The Telegraph Hill panto: Dick Whittington

The Telegraph Hill Centre writes:

Dick Whittington – New Cross’s very own gloriously fun fundraising Panto, back for it’s 6th year!

This year funds raised will go to Telegraph Hill Centre, an independent community organisation supporting the local community, Carers Lewisham, an amazing organisation which does so much to support people across the borough, and Bold Vision, a local charity which develops local projects.

Join Dick Whittington and his cat in this tale of derring do and (mis)adventure. Meet a host of ripe and rambunctious characters, friends and foes as Dick and his Pussy fall into all sorts of tricky traps on their journey from rags to riches.

  • Friday 4 December 2015 – Doors Open at 7:30PM – Bar/Cafe available
  • Saturday 5 December 2015 – Doors Open at 3pm – pop-up Cafe available
  • Saturday 5 December 2015 – Doors open at 7.30pm – Bar/Cafe available
  • Sunday 6 December 2015 – Doors open at 3pm – pop-up Cafe available

Tickets: £6.00 – £12.00 – BOOK HERE

Brockley Anathemata

Mike, from the Friends of Brockley & Ladywell Cemeteries, writes:

On Wednesday 2nd December at 12:30pm at 67 Arabin Road, SE4 there will be an unveiling of a maroon plaque to commemorate the Great War poet, soldier and artist David Jones (1895-1974), who is buried in the  Brockley & Ladywell Cemeteries.

Born in Brockley in 1895 he served in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers during the Great War, having interrupted his studies at Camberwell Art School, and was wounded at the Battle of Mametz Wood during the Somme Offensive in July 1916.

Of all the Great War poets he served the longest on the Western Front and his superb poetic memoir 'In Parenthesis' published in 1937 won the prestigious literary award The Hawthorden Prize and was described by writer T.S. Eliot as a 'work of genius'.

A convert to Catholicism, he spent time with the sculptor and artist Eric Gill and his calligraphy and brilliant artistic outpourings were compared by the art historian Kenneth Clark to those of the artist William Blake. He suffered greatly from the trauma of the trenches which resulted in nervous breakdowns and much of his artistic imagery is defined by these formative experiences.

Following the publication of his second long poem 'The Anathemata' in 1952 his critical acclaim as a poet and artist merited the accolade from Poet WH Auden as' probably the finest long poem written in English this century'. David Jones died in Harrow in 1974 and was buried in the family grave in Ladywell cemetery.

The campaign to recognise Brockley's most illustrious poet, soldier, artist has been spearheaded by the Friends of Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries and all the funding to pay for the maroon plaque was sourced from the generous donations of admirers of David Jones with the support of the Homeowners and Lewisham Archives.

The maroon plaque celebrates the achievements of former residents of Lewisham Borough. The unveiling will be undertaken by Nicholas Elkin, trustee of the David Jones Society and great nephew of the war poet.

Following the ceremony a space has been reserved at the nearby Brockley Jack and all are welcome,

Provender, Honor Oak Park

Provender is the upgrade of former HOP deli Hills & Parkes, which sold up in October. Looks nice - please share your reviews here.

Have a Brockley Market Christmas

Toby from Brockley Market writes:

The last full market of 2015 will be the 19th December - we will be open on the 24th Christmas eve (from 10 - 12) to pick up Christmas orders (Meat From The Butchery, fish/seafood from Veasey and Sons, turkeys geese & cockerels from Fosse Meadows - we will also have fresh bread from Astons, House of Sverre Smoked Salmon ,Brockley based Blackswoods Cheese, Perry Court Christmas Veg, wine from Le Grappin, Pork Pies from Hartland Pies, Charcuterie from Moons Green and a few others pitching up on the 24th to take care of final bit and bobs for festive meals.

Kent grown Christmas tree orders being taken from Saturday 28th November at the market.

Visit us at to be kept up to date of Brockley Market Christmas News - we will be closed on December 26th and January 2nd, we open again weekly from 9th January 2016.

The White Room closes

The White Room, the fashion and sewing studio in Crofton Park, is closing. The founder Nicky Cook plans to relocate to open a pattern cutting studio in new premises. Nicky writes:

"It's been 3 years since I opened the doors of The White Room to bring fashion, fun and creativity to our leafy corner of South East London. I have loved every minute of it! Now there are new plans afoot......with clients like ASOS and Top Shop using my patterns I have decided to take the plunge and open my Nicky Cook pattern cutting studio doors in a new premises this Spring.

