13 March 2007

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!

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