Horniman crowdfunds a World Gallery

There was not a country in the world that had not fought a battle in the war of all Earth against the invaders from Mars. All was forgiven. All living things were brothers, and all dead things were even more so.
- Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan

Shut Kwan from the Horniman Museum writes:

Some of you may have noticed that the Horniman Museum and Gardens is crowdfunding for a new World Gallery, celebrating what it means to be human.

From personalised poems by the Horniman walrus to private tours of the new gallery, a range of fantastic rewards are available for your support at crowdfunder.co.uk/worldgallery. There are just 7 days remaining for you to pledge your support - the campaign ends on 7 November, so don’t delay!

The World Gallery will include more than 3,000 objects from around the world, works of art and fun things to touch, play with and even smell. The World Gallery will be a place of inspiration for visitors of all ages and will promote tolerance, respect and empathy. It is due to open in June 2018.

Please share the link https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/worldgalleryhttps://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/worldgallery with all your friends, family, neighbours and everyone you know who loves the Horniman, and help them reach their target of £30,000 in the last few days of the campaign.

The Telegraph Hill Pantomime, Dec 1-3

It says "bee" and it has a picture of a bee on it

This rather literal piece needs to be captured and added to Brockley's ever-growing street art compendium. Beelashfull is on Lewisham Way.

Gin and Beer, Deptford

Gin and Beer is the new neighbour for Buster Mantis, underneath the arches on Resolution Way. As the name suggests, Gin and Beer is what they sell. Don't embarrass yourself by asking for something else, unless it's a mocktail.

Happily, within that limited palette, they manage to conjure enormous variety, thanks to their ambitious cocktail menu. Of the two ingredients, gin appears to be their real passion. They are as pleased as punch while talking about their Halloween special and the week-long process they went through to create it.

Last night, the atmosphere was warm and relaxed, but there is now a string of bars along the route of the railway track between Buster Mantis and Little Nan's, with the Job Centre a stone's throw away. It will not be long before queues start forming in Deptford.

Follow them on Twitter here.

Brickfields brunch begins

Mo Pho No Mo

I'm always reluctant to pronounce the death of a local business, in case it turns out that they are just resting.

However, Coulgate Street's Vietnamese micro restaurant Mo Pho has been closed for months, since it declared on Twitter in July that, due to unforeseen circumstances they were closing. Now, their neighbours at Nu Spice have said that they believe the closure is permanent. So I'm calling it: For all practical intents and purposes, Mo Pho has closed.

It would be more of a tragedy if it weren't for the recent arrival of Vietnamese cafe Bite Mi at Brockley Cross. However, Mo Pho has been a quality stalwart for many years and is a big loss to the area.

BMW flips on St Asaph Road

The News Shopper reports:

"A man had to be cut free from a BMW after a car being chased by an unmarked police car crashed into it in Brockley.

"Police said officers chased a Mini Cooper from Pomeroy Street to St Asaph Road shortly before noon yesterday (October 25) after it failed to stop when it was flagged down.

"As the car reached the junction with Avignon Road, the Mini collided with a BMW, flipping the BMW onto its roof outside a St Asaph Food and Wine convenience store, according to police."

The Mini driver was arrested and the BMW occupants taken to hospital.

Click here for the full report, including photos. Thanks to Monkeyboy for the heads up.

Free Healthy Cooking Classes in Brockley

Community interest company Pulse is running more free cookery classes for local residents, funded by Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust.

The classes will run on November 8, 14, 22 and 29 and on December 6 at St Andrew’s Church Hall, Brockley Road.

To find out more or to put your name on the waiting list, please contact Naomi from Pulse CIC on 07714 770 522, or drop in to the Pinnacle PSG office at 111 Endwell St, SE42PE.

The free classes are designed to encourage residents to take enjoyment in making fresh, healthy, good value food.  Meals taught range from jerk chicken, mackerel fish cakes, asparagus and spinach frittata, homemade muesli and wholemeal chapattis.

Participants also learn how to read food labels, identify what makes a healthy meal and find cheap, fresh fruit and vegetables in local markets. And make friends in the process.

So don't eat yourself into a lifetime of dependence on health and social care, cook something good!

