Group therapy

Gonce writes:

I am a psychotherapist looking for potential spaces in the Brockley area. Just wondering if anyone knows of any therapy rooms available to rent in our area? Or whether there any other therapists looking to get into co-operative to rent a room we could make into a therapy room?

If you can help or want to team up, please email Gonce here.

The Telegraph Hill Festival 2017

Into the Woods at last year's Festival
Sanjit writes:

Telegraph Hill Festival celebrates the arts and the diverse, creative community in this part of South East London.

The 2017 Telegraph Hill Festival has a huge range of events spread out over  16 days from 25 March to 9 April 2017.

In addition to the large scale musical, cabarets and classical music concerts, we have: new young comedians; music from around the world; amazing art in new venues; roaming art in a caravan; workshops for parents on young people’s mental health; a frank look at sex and the pressures on young people; walks exploring radical social history, art and architecture; new theatre; new films; new music; food experiences; new ways of story telling.

There’s more that’s fun and fabulous in equal measure – from sing alongs with Lady LaLa to solving a Murder Mystery; Disco Bingo to dancing into the early hours at The Golden Anchor.

In its 23rd year, Telegraph Hill Festival shows what working together as volunteers to celebrate our creative community can achieve.

Now, it’s over to you. Come along, support your Festival, have fun!

See the full programme here and book here. Can you help?  Sign up if you want to help us deliver Telegraph Hill Festival.

Lewisham switches to fortnightly black bin collection

Lewisham Council writes:

​From June there will be big changes to rubbish and recycling collections.

Free food waste collections

Anyone who currently has their own rubbish and recycling wheelie bins (mostly those who live in a house or a flat in a converted house) will get:

  • a small food waste bin to go alongside their other bins
  • a smaller kitchen caddy for food waste.
This is a brand-new weekly collection service and is free of charge.

Changes to black bin collections

Collections of non-recyclable rubbish will switch to fortnightly for most properties and there will be some changes to collection days. Recycling collections will remain weekly.

With thanks to Rhymer for clocking it.

Hullabaloo, Deptford

Hullabaloo is a new Indian cafe on Douglas Way, Deptford. It joins a growing list of food options in the area and is a stone's throw from Deptford Market Yard.

Its website gives nothing away, so if you've had a chance to try it out, please share your thoughts here.


Tony's Plaice has gone, hail the new Kings.

The Brockley Cross fish and chip shop has had some cosmetic changes under its new owners, although it is fittingly sticking with the royal blue colour scheme.

But is it as good - or better- than its predecessor? Let us know once you've had a chance to try it out.

Thanks to Monkeyboy for the photo and the pun.

Writer seeks partner

Jacqui writes:

I am an aspiring writer who needs nudging and I am looking for a writing buddy.

Although writing and reading groups are great I'm really looking for an individual in the same boat as me  - have an idea for a book, done some of the donkey work but need some help / criticism / deadlines, etc - and would like to meet up once a week or so in a coffee shop in the area for mutual support.

- If you could be Jacqui's buddy, please email her here.

Brockley business break-in

Lewisham records 4% GDP growth as East rises

Lewisham's GDP grew at 4% in 2016, twice the national average, putting it in the top-10 fastest growing boroughs.

The figures, produced by property consultancy CBRE, reflect local economic activity, rather than salaries earned from jobs outside the borough. While Lewisham may be growing from a relatively low base, these numbers dispel the idea that Lewisham is just a 'dormitory borough', with economic activity being sucked away to other parts of the capital.

The Telegraph reports:

"While Westminster made the largest economic contribution, it only rose by two per cent last year in comparison to Hackney’s eight per cent. Jennet Siebrits, head of residential research at CBRE, puts this down to the north-east London borough’s “burgeoning technical and creative hub”.

"With Newham, Redbridge, Lewisham and the City of London all in the top 10, the results epitomise the rising of the east to become a dominant player in the London economy and the capital’s cultural identity.

“The real story here is the boom of the technology and creative industries in London, the epicentre of which is Hackney’s Shoreditch,” says Siebrits.

“There’s a rebalancing of London under way, with the east, which has traditionally underperformed, now catching up.”

