CROFTON COLUMN –  Spring Blog #63

CROFTON COLUMN – Spring Blog #63

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So…. it’s nearly the end of March and I thought it was about time I did a new BLOG!! For the past few years I have posted one in January where I look back on what has happened in the local area over the previous year and then look forward but if people reading this aren’t aware I was busy sunning myself in Australia. Yes the big news in my life is that my husband Eamon has retired and so we did a ‘Trip of a Lifetime’ to the other side of the world and it was every bit as amazing as we could of imagined.

Returning home in February was a bit strange particularly as it was very cold to begin with but within a week turned unseasonably warm. Once Eamon returned from his extra 8 days backpacking round Cambodia life settled into a new pattern. Suddenly there was an extra person around- 24 hours a day- and he would discover the amazing time I have during the week visiting my local cafes/bars drinking lots of coffee and eating brunch/lunch. Luckily for me he is very willing to tag along and is fully embracing the life I lead. Meanwhile one of his retirement goals is to get fitter, to cycle more, but wanted me to join him in this leisure activity. However I’m not confident on a bike and have great difficulty in going up a slight incline so I felt the only way forward was to get an eBike. This I duly purchased and over 5 weeks later I can honestly say it is amazing! We are going out on regular bike rides and discovering places/areas we didn’t know existed-it is truly liberating and be warned I may become a cycle bore!

In this new phase of our life I am even more passionate about our local FANTASTIC COMMUNITY and we are both wanting to partake/embrace what there is to offer. I therefore thought I would try and do a ‘shortish blog’ on all the happenings I’m aware of in the area over the next 3/4 months with dates if known. I will follow this up with information on new businesses that have opened already this year and ones I know of that will open in the near future plus information on local projects and finally my round up ‘Snippets of News’ I will reiterate here that I principally cover the areas of Crofton Park and Honor Oak which are the 2 postcodes that this forum was set up to inform on but I also include neighbouring areas of Catford, Brockley,  Hither Green and Ladywell which are areas dear to my heart. I apologise in advance for things that will be missed or left out – this is my personal blog and I inevitably include things I know of or have an interest in and can’t begin to say I know everything!!


THE TELEGRAPH HILL FESTIVAL – 30th MARCH TO 14TH APRIL. This is the main festival in the area that really kick starts the year off and one of my favourites. It is spread out over 4 weekends and 16 days and this year there is more than 140 events ranging from comedy, murder mysteries, classical concerts, workshops and talks plus LOTS more. The community musical has already taken place last weekend and was the ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ I can confirm that it was as inspirational and brilliant as ever and I have been going along every year now for at least 20 years and have participated myself in this truly community show, covering all ages from 4 to 84! This year the festival is celebrating 25 years and for their anniversary there is a ‘Park Spectacular’ on Saturday 13th April. It all sounds very exciting and I can’t wait to go along to lots of events. Check out the online programme here

NEW CROSS AND DEPTFORD FREE FILM FESTIVAL (NXDFFF)26th APRIL TO 5th MAY. April is another great month for local festivals with the fabulous NXDFFF starting on Friday 26th and running for 10 days into May. This is the 8th year of running the festival and all the films are FREE (donations always welcome) and there is always a brilliant selection of films, at really interesting locations/venues around New Cross/Telegraph Hill and Deptford. I understand there are 30 plus films, many being family friendly with 3 outdoor bike powered events which are always great fun. The programme is currently being finalised but keep checking the website for details and updates.

CATFORD FOOD MARKET – Next one SUNDAY 31st MARCH 10-4pm. One year on from the first market along Catford Broadway the monthly market held on the last Sunday of each month has proved highly successful. They have been held in sun/wind/rain/hail but despite the different weather conditions the good people of Catford and surrounds have always popped down and supported the traders. You can buy cheese/cakes/plants/flowers PLUS lots more together with amazing local street food traders providing delicious breakfast/brunch/lunch or tea! There are always live musicians playing to entertain the crowds and for the little ones there are amazing talented artists who volunteer their services to create exciting crafty activities. Altogether a great family trip to SE6. The next dates are 31st March/28th April/26th May/30th June/28th July/25th August/29th September/27th October. To coincide with these dates the Talent Factory in Barmeston Road in Catford are holding monthly craft fayres with local makers/artists/jewellers, many of whom are part of the Catford Arts Trail. This venue is only 10 mins walk from the Broadway so why not combine the 2 events together and SUPPORT LOCAL!! See you on Sunday to celebrate their first amazing year! Also the pop up shop Catford Cornucopia on the Broadway will be open and sells great gifts and goods made by local producers and a clothing and baby range for people who really are Catford and proud! I’ve got a couple of their amazing hoodies and I can confirm they are great quality and value. You can also buy online so check out the website here.

