Friday, March 26, 2021

Green Onions re-opens - Stefan Finnis (1974-2021) remembered

Green Onions, the much loved health food and record shop in Clifton Rise, New Cross, has reopened after a period of closure.

Sad to report that the co-founder of the shop, Stefan Finnis, died on 15 January 2021. There's a lovely collection of photos and memories of Stefan online, and a book of remembrance in the shop also. In the words of his brother:

'For Stefan, meaning was to be found in the beauty of the natural world, in artistic creation and in championing the interests of other people.

Most of us know about his work over the last 20 years in London: Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses, CoolTan Arts, Bee Urban, finally in his and Adrian's wonderfully multifaceted shop Green Onions in New Cross. In this one venture, Stefan's different passions could find an outlet: his unfailing sense of the aesthetic, his passion for community issues and for the promotion of local artisans and artists, his deep knowledge of plants and of everything to do with good food and healthy living. He conveyed these passions in the calm, effortless and generous manner we all loved'.

Stefan Finnis (1974-2021) in Green Onions
(photo from East London Lines)

There's an interview with Stefan, and more photos, at Deptford is Changing with reflections on change and regeneration in the area. In  Stefan's words,  “Clifton Rise has a special energy; New Cross in itself has its own energy, but Clifton Rise is special. If New Cross has a centre, you could say it’s somewhere round here. It has something to do with how people move through the area, it’s a meeting of worlds, of historically richer and poorer communities; Clifton Rise is somewhere in the middle of those two.” At the time of giving that interview the shops on Clifton Rise were threatened with demolition as part of the redevelopment of the neighbouring Achilles Street Estate. As a result of the community campaign which Stefan was involved it was decided in 2019 to remove the shops from the demolition plan, though the housing redevelopment is planned to go ahead 

No comments: