Party in the Park 2014

Party in the Park's line-up has been finalised. The focus is on music, with dozens of young bands and DJs performing. You can view the full roster here.

16 Coulgate Street work underway

It appears that work on the Coulgate Street block, approved in 2012 is now under way.

The site, next to Brockley Station and the rail line, was formerly the home of Speedicars taxi service (now Keen) and has been used in recent months for storage and access by engineers working on the Brockley Station platform expansion works, but a construction team is now working on the plot itself.

The approved plans are for:

The construction of a part single/part four/part five storey building at 16 Coulgate Street SE4, incorporating balconies and roof terrace, comprising a mini cab office/retail/commercial unit (Use Classes A1/A2), 4 one bedroom, 3 two bedroom and 2 three bedroom, self-contained flats, together with the provision of a bicycle store.

New Ladywell Fields cafe opens

The Ladywell Fields User Group reports that the new park cafe, operated by the charity Ten Thousand Hands is now open. They say:

"[We were] impressed today by the friendly service and coffee strength - and the kids enjoyed a reasonably-priced ice cream. The early signs are good, with more punters than the previous café - including some new faces."

Click here for the Ladywell Fields Facebook Group.

Support The Deptford Cinema [UPDATED]

"I'm raising money for this documentary I want to make about Kickstarter and I'm trying to figure out the best way to do it."
- Jimmy Dore
The Deptford Cinema Kickstarter has begun. They're trying to raise £6,000 to fund the 50-seat cinema, which will incorporate a cafe lounge area and a darkroom. Watch the film to learn more about this exciting project and click here to support it.

UPDATE: The project has now reached its fundraising target.

Lewisham's Big Budget Challenge

Lewisham Council has launched a "Big Budget Challenge" consultation, asking residents to give them their views on how it should bridge the £85million funding gap it faces over the next three years. They say:

What would you do if you had to save around £1 in every £3 you spend? That’s the challenge facing the Council which has to find further savings worth £85million over the next three years in the face of reduced government spending. 

The Council would like to know what you would do – how you would meet this budget challenge. What services are important to you and your family? What services do you think are important to the more vulnerable members of the community? Where might you find the savings? Using the online budget simulator you can decide how you would allocate the funding. To take part, click here.

 You can also attend your local assembly meeting during September and October to join in the discussion about the Council’s budget. 

It might look like one way to save some of that 85 million quid would be to employ less elaborate consultation mechanisms but the tool is actually hosted by the Local Government Association.

What it is trying to impart to us is that the "easy wins" of sharing services with other councils, allowing advertising on redevelopment sites and procuring more economically will only take them so far - that some very difficult choices lie ahead. And to that extent, it's a salutary exercise.

BC chose to ringfence "Environment and Waste" and "Planning, Economy and Regeneration" because we figure these are the fundamentals on which Lewisham's future prosperity is based - helping the Council to grow its revenues in the long term. We only trimmed the "Culture, Leisure and Community Development" budget, because we think this is an investment in quality of life, which benefits everyone. We also jacked up Council Tax by the maximum permitted amount, but it doesn't make a lot of difference.

What the game shows is that the Council is primarily a front-line social care provider and to make the figures balance, you have to cut things like adult care, child protection, housing support and community safety to the bone. We chose to protect spending on children's services and child protection (because, you know, children are the future) as much as possible, but we set about Council support and customer services with a blow-torch and some pliers, not because these aren't useful, but because front-line services have to come first.

Finally, we made up the balance with quite drastic cuts to adult social care, housing and community safety - the latter because with falling crime rates in the borough, we think there needs to be some sort of peace dividend and the former, no-doubt, out of our own ignorance of how essential these services are. The site tells you what the negative impact of your proposed cuts in each area are and the adult care cuts we proposed would probably lead to more people ending up in homes, more social isolation and less effective intervention by social workers.

All in all, not a pleasant exercise and by the end, you do not envy the Councillors and officers who have to implement the real cuts. Which is of course, the point.

The Brockley Front Garden Sale 2014

Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 September, 11am – 4pm

The Brockley Front Garden Sale is an SE4-wide sale organised by BrocSoc - like the Open Studios event, with boxes of old DVDs. People will also be selling art, clothes and a wide range of other items.

Last year over 70 addresses took part in a day of coordinated front garden sales. This year it will be on both Saturday and Sunday. You can choose to participate on one or both days.

If you would like to take part, send an email by Wednesday 3 September to:
gardensale@brockleysociety.org.uk with your name + house no. +  street + postcode and email, stating Saturday, Sunday or both.

The St George's Players

The St George's Players are an amateur dramatic society based in Forest Hill. They will be staging a series of play reading nights in local venues, beginning at the recently-reopened Honor Oak pub. Felicity explains:

I am organising some play readings. We'll all get together in a local venue and read through a play. Our first in a series of readings will be Monday 15 September at the newly opened Honor Oak Pub.

For those who haven't done readings before there's no need to prep we just read out the parts (putting as much acting into it as you like - points for trying out accents on the hoof!) and have some fun with it.

This should give us the chance to test out some material that we could use in the future or perhaps read through something that we like but isn't players appropriate (ie too many parts, too elaborate scenery or even too edgy to put on in a church!). The first play is going to be Moira Buffini's Dinner.

We're really keen for new members to join up, so please do come along, and encourage others by forwarding this post or following us on Facebook or Twitter.

We've got a private room at the Honor Oak Pub and we'll start at 7:30 for 8pm. It can take anything from an hour to two to get through a play (probably depending on how many times we go to the bar).

Please get in touch if you'd like to come along.

Jam Piano

Jam Circus now has a piano! Although not yet fit for playing.

The Meetup Protocols of the Elders of Brockley

Dae-su Oh: Even though I'm no more than a monster - don't I, too, have the right to live?
- Oldboy

'Brockley 40+ Socialising' is a new Meetup group, organising a range of events in September and October at venues including The Brockley Jack and The Orchard. Founder Amanda explains:

This meetup is for over 40s who live in and around the Brockley area (singles, couples, guys, girls, everyone and anyone over 40 - plus anyone who likes to hang out with over 40s). We're going to have our first meetup in The Gantry, a bar just 100 yards from Brockley Station.

The Honor Oak Park Supper Club

Kiwi cook Anne is launching a new supper club in November. The Honor Oak Park Supper Club offers elaborate menus from recipes collated on her travels. The first night's menu is a 7-course seafood epic, costing £30 a head, drinks not included.

Click here for details.

Council plans improvements to 'Brockley Corridor'

Lewisham Council has launched a consultation about their plans to improve the "Brockley Corridor" - a long stretch of road from Brockley Cross to Stansted Road in Honor Oak. They say:

We have secured funding from Transport for London through the Local Improvement Plan to develop proposals for improving the public realm along various sections of the ‘Brockley Corridor’ - the main north-south route between the South Circular and Brockley Cross. We are now consulting with local stakeholders in order to gain a better understanding of issues within the Corridor and potential for improvements, in order to inform more detailed designs.

Putting aside the fact that the Council shares our vision of a Greater Brockley, in which all points in the borough are defined in terms of their relationship to Brockley, this is a welcome plan, which will give greater priority to cyclists and pedestrians, narrowing the road and calming traffic as it travels through high street areas.

The proposed changes include improvements at key locations along the route, to make junctions easier to navigate and the high streets more attractive, with wider pavements, more trees and fewer barriers. Particularly good is the plan to remodel the "St Andrew's Parade" junction (where Wickham Road meets Brockley Road), which is horrible to cross and the only people who want to stop and linger are motorists, who have a tendency to park their cars up on the middle of the pavement. As the Council put it, this is currently a "cluttered highway and an unpleasant public realm."
The scheme also proposes to create a "sense of arrival" as you exit Crofton Park Station towards the Rivoli (just getting to Crofton Park Station after a snaky journey from Blackfriars creates the sense of occasion they may be looking to achieve) and to create a public space outside the Chandos.

The plans could be accused of being too modest in their ambition, but we'd rather the Council do a few things really well - with high quality materials, attention to detail and close supervision of the contractors - than bite off more than they can chew and do it all in a half-arsed fashion. It's notable that none of the 'Exemplar Schemes' listed in the document is from Lewisham - please let this be a turning point for Lewisham road improvements and an exemplar for all future schemes.

With thanks to Monkeyboy.

The Fox & Firkin garden

What better time to tell you about The Fox and Firkin's new(ish) garden, than the day after they had a massive party and when it's tipping down with rain?
Anyway, the Firkin (316 Lewisham High Street) has a huge new garden that opened this summer and helps to address the relative paucity of outdoor drinking venues in the area.

They are putting it and their late licence to good use, staging plenty of parties throughout the summer. Tomorrow night, they are hosting Beams for a night of breakthrough sounds until 1am.

The spoils of war

Tony has sent us these pictures, which show the takeover of Ladywell by rival virtual mobile networks Lebara and Lycamobile. He says:

"These mobile operators seem to be taking over Ladywell's High Street. I suppose its a bit of cash for local retailers. But these garish blue signs are not great for a conservation area... are they?"

They are certainly unlovely brands, but convenience stores have always done this sort of thing, from sporting rival newspaper mastheads to Coke vs Pepsi - and aesthetics have never been a strong point for mini-markets. It does also underline the fact that chains retailers are not the only homogenising force on our high streets - independents are often just as formulaic.
In times of total war, there can be no neutral parties - we must all decide - are we Lebara or Lyca? Choose wisely!

The 2014 Ed Renshaw Music Award

Maxine from The Albany writes:

Young musicians from South East London in need of help with their career will be given the chance to get their hands on a cash award, alongside mentoring, and industry support with the launch of the Ed Renshaw Music Award, set up in memory of guitarist Edward Renshaw. Offered for the first time this year, it is intended to help young musicians achieve their potential.

Ed Renshaw was a gifted musician. He was born in Greenwich in 1981, and went to Thomas Tallis School. At the age of 10 he discovered the guitar, decided that music was to be his life, and worked at it with total commitment. He had a rare talent for the instrument, equally fluent in classical, jazz, and other styles. But he also struggled bravely against bouts of depression until tragically one ended his life in 2011.

In his memory, and to honour his love of music, his family and friends staged a charity gig at the Albany and are donating the proceeds to establish the Ed Renshaw Music Award for other young musicians.

The award will help fund the career plans of two talented musicians or groups, up to the value of £1,500. On top of this, the recipients will be provided with mentoring and industry support from Peter Conway Management, space to practice and perform at the Albany, as well as artist development support. They'll also be given a gig, performing at 'An Evening for Ed' charity event at the Albany on 25 October.

The judging panel, composed of representatives from the Albany, Peter Conway Management, and Ed's family and friends, will be looking out for entrants who not only display musical talent and performance skills, but also original music, savvy business plans and a passion to forge a successful musical career.

Applications are open to South East London residents between the ages of 16-25. The application forms can be downloaded from the Albany's website. Once completed the forms should be sent to musicaward@thealbany.org.uk

Late summer, outdoor cinema

Rooftop movies in Peckham, park screens in Hither Green
We're being flanked by late-summer outdoor screenings on our east and west sides.

The Rooftop Film Club is taking over the top floor of the Bussey Building for a season which includes The Big Lebowski, American Psycho and When Harry Met Sally. Tickets cost £13 and you'll have access to the new Bussey Rooftop Bar presented by Zubrowka.

Meanwhile, Pop Up Screens (who once came to Hilly Fields, before they realised its open nature left them vulnerable to free-riders) returns to Hither Green with screenings of Fight Club, Moulin Rouge and Top Gun at Manor House Gardens (5-7 September). Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.popupscreens.co.uk for £10.

Howarth opens a DIY store at Brockley Cross

The Howarth team LTR: Aron Ford, Gary Ford Tom Woodcock 
Brockley Cross stalwart Howarth Timber and Building Supplies has opened a new shop as part of the national firm's expansion programme ahead of its 175th anniversary next year.

Howarth's new store is next door to its yard on Shardeloes Road (a refurbished 100-year old bank) and will cater for the trade, self-builders and DIYers over two floors, with heavy emphasis on flooring supplies.

Gary Ford, general manager of Howarth’s London branches, said: “We see this new shop as an Aladdin’s cave [not to be confused with the Aladdin's Cave] – we stock everything from bolts and door handles to jigsaw blades and drill bits. The shop is easily accessible and we hope to serve the surrounding community’s DIY needs, as well as those of our trade customers."

The Railway Garden BBQ

The prattle of Algiers

As if the question of whether to embrace a CPZ extension wasn't vexing enough for the people of Algiers Road, now they have to decide how they feel about taller than usual faux-antique lamp posts. Tell us how you feel?

Out for justice

A true Brockley hero, Michael writes:

BC readers might be interested in this resolution of another major first-world problem... I queried with London Overground why we had lost the train length announcements at Brockley Station and they have now replied – seems we will get this information back again in November. They told me:

"I have discussed your comments with our control room and they have advised me that all information regarding Southern trains were originally relayed to customers by Southern. London Overground is due to take over all the information system at the station including information that is sent out by Southern. During the transition period the 2 systems will be running together and London Overground system cannot generate this information as all our trains have 4 carriages. In November the changeover will be completed and you will then be provided with this information again."

Brockley Ice Bucket Challenge

Brockley-based E4 stars 'Mandem on the Wall' from show Youngers took part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money for Motor Neuron Disesase research, dunking themselves outside the Brockley sorting office. Here you go.

Window 135

Window135 is an art installation that sits on a most unprepossessing stretch of New Cross Road (Number 135, just down the road from The Five Bells). Each week for the last decade, the window has been updated with a new work.

Behind the window lies an artistic Batcave, home to two artists, who explain their motivation here:

"It started tentatively as a method of putting ‘distance’ between the New Cross Rd and the family living room. Formerly a shop our house was one of the two greengrocers made redundant when Sainsbury’s opened a vast supermarket nearby in the 1990’s.

"In 1996 the shop had no shopfront, the grocers had served market style with a mahogany table pulled out onto the pavement. The new ‘shopfront’ was designed to meet local conservation area rules, to look like a shop although its derelict interior meant it could no longer function as one; it reverted to “residential purposes only”.

"The New Cross Road is the arterial route from London to Kent. The volume of passing traffic is disruptive to live with but presents a continuous and diverse audience. The council agreed to “de minimus”; a shallow space to a maximum depth of 1 metre and ‘by appointment only’."

Follow Window135 on Twitter here.

CPZ creep planned for Ladywell and Lewisham

As dawn broke, the Worm uncoiled its snaky twine from around the hill, and came to its rock in the river... it lashed the waters in its fury and wound its coils round the Childe, and then attempted to crush him to death. But the more it pressed, the deeper dug the spear-heads into its sides. Still it pressed and pressed, till all the water around was crimsoned with its blood.
- The Lambton Worm

The Ladywell Society has unearthed the NOC List and knows which local roads will be subject to a consultation about the extension of the Ladywell CPZ, which has caused plenty of problems since it was first introduced.

The idea is to expand the CPZ, to relieve the pressure points that the original zone created in the first place. We don't know why they swallowed the fly... something about someone being unable to park outside their house and struggling with shopping bags kicked this whole saga off.

Here's the list of roads that could find themselves with a CPZ - it will create a single zone between Lewisham and Ladywell:

  • Arthurdon 
  • France Mary 
  • Phoebeth 
  • Ladywell 
  • Eastern 
  • Algiers 
  • Veda 
  • Vicars Hill 
  • Cliffview 
  • Fossil 
  • Ermine 
  • Brookbank 
  • Overcliff 
  • Shell
Local resident Dougie, who forwarded the list, writes:

"When I was consulted on the local CPZ in my area I was against it as I knew it would just push the problem further up the road which is now happening. The sad thing is is that Lewisham council will not consider a cheaper option for any resident such as a 2 hour restricted parking to stop commuters because it is not cost effective. The consultation is coming in September 2014. Where will the expansion end?!"

Olly's Turkish Gourmet night

Previously, at the Turkish Gourmet
Olly, is part of the Meze Mangal family and will be running a pop-up down the road at the Lewisham Arthouse. He writes:

I am running a Turkish pop-up restaurant at the Lewisham Arthouse on the 28th of August 18:30 - 23:00.

