The Brookmill pub & kitchen, 65 Cranbrook Road

The Brookmill pub in St John's is now open. Looks great. Click here for details and let us know what you think in the comments below.

 Enjoying opening night at our new neighbourhood local, @thebrookmillpub pic.twitter.com/5jCzKgYqGL

New homes on Tanners Hill complete

Affinity Sutton's development at the top of Tanner's Hill is complete. The 60 new homes are set along a short, newly-built road that runs parallel with the train track.

It's a neat way to use the land and add some decent new homes to the area, but the colour scheme could have been a little jollier.

Shared ownership is available. Details here.

Saigon Streat at Arlo & Moe

Click here for details of Saigon Streat

New London Bridge station opens, offering Charing X connection once more

Two thirds of the new concourse has been opened. Photo courtesy of Network Rail
The huge new concourse at London Bridge Station has been opened to commuters, allowing passengers to make connecting journeys to Charing Cross again.

The station is the fourth busiest in the country and has been undergoing a major transformation, which will increase capacity and allow passengers to connect to any train without having to navigate a rabbit warren.

The Evening Standard reports:

Over the bank holiday weekend the project's construction site was moved away from the Southern and future Thameslink platforms to focus on the north of the station, used by Southeastern.

Trains into Charing Cross have now begun calling at London Bridge for the first time since January 2015, but Cannon Street trains stopped serving the station on Friday and will not resume until January 2018 [when the station reopens fully].

Festa, Folkestone Gardens

Festa Sul Prato is a new restaurant in the slightly unlikely surroundings of Folkestone Gardens in Deptford. Between the railway bridge and the skate park sits this pretty little Italian place with an ambitious menu that would make other park cafes blanche.

The Festa team lyricises:

"FESTA opens at eight. We have a Tai Chi group outside and people come in for a morning coffee. Kids go to school, the smaller ones with their parents. People are on their way to work in the nearby offices and light industrial units.

"Mid morning builders from the nearby construction sites come over for a quick coffee and local business folk hold a meeting. Mothers come with their toddlers catching up after having spent time in the playground. On the weekends locals have a leisurely breakfast. The first skateboarders draw their rounds in the skatepark. A handful of people sit with their laptops and work.

"Lunch is for everybody and on Sundays there is a bit more time for it. A couple of ladies sit on a bench and their dogs sleep on the sunny warm pavement. Business neighbours are discussing a new business deal over a glass of wine. Children fetch ice cream. On Saturday a group sets off for a history tour of shipyards, sailors and pirates around Deptford.  A boy’s parents organised a little party in the playground for his fifth birthday and fetch some drinks and sandwiches.

"Office workers come in for an early dinner, families and friends meet for a drink and meal in the evening. Groups of people come after their fitness classes or playing football in Deptford Park around the corner. A community group holds their quarterly meeting.

"FESTA closes at ten in the evening and the last guests go home."

For more details, click here.

Lewisham's Lament Configuration Shifts Again

Waterintobeer - opening tomorrow

The first of Brockley's two new beer shops, Waterintobeer opens tonight at 5pm. The Mantle Road shop is fully stocked and ready to go for its preview this evening. Please let us know what you think!

With thanks to Michael for the photo.

Coming soon: The South East Makers Club

On Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th September, the London Design Festival is coming to South East London (Deptford . Brockley . New Cross . Peckham) with a brand new event called the South East Makers Club.

More details soon, sign up for more information here.

A message from the London Beer Dispensary...

Via the Brockley Central Facebook page, the team behind Crofton Park's excellent London Beer Dispensary writes:

Hey folks, Darren & Sam here, former Area Manager of Late Knights and Head Brewer of Late Knights Brewery. We understand that twitter has been going crazy with all sorts of gossip today, so thought we would clear a few things up. 

The London Beer Dispensary, Brighton Beer Dispensary and The Brewery in Penge are no longer under the company of Late Knights for a number of reasons, of which we wont delve into. 

