Friday 31 July 2009

Deptford misc

Please join me in welcoming regular commenter Bill to the Deptford crew with his blog Deptford Misc. Bill's got some interesting historical facts about the Dog & Bell, among other items on the blog. Pop over there and say hello!

Monday 27 July 2009

Deptford Museum Grand Fun Auction

A Grand Fun Auction is being held in aid of the new Deptford Museum at the Old Police Station, to raise money for shelving and display equipment for the museum.
The auction will take place in the Metropolitan Tea Rooms at the Old Police Station from 4pm this Friday 31 July.

If you have any donations that could be auctioned at the event, you are invited to drop them off at the Metropolitan Tea Rooms any day this week between 11am and 5pm.

Ian, who tipped me off to this forthcoming event, says that the previous auction was lots of fun and he is a firm believer that the museum and the tearooms will become a great community hub.

Thursday 16 July 2009

The Times visits the Dog & Bell. Or does it?

I've been alerted to this 'review' of my favourite local, the Dog & Bell in last week's Saturday Times.

Unfortunately the headline is rather misleading, since most of the article is about what great pubs you get in Europe.

All over the country you can find pubs that augment their world-beating warmth with everything from the whitest of witbiers to the darkest brews from the deepest cellars of the monasteries.

Prime among such pubs in London is the Dog and Bell, a delightful little local in an unassuming part of Deptford, which offers not only a great range of British beers but also as many as 20 Belgian bottled creations. There’s no better place to settle back, crack a Poperings Hommelbier and rejoice in the fact that we are not alone.

While the review is positive, the inclusion of the Dog & Bell in this article does lean rather heavily on the fact that it sells European beers, rather than highlighting what I consider its main strength and the main attraction for me - its continued support of brewers in the UK. It's the place to go if you want to sample a continuously-changing range of guest beers from around the UK - usually a choice of three alongside the finest pint of London Pride you can get, or Fullers ESB if you prefer a stronger brew.

Deptford beach

This weekend sees a special event at the Deptford Project, where you can go to the beach without leaving the city.

"Feel the sand between your toes, grab a bucket and spade, pull up a deck chair and enjoy a day at the seaside.
Come and enjoy DJ Conscious playing an eclectic blend of soulfood, folktronica and breaks, later in the day DJ Q bringing you some balearic beats, disco, house and everything in between.
With games and activities by local artists, designers, performers and musicians including the local school steel band, sand pit and peep boards - everything you need for a perfect day on the beach...!"

Thursday 9 July 2009

Mayor Steve takes an early bath

Fair play to our local mayor who got himself out of bed early on Wednesday to celebrate the new hours at Wavelengths pool. Despite grey skies and gloomy drizzle, Sir Steve and a few hardy swimmers took to the waters for a free swim at 6.30am on Wednesday. There were more people on the poolside than there were in the water, what with the photographer, the centre manager and various assorted onlookers peering down at the swimmers, but hopefully numbers will grow now that a huge banner has been hung outside Wavelengths, and presumably there will be an ongoing campaign to publicise the early hours.
You can read the mayor's account here.

Deptford art materials shop opening/call for submissions

Arch Gallery is branching out on 10 July with the opening of a new shop, Arch Materials, selling a wide range of paints, brushes, canvasses, pencils, pens and so on for professionals and students. The shop is right next to the gallery (which halfway down Resolution Way, one of the arches on the lane directly opposite Deptford railway station entrance).

The shop will be open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am till 5pm, and to celebrate its opening, Arch Materials will be having a 'VAT-free' week from 10th to 17th July.

Click here for more details.

Submissions for Arch Gallery's contemporary Open exhibition are also being invited, and entry forms are available to download from the website. From 10 July you can also collect them from the new shop.

"The aim of the open is to catch a glimpse of the diverse nature of the art being made here and now in South East London. Visual artists & students over 18, living or working in South East London are eligible to submit. Up to 10 artists will be selected to exhibit one piece of work each. In a take on the current trend for reality based TV shows, visitors to the gallery during Deptford X will be invited to vote for their favourite work. The artist receiving the most votes will be given a four week solo show at ARCH in 2010. We will host a preview evening for the show and pay for all marketing & publicity. Deadline for submissions is 31st July. Visit for more info."

Wednesday 8 July 2009

Public meeting about Deptford Jobcentre

There is a public meeting at the Albany on Thursday 9 July (tomorrow) about the plans to close the Deptford Jobcentre Plus. An online petition has been created - you can sign it here - and the Public and Commercial Services Union is running a campaign to save the centre.

Plans to redevelop the building, and the fact that the Jobcentre Plus lease expires in November this year mean that unless plans for the development are shelved and the lease is extended, it has to find new premises in Deptford. However the DWP is also considering closing it down and making its 'clients' go all the way to Lewisham or Forest Hill job centres to find job opportunities, interviews, help with benefits, form filling, box ticking etc.

At this stage it seems that the search for new premises is still going on, so hopefully there is still time to influence the outcome. The meeting starts at 7pm.

Thanks to Transpontine for the tip-off.

Monday 6 July 2009

Deptford in the Guardian

Deptford was featured in the Saturday Guardian's 'let's move to' series. If you missed the printed version, you can read it online here.

If anyone knows where the photograph was taken from, do share! Martin Godwin seems to have gone to very ordinary lengths to get a photo of the Evelyn estate tower blocks - at least I assume that's what he was trying to do. Or perhaps he really couldn't bear to set foot in Deptford so he peeped out of a neighbour's window in New Cross or Surrey Quays.

Focusing on the 'arty' side of Deptford as a reason why we should move here, it totally fails to mention the market and moans that you have to drag up the hill to Blackheath for a blade of grass.

Friday 3 July 2009

(NOT) EXCLUSIVE! Wavelengths pool and fitness centre - early morning opening!

Great news from manager Clare Motton at the Wavelengths Centre - from 8 July the pool and fitness suite will be open from 6.30am every weekday morning.

This is EXCELLENT NEWS for local swimmers and gymers who work in town, and I would like to pass on my thanks to Clare for being persistant on this matter. I hope that the new hours will bring increased business and membership numbers to the facility, and help to contribute to its continued success.

The launch of the new hours takes place on 8 July at 6.30 (I assume that's am!) and will be attended by Lewisham mayor Steve Bullock.

May I just say, in the immortal words of Citizen Smith: Power to the people!

Deptford museum and tea-room launch

Saturday 4 July sees the launch of the Deptford Museum and tea room which will be housed in two rooms in the Old Police Station (just down the road from New Cross Station, on Amersham Vale).

An open day on Saturday will give people the chance to see where it's all going to take place, and take part in an auction to raise funds for things the centre needs. As Jaine Laine explains:

"One space will house the Deptford Museum that will be open to the public each day and will house the archive we have commenced. Here we will be able to keep artefacts and memorabilia of Deptford history. Ironically just across the road in Amersham Grove there is a small disused and boarded up building that used to be the Deptford Museum erected in 1890 by J.T. Taylor.

The other room will house a tearoom to be called the Metropolitan where people can meet and tea and sandwiches and cakes can be bought. All the produce will be home-cooked, simple and appealing and yes cream teas will be on the menu. One of the old cells has been converted into a recording room so your wonderful history can be recorded and archived. Also a space will house vintage clothing for people to buy to raise money for the project. The tea room will be the financial arm for supporting the Museum.

This is a very exciting thing for Deptford and will unite the community and attract visitors. My role now apart from providing the scones etc will be to look into attracting large funding and support, and creating a website and a full archive system put into place.

With the help of volunteers the rooms will be freshly painted and I have put out pleas for shelving and cabinets for the Museum. The tearoom already has tables and chairs and counter and the owner of the building is letting us use some lovely china. We would need a few things like a fridge, cutlery, cruets, teapots etc. "

If you have chance (sorry for the short notice) please come and see the new space on Saturday between 1 and 6pm; the auction begins at 2pm.

Otherwise, make a date in your diary for 20th July, which will be the official opening of the museum.

Wednesday 1 July 2009

Simply the best, or inspired by dance?

If you want to see some prime marketing tosh, just take a walk along Creek Road and read the hoardings.

On the Deptford side of the creek, the new Greenwich Creekside development is now well out of the ground and rising to its dizzy heights at a formidable speed. We are told that this block of flats consists of 'The Finest Apartments in a World Class Location'. As if that wasn't enough, be sure to understand that these are 'London's most inspirational new apartments!' Most preposterously we are being asked to believe that this development is 'inspired by dance', and there are huge photos of dancers on the hoardings too, just to reinforce the claim. I invite you to peruse the photo and suggest what kind of dance inspired these apartments.

Here's a picture of the finished building, in case you need more 'inspiration'; the website has additional tosh for those who want to mock some more - including the fact that this is 'A new light for Greenwich' (wtf?).

Meanwhile on the Greenwich side of the creek, the New Capital Quay development doesn't bother with any poncy inspirational stuff. They don't need to justify their existence - put simply, this is 'The Finest New Riverside Development in London'. So there.

I would guess that the finished apartments in both of these developments will be a cut above the average for the area (with prices to match). The ones in Greenwich Creekside look fairly spacious and light, but I'm pretty sure Creek Road doesn't qualify as a 'world-class location'. The New Capital Quay site should provide a pleasant environment and quite a few riverside view for those with the money, but is it 'the finest'? And how is that measured?

It's all very entertaining flim flam for a hot day, but lest you forget - someone has been paid to come up with this!