Prendergast Primary Xmas, December 2

Please help local man retrace his steps

James writes:

My friend Chris sustained a serious head injury on Arbuthnot Road on 20 November and the police are appealing for any witnesses to piece together what's happened. Chris is still in a critical condition.

If any Brockley Central readers saw or heard anything passing through New Cross on the way home that night, please can they tell the police. The is the Police press release:

Christopher Mapleston, 29, was found at approximately 03:00hrs on Sunday, 20 November lying on Arbuthnot Road, close to Pepys Road in New Cross. He had a laceration to his head.

He was taken by the London Ambulance Service to a south London hospital where doctors discovered that he had a fractured skull. He remains in a critical condition.

Due to his injury, Christopher has been unable to tell officers what happened that night.

Detectives from Lewisham CID are investigating and have established that Christopher had spent the night socialising with friends. 

His friends last saw him running for a Route N343 bus close to Peckham Rye Railway Station between 01:30 and 02:00hrs. It is not known what happened between this time, and when he was found in the road less than two miles away.

Officers are keen to hear from anyone who saw Christopher that night. If it assists, he is described as white, approximately 5ft 7ins tall, of slim build with brown hair. He was wearing a green camouflage jacket, black trousers and trainers.

Anyone with information is asked to contact officers at Lewisham via 101.

Lewisham's disposable income rising at UK's fastest rate

You've never had it so good. It's boom time in Lewisham, according to a new study, which says this borough is experiencing the fastest rise in disposable income per capita in the UK. City AM reports:

Lewisham and Southwark experienced a 5.3 per cent rise in cash in people's pockets that's free to spend, growing faster than anywhere else in the country and compared to the UK average of 0.5 per cent.

The rising incomes are a sign of redevelopment in the areas attracting more and more young professionals, said UHY Hacker Young which collected the figures.

Despite the influx of new venues to the area over the last few years, these figures show what we all know: There is still an imbalance between demand and supply. A beautifully revamped Wickham would make a killing. A hipster pizza joint would be rammed. A decent Thai restaurant would clean up.

Thank you to Fraser for the link.

The Brockley Artists Christmas Fair, December 3

A new event from the people behind Brockley Open Studios

Where Ladies Dwell

This is the street artwork that Ladywell Assembly will be asked to provide the funding for at the upcoming meeting on November 30th. Planned for a wall on Elmira Street, it form the gateway to Ladywell, hinting at the delights that lie ahead.

Why would you not want to do this? In terms of ROI for the public purse, it's got to be on a par with a dialysis machine or Crossrail 2.

Brockley MOT garage to be redeveloped

The MOT garage on the corner of Upper Brockley Road and Geoffrey Road is the subject of a new proposal to redevelop the site as housing, with office space at ground level.

The scheme is for "the construction of a four storey building to provide 7 residential units and 53sqm of commercial floorspace (Use Class B1)."

The guys working there - unfailingly helpful in my experience - have been living with this prospect hanging over their heads for years and this will not come as a huge surprise. And while the loss of a useful local service is a blow, that site is currently a polluted eyesore.

The architecture is more utilitarian than this spot deserves. This is a chance to enhance one of the gateways to the Conservation Area and due care should be given to the aesthetics.

Thank you to Tim, who gave me the heads-up.

Christmas reopening for The Ladywell Tavern

Work in progress on the refurbishment
The Ladywell Tavern, will be reopening on December 7th. Since closing it in August, the new owners have stripped the place back and given it a full refurbishment, charted here.

It may look like there is still a fair amount to do, but so confident are they of hitting their target that they're already taking Christmas Party bookings from December 12th.

Following the sad closure of The Ravensbourne Arms, this is a welcome bit of good news.

Tesco tower proposed for Lewisham

Image from the consultation, courtesy of QWAG
Developer Meyer Homes has revealed plans to develop new homes next to the Lewisham Tesco supermarket, adding 365 homes to the site.
Image from the consultation, courtesy of QWAG
The scheme, presented yesterday, includes three towers and some public realm works, including two new squares. Although the developers claim that they will 'naturalise' the river, the Quaggy Waterways Action Group points out that the banks will still be encased in concrete and describe it as a 'missed opportunity'.

There is certainly now precedent in the area for tall buildings and the development has the potential to replace a lonely spot close to the station with something more useful, but it will be important for this scheme to relate to everything else being built in central Lewisham right now.

Tesco previously explored a smaller scheme at this location.