Sam and I have started up a new company, along side Mr. Lawrence, to keep these places trading and push forwards. The brewery itself will be renamed and rebranded, still with the desire to be the heart of the great community that it's in. 

We don't intend to change anything at the LBD, with the same great staff, beer and burgers. We have brought back Sunday Roasts and Lillian is taking care of all the hangovers with the Bloody Mary station on a Sunday. 

 In terms of the brewery, our sole focus is to brew consistently great beer that we can sell in our own bars as well as to free trade, keeping ourselves as local as possible. We will be looking to have this out in 6-8 weeks, with a few brewery names floating around, which we'll hopefully have decided by the end of the week. 

We still see the LBD as the heart of Brockley and have thouroughly enjoyed integrating ourselves into the amazing community that we feel honoured to be a part of. 

Feel free to pop in at any point and chat to Lils, Sam, Edd or Cadi behind the bar and we look forward to seeing you all again in the near future.

Have at Yee!

Hopped up on Rio gold and Super Mario Abenomics, The Times is looking ahead($) to Tokyo 2020 by profiling next generation British athletes who could break into Team GB in four years. Brockley endurance athlete Alex Yee is their back page cover star and they say:

"The winner of the ITU World Junior Duathlon title earlier this summer, Yee has been selected in the junior squad for the World Championships in Mexico next month."

Yee has been putting in breathtaking performances at youth level for some time and his progress has been tracked by BC talent scouts for some time.

Brockley Front Garden Sale, September 10-11

The Fourth Annual Brockley Front Garden Sale takes place on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 September, 11am – 4pm.

Last year over 70 addresses took part in a day of coordinated front garden sales. You can choose to participate on one or both days. The format rewards neighbours who get together to organise a cluster or nearby sales.

To take part, email: gardensale@brockleysociety.org.uk with your name + house no. +  street + postcode and email, stating Saturday, Sunday or both.

A list will go on the Brockley Society website www.brockleysociety.org.uk

Salthouse growlers


Salthouse Bottles, the new beer shop replacing Degustation on Coulgate Street, is opening next month and has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to provide a growler service. Richard Salthouse writes:

We want to purchase a device known as a Pegas CrafTap, which is able to select and dispense a chosen beer into a glass bottle. At any given time, we plan to offer up to four choices of quality beer for growler-fill.

The growlers will have a 1 litre capacity, are made of amber glass and have an airtight swing-top seal. They are also printed with Salthouse Bottles branding. This is yours to keep, to fill, to use, to refill and to re-use. Once filled and sealed, your beer will stay fresh for weeks.

Rewards for supporters include growlers and T-shirts. To back the Kickstarter, click here.

Lewisham MP Heidi Alexander slams Corbyn leadership as "shoddy"

Once you’ve had a taste of Mayor Bullock’s firm leadership, anyone else is going to seem second rate.

Having helped to kickstart the Parliamentary Labour Party’s revolt against Corbyn’s leadership, Lewisham MP Heidi Alexander is doubling down, with a column in the Guardian criticising Jezza's leadership as "shoddy and unprofessional". 

The former Deputy Mayor of Lewisham writes:

I hated being a member of Jeremy’s shadow cabinet – because it was entirely dysfunctional.

It wasn’t good enough for Corbyn to routinely defer to his shadow chancellor when confronted with a difficult decision

It wasn’t good enough for the leader to routinely defer to his shadow chancellor when confronted with a difficult decision – a shadow chancellor who on three separate occasions undermined my efforts to agree collective positions on health matters. 

It wasn’t good enough for the leader to say one thing to me, only for his political secretary to phone a day later and say: “He may have said that, but I know what he really thinks.” 

It wasn’t good enough for the leader to read his position from a typed up script at shadow cabinet meetings discussing the prospect of military action against Isis in Syria or the EU referendum. 

And it wasn’t good enough that whenever he appeared on TV, his description of a process, or his analysis of a problem, ended in confusion or despair on the party’s position – article 50, counterterrorism, “7.5 out of 10” on Brexit.