I had my first pop-up at the Lewisham Arthouse during its pop-up cafe season earlier this year. It turned out to be a really lively night so we are doing it again!



There will be four dishes of classic Turkish food and refreshing Turkish beer. The menu will be inspired by my roots in Kastamonuo Kastamonu Turkey and the cuisine of the Black Sea Region - simple yet tasty dishes.

Tickets cost £22 and full details are available here.

Consultation on two new Bakerloo routes

The proposed Bakerloo extension routes
Following the revelation that a southern extension to the Bakerloo Line was included in the Mayor of London's 2050 infrastructure plan comes the news that TfL will start consulting on the possible routes shortly, with the aim of delivering the project by 2040.

The Evening Standard reports that TfL will shortly start a public consultation on the possible routes for the Bakerloo Line extension to Lewisham and Catford. Matthew Beard writes:

Proposals to build the line by 2040 at a cost of £2.6 billion have been included in the Mayor’s infrastructure plan outlining essential transport projects to be delivered by 2050.

The line, which currently runs from Harrow & Wealdstone to Elephant & Castle, would be extended via Old Kent Road and Lewisham to Hayes and Beckenham Junction. It would operate a peak service of 27 trains per hour as far as Catford Bridge, with 15 trains per hour to Hayes and 6 trains per hour to Beckenham Junction.

The Mayor believes it would relieve congestion on national rail routes into London Bridge and generate £400million in annual economic benefits.

TfL's currently-preferred route is the one that presents the most obvious regeneration benefits and addresses a public transport desert running the length of the Old Kent Road. The alternative route is less direct and travels through Peckham, Nunhead and Brockley, where there are more immediate advantages for residential communities, whose services are often overcrowded.

BC reckons that, as a relatively low-cost quick win, the next Mayor will be tempted to bump project this up the priority order, especially as they are likely to be Labour and SE London represents something of a heartland. In which case, we could see this much sooner than 2040. Admittedly, this is based on nothing at all. With thanks to Jenny for the update.

I, for one, welcome our new Talbot overlords

The Talbot pub on Tyrwhitt Road has been sold. New owner Lesley writes:

I'm the lucky new owner of The Talbot! Please do drop in to see myself or my partner Mike, if you have any questions or just want to say hello - one of us is always around.

The Talbot is a great local pub, serving fabulous food and super beer. I have some plans to make the place a little cosier and friendlier. We also have a lovely little function room (currently having a make over) that I'm happy for the Brockley community to use.

Were also having a party from 1pm on Bank Holiday Monday, 25 August 2014 - with all kinds of music, from classical to pop. We have some lovely music from Classical through to popular! Our chef will be serving up his wonderful selection of food from our new menu and we will have a great selection of craft beers.

We'll also be re-launching our website soon - you can visit it here.

The Honor Oak reopens [UPDATED]

True to their word, the team at the new-look Honor Oak pub have pulled-off an August reopening, with a launch party tonight. If you've been in, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

UPDATE: Brockley Jon writes:

I was in on Friday night. The pub has had a complete makeover. They've made more dining space downstairs, which works really well, and there is the Whisky room upstairs that could be a great spot for a large birthday party. The front garden now works so much better as they've properly enclosed it, and it seems much bigger. The staff were coping admirably as it was very busy and they're clearly still learning the ropes. A few of the ales had run out but there was Brockley on tap while it lasted!

 I'd like to see the pub get more of its own identity over time - it's full of Victoriana and faux-industrial fittings, but it needs to find its own look. I'm sure this will develop over time once it's more lived in. It's a mightily impressive reincarnation overall, and an asset to that end of town. Well done to all involved.

Biblical floods hit The Hill Station


"Every living substance that I have made will I destroy." 
- God

Somebody's been serving shellfish. God decided to knock Telegraph Hill cafe The Hill Station right off their fucking perch today as the lofty venue was subjected to "biblical" flooding and diners were hit with 3-4 inches of rainwater. This Radio Five interview with cafe worker Ruari Lea explains what happened. The Telegraph Hill Society will be offering their first born as a precaution against further plagues.

