Wickham Mews Street Art - Part Two

More street art from the Wickham Mews menagerie.

Hello fellow bees, how's the abdomen? Swollen with nectar, I trust?
Beautiful feathered tyrant
The Court of Owls

Wickham Mews Street Art - Part One

"Old Man Coyote took this dirt and blew on it. He made the earth. It was fine and he was pleased. The ducks returned and were amazed."
- Old Man Coyote Creation Myth

Pigeon Street
Brockley must now have more works of street art per capita than anywhere else in the world. Amazing paintings stretch like a string of pearls between Brockley and Honor Oak, but Wickham Mews is the original Brockley street art trail.

Turn left from Geoffrey Road and two inscrutable pigeons will act as your spirit guides as you travel through a verdant menagerie that has served as a testing ground for the artist's animalistic ambitions - the Mews of Dr Moreau.
Beautiful Animals this way

Other people's blogging - Deptford High Street evolution

Deptford Dame has found an application to knock down a hideous block of flats on Deptford High Street and replace it with a modernist hotel.

The hotel will be located near the station and complement the Deptford Project, which is nearing completion. It also promises to add another evening drinking venue to a street that has lost several venues in the last few decades and only recently begun to replace them.

Needless to say, the Dame is cross about it.

If the developers deliver on their promises, this looks like good news to us, but then, we don't mind change.

Other people's blogging - New Cross Gate evolution

New Cross Gate 1865
A couple of other local sites to let you know about / crib stuff from. Firstly, "New Cross / Often Cross", which has collected historical photos showing the evolution of New Cross Gate from 1840 to a grey day in 2015. Author Chris writes:

The 'gate' in New Cross Gate comes from the toll gate which established in 1819 to take the fees for those travelling into Central London at this junction. The area was previously known as Hatcham until two rail companies opened identically-named stations - New Cross - nearby, one of which eventually became New Cross Gate, a name which was adopted by the wider area.

For the full article, click here.

Prendergast Primary delayed again

Luckily, Lewisham has loads of primary school places to spare! Eh? Oh.

Heckstall & Smith, 107 Ladywell Road

Ladywell's new butcher, Heckstall & Smith, opened yesterday and quickly earned rave reviews. It's open 9.30am - 7pm, Weds-Fri, with a 4pm finish on Saturdays and 3pm Sundays. Visit their website here.
Thanks to AB for the nudge!

Lewisham plans big changes to waste collection

Lewisham Council has launched a consultation to reduce the cost of its waste collection and increase recycling rates - while adding to the number of bins on our pavements and in our front gardens. They write:

Lewisham Council has launched a consultation on changes to waste and recycling services that would affect around 80,000 properties across the borough (all those that typically have collections from a wheelie bin).

Under the title Let’s Talk Rubbish! the Council is asking people to say what they think about potential changes to the service that could see:

- separate collections of paper
- the introduction of a food waste collection
- a paid-for garden waste collection
- changes to the frequency of some collections.

The Council has to make changes to comply with new regulations introduced on 1 January 2015 and to make sure it can meet a target of 50% of all waste either recycled, reused or composted by 2020 – failure to do so may mean big fines for the Council.  

Councillor Rachel Onikosi, Cabinet Member for the Public Realm, said: “We have done really well in Lewisham over the years to avoid sending waste to landfill. We sent just 0.3% to landfill last year saving millions of pounds in taxes and charges and avoiding the most environmentally damaging way of disposing of waste.

“But we could be recycling a lot more. Most of our waste – about 80% – is incinerated to generate electricity. But in the future it will save money if we are able to recycle more and it will be better for the environment.

“That’s why we are consulting on changes that will help us recycle and compost more and produce better quality materials that we could sell on for a good price.”

The consultation lasts until 18 October 2015. To find out more and have your say go to www.lewisham.gov.uk/letstalkrubbish.

Honor Oak Wellness Rooms Open Day

Ginny writes:

I'm the Practice Manager here at the Honor Oak Wellness Rooms. We are planning an open day on the 12th September, which is going to be a lovely (free) day of:15-minute massages, taster classes (yoga, Pilates, meditation), chiropractic consultations and talks, plus lots of food and drink.

