Tuesday, 3 May 2016


A couple of months back developer Anthology, which is building 'Deptford Foundry' on Arklow Road, launched a rather cringeworthy campaign under the hashtag #deptfordnotdalston.

The marketing blurb urged Twitter users to 'join in the conversation and tell us why you think Deptford is causing other newly established areas to quake in their boots, dripping with talent, creatives and authenticity, what’s not to love. Share your thoughts and ideas with us through our social media channels and let’s get this south east postcode trending.'

Anthology's project director Ben Allen kicked off the debate with his top five, which I've included below: I can't argue with the first four (even though I'd say the Amersham is more New Cross than Deptford and I still shudder to recall their dreadful toilets) but had to laugh at the blatant estate agent marketeering of the fifth.

1. The Waiting Room: A vegetarian and vegan cafĂ© with excellent coffee and a ‘free library’ where you can re-home one of the multitude of books as long as you promise to donate another book on your next visit 

2. Wunderlust: A new venture near Deptford Creek from street food experts Fleisch Mob who has opened an Austrian fusion restaurant with some really interesting food 

3. Amersham Arms: A really good club/pub which hosts a range of artists from international DJs to the best comedians on the circuit 

4. Art Hub: Interesting gallery on Creekside that hosts the best work from local artists 

5. Great location with new and improved transport links with affordability of property 

I suspect Anthology have got something of an uphill struggle selling this development, sandwiched as it is on a triangle of land between two railway lines and sufficiently far from Greenwich that there's no way they can claim to be anywhere near the royal borough.

The fact that they are putting a lot of effort into making Deptford as hip as they can (they were behind the heavily-promoted 'win a weekend in Deptford' competition in the Evening Standard) bears this out.

So I imagine there will be a few bollockings handed out in WC2 this week after a dozen or so signs went up along the route from Deptford station to Anthology's 'Deptford Foundry' marketing suite, which is set to launch this month.

Every single one of the signs has Deptford spelled incorrectly - and as if misspelling your adoptive town isn't bad enough, the irony is that it has been renamed Debtford by the unfortunate, illiterate sign writers.

Clearly no-one bothered to check them either.

Longer-term blow-ins may remember that in 2011 as part of the Deptford X festival, artist Adam Vass created a new pub sign for the Birds Nest which featured the coat of arms of 'Debtford' above the golden balls of the pawnbroker's symbol. Crosswhatfields included a photo of it in this post http://crossfields.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/we-love-deptford-machine.html 

Maybe Anthology could claim the gaffe was deliberate, tapping in to the Deptford Zeitgeist in their inimitable fashion? After all 'we wholeheartedly believe that Deptford is indeed a cut above the rest' as they say on their #DeptfordnotDalston blog post.

Update: credit where it's due, they did manage to sort it incredibly quickly, so much so that I thought this morning maybe it was all just a bad dream...?


Anonymous said...

Possibly the same sign maker behind the "permantly" closed Crossfield st sign on the high street?

Anonymous said...

they're just another developer trying to cash in - it's all PR bollocks from Anthology . . . .

Anonymous said...

If "Wunderlust" is the apogee of Deptford's achievements we really are at the end of days.

Anonymous said...

On the subject of developers and the changing face of Deptford, a nice little video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQ5znfD0Cok&feature=youtu.be&app=desktop

Anonymous said...

Always a good time to repost that DEPTFORD RISE video from IP Global: