Sunday, June 26, 2022

Save South London Buses (12, 45, 78, 521)


Transport for London is currently consulting on major cuts to London bus routes, including in South London scrapping the 12, 45, 78 and 521. 

A 'Save Southwark Buses' petition has been launched which argues:

'The 12, 45, 78 and 521 provide essential routes for Southwark residents without access to the tube or overground. It is vital that the most vulnerable passengers and those on the lowest incomes can get to work, school or access key services across the borough and beyond. An efficient public transport system is also vital to cleaning up the borough’s air, ensuring that residents have a viable alternative to car use.

It is disgraceful that the Government has cut TfL’s funding by £600m and has demanded that TfL makes service cuts and increase prices for the funding to survive the Covid pandemic. These cuts to services have been forced on TfL and will only serve to level London down, ensuring that those without a car will struggle to get around the capital. Hard pressed families will have to make more difficult and costly journeys...

It will have a devastating impact on areas such as Camberwell, Peckham and Dulwich on the number 12 route. The loss of the 45 route will impact on areas of Walworth with the lowest levels of car ownership in Southwark. On the 78 route it will impact and isolate areas of Nunhead, South Bermondsey and .along the Old Kent Road. For the most vulnerable living and visiting London Bridge and St George’s that rely on the 521 route, the cuts will be badly felt'.

I frequently get the 78, which goes from Nunhead to Shoreditch via Peckham and Tower Bridge and it is pretty obvious that what is being proposed as an alternative is going to be a significantly poorer service. Without the 78 you would have to get at least two buses, relying on the often overcrowded P12 to get from Nunhead to Peckham and then change. What's more the P12 is less frequent than the 78, it starts later, finishes earlier and doesn't serve the last stop of the 78 in St Mary's Road.

You can respond to the TfL consultation here until 12 July 2022, but the real power to prevent these cuts sits with the Government.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Nouveau Quiche - a co-operative restaurant in 1980s New Cross



Nouveau Quiche was apparently a co-operative restaurant at 301 New Cross Road, this advert is from Marxism Today, 1986 and promises 'Cordon Rouge catering for all occasions'.  A 'TGWU recognised workers co-op' no less (the Transport and General Workers Union was one of the largest trade unions at the time, it later became part of Unite).

I asked on twitter and facebook for memories of this place and got a few interesting comments:

'My memory is a bit hazy but they must have been doing vegetarian food, otherwise we wouldn't have gone, and the decor was fashionable for the mid-80s, lots of matt black etc. I think they did actually serve quiche. In those days the area was a culinary mix of the well-established Indian, Chinese, Turkish etc, but if you wanted something different there was nowhere local to go'.

'I was an education development worker at a homelessness project in New Cross Road during the mid 80s, and some of my colleagues used to go there. I think we had meetings there as well'.

There were other radical food places in this period including Brockley Bean, the vegetarian/wholefood co-op in  Coulgate Street. Nice to see that the daughter of one of those involved has opened a cafe of the same name in Wrexham. 



In the 1990s there was the great Heathers vegan restaurant in Deptford, home of anti-apartheid benefits and fantastic food which I must return to another time. With the widespread availability of vegetarian/vegan food today it is hard to remember the days when you had to make your own humous or do without. Hard to remember too perhaps how much these alternative food spaces overlapped with radical political movements, in the case of Nouveau Quiche perhaps late period Communist Party of Great Britain in its Marxism Today phase with its designer socialist aesthetic and its questioning of Stalinist certainties

Interestingly in the 2000s there was a really good Indian restaurant a few doors down in New Cross Road called Nouveau Spice - inspired by a memory of the radical quiche-ists?

Thursday, June 09, 2022

'You and Me' - TV drama filming at Skehans

 Lots of filming going on this week around Telegraph Hill locations for new ITV drama series 'You and Me', including at Skehans pub SE14 where one of the characters is seen getting into a black cab and heading off down Gellatly Road. The Hill Station Cafe has also been used. The series, with Russell T Davies as Executive Producer, is due to be broadcast in 2023.



Wednesday, June 08, 2022

Sunday, June 05, 2022

Echoes of Ukraine invasion at Peter the Great statue

Anti Putin graffiti and Ukrainian flag stickers on the Peter the Great statue at Millennium Quay in Deptford. The statue was built with the support of the Russian embassy in, shall we say, different times.





Friday, June 03, 2022

Lewisham Sound Systems Trail

Big crowds last Sunday (29/5/2022) at the Lewisham Sound Systems Trail, with dub reggae and other sounds across the Deptford area. All free as part of the We are Lewisham borough of culture programme

Dennis Bovell and Friends in the Albany garden.


Lemon Lounge at Creekside artworks

Unit 137 at Deptford Market Yard



Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Nunhead Cemetery Open Day 2022


Nunhead Cemetery Open Day was busy on 21st May 2022 with its usual idiosyncratic mixture of local history, wildlife and cemetery enthusiast stalls, morris dancers and goths.

There was a 'hearse and horses promenade' courtesy of South London undertakers Francis Chappell & Sons. I posted this picture on twitter and a friend asked what was going on with the tiny people in the hearse - a trick of perspective or something spookier?!