18 June 2007

18 June 2007

It's been a while, hope you're all ok. My time on the net can be counted in minutes these days so this blog has seen some neglect. My apologies for losing touch with everyone, but I've lost daytime access and evenings seem to vanish in the blink of an eye! Let's pretend none of that has happened and attempt a post.

Lewisham represented in Big Brother

LEWISHAM lass Charley remains in Big Brother after the first eviction. The unemployed 21-year-old, who lives at home with her mum in Lewisham, entered the Big Brother house 18 days ago. She describes herself as trendy, wild and argumentative.

Black Britain speaks - 'Dear Jamaica, wi homesick!'

On one side of a red-brick roadway, in a place called Lewisham on the south-east side of London, England, is a small, colourful food shop. A yellow and black sign above the front door says 'Honey's Caribbean Take Away Bakery'.

Prolific bicycle thief is caught

A prolific bike thief who stole up to two machines every day, has been arrested after going on the run. Daniel Westrop, aged, 27, from Bromley, south-east London, had failed to turn up for a court hearing on 24 May. The labourer was found in Catford, south London, and had been wanted for cycle thefts at stations in the South-East.

Man talked down from rooftop

A FIRE crew was called to an address in Sydenham following reports a man was threatening to jump off the roof. The crew, who brought an aerial platform as a rescue precaution, was called to the house in Devonshire Road at 8.15am by police.

Sainsbury's asbestos fear after coughing outbreak

STAFF at a Sainsbury's store are complaining of coughs because of dusty building work. The shop in Lewisham Shopping Centre,Lewisham High Street, is being refurbished but one worker said this had led to a layer of dust settling on foods and fine particles floating in the air.

End of the line for train yobs

POLICE have targeted nine stations along the crime "hot spot" route of the Lewisham to Dartford railway line. Eleven arrests were made on Thursday evening by British Transport Police and officers from the Met's Safer Transport Team. Offences include carrying a knife, possession of class-A drugs, trespass and public order offences.

20 May 2007

20 May 2007

£12,000 payout after back injury

A COUNCIL employee has received £12,000 in damages after injuring his back in an accident at work.

Craig Lewis, who has worked for Lewisham Council for 20 years, injured his back in September 2004 after a chair he was sitting on gave way.

Alleyway clean-up

POLICE and council officials today teamed up to clear fly-tipped rubbish away from an alleyway.

Rushey Green Safer Neighbourhood Team and Lewisham Council workers armed themselves with brooms, overalls and gloves to tackle the alleyway in Blythe Hill Lane, Catford.

Wheelie Bins Made Smaller

Councils are cutting the size of residents' wheelie bins in an attempt to encourage recycling.

Local authorities are to introduce new "baby bins" which will give householders 180-litre containers instead of of the 240-litre versions previously provided.

One of the first councils to do this is Lewisham, but several authorities in London look set to follow.

Three charged over teen robbery

A police search of the area resulted in a double-decker bus being stopped on Bromley Road, Downham, where a group of 10 men and women were asked to get off.

The victim's handbag and mobile phone were found nearby.

A 15-year-old girl from Greenwich, a 14-year-old from Lewisham and an 11-year-old from Lewisham were arrested on suspicion of robbery.

Archbishop to Open £60m Lewisham Hospital Extension

Archbishop Desmond Tutu is to perform an official opening ceremony at the £60m ‘Riverside’ extension to Lewisham Hospital in London, on 21st May 2007. Carillion completed and handed over the facility in November last year and is now providing hard facilities management services at the hospital under the terms of the 30-year PFI contract.

Department for Communities and Local Government urges councils to sell disused public buildings to community groups

The report on Community Management and Ownership of Assets by Lewisham Council chief executive Barry Quirk concludes that transferring public assets to local people leads to more responsive services and more confident communities.

Quirk said: “Community ownership can bring people from different backgrounds together; it can foster a sense of belonging and play a role in enhancing the local environment, alleviating poverty and raising people’s expectations.”

Offenders snub fines

Councillor Simon Carter, the Liberal Democrat spokesman for community safety in Lewisham, says if the police issue fines, they need to follow them up.

He said: "The police need to make sure these fines are being enforced.

"The Liberal Democrats believe to tackle anti-social behaviour, a greater police presence is required on the streets.

"This will have a greater impact instead of issuing on-the-spot fines."

Student to bare all

Chantal Goodey, 29, of Mount Pleasant Road, Lewisham, will be joining campaigners from around the world in Pamplona on July 5.

They will be protesting against bullfighting and the running of the bulls, an annual event in which the animals are set free in the streets and people have to try to avoid them.

Campaign group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), which aims to end the exploitation of animals, started the Running of the Nudes event in 2002.

Teens jailed for smashing teeth

ROBBERS who smashed out a man's front teeth to steal a lighter worth £1.50 have been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Two teenagers, a 16-year-old from Orpington and a 14-year-old from South Norwood were imprisoned at Croydon Crown Court last Friday.