"Although it is sad to say goodbye to our White Room studio, it is time to celebrate all that we have achieved over the past 3 years. I want to say a huge thanks to everyone for the support, encouragement and fun you have brought to me at The White Room."

The White Room was an exotic business in our midst and will be a loss. But if we must lose a local business, it's nice to see it go on to bigger and better things. It closes just before Christmas.

Wheelchair tennis, Ladywell

Penniless Cove - Tuesday

Penniless Cove are a Brockley-based band whose latest video was shot in Hilly Fields, Manor Avenue and The Broca. Check it out.

Boomerang plan to link Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf

Only yesterday, Brockley Central was idly Tweeting that copying Copenhagen's newest bridge and aerial bike lane would have been a good way to get the Rotherhithe-Canary Wharf foot bridge project back on track. Today, architects ReForm revealed a much better idea - a boomerang bridge, which could be raised for tall ships but which would allow pedestrians and cyclists to cross without having to ascend spiral staircases, as the original design proposed.
As we've said in the past, new river crossings in East London are vital for future growth on both sides of the river. As the Guardian notes, this one would provide a direct connection between "at least 3,300 new homes and places for 2,000 new jobs, [which] are fast rising out of the ground at Canada Water to the south, with 105,000 jobs at Canary Wharf (a figure that’s set to double by 2030)."

At the moment, getting from one side to the other is a difficult business and Rotherhithe remains a strange, beautiful isolated peninsula that's fascinating rather than fun. A bridge would mean life would finally find a way.

The Guardian adds:

"Having parted company with [transport campaigners] Sustrans, the bridge designers are now pressing ahead to launch their scheme and looking for private funds to make it happen. With an estimated construction cost of £88m – half the price of the garden bridge – and some of the world’s richest companies next door (the bridge will land right next to a site planned for JP Morgan’s new HQ), it’s not hard to imagine lycra-clad bankers queuing up to throw their money, and their logos, at the project."

New Spanish place will be local to Brockley

L'Oculto is the a new permanent home for Flavours of Spain, purveyor of fine Spanish foods at Brockley Market.

L'Oculto will occupy the venue where they recently hosted a series of hugely popular pop-up events during the summer - 57 Loampit Hill - which currently operates as a gallery and creative space.

More details soon, but Flavours of Spain have earned a reputation a high-quality bunch, so this should be good.

Brockley Barge earns Good Beer Guide entry

The weekend's article about the newly refurbished Crown Tavern triggered some discussion of the Brockley Barge, with some wishing that it could be more like the Tavern and less like a Wetherspoons.

Pubs and restaurants are in short supply in the area and are essentially strategic assets for the neighbourhood, so it's inevitable these kinds of discussions spring up from time to time. But while the resurrection of local pubs like The Talbot and The Honor Oak as relatively upmarket boozers is welcome, it's important to acknowledge that The Barge is a successful, busy pub with a diverse clientèle.

The Barge is actually that rarest of things: a community pub, used by students, families, young professionals and yes, some elderly alcoholics who treat it as a cheap form of sheltered accommodation.

Not only that, it has raised its game in recent years, improving the environment, discouraging some of the wrong-uns that have traditionally frequented it and expanding its offer.

The Barge has just celebrated its entry in the Good Beer Guide, which says of the place:

Caesar has been the general manager at the Brockley Barge since 2013, and he's been with JDW for almost 20 years and he knows a few things about running a pub. 

Caesar did explain though that it's the good work of all the staff that produces success, not least the pub's cellar champion Thomas. "Thomas and I work together on targets for improvement and are now selling more beers than ever."

The pub does seem different from say ten years ago, more customers for a start - locals, local Jamaicans, people on the way back home from the office, students, dating couples, friends of all ages, at two separate tables nearby French was being spoken, a few hipster beards were visible - all to the sound of people enjoying each others company it's what a pub should be.

They also look after their staff pretty well, according to my housemate who works behind the bar there.

My view is simple - where businesses are failing, closed or behaving criminally, then let's upgrade them to something that people want. Often that will mean "nice places to hang out" - the third spaces on our high street, which are so loathed by anti-gentrifiers but which are what paying customers actually want. Bars, restaurants, cafes, salons and more often than not, some fusion of all four. We should be unapologetic in calling for more of these things.