You can read the full charge sheet in her article here

Owen Smith's strategy, which this attack is part of, has been to promise to be as left-wing as Corbyn, with but without all the accompanying uselessness. That seems to me to be a strategy doomed to fail.

Firstly, because his chest thumping love of socialism seems deeply inauthentic (and he got caught out by suggesting he might get ISIS round the negotiating table, only to find that was one position Corbyn was happy to take a more moderate line on).

And secondly, because no-one voting Corbyn really wants effective leadership. That all sounds a bit right wing and Tony Bliar to a Corbynite. You establishment types can keep your "organisational effectiveness" for your establishment types, a movement doesn't need effectiveness, it will carry all before it in a tide of virtue.

The problem with London guilt - why metropolitan hand-wringing about the state of the nation make matters worse

I now have a place on Medium, where I post most of my non-Brockley-related writing, to spare you all. However, since my latest article is about London and a phenomenon I think Brockley suffers from, I thought I would post it here too:

Not the problem the nation faces - Londoners hanging out, self-actualising
“They lined up all the toffs and boffins, the chief executives, tycoons and clever-clogs in the (south of the) land, and asked the nation to pat them on the back. The invitation to a punch in the face was too good to miss.”
- Simon Jenkins

Like many Londoners, I suffer from Londoner’s guilt.

I’ll smile, tight-lipped, when some out-of-towner declares London a disgusting hole. I’ll politely change the conversation when someone tries to tell me that bringing up my children in the capital is tantamount to child abuse. I’ll be overly generous about the virtues of Liverpool’s nightlife or Birmingham’s civic buildings. I will be quick to offer a defence of any provincial dive on the basis of how lovely the nearby countryside is. I support the desire to ‘rebalance’ the economy and tut mournfully about how out of touch the metropolitan elite is with the plight of those in other parts of the country.

I do all of that because I know how lucky I am to live in London and there’s no need to rub it in to anyone who doesn’t.

But the Brexit vote has shown that this is a bad strategy. Londoners’ guilt was a luxury we thought we could afford because we were living through a golden age, but it was storing up problems.

The Leave win wasn’t just a vote to choke immigration, it was an act of nihilism. Voters chose to harm London — to cut down a Gherkin-sized poppy.

It is time Londoners’ stop accepting the blame for every problem the UK faces. London’s ascent is the inevitable result of two long-term economic forces that none of us is responsible for.

The first is agglomeration economics.

Growth is increasingly driven by the convergence of different industries and technologies — and the transfer of knowledge between them. Cities create a network effect, producing serendipitous encounters and making collaboration and exchange much easier. As cities grow, the network effect becomes more powerful.

Elite athletes benefit from training alongside each other, learning from each other and raising the bar each day. So too, companies improve from working side by side. Large cities find it easier to sustain centres of excellence than smaller ones. The ‘Northern Powerhouse’ strategy was based on this phenomenon. The sum of Manchester’s growing clusters of excellence in industries like the media, materials science and sport will be greater than its parts.

Big cities also create a larger potential market for investors and entrepreneurs — they are typically the first places to attract new services and usually the only places that can support major attractions. For example, a restaurant like Bluebird on the Kings Road needs to serve around 100,000 covers a year— which makes it hard for anywhere outside London to support more than a handful of places like this. But business tends to congregate where there are fancy restaurants, hotels and a plethora of support facilities and specialist services.

The second is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

At a recent conference on Sustainable Cities, Director of Global Research for JLL, Rosemary Feenan, argued that as we have become richer, the role that cities play in our lives has fundamentally changed in-line with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

When we were poor, cities were primarily places to look after our basic physiological needs — we fled the countryside in search of the higher incomes offered by industry. A small town could do that job pretty well. As we became richer, we created cities that offered us a sense of belonging, giving birth to an explosion of clubs and civic institutions. But larger towns were typically needed to sustain these.

Today, in an age of relative abundance, we are increasingly driven by the desire for self-actualisation. To be all that we can be. Spending on ‘experiences’ is rising much faster than spending on ‘stuff’.

