Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Halifax to become betting office

A Crosswhatfields reader commented at the beginning of November that the Halifax would become a bookies but at that time we could find no information about no.93 Deptford High Street.

It seems his fears were not unfounded. Another reader has just emailed to say the notice is up on the window for an application for (as he said) BETFRED BETTING BOLLOCKS...Objections to be in by 19th January 2011. More info to come...

This will be the 10th bookies in the Deptford High Street vicinity if you include the two in the Evelyn Street parade (the latest being the John Evelyn pub becoming Paddy Power only last month)...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Convoy's Wharf planning application

The new plans for the billion pound redevelopment at Convoy's Wharf have been available to view since early November. On the developer's website (aka Hutchinson Whampoa) it says "Since last year, we have been seeking the views of local people, community groups, Lewisham Council and the GLA on our proposals. As a result we have made a number of changes to our initial proposals to reflect – where possible – the comments made."

Further information and the planning application documents can be viewed here:
Responses to the new plans must be in by December 30th. Comments can be made to Lewisham Planning here.

Friends of Deptford Creek (FODC) have a few objections. In their detailed letter of objection to the Lewisham Planning they summarise: "We urge the Mayor, officers and committee to reject this proposal. It offers minimal benefit to the local community and yet seeks to impose greater stress upon it and its infrastructure, offering the minimum of redress.
"The archaeological and historical importance of the site alone offers a unique opportunity to the borough to create a maritime enterprise zone to rival and yet compliment that of Greenwich, to revive and revitalise Deptford's unique local identity and provide sustainable employment into the future.
"Lastly, we urge that all this is considered in balance with the surrounding large residential proposals in the immediate area, already threatening to take unemployment levels to previously unimagined heights and further removing valuable employment space."

For more information read their letter here.

To register your support of their objections or to join Friends of Deptford Creek's petition against the proposals, please send an email to: petitions@friendsofthecreek.org.uk with "Convoys Wharf" in the subject field.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

St Paul's Sinfonia - Friday 17th December at 7.30pm

St Paul's Sinfonia mark the end of 2010 with a first chance to hear the music of their Composer in Residence, Stuart Hancock. Plus Score for an Imaginary Film by young composer David Braid. The evening opens with one of the best-known Romantic overtures, and ends with Haydn's famous 'Farewell' Symphony. (Having not been granted a holiday for some time, Haydn brought the point home forcefully to his employer, Prince Esterhazy, by gradually whittling the orchestra down during the last movement of the work, until just two players are left on stage).

Mendelssohn Overture 'Hebrides'

Stuart Hancock Violin Concerto
David Braid Score for an Imaginary Film
Haydn Symphony No. 45 'Farewell'
Friday 17th December 2010 at 7.30pm
Tickets £10/£8 - available on the door from 7pm
St Paul's Church, Deptford (Deptford Church Street/Deptford High Street)
More info at www.stpaulssinfonia.com

Anita Strasser: Deptford High Street

A photographic and textual journey into life on Deptford High Street.
Exhibition runs till Tuesday 21st December (Open Fri/Tue 9am-1pm, Sat 10am-3pm).
at St Nicholas' Church, Deptford Green SE8 3DQ

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Deptford Christmas Fair

More pictures on our Photos page, and a great write up on 853's blog...and some video from the Deptford Dame...

Ahoy abandoned...

East London Lines carries news that the Ahoy Centre has lost any chance of owning the jetty on their doorstep beach. Here's the story from East London Lines...

"The jetty, which is a hundred yards long and has resided in the Thames for almost 90 years was auctioned off for a single pound, although an annual £52,000 license fee will have to be paid to the Port of London Authority.

The Ahoy Centre, a charity that helps disabled and disadvantaged people into water based activities, were in talks with Fairview Homes, who own the site where the jetty is on, however they decided to sell it to the anonymous developer.

Clive Ongley, Chairman of the Centre’s trustees hoped that they could raise £7m towards the venture, and said he was ‘devastated’ after Fairview had retreated on their earlier talks.  Ongley had said that plans were at an advanced stage, with negotiations begun on transferring their PLA licence so that the new residential moorings could cover the cost.