Our timetable and booking info is available via our website.


It wouldn't be a political farce without some involvement from Lewisham People Before Profit.

The Telegraph has found a connection between our own mischief-making political troupe, LPBP, and the entryist row that has panicked the Parliamentary Labour Party and triggered the ridiculous #LabourPurge of leadership election voters. The Telegraph reports:

The Telegraph can disclose that Unite, the biggest trade union, has been encouraging its members to sign up to vote for Mr Corbyn in order to “wrest control of the Labour party” out of the hands of the “Blairite elite”.

A local Unite branch secretary in south London, also urged backers of the Lewisham People Before Profit Party – a rival political party - to join Labour and vote for Mr Corbyn...

Nick Long, an official from the Lewisham branch of Unite, said his branch has called for members to take part in Labour’s leadership election and vote for Mr Corbyn “as his politics are the most closely in line with Unite’s anti-austerity and socialist views”.

“If Corbyn wins the leadership race and other progressive MPs join him, a battle royal will ensue to wrest control of the Labour party out of the hands of the Blarite and Progress [a centre-Left think-tank] elite and the adoption of an anti-austerity agenda.

“My local political party, Lewisham People Before Profit, which gained 15 per cent in council elections in 2014, have also made a call for our supporters to take part in Labour’s election.”

However, in a letter to his local newspaper, Mr Long warned that “years of fractional battles will be needed” to win the “fight” for Labour’s soul [And if any party knows about years of internal squabbling, it's LPBP - Ed]...

John Hamilton, campaigns coordinator for Lewisham People Before Profit party, said a representative from the Corbyn campaign came to a meeting to urge his party’s supporters to join Labour and vote for Mr Corbyn.

Shifting allegiances and schisms are very much a way of life for LPBP, so if their members do sign-up to the Labour Party, this is less a fresh twist in the Corbyn saga than it is the latest chapter in LPBP's glorious history. It's good to see Lewisham exporting political theatre to the national scene.

With thanks to Monkeyboy for the heads-up.

Sponsors needed for 20 more Brockley street trees

Due to high demand, the Brockley Street Trees project is extending its deadline to sponsor a tree until September 20th 2015, to raise money for a further 20 trees.

So far, Brockley residents have donated nearly £10,000 to support tree planting in the neighbourhood. That astonishing sum of money will pay for the planting and protection of 40 street trees by BrocSoc and Lewisham Council.

Residents can club together or sponsor a tree outright, giving them a say on what type of tree gets planted and where they go.

For details, click here.

Missing: Brockley British Blue - UPDATE: CAT FOUND!

It's been a while since we've done a missing pet story (Facebook and Twitter cater for missing pets very well) but Ketevan is bereft about her missing cat. She writes:

"British blue shorthair (grey cat) went missing on 17th August 2015 in SE4 area. He is wearing a green clover ID tag with his name and a telephone number. He is chipped too. Please get in touch if you see him around."

UPDATE: Ketevan has found her cat after much searching. Stand down, people.

Top Chef: I feel the need, the need to recede

For many years, Top Chef cafe (319 Brockley Road) in Midtown has been a totem for a certain sort of 4g inverted snob.

Mention any business that can muster a flat white or has a Twitter account and you can be sure that someone will tell you that Top Chef does it better at half the price.

Well no more. They did some of the best frying I've seen to date. Right up to the point they got killed. Top Chef's eggs have been writing cheques its sausages couldn't cash. We've lost that loving feeling.

In its place, Pistachio is opening. Jenny sent us this picture of a notice pinned to its grey security blinds (natch).

There has been some speculation that this is brought to you by the same group who run the Hilly Fields Cafe (Pistachios in the Park), but by the looks of things, this is a different operation - perhaps the former owners re-branding. Either way, it's the gutsiest move I ever saw.

Brockley: Enchantment pours out of every door

Photo courtesy of Alexandra King-Lyle
Like an open source Living Etc, Alexandra King-Lyles' blog 'The Street Where I Live', brings readers a tantalising glimpse of various fabulous lives. Most recently, it transported us to bucolic Brockley - a little place I know called Wickham Road, the home of actress Sarah Spencer-Ashworth.

Sarah's guide to Brockley holds few surprises for BC regulars (Browns, Brockley Market and Meze Mangal are among her recommendations) but her Dachshund is delightful, her kitchen workbench is to die for and you can never have enough lovely photos of Brockley online.

If you love Brockley resi-porn and have exhausted all the SE4 inventory on Zoopla then click here.

Longhorn opening night, August 29th

As a Crofton Park deli throws open its doors, another new local business announces its opening night.

The team at Italian American diner Longhorn says:

Our opening taster night is on Saturday 29 August, 7.30pm-11.00pm. £10 per head entry price includes samples of some of our dishes and drinks! Get to know the chef and front of house. #grabhungerbythehorns

Sign up to come here.

Jones of Brockley opens today

Jones of Brockley, the new Crofton Park deli, opens today from 11am. If you have a chance to visit today, please report back here on what it's like.

New Lewisham Sainsbury's emerges

The first of Loampit Vale's two new supermarkets is taking shape. Across the way, a new Asda will be opening soon.

Deptford junction is among Britain's top cycle injury hotspots

As part of its campaign to increase cycling in British cities The Times has worked with Esri UK to produce an interactive map, which documents each incident in which a cyclist was injured or killed in 2014. With 75% of incidents taking place at a junction, they have listed the eight most dangerous junctions in Britain - and Deptford features.

The junction of Evelyn Street and Grinstead Road (the corner of Deptford Park) produced seven casualties last year, making it the second-most-dangerous junction in London and the third in Britain. One of Deptford's dangerous junctions is being improved, but not this one.

Overall, the density of injuries is lower in South East London than in other parts of the capital, but that almost certainly reflects the lower density of development and employment and the lack of Boris Bike provision.

With thanks to Mark from the London Assembly LibDems for the information.

London schools outperform other English cities

Anyone who's brought up kids in London will have had the lecture at least once: Someone holding forth about how awful it must be to grow up in the capital - that failure to move out when your kids hit primary school is tantamount to child abuse.

Top of the list of London's imagined failings, neck-and-neck with a lack of ready access to farm animals, is usually the state of London's schools. Well, here's a map (courtesy of the excellent CityMetric) of UK cities based on results from last year's GCSE results.

Only Cambridge, Gloucester and York match London's performance - with 20 out of 30 children gaining at least five A*-C grades, including maths and English. In the last two decades, London's schools have been improving rapidly, helped by a combination of a highly-educated population and highly-motivated immigrant communities. CityMetric notes:

The example of London shows that social background should not be as a big factor in educational attainment as it currently is across the country. More than a fifth of pupils in the capital come from disadvantaged backgrounds – yet attainment rates in this group are higher in London than anywhere else in the country, with nearly 1 in 2 disadvantaged students gaining five good GCSEs.

Live the New Cross High Life

David spotted this plug for New Cross takeaway Smokey Jerkey in British Airways' in-flight magazine.

284 bus route consultation

TfL have launched a public consultation about the future of the 284 bus route between Ladywell and Catford Bridge.

The plans will involve introducing more bus stops along the route, at the cost of parking space on Manwood and Chudleigh Roads. TfL says:

We are proposing to introduce fixed bus stops along the existing the hail and ride section between Ladywell and Catford. Our drivers are finding it increasingly difficult to find safe places to stop along this route.

This proposal will introduce 16 bus stops along Chudleigh Road, Bexhill Road, Manwood Road and Ravensbourne Park. The proposed bus stops would be a fixed post and flag, although where appropriate lamp columns may be used. 

They also want to know whether you prefer your buses to stick to the roads or mount walls. Click here to participate. Thanks to Patrick for the tip-off.

One Show, Many Voices

Brockley resident and performer Jess Robinson provided a reason to watch The One Show last week. Check her out.

Geoffrey Road is Unwell

Time Out's survey of the lives of 10,000 Londoners has found that people in Brockley are among the most likely to have got drunk in the last 7 days.