It is the great cities that offer the richest opportunities to be, to do and to meet — to become. And people are willing to trade square footage for unique and wonderful moments. Not all people of course, but typically the most ambitious, creative and adventurous ones.

Look at them all. Go to Hyde Park or Brick Lane on a sunny day. Get up at 6am and go for a run on the South Bank. Stay out after midnight in Hoxton. The city is teeming with beautiful, talented people doing stuff all the time. Now take a train from Kings Cross (where you’ll trip over people from Google or St Martins making things and making money) to almost any provincial town or city you can think of — the difference is stark. There are fine places. Ever so clean. If you are lucky, in the middle of the day, outside the main train stations of even our biggest cities, there might be a couple of pensioners waiting for a bus. And that’s your lot. Durham is nice, but the opportunities to self-actualise are minimal.

This urge to become (turbo-charged by Instagram and Twitter, which award social cache to those with the most overtly fabulous lives) means that talent will increasingly cluster in the biggest world cities. As Michael Bloomberg observed, the best and brightest want to be where the action is...

For the rest of the article (yes, there's more!), click here.

Work begins at Convoys Wharf

High Over Sayes Court and Convoys Wharf from Sayes Court on Vimeo.

Enabling work has finally begun at Convoys Wharf, which occupies a large proportion of Lewisham's tiny stretch of Thames-side. The site has lain dormant for years, obstructing the Thames Path and wrecking any chance of Deptford developing a coherent riverside.

When complete, the site will create 3,500 homes and commercial space, as well as restoring the Grade II-listed Olympia Building and the historic Sayes Court garden, which will double as a community education project. This drone footage, found by the Deptford Dame, shows how enormous the site is.

Detailed planning permission has not yet been secured for the scheme and completion is years away, but the construction work underway is an important statement of intent for a project that has taken an eternity to coalesce.

Cyclists, lose the Brockley high ground

Cyclists are brilliant. We reduce congestion, parking problems and the pollution that kills tens of thousands of Londoners each year. We make roads safer by reducing the number of cars on the road and we reduce crushing on trains by cutting the number of rail commuters.

We should be loved. And yet, we are hated by a small but vocal minority of people who bang on and on about cyclists jumping red lights, but will think nothing of breaking the 30mph speed limit every few minutes that they drive. We are beautiful, athletic tall poppies, there to be cut down and cut up at every junction.

So please do not give our critics ammunition by chaining your bikes to the handrail at Brockley Station when there is ample bike parking on the street below.

Coming soon: The Word

Part of a long-neglected parade of shops on New Cross Road will reopen in September as a bookshop. Goldsmiths, owner of the parade, says:

The Word – at 314 New Cross Road on the corner of Laurie Grove - will primarily stock books recommended on the university’s reading lists, including titles by Goldsmiths lecturers. There will be a loyalty card scheme for students and second-hand books. 

The Word will be run by David Brett, who has worked in academic bookselling for fifteen years, as a book-buyer and manager of independent academic bookshops.

“I live just down the road in Lewisham,” said David, who got the idea for the bookshop after hearing from student friends of his girlfriend’s mother that Goldsmiths’ branch of Blackwells had closed. 

“Both my girlfriend and her mother got Masters degrees from Goldsmiths,” he explained. “I’m excited to say that this is the first shop I’ve actually owned and I am very much looking forward to this new chapter in my life and in the life of Goldsmiths.”

Staff in the Library and Estates & Facilities departments at Goldsmiths have been working with David over the past year to get The Word up and running. It is hoped that, much like our Curzon Goldsmiths cinema, the shop will also give the local community a great new facility.

At less busy times on campus, such as in the run up to Christmas, more general books will be stocked. 

And David’s intention is to make the bookshop a vibrant and stimulating place to visit, so book launches and readings will be held, and subject and publisher promotions offered. 

A bookshop is usually top of the BC wishlist in any debate about what facilities are missing from the local area, so this news should be very welcome. But as with the new cinema, the offer needs to be right if it's going to succeed.

Full disclosure: I am on the Council of Goldsmiths.