But when something works and keeps lots of people very happy, then let's turn our attention on the places that are struggling. If any pub needs to rethink its approach, it's the Wickham Arms, which limps on without investment or clear direction.

Meanwhile, let's celebrate The Brockley Barge for what it is, rather mourn what isn't.

The Crown Tavern, Lee

Look what the people of Lee have wangled themselves: A beautifully refurbished pub, with a lush garden. The team at The Crown Tavern proudly declare:

Dating back to 1887, The Crown Tavern has now been given a fresh lease of life whilst still retaining its original character, complete with a redesigned outside space and expansive dining room, serving seasonally changing British dishes.
Many of the popular pub’s traditional fixtures have been preserved whilst the new interior makes subtle references to travel, celebrating the pub’s historical links to the original railway line in Lee that ran behind the Tavern.  Design features include booths styled like train carriages with antique lighting and luggage racks, travel-stamp print upholstery and vintage railway signage and maps.
Head chef Tristan Downes oversees the bright and airy dining room complete with private terrace featuring a pergola and built-in log fire. Must-try mains include seared hake and scallops with a brown crab and potato cake, shrimp sauce and wilted kale; a duo of Devon lamb of pan seared rump and a slow roasted lamb shoulder shepherd’s pie with charred courgettes; and a tasty Yorkshire Fettle cheese tart with herbed Cornish potatoes and salad.

Lewisham's average wage is £474 per week

The Office for National Statistics has produced an interactive map of Britain, which allows you to compare average pay in different regions of the country. The average weekly wage for a job in Lewisham is £474 overall and 643 for men in full time employment or £567 for women in full time employment.

Worth noting that though the Lewisham average is exactly the same as that of Greenwich, it is far less than that of Southwark, which has an average wage of £645. The gap between Lewisham and Southwark is about twice as big as that between Lewisham and Middlesbrough. 

So when people ask why Southwark has nicer street furniture and libraries than Lewisham, it's worth bearing in mind that our neighbours are considerably better off than us working for businesses that pay lots of rates, which means they place less stress on the social services that Councils have to provide. That's not to let Lewisham off the hook for its spending decisions, which are sometimes baffling, but it's important context.

Wild House Prices

As hipsters get a little older, they tend to move a little bit further down the line in search of a little more space and develop a fondness for vintage what nots and baking, to fill those spaces. Wild Horses describes itself as a "vintage lifestyle store" on Dartmouth Road in Forest Hill and clearly understands its market.

That's all for now, but keep an eye on their website for more details. Thanks to Magnus for giving us an excuse to talk about Forest Hill.

Mappa Brockli

Illustrator Kerry Hyndman has created this map of Greater Brockley. We'll forgive her for making Nunhead the centre of this particular universe.

Lewisham and Brent share IT services to save £2m per year

Whenever the subject of frontline cuts to Council spending comes up on BC, someone argues that the Council should conduct a more aggressive efficiency drive, with shared services being the most obvious way to deliver savings. Today's announcement provides supporting evidence for both sides of the argument about Council efficiency. In a statement issued today, Lewisham Council says:

"Lewisham Council is to share information technology (IT) services with Brent Council from April 2016 in a deal that will see each council save £1m per year.

"Lewisham Council has chosen a shared solution with Brent Council as the best way to deliver an improved service at a reduced cost.

"Lewisham Council needs to update its existing IT infrastructure and to agree new arrangements to support that infrastructure. Lewisham Council’s current IT infrastructure and support is provided by Capita under a contract that expires on 1 April 2016."

Coming soon: Benedict's Coffee

Crofton Park's new cafe is performing a slow striptease on Brockley Road. Benedict's Cafe will help to offset the recent loss of Pat-a-cakes and its imminent arrival means that this area is sustaining a current average of one new place to eat or drink every week or so.

Thanks to Molewife for the photo.

I like my bags like I like my postcodes: Cheerful and obvious

The Guardian's tote feature puts Brockley in the heart of London
When a Brockley tote bag makes it into the Guardian, that's a BC article right there. In a meditation on the appeal of tote bags, the Guardian's deputy fashion editor, Hannah Marriott writes:

Tote bags can signal your postcode with GPS-like accuracy. In Walthamstow, east London, it’s all about a William Morris Gallery tote or a Toy Library anniversary bag. 