 

New Cross Oxjam

Oxjam will take over New Cross this October.

Oxjam Takeovers are multi-venue music festivals that take over towns to raise money for Oxfam. Since 2006 Oxjam has brought local artists, venues, businesses and music-lovers together.

This year will mark the first Oxjam in New Cross. Taking place on Saturday 18th October, Oxjam’s artists will take over the Amersham Arms, Montague Arms, New Cross Inn, Bunker Club and Café No. 178 with attendees gaining access through the purchase of one wristband.

To get details of the festival and the warm-up events in the area, follow them here on Twitter.

Italian Nights at the Hill Station

Jacqui writes:

Thursday Night is Italian Nights at The Hill Station Café.

This week, we'll be serving delights such as Homemade Codfish Ravioli (£9) and Seasonal Mushroom Fettuccine and Pan Friend Tuna with pesto, almonds served with Fennel ,orange, olive and capers (£13).

Every Thursday over the summer renowned fine dining chef Antonio Acone invites you to try his authentic Italian dishes with a choice of starters – pastas – main courses – and desserts. There will also be live music, and a selection of Italian beer and wine will be available.

You can reserve a table by ringing the café on 0207 635 2955

A home in Brockley - £524 per square foot

Rightmove has produced a property calculator, which gives you a guide to what you should be paying per square foot in each postcode. It shows that despite higher than average recent price rises, Brockley (SE4) is still among the more affordable (least unaffordable) locations in inner London, with homes costing a mere £524 per square foot on average.

The calculations are based on the internal floor area from floorplans for over 18,000 properties for sale in London. From the properties for sale in each postcode they calculated the median asking price per square foot of internal floor area.

Click here and knock yourself out.

Crofton Park bus fire closes Brockley Road


Coming soon: The Beer Shop London

On the Nunhead Forum, The Beer Shop London team have shared their plans to create a micro pub in the middle of Nunhead. They say:

We wanted to introduce ourselves as we have made the application for change of use at 40 Nunhead Green. What we plan to do is open a micro pub, a space which focuses on serving really good beer! 

We will be serving local London based brewers, a rotational range direct from cask, and a selection of craft bottles to be accompanied by carefully selected spirits, wines and soft drinks. We hope it will be a friendly place for locals to meet over a beer.

More discussion of this one here.

180 Brockley Road update

180 Brockley Road is now a pile of smoking rubble between Browns and The Brockley Barge. It is due to be rebuilt as a mixed use development with retail at ground level and flats above.

Workers on site have told people that they are building a new home for Tesco and - since the Council allowed the original developers to create a retail unit big enough for a supermarket - it's almost certain that one supermarket brand or another will take it.

Sainsbury, Nisa and Costcutter are all already located within a stone's throw and Tesco has been sniffing around this part of Brockley for a while, so it seems the most likely outcome, albeit one that would be largely redundant and represent a lost opportunity to create something interesting in the heart of Brockley.

However, no deal has yet been done.

We contacted the developers for an update after demolition began and their application for minor amendments to the plan were refused by the Council and they have confirmed that they will be making another application and are still in negotiations with an anchor tenant for the largest retail unit.

Simon Hosking of developers Boultbee says:

With reference to the application, initial minor amendments were rejected, however we will be submitting some slight amendments today. With respect to the retail units, I can confirm we are in negotiation and so unfortunately cannot disclose those details until these discussions have been concluded.

I wish I knew how to quilt you

Lance Armstrong: Well, I guess if a person never quit when the going got tough, they wouldn't have anything to regret for the rest of their life. But good luck to you Peter. I'm sure this decision won't haunt you forever.
- Dodgeball

Mary writes: Number 57 is looking for quilters who are interested in showing work at a show here on 5/6/7th September. There's no submission fee - the show is intended to promote the craft of quilting and gather interest so the more diverse the work on show, the better. Also if you have a heritage quilt or quilt that tells a story and willing to show it, that would be great.

If unsure just call for a chat or email. info@57arts.co.uk / 07599 988004

Nestival, August 21-25

Five days of live music at one of London's best music pubs

The Wharves goes to consultation

The Wharves, a major residential project proposed for North Deptford, has been acquired by Lend Lease, who appear to be in a hurry to get the project off the ground.