This borough is currently benefiting from all the major trends currently re-drawing the capital: Rebalancing from West to East? Lewisham gains. Rise of inner London, relative to outer London? Lewisham gains. Leveling out of house price differentials as top of the market cools? Lewisham outperforms.

The figures are also a reminder that, banking-passport-or-not, London will continue to be the UK's main growth engine post-Brexit.


After the love has gone. A shop has become available
Ladywell did not love pasta enough to sustain We Love Pasta, the first new business in the door at PLACE Ladywell. The deli has carbo-loaded the removal van and left town. Ed writes:

"The posh pasta shop has gone... Jimmy Mizzen cafe reports 'yes, I think he's gone to Hackney or Brixton. The mid week trade wasn't good enough for him.'

"Meanwhile the cafe itself has been discovered by mums, digital nomads and others and seems to be doing OK all day every day."

Printworks, Canada Water

The opening weekend
Printworks is a new 5,000-capacity music and arts venue on the site of the old Associated Newspaper printing presses in Canada Water. Following an opening party this month, its line-up in March includes events hosted by Melt Festival, Nina Kravitz and The Hydra.

Printworks has doubled as a Death Star and a zombie rat run in recent Secret Cinema productions and anyone who experienced it in either of those incarnations will attest to its versatility. It's a huge campus and a massive asset for South East London, which is not over-blessed with major venues.

Hit The Floor writes:

"The venue will undoubtedly put London nightlife firmly back on the worldwide map... Was this the best time to open such an establishment when the whole night-time community was being scrutinised and pulled apart? The answer is yes. Yes, this is a perfect time.

"The opening of Printworks has not only solidified the idea that not only is London club culture going anywhere, but we now finally have a venue to rival our European counterparts."

"Printworks comes to us from the team behind LWE, Junction 2 and the now infamous daytime raves at Tobacco Dock... LWE is currently unrivalled and are consistently raising the bar and expectations for what it means to host a successful rave."

For full details, click here.

Station approach

JPM has spotted this sign on his travels and wonders whether Brockley residents would like something similar on the approach to Brockley or Crofton Park stations.

What say you?

Brockley's Crossrail connection completed

Whitechapel station, which will provide an interchange between the East London Line and the Elizabeth Line, is now ready to take five-car ELL trains.

Gary Stevens, Operational Task Manager, Whitechapel said: "Customers using Whitechapel station via London Overground will now be able to use full lengths of platforms 5 & 6 as there is no need for customers to walk through car 5 to car 4 of the train to depart the train. This should ease congestion on the platforms."

The Shenfield to Liverpool Street service opens in May using existing rail lines, and the new route comes online in a phased roll-out from 2018. Thanks to Monkeyboy for the update.

Brockley's official Big Issue seller

Coming soon: Saka Maka Cafe

Essence of India (171 Brockley Road) has closed and will be replaced by Saka Maka Cafe.

The old restaurant improved its offer a year or so ago, but its brand was too tarnished and it never pulled in the punters. Its successor is opening soon and its online menu looks considerably nicer than its website.

The concept seems to be an Indian cafe that blends classic Indian dishes with coffees and juices to pull in the daytime punters.

SMASHfest Supervolcano

It's SMASHfestUK week!

The pop-science and theatre festival aimed at kids of all ages has taken over the Deptford Lounge and The Albany during half term and is staging a range of free Supervolcano-themed events.

The 2017 centrepiece is a five metre-high cryovolcano that will erupt, shooting 1500 ping pong balls high into the sky above the Albany Theatre as part of a world record attempt. They say:

"Using liquid nitrogen at -196 degrees we’ll be setting off a massive explosion that will rock the festival. Be part of history by helping us build this behemoth. Then when it goes off you’ll be a world record holder. Make sure you’re there! Ear Pugs will be provided - It's Going to Be Loud!"

For the full list of events, click here.