Five miles south-west, in Highbury, you’re no one without a La Fromagerie sack. Another eight miles further south and “I heart Brockley” bags – inevitably made from organic Fairtrade cotton – are all the rage.

That Brockley bag would not win you friends with the fashion or the art crowd – it’s far too cheerful and way too obvious.

Click here for the article.

Free parking to boost Lewisham Christmas shopping

Lewisham Council writes:

We are once again offering people the opportunity to park for free on the first three Saturdays in December.

Shoppers will be able to park for free all day in all council-run car parks in Blackheath, Catford, Deptford, Forest Hill, Lewisham and Sydenham on Saturday 5, 12 and 19 December.

The start of the free parking offer falls on 5 December – the traditional start of the Christmas shopping rush – and also the UKs ‘Small Business Saturday’ which is a national campaign to encourage people to shop in their local high streets in the run up to Christmas.

The free car parking offer only applies to car parks that are managed by Lewisham Council and does not include on-street parking, Lewisham Shopping Centre (which is privately owned) or Blackheath Station car park which is owned by Network Rail.

For a list of all participating car parks visit

The Lizards Within Us, Enclave Gallery

David Icke's line of defence was clear. When he said lizards, he really was referring to lizards. He was not talking about cockroaches, or amphibians in general, contrary to the suggestions mooted at the meeting in Vancouver, but Annunaki lizards, specifically, from the lower fourth dimension.
- Jon Ronson, Secret Rulers of the World

The fourFOLD collective is staging its last event at Deptford gallery Enclave (50 Resolution Way, Deptford SE8 4AL). They write:

The Lizards Within Us is a multi-sensory installation in which Phoebe Boswell uses film, drawing, sound, and interactive sculpture to examine how storytelling, nuance, and language aid our personal predilections towards belief.

Exhibition times are Thursday to Saturdays 12-6pm, until 27th November. There's a talk next Saturday 21st 4-6pm, plus a late night opening on the Friday 27th from 6-9pm.

Paranhodu, 125 Lewisham Way

Friend of BC, Marshall, has written this review of Brockley's new Korean restaurant. He says:

Paranhodu has officially opened its doors on Lewisham Way, after completing a significant improvement of the space that formerly housed Kedar. Picking up on the theme of local favourites like Masala Wala in Brockley Cross, Paranhodu embraces the virtues of homestyle cooking, and offers a focused selection of Korean classics.

If you've never tried Korean, it's worth putting aside the tired cliches -- you know the ones -- and giving it a try. Korean manages to strike a wonderful balance between the subtle flavours of Japanese cooking and the bigger, bolder flavours of China.

On a Friday dinner visit, we tried kimchi, beef bulgogi, and barbecued aubergine. All were excellent, well spiced, and strongly flavoured. The dinner menu offered several other promising options and considerable choice for vegetarians. There were also standby Asian classics like chicken katsu, noodle soup, and pork ribs for anyone feeling a little less adventurous.

Service was friendly, welcoming, and passionate, if also reflecting an inexperience that's understandable given the restaurant's newness.

Paranhodu is putting a big focus on the lunch trade, a welcome development of a strip with too few good midday choices. They are offering quick all-in-one options that include a main dish and rice for about £6-7, as well as bulgogi burgers and a range of noodle soups and Korean stews.

Best of all, Paranhodu has managed to nail down its license for its opening, so beer, including an admirable Korean import, is available.

For the moment, the restaurant is focusing on its in-trade, and it's worth stopping by to see what the team have done to the wretched Kedar space. Fresh paint, new tables, and tasteful Korean art make it a pleasant place to have a bite. Takeaway is slated to launch in about 2 weeks.

All in all, Paranhodu is welcome addition to Lewisham Way, and definitely worth a try.

Noak Bakehouse, Mantle Road

Noak Bakehouse is the new shop and cafe on Mantle Road, which, after a soft launch last weekend, starts its first day of trading tomorrow, from 7.30am. Here's the menu.

The team explain:

We are testing and expanding the menu throughout this month. by 27 November, everything will be in place.

We're really pleased with how the pastry and bread range have tasted and are keen to introduce more ASAP. watch for a bloomer made with dark ale (from Brockley Brewery!), a bialy, more danish pastries, more small cookies...

