, please get in touch.  We would also like to hear from anyone who is either proficient at recording archival quality audio or is interested in being trained.  Providing training and support to ensure the project can continue indefinitely is integral to the project.

We will formally launch the project at the Mass Photo at Hilly Fields on Sunday 19 July 2015.  More information will be available from the Broc Soc stall at the Midsummer Fayre on Saturday 20 June 2015.

To contact us, email

This evening with Trevor, not Natalie

Coming soon: A Crofton Park Diner

More promising noises emanating from Crofton Park, which is already anticipating the arrival of a new deli shortly. Maria-Rosa writes:

"There is a new American-Italian Diner in Crofton park coming your way soon. It will be opening where Jerk Works used to be, opposite Crofton park station."

More details soon. Thanks to Molewife for the tip-off.

Greater London: National Park City

London's green and open spaces mapped - 48% of the capital overall
On June 24th, the team behind the campaign to designate Greater London as the world's first National Park City will present their ideas in Honor Oak.

Approximately 48% of the capital is given over to green or open space and London is home to more than 1,300 sites of national importance for conservation, as well as 13,000 different species.

The move would be a branding exercise, with little influence over the planning system - but as Tech City, Med City and Greater Brockley have shown, branding a place works - re-framing priorities and making people think differently about the place they live and work in. To that extent, the National Park City project is a great idea, which would give greater impetus to city-greening projects like the Peckham Coal Line and the Brockley Corridor.

The Friends of Blythe Hill Fields and Mayow Park are co-hosting a talk by the campaign's founder, Dan Raven-Ellison, on 24th June at 7pm at the Honor Oak pub.

Click here for a guide to the area's greenspaces.

Lindal road housing goes on sale

The housing built on the former stone mason's yard in Lindal Road, Crofton Park, is now on the market. The developers have squeezed eight decent family homes on to the site next to the railway track and are now selling them for an eye-watering £875,000.

Thanks to Joe and Alastair.

The Hilly Fields Midsummer Fayre 2015

Falcon Request

Peregrine Falcons have nested on the top of the old Citibank tower in Lewisham. The four chicks are about to fledge and that means they might land awkwardly, somewhere in the middle of Lewisham, unable to take off again.

If you find one, please immediately contact the London Peregrine Partnership on their hotline 078 0773 8699.

Brockley's Premier League status confirmed

OK, so it may be a little devalued by Chelsea's league win, but the Premier League trophy is still a big deal. Brockley resident and Barclays employee has managed to wangle a visit from the trophy to Crofton Park Library, to help with their fundraising efforts. A donation of £1 to have your picture taken with it is suggested.

Butcher bound for Ladywell

Heckstall & Smith, the aspirant Ladywell butcher's shop, has made a big leap forward, signing the lease on a property on Ladywell Road. So it's no-longer a pipe dream, it's an imminent prospect.

Hilly Fields: A moo point

This is a view of Hilly Fields in the late 19th century, courtesy of Lynda on Streetlife. She also reckons that this shot is of Hilly Fields, but there are obviously few visual clues to base that on. If anyone can prove that this cow was in Brockley at the turn of the century, we will award them grazing rights in Greater Brockley.
 With thanks to Fintan.

Foxcroft brings it to the floor

Officer Michaels: How old are you McLovin?
McLovin: Old enough.
Officer Slater: Old enough for what?
McLovin: To party.
- Superbad

Vicky Foxcroft, the new MP for Lewisham Deptford (AKA much of Brockley) has addressed the House of Commons for the first time and used the opportunity to give big love to the community spirit and artistic flair of the area. Nice to see the Brockley Jack, Brockley Max and the Crofton Park Library get a mention in the mother of Parliaments.

What she actually used her private members bill session for was to make the case for the voting age to be lowered to 16.

Not for Foxcroft a return to the centre ground of British politics - as well as crowbarring the Red Flag in to her seven minutes, she also promised to use words that the people of Lewisham Deptford can relate to and yet avoided both 'artisan' and 'hipster'. Here it is:

Lewisham Station's historic features in jeopardy

BCer Joe writes:

A notice about the partial demolition of Lewisham Station has been put up. They are planning to open up space between platforms by demolishing existing walls to make way for a new seating area, expanding the old ticket hall between platforms 2 and 3. Worryingly, no-one at customer services could tell me any more about it.

There are not any historic buildings left nearby. South Eastern should consult with passengers about its plans before spending money. The damage to the historic fabric of the 1859 building should be offset by moves such as removing the 60s false ceiling in the main hall to expose the original cornicing underneath and removing the television screens which disfigure the symmetry of the façade. The station has the potential to be a real gem if properly looked after.

It would be good if other locals got in contact with South Eastern asking for more information and registering their concern [BC will ask them for a statement].

The Ladywell Fields Volunteer Day

The Ladywell Fields Users Group is a highly-effective group that has helped make all sorts of little improvements to the park in recent years. If you want to get involved, there is a great opportunity on Sunday 28 June 11.00am-2.00pm, when they will be holding a volunteer workday and open day at their orchards. Robert explains:

At the weekend our orchard leader had a good look at both these orchards.  Although both are coming on well, a lot of weeds have established around the trees.

So we’re organising a workday for 11.00am-2.00pm on Sunday 28 June.  We can do some pruning of plums and cherries, plus some weeding, watering and inspection for pests/disease.