SO LAST CENTURY – BECKENHAM PLACE PARK – EASTER MONDAY 22nd APRIL & SUNDAY 9th JUNE – These very popular vintage fairs are now a firmly established feature in South East London and the next one locally is at the beautiful setting of Beckenham Place Mansion on Easter Monday. Expect homeware, furniture, lighting, fashion and accessories plus lots more with food, drink and often live music. A great opportunity to explore this great park and pop in the mansion house for some retail therapy!

HAVELOCK WALK OPEN STUDIONS PLUS ARTS WEEK -SATURDAY 11th/12th MAY & SATURDAY 18th/19th MAY plus arts week 13th to 17th MAY – These 2 weekends in May are one of the highlights of the Spring/Summer happenings in South East London. The talented artists/crafters/creatives in this lovely cobbled street in Forest Hill open their studios and workspaces to the general public to showcase and sell their work. They are always a great occasion with food/drink/activities and live music and prove very popular weekends. This year they are extending the event into the weekdays, in-between, to create an ‘Arts Week’. The plan is to host a programme of arts events with talks, workshops and performances led by the wonderfully diverse artists who live and work on Havelock Walk. However to make this is a reality they need our help and have set up a fundraising page. For details of how the money will be used and the fabulous rewards on offer go to this link. Every £ donated will be used to make this exciting arts week as an inclusive event as possible so support if you can. It all sounds very exciting but I’ve sadly realised I will be away in Scotland which is very disappointing!

HITHER GREEN FESTIVAL – FRIDAY 17th MAY to 26th MAY – This is always a great annual festival over in SE13/SE12 & SE6 and it promises to be a busy/exciting 10 days of family activities/concerts/food pop ups/talks/walks/Music and LOTS more. It  opens on the Friday with a disco party run by the fabulous duo, Hatty and Debs, from We do Good Disco. There is no food and craft fair this year but rest assured festival favourites like the Quaggy duck race, the teddy bears’ picnic in Mountsfield park and the huge Wellmeadow Street Party are returning plus some exciting new events such as a choir fest at Dirty South. The final weekend will host open studio tours with a fashion show from locally based designers and creatives. The full festival programme will be published in April and you can keep up to date on the Hither Green website.

BROCKLEY MAX FESTIVAL – FRIDAY 31st MAY TO SATURDAY 8th JUNE – I am actively involved in the organisation of this and so am naturally biased but now in its 19th year the biggest and BEST local community music and arts festival over 9 days is kicking off with the opening night again on Foxberry Road by the Brockley Barge, SE4. That section of the road is closed to traffic all day and at one end the music stage hosts local performers from 4pm to 11pm. The crowds gather gradually throughout the evening often coming back from work and not being able to resist the sounds in the distance as they leave the station! There is always a great atmosphere with a great variety of differing music genres and is a great start to the festival. Over the next 8 days there will be comedy/live music/talks/walks/cabaret/poetry/art exhibitions/films/children’s activities and MUCH more-most of the events being FREE. Saturday 8th June is the last day and always ends with a bang up at Hillyfields by the Stone Circle. The family Art in the Park day is one of the most popular events of the year in the area. There is a live stage with local bands/dancers/local school performers together with a big marquee with the popular art activities for the children, at a small charge. There is also a storytelling tent, often a local theatre group performing plus LOTS of craft stalls, street food traders and bars. Many families come along with their rugs, picnics and chairs and settle in for the day to be entertained and soak up the evident community spirit in Brockley! The programme for this year is currently being finalised and there is still a week left (deadline 3rd April) for local businesses to sponsor or advertise with us plus people submit events or be a volunteer during the festival. For further details check out the website and get involved. To note that there will be no Brockley Street Arts festival this year which often runs in parallel with Brockley Max.