As for cafe/restaurant food, it's coming and we are certain you'll be happy. For breakfast and lunch, we're working to get the sandwich range up to 6 options (the ones we tried this weekend -- pork roast, grilled salami & cheese, vegan -- were all well-received); add house-made granola to our house-made bircher muesli; add a soup and a couple of substantial salads; introduce a brunch platter featuring both hot and deli-like items; and, notably, get cracking on a nice relaxed evening service.

We've already got beer and wine in-house, and license to sell til 11pm. In addition to the woodfire pizza, we'll have a slim menu of bar snacks, two starters, two mains, two desserts. The emphasis is on freshness, heartiness and value.

Arthouse Winter Fair - 12th December 11am–6pm

Amanda writes: Just letting you and your readers know about our Winter fair featuring a scrumptious treats and hand crafted items ideal for Christmas stockings.

We're on the lookout for talented entrepreneurial types who'd like to join in... If you're an Artist, maker, a producer of Fine food or someone with a good idea then we'd like to hear from you.

Please visit our website for application details

Corbynistas launch petition against Lewisham Council cuts plan

A few days ago, BC observed that Lewisham was earning a disproportionately high volume of coverage about Labour Party machinations and that this was evidence of an unhealthy degree of London-centricity within the Corbynista movement.

This, we argued, might put off voters in the rest of the country, who view London with suspicion. For many, London is not the Great Wen, it's the Great Other, and any party that aspires to national government needs to avoid looking like it's run by a bunch of inner London navel-gazers.

For making this argument, BC was labelled a neocon. And anyway, why were we clogging the pages of a humble community blog with stories lifted from a filthy rag like The Telegraph, which was simply stirring up trouble by suggesting that Momentum might seek to undermine elected local Labour politicians? Nothing to see here. Move on.

The Guardian now reports:

A group of Jeremy Corbyn supporters is to call on a local authority to decline to set a budget complying with the Treasury’s spending cuts.

In a move that could be copied in other constituencies, the Lewisham for Corbyn – Momentum group, a part of the mass movement that grew out of Corbyn’s leadership campaign, agreed to protest against its Labour council’s proposals to close libraries and community centres.

The group is also “initiating and collecting signatures on an official petition across Lewisham for a no cuts budget, trying to collect the necessary 8,000 to trigger a debate in the council”. The group wants to mobilise support also for a lobby of Labour’s local mayor, Sir Steve Bullock, and his cabinet.

A spokesman for the Lewisham for Corbyn – Momentum group said the point of the action was to put pressure on councillors to take a stand against the cuts they are being asked to implement. He said he hoped it would lead to a groundswell of support that would embolden radical councillors across the country. He said it was key to winning the argument with Labour, trade unions and the wider community that refusing to carry out cuts was necessary.

For the full article, click here. Thanks to Jenny and Monkeyboy for the link.

Coming soon: Sy's Kitchen

Tickle Me, home of the jerk bagel, has closed. Sy's Kitchen is the future. What Tickle Me lacked in style, it made up for in flavour. Sy's Kitchen has at least invested in a temporary sign, to let people know what's going on, which bodes well.

Thank you to Monkeyboy for the photo.

White Hart Gain

An anonymous benefactor has sent us these photos and the news that, after years of being rubbish, The White Hart pub in New Cross is threatening to become great, having been taken over by a publican with a decent pedigree.

Refurbishment is under-way and anon writes:

"A bit of tracing on Companies House shows a director of the new owner who is a member of Foxy Food LLP, which owns or operates The Fox on Kingsland Road. It's been such a waste of such a prominent site for so long."

The Dude Abides

Christmas light nights

A BCer has declared this Cranfield Road home the first out of the traps to embrace the spirit of Christmas, which reminds us what we meant to ask you all...

This year, we had some people down from Liverpool for Halloween and we thought we would blow their tiny minds by showing them the extent to which some Brockley residents do Halloween night [we missed the motorbikes].

Whilst appreciating the effort that many houses had gone to, they nonetheless trumped us, by revealing that where they live, the whole neighbourhood does a "Christmas lights switch-on", so everyone agrees to turn their house and Christmas tree lights on at exactly 5pm on the same day and throw a party to celebrate.

Would that work in Brockley? Would you want to do something like that? Could we pull it off?

The importance of being crowdfunded

Lucy is keen for Brockley to get behind one of its most talented designers. She writes:

Sonya Kashmiri has been secretly racking up design awards for her range of beautifully designed sustainable handbags.  Nominated by Wallpaper*as “An accessory designer to watch” and with her brand being recognised as one of the top twenty sustainable fashion brands by Grazia magazine, she continues to produce understated beautiful pieces which are carefully handcrafted using natural and organic materials in collaboration with expert craftspeople.

Sonya has produced a collection of limited edition bags and has launched a crowd funding appeal on to help her with the development of her new collection.

We would be grateful for any support/pledges on our Born page and if anyone is interested in accessories, please contact Sonya at


In ancient times, hundreds of years before the dawn of history. Lived a strange race of people... The Druids.

No one knows who they were. Or, what they were doing. But their legacy remains - hewn into the living rock of Manor Avenue.

Reader JPM has been doing some renovation work and has discovered that "the very very thick internal walls are made up of very curious stonework." He asks: "Is ancient Brockley buried in our houses? Did the 19th Century builders use stones from earlier monuments, or is there a much simpler explanation?"

Lewisham restaurant complex construction could start within weeks

Riverdale Hall, via Wikipedia
This winter, Lewisham's Riverdale Hall is to undergo a dramatic and lightning-fast transformation, which will turn it into the first street food emporium from London Union - the streetfood supergroup founded by 18 big-name chefs, including Jamie Oliver and Yottam Ottolenghi.

Riverdale Hall is an unused facility strapped to Lewisham Shopping Centre, overlooking the Lewisham Gateway building site. The renovation will turn the ground floor, first floor and rooftop into temporary restaurants and bars. Planning company Vectos has just submitted a construction-management proposal to Lewisham, which says:

Vectos has been retained by London Union to prepare a Construction Logistics Plan
associated with the temporary change of use at Riverdale Hall, Lewisham to provide a sui
generis use on ground, first and roof levels to include the provision of restaurants, cafes and
bars, ancillary uses and new entrances.

Construction work is expected to take approximately 4 weeks finishing in late Winter 2015.

The development is most likely to serve as the home of Polpo founder Russell Norman's planned new Lewisham restaurant. Norman is part of London Union. Reader Paul, who sent us the details, writes:

The revised drawings show the layout and size of the space: two big restaurants and some sort of bar on the ground floor, a lounge on the first floor and a bar, restaurant and room for street food trucks on the roof. 

Tantalisingly, the very bottom picture showing the frontage of the East entrance has "Pizza Pilgrims" signage! I think we can infer that the other restaurant is going to be the Polpo, given that Russell Norman is involved in London Union and he said it was going to be in "an ugly Sixties building that used to be an OAP drop-in centre" (the building used to be the Leisure Box which had a social centre element I think). 

The rooftop element is outlined as a "wine garden" with ambient mood lighting.

Telegraph: Two Lewisham MPs could lose their jobs in Momentum plot

Telegraph journalist and Greenwich resident Andrew Gilligan has written a lengthy analysis of the power struggle between Labour's hard-left grassroots groups, energised by Corbyn's victory, and the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Yet again, Lewisham is front and centre of the story, with the influential Labour Representation Committee (LRC) reported to be considering a reverse takeover of Corbyn's grassroots organisation, Momentum, in order to win "the battles that will take place within the Labour Party," with our MPs allegedly in the front-line. Gilligan writes:

"The south London borough of Lewisham can be revealed as a key target for Momentum, with the group likely to challenge at least two of the area’s moderate Labour MPs...

"The [LRC strategy] paper makes clear that the principal target is Labour MPs, about whom it is vitriolic, saying: “Barely 20 of more than 200 Labour MPs support [Mr Corbyn] as leader. Some lose no opportunity to run to the capitalist press and denigrate him… Their loyalty is purely to their own careers…Jeremy has preached conciliation, but all his opponents show in return is disloyalty.”

"Current party rules allow activists to call a “trigger ballot” to force sitting MPs to face reselection. Many seats will also be redrawn under boundary changes, often triggering a reselection battle automatically.

"The main battles will not begin for a year but the London activist said there was already “concern” for two Labour MPs in south-east London, Vicky Foxcroft in Lewisham Deptford and Jim Dowd in Lewisham West.

"Lewisham West is one of only five constituencies where the local party nominated Mr Corbyn for the leadership but the MP nominated the most right-wing candidate, Liz Kendall. Lewisham Deptford is one of only four constituencies where the party nominated Mr Corbyn but the MP nominated the centrist Yvette Cooper.