Brookmill Pub reopens on August 30th

The Brookmill Pub on the St John's / Deptford border will open its doors on August 30th. They are planning to open to minimal fanfare, with a view to staging a proper launch in September.

The pub has undergone a major refurbishment from its new owners (who also run The Great North Wood in West Norwood). They promise it will be "a community hub offering gastro food and drink, served in a cosy environment." They say:

Chef Olly Marlowe previously of both Michelin-starred The Glasshouse and Chez Bruce, food will be the star of the show. The menu itself celebrates classic pub grub with The Brookmill’s signature twist. Expect dishes like ham hock and gruyere pie with onion purée and roasting juices and Roast cornish cod with ‘nduja risotto, salted almonds, aioli and pecorino.

Proudly served and supported are craft beers from neighbouring breweries such as Brockley Brewery, The Kernel Brewery and Brick Brewery. Natural and organic wines come a little further afield from Davenport Vineyards in East Sussex who pride themselves on a no nasties product. Coffee comes from local roastery, Volcano Coffee.

The pub will be dog-friendly and make the most of its garden, which will feature a mural displayed in partnership with Deptford Does Art. A small programme of events is to be announced after opening.

The Brookmill offers membership for locals looking for an extra bang for their buck. Claim redeemable points on every pound spent at the pub plus a free meal on your birthday.

Sign up via the landing page on the website.

Curzon Goldsmiths wants your views

The Curzon Goldsmiths is not selling as many tickets as they would like, or perhaps would have expected, given the huge amount of bleating from local residents about the fact that Lewisham was the only London borough without a cinema.

Curzon has launched a survey for locals to work out what they can be doing better to attract customers. You can participate here. My diagnosis is as follows:

1. People don't know they're born. It was only really a technical quirk that Lewisham had no cinema - not a huge problem to be solved. We have cinemas in Peckham, Surrey Quays and Greenwich within very easy reach.

Having a more local option is great, but going to the cinema isn't about convenience (the most convenient thing to do is to stay at home and watch movies on demand on a massive telly). So, to attract punters, the Goldsmiths Curzon needs to be a great experience.

2. It's not cinema-y enough. It's a revamped lecture theatre and it feels like it. It doesn't yet create the sense of occasion that a big multiplex or a great arthouse cinema does. It's not a place to chuck popcorn around or upgrade to D-Box, nor is it a place which has carefully curated programming.

3. Not enough people know about it. Marketing was limited at launch and most people I come across still haven't heard about it. Part of the cinema experience is to experience art with other people. It needs to tell people about it and create moments to draw people in.

4. Price is an issue. Lower priced tickets could draw in the curious and enable a loyal local following, building word of mouth and allowing people to overlook the constraints of the venue. There has been some tinkering with prices and schedules, but the general consensus among BCers seems to be that it remains on the pricey side.

I think it is a great asset, but needs some more work to make it a success. What has your experience been?

The Ladywell Tavern: World's End

The Ladywell Tavern has closed abruptly for refurbishment. The new owners, Laines, who know a thing or two about running good pubs, promise that it will only be for a couple of months and that it will be worth the wait.

Martin writes:

Good luck to the new owners - the place has been through so many changes that I'm hoping it can settle down a little. It's all happened very quickly though - the Ladywell Food Assembly has had to cancel and refund all its orders that were supposed to be handed out on Tuesday, and it seems they were only notified when everyone else was on over the weekend.

I'm hoping it's not going to be like the last refurb which took place during the closure of the high street which went on for months. If only because I'm lazy and the Tavern's only a couple of minutes walk away.

I'd love for it to get back on its feet as the place has so much potential.

Follow the pub makeover on Twitter here.

Future Shorts Deptford

Deptford bar / restaurant / art venue Buster Mantis is hosting Future Shorts, the largest short film network in the world, for a one-off pop-up cinema screening of its Summer 2016 season of short films.

Buster Mantis promises "a full evening's worth of entertainment with food, craft beers, cocktails, DJs and special guests."

Advance tickets £4, with some limited availability on the door for £5. Details here.

