26 April 2006

Dangermouse in SE14

"He became such a fan of trip hop and the Bristol sound that when he graduated he travelled to England. 'I fu(king hated it,' he says 'London just beat me down, man. I was working in a pub in London Bridge for two years and taking the bus home to New Cross every night. I was just working, trying to meet the rent. I didn't see the sun for, like, three weeks and I was broke and single. It wasn't what I expected.' "
Half of Gnarls "Crazy" Barkley, producer of the infamous Grey Album and MF Doom cohort - Dangermouse remains unimpressed by his time in the borough. Source : Observer Music Magazine

26 April 2006

Cheryl murder: new hunt

POLICE have relaunched a 15-year-old murder probe in a bid to find the killer of a Nelson mother. Cheryl Shackleton was found dead in a London park in February 1991.

The 34-year-old had been severely beaten and her handbag was missing. She was partially clothed and may have been sexually assaulted. Her body was found by a dog walker in Telegraph Hill Park, Brockley, but she was only identified a month later following an appeal on the BBC's Crimewatch programme.

Also -
BBC Report

Too sedated to save his friend

A DRUG user was unable to save his friend's life because he had taken too much valium, an inquest heard. Darren Andrews, of Sportsbank Street, Catford, looked on as heroin addict Frankie Robinson, aged 28, died in his sleep on January 22.

Southwark Coroners Court heard how Mr Andrews feared Mr Robinson, of Ardoch Road, Catford, "didn't look right" as he lay crashed out on his sofa.

Water company’s £10m plans to prevent leaks

WATER leaks in the area could be reduced with a £10m scheme to replace Victorian pipes. Thames Water has started to replace 14 miles of ageing water mains in Deptford as part of a scheme to remove London's oldest and leakiest water pipes.

And the old cast iron pipes, many dating back to Victorian times, will be replaced with plastic mains. The work, which is due to be completed by March 2008, will cover the following roads: Deptford High Street; Amersham Vale; Deptford Church Street; Brookmill Road, and parts of New Cross Road and Creek Road.

Allotments saved from development

Plotholders at St Norbert's Allotments in Brockley were facing eviction because landowner UGS Properties wanted to build on the site. But now UGS has performed a U-turn by allowing the allotment holders to carry on digging at the 75-year-old site. Residents had campaigned vigorously to save the allotments in St Norbert Road, by collecting a 600-signature petition.

Escort girl raped by evil sex beast

A VIOLENT sex predator who walked free from court nine months ago after he was cleared of chasing two prostitutes out of a third-floor window has been jailed for rape.

Timothy Hjertum, of Deptford Broadway, Deptford, was cleared by an Old Bailey jury of causing the massage parlour hostesses to jump 40ft from his window.

‘Major works’ will improve buildings

RESIDENTS say the closure of three flagship buildings proves multi-million pound improvements are "much-needed". In recent weeks Forest Hill's library and swimming baths have closed along with the Louise House building, which has been empty for six months.

Now Lewisham Council has reiterated its promise to bring the buildings back into use and return the facilities to the people of Forest Hill.

25 April 2006

Lewisham in London

A nice big postcode map so you can see where the neighbours are!

18 April 2006

18 April 2006

You thought I'd quit! (So did I ;)

Yobs get free pass to cause trouble

FREE public transport is to blame for yobs, according to a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator. Bus travel is free to under-16s under Mayor Ken Livingstone's scheme and children can also get on trains from areas such as Lewisham, Sydenham and Hayes.

Mr Verrinder said: "Ken Livingstone issued travelling passes to kids so they can stay out all night."

The evil butcher

Evil Belfast man John McGrady - who has a horrifying history of sex attacks on girls - last week admitted strangling 15-year-old Rochelle Holness and chopping her body into nine pieces after snatching her from a south London street. McGrady, 48, placed the girl's body parts in bin bags and wheeled them in a shopping trolley to a rubbish chute in the block of flats where he lived in Catford.

Rochelle's heartbroken parents last night branded the killer "inhuman".