The developers have already started hiring project managers and have launched a new website and consultation, with the aim of reviewing the scheme in light of the fact that a lot's changed in the area in the last five years, since the original plans were drawn up.
The original designs, providing 905 new homes, were excellent and Lend Lease have hastened to add that they don't intend to change much about the look and feel of the scheme. Most likely, they will seek to capitalise on the departure of the Ascott Cab Company, who were due to be accommodated in the original scheme and increase the number of homes on-site, which would make sense.

To take part in the consultation, click here.

Nii Parkes on Blythe Hill

Interviewed in The FT today for its My London series, poet Nii Ayikwei Parkes pays tribute to Blythe Hill Fields:

"Blythe Hill Fields is about more than peace and the view. It has delightful quirks; a tight huddle of hills, it evokes a moment of gossip. For me, it is also about the communities that radiate out around it; the incredible network of green spaces, the food that is accessible to the global gastronome.

"On the Catford side, you will find ingredients for Bengali, South American, Chinese, Caribbean, Polish, Thai and west African cuisine. On the Brockley side, you’ll find restaurants – the kind that have clientele spilling into the streets – serving Cuban, Italian, Spanish, Cantonese and good old fish and chips. And there is culture here too: my kids saw Chris and Pui from Show Me, Show Me at Catford’s Broadway Theatre, there are salsa spots and there is ballroom dancing at the old Rivoli Ballroom on Brockley Road.

"One of my favourite places, opposite a Chinese takeaway (yes, we end as we began – with food) is the Brockley Jack, a fabulous pub and theatre."

New Ladywell Fields cafe opens August 27th

On August 27th, the new Ladywell Fields cafe will open. Run by social enterprise Ten Thousand Hands, the Jimmy Mizen Foundation, it will be the third café run by the group.

Mayor Bullock will officially open the café between 1-1.30pm on the day. Barry and Margaret Mizen MBE say:

“We’re really excited to be opening our third café run by young people in Jimmy’s memory. We’d like to thank everyone who’s helped, especially the young people involved.”

The team: Jed Watkins (19), Roganna Ranjan (18), Siobhan Prince (17) and Rianna Li-Bailey (17) say:

“We’ve been working on everything from recruitment, finance, refurbishment and marketing to designing the menu.” The first of the group's cafés, The Café of Good Hope, was set up in November 2010 in memory of Jimmy Mizen, who tragically lost his life in May 2008. Each Jimmy Mizen Café is committed to raising funds for The Jimmy Mizen Foundation, training young people, especially those with Autism, being a safe haven for young people and providing a community space.

The project received support from Tesco, B&Q, the Lloyds Foundation and The Drury Tea & Coffee Co.

Coming soon: Restored N Adored

Brockley Cross sell-off

The properties on the corner of Brockley Cross and Brockley Road have been auctioned off. The sale was for a:

Freehold three floor building with planning permission for the conversion of the upper floors to provide two x two bedroom flats. The ground floor comprises two shops (one let) and one office (vacant).

The corner unit was vacated by an electrical shop earlier this year and many other units in the area lie empty, but on the opposite side of the road, the success of the Brockley Deli has shown the potential of this location.

With thanks to TTD.

Brox will eat itself

This has already been doing the rounds on Twitter (follow BC here) but deserves to be shared more widely.

A pop-up too far? Victims of the pub-shortage (albeit directly outside the Wickham Arms)? Hipsters? Never escaped the 80s. This picture, like a fuzzy shot of a stick in Loch Ness, poses more questions than it answers.

Get involved with a community garden project in Tressillian Road

Pam writes:

I'm interested in creating a new Brockley community garden (or perhaps allotments) on a patch of land owned by the GLA at the bottom of Tressillian Road. The land has lots of well established trees and plenty of space to create a really beautiful garden which would turn this site from an eyesore into a wonderful resource for community groups.

Any hints, tips or offers to join in? I live near the site and when I spoke to Lewisham Council about the idea of turning it into a garden, they encouraged me to get more local support as a first step.

If people are interested, they can contact me via Twitter.