HILLYFIELDS FAYRE – SATURDAY 22nd JUNE 12-5pm. This is one of my personal favourite days of the year as I’m not involved in the organisation and so can totally relax and wander around the fayre constantly bumping into people I know whilst checking out the many bric-a-bric stalls, watching something on the main stage area and sitting by the main craft tent with a cup of tea and cake or pint of Brockley Brewery beer. It truly is a great family occasion with the little train wandering around the perimeter, the farm animals from Surrey Quay farm and the fairground in the corner with the enormous bouncy castles and slides. Nothing seems to change but that is the charm of the fayre as we all know what to expect and it certainly delivers every year and proves what a great community we live in!

BROCKLEY OPEN STUDIOS – SATURDAY 6th JULY to MONDAY 8th JULY – The open studios weekend in Brockley is taking place this year during the first weekend in July and is always a great event showcasing the many talented artists/creatives/makers in SE4 and surrounds. Expect artworks ranging from paintworks, prints, woodwork, textiles, ceramics and much more. The list of confirmed artists is on their website together with updates as they come in. Put the dates in the diary and see you there.

BLYTHE HILL FESTIVAL – SUNDAY 7th JULY 12-5pm. Last year was the first time that this wonderful local festival took place on a Sunday rather than Saturday and it proved popular so is being repeated again this year. I love this event which is only 5 minutes walk from my house, at the end of my road. It is now a firm favourite on the local festival calendar and is a real family affair. There are lots of children’s activities with the fairground, storytelling & performances, circus skills, art & crafts, farm animals and much more. There are many food and craft stalls with a live stage in the centre of the area to entertain the crowds, with the traditional hay bales for seating. I believe there is now a call out for stall holders plus musicians so check out the website for details.

LEWISHAM PEOPLES DAY – unfortunately there is NO Lewisham People’s Day this year as government funding cuts have forced Lewisham to make the decision that it will only take place every 2 years. It will therefore return in 2020 for its 35th year.


My blogs always cover local business information – generally those that have opened since the last blog and those that have sadly closed. As my Xmas blog was written in mid November it is really what has happened so far this year, 2019, as there was little movement up until after the festive season.

OSCARS, LADYWELL – The previous owners of this lovely café in SE13 shut their doors just before Xmas and it was one of the fastest turnarounds I’ve known to re-open with quite an extensive refurbishment. Café Oscars, SE13 was reborn on the 10th January and 2 plus months on is proving a popular addition to the area. The counter has changed sides in the top part of the cafe and created more space whilst the beautiful garden has had an upgrade and is now ready for the warmer months. I haven’t ate there yet but the cakes look delicious plus there is an interesting variety of savoury snacks/dishes. They are now open much earlier to catch the commuter trade and I understand there are plans to open later some evenings, with alcohol which would be a fantastic addition to the limited night time entertainment offerings in Ladywell. Together with Le Delice these make 2 excellent café choices and I wish them lots of luck.

L’OCULTO IN MIDTOWN BROCKLEY I think many people will have been aware that the wonderful award winning duo team, Ana & Teresa, of L’Oculto have been wanting to expand their business for quite a while and when the Brockley Mess became available last year it seemed an ideal space to create L’Oculto’ no. 2. Works to gut the unit took longer than anticipated (and more costly!) but it finally opened its doors in January and is proving a great success. The restaurant is beautiful with lots of natural wood and brick exposed plus the kitchen and bar area is open plan and so very visible to customers. I have been a couple of times for a light lunch/brunch but plan on going in the next few weeks for a proper evening meal. The food is excellent and the same high standards are certainly being maintained from their Loampit Hill venue. This branch is only 10 minutes walk from my house so perfect and is a great addition to ‘Midtown Brockley’ which so needed another business to open in the evenings along that stretch to help out the fabulous Brockley’s Rock and Brickfields and become a night time ‘destination’. Pop along and check it out if not already been as they need our support for the business to continue to flourish.