The St John's Manifesto

Oliver Lewis writes:

'On Thursday 22nd September at 7.30pm the St. John's Society and Vicky Foxcroft MP are hosting a rail summit to tackle the Pandora's box of issues emanating from our rail service at present. Eg. the 8.03 service from St. John's was on time just 11% of time over the past three months; seldom a day goes by when there isn't something wrong.

All welcome - the venue is St. John's Church on St. John's Vale - and feel free to comment on our list of objectives below'

- Renewal of signage at the entrance to the station. This is within SouthEastern's powers to rectify.

- Installation of new and extra seating along the full length of the platform. This is within SouthEastern's powers to rectify.

- A revised time table that runs to schedule. This is unacceptable and we would like a public statement from the management of SouthEastern setting out their action plan, with SMART objectives, to address this performance and improve it by the end of the year. This is within SouthEastern's powers to rectify.

- Further information on the reasons why the station car park was closed abruptly and without consultation, and a guarantee from Network Rail that this asset will not be subject to sale or development. This is within NR's powers to rectify, but SouthEastern has been unimpressive in defending its passengers' interests.

- The reopening and restoration of the waiting room. This would require the enclosure of Network Rail equipment stored in the waiting room, and support and funding from SouthEastern. With consent from NR this is within both bodies' powers to rectify.

- Painting of both sides of the rail bridge above St. John's Vale. This is a Network Rail asset and is owned by them. Two years ago the then community affairs manager for NR advised the bridge was added to an asset repainting register. We have since learnt it has been removed from this. We would like to know why it was removed, when it will be put back, and have a binding pledge that the bridge will be repainted on both sides within 12 months. This is within NR's powers to rectify.

- Community adoption of land adjacent to station car park. This small patch of land is a terrific eyesore lining the main road through the conservation area; its fence is damaged, the land is used for fly-tipping and is overgrown with brambles. We would like to explore adopting the land, turning it into a shared space cared for and used by the community. This is within the powers of NR to rectify.

- Disabled access. This is a long term objective but we would expect a feasibility study to be undertaken at the earliest opportunity given the enormous increase in passengers using the station since 2010. This is within NR's powers to rectify.

Co-Op cocoons itself

Thai Crimes and Misdemeanors

As if the shortage of Thai food in Brockley wasn't already acute, Sudaporn has had her Thai food wagon stolen from outside her Brockley home today. Please be on the look out for it and email her if you see it.

Benedict team junks old decor

Benedict's, the Crofton Park coffee shop, is closed for refurbishment. They promise they will back soon with an improved look and menu.

Lewisham borough goes 20mph from September

From September 2016, all council-managed roads in the London Borough of Lewisham will have a 20mph speed limit, to reduce accidents and all the horrible things associated with them.

Roads that are managed by Transport for London (red routes) will not be included at this time. These are primarily the South Circular (A205), New Cross Road (A202), Bromley Road leading to Lewisham High Street (A21) and Lewisham Way leading to Lee High Road (A20). Private roads or those on housing estates are not included in the borough-wide limit.

In terms of enforcement, the Council says:

"The police have said the 20mph speed restrictions will be treated in the same way as any other speed limit. Over time, we expect compliance to increase."

The only downside is the fact that our already-cluttered streetscapes will be festooned with more signs. The Council says:

"Larger signs (600mm diameter) are needed at the entrance points to the borough and smaller repeater signs (300mm diameter) are required at regular intervals, approximately every 150 to 200 metres. We will design the scheme to put signs on existing poles or lampposts where possible and to keep the number of signs to a minimum. Existing signs in affected areas will be reviewed and indications are that we can often remove many redundant signs."

Click here for full details.

Man of Action

“If there be any truer measure of a man than by what he does, it must be by what he gives.”
- Robert South
Heroism must be recognised. Jenny writes:

My nine year old son organised a litter collection on Arica Road. 

We had been away for a while and our front looked a mess so I cleared it up and that triggered the suggestion by my son, who was also looking to get to know more people on the street! That really worked.

Together we made flyers which he posted through every door on the street. We borrowed litter picks and gloves from the council and about 15 people turned out to clean the street of litter and weeds. This photo shows the after effect.

It didn't last long before more rubbish was spotted, but the weeding makes a big improvement.

The tide of litter may not have been stemmed for long, but his legend will live long in the annals of Brockley Central.

Gruff to Dragonfly Place

Local architects Gruff have relocated from their office next to The Orchard on Harefield Road to a much bigger studio in Dragonfly Place, Brockley Cross.

Founder Rhys writes:

"We have been growing steadily over the last few years and basically outgrown our Harefield office, which we’ll be very sad to leave. However we haven’t gone very far and we are keeping our old shop until the end of September, so that we can participate in the Openhouse weekend.

"I suspect there will be lots of interest in the old place from other businesses."

High quality shop fronts in Brockley are rare, but Gruff's old office is pretty tiny, so will not suit everyone.

BeBright nursery opening on Telegraph Hill

BeBright Project is a nursery for 6 months to 5 year olds and a training centre for small businesses and Early Years Practitioners, which has opened in The Old Library above the Hill Station Cafe in Telegraph Hill (Kitto Road).

Opening in September, you can get more details via its Facebook page here.

Mama Shelter

Helen writes

Bus Stop 59359 is opposite Brockley Jack Pub in Crofton Park. The shelter has just been removed.

Many with mobility issues relied on that bus stop after they had visited local amenities such as the bank, post office, hairdressers and cafes. It allows them to be independent and avoid isolation. It's also good for local businesses' trade.

If people agree with me, please can they post their comments here, so perhaps we can press for the return of shelter and seats.

Schumpeterian Street Art

Mk 1 of the Crofton Park hoarding artwork has been replaced and updgraded. Mk 2 was created by Lionel Stanhope and bAMB0pINK. Follow Lionel on Twitter here.

Paper Dots, Ladywell

The PaperDots Pop Up store in PLACE Ladywell is selling upholstery, art and vintage stuff throughout August, Thursdays - Saturdays (12-6pm).

Click here fore details of PLACE.

Campaigners aim to protect Lewisham's health visitors

A petition has been launched, urging Lewisham Council not to enact cuts to health visitor services. Iain writes:

The council has just started consulting on plans to cut health visiting and school nursing services, and many other community services. The consultation finishes 14 August and you can click here to participate.

Here in Lewisham, we almost lost our hospital. We know how important the NHS is to all of us. And because we saved our hospital, we know that if we had never asked, never resisted, never come together and demanded to save Lewisham hospital, that we might not have it now.

What some of us might not know (or have forgotten) is just how essential children's community nurses and health visitors are. The council have had a £4.7 million reduction to the public health budget by central government. This will mean massive reductions to the local health services that help to keep us all healthy and prevent illness.  It will especially affect children.

Children's services are not some non-essential, 'cuttable' part of the local health service. They are central to protecting our most vulnerable children from disease and neglect. They provide the bulk of our safeguarding and public health commitments, from cradle to adulthood. It is not the place of Lewisham Council to take these services away from the next generation, it is their duty to demand they are adequately funded.

Please, for the skilled staff, vulnerable children and community, sign this petition, and once again demand we Save NHS Services in Lewisham.  Keep your eyes peeled for any actions or demonstrations we may organise.

To sign the petition, click here.

Lewisham Gateway aims to get taller

Lewisham Gateway is the mixed-use development currently remodelling the area of Lewisham between the station and the shopping centre.

Phase one consists of the two towers and accompanying public spaces immediately south of the station, which are nearing completion. Phase two will be built on top of the space bounded by the road network.

With work underway, developers have announced a public consultation regarding:

  • Alterations to the size of the buildings
  • Changes to the approved uses
  • Changes to the public space
  • Providing a greater number of new homes
This clearly means that they want the towers to be taller. If this is accompanied by bigger and better public spaces in between taller buildings, that could be welcome, especially given that the tall buildings built and approved are all roughly the same height - a bit of variation would be aesthetically pleasing. 

