Parts and Labour Cycles

Rad Bikes has renamed itself Parts and Labour Cycles due to a trademark dispute.

You can now find the Lewisham Way bike maintenance shop online here.

The Crystal Palace Festival 2018, June 11-17

The Crystal Palace Festival returns in 2018 with headliners Stereo MCs and Polarbear.

One of the biggest free cultural events in south London, the arts and culture festival will take place across the Crystal Palace area from 11–17 June 2018 with the Crystal Palace park event taking place on 16 June 2018.

There were nearly 30,000 visitors to the 2017 event and organisers are expecting even bigger crowds on 16 June 2018 thanks to a line-up of music, spoken word, theatre, visual arts, family and community activities.

The week long festival includes mainly free events organised by local traders, pubs, community groups, schools and churches across 11–17 June 2018.

The festival’s outreach and participatory arts work has been made possible by funding from Arts Council England, Croydon Council and Bromley Council. Projects include an intergenerational dance piece that will culminate in a promenade performance in the park, and concerts by the London Mozart Players in local care homes, the park children’s farm and Crystal Palace railway station.

Full programme here.

Lewisham wins The World Cup of London Boroughs

"'With a mere ninety break-horse-power available, progress is too leisurely to be called fast, but on the motorway in fifth gear the Megane’s slow pace really becomes a pain. Uphill runs become power-sappingly mundane, while overtaking National Express coaches can become a long, drawn-out affair.' Not my words, Carol. The words of Top Gear magazine."
- I'm Alan Partridge

The wisdom of the crowd has been harnessed. The cow has been weighed. Lewisham has been deemed the best of all possible London neighbourhoods.

Tonight, Lewisham won the World Cup of London Boroughs in a grueling encounter with the overdogs of Lambeth. Lewisham won 56% of the nearly-12,000 votes cast.

This was the Twitter poll equivalent of England winning the World Cup by knocking out France (our neighbours Southwark in the first round), Argentina (the pampas of Camden), Germany (hipsters' favourite Hackney) Brazil (beloved by the chattering classes of Islington) and Italy (like Lambeth, littered with international icons) in the Final. An extraordinary achievement.
Of course, this was never really about which borough boasts the best nightlife, parks or attractions. But it was about which part of London could muster the most passion and enthusiasm from its residents. Lewisham owes its victory to the fact that its people simply wanted it more. And that's the best reason of all to win.

The greatest place to live in London is the place where the greatest number of people give a damn about their home.

Please be magnanimous in victory. They are hurting in Lambeth this evening.

Deptford Bites - New Saturday Market Launches April 7

Deptford Market Yard's food market has been a long-time coming but the team has finally announced a new regular Saturday event. They gush:

Deptford Market Yard is excited to announce a new weekly Saturday market ‘Deptford Bites’. Curated by London food event and market organisers Eat Me Drink Me, the weekly market will bring together the best produce and street food traders London has to offer, as well as a selection of craft stalls with a focus on South East London makers & designers.

The market will showcase street food sensations such as the flavour-punching Northern Thai food by KraPow LDN to the sophisticated Oyster Boys who will be serving freshly shucked oysters and made to order Bloody Mary’s from their retro food cart, guaranteed to get you back on your feet after one too many on a Friday night. After spending much of her childhood in Deptford, Zoe Adjonyoh from Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen will also return with her out of this world Ghanaian creations. And finally, for your sweet fix, the market will welcome plant based, dairy free, Black Mylk Ice cream. Its ice cream is handcrafted using a blend of homemade cashew nut milk and coconut milk, with colours and flavours selected from seasonal ingredients – from Honeycomb and Pine nut and Miso Caramel & Pecan to Ceylon Cinnamon & Walnut, you will be spoiled for choice.

‘Deptford Bites’ will feature a mixture of permanent Saturday traders and a rotation of guest vendors. It will be a place to browse and buy artisanal fresh ingredients with everything from bread and cheese to olives and farm produce. And there’ll be a craft and design area where you can pick up unusual gifts, with a focus on makers and designers in the South East London area. The launch day market includes popups from perfumier Maya Njie, prints from Catford Creative and Deptford’s very own Stray East with their gorgeous homewares.

To mark the launch and celebrate the thriving local community, Grace Dent will be curating a series of talks covering subjects such as the changing face of Deptford and the rise of Veganism. Starring household names such as Jay Brave, Zoe Adjonyoh and Grace Dent herself as well as local London voices from the Deptford area including resident Adrian Luckie from Mama’s Jerk and Deptford Esquire’s Saima Arshad.

There will be live music every week and of course an opportunity to re-visit the excellent permanent Deptford Market Yard tenants; it’s the perfect place to grab some food and drink, stock up for the week and browse the craft stores on a sunny Saturday.

The World Cup of London Boroughs Final: Lewisham vs Lambeth

Going in one more round when you don't think you can - that's what makes all the difference in your life. This is it, one last push and bragging rights over all of London are ours for the next four years.

Lewisham was written off from the start. They said we were underdogs, has-beens, suburban no-hopers. Lambeth, pumped up on steroids and Russian money, promised to break us. But the moment of truth is here. No pain.

Please vote now.

Rebel Base


Mothers is a new album from 'in analysis', a music project created by Brockley songwriter David Schweitzer. He explains:

We create songs based on stories contributed anonymously by members of the public.

In February 2017, we invited people to write about their mothers via an anonymous form on their website. We received a number of interesting, frank and heartfelt stories.

Using these contributions as raw material, in analysis wrote the eleven songs on this record, which are performed by the band and a number of guest vocalists.

The fact that you have no idea who wrote the stories – and know nothing about their age, gender or background – means you really have to focus on the key emotional ideas they communicate.

While the words have nearly always been changed to create the lyrics for the songs, we’ve tried to make sure the songs stay true to those central ideas.

We think that this has resulted in is a warm, honest, emotional and sometimes humorous set of songs. And while many of the stories are quite specific, we hope that the songs will resonate with a wide range of listeners.

You can listen to the record on Spotify, but we’ve also released a limited edition yellow vinyl record edition with lyrics and also lovely illustrations by Mary Richards (another local resident). These are £12 from our website or can be bought from the Gently or Gently Elephant shops in Brockley. Any money from sales goes to Mind and the Samaritans.

The World Cup of London Boroughs: Lewisham vs Islington

Twitter polls, bloody hell.

Lewisham is now through to the semi-finals of the World Cup of London Boroughs, having had the toughest route to the last four. In the first round, we squeaked past Southwark, then we trounced Camden (the borough I would most like to live in, if I couldn't live in Lewisham) and won comfortably against Hackney in the quarters.

Now, we face the fight of our lives against imperious Islington. With 19 hours to go and over 3,000 votes cast, Islington is edging it 51% vs 49%.

Victory for Lewisham would guarantee an all-South final, as Lambeth face Greenwich next.

Please cast your vote. After missing out on the Borough of Culture we need this.

The New Battle of Lewisham

This weekend, the Observer has been documenting the growing power of Momentum within the Labour Party, casting the spotlight on Lewisham, which has been a key battleground between traditional Labour activists and Momentum members.

The paper's political editor Heather Stewart follows Heidi Alexander MP on the campaign trail and examines attitudes towards Corbynism among local voters and members:

Alexander says Corbyn is “Marmite” in Lewisham East. “Even amongst Labour voters, the range of views in this constituency at the last election was [like] nothing I’ve ever experienced,” she says. “You had people who loved Jeremy, people voting for Labour despite Jeremy – and a whole load in the middle who just wanted to kick the Tories out.”

But there could hardly be a better illustration of the power shift under way than a public meeting later the same day in nearby New Cross, in the neighbouring constituency of Lewisham Deptford, where Vicky Foxcroft is the MP.

Labour’s candidate for the directly elected post of executive mayor of Lewisham, Damien Egan, has come along to be grilled by members of the local Momentum group. Many of them backed an alternative candidate, Paul Bell – and are calling for the post to be abolished – but Egan is keen to win them over.

More than 40 people of a range of ages are perched on chairs in New Cross Learning, a former council library, now staffed largely by volunteers. Sharing the platform, and kicking off the discussion, is Jill Mountford – a combative and controversial local figure. As a prime mover in a group called the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty (AWL), she has been suspended from Labour, and remains outside the party...

For Alexander, in Lewisham East, the influx of new members has sometimes represented a direct challenge. She was the first member of Corbyn’s shadow cabinet to tender her resignation in the “coup” against him in 2016.