NINETH LIFE, CATFORD This is one of the surprise openings of the year and I only really found about it whilst I was away in Australia and then became very excited! The launch weekend was the 2nd week in February and 8 weeks on it has certainly got the locals talking! It is such an fantastic addition to Catford and seems to already be a big hit. Firstly let me say it is enormous though I have got to admit I had never been into the its previous incarnation as the Black Horse and Harrow. There is a large open bar at the front leading onto another open room where the evening entertainment such as live music/circus performers/DJ’s happens on a Friday/Saturday night. This then leads onto a courtyard area that is huge and covered by a canopy. It has lots of seating plus extra food traders serve burgers/jerk chicken at the weekends with wood fire pits for later when it gets cold. Upstairs there is a beautiful wood panelled room which will be used for one off events/exhibitions and can be hired out. Leading off that is perhaps the surprise of the whole pub as an ‘Immersive escape room Experience’ on the 3rd floor with 9 different rooms has been created for a group of you to book and have fun for an hour with bizarre characters and challenges. Check out the details here. In conclusion this SE6 new business on Rushey Green, owned by Laines Brewery, has been inspired by festival culture and it is very evident from the minute you enter. There are lots of events already planned for the future and they seem to have also embraced working with the local community which is great to see. Pop down and say hello and see what everyone is talking about!

MIDDLETON CAFE, SE4 After years of laying empty this corner unit at the end of Tyrwhitt Road and Loampit Hill finally had some money invested into it and has been transformed into a lovely café that opened just before Xmas. That area of Brockley is not one I commonly frequent as is just off the beaten track for me and so only finally remembered it last week and then popped in on Monday. It has been well refurbished with quality fittings and has an exceptionally high ceiling! I particularly loved the floor tiles and lights. There looks an amazing salad counter with really unusual ingredients/combinations and their cakes were above the normal selection. I didn’t have the coffee but people have reported to me it is good. There is extra seating in the basement and quite a few outside seats so altogether this looks a great addition to this area of SE4 which has little competition during the day and was so badly needed.

NO.10 COULGATE STREET, SE4 Mo Pho in Brockley was a great local favourite but this popular Vietnamese finally closed its doors in the summer of 2017 and was a big loss to the area. It is therefore wonderful to see this small unit finally becoming a new business again. The owners are Richard Salthouse and Ross Brown, two excellent local entrepreneurs and so I feel it is definitely in safe hands. For the immediate future they are using local food businesses to take over the kitchen for residences and the first one is ‘Mother Flipper‘ known by lots of locals for serving up amazing burgers at Brockley Market every Saturday. It will be Bring your own alcohol (BYO) and I understand it is opening next week on Thursday 4th April so that is a very exciting addition to SE4.

I now turn to the businesses that have sadly closed over the last 3 months. Little Nan’s taking up residency in Catford Broadway finally closed on New Years eve having created a buzz to the area for nearly two years and is being missed by many. The Good Hope café in Ladywell Fields park seems to have shut its doors for good after so many break-ins/vandalism and this leaves a real gap for park users. Unfortunately their sister café/venue within the ground floor of the Ladywell Place building has also closed which is another loss to SE13  as it was a great space. I understand you can hire it out still.

JAM CIRCUS The closure of this Crofton Park institution at the end of January I felt deserved its own paragraph. This was out of the blue though to be honest I wasn’t that surprised as for the past few years it has tried lots of different things to bring the crowds back but with little success. Jam Circus opened in 2005 and for the first 5 years was an immediate hit and was very popular but it just seems to of been neglected by Antic, the pub chain owners, of late. I have many great personal memories of music nights/quizzes/discos there and families have certainly enjoyed it’s relaxed atmosphere. Perhaps the most significant memory was on ‘Snow Day’ when so many families retreated to the bar after sledging on Hillyfields/Blythe Hill to have hot chocolate or something stronger- it was heaving and there was a great community buzz! However with Mr Lawrence shut suddenly the choice of 4 decent & different drinking establishments in Crofton Park reduced to only 2 seems very sad. The good news is that another brewery operator has bought it and looking to re-open it as a pub with food. I’m not sure of the timescale but all I would say don’t hold your breath as I think there is a lot of work needed to bring it up to decent standards but it will be very welcome when it finally opens again.