"An active Momentum branch, including Trotskyites from the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty, has already held two meetings in Lewisham, each attracting about 80 people, and will hold a third on Monday to discuss whether the local Labour council should implement cuts or pursue a “more radical form of resistance.”"

The quotes are probably little more than hot air from people with big grudges, long-memories and small horizons - Foxcroft was recently made a party whip and 64-year-old Dowd would surely be a long-way down any plotters list of priorities. But this story is one of many that show how petty, insular and London-centric the Labour movement has quickly become.

The desire for a new kind of politics that swept Corbyn to power was real enough, but it was as deep and considered as a petition. The idea that a party obsessed with Lewisham politics is going to make serious headway against the SNP in next year's Scottish elections is laughable. This is the first time in recorded history that BC has ever said this, but it's time for people to stop thinking about Greater Brockley and talk about something else for a change.

Armistice Day in Hilly Fields

By Lionel Stanhope

Controlled Parking Zone proposed for Brockley

The threatened Controlled Parking Zone consultation for the area surrounding Brockley Station has arrived. So it's time to discuss it in earnest. The proposed zone [above] is similar to the one mocked up by BCer Mike, last month. The Council says:

A CPZ is an area in which all on-street parking is restricted and so people wishing to park within this area will need to have a permit to do so. Parking bays are painted on the road to show where it is safe to park and all other kerb lengths are marked with yellow lines. 

This helps keep the street safe for both drivers and other road users allowing priority for parking to be given to disabled people, residents and their visitors and local businesses.

I live just inside the proposed zone, own a car and hate having to pay administrative charges - both the money and the faff involved.

The road I live on is busy, but I've never had to park more than 20 yards from my house, which is fine. Until two years ago, I lived on Geoffrey Road, another road inside the zone and close to Brockley Station, and the situation was the same. 

Beyond a few streets very close to the station, there is no real problem with parking in Brockley. If you live on those streets, it's part of the deal - a drawback offset by the fact that public transport and amenities are on your doorstep. 

The East London Line arrived years ago and made little difference to the parking situation. Brockley's housing density is relatively unchanged and per capita car ownership is falling across London. There's no reason to imagine that car parking will get markedly harder in the near future.

Meanwhile, Brockley Central has for years had to report the unfolding chaos that the introduction of a CPZ in Ladywell created. Whatever problems the CPZ purports to solve, we can be fairly confident it will create a whole new set just outside the zone. 

I grew up in Greenwich, miles from the Dome but nonetheless close enough to be caught in the CPZ introduced in 1999, in anticipation of a vast influx of drivers that never came. The great exhibition passed but the CPZ remains to this day for no good reason.

So a CPZ would be unnecessary and expensive for car owners without being cash-generative for the Council (or at least, they're an illegal and inefficient way for Council's to make money). It won't guarantee you a parking spot, but it will guarantee a fresh batch of problems for those not in it. And once in place, it will never, ever get removed, however problematic it proves to be.

So I'll be voting no. You can complete the survey here and debate it below.

Council needs to haul anchor in Deptford

A petition has been launched to persuade Lewisham Council to "give us back our bloomin' anchor". The campaigners write:

"For 25 years, the anchor – a gift from Chatham Dockyard – was the only visible reminder of Deptford's rich, unique and international maritime history.

"High Street renovation works required the removal of both the anchor and its plinth, but a survey carried out prior to these regeneration works found that 84% of respondents wanted it to remain in Deptford.

"Since the completion of the renovation works, and more than two years since its removal, the anchor has still not been reinstated and the council has not made any plans for its future."

The anchor took the blame for the preponderance of street drinking that used to take place at that end of Deptford High Street, but there's nothing intrinsically drunkard-attracting about a large anchor - it was the pedestal it used to sit on that was the problem.

The new streetscape could happily accommodate the return of the anchor, sans pedestal, in the way depicted in the petitioners' image above.

It's time to bring back the anchor, so we can all move on with our lives and focus on what else Deptford needs.

Bombay Social Club

Brockley passport snub causes diplomatic incident

It's one thing to obliterate women from Britain's glorious cultural history, it's quite another to rub Brockley's tube-like station off the map.

The new-look UK passport has been helping journalists fill space for the last week and now the Evening Standard has spotted that the designers have used an old tube map, which cuts the East London Line dead at New Cross, missing the most important part.