Ladywell to become Lewisham tennis hub

I ain't got time to bleed: A predator-eye view of the floodlit courts
Ed writes:

The three tarmac and two grass tennis courts in Ladywell Fields are being replaced by five tarmac courts. Four of them will be floodlit. Having read through the planning docs, here are some of the main points:

- 18 seven-metre high LED floodlights are being installed. They will surround four of the tennis courts.
- The floodlights don’t mean all-night play. They, ’shall not operate after 9.30pm on weekdays, and 8.30pm on Saturdays and Sundays’.
- The frogs and fishes have been thought about. Planners have done light surveys, and the courts ‘must be managed’ so that one of the courts (court 3) is always the last to have its lights switched on. This is to ‘reduce impact from light spillage on the secondary river channel’.
- It’s all part of a strategy… The redevelopment of the courts is part of a borough-wide scheme to encourage us all to play more tennis. Research by the Lawn Tennis Association says that 3,888 Lewisham residents play tennis – and a further 4,940 ‘would like to play in the future’.
 He didn't kill you because you weren't armed - No sport: Work in progress
- Borough-wide, there are nine parks with 26 tennis courts in Lewisham. They are all free to use at the moment. However, say the council, ’usage is restricted to summer because of the condition of the courts and the fact that none have floodlights’. (You can’t play in the dark).
- The developments will allow Ladywell Fields to become the HUB site for the borough that connects all the other park tennis facilities in the Borough.
- Lots more people will end up playing tennis at Ladywell Fields. Planners expect: ’12,450 hours of play’ to result because of the upgrade.
- Players will have to pay (the courts are free to use now). Instead of ‘turn-up-and-play’ a ‘pay-and-play’ system will come into use.
- According to the Ladywell Village Improvement Group website: ‘Access to the tennis courts will require a digital fob (that will cost £30-50 p.a. per individual or family). An online booking system will enable fob access for pre-booked, one hour time slots.’

The work on the tennis courts is scheduled to finish by end of March, with the floodlights going up in ‘stage 2’ sometime later this year. You can register your interest here.

Time Out: 14 reasons to go to Brockley Road

Once upon a time, I saw it as my job to rebalance Brockley's media profile. If the area attracted any coverage at all, it would usually be for a stabbing. Today, real journalists dish out the kind of hyperbole that even Brockley Nick-circa-2009 would have blanched at.

Time Out has given us 14 reasons to visit Brockley Road and begins:

"Brockley Road is south-east London’s answer to LA’s Sunset Boulevard."

Brockley Road's snaking, gap-toothed nature means that it's easy to forget that the Brockley Jack and Gently Elephant share the same address, so this a nice celebration of SE4 eclecticism.

To see their list, click here Thanks to Joe for the spot.

Pizzaman, 207 Lewisham Way

Pizzaman is now open. It has a nice big oven and promises gluten free options. Could this be the decent local pizza option we've been waiting for? Reviews please.

Bakerloo station could lurk beneath Sainsbury's

TfL has launched its consultation for the Bakerloo Line extension to Lewisham and has revealed its preferred site for the New Cross stop lies underneath the enormous Sainsbury's car park, next to New Cross Gate station. They say:

"We propose to build a new station at New Cross Gate and have identified a preferred site. This is shown on the map below. The station would be below ground along the western side of the existing rail station. It would improve connectivity in this part of London by providing an interchange to London Overground, National Rail services and local bus routes.

"The size of the proposed site provides several opportunities for the project. It could allow soil to be taken away by train rather than using local roads. We could also start the tunnel machinery from this site."

TfL's plans also require a new shaft on Lewisham Way, opposite the Arthouse.
And they've cleared up the mystery of how a new station at Lewisham can be built among the planned new towers, which has been dogging BCers for some time. They have come up with the novel idea of putting it underground. The consultation notes:

"Our preferred site for the Bakerloo line station at Lewisham is shown on the map below.

"The station would be located on Thurston Road along the south western side of the existing National Rail station. It would improve connectivity by providing an interchange to National Rail and DLR services and access to the town centre.

"Extending to Lewisham would also provide an interchange to buses, helping to increase Lewisham’s role as a major transport hub in south east London."
The consultation papers note that the Sainsbury's could be taken out of action during the construction phase.

Brockley Street Art Festival 3

Phillipa writes:

Brockley Street Art Festival is due to return in 2017 for our third year, running alongside Brockley Max from 2-10 June.

The plan is to continue with our mission to bring colour to Brockley and surrounding neighbourhoods through a series of stunning murals by primarily local, but also national and international artists, for all to enjoy!