If, on the other hand, they want to squeeze out the green space already approved or reduce the commercial space, then it could be a set-back for the development of Lewisham as a place to visit.

We'll find out on August 11th, when the first consultation takes place, 4-8pm Methodist Church Hall, Albion Way. Full details here. Thanks to Joseph for the heads-up.

Rice Paper Tales at The Deptford Lounge

Georgie writes:

Rice Paper Tales is inspired by Tiet Van Nguyen, a Vietnamese story teller of some of the most beautiful, funny and captivating Vietnamese folk tales.

Trikhon is looking to provide a uniquely Vietnamese alternative to all-time favorite British Fairy Tales with some classic Vietnamese folk tales. A fantastic way to introduce children to tales from a different culture and a great experience for the summer holidays- we would like as many children from the local area to be able to come and see it.

We're also trying something new for tickets: a Pay-What-You-Decide basis, so you book as normal but don’t need to pay until after you see the show. Pay what you can afford, based on whether you enjoyed the show!

Rice Paper Tales is supported by Arts Council England and will be showing at the Deptford Lounge on Sat 10 + 17 Sept at 12:00, 13:30 + 15:00.

Endwell Road launderette to close

Transpontine has spotted that the Endwell Road launderette, sandwiched between Dragonfly Place and the Business Centre, will be closing on September 18th, leaving only the Brockley Road launderette as a local option.

TfL reiterates support for Bakerloo extension in Khan era

Sadiq Khan has signalled that his mayoralty remains committed to the Bakerloo Line extension through New Cross and Lewisham. In TfL's recently-published annual report, the project gets its own double page spread, which says:

Work has started on building a case to extend the Bakerloo line into southeast London. If the Government gives the project the green light, we expect to begin construction in 2024. 

In 2015, we assessed possible routes. This meant taking into account how each option could improve connectivity and housing, the engineering feasibility (for example, tunnelling, which is complex and expensive, must be kept to a minimum), how swiftly the project can be completed, and the likelihood that it could be paid for. 

Our assessment showed that a route from Elephant and Castle to Lewisham, via Old Kent Road, would offer significant development opportunities, including up to 30,000 new homes. This could, in turn, help with the costs of building the extension, by securing contributions from new residential and commercial developments along the line. 

Ending the route at Lewisham means we can build the extension quickly and cost effectively, hopefully completing the project by 2030. And this doesn’t rule out extending the line even further in the future.

The Bakerloo extension was one of Khan's election commitments and this is simply more fine words, rather than action, but thanks to Monkeyboy for sharing this red meat nonetheless.

Matalan Masterplan

Legal & General has submitted a planning application for the:

"Demolition of the existing buildings at Lewisham Retail Park and Nos. 66 – 76 Loampit Vale and construction of buildings 7 – 24 storeys in height comprising 4,343sqm commercial floorspace (Use Classes A1, A2, A3, B1, D1 & D2) and 536 residential units with on-site energy centre, car parking, cycle parking, and associated landscaping."

The site is currently occupied by four large-format stores, including Mothercare, Matalan, Sports Direct and Family Bargains.
The development in context (when Lewisham Gateway is completed)
The seven replacement towers will form a perimeter around a large communal garden on the second floor while the pavements on Jerrard Street, Thurston Road and Loampit Vale will be repaved "to create boulevards."
One of the new 'boulevards'
The developers have also proposed a new public 'Station Square’, which would form a link with the neighbouring development planned to replace Carpetright.
The new retail space on Loampit Vale
The current site is soul-crushingly ugly, both in terms of the buildings that occupy it and the roads that circle it. This proposal would add density and continue to drag the centre of Lewisham further towards Brockley, creating new retail space that will have a chance of attracting some decent brands.

This development would transform one of the borough's most desolate spots at a time when many London developers are getting cold feet, but it would be good to see the Council drive the best possible deal for the public realm. Given the scale and density of the development, those boulevards better be paved with gold.

Thanks to Marc for the heads-up.

Brockley Central Label Cloud