Wallace determined to finish his own long, hard road

Danny Wallace used to play for Manchester United; now he is training for next Sunday's London Marathon. Slowly, often painfully, always precariously. He falls over, regularly in the street. Jen, his wife and training partner: the one who hauls him to his feet when he collapses. The one who has pretty much been hauling him to his feet since they met at a park in Deptford, south London, both aged 14.

Brockley Drug Raid

POLICE officers felt the heat as they weeded out a cannabis factory.

Officers from Brockley safer neighbourhood team raided the drug den in Malpas Road, Brockley, after noticing "enormous" amounts of heat coming from the property. Around 400 cannabis plants were seized and the factory was closed down following the raid on April 7.

10 April 2006

10 April 2006

Man accused of murder shot dead

Andrew Wanoghu, 26, died in Brockley, south-east London, on Saturday, when he was shot in the back and heart. Almost two years ago he had been due to stand trial for shooting Damien Cope, 22, outside Browns nightclub in Holborn, central London, in July 2002.

Mr Wanoghu walked free when the case was dropped and Lucy Cope then set up Mothers Against Guns. Mr Wanoghu, of Deptford, south-east London, was found after reports of a shooting in Pendrell Road at about 0130 BST. He had been shot in the back and heart.

Kitchen hanging tragedy

A "HAPPY-GO-LUCKY" taxi driver hanged himself from a kitchen cupboard just as he appeared to have got his life back on track, an inquest heard today. Ray Chapman, 47, was discovered by his flatmate in the early hours of January 3 - two days after he had seen in the new year with his young children.
He had overcome an addiction to drugs, secured a job as a cab driver and seemed happy before he died, Southwark Coroner's Court heard on Wednesday. Mr Chapman was discovered hanging from by an electric cable at his home in Mercator Road, Lewisham.

Eyesore transformed at railway station

Contractor Homegrown Timber (Rail) Ltd has already cleared the site of scrub and a mass of accumulated rubbish that has made the site in Brockley such an eyesore over the years.

Among the litter were hundreds of bottles, which will be recycled. The company is working to a plan put forward by Brockley Cross Action Group (BXAG), which is made up of people who want to turn the land into Brockley Common.

The clearance has altered the look of the site already and contractors are planting a variety of native shrubs and trees, such as hawthorn, hazel and rowan, to encourage wildlife.

06 April 2006

06 April 2006

Plea for Black Bone Marrow Donors

In a race against time to find a donor for his wife a South London man was today appealing to organisations running bone marrow registers to do more to recruit donors from ethnic minority groups.

Mark and Sarah Thompson from Lewisham have appeared today on GMTV in an effort to raise awareness of the massive shortage of black and mixed race bone marrow donors.

Town halls split over 271 homes

OPPOSITION has arisen between two town halls over plans to develop an industrial "brownfield" site.

Lewisham council planners are recommending permission is given for a four- to 15-storey building comprising 271 homes on the site of Thurston Road Industrial Estate, behind Lewisham railway station. The plan includes 71 one-bed-room, 178 two-bedroom, 21 three-bedroom and one four-bedroom homes. There would also be 19 live/work units and three large shops.

Too late to stop mast

FUMING residents have been left with an "ugly" phone mast on their doorstep, because the council left it too late to block the proposal. Lewisham Council had 56 days to refuse the application by phone company T-Mobile, to build a mast disguised as a lamppost, in Whitefoot Lane, Catford. But the mast has now been put up, because the council registered its objections after 57 days one day outside the permitted time frame.

Elected mayoral hopefuls unveiled

A Communist, a member of the Christian People's Alliance and people from the main parties, are among 22 candidates running for mayor on 4 May.
The local elections will see battles in the London boroughs of Hackney, Lewisham and Newham, and in Watford.

The current four mayors are all seeking second terms in office.


James Cleverly (C)

Current mayor Steve Bullock (Lab)

Christopher Maines (LD)

Michael Keogh (Green)

John Hamilton (Ind)

Sinna Mani (Lewisham Peoples' Alliance)

Happy day for dying bride

A BED-RIDDEN breast cancer victim in a hospice married her partner of 21 years in an emotional ceremony just days before her death. Sue Shepherd, 56, wed Chris Francis at St Christopher's Hospice in Sydenham on March 17. Chris, 46, said: "It was Sue's dream and we never wanted it to end.

Eagles sign a shirt for charity

CRYSTAL Palace footballers proudly stand by a signed shirt which they hope will raise cash for St Christopher's Hospice in Sydenham. The Eagles shirt will be auctioned at a golf day to be held at the Selsdon Park Hotel on Friday April 28.

The day has been organised in memory of former Coloma Convent schoolgirl Shinead Skehan, who died from cancer aged 19, in April 1996.

Catford gains Bomb Squad

EXPLOSIVES experts are set to boost the ranks of a Territorial Army unit. A specialist bomb disposal unit is to move its operations to the TA centre in Bromley Road, Catford, under a service reorganisation. The 221 Field Squadron, the TA's main bomb disposal unit, is moving to Catford from its current base in Rochester, Kent.

One arrest after drug operation

Sixteen Lewisham officers used an itemiser machine to detect traces of drugs on people entering The Copperfield, Station Approach, Catford. The machine can detect all kinds of drugs from cocaine to cannabis and can also detect handing of firearms.

Seventy five people were swabbed by officers as a condition of entry to the pub on Friday evening. Four people were then searched and one person arrested for possessing cannabis.

Copperfield manager Judith Boyce said: "We welcome the opportunity to work so closely with the police on this new initiative.

"We are confident this will send out the right message to our customers."

Lewisham Poetry on the Net

A Lewisham Morning
Nii Ayikwei Parkes

The smell of fish grates in the senses
Like the chugging of old buses
creeping down the high street.

The sun rises on market traders
getting ready to scream the day away
“get your tomatoes, fresh”! – red
like no-parking lines marking pedestrian zones…

Lewisham emerges from the valley of night
as trains worm their way out of tunnels
to bring the working masses to their daily routine.

The clock-tower watches as they filter
into banks and shops
and to fast food counters
and wait for night to come again.


Emily Hay
Winner of the adult River of Words competition.

Quaggy: hidden behind back gardens and privet.
Brickwalled, low. A road over which rivulets
Quietly slide inches deep. Culverted,
A sluice. A ditch to pitch the stolen bicycle,
Scoured and vacuum-sucked by tractors in autumn.

But while we looked away, below the station,
The grey-backed bobbing birds have come to stay.
The balance on bricks, pick the debris, chatter safely
Shaded by buddleia; run along its concrete rim;
Occupy their own secluded mountain stream.

And in the upturned shopping trolley
The mitten crabs raise woolly claws,
Wait for rainstorms, are flung towards the Thames,
Shed their skins that float on foam and confluence,
Then scurry uphill home to lurk in drains.

Paint and oil gutters in -
Slicks, sticks, dilutes, decays.
Summer comes. The lime trees drip their glue and greenflies.
Ducks swim by from parks to ponds. Seeds, butterflies,
Are carried from woodland to wasteland. And we pass by.

04 April 2006

04 April 2006

Sexual Lewisham

ONE IN nine people in the UK have a sexually transmitted infection (STI) a figure spread evenly between men and women. But despite similar risks across the sexes, the numbers of men visiting sexual health clinics is disproportionately low.

Sexual health services in Lewisham, for example, have seen this divide first hand and state just one in 10 of their clients are male a trend reflected in many clinics across the south east.

Marked Crime (Report from USA)

One London neighborhood, the Borough of Lewisham, has created a program by which residents can snap photos of graffiti with their mobile phones and submit a cleanup request electronically. The government cleans up the mess, then sends a message back indicating the work is complete.

Smaller cities count on neighborhood pressure and parental involvement to help limit graffiti. But Longmont is getting too big, local experts say, to rely on those techniques anymore. City officials have convened a task force of police officers, code-enforcement officials and neighborhood resource experts to examine the problem and offer possible solutions.

Babyshambles arrested in Lewisham!

Pete Doherty's band mates in Babyshambles are reported to have been arrested yesterday, after being seen driving erratically. Patrick Walden, Adam Fickek and Drew McConnell were apparently pulled over in Lewisham, South London by police.

All three are said to have been arrested and taken to a nearby police station, where guitarist Walden was charged with drink driving, claims The Sun.

Lewisham Web-hunt :

Catford Open Forum

Sydenham Town Community Website

Forest Hill Community Website

Beer In The Evening ; New Cross Pub list

Blackheath : The Story of a Suburb

02 April 2006

02 April 2006

Apologies if updates are patchy, I finished working in the Lewisham area last week and start work for a new company this coming week. It's going to take some adjusting to that's for sure! In the meantime...

'Too posh to push' mothers cost NHS £80m

The NHS is spending more than £80 million a year carrying out Caesarean sections that are not medically necessary. The highest rate was at St John's Hospital, Chelmsford, Essex, at 33.3 per cent, closely followed by University Hospital London, in Lewisham, at 33.1 per cent.

Parents' anger at decaying school

THE roofs leak, the playground is cracked, the classrooms are cold and too small - and the toilets are outside. Even Lewisham council admits Gordonbrock Primary School in Brockley is in a dilapidated state. Parents were furious and dismayed when it was announced the primary school would not be rebuilt after all.

How we will deal with education

CHRIS JOHNSON asks the Lewisham mayoyal candidates their views on the Government's Education Bill, how they would tackle the problem of truancy and where they would build a new secondary school in the borough.

Pools closed over roof safety fears

THE Forest Hill pools have been shut for health and safety reasons. Timber supporting the main roof truss has been found to be unsafe because of decay, and both swimming pools at the Dartmouth Road facility have been closed. The problem was discovered during a routine safety inspection last week.

24-hour off-licence booze bid rejected

THIS off licence has been refused permission to sell booze 24 hours-a-day because councillors fear residents will lose sleep. An application to extend opening hours at ARD Food Store in Blackheath Hill was rejected at a meeting on Monday morning.

Licensing sub-committee members dismissed the application because the area is largely residential and due to objections made by neighbours of the business.

Good turnout for local government strike day

"A number of primary schools were partly closed, i.e. open 'til lunchtime or staggered closing throughout the day - don't know of any totally closed. A not very strong picket line at the main council offices in Catford, none at the FE despite threats of one (though they may had one first thing I suppose, no one there by 10am). Only two people striking in my work place two or three miles from main council offices (only two Unison members out of 29 staff)."

Borough is top dog for social housing

LEWISHAM is at top of the league when it comes to social housing, according to a new survey. Of all homes built in the borough in 2004/05, 57.6 per cent were social housing set aside for poorer residents the joint highest in London.

According to the survey carried out by the GMB trade union, this far outweighs the London-wide average, where only a quarter of homes built are social housing.

Better access for disabled people

DISABLED commuters are on track to benefit from multi-million pound plans to improve facilities at three train stations. The Government has announced a £350m cash boost to make life easier for disabled people at 47 stations across the country.

The first wave of this investment will see a trio of the borough's mainline stations Lewisham, New Cross and Blackheath being made more user-friendly for disabled people.

Vote of confidence for political project

A PROJECT aimed at getting more young people interested in politics has won a national award. Lewisham is the only London borough to have a young mayor with his own youth cabinet and a budget.

Now this scheme has been recognised, with Lewisham Council being awarded Beacon status for positive youth engagement.

Ward closures to cut costs

HOSPITAL bosses have named the three wards which will close as part of a cost-cutting exercise. Lewisham Hospital is to close the trio of wards in the next three months, meaning the loss of 55 beds.

But Lewisham has avoided having to make the major surgery needed at nearby Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, where up to 100 jobs are set to go.

Council under fire as election looms

A POLITICAL storm has erupted over the relationship between the ruling Labour party and council officers. Opposition members claim Lewisham Council has become too involved in "partisan politics" and have accused some officers of being politically motivated.