A 15-year-old from Lewisham and a 16-year-old from Streatham Hill were also each given a four-year supervision order.

Lawyer: 'Rape' girl should be 'glad of attention'

A barrister provoked outrage yesterday by claiming that the victim of an alleged gang rape was so fat she would have been 'glad of the attention'.

Sheilagh Davies, defending one of three boys accused of raping two girls, said the 16-year-old girl had 'slimmed down a lot' since the alleged attack.

The defendants, all from Catford, South- East London, allegedly told the girls they would be killed if they called police.

Hate crime crackdown arrests

NINE people in Lewisham and Greenwich have been arrested in dawn raids cracking down on domestic violence and hate crime.

The London-wide operation today was "aimed at putting the fear back on to the offender", said a police statement.

07 May 2007

07 May 2007

Life is busy, updates have been thin, as always - I apologise.

Residents calling for prefabs to be saved

Eighty-three homeowners and tenants have signed an online petition on the Downing Street website, calling for their prefab estate in Catford, built after the Second World War, to be saved.

Honouring wartime servicemen

An ex-servicemen's club in Catford is organising a memorial event to remember the men killed aboard HMS Hood.

Canal Approach burns!

A fire which broke out in the early hours of this morning at a warehouse on Canal Approach in Deptford. A number of gas cylinders including two acetylene cylinders were reported at the scene of the fire which caused substantial damage to the two storey warehouse. A 200 metre hazard zone was put in place to ensure public safety, as some cylinders can explode when exposed to heat.

Additional Report Report Report

Looking at how to combat guns

More than 200 people attended a conference held in Catford looking at what action can be taken to solve the problem of gun and knife crime. The Community Call to Action conference was held to look at the problems of gangs, guns and knives on the streets.

Poll says area is not family-friendly

LEWISHAM and Greenwich are among the worst places in the UK to bring up a family, according to a survey. The borough of Lewisham came 400th out of 408 areas in a Reader's Digest poll. Greenwich borough was ranked 393rd, according to the survey of 1,162 parents.

Council rejects mayoral motion

CALLS for a consultation about holding a referendum on Lewisham's directly-elected mayoral system have been rejected. A joint motion, put forward by Liberal Democrat Councillor Mark Morris and Green Party leader Councillor Darren Johnson, was voted down at full council last week.

Warden takes council to tribunal

A STREET warden has taken a council to a tribunal over allegations of outstanding payments. Mark Whyte, of Sunninghill Road, Lewisham, appeared at an employment tribunal in London Road, Croydon, on January 19 to present his £6,000 payment claim against Lewisham Council.

CCTV misses bus robbery

VITAL CCTV footage of a steaming gang attacking bus passengers cannot be used because the camera failed. The eight-strong gang raided a 188 bus in Surrey Quays.

The thugs, believed to be members of the Lewisham-based SFX Boys gang, cornered their young victims on the top deck before making off with cash and mobile phones.

Terror suspects to face trial

A TERROR suspect from Lewisham was among eight men who appeared in court on Friday. The suspects, who were arrested last year after a series of anti-terror raids across the south east, are expected to stand trial later this year.

They are charged on a 32-count indictment which includes charges of soliciting murder, providing training for terrorists and possessing terror documents between March and June last year.

Rise in number of dumped animals

News Shopper reported in October how the Celia Hammond Animal Trust was in danger of grinding to a halt because too many abandoned cats had been left at its doors.

The situation has not really changed at the centre in Lewisham Way, Lewisham. It currently has 115 cats which need to be rehomed. Tust founder Celia Hammond said: "It is sickening and very upsetting so many cats are still being abandoned.

Plantman (Samuel Smithers) aka Blackheath is a fictional character, a supervillain in the Marvel Comics universe. The character first appeared in Strange Tales vol. 1 #113.

23 April 2007

23 April 2007

Apologies. It's been far too long but the real world got in the way. Apologies also for missing the blog meet, glad to see it went well. Gutted to miss out meeting many of you and saying hello again to some of you. Next time (sigh). Onwards!

ITV gets local in Lewisham with Local London Online TV.

Strike threat over post office closures in WH Smith

The Royal Mail is facing the threat of a strike today after announcing that scores of flagship Post Offices are to close with services transferred to WH Smith stores. The Post Office said that following a trial in six areas, a further 70 so-called Crown Post Offices are expected to move to the high street stores group by the end of summer next year.

The full list of the 70 Crown Post Office branches announced today to be relocated into nearby WH Smith stores include:

Bexleyheath, Bromley, Charing Cross, Forest Hill, Lewisham, Woolwich.....

Vision of the future

SIX sites in Lewisham have been earmarked as “major development opportunities”, attracting extra jobs and houses.

Three areas in Deptford – Convoys Wharf, Deptford town centre and Seagers Distillery – plus Lewisham and Catford town centres, and Millwall, have been named in the Lewisham regeneration strategy.