LONGHORNS DINER I wanted to write a tribute here to the very sad and shocking news last week that Chef Rudi had a heart attack in the night and could not unfortunately be saved. Rudi and his longstanding friend and business partner Otello opened this Crofton Park American/Italian diner in August 2015. It has firmly become a local business favourite  serving delicious burgers/ribs/Italian classics/ice-cream and lots more. It was very popular with families as Rudi, wife Tania and the other staff were always SO friendly and welcoming and they couldn’t do enough for you. They were also amazing community champions – always supporting Brockley Max and Croftfest/Croftmas plus giving out lots of vouchers/raffle prizes to local schools and charities. He will be so missed and I’m sure you will all join me in passing on our condolences and best wishes to all the family in this very difficult time. I can confirm the funeral is taking place on Tuesday 2nd April at St Mary Magdalen RC church, Comerford Road, SE4 at 12 noon and all are welcome.


CROFTON COMMUNITY GARDEN I wanted this to be the first project I reported on here as the Crofton Park community garden by the station is very exciting and is dear to my heart as I pass it nearly every day. Major groundworks and landscaping are currently taking place on the site and are progressing well with a few weeks until completion. The image at the beginning of this blog shows what it will hopefully look like and it is such a transformation of this previously derelect/neglected space. There will be a direct entrance into the garden from the pavement with a sloping path to be fully wheelchair and pushchair accessible. Different sections of the design create different spaces and for further details check out the website. There will be a launch of the garden as part of Brockley Max festival on Saturday 1st June and it is hoped that the garden will then become open to the public on Monday to Saturday but for this to work people need to respect this beautiful space that is being given over for the community to enjoy and participate in. Volunteers are always welcome to join the project and there is a BIG fundraising effort to provide tools/benches and extra planting to really finish the project off and make it come alive. Every £ pledged will be a fantastic help and this is a direct link here for contributions. A huge thanks here to Kay Pallaris who has spearheaded this project and without her persistence and resilience none of this would of taken place.

BUCKTHORNE CUT-NATURE RESERVE This is another great green space in Crofton Park and if you haven’t seen it already make sure you pop along on the days it is open to the public. The entrance is located at the end of Eddystone Rd, SE4 by the pedestrian footbridge (by the railway line). They are always looking for volunteers and myself and Eamon went along a month ago and were amazed at how much work had taken place to create paths and steps down towards the railway line that will be an open space for the community to use in the future. For more information on this reserve and others along the railway corridor check out the website

DUNCOMBE HILL, SE23 Talking of green spaces the triangle of land at the corner of Duncombe Hill and the main Brockley Road in SE23 is under threat and we are NOT happy about it! This small green space with a number of mature trees had been sold to a property investment company in June last year with a view to building flats on this land but the first the public really got wind of what was happening was when a large ugly fence was erected overnight on the 26th January this year. This rightly resulted in outrage by the local residents and wider community and very quickly a petition was created which attracted over 5,000 signatures. The council have got involved and say they are supporting the community and subsequently issued a notice for the illegal fence to be removed by the 1st April. However I understand the developer has appealed against this decision and this could take months to be resolved. Meanwhile this fence is causing lots of issues along the previous open path that is now enclosed on either side. Drug dealing and unsociable behaviour is becoming a major problem along here. There is a facebook page set up to inform the public on what we can do to help and the group are currently trying to see if ‘Village Green’ status can be obtained plus asking that people write to the appeals officer regarding the fence and the issues it is creating. It seems the developers are determined to continue with trying to build on this green space despite obvious local opposition. Thanks should be given here to all the local people and councillors, particularly Sean, Nicola, Pauline and Tauseef, who have worked so hard to move this forward and continue the campaign.