This is a terribly sad reflection on local life, or brilliant, depending on your point of view. Either way, it reinforces our argument that the Brockley market remains under-served by local bars.

Clapton finished top of the table, with Dalston, Brixton and St Johns Wood among the postcodes keeping us company in the runners up group. Hail fellows, well met.

Thanks to Jenny for the (liver) spot.

Vicars Hill crash strands 484

Photo taken by Lewisham MPS
This morning, a 484 bus managed to snare itself on a front garden wall on Vicars Hill, on the Lewisham side of Hilly Fields. No-one was injured.

Lewisham Toy Library needs a chairman of the boardgames

Lewisham Toy Library is looking for a new chairman. They say:

We've been operating for 38 years but recently lost a big chunk of our council funding, so we're likely to be moving from our home in Catford to a new home, likely to be in or around New Cross.

The Chairman retired last year, and since then Dwayne Baraka has been acting chair - but as he's also started his own business we now need a chairperson to really direct and drive the operation if we are to stay alive.

We have 271 families registered, and the service is free for those on benefits, whereas childminders pay 5 pounds a year, and the full fee is 27 pounds a year. For that princely sum, they can borrow four toys for up to a month, including massive toys you just wouldn't want in your living room.

We have a vast range of people coming through our doors, but would really like to build numbers - to help shore up our coffers to
keep going, as well as recruiting more volunteers who would be willing to spend an hour or two occasionally to help out.

Recruiting the right Chairperson is a really key next step to ensuring the survival of the main service, and giving us all the security to expand the concept further.

If you would like to be considered for the position, please apply here.

Free bike maintenance and advice on Hilly Fields

Nestor writes:

I'm a local resident and I'm going to be offering Bike Doctor maintenance and advice workshops on Hilly Fields, every Saturday (weather permits) during warm months.

The proposed time of the session is between 11am and 3pm. The workshop will run as a one-to-one "Fix Your Bike" session where you'll have a chance to offer your bike TLC and fix most common bike problems under guidance of a experienced bike mechanic.

Bike safety and maintenance advice will be provided, and if the job is bigger than what "Dr Bike" can offer, you'll be given a scope and advice on what needs to be done. The bike stand, a set of tools, disposable materials and some spare parts will be provided. The sessions are free. No booking is required, just turn up at the park with your bike at the said time and look for a bike stand and sign for "Fix Your Bike".

The location is likely to be near the Tresillian Road. entrance to the park.

I'm an avid cyclist and cycling enthusiast and I like to promote cycling and help the community. I have been involved in a similar scheme while living in Edinburgh and that was one of the most rewarding things I've done in my life. Being a qualified bike mechanic and having a couple of hours of free time a week I could not have thought of a better pastime.

Stay safe and happy riding!

Overspilly Fields

The Friends of Hilly Fields need your help to keep the park tidy. Chris writes:

Morning park users will have seen rubbish strewn by foxes who pull bagged waste from open bins in search for food scraps. The first volunteers have begun emptying the bins just before dark to try to prevent this. More volunteers are needed.

Saturday 15 August was the first night. Two volunteers started at the Bowling Green and cleared the bins up all the way along Cliffview and Vicars Hill to the café and the play area. On the first night we managed to empty 12 bins.

On the second night, taking a trolley and some bungees to enable us to carry more bags, we managed 15 bins.

What we really need is more volunteers. Ideally we need volunteers who can come in and empty the bins on the way up from

  • The corner of Adelaide Avenue and Montague Avenue.
  • The corner of Hilly Fields Crescent and Montague Avenue
  • The lower entrance (steps) off Vicar’s Hill
  • The top of Vicar’s Hill
  • The Bowling Green entrance
That would make each volunteer’s workload very small – perhaps ten minutes each. With a few volunteers rotating – and we only need to do this on sunny summer days during school holidays – each of us would only need to empty the bins perhaps 15 or 20 times a year. Get in touch via the contact page if you’d like to help. We have litter grabbers and lots of bin bags.

