Crofton Park

CROFTON COLUMN #44

SNIPPETS OF NEWS FOR EASTER/SPRING 

I have not done a news blog since mid January so thought it was about time I put pen to paper again as there has been a lot happen, with new openings in the area and many exciting events planned over the next few months.

To begin with did you see that Crofton Park was featured in the Sunday Times last week? I had a telephone interview a month ago with a journalist who was doing an article about communities and so had been told by her  editor (who lives here) that we have our own bags/postcards/netball team and do mini festivals and that generally we are an amazing community so we were one of the areas featured. Just reinforces that Crofton Park is beginning to be recognised as having its own unique identity.

I am going to attempt to make the blog shorter with just a snippet of news for each business & more clearly divided into areas. Any new businesses to the area will get an extended paragraph. It will also cover April and May.

CROFTON PARK

Bryan & Keegan are once again major sponsors of the Brockley Max festival and in conjunction with them we will be looking to have their boards placed in prominent places around the area. Stacie at Pat-a-Cakes is looking forward to the spring when the sun- trapped back garden area can be used again. The White Room has many brill sewing courses over the next few months so check them out. Jules at Arlo and Moe has gone on maternity leave and is expecting her twin boys in 3/4 weeks! The Malaysian Deli serves up a mean curry.Jam Circus has a busy programme of entertainment with the quiz on Tuesdays, live music on Thursdays and a regular DJ to end the week on a Friday.Paraphernalia has lots of new clothes/ accessories coming in all the time so pop in and say hello. The LND Dispensary (Beer Bar) is one on the 22nd May and Darren says to expect BIG CELEBRATIONS – can’t wait! As Mr Lawrence moved next door a fortnight earlier they will have been in their new, glamorous location a year on the 7th May. The Crofton Park opticians are well worth a visit and I cannot recommend them highly enough. Budgen’s have got the most incredible selection of Easter eggs to suit all tastes and budgets. The wonderful Brockley Jack Theatre is currently running ‘Creditors’ with ‘DNA’ following for a fortnight and their annual Write Now festival starting on the 9th May and continuing to the end of that month. For further details check out http://www.brockleyjack.co.uk/Proud Sowcurrently has a licence application in with the council so hope to sell fine wines and craft beers to accompany their BBQ meat once the weather improves!

New openings in Crofton Park

Green and Tasty café in the library – Louise and John who sold the Xmas trees outside the library thought we were such a friendly bunch that they decided to move indoors and so from mid February they have been running the café. They serve coffee, pots of tea and a great sandwich/rolls/paninis selection at very competitive prices so if you haven’t been yet pop in to say hello and you will be made very welcome. The outside garden area is being tidied up and so will be open very soon-they have got lots of energy and ideas to help make the library the ‘hub’ of the community!

Wandsworth Sash Windows – this family run business has already established premises in Battersea and expanded east to Crofton Park. It is at 355 Brockley road on the corner with Merritt Rd where the estate agent KFH were until moving opposite. I haven’t been in but I understand they cover everything to do with wooden sash windows from repairs to full replacements.

The Workshop – Lucy and Donna have moved into the former shop, Emporia, on the corner of Ewhurst Rd. Works are still taking place and they hope to be open fully for business from next week. To enlighten you regarding what they do I can confirm that they are both involved in the fashion industry. Lucy is a digital pattern cutter involved with high end/high street businesses and product development whilst Donna will be based upstairs and does made to measure clothes and alterations, bridal wear and menswear and welcomes drop ins. Certainly pop in and say hello as they are both very friendly and would love to see you.

HONOR OAK PARK

DONDE has had a minor refurbishment with new toilets & extended the kitchen, ready to open in the day very soon for brunches etc. Jumping Bean has lots of new stock-always great for gift ideas. Why not treat someone special to a gift voucher for a treatment session atNeroliHills & Parkes are still looking for a suitable buyer but until then are very much open for business as usual. Sodo Pizza Café has been open now for just over a year and a very welcome addition to the area.Hopscotch has new owners but still got that same relaxed vibe with live music every Saturday. Rebecca at the Something art gallery on the parade is passionate about the art and would love you to pop in and say hello. My Jamii café is doing monthly supper evenings that are proving extremely popular. The Baburrestaurant is continuing to serve excellent food-have you tried their Sunday buffet?-amazing value! The Honor Oak pub is pulling in the punters and once the weather improves the two outside areas will come into their own.The Railway Telegraph is doing lots of Easter activities & on Sunday 11th April are linking up with Discofest for a family fun afternoon. Shannons garden centre has everything you need to get your garden into shape for Spring/summer. The OnTheRise netball team are doing really well and will be moving back to play in Kings ground over the summer. The Honor Oak WI are very friendly and the next meeting is on Monday 13th April at St. Saviours church. The One Tree Hill festival at St. Augustines church is back from the 8th-12th May.Hornimans are holding their popular Easter fair this Saturday/Sunday - details herehttp://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/events/horniman-easter-fair

New openings in Honor Oak

Honor Oak Wellness Rooms – this is a new business that has opened on Brockley Rise and is a ‘health and wellness space’ that specialises in chiropractic care, helping to manage pain and improve your health. They also offer yoga classes and other therapies should be coming soon to the clinic. I haven’t personally been there yet but it certainly looks lovely and they are wanting to get very involved in the community and have been very generous towards the Brockley Max festival as an auction donator and taking out an advert.

Muck n Brass – sadly Restored n Adored was very short lived in the former ‘Caledonian’ shop on Brockley Rise but only a fortnight ago the fabulous Lady Zoe has taken it over and it is now open as ‘Muck n Brass’ The business is upcycled furniture and she is already well established selling on Etsy. The back room of the shop is her workshop and items are then sold at the front, along with lots of interesting artwork, accessories, lighting etc. There certainly is some fascinating items so pop in and say hello!

LADYWELL

Ladywell is once again the victim of awful traffic with queues through the village at many times of the day. This really does effect the footfall so please try and support all of the lovely businesses even more. Le Delice is gearing up for the spring weather and their outside tables are always very welcoming. Zenubian are constantly getting in fab new stock so go and check them out. The Larder is celebrating it’s first birthday very soon and has some wine/beer tasting evenings coming up so keep an eye out. Slater and King have got a great Easter egg challenge, finishing on Saturday so pop in and get counting! Oscars has the beautiful garden out at the back once the weather improves.Heckstall & Smith are wanting to open a butchers in Ladywell so watch this space!

New Openings in Ladywell

The Ladywell Tavern – okay this isn’t a new business but over the last few months there has been a change of ownership and Monty has finally gone. Darren has taken it over and seems really keen to make changes and it become a community pub again. I went in there earlier this week and was very impressed, it was busy and had a good atmosphere. I have always said this pub could be a goldmine with the right management so I think it is finally going in the right direction!

The Ladywell Food Assembly – this is a great initiative imported from France and gradually establishing itself here, where you can buy online fresh food from local farmers and producers and then collect it weekly at an established outlet which for the Ladywell assembly is going to be at the Ladywell tavern every Tuesday evening. There is a launch party on April 28th 5.30-7.30pm where you can meet all the suppliers, sample their food/drink and ask any questions. Sounds great – see you there. To sign up and become a member use this link https://thefoodassembly.com/en/assemblies/7373

BROCKLEY

The Brockley Mess opens Tuesday to Fridays now in the evenings and is well worth checking out. The award winning Brockley’s Rock is once again sponsoring Brockley Max at the ‘Art in the Park’. Magi Gifts has a brand new shop front and looks very bright and beautiful. Don’t forget the wonderful garden at the back of the Gantry once the weather improves. The Orchardhold a popular quiz on a Sunday evening at 7pm- a great way to finish off the weekend! Brockley Brewery Co. have been running home-brewing courses which have been a sell out and a great success. Patchwork Present are doing a fundraising patchwork for Brockley Max so watch out for it. A wood-fired take away pizza outlet is opening up soon in the former Gulens bar.Gently Elephant have lots of gorgeous colours in their Salt Water sandal range for adults. The Brockley Deliare now serving wine on Friday/Saturday evenings and are expanding into the Conservatoire in Blackheath very soon!

New openings in Brockley

The MasalaWala Café – This wonderful Indian/Pakistani café opened mid March and has proved extremely popular. It is a family run business with the mother being the main cook and I can vouch it is delicious fresh food. The menu is relatively limited but the intention is to change it every few weeks. You can bring your own booze and they have created a great partnership with the Brockley Deli, opposite who offer a 10% discount on their alcohol for customers where you can also wait and have a drink there if the café is busy. They are open Wednesday to Saturday 5-10pm and Sunday 4-9pm and are also doing take away but not at busy times. It is a great addition to Brockley Cross and suddenly this end of town is the place to be!

Blue Tit Salon – I had noticed there was lots of activity going on over the last few months at what was ‘Birds of Paradise’ on the main Brockley Rd but was very surprised to see it open as a ‘fashion forward, boutique salon’ at the beginning of March! The Brockley branch of ‘Blue tit’ is now the fourth hair/beauty salon following in the footsteps of Dalston, Clapton and Peckham. It has a 70’s inspired, cool interior and is proving very popular. Perhaps this will be the catalyst needed to help improve that stretch of ‘midtown’ Brockley!  

NEW CROSS AND DEPTFORD

The Deptford Heritage festival is taking place for 4 days at the beginning of May and looks well worth going along to with lots of different events. Meanwhile theNew Cross and Deptford free film festival has created a great line up of films from Carrie to Paddington. Check out the dates & programme herehttp://www.freefilmfestivals.org/whats-on/new-cross.htmlA new BMX and skateboard shop called Curve has opened up on Deptford High Street and screenings are already taking place at the volunteer run Deptford Cinema on the Broadway. Little Nan’s has sadly left us for the bright lights of the East end but we hope they will be popping up again somewhere in the SE very soon! The Amersham Arms has an incredible line up of live music/events and even has its own upstairs art gallery. London Particular is open all weekend for their delicious brunches and the owner Becky is in negotiations to take on Maddy’s fish bar and re-open it.Birdie Nums Nums café in New Cross is doing a monthly showcase cabaret with the next one on Saturday 25th April. The 178 café/restaurant in SE14 re-opened last week as a Hungarian organic café/restaurant from the people behind ‘Dig this Nursery’ –sounds very interesting.

Okay that is my round up folks of the areas. I will now finish the blog with three major, very exciting  events that are happening over the next few months.

Firstly the incredibly successful Lewisham Model Market is returning very soon!! It is opening again on the Friday/Saturday of the 17th/18th April and running for 24 weeks until the end of September. I understand a new addition of a roof top terrace bar has been created but I assume little else has changed as it was a formula that went down so well. If you didn’t get yourself down there then I would certainly recommend it. I think it works best once it gets dark and creates a magical experience with the fairy lights, fire pits and groovy tunes. I assume most of the same food vendors will be there again. I am getting excited just writing about it again- see you down there!

The Brockley Max arts and music festival is another exciting event in the calendar and starts on Friday 29th May with our big opening night when the road by the Brockley Barge is closed and there is live music on the stage from 4-10pm. Always a great evening and brilliant atmosphere. We are in the final stages of putting together the programme for the rest of the 9 day community festival but expect lots of different events- from art shows to storytelling to LaLa piano bar to Opera. We finish off the festivities with our big family day ‘Art in the Park’ on Hillyfields, with live music/performances on the stage, a huge craft marquee and lots of craft/food stalls and a bar courtesy of Jam Circus. I have been even more involved in the organisation of the festival this year but read my blog No #37 about my personal experience of being a volunteer last year for more information. Please get in touch if you would like to help out.

Running in parallel with Brockley Max is the firstBrockley Street Art festival (29th May to June 6th) I am SO looking forward to this! I don’t know if everyone is aware that by mid June at least 20 walls/shutters along the main road from Brockley Cross to Honor Oak will be painted by local, national and international street artists. It will transform the area and so brighten up, often horrible rendered walls and unsightly metal shutters with stunning murals. Check out the latest information on their websitehttp://brockleystreetart.com/ There will also be lots of related workshops/activities during the festival for all ages. As I said in the beginning I CAN’T WAIT!

I hope you have enjoyed reading the blog and welcomed the new format – I know the AREA paragraph may be longwinded but just doing a key snippet of news for each business is certainly easier and quicker for me to do. As ever I apologise for any business/event I have missed off – this is a personal reflection and I can’t begin to cover everything!

Once again the above information just shows what an amazing community we live in with so much going on and so not surprised that we were featured by a national newspaper for this very reason.

PLEASE SHOP/USE/DRINK/EAT LOCAL particularly over the Easter period as this is one of the quietest periods for businesses and so they need your support even more if they are to survive.

Have a great holiday.