Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Wellbeloved; Deptford's most-loved butcher and possibly the world's best pies

Thrilled to have been sent a link to a video made by local resident and Wellbeloved customer Stewart Morgan about Bill's awesome steak pies. The film meanders into other issues from time to time but the steak pie is very much at the centre of the story, only playing second fiddle to the ever-humble Bill.

Favourite moments for me are Bill's recital of the pie fillings - I never tire of hearing it - and the guest  appearance of the pied wagtail that can often be seen pecking around outside the shops on the bottom of Tanner's Hill.

My original ode to Bill's pies can be found way back in 2007.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Deptford Big Lunch - diary date and volunteers required!

Ellie has been in touch about the Deptford Big Lunch she is organising on 15th June in Margaret McMillan Park.

That's not 'big lunch' as in the one you have when your boss is paying, or the enormous fry-up that seems appropriate once the hangover finally lifts at about 3pm; it's Big Lunch as in a community get-together intended to bring neighbours together over a plate of curry goat or some summer rolls.

Here's what she says about it:

It is essentially a big community picnic, with free food and arts and crafts for kids, and we are hoping to get lots of creative people down to join in. The idea is that it's a real grassroots community thing. Some local shops have agreed to donate food. 

I want anyone to be able to come down and contribute, either by just getting involved, bringing some food or sharing some talents. I want to celebrate all of the wonderful people we have in Deptford.
This is a charity event which is all about connecting with others, sharing food and celebrating the local community. 

There will be a barbecue and tasty home made salads made with foods donated by local grocers. 

We are also hoping to have face-painting, finger paints and activities for children. All are welcome to come along! 

Volunteers are still needed so please get in touch if you can help out in any way.

Find out more at the Facebook page here.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Another new pub on the way - Fuller's to open on New Capital Quay.

It's still a year hence (at least they are being realistic with their estimates, unlike Antic!) but news reaches me of a new pub planned for East Deptford*.

A press release states:
'Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC, the London brewer and premium pub company, has completed the purchase of two new freehold sites on the banks of the River Thames. A site in Fulham Reach will open later in 2014 and a second new site in Greenwich will open in early 2015. 

The Greenwich site is located close to the Cutty Sark and is Fuller’s second site in Greenwich**. It is part of the New Capital Quay development and will be called The Sail Loft. It is scheduled to open in the Spring of 2015 and will include riverside terraces with views over the River Thames and across to Canary Wharf.'

The pub will be on the Thames waterfront part of the development - presumably the anonymous-looking bar on this rendering - and provide a stopping off point for people walking or cycling along the river path and over the new footbridge.

*oh alright, West Greenwich if you prefer
** I had to look this up - the other is the Pilot on Greenwich Peninsula

Friday, 2 May 2014

Widespread testing reveals appalling pollution levels across Deptford and New Cross

In fact the widespread testing has revealed appalling pollution levels not just in Deptford and New Cross, but right across Lewisham and Greenwich, as well as in parts of Tower Hamlets, Southwark and Bromley. The results are incredibly shocking, if not surprising,

More than 150 monitoring tubes were put up by campaigners from Don't Dump on Deptford's Heart and No to Silvertown Tunnel across south east London to measure the concentration of Nitrogen dioxide, a pollutant directly linked to vehicle emissions; only 16 of these tubes showed pollution levels below those permitted by the EU - and some of the worst pollution spots had levels nearly three times higher!

The monitoring follows on from a similar exercise carried out by No to Silvertown Tunnel which I wrote about last year, but this time three times as many pollution tubes were installed over a much wider area. The Silvertown Tunnel campaigners teamed up with local campaigners in Deptford who are protesting against Thames Water's plans to sink a shaft for its 'super sewer' project in the middle of one of the few bits of green space in Deptford.

With funding from various sources - including individual donations from some local residents - they were able to pay for the pollution tubes supplied by the Network for Clean Air, who advise on the process for installation and removal of the tubes, and get them processed by an official lab to ensure they are done in accordance with DEFRA guidelines. Teams of volunteers went out and put the tubes up on lamp posts where they remained for a month, before being taken down and sent away for analysis.

The results for the tubes installed by the Deptford team can be seen in detail on this map but you can get a rough idea of the overall pollution levels on this map; only orange and green blobs are below the recommended level of 40 microgramme per cubic metre set by the EU. Red blobs represent anything between 40 and 60 microgrammes per cubic metre, and black is anything over 60 (and potentially up to 110!).

This map plots the extremely high levels found along the main roads, but perhaps more surprisingly, it shows that levels along Deptford High Street are also worryingly high. Considering the fact that the street is used as a rat run in the morning and evening rush-hours, I'm not quite so surprised, but all the same it gives great cause for concern.

Deptford Church Street also has several black blobs, and it is these measurements in particular - as well as those on Creekside - that local campaigners fear will be exacerbated by the congestion caused by construction traffic on the super sewer, as well as traffic from major developments such as Faircharm and Convoys Wharf. Thames Water's proposal to restrict traffic on Deptford Church Street to single lanes each direction during the construction of the shaft has even greater implications.

The measurements from tubes installed by Silvertown Tunnel campaigners can be seen in detail on this map, but the screen shot above gives a good indication of similarly high levels across the area.

The two campaign websites go into much more detail about the implications of these results, but even without the need to gather hard evidence to argue the case against these two tunnel projects, the fact is that air pollution caused by vehicles is way above acceptable levels in most parts of south east London, even in our high streets, outside schools, houses and other public amenities. Everywhere you go in this part of the capital puts you at risk of harm from nitrogen dioxide and given the levels that are being measured, it seems inevitable that other pollutants are also present in high concentrations. Lewisham council does monitor air quality, but only at four sites and the last time it published results from diffusion tubes like the ones that were used in this survey, was 2012.

Surely it's time that they put a bit more effort into it, especially given these results? Having reliable, frequently-updated information like this is going to be fundamental to any argument against, for example, developers at Convoys Wharf pitching to send all their construction lorries along local roads?