Christmas Wrapping

Three Christmassy things are coming soon:

Run The Broadway Theatre Cafe & Bar

The Broadway Theatre's bars and cafe are tired and worn, harming the venue's appeal to public and producers alike. Now Lewisham Council is looking for a partner to help rejuvenate them. They write:

Lewisham Council writes:

Lewisham Council is seeking a new operator to run the café and bars in the Grade II listed Broadway Theatre in Catford.

This marks the beginning of an ambitious wide-scale regeneration plan for Catford that will see over 1000 new homes built in the area, the redevelopment of the Council offices and Civic Suite, new retail outlets and public spaces.

Councillor Chris Best, Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Older People, said: “The Broadway Theatre café and bars are highly valued by a wide range of visitors including residents, theatre goers and local groups. We’re looking for the right operator to work with the theatre staff to realise the huge further potential of the café and bars so that they become thriving, important assets that benefit the growing local community and visitors from beyond Lewisham.”

The Broadway Theatre is itself set to undergo minor works in the short term, with more extensive works planned for the longer term to safeguard the future of this important asset with the help of external funding.

The new operator for the cafe will be selected by the end of 2016 and should be installed by spring 2017. The successful candidate is expected to designate the café a south London destination.

Expressions of interest are still being received, with a proposal deadline of 5 December. Interested parties should contact Louise Brooks & Nicky Chambers at

Deptford Market Yard opening night tonight

Today's the official opening of Deptford Market Yard and the special offers from participating businesses include:

Win & Ruby
10% off all day

Plain Bear
Chance to win 25% off in store activities, Instagram competition plus free limited edition tote bag when spending over £70

Gitas Portal 
GP are celebrating their 5 year anniversary with celebratory fun in store including a fashion showcase. Wear your favourite Gitas Portal piece for your chance to win in a special prizedraw

The Box
£5 'Glamz Up' quick hairstyling will get you looking party ready

The English Flowerhouse
10% of all products throughout the day. 20% off all wreath making workshops booked on the day and 10% off Christmas trees and wreaths preordered on the day with free local delivery!

Lomond Coffee
Special Lomond coffee blend Espresso Martinis from 6pm

Be London
10% of clothes all day and in store fashion showcase after 6pm

Dirty Apron
Opening night express menu from the supper club duo

Mama's Jerk
30% of food between 6pm - 8pm so get down early! Chance to win a free meal for two at Mama's Jerk, plus vintage Reggae vibes in store

Little Nan's
Cocktails in teapots and hot mulled cocktails till late

In the Market Yard
Covered area with music by local Deptford DJ's, hot mulled drinks, circus performers including Fire Poi and LED juggling, street food stalls including Bill or Beak and Hao Hao Chi fresh dumplings. 6pm till late

6pm - 11pm, Wednesday 23rd November.
The event is free to attend.

For full details, click here

You shall go to Blackfriars - join the campaign for Crofton Park trains every 15 minutes

A Cinderella Line - it has a logo and everything
Local action groups aren't supposed to be this successful. The Cinderella Line is a campaign to improve the frequency and quality of services that run through Crofton Park Station.

They scored an impressive early win with the recent decision to offer more trains during morning rush hour. Now they want your help to do more. They say:

"We’re fighting for improvements on the Catford loop trains. Now is the time for action.

"Thameslink Railway are in the middle of the biggest timetable consultation in a generation and want our thoughts on their proposals. This is our chance to get four trains an hour as a minimum standard for Crofton Park and the Catford Loop. A chance to get trains every 15 minutes, so you can just turn up and go.

"But to get all of this we need your help. We need to get 1,500 responses by 8th December so we can show how much demand there is for our service.

"All you need to do to respond is sign your name and say you support our request for a minimum of 4 trains an hour, through Blackfriars, all day every day.

"You can of course add your own comments and suggestions too. Just click here to go to the response survey."

St Catherine's Christmas Market, Nov 26

Brockley Christmas Cards

Local artist Nancy Ellis has created four Brockley Christmas card designs. She explains:

"Each scene takes you on a local journey,from stocking up at The Christmas Markets, watching The Christmas Play with a warming mulled wine, enjoying The Christmas Walk on a wintry Hilly Fields, to the infamous New Year’s Party at the Rivoli Ballroom!

"The additional design ‘Greenwich Winter Time’, depicting a snowy Royal Observatory from one of South London’s most beautiful parks."

A single card costs £1.50, the SE4 multipack costs £8 for 8.

Order them from Nancy's website here.

Thanksgiving at Noak

Westside restaurant Noak is throwing a Thanksgiving special. I would like to give thanks for Noak's reopening.

Love Ladywell Street Art

The campaign to brighten Ladywell and plug it in to the street art revolution that has transformed Greater Brockley continues. Joe writes:

I have been allowed to go forward to bid for funding for the street art for my project under Ladywell railway bridge on Ellerdale Street.

Bread Collective are currently drawing up designs for me to show on the evening. I need as many people who are in favour of it to come to the Ladywell Assembly at Grodonbrock Primary School, Amyruth Road, London SE4 1HQ at 7pm on 30th November.

Selencky /// Parsons opens in Coulgate Street

Architects Selencky///Parsons are the latest business to move into Coulgate Street, taking up residence at a new studio, which opened recently. They say:

"Our practice was formed by Sam Selencky and David Parsons. We had our beginnings in Brockley, three years ago, when we worked from a room in one of our houses. After expanding and moving to a shared workspace in Peckham, we decided to come back to Brockley and fit-out our own studio space.

"The move was a natural choice for us. It is a place we know and love, having lived here for ten years, and a lot of our work is in South East London.

"The majority of our projects are residential, but we work across the architectural spectrum and at a range of scales. We are interested in working with any client that is looking to create interesting, thoughtful and well crafted designs. Some of our recent projects include a workspace fit out, an electricity substation and an extension to a 1960's ex-council terraced house. Feel free to pop in and say hello!"

For details, click here.

Portlandia: The Brunch Special

On Sunday, Jam Circus will host a 'Ladies' Brunch' that combines shopping, eating and weight loss advice... Sam writes:

"A lazy Sunday morning doing things we all love. Come and join us for Brunch on the 20th to find out more about how you can enjoy the festive season while eating well and watching the waist line. While enjoying some Christmas shopping with Stella & Dot.

"Sam from Fit & Flourish will be talking to us about all things nutrition and fitness in the run up to the most indulgent time of year and Jules from Stella & Dot will be bring along some very sparkly treats for us to try and buy to kick start our Christmas shopping or treat ourselves. Ticket includes your Brunch and a hot drink."

Click here for details.

Croftmas 2016

Major improvements to Crofton Park trains from December

The Cinderella Line is the campaign group working to secure better train services through Crofton Park. The current service is as infrequent as it is unreliable and they believe the people along that route deserve better.

The group has been working with Vicky Foxcroft MP and Southeastern Trains to introduce a new timetable and has had a stunning success. They say:

"From December 12th, four new trains will stop at Crofton Park between 7-9am . Three will go on to Denmark Hill and Victoria and one to Elephant & Castle and Blackfriars.

"The Victoria services currently pass through Crofton Park but don’t stop there, so they will now make the additional stop at Crofton Park.

"We have also been pushing Thameslink to introduce new Class 700 trains, with 30% more capacity than the trains we currently have. The first of these will appear from the end of November and then replace our current trains at the rate of one per week.

"These stations were chosen as they have the least number of trains on the Catford Loop. The services will be weekday mornings only – for the evening, people can change at Denmark Hill and the journey time will be 25 minutes from Victoria to Crofton Park.

"By January next year, all our peak time services should be the new trains which offer 30% extra capacity to the current ones."

Times for the new services are as follows:

07:36 Crofton Park – Victoria
07:58 Bellingham – Victoria
08:24 Crofton Park – Victoria
08:43 Crofton Park – Victoria
09:01 Crofton Park - Blackfriars

Follow the Cinderella Line team on Twitter here.

Eat a Rainbow, November 20

The Field team write:

Join us for our free official launch event for Eat a Rainbow, at 'The Field', New Cross. We will have pizza making, fruit & veg kebabs, a vegetable carving competition, kids activities and more!

We are a social enterprise that runs a low cost fruit and veg stall outside the Post Office on New Cross Road, supported by local people and run by volunteers.

We want to provide all people with fair access to seasonal fresh fruit and vegetable that will improve the health and wellbeing of people and families living in deprived communities in South London.

Coming soon: Parlez

A licencing application has been made to Lewisham Council for 16 Coulgate Street, the large new unit created right next to the south eastern entrance of Brockley Station.

The new owners are planning to open a restaurant called Parlez and have lodged an application to serve food and alcohol until midnight at weekends. They have also applied to stage live music.

The space is deceptively large, so has huge potential.

Thanks to BCer Sarah, who spotted it.

Good Hope Cafe, Ladywell

Good Hope is another new arrival at pop-up development PLACE / Ladywell. The cafe chain, created to honour the memory of murdered teen Jimmy Mizen, began in Hither Green and has expanded to the Lewisham High Street development.