Dank memes: Artist DanK stands by his work
We are mindful not to saturate Brockley with art, so this year we aim to paint fewer, higher quality sites, and possibly repaint some from previous years that might have fallen into disrepair.

Alongside the painting we hope to offer a selection of events, talks and workshops, the focus of which will be street art tours in Brockley and Crofton Park to educate and engage the community around the existing art and share the stories behind the work. Schools will also be welcome to organise separate tours.
Cenz and Cenzibility: Mr Cenz's Brockley Cross work
To fund this we obviously need support from Lewisham Council and the generosity of the community - so will be back in touch regarding the focus of our crowdfunding very soon!

In the meantime, if anyone has any suggestions of what they would like to see, or good quality, prominent wall that they would like painted please get in touch. We are also interested in hearing from artists who would like to take part, as well as local volunteers who might want to help run the programme of events and activities.

You can get in touch via our contact page on the website.

Tabla & Toy Piano

Pop-up photographic studio, April 1st

Local photographer Elle Fallon will be staging a special event during the upcoming Telegraph Hill Festival. She writes:

I will be hosting a ‘Pop Up Photography’ studio for GOSH on Saturday 1st April 2017.

The studio will be open between: 11.00am and 4.00pm

The venue will be: Telegraph Hill Centre, Kitto Rd, London SE14 5TY

This is a fun and relaxed event. I will be very happy to welcome you and your family into the studio to take your picture on the day.

Due to space group sizes are limited to 2 adults and 2 – 3 children per sitting. Each sitting will be 10 minutes per person.

I will be donating 100% of my time and all money raised from image sales.

Details here.

Deptford High Street improvement works start this week

A map of the improvement works
The Deptford Dame reports:

"Lewisham Council has got some funding from Transport for London to pay for improvements to the north end of Deptford High Street and the six-month programme of construction work is set to start this week."

The work will involve widening the pavements, planting trees, installing new seating, traffic calming measures and a new lighting scheme under the railway bridge that bisects the street.

This looks like a sensible and welcome set of enhancements which will create a more pedestrian-friendly environment, helping to sustain the new businesses which are being attracted to the area. Deptford's transformation continues apace.

Tribute Night at the Rivoli Ballroom

James has organised a charity gig on March 17th at the Rivoli Ballroom, in memory of his late wife, the singer Sasha Goodman. He writes:

"For one night only! We will be celebrating the life and music of Sasha Goodman!

"This is set to be an amazing night at a spectacular venue - the iconic Rivoli Ballroom.

"For your entertainment there will be no less than 3 fabulous bands that Sasha loved performing with, as well as special guest performances and tributes from her closest family and friends.

"We will also be raising money for charity, and all proceeds will go direct to Cancer Research.

"We are so grateful to the following amazing acts who are very kindly donating their services and providing the entertainment for the evening:

  • The Getup
  • Soulshine Band/ Bambus & friends
  • The Earth Lights

"We are also extremely grateful to Paul from BASE LIVE, who is very kindly donating his time and equipment and providing the AV for this event.

"We would also like to thank the Rivoli ballroom for allowing us to host this event at their wonderful venue at minimal cost."

For tickets, click here.

Then tell me future boy, who is the president of the United States in 2017?

Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads! We need a pick-up truck. 

Another addition to our collection of eccentric Brockley vehicles, this DeLorean looks like it might have played a starring role in the Secret Cinema production of Back to the Future in 2015.

Be part of Brockley Max 2017

El writes:

The Brockley Max festival takes place in venues across Brockley, Ladywell, Crofton Park and Honor Oak over a nine-day period from 2nd -10th June.

Brockley Max 2017 will kick off with an afternoon and evening of live music, singing and dance at our Opening Night down by Brockley station from 4pm to 10.30pm on Friday 2 June.

On Saturday 10 June we convene on Hilly Fields for our Art In The Park family day featuring children’s art workshops, a live stage, a craft market, performances, food stalls and a bar.

The rest of the events are up to you. As long as it’s something that people in the area can enjoy – and there’s an element of art or creativity involved – you’re free to put on whatever you like. You just need to find a venue willing to host the event, agree a time and date, write a description and add all the details to an event application form. There’s a venue directory here on our website and the application form can be completed here.