Lewisham joins slavery apology calls

The Mayor of Lewisham, Steve Bullock, has joined calls for British institutions to apologise to the descendants of slaves for their involvement in the ‘evils’ of the slave trade, at a commemorative service hosted in Lewisham Town Hall last weekend.
Bullock told The Voice that he had a personal responsibility to find a way to “express the sorrow and regret so many of us share.”

‘Despicable’ theft of crematorium’s roof

THIEVES have stolen the roof from a crematorium. Part of the copper roof was discovered to have been taken from Lewisham Crematorium on the morning of April 10, when workers returned after the Easter break.

Obese Lewisham residents too fat to be cremated

Rising obesity levels have caused crises in some crematoriums which are finding many coffins are now too big to fit in standard sized furnaces.

Some councils have been forced to invest up to £130,000 (Dh949,000) in outsize incinerators able to cope with expanding waistlines.Among them is Lewisham council, which has ordered a 44-inch furnace from the United States.

Lewisham worst place to raise a family?

Reader's Digest polled 1,162 parents with children under 16 and asked them to rate the characteristics of family-friendly locations - giving these a rating from 1 to 10, depending on their importance.

The factors were then weighted depending on the importance parents gave to them. Reader's Digest also used official data, such as Home Office crime figures, and Land Registry house price figures, to rank each area.

399. Oxford, Oxfordshire
400. Lewisham, London
401. North Lincolnshire
402. Rother, East Sussex
403. Kingston upon Hull
404. Haringey, London
405. Hastings, East Sussex
406. North East Lincolnshire
407. Waltham Forest, London
408. Reading, Berkshire
Source: Reader's Digest

09 April 2007

09 April 2007

Shoe fetishist feels like a 'monster'

A SHOE fetishist says he felt like a "monster" when he realised the impact his high heel muggings had on his female victims. Omar Abd-el-Gowad got a sexual thrill when he pounced on strangers in the street and ripped the shoes from their feet, it is claimed.

The 26-year-old crept up on a seventh victim, who cannot be named, in New Cross on November 9 last year as she returned home with a friend, prosecutor Toby Fitzgerald said on Tuesday.

Lewisham Primary Care Trust denies forcing nurses to take Easter break

Lewisham Primary Care Trust has hit back at claims by the GMB union of a possible shortfall in nursing cover over the Easter break. The union’s sister organisation, the Community & District Nursing Association (CDNA), said its member nurses were being forced to take a holiday over Easter by the trust’s HR team – leaving a potential shortfall in nursing cover.

Demand for answers on 'bankrupt councillor'

LEWISHAM Labour group is calling for answers over the position of a former Liberal Democrat councillor. Labour group chairman Councillor Alan Hall demanded a statement over Councillor Sera Kentman's status at Lewisham Council's Annual General Meeting following her expulsion from the Liberal Democrat party.

FBI investigate discount shop credit card scam

SHOPPERS at discount shop TK Maxx could be victims of the world's biggest credit card scam affecting 45 million people. The FBI are currently investigating stores in Dartford, Bexleyheath, Bromley, Charlton, Lewisham and Farnborough.

Colleges meet their match

"The CBI has won the debate and there's an open market in training," says Dame Ruth Silver, principal of Lewisham College, in south-east London. Lewisham is one of many colleges that have been talking to neighbours - in its case, Greenwich College and Bexley College - about the possibilities of snuggling up.

04 April 2007

04 April 2007

MPs visit Lewisham College

The Chancellor Gordon Brown and Education Secretary Alan Johnson visited the college to meet the students and learn more about how young people are being equipped with skills necessary for the future.

Girl collapses at play centre and later dies

A FIVE-year-old girl has died after collapsing at a children's play centre. The youngster was playing at Gambado, Copers Cope Road, Beckenham, when the incident took place on March 22. Paramedics then took over and took her to Lewisham Hospital, High Street, Lewisham, where she was pronounced dead.

Arrest in 'bankrupt councillor' inquiry

A LIBERAL Democrat councillor who was expelled from the party is believed to have been arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice and perjury. News Shopper previously reported Cllr Sera Kentman, who is alleged to have used different names, was the subject of a police investigation.

Campaigning to save derelict pub

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save a derelict pub from demolition face another battle. Developer Renewal Beckenham Ltd was refused planning permission to knock down the Green Man pub in Bromley Road, Catford, to make way for 54 flats.

Election battle for Army major

CONSERVATIVES in Bexley and Bromley have chosen a Territorial Army major and prolific blogger to fight for their London Assembly seat. James Cleverly, from Lewisham, was chosen to run in the election at a meeting at Sidcup Rugby Club, Sydney Road, Sidcup, on March 21.

