Crofton Park

CROFTON COLUMN

SUMMER NEWS  BLOG NO #50

So this is my 50th blog post! Sadly there are only still 9 blogs left on this website at the moment as last summer the site was recreated/put onto a different operating system and I believe somewhere in the cloud of the world wide web there are 40 blogs waiting to get re-posted back on this site. Anyway those who have been following/reading my blogs over the last 3 years will realise I have written quite a few and a couple of years ago I tried to do one a month with ‘snippets of local news’ Sadly I don’t have the time or energy for that anymore but I felt it was time for another blog. I plan to give you all the local festival and school summer fair dates plus some information on the new businesses that have opened up in the area since January and round up with 'Snippets of News'.

However I can’t write this latest blog without mentioning two important festivals that have just taken place. Firstly there was the wonderful Brockley Max festival that finished last Saturday with perhaps the best family ‘Art in the Park’ day yet. Luckily the weather held out and whilst there wasn’t any sun it was warm and dry. It is such a celebration of our area and caters for all ages with live music/craft stalls/yummy food stalls and bars provided by local favourites Jam Circus and Brockley Brewery for the adults with the children being catered for by our storytelling tent and amazing craft marquee plus theatre/magic performances and our Lewisham Card sponsored Treasure trail winner being announced.

There was a fantastic turnout up at Hillyfields and the atmosphere was relaxed and very friendly. Meanwhile over the previous 9 days we had been treated to comedy nights/live music/children’s activities/films/art shows/cabaret night by LaLa piano bar/poetry/storytelling/talks/walks plus lots, lots more (70 events in total!). All had been well attended and generally the participating venues reported a great success. Roll on 2017

Also, running over the same time period, Lionel Stanhope continued the highly successful Brockley Street Art festival that started last year. He fundraised earlier in April/May to get enough money so some new walls/hoardings and shutters in the area could be painted. Every-day we have seen beautiful street art appearing and certainly brightening up SE4 and SE23 in particular. I personally love it and I think most people share my view. I’m sure you have your favourites but believe it is all of a high standard and so definitely cheers up the previous blank spaces. I’m sure we will see even more emerge over the coming months,

I will now attempt to list events in some kind of logical/date order

SUMMER EVENTS/FESTIVAL IN THE AREA

BIG LUNCH Sunday 12th June This is a great national initiative, set up initially by the Eden Project in 2009 with the idea of neighbours getting together once a year to have lunch, meet each other and have fun. Our area has embraced the concept and many streets are closed on the 12th  June so that everyone can safely have their Street Parties. This year it coincides with the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations with a huge street party on the Mall. My street, Crofton Park road, is holding its 6th party on Sunday 3rd July and it has been a fantastic way to get to know my neighbours and has generated a real community feel. Pop down and check out some of your local street parties and then think about getting together with your neighbours and having one yourself next year!

BESTIVAL AT GOLDSMITHS Friday 17th June 12am to late Isle of Wight Bestival organisers are hosting a very special one day celebration of music, arts and culture at our local university in New Cross. During the day it is free but if you want to grab a ticket to some of the events you need to book a ticket. There is then live music in the Great Hall and College Ground into the evening which you need to buy tickets. Further details of this exciting event and the evening line up can be found here http://www.gold.ac.uk/bestival-at-goldsmiths/  

HILLYFIELDS MIDSUMMER FAYRE Saturday 18th June – 12-5pm This is run by the Brockley Society and is always one of my favourite annual events, showing what a fantastic community we live in as come rain or shine everyone turns out and there is a great atmosphere. There is a fun fair for the kids, lots of food with drink provided by our very own Brockley Brewery. There are craft stalls/lots happening in the main arena from the dog competition to Salsa dancing/to a huge selection of bric a brac stalls to browse around and grab bargains.

MANOR HOUSE GARDENS FESTIVAL Saturday 18th June 12-8pm This is over in Lee Green but thought it should get a mention as the music is run by the wonderful Baz who does the Brockley Max Art in the Park stage so expect lots of great music and I know the Ladywell rock choir is performing. I believe it is a great community event so if you are over that way pop down!

GREENWICH & DOCKLANDS INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL 24th June -2nd July   This is a 10 day outdoor performing arts festival and over the years I have seen some great, alternative events that have been spectacular and highly memorable. Check out their website for details on this exciting festival http://www.festival.org/   

ST. SAVIOURS SUMMER FETE Sunday 26th June 11.30- 3pm   The annual Summer fete in Brockley Rise, SE23 with the scouts and the church is always a great local event. It promises stalls, tea and cake plus lots of children’s activities. See you there.

BOAT DISCO PARTY Sunday 26th June 3-6pm   Following on from the success of last year the fabulous Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet team are taking to the river again! This promises to be 3 hours of fun dancing along the Thames to 70s/80s music-leaving from Greenwich pier. For tickets you can buy online at http://www.haventstoppeddancingyet.co.uk/ or buy in person at ‘You Don’t Bring me Flowers’ in Hither Green.

SYDENHAM ARTS FESTIVAL 1st -10th July  There are lots of multi-disciplinary arts events happening over 10 days in SE26. Live music/poetry/comedy/theatre feature heavily with the ever popular and expanding Sydenham Artists Trail happening over the 2 weekends of the festival. For further details check out http://sydenhamarts.co.uk/

BLYTHE HILL FESTIVAL Saturday 2nd July 12-5pm This is another of my favourite local events and the fact that it is at the end of my road makes it even better! There is always a lovely atmosphere and expect lots of great stalls/food/drink/fun rides/live music/farm animals and more. See you there!

BROCKLEY OPEN STUDIOS Saturday 2nd July-Monday 4th July 38 Brockley artists welcome you to view their recent work. Always a great opportunity to go round to local houses/studios. See brockleyopenstudios.co.uk for further details

LEWISHAM PEOPLE’S DAY Saturday 9th July 12-8pm This is billed as the ‘South East’s biggest free festival’ and boasts visitor numbers of 25,000. It is 32 years old and always held in Mountsfield Park, SE6 and is certainly a much loved event by many locals.

HORNIMAN MUSEUM– Festival of Brazil 3rd July -4th September  With the Olympic and Paralympic games being held in Brazil this summer our wonderful local museum have chosen to celebrate the richness of Brazilian culture with a 2 month long festival. It kicks off the celebrations with ‘Festa Julina’ a traditional Brazilian party in the Horniman gardens on Sunday 3rd July and it finishes on Sunday 4th September with an afternoon of carnival parades, concerts and lots more. During the period there are lots of different music events/exhibitions/activities/street art. For more details check out their website http://www.horniman.ac.uk/  It sounds like a great festival and I certainly plan to be there over the period!

LEWISHAM 3 PEAKS CHALLENGE Saturday 16th July 11am  A team of committed, enthusiastic people have been very busy over the last few months putting together an amazing map of a circular green walk that takes you on a journey through Hilly Fields, One tree hill, Blythe Hill and the valley of the River Ravensbourne. The full walk is around 5 miles long and should take 2-3 hours. The launch of this initiative is happening on the 16th July and is a charity walk to help raise money for 2 local charities-the Jimmy Mizzen Foundation and the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and you can sign up at http://bit.ly/1OBS7rN Get together with friends/fundraise and join in this walk! It will be setting off at 11am from the Stone Circle on Hillyfields.

LEWISHAM POLICE FAMILY OPEN DAY Sunday 24th July 10-3pm This is now a regular, very popular event when the Lewisham police station throws open its doors to the public for the day. There are many activities including historic police vehicles/numerous displays/junior detective competition/police dogs and a highlight is a tour of the police stables. I can see from feedback/comments that it is a great day that children and adults can both enjoy.

ON BLACKHEATH Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September This local music festival in SE3 is now in its third year and the previous 2 years have been highly successful. I went 2 years ago with Grace Jones headlining and had a great time. You can buy tickets for just one of the days or the weekend. To note it is also a very child friendly event (under 12s are free) For the line-up check out their website http://www.onblackheath.com/  

CROFTFEST September – date to be confirmed Stacie at Pat-a-Cakes led the way in organising the wonderful day long festival along the main road of Crofton Park, including St. Hilda’s and the library. Since her leaving the future of Croftfest has been in doubt but I feel there are sufficiently enough established and new businesses who are interested in continuing the event and so I feel confident that it will happen again this year. Watch this space for the date and details!!

SCHOOL FAIRS – I have listed below all of the local schools in the area with the dates and times of their summer fairs. These are often the main fundraising event for the PTA of a school during the year. They are always popular with the kids, parents and teachers. Everyone is always welcome to pop along and you can often find bargain cakes, crafts etc. Also they are a cheap way to occupy the children for a few hours. I have put them in date order

STILLNESS PRIMARY SCHOOL Alice in Wonderland Summer fair Saturday 18th June 12-4pm

DALMAIN PRIMARY SCHOOL Brazilian Carnival Saturday 18th June 12-4pm

GORDONBROCK PRIMARY SCHOOL Saturday 25th June 11-2pm

TURNHAM PRIMARY SCHOOL Saturday 25th June 12-2pm

CHELWOOD NURSERY SCHOOL Summer festival Sunday 26th June 12-3pm

BEECROFT GARDEN PRIMARY SCHOOL Friday 1st July 3.15-5.30pm

SIR WILLIAM OF YORK CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL Sunday 3rd July 12.30-3.30pm

ST. MARY MAGDALEN’S CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL Wednesday 6th July 3-6pm

MYATT GARDEN PRIMARY SCHOOL Saturday 9th July – time to be confirmed

FAIRLAWN PRIMARY SCHOOL Rio Carnival summer fair Saturday 9th July 1-4pm

KILMORIE PRIMARY SCHOOL Friday 15th July 6.30-8.30pm

 

NEW BUSINESSES IN THE AREA

Since January, when I last reported, we have only had a handful of new businesses open but luckily they have all been good ones and have immediately become part of our great community.

PUCCINI KITCHENS This business finally opened its doors in Crofton Park at the beginning of May. It is next to our wonderful Rivoli ballroom. The company had been operating from premises in Beckenham for 5 years but this is there first showroom displaying some of their kitchen units/worktops/and appliances. They can provide the traditional kitchen to the latest contemporary design from Italy and offer a supply only/full design and installation service. Whatever your kitchen needs Andrew, the managing director, and Michael, the showroom manager will be able to meet them! Pop in and say hello – they are both very friendly and keen to be part of the community.

HATTUSH RESTAURANT This Turkish Mediterranean restaurant opened on Friday 6th May, occupying the premises of the former Stone Bar on the main Honor Oak Parade. The owner, Sezar, is a professional singer/song writer and producer and has released 5 albums whilst living in Istanbul. He came here six years ago and decided to set up his own restaurant in the area, only living just round the corner. I have been a couple of times and think it has been beautifully refurbished. It is a big restaurant, occupying 2 business units with a large open barbecue grill at the back. They are open every day from 9am to midnight and on Sundays do a big buffet/brunch from 8.30am to 12am. Sezar sings and there is a belly dancer every Saturday evening and this is proving so popular they have organised 2 sittings. Altogether it is a fantastic addition to the area and SE23 really is a great food and drink destination with a cafe society now very evident on that parade

FRED’S  After nearly six months of Pat-a-Cakes closing, with lots of building activity taking place, the big reveal finally took place on Monday 23rd May and we weren’t disappointed. Walls have been knocked down and the back garden area has been transformed with a raised decking area with Fred the bear being a big attraction for the children. The main counter to serve and prepare food and drink has been moved to the front, by the window. It has all been refurbished to a very high standard in shades of neutral greys. After nearly 3 weeks of trading it is all going really well and the co-owners Greg and Alain are very pleased. Chris and Jim manage the cafe with Tod as the very experienced Barista. The staff are exceptionally friendly. Beside the usual offerings of coffee and cake there are lots of savoury options with their filled flatbreads proving very popular. There is a plan to open in the evenings but this is unlikely before the Autumn. In conclusion Fred’s is a great addition to Crofton Park.