BECKENHAM PLACE PARK Continuing on the green space theme I don’t know how many people are aware of the major works that are taking place south of the borough, at Beckenham Place Park. This is a park very dear to me and my family as it is where we would often take the kids to walk ,run around and explore in the sunken garden and rock garden and where I even had golf lessons and then went round playing the 18 holes a few times before I realised I wasn’t very good and hung up my golf shoes! I am therefore quite upset to see lots of mud and building works in this beautiful park but am assured that it will all be great in the end! Heritage Lottery money of £4.9 million has been given for improvements which I understand include a new children’s play area, new carpark, sensory garden and perhaps the most important for a lot of people is restoring the lake which will have ‘wild swimming’ in it with a beach area for the kids. For more information regarding the lake click here. The projected timescale for completion of most of the works is summer this year so if this really all happens then it will be very exciting with myself certainly planning to cycle over on my ebike, having a quick dip and then coffee in the new café!

WILDCAT WILDERNESS, CATFORD There is lots happening over the next few months in this beautiful outdoor space over in SE6. I have been volunteering at this project for 18 months now on a Thursday and love going to this very special space. If you haven’t visited before I cannot recommend it highly enough and for families it is a great place to give the children freedom to explore the great outdoors and discover/learn lots about nature. I have attached links here to what’s happening over the next few months and a highlight over the Easter holidays is on the 18th April with a fun day including an egg hunt, find the chick and make a nest. Please note if interested you need to book.

CATFORD WANDERERS TENNIS CLUB This has a loose green space connection as I don’t know if many of you realise that the only tennis club in the Borough of Lewisham is off the Bromley Road behind Homebase and has 6 grass courts, beside the 3 floodlit hard courts that you see if you drive into the car park. We have had a new company looking after the grounds for the past 8 months and they have done lots of work over the winter with some of our grass courts and we are hoping for big things! I don’t know if you have ever played on grass but on a lovely sunny day nothing beats playing tennis on such a surface! We also have a new coach, Luke since January, and he is proving very popular with both the adults and the children. This Easter there is kids coaching during the holidays and the details are in this link. Myself and Eamon have been members of Catford Wanderers for over 33 years and I can confirm it is a very friendly and welcoming club and we accept beginners/improvers to advanced players with appropriate coaching and lots of teams to get involved with. We particularly would like more women so if you are interested pop down and play a couple of times and see what you think. I should also add that we have a very cheap bar with lots of social events happening throughout the year. Details of membership fees are on the website.

FELLOWSHIP INN -BELLINGHAM Phoenix Housing was awarded a £4million grant to restore the Fellowship Inn in Bellingham in October 2016. Building works have been taking place since 2017 and I understand this extensive project is due to be completed later this year. The restoration plans include the creation of a cinema/live music, theatre and comedy venue/ café/restored pub and music hub and rehearsal (which will be home to Lewisham music) All VERY exciting and I really can’t wait for this to open as I realise that door to door it will only be 10 mins journey from my house by jumping on the train at Crofton Park and getting off 2 stops down the line at Bellingham and it is immediately there as you turn right at the station. For updates keeping checking the website.

CATFORD MEWS Another VERY exciting development in SE6 is Catford Mews and this is due to open in July. I don’t know how many of you remember the indoor covered shopping area called Catford Mews, well it is being opened up again with the main entrance via what was Poundland inside the shopping centre. Works are taking place to create 3 cinema screens, a café, bar, music recording studios, a food court with local independent food vendors and space for live events. This is only adding to the regeneration of Catford and with everything else happening it certainly is a great time to live and work in and around the area.