Afterwards, she endured a stormy CLP meeting in a hot and overcrowded hall followed by months of wrangling with local members who objected to her decision.

“There was a hardcore of Momentum who thought, we’ll take over the constituency and we’ll get rid of Heidi,” says the then chair of the CLP, who does not want her name to be published for professional reasons...

For the full article, click here

Brockley home worth two in Southern Hemisphere

Hahei Beach
New Zealand is the Brockley of the Southern Hemisphere. Slightly overshadowed by brash cousins across the water to the north, but full of people making wearable art, building their own homes and perfecting the art of coffee making. Like Brockley, New Zealand has a surprisingly rubbish pub scene, but makes up for it with a disarmingly good food scene.

Now you, can experience Brockley living upside down, by trading your house for one of two in New Zealand in a house swap that sounds too good to be true. Lynne writes:

We are visiting family and grandchildren who live close to Hilly Fields during July and August this year. We have a lovely family home close to two harbour beaches in Devonport, Auckland and a holiday home in beautiful Hahei Beach in the Coromandel . In exchange for 2 weeks accomodation in Brockley we could offer the use of our houses in New Zealand at a non simultaneous time to suit.

If you are interested to discuss further, drop me a line at

Barclays Crofton Park to close

The last bank branch in SE4 will close on July 6th.

Dent & McKenzie launch a new weekly market in Deptford

Grace Dent, critic, author and broadcaster, has joined forces with food-event guru Kate McKenzie to present Deptford Bites Live on Saturday 7th April 2018. This one-day festival of eating & drinking runs from 10pm to 4pm at Deptford Market Yard.

The event will mark the start of a new weekly market in the Yard.
On the 7th, Grace Dent will curate and host a series of talks which picks apart Deptford’s new status as ‘up and coming’ - including debates about gentrification, veganism and diversity in the restaurant industry. Still, the food should be good.

Free to attend.

Microbrewery plan for empty New Cross bank

Plans have been submitted to redevelop the old bank next door to the Venue in New Cross. The developers envisage:

"The construction of extensions at lower ground, upper ground and first floor levels to the side and rear of 329-331 New Cross Road, SE14 in order to facilitate its use as a restaurant (Use Class A3), a bar (Use Class A4), including micro-brewery and cellarage, and flexible space (Use Class D1), together with the provision of a landscaped courtyard at upper ground floor level bounded by absorbent acoustic panels, changes to door and window openings and an acoustic enclosure to the condenser unit."

The bank occupies a key spot in New Cross and has been closed for decades.

Thanks to Gill for the spot.

Seb Dance MEP - Lewisham for Britain in the EU, March 23

Do you refer to the Brexit referendum as 'only advisory', believe that people who voted leave are racist idiots who got fooled by a toxic combination of some numbers on a bus and the Russians - and that we should vote again because a good chunk of those dumbos have now died of old age? Then this is the event for you.

Fri 23 March 2018
19:00 – 22:00
The Talbot, Tyrwhitt Road

Lewisham for Britain is a campaign group that makes the case for remaining within the EU. They say: 

Join us for an evening of EU and Brexit discussion with the MEP Seb Dance.

Seb is one of London's MEPs, a proud Londoner and a passionate defender of Britain's place in the EU. A member of the Labour Party, he sits on a number of EU Parliamentary Committees and still believes the challenges Britain faces are better served by remaining in the EU.

Come and hear more from Seb on his views about Brexit as we discuss the twists and turns of the complex, febrile time we find ourselves in.

We are proudly unaffiliated to any political party, open to anyone who, like us, believes Britain needs to find a way to stay in the EU.

For more details, click here

Grandad's Shed, Deptford Market Yard

Grandad's Shed is the new private hire venue from Little Nan's bar in Deptford. Founder Tristan writes:

Our new arch in Deptford! Grandad's Shed is large and has the indoors / outdoors vibes, it's suitable for groups of up to 90.

Decked out with a tropical theme, this private party hire space is suitable for groups of 30 - 90 guests, and includes a sectioned off private Victorian cobbled courtyard to the front of the arch.

Little Nan’s is offering this space out for Free Private party hire to all South East London residents for groups larger than 40 guests. If your group is smaller than this number, then there is the option to reserve an area within our main bar arches next door.

Click here for details.