29 March 2007

29 March 2007

Art show is a true winner

AN EXHIBITION of art by hospice patients is proving a major success. Staff from St. Christopher's Hospice, Sydenham have had a stream of compliments about the high quality of the pieces displayed.

Priest cleared of sexually abusing 11-year-old

A PRIEST walked free from court today after a jury cleared him of sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy helper more than 30 years ago. Father Edward Michael Wright, 69, was accused of plying the schoolboy with drink and repeatedly molesting him at St Stephen's Church in Lewisham, in the early Seventies.

Town centre cordoned off in bomb scare

A 23-year-old kitchen assistant from Catford was arrested in relation to a hoax bomb call made to the Copperfield pub in Catford Bridge. The man is currently being held at Lewisham police station pending further enquiries.

Gangs should join ceasefire

A CAMPAIGNER is calling for a "ceasefire" day after a series of stabbings and shootings across London. Child counsellor Minty Challis is hoping thousands of people will attend a march from Catford to Lewisham next month to unite the community.

25 March 2007

25 March 2007

Luziane Tchiegue-Nouta, the deputy young mayor of Lewisham talked about "breaking down the barriers" between adults and children that could push some people into gangs.

Rugby legend Jason Leonard has been talent spotting in Lewisham to search for the next generation of England stars. The World Cup winner was at Whitefoot Lane in the London borough on March 20 for one of the Royal & SunAlliance SEE U @ RUG B coaching sessions.

PRIMARY school children put their culinary skills to the test in a cookery competition.
Pupils from St Mary's Primary School, Lewisham High Street, Lewisham, took part in the competition called On Your Marks, Get Set, Cook.

A vicar accused of molesting an 11-year-old church helper admitted having a gay lover but branded the child abuse claims a figment of the boy's imagination. The Edinburgh-born clergyman denies a catalogue of sex crimes while at St Stephen's Church, in Lewisham, south-east London, in the 1970s.

New Lewisham Blog! - Catford Living

21 March 2007

21 March 2006

Kate takes it to the press!

Lewisham Sucks and Kate is getting the media on side! While I wallow in Lewisham Nostalgia, LewishamNews favourite Kate is reporting from the front line. Click the link for her big feature and remember her petition here.

Max Goes to Court!

Another LewishamNews favourite hits the headlines! This time it's Max.

CAMPAIGNING residents are taking a decision made by Lewisham Mayor Steve Bullock to the High Court after calling his plans to replace Ladywell Pool "unlawful". The plans will see the pool in Lewisham High Street demolished, with a new pool built in Loampit Vale, along with 750 homes by 2010. But the Save Ladywell Pool Campaign says the plans have been ill-considered and are unjust.

Max Calo, the group's secretary, said the pool would be surrounded by tall buildings. He said: "The new pool will basically be in the basement of a block of flats.
Full details at Save Ladywell Pool

Swimmer's hopes boosted by quiz

Perrymount School raised more than £1,000 at their third annual quiz night to support a Forest Hill swimmer who has been selected to compete in the Special Olympics World Summer Games 2007 in Shanghai.

Mayor of Lewisham Steve Bullock and Lewisham West MP Jim Dowd both took part in the quiz. Sarah Paschoud is 15 and has been training with the Sharks Swimming Club for the past five years.

Hunt for dealer’s killer continues

An inquest on March 14 into the death heard how the 36-year-old Jamaican man was found dead in his house.

The shooting happened after neighbours heard a disturbance at his home between 9pm and 10pm on September 19. The weapon used was a Russian Tokarov 9mm handgun.

Deptford Dance 'could keep young healthy'

Public health minister Caroline Flint and culture minister David Lammy touted the idea on a visit to the Laban dance centre in London.

They highlighted research by Laban which found children who dance enjoy physical and psychological benefits. The researchers said creative dance should be considered as an alternative to sport for children.

19 March 2007

19 March 2007

Pupils start work on centre revamp

STUDENTS pulled on their overalls to help give a youth centre a new lease of life.

Nine pupils from Deptford Green School are giving the Evelyn Arches Youth and Community Centre in Childers Street, Deptford, a complete makeover. Lewisham Council donated materials, tools and overalls so the youngsters could paint the centre and work on the garden.

Why kids join gangs ... and how to save them

Politicians are trying to prove they are taking action, police are attempting to show they have the problem under control and volunteer groups are bidding to stem the problem.

But is any of this making a difference to the lives of the young people in the gangs? "No way," says one 19-year-old from Catford.

Horror knife fight broke out in A&E

The Old Bailey heard how John Saunders was held down and slashed in the face and Owen Saunders was stabbed in the back by members of the Coyle family as a savage turf war spiralled out of control. Patients and medical staff were forced to flee as the families - who had been feuding since 2001 over their road surfacing businesses - produced knives and other weapons for the showdown at Lewisham Hospital.

Teenager denies murder of 19-year-old

A TEENAGER has denied stabbing a 19-year-old to death near a bus stop in Lewisham High Street.