Soil association

Elizaveta writes:

Free soil and compost workshop on Saturday the 25th of February from 11 am to 1 pm at Frendsbury Gardens, SE4 2BL.

Compost on your mind? Curious about keeping your soil healthy?

"If a garden require it, now trench it ye may,
one trench not a yard, from another go lay;
Which being well filled with muck by and by,
to cover with mould, for a season to lie."
- Thomas Tusser, 1557

Healthy soil with good compost means a healthy garden. Come along and learn how to achieve it on Saturday the 25th of February. Email us at:

Dress accordingly as it might still be cold and windy. Tea and coffee will be provided.

Bite Mi, 3 Brockley Cross

Bite Mi is now open. The new Vietnamese cafe in Brockley Cross is a low-fi set-up, with stripped-down decor and a straightforward menu that focuses on classic home-cooked Vietnamese dishes.

Reviews please!

The Guardian: Southern trains reach Union peace deal

The Guardian reports:

Southern rail is believed to have reached a deal with train drivers to end their dispute following a second week of talks.

The result of the negotiations held at the TUC between operating company Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and drivers’ union Aslef is expected to be announced later on Thursday.

A series of strikes by drivers had brought trains to a halt, while an overtime ban saw branch lines closed and services severely disrupted from early December until talks began.

Strikes planned for late January were suspended while Aslef started fresh talks to resolve the row over driver-only operated trains, which drivers said were potentially unsafe.

Hopefully this marks a return to the world class service for which Southern was previously known.

Bee Good

Trigglypuff piece: Vicky Foxcroft's statement on Article 50

Brockley MP Vicky Foxcroft has decided to vote against triggering Article 50.

"Here is her letter, explaining her stance, which she sent to constituents.

"Hundreds of my constituents have got in touch to express their dismay and disappointment at the result of the EU referendum. Most people who know me know I campaigned hard for us to stay in the EU. But unfortunately we lost the referendum. We can debate how the leave campaign handled themselves during the process of the referendum, but for now I want to touch on one area.

"Following last week’s Supreme Court ruling, Parliament will have to take a decision as to whether to invoke Article 50 or not. Until very recently I have said that I am inclined to vote against triggering Article 50, but that I thought it important to hear from people post the referendum. I've received more than 1800 emails and letters to date, over 95% of which have been from constituents urging me to vote against triggering Article 50.

"On Saturday afternoon Heidi Alexander MP (Lewisham East) and I met with several representatives of local groups concerned about Brexit, and hard Brexit in particular. At this meeting (which was scheduled by chance before we knew there would be a vote) I confirmed that I will be voting against triggering Article 50.

"Almost 70% of Lewisham borough voted to stay in the EU. Whilst I thoroughly respect different views from across the country, I was voted in to represent my local area and that will always be my priority.

"People came out in their masses to have their say. In Lewisham Deptford over 7000 new voters registered ahead of the referendum and the turnout in Lewisham was almost as high as it was for the general election.  I know how strongly my constituents feel about this as I have received many hundreds of emails from local people voicing their concerns. I have considered this with reason and conscience and am listening to those who elected me.

"Parliamentary debates on the Brexit bill (the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill to give it its correct title) will be held this week and next week. Labour will be tabling amendments to the bill.

"The Conservatives have spent the last six years attempting to reduce employment protection. Last week Tory MP Chris Philp tried to put through a bill that would restrict worker’s rights to strike. The week before they talked out Labour MP Melanie Onn’s bill to protect workers’ rights after Brexit. Although Theresa May has promised to protect workers, it’s clear the Conservative Government has no real plan to do this.

"From Europe we have the Working Time Directive, equal pay, maternity rights, parental leave and anti-discrimination laws. I will continue to fight to protect these.

"Current EU nationals living in this country are concerned about what will happen to them. They are scared - we need answers and protections.

"With regards to trade, what trade agreements will we have? Would we just have to trade with the WTO? If this is the case would we have to pay the tariffs? What's the cost?

"There are too many unanswered questions, which is why I can't vote to trigger Article 50."

Thank you to Monkeyboy for sharing.