Deptford Esquire, 29 Deptford High Street

Pakistani pop-up, Deptford Esquire is now open. A collaboration between two of our finest local businesses, Masala Wala and Little Nan's, it will be serving craft beer, Pakistani curries, cocktails and small plates every Friday and Saturday till Christmas 5-11pm.

Happy Mondays special in support of the Lewisham Food Bank

On November 13th, at the Amersham Arms, legendary local comedy night Happy Mondays will throw a special event in support of local charity the Lewisham Food Bank.

MC'd by co-founder Holly Walsh, the guests will include Jeremy Hardy, Tom Allen and actor Dave Johns ('I, Daniel Blake').

100% of the profits will go to the charity. For details and tickets, click here.

Philosophy taster sessions at the Granville Park Centre Open Day, November 30

The Granville Park Centre is an adult learning institution in Lewisham that offers over 700 part time courses, with the new term starting in January 2018.

The team is hosting an open day on November 30th (1-7pm), including philosophy taster sessions with the London School of Philosophy and a showcase from the Lewisham School of Arts and Design. They say:

"Come and talk to subject specialists about our courses, take a tour of our creative spaces, take part in free taster sessions and enrol for courses starting in January 2018."

"The Lewisham School of Arts and Design brings together a group of designers and artists, including experts in upholstery, jewellery, prints, textiles and glass. The hour-long London School of Philosophy taster sessions will help you develop your critical thinking skills and learn about the fundamentals of philosophy."

For full details about adult learning in Lewisham, click here.

Brockley mustard

Local food entrepreneur Julien is starting a mustard business, but before he takes the plunge, he thought it wise to see whether people like mustard. He writes:

"I used to make Cocospice, a Sri Lankan inspired dry sauce that our friends at the Larder and Jones of Brockley used to sell.

"Now, I am setting up a new business to make mustard, having lived in Dijon 4 years and being from the nearby region. I already have an artisan to make a Dijon mustard in Dijon and I am also working to get something going in Tewkesbery, where mustard truly originates in England.

"In order to try and do this as successfully as possible, I am running a little survey that I was hoping BCers could complete. It is just for me to start getting an understanding of who actually eats mustard, and what do people do with it.

"The link to the survey is here."

Ashmead School plans Lewisham Way expansion

As the squeeze on local school places continues, Ashmead Primary School is planning to expand. Rachel sends us this picture and writes:

"I've just returned from a consultation at Ashmead School on their proposed development and extension of the site, which would open it up onto Lewisham Way, opposite the college. It would mean modern four storey building being built in the St Johns conservation area.

"It would be great to see reader opinion in the area of the proposals. The plans will go to public consultation in the next couple of weeks."

TfL works out how to add 4 trains per hour to East London Line peak

A new strategy paper from TfL reports that increasing the capacity of the East London Line will be cheaper, easier and faster than previously expected, allowing them to reduce peak time overcrowding. London Reconnections reports:

In the case of the ELL, it has become possible to increase the frequency by removing signalling constraints long before anyone imagined it would have happened and at little, or no, cost to TfL.

To quote the paper:

"In the 2016 Autumn Statement the Chancellor announced a £450m Digital Railway fund for trialling digital signalling technology, expanding capacity, and improving reliability. The strategic outline business case for the ELL 20 trains per hour project has been shortlisted to receive funding from this fund. Funding of £6m has been received to develop the project to outline business case but a final decision is not expected until spring 2018."

So an unexpected opportunity has arisen to both buy trains at a cheaper price than they would otherwise cost and to have the ELL signalling upgraded at no cost to TfL. Despite TfL being strapped for cash, it must be hard to resist such an opportunity. Indeed, one could even argue that because TfL is strapped for cash it is even more important to take advantage of such an opportunity while it exists.

The ELL is well-known for operating at capacity at certain times of the day. Of particular concern are stations such as Honor Oak Park in the morning peak, where passengers cannot always board the first Overground train that arrives.

For many years there has been talk of running an extra 2tph ‘pixie busters’ (‘Passengers In eXcess of Capacity’, or PIXC to its friends) on the Crystal Palace branch in the peak period. Indeed it is a bit of a mystery why this hasn’t already happened, as the trains are available (they are currently designated as ‘hot standbys’). The main reason for this not taking place seems to be the issues at London Bridge during its redevelopment...