Jordan Mayers, also 19, pleaded not guilty to the murder of Emmanuel Odunewu via video link from prison at the Old Bailey yesterday. Mayers, of Birch Grove, Grove Park, spoke only to confirm his name and plea.

Funeral for man hit by bus

THE FUNERAL of a 46-year-old man who died under the wheels of a bus is being held today.

Dennis Sudlow was hit by a 261 double-decker bus in Baring Road, Grove Park, on March 1. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His funeral is being held today at Lewisham Crematorium, Verdant Lane, Lewisham.

Councillor is bankrupt

A LIBERAL Democrat councillor has been expelled from the party and is at the centre of a police investigation. Cllr Sera Kentman, who has represented Whitefoot ward in Lewisham since last May, was axed after breaching rules, which included failing to disclose her debts as a councillor.

Other allegations involving Ms Kentman include:

A £9,000 overpayment of housing benefit on a house she part owns.

Outstanding council tax payments back dating over a year.

Her use of a number of different names. Ms Kentman was temporarily suspended three weeks ago from the party and given time to provide information on her debts and proof of her identity.

Five alleged "crack houses" closed after raids

FIVE alleged "crack houses" have been closed down and 12 people arrested following raids across Lewisham.

The raids were carried out in a partnership between Lewisham police and various safer neighbourhood teams across the borough.

The following premises were closed as a result of the raids:

Two business addresses in , Brockley Road, Lewisham
A house in Hazledon Road, Crofton Park
A house in Stondon Park, Crofton Park
A flat in Wickham Road, Brockley

15 March 2007

15 March 2007

Lewisham Announce £400m BSF Preferred Bidder

Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham, has announced a preferred bidder partner for Lewisham Council’s massive school redevelopment programme. Learning21 has been chosen to build a brand new school and refurbish or rebuild eight of the Borough’s existing secondary schools.

Learning21 is a joint venture between VT Group and Costain Group PLC.

Anorexic 'failed to beat demons'

A WOMAN died from severe anorexia 30 years after being teased for being "fat" at school, an inquest has heard. Dawn Christopher, 43, was admitted to hospital in one of the most emaciated states doctors had ever seen.

Despite being 5ft 3in tall, she had weighed just over six stone. Ms Christopher, a former veterinary nurse who later worked as a receptionist, never married and lived with her parents in the family home in Minard Road, Catford.

Lewisham council's outrageous attack

A RECENT meeting of Lewisham council's con-stitutional working party discussed a Labour and Lib Dem-backed proposal to limit the number of motions a councillor could propose or second to one per council meeting.

Dead man lay undiscovered for two weeks

A PARK-KEEPER lay dead in his flat for two weeks before his body was discovered.

Raymond Paice, 59, was found on his bedroom floor when police broke into his home in Poole Court, Lewisham. The alarm was raised by his neighbours on November 16 last year after they had not seen him for two weeks.

Lewisham misses out in final of contest

LEWISHAM has missed out on being named the cleanest town in Britain. The title instead went to Ipswich during the finale of a competition run by the British Cleaning Council.

It is the first year Lewisham has reached the final stages of the contest. The competition, formerly known as Britain's Cleanest City, was re-launched last year as the Clean Britain Awards to allow towns and districts to enter as well as cities.

14 March 2007

Lewisham Celebs #1 - Keeley Hazell

Way back on 11th January 2006 I posted a news item about Chelsea footballer Joe Cole getting into a fight over a girl in Grove Park. The item claimed that the girl, Keeley Hazell, was a Page Three girl. As I never buy or read The Sun (I support Liverpool and hold grudges)I had no clue who this girl was and to this day I have no clue who she is! Wikipedia tells me that she's a "daughter" of this fair borough -

Hazell was born in Lewisham, London, England, grew up in Grove Park, and attended the Ravensbourne School in Bromley. Her mother, Amber, is a dinner lady and her father, Roy, is a window fitter; they separated when she was thirteen. She has an older sister, Roxanne, and a younger sister, Georgia.

The Tories claim she is an environmental hero for her campaigns. She's now popping up in the likes of Arena Magazine, which I enjoy flicking through every now and then.

So apart from (over)exposing herself in The Sun - has Keeley Hazell done anything else (of merit) to put Lewisham on the map? Enquiring minds want to know.

Council Tax Bands and Increases.

The Evening Standard ran a feature today regarding Council Tax and specifically the possibility of new Council Tax bandings for properties with a rateable value over £1M - effectively creating a Band I to go over the Band H.
It's all guesswork as the Lyon's Review hasn't been published yet but it gave the Standard an excuse to list how many properties sold for over £1M in 2006. Please note that this isn't how many there are in the boroughs, just those that sold in 2006.

The second part of the Council Tax feature was titled "Homeowners taxed £10 more for asylum seekers" and started "A London Council is adding £10 to it's average tax bill to cover the costs of failed asylum seekers." No, not Lewisham, but Hillingdon.
Of course, the headline was put next to a table showing Council Tax increases across the London Boroughs which is a bit naughty really considering that the Council Tax increases listed aren't the fault of failed asylum seekers at all but rather a multitude of factors. Anyway, I thought I'd include the list so you can see how Lewisham compares to the rest of London.

13 March 2007

Lewisham Blog Meet April 2007

Having made a success of the first meet, Andrew has announced a second Lewisham Blogger's Meet Up. Sounds good to me!

When? 20:00 Friday, April 20, 2007

Where? The Jolly Farmers 354 Lewisham High St, Lewisham, London SE13 6LE

Full details here

The Lewisham Interview #2 - Sue

Sue has stepped up as the first Councillor to answer the questions - so without further delays....

1.What is your connection to Lewisham and how long has it been?

I moved to Lewisham six years ago. I was living in Camberwell and wanted to buy a flat in East Dulwich, but couldn’t afford the prices round there, so the estate agent suggested I look at a couple of places in Ladywell and Brockley. I wandered round the area, liked the look of it, particularly Hilly Fields and the local shops, and I’ve been here ever since. I’ve lived in London for nine years now. I was born and brought up in Worcester, studied at Leeds University, then worked in Minsk, Belarus for a year. I moved to London as there were more jobs using Russian language skills here than in Worcester.

2.What is your favourite part of the borough and why is it?

Well, obviously, I’d have to say Ladywell! The views from Hilly Fields, cycling through Ladywell Fields, wandering through Brockley cemetery. I love the Victorian architecture of the houses in and around Brockley conservation area. I also love my cycle route to work, from Ladywell to Deptford, via cycle route 21. It goes through Brookmill Park and I often see herons and other wildlife in the morning. I also enjoy walking to Greenwich via Blackheath.

3.What building or landmark would you like to see demolished?

Ooh, possibly the Citibank tower, together with the accompanying multi-storey car park, although the tower could be much improved with a bit of TLC (how about some solar panel cladding like what the Co-op did to their tower in Manchester?). The new buildings planned for Lewisham Gateway could potentially dilute its impact too. OK, so maybe just the car park then. Catford shopping centre isn’t exactly beautiful either, though I understand there are plans to regenerate it. (I’m bracing myself for a barrage of abuse from lovers of 1960s-70s architecture now).

4.What building or landmark do you think is the best?

Again, I’m being very parochial, but Ladywell Playtower, the old workhouse in Slagrove Place, or the Watertower in Dressington Avenue are all fine examples of Victorian architecture. Also St Mary’s Church on Lewisham Way, which I believe is the oldest building in the borough, Deptford Town Hall for its imposing interior and St Paul’s Church in Deptford, of course. A restored Beckenham Place Mansion could feature in a future list . . .

5.What’s the one thing you would change about the borough?

Make it more pedestrian and cycle friendly - fewer cars and better provision for cyclists.

6.What do you think is missing from the borough?

A vegetarian restaurant. When I used to live in Camberwell, we used to make regular visits to Heathers in Deptford, then no sooner had we moved then they closed down! (and a cinema and ice rink would be nice too, of course)

7.What is the borough's best-kept secret?

The incinerator in Deptford (SELCHP) may well have “the power to heat homes in the area”, but I understand it’s not yet but plumbed in to any district heating scheme to enable it to do so. What a waste of energy . . .

8.The one thing you want to tell the net about Lewisham is......

All of the above, plus Lewisham is a creative place, full of artists and musicians. Also Lewisham has character and is not yet a clone town – we still have lots of independently run shops and market stalls. And it has the biggest group of Green councillors in London!

Thanks Sue!

Any more offers from local Lewisham lurkers or legends? Feel free to email me!

12 March 2007


I was able to spend a few brief hours in parts of the Borough today - the first real time I've been back since March 2006. I've managed to drive through once or twice and visit the Greenwich/Lewisham border - but today I walked around Riverdale, Leegate, Blackheath and even managed to stop off at the New Welcome Noodle Bar on Lee High Road for Chicken Ho-Fun and a Carrot Juice - wonderful.

Managed a few snaps of the place and even surprised at a few new buildings - especially the St.John's Medical Centre on Loampit Hill. A welcome replacement for what was the Esso Petrol Station and then, for a few years, a piece of neglected land.

Lewisham Up High 00

11 March 2007

11 March 2007

Youth banned from driving

A YOUTH has been banned from driving for six months after appearing before magistrates charged with motoring offences. The 17-year-old, who cannot be named, was also ordered to pay £25 costs and received a nine month referral order to attend Lewisham Youth Offending Team.

'Reservoir Dogs' gang in midnight torture raids

...two of the gang - Robert Talbot, a BMW trader, and his younger brother, Adam - also staged a series of at least 15 burglaries, which yielded more than £500,000. Robert Talbot, 29, viewed himself as "middle class". He ran Beema World, a service centre in Catford, south east London, for BMW. He also had at least 20 convictions and put his thoughts on crime on paper, in a book manuscript which he entitled Larging It. In it he claimed he had "no time for bag snatchers" who preyed on the weak but outlined a criminal manifesto which was put into practice in the robberies, which police believe were primarily driven by him....

Lewisham Ex-cop speaks in Luton

Dr David Michael, 53, is a founder member and former chairman of the UK's first Black Police Association. He was the first black cop in Lewisham and was also the recipient of its first Mayor's Citizenship Award.

He has an honorary law degree from the University of Greenwich and was a member of the Newham Child protection team. His work has also involved several high profile murder cases, the criminal justice service and a unit investigating complaints against police officers.

08 March 2007

The Lewisham Interview #1 - Max

Max has been kind enough to step up and be the first person featured for the Lewisham Interview. You can find Max here - a talented artist and fearless campaigner.

1.What is your connection to Lewisham and how long has it been?

I've lived here since 1999. Because of my wife that was born here.

2.What is your favourite part of the borough and why is it?

Ladywell Station and the overlooking park. I like to walk to the end of the platform, it's very relaxing. The two cafes outside the station are also very civilized, one even has books, quite a leap from the usual greasy copy of the Sun that seems to be mandatory in cafes across London.

3.What building or landmark would you like to see demolished?

It's one building along Molesworth Street in front of the Shopping Centre, next door to the small building of Citybank. I don't know what it is, it's a very big cube, very dark, no features, not much movement apart from a security guard. Does anybody know what it is an why it should keep on blighting our lives?

Lewisham Up High 04

4.What building or landmark do you think is the best?

Milford Tower, it's so horrid that it fascinates me. Brutalism at its peak. Prince Charles could transform it into a rehab centre for Architects. Looking at it from the back it could be a starship about to take off and maybe one day it will.

5.Whats the one thing you would change about the borough?

I would stop children from stampeding at People's Day. Also some initiative to deter people from rearing those aggressive dogs that have become so fashionable. Maybe a permanent compulsory dog fighting tournament to the death would do (with owners thrown into the fight too of course).

6.What do you think is missing from the borough?

That's a difficult question. There are a few things that we don't have, that's not the same as we miss all of them, only a few.

The Borough is very diverse, so what one part is lacking you can find in another and if you crawl across the Borough you can find a bit of most thing.

There's a maybe a lack of upmarket offer, of anything really, some people would like to be able to spend more than a tenner on a bottle of wine, but do we really miss it? The popular nature of Lewisham is its personality, the dog-track was a fitting metaphor of it. It closed now and probably many miss it, I've never been to it actually so I can't speak on that.

The Borough famously doesn't have a cinema, they're talking of having one in the redevelopment of Lewisham Centre but I'm not sure that Lewisham Centre would be the best place for it because of the Picturehouse in Greenwich that's great and is only 5 minutes by bus. There's a risk of a deadly financial blow if it had another cinema so close since it already suffers from the competition of the ugly Cinemaworks multiplex on the Greenwich peninsula. Probably Catford that used to have one is the natural place that's missing it.

A good bookshop would be a good start probably. A cinema later.

7.What is the borough's best-kept secret?

You can buy manure for 50p a bag from a man that has horses in his back-garden in Brockley.

8.The one thing you want to tell the net about Lewisham is......

Don't drive here, you can get stuck on the South Circular, come by train, it's better than the tube.

Thanks Max!

07 March 2007

Lewisham Legends & Lurkers

Whether you're a lurker or local legend - get your name up in html!
I'm looking for people who want to share their views on Lewisham by way of a mini-interview. Just answer the questions below (and add another two yourself if you want) and email back to me so I can post them on this blog. Include a photo of yourself or your favourite Lewisham things or both!

1.What is your connection to Lewisham and how long has it been?

2.What is your favourite part of the borough and why is it?

3.What building or landmark would you like to see demolished?

4.What building or landmark do you think is the best?

5.Whats the one thing you would change about the borough?

6.What do you think is missing from the borough?

7.What is the borough's best-kept secret?

8.The one thing you want to tell the net about Lewisham is......

I've had a bet with myself that if I'm lucky I'll get three responses, if I've really lucky I might get five - hopefully I'll get a flood and be proved wrong :) Don't be shy - the more the merrier.

Tfl Cam Gallery

A very sad person has saved some snapshots from the cameras and has a growing gallery. *ahem*

Catford 15Jan07Catford 13Jan07Catford 01Mar07Deptford01Jan07

06 March 2007

06 March 2007

Blood and glory

For all its shambolic effervescence, the formation of the Anti Nazi League was a critical moment in the battle against racism and the National Front. Thirty years after the riots of Southall and Lewisham, Ed Vulliamy looks back on the intoxicating mix of 'bravery, pride and shame' which helped drive fascists from our streets

Hip hop poets

FRESH is an evening of hip hop poetry which features top rappers from Lewisham to California. Performance poetry company Apples & Snakes is staging the evening of rhythm and rhyme at the Albany Theatre on March 16.

