Tuesday 23 August 2016

Deptford People Project documentary

The Deptford People Project has produced a short film about their Friday night kitchen which was running in the Armada Centre for several months until being unceremoniously evicted by Greenwich Council a few weeks back (for reasons that I have been unable to fully establish).

The volunteers use food donated by local traders to cook a meal on Friday night for anyone who wants to eat - and create an opportunity for people who might be isolated and vulnerable to meet and socialise.

Undaunted by the eviction, the organisers are now serving food in the park next door on Friday nights, but clearly the need for indoor space is pressing as the weather starts to change.

They are currently petitioning Greenwich Council to find them space. Ironically the Armada Centre is just over the border in the Greenwich part of Deptford.

Tuesday 16 August 2016

Surrey Canal linear park now open

A new route from the Pepys Estate through towards Surrey Quays has recently been opened up, linking Eddystone Tower and its neighbours, and the under-construction Timberyard development at Oxestalls Road with the various new residential blocks on Plough Way, most of which are named after one wharf or other. Along the route of the former Surrey Canal, it offers a much more pleasant and direct route for pedestrians and cyclists between the Deptford estates and the shopping centre at. Surrey Quays 

The same palette of materials has been retained across the full length of the route - which has been funded by money (presumably Section 106 payments) from the new developments at the west end of the borough.

The public realm is generally quite pleasant with granite edging intended to represent the position of the former canal, shrub and flower planting along the edges and some new trees proposed. At the far west end of the link, right in the middle of the new development, is Plough Way Cafe which is housed in a nice little modern building with outdoor terrace.

While the materials have been matched throughout the route, there's a notable difference between the facilities in each section. The new developments get logs shaped into cute little sheep for kids to play on, and poetry inscribed into the granite edging.

Down at the Pepys estate they have to make do with a couple of logs half buried in gravel and an expanse of timber decking.

Joking apart I am looking forward to the route under Oxestalls Road finally being opened to cyclists and pedestrians - and maybe even a link at the east end of the Timberyard development going under Evelyn Street to Blackhorse Road? The latter is physically possible now thanks to some hard work by Deptford Folk and Lewisham Cyclists to amend a planning application for Shurgard that would have blocked off this access.

Sunday 14 August 2016

Drone footage of Convoys Wharf site

With enabling works having recently started on the Convoys Wharf site, readers might be interested in having a look 'over the fence' with this great drone footage posted by Sayes Court.

The enabling works which are being carried out by contractor FM Conway include building a haul road through the site in preparation for the construction of buildings on the site.

It's now two years since developer Hutchison Whampoa secured outline planning permission for the site. They have permission to redevelop the site based on the masterplan that was approved by Boris Johnson after he called in the scheme at the developer's request. This includes construction of 3,500 homes, including three huge towers on the waterfront. Before they can build any of the scheme they must submit (and receive approval for) detailed planning applications. They have just put up a new website for the scheme.

If you are interested in the background to the planning process and the detail of the outline proposal you can find it by searching the archive of this blog. Both of the local community projects that were incorporated in the plans after several years of campaigning - the Lenox Project and Sayes Court Garden - also have information on their websites.

There is also a group called Voice4Deptford which is being run by Pepys Community Forum and is intended to represent the local community in future discussions with the developer. They have a meeting on 6th September at the Armada Community Hall for anyone interested in getting involved.

Wednesday 10 August 2016

Stable door open, horse bolted

It's my unfortunate duty to have to be the bearer of the bad news that the Stable Pizza restaurant is no longer coming to Deptford. 

Sources inform me that the no-show was down to the interminable delay in finishing St Paul's House. 

I'm pretty gutted about this. Let's hope the replacement is as good if not better.

Monday 8 August 2016

Coming soon; Deptford Market Yard

So only two years later than originally advertised, tenants are finally starting to move into the arches of the refurbished carriage ramp with the opening expected to take place in the next couple of weeks. Residents may have been in the new apartment block for most of this year, but there's been a distinct lack of urgency to the work needed to finish the carriage ramp and get the small businesses into their new homes.

Even now the appearance of the ramp and the public realm in front of it does not exactly inspire confidence. Miracles do happen, I know, but they have been a bit short on this project.

At least U&I (the-developer-formerly-known-as-Cathedral) have now got the hang of the fact that they are supposed to keep the new public realm outside the station clean - although it did take some very heavy hints.

For some reason there seems to be a total dearth of rubbish bins - how that was overlooked by the landscape architects, who nevertheless managed to design some very nice features for the space, I'll never know. Instead we have makeshift bins made of cardboard boxes put there by the station's single lonesome tenant, Mousetail Coffee.

But Mousetail Coffee is not going to be lonely for much longer; as we know, coffee shops like to hang around in gangs these days so naturally one of the new units will have another coffee shop in it - Lomond Coffee, currently hiring for baristas to work in Deptford.

Aside from coffee, there's also going to be a new gift shop - Win & Ruby has been trading from a 'pop-up' store in the front section of Deli X for some time now and has a good line in cards and wrapping paper as well as a range of gifts the like of which you won't find anywhere else in the high street.

For all your bonce and beard grooming requirements there's The Box Hair Salon, where you can have a total makeover of your crowning glory.
Visitors will also be able to purchase screen-printed t-shirts and hats from Plain Bear. They are mostly plain, with a bear on them. Crafty.

By way of contrast there's also Gita's Portal, selling African-inspired fashion and seen here featuring in a very local photo shoot!

Unfortunately the long delay in completing the carriage ramp has meant some casualties from the original list of tenants who were planning to move in.

Those who remember Mike & Ollie's stall from back in 2011 (and maybe those of you who visit their stall at Brockley Market) will no doubt be disappointed to hear that they have had to abandon their original plan to move back into Deptford in one of the arches.

Of course there will be other street food vendors; no market/row of shops/disused car park is complete these days without a couple of street food stalls and Deptford Market Yard will be featuring grilled cheese sandwiches from the Cheese Truck and jerk chicken and fried plantain from Mama's Jerk. Not long till Deptford High St has more jerk chicken vendors than betting shops! 

And finally *drum roll* one of Deptford's most colourful former tenants is returning to the fold with the revelation that Little Nan's Bar will be back in the market yard. Tristan and his team will be serving eccentrically-named cocktails out of teapots and passing round the cheese straws like they've never been away.

Updated Tuesday 9th August
The names of all the new businesses that are moving into the yard have now been revealed online so I've added the other names below for the sake of completeness. Plus the bins have actually been installed - my nagging paid off!

The Room - flower shop @EnglishFlowerh

Childsdraw - not a kidswear shop @childsdraw 

Be London Fashion - African print fashion belondonfashion.com

Dirty Apron - cafe/supper club. Presumably with better hygiene standards than the name suggests dirtyapron.co.uk

Frankie goes to Bollywood - 'Bombay-style diner' facebook.com/Frankie-Goes-to-Bollywood

Up on the carriage ramp, once they get the paving and planters back in place, there will be an aerial fitness gym Circus Fit and Depot, a shop selling 'designer-maker goods, coffee and tea along with a gallery space, creative workshops and events'.

And more to come, apparently...