The future use of the jetty is still undecided however it is likely that the initial investment will be worth it as it could be capitalised on for when the Olympics come to London in 2012. James Cannon, of the auctioneers Cannon Capital who sold the jetty said: “It is well known that there will be a shortage of accommodation during the Olympics, so it could house temporary accommodation or be a birth for a floating hotel.”

Many thanks to East London Lines for this news...

Monday, December 13, 2010


After another crippling fuel bill from npower I'm looking into the possibilty of opening up the fireplace and using that instead, which, as I understand it involves cleaning the flue out. Has anyone done this and if so can you give me an idea of how much it costs? Thanks.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Deptford Christmas Fair - Sat & Sun 11 & 12 December

Our friendly Community Involvement Officer, Will Sharp, has emailed us to tell us about Deptford Christmas Fair that's happening this weekend...He gave us a link to Lewisham Council's website.

Deptford town centre is gearing up for Christmas with a host of festive events and activities. The weekend will provide an opportunity to try out the new walking and cycling route between New Cross and Deptford town centre.

Saturday's attractions will include:

    •    a big wheel – get a free bird’s eye view of the improved route and the wider Deptford and New Cross landscape (10am-7pm, Margaret McMillan Park)
    •    rickshaws offering free rides between New Cross and Deptford market (9am-5pm)
    •    a 'smoothie bike' (11am-3pm, Douglas Way)
    •    brass band and performances by Deptford Churches Together (12noon-1pm, Giffin Square)
    •    kids’ Christmas tree decorations workshop by Other World Arts (1.30-3.30pm, Giffin Square)
    •    fun and games with Bureau Of Silly Ideas, Teatro Vivo and Madcap Coalition (11am-3pm, various locations)
    •    information stalls on local walking and cycling initiatives and the on-going regeneration of Deptford town centre (11am-3pm, Douglas Way)
    •    Christmas tree lights switch-on (3-3.30pm, Giffin Square)
    •    artisan market, Morris dancing, BBQ, mulled wine and music (11am-6pm, Tanners Hill).

Other activities will take place on Sunday around the Deptford Project railway carriage café on the high street.

The majority of funding for the event has been provided by Transport for London and Design For London.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Creekside Urban Park Consultation - your views required

Witherford Watson Mann Architects are looking for your feedback on their plans for Creekside Urban Park. Crosswhatfields promised to post about this for those of you who were unable to get to the consultation held on 27th November. Unfortunately we've been a bit tardy in this task, but there is still a week left for you to register your views.

The plan below shows the extent of the area to be improved, and below that is a close up of the proposed changes on Crossfields itself. Generally, we can't see much at all to object to. Download the plans here for a closer look.

The proposals for Crossfields are as follows (text taken from plans):

Sue Godfrey Gardens and Space around storage sheds:

Existing Memorial Garden with established herb and wildflower planting and established trees. Garden is not maintained. Existing storage sheds in poor condition. Estate planting pocket adjacent to estate entrance has low quality planting. Garden has no water supply.

GCDA (Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency) and CGS (Crossfields Green Spaces) organised for the existing memorial garden to be cleaned out and repaired on 08/11/10. Intention for this garden to be CGS managed space to include new growing beds and managed herb garden.
Extend Sue Godfrey garden into the poor planting pocket to give the garden a public front.
Construct new low wall to form edge to extended space with new gate.
New raised growing beds
Provide 5k budget for new planting
Refurbish storage sheds with new paintwork to woodwork (possible community arts project)
New rain water collection butts on Congers and Farrer House
Replace missing Prunus hedge planting to Deptford Church Street
Remove broken bollards and railings

Mechanics Path (the path alongside the railway opposite Holden House)

Narrow cycle path and footway along both edges of existing listed railway viaduct. To both edges are estate lawns and estate hedges. The southern arm is overgrown. Existing surfaces are poor quality asphalt with area below viaducts made up in broken rubble.

Form new wider Mechanics Path by removing existing estate hedges – move existing railings back by 2m
Plant new fruiting hedge including Blackberry, Blackcurrant, Boysenberry, Gooseberry, Raspberry and Worcesterberry.
Construct 5m width rolled asphalt and granite edges path.
3 new seats
Apple, Pear, Plum and Quince planting to gardens in front of Holden House
Improve existing lighting of pathway
Removal of 5 Robinia / Platanus trees in connection with LBL tree officer and Network Rail support.

(As regards the removal of certain trees, we are assured that they are either identified as unhealthy/dying or causing a hazard to the railway and removal is required by Network Rail. )

If you have any comments, please write them below or email Arthur Smart (WWM Architects) here

Arthur from WWM Architects braved the cold to exhibit the plans for Creekside Urban Park at the Bulb Planting Day on 27th November, which was organised by Lewisham Homes' Community Involvement officer Will Sharp. They were joined by Claire and Davey from Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency who provided refreshments and digging power.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tidemill School - Governing Body's Statement

This is the full text displayed on the Tidemill School's website


For over a century, Tidemill School has served the people of Deptford, educating 
generations of local children.

Ten years ago, Tidemill was a school in special measures, failing local children. 

Over the last decade, our school has been on an incredible journey, achieving 
OFSTED "outstanding" status in 2008 and recognised by the former Secretary 
of State for Children, Schools and Families as one of Britain's top-performing 
primary schools. We are proud to provide a world-class education for children 
in one of the most deprived parts of London.

Last night (Thursday 2 December 2010), Tidemill's Governing Body took the next 

step of that journey when it was agreed that the school would apply for academy 
status. This decision was made following an extensive consultation period, which 
commenced in July, and asked parents, staff and the local community for their 

Tidemill will continue to provide a quality education for all children in Deptford

and the local area. The school remains in the state sector and there are no plans
to change its admissions criteria. Tidemill School will continue to play an active
role in the local community, alongside our neighbouring schools and local partners,
making sure that Deptford children have the best possible start in life."
- Tidemill Governing Body

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas on Creekside

If you're looking for unusual Christmas presents, your local artists and designers are showing their wares this weekend. Chances are you can't afford it. But if you're looking for even one special present and don't want to go far to find it (or haven't already ordered it online and don't rate the post office's chances of delivering it) check the Deptford Art Map to find out who's open when. Lots of private views Friday evening 6-9pm at Art Hub (5-9 Creekside), Cockpit Arts, APT, Creekside Artists (Building A, Faircharm), Core Gallery, Bearspace...you don't have to go far.

The Faircharm Fair opens on Saturday and Sunday in Building A at Faircharm Estate, 11am-7pm (Sat), 11am-5pm (Sun)...promising a hotch-potch of all sorts...

If the Deptford Art Map leaves you cold, just wander up and down your road and see what's open, there's sure to be a warming welcome somewhere whether you're spending or not...

Tidemill governors decide

Tonight, the governors of Tidemill School met to decide the future of the school. A small number of campaigners braved the icy conditions outside the school this evening in a candlelit vigil, whilst the governors met inside the school.

At around 7.30pm the governors emerged from their meeting, but refused to comment on the decision made. It will be posted on the website tomorrow, the campaigners were told. "We want to let everyone know at the same time, so we can't tell you now" said another. "What if I'm not online?" asked one of the campaigning parents. "The parents will get a letter" was the reply...

Meanwhile, most topically and almost simultaneously, the BBC was broadcasting at 8pm on Radio 4 a documentary report called Who Owns England's Schools - an investigation into the government's drive for academies, as part of The Report series. Three schools are featured, one of which is Tidemill Primary, including an interview with Frankham House resident Leila Galloway who has two children at the school, but alas, whilst the programme was still being edited this afternoon, neither the head teacher Mark Elms (nor the Chair of Governors) was available for comment. Michael Gove can be heard, stroking his white cat.

One of the schools featured who converted at astonishing speed to academy status over the summer period, reported a total lack of interest from parents in their conversion. The BBC reporter, James Silver, tells Leila that it appears from Tidemill's website that the school has done a considerable amount of consultation. Leila has to remind him that there would have been none at all if she hadn't campaigned.

Much of the publicity around government changes in education have concentrated on university fees and the abolishment of the Education Maintenance Award, but bigger changes are going on right on our doorstep. See the synopsis of the Radio 4 report here. If this programme is available to listen again we'll post the link.  UPDATE: the programme is available here on BBC's iPlayer

More news tomorrow regarding the governors' decision...


Taking Action together to beat bullying - School Closed

Curious juxtaposition....

Anyhow, this is where they should be on a day like this...

 Though it's advisable to keep these on

And some headwear perhaps - you could get a very sudden head cold from one of these...

And here's a High Street Snowman who's remembered his scarf