NEWS FOR EARLY AUTUMN
This is my first blog entry onto the new/revised website so bear with me. If you have followed my ramblings over the last couple of years you will know my computer knowledge is limited and anything new takes time for me to master. However I can immediately see major advantages with the new format and how it will appear as a reader, plus I can insert pictures/photos exactly where I want them! Also you can write comments at the bottom which would be lovely for me so that I can get some feedback and know for certain someone is reading them!
So here goes ………….
As I haven’t done a blog post for a good few months I thought I would reflect on a few of the significant happenings in the area, talk about the recent business openings, and highlight things I know are taking place in September.
I would argue this is one of the greatest things to have happened to the area in a long time. Basically when Brockley won the competition to put on a street arts festival with the help of Global Street Art I don’t know if anyone realised how significant it would be and how much amazing artwork would get created. Works started at the end of May, with the festival, running for 9 days in conjunction with Brockley Max. The opening night at Foxberry rd saw Bob Marley getting painted by the wonderful Dale Grimshaw
Over 20 Streetart pieces/murals got created over the next week, on walls, sides of buildings, hoardings and shutters. Huge thanks to the Brockley street arts festival committee who are all volunteers and did such a fantastic job in helping brighten up our area. Since then further pieces have been commissioned as businesses have seen what quality has been produced and want to get in on the act. This culminated in a weekend in July when the artist Lionel Stanhope organised other local artists to collaborate together and paint ‘out’ the awful pink hoardings opposite the Brockley Jack pub in Crofton Park. I have attached above and below some of the brilliant artwork that can now be seen in the area. I only hope more is yet to come!
BROCKLEY MASS PHOTO
Were you there? On Sunday 19th July local people were asked to turn up between 2-3pm at Hillyfields to recreate a historic photo that had been captured nearly 100 years ago at the same location. It is estimated that between 5,000-6,000 people participated in the new photo which is truly amazing! It certainly proves what a fantastic community we live in. Huge thanks to Brockley Society for very efficiently organising it all. If you haven’t seen the photo or bought it yet it can be done online or alternatively the final opportunity to see it and then buy is at Brockley Social club On Saturday 12th September 2-5pm.
What a brilliant festival we had this year, arguably one of the best yet. The weather on the opening night threatened to dampen spirits but whilst quite cold the rain held off for most of the evening. The line up of local bands/musicians was fantastic. Over the next 9 days 70 plus events were held locally covering live music, art exhibitions, children’s workshops, quiz nights, poetry readings and much, much more.
‘Art in the Park’ our family day finale by the Stone Circle was definitely one of the best to date with the weather helping bring out record crowds. The atmosphere was great and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, young and old. The festival ended for the Brockley Max crew at the wonderful La La Piano bar who entertained us all in style with talented singers and rip roaring sing-alongs. The committee are already planning next year’s event and so if anyone would like to help with the organisation they would be very welcome and should email firstname.lastname@example.org
The last few weeks has seen a flurry of new businesses open up and so I will detail the key ones that I’m aware of.
CROFTON PARK has suddenly seen a great expansion of the empty units that blighted the area and the first of the new businesses opened on the 21st August.
JONES OF BROCKLEY
Work has been going on to transform the previous internet café, on the main road next to the White room, for many months and the beautiful exterior façade looked very promising. Finally the interior was revealed and the goodies lying within did not disappoint. Michael is passionate about good quality food and drink and so owning a local grocer’s store has been a dream. Jones of Brockley sells fresh bread, fine wines & craft beers and many other interesting items. He sells Monmouth coffee beans that can be freshly grounded and there is a chilled cheese counter where a selection of delicious Neal’s Yard cheeses can be cut to order. Finally in the middle of the store there is the usual staples but also a specialist/seasonal variety of fresh fruit and vegetables. He is looking to expand the stock gradually and is very open to feedback and people’s ideas so why not pop in and say hello to our very friendly greengrocer. Oh yes and ideally buy something to support such an exciting new venture!
Next door to Jones, with Pat-a-Cakes on the other side, lots of building work is taking place and the shop frontage is also looking very impressive. It is to become a male grooming/traditional barbers and the owner already has a similar shop in Deptford which is extremely popular so expect more of the same. I’m not too sure of when it will be ready but I assume in the next few weeks. This certainly completes a full complement of occupied shops on that stretch of main road which is very encouraging for the area. This picture is of the shop in Deptford.
This family run Italian/American diner opened it’s doors on Saturday night with a sampling taster buffet. I didn’t go so not able to give personal feedback as yet but the menu is now posted on their website. There is a large burger selection, including 3 different vegetarian options, ribs, hotdogs and some Italian dishes, all at very reasonable prices. I understand it is fully opening tomorrow evening so I will certainly be popping in very soon! It looks a good addition to the area.
There have been quite a few changes in Ladywell over the last few months with 2 stalwarts of the village finally closing their doors towards the end of July. Petra ran the wonderful quirky café ‘Oscars’ for 7 Years but felt it was finally time to move on to other things. Meanwhile her next door neighbour Jason at Slater & King decided to sell up the popular gift shop and re-locate up North. I wish them lots of luck and they will both be missed greatly.
Luckily for us Petra sold the café to local caterer, Saner who opened again after a few days and is very much continuing to run it along similar lines and intends keeping the name Oscars. He bakes all his own cakes, quiches and other savoury treats himself. He has plans to introduce cream/afternoon teas very soon and is seriously considering opening Friday/Saturday evenings. This certainly will be very welcome as there are very little evening drinking/eating options in the village. Pop in and say hello to him, Becca and Jess and they will make you very welcome.
Local teacher Hannah was always interested in running a gift shop and being a regular customer to Slater & King saw the perfect opportunity to take it over when Jason announced he was selling. She did a quick makeover with a stylish pink exterior frontage and 2 weeks ago opened as ‘Honeybournes’. New stock is coming in all the time and she is looking to work with local artists/designers and offer a range of children/adult gifts at prices to suit all pockets. They will be closed Mondays but then open until 7pm on Tuesday to Friday to allow commuters to pop by. Her partner is Callum who only 10 days later opened the butchers in the village and ,by taking on new businesses together, they both have exciting challenges ahead! I wish them lots of luck
HECKSTALL & SMITH
Callum has been on the look out for a suitable shop unit for a quality butchers in Ladywell for a while as his market research had shown this is what people wanted. The old launderette became available a few months ago and he seized his opportunity. He finally realised his dream and opened it up last Wednesday to great reviews. The range of meat is limited at the moment but he looks to extend the range gradually and welcomes any comments/feedback. Again he hopes to attract customers on their way home from work by staying open until 7pm Wednesday to Friday. Pop by and say hello.
BROCKLEY YARD SALE
This is happening on the weekend of the 5th/6th September following on from last year which was a great success. It is organised by the Brockley Society and involves lots of people opening up their front garden in SE4 and selling their wares-be that arts/crafts, second hand clothes/toys, bric a brac. It is an opportunity to grab a bargain as a buyer or become a seller by signing up to participate. For further details check out http://www.brockleysociety.org.uk/2015/08/front-garden-sale-2/
HONOR OAK MUSIC EXPERIENCE
This is a music festival organised by Jo Griffiths (events manager for Brockley Max) on the Honor Oak Estate and hopefully will be the first of many. It starts from noon on Saturday 5th September and has a great line up of local talented musicians/bands. For the latest information check out the website. Pop down and check it out. http://www.honoroakexperience.co.uk/
HONOR OAK WELLNESS OPEN WEEKEND
This great resource on Brockley Rise opened earlier in the year and is having an open day on Saturday 12th September for the general public from 10-3pm with taster yoga & pilates sessions, talks, food & drink and much more. Sounds well worth popping in and saying hello. For updates see their website http://www.honoroakexperience.co.uk/
HILLYFIELDS RELAY RUN
On Sunday 13th September there is a 10km fundraising relay run taking place in the park where you can enter teams of 4 to run a manageable 2.5km each, all in aid of raising money for Marsha Phoenix, a local charity in the area. There is still time to sign up and here are the details http://www.hilly.org.uk/2015/07/hilly-fields-10k-relay-fun-run/
ON BLACKHEATH FESTIVAL
This is a local festival on the Heath that started last year and was a roaring success so I believe will be an annual event. It is taking place this year on the 12th and 13th of September and you can buy day tickets or a weekend ticket. I went last year and was very impressed with the organisation and the line up -Grace Jones was amazing! This year the headliners are Elbow on the Saturday and Madness on the Sunday. There are also lots of other things happening at the festival besides music and children under 12 go free. I would certainly recommend it -where else can you see top class bands and then walk home! See their website http://www.onblackheath.com/
Yes our very own local festival is back on Saturday 19th September in Crofton Park. All day there will be things happening along the main road and Ewhurst Rd, with local businesses offering discounts/offers/music/special food/drink whilst St. Hilda’s will be having lots of children’s activities, stalls and a bar courtesy of the London Dispensary (beer bar). Crofton Park library will have stalls and also be doing workshops/storytelling during the day. It is hoped the community garden will be open for the public to pop in and there will be the free treasure hunt for children. Details of the day have yet to be finalised but keep an eye out for updates on social media. It promises to be a great celebration of our wonderful community.