Lewisham ladies earn wings

A SQUADRON football team are going loop-the-loop after winning the London Wing five-a-side tournament.

The ladies from 1921 (Lewisham) Squadron, with ages ranging from 13 to 16 years old, beat 18 other teams to take the trophy.


Blackheath Starbucks face ongoing demo

Organise a Blackheath Kite flying party

04 March 2007

04 March 07

Paramedic spiked drink

A PARAMEDIC spiked the wine of a woman he met on the internet.

Steven Jones, aged 37, of Sedley Court, Sydenham Hill, slipped a powerful painkiller into her glass while the woman was in the bathroom of her flat. But his plan was foiled when the victim, a police nurse, decided they weren't a match and ended the evening.

Dream comes true at school gig

Jamie Cullum previewed new songs and performed a Justin Timberlake cover at the concert to celebrate the opening of Sydenham High School's £2.5m performing arts centre. The 90-minute show at the school in Westwood Hill, Sydenham, was enjoyed by 500 pupils, staff and parents.

Claims bus death victim was intimidated

A 45-YEAR-OLD man was "crushed" under a bus after he chased youths intimidating him, a witness claims.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene in Baring Road, Grove Park, at 9.45pm yesterday evening after he became trapped under the double decker vehicle. Bijal Sha, the manager of Grove Park Pharmacy, claims the victim had come in the store for help minutes before his death.

Pirate DVD factory in London raided

Eight people were rounded up after a raid on a residential premises yielded a huge amount of pirated video material in Deptford, London recently.

The joint operation between Lewisham Trading Standards, Met Police, FACT, IFPI and BPI, conducted on 22 February 2007, was carried out following suspicions that counterfeit DVDs and music CDs were being manufactured and distributed from the premises.

The operation resulted in the seizure of a large quantity of equipment and materials, including 22 DVD burners used for multiple DVD and CD copying, Commercial colour printers connected to commercial printing ink reservoirs, 7,000 completed discs in bags and stored ready for collection and supply, 10,000 blank DVD and CD discs ready for burning and 10,000 sleeves and several sheets of laser copier paper.

01 March 2007

01 March 2007

Appeal for missing woman

A 21-YEAR-OLD woman suffering from depression has gone missing while she was being transferred to a psychiatric unit. Lorraine Bunn was being taken from an address in Ladywell, Lewisham to the Churchill London Clinic, in central London when she ran away on February 26 at 8.15pm.

Ms Bunn has long brown hair worn in plaits and has some small scratches on her cheek and a tattoo on her right lower arm of the black rap artist 2Pac. Ms Bunn's family are concerned for her welfare and are urging anyone with any information to contact Lewisham police on 020 8297 1212.

Fighting disabled services cuts

MUMS, dads, children and campaigners are pledging to fight £3.3m of disability cost-cutting proposals. Reporter LOUISE TWEDDELL finds out more.

THE promise to fight comes after more than 80 protesters left Lewisham Council's budget cabinet meeting fearing for the future of services provided for more than 500 disabled residents.

Teen lied about kidnap and rape

A TEENAGE girl has been given a police caution after making a false allegation of kidnapping and rape. The 13-year-old told cops she had been abducted outside Sainsbury's in Crayford and driven to somewhere in Lewisham where she was raped at knife-point.

Officers from Bexley Police Sapphire Unit mounted a full investigation, but proved that the offence never took place.

28 February 2007

28th February 2007

Spate of lead thefts from roofs

RESIDENTS must be vigilant after a wave of thefts of lead from roofs. Lewisham police are warning Downham residents to be on the lookout after a spate of reports concerning the thefts.

If you have seen anything suspicious or have any information about who is involved in these thefts, call the Downham Safer Neighbourhood Team on 020 8721 2486 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Busy Day for Firefighters

Seven emergency services vehicles were called to the Malling House tower block in Lewisham Park, opposite Lewisham Hospital, after reports of heavy smoke on the thirteenth floor. Firefighters found rubbish had been set alight in a room containing the building's litter chute.

A family who live opposite the chute were told to remain in their flat while firefighters, using breathing apparatus, tackled the blaze.

Robbed at gun-point

A MUSICIAN was arrested today on suspicion of falsely reporting being robbed at gun-point for £4,000 worth of musical equipment.

Lewisham police received a call this morning from the man, who said he had been robbed while sitting in his car. He told officers a man wearing a grey hood and a black scarf held a gun to his head before emptying the contents of his boot.

The 29-year-old, from Brockley, is helping police with their enquiries.


Badmantra visits Lewisham

Davenport Road Explosion

Like a Phoenix from the ashes....

...well, more like a budgie smoking roll-ups.

It's back.