Good-bye Woolworths Peckham

Excerpt from “Wild Tyme: A Blog about Film, Music, Literature and all the finer things in life” Monday, 29 December 2008 :
“I walked past the Woolworths Peckham branch on Rye Lane today. It only has two days left until it closes on the 30th. Decided to check it out, and take some photos of the carnage. For those who aren’t UK-based, Woolworths is a long-standing high-street shop that first opened in Liverpool in 1909. Originally a spin-off of the American F. W. Woolworth company (now Foot Locker), Woolworths UK became its own entity and enjoyed a familiarity until it collapsed under the recent, harsh economic climate. ” Read more…

The Emerging Copeland Cultural Quarter

“… The Bussey building is still buzzing with lively commercial activity, as part of Copeland Industrial Park. This is tucked away behind Bournemouth Road and Rye Lane, and hosts many small businesses, including some 100 artists, several faith groups, and arts, music and exhibition spaces. These contribute to the emerging Copeland Cultural Quarter. It is part of the large seven acre site, stretching from Rye Lane to Brayards Road, designated for demolition for the Cross River Tram depot.

However, it is a strategic site in the heart of the town centre, and could have a different and better future. The historic buildings could be integrated in new developments, for modern businesses and social uses. This, together with opening up the site, by creating small squares, courtyards and passage ways, would include the Quarter in the town centre. A range of ideas about how this might be done has been developed… ” (from SE15 The Independent Magazine for Peckham and Nunhead November 2008) Read more… (image file, PDF file)

Memories of Bussey – Southwark News Letter of the Week

Letter of the Week in Southwark News on 9th October was from Peckham Vision reporting on the popular and successful Open House weekend walks led by The Peckham Society on Saturday & Sunday 20th & 21st September 2008.The main feature was the emerging Copeland Cultural Quarter, where the centre piece is the historic Bussey building. Some of the visitors had come because of their old family links with the Bussey building. One lady, from Swanley in Kent, said that her father often talked to her when she was a child of his time working in the Bussey building just before he went off as a very young soldier to the first World War. She came to see this place so connected with her memories of her father. Another lady, a current resident of Peckham, told how she had many memories of visits to the Bussey building, as a little girl, with her mother who was a seamstress in one of the businesses there. The Letter asked readers to contact Peckham Vision if they had any personal stories about the Bussey building, or Holdron’s department store that was right next to it on that site, so that they could be added to the local history archives of Peckham town centre. Read more …

Sun shines again on Open House walks

Following the successful Open House Weekend last year (see last year’s blog) people flocked again to take the Open House weekend walks led by The Peckham Society on Saturday and Sunday 20th and 21st September 2008 (see photos). This time there were around 100 on two walks. Again everyone enjoyed the magnificent views of Peckham and central London from the roof of the Bussey building. They enjoyed the refreshments in the CLF Arts Café and the Peckham Vision exhibition of the latest information about the tram & tram depot plans, and the ideas for that central area of Peckham town centre if the tram depot is not located there. The new images and plans for the emerging Copeland Cultural Quarter were included in the displays. They heard how the huge size and good solid condition of the historic Bussey building is providing spaces for new creative arts and music businesses.

The tours also looked at

  • the behind-the-scenes preparation for the next twice monthly exhibition at the new (since last year) innovative Hannah Barry Gallery which is next door to the Bussey building. This demonstrates the scope for creative development of the whole business site which would otherwise be demolished for the proposed tram depot;
  • the historic gems of Holdron’s Victorian arcades which, currently hidden by shop fittings, might be restored for commercial town centre use;
  • the way all that would complement the opening up of the piazza in front of the fabulous gem of Peckham Rye station (listed finally this year to protect it for the future).

20/21 Sep Open House Weekend – Peckham central walk

For the second year, Peckham Central features in the walks in the London Open House Weekend 20/21 September – see details from Peckham Vision and the Peckham Society below.
For an account of last year’s successful walks see Open House 2007

London Open House Weekend
Peckham Central walks
Led by The Peckham Society

See some usually hidden parts of central Peckham: a walk between and around the recently listed Peckham Rye Station, the Bussey former cricket bat factory, the Hannah Barry Gallery, the Old Mill building, and more, all demonstrating the potential for re-using historic industrial buildings.
This is an excellent opportunity to enjoy the spectacular views from the roof of the Bussey building, see how that building and some of the adjacent buildings on the site are significant Peckham assets and have great potential for the emergent Copeland Cultural Quarter (CCQ). Visit the Peckham Vision exhibition and see the growing collection of images and plans illustrating ways in which the CCQ and the other areas around Rye Lane can become a more integrated collection of linked public spaces and
Saturday & Sunday
20th & 21st September 2008
From 1.30pm assemble & Peckham Vision exhibition
Meet: 3rd floor, Bussey Building
Entrance through 133 Rye Lane, SE15 4ST

Election Candidates invited to Peckham

The Peckham Society, with Peckham Vision, has written to candidates for Mayor and Southwark/Lambeth Assembly candidates to ask:
“If you are elected, will you come to Peckham so that we:

  • can introduce you to Peckham’s historic town centre,
  • discuss how to ensure the protection of the historic buildings is well integrated into the plans for the tram project,
  • discuss how to utilise the protection of these historic assets to lever in external heritage funding for their rehabilitation and the regeneration of the town centre? … “

Read more …

An alternative vision for Rye Lane Central

Peckham Vision has submitted initial comments for the PAAP (Peckham Area Action Plan): “It often appears that the town centre is conceived only as a long narrow linear shopping street, with relatively isolated opportunity/development sites. But there is the potential for viewing this area around Rye Lane Central in a very different way – as an integrated matrix with old and new buildings interlinked with open pedestrian spaces.” Read more and…

The Bussey building – ‘one of Peckham’s best kept secrets’

Southwark News tells the story of the Bussey building: “Tucked behind Rye Lane is one of Peckham’s best kept secrets, a building that was once part of the area’s thriving industrial past, and is now part of the most controversial issues regarding the new tram that could run through it…The Bussey building became one of the premier cricket bat makers in the country … Legendary cricketer WG Grace’s favoured willow was from the factory, and he would often be seen wandering along Chadwick Road … The modern building … is still a functioning operation .. It houses a cosmopolitan bunch of businesses that thrive in the solid structure …The roof has an amazing view of not just Peckham but most of London, and Peckham Vision feel this may be an ideal spot for a rooftop restaurant. Read More …

Southwark News 10th April 2008

Peckham Pram Factories

From South East London blogzine: ‘A friend has lent me a copy of the 1952 Official Guide to ‘The Metropolitan Borough of Camberwell’ from the days before Southwark Council when Camberwell had its own Council covering Peckham, Nunhead and of course Camberwell itself. .. The Guide says: “… the area seems to have been a centre of pram making. .. some of the finest perambulators in the world. Two well-known firms that specialise in these products pay particular attention to taste in colour and decoration, and the finished articles speak highly for the craftsmanship and regard given, not only to strength and durability, but also to individual character and beauty of line, the sine qua non of British Industry. …The firms in question were Royale Prams at the Besfoldas Works, 70a Nunhead Grove, SE15; and Deanes Limited at Denette Works, 163 Peckham Rye…”

Read More…