Big Up East London

BC has shared plenty of stats about the Great Inversion, that's taking place in London, shifting prosperity and economic activity from outer to inner London. But as we mentioned, there are actually two great inversions taking place, as London begins to flip on its axis, from West to East.

An interactive map, released recently by the ONS, shows that shift in action. It allows you to chart the change in the relative economic performance of a region, using Gross Value Added as its key metric. In just 15 years (1997-2012) the change for Inner East London (including South East London) was dramatic.

The green bar on the right hand side is the most important thing to look at. The closer it is to the Y axis, the better the per capita GVA of the region, relative to the rest of the UK. Even in 1997, East London was no slouch, but by 2012, it had become one of the most productive parts of the country. Of course, in part, this reflects the growing dominance of London in the UK economy, but while Inner West London retained its dominant position, no other London region enjoyed a comparable shift.
The winning scheme for the Royal Docks
The sheer scale of development taking place along the riverside and docklands from Tower Bridge to North and south Woolwich provides plenty of physical evidence of the shift too. Recent announcements about Wood Wharf, the Royal Docks and Greenwich Peninsula show how much further this trend has to go. The future is ours. Soon(ish), you will be able to insist that your friends come East if they want to see you. And they can travel on the Bakerloo line.
Proposed new homes on the Greenwich Peninsula
Wood Wharf will extend Canary Wharf eastwards

The Waverley Arms [UPDATED]

On Brockley's western fringes, round the corner from St Norbert's Road, The Waverley Arms (202 Ivydale Road) has recently reopened after a retro-modern refurbishment.

The result is a perfect local pub, roomy enough to have a party, intimate enough that it feels like a local, a little roomier than The Talbot and a little warmer than the Ladywell Tavern. They stock Brockley Beer, which is the mark of a well-run place.
UPDATE

Writing on the Nunhead forum, the new team at the Waverley Arms discusses their food plans:

"A new kitchen is coming this autumn (the pub has never had a trade kitchen), but in the meantime we're serving great summer grub off our massive outdoor BBQ and have plenty of fancy snacks to keep hunger at bay. Come autumn, we will be serving handmade stonebaked pizzas and hearty salads, and then plan to roll out top-notch burgers, daily specials and a Sunday roast a bit further down the line. The menu will be simple and use high quality ingredients, but The Waverley will be a pub that serves great food, rather than a restaurant pretending to be a pub."

For the full message click here.

La New Cross Tomatina

Sergeant Howie: Don't you see that killing me is not going to bring back your apples?
- The Wicker Man

Saturday, August 9th, 11am-8pm
St James's, SE14 6AD

On Saturday, the streets of New Cross will run red with tomato juice as the Happy Seeds Festival team host the Tomato Harvest Bonanza. It'll be a family-friendly day of live music, making stuff, buying stuff like books, records and food and, presumably at some stage, some things with actual tomatoes.

Click here for the full details on Facebook.

Little Nan's moves to New Cross

What happens with the irresistibly twee meets the immovably cosy? We're about to find out, as Little Nan takes up residence at Birdie Num Nums.

Little Nan's Club, the vintage cocktail bar, is moving on to New Cross, after its successful stints in Deptford and Brockley, taking over space in the popular cafe to run cocktail evenings from August 15th. Follow Little Nan on Twitter here.

Tweat Up plans MASSIVE rooftop venue in Lewisham [UPDATED]

Following on the phenomenal success of #ModelMarket in Lewisham comes this news. Tweat Up is a pop-up food events outfit that are hoping to open a year-round indoor/outdoor dining experience from October 31st this year. We are entering uncharted waters - anything is possible in Lewisham now.

UPDATE:

The Brockley Hyperloop

Citymetric has had a crack at developing a detailed map of the proposed new orbital railway, which would make use of the Brockley Station high level platform. This is their informed guess, based on existing rail infrastructure and the unhelpfully vague map provided by TfL. They admit it could be wrong, although the stuff immediately around Brockley is almost certainly correct. 

A direct train link to Lewisham, Blackheath, Nunhead, Peckham and Dulwich would be a massive result - not terribly useful for work, but great for play.

Brockley Central Label Cloud