Catford Food Market opens March 25

A new monthly Council-backed street food market starts in Catford on March 25. The Catford Food Market team writes:

The Market, which kicks off on Sunday 25 March from 10am–4pm, will take place on the last Sunday of every month.

By implementing recommendations submitted at – the online engagement platform collecting people’s aspirations for the town centre – Catford Food Market aims to create real opportunities to develop and sustain new businesses, that complements the existing offer and meets local people needs.

International flavours offered by local traders include Caribbean fayre from Jerk Off BBQ, north east Indian delights from Raastawala, Japanese delicacies from Fuse Love and Italian inspired sourdough pizza from Van Dough.  There’ll also be cakes from Brett & Bailey and Miss Flits Vegan Bakes, and bread and pastries from Claude’s Boulangerie. Non-food treats include multicultural children’s books from This is Book Love and work by local Catford artists and designers including Hazel Nicholls.

You can also get your hands on Catford’s newest custom beverages including: Catford Cream Soda and Catford Cola as well as Tom Cat Six gin and Catford Pride pale ale, both of which launched popular drinks festivals last year.

For further information visit or email

Mama Dough, 40 Ladywell Road

Mama Dough, the sourdough pizza specialists from Honor Oak, have opened their Ladywell restaurant.

If you've had a chance to visit, please tell us what it's like.

Lewisham v Camden in the World Cup of London Boroughs

Alright Lewisham, let's roll.

We saw off the favourites Southwark in round one of the World Cup of London Boroughs, when no-one gave us a chance. Now we're up against the fancy-dans of Camden. You have 20 hours to vote on the Twitter feed, so please get on it.

Friendly Gardening

Friendly Gardens needs some love and affection

You shall go to the ball, four times an hour

The Cinderella Line campaign to improve train services through Crofton Park station will be celebrating a major victory from May, as frequency of service will be increased to four trains per hour during off-peak periods. They explain:

Despite a week of snow, nearly 100 local residents braved the weather and made it to the Rivoli Ballroom on Saturday to hear about the future of rail services at Crofton Park. For those who couldn't face the cold, or who made it but want to hear about it all over again, here are the highlights:

Local MP Vicky Foxcroft made the introductions and Michael from the Cinderella Line campaign talked about the achievements of the last few months and future plans.

Brilliantly, for the second and third rounds of the consultation, Crofton Park provided the highest number of responses across the whole network of 140 stations - beating Brighton, London Bridge and London Victoria in the 'having our say' stakes - a real tribute to Crofton Park power.

As a direct result: from May this year, we are getting FOUR TRAINS AN HOUR! This will effectively double our off peak services. In addition, we will also get two extra peak time services in the morning and two more in the evening, with scope for this to be increased in line with passenger needs in the future.

This is the culmination of years of work from the campaign, but as Michael mentioned, although we have achieved what the campaign set out to do, there are still a lot of hills to climb and we are willing to keep pushing for further improvements to the services and the station, as always, with your support.

Lewisham Council unveils new rail strategy

Lewisham Station in the 25th Century
Lewisham's leading technocrat, Cllr Alan Hall, has published Lewisham's new rail strategy on his blog. He explains:

“Railways are incredibly important to Lewisham and have shaped our local communities. I have said we must be ambitious for Lewisham but local residents need to be involved in our decisions. I have asked that this important report be discussed at the next Sustainable Development Committee but I would welcome public comments on these new and exciting plans.”

“These include increasing frequencies on existing routes, adding new stations and supporting the Bakerloo Line extension – dubbed Bakerlooisham”

The report highlights the dramatic differences in connectivity between the well-connected northwest of the borough (Greater Brockley) and the desultory southeast, where, for example, Whitefoot has no stations at all.

Lewisham Council's 'vision goals' are as follows:

1.To provide better links and sufficient rail capacity between all areas of Lewisham Borough and central London employment areas.
2. To provide sufficient rail capacity between all areas of Lewisham Borough and East London employment areas.
3. To increase rail access to and from Lewisham’s growth areas.
4. To improve rail connectivity across the Borough, especially east-west links and services to the south of the Borough.
5. To enhance the quality of stations and provide step-free access at all station in the Borough.
6. To improve the connectivity between stations and their local areas.