This also completes that parade of shops and they are all now fully occupied, running from Bryan & Keegan on the corner to Puccini kitchens on the end with Chaplin’s and Jones of Brockley in between – all wonderful businesses that have definitely enhanced our area.

CATFOOD CAKES This is a great addition to the Ewhurst road parade of shops. The small batch bakery, owned by Cat, opened it’s doors at the beginning of May. She ran an amazingly successful kickstarter campaign in February to raise £2,000 to help towards the refurbishment/buy some of the equipment needed and exceeded her total by over double the amount. She has a number of regular clients that she supplies to with her stunning cakes and takes personal orders. She bakes during the week at the shop but opens it up to the public on a Saturday so we can sample her delicious wares. She has just added a bench into the shop with coffee also being provided. I believe she has plans in the future to offer classes in baking, cooking and business. We certainly wish her lots of luck and I personally am delighted that she is at the bottom of my road!

Again with Cat moving in this completes a full parade of occupied units in Ewhurst Road. I should add here that we were all shocked by the very sad news in early February that Jay, the owner, from Hungry Horace died from a totally unexpected heart attack. After 4 weeks of closing the family rallied round to re-open the cafe and the son is in the kitchen with Mary and others helping out. I wish them lots of luck in this very difficult time.

SNIPPETS OF LOCAL NEWS

The exterior of Mamma Dough in SE23 has been painted in a light cream colour- looks fabulous!/Just Thai Thai in midtown Brockley finally closed its doors in May – be great if a good restaurant could open on this parade/Empty unit next to DONDE in SE23 due to be a cafe/DONDE has a new 'big Bertha charcoal oven' and Jason is delighted with it!/ Chandos pub in Brockley Rise ‘rumoured’ to close and be refurbished as a gastro pub!! Watch this space!/Pasha’s ice cream parlour opened on Brockley Rise-is take away only/New cafe ‘No.41’ due to open a few doors down in Brockley Rise, near Dalmain school- looks very promising & this parade could finally get most of the empty units occupied/ The Brockley Society Tree Committee in May won the very well deserved ‘Community Tree Award’ from the Forestry commission/St Hilda's still has a shortfall on it's 'Warm Roof & Restoration fund'' donations welcome on http://my.give.net/sainthildas/Panna and Vijay retired from the Ewhurst Road newsagents in April after many years-it has been taken over and become an off licence-more a mini supermarket/Brockley Jack theatre putting on an adaption of Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’ 14th-18th June/Following on from the success of the screening of 1940’s film for Brockley Max my husband is considering setting up a local film club – watch this space!/Catford Wanderers tennis club welcomes new members-Eamon and I have been members for 30 years! – very friendly/The Workshop are creating a summer collection of women’s top-pop in and check out/Masala Wala cafe hosting Mauritian pop up Monday 20th June/Olly’s Turkish doing pop up at Arlo & Moe-last date left 28th July in Crofton Park

Okay I think that is the key event dates/information that I know of in the area. Of course I will of missed out some information and if it is your event I apologise-I can't include everything else it would go on forever! I also apologise that I haven't included any photos-whilst I have finally got the hang of inserting photos some of the ones I wanted to include weren't possible regarding size etc and so I gave up as just wanted to get this posted!

I hope you have a great summer and enjoy going along to some of these great community festivals whilst also popping in and saying hello to some of the businesses mentioned. 

Remember to USE/SHOP/EAT/DRINK IN OUR WONDERFUL LOCAL BUSINESSES particularly over the holiday periods as that is so often when they are at their quietest.

Bye for now

Jane x

Please follow me on twitter @JaneCanDoSE4 for local information/updates