The Brockley Front Garden Sale 2015

On Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 September, from 11am to 4pm each day, homes across Brockley will be taking part in a neighbourhood front garden sale, with BrocSoc co-ordinating the marketing, to maximise the number of potential customers. BrocSoc says:

Sellers can take part on one or both days. It definitely works best when there is a cluster of sales in or near your street, so talk to neighbours about participating as well and display the poster (still to come) outside your house.

To take part, email: gardensale@brockleysociety.org.uk with your name + house no. + street + postcode and email, stating Saturday, Sunday or both.

A list will go on the Brockley Society website stating only street, house no. + postcode and day(s).

Lewisham's digital photo archive

Joe sent us this link to Lewisham Council's photographic archive, which has more than 2,000 historic shots, covering every part of the borough. These images were taken from a collection of more than 50 Brockley photographs.

What were they thinking? The 1968 demolition of Brockley Congregational Church on Lewisham Way, to make way for Rokeby House office block.
The Greater Brockley Express: The Forest Hill tram service opened in 1908. Here it is, running along Brockley Rise.
Out of time: Tressillian Road houses with tilt-shift photography and The Shard in the background.

ASK us no questions, we'll blog you no lies

The renovation of the small retail unit, between the railway bridge and Doorstep Bakery on Brockley Road (Brockley Cross, technically), is nearing completion.

The project's taken an age. Work began 18 months ago and the fact that it's only now ready for an occupier is a reflection of just how badly the building was allowed to deteriorate, but it will be able to welcome an occupier soon.

David, who sent us the photo, wants to know what kind of business is going to go in there and while we have no idea if it's even been let, the space is surprisingly large and pleasant, so let's hope it attracts a decent business, with long-term ambitions.

Jones of Brockley, 354 Brockley Road

Jones of Brockley, the Crofton Park deli, opens on August 21st. They say:

"Jones of Brockley is a family run food shop in SE4, opposite Crofton Park station. We stock a broad range of delicious and well made products including bread, cheese, vegetables, refrigerated and dry goods, wine, beer and more."

They will be open 11am-8pm, Wednesday - Saturday and 11am - 6pm Sunday.

Check out their new website here.

The Marsha Phoenix Relay Race

Brockley-based charity, the Marsha Phoenix Memorial Trust, is organising a Hilly Fields fun run on September 13th. The event will be a race for teams of 2-4 people, in aid of the supported housing project for young women.

Details here.

Double portions now available at Brockley supperclub

Brockley's Unhungry supperclub returns this Saturday (15th August) with Brunch from 12pm, and dinner at 7pm.  It's no longer just for singles, so everyone's welcome. You get four courses and a cocktail for £25 per head. Email: unhungrysupperclub@gmail.com to book

Celebrate Pakistan's Independence with Masala Wala

Deathtrap Junction

BC regular John is worried about the temporary road layout in the centre of Lewisham, fearing that the arrangements made to enable the Lewisham Gateway works have created a dangerous situation in which pedestrians find themselves marooned in the road. He writes:

As I passed through on Saturday I saw three separate buggies finding themselves next to the traffic. The image shows a mother very lucky not to have been squashed. So the women is not blamed, I need to emphasise that there was no possibility of knowing you could not get onto the pavement once you were in the road. 
It was a death trap that I think did not end in disaster because of a burst water main up Lompit Vale, closing the road, thus reducing the level of traffic. This said, as my video shows, is was still very dangerous and the father pushing his baby was very upset and stressed by time he reached the traffic island.

My feeling is that it is only a matter of time before someone is badly hurt or killed. 

BC has made the same mistake as these pedestrians and it does leave you marooned, believing that a few yards on will lie the safety of the pavement - but it is a dangerous mistake. It would be good if Lewisham Council took this up with the builders, to find a safer arrangement or organise clearer signage.

Them & Us

BrocSoc have released the official Then & Now group photograph, taken on Hilly Fields as a snapshot of local life (almost) 100 years after the last one was taken.

Historically interesting rather than demographically representative, the photo serves to document Brockley residents' enduring love of group photos.

Available to buy now on all good civic society websites.