OPEN HOUSE WEEKEND
This is now an annual event that takes place in September, across the country where buildings open their doors to the general public when they may be normally closed or have restrictive access. Most are free to go round and many offer guided tours. This year it is on over the weekend of the 19th and 20th September. There are lots of interesting buildings open across London but also some fascinating ones in the Lewisham borough and I have linked to the website where they are detailed http://events.londonopenhouse.org/Venues?boroughids=22&q=&Page=1
FOREST HILL FASHION WEEK
Now in its third year this wonderful community festival showcases local talent in Forest Hill & it’s surrounds and is taking place on the 24th to 27th September. Highlights include catwalk shows for adults and children, workshops, exhibitions and the Mad Hatters tea party. It will certainly be worth checking out so link into the website http://fhfw.co.uk
There is a fabulous night on Friday 25th September at the our very own gem of the south east, the amazing Rivoli ballroom. If you have not been inside this beautiful building then you should take your opportunity on this special night that promises to be lots of fun with a ‘Hollywood’ theme hosted by the wonderful Jess Robinson. Tickets can be purchased online or on the door.
HAVEN’T STOPPED DANCING YET
If you haven’t been to one of these nights then you really are missing out as they are fantastic entertainment-70’s/80’s tunes are played throughout the evening and you can totally let your hair down whatever age you are-transport yourself back to your school disco days without any worries/inhibitions. The next big night is on Saturday 26th September at the wonderful venue of the Trafalgar Tavern in Greenwich, overlooking the Thames. Tickets are available on-line and selling fast-see http://www.haventstoppeddancingyet.co.uk/
DEPTFORD X ARTS FESTIVAL
This very diverse contemporary visual arts festival is in it’s 18th year and celebrates the amazing creative community of SE8. It launches on the 25th September and finishes on October 4th The programme is being finalised but for details and updates check out the website http://www.deptfordx.org/
BROCKLEY JACK THEATRE
I thought I would end my round up of September events with details of what is showing at the Brockley Jack theatre. As I say many times if you haven’t yet been to our local fringe theatre then I highly recommend you do so. It really is such an asset to the community and I count myself very lucky that five minutes walk from my house I can see such quality live entertainment.
Launching today on the 1st September are 5 showings of ‘1938-Hitler takes Vienna’ by Howard Colyer. This is a dramatic monologue and opens on the anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World war. The setting is a Jewish bar in Vienna as the German army invades Austria and a guest sits drinking as everyone flees around him and he contemplates his past and his future. Sounds very interesting
From the 8th to the 26th September Stephen Sondheim’s award winning musical revue ‘Side by Side’ comes to the theatre for a three week run that is already proving very popular at the box office. West End actress Sarah Redmond is starring with Marianne Benedict and Grant McConvey completing the line up. The programme says ‘Get ready to laugh, cry and fall in love with the heartbreaking lyrics and soaring music of Side by Side’ I for one am really looking forward to this and have booked with a crowd to go in the first week. Don’t miss out!
I had also intended to do a round up of 'snippets' news of what else is happening in the area with other businesses but to be honest I struggled with getting this blog post out with the new format/introducing photos so think that is enough for the time being! I realise some of the spacing with the photos is not yet quite right and this can offset the text so will try to iron out the glitches for my next blog. I certainly could of added more photos but I think I need further training to ensure they come out better.
I am also hoping that all of my previous blog posts (all 46 of them!) will gradually be transferred over to the new website so that they are available to view as at the moment no-one can see them.
As I so frequently say at the end of writing my blogs, outlining all of what is happening in the area just proves what an amazing community we live in, what great businesses we have on our doorstep and how everyone is so friendly, supportive and basically just lovely!
Please feel free to leave any comments/feedback if you got through to the end of reading this - any suggestions on future blog posts would be welcome.
REMEMBER USE/SHOP/DRINK/EAT LOCAL
Bye for now
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