Tuesday 29 June 2010

Sunday morning cycle ride

One way to avoid the crowds and the heat is to get up early on a Sunday morning and bike down the river to Surrey Docks for a couple of hours.

Join the cygnets in admiring how (relatively) delightful Surrey Quays is without any shoppers;

...bask in the early morning heat along with the ducklings and assorted waterfowl;

...explore the unexpected beauty of the Surrey Quays hinterland and wallow in the cool shade of Russia Docks Woodland along with the other early risers.

Monday 28 June 2010

Convoy's wharf public exhibition

A date for your diaries:


Deptford Methodist Church & Mission, 1 Creek Road, SE8 3BT
Friday 9th July, 12pm – 8pm
Saturday 10th July, 10.30am – 2pm

Hutchison Whampoa and the development team for Convoys Wharf would like to invite you to a public exhibition of the proposals to regenerate this key Deptford site.

The proposed development is set to bring massive investment to the area, opening up this key area of riverside to the local community and providing new homes, jobs and public open space.

Since the beginning of the public consultation in November 2009, we have received a number of views on our initial proposals from residents, local groups and organisations, Lewisham Council and the Greater London Authority.

Those views have influenced the development of our plans for the site, which we hope to submit as a planning application to the Council in the near future.

Members of the development team will be available at the public exhibition to address any queries and listen to your views on the proposals. If you are unable to visit us on either of those days, please visit our website, www.convoyswharf.com for more details. The website is due to be updated with details on the latest proposals by the end of this week and you can also leave comments.

If you have any queries in the meantime, please phone 0845 460 6011 or email your comments to info@convoyswharf.com

East Meet Supperclub review

..not mine, I'm saddened to say, as the food looks absolutely scrumptious!

Pop on over to Hollow Legs to find out what Lizzie thought of Brockley's new supper club.

If you are feeling hungry, the next event takes place on 17 July and is for single diners! More info here.

Thursday 24 June 2010

Meditation in the Park - Russia Dock Woodland

Just a short walk from Deptford is what I regard as one of south east London's best kept secrets - Russia Dock Woodland.

If you're a cyclist you might well have already explored its many winding pathways while straying off the Thames Path - on foot you are more likely to have stumbled upon it on the fringes of Surrey Docks shopping centre, or perhaps you enjoy the longer walking route from London Bridge to Deptford, taking in Bermondsey and Rotherhithe. I also love it for its wildlife - last visit was particularly memorable for a brief sighting of a kingfisher!

But if you've never been there, now is the time to explore and what better excuse this weekend than to join Meditation in the Park on Sunday from 12-4, especially if, like me, your tolerance of the World Cup has already been exhausted.

As well as learning a range of different meditation techniques, there are guided walks of the ecology park, smoothie-making for kids, and a sleep masterclass, which I'm particularly attracted to.

And if you want to make a day of it, don't forget that Surrey Docks City Farm is only a step away and has a great new cafe as well as plenty of animals to pet.

Tuesday 22 June 2010

Culture snap

A new start-up business in Deptford is aimed at providing guided cultural tours of Deptford and Greenwich for visitors and locals.

Culture Snap
, which is based at the Albany, is a tour guide company consisting of nine young adults between the ages 18-27. They were brought together by Head for Business CIC under the Future Jobs Fund programme – a government initiative to get young people back into employment.

The name is intended to suggest 'snappy' tours run by young people to promote the neglected area of Deptford, South East London. "We aim to show residents, tourists and people new to the area of all ages, Deptford as we have discovered," the website explains. "We spent many hours researching the history and culture of Deptford and its surrounding areas to compile a 2 hour tour of the best spots of Deptford."

Find out more about the team members here; you can also read about the two tours they currently offer here.

The website is missing information about tour prices, but I'm informed these are as follows:

Adults : £8.20
Children : £4.70
Concessions : £5.50

Culture Snap is currently putting together more information in the form of a zine which should be available shortly.

Thursday 17 June 2010

Mayor Steve on YouTube

If you are interested in hearing Mayor Steve's vision for his new term of office, you can view his speech to the council on YouTube here.

Parts one and three are obviously the most interesting, having been viewed about 24 times each, but Steve clearly suffers a bit of a lull in the middle with only 12 people having viewed part two. Early days, early days!

Deptford job centre to close

Bad news for everyone who uses the Jobcentre Plus on Deptford High Street - attempts to find a solution to its proposed closure have failed and it is due to close its doors in November.

The lease for the premises has expired - the building is set to be demolished and redeveloped in due course - but attempts to find a solution to the lack of premises have failed according to reports on This is Local London.

Once the Deptford office closes, those seeking work will have to go to Catford to sign on - £2 each way on the bus for cash fares. The DWP justifies its decision to close the job centre by suggesting it is committed to reducing the burden on taxpayers - a very naive and actually quite insulting simplification of the situation. I personally think it would be more sensible to give job seekers as much as help as possible to get into work - not create extra hurdles and increase financial hardship for them.

PCSU campaigners are having a meeting with Joan Ruddock about it, so perhaps not best to hold your breath.

Sunday 13 June 2010

Deptford birds: Black Redstart

Regular readers will know I am a bit of a twitcher, although not enough to go romping round the country in pursuit of rare birds. But I do enjoy spotting and identifying birds as I go about my daily business.

So I was particularly thrilled to get the opportunity to watch a Black Redstart singing its delightful song, perched on top of an aerial above Tomi's Kitchen as I waited for the London Bridge-bound train last night.

According to the RSPB site:
The black redstart is a small robin-sized bird that has adapted to live at the heart of industrial and urban centres. Its name comes from the plumage of the male, which is grey-black in colour with a red tail. With fewer than 100 breeding pairs in the UK, the black redstart is on the amber list of Birds of Conservation Concern.

If you go to the website you can listen to a recording of its song if you need help identifying it from a distance, as I did. I didn't have a good enough camera to photograph it, but managed to take a short video of it singing, which helped me to confirm its identity. I won't inflict the video on you, it's really not worth it!

My ID process was as follows: dark brown/black head, pale pinky/tan chest, longish tail, slightly bigger than a robin, small sharp beak. The song was the final giveaway, and apparently it is most often spotted when it is perched and singing. Deptford Creek has been known to be home to two or three breeding pairs since 1998, and I'm chuffed to have finally seen one!

For more information, you can see the Creekside Centre page or find out more info about its habitats and distribution at this page.

Saturday 12 June 2010

Thamesworld - promenade performance

Apologies for the long absence - June is proving a busy month for me in terms of business travel but I'm delighted to see that my fellow Deptford bloggers are keeping up with everything that's happening in SE8 in my absence. Some interesting stories and events listed on Crosswhatfields (as well as a fascinating post about Deptford D Decker), Caroline's Miscellany and Deptford Misc which I missed.

However, thanks to Luke (soon-to-be Deptford resident!) I've been alerted to next weekend's series of walks by the Deptford Stories Company.

A unique, live, promenade performance along the banks of the Thames,
through the Thames Path, Greenwich and the Ahoy Sailing Centre, Deptford,
which has the best river views and the best Thames beach.

Thamesworld: liquid history
By John Turner

Design Nadia Lakhani
Costume Kinga Hajnal

Promenade performance along the banks of the Thames
For just three days in June, closing with a celebration on June 22 –
the day the Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury.

Stories of the river over hundreds of years woven into drama laced with humour. Stories of Irish, Eastern European and West Indian communities interweave with Dockers, Lascars and ship yard workers who crammed into the bustling neighbourhoods. Songs play their part: Waterloo Sunset, Lord Kitchener’s Empire Windrush Calypso, The Israelites and more.

Saturday June 19 2.30pm
Sunday June 20 3.00pm
Tuesday June 22 6.00pm prompt (or we’ll get swamped by high tide)

Wear flat shoes!
Meeting point for the Promenade Production
The Hoy, 193 Creek Road, London, SE8 3BU
8 minutes walk from DLR Cutty Sark,
or from Deptford High Street/Creek Road

Tickets £5, numbers limited, 10 years +
reserve tickets: TonyOleary2@sky.com jenny@jennyharris.org