Opening tomorrow on Mantle Road: Noak Bakehouse & Brew

Hard bodies, hard questions

Mourad is planning to open a gym in Brockley. He's gambling that all those BCers who constantly say they wish there was a local gym option aren't going to disappear faster than a New Year's resolution.

He's found a location and now wants to know what potential customers want from a local gym. He says:

We will be about 5 min south of Brockley station, closer to the "Brockley Mess" area. This is also a 6 min walk from Crofton Park [this is why Midtown is such a useful term, it could have saved Mourad a lot of words].

I can't say any more about the plans at this stage, but I have two questions for Brockley Central readers, I hope people can give feedback on in the comments section please:

  • I'd like to know whether or not people think this is a good location for them? Would people who live in Crofton Park be willing to come as well considering there are no car parks? 
  • What kind of classes do people want?

Lewisham Ascending

Nothing says "culture of radical protest and dissent" like a map from property agents Savills, predicting that Lewisham borough will experience the joint-fastest house price rises in London between now and the end of the decade.

The estate agents reckon that Lewisham and Waltham Forest are London's two "promotion candidates" to the "expensive boroughs" category and will rise by a total of 20% by 2020. The established "prime" markets like Islington and Camden will rise at the slowest rate.

Lewisham house prices have been rising faster than the London average for years, but remain relatively low compared to the rest of inner London, which has been pulling away from the outer boroughs as city centre living returns to fashion.

Radical New Cross: protest and dissent 1875 - 2015

A welcome reminder that Universities are supposed to encourage challenging ideas, rather than provide safe spaces. Goldsmiths says:

From 12 – 15 November, Goldsmiths are putting on a range of free events inspired by the theme ‘Radical New Cross: protest and dissent 1875 – 2015’.

We’re opening up some of our most historic and lesser seen spaces, including the newly restored Deptford Town Hall Council Chamber and the St James Hatcham church for workshops, exhibitions a panel discussion and a meal.

We will be joined by Lewisham’s first black police constable who was at the infamous Battle of Lewisham in 1977 as well as contributions from artists, activists, community groups and academics.

For details of the festival, click here.

Adventures in Dogsitting

BCer Fiona just got "a sweet little rescue dog who is very well trained" and needs occasional help for dog-sitting either in her house or to drop-off.

So please use this thread to offer your services to Fiona or others like her. Post your contact details below if you're interested.

Library Tales, 28th November

William Somerset: Gentlemen, gentlemen... I'll never understand. All these books, a world of knowledge at your fingertips. What do you do? You play poker all night.
- Se7en


Veronique writes:

For three weeks from Sunday 1 November, Charlie will be exhibiting a collection of mixed-media collages from his project 'Mixanthropy' at the Duke in Deptford (125 Creek Road).

Come and meet the artist himself on Friday 6th for the official opening (6-9pm). A rare opportunity to have a pint with one of Deptford's hidden talents!

'As an artist one invariably finds oneself in Limbo, a place where current work hits the bumpers. At that time collage is an interesting method of finding one’s way back.'

Wavelengths movie nights, November 14-28

This month, Deptford Film Club is staging special Saturday night movie screenings at Wavelengths pool.  Lounge on the water’s edge, float on a lilo, or swim throughout the movie. 

No word on whether the wave machine will get turned on, but they're making few concessions to the casual swinema-goer with their choice of movies - after they get Splash! out the way, they dive in with a French homoerotic thriller (Stranger by the Lake) and a 1970 UK/German co-production about a boy following a woman into London's sexual underbelly (The Deep End).

Check out the programme and buy tickets here.

Pat-a-cakes says goodbye

Lovely Crofton Park cakery Pat-a-cakes will be closing. Founder Stacie writes:

I would like to confirm that I will be closing Pat-a-cakes. 

Our last business day will be Friday 13th November and on Saturday and Sunday 14th/15th we will be having a sale to sell all of our china and furniture. 

Also please join us for a drink on Saturday 14th if you'd like to pop in to say goodbye. I would like to thank everyone who has ever been involved in the shop in any way for making it the best four years I could have ever hoped for. 

I now plan to go off, get married and have lots of holidays and a lot of relaxation time! Please note, unfortunately we will no longer be taking cake orders.

As well as creating a much-loved high street business, Stacie has played a key role in the development of local festival Croftfest and much more besides.