This is a Low: Blur drummer rumoured for Lewisham West

There's no other way for Labour candidates to get elected than to stand in Lewisham.

Rumours continue to swirl about the list of candidates to replace Jim Dowd as Labour candidate for Lewisham West. The latest gossip comes from Guardian journalist Heather Stewart who reckons Labour campaigner Dave Rowntree, also known as one quarter of Blur, is in the frame.

The Deptford Market Yard Street Food Party, April 29

On Saturday, I wandered round Deptford Market Yard. A month ago, the street would have been empty, but this time, there were a healthy number of people.

With a beautiful courtyard setting and some genuinely interesting venues, including the new additions underneath the Deptford Station arches (a trainer shop, a plant shop (below) and a cafe), this place is shaping up nicely. So this is the perfect excuse to check it out if you haven't yet been.

Lewisham West attracts Labour's best

Lewisham is one of a dwindling number of Labour strongholds and thus Lewisham West and Penge MP Jim Dowd's decision to step down means there are some big names being bandied around to replace him. Labour List reports:

The deadline for applications passed yesterday. Candidates will be appointed by a panel of NEC and regional board representatives. The early frontrunners are thought to include:

Ibrahim Dogus

The entrepreneur and co-chair of SME4Labour is perhaps best-known for his role in the popular British Kebab Awards, which is attended by activists from across the party. He is also the founder director of the Centre for Turkey Studies.

Ellie Reeves

The employment law barrister narrowly lost her place on the NEC last year, when a series of pro-Corbyn candidates won through, but is well-known in the capital due to her role as vice-chair of London Labour Party. She is married to John Cryer, chair of the parliamentary Labour Party (PLP), and has said little publicly about a possible candidacy.

Christian Wolmar

The transport expert and author who contested the Richmond Park by-election for Labour last year has thrown his hat in the ring. He has frequently spoken out over his belief that Brexit will be a “disaster” for the country.

Thanks to Joe for the link.

Don't rig Lewisham West

A party that sets out its stall as a champion of social mobility and scourge of rigged, elitist systems should probably avoid cosy, nepotistic stitch-ups. As local Labour MP Jim Dowd stands down, the Evening Standard writes:

"It’s a family affair for Labour. Lewisham West and Penge MP Jim Dowd has decided to take his pension after 25 years, and the race to replace him as Labour candidate looks set to feature two modern party dynasties.

"In one red corner is Ellie Reeves, vice-chair of the London Labour Party — and sister of chess champ and Labour MP Rachel. Ellie’s husband John Cryer is an east London MP and chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party. Both of John’s parents were Labour MPs too.

"But Reeves won’t be in for an easy ride. Whisperings are that Joe Dromey, who has wowed locals as an independent-minded Lewisham councillor, would also like to run. Dromey may struggle to escape the shadow of his own parents, though — dad Jack is MP for Birmingham Erdington while his mother is Labour heavyweight Harriet Harman.

"With rumours that Jeremy Corbyn’s son Seb might throw his hat in the ring, are these the new red princes and princesses?"

However, Dromey has denied he will be standing:

Ladywell restaurant space comes on the market

Hilly Fields Evening Walks

Michael writes:

Hilly Fields early evening walks have started again.

Come and enjoy the views, the setting sun, the company and some gentle exercise!

We meet on Mondays 6.30pm at the benches outside Frances Drake Bowls club, near 484 bus stop (24 April – late October). The walk group is led by volunteer walk leaders and we walk for 30 -45 minutes.

For more information: Jenny Budd:

... Or you can just turn up or register on

Model Market IV - Begins April 28

Model Market [196 Lewisham High Street] is back for more. It's hard to conceive a South East London summer without it. London Union says:

Model Market, our late and local Lewisham feast, is returning to it’s SE13 home on Friday 28 April for the fourth year running. We’ll be launching with a three-day-strong Bank Holiday Weekender across Fri/Sat/Sun and running ALL summer long with ten street food heroes and five brilliant bars.

Our two newest additions are Nanban and Tacos del Rey (a brand new taco concept from the team behind Killa Dilla).

Every Friday and Saturday, 5pm - 1am. Also open on Sunday during opening weekend. Entry is free before 7pm, £3 thereafter.

New Cross and Deptford Free Film Festival 2017: Opening Night

This year's festival kicks off on Friday, April 21, with an opening night party at the White Hart pub in New Cross, featuring a screening of John Favreau's gastro-comedy Chef. Entrance is free. There will be food and music.

Details of the opening night and the rest of the festival here.

Brockley Road: Heroes and Villains

Two neighbouring venues on Brockley Road have recently made an effort to pretty themselves up for summer, to vastly different effect.

Firstly, we have Central Cafe, who have taken a look around and noticed that people seem to like spending time in places that look nice. Their minimalist makeover is a soothing addition to the high street.