Korean FAQ

Another question about Lewisham Way cuisine: BCer Paul wants to know if anyone has any information about this prospective Korean Restaurant, which has just sprung up.

Tasty Kebab, Lewisham Way

Tasty Kebab: Is it? Please post your reviews below.

The Rosemary branch

The team behind The Rosemary Hungarian restaurant and Dig This Nursery - two of New Cross' finest venues - are relocating Dig This into The Rosemary. They say:

What does it mean for you? Well, you can still enjoy the lovely atmosphere of The Rosemary, with all the delicious food and wine, but you can also purchase organic groceries at the same place.

Everything stays at The Rosemary, as it was, including events, we just become bigger, and better.

So as Dig This Nursery...what you could find there before, its all here now, with an addition of the lovely Hungarian welcoming atmosphere.

Venus incurred

The Brockley street art keeps coming. Brockley's graffiti artist laureate, Lionel Stanhope, has produced two new works for local businesses. On the left, the new mascot for Venus Nails & Beauty (324 Brockley Road). Top right, the Longhorn logo for Crofton Park's new diner. The works were created with artist Disk.

Man dies in Brockley Station incident

Earlier this evening, a man fell from a bridge at Brockley Station and was killed by a train. The incident forced the temporary closure of the station and major disruption to services from London Bridge.

An eyewitness who asked not to be named said:

I was on the platform at the time, very close to the impact. I suddenly heard a loud bang - looking up I saw a body in the air, having just been hit by one of the fast trains passing southwards through the station.

For a few seconds everyone was in shock - nobody really knew what to do. But the station staff acted pretty swiftly to call the police and clear the station. I commend them for doing as good a job as they could have done under those circumstances.

Reports suggest that the incident was a suicide, but this is unconfirmed. In any case, it is a tragedy.

Coming soon: Longhorn

The planned Crofton Park diner has revealed itself as Longhorn - an Italian-American diner that plans to offer vegetarian and Halal options to complement its meaty menu.

Its got a logo and website and everything. This is the real deal and very exciting news, adding to the growing pantheon of local eating and drinking options. They plan to open this month. Check them out here.

Thanks to Marshall for the heads-up.

How many deaths can you fit on a phonebooth?

The original Brockley loop

London blogger IanVisits has unearthed a map, detailing a 1915 proposal to create an Outer Loop Railway, which would have radically decentralised London and connected Brockley with Tulse Hill and Blackheath.

The idea of an outer loop is still being mooted and Brockley is still in the loop, but it may be another hundred years before one materialises.

Plan to split Lewisham Southwark College nixed

FE Week reports that a plan by Southwark Council to take the Southwark portion of LeSoCo under local authority control has been blocked by the government's FE Commissioner. The site says:

The college announced today that commissioner Dr David Collins had thrown out a proposal from Southwark Borough Council last month to de-merge the college.

The council suggestion included taking on the Southwark provision and contracting it out.

It comes amid an area-based assessment of South East London’s FE and skills provision, consisting of two structure and prospects appraisals at Greenwich Community College and Lewisham Southwark after they were both served with inadequate Ofted ratings — the second in a row for Lewisham Southwark, which is currently in administered status.

Thanks to Daniel for the tip-off.

Coming soon: One Tree Hill

Honor Oak's impressive high street is about to get a new arrival, providing another local night out. Joe sent us this SE23 forum link, which includes details of a planning application for the conversion of Honor Oak Supermarket (66 Honor Oak Park) into a bar provisionally called One Tree Hill. The Council should support this one.

Crossy Road

A copy of the stakeholder consultation document. Thanks to We Are SE3.
TfL trying again to remove pedestrian crossings from Lewisham Way. Having withdrawn a bid to remove one crossing in 2011, it's now launched a consultation on the removal of two on the route between New Cross and Lewisham, to speed up car journey times. 

We can't see any justification for this. The number of pedestrian crossings is not excessive and the snarl-ups you get at either end are due to bottle necks in both town centres, while the recent installation of speed cameras at the junction of Lewisham Way and Wickham Road suggests excessive speeding remains a problem. 

We can't see any more details about this plan on the TfL website, but if anyone has any links, please share.