If you are going to come along, please dress appropriately.  We have a limited supply of gloves so please bring your own and come wearing sturdy footwear and with your legs covered against the nettles, thistles and brambles that we’ll be tackling.  Please also bring your own refreshments, especially if it’s a hot day.

Please assemble 10.45-11.00am in the community orchard, close to the children’s play equipment in the south part (Bournville Road, Catford) end of Ladywell Fields.

Please come along - and if you intend to do so I'd be grateful if at all possible if you'd let me know so that I can guage numbers.

To find out more about their work, click here.

Sunday Times: Brockley house prices rising at fourth-fastest rate in UK

The Sunday Times has declared Brockley (SE4) the fourth-fastest-rising property hotspot, after Chelsea (SW3), Manchester (M22) and, um, Burnley (BB10).

In a league table published yesterday, based on data from Rightmove, asking prices for properties in Brockley rose an eye-watering 53.9% between January and May 2015, compared with a national average of 4.6%.

Asking prices are not the same thing as selling prices and Brockley is a small enough area that a small number of houses coming on to the market at one time will be enough to skew the results, but nonetheless, this provides more evidence that Brockley is playing catch-up with other parts of Zone 2.

The Sunday Times proves an unreliable narrator, explaining that Brockley is "between Peckham and New Cross" and that its arty character is because it is home to the alumni of "nearby Camberwell College of Arts". It also claims that: "Period houses once split into flats are now being turned into family homes - a sure sign of better things to come."

Behold: The Brockley Street Art Festival

Lester: It's hard to stay mad when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst.
- American Beauty

The Brockley Street Art Festival, which finished today, has produced so much amazing work, it needs another round-up. These artists have not only changed isolated, underloved spots, they have changed Brockley for generations, enhancing its sense of place and creating a new art trail that wends through Greater Brockley.

Please tell us which works are your favourites.

The Time Out Guide to Brockley: "Brunch, booze and a 1950s ballroom"

In London you really feel that the world is someone else’s oyster. Whether it’s an A-list star on stage in the West End I can’t get tickets for, a Michelin-starred restaurant laughing contemptuously at my attempt to make a reservation or a nightclub with guest list admittance only, London has it all.
The Daily Mash

The Time Out guide to Brockley, curated with contributions from BC readers and printed earlier this week, is now online, the publisher having bravely eschewed the "digital first" mantra.

The guide itself is fine - flattering, but a little 2012, with the Brockley Brewery the only recent arrival to get a name-check. The Rivoli gets its obligatory 'you'll never guess what' mention.

Here you go.

HSDY Boat Party

The some-time Brockley retro-night takes to the water

Sometimes they come back

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home alerts us to this cautionary, yet happy tale of a Brockley cat that went missing, but was tracked down and returned to its family. They say:

The Watt family from Brockley recently thought they had lost their cat Cookie when it had merely strayed a few streets from their house and got lost – luckily when it was bought to the London Battersea rescue centre it had a microchip containing details of the local vet who was then able to track the cat owners down three weeks later.

This story is really important as it shows how valuable microchipping your pets is and as it is National Microchipping Month [which is this one, presumably].

The Sleeping Giant at the Amersham Arms

Ellen writes:

The second installment of ‘The Sleeping Giant’ returns to The Amersham Arms, New Cross on June 23rd.

Organised and curated by Amber Hanson Rowe and Ellen Camilla Rose, the night promises to be an exciting reflection on the local area and young creative people across London. A one night event featuring visual artists and live music acts, the variety is strong.

An upstairs room, light and away from the music hosts 2D visual art work by 15 different artists, a chaotic curation to take in all at once, you’re eyes don’t know where to look first. The downstairs music venue that the South East London pub is known for will have four bands playing on the hour from 8 till midnight with a video showreel featuring a further 12 artists projected in the same space.

New yoga studio opens in Brockley

Dragonfly Place, the live/work development in Brockley Cross, is home to a new yoga studio - Dragonfly Yoga.

Classes start in June and the timetable of yoga and pilates sessions will be seven days a week.

In the absence of a local gym, this is a great addition to the area.

Brockley gets a USP

Hans: Right who's got my rental snake? I'm gonna lose me deposit.
Jez: Wasn't it in the salad spinner?
Hans: Empty. We need to find him while he's still dizzy, cos if he gets his shit together, he is gonna be pissed off.
- Peep Show

We've had BC snake alerts before, that turned out to be slow-worms. But this snake is the real deal. It is apparently safely stowed in a bucket. Its discoverer, Rachel, reckons it might be a California King.

47 and N199 to go all night

With the Jubilee Line becoming an all-night service from September, TfL is proposing to extend the operating hours of two local bus routes, to link up with Canada Water.

This consultation document shows that the 47 and the N199 will offer extended services, with the former running every 30 minutes all night to Bellingham and the latter running every 30 minutes towards Bellingham, except on Fridays and Saturdays, when they will be running every 20 minutes.

The East London Line will start running all night to New Cross from 2017.

Lewisham house prices rising at second-fastest rate in London

The Land Registry's latest London data is out and reveals that the borough of Lewisham has the second-fastest rate of house price rises in the capital in the year to April, with an annual growth rate of 16.4%.

Newham was the fastest-riser, with the cheaper boroughs dominating the top 10.

Back in May, when an 11-feet wide Brockley house sold for half a million pounds, we declared that the area's status as "relatively affordable" was officially over - that the borough had moved in to the middle of the pack. With the average price of a Lewiaham home now at £391,000 - the second highest figure in this top 10 - the numbers back our assertion up.