Secondly, we have the post office next door, which has sold every square inch of real estate to Moneygram and consequently looks like a nightmarish version of Rymans, with its employees and customers forbidden from ever seeing the light of day. If junk mail were a shop, it would be this place.

Brockley Max 2017 - get involved

Emma writes:

Brockley Max is a nine-day, not-for-profit festival put on by local people for local people. So it can’t happen without your help!

We’re looking for volunteers keen to be involved in Brockley Max 2017, to see a different side of the festival - use your skills in a creative capacity, try something new and be involved in your local community! It’s a great opportunity to develop your skills, add experience to your CV and use your interest in music or art in a professional capacity – references can be provided on request after volunteering.  Travel expense can be covered, and food is often provided.

You’ll be contributing your time to help make the festival run smoothly, for example, by handing out programmes, setting up events, being a festival ambassador or raising funds. You’ll be an essential part of Brockley Max, helping create a special atmosphere, perfect for those looking for work experience or to meet new people.

You can volunteer as much or as little of your time as you like, there is plenty of variety and flexibility.

Please visit our website to find out more about all our exciting opportunities and how to apply.

You can also email Emma, our Volunteer Coordinator on if you have any further query.

Good Hope for New Jokes

Eleanor Tiernan is among the performers
Mikey writes:

I just wanted to let you know about some great new local comedy happening over the next few weeks at the Good Hope Cafe in PLACE/Ladywell.

Good Hope for New Jokes is an Edinburgh preview season, meaning now's the time to see established comedy names in intimate venues for bargain prices.

Most Thursdays, from 20th April, there is the chance to see double-header preview shows from the likes of Dane Baptiste, Tom Allen, Jessica Fostekew, Angela Barnes, Luke McQueen, Suzi Ruffell and Rachel Parris, down the road for just £3 (£5 on the door).

Tickets are available here.

Brockley 4 Turners

The owner of Turners, the hardware store at 309 Brockley Road, was beaten up during a robbery of his store today.

A Justgiving page has been launched to raise £250 to help him get back on his feet. The creators say:

"We are shocked by the events at our local hardware store and this is a donation for the owner, who has been hospitalised after an attack during a robbery at his premises today."

To donate, click here.

The Peckham Pheasant upgrades

“This is a very hinterestin’ haccusation, very hinterestin’ indeed, because I hain’t never ’eard of nobody hen-ticin’ a pheasant across six miles of fields and open countryside. ’Ow do you think this hen-ticin’ was performed, if I may hask?”
- Danny Champion of the World

Life finds a way. The pheasant that Peckham residents have claimed as their own has now decamped to Brockley. Or it's another pheasant.

Marnock Road development proposed

As part of its strategy to increase the number of council homes by developing infill sites, Lewisham Council is working with Lewisham Homes to develop the site of a former garage on Marnock Road in Crofton Park.

The proposal is for six four-bedroom houses and bears a passing resemblance to a previous development on Manwood Road. Thanks to Paul for the heads-up.

Crofton Park colour swap

The old version above, the new version below
The planned mixed-use development at 437-439 Brockley Road in Crofton Park has had a colour change. The grey-and-green scheme has been replaced by a more standard yellow-and-grey palette.

BCer Jed, who flagged the switcheroo, comments:

"Maybe it's because the ownership has changed since those original plans, maybe they are considered better bricks for the area, or maybe they are just doing things on the cheap..."

Bikes for refugees

This is a good idea. Donate any unwanted old bikes to help refugees.

Coming soon: Oliver's

Replacing the defunct Brockley Cross takeaway Nat's Bake n Juice will be Oliver's, a new Caribbean takeaway that has already tidied up the exterior of the shop and has a holding site, which promises more details soon.

Thanks to Ben for the heads-up.

Cinderella Line meeting this saturday

The Cinderella Line group, which lobbies for better Crofton Park train services, writes:

We had amazing local support during Phase 1 of the Thameslink consultation where 2875 people from this area had their say.

But there’s more to come. Timetables are on the menu for Phase 2 of the consultation so this is your chance to ask questions.

What will we be getting? Where will it stop? When will it run? Want more Victoria services? This is our time to ask.

What we’ve achieved so far:

  • New Class 700 trains being rolled out, with 30% more capacity
  • 4 extra services to Victoria in the mornings, courtesy of Southeastern
  • 20% of the response to the whole of Phase 1 of the Thameslink consultation coming from Crofton Park

So come to the Rivoli Ballroom at 2pm on Saturday - let Thameslink hear our voices!

Details here.

Brockley Cross Audi showroom closes

Deptford X seeks Trustees

Johann Arens' SelfCalibration. Deptford X 2016
Long-running arts festival Deptford X has launched a search for new trustees. The organisers say:

Deptford X continues to innovate and reinvent itself, and is currently building upon its core festival remit with other programming activities throughout the year, running the DX Gallery, as well as providing studio space for local artists.

It is an exciting time for Deptford X. The curated programmes are stronger than ever, providing a range of art engagement points for local residents, and the wider art world is taking notice.
Deptford X is a charity that is run day to day by a small executive team and governed by a board of trustees. We are actively seeking to develop our board capability specifically in the areas of PR & communications, finance, programme development and fundraising.

If you have a background in one or more of these areas and are passionate about helping build upon the successes of Deptford X, then please contact us with a CV and a covering letter describing how you believe you might be able to contribute, by the end of April.

This is a voluntary role, and therefore has no remuneration.

The document below provides more information about Deptford X and the expectations of the roles available.

Please send all correspondence to with 'BOARD APPLICATION' in the subject.

Brockley Cross developers back again

As an accompaniment to the Audi art installation currently gracing the pavement of Brockley Cross comes the latest effort by the developers trying to build at 1-1a Brockley Cross (currently a car dealership).

With this iteration they have inched closer towards acceptability, but it's still far short of what one might call good. Cluttered and cramped, it features a cylindrical front, which the architects say will "announce" itself to Brockley Cross as the gateway to Brockley. They include one office in their proposals, with the rest of the space given over to flats.

Full details of the proposal here. Thanks to Ed for keeping a beady eye out.

Surface-to-air rocket launcher case found in Brockley

Brockley expansionism just got real. The Mail reports:

[Brockley woman] Kelly Watson posted a photo of the case, designed to hold the Javelin S-15 missile - used by British troops in the Gulf War - after finding it on the pavement.

She said she found the case for the laser-guided warhead - also known as a Starburst Missile and which can be fired from the shoulder like a bazooka - next to other dumped items, including a stereo speaker - and admitted it was a 'pretty random' find.

There were just over 13,000 of the missiles - which have a range of more than four miles and carries a 'high explosive fragmentation' warhead - built between 1989 and 2005 by Thales Air Defence Limited, which is based in Belfast.

Tube Mapper

This photo of a cat waiting for an East London Line train recently broke the Brockley internet when I shared it on Twitter. The image was captured by local photographer Luke Agbaimoni, who has started a London photography project called Tube Mapper. Its aim is to capture landmarks and locations near and around all tube and DLR stations. Here are some more of his shots - from Brockley, Deptford Bridge and New Cross Gate.

Luke says:

"It's a ridiculously ambitious project, but very fun. I enjoying taking shots that I know nobody else will. It's actually quite hard capturing some stations. Locally, I've already taken shots of Brockley, Deptford Bridge, New Cross and Lewisham, but will capture the more obscure St Johns and Elverson Road Stations, plus more of the others soon."

The Brockley Street Art Festival fundraiser

Ian writes:

The Brockley Street Art Festival is entering a third year, with more events and painting planned around the Brockley area the first week of June - coinciding with the fantastic Brockley Max Festival.

This year is our third year, and not only do we wish to continue to create amazing art on the street, but we are keen to extend the festival further and offer a greater range of events and activities that the public can get involved in. These include (but aren't limited to):

  • A live painting event for our opening night, as well as supporting Brockley Max Art in the Park
  • Guided street art tours of work produced by past festivals as well as a chance to see live painting
  • A free self-guided family trail as well as a bespoke guided street art tour for families
  • A range of talks and participatory workshops
  • Plus we will continue to work with the best artists to create around 10 stunning new murals

All funds raised go to the running costs and to the artists themselves. Me and my fellow organisers are unpaid. So, if you've got, say 5 or 10 pounds to spare, It'll really help us make it happen this year.

Details here.

Orange ordered for Tressillian Road

Sue writes:

A front wall on Tressillian Road is currently being built by a subcontractor under Rydon [BC: Rydon is part of a PFI consortium that maintains 1838 homes in Brockley].

The old wall was being pushed out by the tree. On Wednesday this wall was demolished and yesterday a load of orange bricks arrived. I was genuinely shocked to see they were being laid this morning - I thought the orange was a mistake.

Spoke to the bricklayer who seemed very uncomfortable in the job - he said was a matter of what was cheapest option, £1 for this per brick, £2.80 for the proper London brick as seen in the neighbouring wall. He said the orange was the cheapest sort-of-match to the remaining bit of wall.

Firstly, it is a very poor match and secondly, the remaining bit is also not very attractive and surely the job should have been to take down the whole lot and start again with bricks sympathetic to the area and surrounding walls.

I find it gobsmacking that the council can do this - replacing windows in the area is a total headache with numerous planning steps - all worthwhile and understandable - and then the council can come and do this.