The Rise Café in SE23 can be hired out for food pop-ups or private events/parties in the evenings-pop in and speak to Nolan or Sarah/Shannon’s Garden Centre have lots of new plants and flowers in-March/April is perfect timing for getting the garden ready for the summer/St. Saviours church in Brockley Rise is welcoming the new priest to the parish, David, on April 4th at 7pm with a licensing by the bishop in church followed by a party-pop along and say hello/Masala Wala café in SE4 is preparing its new menu for April-pop along next week and check out-always delicious!/Parlez has live music every Friday 9-11.30pm-lots of talented musicians to listen to/relax and wind down ready for the weekend/If you want a new bike or accessories or need a service/repairs pop into Vaidas Bicycles in Honor Oak-they couldn’t be more helpful/Next door Two Spoons are holding a Mothers Day brunch this Sunday-pop in and book/Did you know every Tuesday eve there is comedy at the Honor Oak Pub with great line-ups provided by Laugh Train Home-check out &book!/The Workshop in Ewhurst Road, SE4 are running sewing workshops on Thursday eves for beginners/advanced-pop in and check out the details/The fabulous local community newspaper Lewisham Ledger is out next week, with a Hither Green special & then again in June with a special section on Sydenham in their birthday edition-can’t wait to read them!/The Bottle Bar in Catford are exhibiting local artist Jane Tillin from 11th April with her stunning lino prints-join them from 7pm on the opening night/Did you know WaterintoBeer in SE4 have all the equipment and ingredients for homebrewing plus free advice?-pop in and speak to Tim plus join their homebrewing club where they share tips/knowledge!/Chelwood Nursery school has been serving the community for 80 years and to celebrate they want us to ‘Come and Play Again’ on Friday 3rd May 4-6pm-all friends, families, past and present pupils & employees are very welcome/Tomorrow (29th March) the Beecroft Garden school PTA are having a jumble fundraising sale in the school hall 230-4pm-all welcome/Our wonderful local Brockley Jack Studio Theatre next big production is ‘Queen of the Mist’ from 9th April to Saturday 27th April-this is an award winning musical & a true story of the first person to survive a trip over the Niagara Falls in a barrel of her own design-sounds very interesting!/The Larder in Ladywell has just celebrated 5 years on the block! pop in and support this Ladywell stalwart/The next Poetry eve is Wednesday 3rd April from 730pm at The Blythe Hill Tavern-always a great event/Space 61, SE5 hosts many interesting events,pop-ups &,workshops -for dates & details check out link,/Did you know Brockley’s Rock has a GF menu available Sunday to Thursday so fish and chips for everyone!/DONDE in Honor Oak is having lots of exciting new Spanish beers coming soon-watch this space!/Collective Cinema over in SE13 is a new pop up venture, screening films-2 great films showing this Saturday Wall-E and Attack the Block-book here/Brockley Brewery plan to do regular poetry & spoken word events-exciting-watch this space/The Chandos in SE23 is holding a fundraising eve Thursday 4th April 7-9pm for Brockley Max with Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowsen/Jerk Off BBQ are returning to Brickfields in April for a pop up residence Tuesdays and Wednesdays-proved very popular last year so will need to book to avoid disappointment/Proud Sow in Dulwich village is going very well. Cheeses & a few other goodies are being provided by Jones of Brockley-pop in and say hello if in the area/Local award winning Babur restaurant is having a special ‘Mothers day’ buffet this Sunday/Crofton Park Library in conjunction with Crofton Books is holding weekly story reading sessions for under 5’s every Wednesday at 245pm/Lots of Easter eggs for sale at our local fab friendly Budgens/Did you know the London Beer Dispensary has a fun draw every week and a Crofton Park street gets 10% off their food & drink? see their A board for details/The fabulous Rivoli Ballroom are holding many film nights over the next few months with cult classics-I can’t wait to see Dirty Dancing in the next fortnight-check out the line-up here

So I think I’ve finished! Anyway that is enough of my ramblings and surprisingly it is only 6,000 words which is one of my shortest for a while!! I keep finding things to add but there has to be an end point. I hope you have found it of interest and perhaps learnt something new. Once again it proves what a brilliant community we live in with so much happening/projects coming to fruition and so many community minded independent businesses. Remember to EAT/DRINK/USE/SHOP LOCAL – If we don’t use them we will lose them! I can certainly confirm many Biz are finding times rather difficult at the moment so we need to SUPPORT THEM even more.

I will briefly end on a BREXIT note! I think many of us are appalled by the current political situation & we can’t begin to predict what will happen over the next few weeks to get us out of this shambles/impasse. The hatred and division that has been created across the country is the most upsetting thing for me but I take heart that we are so lucky to live in this area of South East London where our love and compassion for our neighbours and community is so strong and I sincerely hope this will never go away no matter what happens.

Bye for now

Jane x

Please follow me on twitter @JaneCanDoSE4 for local information