Which is a nice wish list but doesn't provide a great deal of focus. Loads of trains everywhere is not really a strategy. But there are some nice ideas, including:

- Providing 'Night Tube' style services on the DLR to Lewisham
- Extending the Croydon tram system in to the south of Lewisham
- The reopening of the high level platforms at Brockley for trains from Lewisham to Victoria, natch
- The Bakerloo extension to Lewisham to be extended as far as Hayes at the outset (rather than at some unspecified point in the future)
- An extension of the London Overground from New Cross to Lewisham Station
- A new southern entrance to Ladywell Station

The document also sets out the Council's position about the future of Lewisham Station, which will require a major redevelopment to accommodate the Bakerloo and rising passenger numbers:

Through the study [“Lewisham Feasibility Assessment: Station, Platforms and Subways”], the Council has advocated for improvements to Lewisham station to enable local housing development and provide access to Lewisham town centre. These upgrades should be a requirement on the new Southeastern franchisee in order to secure any possible increases in capacity before major schemes can be delivered. Better access to National Rail services and DLR could be secured through minor projects in the interim. 

The option to extend the Overground should be secured through any station upgrade project. With development sites coming forward at a rapid pace around the station, the opportunity exists now to start safeguarding a future vision for the station. This will ensure that the station in the future can engage with the surrounding area rather than be an inward-focused transit interchange.

To read the full document, click here.

Much of this stuff may be wishful thinking, but I am glad this thinking is going on.

Lewisham commuter rebellion as passengers abandon train during Storm Emma

Passengers held outside Lewisham Station on a Southeastern train rebelled and fled the train during Storm Emma tonight. The Telegraph reports:

"In south-east London commuters took matters into their own hands, pressing the emergency door release and getting out onto the tracks when their train was held outside the station. As a result, all lines through Lewisham station were blocked.

"Southeastern Railway said the situation was getting worse "because several people are jumping off trains onto the tracks", warning that it would only cause further delays.

"Power was switched off on trains because of the incident and the police and fire service were brought in to help get people off trains."

Ian Thomas recommended as new Lewisham Council CEO

Ian Thomas, the man who led the response to Britain's worst-ever child sexual abuse scandal, has been recommended as the new CEO of Lewisham Council. The Council says:

The recommendation was made following a rigorous selection process by an appointments panel consisting of Sir Steve Bullock, the Mayor of Lewisham and a cross-party group of eight councillors.

The recommendation will go to Full Council on 14 March 2018. Organisations from across the Lewisham borough also took part in the selection process, including:
  • Lewisham Hospital
  • The police
  • Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Phoenix Community Housing
  • SE London Chamber of Commerce
Ian’s work at Rotherham Council Ian is currently the Strategic Director for Children and Young People at Rotherham Council. Since becoming the statutory children’s officer for Rotherham in January 2015, he has been busy responding to the reports of Professor Jay, Louise Casey CB and Ofsted, in what has been the most challenging time for any council.

Under Ian’s leadership, children’s services in Rotherham have been transformed, improving from a rating of ‘inadequate’ to ‘good with outstanding features’ within three years. Ofsted report that there is now ‘a positive organisational culture’ in Rotherham.

At the same time, education standards have improved and, as lead commissioner for victims and survivors of child sexual exploitation (CSE), Ian has mobilised a response with partners which has resulted in 30 sex criminals being convicted, now serving around 400 years in jail between them. A range of community-based services are now in place to support around 1,100 survivors of CSE.

Ian was formerly Deputy Chief Executive and Strategic Director for Children and Younger Adults at Derbyshire County Council and Assistant Director (Social Care and Housing Strategy) at Trafford MBC.

Ian Thomas said, ‘I feel both humbled and privileged to be offered the role of Chief Executive of Lewisham Council. This is an exciting time for the borough, which has been well led by Dr Barry Quirk and Sir Steve Bullock over many years. I look forward to working with the new mayor, ward councillors, staff, partners and residents, to build on what has been achieved in the borough, address the challenges ahead, as well as seize the opportunities to improve the lives of all Lewisham citizens.’

In 2014, Ian was named by innovation charity NESTA and The Observer as of one of ‘Britain’s New Radicals’ for his creative ideas in raising aspirations for children in care. He holds a master’s degree in Developing Professional Practice (incorporating change management) and is a master’s-level qualified executive coach and mentor.