Alongside giving financial support to the charity 'For Jimmy', the café provides training and work experience programmes, and offers work placements in partnership with Drumbeat School & ASD Services for young people with Autism.

For details, click here.

Silver Road gallery and cafe, Lewisham

This one came out of nowhere! Silver Road is an extraordinary new experimental music and performance venue in a converted water tank, at Number 1 Silver Road, Lewisham (near the Renaissance swimming pool). The team says:

"We are open as a café in the day time and offer vegetarian food, cakes, and amazing coffee! We've also just had our 1st concert with Rie Nakajima & Pierre Berthet and will be announcing more performances soon."
Photo courtesy of Neil Gadhok
"On November 10th, we will be hosting Resonance 104.4fm for an event called Radionics Radio. Composer Daniel Wilson will be joined by film-maker Toby Clarkson to present a live audio-visual diffusion of thought-frequencies."

For more information about Silver Road, click here.

Coming soon: Brickfields Bar

A new bar / restaurant is opening on Brockley Road, brought to us by the team behind The Orchard.

The Orchard (Harefield Road) was among the first of Brockley’s new wave of restaurants, bars and cafes that people went to as an active and positive choice rather than out of a sense of duty to local businesses or a lack of better ideas.

In many ways, it is still the benchmark that other local businesses should aspire to. Somehow both buzzy and relaxed, simple yet fancy. Cosy in winter when the flames of the oven seem to heat the whole space, cool in summer with the windows thrown open. The founders struck the right balance and created the perfect local experience.

So this news is welcome and overdue. They are going to try and bottle lightning all over again – this time, in Midtown.

Brickfields is the name of their new place, replacing the old, deserted Thai restaurant on Brockley Road. They’ve got the keys, they’ve got planning permission. They are finally ready to go. Ed explains:

“The plan is for a bar with a late licence serving food, cocktails, craft beer, wine... It isn't going to be a carbon copy of The Orchard and will have a personality all of it's own.

“We are hoping to be open for Christmas but will see how we get on with the build!”

Breaking Bad

Say its name! After years of speculation that Duke might have shut down - always to be confounded by reports that someone had successfully managed to buy 'a pint of milk' at 2am there - we finally have confirmation that the legendary Brockley Cross convenience store has closed. The landlord was the one who knocks.

Monkeyboy trod lightly to send us these photos. The first a notice of forfeiture from the landlord, the second a bunch of flowers, representing the mourning process this community is going through.

It may have dealt in half measures, but a Brockley institution has been lost. Duke's passing marks the end of an era. Its death should not satisfy us.

O Plop: Lewisham restaurant plan withdrawn

London Union's plans to open a massive foodiplex next to Lewisham Shopping Centre have hit the skids.

The pop-up food group's auditors report that "the directors decided that this site does not fit their long-term plans. The site has not been sublet or developed..."

The venue was supposed to open last year, with Polpo as an anchor tenant.

Thanks to Fraser for the auditor report and to Paul for rooting around on Twitter.

The Brockley calendar 2017

David writes:

I am raising money for Barnardos and  had an idea I wanted to run past Brockley Central readers, to see if there is any appetite!

Essentially, I was thinking of pulling together a Brockley (and greater Brockley) Calendar 2017.

What I would love is for people to suggest ideas and locations to include (no photos of locals with strategically placed cinnamon swirls at the Deli!) and even provide their own photos (copyright free) to use in the calendar.

Still need to determine if it would be cost effective (online cost per unit is cheaper the more you buy - but I don't want to end up with 50 sat in the loft!).  However, thought it would be good to see if this would be of interest to anyone and to gather ideas / photos / price suggestions etc.

- Please let David know your thoughts below.

Silent Hill

This is day late, but worth the wait. This paranormal activity on Telegraph Hill is part of a Halloween arms race, which has seen Brockley homes stage more and more elaborate festive frights.

With thanks to Lindsay for the video.

Madras South Indian restaurant, 244 Lewisham High Street

BCer Shirley wants to fill a gap in our local restaurant knowledge. She writes:

This restaurant never seems to appear in BC lists of good places to eat, so I thought I'd give it a well deserved shout-out after discovering it by word of mouth recommendation today.

They do fantastic authentic home-cooked dosas, a myriad of interesting vegetarian side-dishes - the spinach and lentil Dahl was outstanding - nothing oily - all freshly cooked.

The name and decor do the place no favours, but this will now be my go-to place for a good value tasty meal in Lewisham, substantially ahead of some of the BC favourites.

For more details, click here.