We can fairly safely conclude that the proposal is for the service to be increased to 6pth on both the Crystal Palace and the Clapham Junction branch. At Crystal Palace, where there are two dedicated terminating platforms available, we can be confident that the terminus can handle the increase in services.

There is much more extensive analysis here. Thanks to Richard for the spot.

Clement & Black, October 26

Meet Jo Black & Will Clement
Clement & Black is a local wine tasting company that celebrates its first birthday today.

Based in Honor Oak, Will Clement & Jo Black organise wine tasting evenings in the Greater Brockley area, with their next event taking place at Honor Oak cafe Two Spoons on October 26th. They say:

"Two Spoons maestro Luca will kick us off in authentic Italian style with seasonal cocktails. Then we'll taste 8 beautiful wines along with some lovely food, plus our favourite single estate olive oil."

To get tickets, click here.

Mouse Tail, Deptford

Another local archway-dwelling venue, Mouse Tail is the newish coffee shop underneath Deptford Station (Archway 3).

A cosier version of Peckham's Blackbird Bakery, its chocolate-block walls cocoon customers in a woozy half-light - you will need the coffee just to stay awake.

The Nunhead Gardener, Nunhead

The Nunhead Gardener (1a Oakdale Road) is a charming gardening shop tucked under an archway next to Nunhead Station.

Although it doesn't have the floorspace to compete with larger garden centres for equipment, trees and larger plants, it offers a beautiful range of plants and pots for window boxes, borders and around the home.

Yule not enjoy the Christmas train service

Joe pointed me in the direction of this announcement about local trains over the Christmas period:

This Christmas, between Saturday 23 December and Monday 1 January 2018 inclusive, there will be closures and changes to services as the Thameslink Programme continues to rebuild London Bridge station and the surrounding railway.

During this time there will be fewer trains into London and your journey will take longer, especially during the three working days (27th -29th December) From Saturday 23 December until Monday 1 January 2018, there will be changes to rail services across London and the south-east while Network Rail continues to transform north-south travel through London as part of the Thameslink Programme.

Southeastern, Thameslink, Gatwick Express and Southern services will all be affected as well as other train operators, with no National Rail services running on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.

Southeastern services will not run to or from Cannon Street, Charing Cross, Waterloo East, London Bridge, Deptford, Greenwich, Maze Hill, Westcombe Park, New Cross and St Johns for the entire period of 23 December to 1 January.

Thameslink services will not run through central London. Trains will be terminating at Blackfriars, Victoria or London Bridge (from the south) and St Pancras International (from the north) from 23 December to 1 January.

A reduced Southern service will operate to and from London Bridge from 23 December to 1 January.

Heat Massage, 315a Brockley Road

Heat Massage is a new massage therapy room, in Heat salon on Brockley Road. Prices start from £25 for 30 minutes (or £20 for baby massage).

For details, click here.

The Brockley Christmas Market 2017

Last month, I ran into one of the members of the Brockley Cross Action Group, who had moved away from the area, realised the terrible mistake he'd made, and moved back. He was busy weeding and trimming the plants in the Brockley Station garden, which the group created.

The garden and the wider Coulgate Street masterplan they championed helped to unlock the wider improvements around the east side of the station and have produced the town centre that this part of Brockley had always lacked.

This group - along with many others like it - form the vibrant civil society that has shaped Brockley's development over the last decade. We are lucky to have them. Soon, they will be going on a recruitment drive for new members, but for now, they want you to know about the Christmas Market they will be holding in December. Rupert writes:

"The Brockley Cross Action Group is once again organising the Brockley Community Christmas Market, which this year will be held on Saturday 9th December from 12pm (in Coulgate Street by Brockley Station).

"As in previous years we intend to have up to 60 stalls along the street selling a wide range of arts & crafts items, festive gifts and food. There will be festive activities and live music all afternoon.

"We are looking for local volunteers to help set up and run the market on the day! Tasks include setting up the market in the morning, putting the stall lights up, looking after the stallholders, running the BXAG mulled wine stall (to raise money for community activities) and tidying up at the end of the day.

"If you would like to help us run this wonderful and well established community event please get in touch at rupertking@hotmail.com. Thank you!

"If you would like a stall at the market please contact Erin Essex (eaessex@hotmail.com) to obtain an application form."

The Jam Circus Relaunch Weekend

The Lost Boys at The Brookmill